San Anselmo Merchant Update

The San Anselmo 2016 Merchant Survey is in full swing.  If you’re a merchant, landlord or other stakeholder you can take the survey here.

We’ve already gotten about 60 completed surveys and there is approximately one more month to collect responses. I’ve spoken with some of the respondents and there is genuine excitement about the outreach by the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee (EDC) and the upcoming consumer survey.  We’ve already received  some very valuable questions to integrate into the consumer survey. The completed surveys also suggest there is a strong desire to remain in regular contact with the EDC.

It will be an interesting puzzle to determine how EDC will communicate with the community in the future. One of the challenges I’ve found since moving to San Anselmo is the difficulty in communicating with various stakeholders.  Whether it’s between the town and residents, the school with parents or  businesses to consumers,  it is very difficult to find an efficient communication channel with an appropriate signal-to-noise-ratio.

One of the most effective methods communication tools  I’ve seen so far is the Marin Power Yoga Facebook Group. Amy and  Jamie (the co-founders) and the other teachers, do an exemplary job of communicating with the members and soliciting feedback from the membership about current programs and new offerings. They also highlight other local merchants.   There’s always a concern about Facebook lock-in, but Marin Power Yoga is a very interesting use case to ponder as the EDC decides how to best communicate with the the community

San Anselmo Business Outlook Survey

The San Anselmo Economic Development Committee (EDC) is currently distributing The San Anselmo Business Outlook Survey.

The survey, which can be found at, will give the EDC the opportunity to hear the opinions and ideas of our business community.

The EDC is using three distinct channels to distribute the survey:

  1. A mailing to all businesses in San Anselmo
  2. The San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce is alerting all of its members
  3. The members of the EDC are personally visiting each business and dropping off postcards with the website of the survey.

I haven’t had an opportunity to distribute my allotment of postcards yet, my troubled right meniscus has kept me on the sidelines, but I’m ready to jump into the fray tomorrow.

Earlier today, on my way to pick up the postcards, I spoke with four different merchants on San Anselmo Avenue. Of the four merchants:

  1. Three of the merchants had received the postcard mailing and one had already filled out the online survey.
  2. One merchant was curious about the cost and wondered why the committee hadn’t simply distributed the survey by hand.  I explained that Town Staff,  with input of the EDC had prepared the survey and no additional costs had been borne by the town to compose the survey.  I also pointed out that that members of the committee had volunteered their time (including the wife of Council member and EDC Council Liaison John Wright), to distribute the survey.  Finally, I noted that not all owners are at their shops at all times and an online survey is the most effective way to reach a large number of potential respondents.
  3. The merchant that hadn’t gotten the mailing was curious and suggested that I stop back when I had picked up my postcards.

I’m very excited to begin distributing the postcards and await the merchant responses with bated breath.



Amphora Nueva : San Anselmo Olive Oil Works Ribbon Cutting

2016-03-17 18.01.51Economic Development can take many forms and shapes.  Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the  Official Ribbon Cutting for Amphora Nueva : San Anselmo Olive Oil organized by the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce.  It was a wonderful event with fused and infused olive oils (of course) and aged balsamic vinegars accompanied by delicious food prepared by Gil.

The event was well attended by members of the San Anselmo community. Among the attendees were Chamber president Connie Rogers, Town Manager Debbie Stutsman, real estate agent Kris Kelson and many others.

Amphora Nueva is exactly the type of business that San Anselmo hopes to attract, support and retain.  Claire and Gil (the owners) are visionary and bold entrepreneurs whose success is rooted in hard work and integrity.  I look forward to their continued presence and success in San Anselmo.

The Recent Frontliners Luncheon Forum

I recently had a wonderful chat with Cynthia Murray of the North Bay Leadership Council. At her invitation, I participated in the recent Frontliners Luncheon Forum hosted by the North Bay Leadership Council.  The general topic was about social media and the attendees were social media mavens from Marin and Sonoma Counties.

Brent Ainsworth the Public Information Officer of Marin County brought up the challenges of reaching the residents of Marin County.  Marin’s demographics (age and education) pose some interesting hurdles in outreach efforts to have conversations with the public.

There are various channels: the Marinij, Twitter, Facebook and Nextdoor.  I noted that during the recent flood referendum a lot of conversation (or screeching) took place on Nextdoor because it seemed like there wasn’t any other space that met the conversation needs of our residents. I’m looking forward to working with the EDC to craft an effective and efficient outreach plan for our consumer survey.


Ross Valley Crossfit Presentation to the San Anselmo Economic Development Committee

Nick Pommier of Ross Valley Crossfit gave an excellent presentation at this morning’s San Anselmo Economic Committee meeting.  His recent “You Snatched My Heart” event engaged the other local merchants on Greenfield Avenue while drawing participants from all over Northern California.  He produced the event with minimal support from the town, only involving staff to close a portion of Greenfield Avenue on the day of the event.  Great job Nick, thanks again for taking time out of your coaching schedule to speak with the committee.  What a great example of entreprenurial spirit in San Anselmo!!

San Anselmo Merchant Survey

Online-Survey-Icon-or-logo-800pxHad a great meeting today with Debbie, Dave and Elise.  We finalized a draft of the San Anselmo Merchant Survey.  We’ll present the draft survey for final approval at the next San Anselmo Economic Development Committee (EDC) meeting on Tuesday March 8th.

We plan to use Survey Monkey to collect responses.  The EDC members will hand deliver a postcard with a QR code and the Town will simultaneously mail the postcards.

The four of us are extremely excited to present the survey to the rest of the EDC and finalize our plans for distribution.

Delivering the Promise of Precision Medicine


Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the “Delivering the Promise of Precision Medicine” conference sponsored by the Bay Area Council in conjunction with Genentech and Oracle.  The conference was great!! I have much deeper understanding of precision medicine from a variety of perspectives. I also came away with a much better understanding of the relationship between population health and precision medicine.

I left the conference with some strong takeaways:


  • How precision medicine might ultimately provide the supporting framework for successful population health program.  
  • The possibilities and potential roadblocks for precision medicine in changing the drug industry and ultimately affecting people’s health status.
  • How payers such as Blue Shield of California view precision medicine.
  • There seemed to be an overwhelming sense that the development of precision medicine could ultimately lower costs in the U.S. Healthcare system.  Dr. Michael Seiden provocatively suggested that precision medicine may be more like airbags than stagecoaches.  His point was that cars replaced stagecoaches, airbags simply increased the coast (and safety) of cars.  He also pointed out that none of the market participants in the healthcare space ever suggest that the companies and by extension, size and revenue are going to shrink.  So where are the cost savings going to come from?


The highlight of the conference may have been the admission by conference organizer and President of the Bay Area Council, Micah Weinberg that he is a fan of the The Smiths.