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


PizzaRev opened at 1831 Rose Ave. (at Gonzales) in Oxnard where patrons can craft their own thin-crust pizzas from a selection of more than 30 toppings. The restaurant also caters to gluten-free and vegan diets. … Shanghai Beer Garden is opening at 34 N. Palm St. in Ventura, offering gourmet Chinese cuisine, Asian fusion dishes in an Italian bistro style with an onsite microbrew pub. … N’Awlinz Bistro will open at 221 W. Fifth St. in Oxnard, presenting Cajun and French-Creole cuisine, which includes the authentic Southern po’boy (sandwich), gumbo, jambalaya, barbecue and more. … Café Brio will open at 2404 E. Main St. in Ventura. The cafe will offer a variety of cakes, cookies and pastries (selection varies daily and seasonally), grilled-to-order sandwiches, salads, pizza and more. … Dr. Leo Lombardo, a board-certified anesthesiologist and fellowship-trained pain management specialist, recently opened Ventura Pain & Spine Physicians Inc., at 1730 S. Victoria Ave., suite 220, in Ventura. The practice specializes in advanced nonsurgical treatments for chronic pain conditions, www.venturapain.com. … Stars in Your Eyes, the only independently owned astrological dating service in the country, is back in the tri-counties. The site provides personalized introductions with compatible singles using a thorough consultation that includes a personalized reading and astrological chart with a personality profile, www.starsinyoureyesdating.com. … P.S. from Aéropostale is now open in Ventura at the Pacific View Mall (3301-1 E. Main St.), on the second floor near Macy’s. The store offers trendy apparel for boys and girls of ages 4 to 12. … Toys R Us recently celebrated the grand opening of its newest outlet store at 900 Camarillo Center Drive at the Camarillo Premium Outlets. The 3,000-square-foot store features a wide selection of value-oriented products unique to its outlet locations. … Several restaurants are scheduled to open this fall at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard: Settebello Pizzeria at 2760 Seaglass Way, specializing in pizza napoletana (authentic Naples-style pizza) baked in a handmade Italian wood-burning oven using high-quality ingredients imported from Italy. With a country vibe, Tony Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill will feature a guitar-shaped bar and live music while offering burgers, sandwiches, salads and much more. Known for its award-winning barbecue and sides, Famous Dave’s will offer barbecue combos, ribs, sandwiches and more in a family-friendly atmosphere with moderate prices.


Wild Planet at 560 E. Main St. in Downtown Ventura will be closing its doors by Oct. 10, though the owner is willing to sell. The store, however, will have to find a new location because the current space is no longer available.

And the award goes to …

Tim Hengst of Thousand Oaks was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) for his contributions to the profession and fellow illustrators. Hengst has served as president of AMI, received numerous awards and has illustrated more than 50 medical textbooks and 100 journal articles. He is currently the chairman of California Lutheran University’s (CLU) multimedia program and executive director of the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, CLU’s professional theater company. … Gerald Mercer of Ventura recently received the Lindy Award from the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Wisconsin. The EAA honored Mercer with the prestigious bronze award in the Homebuilt Kit Champion category for his 2013 Questair Venture. … Sylvia Taylor-Stein, executive director of Long-Term Care Ombudsman Services of Ventura County, has been recognized as 2013’s winner of the Consumer Voice Howard Hinds Memorial Award. The award honors an individual who has significantly and effectively advocated (locally) for long-term care consumers. … Ventura attorneys Wendy C. Lascher and Gregory W. Herring of Ferguson Case Orr Paterson and William M. Slaughter of Slaughter & Reagan were recently recognized for their professional excellence in the 20th edition of The Best Lawyers in America. … The United Way of Ventura County will host the ninth annual Spirit of Community Partnership Awards on Sept.19 at the Serra Center in Camarillo. Michael Silacci, Dr. Mark Lisagor, Heather Hanna, Heidi Hansen, Aera Energy LLC and The Homeless 2 Home Project will receive awards, as well as United Way’s top 10 corporate partners. … The VC Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) has been named the 2014 Above and Beyond Distinguished Service Award recipient by the Brain Injury Center of Ventura County (BIC). CIT is a county-wide law-enforcement program that provides specially trained officers to respond to and assist people in crisis due to mental disorders. The award recognizes CIT’s efforts to work more compassionately with brain-injury survivors; it will be presented at BIC’s annual fundraising event on Oct.19 at the Residence Inn (Marriott) in Oxnard.

Moving up

For the third consecutive year, Justin R. Cordova has been named a member of the 2013 New York Life Insurance Company’s executive council. Cordova is associated with NYL’s Central Coast General Office in Oxnard and has been an NYL financial professional since 2009. … Mark Ross is the new vice president of technology of Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU). With his vast experience in IT, Ross is expected to further VCCU’s information security and application development, and work to advance e-commerce, disaster recovery and business process improvement. … Mary Anne Rooney, vice president of the Board of Port Commissioners for the Port of Hueneme, has been invited to join a Leadership Mission to Taipei this month. The mission will allow participants the opportunity to meet with senior government officials as well as discuss global political and economic issues. Commissioner Rooney was invited by Dr. Lori Murray, president and CEO of the World Affairs Councils of America in Washington, D.C., and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office. … The Workforce Investment Board (WIB) of Ventura County elected Mike Soules as the new chair and Sandra Werner as the vice chair. Soules is the president of Corwin, a SAGE Company, in Thousand Oaks while Werner is the director of human resources at Simi Valley Hospital. They have both been active members of WIB and will serve their new appointments for two years. … Lori’s Original Lemonade has formed a partnership with Whole Foods Market southern Pacific region’s 49 locations; the organic ginger lemonade and organic lavender lemonade is already in stores. Owner Lori Volk of Ojai intends to donate a portion of the profits to the Asociacion Huarayo, which protects vulnerable children in the Peruvian Amazon.

In the name of charity

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme will unite with Ventura Harley-Davidson for the fifth Harley-Davidson Raffle for Kids. The club is selling only 2,000 tickets at $30 each for the chance to win a 2013 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 motorcycle. The proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs youth development programs and services. Tickets are available at the clubs in Oxnard/Port Hueneme or at www.bgcop.org/2013harley. … On Sept.5, Santa to the Sea will award 50 students scholarships of $500 each to Oxnard College and an entry into a drawing to win a new laptop. The funds are from the nonprofit’s year-round half marathon and relay races, using $5 from each race participant’s registration fee for the scholarships. … United Way of Ventura County will host its 24th annual Day of Caring on Sept. 28 and is seeking volunteers. The event will bring together teams and individual volunteers to help nonprofit organizations in the community with a variety of tasks (painting community centers, tending community gardens, sorting donated food items, etc.). To register as a volunteer (deadline Sept.20) and to view full descriptions of projects, visit www.volunteerventuracounty.org.


Morgan Swaidan, a student at California Lutheran University (CLU), was named as a Rossing Physics Scholar — honorable mention for the 2013-14 year by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Swaidan of Ventura was honored for being an exceptional physics student and was awarded a $5,000 scholarship. … Eugenie Shuere, a senior at Ojai’s Villanova Preparatory School, earned a top composite score of 36 on a recent ACT test. Among the 2013 test-takers, only 1,162 of more than 1.8 million students earned a 36 (on a scale of 1-36); she received a letter from ACT CEO Jon Whitmore recognizing her outstanding achievement. … Santa Barbara Business College (SBBC) recently pledged $2 million in a new scholarship program for individuals wishing to continue their educations. SBBC will offer a maximum of up to $5,000 and applicants will not be judged on previous grades but instead on their potential for success in the future. … The Board of Regents of California Lutheran University (CLU) approved the merging of Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) with CLU. The merger will allow both schools to share resources and enhance their educational programs; PLTS will continue to be a full seminary and remain in Berkeley.


St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura is celebrating its 50th anniversary, A Year in Celebration. The year-long celebration began on Aug. 30 with a re-dedication ceremony and an anniversary mass on Aug. 31 with Archbishop Jose Gomez, followed by a barbecue. Additional anniversary activities planned throughout the year include the 23rd Annual Golf Tournament, Homecoming football game, 50th anniversary candlelight Christmas concert, 22nd annual Einstein and Wine Event and more. … Pirates Grub ’n’ Grog in Oxnard celebrated its fourth year under new ownership.


The Community Memorial Health System has received approval from the state of California’s Office of Statewide Planning and Development to begin phase II of the modernization plan of  its Ojai Hospital. The pending construction will include an aesthetic update of the hospital exterior and front entrance, a new outdoor seating area and an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant entryway. The estimated completion date of the project is the first quarter of 2014.