Biz Buzz: Tribune announces Top 20 Under 40

Twenty of San Luis Obispo County’s young leaders have been chosen for The Tribune’s Top 20 under 40 award.

In its fifth year, the award honors county residents under the age of 40 who have demonstrated excellence in their field and a strong commitment to community service.

Entries were submitted online at in November, and a review panel from the San Luis Obispo County Community Foundation selected the winners at The Tribune’s request. The winners will be recognized for their accomplishments at a special lunch in January at the Madonna Inn.

As in previous years, this year’s group represents a host of occupations, including education, banking, business and nonprofits, and they reflect the best and brightest that the community has to offer.

The winners are:

Sean Beauchamp, owner, Southpaw Sign Co.; Melanie Blankenship, owner, Nature’s Touch Nursery and Harvest; Roslyn Caldwell, a faculty member in the Cal Poly Department of Psychology and Child Development; Joseph Castro Jr., Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo Inc.; Jud Clark, head coach, Puma Aquatic Swim Team; Jamie Kirk, founder, Kirk Consulting; Bianca Koenig, landscape architect, Wallace Group; Suzanne Leedale, CEO, SLO Credit Union; Shannon Len, founder, Len Designs; Josh LePell, owner, San Luis Marble & Granite; Ryan Miller, search engine optimization expert, Etna Interactive; Scott Morrell, senior manager, Barnett Cox & Associates; Erik R. Mund, general manager, Pismo Lighthouse Suites; Ryan Pinkerton, Arroyo Grande High School principal; Missy Reitner-Cameron, founder, iii Design; Melinda Sokolowski, Community Action Partnership; Erin Steed, corporate controller, Meathead Movers; Dominic Tartaglia, Tartaglia Realty; Jesse Torrey, Coordinator of the Central Coast Volunteer Corps, Cal Poly-AmeriCorps program; and Jon W. Treder, Electricraft Inc.

— Julie Lynem

Heritage Oaks Bank hires Poly alumni

Heritage Oaks Bank recently named Jeff Jenkins as commercial relationship manager for its downtown San Luis Obispo branch and Rick Kirk as the new residential loan consultant for the Irish Hills Branch in San Luis Obispo.

Both Jenkins and Kirk hold business degrees from Cal Poly.

Jenkins previously worked as a commercial loan officer for Rabobank, and Kirk has worked in real estate mortgage lending locally since 1978.

The bank also recently announced that Joseph Stronks, its senior vice president/central services and e-banking manager, recently completed continuing education with Pacific Coast Banking School.

— Julia Hickey