805.643.7222 | info@ventura-chamber.org| 505 Poli St., 2nd Floor, Ventura, CA 93001
Ventura Chamber of Commerce

All posts in Events

Please promote this event to your customers, business/network community, and via social media!

Spring Carnival Business Expo
Thursday, May 25 | 4:30-7:30pm
Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort, 1050 Schooner Dr, Ventura

FREE and open to the public!
Promote the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1901407330114092

 We have 1/3 page size “tickets,” 8.5×11 flyers and 11×17 posters available, as well as a square graphic suitable for social media. Download and print the artwork:

Please call the Chamber if you want to have printed materials dropped off at your office, so that you can spread the word about this great and FREE event open to the public. (805) 643-7222 or marketing@ventura-chamber.org.

Biz Connect Connect


Curious about the Ventura Chamber and our networking groups? Get to know members of all five Biz Connect Groups and see what they’re all about. Tell a friend, invite a Chamber prospect, have fun and network! Free and open to the public.

Upcoming Connect Connect Events

Tuesday December 6 | 5:30-7:30pm
NOW Ventura »185 E Santa Clara Street, Ventura
Register now



The MIX! @ Latitudes Fine Art Gallery
February 25, 2016 | 5:30-7:00pm
401 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001
Admission: FREE

Please join us for The MIX! hosted by Latitudes Fine Art Gallery.

National Small Business Week 2016 will be celebrated the first week of May.

Throughout Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Los Angeles District Office, in conjunction with public- and private-sector small business supporters, will host special events to honor and present awards to local entrepreneurs and those who support and champion small business.

If you know of any small businesses who deserve special recognition as small business champions or top entrepreneurs who think big, take risks and work hard to achieve the ‘American Dream,’ while creating jobs and building our economy, then we encourage you to nominate them or ask them to apply.

Nominations can be made by an individual or a business for an individual or a business. Businesses and entrepreneurs can also self-nominate.

The deadline for submitting nominations is January 11, 2016. The nomination form and eligibility guidelines are available on the Los Angeles Small Business Administration’s website, www.sba.gov/ca/la.

On Thursday, December 10, the Ventura Chamber of Commerce along with their title sponsor Montecito Bank & Trust presented the 19th Annual Poinsettia Awards. This luncheon, attended by more than 300 attendees, recognized individuals and organizations that have truly stood out in our community as exemplary in the fields of business, education, and public service. This year, the luncheon was celebrated at the Marriott Ventura Beach and was attended by City officials, legislative representatives, the Ventura Unified School District, and the local business community.

During the event, the Chamber awarded recipients from the following categories:

  • Volunteer of the Year – Hope Deck
  • Small Business of the Year – Axxess Ventura
  • Mid-Size Business of the Year – Sespe Consulting
  • Large Business of the Year – Harrison Industries
  • Non- Profit Organization of the Year – Project Understanding
  • Young Professional of the Year – Caitlin Beavers
  • Citizen of the Year – Dr. Leo Tauber
  • Ambassador of the Year – Jann Huling
  • Board Member of the Year – Steven Brown
  • City of Ventura, Environmental Excellence Award – Shine Supply
  • City of Ventura, Employee of the Year – Kathryn Dippong-Lawson
  • City of Ventura, Firefighter of the Year – Drew DeRousseau
  • City of Ventura, Police Officer of the Year – Fabian Gutierrez
  • VUSD Educator of the Year – Mandi de Witte
  • VUSD Male Student of the Year – Justin Lucio
  • VUSD Female Student of the Year – Fidelity Ballmer
  • Innovation Award – FreshRealm
  • Jewel Key Award – Topa Topa Brewing Company
  • Shining Star Award – Matthew Graczyk

This event presented by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and Montecito Bank & Trust was proudly sponsored by: City of Ventura, Community Memorial Health System, County Commerce Bank, CSU Channel Islands, FASTSIGNS of Ventura, Kaiser Permanente, Ventura County Credit Union, Aera Energy, AT&T, California Resources Corporation, Coast Self Storage, Marriott Ventura Beach, SESPE Consulting, Union Bank, Gold Coast Acura, Gold Coast Transit, Kris Hansen’s State Farm Insurance, Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold, LLP, Pacific Western Bank, Ventura Community Bank, Ventura Rental Party Center, Western States Petroleum Association, Kenny Backer Photography, Luners Production Services, Pacific Coast Business Times, VC Reporter, Ventura Adult and Continuing Education, Ventura Breeze, and Ventura County Star.

About Ventura Chamber
The Ventura Chamber of Commerce continues to be the largest and most comprehensive business organization in the City of Ventura – speaking on behalf of its member firms employing over 24,000 people. Members include companies of all sizes and industries, from start-up to established, entrepreneurial to corporate.

The Chamber continues to “Make Business Happen” – building a strong local economy, advocating on behalf of the business community at the local, state, and federal levels, fostering community development, workforce development and other member benefit programs. The Chamber embraces a coalition approach to working with government and other community entities for the betterment of the whole community.

The Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties announced today they are hosting an energy event titled “The Future of Energy and the Environment,” scheduled for October 14, 2015 from 8:00-11:30AM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Ventura.

“Energy is an important topic, both to the business community and the members of the public. The Alliance wants to provide an opportunity for greater understanding of our energy needs, and our energy reality, their effects on the environment, and to allow the audience to ask questions”, said Scott Eicher, Chair of the Chambers of Commerce Alliance.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Alex Epstein, a New York Times best-selling author and founder of the Center for Industrial Progress (CIP). Epstein has risen to prominence as the nation’s leading free-market energy debater, promoting a philosophy that is anti-pollution but pro-development. He draws on cutting-edge research and original insights to offer an alternate perspective on the energy debate and shares eye-opening thoughts into how technology will improve the lives of people – safely, cleanly, and effectively – for years to come. He has been called the “most original thinker of the year” by political commentator John McLaughlin.

There will also be a panel discussion featuring representatives from each of the energy sectors, including California Resources Corporation (CRC), Desert Solar, Infinity Wind, and Brightwave Energy. The discussion will focus on the opportunities and challenges each sector faces, along with environmental factors.

For more information or to register for this event, please visit http://tinyurl.com/pwvwpsk or call Sandra Burkhart at 805-966-7113.


For further information please contact Sandra Burkhart at (805) 966-7113 or via email at sburkhart@wspa.org


John Halcyon Styn, Chief Wisdom Officer at FreshRealm presented on “Corporate Culture Profitability: Heart Centered Commerce” at the Ventura Chamber’s Economic Outlook Breakfast on June 25, 2015

On June 25, 2015, the Ventura Chamber hosted its annual Economic Outlook Breakfast at the Ventura Beach Marriott; this year’s program titled Environomics: The Triple Bottom Line, featured presentations that focused on the three elements of corporate social responsibility – people, planet, and profit. This year’s speaker line up included Dr. Matthew Potoski, Professor of Corporate Environmental Management at UC Santa Barbara; Dave Armstrong, Founder of MAKE Ventura; Vanessa Bechtel, President/CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation; and John Halcyon Styn, Chief Wisdom Officer of FreshRealm. Nearly 200 business and elected leaders filled the Marriott’s Costa de Oro Ballroom to hear this year’s speakers present on their unique topics.

Dr. Potoski’s presentation focused on the environmental aspect of the triple bottom line; specifically, how businesses can incorporate sustainable strategies into their everyday operations. Dr. Potoski stressed the significance of capturing environmental value through product differentiation, engaged employees, and community relations.

Dave Armstrong’s presentation touched upon the economic/financial aspect of the triple bottom line by focusing on Ventura County’s newest micro-manufacturing platform, MAKE Ventura, which he founded. Mr. Armstrong discussed how MAKE is doing its part to grow the economy, not by teaching everyone to become an entrepreneur, but by providing accessibility to emerging technologies. Individuals can learn the necessary skills and take those skills into the job market and work for manufacturers, builders, and designers.

Vanessa Bechtel’s presentation addressed the social aspect of the triple bottom line; specifically why corporate philanthropy is such an important aspect of business and how giving back to your community can actually increase your bottom line. Ms. Bechtel discussed Ventura County’s place in the state of California in terms of giving and stated that it was her goal to get Ventura County into the number one spot. Ms. Bechtel encouraged everyone to take a look at their community and see where and how they can give back.

John Halcyon Styn’s presentation also highlighted the social aspect of the triple bottom line; however, his presentation touched on the people part of a business. Mr. Styn’s presentation titled “Heart Centered Commerce” discussed how the people in our lives, whether they be our family members, our colleagues, or friends, play a huge role and the relationships and connections that we build with our colleagues, our bosses, and our customers are important to the success of a business.

The Chamber would like to thank all of this year’s speakers for their insight, passion and knowledge and for taking time out of their busy schedules to discuss their areas of expertise in more detail. The Chamber would also like to thank all of the sponsors, Chairman’s Circle members, Luners Production Services for their A/V assistance, the Ventura Beach Marriott for their gracious hospitality, and all of the attendees and guests for their continued support.

matt_potoski_webMatthew Potoski, Professor of Corporate Environmental Management, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara: At the Bren School, Matthew teaches courses on business and the environment and environmental persuasion and decision making. He is co-author of The Voluntary Environmentalists (Cambridge, 2006) and Complex Contracting (Cambridge 2014) and has written on a variety of topics including businesses environmental strategies, environmental policy, and nonprofit management. He is Co-Editor of The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and the International Public Management Journal. He received his PhD from Indiana University.

dave armstrongDave Armstrong, Founder, MAKE Ventura: David S. Armstrong is the founder of the non-profit MAKE Ventura, the county’s first maker space. His goal is to make rapidly changing technologies both accessible and applicable to a broad range of innovators. The all-volunteer organization collaborates to provide four physical workshops: Tech Lab (3-D printing, laser-cutting, CNC), Fab(rication) Lab (wood and metal tools, welding, kilns), Art Lab and Craft Lab. Through classes, mentoring, and meet-ups, it provides opportunities to share knowledge and support ideas. MAKE is working with the Workforce Development Board to create a county-wide innovation eco-system and has partnered with groups ranging from First Robotics and NOAA to Craftcation and DATA middle school.

Vanessa_r4x5Vanessa Bechtel, President & CEO, Ventura County Community Foundation: Vanessa Bechtel serves as President & CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation where she oversees $137 million in charitable assets. She manages a scholarship program that awarded $1.2 million to local students in 2014 and about 600 funds that grant some $4 million a year to local nonprofit organizations. Ms. Bechtel is committed to growing the Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which trained volunteers and others from nearly 830 nonprofit groups in 2014. Prior to her work with VCCF, Ms. Bechtel served as Executive Director for the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College, one of the most highly regarded community college foundations in the nation. She co-founded Monarch Wealth Strategies, a boutique financial planning firm in 2008. Currently, Ms. Bechtel is attending the Executive MBA program at University of Southern California. She was honored as Business Woman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

IMG_5262John Halcyon Styn, Chief Wisdom Officer, FreshRealm: John Halcyon Styn is the author of “Love more. Fear less” and has won Webby awards for his personal site & his “Love On Demand” video podcast, HugNation.com. He hosted the NBC.com web series “Fears. Regrets. Desires.” and co-founded the “1st Saturdays” homeless outreach program in San Diego. He is currently Chief Wisdom Officer at FreshRealm, a Ventura-based company working to deliver fresh food to the masses.