Shake Shack opened at 120 Promenade Way, suite A, (The Promenade at Westlake) in Thousand Oaks. The eatery offers 100 percent all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, fresh-made frozen custard, craft beer/wine, griddled flat-top dogs free of hormones and antibiotics, and more. In addition to the classic menu, this particular location will also serve the Roadside Double burger, and three (Pie Oh My, Snap Crackle Crete, S’more Please) unique selections of frozen custard concrete. Nonprofit Baby2Baby will receive 5 percent of sales from Pie Oh My throughout the life of the shack. … Anja’s Boutique opened at 1559 Spinnaker Drive, #103, in Ventura. The store offers leather-crafted women’s shoes and sandals, custom-made jewelry crafted with gems and stones by an artist in Poland, scarves, bags and accessories for young ladies, and more. … Boulderdash will open at 2879 Seaborg Ave., suite D, in Ventura. It will be the only indoor rock-climbing gym between Thousand Oaks and Santa Barbara; the facility will feature the latest in world class wall design and construction including top roping, lead climbing and bouldering. Current member benefits will include access to all three Boulderdash locations. … CARL (Canine Adoption and Rescue League) Boutique Thrift Store opened at 2750 E. Main St., Suite B, in Ventura. CARL is a nonprofit all-breed, no-kill rescue and adoption organization for which the thrift store was created to support its mission. All proceeds will go directly to helping the animals; the store is receiving donations of books, clothing, furniture, housewares and jewelry on Tue-Sat (11 a.m.-4p.m.). … Tap’d will showcase Ventura County’s finest craft beers, wines, ciders and provide customers with direct access via self-serving taps to choices of beverages from all over the nation; 43 taps are always rotation. Tap’d is located at 546 E. Main St., Ventura. … myT Studios opened at 31336 Via Colinas in Westlake Village. The full-service studio offers kids, teens and adults an in-depth look at what it’s like to be involved in media: acting for film and television, audio and music editing, vocal lessons, theater classes, movie-making workshops, music classes, photography, tech programs, and more. … The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging opened ¡La Buena Vida! Centro de Recursos para Cuidadores Familiares, a resource center designed specifically for family caregivers, to serve all residents of Santa Paula, Fillmore and Piru, including monolingual Spanish-speaking families in the county. The center provides unpaid family caregivers of older adults with support (regardless of income level) in the form of information, resources and services that include home modifications, social services, access to a library with resources/info related to family caregiving needs, free medical equipment and more.

Thomas Fire

Ventura Land Trust (VLT) received $10,000 from Wells Fargo & Company for Thomas Fire recovery activities at the Big Rock Preserve off Highway 33 in the Ventura River watershed. The Big Rock Preserve was significantly affected by the Thomas Fire, losing 85 percent of the more than 1,000 trees and plants VLT had planted on the property, and there was damage to trails, tools and wildlife habitat. VLT will use the funds to replant many of the trees and plants burned.


Identity Medical Group (multi-specialty group with offices in Camarillo, Oxnard, Santa Paula and Ventura) has joined Dignity Health Medical Foundation and will change its name to Dignity Health Medical Group (DHMG). DHMG in the Ventura region currently includes nine medical group locations and over 25 providers; with the expansion, it will include 15 locations and over 50 providers. Per Dignity Health, there is nothing that patients need to do as a result of this announcement.


SimpliPhi Power, Inc. headquarters, manufacturing and R&D operations relocated to 3100 Camino Del Sol in Oxnard. The new location will allow for expansion of manufacturing capacity, and management of costs to best benefit customers and partners.

And the award goes to …

Caryn Mower

Kara Ralston, MBA, SDA, was acknowledged by the California Special Districts Association (CSDA) during the CSDA annual conference. Ralston is the CEO of the Camarillo Health Care District. She received the General Manager of the Year award that recognizes the special district leader whose service benefits the communities they serve by demonstrating exceptional experience, effectiveness and leadership. … Two local fitness coaches will be recognized by Fit 4 The Cause’s third annual Superheroes Miracle of Movement Gala. Coach Henry Castro and Caryn “Mowervator” Mower will be honored with the “Extraordinary Public Service” award for their volunteerism and community outreach. Castro owns KO Studios in Agoura Hills and Camarillo; he bought his first gym at age 23, learning various disciplines and creating a fusion of boxing, fitness and martial arts that he has integrated into a unique coaching style. Mower has been a stuntwoman for nearly 20 years, a participant in WWE and is a renowned fitness instructor in Conejo Valley. She has earned a second degree black belt in Judo, Jujitsu and Karate. … Mary Olson was honored by the Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) at its Empowerment is Priceless event. Olson received the Trailblazer Award, which is presented to women who are pioneers in their industries, exemplifying courage, vision and the tenacity to overcome barriers. She is the general manager of KCLU Radio and under her leadership, KCLU has grown from one small station to a network of five stations serving Westlake Village to San Luis Obispo. Gabrielle Moes received the Business of the Year Award. Moes is the owner of Seasons Catering who wrote her business plan in a WEV business training course 20 years ago. The company now employs over 70 people and operates in three counties; the award honors business owners who represent the clients that the organization serves and recognizes the unique and inspiring nature of a business. Lynette Coverly received the Volunteer of the Year award. Coverly of Coverly Professional Services has been a frequent guest speaker in WEV classes since 2004 and meets with students one-on-one to discuss their specific marketing needs. She also serves on both WEV’s Community Advisory Council in Ventura County and the I Love Local Business campaign committee. … Paige Barrella earned a Gold Award, the highest honor in Girl Scouting. The award recognizes girls in high schools who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through projects that have both a local and global impact. Barrella’s project and social media platform, Stop Bullying Me, addresses students and teachers on the importance of recognizing when bullying is occurring and how to stop it. … The County Executive Office received an award from the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA) at the 48th Annual Business Outlook Conference.  VCEDA presented its first From Red Tape to Red Carpet Award to the county for its Service Excellence Program, to honor its work in the development and implementation of a streamlined permitting process and the creation of a Permit Navigator position to support businesses and individuals going through the permitting process. VCEDA intends to give the award annually. …The Ventura County Area Agency on Aging’s LIVEWell resource guide was recognized at the 27th annual National Mature Media Awards, which honors the nation’s best marketing, communications, educational materials and programs produced for older adults. LIVEWell was the recipient of a Merit Award for design and content.

Moving up

Leanne Schlinger

Two individuals joined the Environmental Defense Center’s board of directors. Rocio Lozano-Knowlton is the founder and director of the MERITO (Multicultural Education for Resource Issues Threatening Oceans) Foundation. Lozano-Knowlton also serves as a marine protected area specialist for the United Nations and NOAA in international collaborative projects in Asia. She previously spent nearly a decade working with the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Leanne Schlinger is the founder of Santa Ynez Vacation Rentals, a company she has run since 2006. She serves on numerous nonprofit boards including the Schlinger Family Foundation where she serves as executive director. … Amanda Conroy was named project manager for Ventura-based VISIONALITY. Conroy most recently worked in the nonprofit sector for the last decade, serving organizations throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. In her new role, she will be supporting organizations throughout the Central Coast, helping them in various areas including donor relations, event management, fundraising, marketing, and more. … Ten individuals were installed by the Ventura County Professional Women’s Network as its 2018-2019 board of directors. They are Suz-Anne Shoblom (president), Laura Hurtado (president-elect), Sue Osborn (acting past president), Kathy Murphy (secretary), Vicky Aubert (finance director), Kim “Possible’ Swarts (membership & hospitality director), Anna Crowe (communications director), James C. Nicoll (membership/networking organizer), Martha Jaffe and Mary Ann Zinn (members-at-large). … The Port of Hueneme cargo imports and exports hit an all-time high with 1.6 million tons of cargo moving through the Port. This represents an 8.1 percent increase over last year’s performance; the previous cargo record was 1.56 million during FY 2015.

In the name of charity

Interface Children & Family Services raised more than $500,000 at its fifth annual Hope & Light Community Benefit, which was presented by SAGE Publishing. The proceeds will heal and protect at-risk community members from the trauma of abuse, human trafficking and homelessness. … The Pleasant Valley School District received $1,000 from the Pleasant Valley Lions Club to support its sesquicentennial celebration. The District will commemorate 150 years with an event open to the community on Nov. 10 at the Camarillo Community Center, from 1:30-4 p.m. … The Ojai Valley Land Conservancy received the largest one-time gift with a donation of property in the City of Ojai. The undeveloped one-acre parcel property is appraised at $515,000 and was donated with the intention that it be sold to generate funds to support local land conservation work. … Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center received a $20,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to support pet retention. The grant will be used to enhance pet retention programs from October 2018 through September 2019. Also, the grant will be used to fund six additional low-cost vaccination clinics for the spring and summer months; there are also funds available for assisting with emergency veterinary care, repairing fences, and assistance for pet deposits and boarding for senior or veteran owners who need to have care for their animals. … California Lutheran University (CLU) was granted $996,756 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help pastors and church leaders throughout 14 Western states to avoid burnout and thrive in their ministries. CLU and its Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley are receiving the funds to work with 11 synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to implement the Thriving Leadership Formation program. … Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) raised $135,000 at its Empowerment is Priceless event, an annual breakfast fundraiser. The funds will directly benefit clients through programs in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties including Smart Entrepreneurial Training, Thrive, WEV en Español and the WEV Loan Program.


Steven Dorfman, former Hughes Electronics vice chairman, has pledged $6 million to CLU toward the construction of a building for its School of Management. The two-story, 27,000-square-foot Steven D. Dorfman Center will finally allow School of Management faculty offices on the Thousand Oaks campus and classrooms to be under one roof. Dorfman’s contribution is the largest single gift in CLU history. …  Two Ventura County public education leaders received acknowledgment by the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA). Stan Mantooth, the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools, received the 2018 CCSESA Champion Award, which recognizes county superintendents who work to strengthen the service and leadership capabilities of California’s County Superintendents. Misty Key was recognized for her contributions to the CCSESA Business and Administration Steering Committee as a Steering Committee Star. Key is the associate superintendent, overseeing fiscal and administrative services at the Ventura County Office of Education. The award honors steering committee members who have played a monumental role in achieving the committee’s goals. … Local teachers were awarded grants totaling over $86,000 by the Ventura Education Partnership (VEP). VEP presented over 90 VEP grants to teachers for their development of creative educational projects that stimulate learning by students. … CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) received a $1.2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The funds are for continued support toward Project PROMESAS (Pathways with Regional Outreach and Mathematics Excellence for Student Achievement in STEM), which is designed to improve the academic success of students in science, technology, engineering, math, as well as to keep them in school, and to help them finish and earn their diplomas on time. … Thomas Aquinas College received unanimous approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to operate a branch campus in Northfield, Massachusetts, and to award the degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts. Now, the college is seeking an extension of its accreditation to this second campus by its West coast accreditor, the WASC Senior College and University Commission. … CLU received more than $6 million in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Education. A $3.75 million grant from DOE’s Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions Program will fund a joint project with Moorpark College to increase transfer, retention and degree-completion rates for students who are Latino, low-income or the first in their family to attend college. The $2.7 million grant will address the shortage of Latino teachers; CLU will create a pre-credential program for Latino students and others who want to become teachers, enhance undergraduate advising, and hire an outreach coordinator and math and writing specialists.


The Port of Hueneme received $3 million from the California Air Resources Board to fund its ship-to-shore zero-emission energy project. It was part of a joint application with the Port of Los Angeles for the statewide Zero and Near Zero Emission Freight Facilities Grant solicitation funded through the state’s Cap and Trade dollars, an initiative that uses billions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Port will provide a $200,000 match to the award, bringing the total to $3.2 million.

New Partnership

FIRST 5 Ventura County (F5VC) has chosen Interface Children & Family Services to provide essential programs and services for the County’s nearly 60,000 children, prenatal to age 5 and their families. The expanded partnership with Interface allows F5VC to continue making a positive impact on County children. Interface will be responsible for providing Parent and Child Together Classes and Family Support Services throughout Ventura County.