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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, April 14, 2014, 5:00 am

Business News: Week of April 14, 2014

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    Banking

    First Northern Bank of Dixon recognized the community service of its employees during National Volunteer Week, which takes place April 6–13. The institution’s nearly 200 employees volunteered 7,690 hours of their time throughout 2013, mostly on evenings and weekends, to more than 250 nonprofit organizations within the bank’s service area.

    Law

    Donahue Gallagher Woods, LLP, a law firm founded in 1918 with an office in Mill Valley, and Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP, founded in 1883, jointly announced the merger of their law firms. Effective May 1, the combined firm will be named Donahue Fitzgerald, LLP, and will be one of the largest in the East Bay. The new firm will continue its multidisciplinary practice, which includes business and corporate, employment and labor, intellectual property, trusts and estates, litigation, nonprofits, real estate, tax, and franchise, among other areas. 

    Real Estate

    Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, the new real estate brokerage network operated by HSF Affiliates LLC, announced that Guerneville’s Prudential California Realty has joined the brand and is operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sonoma County Properties. The brokerage joins a growing roster of affiliates that have transitioned to the network since September. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices now is comprised of over 27,000 agents and 700 offices in 37 states.

    Bill Facendini and Heidi Rickerd-Rizzo, co-founders of the locally owned and operated boutique real estate brokerage Terra Firma Global Partners, opened their seventh office, located in the historic ARThouse Gallery in Glen Ellen. Susan Irvine will operate out of that office along with other key Sonoma-Napa associates that work and/or live in that marketplace who will use it in addition to Terra Firma’s downtown Sonoma offices.

    Retail

    Sophia Chang’s The Kitchener Collective, a commercial kitchen which started in Oakland to give small batch food artisans an affordable location to start their businesses, will open at Town Center Corte Madera in May. The store will open directly across from REI and showcase a wide variety of baked goods, take ‘n’ bake meals and other specialty items created by 25 Kitchener food entrepreneurs. The company will also offer regular food demonstrations where people can try items and meet the artisans who crafted them.

    Technology

    Enphase Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: ENPH), was named to Greentech Media’s Grid Edge 20, as one of the 20 most innovative companies leading the charge into grid-edge modernization. Awardees were selected that embody the tenets of grid edge industry transformation that’s underway in the electric power industry as a result of rapidly growing distributed generation.

    Sausalito’s Scatec Solar, the global independent solar power producer, received the final approvals necessary to proceed with the building of an 80 megawatt (AC) PV (photovoltaic) solar plant in Iron County, Utah. The Utah Red Hills Renewable Energy Park will generate around 210 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity per year, which will be fed into the grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement with PacifiCorp. Construction is estimated to start in the third quarter and when complete, the plant will be Utah’s largest solar energy generation facility.

    ZAP (Bulletin Board: ZAAP), a Santa Rosa-based automaker, jointly with its Jonway Auto subsidiary in Zhejiang, China, unveiled the smallest vehicle in their EV product line — the Urban EV, or “Urbee,” at the China Electric Motor Vehicle Exhibition in early March in Zhejiang. The companies plan a new channel of dealerships and agents that addresses vertical markets for utility government vehicles and specializes in targeting city drivers for the urban markets in secondary cities.

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