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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.


    » 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Cannabis As Medicine

    In the pop culture of the ’60s, tie-dye attired hippies gathered in San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury district to smoke pot, protest the war in Viet Nam and advocate for civil rights. And though activism continued, attire evolved to faded denims, the preppy J. Crew look and Mad Men suits. Over the next two decades or so, cannabis, though still illegal, became socially acceptable replacing the martini at cocktail parties.    


    » read more

  • The Dark Side of Sugar

    This might be hard to swallow, but humans didn’t always possess such a sweet tooth for sugar. Sugar was once considered a “fodder” crop, which meant very little of it found its way into human diets. It’s presumed that in ancient times people chewed on sugarcane stalks occasionally. In the 1960s big sugar paid off scientists to downplay the effects of sugar on heart disease, and instead convinced them to place the blame on saturated fat as the nutritional scapegoat. These deceptive efforts persist to this day. In 2015, The New York Times found that “big sugar” behemoth Coca-Cola funded scientists who downplayed the link between sugar and obesity. The following year, The Associated Press revealed that “big sugar” companies funded studies claiming that children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Fortunately, today’s scientific research on sugar isn\\\'t as artificial as it was a few decades ago.


    » read more

  • Gut Bugs

    What has 100 trillion members, can make you feel exuberant or depressed, are as unique to you as a fingerprint and weighs less than four-and-a-half pounds? Give up? The colony of microorganisms, or “microbiota,” as they’re properly called, that live in our gut. These are colonies of microorganisms living in your intestines, and as medical science is learning, these microorganisms have a lot to do with your health. Gut bugs facilitate digestion, influence your metabolism, strengthen your immune system and maintain your mental well-being—when they’re happy. But as medical scientists are learning, when they are not happy, our microbiota play a key role in a surprising array of illnesses ranging from general un-wellness to rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), allergies, asthma, headache, fatigue, anxiety and even depression.


    » 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

  • Working With Addiction: A Nationwide Crisis

    A glass of perfectly chilled champagne to toast a milestone is one of life’s rituals, and pharmaceutical products are crucial for managing pain. While alcohol and prescription drugs have value, they also come with a cruel downside: the addiction to such substances has the power to take control of one’s life, often causing immeasurable damage. Addiction is a formidable challenge. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes it as “a chronic disease characterized by drug-seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” No one chooses to be an addict; instead, it usually creeps up on people. One drink follows another, or unrelenting pain creates the need for more medication. Repeated use, however, leads to changes in the brain that interfere with self-control and destroys an individual’s ability to resist the urge to have one more drink or take another pill.


    » read more

  • Connecting the Dots

    If you’re an employer, you know the hiring process for a new employee is complicated. Being a good judge of character and sealing a job offer with little more than a handshake served most employers well for a long time. Now, more regulations exist that employers must follow to the letter when they’re considering job candidates.


    » read more

North Bay News and Stories

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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.

img
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.

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
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
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.

Work/Life/In Focus: Bigger & Better

It’s finally here, Russian River Brewing Company’s long-awaited new facility in Windsor, famous for their Pliny the younger, released annually on the first Friday of February for two weeks. The brewery will now release the globally recognized hoppy beer at both locations. “We’re hoping it will relieve the pressure from downtown [Santa Rosa],” says Vinnie Cilurzo, co-owner in a KSRO The Drive interview.

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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
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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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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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?

 

img
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.

img
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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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.

img
Open for Business

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

img
Cannabis As Medicine

In the pop culture of the ’60s, tie-dye attired hippies gathered in San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury district to smoke pot, protest the war in Viet Nam and advocate for civil rights. And though activism continued, attire evolved to faded denims, the preppy J. Crew look and Mad Men suits. Over the next two decades or so, cannabis, though still illegal, became socially acceptable replacing the martini at cocktail parties.    

img
The Dark Side of Sugar

This might be hard to swallow, but humans didn’t always possess such a sweet tooth for sugar. Sugar was once considered a “fodder” crop, which meant very little of it found its way into human diets. It’s presumed that in ancient times people chewed on sugarcane stalks occasionally. In the 1960s big sugar paid off scientists to downplay the effects of sugar on heart disease, and instead convinced them to place the blame on saturated fat as the nutritional scapegoat. These deceptive efforts persist to this day. In 2015, The New York Times found that “big sugar” behemoth Coca-Cola funded scientists who downplayed the link between sugar and obesity. The following year, The Associated Press revealed that “big sugar” companies funded studies claiming that children who eat candy weigh less than those who don’t. Fortunately, today’s scientific research on sugar isn\\\'t as artificial as it was a few decades ago.

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Beyond The Boardroom: What Didnt 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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Gut Bugs

What has 100 trillion members, can make you feel exuberant or depressed, are as unique to you as a fingerprint and weighs less than four-and-a-half pounds? Give up? The colony of microorganisms, or “microbiota,” as they’re properly called, that live in our gut. These are colonies of microorganisms living in your intestines, and as medical science is learning, these microorganisms have a lot to do with your health. Gut bugs facilitate digestion, influence your metabolism, strengthen your immune system and maintain your mental well-being—when they’re happy. But as medical scientists are learning, when they are not happy, our microbiota play a key role in a surprising array of illnesses ranging from general un-wellness to rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), allergies, asthma, headache, fatigue, anxiety and even depression.

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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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Freeman Vineyard and Winery

Nestled along a quiet, country road west of Sebastopol and surrounded by Redwood trees, you’ll find Freeman Vineyard & Winery, known for its critically-acclaimed wines. To the left of the winery’s cellar is the Gloria Estate Vineyard and above the wine cellar doors, surrounded in stone is a small, modest sign that reads: “Freeman 9-28-85.” These two elements are part of the winery’s charm and a nod to its owners, Ken and Akiko Freeman, and their serendipitous encounter more than 30 years ago.

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Working With Addiction: A Nationwide Crisis

A glass of perfectly chilled champagne to toast a milestone is one of life’s rituals, and pharmaceutical products are crucial for managing pain. While alcohol and prescription drugs have value, they also come with a cruel downside: the addiction to such substances has the power to take control of one’s life, often causing immeasurable damage. Addiction is a formidable challenge. The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes it as “a chronic disease characterized by drug-seeking and use that is compulsive, or difficult to control, despite harmful consequences.” No one chooses to be an addict; instead, it usually creeps up on people. One drink follows another, or unrelenting pain creates the need for more medication. Repeated use, however, leads to changes in the brain that interfere with self-control and destroys an individual’s ability to resist the urge to have one more drink or take another pill.

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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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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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Connecting the Dots

If you’re an employer, you know the hiring process for a new employee is complicated. Being a good judge of character and sealing a job offer with little more than a handshake served most employers well for a long time. Now, more regulations exist that employers must follow to the letter when they’re considering job candidates.

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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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Work/Life/Rebuild

Following the devastation of the 2017 Tubbs fire, The Fountaingrove Club in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County’s only member-owned private facility, lost its clubhouse, maintenance facilities and all maintenance vehicles, while more than 200 members and employees lost their homes to the fire.

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Jon Friedenberg, Chief Operating Officer, Marin General Hospital

Jon Friedenberg is the chief operating officer at Marin General Hospital, and provides the overall direction for internal hospital operations. Previously, he was vice president of El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, where he founded the Genomic Medicine Institute, South Asian Heart Center, The Fogarty Institute for Innovation and the Center for Technology Integration. Friedenberg, who is married with two children, enjoys hiking with his family along Marin\\\'s trails and coastline when he’s not in the office.

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Work/Life/Picks

In 2013, Holt, along with her husband, Matt, took on the candle biz with a mission to enhance the quality of candles for consumers, as well as create enticing scent combinations that tantalize the sense. With great success, the Holts moved production to a warehouse in Oakland, where they handcraft scents such as bourbon apple haze, bubble bath, hibiscus showers and gardenia tea.

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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

Working With Addiction: A Nationwide Crisis

A glass of perfectly chilled champagne to toast a milestone is one of life’s rituals, and pharmaceutical products are crucial for managing pain. While alcohol and prescription drugs have value...

Cannabis As Medicine

In the pop culture of the ’60s, tie-dye attired hippies gathered in San Francisco’s Haight-Asbury district to smoke pot, protest the war in Viet Nam and advocate for civil rights. And th...

Gut Bugs

What has 100 trillion members, can make you feel exuberant or depressed, are as unique to you as a fingerprint and weighs less than four-and-a-half pounds? Give up? The colony of microorganisms, or ...

See all...

  

 

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