August 14, 2023 — Check out Season 2, Episode 1 of Money Mountaineering with Peter Neuwirth to learn about the Sharing Economy with this month’s guest, Steve Shirrell, owner emeritus of Santa Rosa’s Stanroy Music Center


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The Power of the Sharing Economy

August 2023: "The story of Stanroy is a great example of what makes Santa Rosa an unusual community, a city where the sharing economy is allowed to flourish in all sorts of ways in all sorts of neighborhoods in different parts of the city," says Pete. Check out our interview with Steve Shirrell, owner emeritus, to learn why!

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Monday Morning Magic from Inkandescent® PR + Publishing Co. — What is the sharing economy? You’ll learn all about it in Season 2 of Peter Neuwirth’s podcast and video show, Money Mountaineering: What’s Your Future Worth?, where for 30 minutes, experts, friends, and colleagues discuss concepts and ideas from his books.

Pete explains: I live in Santa Rosa, California, and I will be talking to many of the folks I’ve gotten to know over the last several years since my house burned down in the famous Glass Fire that swept through the area on September 27, 2020. It was just before I finished the manuscript of Money Mountaineering, and in months that followed, I got to learn an awful lot about how to recover from a financial forest fire — and how powerful the sharing economy can be in enabling everybody to survive and thrive as a community rebuilds from the ashes.

Actuary and Author Peter Neuwirth

The key aspects of the sharing economy include:

  • What we each consider as “assets” to live on comprises far more than our financial assets and real estate, but also includes our skills, knowledge, relationships, and things that we own that we don’t use all the time and can share with others.
  • Sharing is both financially efficient (cutting out middlemen and transaction costs) and more sustainable long term than spending down a finite pot of money.
  • A sharing economy requires “affinity” and happens best locally and in the real world. How and where it works and how scalable it is are the questions that I will explore in the upcoming interviews.

This month’s guest: Steve Shirrell, owner emeritus of Santa Rosa’s Stanroy Music Center 

Illustration by Michael Glenwood Gibbs,

Our topic: Inside the Sharing Economy

Pete and Steve discuss: “The story of Stanroy Music Company (see below) is a great example of what makes Santa Rosa an unusual community, a city where the sharing economy is allowed to flourish in all sorts of ways in all sorts of neighborhoods in different parts of the city,” says Pete. “From the old west end where I am living now all the way out to Hood Mountain, where my neighbors have been sharing resources to sustain themselves and each other for more than 100 years, we are definitely all in this together!”

Don’t miss their powerful conversation about the shared economy’s meaning, purpose, and future.

About our guest: Steve Shirrell was born in Santa Rosa, California, during the twilight of the 1940s. Since then, he has hitchhiked more than 50,000 miles throughout the U.S., co-created a commune in Oregon, traveled twice to the Middle East during wartime and Intifada, and worked post-disaster relief in the Southeast several times since Hurricane Katrina. Past employment has included working in a hospital kitchen, teaching in primary and secondary schools as an instructional aid, building apartments as a construction laborer, living the dream of a performing musician, selling wine, managing a corporate mailing list and a laboratory supply warehouse, and repairing and selling cars.

Forty years ago, he began work as a salesperson and repair technician at Stanroy Music Center, where he’d purchased his first LPs more than twenty years earlier. After thirty years on the job, he learned that Stanroy’s owners—Tupper & Reed Music—planned to close Stanroy in August 2013. Steve partnered with Dustin Heald, a friend, and former co-worker, and purchased the company from Tupper & Reed. Teaming up with his brother, Robert Shirrell—former Mendocino County Bureau Chief for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, bandmate, and long-time cab driver—they purchased a new home for Stanroy to help assure its continuance far beyond its centennial in 2047. As planned from the beginning of their partnership, Steve handed over the reins to Dustin in 2021 while continuing to function as a repair tech and “owner emeritus.”

Steve’s joys include writing songs, poems, and aphorisms while completing a third book (on the nature of human consciousness and its effect upon itself and Earth’s biosphere), and his family, which is comprised of (but is not limited to) two daughters, their partners, two “grand-adults,” a former wife and her husband, and some cats and dogs and bees. Learn more about Stanroy:

Click here to learn more about actuary and author Peter Neuwirth: • Listen to our Money Mountaineering podcasts on • Watch our videos of the show:

Until next Monday: May you give, and receive, the gift of sharing with all of the things that are truly important to you! — Hope Katz Gibbs, founder and president, Inkandescent® Inc.

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