About Us

Staff

Ventura's Economic Development Division is housed in the Office of the City Manager. We are a team of city staff committed to catalyzing investment in Ventura and ensuring that your experience doing business with us is a positive one.

Mark Watkins, City Manager

Dan Paranick, Assistant City Manager

Leigh Eisen, Economic Development Manager

Rosie Ornelas, ED Management Analyst


City Council Leadership: Economic Development Committee


Our elected officials recognize the importance and value of economic development and prosperity in our city. The Economic Development Committee, a subcommittee of the Ventura City Council, is a dedicated group of three councilmembers and community leaders:

Cheryl Heitmann, Committee Chair

Christy Weir, Vice Chair

Matt LaVere

The Committee meets monthly on the first Tuesday of each month at 2pm in the Community Meeting Room at City Hall. These meetings are an opportunity to review our progress and hear from our community partners. You can find 2016-17 meeting information and agendas by clicking here.  Meeting information and agendas from prior meetings are available here.

Strategy


The five-year economic development strategic plan is our blueprint for success. In the post-redevelopment landscape, it is critical that we explore innovative economic development strategies; this document seeks to do just that. It is a “living” plan that will be used as a tool to evaluate progress over the five year period.

Our plan focuses on six key areas:
•    Responsive and Effective Government;
•    Tourism, Retail, and Quality of Life;
•    Entrepreneurship and Economic Gardening;
•    Healthcare and Biomedical;
•    Manufacturing;
•    Regional Agriculture and Food

Each of the 89 action items in the plan is rooted in one of the following economic development approaches: business creation/entrepreneurship, business retention and expansion, and business attraction. What does this mean? We want to help entrepreneurs launch their companies here, we want to help existing businesses thrive here, and we want new businesses to locate here!

The strategy will be updated on an annual basis as projects are completed or refined. An annual review will provide flexibility in allowing new economic development opportunities to be integrated into the strategy over the next five years.

View the 2013-2018 Economic Development Strategy