Bottom row from left: Jeff Matson, Nada Matson, Mayra Padilla, Faye Cox, Charlene Sansone, Julie Samson (instructor), Lisa Darsonval, Kathe Cuellar Burns and Cameron DeAragon; top row from left: Kelsey Crouse, Jill Atamian Hall, Angie Wallace, Jamie Martinez, Mary Beth Merola, Erin Atamian Zuck, Sylvia Sullivan, Melissa Howard, Jessica Simon, Tahara Ezrahti, Emily Martinez, Minerva Colon, Christopher Brannan, Maribel Colon, Adriana Jalfim, Diana Gabriel, Nelly Gonzalez, Catherine Gee, Tobey Terry, Craig Revell, Melinda Angle, Kara Pearson, Ethan Zolt, Raymond Rangel, Danielle Rocha, Lissy Auchstetter, Britt Wanberg and Natasha Oberg. (Women’s Economic Ventures photo)
Source: Amy Bernstein for Women’s Economic Ventures
On Tuesday, a graduation ceremony was held at the Montecito Country Club in honor of 81 new local entrepreneurs (44 from Santa Barbara and 37 from Ventura County) who graduated from the Self-Employment Training Course offered by Women’s Economic Ventures’ Women’s Business Center.
After 14 weeks of training in finance, marketing, leadership skills and more, graduates are confident and ready to use the knowledge they have gained to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.
WEV’s latest Self-Employment Training graduate businesses and business concepts include: a program based on yoga that aims to empower women who have experienced domestic violence, healthy fast-food, a matchmaking service and an online swimsuit boutique.
With a robust menu of training, technical assistance, networking services, and access to capital through its Small Business Loan Fund, WEV has provided entrepreneurial training to nearly 4,000 women, loaned more than $2 million to local businesses, and has created an average of 300 jobs in the community each year.
WEV’s Self-Employment Training course is part of WEV’s continuum of programs that help entrepreneurs start up, grow and sustain a business, including business consulting, entrepreneurial coaching, advanced business training, and small-business startup and expansion loans.
WEV’s comprehensive 14 week, 56-hour Self-Employment Training program is designed for women (all services are open to men) to provide guidance on how to start, operate and expand a business. The program is offered in both English and Spanish, and provides week-by-week training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business.
Topics include personal leadership skills, personal finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, cash flow projections and writing a business plan.
Self-Employment Training courses are offered twice each year, with classes starting in September and February. The class runs for 14 consecutive weeks, one night a week for three hours, and includes two full Saturdays. Classes are taught in Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Oxnard and Ventura. Interested participants must attend a free one-hour orientation workshop prior to registering for the course.
The next Santa Barbara County orientations take place on:
» Wednesday, Jan. 7 from noon to 1 p.m.
» Tuesday, Jan. 20 from 6 to 7 p.m.
Click here to register or for more information.
— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing Women’s Economic Ventures
Prep Underway for Next ‘Vulnerability Index’ Survey
Thursday, December 18, 2014
by KELSEY BRUGGER
Ribbon-cutting at Pescadero Lofts in Isla Vista
What used to be a fraternity house became home to about 35 homeless individuals in Isla Vista this week as the brand-new apartment complex, Pescadero Lofts, opened its doors. “When I say homeless, I do mean homeless,” county Housing Authority executive director Fred Lamont told the handful of dignitaries and more than 100 community members gathered to tour the units on Tuesday. The project was built with federal tax credits, and redevelopment funds paid for the land. About 80 percent of those who moved in were surveyed in the 2013 homeless count, which found about 80 people in the Isla Vista area.
Preparation efforts continued this week for the next count and “vulnerability index” survey?—?slated for January 28 and 29, 2015?—?which occurs every other year. New this year, the 500 or so volunteers who take to the streets will use a smartphone app to ask questions, which will not only save data-entry time (and eliminate human error) but also allow the ongoing lists to appropriately match resources.
During the survey, equipped with $5 gift cards, socks, and cereal bars, the volunteers spend two days speaking to as many folks on the streets as possible?—?inquiring about housing history, number of emergency room visits, number of times the person has been attacked or offered money for sex, where the person usually sleeps, among other questions. “It’s a brief intervention,” advised Father Jon Hedges, who doubles as assistant pastor at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church and ADMHS (Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services) case manager. “[We] don’t make unrealistic promises,” he added.
Hedges is heavily involved in both efforts. He was instrumental in creating the list of new loft residents, all of whom he knows personally. Most of the residents were “housing ready”?—?likely to live on their own with supportive services. Speaking to both count volunteers and community members this week, Hedges counseled against using the phrase “homeless population.” He said, “These are people.”
For more information on the vulnerability survey, including volunteer training dates, visit this website. (Links to: http://commongroundsb.org/count-us-in.html)
After an extensive nationwide search, the Santa Barbara Symphony is pleased to announce the appointment of David Pratt as its new executive director.
He will assume his duties on March 2, 2015.
Pratt, a native of Australia, has more than 15 years of management experience in leadership roles across the performing arts, film and entertainment sectors in the United States and Australia. Prior to joining the Santa Barbara Symphony, Pratt acted as executive director for the Savannah Philharmonic, where he delivered substantial increases in audience numbers, donations and corporate support, producing annual surpluses above targets, and introducing new and engaging programs and events.
“After a thorough strategic planning and search process, the Santa Barbara Symphony is thrilled to welcome David Pratt as our new executive director,” said Arthur Swalley, Santa Barbara Symphony board president. “We are proud to bring in a great new leader to build on our current artistic and operational excellence. Even more importantly, Mr. Pratt is uniquely qualified to lead the symphony in our next stages of growth. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Pratt to the symphony family.”
“I am very excited and honored to be joining the Santa Barbara Symphony as their new executive director,” Pratt said. “The Santa Barbara Symphony is one of the community‘s most treasured cultural assets with world-class programming, great artistic leadership and highly respected education programs. I look forward to working with the board, staff and the community to lead the organization for long-term growth and success.”
Previously, Pratt held the position of senior event mManager with the G’Day USA Festival, where he created and managed a series of arts, cultural and music events across several cities in the United States. This included a partnership with the Palm Springs International Film Festival spotlighting Australian film and a series of performances in Los Angeles with the internationally acclaimed performer and composer, William Barton and the Qantas Choir. He also identified, secured and managed multiple event sponsor partnerships contributing significant funds to the annual $2 million budget.
Prior to returning to Los Angeles in 2009, Pratt held a senior management position as commercial enterprises manager with Australia’s largest and most successful orchestra — the Sydney Symphony. He was responsible for planning the symphony’s commercial season producing highly successful performances with artists such as Roberta Flack, Nigel Kennedy and Kate Ceberano as well as overseeing the program’s annual $3.5 million budget.
From 2006 to early 2008, Pratt was the general manager of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Australia’s North East tropical region. He had unprecedented success with record attendances, surpluses, and significant increases in financial support from individuals, government, and the corporate sector. He also worked on a short-term contract earlier in 2006, managing a series of fundraising events for the Sydney Opera House with the visit of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
Between 1997 and 2006, Pratt held various management positions across the film and entertainment sector in Los Angeles. He organized the 2005 Australian Film, Music, and Style Showcase for the G’Day USA Festival. In 2001, Pratt founded Australians In Film, where he built the organization into a high profile film culture association with a sizeable membership, trusted long-term partnerships with US film studios and significant corporate support. In this role, Pratt oversaw monthly film screenings and events with actors, directors, and producers working directly with industry A-listers such as Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Baz Luhrmann and Philip Noyce. In this role he also created music and art events profiling emerging artists to the Los Angeles community.
From 1997 to 2004, Pratt was the Australian Film Commissioner for Ausfilm in Los Angeles, promoting Australia’s film and TV production sector across the U.S. entertainment industry. He secured over $600 million worth of production, was the undisputable driving force for the Australian Government introducing film and TV incentives, and was the catalyst for Ausfilm’s corporate support more than quadrupling from 15 to over 60 companies.
Prior to moving to the U.S. in 1997, Pratt was general manager at the Melbourne Film Office for the State of Victoria. He secured over $1 million in re-current funding from State Government for this newly established office, won the full support and trust of the local film community, and led major marketing missions in North East Asia, USA and the UK securing thousands of dollars of business.
Pratt has a bachelor of arts, graduate diploma in business administration, and a certificate in public relations. He is passionate about music, travel and exercise.
— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Symphony.
Women’s Economic Ventures Spanish Self-Employment Training Fall graduates include back row (from left to right): Rene Marin, Agustin Lopez, Armando Sahagun (instructor), Ruth Rodriguez, Maribel Servin, Leticia Sandoval (WEV Spanish Program Coordinator), Julia Larios and front row (from left to right): Claudia Saenz, Diana Rodriguez, Mila Bedoya-Pineda, Iris Magan and Maria Zacarias Gomez, (not pictured: Lynnette de Jesus, Adriana Marquez). Courtesy photo.
Next orientation begins Jan. 6
SANTA BARBARA — A ceremony was recently held in honor of 12 new local entrepreneurs who graduated from the Spanish Self-Employment Training Course offered by Women’s Economic Ventures’ (WEV) Women’s Business Center, the organization reported in a media release.
After 10 weeks of training in finance, marketing and leadership skills, graduates say they are confident and ready to use the knowledge they have gained to turn their entrepreneurial dreams into reality, organizers reported.
WEV’s latest Spanish Self-Employment Training (SSET) graduate businesses and business concepts include a wellness center, party planning agency, an income tax preparer and an immigration support service.
With a robust menu of training, technical assistance, networking services, and access to capital through its Small Business Loan Fund, WEV has provided entrepreneurial training to nearly 4,000 women, loaned more than $2 million to local businesses, and has created an average of 300 jobs in the community each year, the organization reported.
WEV’s Self-Employment Training course is part of WEV’s continuum of programs that help entrepreneurs start-up, grow, and sustain a business, including business consulting, entrepreneurial coaching, advanced business training, and small business start-up and expansion loans.
WEV’s comprehensive 10 week Spanish Self-Employment Training (SSET) program is designed for women (all services are open to men) to provide guidance on how to start, operate and expand a business. The program provides week-by-week training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business. Topics include personal leadership skills, personal finances, marketing and sales, public relations and advertising, legal and insurance issues, record keeping, cash flow projections, and writing a business plan.
The next Spanish orientations take place:
- Tuesday, January 6th from 6-7:30 p.m. in Oxnard
- Thursday, January 8th, 6-7:30 pm in Ventura
- Tuesday, January 13th, 2015 from 6-7:30 p.m. in Oxnard
- Wednesday, January 14th from 7-8 p.m. in Fillmore
- Thursday, January 15th from 6-7:30 p.m. in Ventura.Visit wevonline.org to register or for more information.
About Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV):
WEV is dedicated to creating an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. Since 1991, WEV has been providing training, technical assistance and microloans to primarily low-income women. WEV offers a continuum of programs to help both women and men start, stabilize and grow small businesses, including the Self-Employment Training (SET) program offered through WEV’s Women’s Business Center. WEV’s service area includes Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, with offices in Santa Barbara and Ventura. WEV’s Small Business Loan Fund provides start-up and expansion loans of up to $50,000 to pre-bankable microenterprises. For more information, visit WEV’s Web site at http://www.wevonline.org.
A new report shows many families on the Central Coast have to make tough choices between buying food and paying for other expenses.
According to this year’s Hunger in America study released by the Santa Barbara County Foodbank and Feeding America, 87% of Santa Barbara County Foodbank’s 140,000 clients come from Santa Maria, Santa Barbara and Lompoc.
Santa Barbara County Foodbank Development Manager Judith Monte says 70% of clients reported having to decide between putting food on the table and paying for utilities or transportation. Sixty-percent were faced with a decision between food and medical expenses.
“The problem isn’t going away. It’s remaining constant,” said Monte. “So often they’re doing things like watering down their food to make it go further. Any number of strategies like that help them to stretch and keep them from going to bed with a hungry belly.”
Monte told me this really hits home for her, because she remembers hard times a number of years ago when she and her husband were out of work, with four kids to feed.
“I know what it’s like to open the cupboard drawer and realize that you don’t know what you’re going to serve your family for the next meal,” said Monte. “We at the Foodbank are trying to ensure that as few of people as possible are being faced with that, by being proactive in what we do.”
The C.E.O. of the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County says his numbers are consistent with Santa Barbara County’s statistics.
For more information, click here.