Six prominent Sonoma County philanthropists join deal
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.
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.
Person, who lives in Santa Rosa, is the widow of Evert Person, a leader in post-World War II Sonoma County and former publisher of The Press Democrat. He sold the newspaper to the New York Times Co. in 1985.
Her involvement in The Press Democrat purchase brings the deal a circular historical element. The Finley Foundation is named for Ernest Latimer Finley and his wife, Ruth. In 1895, Finley started the Evening Press newspaper and in 1897 he bought the Sonoma Democrat newspaper, creating The Press Democrat.
; Jean Schulz: Schulz's late husband, Charles Schulz, created the "Peanuts" comic strip. Her philanthropic ventures have included SSU's high-tech Schulz Information Center, considered one of the state's top academic libraries.
She has thrown her support to the Green Music Center, the Sonoma Land Trust, the Council on Aging and Canine Companions.
Schulz, who has served as a volunteer with a range of organizations, also co-founded the Community Foundation of Sonoma County in 1983. The foundation manages hundreds of endowed charitable funds aimed at supporting area causes. She is chairwoman of the board of Charles Schulz Creative Associates and president of the board of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.
Schulz lives in Santa Rosa.
; Les Vadasz: A native of Hungary who was educated as an engineer at McGill University in Canada. He left Fairchild Semiconductor in 1968 to help found Intel Corp., now the world's largest semiconductor chip maker.
He retired in 2003 as Intel's executive vice president. A former board member of the company, he also was the founder and president of its investment unit, Intel Capital. In 2001, he was paid $275,000 in salary and $468,600 in bonuses, according to federal documents.