Afters Ice Cream opened at 544 Collection Blvd. (The Collection at RiverPark) in Oxnard. This is the 21st location for the ice cream store, which offers unique and colorful handcrafted ice cream such as its Milky Bun doughnut ice cream sandwich and other flavors including jasmine milk tea, milk and cereal, and cookie monster. … Kitanoya Ramen and Sushi opened at 1651 S. Victoria Ave., suite 130, in Oxnard. The Japanese restaurant offers ramen and sushi prepared by chefs professionally trained in Japan. All selections are MSG-free and the ramen offered contains real pork broth. … Check ’n Go opened at 709 W. Channel Islands Blvd. in Port Hueneme. The 1,260-square-foot building is designed with a layout that is aimed to be welcoming and efficient for customers; the location will offer financial services Mon-Sat, with extended hours on Friday. … BlackBird Trading Company opened at 433 E. Main St., #16, in Ventura. It is an artisan goods store that highlights local makers of jewelry, clothing, skin-care products, games, ceramics, woodwork, and also sells hand-dipped chocolate. … Stonefire Grill opened at 4880 Telephone Road in Ventura. The family-style restaurant offers freshly prepared options, including salads, sandwiches, pasta, desserts, grilled meats and more. This is the 11th location for the restaurant, which offers dine in, take out and catering.

Thomas Fire

33 nonprofit board and staff leaders will graduate as the first cohort of an intensive six-month Board Leadership Institute run by the Center for Nonprofit Leadership at California Lutheran University.  The program helps nonprofits affected by the Thomas Fire to hone their skills, improving their staff-board relationships, finance management skills and preparation for future disasters. … The Ventura County Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund received $75,000 from the Ford Motor Company to support long-term Thomas Fire recovery efforts, of which Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County will receive $50,000 of the funds for repairing and rebuilding disaster-damaged homes in the area; The Boys and Girls Clubs of Ventura will receive $25,000 for a teen leadership program that will focus on disaster relief efforts and leadership opportunities, providing the teens with training in volunteering and how to be involved in the community.

And the award goes to …

KCLU Radio news director Lance Orozco won his fourth national award for excellence in journalism from the National Society of Professional Journalists. Orozco received the 2017 National Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Award for Best Radio Feature Reporting among small-market stations. He was recognized for his story on the only dog trained to track down a particular species of ant in the wild. … Oxnard native, Personnel Specialist 1st Class Paul Lagman received the Navy Recruiting Command Classifier of the Year for 2017. Lagman, an Oxnard native currently assigned to Navy Recruiting District San Diego, was selected for the award from more than 6,100 Navy recruiters worldwide. … Three individuals were recognized as Employee of the Year following nomination by their peers and selection by department directors at the Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) for exceptional job performance. Debra Cavaletto is the accounting manager in Central Services where she oversees the Fiscal Services Division as one of VCPWA’s senior managers, provides business information that supports its decision making process. Cavaletto also earned the Employee of the Quarter – Third Quarter award. Raul Ruiz is the Water/Wasterwater Services supervisor for water and sanitation where he oversees operations.

Raul Ruiz

Ruiz also earned the Employee of the Quarter – First Quarter award. Jim Van Voorhis is the senior public works inspector for Engineering Services. He has 28 years of experience with the County of Ventura and six with the city of Los Angeles. He also earned the Employee of the Quarter – Second Quarter award. … Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura (BGCGV) was named as 2018 California Non-profit of the Year for Assembly District 37 by Assemblywoman Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara). BGCGV was recognized especially for its efforts during the Thomas Fire, such as helping hundreds of affected families with free child care and activities while schools were still closed. … Toyota of Ventura was honored with a prestigious award by Toyota Motor North America Inc., with a prestigious award that is presented annually to Toyota dealerships that exhibit an exceptional work ethic. Toyota of Ventura received the President’s Award for achieving high standards of performance in all aspects of automotive dealership, including sales, service and customer satisfaction. … At the  third annual Contractor Recognition Awards, emPower Central Coast recognized six regional contractors for their commitment to helping homeowners throughout the Central Coast make energy efficient upgrades to their living spaces, including Insulate SB and Progressive Insulation and Windows. Insulate SB is a full-service insulation company with more than 40 years’ experience specializing in home energy efficiency upgrades in Santa Barbara and Ventura. Based in Ventura County, Progressive Insulation and Windows is one of SoCal’s leading replacement window and insulation businesses. This family-owned company strives to provide optimal customer service and satisfaction.

Moving up

Linda Catlin is the new board chairman for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley. Catlin has been involved with the cClubs since 2008, served as the annual gala chair ,and after she and her husband made a substantial contribution to expand the former Lindero Club, it was later named the Linda and David Catlin Boys & Girls Club. … Dr. Damon Bell was appointed as interim president for Ventura College. Bell served most recently as vice president for student services and achievement at Olympic College in Bremerton, Washington. He has 25 years of experience, with senior leadership positions at San Diego Mesa College; Long Beach City College; California State University, San Marco; California State University, Monterey Bay; and San Francisco State University. … Seven individuals were named to the Soroptimist International of Camarillo board during its Installation Dinner. Roneita ‘Ronni’ Miranda will serve as the 2018-2019 president, Joni Berger as VP fundraising, Sharon Edwards as president-elect, Gayle Foltz as corresponding secretary, Sharon Jones as governor-elect, Karen Marks as treasurer and Sylvia Martini as recording secretary. … Darcy Taylor was selected as the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Ventura County. Taylor served most recently as the chief developmental officer for the David Lawrence Center in Naples, Florida. He has over 30 years of executive leadership, fundraising, strategic planning, senior nonprofit leadership and development experience for health and human service organizations. He has also earned ministry and leadership credentials and is a certificated fundraising executive; duties begin on July 9. … Brian Ganley was chosen as new chief information officer for the County of Ventura. Ganley served most recently as the chief information officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, and prior to that he served the city of Glendale in the same role. In his new position, he will oversee 180 employees and contractors. Ganley begins his duties on July 9. … Sevet Johnson was named director of the behavioral health department for the County of Ventura and will also serve as the local mental health director.

Mark Varela

Johnson is a licensed psychologist with 15 years of experience in the mental and behavioral health fields. She has worked for the county’s behavioral health department since 2009, serving as a senior psychologist, clinic administrator and senior behavioral health manager. … Mark Varela, Ventura County Chief Probation Officer, has been appointed to the Board of State and Community Corrections by Gov. Jerry Brown. The appointment became official on June 28, and Varela must be confirmed by the State Senate within the next 12 months. Varela’s three-year term will officially begin on July 2.

Moving on

Robin Freeman, assistant superintendent of educational services at the Oxnard School District (OSD), retired after 42 years of service. Since July 1, 2015, Freeman served as the assistant superintendent of educational services and chief academic officer. In her career in Ventura County, she has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, senior director, assistant superintendent, special programs and assistant superintendent of educational services; besides the OSD, she has worked in the Hueneme Elementary School District and Santa Paula Unified School District. Freeman plans to travel more and increase her involvement in the local chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

In the name of charity

Kindling Studios was awarded $8,400 by the California Arts Council to fund solo artist exhibits at the Arts Collective in the Pacific View Mall in Ventura. Kindling is a project of Reid’s Gift Inc. in collaboration with the Ventura County Arts Council; it will support 20 artists with disabilities in designing and staffing solo shows in 2019. … Studio Channel Islands (SCI) received $28,820 from the Ventura County Community Foundation funded by the Ruth Daily Livingston Fund, to support its Arts and Health program. The funds will be used to expand SCI’s Memory Cafes (creative social events for individuals with memory loss and their caregivers), art classes with hospice (workshops for children in bereavement counseling) and stroke survivor art classes. … Thousand Oaks’ 5-Star Theatricals launched its third “Adopt-a-Bus” fundraiser to sponsor buses to transport at-risk/at-need children to a complimentary live theater performance of is summer musical theater production of Beauty and the Beast on July 25. The donation needed to sponsor one bus (for 50 kids) is $2,500. Each sponsor will receive recognition from the stage, a half-page business advertisement in the Beauty and the Beast playbill, a signed cast photo, two complimentary orchestra seats for Beauty and the Beast, and a VIP pre-show reception. For more information, visit … The city of Oxnard was recognized by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials for its leadership in organizing and implementing winter warming shelters from 2015 to 2018. Oxnard received the Award of Merit in Housing and Community Development for efforts in collaboration with the city of Ventura and the County of Ventura.


Alexis Figueroa, Sarah Gutierrez and Savanna Toledo received scholarships from Soroptimist International of Camarillo at its Annual Awards Luncheon. The recipients were awarded the annual Amy McAvoy Scholarships, which are intended to support women who are graduating from local high schools and are accepted at Cal State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI), in a STEM (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) major. The $3,000 and $2,500 scholarships are to be used for CSUCI tuition. … The Ventura County Office of Education held a groundbreaking ceremony at 5100 Adolfo Road in Camarillo. The 29,944-square-foot, two-story building will be the new home for Triton Academy, which serves students with autism in grades 3-12; the school is expected to move during the 2019-2020 school year. Meanwhile, Triton is moving out of its campus on Temple Avenue in Camarillo and, beginning this summer, will operate out of temporary facilities near the Camarillo Airport. … CSUCI Nursing program received a $200,000 grant from the Dr. Richard Grossman Community Foundation. In 1969, Grossman opened the Grossman Burn Center in Los Angeles, which has served thousands of burn survivors in need of reconstructive surgery; he died in 2014. The grant will support nursing student scholarships for the CSUCI program, which this year was named the 12th-best in the state, out of 131 programs, by RegisteredNursing.Org. … Hundreds of local students were awarded a total of $1,165,750 in scholarships by the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF). The 2018 VCCF scholarship program provided 352 scholarships by a multitude of scholarship funds with the help of various donors.


Ventura County’s Farm Day, an event wherein more than 20 local farms and agricultural businesses invite the public to learn how their food is grown, is seeking sponsors. The sixth annual Ventura Farm Day will be held on Nov. 3, with a newly added “Farm-to-Table” barbecue on Nov. 2 at Oxnard Historic Farm Park where the public can enjoy live music, farm-fresh food prepared by renowned chef Tim Kilcoyne, locally produced craft cocktails, beers and wines. For more information on sponsorship, visit