Leadership Team

The Executive Committee provides guidance to all phases of the Business Competition.

  • Ethan Brown, Director of Business Development and Innovation, Sonoma County Economic Development Board
  • John McCarthy, Deputy Chief of Wood Products and Bioenergy, CAL FIRE
  • Nathan Kinsey, Commercial Accounts Manager, Sonoma Clean Power
  • Robert Bamford, Executive Officer, Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District
  • Christiana Darlington, CLERE Inc., General Counsel for Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution Control District
  • Mary Cervantes, Director of Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center, with help from John Degaetano


Recurring and catastrophic wildfires endanger forest health, air quality, property and our health and safety.  Building off the indomitable spirit of Sonoma County’s Recovery and Resiliency Program, NoSoCoAir established its “Healthy Forests, Clean Air Initiative” in 2018 to connect with regional partners and to support innovative solutions to forest fuels management that also promote clean air quality. 

The Competition is the product of over 20 diverse and experienced organizations to implement the Biomass Business Competition. The Competition will reflect the immense amount of State policy support to catalyze business development through proven non-merchantable woody-product solutions like SB 859’s Wood Utilization Barriers team working under the State’s Forest Management Task Force.  The Competition has several organizations committing both cash for start-up capital and staff labor to facilitate the program through to completion. 

The Northern Sonoma County Air Pollution District (NoSoCoAir) proudly presents the Sonoma County Biomass Business competition (Bio Biz Competition).  The Competition seeks to turn wildfire risk in Sonoma County into an economic development opportunity. Through a county-wide collaboration of forest experts, business leaders and public officials, the Competition is looking to build a wood products industry in Sonoma from forest restoration projects by directly investing in entrepreneurs who can catalyze an untapped sector in California.

Coalition of Support

  • Forest Conservation Working Group
  • Sonoma RCD
  • Sonoma Biochar Initiative
  • Ag Innovations
  • Sonoma Water
  • UC Davis Cooperative Extension
  • Pepperwood Preserve
  • Rebuild NorthBay: Taking Action for Living Systems 
  • Gold Ridge RCD

Additional Questions?

Clarke Stevenson

Competition Coordinator


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We are calling on local entrepreneurs, financial sponsors, and contributing experts and stakeholders, like you, to help grow the local economy by directly supporting the Competition. 

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Rob Bamford

Air District Executive Officer


Sonoma County Biomass Business Competition

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Leading researchers and elected officials see the promise of a thriving wood product industry in California - Sonoma County is poised to be a leader.