Rachel is self-taught in all aspects of the photography business, and became a food photographer about eight years ago, right when Sacramento’s food scene was starting to catch fire. She specializes in editorial food and event photography, and portraiture. Her first book was recently released, called Inside Sacramento, which she co-contributed photos for along with one other local photographer. Rachel was raised in the Roseville/Rocklin area, and now lives in Citrus Heights. For more, visit www.rachelvalley.com.
As president and CEO of Golden Pacific Bank in Sacramento, Virginia Varela is among just 4 percent of women who hold the top C-suite title in the field of banking.
Alice Sauro became executive director of the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera in 2015, during what she calls the Philharmonic & Opera’s “dark season.”
Wendy Saunders is executive director of the Capitol Area Development Authority, whose mission is to make housing in the area around the Capitol more affordable and manage and develop residential and commercial properties.
Raksmey Roeum-Castleman, administrator at Telecare Corporation, oversees 25 employees in three health care programs at Telecare, teaches health, kickboxing and yoga at San Joaquin Delta College and collaborates with Southeast Asian advocacy organizations around the country.
Tina Reynolds is the founder and president of Uptown Studios, a multimedia design firm geared towards nonprofits, government entities and other organizations dedicated to social change.
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of Western States Petroleum Association, is attempting to rebrand the petroleum industry.
Allison Otto, executive vice president of Otto Construction, was a lobbyist at the Capitol before her father called her to join the company her grandfather started in 1947.
When Nicole Montna Van Vleck, president and CEO of Montna Farms, left the family farm to go to college and start her career, she didn’t think that she’d return.
Cindy Messer was sworn in as chief deputy director of the California Department of Water Resources the day after the Oroville Dam crisis began in February 2017, when damage to both the main and emergency spillways forced the evacuation of more than 180,000 residents.
Erica Manuel has incorporated giving back in her position as executive director and CEO of Institute for Local Government, a statewide nonprofit that advises city and county governments in California how to succeed.
Melyssa Laughlin became CEO and president of Visit Vacaville in 2007, just as the Great Recession was about to hit.
If Preet Kuar, CEO and executive recruiter of Pacific Staffing and Pacific ExecSearch, had thought as a college student that one day she would love a job as the CEO of an executive recruitment company, she would have laughed.
Olivia Kasirye, public health officer of Sacramento County, is often called on to be a stable figure at the center of a crisis.
Melissa Jones, managing partner at Stoel Rives, says she is “one of those weird people” who loved law school. She now runs one of the 200 largest law firms in the country.
Molly Hawks, chef and co-owner of Hawks and Hawks Provisions and Public House, led a high-end restaurant to success in the midst of the Great Recession.
Celia Esposito-Noy, superintendent and president of Solano Community College, sees higher education institutions as responsible for serving much more than just their students.
Dawn Clayton, general manager of Thunder Valley Casino Resort, started her casino career dealing craps in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
“If customers believe that you’re passionate about what you’re doing, they feel it,” says Karen Bond, CEO and cofounder of the medical technology company Cedaron.
“I do bills that are tough, and I’m not doing the ones that you see on the front page of the papers,” says California Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, who has authored or co-authored 49 bills.
Chris Barnum-Dann is meticulous, driven and creative. A little OCD with a rocker persona, those close to him say, but in a way that’s an asset for the man focused on shaking the Sacramento culinary scene. He’s unapologetic about his restaurant’s changing menu or pricey offerings. Barnum-Dann is making his mark, not pleasing the masses.
During the economic recession and its aftermath, some restaurants and sweet shops in the region were hit hard by the rising cost of ingredients and cost-conscious customers, and forced to shutter their doors or scale back on business.