Pixel Tracker

Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:24 pm | Fair 50º


Partners in Education: Venoco’s Support for Schools Runs Deep

The company continues to drum up donations and volunteers in an effort to better the community

[Noozhawk’s note: The Santa Barbara Partners in Education relies on its President’s Council to help expand participation opportunities in our schools. As a proud member of the President’s Council, Noozhawk is helping to promote the organization with a series of features on our fellow members and their commitment — as businesses — to public education. We hope you’ll consider joining us on the council. One in a series.]

Venoco Inc. didn’t receive the public support for its Measure J that would have allowed onshore drilling at its Paredon site, but the company’s fundamental belief in supporting education — including Santa Barbara Partners in Education — has not been shaken.

Company co-founder Tim Marquez said both of his parents were high school teachers in Denver, Colo., and taught him the power of education.

Venoco, based locally in Carpinteria, has placed a strong emphasis in helping underserviced parts of the community with donations and company volunteers since it was founded in 1992.

“It’s more about corporate responsibility and citizenship than changing the public’s minds about oil companies,” community relations coordinator Marybeth Carty said. “It’s hard to convince people that you’re doing something because it’s the right thing to do.”

The Marquez family started donating to nonprofits before they had the resources to do so. Marquez was a graduate in petroleum engineering when he started his company in Carpinteria with a few thousand dollars and a line of credit, Carty said.

Venoco’s corporate base has moved to Santa Barbara, then back to Carpinteria and now has its corporate headquarters in Denver. It has 382 employees and multiple drilling sites in Santa Barbara County, the Sacramento Basin, Beverley Hills and Texas.

Its main offshore drilling in Santa Barbara County includes the deepwater Gale Platform near the Channel Islands and Platform Holly close to UCSB’s shoreline.

As the company has grown, so have its efforts to give back to community. Carty said Venoco has donated $10 million across California and the Denver area.

In addition to the company’s total contribution of $350,000 to the nonprofit Computers for Families, which provides computers for students of low-income families, Marquez and his wife, Bernie, have donated much of their fortune toward education, Carty said.

In addition to grant writing, Venoco also developed a relationship with Carpinteria’s Canalino Elementary School that involves coordinating 12 employees to volunteer as tutors, and the company wants to see the number continue to grow, Carty said.

Having this team of volunteers allows Carty to arrange for alternates to be brought in if someone is busy, she said.

“We find volunteering in the private sector can be trumped by work schedules,” Carty said. “We have a lot of employees who are very knowledgeable in many areas of science, math, science, technology, and we wanted to share that.”

She said Venoco is interested in reaching out to local youths with the hope that they will develop an interest in a geology and earth science career that otherwise would have not been as strongly fostered.

The company is trying to “demystify” the oil that naturally washes up on Santa Barbara County’s beaches as part of a natural process that has been taking place for thousands of years, Carty said. It hires a docent to go aboard the Condor Express and educate the public about the natural oil seeps around Coal Oil Point. The next tour is set for Sept. 25, and tickets can be purchased for $10 by calling 805.882.0088.

“We don’t operate with an agenda to win people over,” Carty said. “We operate with a conscious desire to meet community needs.”

Any company has the opportunity to participate in Partners in Education, but the President’s Council is limited to no more than 25. Click here for more information about Partners in Education. Click here for more information on how to become a President’s Council member or contact Michelle Magnuson, development and membership director, at 805.964.4710 x4417 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

In addition to Venoco Inc., current President’s Council members are ABC-CLIO, American Riviera Bank, AT&T Foundation, ATK Space Systems, Bacara Resort & Spa, Coastal Management Resources, Community West Bank, Cottage Health System, Cox Communications, Earl Warren Showgrounds, ExxonMobil, Frank Schipper Construction Co., MedBridge Development, Montecito Bank & Trust, Noozhawk, QAD, Rabobank, Raytheon, Santa Barbara Axxess, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Santa Barbara Catering Co., Maryan and Richard Schall, Southern California Edison, Venoco Inc. and Verizon.

Noozhawk intern Daniel Langhorne will be a junior at Chapman University in the fall. He can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Talk to Us!

Please take Noozhawk's audience survey to help us understand what you expect — and want — from us. It'll take you just a few minutes. Thank you!

Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.