Casa Bella

EMC Seafood opened at The Collection at Riverpark, 511 Town Center Drive, space 3015, Oxnard. It offers fresh and charbroiled oysters, carpaccio, lobster, sashimi, a $125 seafood tower and more. … Sports Academy opened at 1011 Rancho Conejo Road in Thousand Oaks. It is a 100,000-square-foot state-of-the-art all-inclusive sports and fitness facility dedicated to creating full-circle athletes of all ages and skill levels. … American Tire Depot (ATD) recently held a grand opening at 3059 E. Main St. in Ventura. The event was filled with exclusive tire and automotive service offers, free food, entertainment and display of exotic cars, celebrating the opening of ATD’s 97th store. ATD provides various tire and automotive services. … Burgerim is set to open soon at 440 E. Main St. in Ventura. The restaurant offers mini burgers in twos, threes or a party box that can be customized from various options to meet a customer’s particular cravings or dietary needs (such as vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian). From the owners of Prime Steakhouse, Casa Bella, “a taste of Mexico City,” is under construction at the former American Apparel downtown Ventura location, 391 E. Main St. Opening date has

EMC Seafood

not yet been set. … At 377 E. Main St. in downtown Ventura, Café de Suro Bakery is “coming soon” and is currently looking for staff.  … Prospect Coffee Roasters opened at 92 S. Laurel St. in Ventura. The shop offers various coffee roasts that are complex and especially distinctive in their flavor. … Vintage Ventura opened at 2545 E. Main St. in Ventura. The store specializes in antique and estate jewelry, décor, fine art, gifts and other collectibles.


Under new management

Arleen Scavone has sold award-winning Sweet Arleen’s at 960 S. Westlake Blvd. in Westlake Village. Scavone, a three-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars, has decided to retire as president and owner of Sweet Arleen’s to follow her family to the East Coast. New owner Julia San Bartolome is a longtime corporate pastry chef with over 16 years of professional experience. Her parents will be co-owners.


Marshalls, one of the nation’s largest off-price retailers with more than 1,000 stores currently operating in 48 states and Puerto Rico, will be relocating on May 11 to Conejo Valley Shopping Center, 1350 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks, from 225 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks.


TLC Housewares has closed on May 1 after 12 years in Downtown Ventura. The home décor store at 369 E. Main St. in Ventura featured exotic and local house décor.

Moving up

The Embassy Suites by Hilton Mandalay Beach Resort appointed Christian Hellot as director of sales and marketing. Hellot has over 12 years of experience in hotel sales and leadership roles with such well-known brands as Ritz-Carlton and Renaissance. … Dore Baker, Sean Morreale and Ali Talai were selected to the Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties board of directors. Baker, a real estate agent and co-owner of Aviara Real Estate, has fundraising and community outreach experience. Morreale is a 27-year banking veteran who has held numerous managerial positions and is currently executive vice president and regional manager of the Central Coast South Lending Team for the Pacific Western Bank. … Greg A. Cooper joined the Humane Society of Ventura County (HSVC) as community liaison. Cooper has worked as a volunteer photographer for the HSVC since 1990. … Cynder Sinclair, Ph.D., was named as the new executive director for Community Action of Ventura County. Sinclair has over 30 years of experience in leadership and management roles and most recently served as CEO for the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and the Girl Scouts of the California Central Coast. … Greg Gillespie was appointed as the next chancellor of the VCCCD. Gillespie has more than 23 years of experience in higher education and was vice president for instruction and student services at Yavapai College in Prescott, Arizona, prior to joining Ventura College in 2013. He begins his duties on July 1. … Kimberly Ramos was chosen as student trustee for the VCCCD board of trustees. Ramos is a Ventura College student who was named to the position by the Associated Students of the VCCCD after receiving 1,521 votes from a total of 3,417. She has served as president for the Latina/o Leadership Network, student office for Supplemental Instruction Coordinator, student aid for BEACH community and as a tutor.

And the award goes to …

Heidi Whitcomb

Amanda Carpenter, Ed.D., is the recipient of the Midlevel Community of Practice Award from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Carpenter is the director of student leadership and career development at CSU, Channel Islands. She was recognized with the award, which honors excellence of mid-level professionals in student affairs and higher education, at the 2017 ACPA Convention. … Maria Elizarraras received the 2017 Sandra Laby Memorial Award from New West Symphony. The award honors a student, educator or community leader who, through work with the Symphony’s Harmony Project of Ventura County, makes the world a better place through music. Elizarraras is the principal of Sheridan Way Elementary School in Ventura and one of the leaders who encouraged the Harmony Project. … Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, received the Legislator of the Year Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of California. Irwin was recognized for her support for veterans through her policies and as chair of the Assembly Veterans Committee. … Barbara Hinton was named as Arts Advocate of the Year by the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) of Ventura County. Winton is the founder and director of the Ventura Art and Street Painting Festival, and she wa

Barbara Hinton

s honored at NAWBO’s 18th annual Bravo Awards Luncheon. … Ventura Rental Center owner and CEO Heidi Whitcomb has been selected as the NAWBO Woman Business Owner of the Year. She was also nominated to be the California Woman Business Owner of the Year for the state chapter of NAWBO this month. … St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital and St. John’s Regional Medical Center, Dignity Health hospitals, received the 2017 “Greenhealth Partner for Change Award” by Practice Greenhealth. The award is one of the environmental excellence awards given each year to honor environmental achievements in the health care sector. … Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) Board of Trustees was recognized by the Community College League of California (CCLC) for demonstrating Excellence in Leadership and Governance through its Excellence in Trusteeship Program (ETP). Board Chair Bernardo Perez, Vice Chair Arturo Hernández and Trustee Dianne McKay were presented with certificates of accomplishment. With the addition of trustees Larry Kennedy and Stephen Blum, who completed recertification in 2016, the VCCCD board is the first full board of trustees in the state to complete the CCLC’s ETP and recertification. … CSU, Channel Islands’ (CSUCI), Division of Student Affairs was named one of the 18 Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs by the ACPA and the Center for Higher Education Enterprise at Ohio State University. This is CSUCI’s third recognition in a row; it was published in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The honor recognizes student affairs divisions in colleges and universities nationwide in categories that include diversity, family friendliness, inclusivity, professional opportunities and salary/benefits. … The Port of Hueneme received the County of Ventura 2017 Earth Day Award for Excellence in Environmental Stewardship from the Ventura County Board of Supervisors for its environmental initiatives such as being a member of the Green Marine program, a voluntary eco-friendly program that monitors and publicly publishes its members’ progress toward various environmental projects. … The VCCCD Classified Professional Development Committee was the recipient of the 2017 Innovative Activity Award from the California Community College Council for Staff and Organizational Development (4C/SD). The award honors excellences in a single, innovative staff development activity or event. The committee was recognized for its VCCCD Training and Tours program, which provides professional development opportunities for classified employees and supervisors on various topics and rotates among the three county colleges. … Ventura skilled nursing facility Victoria Care Center won the Ensign Flag Award from the Ensign Group. The award recognizes excellent survey and financial performance, a professional environment, high marks in culture, employee/patient satisfaction, occupancy and compliance. … Eight Ventura County schools received the 2017 Gold Ribbon Schools Award from the California Department of Education. A.E Wright Middle School, Adolfo Camarillo High School, Colina Middle School, Hillside Middle School, Moorpark High School, Redwood Middle School, Royal High School and Westlake High School were recognized for innovative programs that support rigorous academic standards and create a positive school environment.

Moving on

Four professors with a combined total of 150 years of service to CLU are retiring. Carol Coman is an associate professor of accounting who started teaching at CLU 31 years ago and more recently became part of the movement addressing academic dishonesty through education. Her efforts resulted in CLU hosting the International Center for Academic Integrity, Southern California Regional Consortium spring conference. Charles Maxey served 22 years as the dean of the School of Management prior to stepping down and teaching management. As dean, he led the school through the development of various programs and community-based research institutes, including the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting and the Center for Leadership Values. Karen Renick is a languages and cultures professor who has taught various French courses at CLU since 1973, supervised students learning to teach French and led classes on trips to France. The French film festival she begun has now become CLU’s International Film Festival. Sigmar Schwarz is an English professor who has taught at CLU since 1970 and, in his American literature classes, emphasized the voices of African Americans, Native Americans and Chicanos. Over the years, he has earned the reputation of being an engaging and compassionate teacher among students of all backgrounds. … Camarillo Ranch Development Director Niki Chopra Richardson resigned, effective April 28, to take a position at arts organization in Thousand Oaks. … Attorney Steve Lipson will retire after 31 years of service to the county as a public defender. Lipson began his career as a trial attorney in 1986 and currently serves as the chief public defender. He also serves on the board of directors for the National Legal Aid and Defender’s Association and is president of the American Council of Chief Defenders.

In the name of charity

School on Wheels

The American Cancer Society received more than $7,500 from a fundraiser held by the Camarillo Premium Outlets. The 24-hour Relay for Life included Outlet retailers donating goods for a silent auction and donating portions of their sales to the cause. … The Camarillo Premium Outlets partnered with Susan G. Komen, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, in an effort to raise funds to combat the disease. The More Than Pink movement aims to raise $1 million both in 2017 and 2018 in a few ways, including offering a discount card at more than 70 participating retailers in exchange for a $10 donation or join the world’s largest yoga class on May 13, … The Kids-To-Farm Benefit Brunch raised almost $20,000 to support local Students For Eco-Education and Agriculture’s (SEEAG) agriculture education programs and Future Farmers of America. SEEAG will use the funds to support and expand its Farm Lab at Petty Ranch in Saticoy. … The California Coastal Horse Rescue and Life Animal Rescue received $6,150 from Janns Marketplace. The shopping center hosted Reign of Terror, a one-night haunted house event, to raise the funds and awareness for the two organizations. The donation will be used for horse feed, among other things. … School on Wheels presented 40 Ventura volunteers with Presidential Service Awards on April 30 at Aloha Steakhouse. School on Wheels provides tutors to homeless children. … The Ventura Family YMCA raised $186,382 in its 2017 Annual Campaign, surpassing its $185,000 goal.  The campaign was chaired by Danielle Brinkman-Vera. The funds will be used to place kids and families in need into YMCA programs such as after-school care, senior fitness and memberships. The Ventura Family YMCA is still accepting donations through


Trudy Arriaga was named Professor of Education of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). Arriaga teaches at both CLU’s Graduate School of Education and the new institute for executive leadership in education certificate program. She will be honored for her leadership, dedication and her outstanding work. … The Ojai Unified School District (OUSD) received a $22,520 grant from the Ojai Education Foundation. The funds will allow OUSD elementary school students and their families to have after-hours access to computer labs. Summit School received $520 for Wi-Fi installation because it is located in Upper Ojai where Wi-Fi reception is not only limited but expensive.


The Fifth Annual Ventura Farm Day is seeking a mascot and sponsors for its upcoming event on Nov. 4. The night before Farm Day, the Second Annual Film Festival will be held; and during Farm Day, local farms invite the public to learn how food is grown. Farm Day will begin with breakfast at The Collection. For more information, visit