Sonoma County Winegrowers Awarded the “Paint the Community Green” Environmental Stewardship Award by the North Bay Leadership Council week, the Sonoma County Winegrowers were honored to attend the Leaders of the North Bay Awards Luncheon, where we were awarded the “Paint the Community Green” Environmental Stewardship Award. This prestigious award is given to individuals and organizations demonstrating exemplary leadership in environmental stewardship. We are deeply grateful for this recognition.

Highlights from the SCW’s “Paint the Community Green” Environmental Stewardship Award Recognition

In 2019, Sonoma County Winegrowers achieved our goal to be certified sustainable in all of our vineyards, making Sonoma County the most sustainable winegrowing region in the world. SCW developed the industry’s first 100-year business plan, established a Center for Ag Sustainability and created a sustainability wine label. These efforts were recognized when we were selected to be the U.S. case study for a grassroots approach to sustainability. Our latest achievement is the Farm of the Future initiative, an innovation accelerator for ag tech.

The global collaboration with Ford Pro has made SCW a “living lab” to create game-changing solutions to climate adaptation and led to many other collaborations, the latest being with Agrology to install real-time carbon monitoring systems in local farms, and with John Deere to do proof of concept 0f new innovation and tech. The throughline of SCW’s success is the leadership and vision of our CEO, Karissa Kruse, who is providing the road map for the ag industry to be sustainable and meet the environmental challenges today and tomorrow. To watch a video highlighting SCW’s achievements, go to

Thank you, North Bay Leadership Council, for recognizing our local, multi-generational farmers and their commitment to sustainability and leadership in farming for the future.

Congratulations to Our Members Who Made The North Bay Biz 2024 Hall of Fame

Since launching the live award program in 2002, some businesses have consistently proven to be reader favorites. Winning consistently is difficult and rare—and achieved only by the best in their respective fields. So this year, the magazine’s Best of the North Bay Awards department felt special recognition was warranted for our most-frequent reader favorites—and voila! The Best of the North Bay Hall of Fame was born. Here is a list of your inductees who have won a combination of first-place Best Of awards or runner-up Gold Medal awards more than 15 times! Each business has been elevated to its Hall of Fame status in the category they have dominated the most. Congratulations from NorthBay biz—you’re truly the best of the best.

2024 Hall of Famers

  • Category: Accounting Firm
    • Moss Adams
  • Business Bank
    • Bank of Marin
    • Exchange Bank
    • Summit State Bank
  • Business Restaurant
    • John Ash & Co.
  • Catering Service
    • Park Avenue Catering
  • Chamber of Commerce
    • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce
    • San Rafael Chamber of Commerce
  • Chardonnay
    • La Crema Winery
  • Credit Union
    • Redwood Credit Union
  • Fine Jewelry
    • E.R. Sawyer Jewelers
  • Insurance Brokerage
    • George Petersen Insurance Agency
  • Job Placement Service
    • Nelson Connects
  • Luxury Car Dealer
    • Smothers European Volvo—Mercedes-Benz
  • Real Estate Agency
    • Coldwell Banker Realty

The Buck Institute for Research on Aging Gets Funds From Hevolution Foundation Promising Pre-Clinical Studies

Recent awards totaling nearly $5M from the Hevolution Foundation will enable two Buck labs to further explore the biology of, and identify potential new uses for, two promising interventions for age-related diseases: ketone bodies and glycation-reducing compounds.


Buck Assistant Professor John Newman, MD, PhD, received more than $2.9 million; his project is aimed at understanding cell-specific aging mechanisms regulated by ketone bodies and their role in human longevity phenotypes.  Buck Professor Pankaj Kapahi, PhD, received more than $1.9 million to investigate the connection between glycation and three hallmarks of aging, as well as exploring the potential of a glycation-reducing compound in mice.

 Ketone bodies

 Ketone bodies, naturally occurring compounds, are produced all the time by the body but increase when the availability of dietary carbohydrates (sugars in various forms) is limited, forcing the body to use fat instead of sugar for energy.  Various forms of fasting and the popular high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet can put people into ketosis, a metabolic state characterized by raised levels of ketone bodies in body tissues. Both fasting and the ketogenic diet have been linked to several health benefits, including weight loss, a reversal of metabolic syndrome and reduced inflammation.

“Ketone bodies are exciting in the aging field because they touch upon many of the hallmarks of aging, including reduced cellular energy, jumbled epigenetics, and chronic inflammation. While ketone bodies are being tested in clinical trials to treat heart failure and Alzheimer’s, mostly for their energy function, there’s still so much we don’t know about the biology,” said Newman, who is also a practicing geriatrician at UCSF and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. “We think of ketones as a niche, unusual thing. How often do we fast in modern life? But do our bodies actually need ketones as we age? How do ketone bodies impact specific cells like neurons in the brain? What other diseases of aging might benefit from treatment with ketone bodies? My team is very grateful for the Hevolution Foundation’s support for this important work.”

To ferret out more ketone biology Newman will be looking at how ketone bodies affect the mouse brain, building on earlier work that showed a ketogenic diet improved memory in aging mice. Newman says in the aging brain it’s unknown if neurons are the primary cell type that ketone bodies should be delivered to and where those ketones need to come from. “Most ketone bodies are made in the liver, but there are hints that some are made directly in the brain. This work will tell us where to focus to get the improvements we seek both in the brain and in overall health,” he said.

While Newman describes the mouse work as highly sophisticated – it will involve a deep dive into genetic modifications, phosphoproteomics, and mass spectrometry -he is particularly excited about a collaboration with UCSF that will mine data from the large, longitudinal UK Biobank that includes metabolomic information from hundreds of thousands of people. He says the proposed analysis could reveal a relationship between people who have higher or lower levels of ketone bodies in their blood with current and future disease states. “We know that people with heart failure produce more ketone bodies as a way of compensating for impaired energy metabolism,” he said. “What other conditions might be treated with ketone bodies? Are people with naturally higher ketone bodies resistant to certain diseases? This project allows us to ask those questions to help target future clinical trials for both treatment and prevention.”

Using glycation to understand how hallmarks of aging interact with each other

 The Kapahi lab will use glycation, which occurs when sugar binds to proteins or lipid molecules, and its toxic methylglyoxal (MGO) byproduct to understand the interplay between three hallmarks of aging: dysregulated nutrient sensing, a loss of protein homeostasis and cellular senescence.  In thanking Hevolution for their funding, Kapahi added, “It’s crucial that we understand the hierarchy of these detrimental processes. What comes first? Where should we target interventions? Glycation burden connects all three of these hallmarks giving us a unique opportunity to expand our understanding of age-related pathology.”

Kapahi’s team will investigate the connection between MGO-induced protein glycation, insulin resistance and cellular senescence in the context of type 2 diabetes. The first aim is focused on investigating the direct role of MGOs in regulating insulin synthesis and secretion. Pancreatic β-cells from mice will be used to mechanistically assess the cell-autonomous effect of different doses of GLYLO, a novel glycation-reducing compound on glucose metabolism and insulin synthesis.  The second aim is directed at investigating the role of various dosages of dietary MGOs in regulating glucose homeostasis and insulin resistance in fat tissue, while validating targets that might ameliorate the resulting damage.

The team will bring the research together by investigating the interplay between MGO-induced protein glycation, insulin resistance and cellular senescence.  “One hypothesis is that in overweight people type 2 diabetes is driven by inflammation caused by cellular senescence in belly fat,” said Kapahi. “Type 2 diabetes can also be driven in the pancreas. What’s the connection? Does senescence in the fat tissue also affect insulin secretion in the pancreas? What comes first?”  Kapahi’s team will also test a senolytic drug to see if reducing the burden of senescent cells has an impact on MGO-mediated insulin resistance and release. They will also combine treatment with a senolytic and glycation-reducing GLYLO to determine if alleviating two hallmarks of aging, protein homeostasis and senescence, can show additional protection to lower insulin resistance and enhance survival in mice on a high fat diet.

 DISCLOSURES: Dr. Newman owns stock in BHB Therapeutics, LTD, and Selah Therapeutics, LTD, which develops ketone body-based therapies and consumer products.  The Buck Institute also has an ownership interest in BHB Therapeutics and Selah Therapeutics. Dr. Kapahi owns stock in Juvify Bio, the company that has commercialized GLYLO.  He is also an inventor on patents that relate to the product being studied.  The Buck Institute also has an ownership interest in Juvify Bio.

About the Hevolution Foundation:

Founded on the belief that every person has the right to live a longer, healthier life, Hevolution Foundation is a global catalyst, partner, and convener on a mission to drive efforts to extend healthy human lifespan and understand the processes of aging. With a focus on aging as a treatable process, Hevolution Foundation aims to increase the number of aging-related treatments on the market, compress the timeline of drug development, and increase accessibility to therapeutics that extend healthy lifespan, also known as healthspan. A global non-profit organization headquartered in Riyadh with a North American hub and an annual budget of up to $1 billion, Hevolution Foundation plans to open offices in other global locations to support a cutting-edge, global ecosystem of talent to propel aging and geroscience research forward and achieve medical breakthroughs to help humanity live healthier, longer. Connect with Hevolution Foundation on LinkedInX (formerly Twitter), and at

SMART Celebrates Record-Breaking Ridership, Credits Accessibility, Affordability Initiatives

Officials of the Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit — also known as SMART — are attributing a record-breaking ridership month to improved accessibility and affordability.

SMART reported more than 80,000 passengers in the month of April alone, marking the highest ridership in one month in the agency’s history.

Two recent changes suggest a reason for the spike. In the beginning of April, SMART began offering free fares for anyone under 18 and seniors 65 and older. It also reduced its regular fares by 40 percent and introduced the on-demand SMART Connect shuttle, which links passengers directly to Sonoma County’s Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.

“This unprecedented ridership demonstrates the immense value SMART brings to our communities,” said Eddy Cumins SMART general manager. “SMART offers a greener and more convenient way to travel and is connecting communities and helping to enhance economic development in the region.”

SMART riders eliminated 17.6 million car-driven miles in the past year, according to the agency.

The 45-mile rail system has 12 stations near the airport and in the cities and towns of Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, Cotati, Petaluma, Novato, San Rafael and Larkspur. SMART also manages a bicycle and pedestrian pathway that’s integrated into the Great Redwood Trail, providing first and last-mile connections to the train.

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Earns North Bay Biz Magazine and Bohemian “Best Of” Awards

The readers of the Bohemian newspaper voted KP Santa Rosa “Best of” in 5 categories of the 2024 Best of the North Bay awards, including Best Local Hospital, Best Pharmacy, Best Tele-Health, Dr. Amy Merchant won Best OB/GYN, and the Best ER Doctor award went to Dr. Joshua Weil. Amazing recognition from the Bohemian newspaper’s Best of the North Bay.

In addition, the readers of the North Bay Biz Magazine voted KP SRO Best Health Care in Sonoma County. Congratulations to our amazing teams in the Santa Rosa service area for earning these recognitions!

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa Urgent Care Clinic Opens

Kaiser Permanente Santa Rosa is excited to announce that we have launched a new Urgent Care Clinic at the Santa Rosa Medical Office Building, with walk-in appointments welcome.


Urgent Care

401 Bicentennial Way,

MOB 1, Suite 140

Santa Rosa, CA 95403

  • 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., weekends and holidays


Visit for more information.

What is urgent care?

An urgent care need is not an emergency medical condition but does require prompt attention, usually within 24 to 48 hours. You can visit urgent care for:

·    Minor wounds or cuts

·    Minor injuries like bites, sprains, strains, backaches, or acute back pain

·    Frequent urination or burning sensation when urinating

·    Sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing

·    Severe sore throat, cough, or upper-respiratory symptoms

·    High fever

·    Mild breathing issues

·    Earaches

What is not urgent care?

Continue to use your primary care provider for:

·    Routine physicals

·    Pap tests or cervical cancer screenings

·    Follow up examinations

·    Management of ongoing medical conditions

Call 911 or go to the emergency room for:

·    Severe or persistent bleeding

·    Severe shortness of breath or chest pain

·    Major broken bones or head injuries

·    Sudden decrease in or loss of  consciousness

·    Sudden and severe abdominal pain

·    Slurred speech, or sudden inability to talk or move one side of the body


Midstate Construction Corporation, Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), and Open Heart Kitchen Completed Construction of Vineyard and Open Heart Kitchen

General Contractor Midstate Construction Corporation, developer Housing Consortium of the East Bay (HCEB), and tenant Open Heart Kitchen recently completed construction of Vineyard and Open Heart Kitchen in Livermore, CA.

Designed by Gunkel Architecture, the Vineyard scope of work included demolition of existing structures, and new construction of a mixed-use property, including (24) permanent supportive housing units, office meeting spaces, commercial kitchen, dining room, overnight shelter, showers, and laundry.

Vineyard is an affordable housing development for extremely low-income households with histories of homelessness. It includes 10,000 sq. ft. of space for a commercial-grade kitchen, dining room, and homeless resource center.

Open Heart Kitchen will operate the kitchen and dining room, providing hot meals 5 days a week for homeless and low-income neighbors, and an overnight 20-bed shelter for folks in crisis or experiencing homelessness. The homeless resource center will provide various services, including mental health, case management, housing navigation, and mailboxes.

Midstate’s additional projects for people experiencing homelessness include:

  • St. Clare at Capitol Park, a 134-unit hotel conversion in Sacramento, CA
  • Valley Lodge, a 54-unit motel conversion in Napa, CA
  • Studios at Montero, a 60-unit motel conversion in Petaluma, CA
  • Shasta Hotel, a 79-unit hotel conversion in Sacramento, CA
  • Mary Isaak Center, an emergency shelter for adults experiencing homelessness in Petaluma, CA

Coming soon:

  • The Sequoia Hotel, an 89-unit historic hotel conversion in Sacramento, CA

Santa Rosa Cannery, a 129-unit project with 33 units set-aside for formerly homeless families in Santa Rosa, CA

Ultragenyx Wins The 2024 Top Workplaces Culture Excellence Award

Written in a LinkedIn post by Ultragenyx, “We’re proud to share that we’ve been awarded the 2024 Top Workplaces Culture Excellence award in recognition of our exceptional achievements in Purpose & Values, Innovation, Compensation & Benefits, Work-Life Flexibility, and Leadership.

Fostering a sense of community where every team member can find their place, make a meaningful difference and flourish is a top priority for us. Thank you to all our team members for their contributions in making Ultragenyx a great place to work. Learn more:”

Comerica Bank Ushered Into the Junior Achievement Northern California Business Hall of Fame

Written in a LinkedIn post by Michael Silva, “Last night, we at Comerica Bank were pleased to be honored into the Junior Achievement Northern California Business Hall of Fame. It was a truly inspiring event –highlighted by remarks from high school seniors who are heading off to college in the Fall — and poised for much success, at least in part, to their JA experience. Across Comerica, so many of our colleagues donate significant time and energy to JA in promoting financial literacy, a cause that is near and dear to our hearts.”

SOMO Cowork’s CEO and Co-Founder Maciej Plich Honored On the 40 Under 40 List

Written in a LinkedIn post, “CEO and Co-Founder, Maciej P., has been honored as one of the notable young professionals in the North Bay! 🏆 He’s been recognized in the 40 Under 40 list for 2024 by the North Bay Business Journal!

As the visionary behind SOMO Cowork, Maciej is reshaping collaboration and environments. His goals for 2024 include growing SOMO Living, our new home-building company, and launching Komplex Studio, a wellness-focused fitness center – both here @SOMOVillage 🚀 Join us in congratulating Maciej on this well-deserved recognition! 👏 .”–N1R/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=member_android