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Our Experts

Anthony Dyer, Beer & Spirits

Anthony Dyer started his career at Raley’s in 1999 as a courtesy clerk bagging customers’ groceries. Since that time, he has advanced from store management to Raley’s expert on beer and spirits. As his love for food and beverage grew, Anthony developed a strong passion for craft beer. As the beer buyer, Anthony aims to make Raley’s an industry leader in craft beer.

Anthony completed his bachelor’s degree in economics from Sacramento State University and completed a master’s degree in economics from UC Santa Barbara. He is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server and a Wine and Spirits Education Trust-Wine and Spirits Expert Level 2. He continues to grow his beer knowledge, judging for the California State Fair Beer Competition and working towards becoming a certified cicerone.

Elias Lara, Bakery

Elias Lara began his bakery career over 30 years ago when he moved to the United States from Mexico. After working with several independent artisan bakeries, he joined the Raley’s team in 1990 and quickly moved up in the ranks, starting as a courtesy clerk, then holding positions as baker, cake decorator, bakery trainer, food service supervisor, and most recently, senior category and Raley’s bakery production plant manager. Elias is married to his wife, Maria, and together they have four children. At their wedding, Elias baked and decorated their seven-tier wedding cake from local ingredients at a shop in the state of Michoacán, Mexico.

Curtis Mann, Wine and Spirits

Curtis Mann is a veteran of the California wine industry, with experience in hospitality, direct-to-consumer sales, and wine marketing. As the beverage buyer for Raley’s, he is responsible for all beverage and alcohol sales in California and Nevada. Mann has worked to improve Raley’s wine selection, making inroads into classic regions of the wine world as well as eclectic offerings from California, Oregon and Washington. Under his leadership, the chain has hired in-store wine stewards who help customers understand the exciting but complex world of wine through weekly educational tastings.

Curtis has completed the prestigious Wine and Spirits Education Trust diploma and is currently enrolled in the Masters of Wine program as a second year student. He is also a wine judge at the California State and Calaveras County Fairs and continues to educate consumers through frequent appearances on Good Day Sacramento.

Evelyn Miliate, Corporate Chef

Evelyn Miliate brings a wealth of experience to her role in crafting and creating a range of products for the stores—from complete holiday dinners to award-winning ready-to-go meal solutions—with the goal of bringing gourmet cooking to the everyday kitchen table. A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Evelyn moved to Sacramento in 1990 after working in Philadelphia-area restaurants. In Sacramento, she served as a chef at a catering company, a European bakery and two popular restaurants before joining Raley’s in 1998.

Michael Schutt, Produce

Michael Schutt’s passion for produce has been evident since beginning his career with Raley’s back in 1986. He has worked as a produce clerk, produce manager, produce quality control and currently as a produce buyer. With a special interest in organics, Michael pioneered Raley’s program in the 1990s. As a produce buyer, his top measure for success is flavor, explaining, “That’s what the customer will remember and what will bring them back.”

Becca Whitman, Community Relations,
Raley’s Food For Families Executive Director

Becca Whitman has built her career on creating partnerships. She has 16 years of experience in sports management, working both for professional and collegiate organizations. Prior to joining Raley’s, she worked with The Child Abuse Prevention Center. Her tenure as the Golden Baseball League’s first female general manager, along with growing revenue at Sacramento State Athletics and working for a non-profit, have all prepared Becca to help further the Purposeful Giving platform for Raley’s and to continue the legacy of Food for Families.

A proud graduate of Chico State, Becca holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational communication and a master’s degree in communication. Becca and her husband, Chris, have two young boys. It is their health and well-being that motivates Becca to make healthy choices for her family and create opportunities for others to enjoy lives full of health and happiness.

Sonya Frausto, Pharmacy

Sonya Frausto started her career at Raley’s in 2017 as the pharmacy care manager. Sonya developed her community pharmacy clinical and operational expertise as a professor of pharmacy at a Cal NorthState School and as a district manager. She is active within the California Pharmacist Association as associate editor and a leadership coordinator. Sonya graduated from the University of Southern California with a doctorate of pharmacy and a master’s degree in gerontology. She has focused her career to support, educate and mentor pharmacists to practice at their highest level to improve the health of our community.