Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.                                              

Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States

Doran Beach was beautiful yesterday at 73 degrees, with a light breeze, clear skies, and gentle waves…ideal for a day at the beach.  This is one of our favorite activities with grandkids and, for me, nothing is better than playing in the waves, collecting shells, digging in the sand, and chasing sea gulls away from our picnic lunch.  We clean up in the warm showers, change into cozy clothes, then treat ourselves to ice cream and fries before heading home.  We hit the jackpot yesterday when all three fell asleep in the back seat! I love that we have the privilege of spending time with these beautiful souls who are our future.  Soon things will change, they will grow and will be too busy for us.  I know I must savor these precious moments together.

This past 18 months we’ve all faced challenges and have seen incredible changes, so it is wonderful to experience comforting activities again.  Though I sometimes greet change with resistance and discomfort, I know that improvements often come out of conflict and uncomfortable change.  The world now understands more about disease transmission, and we have improved our practices.  Recent discoveries in science and technology have moved at a rapid pace.  Improvements in remote work and conference calling have revolutionized the workplace.  Some experts suggest that the rate of change will continue to accelerate.  How can we release our resistance in order to move on?  How do we prepare, adapt, and view these changes as improvements and a natural part of the continual growth and progress of our world?

I believe we are perfectly suited to the time in which we are living and that we are here for a reason that we can’t fully comprehend at the moment.  Hopefully, as time unfolds, we will understand.  I know we can’t undo the past and we cannot predict the future.  All we can do is our personal best in every moment and face each day with curiosity and openness, savoring the precious moments we have today.

I appreciate that things are opening up and we have the opportunity to meet in person again.  The Sonoma County Alliance provides a great forum to become educated by fellow professionals who are working to improve our community.  Every day members bring their history and expertise to regularly participate on numerous Commissions, Boards, and Councils.  And we must adapt and change to improve.  The Alliance took on the task of initiating and managing change.  We embraced our new circumstances as an opportunity for improvement.  We revised structures, elected a new Board and Advisory Council, and created a more focused Committee structure.  The Membership Committee has taken the lead in expanding and diversifying membership to include new members and connection with groups such as the 20/30 Club.  This will help the Alliance to grow and support future community leaders.  The SCA Environmental Committee is engaged with diverse stakeholders to find community solutions to mitigate the impacts of a changing environment, including wildfire and drought preparedness.

At our October General Membership Meeting, Presiding Superior Court Judge DeMeo outlined changes ahead, and explained challenges facing the courts in Sonoma County.  The current courthouse was state-of-the-art when it was built in the 1960’s.  In the 50 years since, we have outgrown the facility.  Potential jury members now meet at the Jockey Club near the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.  Portions of the current courthouse are not unusable today because of ventilation and screening limitations.  Access from the jail to the courthouse is not secure.  Judge DeMeo praised Court Executive Officer Arlene Junior for her reorganization and system improvements that support the judges and court system.  Ms. Junior provided details about changes at Superior Court, including the ground-breaking for a new LEED Certified courthouse with improved safety, accessibility, ventilation and with ample parking.  Ms. Junior also has goals for improved accessibility to the courthouse which has been named “The People’s Courthouse”.  Thank you to both Judge DeMeo and CEO Junior for taking the time to share these improvement plans with us.  We look forward to embracing the change.

Enjoy the Fall and savor each precious moment you have.  Thank you again for being a member of the Sonoma County Alliance.  In November we will hear from Elizabeth Gore, CEO of Hello Alice and their Small Business Grant Program.  The Sonoma County Alliance is working toward providing a similar program that we could sponsor for our Sonoma County small businesses.  Please plan to join us November 3rd at 7 am.  Have a great month.


What are you grateful for today?

Marlene Soiland, President

Sonoma County Alliance

The journey is never ending. There’s always going to be growth, improvement, adversity; you just got to take it all in and do what’s right, continue to grow, continue to live in the moment.

Antonio Brown, NFL wide receiver