by Daphne Khalida Kilea


J BRAND will open at the Camarillo Premium Outlets in Camarillo. The store offers exclusive access to women’s and men’s brand archives up to 50 percent off retail pricing. For the Oct. 5 grand opening, the store will offer the first 200 customers an additional 25 percent off plus a gift with purchase. This is J BRAND’s first outlet store. … FIT4MOM will host its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 5, at 9:30 a.m. in Ventura. Participants should arrive 15 minutes early at the basketball court at Camino Real Park, on the corner of Dean Drive and Varsity St. in Ventura. The outdoor-indoor fitness program offers classes, resources and support for mothers throughout every stage of motherhood, from prenatal through postnatal. … The Pharm opened at 1899 E. Main St. in Ventura. The Pharm was founded with the purpose of creating a sacred space for people to disconnect from technology and plug into self; unlimited classes are offered with monthly membership. The center aims to make yoga, dance, meditation and other forms of movement accessible to adults and children, and will include a lineup of a variety of educational workshops for an additional fee. A small childcare program is available to parents participating in classes.

And the award goes to …

Dr. Cesar Morales was recognized by the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) with an award given to school administrators who have made significant contributions to the improvement of school administrator preparation. Morales is the associate superintendent of student services at the Ventura County Office of Education. He won UCEA’s 2019 Excellence in Educational Leadership Award and is one of just 17 educators nationwide to do so. … The City of Oxnard was recognized by the Center for Digital Government’s “Best of California Awards” program for its innovative use of data and analytics within the Oxnard Fire Department. Annually, the Center highlights California state and local government and education organizations for their contributions in information technology. The City earned the 2019 “Most Innovative Use of Data and Analytics” award. … Visit Ventura was acknowledged by the California Travel Association (CalTravel) as one of the best places on California’s Central Coast. Visit Ventura was presented with CalTravel’s Great Workplace Award for 2019 at a gala awards dinner. CalTravel is the united voice of travel and tourism industry in California, advocating on issues and legislation that affect the tourism industry.

Moving up

Two individuals have been named to the KidSTREAM board of directors. Dr. Megan Mescher-Cox, DO, is a board-certified internist and lifestyle medicine physician at Dignity Health Medical Group, Ventura County. Mescher-Cox volunteers her time with the international “Walk with a Doc” program, leading free community walks that encourage people to exercise in a fun way while learning ways to improve their health. Jessica L. Lavariega Monforti, Ph.D., is a dean at the College of Arts and Science at California Lutheran University. Monforti has secured more than $4 million in major grant funding for the university; she has published three books, more than 50 articles and book chapters and has been a contributor to several news articles and broadcasts. … Attorney Nazanin Mani joined Ferguson Case Orr Paterson LLP (FCOP), Ventura County’s largest law firm, as an associate. Mani’s practice focuses mainly on family law issues. She is admitted to practice in California and the United States District Court for the Central District of California. She is also a member of the volunteer panel at the Harriet Buhai Center for Family Law where she takes on pro-bono family law cases. …Also at FCOP, attorney Kymberley E. Peck has been promoted to partner. Peck’s practice has been primarily focused on family law, estate planning, probate and trust litigation. She has been named to the Rising Stars list of Super Lawyers for three consecutive years (2016-2018), and was honored on the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 40 under 40 list in 2017. … Two individuals joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County (BBSVC) board of directors. Eric Mandell will serve as president. Mandell is vice president, senior commercial lender at CDC Small Business Finance. He has served as past president of the American Heart Association, and a board member of the American Cancer Society. Jesus Garcia will serve as treasurer. Garcia is AVP of member experience at CBC Federal Credit Union. Garcia has been a member of the BBSVC board since 2018 and has been a Big Brother in the program for three months. … Three individuals were named to the Museum of Ventura County board of directors. Jessica Arciniega is an assistant general counsel at the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. She previously served as an associate at Wasserman, Comden, Casselman and Esenten, LLP, and was also a board member of MICOP (the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project). David Fukutomi is a government and private sector consultant specializing in security and emergency management. He has served as a consultant to various government agencies including the State of California, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Tom Pecht is the co-owner and operator of Pecht Ranch, a family business that grows avocado and citrus. He serves on the board of directors for Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association and the Leadership Advisory Council for Interface. … Ewelina Mutkowska was invited by the federal government’s Stormwater Infrastructure Financing Task Force to be an expert consultant to the Environmental Financial Advisory Board. Mutkowska is the Ventura County Public Works Agency’s Stormwater Program Manager; she is one of 20 members from around the nation. … Two individuals joined the Ventura College Foundation board of directors. Catherine Bojorquez is vice president of business and administrative services at Ventura College and Michael Schouten is president of the Associated Students. … Thirty individuals were recognized by the Ventura County Fire Department during its annual promotion ceremony. John McNeil was named assistant fire chief, emergency services bureau. Kelly White was named assistant fire chief, administrative services bureau, and Dustin Gardner was named deputy fire chief. The other promoted personnel include Nicholas Cleary, Joseph Dullam, Gene Fong, Peter Jensen, Troy Swickard, Sean Ameche, Robert Ashby, Matthew Gurrola, Jeremy Roethle, Mark Villasenor, Noah White, Rodrick Zierenberg, Scott Wirz, Gary Monday, David Cabrido, Sean Driscoll, Wesston Hansen, Matthew Lindsey, Jason May, Gregory Peters, Justin Rick, Christopher Salvage, Jake Steward, Brett Wreesman, Caelan Paul, Michael Rodriquez, and Lori Ross.

In the name of charity

Students for Eco-Education (SEEAG) was chosen to receive a $4,000 grant from the Foundation of Ventura County Credit Union. The funds will go towards SEEAG’s “Ventura County Child Wellness Initiative”, a program that is designed to educate and inspire children to eat healthy by adding locally grown Ventura County specialty crops to their diet. The Initiative will reach 10,000 children including low income, Title 1 students in second through fourth grade during school and after school programs.


California Lutheran University (CLU) ranked ninth among regional universities in the West in the U.S. News Best Colleges rankings. The 2020 list includes universities in 15 Western states that provide a full range of undergraduate majors and master’s degrees but few doctoral programs. CLU also ranked third in the West for Best Undergraduate Teaching, fifth for Best Colleges for Veterans, sixth among A-Plus Schools for B Students, 12th among the Most Innovative Schools, 13th among Best Value Schools, 29th for Campus Ethnic Diversity, and 36th among Top Performers on Social Mobility. … CLU has launched a graduate program in cybersecurity to help fill the growing demand for professionals who can organizations’ technology systems. A cybersecurity track has been added as an option in the Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) program. In the fall of 2020, the university will launch an ethnic and race studies major to help students gain a deeper understanding of communities of color in the U.S. and build cultural competence in working with diverse groups. The interdisciplinary program is structured so that it can be easily added as a second major to better prepare students for careers ranging from business to public health. … Thomas Aquinas College ranked 35th among the country’s national liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News and World Report college rankings. The 2020 list also includes the College at 14th among Top Performers on Social Mobility, 31st among Best Value Liberal Arts Schools, 51st for Best Undergraduate Teaching, and it ranks at the very top for the highest proportion of classes under 20 students (100 percent) and the lowest proportion of classes with more than 50 students (zero percent).


Camarillo Health Care District (CHCD) was recognized for its outstanding services and accomplishments. CHCD was honored by the California Special Districts Association for its “Partnership to Improve Transitions” collaborative with Gold Coast Health Plan through its Community Investment Program. CHCD received the 2019 Innovative Program of the Year Award. It was also recognized by The John A. Hartford Foundation for its health care contracting efforts related to post-acute care, case management and self-management. CHCD was chosen as the national runner-up and received the 2019 Business Innovation Award. CHCD Adult Day Care participants received an honorable mention award for their artwork in the Fine Arts Amateur Division at the Ventura County Fair. … On World Mental Health Day, the Turning Point Foundation with a panel of mental health experts and others will provide a platform to give hope, connect people and empower the community discussing strategies to prevent suicide in Ventura County. The event will take place on Oct. 10 at 2697 Saviers Road (Oxnard Wellness Center, CenterPoint Mall) in Oxnard, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. The panel of experts includes Dr. Sevet Johnson (director, Ventura County Behavioral Health), Jason Meek (executive director, Turning Point Foundation), Dr. Pilar Sumalpong (director military support program, Vista del Mar Hospital), Christine Ray (parent and advocate), Roberta Griego (vice president, NAMI Ventura), and Mark Schumacher (peer programs director, Turning Point Foundation).