published on January 25, 2019 - 8:00 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
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George Skaff, MD, was recently presented with the George Tiss Memorial Award in recognition of his service to the community and service to medicine by the Tulare County Medical Society. Dr. Skaff, a pediatrician with Visalia Medical Clinic for more than 40 years, was nominated by Prem Kamboj, MD, in recognition of Dr. Skaff’s outstanding service to the physicians and youth of the community. He was presented with the award at the Tulare County Medical Society’s annual holiday celebration. The award is presented each year in honor of the late Dr. Tiss, who set the example of selfless devotion to the well-being of all people in the community, and donated services to the indigent and to charitable groups for over 40 years.

Photo contributed | George Skaff, MD, with his son Chris Skaff, MD, left, and wife Judy Skaff.)


Alyson Berg, partner, Devon McTeer, partner, Will Jackson, of counsel, and Daniel Aisaka, associate, have recently joined local law firm Whitney, Thompson & Jeffcoach. WTJ has grown significantly during their first year of business, and they are thrilled to add these four experienced, accomplished attorneys to the team. Berg comes to WTJ from the US Attorney’s office, with more than 20 years of experience litigating cases in federal and state courts. McTeer joins WTJ with significant experience in both business and commercial litigation, as well as professional liability. Prior to joining WTJ Law, Jackson was a deputy county counsel for the County of Tulare, where he assisted his clients in complying with the First Amendment, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, the Peace Officers Bill of Rights, the Fair Employment and Housing Act, and many other laws. Aisaka comes to WTJ with a diverse legal background, having represented a wide variety of corporate and individual clients in complex litigation matters throughout the United States.

Sutton Hague Law Corporation is pleased to announce the association of attorneys Brett A. “Gil” Gilstrap and Kevin B. Piercy. Gilstrap has 17 years of practice experience. He is a former managing partner of Central California office of San Francisco-based law firm as well as a veteran of the US Army. Piercy is a former law clerk of the Los Angeles District Attorneys Office and judicial extern with U.S. District Court Central District (LA). He is also a veteran of the US Army.€‹


London Properties has announced the following agent awards: Steve Morgan is the top producing loan officer for the month of December for Royal Charter Mortgage. Sophie Vang is the London Properties employee of the month for December. London Properties’ top listing team for December was the Donna Pride Team, with the Niki Upton Team as the runner up. Top sales team went to the Niki Upton Team, with the Ken Neufeld Team as the runner up. The individual top sales award for December went to Parminder Singh, who was also individual top listings.


Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Brenda Burman has named Ernest A. Conant director of the Mid-Pacific Region. Conant has nearly 40 years of water law experience and previously served as senior partner of Bakersfield- based Young Wooldridge, LLP. As director of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region, Conant will manage one of the nation’s largest and most complex water projects, the Central Valley Project, as well as Oregon’s Klamath Project; Nevada’s Newlands, Humboldt, Washoe and Truckee Storage projects; and California’s Cachuma, Orland, Santa Maria, Solano and Ventura River projects.


The Clovis Chamber of Commerce is starting off the New Year by honoring community leaders at its 2019 Salute to Business Luncheon on Jan. 29. The outgoing Clovis Chamber Board Chair Jimmy Dunn of California Health Sciences University, will reflect on the many achievements of 2018 before passing along the gavel to the incoming Chair Matthew Grundy of Habitat for Humanity. The 2019 honorees include: Dwight Kroll, Director of Planning for the City of Clovis, receiving the Einar Cook Leadership Award. Pat Ricchiuti, of P-R Farms, will be honored as the Businessperson of the Year.Republic Services will be honored as Business of the Year. High quality solid waste, green waste, recycling, transfer and disposal services are the star features of Republic Services for 40 years and counting.Ellie Huston will receive the Chamber Ambassador of the Year with a special Lifetime Achievement Award.


The Big Fresno Fair proudly welcomes newly appointed board members Gabriel Hernandez, Charles Riojas and Lawrence Salinas to the 21st District Agricultural Association Board of Directors. These appointments were made on Dec. 21, 2018 by former California Governor Jerry Brown. Gabriel Hernandez, 43, of Kingsburg, has served as a lead pharmacy technician at Community Regional Medical Center since 2016. Charles Riojas, 54, from Fresno, Riojas has been a business agent for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 100 since 1999. Lawrence “Larry” Salinas, 57, of Clovis, has served as the Executive Director of Governmental Relations for California State University, Fresno.


Fresno City Councilmember Esmeralda Soria has been appointed to the League of California Cities’ transportation, communication and public works policy committee. The committee has the lead responsibility for recommending policy positions on state issues involving transportation funding, construction, public works, telecommunication and other related areas.

Mayor Lee Brand and Fresno City Manager Wilma Quan announced that Gregory Barfield has been named the City of Fresno’s new director of transportation, effective Monday. Barfield was the interim director since August of 2018 and served as assistant director of transportation for over two years, where he was in charge of operations, planning and support services.


Fresno State’s College of Arts and Humanities, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and College of Social Sciences have named Portuguese language lecturer Diniz (Dennis) Borges as the first director of the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute. The institute was founded in November 2018 after the Luso-American Development Foundation granted $130,000 to launch a Portuguese-American Oral History Project and a speaker series.


Mike Betts, chairman and CEO of Fresno manufacturing firm Betts Company, has been selected as the new chairman of the Fresno Business Council. He will replace Kurt Madden after four years of service. Madden will continue on as Fresno Business Council director. Founded in 1993, the Fresno Business Council was formed by business leaders to tackle economic and social issues in the community. Betts adopts an active portfolio with the organization. He previously served as chairman of the San Joaquin Valley Manufacturing Alliance (SJVMA).


To honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the American Red Cross hosted “Sound the Alarm” in Mendota Monday where about 40 volunteers installed more than 350 smoke alarms in homes throughout the community in partnership with Fresno County Fire and the Mendota Police Department. Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster–most often, these crises are devastating home fires. In communities nationwide, Red Cross volunteers work around the clock to provide comfort and urgent recovery support for affected families.

Kaiser Permanente Fresno employees spent their Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday volunteering at the Valley Dream Center — a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the needy in the community. Employees sorted food, assembled furniture and sheds and beautified the grounds. About 100 employees honored the legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by taking part in Kaiser Permanente Fresno’s 2019 MLK Jr. Day of Service.

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