Meet Your 2020 Executive Insight Panelists

Ben Gumpert is the President & Chief Operating Officer of Sacramento Republic FC. In his role, Ben oversees the full range of Republic FC’s operations and leads the effort to bring MLS to Sacramento under the direction of ownership, including oversight of all business and soccer operations for the club since 2017 as well as a focus on MLS operations and new stadium development. Earlier this year, Ben was recognized by Sports Business Journal and selected for its annual 40 Under 40 list spotlighting top leaders in the sports industry. 

Previously, Gumpert was the Chief Marketing Officer for the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center and played a key executive role in the design and construction of the new downtown arena as well as the new Kings brand.  His responsibilities included leading the organization’s efforts in marketing, creative, strategy, analytics, communications, digital, and community impact. 

 A native of Sacramento, Gumpert graduated from UCLA with a degree in Business-Economics and holds an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Gumpert and his wife, Marisa, live in Sacramento with their two daughters, Zoe and Amelia.  He serves on the board of KVIE, the Board of Trustees for Sacramento Country Day School and is a volunteer soccer coach for Sierra Oaks Soccer Club.

Gina Dokko is a Professor at the University of California, Davis. Her research focuses on the consequences of careers and job mobility for individuals and organizations, including effects on innovation, learning, performance, and social capital. Professor Dokko holds a Ph.D. in Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. of Industrial Administration from Carnegie Mellon GSIA, and a B.S. of Economics also from the Wharton School.  Prior to her doctoral studies, she held various positions in marketing and strategy at firms such as 3M and American Express. 

Lorena Martinez is a proud native of Michoacan, Mexico. She came to Watsonville, California at the age of 12 and lived there with her family until she moved to Sacramento to attend college. Lorena obtained a degree of Business Administration -Accountancy from California State University, Sacramento.  After working a few years in Silicon Valley at one of the big four public accounting firms, PircewaterhouseCoopers, she decided to make a career and life changing move towards working on her true passion as a hairstylist.

Lorena is a co-founder of The Colour Bar Salon, one of Sacramento’s fastest growing and highly rated salons. Founded in 2010, she has taken the company from a single chair salon suite to two locations and her salon has been rated “Best Place to Get Your Hair Done” for five consecutive years (2015-2019) and “Best Place to Get Pampered” in 2019 by Sacramento News & Review. She has been the recipient of three distinguished business awards: 2018 Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Latina Rising Estrella Award, 2019 Sacramento Business Journal Women Who Mean Business Award and 2019 Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40 award.  Lorena is a strong believer and supporter of following your passion and doing what you love.

Art Pimentel is the President of Woodland Community College. Art has over 16 years of experience in higher education. His experience includes leadership of student and instructional services, public policy, fiscal management, marketing, community outreach, enrollment management, facilities management, government relations as well as institutional and strategic planning. 

In addition to his career in higher education, Art has held several elected and regional leadership positions. He was elected to the Woodland City Council and served from 2004-2008, elected Mayor of Woodland in 2008-2012, and served on the Woodland Joint Unified School District Board of Trustees in 2014. Art also served as the Chairman for the Yolo County Transportation District, Yolo-Solano Air Quality District, and the Cleaner Air Partnership of Sacramento. 

Gina N. Lujan Armstrong is the current CEO at Hackerlab and SBDC Regional Finance Advisor. Gina is a Social Entrepreneur, focusing on building community, business development, innovation, strategic planning and regional economic development at Hacker Lab. Gina possesses 21 years of technology experience and 27 years in business. 

She also serves as as SBDC Finance Advisor for Norcal SBDC, offering FREE advising, workshops and funding assistance to Northern California small businesses. SBDC Norcal is currently assisting small businesses navigate through COVID-19 with financial guidance through the SBA for PPP and EIDL loans. 

Laurie Harting is the President & CEO for the Greater Sacramento Division, Dignity Health. Ms. Harting has 37 years of health care leadership experience, including all aspects of hospital operations, strategic planning, board and physician relations, community outreach, and program development. She currently oversees operations for Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, Mercy San Juan Medical Center in Carmichael, Methodist Hospital of Sacramento, Mercy Hospital of Folsom, Woodland Memorial Hospital, and Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital in Grass Valley. Altogether, Ms. Harting is responsible for more than 8,000 employees and 600 physicians throughout Dignity Health's Greater Sacramento Service Area, with $2.9 billion in net revenue. 

Ms. Harting earned her registered nurse degree from Riverside Community College and her bachelor of health science degree from the University of Redlands. She also holds a masters of business administration from University of Redlands and a certificate of global leadership in health care from the University of Michigan, Ross School of Business. She currently serves as Chair of the Greater Sacramento Economic Council Board of Directors, and is a member of Western Health Advantage and Woodland Healthcare Community Boards. 

Kimberly Bleichner-Jones is an Executive Director at UC Davis Medical Center. She is responsible for providing strategic direction, executive level leadership, and general management for departments and programs including: Respiratory Therapy, Pulmonary Services Lab, Arterial Blood Gas Lab, Patient Transport, Lift Team, Patient Flow Management Center, Bed Planning, Staffing Office, Discharge Team, Transfer Center, Mental Health Workers, Special Duty Caregivers, Telesitters, Medical Interpreting Services, Clinical Engineering, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Environmental Services, Workers Compensation, Employee Health Services, Workplace Violence Unit, and Safe Patient Handling. She also serves as Administrator on Duty for the hospital.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Science in organizational behavior and leadership from University of San Francisco, and her Master of Business Administration from Wayne State College. Kimberly is board certified in healthcare management and is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Kimberly is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and California Association of Healthcare Leaders (CAHL). She currently serves on the board of directors for California Association of Healthcare Leaders holding the roles of Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, and Executive and Nominating Committee member. Kimberly also serves on the Placer County Economic Development Board. She participated in the 2017 Leadership Sacramento Program through Sacramento Metro Chamber, and is a member of Women United, United Way – California Capital Region.

Rob Archie opened Pangaea Bier Cafe in 2018 on a quiet corner in Curtis Park. Over the years it evolved from a small cafe, serving sandwiches and coffee, into one of Sacramento’s original craft beer joints. In 2018 Rob partnered with his friend Peter Hoey to open to Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse in downtown Sacramento. Since opening Urban Roots has earned top awards in beer competitions across the country and has been recognized as one of Sacramento's best new restaurants. Rob's most recent venture, BAWK! Fried Chicken, opened in late 2019 on R St. Each restaurant has its own concept but they're all inspired by Rob's desire to create spaces where people from all walks of life can go to kick back, eat, drink, and have a good time.  

Mark Noriega is a Managing Director for the State of California state government client in Accenture’s U.S. Public Service Industry Group and is also the Sacramento Office Managing Director. Mark Noriega joined Accenture in December 2013. He has worked with State of California public sector clients for over 25 years in various sales leadership and business development roles. Previous employment included roles at Cisco Systems and Deloitte Consulting pursuing and closing large-scale systems integration and infrastructure projects to the State of California that have enhanced the delivery of government services to its constituents. Mark has also served on the board of the Sacramento Children's Home for over fourteen years in various leadership roles. This non-profit organization provides various services to children and families that help prevent and break the cycle of child abuse. Mark graduated from the University of San Francisco with a B.S. degree in Organizational Behavior & Leadership. During his free time, Mark enjoys spending time with his family and playing the bass with his band called Clean Slate.

Kierstan DeLong is an Executive Vice President with Edelman, the world’s largest public relations firm. She is the General Manager of Edelman’s Sacramento office, where her team leads fully-integrated public relations and public affairs programs for clients including SMUD, Kaiser Permanente, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, California Department of Food & Agriculture’s CalCannabis division and the California Earthquake Authority. 

Kierstan is especially skilled at defining the core story of an organization and driving a meaningful dialogue around its services, thought leadership and social purpose. Prior to joining Edelman, Kierstan worked for VSP and Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide. She is a graduate of the University of California and a proud member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber board of directors. Kierstan is also the past board chair for Lilliput Families, northern California’s largest nonprofit foster, adoption and kinship care organization working to disrupt the multi-generational cycle of abuse and neglect, to find permanent, loving homes for children. 

Nancy Bui-Thompson was first elected to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) Board of Directors in November 2008 to represent the 215,000 constituents of Ward 2, which includes the communities of Folsom, Rancho Cordova, Gold River, Rancho Murieta, Galt, Wilton and Elk Grove. She is currently serving her third term and was elected Board Vice President for 2020.

For over 17 years, Bui-Thompson has served as a technology and management professional who has worked with state and local government agencies as well as energy and health-care organizations. She currently is the Director of Transition & Integration at Health Net. Health Net is a subsidiary of Centene Corporation. Centene is #51 on the Fortune 500 with over $48.4 billion in revenues, 33,700 employees and serves over 12.2 million members. Prior to Health Net, she served as a Director at Public Consulting Group in their Technology practice. Prior to PCG, she was a consultant for two of the world's largest and best-known consulting companies – Accenture and Deloitte.

Bui-Thompson has represented SMUD on both the national and international stage. She served as a main stage speaker at Energy Thought Summit (ERS) – ETS2019, ETS2018 and ETS207 in Austin, Texas. She served as Chair of ETS2019. Bui-Thompson has been a featured session speaker at DistribuTech, the world’s largest Distribution technology conference with over 12,000 attendees and was the keynote speaker at SpaceTime Insight’s Annual Users Convening.