Anne Marie Przyblyski experienced this year’s Tour of California bicycle race from the coolest perspective.
Anne Marie, a self-employed events planner and the newest member of the board of the Leadership Santa Rosa Alumni Association, submitted the bid that won her and her husband, John, seats in a pace car that clung to the leaders every inch of the way from Davis to Santa Rosa.
What a rush. Anne Marie says that being in LSR Class 21 was the same sort of ride, the payoff being a rare, close-up view of the workings of her community. “You drive by things every day that you just don’t know anything about in Sonoma County,” said Anne Marie, who grew up in Oxnard and Ukiah, and came here to attend SSU.
“I walked through every (LSR) day wanting to know more that area,” she said. “I made lifelong friends and learned in infinite amount about this community. Sometimes I wish I could do it again. It was transforming.”
Anne Marie’s objectives on the LSRAA board include spreading word of the wonders of LSR, and introducing recent LSR grads to the enduring benefits of membership in the Alumni Association.
She thanks Mary Kennedy, the former coordinator of LSR, for encouraging her – many times – to apply for the program a few years back. The two of them had worked together on the Rose Parade, one of many events Ann Marie has assisted through her company, AM Communication.
Another of her projects was the fabulously popular – ultimately too popular – Fourth of July Pillow Fights in Kenwood. “I did the very last one, the 40th year,” she said. The Kenwood firefighters who sponsored the hilarious mud-fest came to accept that it simply had outgrown their village.
Anne Marie worked as a Kaiser Permanente lab assistant while she studied communications at Sonoma State. She was tempted to join the news media but decided she was more drawn to opportunities in public relations. Fresh from college, she was hired on in the PR department at Kendall-Jackson. She worked there three years, then launched her on events and PR firm, specializing in non-profit events.
She’s watched the current recession take a deep bite into community organizations that rely on annual fund-raising dinners, auctions and such. “This year, I can’t tell you how many events have been canceled,” she said. As she anticipates an economic recovery, she’s immersing herself in the LSRAA Alumni board and feeling grateful for blessing that include living in Sonoma County and being able to work at home in Sebastopol and not roam very far from her toddler, Mila.