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NCOC names Biz's of Year

Novato's community bank of national recognition; a leader in U.S. equity asset management firms; and a bi-coastal real estate corporation innovating green technology at Hamilton - these are the business leaders of 2011. Circle Bank, Large Business of 2011; Hennessy Funds, Small Business of 2011 and Barker Pacific Group (BPG) Green Business of 2011, respectively, were honored Jan. 13 at the Novato Chamber of Commerce Board Installation Luncheon.

"These nominated businesses exemplify and demonstrate strong qualities of community leadership, outstanding economic contributions and social consciousness," said NCOC CEO Coy Smith. "The scope and influence of these leading businesses extend well beyond Novato boundaries to remind us all of the regional, national and even global potential to influence in positive ways. The Chamber is very pleased to recognize Circle Bank, Hennessy Funds and BPG as this year's honorees."

Circle Bank – Large Business of 2011

As construction moves forward on the corporate headquarters for Novato-based Circle Bank at 999 Grant Avenue, the impact of Circle Bank is felt in youth, housing and service organizations throughout its hometown. Support from privately-owned Circle Bank, its President/CEO Kim Kaselionis and 76 employees (50 Novato-based) include Women's Initiative, Homeward Bound/Next Key, Novato Fire Foundation Fire Squirts and Novato Rotary Club to Novato Youth Center, School Fuel and Paint the Town Red, Novato's annual birthday celebration.

Hennessy Funds – Small Business of 2011

Small in terms of employees, Hennessy Funds, founded and owned by Neil Hennessy, is big in its support of more than 27 Novato-based organizations dedicated to youth, sports, women, the arts, cancer cures and more.

Hennessy's employees volunteer to their time to local organizations, including John Fahy, Terry Nilsen and Brian Peery; Lauren Puliafico, Terry Nilsen, Tania Kelly, Ana Miner and Dan Steadman.

Neil Hennessy is extensively involved in capital raising for the Okizu Foundation, an organization providing support and services to families living with childhood cancer. Operated by fellow-Novato resident John Bell, Okizu is committed to support of the oncology, sibling, family, bereavement and TNT programs in collaboration with pediatric oncology centers throughout No. California.

For more about Hennessy Funds, go to:

Barker Pacific Group – Green Business of 2011

While BPG might not be as well known in Novato as other businesses, its real estate development reach is extensive, including the 465,000 square foot Class-A office redevelopment of Hamilton Landing and its Rowland Plaza office and retail complex encompassing 160,000 square feet. In 2011 alone, BPG completed projects reducing property energy consumption by 1.2 million kilowatt hours. Equivalent to powering 70 homes annually, these efforts offset 740,000 pounds of CO2. This earned to company $267,000 in PG&E incentives.

For more about BPG, go to



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