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

 

Opening:

Marie Shannon Confections is a new gourmet bakery at 27 S. Chestnut St. in downtown Ventura. It specializes in organic cakes, pastries, breads and cookies. The shop also sells wholesale and offers coffee, vegan and gluten-free options. … Ojai Beverage Company is opening a new location at 545 E. Thompson Blvd. in Ventura. It will have a tavern-like feel, specializing in craft and imported beer, eclectic wine and classic cocktails, all matched with a delicious menu. The grand opening is expected to be sometime in mid-April. … Ventura Danzar, a new kind of fitness and dance studio, is opening a new location at 2640 E. Main St. in Ventura on March 2. It offers a variety of classes, including six types of Zumba, dance/movement, boot camp and core work. … Big Buddha Imports recently opened at 1744 E. Main St., Ventura, expanding from the Big Buddha Lounge in the Ojai Valley. It features one-of-a-kind, handcrafted pieces from India, Bali and Indonesia. … Whale’s Tail in Oxnard recently renovated the entire restaurant and bar, including the outside. It also features a new menu and new happy hour. Gen110, one of the largest distributed power companies, recently opened an office in Westlake Village, serving the greater Ventura County area. Gen110 brings to Ventura County homeowners a new way to take control of their utility bills. … ONLINE: Pro surfer Timmy Curran of Ventura launched, in February, TheProPost.com, a Ventura County hub for connecting consumers with high-quality local pros for all your service needs. (Every post supports local charities.)

MB

Moving up…

Melissa Baffa has been appointed by the board of directors of Friends of Channel Coast State Parks to serve as the organization’s first executive director. Baffa will be responsible for guiding the growth of Friends of Channel Coast State Parks, including fundraising and adding new revenue streams, developing new programs and increasing the organization’s visibility in the community. … IT professional Frank J. Baldino, a client executive who specializes in life sciences and healthcare, has been named chairman of the board of directors at the Conejo Free Clinic. Conejo Free Clinic offers critically needed medical and legal services to the community, free of charge. … Tracy M. Noonan has been selected by the Thousand Oaks City Council to serve as Thousand Oaks’ next city attorney. Noonan is a native of Ventura County and has extensive experience as a municipal attorney. She has served as City Attorney for the City of Simi Valley since February 2009. … Su-lin V. Rubalcava has joined County Schools Federal Credit Union as the marketing and community development manager, reporting to Robert W. Emerick, chief executive officer. Rubalcava has a passion for building and leading programs that are of interest to educators and students alike. … Dennis LaRochelle, a partner with Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas & Zirbel LLP (A to Z Law), has been named to the Southern California Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in Southern California for 2012. LaRochelle is a civil litigator who has tried or arbitrated more than 100 cases, including nearly 30 jury trials.

In the name of charity…

FOOD Share, Ventura County’s only regional food bank, received a $300,000 grant from the Amgen Foundation. The funding, to be distributed over a two-year period, will be used to support food assistance programs throughout Ventura County. FOOD Share distributes millions of pounds of food each year to those in need. …  The Southern California Gas Company recently awarded a $20,000 grant to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme as part of a 2011 Education Initiative. The club will use the grant to support College Bound, an educational enhancement program intended to guide students through the process of reaching high school graduation and attending college. … Fifteen First Bank employees in the Southern California region received First Bank CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) Community First Awards. Area residents Ashley Jue, Susan Montoya and Debra Wanbaugh received gold-level awards for at least 100 hours of volunteer service. Community First Awards can be earned by volunteering time towards CRA-qualified activities that support one of the following for low- to moderate-income individuals: affordable housing, community services, economic development or revitalization.

And the award goes to…

Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County’s (EDC-VC’s) Small Business Development Center was recently awarded the Highest Job Creation 2011 award by the Los Angeles Regional Small Business Development Center Network. Of eight centers in the region, EDC-VC’s SBDC also ranks highest in job retention and is third of the eight centers overall.

For your health …

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) of Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC) has opened its doors at 3291 Loma Vista Road in Ventura. The unit will care for gravely ill children and is the only PICU in Ventura County. Dr. John Marcum, the VCMC pediatric intensive care director, comes to VCMC with 10 years of experience. He was formerly director of pediatric intensive care at North Central Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.

Academia…

Twelve California Lutheran University MBA students are blending academics with real-world experience as they explore the field of small business consulting by providing services to three local businesses. Students are consulting with Crime Point in Camarillo, Trupart Mfg. in Ventura and In Touch Health in Santa Barbara. The businesses have previously worked with SBDC and were chosen for their desire to continue growing and expanding their business opportunities.

Biz Buzz appears the first Thursday of each month. Send news of openings, changes and other things of interest to Editorial@vcreporter.com by the 20th of the prior month to be considered.