retirees Frenda Karneges, Ruben Arias, Rhonda Lake, Gary Perez
Retirees pictured l-r: Fredna Karneges, Ruben Arias, Rhonda Lake, Gary Perez

FOA's 2021 Retirees

Celebrating FOA's 2021 Retirees

FOA bids farewell to 65 wonderful employees with over 1,400 years of combined service to UC Davis!

We thank each retiree for their years of service, commitment and dedication to making the university the best it can be every day, especially during this last challenging year. We will miss them and wish them nothing but success and happiness in their future endeavors. Congratulations to the 2021 FOA retirees!

Ardie Dehghani | DCM, 26 Years


After graduating from the University of Oklahoma, Ardie worked at jobs as an engineering consultant and contractor, yet was unsure of what he wanted to do. In the meantime, he decided to work at UC Davis for a few months until he figured it out. More than two decades later, Ardie has retired from his position as the director of engineering and campus engineer, a testament to how much he loved working here.


Bill Starr | DCM, 20 Years 


Bill Starr, executive director and founder of Integrated Capital Planning at Design and Construction Management (DCM), retired after 20 years of service at UC Davis. Bill was first hired as an associate architect, and over the years he has worked at DCM as a senior project manager and associate director. 


Bill Varley | DCM, 20 Years 

Bill V

Bill Varley, electrical inspector and senior construction administrator, retired after 20 years. His career in the electrical industry spans 50 years, beginning in high school when he worked in electrical supply stores.



Carmela Perez | SCM, 15 Years

Carmela served at UC Davis for 15 years. For 1.5 of those years, she worked as a temporary employee and the other 13.5 years as a permanent employee working in AP/Travel as a Quality Assurance Processor.

“I like the people I work with and have made some good friends. I have also enjoyed my job processing Travel reports and learning a variety of different things in my department."

  •  Read what Carmela's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • Carmela is looking forward to retirement, being able to sleep in every morning, spending time with family and friends, and catching up on all the projects she was not able to do while working. Her real desire is to find a volunteer job helping others in her community as she did when her children were in school. She also plans to take advantage of using the community facilities in her gated community, another thing that she was not able to do while working.

Cynthia Hongola | DCM, 20 Years 


Cynthia Hongola served the university for a little over 20 years. She started at Facilities Management before her position merged with Design and Construction Management (DCM), where she assumed her final role as contracts analyst. 


Diane Frausto | HR, 9 Years 

Diane began her UC Davis journey in April 2012 as an extern in HR, giving 240 hours of her time to learn as much as possible in the Administration Department, Records, and Employee & Labor Relations. She was ultimately hired as a career employee on October 1, 2012, in the Records Department. Some of the very important work she performed was processing subpoenas as the Custodian of Records, processing the monthly service awards for all of UC Davis Health, and coordinating file reviews for employees and Managers/Supervisors.

"Diane consistently delivers exceptional customer service and care in supporting internal HR customers. Her determination to get things done is really inspirational. She is a model employee that often goes above and beyond what she is asked to perform."

  •  Read what Diane's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • In May 2017, through an HR reorganization, Diane transitioned from SSO Records to the HR Internal Operations and Facilities Management team. She assisted with many projects and initiatives related to building space management. Her facilities management expertise and understanding of resources helped to ensure each project was successful. She made many contributions to improve safety and security at HR's UC Davis Health location - Ticon III.  Additionally, Diane often volunteers her time to support efforts outside of her position such as the annual TGFS event and labor pool assignments.

     As she heads into retirement, Diane is looking forward to spending more time with her parents and other family members. Also, she has many projects around the house to complete and a few camping trips lined up.

Fredna Karneges | HR, 37 Years


Fredna Karneges served UC Davis for 37 years. For the last the 7 years she has managed the Disability Management Services Program (DMS) for both the Davis campus and UC Davis Health. In her position, she has worked with the university on how to best assist employees experiencing serious health conditions, who are in need of accommodations, to be able to remain working. The DMS mission is to ensure legal compliance with compassion.

“Out of all of my jobs, this has been the most interesting and most challenging. I love helping people and am very passionate about my work. Someone once named me the “duchess of disability management.” My career has been about the connections I have made with others. I want to hear their story, and I want to know what I can do to help them have a better experience at UC Davis. This is a big deal to wind down my career after so many years. It is going to be a big change, and I am going to miss the great people I have met along the way.”  --  Fredna Karneges

  • Read what Fredna's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • Fredna came to UC Davis in 1984 with a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling, when she was temporarily hired for a year to fill in for a position in the Vocational Rehabilitation Program, now known as Disability Management Services. Originally, she was hired to stay for a year, however as the workload increased, UC Davis hired her to work part-time, until 2007, when she became a full-time employee.

    Throughout her years at UC Davis, she has seen and been a part of the many changes the university has gone through, such as the merging of Human Resources between the UC Davis main campus and UC Davis Health back in 2014. She has also played an instrumental role in the development of Disability Management Services at UC Davis.

    “It has really grown a lot. Back in 1984, when I started there was only one counselor/coordinator, Norma Rappaport, who started the program in 1980, which covered the medical center and the campus. After I was hired, another counselor was hired in 1986 to work at the medical center. Since then, we have gradually grown over the years to become who we are now, with a staff of 10 covering the campus and health system."

    Fredna is looking forward to her retirement. She is extremely active and would like to go on more hikes and kayak trips. As well as this she is hoping to go on some road trips this summer and wants to resume traveling internationally with her husband in 2022. 

Jeff Barrett | AdminIT, 29 Years


Jeff Barrett worked at UC Davis for over 29 years. This year he retired as an information security analyst for AdminIT, a division that he helped to develop during his time here. He first started working for the university as a student, minding computer labs, helping students and faculty with technical questions, and even once putting out a fire. Throughout his time at UC Davis, he has held numerous jobs within the information technology field.

“At Davis, I really felt supported. I felt like people cared. I’ve always had excellent supervisors and colleagues. I have been incredibly fortunate. I have also been supported by them and pushed outside of my comfort zone, which is how you grow. When I wasn’t successful at first, folks were understanding and encouraging, and while a lot of physical things have changed at UC Davis, this is one of the things that has stayed the same.”  --  Jeff Barrett

  • Read what Jeff's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • Since 1989 he has put on many different hats, taking on different IT roles within the university such as working as a systems administrator, a web developer, a consultant, a teacher, a manager, and until this year the director for client and infrastructure services.

    Jeff 1

    “If I had to highlight something that stands out to me during my time here at UC Davis, it would be helping with the development of AdminIT. Historically, nearly every department in FOA had one or more people to help them with their technology needs. As technology has grown more complex and has become more and more vital, the distributed model was not sustainable, so AdminIT was created. Building on prior consolidation efforts, AdminIT was kind of the final piece where all of the IT folks, about 80 people, who had their own way of doing things and different personalities, had to mesh together as a coordinated team. We had to come up with shared standards. It was fantastic to be able to leverage so many different ideas and perspectives, but also terrifying.”

    While Jeff retired this year, his legacy won’t be forgotten, and he won’t forget the wonderful changes and memories he has experienced here. In terms of post-retirement plans, he definitely plans to do more hiking, backpacking and travel. He is also planning a kayak-camping trip with his kids for later this summer.

Kim Rhodes | FOA Business Partners, 39 Years


Kim Rhodes worked at UC Davis for 39 years, starting in 1982 as a budget coordinator. She held several roles including budget analyst and MSO. In 2000, she accepted the budget director position for the Office of Administration. In 2016 she took on the role of director of FOA Business Partners. In retirement, Kim plans on keeping very busy by visiting her grandbabies in Las Vegas, traveling with her husband and friends, volunteering in literacy programs, quilting, cooking and crafting.

"This was by far my most rewarding experience, being able to bring together a disparate group of folks and create a great team that supports the budget planning and business operations for FOA. I have loved working for the university and will miss the many friends and colleagues I have interacted with over the years. It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of something that is so much bigger than yourself. The university has provided many opportunities to advance myself as an individual and in my career. “  --  Kim Rhodes

Kurt Wengler | DCM, 20 Years


Kurt Wengler is a professional registered engineer who began his 20-year career at UC Davis as a consultant, designing UC Davis projects. After 10 years of consultant work, he officially began employment with the university as a project manager, managing numerous projects at Design and Construction Management (DCM). Over the past four years, he served as associate director of engineering project management.

Mary Ramos | DCM, 21 Years


Mary Ramos held a variety of positions at Design and Construction Management (DCM) over the years, but retired as director of business operations. Throughout her 21 years at UC Davis, she loved seeing new classrooms, dining halls, residence halls and other buildings be erected by DCM as well as mentoring others on advancement within the university.

Rhonda Lake | DCM, 8 Years 


Rhonda Lake began her UC Davis career in October 2012 as an associate director in Design and Construction Management’s Real Estate Services. As director of transactions and portfolio management, she enjoyed working with so many dedicated and talented UC Davis colleagues.


Ruben Arias | Police Department, 24 Years


Ruben Arias formally retired from UC Davis on July 1 after joining the UC Davis Police Department in 1996. Ruben's retirement ends 37 years of full-time law enforcement in Yolo County. 

“I loved working at UC Davis because of all the diversity I came across meeting people.”  --  Ruben Arias


  • Read what Ruben's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • Ruben worked for the Yolo Sheriff's Office as a reserve deputy in eastern Yolo county and put himself through an Extended Police Academy (Northern California Criminal Justice Center 1982-1983). 

    In 1983 he was hired to work in the Woodland Police Department. He worked in patrol and graduated from CHP Motor School. He also worked in investigations and transportation and was a field training officer. Ruben received the 10851 CVC pin twice while at Woodland Police Department. 

    Ruben then went to UC Davis Police Department in 1996. He worked in patrol, was a range instructor, ran the UC Davis Football Athletic Security Division for five years, and was a field training officer. 

    He hopes to spend time with his granddaughter and travel with his wife.

Sarah Coutee-Garcia | Police Department, 25 Years


Sarah Coutee-Garcia retired after 25.5 years with the UC Davis Police Department as a 911 public safety dispatcher. When she started with UC Davis PD in 1996, she says it was like the Stone Age compared to today’s technology.

“Despite working 12-hour shifts on a job that is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and working in a room that has no windows, I have enjoyed serving the UC Davis and UC Davis Medical Center community. Being able to send help when it was needed or just being that listening ear on the phone when someone just wanted to talk has been a rewarding experience.”  --  Sarah Coutee-Garcia

  • Read what Sarah's looking forward to in retirement >>
  • Sarah recalls the early days of her career - you had to be a fast writer and put all the information on a simple card while time stamping everything the officers did or said. But now that information is quickly typed in a computer-automated dispatching (CAD) system that has lots of extra bells and whistles. Also, wireless 911 phone calls were very rare 25 years ago and now they dominate the 911 system. Her favorite 911 calls were those that had misdialed and had no emergency.  

    She also has enjoyed making so many phone friends that she has never met in person, but only knew them by their voice. As for her Police and Fire department coworkers, she says that they are truly an asset to UC Davis and that she is proud to call them her family.

    “I have enjoyed our time together and all the memories we made. To my fellow dispatchers, keep smiling with your voice, be the calm in the middle of turmoil and always take pride in the valuable work you do.”

     Her next adventure in life will be to travel (maybe do some missionary work), enjoy her family without work interruptions and just enjoy her daily blessings no matter how big or small!

Shirley German | HR, 9 Years 

After 9 years Shirley German is retiring as a lactation consultant with the UC Davis Lactation Support Program (LSP). Her immediate retirement goal is to spend some much-anticipated time with various family members (who were dearly missed during these past many months of separation) and to direct her passions towards new, and as yet, unknown adventures.

“I want to thank the LSP members I have had the good fortune to work with in my nine years at UC Davis. Your persistence, dedication and grace to breastfeed while working or going to school (and through a global pandemic!) has been inspiring. I have learned so much from all of you. I will miss you, and the beautiful persons you care for, enormously.”  --  Shirley German

Below are all of the employees who are retiring this year arranged by "Years of Service."

Also Retiring in 2021... Department  Years of Service
Vincent Castillo Supply Chain Management 40 years 
Mary Burke Arboretum and Public Garden 40 years
Juan Ramirez Facilities Management 38 years
Michael Clearwater Facilities Management 35 years
Joel Hildinger Transportation Services 32 years
Darryl Heathington Arboretum and Public Garden 32 years
Matt Forrest Arboretum and Public Garden 32 years
Steven Gutierrez Human Resources 30 years
Gary Perez Arboretum and Public Garden 30 years
James D Thrash Facilities Management 30 years
Joseph Padilla  Supply Chain Management 29 years
Marilyn Parker  Human Resources 29 years
Bruce Ferguson Facilities Management 27 years
David Blizard AdminIT 26 years
Ke-Fang Feng AdminIT 25 years
Mitchell Roath Facilities Management 25 years
Javier Villegas Facilities Management 25 years
Monica Castillo Human Resources 25 years
Alan Mazzoleni Transportation Services 24 years
Christopher Voss Facilities Management 24 years
Phillip L. Lacey Supply Chain Management 23 years
Robert Jahn Supply Chain Management 22 years
Henry Gonzales Arboretum and Public Garden 22 years
Mike Lemaire Transportation Services 21 years
Tina Dossa Safety Services  21 years
Steve Smith Facilities Management 21 years
Phillip Lee Sevall Facilities Management 21 years
Willie Hernandez Arboretum and Public Garden 20 years
Jesse Pedroza Facilities Management 20 years
Didar Khalsa Human Resources  20 years
John Dees Facilities Management 20 years
 Paul Duffy Police Department 19 years
George Stone Facilities Management 19 years
Michael Bowens Facilities Management 18 years
Lucien Bastiaans Facilities Management 17 years
Janette Manuel Human Resources  16 years
Gisela Burk Finance 15 years
John Kramer Facilities Management 15 years
Melchor Munar Facilities Management 15 years
Julie Quigley Supply Chain Management 14 years
Walter Watt Police Department 14 years
Norman Lemay Facilities Management 14 years
Robert Wachter Safety Services 14 years
David Ernst Facilities Management 14 years
Jim Patterson Safety Services 13 years
David Halk Facilities Management 13 years
Robert Glesener Facilities Management 13 years
Clayton Carder Facilities Management 10 years
Steven Weisler Business Intelligence 5 years
Mark Parisius Police Department 5 years


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