The Tribune’s Top 20 under 40 winners for 2010 gathered at a luncheon in their honor at the Madonna Inn on Jan. 27, 2011.
Sada Andrews, Development manager, Lifewater International
Sada Andrews, 31, helped slaves in India, African orphans, foster children and refugees seeking asylum in America. Since 2007, she has been development manager for Lifewater International in San Luis Obispo.
“Almost a billion people don’t have access to safe water,” said the human rights attorney.
From the Midwest, she studied at Gordon College, William and Mary School of Law and the University of London. With husband Matthew Hopper, she raises 1-year-old Silas Hopper, born with spina bifida, in Atascadero. Her service includes the boards of directors of Women Lawyers Association of SLO County and University Ministries of the Santa Barbara Presbytery. Co-worker Leslie Hawthorne Klingler said: “She treats everyone she meets as equals, with humility and respect.” The Tribune
Ashlea Boyer President/co-owner, Pismo Homes
Ashlea Boyer, 37, joined her mother, Kathi Foster, in 2004 to work in the family real estate business and start pismohomes.com. A member of the Associate Leadership Committee for Keller Williams Realty Central Coast, she mentors new agents and teaches classes.
“Ashlea continues to recognize opportunities and be on the forefront of market trends,” said her husband, Michael. With a degree in English literature from UC Santa Barbara, Boyer worked as a newspaper and magazine editor and as a producer for KSBY before real estate. “I have lived on the Central Coast for 33 years,” she said. The incoming president for the Rotary Club of Pismo Beach, she has a 4-year-old son, Jack, and lives in Arroyo Grande. The Tribune
Julian J. Varela, Co-founder/co-owner, Equilibrium Fitness Inc.
Julian J. Varela, 35, co-founded Equilibrium Fitness Inc. in 2006 and owns Equilibrium Fitness
for Women in San Luis Obispo with Dave Pomfret.
“Julian is an inspirational community builder,” said longtime friend Zachary Hall, adding the owners took
pay cuts to avoid layoffs among their 40 employees. “We thought if we rallied together as a team, that would be best for employee morale,” Varela said. A first-generation college graduate, he attended California Lutheran University before earning a Cal Poly master’s degree in kinesiology. He supports obesity prevention as a board member for Healthy Eating Active Living San Luis Obispo County. Class chairman of Leadership San Luis Obispo XX, he is also vice president of the Avila Beach Community Foundation. The Tribune
Pedro Arroyo Deputy probation officer, San Luis Obispo County
Pedro Inzunza Arroyo, 39, is a five-year deputy probation officer for San Luis Obispo County. He established the gang prevention program Youth in Action in 2008, but has served local youth for two
decades. The Mexican immigrant was the first in his family to finish college. Recruited from Los
Angeles to Cal Poly, he holds a counseling credential and a master’s in education. “Pedro has been a strong advocate for Mexican and Latino arts,” said Marci Powers of the Anti-Gang Coordinating Commission. Also a freelance writer, his work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, La Opinion and the Sacramento Bee.
Said Arroyo: “My most significant personal accomplishment is being a father to my twin daughters, Amihan and Alejandra (14).” The Tribune
Juliette Duke, Associate director of apartment life and education, Cal Poly University Housing
Juliette Duke, 35, has worked for Cal Poly University Housing for seven years, the last three as associate director of apartment life and education. She developed a staff recruiting program and the Sophomore
Success Program, now a national model.
“Juliette is an exceptional communicator,” said her supervisor, Carole Shaffer.
A first-generation college graduate born in Guyana, Duke studied psychology at Barry University and earned a master’s of education from University of South Florida.
“My dad has been pushing me for a while to obtain my Ph.D., so that is next,” she said. Duke lives in San Luis Obispo and volunteers with Court Appointed Special Advocates, San Luis Obispo Botanical Gardens, Cal Poly’s Black Commencement Ceremony and other student organizations. The Tribune
Sasha Irving, Programs director, Studios on the Park
Sasha Irving, 26, is a Paso Robles arts advocate. She began building Studios on the Park in 2007 and is now its programs director. Working with the nonprofit’s 50 artists, she manages events and classes for all ages. She is also the coordinator of the annual Paso Robles Festival of the Arts, which attracts 5,000 attendees.
“Together, they enhance the cultural life of our community,” said Irving, who also volunteers
at Mission San Miguel. The daughter of Jim Irving and Anne Laddon, her degree from the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University included international studies in Thailand and Chile.
“Her travel and study background gives her a unique perspective in dealing with local challenges,” said artist John Partridge.
David Serwitz, Founder/chief executive officer, Grade Potential Tutoring
David Serwitz, 27, founded Grade Potential Tutoring in 2002 as a Cal Poly sophomore after his difficulties finding a calculus tutor. As CEO, he oversees nine employees and 280 tutors in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and San Diego offices and plans to open three more by August. “We have identified roughly 150-200 markets throughout the country” for franchises, he said.
A former wrestler with a business degree, he announces at Poly wrestling events and was vice president of Meathead Wrestling Club. Donations include a yearly scholarship for local students.
“Dave is not only hard working with a lot of integrity, but he has a huge heart,” said friend Tina Swithin. Serwitz lives in San Luis Obispo with wife Nicole. The Tribune
Jennifer Porcher, Vice president of educational services/partner, Collaboration LLC
Jennifer Porcher, 35, joined Collaboration in 2005. Now a partner, she develops educational programs and helps businesses succeed. “She produces extremely successful outcomes,” said friend and colleague Lindsay Waugh. In 2002, Porcher founded ImproServe with her husband, Sean. Its customer feedback software is used in their 34 Jiffy Lube stores.
Porcher is vice president for the San Luis Obispo Children’s Museum executive board and is past president of the San Luis Obispo Referral Source. “I feel very fortunate to have made what I consider a real impact on the community” said the San Luis Obispo resident.
She studied international business at the University of San Francisco and in Venezuela. Her children are 15-year-old Alexa, 12-year-old Madeleine Easley and Jack Porcher, 3. The Tribune
Dan Rivoire, Executive director, San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition
Dan Rivoire, 25, joined the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition in 2008 and soon became executive director.
He developed programs to overcome barriers for individuals, including safety and bike repair. “Dan has exemplified what an ideal citizen might look like,” said employee Leslie Bloom.
Originally from Chicago, Rivoire earned a Cal Poly degree in philosophy with minors in women’s and religious studies. “I quickly developed a passion for learning about people’s values,” he said.
While in school, he worked with Student Life and Leadership and Insomniac Video. A former AmeriCorps member and graduate of Leadership San Luis Obispo Class XIX, he lives downtown and has volunteered with
programs helping the homeless, including Developing Through Art for children and Foodshare. The Tribune
Matt Neff, Neff and Associates Insurance Services Inc.
Matthew Neff, 34, has owned Pismo Beach’s Neff and Associates Insurance Services Inc. since 2000. With a University of LaVerne degree in business, the certified insurance counselor was chairman of California’s Northstar Insurance Council and will join the agency’s national council. He settled in Arroyo Grande at 17.
“My father was a Lutheran minister and we moved quite a bit,” said Neff, who lives with wife Alison, daughter Teagan, 9, and son Jonah, 7.
Active in Kiwanis of Greater Pismo Beach and a member of the Arroyo Grande Police Department
Advisory Council, he coaches youth basketball and Little League. “He is committed to leading a good example for our youth through teamwork and good sportsmanship,” said employee Cyndi Crase. The Tribune
Stephen Lloyd-Moffett Associate professor of religious studies, Cal Poly
Stephen Lloyd-Moffett, 38, has taught at Cal Poly for six years. “Steve positioned Cal Poly Religious Studies as a leader in the academic discourse of religion on campus and in the community,” said colleague Devin E. Kuhn. Lloyd-Moffett grew the program from one student to 75 and founded Cal Poly Theisms. He earned master’s and doctorate degrees at UC Santa Barbara, and a master of theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
With Fulbright and Thomas J. Watson fellowships, he conducted research in Greece and monasteries around the world. President of St. Andrew’s Greek Orthodox Church, he strives “for that elusive goal of diversity within unity.” From Seattle, he and wife Fiona have two sons: Basil, 8, and Phineas, 5. The Tribune
Cami Rouse, Family advocate, Transitions Mental Health Association
Cami Rouse, 28, has been a family advocate for Transitions Mental Health Association since 2009. “I have a very personal and unique understanding of severe and chronic mental illness,” she said, including a family member with paranoid schizophrenia.
An advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, she works with Cal Poly’s Pride Center to train Transitions employees in these issues.
“She promotes hope and positive growth wherever she goes,” said Transitions Executive Director Jill Bolster-White.
Rouse earned a history degree from UC Santa Barbara on a volleyball scholarship. She has volunteered with LifeBound Leadership Youth Development Program and helped found the county’s Courage Campaign Equality Team. From Clovis, she lives in San Luis Obispo with fiancé James Statler. The Tribune
Jolie Ditmore, Chief executive officer, Central Coast Pathology Consultants Inc.
Jolie Ditmore, 36, oversees 240 Central Coast Pathology Consultants Inc. employees in the Tri-Counties area, serving as chief executive officer since 2002. When she joined the laboratory in 1997 as a Cal Poly biology and biotechnology student, it employed about 15. She also has an MBA from the University of LaVerne.
“She expects excellence and gets it,” said employee Don Dupere, adding that Ditmore brought in the
Start! Walking Program to encourage employee health. She’s on the boards of the local Red Cross chapter and Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. “I was always passionate about marine biology and the ocean,” said Ditmore, who volunteers with her husband, Nathan, for Project Surf Camp. They live in Morro Bay with their 3-year-old son. The Tribune
Brandon Medeiros Senior planner, Rick Engineering Co.
Brandon Medeiros, 34, joined Rick Engineering Co. in 2007 to establish a division for landscape architecture and urban design in its San Luis Obispo office. With Rick’s six other offices, he collaborates on
projects from Tecate, Mexico, to Winters, Calif.
“Brandon’s approach with people, not just a project’s design, is what sets him apart,” said colleague Don Druse, noting his work on West Grand Avenue in Grover Beach.
A Cal Poly graduate, Medeiros has won the American Society of landscape Architecture and American Public Works Association awards. He volunteers as chairman for the REC Foundation. “My family and I instantly fell in love with Paso Robles,” he said, where he lives with wife Carrie, and sons Caden, 3,
and baby Jackson. The Tribune
Amy Jacobs, Co-host of the Morning Show, Coast 101.3
Amy Jacobs, 36, has co-hosted the Morning Show at Coast 101.3 since 2006.
She contributes air time for nonprofit fundraisers, including 14-hour live broadcasts supporting the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County. She has worked with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training for six years, from manning aid stations to preparing athletes for endurance races. “It is amazing to see people who have never even done a 5K race complete an event like a marathon,” Jacobs said. The society’s Barbara Saia added: “She has become my ‘go-to’ volunteer for all PR-related tasks.”
Jacobs double-majored in speech and journalism at the University of Northern Colorado. She moved to San Luis Obispo in 2002 to work for KSBY. The Tribune
Clint Slaughter Emergency physician/partner, CEP America
Clint Slaughter, 36, has been an emergency physician at French Hospital Medical Center and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital since 2004. “He is firmly committed to education and counseling,” said lab technician Barclay Andrews.
Slaughter earned his medical degree at University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and is pursuing a master’s in public health. He served medical rotations at Johnson and Kennedy space centers. Board chairman for the Environmental Center of San Luis Obispo County (ECOSLO), he has volunteered there since 2007.
He and wife Laura raise Orion, 1, with a focus on sustainability, including solar panels and biodiesel
from waste vegetable oil. “We believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to become part of the solution,” said the San Luis resident. The Tribune
Dan Sutton General Manager, Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange
Dan Sutton, 36, has worked for Pismo Oceano Vegetable Exchange since 2001. As general manager, he oversees 40 employees at the grower-owned cooperative. “He has helped to develop a culture of food safety awareness,” said farmer Tom Ikeda.
A member of the California Agriculture Leadership Program, Sutton holds a Cal Poly degree in agribusiness and is on the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau’s executive committee. A youth baseball coach, he serves as a district commissioner for Central California Babe Ruth and Cal Ripken Baseball.
“My involvement as a paid-call firefighter has allowed me to serve the community as a whole,” he said. A member of San Luis Obispo Elks, he lives with wife April and daughter London, 1. The Tribune
Carissa Nepstead Marketing specialist and media planner, Verdin Marketing Ink
Carissa Nepstead, 27, is a marketing specialist and media planner with Verdin Marketing Ink. She moved to San Luis Obispo from Sacramento nine years ago to study marketing at Cal Poly. She joined Verdin
in 2007. “To follow my desired career path, I had to take a chance that required me to make some sacrifices,” she said.
“Carissa has an amazing work ethic and can always be relied upon,” said her employer Mary Verdin. Nepstead regularly suggests opportunities for the company’s Adopt a Nonprofit program.
She has volunteered with Miller’s Equestrian Center and Sanctuary. She also serves the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County as the secretary of its board of directors and on its Hunger Walk planning committee. The Tribune
Hillary Trout CPA/manager of tax and business advisory services, Longcrier and Associates CPAs
Hillary Trout, 33, has lived in the same three-mile radius in downtown San Luis Obispo since age 6. In her four years at Longcrier and Associates CPAs, the manager of tax and business advisory developed courses for wine industry clients. “She is also a leader and innovator in our office in-house training,” said coworker Gayle Harbert. A Cal Poly graduate, Trout is pursuing a master’s degree in taxation. “During school I worked full time, raised my son (Emerson, 14), and supported my husband (Robert Paul Trout) through two brain surgeries, but never quit,” she said. Her volunteerism includes serving as president of Court Appointed Special Advocates and board chairwoman of Softec, the Central Coast Software and Technology Association. The Tribune
Billy Gallant,Area manager, H and R Block
Billy Gallant, 31, became an H and R Block tax preparer in 1997. As area manager, he helped the local franchise — owned by his family — grow from two offices to one of the largest in California with 10
locations and about 100 employees countywide. “Without his very driven work ethic, this would never have been possible,” said his mother, Debra Rettig-Gallant. He moved to Paso Robles at age 7 and earned a Cal Poly accounting degree.
He and wife Kelli raise their son Kaden, 9, and daughter Kaia, 2. Gallant has coached junior varsity football at Templeton and Mission College Preparatory high schools, striving to share life lessons. “I have had many players come back years later to thank me,” he added. The Tribune