Stockton’s KTJ Design Co. named Retail Star for 2020 by Home Accents Today (PIC)

Kathleen Jennison

Home furnishings and design source KTJ Design Co., in Stockton, has been named one of Home Accents Today’s Retail Stars for 2020 by editors of the premier trade magazine for the home accents industry.  KTJ Design Co., is owned by Stocktonian Kathleen Jennison. The showroom is located in a newly designed industrial space at 404 N. Harrison Street in Stockton.

Now in its 16th year, The Retail Stars list, sponsored by AmericasMart Atlanta and Las Vegas Market, recognizes independent brick-and-mortar retailers of home accents — including furniture stores, home accessories boutique stores and interior design showrooms — that merchandise creatively, have a positive presence in their local communities and stand out from the competition.

“In our first full year in our new location, we could not be more thrilled to receive this recognition. We work hard to meet the individual needs of each of our customers and strive to be educated on the latest trends in the industry,” Jennison said.

KTJ Designs is one of only five California design centers being recognized. This year’s class comes from 32 states. Four are based in Illinois and three each are from Texas and Florida. Missouri, Utah, New York, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Indiana and Washington lay claim to two Stars’ hometowns.

“Home Accents Today’s 2020 Retail Stars list showcases some of the best independent home décor and home furnishings retailers in the country,” said Thomas Lester of Home Accents Today. “While retail faces severe challenges due to the coronavirus crisis, we believe these stores are among those that will step up and up with safe and creative ways to revitalize their business as shutdown restrictions gradually lift. This honor recognizes their skills, hard work and dedication, and should serve as a reminder to us all to support local businesses.”

Jennison is affiliated with the American Society of Interior Designers. As an allied member of this organization, she is qualified by education and experience and pledge to adhere to a strict code of ethics and professional conduct. ASID members are required to take continuing education courses to receive the most current information on developments in design, and new information on materials, technology, building codes, government regulations, flammability standards, sustainable and green design, product performance, design psychology, occupant populations, and more.

She is past president and current member of the ASID Central California/Nevada Chapter. Additionally, she is a member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association Sacramento chapter.

Oak Valley Community Bank director retires (PIC)

Mike Jones

Oak Valley announced the retirement of Michael Q. Jones from the Bank and Company’s Boards of Directors, effective May 31, 2020.

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.

Oak Valley Bancorp operates Oak Valley Community Bank and its Eastern Sierra Community Bank division, through which it offers a variety of loan and deposit products to individuals and small businesses. They currently operate through 17 branches: Oakdale, Turlock, Stockton, Patterson, Ripon, Escalon, Manteca, Tracy, Sacramento, two branches in Sonora, three branches in Modesto, and three branches in the Eastern Sierra division, which includes Bridgeport, Mammoth Lakes and Bishop.

For more information, call 1-866-844-7500 or visit

Stan State president named to higher education commision

Stanislaus State President Ellen Junn of Turlock, has been appointed to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Junn has been president of California State University, Stanislaus since 2016. She was provost and vice president for academic affairs at California State University, Dominguez Hills from 2014 to 2016. Junn was provost and vice president for academic affairs at San Jose State University from 2012 to 2013. She was associate provost at Fresno State University from 2008 to 2011.

Junn is an executive steering member of the Millennium Leadership Initiative — part of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, a member of the board of directors of California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley, an executive committee member of the Central Valley Higher Education Consortium, and a member of ITHAKA Higher Ed Insights, American Psychological Association, and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

She earned Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Arts degrees in cognitive and developmental psychology from Princeton University.

This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation.

 Entekra wins 2020 Ivory Prize for housing affordability

Entekra, the California off-site construction startup in Modesto, was named a winner of the 2020 Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability during a livestream presentation today by the award’s sponsor, Ivory Innovations.

 The Ivory Prize recognizes businesses, foundations, non-profits, community leaders, and others that are working to lower the cost of housing, spotlighting awardees in three categories: construction and design, finance, and public policy and regulatory reform.

 Entekra was one of three finalists in the Construction and Design category.

With its Fully Integrated Off-Site Solution – FIOSS – the company leverages advanced technologies and automation to address construction productivity. Specifically, FIOSS boosts framing productivity for most single-family homes by more than 500 percent in terms of man-days, while typically reducing overall build time by more than 30 days. Even greater productivity gains can be achieved with the construction of multi-family dwellings.

 “To improve the affordability of housing, home builders have to increase their productivity, which has steadily declined in the United States for more than a quarter century,” said Gerard McCaughey, Entekra’s CEO.  “As Entekra was founded to change the way houses are built by improving construction productivity, the entire Entekra team is honored to receive this award.”

The three winners of the 2020 Ivory Prize were determined by Ivory Innovations’ Advisory Board, which include some of the country’s top minds in housing and was chaired by Kent Colton, Senior Research Fellow of the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies and president of Colton Housing Group.

“Entekra was chosen as the winner of the Ivory Prize for Housing Affordability in the area of Construction and Design because of its ability to reduce the time it takes to build housing, and therefore the cost. With its innovative off-site solution, Entekra can improve both quality control and the time and cost to build a home,” notes Colton.

Unique to the U.S. market, FIOSS optimizes the construction process by completely integrating concept, design and engineering with off-site manufacturing and on-site assembly. For a typical 2,500-square-foot house, the key structural elements can be manufactured under factory-controlled conditions in less than four hours, and the complete frame can be assembled in only three to four days. To frame the same house using the traditional construction methods of stick-framing would normally require at least 15 working days.

Since its founding in late 2016 in Northern California, Entekra has made significant inroads deploying FIOSS as the company is already working or in discussions with a majority of the premier home builders in California, including Beazer Homes, D.R. Horton, KB Home, Van Daele Homes and Wathen Castanos Homes.

For more information about Entekra and its off-site solution, visit