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For Immediate Release

EDB to Host Event Exploring Economic Equity in Sonoma County

Santa Rosa, CA | September 07, 2023

En español

The Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) is hosting their annual Fall Economic Perspective event on Thursday, October 19th, at Sonoma State University. The October event will feature a keynote address from economist, Dr. William Rodgers III, on the benefits of economic equity and how Sonoma County fares. The event will also honor the recipients of the Economic Prosperity Awards. 

Dr. William Rodgers III

Dr. William Rodgers III is the vice president and director of the Institute for Economic Equity at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The Institute conducts research and policy analysis to create an equitable economy that increase quality of life for all. Before his role at the Institute of Economic Equity, Dr. Rodgers served as professor of public policy and chief economist at the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University. Dr. Rodgers’s areas of focus include pay equity, compensation, diversity and inclusion, and the labor market.

“We are truly thrilled to have Dr. Rodgers join us in Sonoma County. Looking at our economy through a lens of equity is critically important and aligns with community goals of economic well-being for all of Sonoma County,” said Ethan Brown, Executive Director for the Sonoma County Economic Development Board.

In addition to the keynote address, 2023 Fall Economic Perspective will also include a ceremony honoring recipients of the first ever Economic Prosperity Awards. The awards recognize organizations that contribute to the overall economic health of their communities, progressing Sonoma County economic development priorities. Nominations for projects and programs were submitted starting May 2023, followed by public voting from July 31- August 28. Awards will be presented by Chair Supervisor Chris Coursey to the following organizations:

  • Career Technical Education Foundation
    • Program: Sonoma Corp
    • Award: Education & Workforce Development - Ongoing/Long Term
  • La Familia Sana
    • Program: RISE
    • Award: Education & Workforce Development - Short Term
  • Working Solutions CDFI
    • Program: Small Business Resilience and Success in Sonoma County
    • Award: Jobs & Business Development - Ongoing/Long Term
  • Santa Rosa Metro Chamber of Commerce
    • Program: Sonoma County Housing Fund
    • Award: Housing & Community Development - Ongoing/Long Term

2023 Fall Economic Perspective will be the seventh installment of EDB’s signature event series Economic Perspectives. The series aims to look at Sonoma County’s economy through different lenses. Past events have included keynote and panel conversations around workforce challenges, childcare access, disproportionate impacts to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) owned business, and changing climate.

Live Spanish interpretation and breakfast will be available at the event. Visit for more information and tickets.


The Sonoma County Economic Development Board is a County agency focused on growing a healthy economy by helping businesses in Sonoma County. They provide confidential, no-cost consulting services to businesses seeking to start, relocate, and grow in Sonoma County.


Contact Information

Aleena Decker, Conference & Communications Coordinator
Economic Development Board, County of Sonoma
(707) 565-7221