There is nothing I have been more passionate about than the love I have for Ventura. From my first days of college at UCSB in the late 1970’s on my excursions south, I was intrigued by the natural beauty and history of San Buenaventura. Being mystified by the blue pacific, natural beaches and the enchantment of the California Islands off the coast I knew someday I would call this place home.

For 35 years I have been fortunate to be a citizen of our great City, one of the most historic and humble yet fortunate cities on the west coast if not the world. During that time I quickly became a very involved community advocate; knowing what attracted me to San Buenaventura were the people; the values of friendliness, creativity, appreciation and love for our community and fear of losing what we love to the pressures of a metropolis.

As my life took many turns, I organized with others to provide education, services and care for those impacted by the AIDS Pandemic, I worked hard to save our downtown from the wrecking ball on the Historic Preservation Alliance and fought for a plan that would value and bring life back to our historic core and then followed up with the formation of the Downtown Community Council to bring a voice where there was many yearned to be heard. I renovated several homes and built my own to compliment and showcase our eclectic and unique neighborhood. My partner and I opened Villa Tasca, to expand the offerings of downtown. Afterward, we opened Bella Sopani retail stores and then went on to open Villa Tasca Gardens.

My love of design, vision and creating led me to starting HE Landscape company 28 years ago and now employ almost 50 people. I participated on the 1999 Visioning committee, Chaired the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Bureau, the Social Justice fund, Aids Partnership and recently was President of Ventura Rotary where service above self is truly realized. I served on Parks and Recreation Commission, helped to create the Community Park and beautify Memorial Park as well as worked on educating others on our natural environment, and the delicate balance we live in. With my understanding and appreciation for the value of Art and Culture I bought and renovated the historic building that soon became Rubicon Theatre, and helped form the Ventura music festival and the Ventura Botanical Gardens. While humbled to be Citizen of the Year, celebrated by the LA Times as person to watch in 1999 for Ventura County, and named Ventura’s Renaissance man in 2005; nothing gives me greater pleasure than to know that I have helped to make Ventura an even better place by encouraging Venturans to believe in themselves.

30 Plus years of Community Involvement

AID CARE of Ventura County and AIDS Partnership: Founder, Board member and Past President
Downtown Ventura Community Council: Founder, Board member and Past President
Ventura Music Festival: Founder, Current Board member and Past President
Ventura County Social Justice Fund: Founder and Board member
Ventura Parks and Recreation Commissioner Early 2000’s
Ventura Tourism Board: Current Board member
Rubicon Theatre: Founder, Current Board member and President
Ventura Botanical Gardens: Founder, Board member Past President and Current Advisory Board Member
California Positively Speaking Outreach: Founder, Lead trainer
Ventura Rotary: Current Member, Board member and Past President
WEV board member
Historic Preservation Alliance: Board member, Past President
Ventura County Star Editorial Board


Person to watch

1999 Los Angeles Times

Citizen of the year

2001 Ventura

Renaissance Man and Honoree

2005 and 2017 Ventura

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