The Profile

Hon. Robert H. Oliver, Ret.

Of Counsel

Baker Manock & Jensen

What I do at Baker Manock & Jensen: I am Of Counsel, focusing solely on mediation, helping businesses and individuals reach voluntary solutions to commercial and interpersonal disputes.

Education:  Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law; Golden Gate University School of Law (JD); Air War College of the U.S. Air Force — seminar program;  and California State University, Fresno, (BS in business administration).

Age:  Age is dictated by a state of mind, not a calendar.

Family:  I have been married to Stephanie for 43 years; we are blessed with a wonderful family:  two sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren.

Pedro Santana

Screen Shot 2015 02 13 at 4.34.47 PMExecutive Director

Ronald McDonald House Charities of the
Central Valley, Inc.

Paula Conner

Friend

London Properties

What we do: Help our clients maximize their home equity.
 
Education: BYU - Idaho
 
Age: Old enough not to tell!!

Family: Dan, husband of 48 years, two great children, Danyelle and Patrick Conner, and six of the best grandchildren anywhere.

Damon Thomas

Partner
QuiqLabs

What we do:
Quiq Labs provides comprehensive mobile Web and app answers for businesses and organizations that have a marketing goal to reach mobile users via Web, email marketing and social media. We help you do it and we help you do it right.

Education:
I attended Ohio State University mastering in economics and entrepreneurship.

Age:
45

Family:
I’m very single yet super busy. I’m a father of two children and two grandchildren. I have a married brother in Ohio and a sister who lives in Stockton. I really, really love them all and they inspire me to do big things. 

Matthew Buckman

General Director

Fresno Grand Opera

What we do: Fresno Grand Opera is a professional opera company that produces and presents world class performing arts for the residents of Fresno and California’s entire Central Valley region. It provides educational as well as career development opportunities for young artists and serves as a catalyst and resource for the cultural growth of Central California.

Education: Bachelor of Music from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, CA

Age: 33

Family: Single, no children.

Robert H. McKellar

Screen Shot 2015 01 16 at 4.11.01 PMChief Executive Officer

McKellar Agricultural Group

What we do:
When asked, my favorite answer is “we raise citrus and people.” We do raise oranges and mandarins (Cuties) and we are involved in several forms of agritourism.

Education:
I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, with a double major in animal husbandry and ag journalism. My degree is in animal husbandry.

Age:
83

Family:
My wife Ann Shidler Mehrten McKellar, daughters Shawn Hodges, Kerin McKellar Terri Jeske and sons Mark and Craig McKellar.

Zachary D. Darrah

Screen Shot 2015 01 09 at 2.08.24 PMExecutive Director

Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM)

What we do:  FIRM serves the refugee population in Fresno through working towards our mission of “Sharing Christ’s love to build communities of hope with new Americans.” This includes such things as mental health services, community gardens, youth programs, early childhood education programs, workforce development, health care access work, advocacy and much more! We seek to meet the needs of the refugee community both on a physical and spiritual level.

Biz owners readying for health mandate

Local small businesses are gearing up to meet a slew of new employer mandates this year, including the new health care law that took effect on Jan. 1.
Originally scheduled to go into effect last year, the mandate — requiring employers with more than 100 full-time employees to provide health insurance to a majority of workers — was postponed after the failed debut of the health care marketplace’s 2013 open enrollment period. Since the delay, many local chambers of commerce have been keeping an eye on what the new law means for their member businesses.

Stephen Varvis

Screen Shot 2014 12 31 at 1.55.40 PMProvost/Senior Vice President, Professor of History

Fresno Pacific University

What we do: As a Regional Master’s Level University, Fresno Pacific University transforms people, families and communities through higher education that stresses solid academic preparation and a strong ethical foundation. The face of our student body is the face of the Valley—we are a Hispanic Serving Institution and are committed to offering opportunities to first-generation students. And we are successful! FPU has the highest four-year graduation rate of any Central Valley college or university, is one of the top 10 HSIs nationally in graduating Hispanic students and is ranked in the top tier of our category by U.S. News & World Report. We are also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). For us, being the region’s only comprehensive Christian university is all about living out our tagline: “Empowering leaders. Transforming lives.”
 
Education: Ph.D. History, Claremont Graduate University
B.A. History and English, California State University, Fresno
 
Age: 57

Family: Teri (wife) who teaches in Clovis Unified, Nathan (son) a student.

Caren Myers

Screen Shot 2014 12 31 at 1.48.34 PMGeneral Manager

Fresno Lexus

What we do:  Lexus Sales and Service

Education:  Attended Nebraska Wesleyan University

Age:  69

Family:  Husband Bill, 6 Children, 12 Grandchildren and a Golden Retriever Gigit Myers.

How did you come to your position as General Manager at Fresno Lexus?
I had recently sold my Saturn dealership and was doing automotive consulting on an interim basis. RJ Romero, owner of Oremor Automotive Group, contacted me to interview for the Lexus general manager position in Fresno. This family-owned auto group based in Ontario, California is one of the most respected and successful in the automotive business. He owns several auto dealerships in Southern California and although each store operates independently, the standards are set at the very top level for professionalism, productivity, community involvement, employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction. It was the right opportunity at the right time for me and an honor to be selected to be part of this team.