President & General Manager, KVIE Public Television
David was named KVIE’s sixth President & General Manager in May 2008. He joined the station in 2001 as Vice President of Marketing and assumed the role of Vice President of Marketing & Development in 2002. His prior experience includes marketing positions with a Fortune 500 company, a publicly traded software company, and a venture capital backed software start-up. He has served as President of the California Public Television association and on the national PBS Digital Advisory Council, PBS Development Advisory Committee, and the PBS Communications Advisory Committee. His local community board service includes American Leadership Forum, California Hall of Fame Advisory Board, Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce, Los Rios Foundation, Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce (Executive Committee), Sacramento Metro Chamber, and San Joaquin A+. Lowe received his B.A. in English, magna cum laude from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. He is a graduate of the Leadership Sacramento program, UC Davis Executive Program, and American Leadership Forum Class XIII. He was named in the Sacramento Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 and Sacramento Magazine’s Power & Influence 100.
CPA, Crowe Horwath
Damaris has over 14 years of experience in public accounting. She has extensive technical experience working with tax compliance and consulting engagements, specializing in commercial enterprises, healthcare, closely-held businesses, financial institutions, high net worth individuals, estates and trusts, wineries and vineyards and other corporate and flow-through entities.
As Senior Manager for Crowe Horwath, Damaris specializes in tax planning and compliance for partnerships and corporations; high net worth individual tax planning and compliance; trust and estate tax planning and return preparation; and successful representation in examinations by the Internal Revenue Service.
Director, Business Governance & Risk Management, DBE Liaison Officer, Siemens Mobility, Inc.
Michelle Picard is a finance professional with more than 20 years in the Transportation Industry currently performing the role of Director, Business Governance and Risk Management and DBE Liaison Officer for Siemens Mobility, Inc. – Rolling Stock headquartered in Sacramento, CA. Michelle graduated cum laude from the California State University of Sacramento with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in international business and a Master of Arts in French. As DBE Liaison Officer, Michelle partners with procurement and advocacy groups to help establish relationships with businesses recognized as small or diverse. Previous positions have included Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Officer and a variety of commercial project management and business administration roles, serving most recently as Director, Operations Controlling directing the planning, controlling and reporting activities for several functions including manufacturing, engineering, scheduling, quality and logistics.
Vice President & Relationship Banker, California Bank & Trust
Dawn Satow is Vice President and a Commercial Banking Officer with California Bank & Trust, Sacramento Business. She has over 40 years banking experience, all with California Bank & Trust (and previously Sumitomo Bank of California). She is responsible for many of the Bank’s major relationships, some having complex financing or depository needs. Personal service, attention to detail and a commitment to helping businesses prosper are attributes of her client relationships.
Dawn is able to leverages her experience in credit analysis, commercial lending and branch management, with a refined hands-on approach to better service each client. She was born and raised in Sacramento, and attended California State University, Sacramento prior to her employment with California Bank & Trust.
Director of Community Relations & Local Government Relations, UC Davis
Mabel Salon is the Director of Community Relations and Interim Director of Local Government Relations for UC Davis. She directs a comprehensive community relations program for UC Davis that raises public awareness, understanding and support for the campus and its mission of research, teaching and public service, and a local government relations program that encourages interaction with the campus for the regional elected officials. She is responsible for expanding the visibility and presence of UC Davis in the eight-county region surrounding the campus, with primary outreach in Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties, and strategic involvement in Placer, El Dorado, Nevada, Sutter and Yuba counties...
Attorney at Law, Kronick Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard
Ms. Dicdican is an attorney in the firm’s health care and business services practice groups where she represents clients with general business, corporate finance and health care matters.
Ms. Dicdican represents a wide variety of clients (ranging from large corporate entities to small business owners to individuals) in matters of varying complexity in connection with general business and contract matters. She has addressed and managed a variety of issues related to companies in different stages of development, including choice of entity, entity formation and general corporate formation and maintenance. Ms. Dicdican also has assisted public companies with corporate governance issues and SEC/Sarbanes-Oxley compliance; and has represented buyers and sellers in all aspects of public and private mergers, acquisitions, private placements, debt financings, and venture capital financings. She also has experience in intellectual property, licensing and franchising issues...
Tim Yamauchi has 30+ years of experience in Strategy Development, Business Innovation Initiatives and Capital Raising. Tim’s has” C- Level” experience in many functions including operations, finance, accounting, risk management, marketing, sales, procurement and corporate development. His financing experience includes public security offerings (including IPO’s and secondary offerings), venture capital financing, joint ventures, various types of commercial bank financing, start-up companies, debt restructuring and mergers and acquisitions. He has taken a leading role in several successful start-ups and early stage companies among those are: Stockpoint, a provider of online financial applications (now News Corp, NYSE: NWS), Total Pharmaceutical Care, a home health care service company (now Apria Health Group, NYSE: AHG) and Health Data Insights, a provider of health data mining solutions (now HMS Holdings NASDAQ: HMSY). Tim is a CPA (inactive) and holds a Harvard MBA.
Chief Grid Stategy & Operations Officer, SMUD
As Assistant General Manager of Power Supply & Grid Operations, Paul Lau is responsible for overseeing the purchase and sales of SMUD’s gas and electric commodities, the reliability of the electric generation, transmission, and distribution systems, and SMUD’s renewable portfolio standard. He is currently the executive sponsor for SMUD’s deployment of advanced metering infrastructure and smart grid initiatives.
Lau has over 30 years of utility experience and is a registered professional electrical engineer in the State of California and received his bachelor’s degree in electrical power engineering from California State University, Sacramento. Lau is also an executive Board member & Commissioner of the Transmission Agency of Northern California and the Balancing Authority of Northern California.
Government Relations Representative, PG&E
John Costa is the Governmental Relations Representative for Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) Company. At PG&E, John serves as the primary government/political affairs contact for the greater Sacramento Region (Sacramento, Yuba, Sutter and Colusa). As the Government Relations Representative for PG&E, John works with various Community Leaders/Groups, aids the various lines of business (Gas, Electric, Renewables, etc.), oversees the day-to-day operations of various projects/company initiatives and coordinates with counterparts throughout California.
Prior to joining Pacific Gas and Electric Company, John worked as a Director of Government and Public Affairs for the North State Building Industry Association, focusing in the field of Housing and Land Use advocacy, political campaigns and non-profit leadership.
John currently serves as Vice-Chair for Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center, Board Member for the North State Building Industry Association, Committee Member for the Vineyard Area Community Planning Advisory Council and coaches U8 soccer for the Pleasant Grove Soccer Club.
A graduate of CSU Sacramento, John holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications. He is currently pursuing his CAE with the American Society of Association Executives. John lives in Sacramento County with his wife and two children.
President, Gold Country Green, SEVENLEAVES
Tyler Joseph Kearns is the President of Gold Country Green and owner of SEVENLEAVES Products in Sacramento California. He has over seven years of experience in managing commercial cultivation. Tyler earned a BS Degree in Energy Management and Design and a minor in Business Administration at Sonoma State University. He worked in the commercial solar electric industry in the bay area. Prior to this he worked in the construction industry, framing spec homes in the North Valley. During this time, he raised his own capitol and received construction loans to build and sell his own spec homes...
General Manager/CEO, Sacramento Regional Transit District
Henry Li is a visionary and transformational leader with a proven track record of strategic innovations. During his 20-year transportation career, he has successfully led a variety of industry cutting edge initiatives in highly political, complex and dynamic communities. Henry has a history of building strong alliances both internally and externally while being a diplomatic negotiator to promote multi-modal transportation options.
Since becoming Sacramento Regional Transit District’s (RT) General Manager/CEO in July 2016, Henry has been credited for the solid, rapid and comprehensive transformation/overhaul of RT that has been highly praised by the Sacramento community, city officials, business leaders, news media, RT riders and the transit industry nationwide.
Director of Advancement, The Child Abuse Prevention Center
Clay Merrill is the Director of Advancement for the Child Abuse Prevention Center, where he oversees and directs The Center’s fundraising and development efforts, communications, donor relations, corporate partnerships, and community relations. Previous to working at the Child Abuse Prevention Center, Merill was a Communications Supervisor with Moroch in Sacramento, where he lead the public relations efforts for the McDonald’s franchise owners in the Sacramento and Reno media markets. Merrill’s efforts included providing strategic planning and program implementation in both regions. Since he started working at Moroch, Merrill collaborated with local organizations and the news media to communicate the community activities of the McDonald’s franchisees in Sacramento and Reno. He provided social media, crisis communications and media relations services for his clients, and is extremely active in the community...
Community and Advocacy Engagement Manager, SAFE Credit Union
Amanda Garcia Merz-A committed community leader; developed a civic-minded mentality in 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland. Under the guidance of several global mentors, she was asked to lead the volunteer sector for the American Women’s Club. She found her passion when she organized the first ever graffiti clean-up volunteer project in a foreign country, in a foreign language to city officials who were not accustomed to civic-minded individuals. The campaign to clean Geneva safely and responsibly led to media coverage and an award by the then US Ambassador Madeline Kunin, ‘Women Making a Difference.”
Upon returning to the US, she sought specific organizations where she could develop skills in philanthropy work and give back directly to the community. The Junior League of Sacramento provided a place for both needs to be met. After seven years of service to the League and various leadership roles, Amanda was honored to be named the 2013-2014 President of the Junior League of Sacramento.
Director of Government Affairs, Comcast Cable Corporation
Philip Arndt is Director of Government Affairs for Comcast for the Sacramento Valley area that extends from Modesto to Chico but has a strong concentration in the Sacramento region. Philip works closely with elected official, local leaders, and local municipalities on issues and policies related to cable services and other Comcast products. Philip also serves as the Comcast community relations representative for the area and is active in a number of non-profit organizations that serve the Sacramento region. Philip currently serves on the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and has previously served as Chairman of the Board for the Concord Chamber of Commerce and the Antioch Chamber of Commerce. Prior to entering the cable industry, Philip was a district aide for Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and prior to that the district Chief of Staff for State Senator Daniel Boatwright. Philip was born and raised in Berkeley and earned his bachelors degree in Business-Economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara. He lives in Antioch with his wife, Terri, and their two daughters Madison (age 13) and Alison (age 9).
VP/Director of Residential Lending, First Northern Bank
First Northern Bank was established in 1910 and has remained faithful to its roots as an institution formed to address specific personalized needs. First Northern Bank continues to serve such needs with a strong commitment to superior personal service and commitment to support and reinvest in each of the communities the Bank serves. The Bank is a full service community bank serving the business, professional, personal, and real estate requirements of the people in Solano, Yolo, Sacramento, and Placer counties, with a reach into neighboring El Dorado and Contra Costa counties.
The Bank opened for business on February 1, 1910. Its corporate offices and main branch are in Dixon, Solano County. The Bank has 10 full service branches located in Dixon, Winters, Roseville, Auburn, Davis, West Sacramento, Sacramento, Vacaville, Fairfield, and Woodland.
First Northern Bank has Real Estate Mortgage Loan Office in Davis, and an Asset Management & Trust Department in Sacramento.
The Investment & Brokerage Services Department is located in Davis, with an additional office in Auburn.
First Northern offers a wide range of SBA, real estate, commercial, agribusiness and consumer loans, as well as a full array of non-FDIC insured investment and brokerage products and services.
Airport Chief Administrative Officer - Planning & Development, Sacramento County Department of Airports
T. J. joined Sacramento County Department of Airports in 2015 as the Department’s Chief Administrative Officer for Planning and Development and leads the Department’s Facilities, Planning and Environmental, Properties and Commercial Development, and Design and Development Sections. TJ is also responsible for the Department’s 5-year capital improvement program and commercial development portfolios for Sacramento International Airport and Mather Airport.
T.J. embarked on his airports career more than 20 years ago, and in the 20-plus year span, T.J. held various project engineering and program management positions in the private sector and with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). TJ also has extensive international business and project development experience focusing on airport safety improvements and airport development.
T.J. received his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in civil engineering from San Jose State University and is a licensed civil engineer in the State of California. T.J. is also a graduate of FAA’s Program for Emerging Leaders and a Certificated Member of American Association of Airport Executives.
President, Sacramento-Sierra Building & Construction Trades Council
President – Ironworkers Local Union 118 (2007 – Present)
Political Director – Sacramento Central Labor Council (2010 – Present)
United States Marine Corps. Intelligence Officer/Scout-Sniper (1981 – 1987)
The Ironworkers are a “Performance Based Industry”. We’ve never had Seniority Clauses or Protections and we don’t want them. Our goal is to make profits for our Contractors. If we can’t accomplish that, we are out of business. We believe this makes us a true business friendly organization. My goal is to partner with local business to help generate Economic Growth.
Director, Community Relations, Western Health Advantage
Rick Heron joined Western Health Advantage’s senior management team in 2005 to develop and lead the organization’s marketing and community relations efforts. As a leading local healthcare company, WHA strongly supports making a difference in the greater Sacramento community. Heron is responsible for coordinating all of the organization’s external affairs, including advertising, marketing, communications, branding, charitable outreach, and public affairs.
Before joining WHA, Heron was regional marketing manager for America Online (AOL). Prior to AOL, he spent 15 years in professional sports, holding management positions in sales, community relations and marketing with Maloof Sports & Entertainment and the San Francisco Giants.
An active community participant, Heron is Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, and Board member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce. He also serves on the Healthcare and Membership Committees for the Metro Chamber. Heron has worked extensively with neighborhood groups, school districts, business leaders and elected officials on an array of projects intended to benefit and strengthen our community.
Heron has a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco. He is a member of, and also certified by, Boston College’s Carroll School of Management Center for Corporate Citizenship.
Chief Operating Officer, Mercy General Hospital
Devan Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer at Mercy General Hospital where he provides strategic and operational leadership, plans and implements new business strategies, fosters a culture of clinical excellence, accountability and mission-driven objectives. Devan has 19 years of professional healthcare experience in an acute care hospital leadership.
Prior to joining Mercy General Hospital, Devan served as Chief Operating Officer at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane, Washington, a 388-bed regional tertiary facility. Prior to that, Devan served as an Administrator at St. Luke’s Health System in Boise, Idaho.
Devan holds a Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University where he also received his Bachelors of Arts degree.
Devan is married to his wife, Kim. They have five children, Kailee, 20; Trystan, 18; Makelle, 16; Ethan, 12; and Brenden, 11.
SVP/Chief Regulatory Officer, Five Star Bank
Mike grew up in Ohio, then moved to Texas, where he earned a Bachelor’s of Business Administration (Economics) from Midwestern State University. He later graduated with honors from the Pacific Coast Bankers Graduate School of Banking in Seattle, Washington. In 1990 he joined the FDIC’s Houston field office as a bank examiner, transferring to the Sacramento office in 1997. He was hired by Five Star Bank in 2005 as its Chief Financial Officer, became the Chief Credit Officer in 2007, and eventually took the role of Chief Regulatory Officer, responsible for developing and managing all compliance, audit and examination programs, including the Bank’s Enterprise-wide Risk Management function. Mike is also the Bank’s CRA Officer, responsible for ensuring the Bank supports the needs of the Sacramento, Chico and Redding communities.
Campus Director, University of Phoenix Sacramento Valley Campus
Joel Maier, started with University of Phoenix in 2003, he has over 25 years of leadership experience in higher education, industry, and the military. In addition to his current administrative role, Maier has instructed courses in the areas of technology, management, and leadership. He also serves on the National Board of Directors of the Delta Mu Delta Honor Society as the Vice-President Extension and Development. Born in Rochester, NY, Maier has a BS and MS Management Roberts Wesleyan College, and an MS Psychology Univ. of Phoenix. He is married to wife of 27 years, Wanda Maier and has two adult sons.
Bureau Chief, California State Department of Consumer Affairs
MICHAEL MARION, JR.
Dr. Michael Marion, Jr is Associate Vice Provost at Drexel University Sacramento. As a senior administrator in higher education, Dr. Marion‘s responsibilities and expertise span a wide spectrum of areas in education and leadership across an array of educational settings. Not only has Dr. Marion established himself as a leader in higher education, serving students in private and public colleges and universities, but also in the community. Dr. Marion promotes a strong commitment to civic engagement and recruitment and retention initiatives within the region and has been very active in organizations like Metro EDGE and Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. In addition, Dr. Marion has sat on many, committees, boards and commissions throughout his professional career (i.e. the California Student Aid Commission, The Sacramento Metropolitan Art Commission and The Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Executive Committee.
When Dr. Marion‘s not with his wife Tanika, (who also is an educator) and their two sons, he enjoys doing community service, traveling, cooking, and sports activities. Dr. Marion earned his Associates in Arts, as well as his Bachelor and Master degree from San Diego State University and a Doctorate degree from the University of Southern California, and was just completed the prestigious Harvard University Summer Leadership program. He is a native of Portland, Ore., but calls Sacramento, CA home.
President & General Manager, ABC10
Risa Omega's career at ABC10 began 30 years ago as an entry-level Account Executive. Risa rose through the ranks of the sales department, holding Local Sales Manager, Business Development Manager and eventually, Director of Sales positions. Risa worked on national and local major accounts, where she excelled at collaborating with customers to create unique partnerships with ABC10.
In 2016 Risa was honored to be named President and General Manager of ABC10 and now has the privilege of overseeing the entire operations of this sophisticated local media company.
ABC10 provides news and information that is relevant to the lives and families of our customers, delivered on television screens, computers, and mobile devices.
At ABC10, we continue to expand our staff, improve how we produce and promote our content, and find new and more personal ways to engage with our community. We are looking for team members who can help us connect with a broader, more diverse audience, and who are willing to continuously challenge themselves and those they work with to exceed expectations.
We're proud to be part of TEGNA, a company where innovating is a priority, and whose purpose is to serve the greater good of our communities - through empowering stories, impactful investigations, and innovative marketing services.
Risa has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis, and is an active member of the Sacramento Alliance for Women in Media. She and her husband, Rudy, have three children, Alison (age 20) and twins Natalie and RJ (ages 17). When Risa is not at work, you will find her spending time with her family and getting in the last few basketball games for Natalie and cross county or track for RJ.
Senior Program Specialist, AARP
Kris serves as the Senior Program Specialist for AARP California and brings over 15 years of experience in all aspects of planning, reporting, and community outreach and engagement. In her role as a Senior Program Specialist, Kris works to develop and execute strategies and programs that provide educational content, tools and resources that help AARP audiences realize their real possibilities. Her deep experience in volunteer management, project management and implementing plans include but not limited to audience-targeted audience.
Kris came to AARP in 2004 working in AARP Alaska and has since worked in several positions with AARP both in the state offices and the AARP national office. She specializes in diversity and aging issues, caregiving, fraud, and livable communities through education workshops and speaking engagements.
Kris is part of the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and is an avid fundraiser for non-profit organizations that help the underserved communities. Her work is driven by the philosophy that effective communications, education, and culture can move worthy causes.
Vice President - Corporate Partnerships, Sacramento Republic FC
Brent Sasaki is Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships for Sacramento Republic FC (Republic FC).
Prior to joining Republic FC, Brent was the Director of Business Development for Corporate Partnerships for the Sacramento Kings, directing the corporate partnerships business development team and managed strategy and implementation of their entire partner marketing efforts. The UC Davis graduate also served as the Regional Marketing Manager for Glaceau Vitaminwater, coordinating all local and national partnerships in the Northern California region. Brent also worked in the partnership marketing department for Visa USA, in addition to overseeing Visa’s Berkeley Greek Theatre and San Francisco Giants sponsorships.
As VP of Corporate Partnerships for Republic FC, Brent provides strategic direction for the corporate partnership department and ensures maximum sales volumes, efficiency and profitability.
Business Support Consultant, Greater California, Wells Fargo & Company
Katie Shafer is the business support consultant for Wells Fargo Customer and Branch Experience supporting 70 branches in the Sacramento region. She is responsible for supporting region leadership with customer experience strategy and initiatives as well as local sponsorship strategy for small business and affluent business development.
Katiejoined Wells Fargo in 2008 while attending school to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in public relations at San Jose State University. She’s held various positions at Wells Fargo serving customers in branches as well as serving as an administrative assistant and marketing consultant. During her time as a marketing consultant, Katie worked with local chambers and community organizations to help provide local small businesses resources for success and that continues to be a priority in her current position.
A Sacramento native, Katie brings a passion for the community and enjoys helping others reach their full potential. She volunteers regularly at her church and acts as a tutor for Reading Partners. As a leader at Wells Fargo, Katie sits on the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, the Northern California Volunteer Chapter and is a member of the Women’s Team Member Network and Latin Connection Team Member Network.
IT Leader and Information Officer, Kaiser Permanente, South Sacramento
Jeff joined the Kaiser Permanente team almost 20 years ago, and currently serves as the Information Technology Leader and Information Officer for the South Sacramento Medical Center and service area. In this role, he is responsible for all information technology (IT) initiatives and acts as the chief advocate for all IT issues in South Sacramento and Elk Grove. His work in developing strategic relationships with key leaders regularly results in new technology pilot projects in the service area—such as a recent iPhone rollout program to all physicians and other care providers to improve patient care—which aligns with the organization’s strategic priorities.
Jeff is an avid skier and runner, regularly participating in Kaiser Permanente’s employee wellness program. He ran the California International Marathon in 2011 and 2013 and dedicates each Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to volunteering in the community with his family on behalf of Kaiser Permanente
Senior Associate Vice President of University Communications, California State University, Sacramento
Jeannie Wong is Senior Associate Vice President of University Communications at Sacramento State, overseeing strategic communications and marketing for California State University, Sacramento. She is a member of President Robert S. Nelsen's senior leadership team and serves on his Cabinet. Under Ms. Wong's leadership, University Communications facilitates media relations, crisis communications, multimedia, social media, University home page messaging, and print and online design. UComm also produces a variety of publications, including the Sac State Magazine.
Her talented team developed and promoted the award-winning Made at Sac State marketing campaign, updated and enhanced the University's brand and visual identity, and has produced a number of exceptional videos, commercials, advertisements, and promotions, including Finish in Four. At the Sacramento Bee, Ms. Wong was a member of the upper-management newsroom team and helped guide news and feature coverage for both print and online products. A California native, she received her bachelor’s degree in print journalism, summa cum laude, from the University of Southern California. She has served as a local chapter president and national representative for the Asian American Journalists Association and is a graduate of AAJA’s Executive Leadership Program. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and their two children.
President, Folsom Lake College
Whitney I. Yamamura has been appointed the next president of Folsom Lake College by the Los Rios Community College Board of Trustees and Chancellor Brian King. He will start Monday July 24th.
Whitney is starting his 28th year working in the Los Rios Community College District. In that time he has served at every position at a college within the district, from teaching intern, part-time faculty, full time tenured faculty, dean, vice president and interim president. He served as interim president at two colleges, Sacramento City College in the spring of 2017 and of Cosumnes River College in spring 2015. He has served as Vice President of Instruction and Student Learning and Accreditation Liaison Officer at Cosumnes River College, since June 2008. During that time, he help navigate the College through major cuts in funding, while at the same time launching the Elk Grove Center, and supporting the creation of new career programs. Prior to the vice president position, Whitney was the founding dean at the American River College Natomas Center where he managed instruction, student services and business services for the Center. In a three year period he tripled enrollment at the Center. Whitney has also worked as Dean of Behavioral & Social Sciences for American River College (ARC) for six years. He served as a tenured Professor of Economics at ARC for eight years...