by Daphne Khalida Kilea

And the award goes to …

Four were recognized by Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families during National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Tamiann Cook received the Angel of the Year award. Sonny Grenier received the Seraphim Award and Stefanie Wennes received the Amigo of the Year award. PODS Tri-Counties received the Community Volunteer of the Year award. Casa Pacifica acknowledged the award recipients with special deliveries in lieu of the annual award luncheon. … Courtney Freeman received the “Stellar Performer” Award from integrated media company Smart Meetings. Freeman is Visit Oxnard’s group sales manager; she was featured in the March issue of Smart Meetings Magazine. … Visit Oxnard, through Verdin Marketing of San Luis Obispo, won a 2020 American Advertising Award in the Coastal California Competition. The award was in the “Logo Design” category; the new design pays homage to Oxnard’s diverse attractions and laidback, approachable culture. 


Eleanor “Ellie” Barker in Moscow.

Eleanor “Ellie” Barker received a U.S. Student Fulbright award to teach English in Kazakhstan. Barker is a graduating (summa cum laude) senior at California Lutheran University who studied throughout the former Soviet Union as an undergraduate. … The Ventura College Foundation received a $250,000 grant from the Gene Haas Foundation to support the Advanced Manufacturing program at Ventura College. The funds will be used to relocate the current manufacturing lab to the college’s Applied Science Center and renovate the new location into a modern manufacturing facility designed to promote manufacturing occupations and enhance student workforce manufacturing skills. When completed, the lab will be renamed the Gene Haas Advanced Manufacturing Lab.

Moving up

Melissa Livingston joined the Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families board of directors. Livingston is the acting director of the County of Ventura’s human services agency. … Leilani Barnett is the newest addition to the Ventura County Community Development Corporation’s (VCCDC) board of directors. Barnett brings 23 years of experience to VCCDC. She serves as regional manager of community development for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she supports and leads multi-sector collaborations to help low and moderate-income communities throughout California and Idaho. …

Clayton Coates

Clayton Coates was appointed as the vice president of Ventura County Ministries for the Rescue Mission Alliance, overseeing the Ventura County Rescue Mission and the Lighthouse for Women & Children; he will also serve as director of the Mission. Coates most recently worked for Morgan Stanley in the wealth management field after nearly 25 years as a pastor. Mission director John Saltee is retiring after nine years in the position. … Maria Ventura was named as a board member of Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast. Ventura is the SoCalGal representative of Ventura County and in that role, she serves on several community boards, BGCGV, El Concilio, American Red Cross of Central California, United Way of Ventura County and the Ventura County Economic Development Association. … John D. Kim was selected as chief operating officer for the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills and West Ventura service areas. Kim previously served as the area quality leader and patient safety officer for the Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento service area. 


St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital (SJPVH) received a significant financial gift from the Esper A. Petersen Foundation. The undisclosed amount will help fund patient programs and services now and in the future, and the hospital’s new lobby has been named the Esper A. Petersen Foundation Welcome Center in honor of said gift. The foundation has been a principal contributor to several hospital projects including the expansion and modernization of the Emergency Department, the enhancement of cardiovascular services, and the campaign which helped fund the new 75,000-square-foot hospital.


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley (BGCGCV) launched Part I of a $3 million fundraising campaign, “Rising Stronger Together,” to ensure that the community and families have the resources and support they need during the challenging times as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Donations to “$1 Million for NOW” will help the BGCGCV maintain daily meal service, member academic support, and extended care for K-8 youth whose parents are essential workers. The fundraising campaign will continue throughout the year with Part II, “$1 Million for Recovery” and Part III, “$1 Million to Secure the Future.” For more information, visit … BGCGCV also received $10,000 from the Sempra Energy Foundation through its Nonprofit Hardship Fund in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The grant will help support full-day extended hours at four BGCGCV sites that are providing childcare, remote learning support, nutritious meals and social support to children of essential workers and parents/guardians who must work to maintain employment. … The Southeast Ventura County YMCA through its disaster-relief program, California Strong, distributed the first round of $120,000 allocated for direct financial assistance grants to Ventura County residents whose financial situation has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis. The grants are from the Rapid Response Fund set up by the Ventura County Community Foundation which partnered with the YMCA. So far, 203 families have received checks for $250 each. … Camarillo company Interlink Electronics launched VersaPad Plus, a glove-operable touchpad that withstands exposure to liquids and extreme temperatures, and can be subjected to deep cleanings without causing damage or affecting its function. The VersaPad Plus can be used by anyone but was created with the healthcare industry in mind, where cleaning surfaces is paramount and most gloves can disrupt the performance of most touchpads. The company also quadrupled its production of Ring Sensor components used in the making of ventilators.