Women’s Economic Ventures (WEV) 2019 celebration saluting local entrepreneurs attracted a crowd of Central Coast women business owners, WEV participants, sponsors and supporters to the December event at the Ventura Beach Marriott.
Those attending were able to shop, mingle and mark the 2019 Awards honoring business owners whose vision brings vibrancy to their community. The Shop Local Market provided guests an opportunity to shop and share information with WEV locally owned business operators.
Carolyn Jabs, president of the Association of Women in Communication Santa Barbara (AWC-SB), and AWC-SB member Bonnie Carroll said they enjoyed meeting and networking with WEV’s local professionals and guests at their AWC-SB sponsor table.
An evening program included recognition of outstanding WEV small business owners achieving business milestones, and event sponsors including National Association of Women Business Owners, AWC-SB, Ventura County Professional Women’s Network, Latina Professional Alliance, SCORE Ventura, Pacific Western Bank, Trusted Legal, and Wells Fargo Bank.
In her acceptance speech for the People’s Choice Award, winner Ren Ostry, millennial founder of Kitchen Catch, talked about the history of her successful fish business.
Kathy Odell, CEO-elect of WEV, presented the Million Dollar Club Award to Cynthia Torres, CEO of New Dawn counseling and consulting. Closing remarks were made by Marsha Bailey, WEV founder/CEO, who is stepping down this year.
Women’s Economic Ventures, which serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, works to create an equitable and just society through the economic empowerment of women. WEV provides training, consulting and loans to help entrepreneurs start, grow and thrive in business.
Since 1991, WEV has provided business training and consulting to 14,000 women and men throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. WEV has made more than $5 million in business loans, and helped some 4,500 local businesses start or expand.
While WEV targets its services toward women, it helps men as well. Services are provided in both English and Spanish.
WEV-supported businesses have created nearly 9,000 jobs. WEV is a U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center, and a certified Community Development Financial Institution.
— Bonnie Carroll for Women’s Economic Ventures.