Betsy Blanchard Chess selected as Director of Fund Development

Betsy has worked with numerous arts organizations including the Rubicon Theatre.

The Museum of Ventura County is pleased to announce the hiring of Betsy Blanchard Chess as its new Director of Development. Ms. Chess will help lead the organization in its efforts to sustain its two locations-the second site being the Museum of Ventura Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula-and to build an endowment.

Betsy attended high school in La Jolla and did both graduate and postgraduate work at the University of Southern California, earning a Masters of Arts degree in Modern European History.

In 1988 she became editor and publisher of The Broadcaster Magazine for the Farm Bureau of Ventura County. She retired from the magazine in 2013.

In 1994, she briefly served in a professional capacity as Executive Director for the Ventura County Symphony . She returned to the board as a volunteer and helped to oversee the birth of the New West Symphony in 1995. In 1998 she was hired as Executive Director of New West, a position she held until 2002.

In 2002, Betsy was named president of the San Buenaventura Foundation for the Arts where she worked to realize the Foundation’s dream of building the Cultural Arts Center in Ventura.She was chairman of the Arts Showcase for the Ventura Unified School District in 2005. She also serves on the board of advisors for Women’s Economic Ventures and the Board of Advisors for New West Symphony.  She is a member of Ventura Rotary of which she will be president July 1, 2016- June 30, 2017.

Ventura Interface Ministerial Association as a 2005 Woman of Vision, three times by the Ventura Rotary Club with Paul Harris Fellowships and by the Ventura County Arts Council with their first ever Arts Stars Award for her work in arts education. In 2011 She was named to the Cultural Affairs Commission of the City of Ventura. In 2012, Women’s Economic Ventures of Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties named Betsy one of five business trailblazers. The Association of Fundraising Professionals named her Volunteer of the Year for Ventura County in 2014.


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