Biz Buzz

Biz Buzz

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

By Daphne Khalida Kilea 12/06/2012



Lure Fish House is now open at 60 S. California St. in Ventura. The restaurant offers locally caught seafood and organically grown produce, with a wide variety of fish, shrimp, lobster, salads, desserts and much more. There is a full service bar serving specialty cocktails and an oyster bar. …iFlextrain Fitness for Autism Gym opened at 125 Academy Drive in Newbury Park. The gym focuses on four to six people per class, promoting body-mind social training through fitness for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorder. Fitness trainer and former boxer David Igliori teaches the classes. … The Ventura Coast Imaging Center, Ventura’s branch of Rolling Oaks Radiology, has relocated to 4516 Market St. The Center has been renamed Rolling Oaks Radiology — Ventura and has expanded to include a women’s center, offering digital mammography, DEXA and more.


Oxnard’s branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles is scheduled to close in March of 2013 for financial reasons. The thrift store is currently located at 1258 Saviers Road.

‘Tis the season  

The Collection at RiverPark will be hosting a canned food drive for FOOD Share, Dec. 7-9. The goal is to raise 50,000 pounds in three days. The Can-Tree Collection event will be a family-friendly weekend. … Everyone is invited to the annual holiday business mixer hosted by Business Network International (BNI) of Ventura County at Sugar Beets Restaurant in downtown Oxnard. The free event will provide food, beverages, door prizes and opportunities to network. It will be held on Dec. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m., and attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and a door prize. See … Beginning Dec.1, pet adoptions at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) shelters in Camarillo and Simi Valley are half-price as a part of the Take Me Home for the Holidays promotion. VCAS recently opened its Simi Valley shelter at 670 E. Los Angeles Ave.

Ventura County consulting engineer, Mohammed A. Hasan

And the award goes to…

The California Water Environment Association (CWEA) recently honored Ventura County consulting engineer Mohammed A. Hasan with the “Turkey of the Year” award. The annual award is given to a person who has served the organization as well as demonstrated leadership in the profession. … A team of martial artists from Paragon Academy in Ventura won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2012 World No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championship in Long Beach. Paragon Academy participated in the two-day event and won a total of eight prestigious medals. … Casa Pacifica Centers for Children & Families was awarded a Best in Class Award for Charity for its website. The award is the highest honor given by the Interactive Media Awards for a website that is both professional and user-friendly. … The California Conservation Corps (CCC) received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. The U.S. Green Building Council awarded CCC the certification for a 10-building residential center in Camarillo that was designed with energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality features. … The Ventura Chamber of Commerce will host its annual Poinsettia Awards on Dec.13 at the Marriott Ventura Beach Hotel (2055 Harbor Blvd.) in Ventura from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The luncheon will recognize businesses and individuals who have made a difference in the community. Attendees are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy, book or sporting equipment for the Ventura fire fighters holiday toy drive.

Paragon Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Academy

California Conservation Corps


Heather Skogerson, DVM

Moving up

Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) appointed Heather Skogerson, DMV as managing veterinarian. She joins the agency following the retirement of Dr. Craig Koerner, and will be responsible for providing medical and surgical care for animals as well as supervising VCAS programs. … Dennis LaRochelle, a partner with Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas & Zirbel LLP (A to Z Law), was recently selected as vice president of the California chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (CAL-ABOTA). … Ojai Community Bank recently opened a mortgage department, managed by Peter Hart. The bank also announced record-breaking profits in its third quarter, with an increase in net income, total assets and deposits year-to-date (ending Sept. 30). … Michelle Raleigh, a health care administrator with more than two decades of experience, was appointed as the chief financial officer (CFO) of Gold Coast Health Plan (GCHP). Raleigh replaced Sonia De Marta, who will now serve as GCHP’s controller. … Director of Agronomy at Olivas Links and Buenaventura Golf Course Matt Mulvany earned the highest certification awarded by the Golf Course Superintendent’s Association of America (GCSAA). Mulvany is one of 1,600 superintendents worldwide to hold the Certified Golf Course Superintendent title. … The California Strawberry Festival named William T. Belcher as its chairman for the upcoming 30th anniversary celebration in May 2013. Belcher is recognized for his continuous participation in the festival and other organizations within the community for more than two decades. Former chairman Daisy Tatum remains on the executive board, and James Donelson was appointed a new board member. … Ellen Pasternack, who has an extensive background in the entertainment industry, was recently appointed as executive director of the Ventura Music Festival (VMF). The VMF will be held May 2-11, 2013; the annual Student Jazz Competition will be on Jan.13 at Zoey’s Café in Ventura (free admission).

Dennis LaRochelle

Matt Mulvany

Moving on

Eric Wallner, cultural affairs supervisor for the city of Ventura, will be leaving his current position on Dec. 7. Wallner has been with the city for six years and will move on to assume the role of CEO at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Va.


In the name of charity

Catherine Meek has been named a 2012 Woman of Worth by L’Oreal Paris. The award is presented to women who are “making a beautiful difference in the world” and supports their causes through grants and raising awareness. On behalf of Meek, School on Wheels received $10, 000 to continue improving educational opportunities for homeless children. … Vista Ford of Oxnard hosted the Go Further with Ford fundraiser on Nov.15 and introduced the new Ford Fusion. Ford will donate up to $1,000 to the American Cancer Society. … The National Endowment for the Arts awarded grants to 832 nonprofit organizations, including the Ojai Music Festival, which was recommended for a $15,000 Art Works grant to support its upcoming 67th event. The festival will be held June 6 to 9, 2013, and acclaimed choreographer Mark Morris will serve as music director.

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



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