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Journey to Leadership – Past Honorees

Since July of 2002, VCLA has been celebrating the those who are living our mission of strengthening our county.  These leaders from the business, education, nonprofit and public sectors represent the best of Ventura County.  

This event helps raise funds to support the many experiences each Cohort participates in each month, and for that we thank our many event sponsors.

17th Annual-August 25, 2020    
Alumnus of the Year    

Andrew Salinas, Cohort XIV  
Business of the Year   

Greg Van Ness, Tolman & Wiker
Educational Leaders of the Year  

Oscar Cobian, Oxnard College

Foundation
Public Sector Leader of the Year  

Jacqui Irwin, CA Assembly member, District 44

16th Annual-April 18, 2019    
Alumna of the Year    

Pattie Braga, Cohort XVII  
Business of the Year   

Montecito Bank & Trust
Educational Leaders of the Year  

Dr Jaime Hannans & Dr. Jacob Jenkins, CSUCI
Non-Profit Leader of the Year   

Vanessa Bechtel, Ventura County Community Foundation
Public Sector Leader of the Year  

Jim Friedl, Conejo Recreation & Park District
Founder's Award

Rudy Gonzales

Ductus Exemplo Award

Sheriff (Ret.) Geoff Dean

15th Annual-April 19, 2018    
Alumna of the Year    

Emily Barany, Cohort XXI   
Business of the Year   

Mustang Marketing
Educational Leader of the Year  

Dr. Roger Rice, Ventura County Office of Education
Non-Profit Leader of the Year   

Dena Jenson, CLU Center for Nonprofit Leadership
Public Sector Leader of the Year  

Ventura Fire Department, Ventura Police Department, Ventura County Fire Department, Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Founder's Award

Bart and Heidi Stern

14th Annual-April 20, 2017    
Alumnus of the Year    

Jim White, Class V   
Business of the Year   

Patagonia
Community Leader of the Year  

Charles W. Cohen, Esq.
Founder's Award

Suzanne Chadwick, VCLA Advisory Committee

13th Annual-October 17, 2016    
Alumna of the Year    

Dr. Genevieve Evans Taylor, Cohort XVI  
Business of the Year   

Ventura County Credit Union
Community Leader of the Year  

Dr Steven Elson, Casa Pacifica Centers for Children and Families
Founder's Award

Kathy Long, Former VC Board of Supervisor

Ductus Exemplo Award

Hank Lacayo, State President, Congress of California Seniors

2014-2015 20th Anniversary Celebratory Event 
(No formal honorees)    

12th Annual-October 17, 2013    
Alumnus of the Year    

Scott Zeller, Cohort XVI  
Business of the Year   

The Port of Hueneme
Community Leader of the Year  

Shanna Wasson Taylor, CEO, Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties
Founder's Award

Michael Powers, CEO County of Ventura

Kay Runnion, Government Affairs Director, VC Coastal Assoc. of Realtors

11th Annual-October 11, 2012    
Alumnus of the Year    

Patty Brown, Cohort XIII

David Villanueva, Cohort X  
Business of the Year   

Farmers Insurance Group
Community Leader of the Year  

Gus Sanchez, Republic Services
Founder's Award

Charles Sandlin, Roadrunner Shuttle & Limousine

10th Annual-May 19, 2011    


Alumnus of the Year    

Norbert Tan, Cohort XIV 
Business of the Year   

Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin
Community Leader of the Year  

Dr. Richard Rush, President, CSUCI
Founder's Award

Marc Charney, VCLA Co-Founder 7 Advisory Board member

Ductus Exemplo  

Randy Churchill, Realtor

9th Annual-April 29, 2010 


Alumnus of the Year    

Norman Griffaw, Class XI
Business of the Year   

Proctor and Gamble

Community Leader of the Year  

Armando Lopez, Principal, Plaza Development Partners & Community Activist
Ductus Exemplo

Marianne Ratcliff, (Retired) Opinion page editor, Ventura County Star 

8th Annual-June 18, 2009 


Alumnus of the Year    

Fred Robinson, Class VI
Business of the Year   

Waste Management Ventura County

Community Leader of the Year  

Cheryl Moore, Executive Director, Work Force Investment Board

7th Annual-June 6, 2008 


Alumna of the Year    

Alisha Washington, Class II

Emerging Leader of the Year

Alec Loorz, Environmental Activist
Business Leader of the Year   

Henry Dubroff, Pacific Coast Business Times

Community Leader of the Year  

Mary Schwabauer, VCCF Board President, Farmer, Philanthropist
Ductus Exemplo

Ginger Gherardi, Executive Director, VC Transportation Commission, Retired

6th Annual-June, 2007 


Alumni of the Year    

Norma Maidel, Class X

Sue Tatangelo, Class VI

Emerging Leader of the Year

Joyce Wilde, Mental Health Activist, Class II
Business of the Year   

Ventura County Economic Development Association

Community Leader of the Year  

Hank & Leah Lacayo, Community Philanthropists/Activists

5th Annual-June, 2006 


Alumna of the Year    

Connie Young, Class VI

Emerging Leader of the Year

Jessica Arciniega, Class IX
Business Leader of the Year   

Wayne A. Davey

Community Leader of the Year  

J. Handel Evans

4th Annual-June, 2005 


Alumna of the Year    

Dr. Eva Conrad, Class IV

Emerging Leader of the Year

Maria Cobian, class VIII
Business of the Year   

Wilshire Home Entertainment

Community Leader of the Year  

Sheriff Bob Brooks
Public Service Organization

Soroptimist International

3rd Annual-June, 2004 


Alumna of the Year    

Kathy Raffaelli, Class IV

Emerging Leader of the Year

Rosalinda Figueroa, Class IX
Business of the Year   

Ventura County Star

Community Leader of the Year  

Kathy Long (Ret. Board of Supervisors)

Mike Montoya
Public Service Organization

146th Airlift Wing California Air National Guard


2nd Annual-June, 2003 


Alumnus of the Year    

David Keith, Class I

Emerging Leader of the Year

Maricela Morales, Class III
Business of the Year   

Santa Barbara Bank & Trust

Community Leaders of the Year  

Jack O'Connell

Kate McLean
Organizations of the Year

ARC Ventura County

California Lutheran University

1st Annual - July 2002


Special Founder’s Recognition Award

Dr. Priscilla Partridge de Garcia   

Distinguished Community Leaders   

Suzanne Chadwick & Mike Silacci, Class III  

Exemplary Business/Organization

Haas Automation, Inc.   

Alumna of the Year   

Cathy Brudnicki, Class V