published on February 10, 2017 - 9:47 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff


California-based, Pearson Realty announced the addition of Sullivan Grosz as a sales associate in the Fresno office where he will specialize in farm and ranch sales. Sullivan is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in business and a former Mustang football player. After college, he came home to work in the ag packaging industry where he managed projects from the Mexican Border up to the Sacramento Valley, with a strong emphasis in treefruit, table grapes, and citrus in the Central Valley.


Rabobank N.A. has promoted Jeremiah Dunlap as vice president and treasury relationship manager senior. Dunlap develops and grows relationships with commercial, business and food and agribusiness clients for their treasury deposit needs in the Fresno and Modesto areas. Dunlap has more than a decade of banking and financial services experience and has been with Rabobank since 2014. Prior to joining the bank, he worked at Bank of the West and Bank of America.


The Tribal Council of the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians is honored to announce the 2017 appointed Council positions as follows: Gary Walker – tribal chairman; Elaine Fink – vice tribal chairwoman; Katrina Guitierez – secretary;  Maryann McGovran – treasurer; and Edward Polkenhorn, councilmember.


The Mendiburu Magic Foundation in Bakersfield, recently presented Valley Children’s Pediatric Hematologist/Oncologist Dr. Vinod Balasa with an award for “Outstanding Advances in Cancer Research.” Dr. Balasa is medical director of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Center at Valley Children’s in California. Dr. Balasa and his team take part in more than 90 active studies related to pediatric cancer. This includes dozens of clinical trial protocols through the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), which provide state-of-the-art treatment to children with all types of cancer. In addition, Dr. Balasa has personally spearheaded a project called “My Life Our Future” that provides free genetic testing in children and their family member for a rare, but serious, bleeding disorder known as hemophilia.


Fresno-based Barney Butter, the only premium almond butter producer that self-manufactures in its own “peanut-free” facility, has hired Mark Olivieri as the company’s new vice president of marketing. Olivieri brings his past marketing experience for several national food brands to his new role in orchestrating strategies for the growing California-based company. That work includes his most recent position as marketing director of sports nutrition for The Nature’s Bounty Company, as well as past executive marketing roles for PepsiCo – Frito Lay, Hain Celestial, and Pepperidge Farm.


Five outstanding educators were announced Feb. 7 as Fresno Unified’s 2017 Excellence in Education winners. The awards dinner at the Golden Palace Banquet Hall honored 49 finalists, nominated by their peers for exemplary work in serving students and the district. The winners: Classified category – Tianna Gonzales, office manager at Turner Elementary School; Teacher category, elementary – Judith Sanchez, Aynesworth Elementary School; Teacher category, middle school – Stephen Ruiz, Ahwahnee Middle School; Teacher category, high school – Fabiola Perez, Edison High School; and Administrator category – Teresa Morales-Young, teacher development. Tianna Gonzales, Teresa Morales-Young and Fabiola Perez will move on to the Fresno County Educator of the Year awards.


Nidya Juarez has been hired as a loan Officer for Big Valley Mortgage’s Selma office. She can be reached at


The Porterville College Foundation has announced its 2017 Hall of Fame inductees: Rob Haynes is the 2017 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee and Virginia Gurrola is the 2017 Distinguished Hall of Fame inductee. Both Rob and Virginia attended Porterville College and both also became employees of the college.  Rob is the current Men’s Basketball Coach and Virginia has retired but continues to support PC in the community.

Fresno Rotary is pleased to welcome two new members: Johnny Ramirez is a Chaplain at Valley Children’s Hospital, offering spiritual care to patients, families, and staff. Ken Warkentin is the executive director of Valley Center for the Blind (VCB), a California agency in Fresno, providing services to the visually impaired community for the purpose of increasing opportunities and independence skills.

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