Have you started a new business? Celebrating a business anniversary? Do you have some other kind of business news? The Napa Valley Register publishes business news items in our Biz Buzz feature in the Business section.
Here are some of the latest Biz Buzz items featured in the Napa Valley Register, in case you missed them.
To submit your own Biz Buzz item, click here.
Biz Buzz: Edwards celebrates 30 years with Silver Leaf Financial Management
Gretchen Edwards recently celebrated her 30th anniversary as the general office manager with the local family and business financial planning firm of Silver Leaf Financial Management.
“Our clients can’t say enough good things about the extraordinary level of service Gretchen has provided them over the years,” said George Lambrix, CLU, ChFC. Lambrix founded the practice more than 35 years ago.
Silver Leaf Financial Management partners Gregory Soulsburg, Michael Madsen and Kathy Fitzgerald, CFP, rely heavily on Gretchen’s experience and ability to see that the office is run smoothly, said a news release.
Info: 707-253-2400, Silverleaf-fm.com
Biz Buzz: Raley’s launches annual Food For Families drive
Raley’s has launched its 33rd annual Food For Families Holiday Drive with the goal of raising 4.2 million meals to help support food banks throughout Northern California and Nevada. Through its network of 12 county-level food bank partners, this campaign will benefit over 1.4 million people within the Raley’s footprint who don't know where their next meal will come from, a news release stated.
In 2018, Raley’s and customers raised more than 3.3 million meals during the Holiday Drive, equating to nearly 4 million pounds of healthful food.
Donations can be made through Dec. 31 at all Raley’s, Bel Air, Nob Hill and Food Source locations.
Biz Buzz: Kang joins Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center
Adventist Health St. Helena welcomes board-certified medical oncologist and hematologist Tyler Y. Kang, MD to the physician team at the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center.
Dr. Kang is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in medical oncology and hematology and has a special interest in brain cancer, lung cancer, genitourinary cancer and head and neck cancer, a news release stated.
Kang joins a team of specialty physicians at the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center that includes medical oncologist and medical director Ari Umutyan, MD; medical oncologist and hematologist Ethan Schram, MD; and radiation oncologists Stephen Banks, MD, and David Tate, MD.
In addition to providing care to patients, Dr. Kang will serve as physician leader for the Center’s clinical trials program, which is affiliated with the University of California San Francisco, a National Cancer Institute clinical trials site.
"We are delighted to expand access to advanced oncology services in the Napa Valley and to bring the skills of this talented physician to our community," said Steven Herber, MD, president of Adventist Health St. Helena.
Kang is a graduate of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and completed his internal medicine internship and residency at the University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“Compassion in patient care, truth in diagnosis, and integrity in all parts of the treatment process is something I strive for every day,” said Kang.
Kang is accepting new patients at the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center at the Adventist Health St. Helena Medical Center at 10 Woodland Rd. in St. Helena. He will also see patients at Adventist Health Medical Offices in Napa and Hidden Valley Lake.
Biz Buzz: Napa County Farm Bureau to host benefit drive for Sonoma County fire victims on Nov. 8
The Napa County Farm Bureau will host a charitable benefit drive on Friday, Nov. 8, from 3 to 7 p.m., to benefit Sonoma County fire victims and the Sonoma County Farm Bureau Kincade Fire Donation Fund.
"The Kincade fire is taking a toll on many and there are many who are in need of help right now," said Johnnie White, president of the Napa County Farm Bureau. "We encourage the community to join us in assisting our neighbors and giving them the help they need."
Napa County residents are encouraged to bring items to donate to fire victims and help donate to assist Sonoma County fire victims through the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s Kincade Fire Donation Fund. Tax-deductible monetary contributions are preferred.
The event will occur at the Napa County Farm Bureau located at 811 Jefferson St. in Napa.
Wine donated by Gamble Family Vineyards, beer donated by Mad Fritz Brewery and appetizers will be served.
Biz Buzz: Wells Fargo donates $400,000 to California wildfire relief efforts
Wells Fargo & Company announced a $400,000 donation from the Wells Fargo Foundation to aid in the state’s wildfire relief efforts as well as accommodations for affected customers, team members and more.
The $400,000 donation will be split between local nonprofits in Northern California and Southern California. Specifically, $300,000 will go to local organizations in support of relief efforts for the Kincade Wildfire and $100,000 will go to local organizations for Getty Wildfire assistance.
Customers who wish to contribute to the American Red Cross for relief efforts may do so by making donations through Wells Fargo ATMs in California through Nov. 12 or donating through Zelle in Wells Fargo online or Wells Fargo mobile.
Info: wellsfargo.com/zelledonation, 800-219-9739
Biz Buzz: Vermes Smith awarded distinction within Engel & Völkers
Engel & Völkers announced that Agi Vermes Smith has been inducted into the luxury real estate company’s Private Office network, "successfully passing the company’s ultra-competitive vetting and nomination process for inclusion."
Out of more than 11,000 real estate professionals who represent Engel & Völkers in more than 30 countries, Smith is among only 122 advisors selected to carry the title Private Office advisor in the Americas, the release stated.
“It is an honor to have been selected to be a Private Office advisor,” said Smith.
Info: 707-363-9896, AgiSmith@Comcast.net
Biz Buzz: Sawday joins Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
Chuck Sawday has joined the St. Helena office of Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley. Sawday has been involved in the real estate industry for more than 40 years. His primary focus is estate properties, vineyards, land and wineries, said a news release.
He received his BA degree in agricultural business from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
"Real estate is my only business and I believe that it is this network and team effort, in a spirit of cooperation, which is a key to my success," he said.
Biz Buzz: Spadarotto and Chastain join Engel & Völkers
Engel & Völkers announced that Kate Spadarotto and Cassandra Chastain have joined its brokerage as a real estate advisers in its St. Helena location.
Chastain began her real estate career in 1975 in Southern California working with investment clients, then relocated to Napa Valley more than 35 years ago. Chastain joins Engel & Völkers after 17 years with Pacific Union and Compass.
“I'm thrilled to be a part of this team," said Chastain.
Spadarotto joins the St. Helena team with diverse professional experience in government and corporate positions. She is a winemaker and proprietor of Blue Oasis Wines.
“I look forward to providing outstanding customer service for owners and buyers in the Napa and Sonoma Valleys,” said Spadarotto.
Engel & Völkers St. Helena is under construction and will be opening soon under the leadership of manager Will Densberger.
Biz Buzz: Napa County Farm Bureau receives five awards for excellence
The California Farm Bureau announced that the Napa County Farm Bureau is the recipient of five awards for excellence and has also been named one of three statewide finalists for County of the Year.
The Napa County Farm Bureau received the state awards for Policy Implementation, Leadership, Ag Education, Public Relations and Membership.
California Farm Bureau recognizes select county Farm Bureaus for special achievements on the local level.
"We are pleased to be honored by the California Farm Bureau and to be recognized for the work we have been doing," said Johnnie White, president of the Napa County Farm Bureau.
President Johnnie White and CEO Ryan Klobas will receive the awards at the California Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in December in Monterey.
Biz Buzz: Aikman celebrates 10 years at Napa Valley Wealth Management
Sara Aikman, director of client relations and operations at Napa Valley Wealth Management (NVWM), is celebrating her 10-year anniversary with the firm.
“Her deep commitment to exceptional client service has greatly enhanced and strengthened our core values around client relationships," said President Kelly Crane.
The NVWM team is celebrating several milestone anniversaries this year.
In February, President and Chief Investment Officer Kelly Crane, CFP, CLU, CFA, MBA, marked his 35th year as a financial adviser and wealth manager. In June, Vice President Earl Knecht, CFP celebrated 20 years both with the firm and as a financial adviser.
Biz Buzz: 2nd Street Commons looks for tenants
The Magro family announced the creation of a new shared work facility called 2nd Street Commons.
Housed in a remodeled 120 year-old Victorian home at 1553 2nd St. in downtown Napa, it features "a home-like environment, where the work flows in a comfortable ‘nonwork-like,’ but professional setting," said a news release.
Currently, 2nd Street Commons has seven work stations available for rent.
Each work space rents for $500 per month. The monthly work space fee also includes other amenities.
Info: 707-294-2238, linkedin.com/company/2nd-st-commons/about/?viewAsMember=true
Biz Buzz: Cottage Grove Inn in Calistoga gets new owners
Bay Area Development Company announced it has completed funding for Cottage Grove Inn in Calistoga.
The financing allowed the new owners to purchase the 8,322 square foot, 16-unit inn, located at 1711 Lincoln Ave. in Calistoga.
Cottage Grove Inn has been an icon in Calistoga since the 1990s, consistently earning high ratings on sites such as Yelp and Tripadvisor, said a news release.
Cottage Grove Inn’s existing owners are retiring and Kendall Ermshar and Gia Nikolova, the new owners, purchased the inn with an SBA 504 loan secured through Bay Area Development’s Bob Thompson and Redwood Credit Union.
Ermshar manages several rental properties in the area and also owns an interior design firm, "so he plans to refresh all the cottages while preserving their unique charm," said the release. Nikolova has a background in IT and plans to update the inn’s web site and software to create a more seamless user experience for guests, said the release.
Biz Buzz: Lucky launches DoorDash delivery
Lucky announced the launch of DoorDash’s on-demand delivery services to the greater Bay Area communities.
"Shoppers will now have the convenience and ease of ordering on-demand delivery of Lucky’s most sought after prepared foods and custom-made sandwiches," said a news release.
DoorDash offers shoppers on-demand delivery of hot food items. Menu hours are open from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
“We are excited to extend the ease and convenience our shoppers look for by offering a quick convenient meal solution through DoorDash,” said Donna Robbins vice president of Lucky store operations.
Biz Buzz: Hayes named to '10 best' attorney list
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named Napa and California family law attorney Amber Hayes to its "2019 10 Best Family Law Attorney for Client Satisfaction" list.
The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys is a third-party attorney rating organization that publishes an annual list of the Top 10 Family Law Attorneys in each state.
"We congratulate Amber Hayes on this achievement," said a news release.
Hayes can be reached at 707-690-5020. Her office is located at 1125 Jefferson St. in Napa.
Biz Buzz: Queen of the Valley Foundation raises more than $1 million
Queen of the Valley Foundation raised more than $1 million at its annual Generous Heart celebration on Sept. 21 at Eleven Eleven Winery, said a news release.
The proceeds will fund the purchase of the newest application of the Stryker Mako Total Knee Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery System, said the release.
In celebration of the Foundation’s 50th anniversary, the evening paid tribute to its founding trustees, 32 community leaders who established the Foundation in 1969.
The Generous Heart gathering drew on the support of many individuals, including co-chairs Beth Fenton, Lydia Mondavi, Lauren Nicholsen and Erin Simms.
Major sponsors and contributors included Barbara and Warren Winiarski, the Thomas H. May Family, Mercedes-Benz of Fairfield, Price Simms Family Dealerships, Isabel and Michael Mondavi, Theoni Lifestyle Event Rentals, Eleven Eleven Winery, Diane B. Wilsey, Ulla and John Brown, Progeny Winery, Queen of the Valley Medical Center, Anesthesia and Analgesia Medical Group, Bank of Marin, Mary Ann and Richard Cuneo, Steve Lebow and Napa Valley Radiology Group.
Info: 707-257-4044, queensfoundation.org
Biz Buzz: Johnson elected to Land Trust board of trustees
Land Trust of Napa County announced that Jason Johnson recently joined its board of trustees.
Johnson is a technology entrepreneur and founder and CEO of August Home, a smart home lock system that provides keyless access and digital monitoring for home delivery.
“As a longtime Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur who recently moved to Napa, I look forward to using my skills to help more people learn about the benefits of land conservation," said Johnson.
Since 2011, Johnson has been the managing partner of Founders Den, a San Francisco technology incubator that’s been home to startups such as Skipflag, Outbound.io and Kaggle. Johnson is also the founder of the Internet of Things Consortium, a business development association for the Internet of Things ecosystem.
Prior to August Home, Johnson co-founded the mobile security company AirCover as well as the e-book software startup BookShout! and was featured in the Amazon Studios documentary “This is What We Make."
Info: napalandtrust.org, 707-252-3270
Biz Buzz: CYCLESOCIETY pedals into First Street Napa
First Street Napa announced that CYCLESOCIETY, an indoor rhythm ride cycling studio, will open in November.
CYCLESOCIETY will be located adjacent to Toy B Ville, suite 241, near Compline and the south stairs of Pearl Street garage.
The rhythm riding studio, owned by Napans Mark and Brittany Carducci, will offer a full roster of "bass-blasting, calorie-torching, high-energy classes," said a news release.
“CYCLESOCIETY classes go beyond a workout; they are an experience,” said owner and master instructor Brittany Carducci. "It’s pure magic."
Construction is nearly complete on the 1,300-square-foot studio and the CYCLESOCIETY team is preparing to fill the “saddle room” with riders at the boutique fitness hub. The First Street Napa center is located at 1300 First St. in downtown Napa.
CYCLESOCIETY will feature 28 "state-of-the-art" bikes, and Carducci and team "will be delivering top-notch coaching, the best equipment (bikes) on the market, next level musicality and a dance party on the bike for all of their 24 class offerings each week," said a news release.
Each class is 45 minutes long and classes are designed for all fitness levels, the release stated.
“This is a great opportunity to be a part of the popular rhythm cycling trend,” said Todd Zapolski, principal and managing member of First Street Napa. “We’re enthused to welcome CYCLESOCIETY, and to help this locally-owned and operated business thrive in downtown Napa."
Biz Buzz: RE/MAX Gold adds real estate office in American Canyon
RE/MAX Gold has announced that American Canyon is the newest location in the growing real estate franchise. The American Canyon office will be overseen by Manager Carrie Foley.
The address is 3417 Broadway St., Suite J4, American Canyon.
The American Canyon office is made up of three agents who have joined RE/MAX Gold: Kasama Lee, Richard Peterson and Cori Badertscher.
“We are excited to welcome all three of these agents to RE/MAX Gold in American Canyon," said Foley.
Info: remaxgold.com, 707-690-0440
Biz Buzz: Perry promoted at Napa Chamber of Commerce
The Napa Chamber of Commerce announced that Philippa Perry has been promoted to vice president of operations. Perry has served as the director of operations for the Chamber since February 2015.
In her new capacity, she will continue to primarily be responsible for the daily operation of the organization, while also coordinating all Chamber events and overseeing the membership engagement team and ambassadors, said a news release.
Prior to joining the Chamber, Perry enjoyed a 35 year career working in hospitality. Auberge du Soleil brought her to the Napa Valley where she spent 16 years, culminating in five years as general manager.
Biz Buzz: Vargas joins Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley announced that Mark Vargas has joined its Napa office as a sales associate.
Real estate runs in Vargas’ family, said a news release. He is a second-generation real estate professional. He grew up in Napa and graduated from Sonoma State University before starting his real estate career.
Info: 707-227-5572, cbnapavalley.com
Biz Buzz: Hadeler helps raise funds for assistance dogs for veterans
Realtor Marcia Hadeler of Coldwell Banker recently participated in the fifth annual Canine Guardians Assistance Dogs Golf Tournament and Fundraiser to benefit U.S. veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and other people with disabilities.
“These dogs help vets get going every day,” said Hadeler, who is also a Canine Guardians board member, puppy parent and fundraising chairperson.
Canine Guardians Assistance Dogs is a nonprofit, fully volunteer, donation-based organization whose main goal is to raise, train and place specially trained dogs with PTSD veterans and their families at no cost to the veteran, as well as others with disabilities, said a news release.
Its annual tournament and fundraiser in August at Vintner’s Golf Course in Yountville raised money for veterans' bills, vaccines, medicine, medical procedures, training facilities, leashes, vests and various other organizational needs.
Hadeler came across Canine Guardians when then nonprofit was looking for puppy parents. She became a Puppy Parent and a month later joined the board.
“The service that Canine Guardians provides is wonderful," said Hadeler. "We just started our fifth year in operation. We have had two graduations since inception and placed 10 dogs."
Canine Guardians is currently looking for Puppy Parents, said a news release.
Info: canineguardians.org, 707-815-0569.
Biz Buzz: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market signs lease for former Vallerga's space
Grocery Outlet Bargain Market has signed a lease to occupy the former Vallerga's market space in Redwood Plaza in north Napa.
The lease agreement was officially announced on Monday. In August, the chain applied for a city building permit for tenant improvements.
The market will occupy 22,132 square feet at the market site, located at 3385 Solano Ave.
"We are excited to bring this high-volume, 21st century grocery to Redwood Plaza," said Richard Hoertkorn, spokesman for the center's owner.
"The 60-year-old building will be completely gutted and rebuilt to increase energy efficiency and to update all the mechanical systems," said a news release.
Lease negotiations were handled by Steve Edwards of the Edwards Company.
The grand opening is scheduled for the end of the first quarter in 2020.
Patrick Gaul, the independent operator of the south Napa Grocery Outlet store, previously said he would like to run both stores. Gaul could not be immediately reached on Monday.
Grocery Outlet is a publicly-owned supermarket chain in the United States with more than 330 locations.
Biz Buzz: Lush to leave First Street Napa center
Lush, one of the first tenants to open and the newly renovated First Street Napa center, will close its location at the mall on Nov. 9.
The store opened in Napa in Spring 2018 on a short-term lease, said a news release from First Street Napa.
"Some changes in the tenant mix are part of normal operations, and while Lush departs, we will be welcoming new business in coming months," said the release. "We look forward to giving the local Napa community and visitors even more reasons to come by First Street Napa."
The center is located at 1300 First St. in downtown Napa.
Other tenants currently include Archer Hotel Napa, Brown Estate Wines, Charlie Palmer Steak Napa, Compass Realty, Compline wine bar + restaurant, Eiko’s Sushi, John Anthony Family of Wines, Kalifornia Jean Bar, lululemon, Macbella, Makers Market, Mayacamas Downtown, Mecox, Napastäk Napa Valley, Napa Valley Jewelers, Overland, Silicon Valley Bank, Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar, State & First by Maris Collective, Tommy Bahama and Toy B Ville.
Biz Buzz: Huffman promoted at Vinventions
Vinventions, a wine closure solutions company, announced that Don J. Huffman has been promoted to director of sales and wine quality.
Huffman has worked with Vinventions company Nomacorc since 2004 and has been a full-time employee for six years, a news release stated.
Huffman lives in Napa. Vinventions has offices globally. Its U.S. headquarters are located in North Carolina. Locally, the company has an office in Sonoma.
Biz Buzz: Hale, Richardson join Engel & Völkers St. Helena
Engel & Völkers announced Christine Hale has joined its brokerage as a real estate adviser.
The company also hired Ally Richardson as office administrator in St. Helena.
Hale comes to Engel & Völkers with "a rich texture of professional experience," said a news release.
She is a business owner in the art/design world and has also worked in the wine industry. Hale specializes in new development projects and residential home sales in Napa Valley including St. Helena.
“I was attracted to Engel & Völkers by their client-focused team dynamic, facilitated by their boutique structure,” said Hale.
Richardson joins the Napa Valley staff from a career in luxury industries, most recently at The Napa Valley Reserve winery.
“The Engel & Völkers global brand stands for excellence and a culture of leadership which was a driving force in my deciding to join this dynamic Napa Valley team,” said Richardson.
Biz Buzz: Pulido~Walker announces new team members
Pulido~Walker announced the appointments of Julia Wildt as hospitality director and Austin Gallion as national sales director.
Wildt's preparation for her role at Pulido~Walker includes years of work for the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group at both the French Laundry and Ad Hoc and as director of hospitality at various Napa Valley wineries such as Harlan Estate Winery and Vineyard 7 & 8.
She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, holds a Level 3 Certification from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust and a bachelor’s degree in culinary management from the former Cordon Bleu Culinary School. A Las Vegas native, Wildt made her mark as a sommelier for Guy Savoy and the MGM Grand hotel.
Gallion joins Pulido~Walker as national sales director with nearly 20 years of high-end culinary, wine and hospitality experience.
Most recently, he was director of hospitality at Vineyard 29 after working at Miner Family Winery, where he learned the wine business. He’s a classically trained chef and holds a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts from Johnson & Wales. After an externship in Perigord, France, his love of wine drew him to Napa Valley where he was executive sous chef for several Michelin Star restaurants, said a news release.
Info: 707-226-1900, pulidowalker.com
Biz Buzz: Aldea announces new staffers
Julie Burns, LCSW, has been named senior director of behavioral health services overseeing all operations related to behavioral health and victim centered services at for Aldea Children and Family Services.
Burns is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who most recently worked for Yolo County Probation where she was a program manager.
She brings more than 10 years of experience in organization administration, program analysis and development, facility operations, workforce development, crisis management and decision making, behavioral health and substance use assessment and treatment in correctional healthcare, community organization, residential facility and law enforcement environments.
Laurette Lipman, MA, LPC has been named program director of Aldea’s SUDS (Substance Use Disorder Services) program formerly known as the Wolfe Center.
This is a new position that Lipman will head up prevention services offered in Napa Valley Unified School District, treatment services for Napa County Probation and for any teen in Napa County struggling with substance use.
Lipman has 20 years of clinical experience and most recently managed a women’s residential substance use disorder treatment program in San Mateo County. She is from Michigan where she supervised a wraparound program at a non-profit agency.
Info: aldeainc.org, 707-224-8266
Biz Buzz: SCAN Health Plan offers new Napa benefits
California Medicare Advantage plan, SCAN Health Plan, announced its 2020 benefits in Napa and surrounding Northern California.
As a not-for-profit founded in 1977, SCAN offers an array of HMO and special-needs plans "designed to provide care tailored to older adults’ unique needs," said a news release.
Starting Jan. 1, new offerings will debut in Napa and Sonoma – including a new health plan for the healthy, active senior – offering coverage for chiropractic and acupuncture services, massage therapy, weight management and a Fitbit fitness tracker.
Info: scanhealthplan.com, 1-800-559-3500.
Biz Buzz: Adventist Health opens new Napa clinic
Adventist Health has expanded its network of providers to Napa and opened a new health clinic. It is located at 1100 Trancas St. Suite 250 in Napa and is now welcoming new patients.
"This new clinic provides the community with even more access to high quality care right here in their backyard. And because this group of providers is part of an even larger network, residents can access any of the 57 providers who see patients in 18 clinics throughout Napa Valley, including St. Helena, Calistoga and now Napa," said a news release.
“We take great pride in providing high-quality care and service. Expanding into Napa helps us to extend our mission of inspiring health, wholeness and hope for every patient we serve, one patient at a time,” said Steven Herber, MD, president of Adventist Health St. Helena.
The providers at the new clinic include:
- Family Medicine: Cheryl Chong, DO
- Cardiology: Mark Gardner, MD
- Obstetrics & Gynecology: John Kirk, MD, Lovera Wolf Miller, MD, Sharon Phillips, NP, Sue Turner, NP, CNM, Candace Westgate, DO
Later this year, the clinic will expand to also include more specialized services, including general surgery and oncology.
To schedule an appointment, call 707-253-1135 or visit AdventistHealthStHelena.org/NapaClinic or 1100 Trancas St., Suite 250.
Biz Buzz: Mentis adds three new board members
Mentis, Napa County’s center for mental health services, added three new members to its board of directors.
Wendy Carolo, a retired wine industry professional, John Wicks, general counsel for 5.11 Capital and Julissa Marcencia, chief visionary for Wine Down Media, join the nine-member board of directors for five-year terms.
Carolo retired in 2015 after more than 25 years as a wine business hospitality professional, most recently as vice president of hospitality, cultural affairs and visitor programs for Constellation Brands. Carolo chairs the Mentis event and development committee and leads their annual Blue Skies Ahead fundraiser held in March.
Wicks is general counsel for 5.11 Tactical an Irvine, California-based company that manufactures and supplies apparel and gear for law enforcement and first responders around the globe. Wicks serves on the Mentis board’s finance committee.
Marcencia is the chief visionary at Wine Down Media, offering the Napa Valley a media mix with information and entertainment. She oversees content, sales, marketing and promotions creating engaging content and marketing plans for brands and businesses. Marcencia also serves on the Mentis marketing committee and was recently elected secretary of the board.
“I joined Mentis because it provides a unique service for our community. Our board is a 'hands-on' group of directors that is made up of a diverse group of professional and passionate individuals who work closely with the great staff at Mentis,” Marcencia said.
Biz Buzz: In-Shape aims to raise $185,000 to help fight cancer
In-Shape Health Clubs announced its goal to raise $185,000 this October in its annual In-Shape Fights Cancer campaign. If In-Shape reaches this goal, it will have raised $500,000 for local chapters of the American Cancer Society and St. Jude Children’s Hospital in just five years, said a news release.
This year, in addition to participating in a group fitness or bootcamp fitness session, In-Shape is raising money through its mobile app. The biggest contributor to the campaign is the sale of paper kettlebells for $2, $5 and $10.
Coloring cards are sold for $1 with all proceeds being donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. In-Shape will donate $1 for every new member who joins in October and will donate 20 percent of the sale from every Fight Cancer retail item sold. In social media, In-Shape will donate $1 for every post with #InShapeFightsCancer on Facebook and Instagram.
Biz Buzz: Northern California Public Media announce leadership change
Northern California Public Media (NCPM) announced that President and Chief Executive Officer Nancy Dobbs will retire in December.
The board of directors has selected current NCPM Content Manager Darren LaShelle to succeed Dobbs and appointed him to the position of president and CEO-elect.
Dobbs, along with her late husband John Kramer, founded the organization in 1981. KRCB TV 22 went on the air in 1984 as a member station of the Public Broadcasting Service, a designation the station still holds.
In 1994, Dobbs and staff launched KRCB FM 91.1, a member station of National Public Radio (NPR), serving the North Bay. In 2018, Dobbs and the Board of Directors of Northern California Public Media acquired and started operating KCSM TV (now KPJK TV, named for Professor Kramer) on July 31, 2018.
Biz Buzz: Round Pond names Mathews new VP finance
Round Pond Estate owners Miles and Ryan MacDonnell announced that Michael C. Mathews has joined the winery as vice president, finance.
Mathews will oversee all financial operations of the family-owned winery based in Rutherford, said a news release.
“We’re delighted to welcome Mike to our company,” said the MacDonnells.
“His experience with day-to-day winery financial operations and strategic planning and commercial insights will be extremely valuable to our ongoing growth and success.”
Mathews said he looks forward to joining the winery with its focus on food as well as wine.
“I am pleased to join Round Pond with its terrific reputation for quality and leadership. I look forward to working with this dynamic team to continue to drive business success.”
A graduate of Lehigh University in Pennsylvania with a degree in accounting, Mathews holds the Intermediate Level from The Wine and Spirits Educational Trust.
Mathews was most recently the director of finance and administration at Grgich Hills Estates where he led all functions of accounting, Human Resources, commercial support and winery operations.
He has previously worked in financial management roles for Bespoke Collection, Wilson Daniels and Diageo Chateau and Estates. Mathews lives in Napa.
The Cypress Group, an executive search firm based in St. Helena focused on the wine industry, facilitated Mathews’ appointment.
Biz Buzz: Wilcox and Vaziri join Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty
Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty, the Bay Area real estate brokerage, announced Jennifer Wilcox has joined its Wine Country Region team of real estate agents as a sales associate.
Wilcox combines her real estate expertise with 12 years of executive technology sales and online marketing, said a news release. Wilcox is based out of the brokerage’s Wine Country downtown office at 1435 First Street in Napa. Info: 415-419-1390, goldengatesir.com.
Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty also announced Sally Vaziri has joined its Wine Country Region team of real estate agents as a sales associate. Vaziri is also based out of the brokerage’s Wine Country downtown office at 1435 First St. in Napa. Info: 707-738-9403, goldengatesir.com.
Biz Buzz: Napa's AUL surpasses $500,000 in charitable giving
AUL Corp., a nationwide automotive finance and insurance provider, features an employee-run charitable giving committee that has just surpassed $500,000 in contributions since 2012, announced AUL President and CEO Jimmy Atkinson.
“Equally important to the contributions and the much-needed benefits, are the deep connections the employee-led committee has established and the many relationships they have fostered within the community,” Atkinson added.
The committee, composed of non-management employees, was established in 2012 to foster and enhance the firm’s connections with the local community, said a news release.
Yet, the impact to the members of the committee and the community has been far more meaningful than originally anticipated, according to Atkinson.
Challenged to research and identify local, regional, and national organizations across the spectrum of need, committee members recommend, approve and facilitate the firm’s philanthropy program. This allows employees to see and feel a real difference being made in their community and beyond, said the release.
“Being appointed a part of the charitable giving committee has been game changer for me,” stated Amy Hubert, a founding member of the committee. “I never imagined I could be so vested in or so proud to work for a company. AUL truly cares for us and entrusts us with a deeply meaningful responsibility.”
The impact of these contributions has been felt on both sides of the relationship.
“The AUL contribution to Share the Care has made life better for older adults who are alone, isolated, ill and frail in Napa County," said Yvonne Baginski, director of Share the Care Napa Valley. "A small local nonprofit, Share the Care relies only on individual donations to continue caring for the elderly in our community. AUL has made an enormous difference in the viability of our organization and ability to help others.”
Napa’s Hands Across the Valley agrees.
“We are so grateful for the generous support from AUL over the past six years,” said founder and board President George Altamura.
"Their company culture is one of inclusion and community support, and we are proud to have them on board to help feed the hungry in Napa County.”
Biz Buzz: Solano-Napa Habitat for Humanity ReStore celebrates eight-year anniversary
Solano-Napa Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore is celebrating its eighth anniversary Saturday, Sept. 14. During the event, customers can earn extra discounts via a spinning wheel at checkout.
Anniversary celebration hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
ReStore is a home improvement store offering new and gently used items at 50 to 90 percent off retail. Merchandise includes furniture, appliances, windows, doors, kitchen and bath cabinets, sinks, toilets, bath tubs, hardware and tools, flooring, lighting and home décor items.
The Solano-Napa Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 104 Commerce Court in Fairfield.
Info: solanonapahabitat.org/restore, 707-863-0692
Biz Buzz: Ghisletta and Parker join Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty
Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty announced that Adam Ghisletta has joined its Wine Country Region team of real estate agents as a sales associate.
Ghisletta is a second-generation Napa real estate professional expert in home, land, vineyard and agricultural transactions, said a news release.
Ghisletta is based out of the brokerage’s Wine Country downtown office at 1435 First St. in Napa. Contact him at 707-363-5868, or goldengatesir.com.
Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty also announced George Parker has joined its Wine Country Region team of real estate agents as a sales associate.
"Although George is new to the real estate profession, he brings strong core values of responsibility and integrity with him," said a news release.
Parker is also based at 1435 First St. in Napa. Contact him at 707-889-8728 or at goldengatesir.com.
Biz Buzz: Caspillo joins Napa Valley Orthopaedic Medical Group
The Huffman Clinic at Napa Valley Orthopaedic Medical Group, Inc. and Jason T. Huffman, M.D., announced the arrival of Kaelyn Caspillo, PA-C.
Caspillo, a native of California, was a graduate of Touro University where she received a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies as well as a Master’s in Public Health. Her undergraduate studies were at UCLA where she earned a B.S. in Neuroscience.
Caspillo will be assisting Dr. Huffman in surgery as well as seeing patients in clinic.
Biz Buzz: Lincoln Avenue Napa mobile home park sold for $10.2 million
The Napa Valley Manor mobile home park at 770 Lincoln Ave. in Napa has been sold for $10.2 million, according to the county assessor office.
The seller was Napa Valley Manor LLC. The buyers are Napa Valley Manor MHC LP, Sioux City Enterprises LLC and Bartlett Village LLC.
The deed was recorded Aug. 30. The deed lists a Los Gatos address for the three companies.
Biz Buzz: One Mind names rising star award winners
One Mind, based in Rutherford, announced the five winners of its 2019 One Mind Rising Star Awards, which "identifies and funds pivotal, innovative research on the causes of and cures for brain disorders by supporting promising emerging leaders in the field of neuropsychiatry," said a news release.
This year, each awardee will receive $250,000 from One Mind over three years to fund research for their studies.
The winners are: Stephan Lammel, Ph.D., Laura Lewis, Ph.D., Jennifer M. Coughlin, M.D., Denise Cai, Ph.D. and Carl Sellgren Majkowitz, M.D, Ph.D.
“This year’s five Rising Stars are advancing their fields in brilliant ways, and I am proud that One Mind will support their work,” said One Mind President Brandon Staglin.
Biz Buzz: Gorr joins ISU Sander Jacobs
Jessica Gorr, CIC, is the newest addition to the commercial winery insurance team at ISU Sander, Jacobs, Cassayre Insurance Services.
Gorr joins the company as a senior account manager for the winery team. Gorr has more than 17 years of experience writing insurance for wineries and wine-related businesses and holds the Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation from the National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, said a news release.
“We are pleased to add Jessica to our team during this time of great disruption of the winery insurance marketplace,” said President Jeff Erickson.
“Jessica’s technical expertise and her relationships with insurers and wineries is very helpful at this time when Lloyd’s of London has ceased writing stock throughput policies and other insurers are non-renewing wineries in wildfire areas."
The company maintains offices in Napa and Santa Rosa and provides commercial lines, personal lines and employee benefits insurance, said the release.
Info: 707-252-8822, sanderjacobs.com
Biz Buzz: NEWS names new board members
NEWS-Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse Services welcomes four new board members.
Recently joining the board: Mark Howard Freund of First Republic Bank, Mary Makowski of Meteor Vineyard, Marilyn O’Connell, retired, and June Ressler of Cenergy.
NEWS officers include president Julianna Hart, vice president Sandra Re Sims, immediate past president/secretary Alicia Jaramillo and treasurer Lance Spears.
Biz Buzz: Ortega named GM at Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort
Kokua Hospitality, LLC, an independent hotel management company based in San Francisco, announced the appointment of Jose Ortega as general manager at Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort at 1507 Lincoln Ave. in Calistoga.
Ortega started his career in hospitality as a front desk agent and spent the next few years working his way up to rooms division manager at Carmel Mission Inn in Monterey.
Ortega is currently working toward completing a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management.
Biz Buzz: Redwood Credit Union shred event raises more than $10,000 for charity
More than 3,600 residents in Napa, Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino counties shredded old financial records and other paperwork at Redwood Credit Union’s (RCU’s) free annual Shred-a-Thons held over the summer.
More than $10,000 was raised through the events to support SchoolsRule Marin, Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center in Napa, Redwood Empire Food Bank in Sonoma County and the Humane Society of Inland Mendocino County.
Trucks from Shred-IT were on-site at the events to help the communities safely dispose of and recycle 150,550 pounds of documents, said a news release.
Additionally, Conservation Corps of the North Bay collected more than 18,220 pounds of e-waste on site at the Marin, Sonoma and Mendocino events, including old TVs, printers, monitors, computers and other personal electronics for secure recycling.
At each shred event, attendees were also able to make voluntary donations to local nonprofits onsite.
Biz Buzz: Bank of Marin names Payan as market manager in Napa
Cheryl Payan, formerly a relationship manager at the Bank of Marin Napa Redwood office, has been named market manager for Napa County at Bank of Marin.
Payan became part of the Bank of Marin team with the acquisition of Bank of Napa in 2017, said a news release.
She has more than 20 years of banking experience, with a focus on customer service and improving the client experience.
Biz Buzz: HerbaBuena launches cannabis delivery service
HerbaBuena, a California ‘conscious cannabis’ retailer based in Napa, now offers statewide delivery service, including same-day delivery throughout Napa.
Founder and CEO Alicia Rose created HerbaBuena in 2015 "to set a new standard of purity, quality and sophistication for cannabis," said a news release.
HerbaBuena offers same-day delivery in Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties, as well as twice per week delivery throughout the Bay Area, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego metropolitan regions, said the release.
Biz Buzz: Central Valley Builders Supply named to 'Best Places to Work' list
Central Valley, a U.S. building supply company, announced that it was named one of “The Best Places to Work in the North Bay” by the North Bay Business Journal.
After employee nominations, and a third-party employee survey, Central Valley was selected as a first-time winner.
“We are so honored to be named one of the Best Places to Work in the North Bay,” said Christine Hunter, senior vice president of human resources.
“We take great pride in fostering the best environment for employees by nurturing a culture of safety always, employee development.”
In addition to this latest award, Central Valley’s recent accomplishments also include being recognized as 2019 “Best Company to Do Business With” in Napa County, Gold Medal, by readers of Northbay Biz magazine.
Biz Buzz: Torneby named CEO at SolarCraft
SolarCraft, a North Bay solar and clean energy provider, announced the appointment of Galen Torneby as CEO.
Torneby has "extensive expertise in the solar industry and brings decades of experience in the broader energy and construction fields to his new role,"
having previously served as chief operating officer at SolarCraft, said a news release.
Torneby has held leadership roles at several renewable energy companies and was recruited by former CEO Ted Walsh to succeed him in the role.
As he rebuilds his own Calistoga home lost in the 2017 North Bay wildfires, Torneby takes the reins "at an exciting time for SolarCraft and the local energy industry," said the release.
Torneby is also a certified Professional Project Manager and CSLB license holder.
Biz Buzz: Redwood Credit Union names new American Canyon branch manager
Redwood Credit Union (RCU) recently welcomed Gladys Milligan as manager of its new American Canyon branch at 406 Napa Junction Road, Suite 126 in the Napa Junction Shopping Center.
In her new role, Milligan is responsible for overseeing member service, staff management, and daily branch operations, as well as local community and business development efforts.
Prior to joining RCU, Milligan worked in the financial industry for 15 years, 11 of which were in management. She formerly worked for Washington Mutual/Chase and Travis Credit Union where her responsibilities included shepherding the opening of new branches.
Milligan has a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a concentration in strategic management from Sacramento State University. She is bilingual in Spanish/English.
Biz Buzz: Cherniss joins Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley announced that Karen Cherniss has joined its Napa office as a sales associate.
Cherniss has been a real estate professional in the Bay Area since 1986, relocating to the Napa Valley in 1994.
She received the Graduate REALTOR Institute (GRI) designation and is a past vice president of the Napa County Chapter of NorBAR.
In 1999, she graduated from the Leadership Napa Valley program, and sat on its board of directors for many years as a part of the alumni outreach and fundraising committees.
Biz Buzz: Leaders appointed for Watermark Napa Valley senior living community
Heidi Charette has been appointed executive director and Karen Orlando has been named membership director for The Watermark at Napa Valley, a luxury senior living community scheduled to open in the summer of 2020 at 4055 Solano Ave. in Napa. The community is located next to Justin-Siena high school.
Charette, whose senior living management career spans two decades, was most recently executive director for Solstice Senior Living in Santa Rosa.
Orlando, who previously served as senior sales director for Santa Rosa’s Spring Lake Village, brings seven years of senior living experience to her position.
The community’s leasing gallery is now open at 2999 Solano Ave.
Biz Buzz: Round Pond Estate names Robertson as director of marketing
Round Pond Estate owners Miles and Ryan MacDonnell announced that Erin Robertson has joined the winery as director of marketing.
Robertson will be responsible for all marketing efforts for Round Pond Estate including marketing strategy, branding, promotion, public relations, digital and social media marketing.
A graduate of Virginia Tech, Robertson also holds an MBA from Sonoma State University. She most recently worked at Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, based at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars in Napa.
She has previously worked for Laird Family Estate, Grail Wine Selections and The Robins Cellars in marketing and sales positions.
The Cypress Group, an executive search firm based in St. Helena focused on the wine industry, facilitated Robertson’s appointment.
Biz Buzz: Harrington elected to Land Trust board of trustees
Land Trust of Napa County announced that Josh Harrington recently joined its board of trustees.
Harrington is the director of research at RBO & Co., an independent investment advisory firm in St. Helena.
His career experience includes equity research at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, portfolio management at TIAA-CREF in San Francisco, and independent consulting for investment management clients.
"With long-term thinking, the Land Trust has provided enormous benefits for us all through direct action to permanently protect important natural lands and to preserve the biodiversity of Napa County,” said Harrington. “I’m honored to pursue this great work and collaborate with such an incredible team."
Harrington holds a B.A. from the University of Missouri, Columbia with a major in Finance and Banking and an M.B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley. Additionally, Harrington is a CFA charterholder and a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist.
Info: napalandtrust.org, 707-252-3270
Biz Buzz: Napa's Cope Family Center welcomes Mitchell and Hardy to board
Cope Family Center has elected Susan Mitchell and Lona Hardy to its board of directors.
Longtime Cope volunteer Susan Mitchell is the facilities director at Opus One.
Mitchell described herself as “excited to join the Cope board and take on the fundraising that sustains Cope programming. The many services that Cope offers all families in Napa County fulfill essential needs and support for parents and children.”
Lona Hardy has a psychotherapy practice and has worked with families in that capacity for more than 30 years.
Her extensive professional background in family counseling has inspired her philanthropic work, and Hardy noted that she is “particularly interested in the parent education and support programs.”
Biz Buzz: St. Joseph Health Hospitals in Northern California recognized as high performing by US News & World Report
Four St. Joseph Health hospitals in Northern California, including Queen of the Valley Medical Center, were recognized by US News & World Report as “high performing” for their performance in treating a variety of commonly occurring conditions and medical procedures, said a news release.
The publication ranked more than 4,500 medical centers in the U.S. focusing on a variety of specialties, procedures and conditions and only a small minority of hospitals achieved the “high performing” distinction.
A total of 27 Providence St. Joseph Health facilities were recognized, including the Queen, which was noted for the exceptional care it provides for patients with congestive heart failure and those needing knee replacement.
Biz Buzz: AUL Corp. honored by the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list
AUL Corp. a national full-service automotive finance and insurance provider, has been honored by the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work competition for the sixth consecutive year, announced Jimmy Atkinson, president and CEO of AUL Corp.
The competition recognizes those North Bay companies that excel in quality, professionalism, respect, fairness, pride and camaraderie, as voted on directly by their employees, said a news release.
Biz Buzz: Silverado Vineyards announces staff additions, changes
Silverado Vineyards announced personnel additions and the creation of a new marketing department for the Stags Leap District winery.
Nora Feeley has been named director of marketing and communications, and Lauren Martins has been promoted to associate marketing manager. Tom Markakis is also joining the winery as the new assistant retail operations manager.
An industry veteran, Feeley has held roles as the senior director, communications at Delicato Family Vineyards, senior director, communications and events at Trinchero Family Estates and vice president, communications at Constellation Brands.
Lauren Martins will fill the new role of associate marketing manager, where she will focus on enhancing the winery's digital and social media efforts. She joined Silverado Vineyards in 2018 as part of the hospitality and wine education team.
As part of its increased focus on marketing and hospitality, Markakis joined the winery on Thurday, August 15, as assistant retail operations manager and wine educator from his role as assistant manager at Robert Mondavi Winery.
In 1981, Ron and Diane Miller (the daughter of Walt Disney) established Silverado Vineyards.
Biz Buzz: The Estate Yountville names Pares as hotel manager
The Estate Yountville named Rickie Pares hotel manager, overseeing employee management, annual planning, marketing and administering hotel services for Vintage House and Hotel Villagio.
“I am pleased to join the team at The Estate Yountville where I will aim to maintain peak levels of guest service,” said Pares.
With more than 14 years of professional experience, Pares most recently served as director of rooms at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
Prior to this role, Pares served as a director at the Inn at Perry Cabin by Belmond in Maryland.
Biz Buzz: Wells Fargo grants $5,000 to Napa County Office of Education
The Napa County Office of Education (NCOE) received a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank. The funding will support the expansion of a Junior Classroom Leader program for the COOL School Expanded Learning elementary sites, said a news release.
The NCOE provides after-school programming to students and families in the Napa Valley. Open to students in grades 3-5, 10 students are selected to become Junior Classroom Leaders at each site.
Biz Buzz: Price Simms Family Dealership donates $50,000 to Queen of the Valley Foundation
Queen of the Valley Foundation announced the launch of its Distinguish Corporate Partners program and the confirmation of Price Simms Family Dealerships as a $50,000 partner. The company includes a Mercedes-Benz dealership located in Fairfield.
The Distinguish Corporate Partners program “is designed to engage businesses that demonstrate a strong commitment to the well-being of our community with financial contributions,” said a news release.
Businesses that become a partner and make an annual commitment of $10,000 or higher will receive tiered benefits that include meet-and-greets with Queen of the Valley’s leadership team, special event sponsorship, and recognition in the Foundation’s e-newsletter, website and more.
“We encourage local corporations to support the Queen,” said Elaine John, president/CEO of Queen of the Valley Foundation.
The Simms chose to participate in the program because Price Simms Family Dealership shares the same values as the Queen, such as integrity, excellence and compassion, said the release.
Adam Simms adds, “We’ve found that our business receives back from the community as much as we give. And as a family, we recognize the value of having a premium local hospital right here in Napa. That’s why the Queen is a natural partner for us.”
Biz Buzz: Scannell joins Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley
Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley announced that Krystle Scannell has joined its Napa office as a sales associate.
“I’m fortunate to receive support and assistance from the smart and experienced experts that make up the team at Coldwell Banker Brokers of the Valley," Scannell said.
Biz Buzz: Lee Enterprises reports third-quarter results
Lee Enterprises, Inc., a provider of news, information and a major platform for advertising in 50 markets, reported third quarter and year-to-date financial results for the period ended June 30.
"Total revenue decreased 4.0 percent in the third quarter, matching the second quarter trend, as we continue the company's digital transformation," said Kevin Mowbray, president and CEO.
"Total digital revenue, including digital advertising and digital services, was $30.5 million for the quarter, up 5.3 percent on a same property basis compared with a year ago."
"On a stand-alone basis, revenue at TownNews increased 27.3 percent due to increased market share. Revenue at TownNews over the last 12 months totaled $22.1 million, an increase of 24.5 percent over the prior year," Mowbray added.
"We earned $3.5 million of revenue in the quarter from the management agreement with BH Media Group, and since its inception in July 2018 we have earned $11.3 million in revenue, exceeding expectations," said Mowbray.
Mowbray also noted the following financial highlights for the quarter:
• Total revenue decreased 4.0 percent for the quarter. Excluding the impact of acquisitions total revenue on a same property basis decreased 6.1 percent.
• Digital advertising revenue increased 2.8 percent for the quarter and represented 38.7 percent of total advertising revenue.
• Digital retail advertising, which represented 63.2 percent of total digital advertising in the June quarter, grew 3.3 percent, driven by an increase in advertising from local retailers.
• Monthly visits to Lee mobile, tablet, desktop and app sites averaged 74.1 million, and page views per visit, one metric we use to monitor engagement, increased 6.9 percent on a reported basis and 7.0 percent on a same property basis.
• Subscription revenue decreased 3.2 percent in the quarter. Digital-only subscribers increased 72.0 percent.
• Lee recognized net income of $6.2 million, including $3.1 million of non-cash expense related to the change in fair value of our warrants.
"We continue to transform our business models and reduce our legacy cost structure," said Vice President and CFO Tim Millage.
Biz Buzz: Oakville Internet hopes to launch in Oakville
Althea, a startup that enables communities to build and maintain their own decentralized internet infrastructure, announced that Oakville Internet will be launching a new Althea network in Oakville.
In Althea networks, small antennas on rooftops connect neighbors, who earn money by expanding the network, said a news release.
Oakville Internet is seeking 100 pre-registrations to begin deployment.
Biz Buzz: Napa Valley Community Foundation names four to board
Napa Valley Community Foundation has appointed four local leaders to its board of directors.
• Bob Fiddaman, a Napa resident and former executive in the fields of real estate finance and pension investment management.
• Erika Lubensky, a Napa resident and executive director at Community Resources for Children.
• Tom McBroom, a St. Helena resident and former executive vice president of World Savings.
• Robert Murphy, an Angwin resident and senior manager in the tax department of Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP.
Biz Buzz: AUL named to Power 300 list for ninth year
For the ninth consecutive year AUL Corp. has been named to Auto Remarketing Magazine’s 2019 ‘Power 300’ List, "recognizing the firm as one of the most influential leaders in the pre-owned auto industry," announced Jimmy Atkinson, president and CEO of AUL Corp.
This award follows the firm’s winning its sixth consecutive Dealer’s Choice Award from Auto Dealer Today in June 2019.
Biz Buzz: Adventist Health St. Helena welcomes Schirling to cancer care team
Adventist Health St. Helena welcomes Schirling to cancer care team
Adventist Health St. Helena announced that the organization has added a breast nurse navigator to its cancer care team.
Laurie Schirling, RN, OCN, CN-BC, is a board-certified breast nurse navigator and oncology certified nurse “with a long career or serving women and families facing breast cancer,” said a news release.
“My passion is helping those with breast cancer through the transformative process from fear, to fighter, to empowered advocate,” Schirling said.
Schirling began her nursing career nearly three decades ago working in an oncology setting at Duke University Medical Center.
After working across the country as a nursing unit director, oncology outpatient nurse, hospice nurse and house supervisor, she became a breast nurse navigator at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center’s Commission on Cancer-accredited cancer center in Reno, Nevada.
She then moved to the Central Valley, where she served patients as director of breast care centers, sleep labs and lung care centers for Adventist Health.
“My role is to break down barriers to the continuum of care,” Schirling said. “I educate patients about their individual cancer journey, to empower them as advocates for their care and support them and their families through survivorship.”
As a breast nurse navigator, Schirling works to streamline patient care, facilitates cancer peer groups and connects with the community to encourage preventive care, said the release.
Schirling serves as a support for patients who have abnormal breast imaging studies and participates in the AHEAD Program screening patients with increased hereditary cancer risk.
After spending a number of years serving patients in Adventist Health’s Central Valley Network, Schirling said she was ready for a change. She said she was drawn to the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center “because of its focus on holistic care and teamwork.”
Schirling serves patients receiving care at Adventist Health St. Helena’s Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center at 10 Woodland Road in St. Helena.
Biz Buzz: Free Flow Wines celebrates 10-year anniversary, names 2019 KEGGY Award winners
Free Flow Wines recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary and 6th annual KEGGY Awards at Sebastiani Winery in Sonoma.
The celebration included announcing new roles within the company.
Jordan Kivelstadt, Free Flow Wines’ founder and president, announced his transition away from an active role in the company as of Aug. 2. Kivelstadt will remain on Free Flow’s board of directors.
Rich Bouwer is the new president. Additionally, Heather Clauss has been promoted to chief commercial officer.
At this year’s KEGGY Awards, Free Flow recognized 22 wineries, distributors and restaurant operators for their exceptional and sustainable contributions to the wine on tap category.
Local winners include: Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Trefethen Family Vineyards, Boisset Collection, Tuck Beckstoffer Wines and Round Pond Estate.
Biz Buzz: Jackson Family Wines to host initiative for Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD)
Jackson Family Wines will partner with Napa Valley Community Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD) to prepare emergency kits for local distribution.
As part of the company’s annual global sales meeting, to be held in Napa this year, more than 200 members of the sales team and members of the Jackson family will gather on Thursday, Aug. 1, at the family’s Oakville Winery to assemble 200 emergency kits.
The emergency kits will be donated to COAD, the local collective of nonprofit organizations formed following the 2014 South Napa Earthquake and 2015 Lake County fire and Calistoga sheltering response.
The goal of COAD is to improve community resilience and effectively use vital resources to help residents prepare and recover from a disaster.
Biz Buzz: Little Ivy Preschool expands
Little Ivy Preschool, a Napa preschool and child care center, has expanded, increasing its capacity to allow for a limited number of additional children to enroll in childcare and preschool programs, said a news release.
The preschool opened in September 2018, but recently opened an additional classroom after an interior remodel.
The preschool is located at 2201 Pine St. in Napa.
Info: 707-955-5695, firstname.lastname@example.org
Biz Buzz: Knowles promoted at Alpha Omega
Alpha Omega announced the promotion of Jeff Knowles to Chief Operations Officer (COO). Knowles joined Alpha Omega two years ago.
Knowles becomes the first COO at the winery that celebrates its 13-year anniversary this month. In his new role, he oversees all areas of hospitality, sales, Information Technology, shipping and logistics, maintenance and housekeeping and team services while collaborating with Chief of Production Josh Baker, CFO Chelsea Cameron and Alpha Omega Vintner Michelle Baggett, who heads the marketing division.
“I’m very excited for this opportunity," said Knowles.
Biz Buzz: Napa's Suppertime moves to South Coombs Street
Suppertime has moved. The business is now located at 101 South Coombs St., Suite Y4, formally the Melissa Teaff catering space.
"At this location we will be focusing on our dinner delivery program and catering," said a news release.
Biz Buzz: Napa's AUL Corp. promotes Garner and McCarthy
AUL Corp. announced the promotions of Jason Garner to senior vice president of strategic product development and Paul McCarthy to senior vice president of agency and dealer sales.
Garner will now provide leadership on enhancing the firm’s offerings, including new products, participation programs and key initiatives.
McCarthy's promotion "is testament his demonstrated expertise and leadership as AUL’s VP of national sales, a position held since January of this year," said a news release.
Biz Buzz: Umutyan joins Adventist Health St. Helena Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center
Adventist Health St. Helena welcomes new medical director, Ari Umutyan, MD, to the Martin-O’Neil Cancer Center.
A long-time physician in Napa County, Dr. Umutyan is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and brings more than a decade of cancer-fighting experience to his medical oncology and hematology practice, said a news release.
He specializes in "comprehensive and compassionate" cancer care, of breast and lung cancers, malignant hematologic conditions such as lymphoma and leukemia, as well as non-malignant blood concerns.
After growing up in different parts of Europe, Dr. Umutyan completed his undergraduate studies at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. He received his medical degree from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.
Dr. Umutyan is fluent in English, Armenian, German and Turkish.
“Hearing a diagnosis of cancer can be overwhelming,” he said. “I’m dedicated to helping my patients understand the specifics of their condition, treatment options and then to be by their side during the journey.”
Biz Buzz: BJ’s Petal Pushers moves to new Napa location
BJ’s Petal Pushers has moved from its Main Street location to 2762 Old Sonoma Road inside Carneros Center.
The owners, the Tesfaw Family, said they credit Brian Dodd of Strong & Hayden Commercial Real Estate for finding a space that suited the needs of the business.
Family owned and operated for 29 years, BJ’s Petal Pushers "is committed to assisting its beloved customers with communicating their every emotion (except for anger) to one another through flowers and gifts."
Info: BJsPetalPushers.com, 707-257-3130
Biz Buzz: Watermark senior community opens leasing center in Napa
The Watermark at Napa Valley has opened its leasing gallery at 2999 Solano Ave.
The senior living community — under construction at 4055 Solano Ave. — is scheduled to open in the summer of 2020. It is located on grounds adjacent to Justin-Siena High School.
The community will provide 173 independent living, assisted living and memory care apartments.
“Floor-to-ceiling windows will bring in abundant natural light and offer mountain vistas,” said a news release. Other amenities include a wellness and fitness center with a movement studio, a full-service salon and spa, an art space and gallery, a theater, computer and technology center, a concierge and more.
Dining options will include a restaurant-style fine dining room to an open-air bistro café, and coffee and wine bars.
Biz Buzz: Fradella joins Napa's Executive Room Barber Shop
The Executive Room Barber Shop announced that Gian Fradella has joined the team.
A Napa native, Fradella has been providing haircuts for Napans for the past seven years, "and has cultivated a dedicated following," said a news release.
“We were thrilled when Gian expressed interest in joining us," said Steve Pierce of The Executive Room Barber Shop.
The Executive Room Barber Shop is at 1504 Main St. Walk-ins are welcomed, but reservations highly recommended, said Pierce.
Info: theexecutiveroomnapa.com, 258-1628
Biz Buzz: Napa's Bel Abri hotel sold for $4.85 million
Napa's Bel Abri hotel has been sold for $4.85 million, according to the transfer tax paid on a deed recorded on July 2.
The seller is Boutique Resorts Napa, LLC. The buyer is Bel Abri Napa, LLC, with an address in San Francisco.
Bel Abri is located at 837 California Blvd., Napa.
Biz Buzz: Valley View Senior Homes hosts grand opening
On July 8, the city of American Canyon and Satellite Affordable Housing Associates (SAHA) celebrated the grand opening of Valley View Senior Homes.
The homes are located at 1 Natalie Lane in American Canyon.
Valley View Senior Homes is one of 17 projects in California that received the first round of funding through Proposition 41 and the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program. The community consists of 70 apartment and cottage-style homes, all of which will are affordable to very low and extremely low-income seniors and veterans aged 55 and older, said a news release.
The new residents, who moved into their new homes in April and May, "enjoy a beautifully landscaped community that incorporates the highest standards of green building and sustainable design as well as a robust selection of on-site services and activities to support wellness, independent living, and aging-in-place," said the release.
Biz Buzz: Whitmer joins Allied Propane Service
Dave Whitmer has joined Allied Propane Service in the new role of corporate development and public affairs executive.
Whitmer will work out of Allied’s Napa office.
Whitmer, a lifetime Napan, retired Napa County agricultural commissioner/sealer of weights and measures and current Napa County Planning Commissioner will be responsible for leading corporate development and public affairs for Allied Propane Service and Allied Clean Fuels Plaza.
Whitmer retired from the county of Napa in 2013.
Biz Buzz: Gomez of Edward Jones receives Certified Investment Management Analyst designation
Financial Advisor Justin Gomez of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Napa has achieved the professional designation of Certified Investment Management Analyst.
Gomez successfully completed the designation from the Investments & Wealth Institute.
His office is located at 575 Lincoln Ave., Suite 280 in Napa.
Info: 707-927-3397, edwardjones.com/justin-gomez
Biz Buzz: Treasury Wine Estates signs Porto Protocol
Treasury Wine Estates (TWE) announced it has signed the Porto Protocol, a global forum and commitment to sharing best practice in helping reduce the impact of climate change.
This move represents a positive step in TWE’s environmental, sustainability and governance journey, as the company works to create long-term value in the communities where it operates, said a news release.
Biz Buzz: Ramirez joins LGBTQ Connection
Stephanie Ramirez has joined as program coordinator at LGBTQ Connection in Napa.
Ramirez is responsible for the development, training and support of LGBTQ Connection's youth leadership teams in Napa County. The Youth Leadership Teams work with the coordinator to implement community events, advocate for LGBTQ inclusive policy and practice change, host youth events, facilitate regular LGBTQ youth get-togethers, train schools and districts to support LGBTQ students and more.
Biz Buzz: Redwood Credit Union Shred-a-Thon raises $1,600
Approximately 400 Napa residents hauled old financial records and other paperwork to be shredded at Redwood Credit Union’s (RCU’s) free annual Shred-a-Thon on June 29.
Shred-IT trucks were on site at the County of Napa Sullivan Lot to help people safely dispose of and recycle approximately 30,000 pounds of paper.
“Shredding sensitive documents — such as old financial statements and bills — is one of the best precautions people can take against identity theft, so we were happy to once again provide this service to our community,” said Mario Gutierrez, RCU’s Napa branch manager.
RCU also collected $1,600 in monetary donations at the event to benefit Puertas Abiertas Community Resource Center, an organization that works with Latinos to inspire and achieve healthy living, self-sufficiency, and opportunities for leadership and community engagement.
Biz Buzz: SONIC donates to Napa teachers
SONIC Drive-In recently recognized teachers as a part of its Limeades for Learning initiative in partnership with nonprofit partner DonorChoose.org.
SONIC launched a donation match in honor of Teacher Appreciation Month and gave two teachers in Napa $497.
In total, SONIC donated $1.2 million matching donations made to SONIC Teacher projects in May. As a result, SONIC rewarded two entrepreneurial teacher lead projects at one school in Napa, including:
• Laura Hulquist at Mt. George Elementary School for the project "We Are Going to Chart a New Course!".
• Leslie Gracia at Mt. George Elementary School for the project "Creative Tables".
Biz Buzz: Gomez receives the 'TNT' client development award
Edward Jones Financial Advisor Justin Gomez of Napa Valley recently received the "TNT" Client Development Award "for his outstanding service efforts over the past year," said a news release.
Only 1,010 of the firm's more than 18,000 financial advisors received the award, said the release.
"When you work for a firm that is known for its outstanding service," Gomez said, "it's quite an honor to be singled out for your service record."
Gomez office is located at 575 Lincoln Ave., Suite 280, in Napa.
Info: 707-927-3397, edwardjones.com/justin-gomez.
Biz Buzz: American Canyon strawberry patch sold for $1.92 million, hotel planned
Burt Polson of ACRES Real Estate Services, Inc. was the listing broker for the sale of an almost two-acre parcel of land that will become the future home of a Home2Suites hotel.
The parcel, located on the east side of Highway 29 between the Palby’s Junction building and the Fairfield Suites Hotel in American Canyon, has been the longtime home of a strawberry patch. The official address is 91 Antonina Ave.
The property owner was Pierre Freskan. Karim Sayani bought the land on June 20 for $1.92 million.
The selling broker was Tom Casazza of KW Commercial. The project manager will be Mark Stumm of Noble Hospitality, Inc.
Info: 816-421-1211 x106
Biz Buzz: Napa's AUL wins Auto Dealer Today awards
AUL Corp, a national vehicle service contract administrator, has been named winner of its sixth consecutive Dealers Choice Award and seventh overall in the Service Contract category by Auto Dealer Today.
“Since winners are ultimately selected by our customers, Auto Dealer Today’s Dealer’s Choice Awards are truly one of the most meaningful and gratifying,” stated Jimmy Atkinson, president and CEO of AUL.
Biz Buzz: Napa Tenacious Fitness celebrates anniversary on July 26
Napa Tenacious Fitness is celebrating its three-year business anniversary.
The business is hosting an anniversary celebration on Friday, July 26 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Festivities include Frisbee, food and refreshments, corn hole, giant Jenga and team fitness trivia with rewards of free one-on-one personal training and "swag."
Owner Sean McCawley has been a personal trainer for more than 10 years.
Napa Tenacious Fitness is located at 1812 Soscol Ave., Napa, CA 94559
Info: 707-287-2727, NapaTenaciousFitness.com
Biz Buzz: Purple Wine + Spirits announces American Canyon and Petaluma moves
Purple Wine + Spirits announced it is moving wine bottling operations from Graton to its winery in American Canyon. Purple currently bottles three million cases annually out of the Graton facility.
“Our American Canyon winery is our most efficient, grape-to-bottle facility," Vice President of Operations Eric Gilliland said.
"Positioning our hub winery in American Canyon also gives us an improved logistic footprint within our supply chain, whether it be closer to our custom crush and bottling clients or to our dry goods suppliers. These changes are not only a win for us in terms of reducing our operational expenses, but also a win for our clients who pay transportation costs, our dry goods partners, and the environment as it shortens truck routes.”
In this shift, more than 20 roles have been created at American Canyon across various functions from cellar and bottling operations to maintenance mechanics. Purple is actively recruiting for these roles.
“We look forward to our American Canyon winery becoming our ‘go-to’ winery and providing the best custom crush and bottling services in the North Bay," Gilliland said.
Purple is also moving its office headquarters to Petaluma.
Biz Buzz: Nearly $200,000 raised at Cope's Blue Plate Special event
After an 11-year hiatus, Cope Family Center returned to a 'celebrity waiter' format for its gala fundraiser, The Blue Plate Special. The event May 10 help raised "just shy of" $200,000 for Cope Family Center.
This year’s celebrity waiters included Stacey Biagi of Biagi Bros. and Tiffany Kaiser of Allied Propane, Yountville Mayor John Dunbar, jewelry designer Kevin Friedman, Platypus Tours owner Kathy Glass, Dick Grace of Grace Family Vineyards, Iren Jenny of Hope’s Chest, Will Marcencia, owner of Wine Down Media, Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza, Mike Purvis of Purvis Consulting, Napa Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Travis Stanley, Truchard Vineyards’ Anthony and Suzanne Truchard and Mel Engle of Engle Strategic Solutions.
Event sponsors included: Carneros Studio Napa, Mechanics Bank, Rabobank, Oscar and Denise Renteria of Renteria Vineyard Management, the Doctors Company and the Perfect Puree of Napa Valley. Laird Family Estate and Truchard Vineyards were wine sponsors and Charbay Distillery and Perfect Puree of Napa Valley provided cocktails for the reception.
Grace was crowned the 2019 head celebrity waiter, with Pedroza in second place, closely followed by "co-celebrity" waiters Stacey Biagi and Tiffany Kaiser in third.
Info: copefamilycenter.org, 707-253-1123
Biz Buzz: Napa Sunrise Rotary chooses new officers, Rotarian of the Year and Decade
The Sunrise Rotary Club of Napa passed the president's gavel on from Mike Basayne to Kate Anderson. She will hold the office from July to June 2020.
The Rotary Club also honored Paul Oseso as Rotarian of the Year and Chris Craiker as Rotarian of the Decade. This has been bestowed only twice previously.
The Sunrise Rotary will be directing and managing Napa's Fourth of July Parade in downtown Napa at 10 a.m.
Biz Buzz: Plamenco joins Westin Verasa as director of sales and marketing
The Westin Verasa Napa’s General Manager Don Shindle announced that Darlene Plamenco is the newest addition to the property’s team as the director of sales and marketing.
Plamenco has luxury hotel operations experience with Marriott properties, spanning from the Bay Area to Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to joining The Westin Verasa Napa, Plamenco worked as the director of sales and marketing at Ala Moana Hotels in Honolulu, Hawaii. Prior to that, Plamenco served as director of sales and marketing at Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach.
“We are excited for Darlene’s extensive experience in various Marriott hotels and resorts, which is a perfect fit for The Westin Verasa Napa,” said Shindle.
Plamenco received her bachelor’s degree in history from San Francisco State University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.
The Westin Verasa Napa is located at 1314 McKinstry St. in Napa.
Info: westinnapa.com, 707-257-1800
Biz Buzz: Knecht celebrates 20 Years as a financial adviser
Earl Knecht, CFP, announced two milestones: his 20-year anniversary as a financial adviser and 20 years with Napa Valley Wealth Management (NVWM).
Knecht began his career with NVWM the day after graduating from college, said a news release.
Today, he is NVWM’s vice president and CFO and a member of the firm’s investment policy committee. He holds a master of science degree in personal financial planning and is a certified financial planner.
“For two decades, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients to plan, build, and preserve their wealth. I truly like helping people, and I’ve greatly enjoyed serving clients, walking with them through life, supporting their goals, and helping make their financial lives continuously more efficient,” Knecht said.
Biz Buzz: Lomeli, O’Donnell, Litchney, join GVM Law
GVM Law, a law firm for wine law, estate planning and business transactions, announced the addition of three new attorneys to the firm’s practice. Bonifacio Lomeli and Corbin O’Donnell have joined the Napa office. Sarah Litchney has joined the firm’s Roseville office.
Lomeli brings "a diverse background and unique perspective" to the Napa office having spent seven years with the United States Army as a medic, healthcare specialist and medical administrator, including two-year assignments in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After leaving the military, Lomeli continued to help veterans while pursuing his undergraduate degree from Sonoma State University, followed by a JD and Master’s in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine. Lomeli will support both the business and litigation departments.
O’Donnell is a Northern California native who is familiar with family law as well as Napa County’s Superior Court processes and its interactions with county agencies. He received his JD from the John F. Kennedy University College of Law with a certificate in Children, Families and the Law. O’Donnell will support the estate planning department.
Litchney joins the firm as a senior associate attorney. Litchney earned her JD from the McGeorge School of Law with a certificate in Intellectual Property. She lives in Roseville.
Based in Napa with offices in Fairfield and Roseville, GVM Law works with winery, vineyard, farm and business owners and their families.
Biz Buzz: Comcast celebrates grand opening of Napa Xfinity retail store Saturday
Comcast celebrates the grand opening of its 300th Xfinity retail store, which is in Napa, on Saturday, June 22.
The event takes place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Celebrity chef Robert Irvine will give away 75 free copies of his new book, "Family Table." A $30,000 donation to a local nonprofit will also be announced at the event. Napa elected officials and others will also attend.
The Napa Xfinity Store is located at 308 Soscol Ave., Suite C in Napa, next to Michaels.
Biz Buzz: Dent Solution marks grand opening on Soscol Avenue in Napa
On June 8, Ian Cordle, owner of Dent Solution -- along with family, friends, employees, customers and other local business owners -- celebrated the grand opening of a new business location. The new address is 536 Soscol Ave., Unit 7, in Napa.
Dent Solution has offered mobile service for 22 years in the Napa Valley and surrounding areas, providing paintless dent repair on cars, trucks, SUVs and motorcycles on location, said a news release.
Customers can now choose either mobile service or repair work at 536 Soscol Ave. The new shop is open by appointment.
Biz Buzz: Castleberry receives Certified Financial Planner practitioner certification
Morgan Stanley announced that David A. Castleberry, a vice president, financial adviser in the firm’s Wealth Management office in Napa, has been awarded the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) certification.
Castleberry has worked at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management since 2014.
In addition to providing financial planning services, he provides a variety of other advisory and non-advisory financial services, including brokerage services, to clients.
Info: morganstanley.com, 707-254-4444