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

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The 2017-2018 Community Guide and Business Directory- Ventura The Guide has officially arrived!

We hope you enjoy the beautiful photos and informative articles included on its pages. We have already distributed 6,000 of the publications to businesses and residents in various areas of our city.  Members should be receiving their guide in the mail soon.  There will be an additional distribution to high traffic businesses and organizations, like hospitals, hotels and local restaurants.  If your business has a space and would like to distribute or display the Chamber directory, please call us at 805-643-7222 so we can arrange a delivery. If you did not receive your personal copy, stop by and pick one up. We think you will be pleased with the finished product.

Our guide is meant to be used and shared, when you are looking for a new vendor either personally or professionally, always consider using a Chamber Member first!  Be sure to tell them that you found them in the Chamber Guide!

Thank you to all of our sponsors and advertisers and to all of our members for your support!


From MortgageCouch’s Shelby Bishop, Chair of the Ventura Chamber Young Professionals Group:

I wanted to send a special thank you to these members of the YPG who supported Relay for Life on May 6, 2017!

  • Marina Porter – for organizing, communicating and planning all the details and needs for The American Cancer Society. Also, for showing up from 10-2 on Saturday, setting up the food tent and manning the tent throughout the day!
  • Veronica Arellano – for showing up and manning the food tent throughout the morning!
  • Angela Haverly – for picking up the donation from Rubio’s and manning the tent throughout the afternoon!
  • Nick Savelli – for manning the tent, picking up the chipotle donation and then also dropping off all of the coffee bins at Pete’s Coffee for us!
  • Matthew Couch – for being a big strong man! Lol Helping with all of the set-up and take down, and all the different jobs throughout the event.
  • Salena Bracamontes – for setting up a food truck and donating two large bags of oranges.
  • Garett Guenot – for donating 100 lip balms to go into the survivor gift bags.
  • Thank you to the Pierpont Inn and Jersey Mikes for donating meals!

…and thanks to everyone else who showed up to the meetings and helped out in any way! We all had a really fun time serving the attendees throughout the day! I hope I didn’t miss any of you!

More about the Ventura Chamber YPG: The Ventura Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Group (YPG) is comprised of young professionals between the ages of 21-40 who are interested in creating positive change in self and the community.

Nan Drake, Joe Richards, Dr. Erika Beck, Dr. Greg Gillespie, Stephanie Caldwell

“Education is critical to opening doors…”   Dr. Greg Gillespie, president of Ventura College and chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District

The State of Education event helps “open the door” for the business community to the local schools.  This yearly meeting allows Chamber members to connect to the Ventura Unified School District, Ventura College Community College District, and California State University at Channel Islands.

At the April 27 event, there were common threads between the speakers, of social justice, and educating and supporting the whole student so that they can learn to take care of themselves, their jobs, families, and the community.

Along with learning about the goals and status of the local educational institutions and and their programs, we are invited to participate in supporting them.  The lack of state funds makes it especially important to do what we can to support our educational system.

These are ways in which the business community and Ventura Chamber members can help our local schools.

We extend gratitude to our educational leaders, teachers and staff for their unwavering dedication.  Special thanks go out also to educational partners and event sponsors.


  • 53% of new Ventura College students get certificate/degree within 6 years
  • Ag Business and Crop Science degree programs starting at Ventura College this fall
  • New social worker will be present at Ventura College to connect students with challenges to local resources
  • CSUCI is 2nd fastest growing university in nation, but cannot accept all applicants due to lack of funding
  • In 2013, California economy will be short 1 million degreed students
  • New mechatronics engineering program at CSUCI

Written by Tina Johnson | Tina Reed Johnson Web Marketing

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.

Founded by Yvon Chouinard in 1973, Patagonia is an outdoor apparel company known as a worldwide leader in environmentally responsible business practices. Patagonia’s product line includes outdoor, alpine, fly fishing, snow, surf, and sport-related apparel, equipment, footwear, and accessories. The company is committed to authentic product quality and environmental activism, contributing over $100 million to date in grants and in-kind donations to environmental causes. Patagonia pledged to donate 100% of global sales from Black Friday 2016 to grassroots environmental organizations… which came in at $10 million dollars!

Patagonia puts a major emphasis on incorporating environmental responsibility into product development. They use organically grown cotton, chlorine free wool, and recycled polyester in their clothing line, and the company’s entire product line is recyclable (though they encourage people to repair items first in order to keep them ‘in play’ longer). The Footprint Chronicles® microsite at patagonia.com/us/footprint explores the company’s environmental and social footprint.

At Patagonia’s Ventura headquarters, you will find on-site solar power, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, a state of the art HVAC system, ocean friendly landscaping, and many more environmental features that save natural resources and money. Their facilities across the country and worldwide boast similar features, from a LEED certified service center in Reno, Nevada, to retail stores across the world with LED lighting.

As a brand that represents the values held by most Venturans, Patagonia encourages people to get outside to enjoy and protect nature. Their environmental stance is part of the reason Patagonia has grown to be such a successful company, proving once again that customers want to support environmentally responsible businesses.

Solar panels in Patagonia’s parking lot in Ventura.

Patagonia’s helpful hint for local business owners:

  1. Have properly marked recycling, trash, and compost bins – educate staff through signage what can and can’t be recycled. The City of Ventura can provide recycling bins and signage.
  2. Connect and join a local sustainable business coalition in your city. The Chamber of Commerce’s Green Task Force and the City of Ventura’s Certified Green Business Program are great ones!
  3. Low-flow toilet trick:
    • Fill a container (i.e. water bottle, detergent bottle, etc.) partially with pebbles, sand, or gravel – whatever is handy. Then add water if more weight is needed.
    • Carefully lower the container into the tank of the toilet (make sure to simultaneously scoop water out so it doesn’t overflow)
    • Replace the lid of the tank
    • BOOM!! You’ve got a low-flow toilet – the container displaces some of the water used in the flush process.

*Another option is a toilet tank bag to hang inside your tank to displace water. The City gives these out for free.

Patagonia has been a Certified B Corporation and a City of Ventura Certified Green Business since 2012. For more information on Patagonia visit Patagonia.com. To become a Certified Green Business contact Lars Davenport:  ldavenport@cityofventura.net; (805) 652-4595.

On April 17, 2017, Ventura City Council approved the appointments to the Measure O Citizens Oversight Committee.


1 Year Term (April 17, 2017 – April 30, 2018)

  • Kristopher Hansen
  • Bill Hickman
  • Mary Laurel “Laurie” Rutledge
  • Jordana Ybarra-Telias

3 Year Term (April 17, 2017 -April 30, 2020)

  • Kathlene Bokoles
  • Marni Brook
  • David Jaffe

With passage of Measure O in November 2016, voters created a Citizens Oversight Committee with the task/function to review the projected revenues and recommended expenditures for the funds generated by Measure 0. Measure O Citizens Oversight Committee shall make their recommendations to the City Council as a part of the City’s budget process and after the independent financial audit is received yearly, the Citizens Oversight Committee will provide findings to City Council.

The initial make-up of this seven person committee will be four members with a 1-year term and three members with a three .. year term. Future committee recruitments will be for four-year terms.

Members of the Appointments Recommendation Committee (Councilmembers Weir, Councilmember LaVere and Deputy Mayor Andrews) met and reviewed all 69 applications received. The Appointments Recommendation Committee (ARC) then agreed and selected applicants for interviews. 22 applicants were invited for interviews; 1 applicant was unable to appear before the ARC. Interviews were conducted on April 3, 4 and 11th, 2017 to select the seven members for the initial Measure O Oversight Committee appointments.


Collecting new or very gently used

  • twin sheet sets
  • pillows
  • pillowcases
  • bath towels
  • gift cards are also welcome

Drop off locations (make sure to indicate if you’re donating for YPG or Ambassadors):

  • Ventura Chamber of Commerce
    505 Poli St., 2nd Fl., Ventura
    (805) 643-7222
    Monday-Thursday 8am-5pm; Friday 8am-12pm
  • MortgageCouch
    2734 Johnson Drive, Suite D, Ventura
    (805) 676-0377

DEADLINE MAY 31! Donations will also be accepted at the April and May Connection Breakfast.  The winning team will be announced at the June Connection Breakfast.

Donations will benefit Project Understanding, City Center, Casa Pacifica, Turning Point Foundation, and Rescue Mission Alliance.

Southern California Edison

Southern California Edison InfographicOn January 23, 2017, Southern California Edison filed with the California Public Utilities Commission a wide-ranging plan for expanding electric transportation in its service area. 

Consistent with SCE’s longstanding role in supporting electric transportation, the plan aims to increase electrification of cars, buses, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and industrial vehicles and equipment.

In addition to innovative programs for passenger vehicle adoption, the plan is tailored to Southern California, where 40 percent of the goods entering the nation are moved through the region’s ports and over its highways. This immense goods movement industry is crucial to the state and local economy, but it is also a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from heavy commercial and industrial vehicles at ports, warehouses and along freeway corridors.

These projects will benefit all SCE customers, with a particular focus on “disadvantaged communities” — areas that are disproportionately affected by pollution and economic hardship, often located along transportation corridors.

SCE also released a white paper, “Transportation Electrification: Reducing Emissions, Driving Innovation,” showing the central role transportation electrification must play if California is to succeed in reducing air pollution and greenhouse gases. 

Join the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and support the proposed zoning overlay.  We need your support this Monday, March 20 at the City Council Meeting at 6:00 pm.

This past November the Ventura Chamber of Commerce 25-member Board of Directors met for its annual goal setting retreat.  During this meeting it was again confirmed that one of the areas of focus is working with the City, County, faith-based community and other stakeholders on the issue of the homelessness.  The Chamber has actively engaged on this issue over the past 18 months and currently the Chamber CEO and several Board Members serve on the City’s Homelessness Stakeholders group and has met regularly over the past 8 months to help develop solutions.

Although over the past 5 years the actual number of homeless individuals in our community has been reduced by half, we still have roughly 300 chronically homeless people.  The Ventura City Council provided bold leadership back in 2011 by implementing the Safe and Clean Public Places Initiative, which aided in the reduction of the homeless from an all-time high of 701.  Council now finds themselves in a similar position as they consider implementing an overlay zone in our industrial areas that would allow day services and emergency shelter to exist in the same facility, something that is currently not allowed anywhere in our city.

No specific site has been identified and no specific provider has engaged to open a facility, this is simply the first step in the process to allow these types of services to exist.

But this is an important first step – to create zoning that would allow a shelter with additional supportive services and provide options for the variety of issues that challenge our homeless community.  Here are a few of the issues:

  • Individuals who are engaged in quality of life reduction behaviors, including sleeping in public, loitering, and storing their possessions in public, are not held accountable by the judicial system nor are they held in jail because of a public defender defense called “necessity”
  • The “necessity” defense is based on the notion that every human being needs to be somewhere, and if they are homeless that means they generally need to be in public places because it’s illegal to trespass onto private properties
  • When a police officer asks someone to move away from private property and the individual asks the question “where am I supposed to go?” if a police officer has to answer “I don’t know but you can’t stay here” that is not an acceptable response according to the judicial system, therefore the individual is not held accountable
  • Alternatively, if a police officer tells someone that they cannot be in a public space but there is a bed or a service available at another location and that person refuses that bed then the “necessity” defense is no longer valid because there was a sheltering option
  • The city of Ventura, not unlike any other city grappling with this issue, will never find the “perfect” location for a crisis service facility, however a responsible operator with an approved conditional use permit and sensible rules and regulations can and will deliver a program whose impact on any neighborhood is mitigated
  • A responsible operator is an operator that understands the possibility that their clients may have a neighborhood impact, and has a security plan that will result in the neighborhood knowing that there will be eyes and ears on the clients
  • In addition, a responsible operator will reduce or eliminate services to any individual who engages in unlawful or illegal behavior

The Ventura Chamber engaged in this issue in direct response to concerns from our members in the business community whose staff and customers were impacted by the issue of homelessness.  This issue affects us all, and therefore the solution must involve us all.  Please help be part of the solution.

I encourage you to support the work of the Homelessness Stakeholders Committee and share your thoughts with the City Council by either writing a letter, sending an email or attending in person and speaking on behalf of the issue this coming Monday evening, March 20 at the City Council Meeting at 6pm.

Please respond to Stephanie Caldwell at the Ventura Chamber of Commerce if you are able to join us Monday, March 20 and speak at the Council Hearing. 805.643.7222 or stephanie@ventura-chamber.org

Pacific Coast Business Times

Pacific Coast Business Times

In an exciting benefit for Ventura Chamber members, Pacific Coast Business Times is offering a 3-month trial subscription beginning in March. New subscribers can sign up for a full year at a special price of $39.99.

To find out more or to make sure you are getting your copy, please contact PCBT Circulation Director Debra Giles at dgiles@pacbiztimes.com. We hope you enjoy reading the region’s only weekly business publication!