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Biz Buzz

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

By Daphne Khalida Kilea 10/03/2013



AJ Chinese Cuisine recently opened at 842 E. Ojai Ave. in Ojai, with two renowned chefs from China serving classic and regional Chinese dishes. The restaurant has a full bar, and its expanding seven-page menu will feature monthly and luncheon specials. … Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) opened its newest branch in Port Hueneme at 687 W. Channel Islands Blvd. The branch is VCCU’s sixth in Ventura County. … New at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard, at 690 Collection Blvd., ULTA Beauty recently celebrated a grand opening, with $5 to $100 ULTA gift certificates/salon services offered to the first 100 customers. The store offers a wide selection of makeup, fragrances, skincare and much more. From noon on Oct.3, H&M will hold its grand opening at 2751 Park View Court, suite 261. There will be up to $300 in giveaways for the first 100 shoppers in line, and one shopper will win 10 shirts, three dresses or a pair of pants and 13 accessories.

And the award goes to …

Jerry Yoshitomi will be presented with the distinguished National Recognition Award by the Ventura County Arts Council Board (VCAC) at its upcoming 2013 Art Stars Awards reception and dinner. Yoshitomi will be honored for his excellent professional and personal service in the arts. The other honorees include Bill Benson, Maggie Kildee, Harry Selvin, Conejo Players Theatre, The Collection at RiverPark and General Services Agency, County of Ventura. The event will be held on Oct. 9 at the Tower Club in Oxnard. … Camarillo businessman and philanthropist Steve Blois will be honored by CSU, Channel Islands (CSUCI), at its 14th Annual President’s Dinner. Blois will receive the Lagomarsino Award, which is presented to individuals who have contributed to and supported CSUCI; he has served on various committees and boards and is currently head of the committee overseeing the restoration of the university’s courtyards. … Limoneira president and CEO Harold Edwards is the recipient of the Sustainability Award from the Captain Planet Foundation. Edwards was honored for Limoneira’s continued efforts to be conscious of the environment and the community throughout its business practices. … Jim and Sue Swenson will be honored by California Lutheran University (CLU) with the Christus Award on Oct.18 at 10 a.m. during CLU’s Founders Day Convocation. The award is presented to those who have made significant contributions to strengthening the partnership between CLU and the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Among other contributions, the Swensons have provided substantial aid to hundreds of students through the Swenson Scholars Program and the Swenson Science Summer Research Fellowships.

Moving up

Oxnard law firm Nelson Comis Kettle & Kinney has announced its formal name change with the recent addition of two new partners, Sylvia Soto and Laura S. Withrow. The two attorneys have substantial experience, with Soto primarily focused on family law and Withrow on employment law.

In the name of charity

The Collection at RiverPark recently presented Margaret Travers, executive director of the Ventura County Arts Council (VCAC), with a donation of $5,000. The funds were raised during a 10-show summer concert series (“Rock The Collection”) and will be used by VCAC to promote the arts in schools. … The late Paul and Bessie Carter of Ventura left $200,000 to the Ventura College Foundation (VCF) to assist nursing students. VCF will be accepting applications for its Paul and Bessie Carter Nursing Scholarship Fund starting Jan. 2014; qualifying applicants will receive $1,000 for tuition, books and uniforms. … The Monsanto Fund awarded a $10,000 grant to the American Red Cross of Ventura County. The funds will be used to supply American Red Cross workers with additional disaster relief assistance and training for more Disaster Action Team volunteers. … The Court Appointed Special Advocates of Ventura County (CASA) will host CASABlanca, its first Pop-up, flash mob outdoor picnic on Oct. 12 from 3 to 7 p.m. in Central Conejo Valley. CASA is a nonprofit organization that trains volunteers to become sworn-in officers of the court for children in foster care. The event will feature MC radio personality David Wilson, an opportunity to win more than $3,000 in prizes, and live music by Tom Gramlich, Mystic Miles and Lisa Harrison (the Waltons). Registration closes Oct. 5. For more information, visit … The Ventura district of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul will host its fourth annual formal Black and White Dinner/Dance on Nov. 9 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center from 6 p.m. to midnight. The funds from the event will be used to support the operations of the winter shelter that serves the homeless in West Ventura County. For more information, go to


Kathryn Leonard, an associate professor of mathematics at CSU, Channel Islands (CSUCI), along with five of her former students, Danika Lindsay, Rebecca Strawbridge, Matthew Dawson, Lawrence Averion and Raquel Barata, won the Best Paper Award in Vietnam. The award was presented at the 13th International Conference on Computational Science and Its Applications, where the research paper, titled “Minimal Geometric Representation and Strawberry Stem Detection,” won first place out of 15 nominees. … Scott Groeneveld, a first-grade teacher at Loma Vista Elementary in Ventura, was named September’s Teacher of the Month by the Ventura Commerce and Education Foundation. Groeneveld is interactive with his students and motivates them to participate in activities while he is also involved with the deaf community and uses his knowledge of sign language to help meet the needs of the school’s aurally-challenged students.


Ventura BMX was selected as one of the venues for 2014’s National USA BMX races. Ventura Mayor Mike Tracy joined Ventura BMX and the community during the Rider Appreciation/National Event celebration on Sept. 21; Ventura will host National USA BMX races in 2014, 2015 and 2016.


The Ventura County Credit Union hosts two free shed events for households/personal documents at the Ventura office, 6026 Telephone Road on Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; or Thousand Oaks office at 18 W. Thousand Oaks Blvd. on Thursday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Maximum two boxes per member please.  

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



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