SUCCESS & SERVICE: Wealth business gets high marks

local@modbee.comApril 27, 2013 

— A Modesto company, Valley Wealth Inc., ranked 43rd among the nation's top 50 emerging wealth management companies, according to Forbes.

The company, started by Jeff Burrow and Jason Gordo in March 2008, expanded its managed assets from $170 million in 2011 to $280 million by the end of 2012, and has surpassed the $300 million mark since the first of the year, Gordo said.

"It's quite an honor," he said of the Forbes ranking. "It's recogni-tion we didn't plan or hope for. We're still sitting here looking at each other and wondering, 'How did that happen?' We just put our heads down and got to work for the past five years."

About half of their business comes from managing company retirement plans. The rest is managing private wealth.

"Couples who stayed married, didn't move from home to home or toy for toy, and grew their wealth slowly," Gordo said. "The millionaire next door, and right here in Modesto."

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Officers from area law enforcement agencies were honored in Ripon last week by the California Office of Traffic Safety and Mothers Against Drunk Driving for the numbers of arrests made and for their efforts in DUI awareness.

DUI checkpoint awards for Stanislaus County went to records clerk Lilia Franco of the Ceres Police Department, Sgt. Neil Cervenka of the Turlock PD, officer Daniel Peters of the Oakdale PD and Chief Tori Hughes of the Patterson PD. Ripon's Volunteers in Police Service team was among San Joaquin County's winners.

Officers honored for the most DUI arrests in 2012 included the California Highway Patrol, Modesto area's Zachary Yosh (89), John Buxie (79), Eldon Sousa (68), Damien Blue (67), Aaron Norseen (65), and Clinton Young and Jonathan Box (64 each). A dozen others from the department ranged from 58 to 32 DUI arrests. John Mahaney led Sonora's CHP office with 76.

Local police departments were led by Modesto's David Wallace (25), Ceres' Chris Melton (54) and James Riley (52), Newman's Jason Gosselin (10), Patterson deputy Randy Watkins (18), Turlock's James Brewer (21), Ripon Sgt. Stephen Meece (17), Riverbank's Gary Vernon (16), Sonora's Andrew Theodore (40) and California State University, Stanislaus' Aimee Powers (18).

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Ceres American Legion Post 491 and Art DeWerk, the city's city manager/police chief/director of public safety, honored outstanding public safety personnel for 2012.

Detective Arthur Hively and officer Brittney England shared Police Officer of the Year honors. Hively investigates high-tech crimes, among other things, and spends countless hours of his own time staying current on technology. England led the staff in arrests and was honored recently by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for DUI arrests. She was the department's Reserve Officer of the Year in 2011.

Engineer Bret Presson was named Firefighter of the Year and is recognized as one of the top training officers in the county. Lilia Franco, records clerk II, received the Support Person of the Year award for her skills in handling records and producing information used in grant applications. And David McCann was named Volunteer of the Year for his work as program coordinator.

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Modesto Junior College students Joseph Enos, James Moak and Heather Wilson were awarded $2,000 worth of scholarships by Alpha Gamma Sigma, the academic honor society and service organization of the California Community Colleges. Enos and Moak were recognized for academic excellence and Wilson for community service.

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A group of nurses and other staff members from Doctors Medical Center's labor and delivery team participated in the Ragnar Relay Race in Huntington Beach last weekend, raising more than $2,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Doctors and other nurses helped by sponsoring the local runners, who logged more than 200 miles. Labor and delivery nurses participating were Cheryl Aloisio, Jennifer Mack, Jenn Cannon, Lori Peters, Katrina Aguirre, Jenna Machado, Esther Riggs, Janae Shinn and Sandra Calderon. They were joined by postpartum nurse Danielle Rojas, first-grade teacher Tara Silva, resident physician Christine Battaglia, drivers and L&D nurses Kellye Caton and Gina Nord.

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