Sonoma Raceway Raises More Than $78,000 Raised for Area Non-Profits During NHRA Weekend in Sonoma

Charitable events combined to raise more than $78,000 for Northern California non-profit groups during the 30th Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, July 28-30.

The proceeds from the majority of events will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, the charitable arm of the raceway, which has distributed more than $5.6 million to qualified youth groups since 2001.

Fundraising kicked off on Thursday, July 27, at the 11th annual Eric Medlen Nitro Night, which raised more than $28,000. The evening honors the memory of Medlen, a native of Oakdale in the San Joaquin Valley, who succumbed to injuries sustained from a testing accident in 2007. All proceeds from the evening benefit SCC in Medlen’s name. Since its inception, this event has raised more than $268,000.

A number of popular NHRA personalities highlighted the evening, including emcee Jack Beckman, Ron Capps, Scotty Pollacheck, Austin Prock, Dean “Guido” Antonelli and Eric Lane. Nearly 100 attendees turned out for the dinner, including Medlen’s mother, Mimi, and his father, John.

Highlights of the evening included a wine and hors d’ oeuvres reception sponsored by First Republic Bank and a rodeo roping demonstration, presented by McDonald’s/Costa Organization. The evening closed out with a live auction for a custom, engraved wine bottle, a signed and framed Medlen shirt and a personal John Force Racing pit tour with Ashley Force-Hood, which all together netted more than $6,700.

Additionally, over $2,400 was raised from donations at the Eric Medlen Ice Cream Social on Sunday, July 30. Following the final round of eliminations, fans were invited to enjoy a free scoop of ice cream, compliments of Clover Sonoma, and make a donation to SCC.  Speedway Children’s Charities also netted donations through an NHRA online auction as well as the “Let’s Go Karting” charity raffle.

In addition to the proceeds generated for SCC, Levy Restaurants, the official caterer of Sonoma Raceway, hosted six local non-profit groups to support concession stands around the facility. In return for their hard work, Levy gives back a portion of sales to support those non-profit organizations. These groups, including California Martial Arts Institute, Cotati-Rancho Unified School District, Petaluma Elks Lodge 901, Native Sons of the Golden West, Ohana Wa’a Outrigger Canoe Club and Vallejo Raiders Youth Football, received a total of $46,000 from NHRA weekend.

Levy Restaurants also donated nearly 1,500 pounds of food to Food Runners, a San Francisco-based non-profit that collects and distributes quality, perishable and prepared foods to those in need.

Finally, as part of NHRA’s “Project Nitro Hugs,” fans attending the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals were able to purchase stuffed Nitro Dogs, which were donated to first responders in Sonoma County including the California Highway Patrol, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and Falck Northern California/verihealth ambulance services. The goal of the program, which is part of NHRA’s efforts to salute First Responders in 2017, is to collect stuffed animals for first responders to give to children they encounter in traumatic situations and to comfort a child in need.

For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities or to make a donation, visit or contact Cheri Plattner at (707) 933-3950 or If your non-profit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants at an upcoming event, contact Kimberly Conte at or 707-939-1454.

Redwood Credit Union Advisors Recognized for Outstanding Performance in Investment Services

Redwood Credit Union (RCU) announced that Mike DeFazio earned the 2016 Gold Pacesetter Award, while Clark Matthiessen earned the Silver Pacesetter Award, and Christine Foster, and Joseph Turfa each earned the Bronze Pacesetter Award at the “No Boundaries!” 2017 Annual Conference, recently hosted by CUSO Financial Services, LP (CFS) and Sorrento Pacific Financial LLC (SPF) in San Diego, Calif.

Affiliated with broker-dealer and registered investment advisor, CUSO Financial Services, LP, DeFazio, Matthiessen, Foster, and Turfa were recognized for being the top-producing registered representatives among hundreds of CFS and SPF credit union and bank programs across the country.

DeFazio joined RCU’s wealth management team in 2007, bringing more than 10 years of business and management experience. Matthiessen has been a financial advisor at RCU for 16 years. Foster has more than 24 years of experience in financial services and has been with RCU for 16 years. Turfa joined RCU’s wealth management team in 2009, bringing more than 15 years of retirement planning and investment expertise.

“We’re proud to see these advisors recognized for their accomplishments,” said Tom Hubert, senior vice president of wealth, auto and insurance services at RCU. “In a crowded industry, these individuals have differentiated themselves by focusing on Member needs and providing personalized service. They are an inspiration to all of us who strive for excellence in our profession.”

About Redwood Credit Union

Founded in 1950, Redwood Credit Union is a full-service financial institution providing personal and business banking to consumers and businesses in the North Bay and San Francisco. RCU offers complete financial services including checking and savings accounts, auto and home loans, credit cards, online and mobile banking, business services, commercial and SBA lending, wealth management and investment services offered through CFS, and more. The Credit Union also offers insurance and discount auto sales through their wholly-owned subsidiary. RCU currently has $3.5 billion in assets and serves over 285,000 Members with full-service branches from San Francisco to Ukiah, free ATM access nationwide, and convenient, free online and mobile banking. For more information, call 1 (800) 479-7928, visit, or follow RCU on Facebook at and Twitter at @Redwoodcu for news and updates.

About CUSO Financial Services, LP and Sorrento Pacific Financial LLC

Full-service, sister broker dealers CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (CFS) and Sorrento Pacific Financial LLC (SPF) (Members FINRA/SIPC) provide customized investment and insurance solutions to nearly 200 credit unions and banks throughout the country.  Headquartered in San Diego, with branch offices and licensed representatives nationwide, both broker dealers are SEC Registered Investment Advisers, with expertise in key areas including retirement services, wealth management, and fee-based and insurance products for both individuals and business customers.  For more information, see or

Non-deposit investment products and services are offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P. (“CFS”), registered broker-dealers (Members FINRA /SIPC ) and SEC Registered Investment Advisors.  Products offered through CFS: are not federally insured, are not guarantees or obligations of credit unions or banks, and may involve investment risk including possible loss of principal. Credit unions and banks contract with CFS to make non-deposit investment products and services available to credit union members or bank clients.

Marin Sanitary Service’s Patty Garbarino Named to Golden Gate Bridge Board

Patty Garbarino, president and CEO of Marin Sanitary Service, was tapped by Marin County supervisors Tuesday to fill a seat on the Golden Gate Bridge district’s Board of Directors.

She replaces Dietrich Stroeh as Marin’s public member on the board. Stroeh, of Novato, died in May after serving on the panel since 1997. He was 80.

Garbarino, 62, of San Rafael, will serve for two years and then be subject to reappointment by supervisors. Garbarino has served as president of Marin Sanitary since 2000. The San Rafael-based refuse and recycling business has 254 employees and a fleet of 100 trucks.

“I look forward to the privilege of serving,” Garbarino said Tuesday. “It’s an absolute honor.”

Garbarino said she doesn’t have an agenda as she joins the 19-member board that, among other things, is working on major suicide barrier and seismic retrofit projects and balancing its budget by raising tolls annually.

“I’m one to listen and learn and think about issues,” she said. “I need to learn and listen to make good decisions for the citizens of Marin.”

Applications for the position were also received from: V-Anne Chernock, Stephen Doughty, Jim Elias, Dennis Fisco, James Grossi, Eric Holm, William McNicholas, Preston Romero and Sandy Stadtfeld. While the supervisors could have interviewed candidates Tuesday, they chose to appoint Garbarino based on her application.

“It’s a truly impressive group,” Supervisor Damon Connolly said of the applicants. “But I believe one applicant from the list holds a unique place of stature in the community. Patty Garbarino has shown leadership in her field.”

The bridge board represents six counties and meets once a month. The Marin contingent includes two county supervisors, Judy Arnold and Kate Sears; an elected municipal official ratified by supervisors, Councilwoman Alice Fredericks of Tiburon; and a member of the general public, which is Garbarino.

Directors are paid $50 per meeting day, up to a maximum of $5,000 in a year, with the exception of the president of the board who may be paid a maximum of $7,500 in a year. Board members also receive health care benefits from the bridge district and are reimbursed for mileage if they travel from outside of San Francisco for meetings.

San Rafael Chamber Recognizes Patricia Kendall as Women of Industry Honoree

The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce will host the Fifth Annual “Women of Industry” Luncheon and Marketplace on Thursday, November 16, at Peacock Gap Golf Club. Every year since 2013, the Chamber has recognized a Marin Businesswoman who exemplifies extraordinary leadership in her industry. This year, the Chamber will honor Patricia Kendall, medical group administrator of Kaiser Permanente’s San Rafael Medical Center. She is joined by three other exceptional industry and community leaders: Joan Capurro, Ann Brebner, Patty Garbarino and Melissa Prandi.

“Patricia Kendall ( known affectionately as Pat), was selected based on her leadership and community contributions in San Rafael and beyond,” said Joanne Webster, San Rafael Chamber of Commerce CEO. “We had many amazing nominees this year, however Pat’s dedication to championing the spirit of working together to assure needs are met for all people in our community is what this award is all about.”

For three decades, Kendall has worked tirelessly to build a healthier Marin. At Kaiser, Kendall models leadership and volunteerism, linking individuals, agencies, leaders and policy-makers, while creating sustainable community change. She champions a spirit of working together across all physical, geographic and organization boundaries, to create a community that lives healthier, committed to one another.

Kendall has been with Kaiser since 1973. Trained as an emergency room nurse, Kendalls’ first foray into community leadership began thirty years ago when she helped form Marin’s paramedic program, a service she continues to support as a member of the Emergency Medical Care Committee.

Kendal is the driving force behind Healthy Marin Partnership (HMP), a collation of health, education and philanthropic organizations creating a healthier community by focusing “upstream” on prevention to address the County’s major health issues. Programs and policies incubated by HMP include Marin’s smoke free and social host ordinances, parent University and Peer Summit, Play Fair Marin, Canal Community Gardens and Children’s Health Initiative.

The “Women of Industry” Luncheon and Marketplace is in recognition of all the successful Women Business Owners, Professionals and Entrepreneurs here in Marin County. This event draws over 300 professional women and men from the Marin business community. Proceeds of the event underwrite the event costs, as well as add to our “Women of Industry” Scholarship Fund. This fund was established to provide tuition fees for a deserving woman entrepreneur or small business owner to attend the San Rafael Leadership Institute. For more information and tickets, please visit

The San Rafael Chamber represents over 600 members with over 26,000 employees. The San Rafael Chamber of Commerce is a member-based business advocacy organization providing a strong voice in support of the economic vitality of our community. For more information, visit

College of Marin (COM) invites you to participate in our annual Fall Career Exploration Fair

Dear Community Partner,

College of Marin (COM)  invites you to participate in our annual Fall Career Exploration Fair slated for Thursday, September 14 from 10:30AM-1:30PM outside of our Student Learning Center.

The Fair is open to all current College of Marin students, alumni, and members of our community.  We are looking for employers and agencies interested in promoting job openings, internships, and other career opportunities that would be appropriate for our diverse student population.   The focus of this event will be helping our students find professional learning opportunities (i.e. internships, job shadows) rather than ‘job placement.’  If you are interested in joining us, please fill out this Career Exploration Fair Registration Form.

The cost of a table at the COM Career Exploration Fair is $50; this fee is non-refundable.   Non-profit and government organizations are exempt from paying this fee.  The fee includes:

  • A 6’ table or a shared 8’ table
  • Two chairs
  • A parking pass
  • Light lunch for up to two representatives from your agency

Within two weeks of filling out the registration form, you will be notified with a confirmation or spot on the waitlist.

We look forward to hosting you on our campus.  If you have any questions, please contact:

Sofie Janney-Roberts
Transfer and Career Center Coordinator


Lissette Flores
Internship and Service Learning Coordinator

Sonoma State University Will Host The Academy of Wine Business Research Conference July 26 – 27

The Wine Business Institute (WBI) at Sonoma State University (SSU) will host the 10th annual Academy of Wine Business Research (AWBR) conference July 26 and 27, including paper presentations, breakout sessions, and panel discussions on current issues, innovations, and challenges faced by the global wine industry. Confirmed attendees represent wine businesses and academic institutions in Austria, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Spain, and the United States.

From Ray Johnson, Executive Director of the Wine Business Institute:

“It’s a pleasure to offer this opportunity for the industry’s influencers and academics to convene and connect on pressing issues. It highlights California’s importance to the global wine industry, and the Wine Business Institute’s leadership in education and research. The wine industry is changing, and this conference offers a deep dive for exchanges, discoveries, and takeaways on the role of research and education in advancing the industry’s competitiveness and sustainability in a global environment.”


Wine Business Institute at Sonoma State University

The Academy of Wine Business Research


10th annual Academy of Wine Business Research Conference, including research presentations under the headings:

  • Online Purchases of Wine
  • Managing Uncertainty in the Wine Industry
  • Measuring Market Performance
  • Understanding Wine Purchasing Behavior
  • Supply Chain and Exporting Issues
  • Industry Perspectives on Sustainability
  • Managerial Approaches
  • Sustainability and its Link with Customers
  • Wine Ratings and Raters
  • Wine Industry Trends
  • The Role of Tradition in the Wine Industry
  • Case Study Workshop
  • A Better Understanding of Wine Consumers
  • Marketing of Wine Terroir and Territories
  • Wine Marketing in a Digital Age
  • Wine Tourism
  • Marketing and the Wine Purchase Decision
  • Management Strategy
  • Wine Sales and Trends
  • Wine Marketing in Eastern and Southern Europe
  • Wine Industry Development and Growth


Sonoma State University Student Center

1801 East Cotati Avenue

Rohnert Park, CA 94928


Wednesday, July 26 at 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, July 27 at 8:30 a.m.


Media is encouraged to attend the conference sessions. Please RSVP by clicking below                       or contact Dan Virkstis at (707) 664-2831 or

Kaiser Permanente Honored With 17 Environmental Excellence Awards

In recognition of its groundbreaking achievement and innovation in health care sustainability, Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, has garnered 17 Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards, including the designation of the Vacaville Medical Center as one of the top 25 hospitals in the country for environmental excellence.

Practice Greenhealth is the nation’s leading organization dedicated to environmental sustainability in health care. The Environmental Excellence Awards are given each year to honor environmental achievement in the health care sector. Kaiser Permanente has been recognized by Practice Greenhealth for its sustainability work every year since the awards program began in 2002.

Kaiser Permanente’s awards recognize the commitment, embodied in its 2025 Environmental Stewardship Goals, to buying safer products, conserving energy, using solar and wind power, and managing waste that puts the organization among the nation’s leaders in environmental responsibility.

“This recognition underscores the many ways environmental stewardship has become embedded throughout our organization as we work to deliver on our commitment to improve the total health of our employees, members and the communities we serve,” said Kathy Gerwig, Kaiser Permanente’s vice president for employee safety, health and wellness and its environmental stewardship officer. “We are thrilled to be part of the momentum that is building around the benefits of green practices within the health care industry and beyond.”

All of the 13 Kaiser Permanente hospitals honored are in California. The full list of Kaiser Permanente’s Environmental Excellence awards includes:

  • Circle of Excellence for Environmentally Preferable Purchasing: Kaiser Permanente
  • Top 25 Environmental Excellence Award: Kaiser Permanente Vacaville Medical Center
  • Partners for Change Emerald:
    • Kaiser Permanente Riverside Medical Center
    • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado
    • Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Moreno Valley Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente San Diego Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente San Rafael Medical Center
  • Partner for Change:
    • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.
    • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States
    • Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Richmond Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara Medical Center
  • Partner Recognition:
    • Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center
    • Kaiser Permanente Ontario Medical Center

The awards will be presented at the Practice Greenhealth Environmental Excellence Awards Gala, set for May 18 in Minneapolis, at the conclusion of the CleanMed Conference & Exhibition.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 11.3 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to:

BioMarin’s 20th Anniversary

2017 marks BioMarin’s 20th anniversary. This means that not only are they celebrating 20 years as a company, they are also celebrating 20 years in Marin County. For the past two decades, they have been at the forefront of the development of treatments for rare genetic diseases that affect mostly children. During that time, they have brought six products to market, and are gearing up for a potential seventh later this year. In the past 10 years alone, BioMarin has experienced tremendous growth, and now boast over 1,500 employees in Marin County, and 2,500 worldwide.

Their success as a company is due in no small part to their ability to focus on the unmet therapeutic needs of their patients. BioMarin excels at charting new courses to bring a therapy from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside when none existed previously. With this in mind, Forbes has ranked BioMarin among the top 10 most innovative companies in the world for three years in a row.

It’s also excited to share that we have launched a new YouTube channel, which will house videos featuring patient stories and information on BioMarin products. A new short documentary about the history of BioMarin, Finding Tomorrows, is also up on the site. The film provides an inside look at how BioMarin persevered to become one of the world leaders in developing therapies for rare genetic diseases.

Finally, one more piece of exciting news – their public conference space is now open! They have a number of beautiful conference rooms of all sizes available at 750 Lindaro St. in San Rafael. Please let them know if you are interested in hosting a meeting there!

BioMarin wants to give a tremendous thank you to the County of Marin, and specifically the cities of Novato and San Rafael, for their hospitality and collaboration over the past two decades which has enabled so much of their success.

Sonoma Raceway NASCAR Weekend in Sonoma Raises Record $271,000 for Sonoma County Youth Groups

Charitable programs combined to raise record amounts for local youth groups during the Toyota/Save Mart 350 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series weekend at Sonoma Raceway, June 23-25.

More than $271,000 was raised during the race weekend, the majority of which will benefit Sonoma County youth organizations through the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC). The record amount for the NASCAR weekend marks over $55,000 more than 2016. SCC has distributed more than $5.6 million to youth-serving non-profit groups since 2001.

The Children’s Champions Grand Marshal Banquet, held on Friday, June 23, at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, featured comedian and actress Cristela Alonzo, the voice of the “Cars 3” elite trainer Cruz Ramirez. Alonzo served as the Grand Marshal of the Toyota/Save Mart 350.

The sold-out sit-down dinner also featured an exclusive and sentimental history of the “Cars” franchise by Sonoma resident John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Voice-over characters from “Cars 3,” including NASCAR’s Ray Evernham, “The King” Richard Petty, and NASCAR on FOX broadcaster Mike Joy, took part in a Q&A session during the banquet.

A live auction at the banquet featured exclusive items, including a NASCAR Race-Day Experience, which included a meet and greet with the NASCAR on FOX Broadcast team and a behind- the-scenes tour of the iconic Hollywood Hotel. In addition, a special Pixar Studios package included a “Cars”-themed gift basket and a private tour of the Emeryville headquarters, as well as a Ride of a Lifetime with Dale Earnhardt Jr. were auctioned. Overall, the banquet and live auction generated a record-setting $252,000.

In addition, more than $19,000 was raised through various donations during the weekend, including a $5,000 donation on behalf of the Transporter Drivers of Motorsports Association (TDMA), which participated in the 7th annual NASCAR Hauler Parade in Sacramento on June 22. Great Clips raised over $4,000 in donations throughout the weekend at its mobile hair salon in the main paddock and the online charity auction raised nearly $8,000.

For more information about the Sonoma Chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities or to make a donation, visit or contact Cheri Plattner at (707) 933-3950 or If your non-profit group is interested in working with Levy Restaurants at an upcoming event, contact Kim Conte at or 707-939-1454.

Kaiser Permanente’s New Residency Program = More Physicians

Kaiser Permanente is furthering its mission to improve community health by
increasing residency programs for primary care physicians—including one at
Santa Rosa Medical Center!

The newly accredited Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency Program expects to
welcome its first group of six residents into the three-year program in July 2018.

“Training Family Medicine physicians in the Kaiser Permanente integrated model makes
sense,” said Residency Director Patricia Hiserote, MD, a Santa Rosa Family Medicine
physician since 2012. “Our residents will receive an excellent education across the
broad scope of Family Medicine while caring for our community.”

Nationally, 50 percent of graduating residents choose to stay where they train; for
Kaiser Permanente Northern California, it’s closer to 60 percent. Along with training in
the Kaiser Permanente system, Santa Rosa residents will also train at Petaluma Health
Center to learn the community model of medicine.

“We’re investing our time and energy to develop full-spectrum, effective and efficient
Family Medicine physicians who will succeed wherever they choose to practice,” Dr.
Hiserote said. “What’s important is that we increase the number of primary care
physicians in our community. Research shows that the health of an individual, and the
community, improves with the number of primary care physicians. It’s a win-win.”

Santa Rosa Medical Center is already home to Podiatry, Pharmacy, and Optometry
residents, as well as students from medical schools across the country. In addition, we
will continue partnering with Sutter Health’s Santa Rosa Family Medicine Residency
program (which graduates 12 residents per year), while joining the ranks of Kaiser
Permanente Northern California’s 13 other residency programs.

“We are a center of medical education, and our new Family Medicine Residency
Program will continue to make us a major teaching facility,” said Kirk Pappas, MD,
physician-in-chief, Santa Rosa Medical Center.

Judy Coffey, RN, senior vice president and Marin-Sonoma area manager, echoes that
sentiment. “Expanding educational opportunities for physicians and caregivers, and
increasing the number of primary-care physicians is good for everyone in our
community,” she said.