Orchard Hospital's Board of Directors
Art Cota, Chair
Art Cota, is the Chair of the Orchard Hospital Board. Art, is a retired firefighter, having served for approximately 30 years in the California fire service. During his career, Art served as the Chief of State Fire Training, managing the training and education system for firefighters statewide. Art has served on many state and national fire boards and organizations, including the National Fire Academy in Emmitsburg, Maryland, for approximately eight years. After serving as the Fire Chief and Fire Science Program Director at Shasta College, he continues to teach as an adjunct faculty member for Lake Tahoe Community College.
Active in many community organizations and volunteer projects, Art also serves on the Gridley Education Foundation, Board of Directors, Gridley Unified School District, Board of Trustees, and the Gridley Lions Club.
Art and his wife Michelle have two sons; Samuel and Ty and a daughter Kennison.
Kari Wheeler, Vice Chair
Kari Wheeler, Orchard Hospital Board member is the owner of Wheeler Ranch & Feed (and Wheeler Ranch Boutique) for the past 20 years. Mrs. Wheeler has also owned The Buckshot Grill downtown Biggs for the past ten years. Together, with her husband Doug Wheeler, they own and operate a cattle and hay ranch. Doug and Kari have three grown children who reside locally. Kari is an alumnus of Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Psychology, with a minor in animal science. Kari is very active within the community. She has been president and served for ten years on the Biggs Unified School Board of Trustees, President of Quota International of Gridley, Past President of the Gridley area Chamber of Commerce, Past President of the Butte Co. Cattlewomen's association and the current Director of the Miss Butte Co. Scholarship Program. Kari is an advocate for the youth and a strong supporter of the FFA and 4-H programs.
Edwin A. Becker, Jr., CFO
Ed A. Becker, Chief Financial Officer of the Orchard Hospital Board, is the Broker/Owner of Ed Becker Real Estate, a brokerage firm focusing on land and investment properties. Mr. Becker has been in the real estate industry since 1984. Prior to real estate, he operated a diversified farming operation including rice and various tree crops. He currently still farms walnuts and Fuyu persimmons.
Mr. Becker attended California State University at Chico majoring in Agriculture Business and served in the United States Navy during the Vietnam conflict. He is a former Director of the Butte County Farm Bureau, past President of the Butte County Historical Society and currently serves as Chair of the Butte County Planning Commission.
Mr. Becker has served on the BGMH Board since 1989 and is a former Chairman of the Board.
Clark S. Redfield, Secretary
Clark S. Redfield, Secretary to the Orchard Hospital Board, has lived in Gridley for eight years. Clark served as the Superintendent for the Gridley Unified School District for eight years until his retirement in October, 2011. He received his Bachelors Degree from San Jose State University in 1973, a Master’s Degree in Industrial Studies in 1978 and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration in 1979.
Clark is the President Elect for the Rotary Club of Gridley where he has been a member since 2003. He has served on the Boards for Youth First, GUARDIANS here in Gridley.
Clark is married to his lovely wife Cindy of 40 years. They have two children and three grand children all living in Gridley.
John T. Harris,
John T. Harris, is serving as a member of the Orchard Hospital Board of Directors. John is a native of Richvale, Butte County. His father, Glen R. Harris, was a long-time Board Member and also served as Board Chairman. John received his Bachelors Degree in 1962 from the University of California, Davis, and his Juris Doctor degree in 1965 from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley. In 1966, Mr. Harris was commissioned a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, and was promoted to Captain shortly thereafter. He served tours in Arizona and the Republic of Vietnam, and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and Bronze Star for Service. He returned to Butte County and private practice upon his return from Vietnam in 1970. He has practiced law in Gridley since 1970.
Mr. Harris is a principal in Harris, Sanford and Hamman, a Professional Corporation, and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1966. He is certified as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. John is a past member and adviser of the Executive Committee of the California State Bar Estate Planning, Trusts, and Probate Section. He has served as a lecturer for the California Continuing Education of the Bar on the subject of wills and estate planning. He also has had an active general business practice, and was Secretary and legal counsel for the Orchard Hospital for nearly 30 years. John has been active in civic organizations, is a past President of the Gridley Rotary Club, and served as a trustee of the Gridley Union High School District and as Foreman of the 1979-1980 Butte County Grand Jury. He is currently Chairman of the Board of the Orchard Hospital. John is also an ordained Episcopal Priest, and serves as Vicar of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, Gridley. He resides in Gridley with his wife Marny, a retired elementary school teacher. They have three children and five grand-children. John’s service on the Board of Directors and as Chairman of the Board began in May of 2009.
Margaret BrownMargaret Brown, is serving as a member of the Orchard Hospital Board of Directors. Margaret is a retired educator, having been a third grade teacher, a reading specialist, and, most recently, an English and reading instructor at Butte College. In 1992 she joined the administration, and she retired in 2003 as Assistant Dean of Instructional and Community Services. While an instructor at the college, she was Vice President and President of the Academic Senate and was active on a number of statewide committees. She was also involved in the family clothing business, Brown & Company, located first in Gridley and then in Oroville. She began her involvement with the hospital as a member of the operations committee in 2006 and became a member of the hospital foundation at that time. She is a member of Focus - Hands Helping Children, active in her church, and is a volunteer at the Feather River Hospital Cancer Center in the WeCARE! peer navigation program through UC Davis for mentoring of newly-diagnosed breast cancer patients. She is also on the Think Pink Team in Chico, which is a clearinghouse for breast cancer activities in Butte County.
Mrs. Brown earned a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in education from The College of William and Mary in Virginia, and a Master's in English from California State University, Chico.
Joe Cunha is serving as a member of the Orchard Hospital Board of Directors.
Mr. Cunha is a financial advisor with the investment firm Edward Jones, located here in Gridley. In addition to being a licensed Financial Advisor, he has also earned the designation as an Accredited Asset Management Specialist from the College for Financial Planning.
He has been an active member of the Gridley community since moving here in 1992 after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Chico. He has served on numerous boards and organizations including Kiwanis, The Gridley Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Improvement District.
Curt D. Engen
Curtis D. Engen, Orchard Hospital Board member, is the Principal/Owner of Gridley Country Ford, located at State Hwy 99 and Spruce Street, in Gridley, CA.
Mr. Engen is a 35 year veteran of Gridley Country Ford, having worked there since March 1977, holding various management positions, until he became the owner/dealer in August 2001. He has served on many professional and advisory committees within the automotive industry, including sales, finance and dealer groups. Curt is the recipient of the prestigious, Ford Motor Company’s President’s Award, nine years consecutively.
Mr. Engen has been very involved in the surrounding communities, sponsoring youth groups in occupational, academic, and sporting activities. He is also a longtime supporter of the Butte County Fair’s Jr. Livestock auction and youth animal husbandry education.
Jatinder S. Kullar
Jatinder S. Kullar, Orchard Hospital Board member, has been a lifelong resident of the Gridley-Biggs-Live Oak area. He was born in Gridley at Biggs-Gridley Memorial Hospital (now Orchard Hospital). Mr. Kullar received his B.S. in Agricultural and Managerial Economics from University of California, Davis (2000), and a MBA from California State University, Chico (2003). Mr. Kullar currently is a Vice President with Rabobank, NA focusing on developing the bank’s agricultural, commercial, and residential portfolios. Prior to Rabobank, Mr. Kullar worked as a Loan Officer for the Farm Service Agency, a branch of the United States Department of Agriculture. He is also involved in his family’s farming and real estate business serving as the Controller for Kullar Farms, Sunrise Kiwi Packing, and Kullar Properties, LLC.Mr. Kullar is an avid basketball fan and coaches the boys’ basketball teams at Manzanita Elementary School.
Benjamin K. TaylorBenjamin K. Taylor, Orchard Hospital Board member, is a Principal at Taylor Accountancy Corporation, a Gridley-based Certified Public Accounting and consulting firm. Mr. Taylor has over 15 years of accounting, financial analysis, budgeting, and business management experience.Mr. Taylor has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from California State University, Chico, and a Master of Science degree in Accounting from California State University, Sacramento.A Gridley native, Mr. Taylor is also a Board member of the Gridley Education Foundation and active with youth sports. Mr. Taylor and his wife Stephanie have three young children.