Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Strategic Sonoma Launches

 An initiative to identify economic development opportunities for Sonoma County over the next five years.

Santa Rosa, CA  –  August 6, 2017  –  SANTA ROSA, CA —The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) announces the launch of Strategic Sonoma, an innovative economic development planning effort in partnership with Santa Rosa Junior College, and the Sonoma County Workforce Investment Board.  

“The goal of Strategic Sonoma is to create a five year plan that identifies economic development opportunities for residents and businesses in Sonoma County,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Shirlee Zane. “We look forward to meeting with the community, hearing what they have to say, and developing a plan to further grow our local economy.” 

Strategic Sonoma is organized around the four key themes of economic diversification, workforce investment, innovation and entrepreneurship, and economic inclusion – a deliberate effort to ensure economic policies benefit all residents in the County. These themes emerged from the Sonoma-Mendocino Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), approved by the Board of Supervisors in November 2016.  This effort to develop an action plan that addresses some of Sonoma County most pressing economic needs serves as the next step in the CEDS process.

Strategic Sonoma will be guided by a Stakeholder Group of local business and community leaders representing diverse backgrounds and perspectives.  Pam Chanter of VANTREO Insurance and Brett Martinez of Redwood Credit Union will serve as co-chairs of the group.  Martinez believes that Strategic Sonoma, “will help take Sonoma County to the next level. Sonoma County’s strong economy allows us to be proactive in our approach to developing a strategy and a plan that can be implemented.” Chanter notes that that the, “stakeholders in this plan go beyond employers and employees and include education, government, students, parents, and service providers. I am very excited about participating in the creation of a shared economic vision among so many community leaders.”   

The EDB has engaged Avalanche Consulting, a nationally-recognized firm, to assist in the plan’s development. Avalanche has led more than 100 economic development plans across the U.S., from Charleston, South Carolina to Provo, Utah, and they bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge about local economic development efforts. Amy Holloway, president of Avalanche, says, “We’re energized about working in beautiful Sonoma County. We’re also keenly aware of how topics such as workforce, economic diversity, and economic inclusion are critical to sustaining the unique character of the community.  We look forward to diving into issues, hearing from stakeholders, and developing a plan to fortify Sonoma County’s economy.”

The project consultants will solicit community input through a series of focus groups and interviews with a broad range of business and community leaders in each of Sonoma County’s five supervisorial districts. Coupling that input with available economic and demographic data, the EDB will present a comprehensive report with a series of strategic and actionable recommendations on how Sonoma County can build on its assets to grow and remain globally competitive over the next five years.

For details regarding Strategic Sonoma please visit and or contact Program Manager Ethan Brown at (707) 565-7589 or email


Contact Information

Ethan Brown

Director of Business Development & Innovation

Economic Development Board
Contact us by Phone
141 Stony Circle, Suite 130
Santa Rosa, CA 95401