Cohort Reflections


Team Presentations from Cohort XXVIII

Kyle McIntosh

Lecturer & Program Director for the MBA/EMBA/MSM Programs, California Lutheran University

The Community Exploration session with VCLA on October 6, 2022 was a day that I’ll remember for years to come.

Let’s start with the morning. As a member of Team Oxnard, I was privileged to spend time at the Boys and Girls Club (BGC) of Oxnard as well as at Oxnard’s City Hall. It was highly informative to hear firsthand about the challenges faced by residents of Oxnard. At the same time, it was inspiring to see the pride that non-profit and civic leaders have in their city. I was encouraged to see how hard these leaders work to remove barriers so that Oxnard residents can reach their full potential.

Fast forward to the afternoon. Upon returning to Camarillo – and seeing other teams present – I was struck by several things. First off, the high-quality makeup of our cohort hit me as teams presented. While nearly every team took a different approach to its project, all teams really dug into the assignment. I did not see one team – or one member of any team for that matter – that was not engaged. And all teams gathered up meaningful information about their respective cities. Whether it was Team Fillmore learning about poo water; Team Moorpark learning about zoos and lemons; or Team Thousand Oaks earning their junior ranger badges; all teams “showed up”, shared great information with the rest of the cohort, and represented VCLA well as they traversed the county.

A second thing that popped up during the presentations was that VCLA is incredibly well-respected in the county. Our team spent time with the Mayor of Oxnard and the CEO of BGC Oxnard. These are some busy leaders, but they were both well aware of the great work done by VCLA’s leaders and they were highly engaged when we met them. But our experience was not unique. Other teams spoke to comparably high-level leaders in other cities who appreciated the value VCLA delivers.

And one final – and important – note on the way out. Josh Damigo helped us “prep” for the day, and gave us some ideas on how to connect with each specific city. While some of Josh’s leads were good, the best tips that many of us got were from within our own cohort. Marilyn Peake set us up with BGC Oxnard and Dorina’s connections got us into the Mayor’s office. I know many other teams – Thousand Oaks and Port Hueneme to name a few – got their key leads from within this group. We are a strong cohort folks. Great job to Cohort 28 in stepping up to support each other!!

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