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Paint the Town Red Rolls Out Red Carpet Friday Night

Social event of the Novato year will be at City Hall and include a dazzling display of music, drink and food to go with some major announcements.

In this economy, we’d all rather be “in the black” than “in the red” — unless we’re talking about attending the annual Novato bash called Paint the Town Red, one of the highlights of the social year.

The city’s 52nd birthday will be celebrated from 6-10 p.m. Jan. 20 at , which this year will be decked out with a larger tent on the patio area to accommodate more guests, co-chair Linda Grey said.

“We making it a little bigger and a little better,” Grey said Monday. “Last year we sold over 250 tickets and we felt it was a little tight in there.”

Paint the Town Red, co-chaired by Grey and Jayne Belote, includes the naming of the Novato Citizen of the Year (see attached list of past honorees) and the introduction of the city’s small, large and green businesses of the year as awarded by the Novato Chamber of Commerce. See below for all the details on those awards.

Organizers received a positive reaction from revelers last year when the event was a cocktail reception rather than a sit-down dinner, Grey said. Also, the registration area will be moved from the City Hall patio to the bottom of the stairs on the northwest corner of the building, clearing more mingling area inside the tent. The sign-in area will be covered in case of rain, Grey said.

Gastronomically speaking, Paint the Town Red is a delectable treat with the advent of Taste of Novato, a medley of hors d’ oeuvres, wines and craft beers from local businesses. Grey said feedback was outstanding last year when restaurants provided samples of their favorite dishes.

Marin singer/songwriter Noah Griffin returns by popular demand, and the team from School Fuel, the nonprofit that supports public schools, will oversee a live auction.

Tickets are $50 and can be had by visiting the official website or calling 328-8299 or 328-0186.


Awarded by the Novato Chamber of Commerce

(bios provided by chamber)

: Large Business of 2011

As construction moves forward on the corporate headquarters for Novato-based Circle Bank at 999 Grant Ave., the impact of Circle Bank is felt in youth, housing and service organizations throughout its hometown. Support from privately-owned Circle Bank, its President/CEO Kim Kaselionis and 76 employees (50 Novato-based) include the Women’s Initiative, Homeward Bound of Marin/Next Key Center, the Novato Fire Foundation’s Fire Squirts, the Novato Rotary Club, the Novato Youth Center, School Fuel and Paint the Town Red.

The San Francisco Business Times’ 2011 Corporate Philanthropy Report ranked Circle Bank ranked as the North Bay’s largest contributor per employee to nonprofit organizations. Contributions of more than $134,000 in 2010, an average of $3,957 per employee, were more than twice that of the second-ranked bank. Of the 65 banks and financial institutions in the Greater Bay Area, Circle Bank ranked fourth highest.

: Small Business of 2011

Small in terms of employees, Hennessy Funds, founded and owned by Neil Hennessy, is big in its support of more than 27 Novato-based organizations dedicated to youth, sports, women, the arts, cancer cures and more.

Hennessy’s employees volunteer to their time to local organizations, including John Fahy, Terry Nilsen and Brian Peery; Lauren Puliafico, Terry Nilsen, Tania Kelly, Ana Miner and Dan Steadman.

Neil Hennessy is extensively involved in capital raising for the Okizu Foundation, an organization providing support and services to families living with childhood cancer. Operated by fellow-Novato resident John Bell, Okizu is committed to support of the oncology, sibling, family, bereavement and TNT programs in collaboration with pediatric oncology centers throughout Northern California.

Hennessy launched his first mutual fund in 1996 and has grown his company into a nationally recognized asset management company. Not only is Hennessy sought by leading financial outlets on TV, radio and print to give his analysis of economic factors, he regularly offers his take on the economy to fellow Chamber members and the Novato business community at large. 

Barker Pacific Group (BPG): Green Business of 2011

While BPG might not be as well known in Novato as other businesses, its real estate development reach is extensive, including the 465,000-square-foot Class-A office redevelopment of Hamilton Landing and its Rowland Plaza office and retail complex encompassing 160,000 square feet. In 2011 along, BPG completed projects reducing property energy consumption by 1.2 million kilowatt hours. Equivalent to powering 70 homes annually, these efforts offset 740,000 pounds of CO2. This earned to company $267,000 in PG&E incentives.

Energy retrofits including a new energy management system, reflective solar window film, variable speed drives on HVAC systems, energy efficient interior relamping and energy efficient exterior parking relamping.


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