The Oxnard Chamber is delighted to welcome Celina Zacarias as our Chair of the Board for 2020. She has been on the Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors since 2015 and is Senior Director of Community and Government Relations at California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). Here are five things to know about Celina.
1. She is a home-grown leader.
Celina grew up in Oxnard’s La Colonia neighborhood and went to Channel Islands High School where she was on the dance drill team. She is the daughter of migrant farmworkers who worked in our local fields. Celina was born in Michoacán, Mexico and came to the United States at age 3. Both her father and grandfather were a part of the Bracero Program from 1942-1964, which brought millions of Mexican guest workers to the United States
2. She’s an advocate for higher education.
Celina was the first in her family to go to college, graduating from UCSB with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Spanish literature and Hispanic civilization. She studied abroad in Cuba, China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong and England.
3. She didn’t always work in education.
For 25 years, Celina enjoyed a career in mortgage banking at GMAC Mortgage, Wells Fargo and Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation. She joined CSUCI in September 2007 as Senior Director of Community and Government Relations and is responsible for advancing the University’s positive presence and goodwill locally, nationally and internationally.
4. She’s an award-winning community leader.
Celina’s contributions to the community have resulted in numerous accolades, including the Pacific Coast Business Times’ 2018 Latino Leadership Award, 2012 Top Latina in Higher Education Award and 2006 Top Woman in Business; the Oxnard Chamber's 2016 Distinguished Citizen, 2011 Chairman's Award of Excellence and 2007 Woman of the Year; and the American Red Cross’ 2007 Diversity Ambassador.
5. She is active throughout the community.
Celina is Chair-elect of the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, is on the Moorpark Chamber of Commerce’s Board, and was Chair of the Board of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce. She also is Chair of the Women’s Economic Roundtable, and on the Ventura County Civic Alliance Executive Committee, Workforce Development Board, Leadership California Executive Advisory Council and RDP-21 Board of Directors.
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