LODI — Family members identified the driver involved in a single-vehicle collision on Saturday as 60-year-old Frank Benites of Lodi.

According to police, Benites was driving on Ham Lane near Oak Street at 2:42 p.m. when he lost consciousness and veered off the roadway. His car traveled through several front yards before colliding with a parked truck, police said.

On Tuesday, family members said Benites suffered a heart attack while driving and died later that day.

— Wes Bowers

Micke Grove Zoological Society names new executive director

STOCKTON — The Micke Grove Zoological Society Board of Directors On Tuesday announced the appointment of Dr. Maria Garcia-Sheets as executive director.

Garcia-Sheets will lead the society to ensure a high level of organizational management and strategic planning with the goal of supporting the Micke Grove Zoo. She will continue to build community awareness of the society, as well as lead the financial and volunteer efforts for the projects and community education programs that support Micke Grove Zoo.

“It is my pleasure and honor to use my advocacy, development and communication skills to build programs and develop community engagement for Micke Grove Zoological Society,” she said in a media statement. “As executive director, I look forward to providing vision that will help make our zoo a place that all community members will not only enjoy, but also be an example of what collaborative leadership can shape and build.”

A lifelong resident of San Joaquin County, she most recently she served as director of the MESA Program on the University of the Pacific campus.

Garcia-Sheets will work out of the society’s new offices at 1150 W. Robinhood Drive, Suite 11A in Stockton. For more information, email mgzs@mgzs.org or call 209-623-4921.

— Wes Bowers

Lustre-Cal to merge with online sign distributor Norwest Ventures

LODI — Lustre-Cal Corporation, a Lodi-based manufacturing company, announced Monday that Norwest Ventures has assumed ownership of the business.

Norwest Ventures is a Bay Area-based venture capital firm that owns Smartsign, an online label and sign retailer that is Lustre-Cal’s largest customer.

Joe and Clydene Hohenrieder, who have owned Lustre-Cal since 1992, will remain as investors. Heather Chartrand, who has been with Lustre-Cal for 20 years and has been CEO/COO since 2014, will stay on as president.

Lustre-Cal will continue to focus on all areas of its existing business, supporting original equipment manufacturers worldwide with custom labels, nameplates, panel overlays, membrane switches, and property ID labels, while growing into new areas.

The company will be expanding its operation as well, including hiring additional associates.

Earlier this year, Lustre-Cal delivered Plexiglas airway boxes to Adventist Health Lodi Memorial to allow medical staff to care for COVID-19 patients without fear of contracting the virus.

— Wes Bowers

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