Our Organization

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Most of us have heard this quote by Margaret Meade and are reminded how we all have the power to make a difference. Whether we volunteer at a soup kitchen or at a non-profit organisation, or donate to a cause, what we do today can lead to lasting change.

Such is the story of Maryann Schmid and Olga Martin Steele.

In 2018, they both saw first-hand how the devastating Mendocino Complex Fire affected local businesses in their community. Many lost their lives, homes, and livelihood. With 8 fires under 4 years, Lake County’s economy was greatly affected, and many businesses had a hard time getting back on their feet. This event gave both Maryann and Olga a chance to pursue a new life trajectory that could make a difference.

To help combat the effects of the fires, they founded 1Team 1Dream with a mission to encourage and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit in Lake County. To support this cause, they have dedicated their time, talent, and their own personal resources. Both residents of Lake County, both Maryann and Olga wanted to inspire and help create new opportunities for budding entrepreneurs, start-ups, and businesses in their community.

“The more we give our time and resources to help other small businesses, the stronger our community will be,” says Maryann. “Education is vital to address the county’s economic pain points. Our community can achieve business growth and economic stability only if we have a new mindset to meet the ever-changing digital landscape and environmental challenges in Lake County.”

Altruism is contagious. Soon enough, Maryann, Olga, and the board of 1Team 1Dream have spurred a ripple effect of generosity from like-minded philanthropic individuals, business leaders, and organizations who want to help the Lake County business community grow and thrive.

With the strong support of City of Clearlake and City of Lakeport, Savings Bank of Mendocino County, First Community Credit Union, as well as the funding given by many private businesses and organizations, 1Team 1Dream was able to launch the Hands Up Lake County Business Competition 2020, which provided participants with training, advice, and mentorship from experienced business leaders with a proven track record in the local community. The competition also provided cash prizes to help support the marketing and operations of their businesses. In 2021, the program became even bigger and better with the entrepreneurs workshop expanding to include topics on branding and digital marketing, with total cash prizes increasing to $50,000. In 2022, they raised the cash prizes to $100,000. In 2023, the total prizes were increased to $120,000. This year, total cash prizes will be $150,000.

“At 1Team 1Dream, we want to work together as a community to change lives one day at a time. Through the business plan program and competition, we hope to have a meaningful impact especially during this unprecedented difficult time,” says Maryann. “Aside from businesses having to contend with wildfires that grow higher year after year, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a dramatic and sudden loss of demand and revenue for many entrepreneurs. The future may seem dire and hazy with smoke and uncertainty, but we can have a positive outcome if we have a strong business community that collaborates and helps one another.”

1Team 1Dream is dedicated to a thriving Lake County economy.

Our values are rooted in the premise that change is possible and that we can make a difference in the lives of others by bringing Lake County closer to economic prosperity – one small business at a time.

We value the entrepreneurial spirit in those who would undertake a start-up or continue their business enterprises despite some of the most enduring economic challenges in modern times.

We value the hard work, passion and determination of Lake County small businesses and believe they have what it takes to persevere.

Leading Through Innovation

The rapid pace of the digital age can be very overwhelming, which poses as a barrier to innovation. 1Team 1Dream seeks to achieve a collaborative and growth mindset within the community, wherein everyone is open to continued learning and experimentation, not afraid to push boundaries, and continually adapting to change. With this mindset shift and a clear-purpose driven culture, we as a community, can lead with innovation.

Pursuing Excellence

At the core of 1Team 1Dream is the desire to effect the culture of excellence within the community. We take pride the accomplishments of our entrepreneurs, business owners and individuals who would like to strengthen Lake County. We are equally committed to educating and providing useful and relevant information to help the people we serve better adapt to rapid economic and digital changes.

Growing by Learning

Lifelong learning will help Lake County adapt to unexpected changes. 1Team 1Dream aspires to establish an educational platform that is widely accessible to residents of Lake County, and a culture of continued learning. By constantly re-inventing ourselves for the better, we can grow and strengthen Lake County. We help provide the latest trends on business management, digital transformation, and financial planning.

The Board

Maryann Schmid
Maryann SchmidFounder / Vice-Chair / Treasurer
Entrepreneur and business owner Maryann Schmid and her husband Peter bought The Lodge at Blue Lakes as a business opportunity, to provide more jobs in Lake County, and to benefit the local economy. In 2021 she successfully sold the flourishing business and has focused her energy to giving back to the community.

A graduate of communication arts, Maryann loves branding, marketing, and multimedia production, skills she has developed into a bigger vision. In 2018, after witnessing the devastation caused by the Mendocino Complex Fire to the local economy, she founded 1Team 1Dream. Their signature project, the Hands Up Lake County Small Business Competition, designed to develop small businesses, provide training for entrepreneurs, and raise the water level of Lake County. Now in its fourth year, it will host entrepreneurs as contestants vying for $120,000 in cash prizes.

Olga Martin Steele
Olga Martin Steele Co-Founder / Chair
Community advocate Olga Martin Steele is a well-known face – and voice – throughout Lake County. After witnessing the impact of 4 consecutive years of wildfire – and their toll on the region, Steele partnered with Maryann Schmid to create the 1Team 1Dream initiative. Steele currently serves as President of Lake County Community Radio, and has extensive experience in Lake County’s civic organizations, including Soroptomist International of Clear Lake, co-founder of The Lake County Silver Foundation, Inc., and Public Relations Director for the Annual Catfish Derby. She is a member of “100” Women Strong and the Land Trust. Her weekly radio show “Voices of Lake County” can be heard on KPFZ, 88.1 FM.
Helena Welsh
Helena WelshBoard Director
Helena Welsh is the Executive Director of the Lake County Winery Association. Helena is the current President of the Lake County Chamber of Commerce and serves on other boards including the Lake County Wine Alliance, Middletown Music Boosters and the Rotary Club of Clearlake. She is also a Girl Scout Troop Leader and has a passion for running. Helena resides in Cobb where she is raising her children.
Monica Rosenthal
Monica RosenthalSecretary
Monica Rosenthal is a well-established farmer and small business owner who, along with her husband, operates R Vineyards, a boutique wine business in Lake County, California. With over 30 years of experience in the wine industry, Monica has worked in various roles, including Hospitality & Events Coordinator, Advertising Specialist, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, and Executive Director of the Lake County Winery Association and has been actively involved in the economic development of the region.
Ben Alexander
Ben AlexanderBoard Director
Ben Alexander, a full time resident of Kelseyville, is a partner in the Los Angeles law firm Greenberg Glusker. His practice is focused on corporate and commercial finance and business transactions. Ben settled in Lake County four months after his first trip here. “As soon as I crossed the county line coming in from Williams, I knew this was the place. By the time I got to the traffic circle, I had a plan to move here. And now that I am here, I can’t think of a better way to thank the county than working with 1Team 1Dream.”

Ben is also a supporter of the Clearlake Gleaners, KPFZ Community Radio, SPCA of Lake County, Konocti Rod and Gun Club and the Lake County Bar Association. In his spare time he enjoys the lake by jet ski or kayak, rides horses and explores Clear Lake State Park and the Black Forest with his dog Hank.

Laura Falteisek
Laura FalteisekBoard Director
Laura Falteisek grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota, voted one of America’s Most Picturesque Towns in the USA. After graduating early from high school, she attended the University of Minnesota. She worked part-time for five surgeons at the local hospital doing medical and X-ray transcriptions in Latin.

The early years of her career included owning two start-up companies while working full-time for the State of California in the Insurance Division. She then joined Berkshire Hathaway as a Marketing Manager. Today, Laura is retired after working with Maryann and Peter Schmid, previous owners of The Lodge at Blue Lakes, for about 10 years as Director of Marketing.

Laura enjoys spending her retired days around Lakeport, CA, with her fancy Standard Poodles show champions. She founded the Therapy Dog Program at Sutter Hospital, Lakeside, almost 20 years ago with her first poodle, Spencer.