Ventura's Economic Development Division is one of six divisions housed within the City Manager's Department. Economic Development staff work in partnership with the business community to support the creation of revenues from which community benefits are realized.
Economic Development staff interfaces with businesses, community leaders, non-profits and other government agencies to enhance Ventura’s economic development activities. The Economic Development Division is responsible for providing resources that help businesses PLAN, MAKE POSSIBLE, OPEN SHOP and THRIVE in the City of Ventura. These resources include, but are not limited to:
- Providing resources that help start, retain or grow your business in Ventura
- Help businesses navigate the public agency process through our Ombudsmen efforts
- Provide research, market analysis, and industry/community related data and statistics to support business activities
Economic Development Staff
Estelle is a fourth-generation Ventura native and has a strong background in strategic planning, project manager and effective collaboration. In her role as Economic Development Manager, Estelle works closely with the City Council Economic Development Committee, the Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Ventura Partners, Visit Ventura, the Ventura Port District and other business partners. Estelle works closely with the Planning and Building and Safety Divisions to support the City’s efforts to encourage private sector investment in Ventura.
Estelle previously worked four years at Patagonia where she served as International Planning Manager, E-commerce Forecast Planner and Senior Supply Chain Analyst. She also has experience working for Adidas Group as a Senior Project Manager in Brand Harmonization.
Estelle received her Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Operations Management, from the University of Portland and a BA in Social Sciences from San Diego State University. She is proud alumni of Ventura High School and Ventura College, where she was a back-to-back State Champion in Woman’s Basketball.
“Ventura is a great place to live, work, and do business. I am looking forward to building a strong economic future where my daughter and future generations can thrive”
Cary began her career with the City of Ventura in 1998, providing administrative, supervisory and management support to several City departments including the City Manager’s Office (Civic Engagement Division) and the Parks, Recreation & Community Partnerships Department. Cary is currently a Management Analyst in the Economic Development Division of the City Manager’s Office. Cary works in tandem with the Economic Development Manager and the business community to enhance and improve the economic well-being of the Ventura community.
Born and raised in California, Cary has been a Ventura County resident since 1979 and a proud Ventura resident since 1993. Cary received her B.S. in Organizational Leadership from California Lutheran University (CLU) in Thousand Oaks. Outside of the office, Cary enjoys photography, traveling, and exploring the nooks and crannies of Ventura County.
Economic Development Committee
Our elected officials recognize the importance and value of economic development and prosperity in our city which is why it remains one of the City Council’s top priorities.
The Economic Development Committee, a subcommittee of the Ventura City Council, is a dedicated group of three council members and community partners that meets virtually the first Tuesday of each month 4:30 p.m. You can find meeting information and a link to agendas here.
- Lorrie Brown, Chair
- Doug Halter, Vice Chair
- Mike Johnson, Committee Member
COVID GAP Plan
The Economic Development Division was beginning the process of updating the Economic Development Strategy when the COVID-19 Pandemic hit. The economic landscape of our community is still unknown as the pandemic continues to challenge our business community with restrictive limitations to operation, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. While there are many questions still outstanding around the next steps and impacts related to COVID-19, WE have been focusing efforts on immediate relief for businesses and helping them reopen their doors.
The City of Ventura Economic Development mission is to Cultivate an environment for economic sustainability and growth. Provide resources that help businesses PLAN, MAKE POSSIBLE, OPEN SHOP & THRIVE. Advance the economic vitality of the local community. And that is what we aim to achieve. As we navigate through these challenging times, we have created a Gap Plan to guide our focus and efforts through the pandemic. At the conclusion of which we will resume our initiation of the Economic Development Strategy.
View Gap Plan HERE
View Gap Plan Tracker HERE