Ventura Botanical Gardens appoints board leadership

Barbara Brown appointed VBG President.

Ventura Botanical Gardens (VBG) announced recently the appointment of its 2017 slate of officers. Beginning on January 1, Barbara Brown will assume the post of President. Dr. Tracy Long will assume the post of Vice President. Terry Sommers will remain as Treasurer with Sandy Ross as Recording Secretary and Jonell McLain as Corresponding Secretary.

“I am honored to serve as President for the Ventura Botanical Gardens,” Barbara Brown said. “The Gardens are, in my opinion, one of the most unique projects in the city. Both the land, with its stunning views, and the widespread and enthusiastic community engagement, are inspiring. This public-private partnership with the City of Ventura offers a valuable resource for our community, providing ready access to an extensive natural setting, open space and spectacular views.”

Barbara Brown is the founder of BBM&D Strategic Branding, one of the largest and oldest branding firms in the area. She is a Commissioner for the City of Ventura Public Arts Commission, and is on the Board of the Ventura Arts Festival. She has served on numerous boards including Ventura County Professional Women’s Network, Goodwill Industries and the Ventura/Santa Barbara Chapters of the American Advertising Federation as President where she tripled membership in the organization. She also serves on the Sister Cities Cultural Exchange that is focused on cultivating international awareness and understanding. She is a Charter Member of the Ventura Botanical Gardens and has been on the board for seven years bringing CAST (California Spring Trials) to Ventura.

Dr. Tracy Long, a board member since 2010, will continue to serve on the board as Vice-President, a role that will allow her to continue the work she began in 2016. She is an applied anthropologist with a doctorate in human and organizational systems. She is a research fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation in Santa Barbara, where she studies social justice activism and alternative economics. Deeply interested in the cultural heritage of Ventura County, she served for 11 years on the City of Ventura Historic Preservation.

Board members include Barbara Brown, Joseph Cahill, Isabel Callaway, Kevin Clerici, Nicole Horn, Tracy Long, Kathy McGee, Stuart Nielson, Melody O’Leary-Namikas, Terry N. Sommer, Phil White, Jo Ann M. Wedding, and Derrick Wilson.

This public benefit nonprofit organization is dedicated to creating a world-class botanical garden for the preservation, education, cultural contribution and enhancement of the community. The gardens will celebrate the five Mediterranean climate regions with a locale that boasts spectacular 180-degree views of the California coast and the Channel Islands.

The first trail is complete and already a popular hiking destination. The seedlings of the Chilean Gardens are beginning to thrive. VBG will continue to create outdoor opportunities including community gathering spaces, training, research, and educational programs ranging from horticulture and botany to sustainability. To find out more, visit and join us on Facebook.

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