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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, October 15, 2012, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of Oct. 15, 2012

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    Solar

    Novato- and Sonoma-based SolarCraft announced that it has completed the design and installation of a 34.5 kW solar electric system for C&T Publishing in Concord. The project consists of 128 SunTech 270-watt solar panels spanning 2,540 square feet, helping to insulate and shade the building. Additional energy is saved by the added insulation, reducing the building’s heating and cooling load. The system’s solar panels convert sunlight directly into electricity and is expected to generate approximately 57,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, providing sustainable and price stable energy to the complex for decades to come. The new solar energy system allows C&T Publishing to generate enough electricity each day to power over 17 average homes. It will spare the air nearly 25 tons of harmful greenhouse gases annually. Over the next 30 years, the air pollution saved will be equivalent to eliminating nearly 2 million miles of driving.

    Finance

    The Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting has been awarded to the county of Marin by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada for its comprehensive annual financial report. The certificate of achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of government accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management.

    Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), continues to advance its Bay Area expansion with plans for a new flagship store in San Francisco’s financial district. The announcement follows Umpqua’s recent acquisition of Bay Area-based Circle Bank last month and planned flagship location in San Jose, adding significantly to the company’s presence in the greater Bay Area.

    Free seminars on Retirement & Estate Solutions will be held at 1-6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16, at the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa. The speaker panel will include Montgomery Taylor, CPA, CFP, financial advisor and author of the book Before It’s Too Late, Eric S. Gullotta, Attorney-at-Law, CPA, MS (Tax), Rob Kirby, EA, CFP, MBA, and Gary Liess, licensed life insurance and annuities professional. Topics include social security optimization, safe havens from market volatility, the hazards of putting your child’s name on your bank accounts or deed, tapping into your home as a retirement resource, and how to create a stream of guaranteed retirement paychecks. The seminar is free, this is an educational event, but seating is limited and reservations are required. Call the California Institute of Retirement & Estate Planning reservation hotline at 707-921-1665 day or night, to reserve your seat.

    Willis Lease Finance Corporation (Nasdaq:WLFC), a leading lessor of commercial jet engines, announced that its board of directors has declared the regular monthly cash dividend for its 9 percent Series A, Cumulative Redeemable Preferred Stock (Nasdaq:WLFCP) of $0.075 per share. The preferred dividend will be paid on Oct.15 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 5, 2012.

    Awards

    The Land Trust of Napa County is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural Acre by Acre Awards. Randy and Lori Dunn will receive the inaugural Acre by Acre Award, and Ann Taylor Schwing will receive the inaugural Founder’s Lifetime Achievement Award. The inaugural Acre by Acre Awards will be presented at a gala dinner and auction on October 13th, 2012 at Kenzo Estate, which abuts the Trust’s Foote Preserve on Mt. George in the Napa Valley. The award recipients are selected from a list of community nominees by a committee of past Board Chairs of the Land Trust of Napa County.

    NRC Picker, a division of National Research Corporation, has awarded St. Helena Hospital–Napa Valley its 2012 Path to Excellence award for “Top performing hospital with 100 to 300 beds.” Patients rated St. Helena Hospital Napa Valley higher than any other of its size in the western United States. Key foundations of this success are the hospital’s active relationship with a generous community, and a unique management philosophy that empowers each employee, from physicians to housekeeping staff, to improve quality and efficiency on an individual level.

    Technology

    Comcast announced that its Xfinity WiFi service is now available in California. For no additional charge to Xfinity Internet residential customers or Comcast Business Class Internet customers, Xfinity WiFi now provides fast wireless Internet access in select cities in Northern and Central California. Hundreds of those hot spots are available in the North Bay, including in smaller towns. A full map is available at hotspots.wifi.comcast.com.

    Commercial Real Estate

    First American Title Company of Sonoma County announced that it is moving its main Sonoma County office from its present location at 3333 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, to 627 College Ave., Santa Rosa. The new office will open on Oct. 8.. First American’s downtown Santa Rosa operations at 400 E Street will remain at the same location. The College Avenue facility, which was built in the 1960s, housed KSRO radio station for more than 20 years, and more recently, George Peterson Insurance. The College Avenue office has undergone an extensive interior renovation that was designed to create a pleasant escrow closing environment. The main office phone number will remain as 707-544-1560.

    Bay Area Development Company announces that it has completed 504 funding for Price-Less Auto Glass in Santa Rosa. The financing allowed the auto glass company to purchase land and a 3,556-square-foot building located at 1701 Santa Rosa Ave. in Santa Rosa. After working in her husband’s used car dealership for nearly a decade and observing the competitive landscape, Linda Tannous determined the Ukiah area needed a high quality auto glass company. Playing on that hunch, she opened Price-Less Auto Glass in 2009 and today serves as its sole owner and operator. Tannous provides auto glass repair and replacement services to customers throughout the area and also offers retail sales to the public and wholesales to car dealerships in the region.

    On Oct. 19, Beyond Hunger, a nonprofit based out of San Rafael, will be hosting an open house to celebrate the move to its new location on Fourth Street. Beyond Hunger will be sharing a suite with the Marin Healing Collaborative, a group of therapists and dietitians. The silent auction will conclude at 7:45 p.m. and the event will end at 8 p.m. RSVP to info@beyondhunger.org or 415-459-2270.

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