A third generation Californian, Steve MacRostie has been a resident of the Sonoma Valley for 44 years. After growing up in Sacramento, he attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington where he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology. While serving in the United States Army in Vicenza, Italy in the early 1970s, he became interested in wine, both with its fascinating, delicious flavors and how it is crafted. That curiosity led him to UC Davis and a Master’s Degree in Enology which brought him to Sonoma for his first winemaking position in the quickly expanding California wine industry. In 1987 with his wife Thale, he established the eponymous MacRostie Winery dedicated to specializing in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. With the sale of the business in 2011 after 24 years of ownership, Steve continues his relationship with the winery as a consultant. Steve and Thale are the parents of two grown children, Michaela and Kendall. Steve is past president of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers Alliance and the Carneros Quality Alliance. Today he is a member of the Board of Directors of California Wine Institute.
Winnie Farwell was born and raised in San Jose, CA, graduating from San Jose State University with degrees in Biological Science and English Literature. After teaching science for several years, she studied finance and entered the world of commercial real estate. She and her husband, Robert Farwell, established a nationwide valuation and consultation firm with three regional offices. Winnie later joined New York Life Investment Management as Regional Appraiser with asset oversight over the Western mortgage loan portfolio. She holds an MAI designation (Member – Appraisal Institute) and is a past board member of the Appraisal Institute – Northern California. She served on the board of W.I.R.E. (Women in Real Estate) for eight years, where she also was president. Winnie is currently a board director of the Sonoma Community Center and La Luz Center. Since retiring to Sonoma, she enjoys her family, photography, and exploring the world, with visits to 15 countries in the past two years.
Francie Marks Ward hails from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and is proud of her Cherokee lineage. She left Tulsa for Stanford University, where she was a National Merit Scholar and President of ASSU Art Board. After graduating Stanford, Francie began her graphic design career, opening a design firm in San Francisco. Later, as co-owner of client company Oasis Press, publisher of how-to books for small business owners, Francie relocated from SF to southern Oregon with her husband, designer Ray Ward. There, she headed Oasis’ editorial & design departments. In the mid-90s, she sold her interest in Oasis to co-found IdeaCafe.com, an early internet resource for entrepreneurs, with a “fun approach to serious business.” After being widowed, Francie left Idea Cafe to become a certified massage therapist. She moved back to Northern California in 2013 and was introduced to Sonoma Community Center by Dick Cole, famed AWS Watercolorist who taught workshops at SCC. Now Francie loves being a Guide at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, and she co-chairs Stanford Alumni Club of Sonoma County.
Bobbie and her husband, Pat, have been residents of Sonoma since 1999. Bobbie manages the Compliance Department for Bank of Marin, a community bank headquartered in Novato. She is also the Community Reinvestment Act and Privacy Officer for the Bank and is focused on helping the bank actively serve the communities in which it does business. She was a Bank regulator in Washington DC for many years and was thrilled to move to California in 1997. Bobbie has been on the Sonoma Community Center Board since August 2017. Previously she was on the Sonoma Health Center Board. Bobbie loves spending time in Sonoma. She is an avid cyclist, loves yoga, book group, farmers market, making homemade wine and is eager to participate in arts programs at the Center.
Lynn is a California native, born in Glendale, and raised in Los Altos. She studied medical assisting at DeAnza College and worked in that field for two years before moving to Chicago to start her career as a flight attendant for United Airlines. She was based in Chicago, San Francisco, Paris, and Los Angeles (commuting from San Francisco) before retiring after 27 years. She especially enjoyed international flying. Lynn met her husband in 1997 and moved from San Francisco to Glen Ellen in 1999. In 2011, she began to volunteer for various local non-profits, including Vintage House, WillMar Center, Sonoma Valley Holiday Program and Plein Air (serving as an artist assistant). Lynn became involved with the Sonoma Community Center in the summer of 2017 by volunteering for the Muse Committee, and joined the Board in October 2017. Lynn enjoys traveling, entertaining, hiking, gardening, painting (walls, furniture, & pictures), crafting, and decorating.
A Napa native, Chay went to college in Lugano, Switzerland during which he opened a bar at 20 years of age and lived in Buenos Aires for 2 years teaching business executives English. After an 8 year career as Director of Sales for an outdoor luggage company Chay moved to Sonoma and got his first taste of working in the non-profit sector. Since 2010 Chay has been an integral part of the Sonoma International Film Festival, a non-profit organization supporting the local kids, arts and community. He oversees all food, beverage, entertainment, events and the 12,000 sqft Backlot Hospitality tent as well as contributes to sponsorship sales, marketing and social media. In his spare time he’s a chef for his own catering company Touché Mobile Chefs, works at a new luxury resort in Napa Valley to hone and sharpen his hospitality skills and MC’s for Grapes and Games (a local grape stomp event company).
Born and raised in Lexington, KY. Moved to Sonoma in 1998. My background is in Social Work and Human Resources; my career has been in supporting non-profits working with at-risk children and animal welfare. I am now a volunteer with the Community Center, Pets Lifeline and Compassion Without Borders. Joys: anything that gets me outside in nature; animals; spending time with friends; and the Giants!
Robert has been a resident of Sonoma since 1999. He is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and earned an MBA from
George Washington University Bob moved here following a 35 year career in Hospital Management as CEO of some of the largest health systems in the country. Bob and his partner, Mark Sipes, initially owned and operated The Inn at Cedar Mansion, a Sonoma Bed and Breakfast. In 2004 Bob took on the position as CEO of Sonoma Valley Hospital where he became intricately involved with the workings of The La Luz Center. He has been a member of the La Luz Board for 12 years serving In a number of capacities and a Board member of the Sonoma Community Center for two years. He looks forward to contributing to the needs of our community and that of Sonoma Valley.
Peter Drake has served on over 15 non-profit boards and advisory groups, most recently for the Grace Cathedral, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, and TurnOut. He owned a consulting firm serving non-profit board and staff leadership for many years, and founded the COIL Foundation. Peter attended Stanford for his BA and MBA, and had previous careers in Banking and Real Estate development. He has two adult children, and lives with his husband Jared in Sonoma, where he has maintained a home or vineyard operations for over 25 years.
We mourn the passing of our friend and fellow Board Member, Marcie Waldron. Marcie had served as a Board Member for many years and we are thankful for her outstanding leadership, friendship, guidance and wisdom. She will be greatly missed by our Sonoma Community Center family, as well as the entire Sonoma community. We are especially thankful for the passion and creativity that Marcie brought to the Sonoma Community Center during her years on the Board.