ELEVATING HUMAN ABILITIES SINCE 1967

Awards & Recognitions

40 Under Forty

2019: Becoming Independent’s Social Enterprise Director, JayJay Rico, was selected to be in North Bay Business Journals’ 40 Under Forty for his stewardship of the new Social Enterprise Division.

2016: Becoming Independent’s Chief Executive Officer, Luana Vaetoe, was selected to be in North Bay Business Journals’ 40 Under Forty for her outstanding leadership.

Nonprofit Leadership Award

2019: Becoming Independent’s key supporters, Jim & Colleen Galvin, were selected as two of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Leaders in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

2018: Becoming Independent’s Vice President and Treasurer, Matthew Welty, was selected as one of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Leaders in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

2017: Becoming Independent’s Past Board President and Board Member, Ken & Sharon Maiolini, were selected as two of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Leaders in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

2015: Becoming Independent’s Chief Executive Officer, Luana Vaetoe, was selected as one of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Leaders in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

2014: Becoming Independent’s Board President, Bonnie Burrell, was selected as one of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Leaders in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

North Bay’s Best Places to Work

2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2011, 2010 & 2009: Becoming Independent was selected as one of the best places to work by the North Bay Business Journal. A decade & counting!

Healthiest Company

2016: Becoming Independent was selected as one of the Healthiest Companies in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

Top Ranked Nonprofit Organization

2013: Becoming Independent was selected as one of the Top Ranked Nonprofit Organizations in Sonoma County by the North Bay Business Journal.

Community Hero Award – Nonprofit Community Service

2019: The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber and Poppy Bank presented Becoming Independent with their first ever Community Hero Award for Nonprofit Community Service.  BI was elected by the community with over 300 votes, and was honored for supporting the community through volunteerism and for providing top notch services.

Business of the Year

2014 & 2013: BI was awarded by the Santa Rosa Metro Chamber’s Young Professional Network (YPN) ‘Business of the Year’!  BI was honored for our commitment and dedication to supporting young professionals in the workplace and the community!

CARF Accreditation

2018, 2015, 2012 & 2009: CARF announced that BI received accreditation for a period of 3 years for Employment Services. CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) is an independent, national non-profit accrediting body whose mission is “to promote the quality, value, and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process that centers on enhancing the lives of the persons served.”

Pete Peterka Emergency Management Award

2015: BI was selected by the County of Sonoma to receive the Pete Peterka Emergency Management Award from Sonoma County Fire & Emergency Services. This award was given in recognition of BI’s disaster preparedness efforts throughout 2014-2015.

Sonoma Valley Star

For some years Becoming Independent honored a Sonoma Valley Star Volunteer through the Sonoma Valley Fund, an affiliate of Community Foundation Sonoma County. The past recipients are:
2015: Eric Gullotta                             2013: Jim Lynch                               2011: Kathy Benziger
2014: Molly Fedorchak                      2012: Jeanette Evans                      2010: Eileen Adams

Nonprofit of the Year

2011: North Bay Biz magazine named Becoming Independent as ‘Nonprofit of the Year.’

Certified Green Business

2011: Becoming Independent was certified as an environmentally friendly business by the Sonoma Green Business Program.

e·co·xist Award of Excellence

2011: Becoming Independent was selected as the 2011 winner of the e·co·exist Award of Excellence. BI was selected for its efforts to “help people compassionately co-exist with each other and the planet” with “passion, dedication and results.”

Healthy Business Leader Award

2010: The Northern California Center for Well Being named Becoming Independent as the healthy business leader of the year. Our wellness programs have resulted in a $54,000 savings in BI’s Kaiser premiums.

Jefferson Award

2009: Becoming Independent was selected as one of only five winners of the 2009 Jefferson Awards for Sonoma County. The Board of Supervisors chose BI for “excellence in community leadership and civic engagement.”

Certificate of Appreciation

2009: City of Healdsburg presented a plaque of appreciation to BI for many years of service in keeping the parks and city square clean. This was presented at the City Council meeting in HBG.