By Maggie Hohle –

Nancy Sands Johnson’s family accounts for one percent of the population of Marshall, CA. No wonder, as her first child turned 11 and her second, nine, she was feeling a little alone.

She’d originally arranged for a career in the classroom, but when the economy tanked, she’d been working as a Webmaster. Laid off, she found herself doing freelance marketing and communications while raising kid one and kid two and managing a life in Marshall, where her husband is a park ranger at Soulajule Reservoir. The way she saw it, she says, “I had removed myself from a professional career track.”

Now her kids go to Wilson School, just three miles from WORK, so she joined in January. “I’m absolutely in love with this whole idea; this is what I’ve been looking for. Being engaged in the WORK community gives me a sense of satisfaction. I can do my freelance work and get the emotional and intellectual benefits of doing that work. And I’m around people who are working, interesting, and come from different life points.” Since she joined, everyone around her has noticed how energized she’s become. Her kids say she seems a lot more happy and relaxed, now that she’s going to “that place.”

“That place” has given Johnson a real sense of possibility. She’s been using freelance writing about business, especially the abundance of natural product businesses in the North Bay, as “a springboard” for her curiosity. And now she feels a part of something bigger.

“I have an office in Petaluma. There’s been a shift.”

You can reach Nancy at And read her North Bay Biz articles here.