July 15, 2019
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U10 Cal Ripken champions say Aloha Free school supplies Warnings weren’t enough! Rohnert Park City Council all about safety A young child making a big difference City of Cotati switches to 100% renewable electricity Trades Intro Program (TIP) leads to career Red flags fly at all fire stations during “Red Flag” warnings Alert resident foiled attempted burglary of neighbor’s home Wrong way bicyclist rides into path of SMART train School Year 2019-2020 for free and reduced-price meals Ca. Dept. of Justice announces ammunition regulations Promotions in the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety Homelessness spikes in RP Home delivery changes Technology High School construction on schedule Fresh faces on the CRPUSD board 73rd Miss Sonoma County competition held at Spreckels Straus Family Creamery moving to RP TAG building grand opening RP City Council, not business as usual Newsom’s vision “cradle to career” RP Downtown project underway Schools, facilities and bonds: Plans but no money DUI driver crashes into 7-1 Teen arrested for shooting at RP RP votes to restrict fireworks Grand Jury recommends improvements for So. Co. Water Bad air quality cancels sports Official election winners as projected by the VOICE  RP swears in new council member 2018 local stories which made history ArtStart brings art to the RP Senior Center Holocaust piano now in Cotati CRPUSD seeking a new superintendent Superintendent search begins Cotati Council moves ahead Planning Commission approves hotel Happenings at Cotati City Council Fun family Christmas events in Cotati Cougars’ season comes to a tearful sad conclusion CalFresh clients get Feb. benefits early Rohnert Park Station Ave. update Cuts suggested for school district The “Healing Wall” comes to Sonoma County Cotati memorializes victims Rohnert Park considers firework restrictions CHP to check motorcycle safety in local area Cotati honors and appreciates Undercover operation identifies prostitution at local massage parlors Dr. Dominguez and Hawkins named as director and co-director for Hanna Institute University Elementary School to host Maker World at SSU Animal Shelter League of RP receives grant Cotati Council reshuffles seats Help save lives by donating blood New laws on purchasing and concealing handguns Fencing in Sonoma County School district leaders tackle 1.9m deficit School district seeking new superintendent Cotati protests CASA compact School district balances budget More high density in Rohnert Park Put down your phone April is distracted driving awareness month SSU Police make arrest in sexual assault case CRPUSD district’s good news in May The long summer grinds The Community Voice endorses candidates DA’s office awarded DUI Prosecution Grant Rohnert Park kid joins TCU El Camino graduates Rohnert Park Council says we don’t need another agency Rancho students excel in Poetry Out Loud  SC public safety heroes of the year Don’t drive with an open container Traffic concerns top RP survey SSU Equestrian looks to go national Brace yourself for mosquitos Station Avenue project An offer has been made and accepted on Rohnert Park’s corporate yard SMART to offer free rides... School district set to begin new year Frightful, fun, free Halloween activities Cougars crush Ukiah Election projected winners November 6, 2018  Sonoma Clean Power offers no-cost energy upgrades Rancho advances to semifinals RP’s n­ew Director of Public Safety A stand-off with barricaded, suicidal woman ends safely in RP RP has a new director of public safety Mackenzie leaves SMART RP officers spent Sat. car chasing A shimmer of hope against the angry heavy sky SSU to host North Bay Women of Color conference Rancho’s TAG building, now a reality Mayors of So Co write angry letter Dodd’s college student food bill passes Rohnert Park caregiver arrested Sheriff’s canine apprehends convicted felon Rohnert Park residents awarded law degrees Public invited to give input on Downtown RP Site School board candidates voice opinions Woman stabbed on west side of RP LandPaths connects people to protected land Tech High Girl's Soccer Undefeated champions! AG Becerra issues consumer alert on price gouging in fire-affected communities Learn to docent at the SSU Fairfield Osborn Preserve New signs point in the right direction Where are the ski lifts? Is Cotati being targeted? New alcohol fees for Rohnert Park Sonoma State president testifies for tax relief for disaster victims Fixing Cotati’s roads RP driver identified Burglary suspect found with firearms Joint Legislative Wine Committee to meet at SSU State Farm property steams forward to Station Avenue Scrappers Steal Win RP Foundation issues grant Cotati allows second dispensary New residential building lands approved In Singapore Strait aboard a missile destroyer PG&E has a prediction model USCIS presents free training on how to apply for citizenship RP investigates new site for Corp. Yard Two arrested in RP motel for mail theft  Is Juuling the new norm? Cotati considers $15 min. wage No criminal charges filed against PG&E in northern Ca. wildfires  RP decides on west side Vintage race cars on Sonoma raceway track May CalFresh month celebration DMV offices will close for half day Rancho Cotate Band fundraiser BBQ Jessica Holman: Thirty-five years of Rancho Spirit Titans crush Mustangs Station Avenue gets final approval Cotati Council reviews trash plan Baseball League receives donation from local motorcycle club Cotati Police Chief Parish swears in new officer Garber A Sunday afternoon with retired football players Injury collision closes Golf Course Dr. Giving Kids Smiles in Rohnert Park Neighborhood watch meeting scheduled New Executive Director at SSU Reckless vehicle ends in DUI arrest New interim superintendent Krispy Kreme Doughnuts comes to Rohnert Park  Cougars blow past Gauchos  Rohnert Park honors its Veterans and Servicemen CHP reminds all of increased crimes Cougars beat Bulldogs More than 276,000 Dreamers have renewed DACA White receives Matt Walsh Memorial RP and Sunday festivities SSU fraternity banned for five years Name correction: Grand Jury report on SoCo jail system Water Conservation Car washes and water waste Cotati Chamber of Commerce Oktoberfest Rancho crushes Analy CA Homemaker Association needs volunteers Active duty honorees at the RP Veterans Day program Santa now knows her secret CPI receives funding to offer counseling in schools Caltrans works toward decarbonizing California transportation The Rancho Cotati Rotary Club hosts Humanitarian Award dinner SSU and SCOE offer high school internship Illegal robocalls and spoofing Stray sways the crowd RP’s new interim police chief Big changes to big project in Rohnert Park A possibility for Snyder Lane to have four lanes soon Rohnert Park road updates Sheriff’s Detectives arrest SR man after controlled delivery of ecstasy pills. Cotati comes out against CASA Llamadas ilegales y spoofing Music alive in Cotati Penngrove Community Church celebrates 120 years Cotati approves tree lighting City of Cotati has apartment housing parking problems Operators ordered to pay for false advertising violations Becerra urges Ca. businesses resources to help prevent human trafficking Possible change to parking rules Enroll in Transportation Security Administration Elder abuse rising in So Co Students at University Elementary discussing the labyrinth Rohnert Park City Council Candidates NHTSA reminds motorists to drive sober this season Cotati’s code of conduct School board follows its policy R P Foundation gives grants to NOAH and Petaluma Bounty Summit State Bank annual report FEMA awards Sonoma Water grant RP moves to curb false alarms Doggone hot days are here! March for the blind highlights need for more accessible sidewalks Cougar to Bear — Simmons’ new pelt SRJC picks up local quarterback The Cougars defeat the Jaguars at homecoming New laws take effect Jan. 1 Boards approve plan to offset proposed groundwater fee Groundwater sustainability fee adopted in Santa Rosa Plain Kids and firefighters compete in RP RP local, Petri Alva, 14, a nationally recognized athlete SSU named one of the best universities Verity is hiring to work with survivors SweetPea celebrates 31 years Seawolves serve up a victory Students almost ready for kindergarten Would you make a great foster parent? Cardinals rout Cougars SSI and SSP recipients eligible for CalFresh benefits Five vehicle crash shuts down Golf Course Dr. How to help victims of wildfires Polynesia celebrated at annual Pacific Islander Festival Fire storm anniversary New fire station gets final direction Plan approved for Station Ave. park Football in full swing, 3rd win Arrests and charges target Apple stores Cotati fills Planning Commission Annie Rasmussen Celebration of Life Revisiting those who lost it all: October wildfire victims still on the road to recovery SMART celebrates a year of service RP Public Safety report card Penngrove native set for amazing voyage Cotati votes opposition to oil leases SC neighborhood sues illegal pot grower Penngrove grassfire destroys buildings Cotati Accordion Festival still a hit after 28 years RP residents provide input in police chief search Forum hosted by WLV for RP City Council candidates Supply giveaways lend a hand to families Police officers inspect inside of car Lowerys help with campaign Yes on Measure W will keep fire stations open RP to host community forum for public safety director search Emergency Alert System Test Sept. 10 & 12 Spreckels and Alchemia connects community It wasn’t an easy fight but Rancho wins again RP Safety Dept. climbs in remembrance of 9/11/18 Back to school for Rohnert Park and Cotati Another tough break for roller derby RP waits to make update to emergency alert system Cougars slay Dragons Third pedestrian struck by SMART train Enjoying ribs Little ones with big Polynesian dancing spirit Sidewalk repair gets big break from City of RP RP Health Center celebrates anniversary Imitating major leaguers Rohnert Park waiting for approval for canine program

Created by women, for women ~ The Northbay Alliance of Professional Women

By: Stephanie Derammelaere
June 8, 2018



 By Stephanie Derammelaere

In 2007 several local female business professionals – some who worked for companies and some who were entrepreneurs, got together to form the Northbay Alliance of Professional Women. Since then, the Rohnert Park-based organization has grown to approximately 50 members, has become a non-profit, started another chapter in Mendocino County and is furthering their mission to connect women through networking so they can achieve their professional goals.

“Because it was 2007 things were pretty difficult in the economic landscape,” says Michelle Martin, President of the Northbay Alliance of Professional Women. “As a female entrepreneur, it really felt like we needed to gather our resources and create a community to move through this and build successful, thriving businesses. It was a small group in the beginning - five to seven of us – that decided we had to band together because we are stronger as a unit than we are individually.”

Knowing that as busy, professional women they had limited time and flexibility, they decided to meet once a month for an hour and a half luncheon to empower, learn from and encourage each other. Today, the group still meets every third Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. at the Clubhouse at Redwood Creek on 600 Rohnert Park Expressway West.

Much more than just another networking group however, the organization aims to support and showcase their members in a positive networking environment, share their collective knowledge and resources, unite to create a stronger community, recognize achievement and educate themselves on business and leadership growth fundamentals. Topics discussed do not just cover business-related issues, but can range from a variety of topics many women have to deal with such as parenting, aging parents, shifting roles and workforce transitions.

“In traditional networking groups I’ve seen relationships built and people broadcasting their business, but I haven’t really seen that particular development of the individual, that driven person who just wants to get better every day,” says Martin. “That was something I hadn’t seen in the landscape of what you call traditional networking. We really wanted to be different. We wanted a place where we could grow and learn and we could always know that value would be delivered.”

And yes, NAPW does also encourage strong referral relationships to increase the income and profits of their members. However, unlike other networking groups, membership is not limited to one member per industry. The group’s mentality comes from a place of abundance, not lack.

“That was another thing we wanted to be sure was different,” says Martin. “We believe in an abundance mindset versus scarcity. There’s a lot of networking groups that are very fearful that leads will go in the wrong direction or that there won’t be enough for the members, and they’re very quota driven and they’re very limited on who can participate. With NAPW we absolutely do not believe in that approach. We think there is enough room in the world for everyone and if they want to come in and synergize and grow with us, and are going to be a positive influence and help us learn new things, we 100 percent want to welcome them.”

Besides the monthly meetings, NAPW also hosts “Ladies in Leadership,” a symposium of women-created companies, generally held twice a year. These events provide women of all industries and backgrounds with an opportunity to gather together and hear from a panel of four to five powerful and inspirational female leaders. These sessions focus heavily on leadership skill development and developing meaningful business connections.

Their most recent event, titled “Grit & Gumption – Gearing up for Change,” was held on April 26, 2018 and featured a panel of female leaders addressing a variety of pressing issues facing women in business today. Some of the topics included establishing an online presence, increasing financial health, and being an effective leader.

“One of the speakers spoke about social media and your presence, getting your message across and determining your intention,” says Martin. “We had another person who spoke specifically about justifying your value – what you deliver to the marketplace and what your true value is and how you communicate that to yourself and the public. We had a great speaker talking about taking initiative on self care and that it’s ok to not have all the answers but it’s not ok to suffer. It’s important that you find the wisdom, that you seek good counsel, and that you surround yourself with positive people and don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. That’s important for people to hear because we’re very perfection oriented and we think that we have to be perfect to be successful. That’s not even a real possibility – there is no perfect.”

Currently, the organization is managed not only by Martin but also a board of directors, including Sharon Bricker-Ferris, Kathleen Coghlan, Jennifer Kruss, Monica Moura, Tatjana Janga and Ann Moreno.

“We have the most extraordinary board of directors in the universe,” says Martin. “We would not have the structure, the bandwidth, or the positivity if we didn’t have the most amazing board members.”

Another unique feature of NAPW is that the organization contributes financially to a variety of other local community organizations, through a percentage of the bi-annual $60 dues that each member pays. Some of the non-profit organizations NAPW has donated money to include AMVETS, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Boys & Girls Club of Rohnert Park, the Rotary Club of Rohnert Park – Cotati and COTS, as well as many others.

“The way we built our bi-laws is that, any membership or renewal monies that come into NAPW during a six-month period, we have taken 12.5 percent of those monies and already dedicated them to a local non-profit,” says Martin. “We’re already prepositioned to give back to another non-profit. It’s part of the bi-laws and has always been that way. The current non-profit we’re sponsoring is a local non-profit called Lilliput. They are a foster and kinship care agency in Sonoma County that helps find foster homes or helps children that have been separated from their families be reunited.”

Professional women interested in NAPW are encouraged to attend a monthly meeting to determine if the group is a good fit for them. The organization allows visitors to attend two complimentary NAPW meetings before asking them to make a decision about becoming a member. In addition, any questions can be directed to Michelle Martin at 707-217-9994 or to Sharon Bricker-Ferris at 707-799-6111 or by checking their website,