PictureHelen Russell and Dana Williams.

From his presence at – and sponsorship of – some of Mill Valley’s major events, as well as his multi-faceted marketing and community engagement, Compass real estate agent Dana Williams has long been a ubiquitous presence in Mill Valley.

Spurred on by the desire for connection during the pandemic, Williams has launched “Community Spotlight,” a video series shining a light on some of the key people in our community who will share what makes Mill Valley such a special place to call home,” Williams says. “Living and working in Mill Valley, I have been inspired by the resiliency of so many people, so many of whom graciously contribute and serve others and share a common belief of ‘supporting local community’ to make Mill Valley the special place that it is.”

In the debut episode, Williams sat down with Equator Coffees co-founder Helen Russell, who launched the company in 1995 and has grown in steadily into one of the most respect coffee brands in California. The pair chatted about their community, the Equator brand, their personal and professional relationship and support for one another, as well as the pandemic’s impact on business.

“We have been visited upon by things in the past six months by things that have happened to us over the past 100 years,” Russell says. “It’s been very challenging for us. We have a amazing team. We’ve been in business for 25 years, so we will come out the other side, but unfortunately a lot of small businesses will not. We can’t thank the community for enough for bearing with is through this ordeal.”