The Board of Directors at St.Luke’s


Jesse Hernandez

Position: President
Tenure: October 2015
Business: Morris Wholesale Nursery
Education: B.S. Plant Science – Ornamental Horticulture, Fresno State University, 1989 Research internship for Westvaco in South Carolina, 1990 Pesticide Certified Trainer Past President, California Nurserymen Association, Yosemite Chapter, 2001

Background: Jesse has been involved in the nursery industry since 1984.  What started out as a part-time summer job as a junior in high school at Escalon High, became a passion over the years to come.  A graduate of Modesto Junior College, and continuing to Fresno State University.  After 3 years of managing Monterey Bay Nursery in Watsonville CA, he returned to manage Morris Wholesale Nursery in 1994 before purchasing it in 2006.  He and his wife, Kathy have a daughter, Camila.



Michael Hicks

Position: Treasurer/CFO
Tenure: August 2019
Business: Owner, Michael Hicks, CPA

Education: BS Business Administration with a concentration in accounting, CSU Stanislaus, 2005, Manga Cum Laude; MS in Taxation, Golden Gate University, 2019; Certified Public Accountant

Background: Michael lives and takes pride in his hometown of Modesto.  He’s worked in the accounting industry for the past 15 years at various CPA firms in the central valley.  In 2018 he created his own firm where he caters to his client’s business and tax needs.  Michael and his wife Anna have four children.  His other passions include his Catholic faith, hiking, and backpacking.


Ralph Curtis

Position: Board Member

Business: Curtis Legal Group, A Professional Law Corporation

Education:  Bachelor of Arts, St. Mary’s College, Magne Cum Laude;  He earned his law degress at the University of California, Davis School of Law in 1974. He continued his legal education in 2006 at Pepperdine University with training in Mediation.

Background:  Mr. Curtis has volunteered his time as a Past-President of the Ceres Rotary Club. He has severed as a board member of Stanislaus Economic Development and Workforce Alliance, Salvation Army Advisory Board, Modesto Chamber of Commerce, County Health Services Agency, and was a Past Chairman for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church Parish Council. 


Edwin Rizo

Position: Board Member
Business: Founder Rizo Lopez Foods Inc
Education: Bachelors in Animal Science UC Davis 1982, Master’s Cornell University 1984

Background: Edwin is a native from Nicaragua , he has been in Modesto since 1986. He founded Rizo Lopez Foods Inc. in 1990. He runs Rizo Lopez Foods, Inc with his brother Ivan. They have combined their management and technical expertise to create a solid, well-run company with an outstanding line of products. Edwin and his wife Erika have 5 daughters.



Ross Lee

Position: Legal Counsel
Tenure: October 2012
Business: Ross W. Lee, Inc. Law Firm
Education: BS, Finance, CSU Stanislaus 1989, Summa Cum Laude JD, University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law 1992, with Great Distinction

Background: Born in Modesto, and raised on a dairy and almond farm.  1980 graduate of Modesto High School.  Parishioner at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, involved as Eucharistic minister, Lector, and Catechist.  Past President of Modesto Rotary, nine years on the Board of Community Hospice.

Law practice is business, corporate, and transactional practice with emphasis in agricultural clients. Married to Gina since 1988, two college-aged daughters, Jenna Rose at Cal Poly SLO, Caroline at Modesto Junior College. He enjoys farming, travel, ministry, reading, and the San Francisco Giants.