Opening
The Collection at RiverPark announced last month that Victoria’s Secret will join its line-up of fashion retailers this summer. … We Rock the Spectrum-Simi Valley, a new autism-friendly, sensory-safe kids gym, opened last month in Simi Valley. We Rock the Spectrum, a national franchise, is an all-inclusive, play environment that uses specially-designed equipment to help autistic children improve areas of strength, sensory processing, communication and self-care. …  Arirang Organic Tofu House & Korean BBQ Grill & Bar opened at 394 E. Main St., Ventura. The restaurant specializes in Korean traditional food staples such as bibimbap, tofu soups and Korean style barbeque. … Ventura’s MadeWest Brewing Co. has officially opened. The brewery currently has four beers on tap inside of a 14,000 square foot building on Ventura’s east end, utilizing a 30-barrell brewing system, making it the largest in size brewery in the county. The brewery is located at 1744 Donlon St., Ventura. Visit www.madewest.com for more information.  … Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park opened Jan. 16 at 2825 Johnson Drive, Ventura. Sky Zone is the creator of the world’s first all-walled trampoline playing court and offer popular activities such as Ultimate Dodgeball, Open Jump and SkyRobics for maximum Active Fun.

Closing
Top Hat Burger Place at 2050 E. Main St. in Ventura closed after nearly 70 years between its former location in Downtown and most recently in Midtown. It’s in the Sauce is now occupying the space. … Peirano’s at 204 E. Main St. in Ventura closed Jan. 24 and the search for a new tenant to occupy the historic building has begun. Different restaurateurs have occupied the building since 1998, when Jonathon’s at Peirano’s first debuted.

In the name of charity
Over 200 volunteers were honored at the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Ventura County’s annual Appreciation Event on Jan. 24. … More than 2,200 winter clothing items of all sizes — up from the 1,500 items collected last year — were donated on Jan. 9 during the annual Winter Festival and Coat Drive to Benefit Casa Pacifica and from collection boxes placed around at different community locations, including new and gently used coats, sweaters, hoodies, mittens/gloves, winter hats, and scarves. … Public Health/California Children’s Services Medical Therapy Program received 41 iPads from Hope’s Haven Children’s Charity. The gift was part of the iPad Project, an effort by the nonprofit to place iPads in hospital pediatric beds and treatment facilities, providing hospitalized children with a means to connect with loved ones, do schoolwork and stay entertained. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley recently received a $10,000 donation from Logix Credit Union, a financial institution serving Ventura County. The $10,000 check was presented to the Boys & Girls Clubs at the Marion & John E. Anderson Club in Thousand Oaks.

Education
Buena High School senior Jack Beguelin was awarded the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) Scholarship by the U.S. Marine Corps. The NROTC Scholarship is a program to educate and train qualified young people as commissioned officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. The scholarships cover 100 percent of the student’s tuition and also include a $750 yearly stipend for textbooks. Beguelin’s scholarship is valued at $180,000; he will attend Oregon State University. … CSUCI’s Student Affairs division has been praised for its diversity, staffing practices and work environment for the second year in a row by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, in partnership with the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at Ohio State University and the American College Personnel Association — College Student Educators International.  Channel Islands is one of 19 universities to receive the “Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs” award.  … Ventura College (VC) was named one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. The recognition makes VC eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, $1 million in prize funds and Siemens Technical Scholars Program student scholarships. Awarded every two years, the prize is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among U.S. community colleges and acknowledges institutions for exceptional student outcomes in student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings and access and success for minority and low-income students.

And the award goes to …
Local National Public Radio affiliate KCLU was honored with six Golden Mike Awards at the 66th Annual Radio and Television News Association of Southern California. News director Lance Orozco won top honors for Best Radio Business and Consumer Reporting, Best Radio Medical and Science Reporting and Best Radio Entertainment Reporting. KCLU won for Best Radio Spot News Coverage, Best Radio Use of Sound and Best Radio Sports Reporting. The station earned more news excellence awards than any other small radio station in Southern California. … Gina O’Callaghan and David Kanongataa, employees of Ventura County Credit Union, were honored for outstanding performance by CUSO Financial Services LP (CFS). O’Callaghan was the highest-performing adviser in the Silver Pacesetter category and Kanongataa was recognized with a Bronze Pacesetter award. The Pacesetter Awards acknowledge top advisors for their outstanding performance in delivering investment services to clients. … Jan Dietrick has been recognized by the Ventura Sierra Club with the 2016 Environmental Hero Award. Dietrick will be given the award during the Women’s Empowerment Day Conference on March 5; she is being honored for her work on climate change, protecting coastal ecosystems from dirty-energy power plants. … The Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Water and Sanitation Department was recognized by the Ventura County Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) with a Project of the Year award for its role in the creation and implementation of Ventura County Waterworks District 38. The department will also be honored by the Santa Barbara/Ventura Branch of the American Society of Civil Engineers with a Project of the Year award for its Waterworks District No. 19 Infrastructure Replacement and Improvements Project. The project replaced existing water pipelines, which were more than 50 years old, with 10,000 feet of new water lines.

Moving up
Peter Zierhut, Cheryl Heitmann and Roseann Mikos were selected to the 2016 Economic Development Collaborative — Ventura County’s board of directors. Zierhut will serve as chairman; he is a senior level manager at Haas Automation Inc. Heitmann is vice chair; she is a Ventura councilwoman and former mayor. Mikos will serve as secretary/treasurer; she is a councilwoman for Moorpark and life and health insurance sales representative for Bankers Life and Casualty Company/Colonial Penn. … Jill Almonia and Stefanie Muegel joined the marketing team at The Collection at RiverPark. Almonia is now the marketing and business development coordinator whose responsibilities will include generating income for the property through events and advertising opportunities as well as managing the carts at The Collection program. Muegel is the new marketing manager and her duties will include creating and implementing marketing plans, developing and managing strategic partnerships for income generating platforms and carrying out and evaluating signature events and marketing programs. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme has hired Erin Pierik as resource development director. Pierik brings a wealth of experience in fundraising, community outreach and engagement to her new position.


Jill Friedman


Michael S. Martin

Attorneys Jill Friedman and Michael S. Martin have been promoted to partner at Myers, Widders, Gibson, Jones & Feingold LLP, in Ventura. Friedman is a trial attorney and the firm’s first female partner; she was named one of the “Top 50 Women in Business” and “Who’s Who in Attorneys” by the Pacific Coast Business Times. Martin specializes in civil litigation and construction law and was named a Super Lawyers “Rising Star” in the field of business litigation from 2013 to 2015.


Barbara Quaid

Barbara Quaid was elected president of the Western Fairs Association’s (WFA) 19-member board of directors. Quaid will serve a one-year term and represent more than 800 WFA members, working on their behalf for legislative advocacy as well as govern the activities and policies of the association. Quaid is the chief executive officer and general manager of the Ventura County Fairgrounds. … Marlyss Auster received the revised job title of president and CEO of Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau (VVCB). Auster previously known as VVCB’s executive director of three years. The job title was adjusted to fit the duties that she was already performing. In her three years at VVCB, she has revamped and revitalized the organization, increased tourism to Ventura, implemented a new brand mark, created and launched a new website and social media strategy and significantly increased visitor traffic and sales at the Visitor Center. … Betsy Blanchard Chess has been appointed director of fund development for the Museum of Ventura County (MVC). Chess has worked with numerous arts organizations in the county, both professionally and as a volunteer. Her duties will include helping to lead MVC in its efforts to sustain its two locations as well as to build an endowment. … Catherine Bojorquez joined the Ventura County Community College District as the budget director. Bojorquez has more than 15 years of budget and accounting experience in education. She will be responsible for coordinating the development and maintenance of the annual budget and reporting the district’s fiscal and student workload information to the State Chancellor’s office. … Westpark Community Center won the Health Champion Award by the Partnership for a Healthy Ventura County. The center was recognized for its excellent programs that contribute to a healthier Ventura County.

Government
On behalf of the Watersheds Coalition of Ventura County, the County of Ventura received nearly $12.3 million in the final round of Integrated Regional Water Management funding from Proposition 84. The final grant will fund projects for the city of Ventura, the Camrosa Water District, the Pleasant Valley Mutual Water Company, Ventura County Waterworks District No. 1 and Cal Trout. The county’s funding under the program totals to more than $82 million for 37 water projects.

Transportation
Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate its renovated customer service and call center at the Oxnard Transit Center. The original site underwent extensive remodeling to add ticketing windows, enhance employee work space, increase security features, ensure ADA accessibility and update restroom facilities for GCTD staff.