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Mill Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael St. John Receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Volunteer Search and Rescue

January 27, 2020

On Thursday, January 9, 2020, 600 community leaders, volunteers, elected officials, and business members gathered at the Marin Center Exhibit Hall for the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) Awards Ceremony honoring the recipients of the 27th Annual Heart of Marin™ Awards.

“Every year we look forward to producing this event of appreciation and gratitude,” Linda Jacobs, CEO of CVNL said. “With contributions of their time, talent, and resources, the individuals and organizations nominated for the Heart of Marin awards demonstrate over and over again that Marin is a community of great leaders that do the right thing.”

Mill Valley Fire Department Battalion Chief Michael St. John received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a long-time unit leader with Marin County Search and Rescue. Battalion Chief St. John started his fire service career in 1985. At 16, he joined the Marin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit. His legacy includes authoring the state training curriculum for child abduction cases, guidelines for Incident Support Management, Urban Search and Rescue, as well as Technical Rope Rescue for the State’s Law Enforcement Mutual Aid plans. He helped establish affiliation with the Mountain Rescue Association, a designation that allows Marin to respond to searches in the state. Battalion Chief St. John also serves as a mentor for youth who train and search alongside adults.

“Volunteer search and rescue is a team effort and this award also represents years of hard work of my teammates and partners in other agencies and SAR teams who all join together to train and respond to often complex incidents” St. John said. “We could not have the successful SAR program we enjoy without the support of Sheriff Robert Doyle and his command staff. I would like to thank Molly Williams for nominating me and my wife, Holly St. John, for all of the support over the last decade.”

Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership (CVNL) and Volunteer Center of Sonoma County (VCSC) joined forces on July 10, 2019 to better meet the growing needs of nonprofits in Northern California. For over 50 years, CVNL and VCSC have advanced nonprofits and volunteerism by strengthening leadership, encouraging innovation, and empowering individuals in their communities. Their focus is to work with aspiring and established leaders every day to help them build the skills and connections that can take their impact to the next level, including training, executive search, customized consulting solutions, volunteer matching, and corporate engagement. CVNL also provides disaster preparedness training and serve as an Emergency Volunteer Center (EVC), overseeing spontaneous volunteers and donations for Napa, Marin, and Sonoma Counties in the aftermath of a disaster.