Blue Agave Restaurant and Tequilas opened at 185 E. Santa Clara in Ventura. The restaurant offers authentic Mexican food prepared with fresh ingredients and crafted cocktails and margaritas. … Churro Stix opened at the food court in the Pacific View Mall in Ventura. The eatery specializes in handcrafted churros made fresh-to-order, including Nutella-filled desserts and a “Yumwich,” an ice cream sandwich made of fresh churros and hand-scooped ice cream. … Grassroots Yoga opened at 2280 E. Main St., suite B, in Ventura. The facility offers classes that range from traditional to contemporary approaches, beginner to seasoned levels. Five percent of its annual revenue will go back into the community through local charities and nonprofit organizations. … LC Imports

Old Creek Ranch

opened at 563 E. Main St. in Ventura. The restaurant offers a variety of pizza, sandwiches, pasta, salads and more. … Lovin’ Cup was established in Ventura. Premium, all natural, healthy, nutritional products such as chicken bone broth are available for free delivery in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, or for pick up. For more information, visit … Poke U & Me is a new poke (poh-kee or poh-kay) restaurant in at 4726 Telephone Road in Ventura. Fast, friendly and fresh, the Poke U & Me team strives to deliver a new spin on an old Hawaiian traditional dish with unlimited sauces, mix-ins and toppings. … Old Creek Ranch Winery will reopen at 10024 Old Creek Road in Ventura. Following years of renovations, the winery will host a grand reopening on April 7 from noon to 5 p.m. with music, fun and wine. … Watering Hole Rentals is now available for weddings, private parties, outdoor barbecues and more. The outdoor mobile bar, Clementine, is fashioned from a vintage horse trailer and is one of only a dozen converted bars in the nation. Watering Hole Rentals offers delivery, setup, pickup and cleanup of the trailer,



Carpenter Technology reinforced its position in additive manufacturing part production (3-D printing using metal powders) with its acquisition of Camarillo-based MB CalRAM LLC, a leader in powder-bed fusion additive manufacturing metal printing services. The move strengthened Carpenter’s ability to be the preferred provider of end-to-end next-generation additive manufacturing solutions for the aerospace, oil and gas, medical and other key markets.


The Economic Development Collaborative — Ventura County (EDC-VC) has relocated to 4001 Mission Oaks Blvd., suite A-1, in Camarillo. EDC-VC uses various programs and services to support jobs and economic growth to maintain Ventura County’s economic vitality.

Under new ownership

Daphne King is the new owner of Conejo Valley Catering (CVC) located at 3321 Kimber Drive in Newbury Park. In addition to providing catering and event planning services, CVC is now serving lunch and combos to go; an expanded menu is expected soon.

And the award goes to …

Perla Hernandez Lastra

Perla Hernandez Lastra was named one of the winners of the Engineering News Record’s (ENR) California’s Top Young Professionals Contest. ENR California honors outstanding young professionals who bring energy and innovation to their industries, and also generously share their time and expertise with other young people in their work environments and communities. Lastra is senior project manager at S.L. Leonard and Associates and, since 2016, an instructor at UCLA Extension. … Valeria Virgen was selected by the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme (BGCOP) as 2018’s Youth of the Year. The award recognizes outstanding contributions to a member’s family, school, community and local Club, as well as overcoming personal challenges and obstacles. Virgen is an 18-year-old senior at Rio Mesa High School where she has taken advanced placement and international baccalaureate classes while also enrolled at Oxnard College and maintaining a 4.0 grade point average. She has a part-time job and is a leader at the BGCOP boxing program.

Moving on

Elaine Crandall, behavioral health director for the Ventura County Health Care Agency, resigned. Crandall was with the VCHCA for more than 12 years and has served as resource management agency operations director, deputy county executive officer and,

Lyn Krieger

since Jan. 2015, behavioral health director. Her resignation was effective Feb. 27. She left her role to accept a new position elsewhere. … County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales will be leaving his appointment, one year into his third four-year term. Gonzales has accepted the same position in his home county of Monterey. He had a number of accomplishments during his tenure, including the eradication of the gypsy moth in the Ojai Valley, an increase in Spanish-speaking field staff, and an increase in the number of inspector/biologists to provide more timely and complete service to the agricultural community. … Lyn Krieger, Channel Islands harbor department director, will retire after more than 21 years of service. Among numerous accomplishments, Krieger’s efforts helped secure federal funding for dredging of the harbor’s sand trap and entrance, bolstering public access to the harbor, as well as a new boat launch facility, the County’s Junior Lifeguard Program, a bench donation program and redeveloping the commercial side of the harbor. Her retirement is effective at the end of March.


Moving up

Two attorneys from LightGabler, a Camarillo-based law firm, have been named to the 2018 Southern California Super Lawyers list. Karen L. Gabler has been selected to the Super Lawyer list each year since 2012. Jonathan Fraser Light was recognized in 2004 and every year since 2007. Both attorneys counsel employers in employment law matters and represent businesses in employment litigation on behalf of management. … Luke Connolly was appointed as community development director for the City of Ojai, where he will lead the community development department, focus on planning projects and long-term department goals. Connolly is a planning professional with 20 years of experience managing current and long-range planning projects for local government agencies; he previously worked with the cities of Marina, Fremont, San Jose and Palo Alto. … Dr. Penelope DeLeon was named Regional 13 Superintendent of the Year by the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). DeLeon is the superintendent of the Oxnard Union High School District and is a leadership coach certified by the ASCA. Regional 13 comprises all the school districts in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties; DeLeon is now eligible for the statewide ACSA Superintendent of the Year award. … Bryan A. MacDonald was elected chairman of the Los Angeles-San Diego-San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency 2018 board of directors. MacDonald is an Oxnard city councilman who has served on the LOSSAN Agency board since 2014. He was first elected to the Oxnard City Council in 2008; he previously served the Oxnard Police Department for 30 years, retiring as assistant chief of police. … Two members were added to the Community Action of Ventura County board of directors, an agency committed to helping the poor and homeless in Ventura County. Kate Mills, a low-income sector representative, is a trained critical-care registered nurse who has previously served as program administrator of the Ventura County Health Care for the Homeless Program and as Ventura County Fire Chaplain. Mills and her husband serve as Deacon Couple at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church. Magda Weydt is the chef-owner and operator of Oxnard’s Fresh & Fabulous Café. Weydt employs workers from the Goodwill ESE program to help them get back into the work force and also mentors culinary interns in high school. … Attorney Kendall VanConas was chosen as a Super Lawyer for 2018 by Super Lawyers, a rating service of exceptional lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have gained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement; it is an honor earned annually by 5 percent or fewer of Southern California-based lawyers. VanConas is a certified specialist in estate planning, probate and trust law, and locally recognized expert in conservatorship law who currently serves as managing partner at Oxnard’s Arnold LaRochelle Mathews VanConas and Zirbel LLP (AtoZ Law). … Rojelio (Roy) Vasquez was appointed vice president of academic affairs at Oxnard College by the Ventura County Community College District. Vasquez has more than 25 years of leadership experience, most recently serving as dean of instruction for the business division and as interim vice president for student services at Fresno City College. He will oversee enrollment management. … Four attorneys at Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP (FCOP), Ventura County’s largest law firm, have been recognized by Super Lawyers on its 2018 Rising Stars list. Douglas Goldwater, a partner, is a family law expert knowledgeable on complex child custody cases and financial disputes, and has extensive litigation experience involving business, real property and intellectual property matters. Joshua Hopstone, a partner, focuses primarily on complex business and real estate related matters, and is an accomplished appellate advocate. He serves on the board of directors of the Ventura County Bar Association and is the president of the Ventura County Barristers. Kymberley Peck practices in areas that include family law, estate planning, and probate and trust litigation. Peck has experience in highly contested litigation. She serves as president for Women Lawyers of Ventura County. Jessica Wan specializes in complex civil and commercial litigation and appeals and employment matters. Wan is admitted to practice in the states of California and Hawaii as well as the Federal District Court for the District of Hawaii, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The attorneys were honored for attaining a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. …Also, attorney Arthur Zittell joined FCOP. Zittell has 45 years of legal experience, specializing for the past 30 years in family law, including complex financial cases and contested child custody cases. He has been acknowledged by Super Lawyers magazine for the past several years as one of the top attorneys in Southern California. … Tony Fodor was named general manager of Simi Valley Ford. Fodor has 38 years’ experience in the automotive industry, with 14 years spent working with Ford dealerships in various roles, including general manager, general sales manager, sales manager and used car director. In his new role, he will oversee the daily operations of the dealership. … Joy Todd was selected for the Ivy Lawn Memorial Park board of directors. Todd is vice president of the Pleasant Valley Historical Society, where she has volunteered for a decade. She has previously been a teacher, manager of an ARC workshop facility and has served in the medical field. She has volunteered for Shop Ahoy, serving as board president. … Two members have been elected to the Ventura County Fairgrounds board of directors. Leslie Cornejo will serve as president; she is owner and manager of Santa Paula Travel Service and was a founding director of the Santa Clara Valley Bank. Leah Lacayo will serve as vice president, her second appointment on the board. She serves on the board of directors of CSU Channel Islands Alumni and Friends and is a trustee for the Ventura County Fairgrounds Foundation. Both will serve two-year terms. … Rosa Gonzalez was named as Ventura County’s chief deputy clerk of the board. Gonzalez most recently served as the assistant chief deputy clerk of the board; she has served in the Ventura County clerk of the board office for more than a decade. In addition to her new duties, which she begins immediately, she will continue to serve as the County Executive Office community liaison, where she works with community partners, elected officials and the public to enhance county services and improve information-sharing with the public.

In the name of charity

NewCo Foundation, a local nonprofit that focuses on student career education and startup company activities, received $5 million from its founders, Dave and Dawn Gross. The endowment will support the Foundation’s ongoing operational programs, other local student career education and startup company programs, and begin making program-related investments in promising startups. … FOOD Share received a $12,500 donation from the Dunkin’ Donuts Joy in Childhood Foundation. The funds will help support the distribution of healthy food to nearly 75,000 people each month in Ventura County. … The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley recently held a groundbreaking ceremony following a generous donation from John Notter at the 2016 Stand Up for Kids Gala where he also served as the honoree. The funds are being used to expand the (former) Redwood Club at Redwood Middle School, 233 W. Gainsborough Road in Thousand Oaks. The club is now known as the John L. Notter Family Boys & Girls Club; the expansion will create an 8,000-square-foot permanent facility and will double the number of youth currently served by the clubs, also increasing quality programming for its members. … The New West Symphony received a total of more than $35,000 in grants for its Harmony Project of Ventura County. The $18,525 from the Barbara Barnard Smith Fund for World Musics (operated by the Ventura County Community Foundation) will be used to include Latin American music in the Harmony Project’s curriculum, offering students the opportunity to diversify their musical knowledge and build pride in their cultural identities. The $14,000 from the city of San Buenaventura’s Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships Department and $2,500 from Montecito Bank and Trust will foster the project’s mission. … Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) received a $7,500 grant from Reiter Affiliated Companies, the largest fresh, multiberry producer in the world and the leading supplier of fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries in North America. The funds will aid SEEAG spread to its education efforts through its Journey of Our Food agricultural and nutrition school programs.


The California Lutheran University’s (CLU) Center for Entrepreneurship was given $300,000 by entrepreneur Dave Gross and his wife, CLU alumna Dawn Gross, through their nonprofit NewCo Foundation. The donation will fund cash prizes for the center’s annual New Venture Competition, cover expenses for students to travel to regional and national pitch competitions and to study entrepreneurship in other countries, and it will also enable the center to co-fund a pitch competition for elementary through graduate school students in Ventura County. … Beginning in the fall semester, CLU will offer a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management and tourism, the only one available from a private institution in Southern California. Students will complete a core managerial program to develop skills in operations, finance, human resources and marketing. Company executives will present special courses and guest lectures, and companies have already committed to more than 50 internships. … CLU held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $30 million science center, a three-story, 47,000-square-foot facility, which will connect to the existing science building through a bridge walkway and double the amount of space dedicated to science. This is CLU’s largest ongoing fundraising campaign to date for a single building; the number of science majors at CLU has more than doubled since 2005, and about 30 percent of the student body is now majoring in science, technology or math.


San Buenaventura Urology earned a UroLift Center of Excellence designation. The honor recognizes that the facility’s two physicians, Marc Beaghler, M.D. and Seyed Khoddami, M.D., are committed to exemplary care for men suffering from urinary tract symptoms due to benign prostatic hyperplasia, and that the physicians have achieved a high level of training and experience with the UroLift System. San Buenaventura Urology is one of only four practices in the nation with two physicians within the same practice who have earned this distinction.

Thomas Fire

The Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center (S.P.A.R.C.) received $5,000 from the Coldwell Banker Community Foundation. The funds were raised from many of the 2,109 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage associates from 34 offices in the Greater Los Angeles area who donated a portion of their commissions to help S.P.A.R.C. after the Thomas Fire. For more information, visit … Foster VC Kids launched the Businesses with Heart program in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire, to help foster youth as well as to build goodwill in the community. The program, supported by corporate partner Chipotle Mexican Grill, offers discounts on extracurricular activities, restaurants, automotive repairs, goods and other services for foster youth and their caregivers. Nearly 35 local businesses are participating. Chipotle has hosted three job fairs and hired more than 10 foster youth in restaurants; Rest for Less donated 16 new beds to foster families; and other businesses have seen increased foot traffic, cross-promotions on social media and community recognition for their support of the cause. For more information, visit … The United Way Thomas Fire and Flood Fund received $100,000 from Pacific Western Bank. The funds will assist in rebuilding the communities in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties that were affected by wildfires and flooding. For more information, visit