Biz Buzz

Biz Buzz

By Daphne Khalida Kilea 01/03/2013


Welcome to Biz Buzz, a monthly dispatch of interesting business news in the VC.



Social Tap at 1105 S. Seaward Ave. in Ventura officially opened last month. It features 24 craft beers and a wide variety of dishes, including soft tacos, burgers and more. … The popular outside dining spot, Cafe Nouveau has reopened after a fire that shut down operations last year. It features a diverse menu of fine American cuisine. … The newly reopened Bella Capri Inn and suites has renovated rooms that include free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, microwaves and much more. It is located at 2050 E. Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo and has an on-site cafe, Old Town Café that serves breakfast and lunch. … Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is well known for its burritos, tacos and salads, opened at 369 W. Esplanade Dr. in Oxnard.

And the award goes to …

Melissa Bush (center) December’s Teacher of the Month

California Lutheran University (CLU) gave its annual Inspiration Award to student Lynzi Tarango and staff member Amanda Namba. They were both recognized for their leadership through their encouragement of intellectual and spiritual growth. … 2010 CLU graduate Elizabeth Calkins received a U.S Student Fulbright Award to teach English in Kenya. She was chosen for her academic achievements, knowledge of written and spoken Kiswahili, and leadership potential. … Seventh-grade teacher Melissa Bush was named December’s Teacher of the Month by the Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation. Bush teaches at Sunset School, where she is the technology consultant and the creator and mentor for Student Council as well as chair of the Family Fun Festival. … Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) received the 2012 Legislator of the Year award from the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties for his work toward developing the community and the state. … The Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors (VCCAR) recently named Deborah Cusick as Broker/Owner of the Year. Cusick has been in real estate for 23 years and is the owner of ERA Cusick Realty in Ventura. …The Arc of Ventura County (AVC) recently honored several individuals at its annual awards luncheon at the Spanish Hills Country Club in Camarillo. These included Harriet Weigel, community advocate and volunteer, who  received the Hazel Kay Benefactor Award, and, Fred W. Robinson, the agency’s retiring chief executive officer, who received  the Richard M. Bateman Award, the agency’s highest recognition of an employee. The awards, which were presented for exemplary achievements and service to AVC, were presented by President of the Board of Directors Robert Hogan, with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Barry Morrow as guest speaker. … The Ventura Chamber of Commerce recently announced the winners of the 2012 Poinsettia Awards, which honored several businesses and individuals in business, education and government that have improved Ventura over the last year. Awards included Large Business of the Year — Ventura TowneHouse; Mid-Size Business of the Year — Ventura Rental/Ventura Party Rental; Small Business of the Year — RH Wealth Advisors. …The Central Coast’s chapter of the American Planning Association recognized the city of Thousand Oaks for its design for Thousand Oaks Boulevard, with the Award of Excellence in the Hard-Won Victory category. …Ventura’s Community Memorial Hospital (CMH) was recognized by National Research Corporation with the 2012/2013 Consumer Choice Award for being one of the nation’s top hospitals.

Moving up

Bret Anderson of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP 

Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP ( FCOP)  promoted attorneys Bret Anderson and Leslie McAdam to partners, acknowledging their contributions to the law firm and its clients. FCOP also announced the addition of Kymberley Peck, an associate who will focus on family law. … For the second year, singer/actor Tracey Williams-Sutton will serve as president of the Theatre Branch of the Ojai Art Centre (OAC). Williams-Sutton is a theater arts teacher at Villanova Preparatory School. … Juan C. Ros of Lamia Financial Group, LLC in Thousand Oaks was elected to the board of directors of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles (PPP-LA). Ros is a certified financial planner with previous experience with PPP-LA, an association of charitable gift planning professionals.

Kimberley Peck of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP

In the name of charity

McCune Foundation recently awarded more than $360,000 in grants to 16 organizations within Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties that lead the community toward positive change, including $10,000 to the ARC of Ventura County and $30,000 to La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth and Family Center of Oxnard.


Cal Poly San Luis Obispo received a $50,000 donation from the Gene Haas Foundation of Oxnard, allowing the school to open a cutting-edge robotics and automation lab in the engineering department. Also, the Gene Haas Foundation Scholarship was established for excellent students entering the engineering program.


California Office of Traffic Safety awarded $150,000 to the Oxnard Police Department (OPD) for the Special Traffic Enforcement and Crash Prevention program. The grant will assist OPD in the effort to lessen traffic collision injuries/fatalities and increase traffic safety through various enforcement methods and public awareness.


California Lutheran University’s School of Management will host a free panel discussion, “The Opportunities and Challenges of Sustainability”, on Jan. 9. It will be held in the Lundring Events Center at CLU, with a networking reception at 5:15 p.m. and the panel at 7 p.m. … In conjunction with California Restaurant Month, the city of Oxnard will host the third annual International Restaurant Week on Jan.21-31. There will be 18 diverse restaurants featured, which will offer special menus and discounts. For more information, visit

Voting begins

Downtown Ventura Organization (DVO) is accepting votes for exceptional businesses and merchants in downtown Ventura. There are 12 categories, and the winners will be presented with the Junipero Serra Awards on Jan.16 at 5:30 p.m. at Bombay Bar & Grill in Ventura. Visit to vote.

Biz Buzz appears the first Thursday of each month. Send news of openings, changes and other things of interest to



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