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Strictly Business: 40 Under 40, Career Cafe, accolades and home buying webinar

The North Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 celebrates young talent in our business community. Of this year’s inductees, only one came from Sonoma Valley. Lauren Kershner, 32, owner of Goodness Gracious Catering, Songbird Parlour and Valley of the Moon Kombucha Co. in Glen Ellen, will be honored at the April 19 event. Sponsored by Sutter Health and River Rock Casino, the Press Democrat will host a Career Cafe on Tuesday, March 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event offers a chance to connect with local employers and executives, and learn more about the job opportunities in the region. Participants can also receive updated professional headshots, receive personalized introductions from HR specialists and enjoy a coffee tasting from local roasters. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required at eventbrite.com/e/career-cafe-tickets-265527990367. The event takes place at the coLAB at 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals will host the virtual webinar “What to Expect When Buying Your First Home,“ which will focus on demystifying the process of financing and purchasing a home. In such a costly area, tips can help a buyer get off on the right track. The discussion will be led by Realtor Nicola Roualdes of Vanguard Properties, and Thomas Bodell, loan originator for Cross Country Mortgage. It is set for Tuesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. Find the link to sign on at sonomachamber.org. Pets Lifeline recently attracted five new board members to the current leadership team. Frank Espina’s professional experience spans over four decades as the founder of his own CPA firm as an audit and tax partner. He retired in 2018. Over the years, he served with the board of Family Service Agency, San Mateo Chamber of Commerce and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center. Also, for 20 years he was a board member and CFO of Pets in Need. He has two dogs, Hambone and Coco Chanel. He currently serves on the Finance Committee for Pets Lifeline. Cynthia Frank is now chair of the Program Development Committee focused on greater community involvement. She brings over 30 years of nonprofit experience to the board table, most notably for Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, the Gaucher Community Alliance and The Cultural Conservancy. She lives in Sonoma with her husband Lars Asbjornsen and their beloved cat Mia (a.k.a. Creamy). Jane Hutchinson also serves on the Program Development Committee. During her professional career, she served as president of Cal-ISBOA, a professional association with 250 California independent school business officers. She was the founding president of the Hawaii Association of Independent School Business Officers, and a former member Association of Business Officers in Independent Schools. In 2018 she retired, moved to Sonoma and married her husband, Bill. Larry Krieger provides his expertise to the Finance Committee and is co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Larry worked with The Bay Club Company, The WellBridge Company and the Boston-based Virgin Lifecare Company. He also serves on the board of the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, and was their 2017 Sweetheart. He lives in Sonoma with his wife Virginia and has two Pets Lifeline rescues: Baxter and Lulu. Laura Zimmerman serves on the Program Development Committee. For 20 years, she graced television screens in northern and central California as an anchor and reporter. For five years, she was the news anchor at KTVU in Oakland on Mornings On 2 newscast. She later joined KGO-TV in San Francisco to serve as co-anchor of the station’s Marketplace financial program. Before Pets Lifeline, she served as executive director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.|
Lauren Kershner.
Lauren Kershner.

40 Under 40

The North Bay Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 celebrates young talent in our business community. Of this year’s inductees, only one came from Sonoma Valley. Lauren Kershner, 32, owner of Goodness Gracious Catering, Songbird Parlour and Valley of the Moon Kombucha Co. in Glen Ellen, will be honored at the April 19 event.

Career Cafe

Sponsored by Sutter Health and River Rock Casino, the Press Democrat will host a Career Cafe on Tuesday, March 29, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event offers a chance to connect with local employers and executives, and learn more about the job opportunities in the region. Participants can also receive updated professional headshots, receive personalized introductions from HR specialists and enjoy a coffee tasting from local roasters. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required at eventbrite.com/e/career-cafe-tickets-265527990367. The event takes place at the coLAB at 427 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

First-time home buyers

The Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Young Professionals will host the virtual webinar “What to Expect When Buying Your First Home,“ which will focus on demystifying the process of financing and purchasing a home. In such a costly area, tips can help a buyer get off on the right track. The discussion will be led by Realtor Nicola Roualdes of Vanguard Properties, and Thomas Bodell, loan originator for Cross Country Mortgage. It is set for Tuesday, March 29, at 6 p.m. Find the link to sign on at sonomachamber.org.

Pets Lifeline has a slew of new board members. . (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)
Pets Lifeline has a slew of new board members. . (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

New Pets Lifeline boardmembers

Pets Lifeline recently attracted five new board members to the current leadership team.

Frank Espina’s professional experience spans over four decades as the founder of his own CPA firm as an audit and tax partner. He retired in 2018. Over the years, he served with the board of Family Service Agency, San Mateo Chamber of Commerce and Suicide Prevention and Crisis Center. Also, for 20 years he was a board member and CFO of Pets in Need. He has two dogs, Hambone and Coco Chanel. He currently serves on the Finance Committee for Pets Lifeline.

Cynthia Frank is now chair of the Program Development Committee focused on greater community involvement. She brings over 30 years of nonprofit experience to the board table, most notably for Friends of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, the Gaucher Community Alliance and The Cultural Conservancy. She lives in Sonoma with her husband Lars Asbjornsen and their beloved cat Mia (a.k.a. Creamy).

Jane Hutchinson also serves on the Program Development Committee. During her professional career, she served as president of Cal-ISBOA, a professional association with 250 California independent school business officers. She was the founding president of the Hawaii Association of Independent School Business Officers, and a former member Association of Business Officers in Independent Schools. In 2018 she retired, moved to Sonoma and married her husband, Bill.

Larry Krieger provides his expertise to the Finance Committee and is co-chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. Larry worked with The Bay Club Company, The WellBridge Company and the Boston-based Virgin Lifecare Company. He also serves on the board of the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, and was their 2017 Sweetheart. He lives in Sonoma with his wife Virginia and has two Pets Lifeline rescues: Baxter and Lulu.

Laura Zimmerman serves on the Program Development Committee. For 20 years, she graced television screens in northern and central California as an anchor and reporter. For five years, she was the news anchor at KTVU in Oakland on Mornings On 2 newscast. She later joined KGO-TV in San Francisco to serve as co-anchor of the station’s Marketplace financial program. Before Pets Lifeline, she served as executive director of the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation.

“We are so fortunate to have professionals of this caliber joining us. Collectively, we have an amazing array of talent on our board, and I am honored to work alongside this cadre of dedicated animal lovers.” exclaimed Nancy King, CEO of the nonprofit animal shelter.

Sonoma Valley Family Therapy is located at 814 Broadway, Sonoma.
Sonoma Valley Family Therapy is located at 814 Broadway, Sonoma.

First anniversary

Sonoma Valley Family Therapy celebrates its first year in business recently. Co-owned by Victoria Rohrer, LMFT with Kimmy Peterson, LMFT, this Broadway-based practice is looking to grow. “We all live here in Sonoma and we are actively looking for more therapists to hire to meet the mental health needs of our community. We provide mental health counseling to kids, teens, adults, couples and families. We are passionate about breaking the stigma around mental health and our goal is to continue to expand access to therapy services in the Valley,” Rohrer wrote in an email. Find out more at SonomaValleyFamilyTherapy.com.

At the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf State Park, docent Joe Gannon, standing next to a solar telescope, assures spectators that the sun is up there somewhere. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)
At the Robert Ferguson Observatory in Sugarloaf State Park, docent Joe Gannon, standing next to a solar telescope, assures spectators that the sun is up there somewhere. (Photo by Robbi Pengelly/Index-Tribune)

Observatory board

The Robert Ferguson Observatory announced today the appointment of Michael O’Shea, a 40-year radio management veteran, to the board of directors.

“We are so pleased to have Michael O’Shea join our board,” says Eric McHenry, current president of Robert Ferguson Observatory’s board of directors. “Many people call the observatory the hidden gem of Sonoma County. We are confident that Michael will help us transition this important 25-year old Sonoma County institution from being a best kept secret to being in the spotlight.”

O’Shea’s achievements are numerous, from being named Billboard Magazine’s Program Director of the Year twice, serving on the National Association of Broadcasters Steering Committee, honored for Lifetime Achievement by Puget Sound Radio Broadcasters, being inducted into the Texas Radio Hall-of-Fame in 2008, and awarded as a Marconi Award Winner in 2018.

O’Shea already has extensive knowledge of the Robert Ferguson Observatory, having first started volunteering for the organization in 2017.

Realtor honors

Sonoma Realtor Leo Merle was named an Emerald Elite Award Winner for 2021 at Better Homes and Gardens Realty, ranking him in the top 1% for the company.

Emily Charrier is always looking for business news — share your anniversaries, new products or special services and more at emily.charrier@sonomanews.com.

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