Northern California Public Media Received Award for Winning Best Annual Report at the NETA Public Media Awards!

Northern California Public Media received our award today for winning best annual report at the NETA Public Media Awards! See the report –

Exchange Bank Plans Marin County Trust Office

Santa Rosa-based Exchange Bank (OTC: EXSR) has announced plans to open a trust and investment office in Marin County this summer.

Its latest such office will be located at 3950 Civic Center Drive, near the Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael.

“We are excited to replicate our style of community banking in Marin County and look forward to forging strong connections,” said Troy Sanderson, president and CEO. “We are very committed to serving the needs of local clients and local communities.”

The office, which will be in addition to three trust offices it currently operates, will initially be led by Emily Menjou, vice president, personal trust fiduciary manager. Exchange Bank reports over $1 billion in assets under administration through the trust units.

“Exchange Bank plans to expand the team with experienced local professionals in Marin County,” the Tuesday announcement stated.

The bank, with with assets of $3.33 billion, operates 16 retail branches in Sonoma County, a commercial branch in Roseville, and trust and investment management offices in Santa Rosa, Roseville and Silicon Valley.

Sonoma Raceway Blood Drive

Sonoma Raceway
Friday, March 3
8:15 AM – 12:00 PM

Donors can get their hearts pumping with a “hot lap” around Sonoma Raceway’s 12-turn road course prior to donating blood. Donors will ride along with a professional driving instructor in a Sonoma Raceway Camry. DONORS WANTING TO TAKE A LAP SHOULD DO SO BEFORE DONATING. The last ‘hot lap’ will be at 11:45 AM.

Sonoma County Tourism Wins Three Prestigious Marcom Awards

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) earned top honors in multiple categories in the international competition for marketing and communication professionals.

The MarCom Awards recognizes outstanding achievement by creative professionals involved in the concept, direction, design and production of marketing and communication materials and programs.

SCT received two Platinum Awards (the very highest accolade possible), one in the Public Relations Program Campaign category for “The Unknown Destination for Wellbeing” and another recognition in the Influencer Content category for its Intentional Itineraries Program.

SCT also took home the Gold Award (second highest distinction) in the Digital Marketing Program category for its “Reawakening the Spirit of Travel in Sonoma County” promotional campaign.

There were over 6,000 MarCom entries from throughout the United States, Canada and 43 other countries. Each entry is judged based on its own merits, not in comparison to other entries.

“Our team at SCT and Fahlgren Mortine put a lot of hard work and dedication into the creation and implementation of these exceptional campaigns,” said Todd O’Leary, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Sonoma County Tourism. “Platinum is the highest award anyone can receive and is very challenging to earn. The fact that we earned two platinum, and one gold award just goes to show the passion our team has for these campaigns and our beautiful destination.”

The MarCom Awards is one of the oldest, largest, and most-respected creative competitions in the world. Winning a MarCom Award is one of the most prestigious, highly sought-after honor in the marketing communications industry.


About Sonoma County Tourism

Sonoma County Tourism (SCT) is the region’s official Destination Stewardship Organization. Through a multi-channel sales and marketing program, the organization promotes Sonoma County as a global visitor and meetings destination, where diversity thrives, and everyone is welcome. Leveraging the region’s unmatched assets, wine, culinary, wellness, and sustainability continue to define its character. Visitors spent $1.97 billion in Sonoma County in 2021, a 58% increase over 2020 and employed 17,640 Sonoma Countians, a gain of 8.3% over 2020 hospitality job levels. Post-pandemic, SCT will work with partner businesses to rebuild the tourism economy, regain critical revenue, and re-establish a vibrant workforce. Planning the perfect trip to Sonoma County just got easier with the Sonoma County App as your personal travel assistant. Create a unique itinerary in real time, travel with intention and share with your traveling party. Available for Android and iOS. For more information, visit

Dutra Wishes Bill Dutra a Happy 50 Year Anniversary

Text sourced from Dutra newsletter.

We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Bill on his 50th anniversary at the helm of The Dutra Group, and to express our sincerest appreciation for Bill’s vision and passion throughout this tenure. Like all companies, The Dutra Group has endured periods of “high seas and foul weather.” Under Bill’s leadership, we prevailed in overcoming our challenges while also strengthening the fabric of the company in the process. Bill’s unfettered leadership, vision, and passion have inspired all of us at The Dutra Group, and we are all fortunate to have learned from him.

This past year, we have experienced unprecedented inflationary and supply chain challenges that we are eager to put behind us. At the same time, We are very optimistic as we move forward into 2023. The company’s markets are strong, and they show signs of continued growth with strong demand for marine infrastructure work of all types.

On the safety side, we could not be prouder of our employees for their tremendous effort in honoring and respecting our culture of excellence and safety. During challenging times, it is the special character of our employees that compels us to excel and to look out for one another.

As we move to grow our company and participate in even larger projects within our areas of expertise, we are highly confident that our people are up to the technical and administrative challenges. By providing the highest level of quality and service to our customers, we have the opportunity to work on exciting and important projects while strengthening and improving the infrastructure of our great nation.

I am honored and excited to work alongside our management team, including our recently appointed vice presidents and newly elevated managers, and everyone throughout the organization to guide this company into its next chapter — the future is very bright.

Let’s continue to enjoy working in a safe, innovative and profitable company.

North Bay Children’s Center – New Year Brings New Opportunities

It’s the beginning of the new year and we’re already off to a great start. NBCC is excited to announce the opening of its second toddler classroom in Sonoma County and the launch of a new associate teacher apprenticeship program in Marin.

In December NBCC rolled out a new toddler program at its Fitch Mountain campus in Healdsburg to provide childcare and early education for 12 toddlers ages 18 months to 3 years. This is the second of five new toddler classrooms NBCC will launch over the next several months as part of its program expansion plans to serve an additional 60 children and their families at existing sites throughout the North Bay.

In January we began partnering with Marin Health & Human Services, Community Action Marin, and College of Marin, among other key partners, to launch an associate teacher apprenticeship program called the Pathways to Success Apprenticeship. This unique paid learning and on-the-job training experience will support a group of individual participants who will earn 12 Early Childhood Education units through College of Marin, complete 2,000 hours of paid work experience, and will be eligible for an Associate Teacher permit.

NBCC is pleased to welcome nine student teachers to this 18-month long apprenticeship. Our goal is to create a learning environment where the apprentices practice what they learn and contribute from their own experience.  President and CEO, Susan Gilmore stated, “This is such a win for our community. It supports working parents who need childcare for their kids, it benefits the participants in their personal growth as teachers, and supports the expansion of our early care and education workforce development.”

Comcast Partners with National Skills Coalition to Close the Digital Divide

National Skills Coalition (NSC) announced today a partnership with Comcast to educate local, state, and national decisionmakers about the benefits of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to promote digital equity and opportunity nationwide. The initiative aims to help close the digital skill divide that is currently limiting educational and employment opportunities for nearly 50 million Americans.  

NSC received a $200,000 grant from Comcast to help state leaders bridge existing workforce development programs with federal Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment Program (BEAD) and Digital Equity Act (DEA) funding. Digital skills are now required across virtually every industry and occupation, yet nearly one in three U.S. workers lack the foundational digital skills necessary to enter and thrive in today’s workforce, with workers of color and those earning lower wages disproportionately affected. These programs represent a once-in-a-generation investment in closing the digital skills gap equitably. 

“If local, state, and federal decisionmakers fully understand its potential – and if workforce and broadband offices work together on its implementation – this federal investment in digital equity could have a profound impact on closing the digital skill divide for tens of millions of America’s workers,” said Andy Van Kleunen, NSC CEO. “We’re grateful to Comcast for their partnership in making that happen.” 

“When digital skills grow, our economy grows,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP and Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation and President of the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation. “The demand for digital skills exists across every industry and throughout the workforce. That’s why we’re proud to partner with the National Skills Coalition to help ensure more local and national leaders are aware of and take advantage of public sector digital equity funds to invest in the skill development programs that are critical to closing our country’s digital divide.” 

As part of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law passed by Congress in 2021, states have recently begun to receive historic federal investments in digital equity through the $42 billion BEAD program and the $2.75 billion DEA. 

BEAD funding will help states expand access to broadband, digital devices, and digital skills in unserved or under-served communities. BEAD also invests in training local workers to install and maintain new broadband infrastructure in their communities. Complementary, DEA will provide grants to states to support a range of digital inclusion activities, including digital skill building and efforts to advance awareness of adoption programs such as the Affordable Connectivity Program. 

In addition to the grant, NSC and Comcast will partner on research, communications, and trainings that highlight best practices for implementing federal digital inclusion funding. The work will engage federal, state and local officials; state workforce and digital inclusion advocates; and national equity organizations. 

Comcast’s partnership with the National Skills Coalition is part of Project UP, the company’s comprehensive initiative to advance digital equity and help build a future of unlimited possibilities. 


About NSC  

National Skills Coalition fights for inclusive, high-quality skills training so that people have access to a better life, and local businesses see sustained growth. We engage in analysis and technical assistance, organizing, advocacy, and communications to improve state and federal skills policies.  

About Comcast Corporation  

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on connectivity, aggregation, and streaming with 57 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit for more information. 


W. Bradley Electric’s CEO Leslie Murphy Inducted in to the YWCA Marin Women’s Hall of Fame

Marin Women’s Hall of Fame Annual Induction & Celebration

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

5:00 – 8:00 pm

Peacock Gap Golf Club

The event honors five extraordinary women who will be inducted into the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame and celebrates the successes and growth of women’s contributions. This inspiring group of Inductees  share characteristics of passion, dedication, wit and hard work, and through their actions, have demonstrated their drive to ensure the progress and well-being of Marin County.

Ticket and table purchases include admission to a cocktail reception and three-course dinner. Tickets are limited and may sell out.

5:00 – 6:00 p.m. – Hosted cocktail reception
6:00 – 7:30 p.m. – Dinner and Induction celebration

About the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame

Established in 1987, the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame recognizes Marin women of distinction, preserves their stories, educates the public on women’s contributions, and inspires future generations of women and girls.  The Marin Women’s Hall of Fame was cofounded by YWCA, AAUW, and the Marin Women’s Commission. Before the start of Marin Women’s Hall of Fame, virtually no records of women’s achievements had been recorded in Marin County.

YWCA Golden Gate Silicon Valley is proud to steward the program, ensuring a legacy for future generations that documents not only successes but also represents a diverse sisterhood of women supporting each other, standing together, and moving the needle on progress for all women. Today, more than 150 women have been recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Marin County and beyond.

To register for this event follow this link:

The Press Democrat Selected by Report for America for Grant to Report on Mental Health Effects of Local Disasters

As part of our commitment to deliver even more meaningful and revelatory content to Sonoma County, I’m proud to share The Press Democrat is among several dozen newsrooms across the country to receive a grant to help fund a new reporting position.

The Report for America program selected The Press Democrat from hundreds of other applicants and awarded us a grant to hire a reporter to explore how the past five years of traumatic events — from devastating wildfires and floods to learning disruptions triggered by the global COVID-19 pandemic — have affected the emotional wellness and educational gains of Sonoma County students.

It’s no secret the unprecedented outside-the-classroom challenges our kids, especially those in grades K-12, have confronted the past half-decade have resulted in sagging academic scores.

Reading levels have tumbled, graduation rates have dropped and, even worse, teachers have seen a surge in the number of students grappling with emotional and psychological issues.

The Press Democrat has been exploring the topic for the past year. Investigative health reporter Martin Espinoza last October, on the fifth anniversary of the 2017 storm of wildfires, offered a special report that revealed the growing acute trauma among students reported by teachers and mental health experts.

A local survey reported about one in six Sonoma County middle and high school students say they are still “meaningfully feeling the effects of the 2017 wildfires,” was just one of Espinoza’s findings.

However, even deeper coverage is essential. Exploring the long-term effects of trauma on our next generation of young people was the foundation of our request to Report for America for a journalist who can explore the topic at an even deeper level.

For the next two years, the reporter — for whom we are now recruiting — will frame the challenges while also pursuing solutions that may be found in other parts of the country. I believe it could be one of the most important positions in our newsroom.

There are two ways you can help make this an even greater success.

First, if you are a journalist eager to tackle this enterprising beat or you know of a candidate whose skills match the expectations of our readers, please encourage them to apply at

You also can contact me at to share your interest.

Secondly, Report for America pays a portion of the reporter’s salary, and The Press Democrat must raise the balance by seeking tax-deductible contributions. I’ll have more information on that process and how you – as an individual, philanthropic trust or non-profit group — can help in the very near future.

Report for America is a national non-profit group that places journalists in local newsrooms across the country. At a time when American newsrooms face unprecedented economic and financial challenges, the organization helps media organizations like The Press Democrat report on under-covered issues and underserved communities.

We made several presentations to leaders at the organization in late 2022 and recently learned of our award. We are just one of three California newsrooms to earn the grant, and I couldn’t be prouder because it will expand our ability to pursue and publish even stronger journalism for our readers and subscribers. This role will harness watchdog reporting and storytelling skills.

The initiative is part of a national effort by a Boston-based nonprofit news organization called The GroundTruth Project that supports emerging journalists around the globe with a special emphasis on social issues and public service journalism.

When I arrived as executive editor two years ago, I promised a new commitment to powerful journalism that makes a difference in this beautiful slice of California. This position — funded by our community and Report for America — will play a key role in upholding that pledge.

As always, thanks for reading The Press Democrat.

Side by Side’s Annual Report 2021-2022 Out Now!

Side by Side has been doing incredible work in our community. Please read their annual report to see all of the progress and accomplishments made over the last years.