North Bay business news from Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit, Redwood Credit Union and more

The Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART) District was named Transit/Rail Project of the Year by the California Transportation Foundation during an awards ceremony in Orange County. The award recognizes excellence in California transportation projects in 2017. SMART was selected from a field of seven statewide nominees, according to the district's announcement.

The California Transportation Foundation was established more than 30 years ago and is a leading charitable transportation organization in the state.

SMART began passenger rail service on Aug. 25 and is the Bay Area's newest transit system. SMART currently covers 43 miles, from Santa Rosa to San Rafael, connecting the North Bay's key transit hubs, education, employment, and retail centers. Construction of SMART's Larkspur extension is underway and is slated to open by the end of 2019. SMART is also seeking funding for its extensions to Windsor, Healdsburg and Cloverdale.


Redwood Credit Union has won an award for RCUpay from NACHA, the Electronic Payments Association, which celebrates proven accomplishment and leadership in the payments industry and recognizes innovations defining the future.

RCUpay is a mobile-first solution that allows customers to send money to anyone in the U.S. via email or text. Competing with person-to-person (P2P) players such as Venmo and PayPal, RCUpay sets itself apart by streamlining payments in real-time between members. RCUpay also foregoes the burdensome registration process common with other P2P services to claim funds.


Deadline for applications for a Summer Arts Youth Program offered by Creative Sonoma, a division of the County of Sonoma's Economic Development Board, is June 22.

The grants are available for Sonoma County arts organizations producing summer programs for young people ages 6 to 18. Information at or through Samantha Kimpel,, 707-565-6134.


Hidden Valley Elementary School students, parents, and administrators joined Redwood Credit Union and United Way of the Wine Country officials in a dedication of the little library on May 24 at the school's main campus at 3534 Bonita Vista Lane in Santa Rosa.

Embracing the take-a-book or leave-a-book philosophy, several of these stand-alone libraries are going up this spring thanks to the partnership of the United Way of the Wine Country Women United members, the Career Technical Education (CTE) Foundation Sonoma County, and local high schools.


The Northern California chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) partnered with Napa Valley Community Foundation in celebration of SIOR Global Service Day. With an official date of May 8, SIOR Global Service Day encourages members across the globe to give back to their communities through service events organized by their local chapters.

SIOR chapters across the globe have been longtime supporters in their communities, and donate time and resources to a variety of causes throughout the year.

This year, the Northern California chapter raised funds for the Napa Valley fire victims, netting $2,000 during its annual golf tournament. The Napa Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund is managed by Napa Valley Community Foundation.

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