GEYSERVILLE — The operator of River Rock Casino announced Scott Garawitz resigned as chief executive officer and general manager, and the search for a replacement is beginning.

River Rock Entertainment Authority appointed Mr. Garawitz to the position in August. His resignation was effective Nov. 24. The ownership said he left “to pursue other opportunities.”

Taking his place as casino general manager for now is John Cirrincione, chief operating officer. Mr. Cirrincione has been chief operating officer of the authority since October 2008 and will continue in that role. He was acting general manager of the casino from January to August of this year.

The casino is operated by the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, a tribe with 988 members.


Applewood Inn sold

GUERNEVILLE – After several years on the market, a former successful manufacturing entrepreneur purchased the 19-room Applewood Inn.

Innkeepers Jim Caron and Darryl Notter are retiring from the hotel after 25 years at the helm, and Ecuadorean native Carlos Pippa and his girlfriend Sylvia Ranyak assumed the reins earlier last month. He officially signed the deed Nov. 24.

In an interview, the 61-year-old said he plans to make a few cosmetic updates to rooms and the pool and spa area, but the name and layout will remain the same. He is also planning to install a large 80- to 100-kilowatt solar system on the property.

“Basically, I was retired after I sold my import business and I was bored and wanted to do something new,” he said.

Mr. Pippa lives on the property and will act as operating manager. The hotel will keep the same staff and chef, but he is adding regular lunch hours in addition to dinner. Ms. Ranyak is a commercial and residential interior designer.


Dilithium receives award

PETALUMA — Dilithium, a global leader in mobile video infrastructure solutions, has won a Technology Pioneer award, one of only 25 companies worldwide to be so recognized. Dilithium CEO Paul Zuber will travel to the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Switzerland in January to receive the award.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers are chosen for leadership in developing and applying highly transformational and innovative technologies in the areas of energy, biotech, health and information that have the potential for long-term impact on business and society. Past winners have included Google, PayPal, Red Hat and Sandisk.

The company has about 100 deployments, from tech-savvy Japan, where teenagers customize a range of video cell phone applications, to the African bush, where villagers use the technology to let each other know where markets are taking place.


'Green wine' needs clearer definition, experts say

SANTA ROSA — Wines made with environmentally sensitive methods in the vineyard or winery are increasing in number in the marketplace, but also increasing are consumer sensitivity to the price of such wines, confusion over their greenness and claims of sustainability, according to experts at a large conference on green wine last week.

Consumer surveys in 2007 and this year show greater interest in wines made with green methods, with significant influence on whether to purchase wines with “organic” and other key terms on the label coming from “movement environmentalism versus personal health concerns,” Christian Miller, president of Full Glass Research, told the audience of a couple of hundred industry professionals at the Green Wine Summit.

Yet, consumers surveyed aren’t so clear on what those terms mean and are increasingly skeptical of pseudo-sustainability in marketing language.

Mr. Miller said industry “on a high level” needs to change the way green wine is communicated, calling for consistent, credible standards for labeling and third-party endorsement and certification.


CBAs spark lively debate

SANTA ROSA – At a lively Sonoma County Alliance meeting last Wednesday, representatives from Codding Enterprises, the Accountable Development Coalition and a building industry representative discussed the hotly debated Community Benefits Agreement signed by Codding and the coalition on affordable housing, sustainable building practices and wage and benefit packages for the project.

Community Benefits Agreements, private contracts between developers and community groups, have been on the rise in the last decade starting in California with the Staples center and becoming a nationwide phenomenon.

Kirstie Moore, the development manager of Codding’s Sonoma Mountain Village in Rohnert Park, and Michael Allen, the chair of the Accountable Development Coalition, talked about the agreement and the potential benefits.

Also presenting was Richard Markuson of Pacific Advocacy Group, who talked about CBAs and their potential to impact non-union builders and to circumvent the normal public vetting process.