Oxnard Chamber Announces Winners of 71st Annual Community & Business Awards

OXNARD, Calif., FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – The Oxnard Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to announce nine recipients of its annual Community & Business Awards, which will be celebrated on Thursday, August 12, at 11:30 am at the Courtyard by Marriott in Oxnard and emceed by Oxnard City Manager Alex Nguyen.

Now in its 71st year, the Community & Business Awards honors outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations that make Oxnard a wonderful community to live, work and do business in. Nominations are submitted by the public and reviewed by a selection committee. In addition to the nominations, the Oxnard Chamber Board of Directors selects an individual, business, or organization to receive the Oxnard Trophy for bringing recognition to Oxnard and bettering the community.

The 2021 winners are:

Distinguished Citizen of the Year – Michael Mercurio Michael Mercurio is an 80-year-old retired Marine veteran who founded Oxnard’s Neighborhood Pride volunteer program. Over the last year, he has coordinated countless volunteer clean-ups across the city making Oxnard look cleaner, safer, and better.

Volunteer of the Year – René Corado René Corado has made a tremendous difference here in Ventura County, particularly through his decades of study of indigenous birds of the Santa Clara River Valley. Even during the pandemic, he continued to go to his field sites working with conservation groups doing habitat restoration. He served on the advisory board for the Extended Opportunity Program and Services for Oxnard College, and the Art Commission of Oxnard.

Large Business of the Year – Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties Goodwill Industries of Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties goes above and beyond providing supportive and employment services to the Oxnard community and beyond. During the pandemic, they continued to support people with barriers to employment to find jobs and support their families. They do all this while operating as a large business that employs hundreds of people in the region.

Small Business of the Year – Express Employment Professionals Express Employment Professionals was recently named one of the Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies in the tri-counties by the Pacific Coast Business Times. Owners and operators Neil and Janet McMillan provide local employers with exceptional recruiting and professional staffing. The business supports various nonprofits including Food Share of Ventura County, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Make-A-Wish, Spark of Love and Ventura County Rescue Mission.

Best Place to Work of the Year – Regency Palms Oxnard to say Regency Palms Oxnard has put together a dynamic team is an understatement. It appears they all love going to work each day! Here is just one of several comments from their associates: “Every employee, including management, continuously shows interest in bettering the level of care provided with training and team building to ensure a great quality of life in a free, fun, loving home environment.”

Young Professional of the Year – Brenda Heredia Brenda Heredia is a graduate of USC and a lifelong resident of Nyeland Acres. She works for the City of Oxnard and is a Board Member of Nyeland Promise where she also oversees its social media and community newsletters. She volunteers with “Feeding the Front Line,” Oxnard Student Success, and helped develop a backpack distribution last year that provided more than 250 backpacks with school supplies to Oxnard students.

Nonprofit Organization of the Year – Ventura County Rescue Mission The Ventura County Rescue Mission, which includes the Lighthouse for Women & Children, has served the county, and specifically Oxnard, for nearly 50 years. Its mission is to provide a place of refuge, recovery, and restoration to our neighbors in need. Last year, they provided more than 49,700 nights of safe, warm, and comfortable sleep for men, women, and children.

Innovative Business of the Year – SimpliPhi Power Founded in Ojai and now headquartered in Oxnard, SimpliPhi Power combines the non-hazardous lithium ferro phosphate (LFP) energy storage chemistry with its proprietary cell and battery architecture, power electronics, Battery Management System (BMS) and manufacturing processes to create safe, reliable, durable, and highly scalable on-demand power solutions for residential, commercial, industrial, and government sectors.

Oxnard Trophy – Anderson. Paak From Grammy-winning artist Anderson. Paak’s 2018 album titled “Oxnard” to his efforts to save the Oxnard Performing Arts Center to becoming an honorary OPAC board member in May, we are sincerely thankful to him for having a positive impact on his hometown community.


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