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Movers and Shakers: Business news from around the Sonoma Valley

Big anniversary: Kanak Raj, owner of Crown Cleaners and Formal Wear, is celebrating his 40th year as owner. The store was originally located on the Plaza, next to the Sebastiani Theatre, before shifting to 568 Broadway in 1986. Raj came to America from India on a Rotary Scholarship in 1972, then got his MBA. He went on to work in the electronics industry in Silicon Valley before deciding to open his own business in Sonoma. Crown specializes in dry cleaning fine fabrics, wet cleaning for natural fabrics and laundry services. It also rents formal wear and offers custom fitting.

For sale: The 1,260-square-foot office building at 362 W. Napa St. that formerly housed the Girl and the Fig business offices is currently for sale for $995,000. It could house one or several businesses, or there appears to be an option to convert it for residential use. Sotheby’s is the listing agent.

Nominations sought: Nominations are open now for the Jefferson Awards, a national program designed to highlight public service in America. Locally, the program was adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors and is designed to highlight the value of nonprofit organizations, boards, commissions and advisory bodies, as well as individual efforts for “Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement.” sonomacounty.ca.gov/HR/EVER/Jefferson-Awards/

Nominations are due on Monday, Aug. 7.

Pub contest: Murphy’s Irish Pub is having a T-shirt contest. The winning design may be sold at the bar. Prizes include monthly lunch or dinner for a year at Murphy’s, cash and, of course, bragging rights for life.

Details are at sonomapub.com/contest

Inspiration: Gary Nelson, founder of Nelson Staffing, will be speaking at the next Startup Grind Sonoma from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 28. Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. Startup Grind hosts monthly events in 200 cities and 85 countries. Nelson is a national leader in workforce management, as well as a philanthropist and social activist. Tickets are available now at startupgrind.com/sonoma/.

Strategic planning: The Sonoma County Economic Development Board has launched an initiative called Strategic Sonoma, aimed at “bringing the community together around a shared vision for the country’s economic development issues, and reevaluating the county’s clusters of opportunity.” If that sounds intriguing, you can follow their new Facebook page to learn more. Search “Strategic Sonoma.”

More networking options: The business building network, BNI Sonoma, is hosting an after-hours networking event from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at Buena Vista Winery. To learn more, visit bniSonoma.com.

Hiring: La Luz Center is seeking a part-time, temporary Immigration Efforts Coordinator to deepen, expand and manage its local immigration efforts. This is a part-time, temporary position (six months, with the possibility of extending, depending on success of the program and funding). Salary range is $18 to $21 an hour. Visit laluzcenter.org.

Chamber Resource Guide: The 2017 Sonoma Valley Community Resource Guide & Business Directory is being distributed widely starting this week. A copy came out in the July 28 Sonoma Index-Tribune, or you can pick up your copy today at the Chamber offices, 651-A Broadway.

Also hiring: The Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is seeking a Director of Development who will be responsible for planning, executing, and evaluating fundraising and development initiatives. SVMA is also looking to hire a retail sales associate for its museum store. Visit svma.org.

Wine industry news: Anne Branch is the new executive director of the Napa Valley College Foundation and she has launched a new Viticulture and Winery Technology Education Center Capital Campaign so that the college can better serve students in the wine and agriculture industries.