Sonoma Mayor Rachel Hundley, also co-owner of Drums & Crumbs and business-law attorney, wins an 11th annual Forty Under 40 award from North Bay Business Journal.
Responsibilities with your company: As co-founder and co-owner of Drums & Crumbs, business development and strategic planning, occasionally cooking, baking, selling, cleaning and giving pep talks to my business partner, who has taken over day-to-day management while I am mayor.
I'm also a practicing attorney focusing on business-law matters.
As mayor, I oversee policy development and strategic planning for the city of Sonoma. I am community ambassador and educator through one on one meetings and group presentations, proposing and developing ordinances and regulations, representing the city on a number of regional commissions and committees.
How do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?: I moved west to follow a dream, started a business, and ended up mayor of my city … in five years.
Greatest professional accomplishment: When I was 28, I left the corporate legal world of New York City. At 29, I moved across the country to California with a dream of starting my own business. At 30, I founded Drums & Crumbs, a southern food business, as a catering company and a pop-up cafe.
At 31, I ran for and was elected to the Sonoma City Council after living in the area for a year and a half.
At 32, I got a food truck … and started practicing law again on the side. At 33, I became mayor of the city of Sonoma.
And at 34, I’m using my story of entrepreneurship and community involvement to help encourage other young adults in the North Bay and all over the country to step up and participate.
Greatest professional challenge: When you are the boss, there’s no one else to look out for you except yourself.
Best advice received: As Congressman Mike Thompson told me when I was first elected to the Sonoma City Council, never be afraid to be who you really are.
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: In December 2016, I was unanimously selected to be the mayor of Sonoma.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?: My business has always been undercapitalized. When it took 15 months instead of three months to build my food truck, we were forced to hunker down and operate under a very lean budget.
Next professional goal: Another food truck or maybe a restaurant.
Education: J.D. from University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and three undergraduate degrees from University of Georgia
Hometown: Charleston, S.C.
Mentor/admired businessperson: Sondra Bernstein of the Fig empire
Typical day at the office: I haven’t had a typical day in five years.
Best place to work outside of your office: On my food truck, of course!
Hobbies: Reading, playing the piano, hiking, camping, traveling (33 countries and counting) and sitting outside of the Swiss Hotel with my friends.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: President, brain surgeon, cancer researcher, architect, FBI agent, journalist and businessowner.
No. 1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Bring more rental housing to the city of Sonoma.
City of Sonoma Government, Sonoma Mayor
Drums & Crumbs, LLC, San Rafael, Co-Founder, Co-Owner
Rachel Hundley, Esq. Attorney