Sonoma County business advocacy group CEO leaves for full-time consulting work

Daniel Sohn, named president and CEO of the Sonoma County Alliance in February, has left the organization.

“Daniel decided to do his consulting work full time, which includes consulting for the Antioch Chamber of Commerce,” said Kimberly Waite, president of the Santa Rosa-based Sonoma County Alliance. “We are actively looking for a new CEO of the Alliance.”

Sohn told the North Bay Business Journal that when he accepted the position at the business advocacy group, his consulting work as managing partner of The Floridian Group, LLC, was part time. Sohn and his husband relocated earlier this year from Florida to California to help build the firm’s West Coast presence.

The Floridian Group’s services include government relations, advocacy and community affairs.

“We have several new clients in the Bay Area, including in the North Bay,” said Sohn, who resides in Sonoma. “That’s why we moved to California in the first place.”

Earlier this month, the Floridian Group, doing business as Pacific Partners, retained more California clients, one being the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, Sohn said. The chamber in the East Bay, he noted, has been struggling and in May, hired the Floridian Group on a full-time contract basis to help with its reorganization. As part of the contract, Sohn said he was given the title of president and CEO.

Sohn said his departure from the Sonoma County Alliance was not related to the May 2020 controversy that surrounded the civic group when Doug Hilberman, who was president of the organization at the time, wrote a public letter stating, “ALL lives matter,” widely viewed as disparaging to the Black Lives Matter movement.

A number of businesses left the Alliance shortly afterwards, including the North Bay Business Journal and The Press Democrat.

“They have worked very hard over the last two years as a DEI advocate,” Sohn said. “I do think the future of the Alliance is sound, certainly not because of anything I did. … I wouldn’t have joined in the beginning if I didn’t think it was authentic.”

While the search for a new CEO continues, Waite said the board and committee chair are running the Alliance, with help from Brian Ling, who previously served as its executive director.

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