Ignazio Vella

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Ignazio A. "Ig" Vella
Sonoma County supervisor
In office
1964[1] – 1975[1]
Personal details
BornJuly 13, 1928[2]
Sonoma, California[1]
DiedJune 9, 2011[2]
Sonoma, California[3]
Spouse(s)Sally (Wright) Vella[2]
ChildrenDitty Vella, Chickie Vella, Thomas William Vella[2]
ResidenceSonoma, California[1]
Alma materSanta Clara University[2]
ProfessionCheese maker and businessman
Military service
Service/branchAir Force Reserve[2]
RankSecond Lieutenant[1]

Ignazio A. "Ig" Vella (July 13, 1928 – June 9, 2011) was an American businessman and cheese maker who served on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors.


Vella was born on July 13, 1928, to Gaetano "Tom" Vella and Zolita (Clerici) Vella of Sonoma, California.[2]

He attended Sonoma Valley High School,[1] the San Rafael Military Academy, and Air Force Officer Candidate School. In 1950, he graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University with a bachelor's degree in history.[2] His father owned the Vella Cheese Company, Inc. in California and the Rogue Creamery in Oregon, which he turned over to his children.[4] Vella took control of both companies and was their general manager and chief executive officer. He sold Rogue Creamery in 2002.

Vella served three terms (twelve years) on the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, where he represented the First District.[1] He was also on the Sonoma City Planning Commission and manager of the Sonoma County Fair. During the 1970s, he was president of the Association of Bay Area Governments.[3]

In 2006, Vella was honored by the City of Sonoma, which named the West Napa Street bridge over Sonoma Creek after him.[1] In the same year, the American Cheese Society recognized Vella with a Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to artisan cheese.[2]

After a prolonged illness, Vella died at his home in Sonoma, aged 83.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lynch, Bill; David Bolling (June 10, 2011). "Native son Ig Vella passes on". Sonoma News. Archived from the original on June 15, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Ignazio A. Vella". Oregon Mail Tribune. June 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Le Baron, Gaye; Irwin, Heather (June 14, 2011). "Services for Ig Vella announced". Santa Rosa Press-Democrat. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
  4. ^ "Our Company". Vella Cheese Company. Archived from the original on August 11, 2011. Retrieved June 15, 2011.
    - "History". Rogue Creamery. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2011.