Supervisor Michael Ranalli is a wine grape grower and has lived in El Dorado County, and in the Fourth District that he now proudly represents, for over 30 years. Michael and his wife Colleen have been married for 20 years and live in Lotus where they own and operate Ranalli Vineyards.
The youngest of four children, Michael is originally from a Western Pennsylvania steel town and came to California with a strong blue-collar work ethic. Hired by Intel Corporation in the late 1970s, Michael spent more than two decades at Intel in engineering, management and executive leadership with success across multiple continents, cultures, and languages.
Michael’s journey to the Board of Supervisors began with the creation of a business plan for his vineyard. He undertook an extensive study of the historic role of agriculture in the County, the evolution of agricultural market segments, trends, statistics and regulations. He was particularly struck by the steep and steady decline of the timber industry and looked for emerging economic opportunities that could replace that lost business. With this in mind, he especially focused on the role of grape-growing in the County’s agricultural economy.
The realization that local farmers and ranchers could not make a viable living in their own community hit Michael hard. It seemed the only people farming in El Dorado County were either families with generations of family tradition or people who had come to farming after some other successful business, hence "the gentleman farmer." Commenting on his vineyard business plan, his brother quipped "well, that’s a nice hobby."
During his research, he began to understand the relationship of different sectors of agriculture as well as the interplay of many other facets of El Dorado County, such as roads, jobs, law enforcement, education and health services. He came to realize that it is important to study and understand how the multitude of regulations affect all segments of our economy and each other.
Michael began attending Agriculture Commission meetings, Planning Commission meetings, County Budget hearings and Board of Supervisors meetings to educate himself on the policies and processes that affect the economic viability of our County. He discovered that his experience was very common. At every opportunity, citizens would speak about their devastating personal experiences that resulted from trying to accomplish reasonable projects within the County.
Michael’s voluntary attendance at various County meetings as an interested citizen in 2010 coincided with the mandatory five-year review of the County’s 2004 General Plan. In 2011, he began reading and researching the history of prior economic plans for the County and the formation of various committees. He became increasingly familiar with numerous aspects of the County’s General Plan, Zoning Ordinance and the interdependency with economic development. He and others also realized the need to remove significant regulatory barriers to economic stability and the difficulty El Dorado County has in attracting high tech companies with greater revenues, higher paying management, scientific and production line jobs.
Prompted by the fact that the County’s General Plan was not in compliance with state law and that regulations and excessive fees were stagnating the local economy, Michael actively participated in the Community and Economic Development Advisory Committee (CEDAC) meetings. He became the coordinator for the CEDAC led Regulatory Reform efforts and was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to CEDAC in 2012. CEDAC is an eleven member committee, advisory to the Board of Supervisors, which as prescribed by the Economic Element of the General Plan, is made up of business and industry representatives. His 22 years with Intel Corporation provided an ideal background to serve on a committee that advises our County on economic issues.
Even though his work with CEDAC was time consuming, Michael found that it was important to engage with other associations and organizations. He was asked to speak about regulatory issues within the General Plan at the Taxpayers Association of El Dorado County in 2011. He became a member of the Taxpayers Association in 2012, and was voted to their board in 2014. He joined El Dorado Wine Grape Growers Association in 2010, became a member of their marketing committee in 2011, and became a board member in 2013. He joined the Divide Chamber of Commerce in 2012 and became a board member in 2013. In 2013 he became a member of the El Dorado County Farm Bureau.
Elected to the Fourth Supervisorial District on November 4, 2014, Supervisor Michael Ranalli serves on the following Board appointed Committees and Commissions: