Dan Gonzales is the founder and owner of Fifth Sun, an apparel design and manufacturing company based in Chico, California. He earned his Civil Engineering degree from Chico State in 1986 and pursued a career as a licensed professional engineer.
After holding positions at Caltrans and North Star Engineering, he decided to follow his creative and entrepreneurial passions by starting Fifth Sun. He credits his success to persistence and an analytic, yet creative approach to problem solving. This powerful combination has propelled Fifth Sun from a humble garage-based outfit into a 22 year-old manufacturing and design powerhouse, producing and selling over 2 million garments per month to nearly every national chain in the United States, and employing more than 200 people.
Dan’s experience designing and marketing apparel to a variety of demographics and managing his creative and technical divisions has given him valuable insight into the working habits, lifestyles and trends of the complex millennial generation. As the most collaborative and inclusive generation of our time, these young adults expect the places they work and live to embrace the same idealism and values they hold so dear. Dan understands and shares a passion for building environments that take a more holistic approach to creating a sense of place and connection. This was his inspiration for the master plan at Meriam Park.
Always intrigued by the challenge and opportunities of land development, Gonzales seeks to create in Meriam Park a thriving, vibrant community that provides economic sustainability, social connection and healthy living for current and future generations of Chico.
Ken Grossman is the founder of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, established in 1980. He learned to homebrew from the father of a close friend. From an early age, he was enamored by the sights and smells of the fermenting jugs of bubbling beer, wine and sake. His first attempts at making beer were rudimentary at best, but this began a lifelong passion for the art of fermentation.
Originally from Southern California, Ken joined friends on a cycling trip down the North Coast of California, stopping in Chico to check out the university and visit some childhood friends who were going to school there. He fell in love with the town and the Northern California culture, and its been his home ever since.
In 1976, Ken opened his own store, The Home Brew Shop, and, soon after, began building a small brewery. His goal: to brew exceptional ales and lagers. An avid backpacker, Ken named the new company for his favorite hiking grounds—the Sierra Nevada Mountains. On November 15, 1980, he brewed the first batch of Pale Ale, the beer that helped to launch the American craft beer movement and changed the tastes of millions.
The brewery moved into a 100-barrel brewhouse on 20th Street in 1988 to meet its rapidly expanding production and distribution needs. Today the facility is a must-stop destination for tourists and self-described beer-geeks and features a taproom and restaurant, gift shop, guided tours, Beer Camp and "The Big Room", an on-site live-music venue that hosts a variety of acts including country, bluegrass, folk, rock, blues, and more. A second brewery was completed in Mills River, North Carolina in 2014. Under Ken's visionary stewardship Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has endured to become one of the premier craft breweries in the United States, earning a myriad of accolades, awards and fans for its beer and its environmental sustainability practices along the way.
Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., by Ken Grossman, 2013.
Wikipedia contributors. "Ken Grossman." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 9 Apr. 2016. Web. 13 Jun. 2016.