Board of Directors
Craig Lewis is the President and CEO of Lewis Capital Advisors which focuses on commercial brokerage, development and property management. Before this venture, Lewis owned and operated the Prudential California Realty brand in the Central Valley for 33 years and also worked as a commercial broker at Berkshire Hathaway Commercial for three years. Lewis has a long history of involvement in community initiatives focused on developing the Central Valley’s economic base for years to come. These endeavors have led to Lewis being named the Modesto Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year” for 2001 and the Small Business Advocate of the Year by the California Chamber of Commerce in 2013.
Dr. Melanie Chiesa is a native of Stanislaus County and a lifelong resident of Hughson. Dr. Chiesa is an optometrist with Monte Vista Optometry in Turlock. Chiesa and her husband Kevin are also longtime farmers in the Hughson area. Chiesa is a member of the Hughson Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaus County Farm Bureau, California Optometric Association, Gratton Parent Teacher Club, St. Anthony’s Pastoral Council and the Young Ladies Institute.
Bill Jackson’s family is part of the rich agricultural history of Oakdale and Stanislaus county, and the family’s legacy dates back to the mid-1800s. Today, VA Rodden includes the diversification from cattle holdings to include almonds, walnuts, wine grapes, and silage. For that heritage and for his own innovations and work ethic, Jackson was named the 2011 Livestock Man of the Year by California’s livestock industry and the California Chamber of Commerce.
As a principal in Grimbleby Coleman, Jeff is a tax department “Partner”—a tax accounting resource for clients and staff and a tax planning and reporting expert. A native of the San Joaquin Valley and a resident of Turlock, Coleman also serves on the Modesto Chamber of Commerce Agricultural committee. Jeff received his BS in Agricultural and Managerial Economics, followed by a Masters in Taxation and is a CPA.
Jeff Grover is President and owner of Solecon Industrial Contractors, which was established in 1981. He served as a Stanislaus County Supervisor for two terms, 2003-2010. Grover also currently serves as Chair of the Board for the Workforce Alliance. He has been actively involved in Stanislaus County business and civic organizations for a number of years, including serving as a member of the board of directors of Modesto Commerce Bank, Modesto Chamber of Commerce and the McHenry Mansion.
Jeffrey Burda is the Loan Team Leader and Senior Vice President for Mid-Valley RCBO at Wells Fargo Bank. Burda has more than 30 years of financial experience in banking. Previously, he President/Chief Executive Officer for Modesto Commerce Bank and was part of the leadership team for Bank of Stockton for many years . Burda is a committee member for the Land Use & Transportation for the Chamber of Commerce as well as Investment Committee member at the Gallo Center for the Arts and Stanislaus Community Foundation. Burda’s past board services include President of Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Modesto Rehabilitation Hospital, Memorial Hospital Association, Stanislaus Credit Bureau and Del Rio Country Club among many other organizations in Stanislaus County.
Lynn Dickerson is Chief Executive Officer of the Gallo Center for the Arts. Previously, she worked for 30 years managing various media companies, serving as Vice President for Operations for the McClatchy Company, and President and Publisher of the Modesto Bee. Dickerson has served as President of the Modesto Junior College Foundation; Campaign Chairman for the United Way of Greater Stanislaus County and on the Boards of several area nonprofits.
Joe Duran has extensive experience at the leadership level in community banking and the credit union sector. He currently serves as a Board member with City Ministry Network as well as Community Transitional Resources. Duran is the Co-Founder of the Latino Business Association of Stanislaus County and served on the Board of Directors for the Community Hospice Foundation. Duran and his family in in Ripon.
Britta Foster is a partner at Zentiv, a boutique marketing agency based out of Sonoma County. In addition to her professional work, Britta and her husband, Jeff Foster, started the Modesto chapter of Blessings in a Backpack in 2012 which now feeds more than 1800 students each week. Additionally, Britta is an active supporter of many local organizations including the Stanislaus Family Justice Center and the Gallo Center for the Arts. Britta and Jeff have three children.
Louis Friedman’s law practice emphasizes the areas of Estate Planning, Finance, Business Organization, Succession Planning and Asset Protection. He has vast experience advising family owned and closely held companies and has spent decades working in this field as a CPA, attorney, and senior officer of a family owned business. Some of his local positions have included the Gallo Center for the Arts, Modesto Rotary Club, Sylvan Unified School District and the Stanislaus Business Forum Steering Committee.
Matt Friedrich was raised in Patterson where his father and brother still farm. He attended Central Catholic High School and then Santa Clara University before earning his law degree at U.C. Hastings College of Law in San Francisco. After working several years for law firms in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, Matt and his partners started their own firm. Matt’s practice primarily involved tax planning and business transactional work. In 2012, Matt accepted a position as General Counsel, Family Taxation, with E. & J. Gallo Winery where he works today. Matt’s wife, Christina Tourtlotte, is a dentist in Oakdale and they have four children.
Daryn Kumar is the Chief Executive Officer at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto. Prior to assuming his current duties, Mr. Kumar served in a number of leadership roles within Sutter Health, including the Chief Operating Officer at Sutter Medical Center, Sacramento, Chief Operating Officer at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and Assistant Administrator at Sutter Delta Medical Center, in Antioch, California. Kumar is an active Rotarian and also serves on Board of Directors for the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County.
Lazar is a realtor with Century 21 M&M and Associates in Turlock. He served eight years as Turlock’s mayor and 14 years as a Turlock City Council member. He continues to contribute to the community as a member of the Emanuel Medical enter Governing Board, the We Care Program – Turlock Board and Turlock Rotary Club.
Evan Porges is the President and Co-Owner of Prime Shine Car Wash, California’s largest independently operated car wash company. Porges graduated cum laude from Arizona State University in 1991 with a degree in political science. Porges joined a small start-up company called Prime Shine Express Car Wash, which was founded in 1991 by Evan’s father, Norm Porges. After working his way through the ranks, he was named Prime’s Shine’s president in 2013. In addition to guiding Prime Shine, Porges has found enjoyment and reward in donating his time to local non-profit agencies, including Modesto’s State Theatre, The Center for Human Services, Partners In Paint, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, Stanislaus Alliance and The Gallo Center for the Arts. Porges is a graduate of The Modesto Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Modesto and a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum, Great Valley Chapter.
Judy Sly Herrero retired in 2013 as Editor of the Opinions Page after a 40-year career that included various reporting, editing and management positions. The recipient of multiple awards in journalism and editorial writing, Judy also has deep community roots as a volunteer with multiple local organizations. Judy is a Vestry member at Wellspring Anglican Church, a member of the North Modesto Kiwanis Club, volunteer ambassador for Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, marketing committee member for Boys & Girls Clubs of Stanislaus County and a weekly volunteer in a kindergarten class at Sipherd School. Judy serves as the chairperson of the Grants Committee at Stanislaus Community Foundation.
Tyler is a portfolio manager and equity research analyst for Great Gable Partners, a Bay Area hedge fund, and the Managing Partner of Terravest Capital Partners. He has served as Deputy Chief of Staff for California State Senate District 12, City of Modesto Planning Commissioner, Board Member of Modesto’s State Theatre, Co-Founder and Treasurer of the Miracle League of Stanislaus State.