RTD announces a new Chief Operating Officer

Jean Foletta-Morales

San Joaquin Regional Transit District is pleased to announce that Jean Foletta-Morales has joined the agency as Chief Operating Officer. In this new position, she will oversee transportation, maintenance, paratransit operations, and maintenance at RTD.

Foletta-Morales began her career in transit 18 years ago working as the Marketing Manager for RTD. She later worked in fixed route, paratransit, and mobility management operations while at RTD.

“We are excited to welcome Jean Foletta-Morales back to RTD,” said RTD CEO Donna DeMartino. “She is a true public transit professional with a very well-rounded background. I am looking forward to seeing her improve our operations even further as we continue our drive to provide Extraordinary Customer Service.”

Foletta-Morales successfully started the first Consolidated Transportation Services Agency in Stanislaus County and served as the Transit System Manager for the City of Elk Grove. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from California State University Stanislaus and has served on the California Association for Coordinated Transportation Board of Directors. Foletta-Morales was awarded the American Public Works Association Professional Manager of the Year Award for Transportation in 2015.

Longevity award presented to Amerine Systems technician

Garrett Amerine

Reinke has recognized Garrett Amerine with Amerine Systems in Oakdale with a five-year PLUS Program Longevity Award. Amerine received the award in recognition of his dedication to maintaining a PLUS Program certification for five years.

“Qualifying as a PLUS or Platinum PLUS technician is a high achievement in itself,” said Reinke Service Training Administrator Jennifer Craig. “To maintain this certification for five years is a huge accomplishment not only for the individual but also for the dealership that supports them. Reinke is proud to honor the dedication shown by these individuals.”

The Reinke PLUS (Proven Leaders in Unmatched Service) Program is a service training coursework that’s offered to full-service Reinke dealers. The program includes a series of six service training courses and a testing process to qualify as a PLUS or Platinum PLUS certified technician.

To maintain certification, 16 service training credits must be earned each year either through online or in-class training. Certified Reinke PLUS technicians are trained to deliver the most advanced technical service and support to customers.

Valencia new ops manager for food bank
Rudy Valencia is the new operations manager for Second Harvest Food Bank.

He replaces Paul Rodrigues who was promoted to chief executive officer of the non-profit based in Manteca that distributes groceries to roughly 100 food banks in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and nearby foothills. Rodrigues replaced Mike Mallory who retired three months ago.

Valencia hails from the Manteca area and said he is thrilled with his new position at the facility that helps feed over 35,000 individuals each month. He was part of the first graduating class of Sierra High School in 1997.

Valencia in his new position will work with the corporate donors. It includes maintaining the fleet of delivery vehicles and working with the grocery donors such as Safeway and Save Mart as well as with the corporate donors such as General Mills, Amazon, Kraft, and Walmart.

He started on Aug. 21. It was just in time to see the food bank’s second warehouse open and go into operation adjacent to the original site on Industrial Park Drive. Having two warehouses will allow Second Harvest to nearly triple storage capacity.

In May of 1995 the Manteca based Food Bank joined a national coalition of food banks, known then as America’s Second Harvest – now known as Feeding America. Joining with the national coalition provided the opportunity to receive donations on a large corporate level opening the door for growth and expansion.

In 2001 San Joaquin Food Bank merged with the Modesto-Riverbank-Stanislaus County Food Bank to form Second Harvest Food Bank of San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. The merging of the two entities allowed for more effective and increased distribution of foods to those in need in seven counties including San Joaquin, Stanislaus and the Mother Lode.

Hospital volunteers pitch in for homeless shelter
Emanuel Medical Center Volunteers donated $10,000 to the Turlock Gospel Mission to help it complete its homeless shelter on Broadway Avenue.

The shelter, Turlock’s first year-round facility, will be able to house up to 65 homeless women, children and men when it opens by the end of this year.

The hospital volunteers’ donation was raised through sales at Emanuel’s gift shop. Volunteer Manager Carrie Lemon said the volunteers voted on the local charity to receive the donation, and the Turlock Gospel Mission was “near and dear to many of the volunteers’ hearts.”

The Emanuel Medical Center Volunteers have been supporting Emanuel, its patients and the community since 1961, raising and donating well over $1.5 million to hospital building funds, health efforts and scholarships. Additionally, volunteers have donated hundreds of thousands of hours of service to Emanuel and its patients.

“We have nearly 140 active volunteers between the hospital and Emanuel Cancer Center right now,” Lemon said. “And they’re all here to help our community.”

In addition to running the gift shop, the volunteers guide patients and visitors to rooms and appointments, assist families in the surgical waiting rooms and help nurses and staff on the patient-care floors.

“The patient-care opportunities are especially important for students considering a career in healthcare,” Lemon said. “They also receive school credit for their volunteer hours.”

The $10,000 donation was made at a regular volunteer meeting at Emanuel Medical Center.

Volunteer award for Ceres club
The Ceres Post 491 of the American Legion has been awarded the “2017 Volunteer of the Year” by CalTrans for its Adopt-A-Highway program within District 10.

District 10 encompasses Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties.

The Ceres post has been involved in the program since 2013 and has adopted a section of southbound Highway 99 from Hatch Road. The Ceres post volunteers have picked up more than six tons of debris from this section alone, said Steven M. Whitney, past commander of the local post.

In further appreciation for the Ceres Post’s community volunteer work, Congressman Jeff Denham presented the post with a “Certificate of Congressional Recognition.”

New Vice President at Merced College

Joe Allison

Joe Allison has been named the Merced College Vice President of Administrative Services.

Allison, who was the College’s Director of Business & Fiscal Services, has been serving as the acting vice president since August. Joanne Schultz, the previous vice president, retired in September. His permanent appointment was approved by the Merced College Board of Trustees on October 10.

“It was a fairly seamless transition as I have been in the acting role since August,” Allison said. “My position oversees campus police, budget development, maintenance, operations, transportation, grounds, print services, the campus bookstore, purchasing, the business office, payroll, student fees, facility development, capital planning, and event scheduling. Our job is to partner with Student Services and Instruction in order to provide efficient services that support the success of our students.”

Allison graduated from Merced College with an Associate of Arts degree in Business Administration in the spring of 1989. He played two years on the Blue Devil basketball team, including coaching legend Don Reid’s final season. Allison finished out his playing days at Grand Canyon University before returning home to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from Fresno State University.

He has more than 19 years’ experience in management and administration, including the last 15 years with Merced College. Allison is a licensed CPA with an additional 4 years’ experience as an Internal Auditor with the Merced County Auditor-Controller’s Office.

“We are looking forward to having Mr. Allison at the helm of the Administrative Services Division,” Merced College Superintendent/President Chris Vitelli said. He is a strong leader and will help move Merced College in a positive direction. “Mr. Allison is uniquely situated with his background and experiences as both a former Merced College student and long-time manager of the District to step in and make immediate contributions as the Vice President of Administrative Services.”

Allison said campus safety and developing a sustainable budget plan were his initial concerns.

Law firm adds new principal attorney

Melissa C. Giannecchini

The Stockton law firm of Neumiller & Beardslee recently celebrated the admission of its newest shareholders at Jesse’s Grove Winery in Lodi including Melissa C. Giannecchini, a shareholder of the firm effective January 1, 2017. Since joining the firm in 2008, Giannecchini has been an integral part of the firm’s trust, probate, estate planning, and trust litigation practices, as well as of the firm’s agriculture law and business law practices.

In 2005, Giannecchini graduated magna cum laude from University of the Pacific with a B.A. in Political Science. In 2008, Giannecchini earned her Juris Doctor with Distinction from University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, having served as the Chief Managing Editor of the McGeorge Law Review, and graduating in the top 14 percent of her class and becoming a lifetime member of the Traynor Honor Society.

In addition to her dedication to the firm, her family, and her clients, Giannecchini is committed to serving our community having served on the Boards of Women’s Center – Youth and Family Services and Linden Community Preschool and various other local committees. Giannecchini is a 2011 graduate of the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Stockton program, a member of the San Joaquin Estate Planning Council, and a member of the State Bar of California, American Bar Association, and the San Joaquin County Bar Association.

Oak Valley Community Bank earns honors
Oak Valley Community Bank was recently recognized by Success Capital Expansion and Development Corporation as their “Most Active SBA 504 Lending Partner in 2017.” In addition, Success Capital announced that Mike Petrucelli, Vice President, Commercial Loan Officer was named the “Most Active 504 Lender” for 2017. Both distinctions covered lending activity in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Mariposa, and Calaveras Counties.

Success Capital held their annual meeting in Modesto and presented the accolades to the team of Oak Valley lenders represented by Mike Rodrigues, Chief Credit Officer, Gary Stephens, Senior Lending Officer, Credit Administrator, Peter Brown, Commercial Loan Officers, Mike Petrucelli, Mike Garcia, and Victoria Gaffney. “We are pleased to be recognized for our efforts in supporting small businesses in the communities we serve. The awards received represent our dedication to helping our business partners grow and succeed,” stated Chris Courtney, President and CEO.

Petrucelli, “Most Active Lender,” is based out of the bank’s Tracy Branch and has over 30 years of banking experience in the Central Valley. “Mike’s commitment to providing quality service to clients and his knowledge in the banking industry has been an essential part in the growth of the bank,” Chis Courtney concluded.