During his career at the Port District, Peña has been extremely active in the community.
After serving a distinguished career with the Ventura Port District General Manager Oscar F. Peña officially retired on April 30, 2019. Peña has been at the helm of Ventura Harbor for 20 years. The Ventura Port District employs 35 full-time employees and generates $8 million in annual revenue.
Ventura Port District Board Chairman Chris Stephens stated, “Under Peña’s leadership the Port District has grown into an economically diverse and fiscally sound community asset in which the City can be proud.”
A Ventura resident for 27 years, Peña cites several key accomplishments during his 20-year employment. With Peña at the helm, the commercial fishing industry in the harbor now houses more than forty purse seine vessels which export California Market Squid to a global market. This commercial fishing industry creates 215 jobs in the Ventura region and can generate approximately $20 million annually into the Ventura County economy.
Ventura Council Member Cheryl Heitmann shares “As the City’s liaison to the Port District for many years, Mr. Peña has established effective working relationships with public agencies, the private sector and tenants throughout the harbor.”
As a former commercial real estate executive in the private sector for 20 years, Peña contracted with the Port District to provide property management and leasing services at Ventura Harbor Village in 1992 and improved occupancy levels from an initial 60 percent to nearly 96 percent today.
After seven years of providing property management and leasing services to the District, the Ventura Port District hired Peña as the new General Manager of Ventura Harbor in July ,1999.
Past member and Board Chair of the Ventura Port District, Ed McCombs states, “Mr. Peña has led the Port District from bankruptcy to its current solid financial state, positioning the Ventura Harbor as a major asset of the City.”
In 2001, Peña was instrumental in encouraging Island Packers, the primary concessionaire to the Channel Islands National Park, to relocate their business to a more prominent location, significantly enhancing the visibility and charters to the Channel Islands National Park.
“I’ve greatly enjoyed working with tenants in the harbor and a dedicated staff that has contributed to the District’s success over the years. Needless to say, many volunteer board members have provided the leadership needed to make the Ventura Harbor what it is today,” states Peña.
Peña has been extremely active in the community serving with both the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and Ventura Conference & Visitor Bureau boards. Under a new short-term agreement, Peña’s expertise will be utilized as the Business Operations Manager for the Port District, where he will oversee real estate transactions and special projects until a complete transition is made.
Upon retirement, Peña will focus on rebuilding his home which was destroyed in the Thomas Fire, remaining active in the community and spending time with family.
Brian Pendleton, currently the Deputy General Manager for the Ventura Port District, was appointed at the April 18th Board of Commissioners Meeting as the next General Manager for the Ventura Port District.