With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it's time to reflect on the events and lessons the year has had for all of us. Of course, it's likely that you have some desire to forget rather than reflect. Tempting as that may be, the end of 2020 won't bring the end of COVID or economic instability. You never know when another event like this might occur in the future. Learning from past events is one of the keys to future success.
Lessons of the COVID Crisis
Just as COVID has shaken every aspect of day-to-day life, it has had a thorough impact on business operations. Public health and workplace accommodations were the most immediately need. Next, businesses needed to rapidly adjust to completely different structures to continue operations in the modern world. Lastly, it became apparent that businesses need to have more flexibility and alternatives in their supply chains.
Change the Outlook on Supply Chains
At the onset of the COVID crisis, manufacturers faced sudden spikes in demand for various goods and shutdowns among suppliers. One of the more memorable results of this was the nationwide toilet paper shortage. While that example might seem funny in retrospect, it speaks to a situation that created countless crises among distributors. In the past, a business might simply discard a supplier that shuts down and seek out alternatives. However, the expansive impact of the pandemic meant there were no alternatives.
This speaks to two lessons that businesses must learn from 2020. On the one hand, they need to have protocols and preparation for dealing with sudden spikes in demand. Such protocols are versatile and will help in virtually any disaster situation. On the other, businesses must forge closer ties with their suppliers and work to manage risk together. Better understanding between suppliers and distributors will give businesses much-needed dynamism in the face of the unexpected.
Digitizing is the Future, and the Future is Now
Since the turn of the century, businesses have gradually been digitizing their operations. The pandemic forced these changes to move at a much faster tempo, with businesses revamping their online presence and creating all-digital workflows. Not only have these changes empowered businesses to operate during the pandemic, but they also made workflows more efficient and flexible.
If your business hasn't already digitized its operations as much as possible, this should be a top priority moving forward. Even with the vaccine rollout, the benefits of online operations aren't going away. Digitizing will help your business cope with the continuing pandemic and boost efficiency into the future.
Maintain Contingency Plans
It's impossible to expect when forces beyond our control will dramatically change the business situation. Economic crashes, pandemics, natural disasters; COVID has underlined the need to be ready for catastrophe.
Dwight Eisenhower once effectively said that plans are worthless, and planning is priceless. While it's impossible to plan for every possible crisis, the very act of planning for a crisis will provide guidance during the critical early days of any such event.
At the Chamber's virtual Annual Meeting hosted on January 21, 2021, members heard from outgoing Chair Celina Zacarias of California State University Channel Islands; celebrated the six recipients of our Chair's Awards of Excellence; and met incoming Chair Tracy Perez of Manpower, who shared her plans for 2021.
Watch the recording below.
As is tradition for the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, the outgoing Chair of the Board is given the opportunity to bestow some discretionary awards each year at the organization's Annual Meeting, which being presented virtually on Thursday, January 21, 2021.
We have been through a year like none other and these awards are honoring some very deserving people and organizations.
Here is the list of awardees selected by 2020 Chamber Chair Celina Zacarias, Senior Director of Community and Government Relations for California State University Channel Islands:
Please join us in honoring these outstanding organizations and individuals at the Chamber's 2021 Annual Meeting this Thursday, January 21 at 1:00 pm. Click here to register for the virtual event.
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce its Executive Committee for 2021.
The Board of Directors is responsible for setting Chamber policy as well as direction for the organization. The Executive Committee is comprised of officers elected by the Board and monitors the Chamber's operations. The Board is made up of 24 directors plus six Lifetime Directors, and four non-voting Board liaisons from the City of Oxnard, Naval Base Ventura County and other like-minded organizations.
Chair: Tracy Perez, ManpowerGroup
Tracy Perez is a lifelong resident of Ventura County, born and raised in Oxnard. She brings more than 15 years of business development and staffing industry experience to ManpowerGroup, a world leader in innovative workforce solutions. In her role as Market Manager serving Ventura County, she has demonstrated success in retaining valuable business relationships across various industry sectors and has a vast knowledge of the county job market.
Tracy is passionate about workforce development and the economic vitality of Ventura County, and works tirelessly to remain actively involved in the community. In addition to her role as 2021 Chair of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, she is 2021 Chair of the Ventura County Economic Development Association, Chair of the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County, and an active Board Member and Immediate Past Chair of the Ventura County Civic Alliance.
Tracy is committed to community leadership and civic engagement and also enjoys volunteering with various nonprofit community-based organizations in Ventura County. When she is not working or volunteering, Tracy enjoys spending time with friends and family, and resides in Ventura with her husband, Henry.
Chair-Elect: Dona Toteva Lacayo, The Port of Hueneme
Dona joined the Port of Hueneme as the Director of Business Development in 2014 with a strong background in the maritime industry, commercial development and global logistics. In 2017, Dona was promoted to the Chief Commercial and Public Affairs Officer. In her new role she leads the Commercial Strategy and Development Planning at the Port. She is also the head of Public Affairs including Government and Media Relations. She also serves on the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County
Immediate Past Chair: Celina Zacarias, CSUCI
Celina Zacarias is the Senior Director of Community and Government Relations for California State University Channel Islands, the 23rd campus in the California State University System, where she is responsible for advancing California State University Channel Islands’ positive presence and goodwill at all levels throughout the culturally diverse service region, the state, the nation and internationally by planning, directing, and implementing a comprehensive proactive program of community and government relations. Celina serves on numerous boards in the community and she was 2020 Chair of the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce.
Vice Chair/Treasurer: Andrew Kiefer, CBIZ MHM
Andrew Kiefer is a Director and Shareholder of CBIZ & Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., a national Top 10 public accounting firm. He began his career with the firm in 1998 and now oversees all of the audit, tax and accounting services to commercial entities in the construction, manufacturing, software, and retail industries, as well as government contractors and governmental entities. He is a graduate of California Lutheran University, and resides with his wife and two boys in Camarillo.
Vice Chair: Anthony Mireles, Business Manager of Laborers' International Union of North America- Local 585
Anthony Mireles brings a wealth of skills and new perspective from more than 30 years in business, labor and coalition building, starting as a Retail Store Manager, 10-year Laborer, and 19-year Union Representative. Anthony has extensive knowledge in contract compliance, apprentice mentoring, workforce recruitment, strategic planning for infrastructure finance, and development, as well as social media communication engagement, and community coalition building. He is also a prior member in the Farm Workers Commission, Oxnard Gang Commission, and actively engaged in the Ventura County Family Justice Center Foundation, Ventura County Housing Trust Fund, Ventura County Laborers Apprenticeship Subcommittee and Training Trust, Central Coast Labor Council, and Chair of the Ventura County Workforce Development Board - Clean Green Committee
Vice Chair: Tenesor Peña, AGQ Labs
Tenesor Peña is CEO and CFO of AGQ Labs, a multinational testing laboratory with presence in more than 20 countries. Born and raised in Spain, he obtained his BS Degree in Economics and Business Management in 2000 at the University of Navarra, in Spain. Tenesor has developed his career in finance departments in different multinationals and countries, such as the Swedish telecommunications company Tele2, the British record company EMI Music, the Belgian chain of cinemas Kinepolis, and the American pet food company Royal Canin. He came to California in 2013 as CFO to manage the Finance and Administration department of AGQ Labs and, in 2015, he was appointed CEO. Tenesor resides in Oxnard with his wife and his twin daughters.
Vice Chair: Stacy Pizzuti, Umpqua Bank
Stacy Pizzuti is Senior Vice President and Regional Director for commercial banking at Umpqua Bank in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. The Pacific Coast Business Times has named Stacy one of the Top 50 business women in the tri-counties. She serves on the Business Advisory Committee for CSUCI and is a board member of Anacapa Yacht Club. She has been a resident of Ventura County since 1982 and lives in Oxnard.
Oxnard restaurant The Raven Tavern is following California health orders to shut down all dining except takeout, but they want restaurant employees throughout the area to know how much they are appreciated and to thank them for keeping the restaurant industry going during the past nine months.
Beginning Monday, January 11, The Raven Tavern will offer a free “Thank You” meal to any restaurant employee. Restaurant workers can stop by between 2:00-4:00 pm on Mondays and receive their “Thank You” meal.
Owners Andy Lowe and Ronan Corbett had to shut down outdoor dining at The Raven Tavern just five months after opening and lay off most employees, but they knew their employees were not the only ones affected.
Lowe says, “We want to thank all restaurant workers for the hard work they do and for putting themselves on the front lines in order to keep local restaurants open.”
They plan to keep offering the “Thank You” meals until outdoor dining is restored in Ventura County.
Restaurant workers need only show proof of recent employment at a Ventura County restaurant in order to receive a meal.
“This past year has taken a toll on independent, locally owned restaurants. Restaurants help create a vibrant community. We need to ensure that restaurant workers are not forgotten during this unprecedented time,” says Corbett.
Lowe and Corbett opened the Raven Tavern on July 1, 2020. The restaurant remains open for takeout.
Restaurant workers can contact The Raven Tavern at 805-686-7683 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the “Thank You” meals.
The Raven Tavern is located at 1651 Victoria Avenue in Oxnard, and open Sunday-Thursday from 11:30 am to 8:00 pm, and Friday-Saturday from 11:30 am to 9:00 pm.