Did you know that Oxnard is the largest city in Ventura County with a population of more than 210,000? With a community of that size – and growing – it's vital for a city to have access to essential resources to ensure its residents’ health and well-being.
With that in mind, participants in the 2019 Oxnard Leadership Program went behind-the-scenes to learn about several organizations that help care for and feed the community. "Health and Human Services Day" was the group's seventh session and coordinated with the help of Cristina Cortez, Internal Communications Manager at Dignity Health.
The morning focused on Dignity Health St. John’s Regional Medical Center, located just off the freeway in the heart of Oxnard. They were welcomed by Dr. Robert Streeter, Chief Medical Officer, who gave an overview of the hospital and its medical staff.
St. John’s offers 24/7 access to full ER and hospital services and features 265 beds, including a 23-bed acute rehabilitation center. Together with its sister hospital St. John’s Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, it is the largest acute health care organization in Ventura County.
Human Resources Manager Craig Jeffery spoke about the hospital’s approach to HR recruitment, retention and company culture, while Chief Operating Officer Aaron Chang shared insight about hospital operations.
This private, not-for-profit health care system was founded more than 100 years ago, and treats more than 187,000 patients annually. The hospital also has a foundation that provides philanthropic support for building projects, equipment, and patient care services.
Oxnard Leadership met with St. John’s Foundation Vice President of Philanthropy Debi Klein who explained the foundation’s mission and achievements throughout the community. She also led the group on a tour of the hospital, including a hardhat tour of the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) expansion, which is scheduled to open later this year.
After lunch sponsored by St. John’s, the afternoon focused on two organizations that help feed those in need in the community.
The group traveled to St. John’s Food Pantry at Christ the King Church. There, they learned about St. John’s Health Ministries and received a tour of the food pantry from George West, Vice President of Mission Integration. The pantry delivers approximately 90 tons of food per year, provides produce to over 5,000 families, serves more than 15,000 hot meals and provides 2,100 holiday food baskets.
Their final stop was at FOOD Share, which provides food for more than 75,000 hungry friends and neighbors monthly. Its facility in Oxnard has two warehouses with a combined 36,000 square feet of space, and staff and volunteers distribute almost 10 million meals annually through its 190 pantry and program partners.
Every year, the Oxnard Leadership Program leads participants through 10 unique, day-long experiences to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Oxnard and the surrounding areas’ realities, opportunities and challenges. Each session includes visits to various locations and provides participants with a unique opportunity to meet key business and government leaders who play integral roles in the region.
Networking and community involvement are two of the top reasons businesses and individuals join the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce. But one of the biggest membership benefits is being connected to a business organization that is advocating on their behalf with government.
Advocacy for its members is the Chamber’s top priority, and members often turn to the Chamber when they’re dealing with business challenges they’re unable to solve on their own.
For those who want a seat at the table, the Chamber’s Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) is committed to scrutinizing issues affecting business on the local, state and federal levels. This dedicated group of volunteers works with elected officials in an effort to find balanced solutions to problems facing business, our environment and government.
Tom Cady leads the Business Advocacy Committee with co-chair Stacy Miller, Chamber Chair of the Board and CEO of Stacy Miller Public Affairs. Cady is President of TKC Enterprises and a Lifetime Director of the Oxnard Chamber.
The committee meets at the Chamber office on the second Monday of every month at noon to discuss proposed legislation, local elections and measures, and other issues such as energy, transportation, land use and water. They’re joined by city, county, state and federal government officials or their representatives who share updates on what they’re focused on.
At the most recent BAC meeting, Oxnard Assistant City Manager Ashley Golden invited Oxnard City Attorney Stephen Fischer to review the five local ballot initiatives that are being circulated for signatures. This year, the group has also welcomed Oxnard Director of Development Services Jeff Lambert, Clean Power Alliance Regional Affairs Manager Karen Schmidt, and Oxnard Assistant Police Chief Jason Benites. They also have studied a proposed ordinance to regulate short term rentals in Oxnard.
To get involved on the Business Advocacy Committee or another Oxnard Chamber committee, click here.
A Message From Our CEO Nancy Lindholm
Could you carve one hour per month out of your schedule to positively impact an Oxnard student's future? If so, Channel Islands High School has the perfect program for you. It's called Upward Bound.
Upward Bound Channel Islands (UBCI) is a year-round comprehensive pre-college preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The program is designed to assist students from Channel Islands High School with college readiness and planning, career exploration, social and cultural enrichment and motivation necessary to complete high school and pursue a college education. Program services and activities are free to qualifying students. Students can even earn a monthly stipend for their active participation. The majority of the students in UBCI will be first generation college attendees in their families.
Employers are consistently experiencing challenges finding qualified workers, so this is a great opportunity to be part of a solution. Mentors are needed for the UBCI students. The commitment is as little as one hour per month, and that one hour can have a remarkable impact on a student's future.
Upward Bound students are exploring careers in all STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields, healthcare, computer science, and agriculture. Mentors are not limited to those fields, though. Any professional willing to mentor a student is welcome to volunteer. Mentors are asked to invest one hour per month – a very small price to pay for a student's future and the future of our workforce!
To sign up, contact Upward Bound Director Dr. Maria Elena Cruz or her assistant, Diana Magana.
Along with the U.S. Department of Education, UBCI is an initiative of LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) National Educational Service Centers. There are 16 centers in the United States and Puerto Rico. Two of those are in California – San Diego and Oxnard.
"CRC employees took a special interest in this mentoring program to be a catalyst for increasing workforce opportunities for students, and also to show how the oil and natural gas industry has improved the lives of people from their communities. I have thoroughly enjoyed being a mentor to three Channel Islands High School students. We discuss core academic subject areas, college preparation, STEM career exploration, and cultural events. I have seen enormous increases in their levels of confidence and leadership development and hope that sharing my work and school experiences have helped them navigate some of the roads to higher education."
- Amy Fonzo, California Resources Corporation and past chair of the Oxnard Chamber
OXNARD, Calif., FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Do you know how to protect yourself, your business and your clients from cyber threats?
On Thursday, July 11, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce will welcome Ventura County District Attorney Investigator Kimo Hildreth as the keynote speaker for its next Knowledge & Networking luncheon.
Mr. Hildreth is a member of the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force and an expert on business email compromise. He will provide Chamber members and guests with an update on current cyber threat trends targeting businesses and how leaders can protect their businesses, customers and themselves from cyber criminals.
The Knowledge & Networking lunch will take place at the Residence Inn by Marriott/River Ridge located at 2101 W. Vineyard Avenue in Oxnard. Check-in and networking begin at 11:30 a.m. Lunch is at noon with the program to follow.
The event is open to the public and lunch is included. Tickets are $45 for non-members and $40 for Chamber members. Chamber members can purchase early registration tickets for $35 before Monday, July 8, at 5:00 p.m. Reservations may be made on www.OxnardChamber.org or by calling the Chamber office at (805) 983-6118.
ABOUT THE OXNARD CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst for business growth, a convener of leaders and influencers, and a champion for a stronger community. Founded in 1908, today the Chamber empowers 500 businesses and organizations that employ more than 30,000 people. It promotes the business and economic well-being of Oxnard’s diverse community to benefit enterprises, large and small, through advocacy, networking, education, services, business exposure and promotion. Learn more at OxnardChamber.org.
By Chair of the Board Stacy Miller
“Our work tells you the facts. We don’t tell you to eat or not to eat this or that, we just tell the truth.”
That’s how CEO of AGQ Labs Tenesor Peña describes the company's goals and mission.
Keeping to the facts is a good thing when you’re a science lab responsible for chemical analysis of food and soil. It’s exactly the type of science gaining public notice in the wake of a rising consumer base that wants to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown.
AGQ’s Oxnard lab focuses their work solely on food safety and agronomy, the science of soil management and crop production. Their work is highly sought after by agriculture business looking to take their farms and produce into the future.
How does analysis from a lab like AGQ make a difference?
“We give growers a lot of helpful information,” says Peña. “We can show growers how much water and fertilizer they need so they don’t waste resources. Take nitrogen, for example. Too much means the extra will leech into the soil. Our analysis will prevent overdoing it and in turn, be better for your soil because you’re only giving your crops exactly what they need.”
Saving resources, saving money and creating better soil means long-term benefits for growers from season to season.
AGQ Labs is more than just a standout business partner for growers. Over the last eight years since opening in Oxnard, it’s become an engaged community partner.
Why is Oxnard the place for its only lab in the United States? Why is Oxnard ideal for a cutting-edge laboratory with global ties and nine labs all over the world?
“Oxnard really was a perfect fit for our agronomy work. It’s close to growers and the Ag industry, and close to an international airport, which helps us maintain our global ties and send and receive samples internationally. It's an affordable and beautiful city to build a lab,” explains Peña.
He also says the city openly welcomed AGQ and, because of that goodwill, he believes strongly in giving back to the community.
AGQ is a partner in Ventura Farm Day, offering an open house and free public tours alongside local farms. Peña himself is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and lives locally in Oxnard, like his employees (a team of 40), who all live local in the Oxnard and Ventura County area.
AGQ Labs is growing their local engagement through business connections, educational partnerships with Cal State Channel Islands, Cal Poly and Ventura College, and even supporting local youth soccer teams.
In addition to hosting a recent tour of the lab for Oxnard Chamber leadership and city management, AGQ loves to host tours for local children. “We like to show kids where their food comes from," states Peña. “It’s our way to teach the next generation.”
Proof AGQ is growing more than just good science right here in Oxnard.
One of Oxnard Chamber's newest members EVmatch is a peer-to-peer network for electric vehicle (EV) charging that harnesses the power of sharing to immediately create more charging options that are reliable and reservable.
Through EVmatch, homeowners and businesses in California and Colorado can rent out their private charging stations, earning money and supporting more EVs on the road. EV drivers leverage the sharing economy to easily find, reserve, and pay for charging with a few quick clicks on the EVmatch app.
EVmatch empowers a new generation of EV owners by providing a reliable and convenient charging solution to those lacking dedicated charging access, such as renters and multi-unit dwellers.
The company’s Commercial Hosting service allows businesses, hotels, multi-unit dwellings, and other commercial sites to install and rent out an affordable smart charger. Commercial hosts can earn revenue and grow their business by offering charging to employees, customers, or the public.
EV drivers, charging station owners, and businesses are encouraged to sign up for the growing network and learn more about Commercial Hosting at www.evmatch.com.
Get the mobile app in the App Store or Google Play.