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North Bay professionals news from Wine Enthusiast’s 40 under 40, Redwood Credit Union, Coldwell Banker and more

North Bay professionals news from Wine Enthusiast's 40 under 40, Redwood Credit Union, Coldwell Banker and moreSeven people from Sonoma, Napa and Mendocino counties are Wine Enthusiast magazine’s “40 under 40” list of notable professionals in wine, spirits, cider and beer.

Sarah Cahn Bennett, 39, of Mendocino County’s Anderson Valley is owner and winemaker of Pennroyal Farm in Boonville and owner-general manager of Navarro Vineyards & Winery in Philo. With a master’s degree in enology and viticulture, Bennett returned to her family’s business and launched sustainability initiatives.

Sebastian Donoso, 37, is winemaker of Fringe Collective in Hopland. Born in Chile, Donoso was tasked with running the high-end programs at Fetzer Vineyards and Bonterra Vineyards, Mendocino County operations owned by Chile-based Concha y Toro.

Paul Gospodarczyk, 37, is professor of winemaking at Napa Valley College and winemaker in charge of the school’s production facility and 5-acre vineyard.

Maayan Koschitzky, 39, is director of winemaking at Atelier Melka by Philippe Melka in St. Helena. Now a partner in Melka’s A-list consulting winemaking company, Koschitzky has worked at cult Napa Valley wineries Screaming Eagle and Dalla Valle.

Jennifer Reichardt, 32, owner and winemaker, Raft Wines, Sonoma County; chief operating officer, Sonoma County Poultry and Liberty Ducks, Petaluma. In 2016, she began making her own wine using organically farmed grapes from California.

Jamie Benziger, 33, winemaker, Imagery Estate Winery, Glen Ellen. Her father, Joe Benziger, founded Imagery in 1986. After producing a variety of wines alongside her father, Jamie Benziger took over winemaking at Imagery in 2017.

Chip Forsythe, 34, winemaker and CEO, Rebel Coast Winery, Sonoma. He launched Rebel Coast Winery in 2018, producer of the world’s first THC-infused, nonalcoholic wine.


Gladys Milligan has been named manager of Redwood Credit Union’s new American Canyon branch at 406 Napa Junction Road, Suite 126, in the Napa Junction Shopping Center.

Prior to joining the credit union, Milligan worked in the financial industry for 15 years, 11 of which were in management, according to the announcement. She formerly worked for Washington Mutual/Chase and Travis Credit Union, where her responsibilities included shepherding the opening of new branches.

Milligan has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in strategic management from Sacramento State University.

Karen Cherniss has affiliated the Napa office of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley as a sales associate. Cherniss has been a real estate professional in the Bay Area since 1986, relocating to the Napa Valley in 1994.

Noemi Doohan has been selected as interim public health officer for the county of Mendocino.

Doohan has been a health and human services partner in the work she has led with Adventist Health Ukiah Valley’s Street Medicine Program, Family Medicine Residency Program and the initial funding and implementation of the Safe Haven Clinic project, the county stated.

In addition, Karen Smith will be contracting with the county to further support development of local public health services in Mendocino County. Smith was previously appointed by former Governor Jerry Brown in 2015 to serve as the state public health officer. She most recently served as health officer and public health director for Napa County.

Stephanie Robison has been named director of healthy aging services at Whistlestop, a San Rafael-based nonprofit that works with older adults and people with disabilities in Marin County.

Prior to Whistlestop, Robison was business manager at Marin Foot and Ankle, account manager at LifeMasters Supported SelfCare, recreation and fitness director at San Francisco Towers (a senior living community), and manager of geriatric programs at California Pacific Medical Services Organization.

She has a master’s degree in gerontology from San Francisco State University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in aging from Washington State University.

Blanca Huijon has been named executive director of Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center in Napa. Huijon has been with Puertas Abiertas since 2010 as a case mentor.

She attended Napa Community College, where she obtained four A.A degrees: social and behavioral science, general education, fine art, and math, the group’s website stated. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano Latino Studies and minor in psychology from Sonoma State University. In 2013, she obtained a grant writing certificate from Sonoma State.

Josh Harrington has joined Land Trust of Napa County’s board of trustees.

Harrington is director of research at RBO & Co., an independent investment advisory firm in St. Helena. The land trust’s announcement stated his career experience includes equity research at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, portfolio management at TIAA-CREF in San Francisco, and independent consulting for investment management clients.

He was previously a director and board treasurer for Destiny Arts Center, a nonprofit based in Oakland that seeks to end isolation, prejudice and violence in the lives of young people. Harrington lives in Napa with his wife and daughter and enjoys reading, running, fishing and yoga.

Harrington holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a major in finance and banking, and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.


Jack Raineault has been selected as new chairman of the Healdsburg Jazz board of directors. He succeeds Paul Mahder, who recently resigned from the board to focus on a new business venture.

Raineault retired from Diageo, a global spirits and beer company, as director of beverage alcohol law after a career of 30 years. Previously, he served on the board of directors of CancerCare of Connecticut. He also volunteers at Legal Aid of Sonoma County.

Replacing Raineault as board secretary is Dennis Abbe, a retired software executive who has been a volunteer for Healdsburg Jazz since 2000.


The National Association of Realtors has honored Mill Valley-based agent Kimberly Strub as a finalist for its 2019 Good Neighbor Awards. The award honors those “who have made a positive impact on their communities through extraordinary volunteer service.”

Strub leads the Schurig Center for Brain Injury Recovery, a nonprofit that improves the lives of people with brain injuries and their families through therapy, support groups and social and recreational activities. In a decade, she has raised $1 million, tripled both the annual budget and the number of people served, and helped set up a concussion protocol for children in the Marin County schools network.

Strub is one of 10 association members being honored who have donated their time, money and passion to enrich the lives of the people in their communities. On Oct. 2, five winners will be named from among the 10 finalists.

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