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Carol Giovanatto: Up through the ranks

When Carol Giovanatto walks into a room, the air almost vibrates with her style and confidence. Her wardrobe is impeccable, her work is meticulous and her personality resonates with homespun charm.

For the past 12 years, Giovanatto has been in charge of the City of Sonoma’s finances, a tough spot when the economy spun downward and revenues declined.

Now sitting in the city manager’s chair, Giovanatto has additional challenges. But that’s nothing new for a woman who changes her own tires, repairs her own automobile and once served on a pit crew for a race car team.

“My passion for stock car racing began back in high school when I attended races at Ukiah Raceway,” she said. But it wasn’t until 1975 – the year women were allowed in the pits – that she became a member of the “grass roots” crew.

“I fell into it purely by accident. They were down a crewmember, and I knew how to use a wrench. I still love the sound of an impact wrench. And I never broke a nail.”

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