Category Archives: Business

Outstanding business women of Ventura County honored

Venturan’s Barbara and Angela (bottom row on the left) were NAWBO award winners.

BRAVO is the annual signature awards event of the Ventura Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO). Their awards ceremony was held on Friday, March 31 at the  Serra Center in Camarillo.

It spotlighted  outstanding business women of Ventura County, honoring them for their vision and perseverance, which is creating a brighter future for women business owners and women-led business ventures

The Rising Star of the Year  Angela Rosales opened Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery in 2013 in a tiny (less than 300 sq. ft.) space off-the-beaten-path in downtown Ventura. Today the gift shop is located right in the heart of the thriving historic downtown district in a 2200 sq. ft. space. Angela now runs the store full time and employs two sales clerks. Very Ventura Gift Shop & Gallery is a major asset for the local community, embodying the spirit of Ventura and growing the local economy. Very Ventura celebrates the city by offering a blend of fine art, upscale souvenirs and carefully curated products designed by local artisans.

Last year Angela was the recipient of the Downtown Ventura “Juni” Award, honoring her as Volunteer Merchant of the Year. Her commitment to the art community also led her to reach out to fellow merchants to implement a fun, new event called “Arts & Eats.” Happening six times per year, this is a night where the community can come together for one night and enjoy fine-art, music and tasty-bites at galleries, shops and restaurants.

Angela holds a bachelor’s degree in English and gained her operational skills through her career in Human Resources. She credits her work ethic to her father, love of learning to her mother and zest of life to her sisters.

She was also recently selected as one of the top three finalists for the 2017 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Awards in the Retail category for Ventura and Santa Barbara County.  Rosales is a graduate of Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV), a non-profit dedicated to empowering entrepreneurs through training and financial assistance.

She stated  “I feel a great sense of responsibility having a story named ‘Very Ventura’ in that I want locals to feel that they can find quality gifts here as well as give tourists a sense of the talent in our community.”

Barbara Hinton, founder and director of the Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival, was recognized by NAWBO of Ventura County as “Arts Advocate of the Year”.  She graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1983 and received her California Teaching credential in 1987.   She taught high school English for ten years. After she ended her teaching career, she worked in sales. In 2008, she began working for for RH Wealth Advisors, where she is an office assistant and handles special events for the firm.

It was also in 2008 that Hinton decided that she wanted to start an art festival in Ventura. The Ventura Art Festival was launched in 2009 as a fundraiser for the Ventura Chamber. Today, this popular annual festival, now known as the Ventura Art & Street Painting Festival, hosts artists and street painters at the Ventura Harbor and raises funds for local non-profit organizations. This year’s event will be held September 9th & 10th.

She said “I was delighted to receive the award from this accomplished group of women.

Barbara was named the Ventura Chamber’s Volunteer of the Year in 2009. For the last five years has volunteered for local animal rescue groups.

Hinton lives in Ventura with her husband and their five cats. She is a part time artist, with an emphasis on fiber arts. She enjoys socializing with friends, traveling, practicing yoga and wine tasting.

Realty Watch: 2018 Budget Effects HUD

by Patricia Fasen, Berkshire Hathaway Realtor

Last month I wrote about the generous down payment assistance program offered by local and state governments.  Under the new administration these grants are now in jeopardy of being dismantled.

The Trump administration has released the proposed 2018 budget, and it seeks to provide one of the largest increases in defense spending, without increasing the national debt.

Of the budget cuts proposed, 13.2 percent will come from the Housing and Urban Development.

Budget cuts across various government departments will be the source of funding for the planned increase in defense spending, so this budget doesn’t reduce overall government spending but instead shifts money to defense from other areas of the government.

The Upside:

The proposed budget would add $20 million for the mitigation of lead-based paint and other hazards in low-income homes, bringing the total budget for the program to $130 million. It would also provide more than $35 billion for HUD’s rental assistance program and support “homeownership through provision of Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance programs,” according to the document.

The Downside:

The budget would eliminate HOME Investment Partnerships Program, the largest federal block grant to state and local governments that is “designed exclusively to create affordable housing for low-income households,” according to HUD.

J. René Ward, a broker-owner based in Texas, said she’s concerned that the cuts could disproportionately impact underserved minority communities in this country.

“These programs assist homeowners become part of the American Dream through education, down payment assistance and grants,” Ward said. “Are we perpetuating a larger population of renters? Are the ‘haves’ taking away money and financially benefiting from the ‘have nots’ by forcing them to rent?


Do you know about our Did You Knows?

by Kevin O’Connor

O’Connor Pest Control’s main reason for creating Did You Knows, has been educational.  We hope to be “community educators,” helping educate families about the hazards of disease-bearing pests and the important measures for controlling these dangers.  Community education is one way of bolstering safety and security for all.  It’s important to us to keep families, and especially children, healthy and safe.

Here are some examples of the kind of information that is distributed to families through the Did You Know program.  These messages comment on rats, bed bugs, roaches, and spiders.  We have also educated the public about gophers, field mice, mosquitoes, live-animal trapping, the Zika virus, and so forth.

Did you know that proper professional rodent control is essential.  So virulent is the “rat pack,” that out of control rodent populations put the Public Health of all Californians at risk.  Professional pest control operators are trained to select and safely apply rodenticides.  CA regulations have already removed the strongest anti-coagulants (SGARs) from the hands of non-professional users.

Did you know that the common bed bug, formally called Cimex lectularius, has infected humankind for so many centuries that today it survives solely on human blood.  Almost eradicated by DDT after WWII, bed bugs today withstand levels of pesticides many times greater than the lethal dose of a few decades ago.

Did you know that cockroaches will invade even the cleanest of homes. They find any way and every way possible to fit through cracks, crevices, piping, electrical outlets etc. to get inside homes. There are 4,500 different species and 30 live in human habitats.  Cockroach fecal matter and decaying corpses become a fine powder and once inhaled are known to trigger allergies and asthma attacks.

Did you know that common house spiders can live for several years and tend to hide away in dormant places.  Male house spiders are more prone to wander throughout a home in search for a mate.  Spiders can lay 2 to 1000 eggs per sac depending on the species.  It is reported that black widow venom is 15 times stronger than that of a rattlesnake.

Education is power for prevention, treatment, and wellbeing. Speaking of wellbeing, winter is gone and spring is here. So, Happy Spring to everyone and remember to call us for all your pest control needs.  We are here to serve you and your family.  1-800-284-7985 and

Emergency Veterinary Care opens in Ventura

Dr. Sarah Gray and Dr. Nancy Scott have opened a newly established small animal emergency hospital in Ventura.

Board certified emergency and critical care specialists Dr. Sarah Gray and Dr. Nancy Scott have opened Emergency Veterinary Care, a newly established small animal emergency hospital in Ventura. The practice provides urgent care and veterinary emergency services seven days a week until midnight, with overnight patients receiving 24-hour care.

Emergency Veterinary Care is temporarily operating out of Ohana Pet Hospital at 4547 Telephone Road i while they develop the perfect location to care for the urgent care needs of local pets. They can be reached at 701-7664.

Drs. Gray and Scott are well-respected criticalists in Ventura County and have worked together locally saving pets’ lives for more than a decade. They bring a combined 20+ years of specialty veterinary experience to Emergency Veterinary Care.

Dr. Sarah Gray received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of California, Davis before attending Iowa State University to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Dr. Gray has completed several emergency and critical care internships, both locally and in Pennsylvania and completed her residency in Emergency and Critical Care medicine at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Gray has lived and worked in Ventura County for over 10 years and is particularly well versed in the areas of toxicology, fluid resuscitation, respiratory diseases and trauma. In her spare time, Dr. Gray is a veterinary consultant for a nationwide animal poison control center.

Dr. Nancy Scott received her Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University and her Masters of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan. She went on to earn her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from UC Davis. Dr. Scott completed a rotating internship at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital before returning to UC Davis to complete her residency in Small Animal Emergency and Critical Care. After completing her residency in 2005, Dr. Scott moved to Ventura where she joined a local veterinary specialty hospital and established a renowned emergency and critical care department. She is particularly knowledgeable in critical patient anesthesia, post-operative patient management, poly-trauma and management of severe electrolyte disturbances.

When asked about their new practice, Dr. Gray expressed, “Dealing with a beloved pet in crisis can be extremely stressful; Dr. Scott and I are strongly committed to addressing the cat and dog emergency needs of our community.” Dr. Scott added, “Yes, we truly want to ensure that we take care of the pets AND their families when it comes to managing family pet emergencies.”

Learn more about Emergency Veterinary Care at

Homeownership may be closer than you think

by Patricia Fasen, Berkshire Hathaway Realtor

The scenario:  You and your spouse are a two income household, engaged in steady employment, possess strong credit scores, yet your savings falls a bit short on that large down-payment needed to purchase the proverbial house with the white picket fence.

Well a little secret is about to be revealed.  Banks are now offering a down payment assistance of 5% of a maximum loan amount up to $424,100 for closing costs, or towards the down payment.   That is approximately $21,000, rounding down to the nearest thousandth dollar.   And, believe it or not, this is truly a grant.  No strings attached.  Unlike other grant assistance programs, you do not have to pay this back.  Even let’s say down the road, you choose to refinance the loan to leverage the equity, it is yours to keep.  This program is available to anyone who qualifies, and not necessarily first time homebuyers.  However, it does need to be your primary residence.

Spring is in the air, and summer is just around the corner. With this type of a generous assistance program, a family could find themselves in a home with backyards large enough for barbeques, or surfing millennials eyeing those condos in Port Hueneme.  It may not be your dream home this time around, but very well a home, you can call your own.

New CVS Pharmacy in Ventura

On March 11 the new CVS Pharmacy located at 2260 Thompson had their official ribbon cutting and the Ventura Breeze was there. Among the gathered CVS employees and company officials were Breanna Olsen, Pharmacy Manager: Matt Gibbons, District Manager: Laura Schneider, Store Manager and Emad Tadros, Pharmacy Supervisor.

Sandbox Coffeehouse celebrates 5 year anniversary

Sandbox Coffeehouse is celebrating its 5 year anniversary this month! Will be celebrating on the weekends with live music, gourmet tacos- and beer & wine, served every day. Sandbox Coffeehouse would like to thank Ventura and its partners for their support and kindness. “Who owns the Sandbox?…You do. We just pay the bills!” Where the Surf…Meets the Sand

204 East Thompson Blvd. (corner of Figueroa St. and Thompson Blvd.)

Women’s Economic Ventures celebrate graduates

Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) recently celebrated the accomplishments of 19 men and women graduating from the WEV’s Basic Spanish Self-Employment Training program. Students in the four week course explored the risks and benefits of starting a business and learned about important characteristics needed to become a successful entrepreneur, all while evaluating their own strengths and abilities. Graduates left the course with an understanding of whether they are ready to take the next steps in launching their own business. Some businesses and business concepts include computer repair, beauty salons, construction, and different types of food. For more information on the Spanish Self Employment Training Programs, contact Program Assistant, Berenice Becerra 456-2383.