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



New in Downtown Ventura — Barrelhouse 101 at 545 E. Thompson Blvd., formerly Brooks restaurant, opened its door late last month. Owner Joby M. Yobe, who also owns the Ojai Beverage Co., named the restaurant after its proximity to the Highway 101 and the 101 beers on tap. It also features food and full service bar. … Imagine Toys and Gifts opened at 540 E. Main Street. It offers toys and gifts for kids of all ages. … Melange furniture store opened at 294 E. Main St. It features pre-owned furnishing and décor. Naturally Wild Artisan Soap and Bath is now open at 12 W. Main St. in Ventura. Customers can choose already-made soap and bath products off the shelf or create their own blends with a selection of more than 40 herbs, clays and flowers. The grand opening celebration will be June 15 and 16 with the Phil Marquez family. … A multi-arts gallery and inspirational center,  The House of Magic is opening in Ventura, to provide the arts through classes, galleries and events. … Oxnard — The Passionate Spirit Dance Academy is now open at 2550 Vineyard Ave., suite  220, in Oxnard. The academy offers lessons in tango, ballroom, flamenco, belly dancing, zumba, hip hop, swing and yoga. … Thousand Oaks — Pelo Hair will have an official ribbon cutting ceremony (open to public) on June 27 at 421 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., suite 7, in Thousand Oaks. The store has been featured in Short Hair Style magazine and has contributed for an official L’Oréal photo shoot and offers various types of Pelo Hair extensions.


Moving up:

Katherine Edsall Wells

Sheriff Geoff Dean has been appointed to the Ventura County American Red Cross President’s Council. Along with the Council, Sheriff Dean will aid the Red Cross in the organization of volunteers and donors to prepare for and undergo emergencies. … Katherine Edsall Wells recently joined Edsall Law in Camarillo. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Stanford Law School, Wells is working with her father and will be focusing on estates, trust and estate disputes, and business litigation. … The Salvation Army in Ventura will soon welcome new corps officers,  Lts. Matthew and Vanessa Jensen. The current corps officer, Capt. Bill Finley, and his wife, Tolani, have been reassigned to Anchorage, Alaska, where he will serve as the administrator of the Clitheroe Center and she will be the administrator of Booth Memorial Youth and Family Services.


In the name of charity

Daniel Tatar 

The Rubicon Theatre Company will feature on June 11 the Broadway Cabaret Benefit Series, and the proceeds will go to the theater’s Education and Outreach Program, which has provided an opportunity to more that 45,000 youth. The performance will include NAACP award-winner Daniel Tatar and The Company Men. … The Downtown Ventura Organization and its affiliates will be hosting a fundraiser, the Hope-a-Thon from June to August. The funds will be used to support the Homeless2Home program, which allows outreach workers to take short- and long-term proactive measures with homeless individuals.


And the award goes to…

Marylie Gerson

First Bank Branch President and Area Manager Bob Alviani of Ventura recently received a 2012 Award of Excellence as Manager of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding performance in key categories across each market and branch within the First Bank network. … Marylie Gerson, practicing clinical psychologist and associate professor of psychology at California Lutheran University, recently received the 2012 President’s Award for Teaching Excellence. The award is presented to professors who are held in high esteem by their peers, students and the rest of the university community. … CSU, Channel Islands awarded professor Ching-Hua Wang the 2012 Edward M. McAleer Jr. Excellence and Innovation Award. Wang is a professor of immunology and microbiology. The award is presented annually to an exemplary CSU employee and is accompanied by $1,000 honorarium, a personalized plaque and recognition by the CSU Commission. … Sebastien Paul De Clerck, a teacher at Ventura High School, has been selected as Ventura County’s 2012 Teacher of the Year. De Clerck teaches foreign languages at VHS, and this award makes him eligible for the 2013 California Teacher of the Year. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) recently received two prestigious Metlife-sponsored Merit Awards for Program Excellence at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s 106th National Conference in San Diego. BGCOP won a merit award for character and leadership development and another for sports, fitness and recreation, with $2,000 for each. … Women’s Economic Ventures was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as the 2012 winner of the Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award. The Los Angeles District Office will hold an award luncheon on June 13 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.



Chief Petty Officer Christopher Wilson accepted the position of officer in Coast Guard Station Channel Islands. As an officer, Wilson will be in a leadership position. … The Oxnard Fire Department received a $25,000 grant from  State Farm, aimed at reducing the number of drowning incidents at Oxnard beaches. The grant money will be allocated to campaigns that boost public education and awareness about water safety.  … The Ventura County Board of Supervisors recently approved $442,502 in funding for the Economic Development Collaborative — Ventura County’s business assistance and loan programs. The funding is targeted for Fillmore, Moorpark, Ojai, Port Hueneme, Santa Paula and the county’s unincorporated area, and the  EDC —VC  programs are projected to create 71 jobs by June 30, 2013. … The Bureau of Reclamation has selected the City of Ventura to receive $150,000 in WaterSMART Water Recycling and Reuse Funding. The WaterSMART program will help ensure a stable water supply for businesses and local residents, create jobs, enhance the environment and strengthen local economies. 

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.