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  • December 14, 2023 2:10 PM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    This month, we had the pleasure of hosting five influential community leaders who graciously shared their insights on the 2023 industry landscape and highlighted key trends anticipated for 2024. Our esteemed speakers were:

    1. Amy Christopherson Bolten, representing Christopherson Builders
    2. Briana Ekandem, Chief HR Officer at Providence Northern California
    3. Brian Reed, President and CEO of Summit State Bank
    4. Claudia Vecchio, CEO of Sonoma County Tourism
    5. Dick Dowd, Co-Chair of the SoCo Alliance Water Supply Committee

    Each speaker delivered a concise presentation, setting the stage for an engaging question and answer session. If you couldn't attend, don't worry—you can catch the entire event in this video. Short on time? Dive into the highlights from each industry segment below.

    Looking ahead, mark your calendar for our upcoming General Membership Meeting on January 3rd. We're thrilled to welcome back Dr. Robert Eyler as our special guest speaker, offering valuable insights into the economic forecast. Secure your spot by pre-registering, and we'll ensure there's a seat waiting for you. Don't miss out on this enlightening session!


    Amy Christopherson Bolten, from Christopherson Builders, spoke on the new homes residential market. She shared a recent comment by a city leader in Santa Rosa who mentioned that we haven’t had a normal housing cycle in 15 years, 1st we get the Great Recession, then the Fires, COVID shut down, now all the affordable housing mandates from the state. The market in not stabilized, now the highest interest rates in decades is throwing a wrench into everything. With lower rates and higher housing costs for so long, this gave the market the perception of having more affordable housing opportunities. Not with the higher interest rates now . Added cost of regulations from all levels of government has given Santa Rosa the distinction of being one of the least affordable housing markets in the United States. State and Local  governments have shifted their attitudes and have been trying to make it less expensive to live here, but with the various regulations at all levels of government as well as the increases in costs of materials and labor it is not working. 2023 with the raising interest rates seemed to freeze the new home market given the higher cost of money to borrow for construction and all the added costs. In 2024, the key will be having the interest rates coming down, and recognizing that the single family detached homes are under supply while we see all the high density apartments being built.  She is encouraged to see new life in downtown Santa Rosa with all the in-fill high density housing though.

    Briana Ekandem, Chief HR Officer Providence Northern California spoke on the challenges faced with retaining their care givers, the cost of housing challenges on those moving here, and efforts to retain those during and after their first year of employment. Providence has restructured and consolidated their operation in Northern California with the appointment of Gary Olney as their Chief Executive, with oversight of all six hospitals within Providence’s Northern California service area. Briana discussed their employee engagement and how they can improve with going from an annual to quarterly surveys for feedback and hav more frequent check ins with their care givers. Her focus is on turnover, engagement and retention as her key priorities. Briana garnered much attention, receiving the overwhelming majority of questions form the audience, which she addressed very well.

    Brian Reed, President and CEO of Summit State Bank, made the following observations about our banking market. $9 trillion was pumped into the economy primarily to the banking system. Banks expected that to be short lived since the stimulus and PPP were to pay for business expenses and investment but about $5 trillion remained through 2022. Many would argue that this represents the excess in those programs as they were pushed out quickly. This resulted in banks being very liquid and able to lend to help prop up the economy. With the ensuing supply chain issues resulting in high inflation, the Feds started increasing interest rates ultimately over 5% higher on the Fed Funds Rate. Prime rate increases mirrored those and longer term treasuries also moved up but not as much. This resulted in less real estate transactions penciling out and more caution around investing for business growth. People and businesses were sitting on more cash and with the higher interest rates began seeking yield. This led to money flowing out of the banking system and the money that stayed was at a much higher cost. In March go this year when several large banks failed, the result was much more stringent examinations from regulators. With less liquidity and more stringent regulatory oversight, bank lending has pulled back which does not help economic growth. He expects the beginning of 2024 to reflect a similar trend with a possible easing once the Feds start reducing rates (which many now fell it will be as early as end of the 1Q).

    Claudia Vecchio, CEO of the Sonoma County Tourism - Tourism has been very volatile these past 6 years with the fires, floods, pandemic and everything else that we’ve been in crisis mode. We didn’t fare too poorly at the end of the pandemic, as a destination location from those in SFO and the urban areas came in droves. This kept the life blood of Sonoma County visitors going. We were an area that was wide open and did better than other areas. 2022 turned out to be a record year for Sonoma County, with $2.3 Billion contributed to the overall economy in visitor spending at retail, restaurants and hotels. $8 million was budgeted during pandemic and $12 million after the pandemic which in 2023 big projects were brought to the county, including the Today Show in April. 2023 rain early and often saw tourism down 20-25% year over year. Why? Well, seems many used that time to visit Europe and other out of state destinations, wine industry and local economy was down here.working on a 10 years Master Plan and in 2024, it is anyone’s guess what impacts will happen to tourism locally

    Dick Dowd - Co-Chair (with Marlene Soiland) of the SoCo Alliance Water Supply Committee - Our Committee has been meeting for the past 2 years reviewing our Water Crisis that we will be facing in the future. Historically, there are 5 counties - Marin, Sonoma, Mendocino, Lake and to some extent Humboldt Counties, that our water is tied to.  By way of operation to supply water to retail customers, is simple - when it rains, we catch it, put it behind dams and during the drier weather part of the year we feed into the Eel and Russian River to supply the water. When not getting enough rain, water supply is in jeopardy.  The past 2 years we’ve met with Sonoma Water, the city of Santa Rosa, and others in finding ways to get water year round recognizing it will be a challenge. PGE has petitioned to close down the hydro feeding system water from the Eel River that flows into the upper Russian River that is going to stop.  Potter Valley area is totally dependent on water coming into Lake Mendocino and behind Van Arsdale Dam at the South Fork of the Eel River in Ukiah. Those with Agricultural interests in that area will be impacted, and water supply to Cloverdale and Healdsburg fed by that supply of water also will be in dire conditions. Santa Rosa, Marin and North Marin need to find a way to capture water when raining and save if for the rest of the year.  Santa Rosa is looking at Aquifer Storage and Recovery system that would remove water when the rain season ends, but the big thing is it would have around a $600 million price tag. Who pays? The game plan at this point is Sonoma Water along with the Mendocino Water & Power Commission to find federal and state assistance and/or grants to soften the burden on rate payers. 2024 should see some actions being put into place, stay tuned…..

    Notes recorded by Ross Liscum, Sonoma County Alliance Board of Directors

  • October 03, 2023 9:58 AM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)


    September 26, 2023

    Dear Members of the School Board,

    We are writing to express our strong support for the return of School Resource Officers (SROs) to our high schools in Santa Rosa. After a recent meeting with Santa Rosa's Chief of Police John Cregan, it has become evident that the Police Department is willing to collaborate and find a middle ground that ensures the safety and security of our students while also addressing the concerns of our community.

    In recent years, we have witnessed an alarming increase in the presence of firearms within our community and, regrettably, a rise in threats of violence within our schools. These developments have created an environment of uncertainty and fear, affecting the learning experience for our students and causing distress among parents and educators.

    Returning SRO officers to our high schools represents a proactive step towards ensuring a safer and more secure educational environment for our students. The presence of SRO officers has the potential to not only deters threats but also provides valuable resources for students in need of guidance and support.

    We would like to emphasize that Chief John Cregan and the Police Department have shown a genuine commitment to addressing the concerns of our community and working collaboratively with the school district to create an environment where all students feel safe and supported. This willingness to compromise and adapt to the needs of our schools demonstrates a sincere dedication to the well-being of our children.

    By returning SRO officers to our high schools, we are taking a proactive stance to address the pressing issue of school safety. It is imperative that we provide our students with an environment in

     Sonoma County Alliance

  • August 23, 2023 11:42 AM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    Sent: August 11, 2023

    ToChris Coursey, James GoreSusan Gorin, Lynda HopkinsDavid Rabbitt 

    Re: Support for Potter Valley Project proposal by Sonoma Water group and Request for continued project support

    Dear Sonoma Water Board of Directors:

    The Sonoma County Alliance was originally formed to advocate for the creation of Warm Springs Dam to provide a sustainable and resilient water supply for our region.  We continue this work today through our Water Supply Committee which stays informed about water issues that impact the business community in Sonoma County.  The mission of our committee includes being involved with decision and policy makers, becoming educated, and bringing information forward to Alliance leadership and membership. 

    The Water Supply Committee has been closely following local water supply and resiliency efforts as well as state-wide trends.  A variety of water experts have provided us with a deeper look at water issues, including meetings with Sonoma Water. 

    Today we met with PG&E to understand their timeline and position on the Potter Valley Project.  We are encouraged by the bold and visionary approach the Sonoma Water group presented to continue diversion to the Russian River while allowing fish passage.  The Sonoma County Alliance is supportive of this proposed pathway forward and we request your continued support for this appropriate and important project.

    Thank you for your consideration.

    Sonoma County Alliance

    Janet Connors, 2023 President

    Water Supply Committee Co-Chairs:  Dick Dowd & Marlene Soiland

    Committee members:  Lisa Badenfort, Harry Davitian, Art Deicke, Joe Gaffney, Mark Hale, Ken Lafranchi, Brian Ling, Ross Liscum, Mike Martini, Curt Nichols, Tawny Tesconi

  • August 07, 2023 8:36 AM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    The Board of Directors of the Sonoma County Alliance is delighted to announce Ty Mooney as the organization's new Executive Director. Mooney has been an integral part of the Sonoma County Alliance since October 2022 as the Membership & Events Director and quickly advanced to her new position effective July 19,2023.  

    2023 President Janet Connors expressed her enthusiasm for the appointment, saying,  "We couldn't be more thrilled to welcome Ty into her new role as Executive Director. Ty's remarkable contributions during her tenure as Membership & Events Director have been invaluable to the organization. Her dedication, visionary leadership, and unwavering commitment to our mission have already made a significant impact in the organization. With Ty at the helm, I am certain that the Sonoma County Alliance will flourish as we work together to achieve our shared vision for Sonoma County.”

    Mooney, a resident of Petaluma, CA, brings a wealth of experience in the nonprofit sector working as an employee and contractor for Sonoma County non-profits for nearly 10 years. Her expertise in leadership, communication, and marketing will undoubtedly prove to be instrumental in advancing the mission of the Sonoma County Alliance.

    In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ty has actively contributed to the community as a youth coach, sports program director, Boosters President, foster parent and serves on the Sonoma County Democratic Fundraising Committee.

    Mooney expressed her excitement about her new role, saying, “I feel an immense sense of honor and gratitude to lead an organization with such a rich history of community service, dating back to 1975. The Sonoma County Alliance has been a driving force in advocating for the betterment of our economy and environment, and it fills me with pride to be part of this legacy.” 

    Members of the Board of Directors are confident that Mooney's strong leadership abilities and dedication to the community will not only build on the Alliance's current successes but also chart a new course for the organization's growth and impact.

    “As the new Executive Director, I am thrilled to be stepping into this exciting period of growth and change for the Alliance,” Mooney said. “It is a time full of opportunities to make a lasting impact, and I am eager to embrace the challenges ahead. Together with our dedicated Board of Directors and passionate members, we will continue to diversify and expand our membership, ensuring that we can continue to effectively advocate for our county needs.”

    About Sonoma County Alliance: The Sonoma County Alliance is a prominent organization dedicated to promoting the overall welfare and prosperity of Sonoma County through cooperation, dialogue, and collaboration with businesses, residents, and government entities. By fostering partnerships and advocating for impactful policies, the Alliance works to create a thriving and inclusive community.

    For media inquiries or more information, please contact: Ty Mooney, Executive Director Sonoma County Alliance 707-338-4767 | |

  • April 12, 2023 10:43 AM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    As part of our literacy initiative, the Sonoma County Alliance Education Committee has purchased a Book Vending Machine for Abraham Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Rosa.

    Why Abraham Lincoln Elementary School?

    Abraham Lincoln Elementary School serves 270 students grade K-6th. Of the student population 97% belong to a minority group and 84% are from limited-income families, eligible for free or reduced lunch programs.*

    At Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, only 15%-19% of students are achieving proficiency in reading/language arts. That is 36% lower than the average California State School. *

    "The Sonoma County Alliance Education Committee's funding of a Book Vending Machine is part of their initiative to bring equity to education and remove financial barriers for children and families who need it most." - Ty Mooney, Director of Events and Membership

    The Book Vending Machine has the familiar look of a snack vending machine but dispenses books using a token system. Students are awarded tokens from their teachers for academic achievements and good behavior.

    Through the book vending machines the Education Committee is supporting the school in providing access to quality reading material, improve literacy skills, support academic success, and promote a love of reading.

    "We purchased the book vending machine at Lincoln Elementary in hopes of making reading more fun and entertaining for students." - Michael Menenedez, Co-Chair of Education Committee (Co-Committee Chair is Jason Lea, Ed.D.)

    The Education Committee gives all of the 100% tax deductible donations directly to the schools answering teachers wish lists and providing supplies and tools to use in the classroom. 

    To learn more about the Sonoma County Alliance's Education Committee and to support our partnership with local schools, please join us on June 10th for our annual fundraiser Bocce for Books.

    Enjoy great food & drinks from Taft Street Winery, an incredible auction, and Bocce for KIDS!

    Register here >

    *data provided by

  • March 29, 2023 9:11 AM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    Yesterday the Sonoma County Alliance Environmental Committee sat down with CEO of Sonoma Clean Power Geof Syphers for a tour of their eco friendly offices and a discussion on the agency's renewable energy initiatives.

    Sonoma Clean Power is a public agency that provides electricity to Sonoma and Mendocino County customers. Syphers discussed the formation of Sonoma Clean Power and the cost savings for customers, including those who have solar power systems. He also discussed the agency's experiments with geothermal energy in GeoZones and other renewable energy options like wind and hydro.

    In addition, the committee had the opportunity to tour the GridOptimal building, which uses a microgrid to provide reliable and sustainable energy. The building was impressive and Syphers passion around creating bright, lively, and comfortable community spaces for his team was inspiring. 

    The biggest conversation of the day was around the agency's plan to invest in geothermal power. This exciting development in the realm of renewable energy could have a significant impact on the county's carbon footprint and offer new avenues for sustainable economic growth.

    Geothermal energy is generated by harnessing the natural heat below the surface of the earth. By tapping into this heat, geothermal systems can provide a reliable and consistent source of energy while dramatically cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Unlike solar and wind power, which are dependent on the availability of sunlight and wind, geothermal energy is available 24/7, making it an attractive option for meeting the needs of both residential and commercial customers.

    The potential benefits of geothermal energy for Sonoma County are significant. Not only does it offer a clean source of energy, but it could also provide a boost to the local economy. The geothermal industry is growing rapidly, and investing in this technology could create new jobs and stimulate economic growth. 

    Want more on the Environmental Committee? Join us for our upcoming meetings:

    • May 23 from 12-1:30pm with special presenter Anne Morkill of the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation to talk about the Grant from Sonoma Water for creek restoration. 
    • July 25 from 12-1:30pm with Suzanne Smith, Executive Director of the Regional Climate Protection Authority and Tanya Narath, Director of Climate Programs for an update on strategic plan and community programs. 
  • February 20, 2023 1:10 PM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    In a 2020 poll released by Public Policy Institute of California, voters stated that homelessness was the top issue facing California.

    Now, after facing multiple wildfires and a global pandemic there is a visible increase of unhoused individuals in our community confirming that in 2023, homelessness is still a top issue.

    In fact…. just this morning the Press Democrat released an article about the Board of Supervisors holding a special meeting tomorrow to discuss the possibility of creating two managed camps at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building for unhoused individuals on the Joe Rodota trail.

    Although it seems we are dealing with a moving target, I find hope in stories like Bradly Browns, a formerly homeless individual who changed his stars with the help of some incredible local programs and services.

    There is a seat saved for you at our next program, A Discussion on Homelessness set for March 1st. Join us as we learn more about the complexities of this delicate issue and the opportunities we have to play a role in its solution.

    I hope to see you there.

    Register Now

  • October 24, 2022 1:06 PM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    Sonoma County Alliance is thrilled to welcome the new Director of Membership & Events, Ty Mooney.

    Ty is an experienced Marketing and Events professional specializing in rebranding, development, and fundraising for nonprofits. Ty is passionate about living a local lifestyle; supporting local businesses, engaging with local government, and actively volunteering at local events.

    Ty holds a certificate in grant writing and events from Sonoma State University and serves as the President of the Boosters Leadership Program at Petaluma High School and as a fundraising committee member of a local political group.

    Ty is a proud foster parent and a coach at Petaluma High School spending her spare time camping in her converted sprinter van, hiking local trails and reading historical fiction novels.

  • September 27, 2022 12:53 PM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    Sonoma Clean Power hosted our bi-monthly meeting this month to show off their Advanced Energy Center on 4th Street in Santa Rosa.

    Committee members enjoyed learning about the newest clean energy technology and financing availability.

    The showroom includes educational space as well as installations and details on induction cooking, heat pump water heaters, smart thermostats, remote control, solartubes, and battery storage.

    SCP can also connect customers to contractors that can provide installation services.

    Thank you to Store Manager, David Harvey.

  • August 30, 2022 12:57 PM | Ty Mooney (Administrator)

    During the past decade, the Sonoma County Alliance’s Reward Fund has provided funds to combat local crimes totaling over $44,000 to credible tipsters whose leads helped investigators solve open cases.

    In cooperation with   law enforcement agencies – including the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department and the county’s 9 municipal police departments – 45 recipients who came forward to assist investigators have been rewarded since 2012. They received rewards ranging from $250 to $5,000, helping to solve homicides, robberies, narcotics-related cases, and vandalism, while also helping law enforcement get dozens of illegal firearms off the streets.  

    Sonoma County Alliance leaders established the reward fund in 2005 with $15,000 in donations from the North Coast Builders Exchange, the Airport Business Center, and other Alliance members who pitched in. The fund has gradually grown to its current floating balance of $21,500, thanks to contributions which Alliance members may opt into when renewing their annual dues.

    Each partnering law enforcement agency may now offer up to $2,500 per case to incentivize leads in difficult-to-solve crimes. The Sonoma County Alliance Board of Directors serve as fiscal stewards of the fund and have no influence over how investigators choose the cases eligible for a reward offer.

Contact Ty Mooney, Executive Director for questions (707) 338-4767 or

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