The winners of the Business Journal’s third-annual Forty under 40 awards were selected from nearly 100 nominees and represent new honorees not previously chosen in 2007 and 2008.
Nominations, which were taken during the month of January, came from friends, fellow workers, bosses and the Business Journal editorial staff.
When the Business Journal launched this project three years ago, many told us we would never find 40 business leaders under the age of 40. We thought otherwise. Indeed, we have found 120. Their achievements represent both the current dynamism of the North Bay and the promise of the economy in the future. Contained in the brief biographies that follow are incredible achievements, good humor, inspiring stories and much sage advice from people so young. Congratulations to this year’s winners and those that preceded them.
---Brad Bollinger, Editor in Chief
North Bay business leaders under the age of 40, listed alphabeticallyJoe Bartolomei, 36
Co-owner and partner
Farmhouse Inn, Restaurant and Spa,
As an owner/operator of a 10-room wine country inn, Joe Bartolomei is optimistic about the future. “Despite the depressed economy, our business continues to grow and by May we will add eight new luxury rooms. We are also in the process of sourcing a site for another high-end destination property.”
Working with his sister and partner, Catherine, his greatest challenge is in managing a diverse team of entrepreneurial employees with a passion for delivering high-quality customer service and making people happy.
Most admired businessperson: “My father, Lee Bartolomei, is a phenomenal example. He founded his own company, Deposition Sciences Inc., in 1984, that currently employs 100 Sonoma County residents and does over $16 million in sales annually. He taught us to do what we love and the rest will follow.”
Kelly Bass, 27
Marketing and public relations manager
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce,
In addition to overseeing marketing and branding strategies, Kelly Bass is also in charge of the chamber’s award-winning Summer Algebra Academy program that introduces pre-high school students to practical applications of algebra in high-tech, real world situations. She was also instrumental in establishing the successful chamber Young Professionals Network.
Her next goal is to launch a comprehensive adult English language learning program that businesses can adopt for their workers emphasizing the role parents play in their children’s education.
Best advice received: “Listen more than you speak. Watch other people’s body language, it speaks louder than words.”
Ryan Beach, 30
Assistant vice president and community
Sonoma Bank, Santa Rosa
When not developing, managing and executing sales strategies to enhance the growth of the bank’s in-store locations, Ryan Beach inspires future leaders in the organization to respond to the escalating needs of the community.
“My most measurable and rewarding accomplishment has involved growing retail banking locations from the ground up – from accepting the first deposit to managing the balance sheet of a $57 million branch. I’ve learned through the years that to be successful, focus on what you can control.”
Favorite book: “Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game”
Favorite after-work drink: Russian River Brewing Company’s Pliny the Elder
Amy Bolten, 37
Public information officer
Sonoma County Water Agency,
As if managing a number of renewable energy and water conservation projects were not enough, Amy Bolten is now planning to launch the Sonoma County Energy Independence program.
She has also played a significant role in pioneering efforts to introduce green-building standards in the mainstream residential construction field while trying to balance her career and being a good mother and wife.
“I’ve learned through the years that when you are new to any organization you should just sit and listen for a long time and don’t start giving opinions until you really understand what you’re talking about.”
What you wanted to be when you grew up: “First, a famous actress; then, a doctor…Yeah, right.”
Last vacation: "Hawaii in 2005. I need a vacation!”
Jason Brabo, 39
Associate principal and Health Care Studio leader
TLCD Architecture, Santa Rosa
Serving as a principal in the firm as well as leading the health care practice, Jason Brabo oversees staffing, marketing and manages health care projects totaling $120 million.
“My most rewarding role is managing the architectural design of the new Kaiser Permanente Hospital North Tower expansion in Santa Rosa. I am proud to be a part of such an important project in the community and have enjoyed the collaboration among the owner, contractor and our design team.”