Clouds and sun

SVHS grads launch Kindred

David Donnelley, an economics teacher at Sonoma Valley High School, is known not only for his work in the classroom, but also for his invaluable support of former students starting their own small businesses. A savvy businessman before he dedicated his life to teaching, Donnelley offers expert advice and the occasional financial assistance.

“I consider myself the midwife to the businesses. I’m just there to offer whatever help is needed,” said Donnelley.

His most recent effort was to aid two former students, SVHS class of 2007 alumnus Steven Rueter and Dexter Lohnes, and their company Kindred Inc. Focused on home management, the business recently released a mobile application called Kindred Home.

Rueter, a graduate of Boston College, studied economics and linguistics but realized that his career would rest on answering a question he believes to be fundamental and essential to the future.

“How many parents ask, ‘Is this (cellphone) doing my child more harm than good?’ I’m positive that smart phones will play a large part in our generation’s future, so why not use it to our advantage?” said Rueter. “In college, I shared a dorm with six other people, and it could get pretty hectic because there was no way for all of us to coordinate household duties.”

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