Division Organization

Environmental Health Director Nilsa Gonzalez  Deputy Director, Environmental Health Nilsa Gonzalez

Nilsa Gonzalez was appointed the Director of the Environmental Health Division on January 1, 2014 and has worked in the field of Environmental Health, serving Tulare County since 2002. Nilsa began her career as a trainee in 2002 until obtaining her REHS and promoting to the REHS II position.  She primarily worked in the Surveillance Program (Food) and became a Lead Inspector in 2009 serving in both positions for multiple years.  In 2012 she was promoted to the Supervisory position of the Food Program where she worked until 2014 when she was promoted to the Director of Environmental Health Division.   Nilsa currently serves on the Tulare County Health Advisory Board, PHEP Advisory group and the Drought Task Force. She is also a member of CCDEH and CEHA and has recently participated in UC Davis Leadership Development Program.   In 2015 Nilsa was named as a Latinas in Community Health Honoree.  Nilsa has a passion for community service and strongly believes in building relationships with other departments, businesses that the division regulates, and the citizens of Tulare County.

Nilsa is a native of Tulare County and a graduate of CSU Fresno where she received a BS in Environmental Health/Industrial Hygiene.  Nilsa has a son and a daughter, and has been married for 22 years. She is active in the community, and has many interests including traveling and spending time with her family.

Surveillance Supervisor Sonia Carranza Surveillance Supervisor, Sonia Carranza

Sonia Carranza began a career in Environmental Health in 2002 as Extra Help for reviewing well permits, conducting data collection for wells and conducting public pool and spa inspections. She went on to obtain and maintain certifications as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and as a Certified Lead Inspector Assessor.  She has served in various capacities conducting inspections of food facilities, pools, spas, employee housing, and sewage, trash, and vector complaints. She has conducted inspections of properties occupied by children who have lead poisoning. Currently, she serves as the Program Supervisor for the County and oversees Retail Food Program, Camps, Detention Facilities and co-supervises countywide complaint investigations and the Recreational Health Program.  Sonia currently participates on Central Valley Food Technical Advisory Committee (FTAC).

Dairy and Recreational Health Supervisor Cindy Prah Dairy and Recreational Health Supervisor, Cindy Prah

Cindy Prah has been employed by Tulare County Environmental Health Services Division for over 25 years. She maintains certification as a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and as a Registered Dairy Inspector and has been active in the Dairy Program for the past 23 years. Currently, she serves as the Program Manager for the County Approved Milk Inspection Service (AMIS) which oversees dairy farms and soft serve facilities in both Tulare and Kings Counties. In addition, she co-supervises countywide complaint investigations and the Recreational Health Program.

Cindy is originally from Southern California and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology with a minor in Geology. She currently serves on local and state committees including the Tulare County Agricultural Policy Advisory Committee (APAC) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Milk Inspection Advisory Committee. Formerly, she served as the Tulare County Representative for the Central Valley Food Committee.

Cindy enjoys volunteer work for philanthropic and other organizations such as the Visalia Breakfast Rotary and at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) annual International Aerospace Conference. 


CUPA Supervisor Joel Martens  CUPA Supervisor,  Joel Martens

Joel Martens began his career as an Environmental Health Specialist in 1987. He has supervised the CUPA for the County of Tulare for the past 14 years.

He currently serves on the CUPA Forum Board and is the Statewide Issue Coordinator for the Hazardous Materials Business Plan Technical Advisory Group (HMBP TAG), and Co-Chair of the Hazardous Materials Steering Committee (HMSC).

Martens is a Registered Environmental Health Specialist and Registered Hazardous Substance Professional, and is certified as a Hazardous Materials Technician.


Integrated Waste and Land Use Supervisor Ken Bowers Integrated Waste and Land Use Supervisor, Ken Bowers

Ken oversees a team that encompasses many wide ranging programs in Environmental Health.  These programs include: water well construction, household hazardous waste, land use, integrated waste, body art, and the Local Enforcement Agency for solid waste.  Ken considers himself fortunate to work with a very talented group of individuals.  His environmental management philosophy is to protect public health in as business friendly a manner as possible given the limitations in regulation. 

Ken comes from humble beginnings and worked himself through school at California State University Fresno.