BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Read below to learn more about our committed board members, and how their role is continuing our tradition of excellence.

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AMEER ATRASH

President
Ventura

Ameer received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from the California State University, Channel Islands. In his current role as Supervising Agricultural Inspector/Biologist, he oversees the operational efforts of the export certification program along with assisting and training in pest exclusion matters. His professional interests include training and development, administrative law, and technical efficiencies.

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JOSE ARRIAGA

Past President
Orange

Jose received his Bachelors of Science in Biology from Cal Poly Pomona. In his current role as Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights & Measures, he oversees a broad range of responsibilities including general department administration, budget and finance, programs management, and personnel. His professional interests include staff development, operational efficiencies, and stakeholder relationships.

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ALEXANDER (ALEX) NGUYEN

Vice President North
Sonoma

Alex received his Bachelors of Science in Entomology from the University of California, Davis. In his current role as Agricultural Biologist/Weights & Measures Inspector, he performs enforcement activities in thePesticide Use Enforcement as well as High Risk, and Pest Exclusion Programs. His professional interests focus on emerging agricultural pests of concern.

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MOLLY MILLER

Vice President South
Santa Barbara

Molly received both her Bachelors Degree in Agricultural Science as well as her Masters Degree in Agricultural Education from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly SLO). In her current role as an Agriculture/Weights and Measures Inspector, she performs compliance inspections at various sites which include carrier facilities, nurseries, cannabis sites, grocery stores, gas stations, LPG dispensers, and more.

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DAVID BROWN

Treasurer
Yolo

David received his Bachelors of Science degree in Agricultural Business from California State University, Chico.

In his current role as Deputy Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer for the Pest Exclusion Division, David manages the Phytosanitary Export program, Dog Team/High Risk Parcel Inspection program, Detection and other related trapping programs as well as other High Risk programs for Yolo County.

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MARY CANCHOLA

Secretary
Stanislaus

Mary received both her Bachelors in Agricultural Studies (emphasis in Permaculture) as well as her Masters of Business Administration (emphasis in Executive Management) degrees from California State University, Stanislaus. In her current role as Agricultural Weights and Measures Inspector, she ensures the safe and effective use of pesticides by conducting pesticide related investigations, issuing pesticide permits, writing permit conditions for commodity and field fumigations, and by conducting continuation education presentations in the pesticide use enforcement division.

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DAVID NAVARRO

Webmaster
San Diego

David received his Bachelors of Science in Environmental Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego. In his current role as Supervising Agricultural/Standards Inspector, he oversees the Export Certification Program and serves as the Division's Accela Development subject matter expert (SME).

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EMILY HESSELGRAVE

Member at Large
Orange

Emily Hesselgrave received her Bachelors of Science in Zoology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Emily currently serves the public as a Senior Agricultural Standards Inspector for the County of Orange. In her current role as Structural Pesticide Use Enforcement Supervisor, she oversees reports and enforcement actions for structural use monitoring inspections and pesticide use illness investigations. Emily also issues Phytosanitary certificates and leads the team that produces the annual Crop Statistics report. Her professional interests focus on emergent pests in Southern California and her current projects include updating the Orange CAC’s entomology and plant pathology laboratories.

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RUDY VALENCIA

Member at Large
Riverside

Rudy received his bachelor’s degree in Health Science, with a concentration in Environmental Health from California State University, San Bernardino. In his current role as a Supervising Agricultural and Standards Investigator, Rudy supervises staff working in the western region of Riverside County. Rudy’s responsibilities include, overseeing the work performed in Agriculture, as well as Weights and Measures programs within the Riverside district.  His professional interests include team building, administrative law, public relations.  

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RISHI AVILA

Member at Large
Sacramento

Rishi Avila received his Bachelors of Science in Fruit Science from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo. In his current role as Senior Ag/Standards Inspector, Rishi is responsible for Nursery Inspections, Ag Exclusion Inspections, and Direct Marketing Compliance, for his designated area. His professional focus is on Sudden Oak Death inspections, Phytosanitary Certificates, and Parcel Facility inspections for agricultural pests of interests. 

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VALERIA MEJIA

Member at Large
Imperial

Valeria received her Bachelors of Science in Animal Science (emphasis in Food Animal Production) from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In her current role as an Agricultural Biologist III, she performs enforcement activities in the Organic as well as Pesticide Use Enforcement Programs. Her professional interests include fostering lasting relationships with stakeholders to protect the agricultural industry, community, and the environment.

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JANESSA WEINGAND

Member at Large
Contra Costa

Janessa received her degree in Agricultural Science and Education from California State University, Chico. Janessa currently serves the public as an Agricultural Biologist for the county of Contra Costa. In her current role as an agricultural biologist, Janessa helps regulate the Pest Management, Phytophthora ramorum and High Risk Pest Exclusion programs. She also contributes to the annual County Crop Report. Her professional interests focus on educating the public about the importance of agriculture, developing relationships with stakeholders and mastering new skills in the workplace.

Want to meet our team members? Get in touch with us today.