Biz Buzz

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

By Daphne Khalida Kilea 12/05/2013

Serio, a locally owned and operated specialty skateboard shop, opened at 2674 E. Main St. in Ventura. The shop offers brands that are unavailable anywhere else in Ventura County and focuses only on skateboard hard goods, soft goods, books and accessories. … Orogold Cosmetics opened at 3301 E. Main St. in Ventura. The new boutique offers a luxury skincare line that is best-known for infusing all of its products with 24-karat gold. … The Open Blossom, a full service florist, opens Dec. 9, with a grand opening celebration on Dec. 14 at 428 Poli St. For more information, go to or 648-3333. … Grapes and Hops, Ventura’s newest source for the finest wines and craft beers, will open this month. It is located at 454 E. Main St. in Ventura; contact 616-CORK (2675) or go to ... A new high-end designer boutique, Green Goddess, opened at 2215 Ventura Blvd. in Camarillo. The Green Goddess carries a wide vintage collection and offers shoppers the organic aromatherapy spa line as well as professional styling. … The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura celebrated the grand opening of its clubhouse at 11321 Violeta St. in Ventura. The E.J. Harrison Family Youth Center has a separate technology area, teen room, learning center and much more to cater to the community’s youth. … A California Welcome Center recently opened at 2786 Seaglass Way in Oxnard.

And the award goes to …


Local company Meathead Movers and co-founders Aaron and Evan Steed are recognized on the 2013 Empact Showcase among “Best 100 Companies Started by Young Entrepreneurs.” The Empact Showcase is sponsored by Entrepreneur Magazine and hosted by the United Nations. … Trudy Tuttle Arriaga, superintendent of Ventura Unified School District, is the recipient of the 2013 Marcus Foster Award for Administrator Excellence from the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). ACSA acknowledged Arriaga for her outstanding leadership and work ethic. … Sandy Curwood, director of food and nutrition services at the Ventura Unified School District, received the California Food for California Kids 2013 Innovation Award. Under Curwood’s leadership, several local school districts worked together to conduct professional development workshops, develop recipes and identify the products to put out to bid — saving money while boosting collective average daily participation from 16,000 to 30,000 students. … The Mayor’s Arts Awards honored local artists, educators, organizations and business leaders for contributions to Ventura County’s cultural community. The event was held at the Museum of Ventura County, recognizing Todd Collart, Gerald Zwers, William Hendricks, Uriel Leon, Mary Perez, Kevin Clerici and Sue Pollack. … Ventura-based environmental sciences and planning consulting firm Rincon Consultants Inc. was recently featured in the second annual Inc. Hire Power Awards, which recognized private businesses that have generated the most jobs in the past 18 months. Rincon placed among the top four private business job creators within the environmental services industry, having a 32 percent increase by generating 22 jobs between Jan.1, 2012, and June 30, 2013.

Moving up


Jess Williams and Candice Imbler recently joined Thousand Oaks’ Mustang Marketing, a full-service marketing, advertising and communications company. Williams is an administrative assistant working closely with the company’s president and vice president while Imbler is a production manager. … Janneke Straub has been selected as the executive director of the Ojai Music Festival. Straub has an extensive background and career in music; she assumes her new role on Jan. 6 and will oversee the 68th Ojai Music Festival in June. … Brenda Birdwell, Richard L. Francis and Dr. Ramon Flores were selected as board members of Community Action Agency of Ventura County (CAVC). Birdwell is a senior advocate for senior concerns in Thousand Oaks, working out of the Goebel Senior Center; Francis is an attorney at Oxnard’s Richard L. Francis and Associates; Flores is the president of the Ventura County Board of Education, director of knowledge management and director of information technology at the Center for Seabees and Facilities Engineering. … David Seery recently joined Lamia Financial Group LLC, a Thousand Oaks full-service financial planning and wealth management company. Seery, a CSU Channel Islands alumnus, is a client service specialist who will provide critical client-related support to the company’s wealth management team while also managing vital operational duties for the firm. … Brian Kinnare has been named director of agronomy at Olivas Links and Buenaventura Golf Courses by KemperSports. Kinnare brings almost 18years of experience in this field and will manage all aspects of golf course maintenance, while preserving the surrounding environment and natural resources of both 18-hole courses.

Holiday Spirit
United Way of Ventura County initiated GiftMatch on for the community to donate items to local nonprofit organizations after browsing through a list of agency needs. … Four Seasons Cleaners and the Rotary Club of Ventura jointly renewed The Coats for Kids Project for its 10th year. This year, the goal is to collect 6,000 coats and jackets that Four Seasons Cleaners will clean and the Downtown Rotary Club of Ventura will distribute to various nonprofits, schools and churches at its annual Christmas party. For a list of collection box locations, visit … Home Instead Senior Care is overseeing the Be a Santa to a Senior program, which helps ensure that isolated seniors receive gifts and companionship during the holidays. Participating retailers will display until Dec. 15 Christmas trees that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names. For more information, visit

In the name of charity

Janet Garufis of Montecito Bank & Trust
and Michael Towbes of the board.
Photo by Clint Weisman.

Montecito Bank and Trust awarded more than $110,000 to 24 nonprofit organizations in Ventura County during its 11th annual Community Dividends Awards Luncheon. The recipients are involved in serving the arts, youth and education, social welfare, medical and health services.

The Camarillo Public Library and the Outstanding Professional Employment Network (OPEN) will co-host a free, week-long series of workshops for professionals in job transition. The sessions run Dec. 9-13, 8:30 a.m-1 p.m. at the library (4101 Las Posas Road) with topics ranging from how to build productive resume to effectively negotiating for an appropriate salary. To register or for more information, visit


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