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Farm to Fork in Colusa

By  Ben Goldman, Agent, Ben@clearbluecommercial.com

Wine from local vineyards, stuffed mushroom caps, watermelon filled with salty feta cheese, breads and extra virgin olive oil to start a steady stream of good country music by local faves Amanda Gray and Chris Lockhart from Yuba City set the tone above the low hum of big industrial swamp fan coolers working away to keep the crowd cooled under the big shady trees to manage the 110-degree heat in support of local farmers and ranchers.
Yep, July 22 the thermometer in Colusa reached a scorching 110 – just in time for the 2nd annual Farm to Fork Dinner held at Veteran’s Memorial Park.
The Dinner was a near sold out affair anyway and lots of folks came out, I would guesstimate upwards of 150 or so, to celebrate local farming and support the community.
A special congratulation to Jennifer Diaz for doing such an amazing job making this event happen. As she commented to me recently, ” Lots of work, Lots of fun”.
That genuine spirit was certainly evident to all attendees.

And, no kidding, after an hour or so I was comfortable enough to forget how hot it was!

The Colusa Certified Farmer’s Market committee along with the Colusa County Chamber of Commerce organized the event with help from a Grant from Premier Mushroom, a tenant at Colusa Industrial Properties, Northern California’s Premiere AgriTech Industrial Park.
Rocos Bar and Grill, Colusa Casino and Market Street Grill served the locals.
Main Street Grill was responsible for the outstanding Prime Rib and Vegetarian Lasagna entrees.
And It was all locally sourced; Certified Angus Beef, vegetables, fruits, nuts, scratch made breads, wine, olive oils and locally grown plants everywhere.

Great raffle prizes of foods, garden plants and supplies; table gift bags followed a yummy selection of desserts What a bounty! – I’ll be looking forward to next year’s Event…………please.

Keep your eye on the new residential development at Colusa Industrial Properties, adjacent to the gold course. Those future residents, of the 180 home project, will be assured of a healthy, sustainable, Farm to Fork lifestyle as part of this generous farming and ranch community.

 

“Out of Africa:” A Commercial Real Estate Perspective

By Annie Sherman, Administrative Coordinator for Clear Blue Commercial

Rooftop Under Construction in Nairobi, Kenya | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

A Trip of a Lifetime

Map of Kenya, Africa | Source: www.worldatlas.com

Recently, I visited Kenya, Africa for a few weeks. Since many of us in the United States (U.S.) are geographically challenged (including myself), Kenya is on the east coast of Africa. Kenya is smack dab on the equator and the weather couldn’t have been more beautiful. Rain storms, sunny days, and beautiful African skies every day all day. And the sun rose and set relatively at the same time every day!

In an email to friends, family, and staff, a few days before the historical November 8th election, I wrote that “In a few words, this trip was: humbling, eye opening, shocking, beautiful, enriching, relaxing, and wonderful!” And I went on to say:

“This trip makes me feel like a tiny ant on a humongous planet. And oh my goodness – seeing the election coverage over here is stunning. The whole world is watching. Mock polls in Kenya show overwhelming support for a woman president. Whichever way this goes, this will be a very interesting four years.” ~ Annie S., November 2016

Commercial Real Estate sector in Kenya is BOOMING!

While in Kenya, I spent most of the time in Nairobi, the city’s capital. Nairobi’s population is over 3 million people and growing. There is virtually no order on the streets, and it was naturally rare to see a white person. Tourists generally seem to stick to the Maasai Mara for Safaris.

Multifamily buildings in Nairobi, Kenya | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

And everywhere you look, buildings are being built. I mean…everywhere! What struck me immediately upon arrival was the apparent lack of safety involved with construction. People were literally hanging off buildings and structures seemed unsafe. The construction was fascinating and like nothing I had seen before. It was made out of what appeared to be cinder blocks and a lot of iron sheets were used on the shacks and many roofs. The paint was colorful and there were black plastic water tanks everywhere.

Solar Panel Parking Lot at Garden City Mall in Nairobi, Kenya | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

Some modern malls are being built by South African investors and they included progressive features such as the solar panel parking structure seen in this picture. However, to confirm my observations about the lack of safety, about a week and a half into our trip there was a huge building collapse that killed 3 people.

Multifamily Apartment Complex in Nairobi, Kenya | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

The Final Frontier

Africa is ultimately the final frontier for mostly everything. What seems to be happening from my discussions with locals and watching the local news is that foreign (especially Chinese) and local investors are snatching up land rapidly, much like I imagine it was like here in the U.S. some 100 years ago. So what seems to be happening in Nairobi is that the population is growing rapidly and people need places to live. Multifamily structures are built and then added on to as the money rolls in – layer after layer is built, higher and higher.

Photo of News Station | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

With government corruption – or rather the lack of an official system of accountability that is effective – safety standards are not enforced. So, when I say “Commercial Real Estate is “Booming” in Kenya,” I mean this in both senses of the word unfortunately as some of the buildings are actually booming to the ground.

 

A Resilient People

I have never seen such hard working, resilient, graceful, and beautiful people in my life. I have seen this somewhat on an individual level in the U.S., but nothing like this. People are at every corner selling something; there are people everywhere. So much that when I returned to the U.S. and saw no one on the streets, it felt lonely like a ghost town. In the face of AIDS, a government that generally speaking does not seem to do much for its people on the whole, the lack of sound roads to get from point A to point B, and the prevalence of diesel and trash burning pollution, the people of Kenya put up with a LOT. I swore not to complain about anything when I returned to the U.S. except only to complain about me or someone else complaining. And I have been through a lot personally, but nothing compared to mass poverty and pollution.

But in the face of such adversity, the Kenyan people wake up every day and work hard – I mean hard. As a young child all the way to an elderly age. Much like how it used to be in the U.S. before child labor laws and retirement. They care for one another and look after each other for the most part. Family is number one and family gatherings are important. Religion is important. Community is important. With western influence I am told this is changing and that the quest for individuality and modern amenities is unavoidable.

What Amazing Animals!

I was fortunate enough to visit Nairobi National Park, where the famous burning of the elephant tusks happens to raise awareness about the very real threat of wildlife due to poaching (A great documentary called “The Ivory Game” is on Netflix to learn more about the devastation of poaching). It was neat to see the city as a backdrop to Kenya’s astounding wildlife. And even more “fun” (more like TERROR!) when our car battery died when viewing some hungry lions nearly 100 feet away! But that is a story for another day. Here are a few photos from that adventure!

A Well-fed Lioness | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

Burned Ivory at Nairobi National Park | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

Just Look at those eyelashes! | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

Who would think a baby warthog would be so CUTE?! | Photo credit: Annie Sherman, Copyright 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope everyone that reads this can have a new appreciation for what a beautiful and resilient country Kenya is and that although there is a huge real estate boom, to consider the many risks and effect(s) you may have through your investments on the local culture and economy and to always give back.

THANK YOU TO OUR 400 FACEBOOK FRIENDS!

Thanks to all of our friends!

We passed 400 likes on our facebook page this morning and couldn’t be more grateful to our loyal and new followers on social media! As you may already know, we are not concerned so much with numbers and stats but more interested in sharing our message and our services to the local and global community and learning more from our friends!

We feel pretty special!

Clear Blue Commercial is the first ever and only Commercial Real Estate Company that has been certified as a B Corp, Small Business, Woman-owned, AND Sonoma County Green Business all together! We constantly strive to be a better company and provide better service to our current and future clientele.

What the future holds..

This year we plan to manage your commercial property, sell your commercial real estate, help you find your business a place to lease, provide your commercial building sustainability projects such as energy efficiency upgrades and water-saving landscape conversions, and much more!

Engage us!

Please let us know how we can help you and about collaborative opportunities.

This means a TON to us. If you think our posts are good, hit the like and share buttons. If you feel compelled, please comment. Please message us. You can also folow us/message us on @ClearBlue_CRE on Twitter and at Clear Blue Commercial’s Company page on LinkedIn!

We are truly grateful for all your support and business and look forward to a bright 2017!

     

 

 

What it means to be a Women-Owned Business in 2016

On the national and world stage, we face significant highlights in women’s accomplishments such as Hillary Clinton’s historical primary presidential election win while simultaneously our own local minor league baseball team the Sonoma Stompers has quietly “integrated” the boys of summer, by signing the first (not one, not two, but three!) women players on a professional baseball team since the 1950s. We would like to believe that it is no coincidence that the Stompers achieved their first title as a franchise, clinching Pacific Association Championship.


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We are in the midst of a significant shift taking place for women and minorities nationally and abroad. When we opened our doors for business in June 2014 as the newly formed entity known as “Clear Blue Commercial,” I had some idea as a woman in the commercial real estate industry of what challenges may arise, but have been increasingly amazed at the triumphs that have accompanied those challenges. From the beginning, Clear Blue Commercial has taken a firm stance on “collaboration being the new competition” and that real change in the industry and in the world takes place when people help each other and benefit with a win-win result.

We started as a company of working mothers, in my opinion the most productive untapped workforce out there, and have expanded that vision to encompass a variety of talented and diverse individuals with a full pallet of skills, interests, and demands on their time.

We have integrated transparency (clear), sustainability (blue), and the triple bottom line (commercial) into all of our policies.” ~ Carolyn Pistone

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We have sought to create an atmosphere that allows our team to express their highest and best selves in their work, in our work, and in our community. This means finding ways to encourage work-life balance for every member of the team. I have had to learn to lead by example in this area. As I have become more present in my family, in my own spirit, and in my community, it has allowed me to bring a broader (Broad, haha!) perspective to my team at work. This has inspired them to do the same. It has made the workplace more fun, deepened our relationships, and created an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect

I spent many years in a male dominated workplace and benefited tremendously from it. I have learned from some of the best and worst leaders the work world has to offer. These experiences led me to create a workplace where I feel like I can thrive, where everyone is treated well, and has the opportunity to benefit from everyone else’s good fortune.

There is a common saying in big business that we have to “kill what we eat.” As a woman-owned business, we prefer to plant what we eat.” ~Carolyn Pistone

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NEW CBC_Whole LogoLearn more about Clear Blue Commercial by visiting our website and staying connected with us on social media!

 

 

Clear Blue Commercial – Proclaimed Local Water Hero in Sonoma County!

20160712_162010The team at Clear Blue Commercial always has “saving water” on their mind. Aside from it being a state-wide drought and having experienced mandatory water-saving measures, they feel it is the right thing to do to conserve water for immediate and future generations.

When browsing through the June 30th issue of the Petaluma Argus-Courier, we came across this flattering advertisement provided by the City of Petaluma. We felt honored for what we are doing is truly making a huge difference in helping our community. From converting lawns into water-saving mulch, to changing the buildings’ aerators to low-flow, to fixing leaks immediately, and encouraging water-saving measures within the buildings we manage, these acts are good business. What exactly is a water hero and what does one do to earn such a respectable title?

Hero (hee-ro) (noun) is defined as a person noted for courageous acts or nobility of character. (source: dictionary.com)

In the business world, there is a status quo –  a way of doing things which is known as “business as usual.” So what is making Clear Blue Commercial a “business as unusual?” We go the extra mile. We have interwoven sustainability initiatives – in particular, our water-saving measures – into our every day business practices. We don’t see sustainability as an initiative or special project, it is who we are. Actively seeking out ways to expand our reach, we look at even more avenues than our frequent turf conversion projects to broaden our impact and to make water-saving measures a fundamental cultural value here in Sonoma County.

The trend is growing! It does take courage to go outside the “business as usual” box and we hope that by spearheading this initiative, we are leading by example, providing proof that saving water is good business.

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What “REAL COMMUNITY” Means To Clear Blue Commercial

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A core tenant of our mission statement, “Real Community, Real Service, Real Estate” is an unyielding commitment to our community. We want the magnitude of our impact to resonate from here in our little town of Petaluma, CA to the globe at large.

Our green real estate practices generate higher levels of tenant retention, subsequently stabilizing the properties we manage. This propagates economic stability, maximizing positive impact on our surrounding community. We are striving to use our commercial real estate licenses as a way to bring about the synthesis of environmental initiatives and sustainable property management with social change.

Through our turf conversions, we are proactively combating water waste.  We strive to engage in activities like the American Heart Association’s annual Heart Walk. We host an annual food drive with Redwood Empire food bank, and have donated school supplies and clothing to foster children. Carolyn and Lilly are involved in Leadership Petaluma’s Leadership for a Sustainable Future Program. We’re involved in the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce, Climate Action 20/20, and have donated our services for free to nonprofits who share a similar belief system to give them a chance to raise money for their organizations.

Therefore, it is through genuine engagement with diverse people and organizations that we have the potential to make change, and through acting on our core value of community that change becomes a reality.

Photo 2_Turf Conversion 2015

 

Ultimately to make this impact, it is necessary not just to accommodate the needs of our surrounding community, but to transcend them, and make tangible change that reflects our values of diversity, sustainability and environmental conscientiousness within our core value of community.

What “REAL SERVICE” Means To Clear Blue Commercial

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The main objective of a business is servicing its clientele. We want the services we provide to be more than just a phone call back. Our business is about being proactive and supporting our community and our clients.

We insure this optimum level of service by being accessible in our building so our tenants can pop in at their convenience. We’ve opened up many channels of communication—clients can call in. They can email us. We want to be available, and provide our services at any time of day.

“We don’t just emphasize service to our clients; our business is also about our tenants, our vendors, buyers, sellers, lessees, and lessors.” ~ Carolyn Pistone, Managing Director of Clear Blue Commercial

Our clients feel that we genuinely care about their needs and we listen to and act upon your wants and needs. Oftentimes we do everything in a 24 hour turn around.

We strive to responsive, transparent, accessible, trustworthy, because those are the real pillars of how we do business.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Clear Blue Commercial!

We are proud to announce that Clear Blue Commercial has just celebrated the second anniversary of the launch of our company, on June 1st 2016. We thank our clients, family, and colleagues for their support, encouragement, and, of course their business.

In our first year of business we solidified our mission, positioning ourselves as we walked our talk:Real Community, Real Service, Real Estate.” We saved over 675,000 gallons of water annually with two commercial lawn transformation projects. We also became a Sonoma County Certified Green Business! Read more about our top 10 highlights from year one here.

After our first anniversary, we were energized and ready to grow. We had no idea how much we would accomplish in just one more year!


Take a look at what we have achieved!

Full Page Flyer - Mulchstock (1)In our 2nd year of business, we organized three major commercial turf conversions saving over 2 million gallons of water annually:

  • In July, 2015 we saved over 90,000 gallons of water annually!
  • In October, 2015 we organized “Mulchstock” a community event and turf conversion that saved over 1.6 million gallons of water annually! This was the largest commercial turf conversion project on record!
  • Our 5th turf conversion calledLawn Be Gone saved 400,000 gallons of water annually!

In October 2015, Annie Sherman joined the Clear Blue Commercial team as our new Administrative Coordinator bringing with her a background in sustainable business management!


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In 2015, we achieved “Small Business Certification” from the State of California! With this certification, we have access to tools that help us grow.


Book of Lists2We moved up in rank since last year in the North Bay Business Journal’s Book of lists, taking #30 in Top Women-owned Businesses and #15 in Top Property Management Companies!


NBBJ CP Award logo2016In March of 2016, we were recognized for our community involvement and engagement earning North Bay Business Journal’s Community Philanthropy Award!”


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In March 2016, we became a “Certified Woman Owned Business” by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC)!

 


dt.common.streams.StreamServerIn April of 2016, our own Lilly Fogleman was the recipient of North Bay Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” Award for her outstanding involvement with the community!

Read more about her contributions to our company and the community here!


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In May of 2016, we became a Certified B CorpWe are the first Management & Brokerage Company to become B Corp Certified! We are proud to join many other businesses that have made a commitment to accountability, transparency, and sustainable business practices. Read more here.


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In May of 2016, we were voted “Best Green Business” by the Northbay Biz 2016 readers’ poll!

 


Since June 1st, 2014, we have increased our community involvement with the following groups:


Other notable community contributions include:


We make sustainable values-based business choices and always seek out best business practices. Over the course of two years, Clear Blue Commercial has:

  • Saved over 3 million gallons of water annually
  • Saved over 100,000 kilowatt hours of energy
  • Saved our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars…and counting!

Clear Blue Commercial is the ONLY commercial real estate firm to be a certified Green Business, a certified Small Business, a certified Woman Owned Business, AND a certified B Corp.

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We are inspired going into year three of business and have a clear vision for the coming year!

WordCloud2“We look forward to more opportunities to work together for the greatest positive impact for our clients, our community and our planet. Thank you again for all your support and business over the last two years!”

With gratitude,
The Clear Blue Commercial Team

Clear Blue Commercial Becomes A Certified B Corp!

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Our team is proud to announce that Clear Blue Commercial has become a Certified B Corp! What is a B Corp? Certified B Corps are businesses that have taken extra measures to use business as a tool to launch positive social and environmental change in the community. How do they become a Certified B Corp? They are required to meet high performance standards and sign the Declaration of Interdependence to pledge to make sound business choices that support social and environmental health.

B Corp is to business what Fair Trade certification is to coffee or USDA Organic certification is to milk. B Corps are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit, B Lab, to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. ~ B Corp

Clear Blue Commercial is one of fewer than 1,700 Certified B Corps worldwide from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. 

As a leader in the industry, Clear Blue Commercial is the first Commercial Real Estate Management and Brokerage company to become certified as a B Corp.

We are now one of eight businesses certified as a B Corp in Sonoma County joining WorldCentric and McEvoy Ranch from Petaluma, CA, MJ Everson Financial from Santa Rosa, CA and Guayaki, Indigenous Designs, Solar Works, and Traditional Medicinals from Sebastopol, CA.

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Join World Centric, McEvoy Ranch, and Clear Blue Commercial at an exciting North Bay B2B Gathering at McEvoy Ranch on Tuesday June 14, 2016 from 4-6 pm! Click Here for more info.


For more information on what the B Corp Certification means for businesses and the community, watch this short video!

2016 Redwood Business Park BLOOD DRIVE

Redwood Business Park Blood Drive at 1465 N. McDowell (1)On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, from 10 am to 2 pm, Clear Blue Commercial is teaming up with Blood Centers of the Pacific to host a blood drive in the Redwood Business Park of Petaluma, CA.

As a values-driven business, Clear Blue Commercial seizes any opportunity to increase the health and well-being of the larger community and a blood drive is one way to accomplish this goal. We teamed up with Blood Centers of the Pacific because they are a leading non-profit in the area and are able to have a mobile trailer park which provides convenience to community members and our commercial tenants.

Blood Centers of the Pacific is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides blood and blood components to hospitals, physicians and patients throughout Northern California. It also houses the Blood Systems Reasearch Institute which conducts medical research to improve blood safety and patient care. Blood Centers of the Pacific helps 50,000 patients every year with blood donated by community volunteers (source).

It is crucial that there is a variety of blood donated as everyone has a different type of blood and matching blood type is often the barrier between a patient getting the blood that he or she needs.


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Blood Centers of the Pacific provides the critical link between blood donors who generously give the gift of life and the local patients who need this lifesaving gift (source).

Details on the 2016 Redwood Business Park Blood Drive:

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
10 am – 2 pm
1465 N McDowell Blvd
(Coach will be parked in parking lot close to Redwood Hwy)

Visit our facebook event page for the blood drive by clicking here! For your convenience, please make an appointment by visiting: https://www.bloodheroes.com/index.cfm then click “locate a blood drive” & Enter Sponsor Code: RBP

If you cannot make it out to this particular blood drive, there are always more going on! Click here to find a blood drive near you.

We are very excited to bring this opportunity to the community of Petaluma and in particular our commercial tenants. We hope this small effort will bring great results to the Northern California area. Thank you in advance for being blood heroes!