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Six prominent Sonoma County philanthropists join deal

  • Joan and Sandy Weill donated $12 million to the Green Music Center on the SSU campus to complete the Joan and Sanford J. Weill Hall.

Six prominent Sonoma County philanthropists stand behind the principals of Sonoma Media Investments. They are:

; Bill Jasper: President of audio-tech firm Dolby Laboratories from 1983 to 2009 and CEO from 1979 to March 2009. He earned $1.6 million in his final year with the company, according to Forbes magazine. He joined the company in 1979 and helped take it public in 2005.

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He received a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from UC Berkeley.

In 2006, he told the New York Stock Exchange magazine that he was an avid clarinetist who performs with other members of San Francisco's Bohemian Club, a private men's club that holds an annual retreat at the Bohemian Grove in Monte Rio.

; Gary Nelson: Founder and retired chairman of Nelson Family of Companies, a staffing and recruiting firm that opened in Sonoma in 1970. The company had sales of $435 million in 2011, when it was the 44th-largest staffing company in the country.

The company this year sold a controlling interest in its largest division, WorkforceLogic, which delivered employee management software. The price was not disclosed.

The Nelson companies have about 175 employees; 75 are based in Sonoma.

Nelson and his wife, Marcia, who live in Sonoma, oversee the Nelson Community Care Fund and Endowment and this year gave $3 million toward the construction of Sonoma Valley Hospital emergency center.

; Norma Person: President of the Ernest L. and Ruth W. Finley Foundation, which has jump-started and supported institutions, including Santa Rosa's Finley Community Center, Redwood Empire Food Bank, Sonoma State University and Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.


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