HWCswanTwo new initiatives in Sonoma have been honored by the National Association of Counties (NACo) as innovative county programs. The Healdsburg Water Carnival and the iWORKwell program were both selected to receive 2012 NACo Achievement Award; they will be honored during the NACo's 78th Annual Conference and Exposition in Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on July 15th

"Both of our award-winning efforts reflect our County's ongoing commitment to new and better ways of serving the community," said Board of Supervisors Chair Shirlee Zane. " One initiative involved building partnerships to raise funds for our parks. The County was also recognized for supporting private employers who invest in their employees through strengthened work place wellness programs."

water carnival swanThe Healdsburg Water Carnival -- Sonoma County Regional Parks has operated Healdsburg Veterans Memorial Beach Park, a lifeguarded swimming area on the Russian River, since the mid-1960s. Funding to construct the seasonal dam for this attraction was partially eliminated for the summer of 2011, due to budgetary reductions. In the summer of 2010, Regional Parks began collaborating with Healdsburg City Council members and administrative staff to identity new funding opportunities for the annual dam construction, repairs, programs and events that could increase park use. Regional Parks and its nonprofit Foundation developed a strategy to create or attract several large, revenue-generating events and to update the park with a makeover and new programs. The result was the revival of the Healdsburg Water Carnival which was a success and raised over $22,000 in new funds to support the facility. Not only did this which exceeded the fund raising goal by 10%, the Beach received over 10,000 new visitors in 2011.

Supervisor Mike McGuire was an early champion of the new Water Carnival. "The Water Carnival is part of Healdsburg's history, and thanks to the generous support we received last summer, the Carnival will be part of this community's future for years to come, " he said. " This year's event will be bigger and better than ever and we are deeply honored to be recognized by the National Association of Counties. Come on out and support Sonoma County's favorite swimming hole on July 14th!"

iWORKwell logoiWorkwell – The Sonoma County iWORKwell Recognition Program is a voluntary certification program that recognizes private employers for developing and implementing exceptional employee wellness programs. Employers are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold classification based on the breadth and depth of their employee wellness initiatives. Interested employers can download an application here
Economic Development Board Chair, Pam Chanter commented, "the iWORKwell program reflects forward thinking and we see clearly local businesses responding. We have small and large businesses that are for profit and non-profit stepping up and helping improve the health and well being of their workforce."

NACOThe NACo Achievement Award program recognizes counties for improving the management of and services provided by county government. Programs are submitted from across the nation and Sonoma County is one of only eight California Counties to be recognized this year. Sonoma County programs have won NACo recognition each year since 2009.

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