Clear Blue Commercial Appoints Advisory Board

Clear Blue Commercial Appoints Advisory Board and Adds New Agent as Company Expands Real Estate Brokerage and Sustainability Consulting Services

PETALUMA, CALIF. — August 3, 2017— Clear Blue Commercial announces the formation of an advisory board as the company prepares for a future focused on expanding its purchase and lease transaction services and helping property-owner clients achieve sustainable, profitable and environmentally-conscious solutions for their facilities. It also welcomes Janie Glidden to its brokerage team to assist clients with development, transactions and project management. A certified green building professional, Glidden joins Clear Blue Commercial after serving as executive director of the American Subcontractor’s Association of California, and she brings an extensive background in helping companies navigate construction, energy and sustainability projects.

Its new board members boast extensive expertise in law, project management, customer relations, sustainability, business consultation and entrepreneurship, providing strategic guidance, as well as operational and industry counselling. The board intends to work with Clear Blue Commercial to market and scale its business throughout the region and beyond, maximize opportunities for its sustainability-driven mission, and create a support structure for its clients, agents and project managers.

“Like many other successful purpose-driven small businesses, we established this dynamic advisory team for our next phase of growth as we expand our sustainability consulting and project management services for all types of commercial real estate properties,” said Carolyn Pistone, president and managing director of Clear Blue Commercial. “Additionally, adding Janie to our team perfectly complements our mission to help property-owner and tenant clients with cost-saving facility greening, decreasing their environmental footprint and making their buildings healthier for its users and the planet.”

The advisory board includes:

  • Donald Black – A director at Andersen Zeigler PC, Black is a veteran Sonoma County business, real estate transactions and financing attorney.
  • Cate Steane – Steane owns a professional project management business, where she helps small and mid-size businesses plan for project success.
  • Tim Saavedra – Vice president of West Petaluma Umpqua Bank, Saavedra has a broad understanding of financial lending and transactions.
  • Oren Wool – Wool is the executive director of Sustainable North Bay, hosts the renowned
  • Sustainable Enterprise Conference and is a consultant for companies bringing healthy, environmentally conscious products and services to the market.
  • Laurie Zerga – Zerga is a strategic advisor for business owners looking to grow their business’ potential.

“Under the direction of its passionate leader, advocate and broker Carolyn Pistone, Clear Blue Commercial has clearly shown its clients how their facilities can be both sustainable and profitable,” said board member Wool. “Commercial buildings are the single largest contributor to carbon emissions, and Clear Blue’s mission to green them brings the greatest positive environmental impact we can make. Its strategies are already proven effective, and I’m thrilled to serve as a strategic advisor within this board because of how critical and important this work is. People – starting with businesses and property owners – need to pick up the slack and be catalysts for reversing damage to the environment.”

Clear Blue Commercial helps clients reduce operating expenses while deepening a commitment to environmental sustainability through green energy upgrades. These upgrades include solar energy, battery and fuel cell storage, landscape conversions, LED lighting conversions, and installation of EV charging stations, among others. Its detailed and efficient property transformation services include researching and applying for grants, incentives and rebates; providing ROI calculations for each element of the project; applying for the most advantageous financing options; establishing performance metrics; assembling the trades team and managing the installation process; and collaborating with client’s marketing and leasing strategies to maximize the project’s value-add.

Clear Blue Commercial’s successes include nearly tripling a Petaluma office building’s value in eight years after providing a multitude of energy upgrades at no cost to the owner. The owner, who bought the property in 2011 for $3 million, recently sold it for $8 million. Additionally, it has performed a number of turf conversions from grass to drought-tolerant landscapes in an effort to both decrease water usage and the expense to the landlord. Its largest project, dubbed Mulchstock, eliminated 64,000 square feet of lawn and is saving 1.6 million gallons of water annually.

Added Marty Pistone, Clear Blue Commercial owner/agent, “Smart resource usage is good business for the short- and long-term. Our goal is to aggregate financial incentives with as little out-of-pocket investment and as much savings as possible for our clients. Additionally, our projects make facilities healthier, boost employee satisfaction, create positive marketing opportunities and increase the property’s value. It truly is a winning combination for the property owner, building users and the planet.”

About Clear Blue Commercial
Clear Blue Commercial is a full-service commercial real estate brokerage, sustainability consulting and project management company dedicating to maximizing its clients’ investments, saving its clients’ time, and adding value to local communities. A North Bay Business Journal Community Philanthropy and Outstanding Facility Management award winner and voted Best Green Business in 2016 by Northbay Biz magazine, Clear Blue Commercial has successfully saved its clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in green upgrades and energy savings. 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 B-Corp.

“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:

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.

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.

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

The Final Frontier

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

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!

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!


Clear Blue Commercial Moves UP In NBBJ’s Annual Book of Lists!

In 2017, Clear Blue Commercial will be YOUR exclusive real estate company to turn to for your property management, leasing, and sales needs. Among many reasons, including our values-driven sustainability model and our exceptional service, the very latest news is that we were ranked among the top real estate brokerages, top property management companies, and top woman-owned businesses by the North Bay Business Journal (NBBJ) in their 2017 Annual Book of Lists!

Clear Blue Commercial has moved up in position and is now ranked as:

#14 in top Property Management Companies
#15 in top Commercial Real Estate Brokerages
#34 in top Women-owned Companies

The Book of Lists is the definitive source of business information in the North Bay. It is a compilation of all lists published in the North Bay Business Journal throughout the year, including the largest companies in a wide range of major industries such as Banking & Finance, Health Care, Construction, Wine, Technology and Real Estate. ~ NBBJ


Come network with executives who made the list at the
North Bay Business Journal‘s Book of Lists Release Party on
Thursday, January 19, 2017 from 5-7 pm!

Contact Clear Blue Commercial today
for all your commercial property management needs!


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.

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

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

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


Clear Blue Commercial wins “BEST Green Business” Recognition in the North Bay 2016 Readers Poll!

A full-service commercial management and leasing company, Clear Blue Commercial’s eight personstaff specializes in saving energy and water costs to the benefit of its clients.

“We are a small but mighty group!” ~ Carolyn Pistone

Clear Blue promotes the idea that green business isn’t more expensive than the wasteful
alternative. Read more in the North Bay Biz Magazine!

Clear Blue Commercial is named a “Partner in Philanthropy”

In the words of David Rayall, Sonoma County Water Agency coordinator for environmental services,

Clear Blue is a leader in community philanthropy by demonstrating that a commercial business has the ability and accepts the responsibility to give back to the community and help sustain our planet.

The company helped save 2.6 million gallons of water annually in a massive volunteer effort. Through a two-year water-conservation program called Mulchstock, Clear Blue coordinated activities by the business community, nonprofits such as Daily Acts, city of Petaluma, the water agency and a multitude of environmentally conscious citizens.

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