On November 16, the WVCBA celebrated the seventh graduating class of the Oxnard Leadership Program. The ceremony took place at Heritage Square Chapel with family, friends, alumni, other supporters cheering on the 13 graduates who completed the 10-session program.
Anne Amon, DRAGG Youth Automotive Program
Jazmin Charlesworth, City of Oxnard, Water Division
Jordan Cruz, Bayer Crop Sciences
Samantha Gonzales, Integration Works
Dolores Lopez, Ventura County Transportation Commission
Alexis Minie, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme
Heather D'Anna Nichols, City of Oxnard, Waste Water Division
Cecelia Perez, City of Oxnard, City Manager’s Office
Timea Szavo, Silicon Resourcing Solutions
Ryan Underlin, Safeport Cannabis Dispensary
Vanessa Valerio, Women’s Economic Ventures
Some of their experiences this year included meeting with county & city leadership; private tours of a 100-year-old oil field and the new Del Sol High School before it opened; and visiting St. John’s Regional Medical Center, a first for the group since the pandemic.
The Oxnard Leadership Program is an initiative of the Oxnard Foundation For Education And Economic Development (OFEED) a 501(c)(3) organization. Formed in 2014 by the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce (now WVCBA), OFEED's mission is to support the interaction with and advancement of education and development of our future workforce, and to assure the Oxnard community has an adequate supply of quality jobs.
The program began in 2016 with goals to educate individuals about the past, present, future of Oxnard, and to enable them to better serve in leadership roles within their organization or the community. Participants experience 10 sessions in the 10-month program ranging from government to transportation to education.
Since 2022, the Leadership Program has been generously supported by the Gene Haas Foundation that funded scholarships to seven people in this year’s class.
Many graduates have gone on to serve their communities, as board members, commissioners, neighborhood councils, etc., including:
• Calleguas Municipal Water District Division 5 Director Jacque McMillan (Class of 2018)
• Oxnard Planning Commissioner Anna Zielsdorf (Class of 2019)
• Oxnard Cultural Arts Commissioner Teo Lopez (Class of 2022)
• Oxnard Parks and Recreation and Community Services Commissioner Armando Casillas (Class of 2022)