2016 Special Inspiration Award: James Forni

The Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and the Petaluma Argus-Courier newspaper team up once a year to celebrate the “Community Awards of Excellence”, which are presented to those people and organizations whose contributions make this community a better place to live, to work, and to raise a family. The awards are given out at a special celebration, and the Chamber of Commerce asked us this year to create four videos for select awardees, to be shown at the celebration.

The “Special Inspiration” award is presented on an irregular basis, and is something that is presented only to those people whose life and presence in the community literally lifts the lives of everyone around them. 2015 saw the loss of James Forni to melanoma at the age of 35. James’ contribution to our community, first as an athlete and later as coach and instructor at Casa Grande High School, husband and father, is something that family, friends and students will carry with them the rest of their lives. We are honored to present his video here.


Kathy Witkowicki – 2015 Leaders of the North Bay

“We’re All In This Together” – The North Bay Leadership Council’s 2015 honoree for community building is Kathy Witkowicki, founder of Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance. This video offers a brief look at Kathy’s contribution to the young people of Sonoma Valley through mentoring.


Lisa Carreño – 2015 Leaders of the North Bay

“Caught in the Act of Leadership” – The North Bay Leadership Council’s 2015 honorees include Lisa Carreño, Regional Director of 10,000 Degrees, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of high school and collegiate graduates in the Latino and other under-served communities in Sonoma County. We had the opportunity to interview this true trailblazer and learn about how she came to be where she is today, and her vision for 10,000 Degrees.

This brief video is the result. We hope you find her as inspiring as we did.


Bob Florez – 2015 Leaders of the North Bay

The Leadership Council of the North Bay annually presents awards honoring individuals and organizations that demonstrate exceptional leadership in the North Bay. This year’s awardee for “Empowering the Latino Community” is Bob Florez of Sunny Hills Programs. Bob’s youth was spent in circumstances remarkably similar to those of many of today’s latino youth — marginalized and without a support network or many of the tools needed to move into a productive role in today’s society. The “YouThrive” program Bob developed directly and effectively addresses those needs at multiple levels.

In this short video, we learn about Bob and how the YouThrive program came to be.


Redwood Credit Union – 2015 Leaders of the North Bay

“Paint the Community Green” – The North Bay Leadership Council’s 2015 honorees include the non-profit Redwood Credit Union, which has consistently championed environmental stewardship both within their own organization and among their members. We were granted a rare interview with CEO Brett Martinez, and got to take a climb up on the roof to shoot the massive array of solar panels just as a plane passed overhead.


Letitia Hanke – 2015 Leaders of the North Bay

2015 marks the fifth year we’ve produced videos for the North Bay Leadership Council. Imagine our surprise and delight when we learned that Letitia Hanke of ARS Roofing was going to be awarded “The Light Bulb Went On” award for innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. We originally met Letitia over 10 years ago and have always been impressed with her drive and her integrity – and the fact she’s created a successful, firmly-established, woman-owned business in a traditionally male dominated trade.

We have always enjoyed producing these videos for the North Bay Leadership Council, and this one was extra special. And as a bonus, we got to use some footage from our archives that we captured of Letitia singing (she was a music major in college) a few years back.

We hope you enjoy her story.


2014 Leaders of the North Bay

All of our Leaders of the North Bay videos are available for viewing on our special Leaders of the North Bay channel on Vimeo.

The 2014 Leaders of the North Bay have been announced and awards presented at this year’s celebratory luncheon by the North Bay Leadership Council.  We were pleased to be asked again this year to produce videos highlighting the five awardees:

  • Jim Farley, “Caught In The Act of Leadership”
  • Willie Tamayo, “We’re All In This Together”
  • Marin Sanitary Service, “Paint the Community Green”
  • The Buck Institute for Research on Aging, “The Light Bulb Went On”
  • La Luz Center, “Empowering the Latino Community”

Dow Pharmaceuticals: A Fungus Among Us

Dow Pharmaceuticals, highly regarded developer of topical drug products for pharmaceutical and biotechnology clients, recently completed a major project in creating an effective topical treatment for (ugh) toenail fungus. After literally years of hard work, setbacks and all kinds of challenges, they wanted to acknowledge the hard work, tenacity and downright stubbornness of their staff and employees that finally brought this product to market, so they called us in to produce a high-energy, fun retrospective of the entire process.

And no, this is not a gross video at all.

Here for your enjoyment, is the finished result:


COTS: Overcoming Obstacles to a Bright Future

It’s been a number of years now that we’ve been producing videos for Petaluma’s Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). Each year’s video takes center stage at their annual fundraising breakfast, to tell the story of those who have benefited from COTS services, and those families whose futures are bright thanks to the learning and resources COTS provides.

This year marks twenty-five years that COTS has been making a difference in peoples’ lives, and in addition to chronicling the hardships and new hope of a young mother and daughter, we also took a look back at the beginnings of COTS and acknowledged all the people who contribute so much to its success.


2013 Leaders of the North Bay

The North Bay Leadership Council asked us to produce five videos in the fall of 2013, honoring their 2013 “Leaders of the North Bay” award recipients. The months of September and October saw us in multiple locations throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties capturing interviews with such luminaries as author Tom Peters, and locations such as center stage at the magnificent Weill Hall in the Green Music Center on the Sonoma State campus. The 2013 recipients are:

  • Pam Chanter, “Caught In The Act of Leadership”
  • Linda Davis, “We’re All In This Together”
  • Sonoma County Beekeepers’ Association, “Paint the Community Green”
  • Autodesk, Inc, “The Light Bulb Went On”
  • Canal Alliance, “Empowering the Latino Community”

The videos we produced for these five are below. Enjoy!