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  • 2016 Businesses of the Year

    January 18, 2017


    Novato, CA (12/19/2016) The Novato Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Novato’s 2016 Businesses of the Year. Business are chosen based on their contributions to the community in three key areas—economic contribution, community involvement/leadership and model business practices. We are pleased to announce the 2016 Novato Businesses of the Year.



    Novato, CA (12/19/2016) Valley Oak Wealth Management (VOWM) exceeds strongly in all of the assets one looks for in a Small Business of the Year. Their extensive dedication to their clients and their employees, also extends to the Valley Oak Wealth Management team that has committed their time, personal contributions and efforts to improving the local and regional communities.

    Collectively the employees of VOWM have logged thousands of hours towards community organizations. Along with extensive dedication to the Novato Chamber of Commerce, including its Leadership Novato Program, VOWM, has also volunteered with the Novato Historical Guild and Museum. They have actively participated with Novato’s “adopt and island” program in an effort to beautify the roads along Mill Road and Vineyard Avenue to help make Novato a more beautiful place.

    Even after the business has closed up shop for the evening the folks at VOWM are not finished. Their ongoing work with the Novato Human Needs Center, the Novato Youth Center and with Gilead House, a shelter for single women and their children, attests to this company’s dedication to their fellow citizen.
    Their dedication to excellence and local community extends beyond their doorstep. They have earned the recognition of the Chairman’s Club award for the past fourteen years for their outstanding service—a distinction that is awarded to only the top 6% of Financial Advisors nationwide. The folks at VOWM made strides to grow their business and brand locally which in turn creates strong, local, high paying jobs here in Novato.

    Valley Oak Wealth Management and its dedication to the local economy has made it a pillar for the local economic community. They have grown within the community over the course of several years, serving over 250 households from their office near Downtown Novato. They’re dedicated to service this community and have also begun the process of expanding their business to include a subsidiary Tax Advantage and Planning service. Their ongoing growth, dedication to the local economy and the economic contribution to Novato’s economics cannot be understated.

    As a business, their books attest to their success, but as an employer the dedication of their staff speaks volumes to their generosity. Their extensive benefits and advantageous employee financial packages are to be celebrated and recognized. VOWM makes everyone who walks through door feel like part of the family—staff and clients alike. They offer a service that doesn’t come from business cards or branding or anything you can put into your wallet. They offer honesty integrity and sincerity to their product, their service and their community. We are pleased to announce and recognize the folks at Valley Oak Wealth Management as Novato’s 2016 Small Business of the Year.



    Novato, CA (12/19/2016)Consider a company founded on the principle that ‘every life matters’ and pair that with a drive to create a better world for everyone and you have got Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. (Ultragenyx). Their work to improve this world in which we all live starts at its grassroots doorstep here in Novato through their charitable work and economic growth and extends far beyond the borders of this county, state and country. Their work in life altering cures goes on to give a priceless commodity to untold numbers of families. This commodity is not measured in dollars or investment bonds, it is not even measured in annual growth. It’s measured by the glimmer in a young child’s eyes when they hear that they may have a chance at a life, it’s measured in laughs, birthdays, smiles and hugs that were never promised—Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.’s success is measured in hope.

    Ultragenyx focuses its research on rare genetic diseases and offers hope to untold counts of patients. Their team of researchers, clinical engineers and staff work to bring effective therapies to market for the wellbeing of patients worldwide. Their work in rare genetic diseases speaks to their efforts to give every last person hope and drive to push on. Their extensive portfolio of
    Therapies have already extended the quality of life to a large population of people in need internationally.
    As the company grows, their local contribution to the economy has also become noticeable. On top of direct investment in community programs and organizations, the folks of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. have built lives for themselves and their families here in the North Bay, contributing the economic investment that Ultragenyx has on Novato. Over the course of a few years, Ultragenyx has grown in Novato from a few dozen employees to hundreds—all contributing to the local economy of the region. Their steadfast dedication to the local region has been felt throughout the community in every asset.

    Their efforts, while global also touch their backyard home of Novato. Dedicated to the local community that has in-turn served as an incubator for the biomedical industry, the folks of Ultragenyx have worked to give back at every turn. They have donated monetary contributions to community festivals and sponsored major community events throughout the calendar year in Novato and throughout Marin County. They have worked closely with groups like Gilead House, Ritter House Toy Drives, and the Marin Food Bank and have supported community organizations in both monetary and volunteer donations.

    Throughout its ranks the people at Ultragenyx practices the noble traditions that their company has set forth. Employees have dedicated their own personal time and hours to bettering the local community. Even the CEO of Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., Emil Kakkis M.D.,Ph.D, continues to push to accelerating biotech research for rare genetic diseases by founding the Every Life Foundation/. His work with EveryLife and the Power to Soar foundations help give the people in need for these “orphan” drugs a voice and hope that they would otherwise never have. Ultragenyx changes the lives of countless of needy people in their very existence and mission as a company, offering hope and tangible results.

    Their work in orphan drugs has been fostered in this amazing community and their economic growth and contributions to the local region has been felt in many aspects. Work in the biotech industry can be particularly abrasive on employee morale, energy and efficiency. In recognition of their employee’s amazing work and skills the company offers a strong and progressive set of programs that are some of the best in the industry. Along with a generous reward system for employees, the company gives each hire a stock in the company’ portfolio making their dedication to the team tangible and effective. Flexibly working conditions and hours also give make this company a competitive employer in a fast-growing, competitive global industry.
    In a global market, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc. has found a niche and made Novato their home. As the company grows, expands its portfolio and pipelines of research, the community here in the North Bay and global community at large can only anticipate more of what has been delivered thus far by Ultragenyx—hope, results and upstanding corporate and humanistic character. The Novato Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 2016 Large Business of the Year, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc.

    If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Theodore Madias at 415.897.1164 or email at PR@novatochamber.com.
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    please note: this information is not for public distribution until after the Novato Chamber of Commerce Board Installation, Volunteer Recognition and Awards Dinner on January 12, 2017. Please do not distribute this information until then, thank you.



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