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Department of Emergency Management

Department of Emergency Management Programs

Louis "Pete" Peterka Emergency Management Award

Department of Emergency Management Sonoma County 750

The Department of Emergency Management annually honors an individual, group, or program for their outstanding commitment to emergency management by presenting the Louis “Pete” Peterka Award at the December meeting of the Emergency Coordinators Forum.

The award is named after the grandfather of emergency management in Sonoma County, Pete Peterka. He led what was then known as the Sonoma County Office of Emergency Services from 1977 to 1985. Pete is a legend in the field of emergency management and recognized as one of the pioneers instrumental in turning moribund local civil defense programs into functional, multi-hazard plans and response.

The efforts of all these individuals have significantly advanced emergency management in the Sonoma Operational Area.

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For their outstanding commitment to emergency management in the Sonoma County Operational Area:


Sea Ranch

Sea Ranch is unique in Sonoma County. Few communities of this size are as isolated as they are, and the potential for being isolated for a prolonged period of time is high. To be ready for this, the community organized 131 volunteers and established two emergency storage units for shelter and medicine. The organization has established procedures to rapidly assess damage to their community and a process for reacting as a community to disasters. Their unique geography has inspired this organization to look inward and develop people, policies and procedures to keep this community safe.

Sea Ranch group


Resilient Cloverdale

Resilient CloverdaleIn January 2020, the civic leadership of Cloverdale launched the Resilient Cloverdale Initiative to guide the City's resilience investments in mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery as a result of lessons learned from the 2019 Kincade Fire. Planning committees composed of local, county, state, agencies, organizations, civic networks, and individuals were tasked with crafting a comprehensive strategy on how to increase the capacity of local stakeholder organizations to work together as well as address important equity and access goals moving forward. The primary mission was to convert the lessons learned from the Kincaid Fire into goals and objectives that would be memorialized in a Resilience Action Plan (RAP). Led by both Executive and Community Steering Committees, the process was designed to be as inclusive and transparent as possible to ensure the highest level of buy-in on the plan's goals and objectives and their implementation. The Resilient Cloverdale Initiative is managed by a cohort of leads from various stakeholder groups and is facilitated by a program manager (Becky Ennis). The cohort manages the resilience action plan's development via various working groups' activities. Since 2020, the Resilient Cloverdale Community, consisting of nonprofits, civic networks, faith-based organizations, government agencies, small businesses, and volunteers, has worked tirelessly to implement a disaster resilience strategy that advances the readiness and response capacity of the community at large.

Resilient Cloverdale is a model organization for other communities to emulate to better prepare for disaster resiliency.


Michael "Mike" Humphrey, Chair, Access and Functional Needs Subcommittee

Michael "Mike" Humphrey, Chair, Access and Functional Needs Subcommittee

Following the 2017 wildfires the County undertook a major overhaul of the emergency management structure and took a special interest in focusing on the needs for a robust Access and Functional Needs component of the Emergency Operations Center, which required a strong and capable leader able to keep the emergency community focused on AFN issues. Michael "Mike" Humphrey eagerly took up that role and in that capacity chaired he AFN Subcommittee for four years, revitalizing it and maintaining it as an active forum for raising AFN issues. Mike functioned in the Emergency Operations Center during multiple disasters from the Kincade Fire forward, providing an important voice to the underserved of the community and helped developed key techniques for caring for AFN populations, leveraging his full-time role as the County In Home Support Services Coordinator. Mike continued in his role diligently until health issues forced him to step down prior to his passing in 2022. Mike left a firm impression on all who served with him and he left the emergency management field better than he found it thanks to his passion and his drive.


COPE Northern Sonoma County (Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies)

COPE logoCOPE has developed into a powerhouse grass roots organization. It has grown from a handful of interested people to more than 40 COPE communities in Northern Sonoma County (approximately 20,000+ community members participating). The organization works to develop emergency preparedness and mitigation in their neighborhoods, recognizing the need for neighbors to be networked and knowledgeable to remain safe in a disaster. The organization is built on the idea of neighbor helping neighbor. 


Sergeant Greg Stachyn, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff's badgeSergeant Greg Stachyn received a Pete Peterka Award for his work in developing a static evacuation map for the county. This map was rolled out, while in draft form, during the LNU Complex Fire.

The City of Petaluma

Petaluma logoThe City of Petaluma was also awarded a Pete Peterka Award for their commitment to standing up shelters during fires in Sonoma County. They have sheltered thousands of residents from throughout the county in the last few years.


City of Sonoma

Sonoma City Manager Cathy Capriola, Jim Comisky, Battalion Chief, and Jeff DuvAll City of Sonoma received the Pete Peterka Award, which was accepted by Sonoma City Manager Cathy Capriola and Jim Comisky, Battalion Chief for Sonoma Valley Fire and Rescue authority, Also pictured, Jeff DuVall, Deputy Director Sonoma County Department of Emergency Management.


Sonoma County Permit & Resources Management – Permit Sonoma 


National Weather Service, Monterey Office


Dennis Smiley, Detective Sergeant, Sonoma County Sheriff's Office


Becoming Independent serving Sonoma, Napa and Solano Counties


Sonoma County General Services Department, Gene Clark, Ed Buonoccorsi, David Worthington, Fleet Operations


Redwood Empire Schools Insurance Group, Loss Prevention Division, Erin Tarkanian, Christine Dektor, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Clint Shubel, Shawn Murphy, Rod McMasters, Jesse Hanshew, Jennifer Abrao, Charity Koch, Sonoma County Office of Education, Lynn Garric

2013 Peterka Award


Mark Netherda, M.D., Deputy Public Health Officer, Sonoma County Health Services


John Zanzi, Fire Chief, Sebastopol

2011 Peterka Award


Kaiser Medical Center, Santa Rosa, Gabe Kearney, Marin/Sonoma Service Area Emergency Preparedness Coordinator


Robert Stewart, Police Chief, Cotati

2009 Peterka Award


Bill Adams, County Counsel, Sonoma County


Santa Rosa Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies (COPE), Paul Hess, Emergency Coordinator, City of Santa Rosa

2007 Peterka Award


Ed Buonaccorsi, Director of Facilities, Santa Rosa

2006 Peterka Award


Dave Kroenberg, Director, Sonoma County General Services

2005 Peterka Award


Sonoma County Division of Public Health, Leigh Hall, M.D., Chris Love, Marry Miller


Chris Thomas, Department Analyst, Sonoma County


Ron Alves, Alves & Associates, Jim Baker, Baker & Associates, Kevin Marks, Alves & Associates

2002 Peterka Award


Roger Sigtermans, Administration Officer, Auxiliary Communications Service (ACS)


Sandy Stoddard, Disaster Coordinator, Sonoma County Red Cross


Jeannie Goobanoff, Loss Prevention Manager, Redwood Empire Schools Insurance Group (RESIG)


Gary Guignan, Fire Chief, Forestville


Terry Krout, Fire Chief, Petaluma