New Chamber Members
“I grew up in the hotel business and have moved around quite a bit (Alaska, Hawaii, New York City, Washington D.C. & Hong Kong to name just a few). Most of my career was spent managing HR and operations for luxury hotel companies. I have served on a number of Bay Area boards, including the University of San Francisco Board of Trustees, San Francisco State University Advisory Board, and the SF Hotel and Restaurant Scholarship Foundation. Human Resources is a passion of mine, and I hold a Masters in Human Resources and Organizational Development from the University of San Francisco. Currently I have my own Human Resources consulting practice and work with a variety of Bay Area businesses but also have clients as far away as the Telo Islands. My specialty is employee and labor relations. My husband George and I have owned and operated our business, River Bend Resort, for over 20 years. We are passionate about our community and feel strongly about supporting the businesses in our valley knowing that we are all stronger together! My current focus is on social media and marketing for my business as well as community outreach.”
— Michelle Bertram
“I am excited for the opportunity to be considered for a seat on the board of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. I moved to Guerneville Park in 2016 with my husband Patrick and love the Russian River area. We moved to Guerneville from Sacramento, where I was the Accessibility Expert for the State of California for over 10+ years. I was drawn to the area, as my family has rich roots as San Francisco natives and descendants of Russian immigrants who still have family living in the Sonoma County area. Currently I work as the Administration Manager for the Charles M. Schultz-Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, and have a direct connection via the Airport with the success of the Russian River business community. Skills that I bring with me are 15+ years of marketing experience, digital accessibility and ADA compliance experience, graphic design, web design, public communications, legal contract experience, data analysis, and strong familial business relationships going back to when I was a child. There is so many great potential opportunities for business success in the Russian River area. I can bring a wealth of advisory and consulting experience to assist with the growth and development of this area and the guaranteed success of its residents and businesses. We have such a vibrant and thriving, diverse community, I would love to contribute to this success as much as I can.”
— Adam Borovkoff
“My family and I have lived in Guerneville for six years, and I manage a tourism-focused digital marketing agency. We joined the Chamber six years ago and rejoined in 1999.
“Our clients include local hotels, restaurants, wineries and other businesses, as well as chambers and DMOs in Northern California. I’m also the owner of GarlicBraids.com, web content manager for the Sonoma County Gazette, operations manager for DogTrekker.com, and Executive Director of a storytelling and sustainable tourism nonprofit, California Community Voices. I spent five years as a marketing and communication contractor for WCCS, and also worked as a WCCS shelter volunteer in 2019 and 2020.
“From 2019 until recently, I was a Russian River Visitor Center greeter and Chamber marketing contractor (I started working for the Chamber as a volunteer, and still do volunteer website support work). In 2020 I managed the Russian River Business Lab, a USDA-funded Chamber project that provides resources and coaching for local small businesses.”
— Roger Coryell
“I Graduated Pomona College in Claremont, CA (with honors in Economics, and a high degree of proficiency in Spanish); chaired the student Judicial Council during my junior year.
“Work experience includes 16 years working in hospitality, 6.5 of those as a General Manager with Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants in San Francisco (ending 1/15/21 to focus on the renovation project here at the former Applewood Inn, now The Stavrand Russian River Valley).
“Became fully in step with the local Japantown community surrounding the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel at 1800 Sutter Street in SF; joined the local Japantown Community Benefit District (JCBD) Board of Directors.
- Served on that Board for three years, including 8 months as Board President before winding down my commitments there to focus on new efforts in Sonoma
- Co-led the Board’s subcommittee on Marketing & PR, driving the economic vitality of the District for key stakeholders
- Participated in related Board meetings for a counterpart organization know as JTF (the Japantown Task Force) and supported the JCD (Japantown Cultural District) process to develop plans for the Peace Plaza renovation project
- Supported local non-profits through corporate donations of volunteer hours and hotel stay gift certificates
“Volunteered for Project Open Hand while serving on the Honorary Board of Meals on Wheels (suspending volunteering for COVID reasons but I remain on the MOWSF Board, which is a great organization!)
“The Stavrand will employ a total of approximately 20, about a third of which live in Guerneville, and the remainder within the RRV area. We will be a big contributor of TOT tax on overnight hotel stays, and also of the 8.5% sales tax of guest meals and catered events.
“We enlisted Aspire PR to spread the word about our new business and about the West Sonoma/RRV.”
— Emily Glick
“My husband and I have had our home here in Monte Rio for 6 years now. We were fortunate that we are able to now to work 100% remote since the beginning of the pandemic. We have since sold our home in San Francisco and call Monte Rio our home.
“I am an Entrepreneur, Engineer and Business person with over 30 years of experience working with fortune 500 companies as well as early stage startups, three of which I have started as a founding CEO, one of which was sold to Nokia. I am currently working on my fourth technology startup, that is currently in stealth mode, based here in the Lower Russian River.
“In March 2020, looking to be more involved in the community, I became involved with the Russian River Alliance. Originally just wanting to help them update their website and add the ability to capture small dollar donations. I ended up being asked to join the Board of Directors as Treasurer. My first task was to get the organization back in good standing.
“In my short time with the Alliance, Jen Wertz and myself have increased our fund raising from about $90,000 to $370,000 this year. Over Christmas we handed out $50,000 in gift cards to help people buy groceries and had 450 holiday meals delivered to those in need. In March 2021, we were awarded $250,000 from Sonoma County to participate in ERAP of which I wrote $250,000 in checks to pay the rents and utilities of our local community members.
“I have also been working closely with Supervisor Hopkins and Elise Weiland on several projects, one including the goal of replacing fireworks with a drone light show.”
— Bryan Hughes
“My roots are deep in the Lower Russian River-the first year of my life, my family lived in Monte Rio and my dad was the produce manager at the Guerneville Safeway. After that, we moved to Kenwood, where I spent the remainder of my childhood, but the river was a place my family would often visit
“I moved away from Sonoma County for 30 years to pursue a career as a creative director in advertising and marketing. Problem solving, creative thinking and execution are core skills that I bring from my professional background as well as the ability to understand things are better achieved with collaboration.
“As a gallery owner, in a town with 10 galleries, that play a large role in town commerce, I can bring a gallery perspective to the board. I am also a member of River Arts and Media whose mission is to advance the Lower Russian River by establishing us an arts destination and the creation of an arts center. I can be the conduit between groups to assure we align and work cohesively.”
— Donovan Smandra
Owner of the Guerneville Bank Club
“I’m Bob Pullum and I recently completed the restoration, creative direction and renovation of the Historic Guerneville Bank Building in Guerneville, California, now known as the Guerneville Bank Club. I’ve had a house in Guerneville since 2000. I’ve been coming up here since I first moved to San Francisco in 1990. I love the Russian River and think it’s one of the most beautiful, idyllic places in the world. I’m excited to have helped bring an iconic building back to life so that it can not only educate and inspire, but also include mixed-reuse with several businesses. The restoration of the bank is my first project after helping grow an advertising agency/digital marketing firm called AKQA in San Francisco from 40 to over 400. I’ve been an art director/creative director in the San Francisco advertising and marketing community for over 20 years. During that time I led award-winning digital marketing efforts for such clients as Audi of America, Nike, Kraft, Target and Visa. My work has been recognized in many important industry awards programs. My extensive background in marketing and communications, design, historic preservation and general interest in the Russian River area can help provide knowledge, excitement and enthusiasm for not only preserving what’s great about the Russian River area, but also help with its future.
“I’m fortunate to have been elected President of the Russian River Chamber of Commerce in January. Even though we’ve had a very challenging few years, we have great momentum. Our revitalized marketing, our new connections with important stakeholders and our recent, fully funded Visitor Center Grant all set the stage for a great year ahead.”
— Bob Pullum
Owner of the Old Cazadero Cabin
“My name is David Wabel, and I have been the owner and Superhost of The Old Cazadero Cabin (oldcazaderocabin.com) an Airbnb Plus property since 2016.
“I am also an active participant with the Sonoma County Coalition of Hosts, an ad hoc group that helps hosts in Sonoma and collaborates with the county on hospitality policy.
“I bring over 15 years of marketing experience in the travel and hospitality industry having served in marketing roles at Travelzoo and Uber, as well as being a Superhost and one of the few Airbnb Plus hosts for the last 3 years.
“In addition to hosting guests at the Old Cazadero Cabin, I also work in marketing at Skedulo, a mobile workforce management software company. Our technology is being used to schedule COVID vaccination appointments for the State of California, as well as by the Red Cross and Easter Seals to help them manage volunteers.
“I very much look forward to using my marketing and hospitality experience to contribute to the Russian River Community, helping the Chamber expand its impact and members, and also serve as a volunteer resource to the broader Russian River business community to help them remain strong and vibrant for whatever the future brings.”
— David Wabel