July 26, 2021
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History-2001 Four received ‘Spirit Award’

By: Irene Hilsendager
June 25, 2021

The first annual Sonoma County Spirit Award program and luncheon will be held Thursday, November 29, in Rohnert Park’s DoubleTree Hotel.

Honorees chosen by 18 chambers of commerce in Sonoma County, Sonoma County Lodging Association, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Investment Board, North Coast Builders Exchange, Sonoma County farm Bureau, Sonoma County Grape Growers, Sonoma County Wineries Association, North Bay Technology Roundtable and other organizations have been selected for the Spirit Award honors. The event is sponsored by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

Chosen by the RP Chamber of Commerce Executive Board of Directors and Ken Schreier, owner of Gorilla’s Coffee & Espresso in University Square shopping center and Tiffanie and Dave Kowalski, owners of their home-based DL Systems in Rohnert Park, creators of web sites and consulting services for computer systems.

Chosen by the Cotati Chamber of Commerce is Frank Hayhurst, owner of Zone Music on Old Redwood Highway.

“The three business owners we selected are best examples of good community citizenship and successful business men and women.” Said Robin Bleckwehl, executive director of the RP chamber. “They serve the community through their fundraising and volunteer activities. They told us their businesses have prospered because of the support of residents and local businesses. In all three people, giving back to the community is a deeply held belief that they actualize through their businesses.

Schrier provides student achievement awards for elementary school students, sponsors 13 youth sports teams, donates refreshments to high school sports games and events, provides two scholarships for single parents enrolled at the Nursing School at Sonoma State U and so far in 2001, has raised $88,000 for various community non-profit organizations.

The Kowalskis are both active Rotarians, Tiffanie serves on the board of directors of the Rohnert Park-Cotati Education Foundation, is chair of the Spice up the Night Chili Cookoff which raises more than $18,000 for local schools and is on the steering committee of the Women in Business organization. Both are heavily involved with Founders Day and Holiday Lights celebrations.

Hayhurst and Zone Music have been musical partners with the City of Cotati for years, helping out in many community events and Hayhurst’s company is actively involved in educational programs including helping to supply needed musical instruments, instructional lessons and materials to the schools.


Irene Hilsendager’s column each week touches on moments in the history of Cotati, Rohnert Park and Penngrove.