Business Advisory Committee
Mark Burrell is a 25 year resident of Bakersfield. He came to Bakersfield to serve as the CEO for Farm Credit and then founded the Westmark Group in Bakersfield in 1988. The Westmark Group is a consulting and asset management firm with a broad specialization in agriculture and agribusiness. The firm’s consulting practice has a strong emphasis on agricultural finance, equity placements, debt restructures, agricultural investment strategy and strategic planning. Mr. Burrell has over 25 years experience in the structure and placement of large and complex working capital, acquisition, real estate and construction financings. He is a graduate of the University of Nevada Reno and was previously the Chairman of the Great Valley Center in Modesto, CA. The Great Valley Center is the only non-partisan, non-profit dedicated to the economic, social and environmental well being of the Central Valley. Previously, Mr. Burrell served as the Chairman of the California Agricultural Education Foundation.
Tony Coelho is a Central Valley native from Dos Palos. He represented the Central Valley as a Congressman from the 15th District from 1978-1989. After leaving Congress, he was the President and CEO of Wertheim Schroders Investment Services in New York and developed an educational training technology company called ETC w/TCI that he successfully sold in 1997. Most recently, he served as the Chairman of Vice President Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign and also sits on several corporate boards. He remains very active in both business and politics in the Central Valley.
Mr. Coelho has also served his country in a variety of other official capacities including; Chairman of the President’s Commission on Disabilities, the Presidential Commission on the Roles and Capabilities of the United States Intelligence Community, Co-Chair of the US Census Monitoring Board and US Commissioner General to the 1998 World Exposition in Lisbon, Portugal. Mr. Coelho earned his bachelors degree from Loyola Marymount and has been granted honorary doctoral degrees from Loyola Marymount, Santa Clara University, and the Universidade Nova De Lisboa in Portugal.
A Central Valley native from Marysville, Lon Hatamiya most recently served as the California Secretary of Trade and Commerce from 1999-2003. During his tenure, Mr. Hatamiya’s agency oversaw all economic development programs for the state including; the California Small Business Board, the California Rural Development Council, Team California (a network of public/private economic development groups), state community and investment incentives and the Small Business Development Center Programs ( a partnership with SBA to foster small business development). Additionally, he served as the voice of California business within the state Cabinet.
Previously, Mr. Hatamiya served as an Administrator at the Department of Agriculture where he headed up Export and Marketing programs. He has previously served on the California Rural Economic Development Panel and is currently a director for the Great Valley Center in Modesto, the only “think tank” dedicated to Central Valley economic development issues. Mr. Hatamiya obtained his BA from Harvard University and both his MBA and JD from UCLA.
Joseph Johnson is the retired CEO of Union Safe Deposit Bank of Stockton. Under his leadership, Union Safe Deposit Bank grew to over $1B in assets. During his tenure, the bank's return on assets and return on equity more than doubled. Prior to that, Mr Johnson served as the CEO for the fourth largest bank in Minnesota and as the President and CEO of the Security Pacific Bank of Oregon.
Mr. Johnson received his undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and earned an MBA in Finance from the University of Southern California. He and his wife reside in Stockton where Mr. Johnson serves on the Board for the Port of Stockton, the Katalysis Bootstrap Fund, and as the Chairman of the UOP Advisory Board.
A Central Valley native from Davis, Robert E. Triebsch is the Managing Partner of Triebsch, Frampton, Dorius and Lima, a Central Valley law firm specializing in corporate tax and transactional matters for over 30 years. Mr. Triebsch has been very active in economic development in the Central Valley serving on several boards including; UC Davis, Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley, Medic Alert, Stanislaus State University, Turlock School Board and as Chair of the Turlock Schools Joint Financing Authority.
Additionally, Mr. Triebsch helped found the very successful Central Valley Bancorp, parent company of Turlock and Modesto Commerce Bank, which was sold to the Bank of Stockton in 2003. Mr. Triebsch received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis and is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California Berkeley.
A Central Valley native from Fresno, Daniel K. Whitehurst served two terms as the Mayor of Fresno from 1977-1985. During his tenure, Mr. Whitehurst was involved in all facets of economic development for the city including; serving as President of the Fresno Economic Development Corporation, serving on the Board of the Central California Futures Institute and starting several successful public/private partnerships resulting in an award from the US Conference of Mayors and Xerox Corporation as the outstanding mayor in the country in the public/private partnership area.
Additionally, Mr. Whitehurst has served as the CEO of two very successful funeral companies and is of counsel to the largest law firm in Fresno, Dowling, Aaron and Keeler. Mr. Whitehurst recently served as the Chairman of the Great Valley Center in Modesto and holds the Kenneth L. Maddy Chair for Public Policy at Fresno State University (named after a distinguished Central Valley state legislator). Mr. Whitehurst received his BA from Saint Mary’s College of California, an MA from Occidental College and his JD from UCSF, Hastings College of the Law.