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  • Conscious Capitalism

    B Corps certification is a badge of honor for a groundbreaking group of North Bay businesses. They share a fervent belief that business has the power to be a force for good and the ability to make their communities and the world better. Thus, social responsibility and a concern for the environment are measures of success on par with a company’s bottom line. And, increasingly, the people who buy their products or use their services, expect companies to embrace that philosophy, increasing the odds of success for those who do and making benefit corporations a trend on the upswing.


    » read more

  • KSRO News Talk

    On the night of October 8, 2017, Pat Kerrigan of KSRO News Talk awoke at her home in Kenwood. Outside, the wind howled. Across the street 30-foot high flames threatened. A fireman told her to get out. Kerrigan and her wife, Michele, grabbed their dog, Chance, jumped in the car and headed west on Bennett Valley Road. She sensed this was more than a neighborhood fire and headed for the radio station in Santa Rosa. Driving dark circuitous back roads, they arrived just after midnight.


    » read more

  • Emeritus Vineyards

    The story of Mari Jones and Emeritus Vineyards begins long before she was born. It began during the Vietnam War, when a general introduced Brice Jones, a young Air Force fighter pilot, to a fine French red wine. Brice, like most Americans, believed good red wine was bottled by the jug. The general had been introduced to fine French wine when his plane was shot down during World War II, and he shared his passion for French wines with young Brice.


    » read more

  • A Winning Combination

    Great ideas have a way of catching people by surprise, especially when a missing piece suddenly emerges, putting what was previously just a good thought on the path to reality.

    Such was the case with Eckhoff and Company (EAC) Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) and advisors in San Rafael, which launched a strategic joint venture with an all-new business, Eckhoff Wealth Management (EWM), in June 2017.


    » read more

  • Employee Owned

    Thirty years ago on a November day, Steve Maass opened the first Oliver’s Market in Sonoma County, in Cotati. Like most successful companies, it started small, with only 13 employees. Growth was slow but steady, and as the grocery store gained a loyal following, it unveiled its second location in 2000, in the former Molsberry Market on Santa Rosa’s Montecito Boulevard. The Stony Point Road Oliver’s in Santa Rosa opened in 2007 in what had been a Ralph’s Market. In 2016, Oliver’s opened its fourth store, in Windsor––the first designed and built for the company.


    » read more

  • Business As Usual

    One year after the Wine Country wildfires, both Sonoma and Napa are still suffering afterburn when it comes to tourism.

    The old adage is that “perception is reality,” and that is keeping tourism officials busy as they work to convince tourists that Wine County didn’t evaporate in the fires and, despite what they might see on the news, not all of the state is on fire.

    New advertising campaigns are being launched. Additional funds are being budgeted, and tourism teams are feathering out nationwide (and internationally) to spread the word—Wine County is open for business.


    » read more

  • Age Friendly Cities

    Marin and Sonoma counties have official Age-Friendly status, and Live Healthy, an initiative of Napa County’s Livable Communities, is incorporating the same elements to develop new strategies for meeting the needs of its aging population. 


    » read more

  • Building A Better Path

    Gangs were a given in the Santa Rosa community of Roseland, when Vicente Tlatilpa was growing up. It would have been easy for him to fall in with the wrong crowd, but instead, he found Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), which provides year-round job training and education services for disadvantaged youth. It turned out to be a life changer.


    » read more

  • Lagunitas: A Brewery With Heart

    There aren’t many charitable events, fundraisers, volunteer recognition events, and other benefits in the North Bay that don’t feature Lagunitas beer. The company, while known for being nonconformist, innovative interpretations of traditional beer styles, and humorous stories on its packaging, has also become synonymous with giving, as so many nonprofits rely on them for product donations, sponsorships.


    » read more

  • Youth Poster Contest

    The Youth Poster Contest, created by Bruce Burtch, enables the Marin County youth ages 12 to 18 to focus on the subjects they believe deserve the most attention and require immediate action. Topics have included social justice, women’s rights, immigration, firearms regulation, climate change and other issues that affect their lives.


    » read more

  • Skilled Professionals Wanted

    In the North Bay, many jobs remain unfilled, spanning a variety of industries. Health care and hospitality industries can’t find qualified professionals, and county government and school districts are having trouble filling any kind of jobs. At any level, more jobs are available than there are skilled professionals to fill them. What’s going on?

     


    » read more

  • Catholic Charities

    Since last year’s wildfires, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa has been instrumental in helping displaced residents find secure housing in Sonoma and Napa Counties. The nonprofit has adopted a model to meet county-specific approaches for the two areas. The majority of the need is concentrated in Sonoma County. Here Catholic Charities helped triage 901 people in a long-term recovery group that’s served 1,407 people.


    » read more

  • Spirited Libations

    Prohibition was once known as a “noble experiment.” President Herbert Hoover described it as “a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching purpose.” Under the 18th Amendment, the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors” was forbidden from 1920 to 1933, but consumption was not considered illegal. By law, any wine, beer or spirits that Americans had stashed away as of January 1920 were theirs to keep and enjoy in the privacy of their homes.


    » read more

  • Mentoring: A Love Story

    The mission of this 22-year-old nonprofit is simple and clear:  to create and supervise long-term relationships between caring adults and at-risk school children in need of academic and social support. A cohort of energetic, committed volunteers and 11 staff members maintain mentoring centers on eight campuses of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Currently, there are 450 active mentor-mentee pairs, with 102 children on a waiting list that the Mentoring Alliance board is determined to decrease.


    » read more

  • Open for Business

    One year after the Wine Country wildfires, both Sonoma and Napa are still suffering afterburn when it comes to tourism.


    » read more

  • Napa First Street

    A number of new businesses opened in First Street Napa this fall, boosting pedestrian traffic downtown and tax revenue for the City of Napa. The recent arrivals included lululemon, Maker’s Market, the Mayacamas Vineyards tasting room, and John Anthony Family of Wines’ new office headquarters. Napastäk Napa Valley, a boutique specializing in gourmet foods, will open in this winter. 
    The entire 325,000 square foot mixed use development, which is still under construction in some areas, will contain 45 restaurant and retail businesses when complete. The development has undergone a remodel that cost more than $200 million. New aspects of the project include Class A office space with three regional powerhouses in residency including Silicon Valley Bank, Pacific Union International and John Anthony Family of Wines. The development also now has on-site property management. “We took the heart of downtown, which was empty for 18 years, and invested a considerable amount of funds in a triple-block area. We’re trying to bring a balance of experiences and excitement,” says Todd Zapolski, managing partner of Zapolski Real Estate LLC, the developer of the project along with Trademark Property Company.


    Additional structures that are not part of the original 45 shops and restaurants under ownership of First Street Napa include the Gordon Building, a historic structure built between 1929 and 1935 with Spanish Colonial Revival styling and Spanish Renaissance details. “The Gordon Building is a blank canvas at this time. [It] could potentially consist of creative class office space on top of new street retail space,” says Zapolski. 


    » read more

North Bay News and Stories

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Spinster Sisters

Built in the 1920s, Spinster Sisters was once a small Italian market in downtown Santa Rosa. The original owners had five daughters, and as the story goes, two of their daughters—Isolena and Claudina—never married and lived upstairs above the market. When new owners Liza Hinman and Eric Anderson purchased the building six years ago to launch their new restaurant, they wanted a name that embraced its history.

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Recruiting & Retaining Millennials

The Millennial workforce is no longer something that is far away. It’s here, it’s growing, and it’s impactful. In fact, their strong ethics and values are revolutionizing the way we think about business. It’s true, the youngest of the Millennials are in their early 20s and just getting their foothold in the workforce, but long gone are the days where we can dismiss the entire generation as shiftless, screen-obsessed kids.

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The Demand for Non-alcoholic Wine Expected to Increase

There has been a recent uptick in the sale of non-alcoholic wines and beers, according to Global Market Insights. The estimates are that this trend will increase in the coming years, reaching a compound annual growth rate of 7.6 percent in 2024. If this is accurate, what in 2017 was a $16 billion global market could grow to more than $26 billion by 2024.

Why the sudden interest in non-alcoholic wine? Health, generational changes and alternatives?

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Juliannna Graham

Julianna Graham, senior vice president of Tri Counties Bank, has been in the financial services business for more than 30 years. She became a banker “accidentally” as she was planning on pursuing a career in design. She graduated from University of San Francisco and earned a Master of Business Administration in finance from Golden Gate University.

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Twomey Cellars

Twomey Cellars was founded around the winery’s Napa Valley Merlot. But in 2007, the first wine from the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria kick-started the Pinot program. Driven by unique vineyard acquisition opportunities and key grower relationships, they evolved into a Pinot Noir house, producing eight distinct Pinots from Central California to Oregon.

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Work/Life/Picks

Looking for just the right wine this holiday season? Here are a few favorites for any occasion.

In 2002, Francis Ford Coppola Winery released their first canned wine, and in the years since, it has grown to become a vino phenomenon.

Looking for a light, refreshing holiday cocktail to serve guests? Try Jardesca California Aperitiva.

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Work/Life/Give

A recording-breaking year for the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, raising more than $5.7 million at the 2018 Sonoma County Wine Auction.

Petaluma’s SMART Train station has been renovated, thanks to Sonoma County Tourism Cares, the Petaluma Visitors Center and the City of Petaluma.

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Fast, Cheap, or Good—Pick Two

Whether you’re developing software or painting a house, a project always seems to have two questions attached to it: How long will it take? How much will it cost? Those are necessary questions that determine the viability of the result. A project that takes too long may yield a less useful result. A project that costs more than the benefits it generates doesn’t make economic sense. I’ve heard these two questions a lot during my career.

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Work/Life/Green

Sure, you turn your office light off at night, recycle your soda cans and skip the plastic water bottles and drink tap water, but you know there’s more you can be doing.

Help save the planet by making sustainable holiday choices this holiday season.

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What is the Best Diet?

The word “diet” doesn’t mean to lose weight anymore, diet simply means a selection of food and beverages that help you achieve a particular goal. There are a myriad of diets to choose from—diets to lose weight, diets to build muscle, diets to reduce cholesterol, diets to avoid allergens or animal products, diets to control diabetes. With such a wide range of diets, it’s nearly impossible to answer the question: What is the best diet? But that won’t stop me from trying.

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Business As Usual

One year after the Wine Country wildfires, both Sonoma and Napa are still suffering afterburn when it comes to tourism.

The old adage is that “perception is reality,” and that is keeping tourism officials busy as they work to convince tourists that Wine County didn’t evaporate in the fires and, despite what they might see on the news, not all of the state is on fire.

New advertising campaigns are being launched. Additional funds are being budgeted, and tourism teams are feathering out nationwide (and internationally) to spread the word—Wine County is open for business.

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Age Friendly Cities

Marin and Sonoma counties have official Age-Friendly status, and Live Healthy, an initiative of Napa County’s Livable Communities, is incorporating the same elements to develop new strategies for meeting the needs of its aging population. 

img
Building A Better Path

Gangs were a given in the Santa Rosa community of Roseland, when Vicente Tlatilpa was growing up. It would have been easy for him to fall in with the wrong crowd, but instead, he found Conservation Corps North Bay (CCNB), which provides year-round job training and education services for disadvantaged youth. It turned out to be a life changer.

img
Lagunitas: A Brewery With Heart

There aren’t many charitable events, fundraisers, volunteer recognition events, and other benefits in the North Bay that don’t feature Lagunitas beer. The company, while known for being nonconformist, innovative interpretations of traditional beer styles, and humorous stories on its packaging, has also become synonymous with giving, as so many nonprofits rely on them for product donations, sponsorships.

img
Youth Poster Contest

The Youth Poster Contest, created by Bruce Burtch, enables the Marin County youth ages 12 to 18 to focus on the subjects they believe deserve the most attention and require immediate action. Topics have included social justice, women’s rights, immigration, firearms regulation, climate change and other issues that affect their lives.

img
Skilled Professionals Wanted

In the North Bay, many jobs remain unfilled, spanning a variety of industries. Health care and hospitality industries can’t find qualified professionals, and county government and school districts are having trouble filling any kind of jobs. At any level, more jobs are available than there are skilled professionals to fill them. What’s going on?

 

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J Rickards Winery

Jim Rickards is not your average grape grower. He takes chances, regularly tests new grape varietals in “the cradle” (his experimental plot), and works as a registered nurse in the intensive care unit at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital when he’s not in the vineyards. His boutique winery, J. Rickards, is nothing short of a success, with award-winning wines and a loyal fan base enjoying what Rickards calls, “Darn Fine Barn Wine."

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Mentoring: A Love Story

The mission of this 22-year-old nonprofit is simple and clear:  to create and supervise long-term relationships between caring adults and at-risk school children in need of academic and social support. A cohort of energetic, committed volunteers and 11 staff members maintain mentoring centers on eight campuses of the Sonoma Valley Unified School District. Currently, there are 450 active mentor-mentee pairs, with 102 children on a waiting list that the Mentoring Alliance board is determined to decrease.

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Catholic Charities

Since last year’s wildfires, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa has been instrumental in helping displaced residents find secure housing in Sonoma and Napa Counties. The nonprofit has adopted a model to meet county-specific approaches for the two areas. The majority of the need is concentrated in Sonoma County. Here Catholic Charities helped triage 901 people in a long-term recovery group that’s served 1,407 people.

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Spirited Libations

Prohibition was once known as a “noble experiment.” President Herbert Hoover described it as “a great social and economic experiment, noble in motive and far-reaching purpose.” Under the 18th Amendment, the “manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating liquors” was forbidden from 1920 to 1933, but consumption was not considered illegal. By law, any wine, beer or spirits that Americans had stashed away as of January 1920 were theirs to keep and enjoy in the privacy of their homes.

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Work/Life/Give

Sonoma County philanthropists and LBC Honorary Board Members and winner of best business leader in the 2018 NorthBay biz magazine’s Best Of Readers Poll, Marcia and Gary Nelson, gave a $1 million commitment to the Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit that owns and operates Luther Burbank Center for the Arts.

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Open for Business

One year after the Wine Country wildfires, both Sonoma and Napa are still suffering afterburn when it comes to tourism.

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The Lakehouse at Calistoga Ranch: An Auberge Resort

An Auberge Resort, Calistoga Ranch opened in 2004 and offers a private getaway for its guests. The resort features 72 lodges, and if you ask the locals, it’s also a haute spot for professional athletes, actors and entertainers.

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Beyond The Boardroom: What Didn\\\'t Make The Cut

Beyond the Boardroom is one of the highlights of NorthBay biz. Each month, the editorial team hand selects a business leader in the community to feature the aspects of their lives—outside of work—through fun and light-hearted questions. Get rid of the suit jacket and tie, slip on those rollerblades you cruise around town on during the weekends, and tell us about your first cassette tape. This year, for the first time, we featured “Local Heroes,” men and women who played a vital role in the community following the October wildfires of 2017. We can’t always squeeze every detail into a profile, so here’s what ended up on the cutting room floor from all 16 issues in 2018.

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David Goodman

When David Goodman made a career change in 1994, he interviewed with the San Francisco Food Bank. Asked why he wanted the job, he replied that he wasn’t there to feed hungry people, but to work hard, and if hungry people benefited, it would be a job well done. Today, he’s the chief executive officer of Redwood Empire Food Bank in Santa Rosa—a nonprofit organization with a mission to end hunger in the community, serving one in six people in Sonoma County. 

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Wine Trends To Watch In 2019

The world of wine is changing, and 2019 is poised to be a year full of both opportunities and challenges for Northern California winemakers and growers alike. Here are the trends to watch.

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Is It Safe To Eat Romaine Again

The E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce reported in November might have you wondering how the disease-causing bacteria is also a bacteria that naturally lives in your intestine.

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As The Revolving Door Turns

Change is hard, but not for the Marin Economic Forum. The nonprofit organization’s website says it “strives to provide information and opportunities for improving Marin County economic vitality, while seeking to increase social equity and environmental protection.” Which is pretty worthy stuff, but the forum is only able to chase that objective when it isn’t seeking CEO candidates, which is a fair amount of the time.

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Is This The Real Life

I was at TEDxSonomaCounty a few weeks ago, and one of the afternoon’s presentations was a short play built on the notion that we are merely part of a computer simulation, much like Neo in The Matrix film series. The play posed the question, “What parameters might be changed to make our (simulated) world a better place to live?”

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Gone Baby Gone

With the dawn of the New Year, I once again resolve to “get real” with myself. As much as I prattle on about being adept at punting and shifting when life throws its curve balls, I deplore change, especially when it comes to saying bye-bye to longstanding restaurants.

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A Visit to the Future at Amazon Go

I visited the future last week—twice, in fact. And it was definitely a little weird. My time machine was the newly-opened Amazon Go storefront in San Francisco’s Financial District, at the corner of California and Battery. It’s a couple of blocks from my office, and one of only six such stores in the country (three in Seattle, and two more in Chicago). In case you haven’t heard about Amazon Go, it sells food and drink and necessities, much like Target, CVS, and 7-11. What’s the big difference? Aside from a more attractive space, there are no cashiers or checkout stands. You walk in, get what you need and walk out.

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The Green-Eyed Goddess

This month, my inbox was flooded with stories that spotlighted female empowerment. Each one I filed away and said, ‘Maybe next year.’ Largely because I spent the better part of this year dedicating columns to such themes. My inner voice, a guilt-ridden, green-eyed monster dude, said, “Enough already, with your woman hear me roar sentiments.” Never one to be accused of playing favorites, I put the stories aside. As a recovering Catholic, I’ve lived with this guilty guy on my back, forever. The naysayer who succeeds at shooting me down, instead of up, and clouds sound judgement with doubt and self-deprecation.

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A Lesson In Driving

Attention, please. The first meeting of the 2019 class of the IDNB—the Idiot Drivers of the North Bay—is now in session. It’s nice to see all of you here, though I’m a little surprised that some of you are still alive. Darwinism apparently isn’t what it used to be since I thought for sure you would have been killing each other off at a faster rate.

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An Open Letter to Brandon Frere

Seriously?! While our editorial team is on the verge of compiling an entire issue dedicated to the generosity of the North Bay business community, you go and get yourself arrested by the FBI for alleged fraud? (This is pretty bad timing, man!)

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It Takes A Village At Corte Madera

As Santa sizes up his list of good and bad folks, gift hunting in Marin is even more serious than normal, which is saying something in a county where shopping is sometimes a contact sport.

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Lawrence Amaturo

When Lawrence Amaturo acquired NorthBay biz magazine in December of 2017, he added the 43-year-old company to his long list of locally-thriving businesses. As the man behind Amaturo Sonoma Media Group, Splash Express Car Wash and co-owner of Jim Bone Auto Group, he has his finger on the pulse of the community.

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Ehlers Estate

Every morning at 6:30, winemaker Laura Diaz Muñoz, begins the day with a walk through the vineyard at Ehlers Estate in St. Helena to check the vines. And the crew that tends the vineyard also works in the cellar, as needed. “There’s basically one sole crew for vineyard and cellar work. It’s very unique,” says Muñoz. So if there is one aspect of Ehlers Estate that sets it apart in the industry, it’s that the work of Muñoz and crew is reflected in each bottle of wine.

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Who Doesn\\\'t Like Alcohol?

In the 1960s and ’70s, there was a collective societal buzz that having a glass or two of wine a day was akin to a sort of medicine, treating everything from indigestion to heart disease. That buzz eventually turned into “facts” when studies seemed to back up the assertions. Years passed, and the idea that wine was good for you became something nearly everyone accepted. But over the last decade there has been growing evidence that is counter to the “wine is medicine” hypothesis. And what is at the moment a low buzz of concern will likely grow in intensity in the coming years. These growing health concerns will have a negative impact on wine consumption and therefore sales.

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Spoonbar, Healdsburg

At the entrance of h2hotel, there’s a whimsical waterfall of spoons, a part of the original structure of the property, and the inspiration behind Spoonbar. The restaurant opened two years ago in downtown Healdsburg, and this spring Chef Matt D’Ambrosi took the helm of the kitchen, creating a new menu as inventive as the sculpture at the entrance.

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Are You Pro Growth Or No Growth?

Who would even pause to respond before signaling a resounding “Yes!” to being pro-growth? How else do we expand opportunities for business to thrive? How else do we develop employee talent and protect our organizations from competitive threat? When it comes to business, if you’re not growing, you’re dying, right?



 

In this Issue

Lagunitas: A Brewery With Heart

There aren’t many charitable events, fundraisers, volunteer recognition events, and other benefits in the North Bay that don’t feature Lagunitas beer. The company, while known for being no...

Building A Better Path

Gangs were a given in the Santa Rosa community of Roseland, when Vicente Tlatilpa was growing up. It would have been easy for him to fall in with the wrong crowd, but instead, he found Conservation Co...

Catholic Charities

Since last year’s wildfires, Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa has been instrumental in helping displaced residents find secure housing in Sonoma and Napa Counties. The nonprofit has adopted a mo...

See all...

  

 

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