As General Manager, Dick Neilsen uses his extensive background in the specialty foods business to keep the many and varied aspects of a working ranch running smoothly. From marketing and sales to harvest and production, Dick ensures that the fruits of the entire staff's labors are put to best use. Dick is uniquely familiar with the ranch ins and outs, from the first new growth in the spring through the first pours of the new oil in fall, and appreciates working with all those who help make Nan's vision a reality.
Dana Breaux has worked in a number of financial management positions since earning his MBA from Pepperdine in 1991. Dana began his career with the North American Space Systems Division of The Boeing Company in Seal Beach; as Controller for McEvoy Ranch, he relies on his education and experience to provide leadership, coordinating the ranch's financial processes with a steady hand. In addition, Dana is dedicated to being an indispensible resource for his colleagues as the head of HR and IT.
Christina traveled and lived abroad extensively, returning eventually to her California roots with fresh perspective. A love for food and writing brought her to Chronicle Books, in marketing management for the cookbook category. Ever the adventurer, Christina set out for (truly) greener pastures in 2003, taking on special events for the ranch; she is still inspired by the ranch's limitless beauty. As both our Marketing Director and Creative Director of our 80 Acres body care line, Christina's worldview passionately informs all that she undertakes.
Head Gardener Margaret Koski-Kent draws on the teachings of Alan Chadwick, among others, in her work at McEvoy Ranch. Sustainable practices and biodynamic preparations that honor a deep respect for our relationship with the earth guide Koski-Kent and her staff as they nurture the over 800 combined varieties of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees on the ranch. With Maurizio Castelli's guidance (and the abiding companionship of her Bernese puppy, Mauston), Margaret is now at the helm of our foray into wine making.
After earning BAs in Biology and Environmental Studies, Jeff Creque spent 26 years at Laughing Duck Farm on the Point Reyes National Seashore. His passion for agroecology earned him an MS in Range Science and a Ph.D in Rangeland Ecology from Utah State. As a conservation consultant for the ranch, Jeff's extensive educational and professional background are integral to realizing Nan's vision of excellence in the union of agricultural production and land stewardship.
Jose (Pepe) Chavez
Pepe was born in Cotija, Mexico; he spent his youth helping on his grandfather's ranch, milking cows and tending the crops. He moved to the US in 1983, settling in Petaluma and working in plant maintenance and quality control. Pepe started at McEvoy driving tractors in 1993; when the frantoio was built in 1997, he discovered and honed his talents as a master Oil Maker under Angelo Agostinelli, Luigi Vicentin and Dr. Maurizio Castelli. Pepe's love for producing olive oil, and for the ranch, is evident in each year's blend.
Samantha earned her BA in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and joined our staff in 2001. As Farming Manager she oversees the care and organic management of our 80 acres of olive orchards and 25 acres of vineyards. She appreciates the McEvoy family’s tradition of quality production and proudly upholds our commitment to diverse and sustainable agriculture.
Jill Lee earned her BS in Biology from Cal Poly and her Master's in Nutrition from UC Davis. Since she began work here in 2002, her education and experience have been instrumental. From her responsibilities as Tours Manager to coordinating community outreach and events, Jill has her hands full educating both visitors and vendors about olive oil on the whole and as unique to McEvoy Ranch. Her newest endeavor finds her putting her knowledge to use for our handmade botanical soap company, Sapothecary.
Jane earned her BA in Art History from San Francisco State, bringing her keen eye to publishing and marketing during an 8-year tenure at Chronicle Books. Jane began her career at McEvoy Ranch in 2005, putting her aesthetic to use co-creating and launching our 80 Acres body care line as that project's Director of Marketing. She applies those same sensibilities to myriad branding and PR efforts for all McEvoy Ranch products. Jane takes inspiration from the natural beauty of the ranch and the integrity of its products.
In 2002 John joined the garden staff, working on numerous projects - even making our nascent body care line's hand salves. With a BA in Biology from UCSC and an MBA in Sustainable Business from New College under his belt, John now manages our botanical soap company, Sapothecary; he is also Director of Operations for 80 Acres, our (now grown-up) line of body care products. John appreciates the ranch's creatively supportive environment and dedication to a sustainable pursuit of our goals.
Executive Chef Gerald Gass attended the California Culinary Institute and trained at some of San Francisco's top restaurants. In 1996, Joyce Goldstein matched her former Square One sous with her long-time patron, Nan McEvoy; the ranch's country kitchen was complete. Inspired daily by the abundance outside that kitchen door, Gerald, with colleague Mark Rohrmeier, provides ranch hospitality - from staff lunches to celebrations and events. He is the author of cookbook, an homage to showcasing ingredients at their seasonal best.
Mark Rohrmeier sharpened his culinary chops in some of the finest ski resorts in the country before settling in at the ranch's country kitchen in 1997. The collaborative efforts of Mark and Gerald Gass bring the seasonal bounty of the kitchen gardens to the plate for Nan and her friends and family. Mark also supervises the curing of our olives (one of our favorite cocktail hour accompaniments); he appreciates the freedom to practice his craft in an environment that nurtures creativity.
Retail and Web Manager Christine Ignacio discovered McEvoy Ranch (and of course, the olive oil), while studying natural foods cooking at the Bauman Institute. With a passion for and expertise in organic, artisan foods, Christine has worked at our San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace shop since we opened our gates, managing talented colleagues since 2003. Whether educating visitors, creating the shop's fresh, warm aesthetic, or writing for various ranch outlets, Christine draws inspiration and vision from the beauty and abundance of the ranch.
Stephanie Delaney and Jan Williams
Jan Williams and Stephanie Delaney are our anchors in the ranch's front office. As northern California natives and world travelers, they hold a deep appreciation for the unmatched beauty and abundance of the Bay Area. Whether managing 101 daily must-dos (Jan) or liasing with our Ferry Building shop and wholesale customers (Steph), their breadth of experience keeps our adminstrative hub on track. Their close-knit relationships at the ranch, as well as the exceptional products and landscape, never fail to astound them.