Valley Builders Exchange announces three new board members.

VBE announced the appointment of three new board members to the organization, with their terms starting in April.

VBE welcomed Denae Lawrence (Project Manager for JL Bray & Son, Inc.), Nick Leal (Construction Manager for Haggerty Construction Inc) and Jake Lynn (Safety Manager for Ross F. Carroll, Inc).

Danae Lawrence
Nick Leal
Jake Lynn

“VBE is fortunate to have such a diverse group of board members who have the expertise and the passion to help us reach our future goals,” the organization said in a news release.

The 2020 changes to the VBE Executive Board are as follows: Kara Leonard, President joined by Delwyn Falk Vice President, and Dimitri Guzman as the Sec-Treasurer.

“Congratulations to each of these board members on their new roles. A huge thank you to our outgoing President Melani Rickett for her leadership and dedication, Melani will now hold the position of Past President,” the organization said.

Valley Builders Exchange was established in 1947 to provide valuable services to the construction industry as a member-based organization. Providing members access to projects statewide as well as updates on current bidding projects and bid results. VBE primarily works in the commercial and industrial industries.

Society for disABILITIES hires new leader

Cathy Mendoza

Society for disABILITIES is pleased to announce Cathy Mendoza as their new Executive Director. Mendoza has over 10 years of experience in the non-profit field, most recently serving as the Executive Director for The First Tee of Central Valley. She is active in community service as a member of the Community Hospice Foundation Board of Directors and Modesto Rotary, where she was recently named the “Quiet Rotarian” for service behind the scenes and her “can do” attitude.

“We are pleased that Cathy has joined our team,” said Board Chair Richard O’Brien. “She brings strong qualities that will help us fulfill our mission of service to the disabled community. We look forward to her leadership as we execute our strategic vision over the next few years.”

Since 1947, the Society for disABILITIES has enhanced the quality of life for people with disabilities in the Central Valley. The Society also offers the largest durable medical equipment loan closet in Northern California along with a variety of recreational, social and educational programs.

California Milk Advisory Board announces officers

The newly elected members of the Advisory Board are: David Vander Schaaf, Renae DeJager, Essie Bootsma, Josh Zonneveld, Kirsten Areias, and Tony Louters.

San Joaquin County dairy producer, David Vander Schaaf, has been elected to serve as treasurer to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board, the promotional arm of the state’s dairy farmers.

Vander Schaaf is a fourth-generation dairy farmer at Vander Schaaf Dairy, which was established in 1929. Vander Schaaf joined the family business in partnership with brothers Joey and James, as well as father John Vander Schaaf in 2013. He is a member of the Milk Producers Council.

Dairy producer Renae DeJager of Merced County has been re-elected as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.

DeJager and husband Art are owners of 1500-acre Vista Verde Dairy, which was established in 1977 and where they currently milk 3,200 Holsteins. She is an active member of her community and serves a variety of community groups including California Women for AG, Stone Ridge Christian School Board and Cornerstone Community Church in Chowchilla. She previously served on the board for the U.S. Dairy Export Council and the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board where she traveled extensively to promote dairy in domestic and international markets.

Lakeview dairy producer Essie Bootsma has elected to serve as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.

Bootsma milks 2,000 Holsteins with her son Jason at the John Bootsma Dairy that she started with her husband, John, in 1979. She is a member of a variety of community groups, including the Western Riverside Ag Coalition, where she serves as secretary, the Eastern Municipal Water District Advisory Committee and the Eastern Municipal Dairy Water Supply, where she serves as chair. She previously served as Secretary to the CMAB’s Executive Committee.

Fresno County dairy producer Josh Zonneveld has been re-elected to serve as Chairman of the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board.

Zonneveld and his wife Cassie along with other family members currently milk 8,500 Holsteins at the 7,000-acre Zonneveld Dairies that his grandfather founded in 1968. He joined the family business in 2005. He is a member of the Ag Executive Council for Land O’ Lakes and also serves on the board for the California Dairy Research Foundation.

Dairy producer Kirsten Areias of Los Banos in Merced County, has been re-elected to serve as Member-at-Large to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Areias has been a dairy producer since 1980 and currently milks 320 Holsteins with husband Dennis at the 360-acre Den-K Holsteins, Inc. She is a member of a variety of industry groups, including Western United Dairyman, serves as an advisor for the California Holstein Association and Merced County Junior Holstein Association, and is a Dairy Bowl Coach.

Dairy producer Megan Silva of Escalon in San Joaquin County has been elected to serve as Secretary to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Silva graduated from Cal Poly in 2006 and is a 4th generation dairy farmer. Silva and her husband Johnny Silva, along with her father Frank Rocha, currently milk 2100 Holsteins at the 900-acre Frank N. Rocha Dairy L.P., where she has worked since 2006. The couple started their own dairy, R & S Dairy LLC. in May of last year. She is also extremely passionate about the fitness and wellness industries, and shares these passions through her two businesses in Escalon; EscalonFIT and Wellness by EscalonFIT.

Merced dairy producer Tony Louters has been re-elected to serve as Vice Chairman to the Executive Committee of the California Milk Advisory Board. Louters and his wife Corinna own T & C Louters Dairy in Merced where they currently milk 600 Holsteins. They have been in business since 2003 and have four children: Alexis, Bryce, Tyler and Breann. Tony is a member of Western United Dairymen.

Oak Valley Community Bank director retires

Mike Jones

Oak Valley Bancorp, the bank holding company for Oak Valley Community Bank, announced the retirement of Michael Q. Jones from the Bank and Company’s Boards of Directors, effective May 31.

Jones has served as director of the bank since 2004 and the Bancorp since its formation in 2008. He has been involved in land development and commercial real estate for over 40 years. Jones is a retired Chairman of California Gold Development Corporation and Prudential California Realty in Sonora.

Prior to joining the board, Jones played an instrumental role in helping the bank establish a foothold in the Sonora region. Throughout his directorship, he provided substantial insight regarding land development and commercial real estate growth opportunities in Tuolumne County as well as other parts of the bank’s footprint.

“We are happy for Mike in his retirement. His governance and support through the years is deeply appreciated and we wish him all the best,” stated President and CEO, Chris Courtney.