12/01/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/01/2017 14:31
Published: December 1, 2017
The Jefferson Awards for Public Service program was adopted by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on October 24, 2006. While there are many local award programs that serve to honor volunteerism, the Board decided to focus these awards on 'Excellence in Community Leadership and Civic Engagement.' Nominations were solicited in one of three categories: individual nonprofits, and boards/commissions/advisory councils. We received 21 nominations this year, which were narrowed to 10 by a selection committee comprised of knowledgeable and engaged community leaders. The Board of Supervisors has selected six recipients to receive the 2017 Sonoma Jefferson Awards for Public Service.
Chris Brokate (Individual) - Chris is the ultimate citizen environmental activist. He founded Clean River Alliance, in 2015, which created a movement that has benefited the entire Russian River watershed. Chris reached out to the community and with volunteers removed 85,000 pounds of trash from the lower Russian River corridor in its first year. In 2016, the group grew to more than 40 volunteers with regular cleanups in Guerneville, and expanded their cleanup activities to Cloverdale, Dry Creek, Healdsburg, and Santa Rosa areas. To date, over 300,000 pounds of trash that would have cluttered the environment, damaged wildlife, and created a mess have been removed by Chris and his volunteers. Chris Brokate is a grassroots wonder and stands out for his energy, devotion, and creativity.
Lisa Carreño (Individual) - Lisa Carreño is active in virtually all elements of Sonoma County community. She is the Executive Director of 10,000 Degrees Sonoma County which is the key organization for college access for first generation youth. In 2013, Lisa became the first Latina to chair the Sonoma County Fair Board in its 78-year history. In 2014, Lisa was the first member of the community appointed to serve on the Editorial Board for the Press Democrat. She currently chairs the Board of Directors for Forget Me Not Farm Children's Services and serves on Community Benefit Committee for St. Josephs Health, Sonoma County Health Action Partnership Council, Congressman Mike Thompson's Immigration Advisory Group, Los Cien Sonoma County Board of Directors, Sonoma County Coalition for Foster Youth, Sonoma County LGBTQI Giving Circle, and the Community Foundation Sonoma County. If that weren't enough, Lisa has been a central coordinator of the Sonoma County Secure Families Fund immigration initiative. Lisa goes above and beyond in providing leadership in key community issues and exemplifies selflessness in all the work she does.
Tony Crabb (Individual) - Tony Crabb has focused on supporting educational efforts both as a philanthropist and volunteer since he moved to Healdsburg in 2000 and started a local vineyard. He founded the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation in 2012, which works to support career technical education programs for youths in county middle and high schools, Santa Rosa Junior College, and Sonoma State University. Tony has dedicated himself to improving partnerships between educators, community organizations, local government, and local industry, and these partnerships have greatly enhanced the effectiveness of youth development programs in the county. CTE Foundation has granted over $1.3 million dollars for middle, high school, and postsecondary CTE programs. It has engaged more than 3,100 students and resulted in the creation or enhancement of 66 CTE programs in our schools. Tony Crabb has played a vital role in creating a strong, skilled workforce that will power a strong and vital economic future for our county.
Richard Dale and Caitlin Cornwall (Individual) - Richard Dale and Caitlin Cornwall are making a profound difference in the natural environment of the Sonoma Valley through initiatives, education, and programs that are making the difference. Richard Dale co-founded the Sonoma Ecology Center in 1990 and has been the director since 1992. He has developed SEC into a locally driven, regionally respected agency through extensive partnerships to conduct technical research, education and restoration with the goal of sustaining and enhancing ecological health at the watershed scale.
Caitlin joined SEC in 1998 as their Biologist, Research Program Manager. Her expertise includes indicator-based reporting systems, climate adaptation, technical partnerships for local-scale multiple stakeholders, multi-benefit water management strategy, wildlife habitat connectivity, and riparian ecology. Richard and Caitlin's impressive backgrounds have enabled the furtherance of the mission of the Sonoma Ecology Center. The Center's education programs are centered on two principles: empowerment and action. From their work with Sonoma Valley Groundwater Committee, to Sonoma County Climate Resilience Team, to North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative and more, Richard and Caitlin are assembling a very diverse collaboration in the community to bring to reality a 'Sustainable Sonoma.' With their work we can be assured that future generations will not only enjoy the natural beauty of the valley, but the children will be educated to become effective and excellent environmental leaders of tomorrow.
North Bay Industries (Nonprofit) - North Bay Industries (NBI) was established in 1968 with the mission of providing vocational training and employment to adults with disabilities. The agency partners with IDEX, Keysight Technologies, Friedman Brothers, Oliver's Market, Shades, Lowes and more to create employment opportunities for adults with disabilities. NBI currently provides food service, janitorial, packaging, and grounds maintenance services to Two Rock Coast Guard Facility near Petaluma, CA.
One of their unique programs which they take great pride in is their manufacturing of the American Internment Flag for the Department of Veterans' Affairs, which are produced out of NBI's Rohnert Park facility. This program employs over 25 disabled individuals. NBI has a day program providing educational, vocational and volunteer opportunities for adults with disabilities. Ongoing activities include volunteering at the Redwood Empire Food Bank, assisting with the summer lunch program serving meals to underprivileged children, creek cleanups, assisting at the Rohnert Park Animal Shelter, and an on-site community garden project. The many opportunities provided allow for the individuals to develop a strong sense of community and purpose, while developing skill, productivity, and self-reliance.
PDI Surgery Center (Nonprofit) - In 2001, a group of Sonoma County health providers and child advocates recognized that low-income children suffering from severe tooth decay had no place to go for treatment other than UCSF and Oakland Children's Hospital. They joined forces and developed Pediatric Dental Initiative of the North Coast (PDI) to address the problem as a specialized surgery center designed to meet the needs of underserved families. Its mission: to reduce dental decay, the nation's number 1 preventable childhood disease, though treatment and prevention education.
The PDI Surgery Center opened in 2008 with a waiting list of 450 children, at which time a team of experienced pediatric dentists, medical anesthesiologists, nurses, and case managers began treating daily 10-12 children suffering from severe tooth decay. PDI is the only nonprofit agency in Northern California providing critical dental surgery for children from underserved families, and they have the unique model of providing treatment, prevention education, case management, and public information to help parents overcome the barriers to care that exist for low-income families and build the foundation for a healthy life. PDI's five community service initiatives include oral surgery, case management (including bilingual and bi-cultural case managers), an in-house oral education program, the Promotores Dentales program (providing culturally appropriate community health worker services), and a special needs program serving patients with special needs such as autism, Downs Syndrome, etc. The Center is supported by a Board and Advisory Board that volunteer their time at different activities and events supporting the Center.