Bank of Marin Makes Donation to Santa Rosa City Schools

Bank of Marin is the newest partner with Santa Rosa City Schools. They presented them with a substantial investment, sharing their vision of providing equitable enrichment opportunities for students most in need. Collaboration with investment partners helps to close the access and achievement gaps, building bridges that help students grow and succeed.

Basin Street Properties Welcomes Guardian Angel Home Care to Stony Point Campus

Basin Street Properties, a prominent real estate investment, development, and management firm, is pleased to announce Guardian Angel Home Care has signed a lease at Stony Point Campus, premier office park in Santa Rosa, known for its unique campus-like environment.

“We’re excited to occupy our new space at Stony Point Campus, enabling us to continue to deliver our high-quality care to clients in need around Santa Rosa,” said Tanna Shock at Guardian Angel Home Care. “Having a suitable number of staff is critical for providing the best possible care to each patient and giving families peace of mind that their loved ones are being cared for by qualified professionals.”

Guardian Angel Home Care of Santa Rosa provides a wide range of high-quality home health care services in the comfort of your own home. Guardian Angel Home Care of Santa Rosa is happy to assist with everything from companionship to hospice care. The established company is well known in the market for offering great care for your loved one while keeping in mind that your health comes first.

“We’re happy we were able to find Guardian Angel Home Care the space they need to thrive in Santa Rosa,” said Kyle Young, North Bay Leasing Director at Basin Street Properties. “Stony Point Campus’s close proximity to Highways 101 and 12, provides Guardian Angel a centralized location to easily reach their client base throughout Santa Rosa.”

The Stony Point Campus is a collection of four Class A office buildings located on a beautiful three-acre manmade lake with glass block fountains, walking paths and dramatic water displays. The buildings offer extensive glass lines and oak trim finishes. These four buildings were built between 1990-2001 and considered the “premier” office park within Santa Rosa. The project is known for its unique campus-like environment, institutional quality construction, and central location near both employee and executive residences.

Christopher Vogt of eXp Commercial of California represented Guardian Angel Home Care. Dave Peterson, Shawn Johnson and Danny Jones of Keegan and Coppin represented Basin Street Properties.



Guardian Angel Home Care provides patient-centered in-home health care services you can trust. Our skilled medical professionals, nurses, therapists, etc. are available 24-7 to bridge the gap between your loved ones & the high-quality life they deserve. Learn more about Guardian Angel Home Care of Santa Rosa at


Basin Street Properties, established in Petaluma in 1974, is one of Northern California’s and Northern Nevada’s most prominent developers, investors and managers of commercial properties. The company owns and manages over 5 million square feet of Class A office space. Basin Street is widely recognized for its office, retail, hospitality, multi-family and mixed-use developments. The company offers a broad range of real estate services, including development, property management, construction management, financial and asset management, and property acquisition and disposition. For more information, visit

BioMarin, Ultragenyx, and Other Biotechnology Companies May be Getting Campus Expansion in Novato

Novato is looking to augment its status as a North Bay biotechnology hub under a proposal that could double the footprint of its life sciences campus near Bel Marin Keys.

The city’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors have continued to expand since 1997 at the Novato Industrial Park, the site of companies such as Ultragenyx, BioMarin, Sutter Instrument, Karuna Corp., Raptor Pharmaceuticals and Marin Biologic Laboratories.

City officials and a group of companies have been working since 2016 to plan for further expansion in the 200-acre campus along northbound Highway 101 near Ignacio Boulevard. A proposal set to go before the City Council on May 24 would allow for larger, taller warehouses, laboratories, offices and manufacturing buildings than currently allowed.

More than 22% of the industrial park, or about 575,000 square feet, is used by biotechnology and life sciences companies. The plan would allow for 300,000 square feet of expansion in the industrial park — and possibly up to 500,000 square feet if traffic issues can be addressed.

“For us, it’s great news because it acknowledges we’re in a place where biotechnology and these campuses are taking off,” said Kirit Patel, director of business development at Marin Biologic Laboratories. “It encourages innovation and it brings more people into the community because there will be jobs created.”

The Novato Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to recommend that the City Council approve the plan.

“We’re uniquely situated in Novato to accommodate and really foster this kind of development,” said Curtis Havel, a member of the commission. “It’s an opportunity that I think benefits the city and it’s in a location that will not result in any significant impacts to the environment.”

One of the Ultragenyx buildings stands at the end of Leveroni Court in the Bel Marin Keys industrial park in Novato on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Alan Dep/Marin Independent Journal)

City regulations limit how large and how much floor area company buildings can use. The plan would allow these companies to expand their footprint either by creating more facilities or taller buildings. Building height limits would be increased to 68 feet, with an additional 8 feet allowed for rooftop installments.

The city would allow for a maximum of 500,000 square feet of additional expansion with these larger developments. The plan would only affect the Hamilton and Ignacio sections of the industrial park. The southern section, known as the Bel Marin Industrial Park, would not be included because of its proximity to the Los Robles Mobile Home Park.

However, city staff said the more realistic expansion limit would be around 300,000 square feet because of potentially significant traffic issues that could result beyond that area of expansion.

As part of an environmental review of the plan, city staff projected that the increased employment and business activity resulting from a larger expansion would result in significantly increased traffic flow in the area because of increased employment and business activity.

The models found that any expansion beyond 300,000 square feet would require large-scale changes to the Ignacio Boulevard interchange at Highway 101, including widening the turn pockets and ramps and signal changes, many of which would require approval from Caltrans.

“Too much traffic would require significant mitigation in the form of signalization or reworking of those intersections, which might just not be practical,” said Sean Kennings, a city consultant who helped draft the plan.

Companies that would look to expand would be required to reduce vehicle trips by 10%, which could come in the form of carpools, rideshare services, electric vehicle parking requirements and installation of bicycle racks, Kennings said.

The companies would also be required to install equipment to reduce odor impacts.

Representatives of Ultragenyx and BioMarin, along with other organizations such as the Novato Chamber of Commerce and the North Bay Leadership Council, endorsed the plan this week.

“We have seen ourselves grow as part of the fabric of the community for the past 25 years,” Shar Zamanpour, BioMarin’s campus planning director, told the Planning Commission. “Many of our employees live in Novato. Many of our service providers are local in the community. Our employees enjoy the local restaurants, shops and other services and that will grow with the growth of biotech and BioMarin in Novato and further strengthen the local economy.”

“As you are well aware, Novato Industrial Park is home to several global life science companies that make a major impact on the lives of individuals throughout the world,” Coy Smith, chief executive officer of the Novato Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a letter to the commission.

“As these demands grow, this approval will give these tax bearing companies the opportunity to expand in mindful ways that will meld into the master plan of the community,” he said. “It will also keep employees living and spending hard earned money here within the city.”


TekTailor Participates in the Free Fix-It Fair

A woman with a wobbly lamp said the waste bin might be the best place for it, but she wanted appliance repairman Farid Asef to take a look just in case.

Not five minutes later, he had torn a bit of cloth from the lamp’s bottom and gotten his pliers inside its base to tighten the bolt that held the lamp upright.

Voila! No more falling over and breaking light bulbs.

Judging from the steady flow of people to Asef’s repair station Saturday at Sonoma County’s first free Fix-It Clinic and Reuse Fair, broken floors and table lamps are in abundance around the region.

One couple brought four lamps — three that had long been in storage and another had mostly just stayed turned on because it sometimes sparked when switched off.

“I tried to fix it and failed,” said Toni Nell, 65, the lamp’s owner.

But Asef, who owns a shop in downtown Santa Rosa dedicated to small appliance repair, had all but one or two items, for which he did not have parts with him, back in running order in no time.

That was the point of the event: to demonstrate the value and possibility of mending or restoring worn items rather than disposing of them as a means of preserving resources, saving money and easing the burden on landfill space.

It’s a culture all of those who volunteered Saturday, like Asef, embrace wholeheartedly and hope to expand upon in the future.

“The more we can build on this, the better,” said Dan Egan, one of two members from Community Bikes, a nonprofit bicycle collaborative, who spent the day testing and fixing bikes in need of maintenance or repair.

Egan had one 10-speed bicycle, brought in even before the four-hour fair officially opened, pretty well taken apart as he cleaned and tightened it piece by piece Saturday. His partner, Jeremey Fisher ran 20- or 30-point checks on a couple of smaller bikes, “just making sure everything is greased and running.”

At another station, Steffen Kuehr, founder and CEO of Santa Rosa-based manufacturer Tek Tailor, and a helper staffed sewing machines to repair clothing.

Kuehr’s contract sewing company creates upcycled products like duffel bags, belts and leashes from materials like decommissioned fire hose and used vinyl banners.

But Saturday, they made a happy camper out of Santa Rosa resident Carrie Lane, 56, who brought in a knit dress to have the neckline altered and another that needed the topstitching repaired. Lots of her clothes have gone unworn for years because of small repairs that are needed, she said.

Another woman, Beth Silverstein, 56, of Rohnert Park, had a housecoat shortened after she had tripped on it too many times while Timothy Osmer, 78, had some pants hemmed. The thick fabric was too hard to do by hand, he said.

But Osmer had also discovered the eWaste Sonoma drop-off sites for all things electronic where he left phones and other electronic items he’d carried in his truck for ages, not sure where to dispose of them safely.

“I’ve been doing this for always — not throwing things away, repurposing,” Osmer said. “To see it spreading … this way of life is so much more conscious.”

The outdoor event was held between Tek Tailor’s factory shop and its production building off Santa Rosa Avenue. There were also several other sponsors, including GreenLynx, a structural deconstruction, material reuse and woodworking company, which hosted tours of its facilities across the street. The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County’s mobile Museum on the Go was there for the kids, as well.

Sloane Pagal, who organized the Fix It event on behalf of Zero Waste Sonoma, already is soliciting volunteer fixers for the next event, possibly in late July. She said several of the clinic’s 140 attendees approached her Saturday, some of them with ideas for different fix-it stations.

“That’s the goal, is to try to grow our fixer network,” said Pagal, Zero Waste program manager.

The LIME Foundation’s Believe in the Dream Event Announced!

Northern California Public Media Honored as One of the Edward R. Murrow Award Winners

In the radio large market category, the California Newsroom won the award for Continuing Coverage for the story Bankrupt. Marc Albert contributed to this story as part of the Newsroom collaborative. Story here:
Bankrupt – The California Newsroom (in partnership with KQED, Northern California Public Media, The California Newsroom, KUNR, Capital Public Radio)
Statewide/ San Francisco, CA

In the radio small market category, Living Downstream won the award for Best Podcast. Steve Mencher produced and hosted this great project. This is season two of the series. Podcast compilation here:
Living Downstream: The Environmental Justice Podcast – Northern California Public Media

Northern California Public Media’s Announcement of Election of New Officers

April 28, 2022 – The Independent Public Television Station Association announces the election of new officers. Chair: Darren LaShelle, President and CEO of Northern California Public Media – comprised of KRCB PBS in Sonoma County and KPJK TV in San Mateo, CA. Vice Chair: Royal Aills, General Manager of RSU TV, a service of Rogers State University, in Claremore, OK.

LaShelle and Aills will lead the group for the next two years, coordinating efforts of America’s differentiated public television stations and independent CPB supported stations. They will represent IPTSA on the Public Television Affinity Group Coalition.

For more information, contact Dianne Mahanes at 707-584-2032

About IPTSA: IPTSA supports public television licensees who operate public television services either independently of PBS membership, or as PDP stations in their markets. The group meets electronically on a regular basis and works to share best practices and advocate on behalf of its member stations.

About the AGC: The Public Television Affinity Group Coalition (AGC) was founded to serve as a forum for addressing system-wide issues of interest to public television stations. It is a station-led coalition of two representatives each from public television’s major affinity groups – member organizations that represent public television stations based on licensee type, community size and service profile.

Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures Bets on Local Startups

A business venture with a dual goal of helping startups in Marin and Sonoma counties with networking and financing needs has been gaining momentum since launching at the height of the pandemic.

Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures formed in April 2020 and debuted two months later on Zoom. It started by signing up 30 local entrepreneurs, according to Zachary Kushel, founder and managing partner of the Corte Madera-based company.

“We now have 110 local founders — CEOs of young startup companies who are saying, ‘I don’t want to build in a vacuum,’” Kushel said. MSIV also currently has 38 local C-level executives that have signed on to help mentor the local founders, he noted.

MSIV has set up an investment portfolio that so far includes three businesses. The company is set to hold its first large in-person event later this month to bring together company founders, executives, investors and local leaders involved in Kushel’s venture.

Kushel calls MSIV a social enterprise, which he describes as a for-profit business with a social mandate. MSIV has a combined goal of growing the counties’ entrepreneurial community through networking, mentorship, capital investment and job creation.

“I think what’s different about MSIV than other past efforts in the North Bay that have had a focus on local economic development is that none of them have been driven out of the private sector,” Kushel said, adding prior efforts have come from the government, nonprofits or academia. “That’s certainly not a bad thing. It’s just that it becomes very different when you are harnessing the power of the private sector to make public good.”

Kushel said he believes MSIV is growing because of its specific focus on the two counties, whose entrepreneurs have largely been overshadowed by the bigger players in the Greater Bay Area and Silicon Valley.

Kushel, who previously served as head of business development at Glassdoor in Mill Valley, also has held leadership positions at a number of other companies, including Cisco Systems in San Jose; and SmithRx in San Francisco.

He has been steeped in his own research for years, finding that Marin and Sonoma counties’ entrepreneurs ought to be commanding more attention than they’ve been getting, he said.

“Local startups are undercapitalized, and I think starting to fix that is a big deal,” Kushel said.

In October, MSIV launched what Kushel said was the “first-ever regional venture capital fund that’s focused entirely on making investments in Marin and Sonoma counties’ startup companies.” He continues to raise funds but declined to provide details.

MSIV’s dual mandate of building a startup community and creating an investment portfolio so far has resulted in its making investments in three local businesses, Kushel said. Those business are Novi, a Larkspur-based technology platform for the consumer packaged goods sector; Finalis, an investment banking firm headquartered in San Francisco; and New Retirement, a financial planning technology solution in Mill Valley.

Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures has partnerships with the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce; Sonoma State University’s School of Business and Economics; the Barowsky School of Business at Dominican University of California in San Rafael; and Marin Economic Forum. Kushel sits on the board of advisers at Dominican University and the board of directors at Marin Economic Forum.

“Marin Sonoma Impact Ventures works with us as a collaborator in terms of sharing data, sharing strategies and inputs into initiatives that the county might be pursuing that meet the objectives of strengthening the economy,” said Mike Blakeley, CEO of Marin Economic Forum, a 501(c)3 public benefit organization.

Blakeley and Kushel first connected shortly after MSIV launched, and in August 2020, during the height of the pandemic, co-wrote a commentary that stressed the need to leverage the North Bay community’s resources and expertise to help support promising new local ventures. Their piece appeared in the Aug. 17, 2020 edition of the Business Journal.

Other partnerships Kushel has formed are still gaining steam. Those collaborations are directly focused on supporting the startup founders.

“We’ve been acquainted (with MSIV) for a couple of years, but haven’t necessarily had the opportunity to work closely yet,” Ethan Brown, interim executive director of Sonoma County Economic Development Board said, noting he plans to learn more at North Bay NEXT, MSIV’s inaugural conference set for May 17 at Dominican University. “We’re looking at how to better increase awareness of what they’re doing up here in Sonoma County at this point.”

Jean-Francois Coget, dean of the School of Business and Economics at SSU, said in an email statement that the school and MSIV have “vowed to collaborate and cooperate in helping create a supportive environment for entrepreneurship to thrive in the North Bay region. We haven’t yet implemented any specific project.”

The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce joined MSIV as a community partner last year, said Joanne Webster, president. And Cynthia Murray, president and CEO of North Bay Leadership Council, said the capital investment portion of MSIV’s business is particularly important.

“When we look at how to make the North Bay economically competitive and foster economic vitality, having MSIV giving these companies the financial assistance and coaching they need to start up brings great opportunity to our region,” Murray said in an email statement. “MSIV is filling a big void and couldn’t have come at a better time as we look at strengthening our economic recovery from the pandemic and the other cris(es) we are experiencing.”

Pedro Moura, cofounder and CEO of Flourish Fi, a technology company whose financial wellness app uses fun and entertainment to encourage people to save money, joined MSIV earlier this year purely for the networking component.

“Finding like-minded individuals is very important to me,” said Moura, whose company licenses its proprietary platform to banks, which in turn offer the app to customers.

Moura and co-founder Jessica Eting, who serves as chief operating officer, launched Flourish Fi in 2018 in Silicon Valley. The company has since gone 100% remote, with most workers distributed across the U.S., Brazil and Latin America; and Mexico, he said.

Moura, however, is based in Petaluma, which affords him the opportunity for in-person meetings.

“I’ve been able to be introduced with folks that have built technology companies around the financial services industry, and that have scaled those organizations,” Moura said. “As founders in the early journey of the company, it’s important to have access to people who have done it.”

Sonoma County Winegrowers’ Karissa Kruse is Farming for the Future

Have you ever wondered how the farm of the future will look? Karissa Kruse, President of Sonoma County Winegrowers, will be sharing her insights on improving climate adaptation best practices by leveraging the latest innovation and technology at the Future Drinks Expo 2022, which is happening on May 17, 2022.

Join the Revolution

Technology is changing the drinks industry’s landscape at a phenomenal pace. Will you move ahead with the times or will you let your competitors race ahead of you? Join the Future Drinks Expo.

The farm of the future is starting in Sonoma County, the nation’s most sustainable wine-growing region. Sonoma County winegrowers have used the past two years to rethink everything they do to ensure their further sustainability goals. This includes creating the resources, programs, and collaborations to accelerate their efforts to successfully farm in the future. The intent is for Sonoma County to be an active case study and living lab for the world, and their recent collaboration with Ford Pro is a big step to achieving that mission. Learn about their mission and the path ahead for farming in the future from Karissa Kruse at The Future Drinks Expo.

According to Karissa, this ground-breaking climate and sustainability program, The Climate Adaptation Certification program, created by the California Land Stewardship Institute (CLSI), will assist Sonoma County farmers in maximizing best practices for climate adaptation, using the latest in innovation and technology, and realizing that farms must adapt to Mother Nature each year.

While adapting to the current climate, regulatory, marketplace, community, culture, and business situations, best management practices increase their potential to store carbon and cut emissions. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to these problems, but there is a means to enhance processes year after year.

Learn all about the ground-breaking climate and sustainability program, The Climate Adaptation Certification program. This program draws on the local wine-growing community’s commitment to sustainability and the lessons learned during the previous two years as a climate adaptation pilot. The Farm of the Future provides a unique perspective on farming, best practices, present conditions, and how to continue to encourage innovation, thought leadership, and collaborations to sustain the grape growing in Sonoma County.

Karissa Kruse is the President of the Sonoma County Winegrowers, a marketing and educational group dedicated to promoting and preserving Sonoma County as one of the world’s best grape-growing regions. Karissa joined Sonoma County Winegrowers in September 2012 as Director of Marketing and was announced President on May 1, 2013. Kruse has directed the strategy and implementation of Sonoma County’s promise to become America’s first 100 percent certified sustainable wine area since taking over the senior leadership post at the Sonoma County Winegrowers.

Her innovative approach has earned Sonoma County Winegrowers international recognition, and she’s been invited to speak at major conferences throughout the world. In January 2016, Kruse relaunched the Sonoma County Grape Growers Foundation to continue to lead in the social responsibility aspect of sustainability. In healthcare, affordable housing, childcare, and education, the Foundation works to help local agricultural employees and their families. She is currently the Foundation’s executive director.

She has over 20 years of marketing, brand management, strategic planning, and business development experience. Karissa has worked for General Mills, Universal Studios, Mattel, and Dairy Management. She owns a 25-acre tract on Sonoma Mountain with five acres planted to winegrapes and is a partner in a small winery called Argot Wines. She is a Wharton Women in Leadership member and serves on the Alumni Advisory Board for Wharton’s Initiative on Global Environmental Leadership. Karissa is a FIVS Environmental Sustainability Working Group and the German Marshall Fund Alumni Leadership Council member.

It is a great opportunity for you to meet and collaborate with Karissa Kruse at the Future Drinks Expo on May 17, 2022, at South San Francisco Conference Center, San Francisco. The conference timings are 9 am to 5 pm, and Ms. Kruse will be seen sharing her insights in an allocated time slot of 9 am to 9.20 am. Grab your tickets here.