The Press Democrat Community Fund (the Fund) exists to promote local journalism and to support the greater Sonoma County/North Bay community during times of disasters. The money raised by the Fund will promote local journalism through awarding scholarships to deserving students majoring in journalism, sponsoring interns from local colleges and universities and funding special journalism projects. The Fund will continuously search for new and creative ways to promote professional journalism.
The Fund is located in an area that is prone to natural disasters. During times of need the Fund will work with the community to raise and distribute funds to those in need. The needs could range from victims of fire, earthquake and floods to helping those in need of housing and shelter.
The Fund is a stand-alone California nonprofit public benefit corporation that is tax-exempt under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). Donations to it are tax-deductible.
Board of Directors
Sonoma Media Investments, LLC
Darius Anderson is Founder and Chairman of Platinum Advisors, a full-service government affairs firm founded in 1998. It ranks in the top five California government advocacy organizations in terms of revenue. With offices in Sacramento, San Francisco, Orange County and Washington, DC, Platinum Advisors provides lobbying, real estate project development, procurement, public affairs and strategic consulting to corporations, governments, trade associations and non-profit organizations. Anderson was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in 2018.
Widely recognized as one of California’s most effective political strategists, Anderson has successfully advised many of California’s highest-ranking political and business leaders and is involved in a variety of civic, charitable and governmental activities. Anderson previously served as Chair of the National Advisory Council for UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies (IGS) and currently serves on the boards of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, Californians Building Bridges and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. In 2010, he was appointed to California’s Political Reform Act Task Force.
Prior to founding Platinum Advisors, Anderson served as Chief of Staff for The Yucaipa Companies and as Vice President of External Affairs for Ralphs Grocery Stores, Inc., a Fortune 500 company. Between 1993 and 1998, he was responsible for The Yucaipa Companies’ business development efforts and for Ralphs Grocery Stores’ government affairs, public relations, community relations and external corporate communications. Anderson previously served as Executive Director of the Ralphs/Food 4 Less Foundation as well.
An accomplished entrepreneur, Anderson is also Founder and CEO of Kenwood Investments, LLC, a California Real Estate Development and Opportunity Fund, and Founder and Managing Member of Sonoma Media Investments, LLC, the owner and publisher of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat and the Sonoma Index-Tribune. The Santa Rosa Press Democrat won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Reporting for its fire coverage. In the wake of the 2017 fire disasters, Anderson founded the Rebuild North Bay Foundation.
A passionate collector, Anderson is the proud owner of world-class art and baseball memorabilia collections. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from George Washington University and currently lives in Sonoma.
Chief Executive Officer
Sonoma Media Investments, LLC
Steve Falk is the Chief Executive Officer of Sonoma Media Investments, which includes The Press Democrat, the Petaluma Argus-Courier, the Sonoma Index Tribune, the North Bay Business Journal, and Sonoma Magazine. Under Falk’s leadership, The Press Democrat was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in the category of “breaking news” for its coverage during the devastating Northern California fires.
Falk was the former publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle, served as president and chief executive of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce from 2005 to 2012. Before joining the Chamber in 2005, Falk had extensive experience in the newspaper industry.
Born in Lancaster, PA, he began his newspaper career with Lancaster Newspapers. He worked for newspapers in New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania before joining Gannett Westchester Rockland Newspapers, NY, in 1982 where he planned and directed the startup of USA Today in the northern suburbs of New York City. He joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 1987 and held several key positions including circulation director and vice president/sales and marketing. In 1996 he was named President/CEO of the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, associate publisher in November 2000, and publisher and president of the San Francisco Chronicle in March 2003.
Former Executive Editor
The Press Democrat
Catherine Barnett, the former executive editor of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, has led her newsroom to national recognition for the quality of its journalism, including a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of historic wildfires. She has deep roots in Sonoma County, where her family has lived for more than 150 years.
Her professional career has been spent at The Press Democrat, where she began as a college intern and served in a variety of reporting and editing positions under four owners, including the recent return to local ownership. Barnett, who was named the first woman editor of the newspaper in 1999, directs its print and digital news reports. She leads a newsroom chronicling a changing Sonoma County. To capture its broader identity as a destination for food and wine, she also serves as editor-in-chief of Sonoma magazine.
Chief Revenue Officer
Sonoma Media Investments, LLC
Karleen Arnink-Pate is the Chief Revenue Officer for Sonoma Media Investments. Previously she served as the Vice President of Strategic Revenue at the San Francisco Chronicle and sfgate.com/Hearst, and prior to that worked in the Hawaii and Nevada markets as Advertising Director for Gannett Company (publishers of USA Today and over 100 Print, Digital, Television brands nationwide).
Recognized as an industry leader, Karleen is a national Folio “Top Women in Media 2019” honoree, where she was featured in the Change Maker category as “a woman who has successfully altered the course of their brand or the industry for the better.” With an innovative and creative approach, she has dedicated her extensive career, to funding local journalism.
Santa Rosa Junior College
North Bay Business Journal
Brad Bollinger is the former publisher of the North Bay Business Journal.
Before joining the Journal after its purchase by the New York Times Co. in 2005, he was the business editor and a columnist for The Press Democrat since 1990.
While he was editor, the Press Democrat business section won several national, state and regional awards for its coverage, including six “Best In Business” citations from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. Bollinger was a leading editor on the Press Democrat’s extensive four-day series in September of 2004 on the local impacts of economic globalization, “Global Shift.” The series won the prestigious Polk Award as well as the New York Times companywide Punch award. The newspaper’s 2002 series on the wine industry, “Vine to Wine,” received the highest award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
Bollinger has made dozens of presentations to community organizations and groups of executives on the economy. He is a past chairman of the North Bay Leadership Council. He also serves on board of directors of the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation in Santa Rosa. The Finley Foundation has been a supporter of numerous projects in Sonoma County including the Finley Center complex in Santa Rosa, the Humane Society, Kid Street Theater, Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, Social Advocates for Youth, Redwood Empire Food Bank and many, many other youth and human services groups.
Bollinger has a journalism degree from San Jose State University and master’s in communication from CSU, Chico. His 1983 master’s thesis on newspaper ombudsmen was the subject of articles in Columbia Journalism Review and Editor & Publisher. In 1990, he was among the attendees at the inaugural Summer Institute for Economics for Journalists created by the Foundation for American Communications.
Bollinger and his wife, Corine, live in Santa Rosa.