Written by Alexandra Fee
Photos by Cameron Cressman & The Burczyk’s family
NESTLED IN THE HEART OF OUR VIBRANT COMMUNITY OF MILL VALLEY IS A BEACON OF CREATIVITY AND ALTRUISM. A RELOCATED BUSINESS OWNER WHO, IN JUST A SHORT SPAN OF FOUR YEARS, HAS MANAGED TO BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO MILL VALLEY WITH HIS INNOVATIVE AND IMAGINATIVE PROJECTS. THIS MONTH, MILL VALLEY LIVING MAGAZINE TAKES GREAT PLEASURE IN HIGHLIGHTING GABRIEL BURCZYK WHO HAS UNDOUBTEDLY BECOME AN INDISPENSABLE MEMBER OF OUR COMMUNITY.
At the age of 23, Gabe left his Investment Banking firm in Kansas City and headed west. As he drove across the Bay Bridge, he was awestruck by the San Francisco skyline and felt as if he had discovered his own version of the Emerald City. Initially, he settled in Sausalito before relocating to San Francisco. However, fourteen years ago, Gabe and his partner Barbara Fabbri, a well-loved Iyengar yoga instructor at The Studio in Mill Valley, decided to move to Mill Valley, where they now raise their two sons, Valentino and Nicolo. Barbara is also pursuing a master’s degree in Integrated Health to become a certified Wellness Coach. Both Valentino and Nicolo are enrolled in Mill Valley’s public schools, all of them fully immersed in the community.
Gabe used to run his money manager research and financial planning practice in San Francisco, catering to individual clients from over 40 different states. However, after many years of living and working in the city, he longed to be closer to his family on a daily basis. With a desire to become more familiar with Mill Valley, he relocated his financial planning practice to his new hometown across the bridge.
One evening, while walking back from a Sweetwater show, another gem of Mill Valley, and feeling disheartened after missing out on several real estate opportunities, he was drawn to a building on Miller Avenue. The impressive cathedral-style windows caught his eye, and he imagined his office there. As if by destiny, three days later, Gabe received a call from his real estate agent, Jimmy Wagner, informing him that this building he had longingly admired a few days prior was up for sale. He seized the opportunity and purchased the building. It wasn’t until he opened his office, now called assembly, that Gabe truly became a part of the Mill Valley community.
After completely gutting the building down to its studs, Gabe transformed 319 Miller Avenue into a space that, drenched in natural light, exudes creativity and community, and a Clean Mill Valley Merchant running on 100% renewable energy. Assembly is no ordinary workspace, but rather an innovative and spacious zone featuring a conference table that doubles as a pool table, an equipped kitchen and bar, another long conference table that doubles as a full-size shuffleboard, and a rotating projection light show – a far cry from the dull offices that once occupied the building.
Gabe named the space assembly which was the name originally used for his turnkey asset management program he was developing for other financial planners to use to help them manage their clients’ portfolios. WrapManager, Inc. is Gabe’s Wealth Management and financial planning firm that uses internal and external money manager models vetted for his firm’s clients investment portfolios. The beauty of the system Gabe’s firm built allows its money managers and investment models to submit their trade signals for execution across hundreds of accounts managed by WrapManager. Built by Gabe as a technology know-how company to support his high-net-worth and referral based clients. WrapManager helps investors manage money within their unique goal based objective. The design for each client provides proactive guidance towards tax, estate, charitable giving and retirement accumulation and withdrawal strategies. Also, the power of his firm’s investment philosophy encourages investors to put some or all of their equity investment dollars into their beliefs which may include sustainably-focused, environmentally responsible, strong governance, and women-led businesses, as well as the many other socially forward thinking businesses.
Gabe also offered assembly as a meeting space for the Rotary Club of Mill Valley, who sought to attract younger members, and the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival’s monthly board meetings, and Board retreats for the O’Hanlon Center for the Arts. These are just a few of the over 15 non profits Gabe has allowed to use assembly for free to help them spread their mission. “As a member of the community, I believe we have a responsibility,” says Gabe, who envisions TED Talk-style events taking place in assembly. Their first event drew an audience of 80 people, and Gabe hopes to maintain that momentum with future events. “Let’s empower people by educating, sharing knowledge and uplifting them to do good things. Sharing our space with like-minded nonprofits and civic organizations breathes creativity and vitality in the communities where we live,” says Gabe.
A newer buzz that Gabe’s firm is excited about is the work Grace Kraaijvanger’s Hivery is doing at assembly on Wednesdays with her in person incubator workshops. Grace is another example of the incredible stewards we have in Mill Valley and the greatness she brings out of the women in our community. This is one of those examples of business responsibility that is committed to helping our Mill Valley thrive. Gabe acknowledged that despite being a resident, he was not fully aware of some of Mill Valley’s most significant treasures, such as the Mill Valley Lumber Yard, Throckmorton Theatre, Sweetwater Music Hall, Mill Valley Film Festival and Marin Theatre Company, among others. However, after joining the Mill Valley Chamber and learning about their efforts, Gabe believed that the focus should be to reintroduce our own residents to the treasures of Mill Valley while also welcoming outsiders to consider Mill Valley as a destination and to appreciate all that our community has to offer.
According to Gabe, the responsibility to thrive together falls on the shoulders of the business owners in our community. In order to attract more people and showcase Mill Valley’s cultural richness, Gabe initiated the Mill Valley Music Festival. He believes that there is no better way to promote our local cultural renaissance. Among his favorite events is The Sound Summit, an annual musical gathering that he discovered while hiking with Barbara many years ago. Impressed by its cause and mission, Gabe became a donor and served a few years on The Sound Summit’s Board. The event is held at the historic Mountain Theatre on Mount Tam and supports the non profit Roots & Branches Conservancy.
It’s widely acknowledged that the inaugural Mill Valley Music Festival last year was a resounding success, featuring headliner Ben Harper and a lineup of amazing bands, including Lettuce, and Venezuela’s biggest band Los Amigos Invisibles. Notably, 61% of ticket sales were from within the 94941 area code. This year, the festival is expanding to two full days and two stages, and will serve as the launchpad for Michael Franti and Spearhead’s North American tour on one day, and will be headlined by Sacramento’s iconic rock band, Cake, on the other day. With a world-class lineup secured thanks in part to Jim Welte, the forward thinking Executive Director of the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce and leader of the Mill Valley Music Festival. Jim Welte and the Chamber have signed a 5-year agreement with the City of Mill Valley and a contract with Noise Pop Industries to produce the festival. The goal is to make the festival more visible, showcase the many Mill Valley businesses, expand its reach, and create a true festival experience for all ages. All proceeds from the festival go to nonprofits, including KIDDO and, this year, the Tam High Foundation as well.
Gabe puts his heart and soul into the festival, but as he confided, it’s really all about having fun, dancing barefoot and sharing laughter. His passion project is driven by his deep love for the community.
“We need to support our local Mom and Pop businesses”. Every dollar we spend locally is recycled back into our community. This economic boost has a positive impact on local businesses as festival-goers often frequent local restaurants and shops before and after the event. One proud festival accomplishment is the celebration of three locally women owned beverage companies that you will enjoy, Makers Wine, St. Hildies and Salt Point at the festival. We want to win at the festival by celebrating local businesses as much as possible. The festival also provides a chance for people to come together and connect with each other, promoting cultural diversity and appreciation through a wide variety of musical genres and styles. Gabe confessed to being an old raver, with many nights dancing for eight straight hours at underground dance parties and Burning Man–dancing is his religion. His passion for dance led him to choreographing parties with extravagant lighting effects. His friends frequently asked him to help organize dance parties including Winter Solstice at Muir Beach and a mesmerizing light show for Soul Ska, named “Illuminations by Gabriel the Angel,” featuring colorful lights, a pulsating eight foot balloon and ambiance to inspire everyone to dance.
It’s no coincidence then that another unique aspect of assembly is Gabe’s projection light shows, which he displays on the windows of his Miller Avenue building. Passersby can witness a range of projected images and movements, from mosaic graphics to holiday-themed displays like Valentine’s hearts, St. Patrick’s Day shamrocks and pots of gold at the end of rainbows, and Halloween Spooks. These light shows are simply amazing, in our opinion, surpassing even the nightly Salesforce Tower light show. Gabe is currently developing an interior light show to enhance speaking and non-profit fundraising events as well.
In addition to hosting a growing number of experts across various fields, including estate planning, finance, environmental and social governance, nonprofits, City Council, and Marin Supervisor debates, Gabe warmly welcomes anyone or group that fosters positive community involvement. His team is expanding to provide valuable guidance to nonprofits on how to ask for donations more effectively while simultaneously teaching donors how to give more efficiently. By assisting charities in teaching their donors how to donate more effectively, Gabe’s team believes the donors win by gaining more tax savings and then possibly giving more with those savings. Meanwhile, Gabe has plenty of other ideas up his sleeve, such as hosting a Reggae & Ribs festival or a BBQ cook-off in the assembly’s outdoor space, inspired by his Chief Operating Officer’s grandfather who happens to be an esteemed smoked rib champion. He also envisions night walking tours and an Illumination Garden in Old Mill Park, all of which helps bring more folks to support our businesses and allows our community to thrive.
Despite his numerous contributions to the community, Gabe remains grounded and humble, attributing his success to his team, family, and the supportive Mill Valley community. He values the people he has met in the town and acknowledges their hard work and dedication, particularly that of his Director of Public Relations, Sydney Shaw.
In many ways, Gabe embodies the spirit of Mill Valley—creative, passionate and community-minded. His love for this town is evident in everything he does, and his impact can be felt throughout the community. From the Mill Valley Music Festival to his work with local nonprofits and businesses, Gabe has ignited a fire in Mill Valley that we hope will continue to burn brightly for years to come.