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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, July 2, 2012, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of July 2, 2012

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    Green projects

    Cogenra Solar, a Mountain View-based provider of distributed solar co-generation systems, announced its first dairy solar co-generation system at the Clover Stornetta Farms dairy processing plant in Petaluma. The solar co-generation system is the company’s latest renewable energy initiative and will not only reduce Clover’s greenhouse gas emissions, but will also result in more than 50 percent energy savings at the plant. The installation will decrease Clover’s greenhouse gas emissions by 32 metric tons each year, equivalent to removing 3,500 gallons of gasoline and saving 800 trees annually. The rooftop array was completed by Cogenra and One Sun, a Sebastopol expert in solar photovoltaic and solar thermal installations, in just a few weeks and now takes up less than 1,500 square feet atop Clover’s Dairy Processing Plant. Commissioned in June 2012, the 50.6 kilowatt, 20-module solar co-generation system provides renewable electricity and 6,000 gallons of solar hot water daily for the Clean-in-Place (CIP) process at the plant.

    Wine

    B.R. Cohn Winery, based in Glen Ellen, received three gold medals at the California State Fair Wine Competition for the 2009 Mendocino County Barbera, the 2010 Carneros Chardonnay and the 2010 Russian River Pinot Noir. The Mendocino County Barbera also received a 94 and Best of Class, as well as Best of Region. The Carneros Chardonnay received a 94, and the Russian River Pinot Noir received a 94.

    Business Development

    Twenty-six volunteers from the business community and government agencies have been working together to conduct interviews throughout the county in recent weeks as part of Sonoma County BEST’s100 in 100” effort. By meeting with 100 businesses in 100 days, volunteers are working to establish business-to-business connections and have already yielded what they say is a wealth of information, including numerous requests for assistance. The relationships being formed have helped resolve several roadblocks faced by companies in the county, including a broader success in building bridges between governmental entities and the business community. Those interested in participating in the 100 businesses in 100 days effort can contact Robin Stephani at robin@sonomacountybest.com or 707-545-1011.

    Awards

    United Way recently honored local businesses with their annual Community Partnership Awards. Presented at the United Way Campaign Close Celebration held at Shone Farm in Forestville, the awards recognize companies and their employees for excellence in community fundraising, volunteering and advocacy work. Kaiser Permanente received this year’s highest tribute, the Spirit of the Wine Country Award. Other nominees in the category included AT&T and JDSU. Medtronic received the Campaign Excellence Award; Exchange Bank received the Campaign Momentum Award; JDSU’s Fred Van Milligen received the Executive Campaign Chair of the Year Award; Redwood Credit Union’s Matt McPherson received the Employee Campaign of the Year Award; Herb and Jane Dwight received the Philanthropists of the Year Award, and Joe and Catherine Bartolomei of The Farmhouse Inn & Restaurant received in In-Kind Award.

    Health Care

    Three outpatient clinical programs in Sutter Medical Network, Sutter Health‘s physician network, were recognized for statewide best practices in the California Association of Physician Groups‘ annual Standards of Excellence Survey of medical group features and capabilities. Noted were the Variation Reduction Initatiative, which reduced overall care costs by more than $18 million through 2011; the nationally recognized Advanced Illness Management Program, which makes patients’ difficult end-of-life time a little less difficult; Improving Transitions of Care and Intensive Home Medical Management, a process developed by network affiliate Brown & Toland Physicians Independent Practice Association to help patients remain healthy after emergency room discharge, aiding to cut hospital re-admissions and overall care costs. The survey focuses on how physicians organizations deliver value (care quality and affordability) to individual patients and large populations. The association also honored five physician organizations in the network, with Brown & Toland Physicians and Sutter Medical Foundation getting “elite” status, and Sutter Pacific Medical Foundation, “exemplary.”

    Nonprofits

    For the first time in its six-year history, two organizations tied for Nonprofit Organization of the Year in the Napa Community Awards, presented at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. Community Health Clinic Ole and Community Action of Napa Valley jointly received the prestigious award, selected from among nine nominees submitted by the community. Also announced at the sold-out event was the winner of the 2012 Outstanding Teacher Award. Lisa Anderson of Napa Junction Elementary School earned the honor.

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