Evaristo “Evert” Fernandez is a first-generation Sonoma County Native, born and raised in Sebastopol. His father Herculano, was a Mexican immigrant who came to California in the 1940’s to work in the agricultural fields as part of the Bracero Program. Laboring as a seasonal farm worker, Herculano picked a variety of crops in different parts of the state eventually arriving at the apple orchards and dairy farms of Sebastopol. He was granted legal status in 1956 and was able to bring Evert’s mother and three older brothers from Mexico. Evert was born in 1960 and the family grew to include another brother and sister. The family lived on an apple farm off Pleasant Hill Road where Evert learned the value of hard work, where his father continued to work as foreman for 30 years.
Evert attended Twin Hills Grammar School and went on to graduate from Analy High School in 1978. During his senior year, Evert was elected Analy’s first Latino Student Body President. Determined to go to college, he earned scholarships and saved money from working at the apple farm and clerking at Fiesta Pharmacy. Evert demonstrated entrepreneurial skills at a young age and at 16, he created computer classes for youth. This helped pay his way to graduate from Santa Rosa Junior College and Sacramento State. He earned a Bachelors of Science degree in business and made the Dean's Honor List at both schools.
After graduating in 1982, Evert returned to Sonoma County. His first job out of college was with Optical Coating Laboratory, Inc. (OCLI) in Santa Rosa. There he met Yvonne, his wife of 32 years and counting. In 1985, OCLI downsized during an economic contraction and Evert found himself out of a job. He took this as an opportunity to start his own business as an independent Computer Consultant. Evert enjoyed the freedom of self-employment and in 1990, transitioned his career to a licensed Financial Advisor and Insurance Broker. Over the years, he has developed his independent practice working with a multitude of clients, still with him today.
In 2001, Evert joined the non-profit, Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a Bilingual Business Advisor/Instructor. The Napa-Sonoma SBDC is an organization providing expert, no-cost advising and low cost workshops in English and Spanish to guide small businesses to success and accomplishment. In the last three years, Evert has passionately helped various businesses, mostly in Sebastopol and West County, through the fires, floods, power outages and those currently affected by COVID-19. He assists clients with sourcing and applying for funding and grants as well as identifying informational resources for disaster assistance recovery. They came to know him as sort of a “First Responder for Economic Injury.”
Evert and Yvonne raised two daughters, Simone and Adriana (Adri), here in Sebastopol. Both girls attended local schools and walked the same halls at Analy as their dad. As involved parents, Evert and Yvonne rarely missed a school function or sporting event. Evert was a CYO girls basketball coach and Yvonne was an active team mom for the Analy Lady Tigers basketball program. Both girls went on to graduate from college marking a milestone in their proud parent’s lives.
Evert and Yvonne live in Sebastopol in the home they’ve owned for over 20 years. When not working, Evert can be found tending his garden, walking into town and supporting local businesses, and biking throughout the region.
- Founding member Sonoma County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - 1988
- Leadership Santa Rosa(LSR) Class X 1994
- Member Active 20-30 International Organization, serving underprivileged and at-risk youth in local communities. Santa Rosa #50 Chapter - 1988 to 2000
Along with holding multiple chair and officer positions in the local Club, including President, Evert also served on the National Board and was honored to hold the highest office in the organization as International President from 1999 to 2000.
Life Member - Active 20-30 International
Past Active, Life Member - Santa Rosa Club #50
Honorary, Life Member - Sebastopol Club #63
Honorary, Life Member - San Jose, Costa Rica Club #532
- Economic Development Specialist - Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce
Directing economic strategies and actions - 2003 to 2005
- Board - Sebastopol Community Development Agency - 2006 to 2010
Chairman - 2009 to 2010
- Member of the Sebastopol Business Outreach Committee - 2009 to 2015
- Sebastopol Planning Commissioner - 2011 to present