← Alumni About the Alumni Council Alumni frequently say that the California Agricultural Leadership Program is a life-changing experience that impacts all parts of their lives. We are grateful to our alumni who help to guide our lifelong learning objectives and provide opportunities for continued connections throughout the alumni community by serving on the Alumni Council. About the Alumni Council An advisory committee to the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation board of directors, the Alumni Council supports our 1,300+ alumni through lifelong leadership learning opportunities, regional events and conferences. It also supports the Ag Leadership Program as well as the foundation board with fund development and other strategic priorities. Alumni Council Executive Committee Heather Mulholland / Chair Class 44 Read Bio Heather Mulholland Chair Heather is a fourth-generation citrus grower and the chief operating officer for Mulholland Citrus in Orange Cove. The operation produces citrus, almonds and pistachios, along with nursery trees and beneficial insects. She is actively involved in several organizations in support of California agriculture and the local community. Heather earned her bachelor’s degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and master’s degree at Fresno State. In addition to the Ag Leadership Program, she was among the first women to complete WG Women, a program that provides pathways for women to achieve the highest levels of leadership within the agriculture industry. Ian LeMay / Vice Chair Class 48 Read Bio Ian LeMay Vice Chair Ian LeMay (48) is the president of the California Fresh Fruit Association (CFFA), a voluntary public policy organization that works on behalf of its members – growers, shippers, marketers and associates – on issues that specifically affect member commodities. It is the association’s responsibility to serve as a liaison between regulatory and legislative authorities by acting as a unified voice for its members. Prior to CFFA, Ian served as the district director for Rep. Jim Costa. In his role, LeMay oversaw the daily operations of the district staff and advised Costa on a number of issues, including agriculture, water and transportation. Prior to that, he worked as a California market specialist for the Lindsay Corporation, an agricultural equipment manufacturer, and as a management assistant for A-G Sod Farms, Inc. LeMay earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture business from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He and his wife, Molly, live in Fresno and have two children. They enjoy time with family, weekend trips to the coast and being involved with their local community. Jason Cole / Board Liaison Class 42 Read Bio Jason Cole Board Liaison Jason Cole (42) is a third-generation avocado, citrus and cattle rancher from Santa Paula. He graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural science and a minor in ag business. He is a certified crop advisor. From 2012-2014, he was chairman of the Farm Bureau of Ventura County’s (FBVC) Young Farmers & Ranchers committee, serving in that capacity as an advisory member of the FBVC Board of Directors. He also served on the California Avocado Commission (CAC) governance committee and Santa Paula Rotary Club. Currently, Cole is a member of the CAC board. CALF Education Team Liaisons Manpreet Bains Class 43 Read Bio Manpreet Bains Manpreet Bains (43) is proud to work alongside her family to continue the legacy her parents built after emigrating from India. In 1969, her parents established their farming operation, which included producing prunes and peaches as well as running a commercial prune dehydrator. In 2005, Manpreet and her sister officially took over the general operation of their parents' farms and created Manseena Orchards, where they currently produce prunes and walnuts. Manpreet earned a B.A. in international studies with an emphasis in political science from Pepperdine University and an M.A. in international relations from the University of Chicago. She has served as a director for the Yuba-Sutter Farm Bureau and Agricultural Council of California. She is an alumna of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. Manpreet lives in Sacramento with her husband and in her spare time she enjoys playing with her golden retriever, traveling, supporting local theater, listening to live music and spending time with her family. Sal Parra Jr. Class 46 Read Bio Sal Parra Jr. Sal is the director of farming for Burford Ranch and is responsible for various crops that include almonds, wine grapes, corn and alfalfa hay. He holds a pest control advisor license and a qualified applicator license through the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. He lives on the farm with his wife Ramona of 11 years and their 11-year-old daughter, Linda. Sal is a two-time graduate of Fresno State, earning his bachelor's degree in agricultural business in 2008 and an MBA in agribusiness in 2015. Sal serves as the Golden Plains Unified School District School Board president. He is also a board member of the California Garlic and Onion Research Advisory Board and is vice chairman for the USDA Fresno County Farm Service Agency. Alumni Council Regional Directors Region 1 Kelly Mora Class 48 Read Bio Kelly Mora Kelly Mora (48) is a co-owner of Heritage Ag Insurance Agency, an agency specializing in providing risk protection for agribusinesses and farm families throughout California. In her marketing and community relations role, she spends much of her time developing and sharing the Heritage brand, a brand built on rural values, ever improving the client experience and promoting and protecting the agricultural community. Mora graduated from California State University, Chico with a degree in communications. She is a leader in the North Valley chapter of California Women for Agriculture and numerous other organizations. She was honored by the Glenn County Fair and the Common Threads North program for her contributions to agriculture and her local community. Mora was raised on the Central Coast. In 1994, she and her husband, Steve, relocated to Chico to raise their two daughters. Region 2 Rocco Cunningham Class 50 Read Bio Rocco Cunningham Rocco Cunningham (50) is the owner of Integrity Trading LLC, a Petaluma-based company focused on “up-cycling” Sonoma County and California agricultural byproducts. He previously worked as a business associate at R.O. Shelling Grain & Feed, merchandising and logistics specialist at Suwannee Valley Feeds and management associate at Cargill. Rocco attended Modesto Junior College and earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and business from Cornell University. Raised in Petaluma, he serves on the boards for the Sonoma County Fair and Harvest Fair. He has also volunteered for the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, his church and local 4-H and FFA programs. Rocco and his wife, Betsey, have a 2-year-old daughter. Region 3 Tom Merwin Class 44 Read Bio Tom Merwin Tom is a seventh-generation farmer in the Sacramento Valley. He is the general manager and vice president of Merwin Vineyards, a multigenerational family farm, and co-founder and partner in Silt Wine Company, a winery and tasting room in Clarksburg. He also serves as president of the Clarksburg Wine Growers and Vintners Association. Tom earned his bachelor's degree in international relations from UC Davis. After graduating, Tom continued his education with project management and winegrape production coursework from UC Davis Extension. Region 4 Yvonne Sams Class 45 Read Bio Yvonne Sams Yvonne Sams (45) has worked in the supply chain industry for companies like G3 Enterprises, Frito Lay, Inc., E. & J. Gallo Winery and Tyson Foods. She is currently the vice president of sales and marketing for Flory Industries. She earned her degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she was the first woman to major in agricultural engineering technology at the university. In addition to her full-time job and being a mother of three children, Sams serves as a board member for the United Way of Stanislaus County. She is also an advisory board member for the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department and an alumni advisory board member representing the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Region 5 James Ewart Class 49 Read Bio James Ewart James Ewart (49) is the director of winemaking on the Central Coast for Delicato Family Vineyards. Delicato is a fourth-generation grape grower and winemaker, established by founder Gaspare Indelicato in Manteca in 1924. Ewart is responsible for guiding winemaking styles and practices to produce Central Coast wines that over deliver in quality at their respective price points. He attended the University of Adelaide and first completed a Bachelor of Science in geology and physical and inorganic chemistry. He then completed a one-year postgraduate diploma in viticulture, while practicing as a viticulturist for Thomson Fruitgrowers in the Riverland of South Australia. Ewart is a member of the King City Rotary Club, den leader for his son’s Cub Scouts pack and vice chairman of the board of trustees at Mee Memorial Hospital in King City. He and his wife, Colleen, live in King City with their son and daughter. The Ewart family keeps busy going to theater performance practices, Cub Scouts and sports. Region 6 Heather Johnson Class 46 Read Bio Heather Johnson Heather Johnson (46) is an asset manager at PGIM Real Estate. She previously worked as a grower relations manager for Constellation Brands, general manager for Sunview Dried Fruit & Nut Co. and grower representative for The Wine Group. She is the first in her family to work in the ag industry since her great grandparents ran their small Midwest farms. Heather received her bachelor's degree in animal science and MBA from Fresno State. She volunteers as a beef and swine leader with the local 4-H club and is part of the High Sierra volunteer trail crew. Region 7 Anthony Bozzano Class 43 Read Bio Anthony Bozzano Anthony Bozzano (43) is the principal and sales director for Bozzano and Company, a California wine business specializing in sourcing and sales of bulk wine and wine grapes, as well as wine product development for national retail. In addition to his role with Bozzano and Company, Anthony is a partner in Strongwater Viticultural Investments, a Central Coast based vineyard development business. Born and raised in a diversified farming family in Stockton, Anthony has been fortunate to work with a multitude of California row crops, tree fruits and nuts. He is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he majored in agricultural business with a minor in viticulture. Anthony lives in San Luis Obispo with his wife, Olivia; their daughter, Belle; and their Catahoula, Loulou. Region 8 Lucas Espericueta Class 45 Read Bio Lucas Espericueta Lucas Espericueta (45) grew up working on the family farm in Wasco, where his father is a first-generation farmer growing 240 acres of almonds, pistachios and table grapes as well as operating a custom pistachio, cotton and wheat harvesting company. The youngest of five children, Lucas pursued his interests in agriculture on the financial side, taking employment with Farm Credit West as a lender to farmers and agribusiness operations; he has worked there for 12 years. Lucas graduated from Stanford University in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in economics. He was a four-year starter and three-year captain in Stanford’s Division 1 wrestling program. He is the president of the Kern County Young Farmers and Ranchers, board member of the Kern County Farm Bureau and board member of Kern County Fair Board. Region 9 Luis Calderon Class 49 Read Bio Luis Calderon Luis Calderon (49) oversees and works closely with all Reiter Affiliated Companies (RAC) partnerships in Oxnard and Santa Maria. His background is in human resources and in berry farming operations, adding to the enjoyment of working with a diverse group of people that grow berries. Previously, he worked as a production manager managing up to 500 acres of all organic berry production. Calderon earned a Bachelor of Science in small business/entrepreneurship and a Master of Business Administration from California Lutheran University. He has worked in various roles at RAC in the past 10 years, including HR specialist, workers compensation specialist and manager in the farming operations. Calderon and his wife, Lupe, enjoy time with their son, Alfredo, and having their family over for good food and laughs. They enjoy visiting new places with their son and attending music events. Region 10 Denise Godfrey Class 37 Read Bio Denise Godfrey Denise is a second-generation horticulturalist of Olive Hill Greenhouses and runs the day-to-day operations with her husband, Will. Denise's passion for plants began at a young age and continued with a massive collection of houseplants while earning her physics degree at Whittier College. She joined the family business in 2000, looking to continue to provide a service of providing excellent quality houseplants to their loyal customers. Denise is focused on sales, production and educational outreach. Educational tours are a favorite activity and reminds her it is awesome to grow happiness and smiles and it is amazing the biophilic affinity people have to plants. Denise serves on the board of San Diego Ag in the Classroom and as a Greenhouse Connector with AmericanHort. She keeps in touch with fellow growers and farmers in the area through Farm Bureau, San Diego Flower & Plant Association and the San Diego Botanic Gardens. Region 11 Ellen Way Class 28 Read Bio Ellen Way Ellen Way (28) is the owner of Sanders Family Almond Ranch, a family farming operation in Stanislaus County. She resides in La Quinta with her husband and two daughters. Way is a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where she earned a degree in agribusiness. She began her career in the produce industry with Sun World International and went on to work for Assemblyman Jim Battin as an agriculture specialist. She serves on the board of her local CWA chapter and has also served on the Western Growers board. She is currently president of the Coachella Valley Chapter of National Charity League. Way and her husband are involved with Boys & Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley. In 2005 she was appointed by Gov. Schwarzenegger to serve on the Regional Water Quality Control Board, Colorado River Basin Region.