Ventura County Economic Development Association Business Outlook Conference

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Ventura County Economic Development Association



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VCEDA’s From Red Tape to Red Carpet Awards acknowledges the good work of local government agencies, public-private partnerships, and public servants in implementing innovative programs that cut through red tape, eliminate barriers to economic growth, promote business interests and open the door to private sector jobs creation.


Congratulations to our 2019 Program Awardee, Hub101!


Operated by California Lutheran University in Westlake Village, Hub101 offers coworking, community, and mentorship for entrepreneurs and small business owners to start, grow, and scale their startups or tech companies.


Program Awards recognize outstanding and innovative programs in economic and business development that retain or generate jobs and investment on an ongoing basis. 

Program Awards will be judged by the following criteria:

  • Extent of the economic impact on its community, such as an increase in the overall tax base, the creation of new jobs, or criteria relevant to the goals of the program;
  • Achievement of its stated objective with measurable results; 
  • Development of strong relationships with relevant players and widespread support in the community;
  • Innovation, originality, and cost effectiveness; and, 
  • Relevance and transfer-ability of elements to other communities. 


Congratulations to our 2019 Public/Private Partnership Award, Economic Development Collaborative! 

Economic Development Collaborative (EDC)

Since 1996 the Economic Development Collaborative has been a regional leader, strategic partner and advocate for economic development and the improvement of the regional economy for the Ventura County area. Serving over 600 businesses a year in partnership with the Small Business Development Center, the EDC is regional asset for economic vitality in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles counties, giving businesses, community partners and civic leaders the resources they need to succeed. By leveraging public and private funds, the EDC is a key player in delivering business consulting, funding and strategic initiatives that support the regional economy.


This award recognizes outstanding and innovative projects that have significantly enhanced the economic vitality of communities and businesses through collaboration between the public and private sectors. Nominees should demonstrate: 

  • The extent to which public and private sector participants have formed a true partnership or joint venture in planning, developing, and financing the project;
  • Direct economic benefit to the community (such as jobs and tax base). Be sure to include metrics when demonstrating results; 
  • Spin-off impact of the project; and,
  • Creativity or innovation in packaging the project (e.g., land acquisitions, joint venture aspects and financing). 


Congratulations to our 2019 Leadership for Public Service Award, Vanessa Bechtel! 

Vanessa Bechtel, President/CEO, Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF)

Vanessa Bechtel serves as President and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation (VCCF), an organization committed to safeguarding the long-term legacies of thousands of generous donors through the careful management of the charitable capital entrusted to them.  By promoting philanthropy to improve our community, Bechtel strives to inspire charitable giving that connects philanthropic resources with community needs for the benefit of all.  In 2018, VCCF invested over $7.86 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and scholarships to hundreds of our local students pursuing higher education.

Prior to her work with VCCF, Bechtel served as executive director of the Santa Barbara City College Foundation.  She co-founded Monarch Wealth Strategies in 2008 and was honored as Business Woman of the Year by the Santa Barbara Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

Bechtel graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Law and Society. In 2016, she received her master’s degree from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.  She also received her master’s certificate from the International Institute for the Sociology of Law in Onati, Spain.


This award recognizes an elected or public official who has served as a committed advocate for economic development in the public sector. Nominees must have demonstrated sustained and effective efforts to mobilize community groups and industry leaders in the development of pro-business programs and projects, played a key role in the planning and designing of new economic development activities, and displayed dedication and commitment to his/her constituency as a leader and advocate for economic development. 


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