In 1949, VCEDA was founded as a quasi-department of the Ventura County government and was known then as the Ventura County Chamber of Commerce. The organization was funded through a Special District and its responsibilities were to review planning documents and proposals and advise on land use issues. In 1961, the organization changed its name to the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA).
In 1974, VCEDA’s leadership realized the group’s role needed to be one of advocacy for primary industries in the county and felt that too much conflict would occur if the organization continued to accept public money from the County for this kind of work.
In the absence of public funding, a core group of five individuals: Ed Lyon, Carl Lowthorp, Bob Mobley, Dick Faussett and Pat Paterson, provided the needed start up funds, offered private offices for meetings and donated countless hours of volunteer time to help VCEDA become the advocate for and defender of county business and industry.
In the past two decades, VCEDA has been actively involved in a myriad of projects aimed at maintaining the economic vitality of the county. These include protecting our military bases during BRAC 1995 and 2005; mediating air quality issues to resolve differences and prevent costly court battles; working with schools, businesses and corporate executives to determine needs for a skilled trained workforce; and working with local governments to remove unwarranted obstacles to the growth of business and industry.
VCEDA played an important role in bringing California State University Channel Islands to Ventura County. A continued supporter of the university and education in general, VCEDA is working with educators at all levels to ensure that the upcoming workforce is ready to meet the needs of business in the 21st century.
VCEDA has been honored as the “Champion of Job Growth” by the Workforce Investment Board of Ventura County; “Small Business Advocate” by the Pacific Coast Business Times; and “Distinguished Business Leader” by the Ventura County Leadership Academy. VCEDA has also received numerous Resolutions and Certificates of Recognition from elected leaders throughout the County and State.
Today, VCEDA is recognized as the regional voice of business on issues affecting the economy in Ventura County and California. VCEDA is funded by membership dues and sponsorships. In return, VCEDA provides the advocacy, intelligence, networking and support necessary for success in today’s business climate.
VCEDA influences public policy by providing reliable information to local and state elected officials, and by serving as a conduit for local businesses and organizations to voice their opinion on issues that affect their lives and businesses. VCEDA helps policymakers find specific solutions to persistent problems.
By leveraging our long-standing relationships to elected officials and key regional businesses, VCEDA is able to see ahead and provide our members with meaningful information and influence policy, programs and legislation so that Ventura County business will thrive.
VCDA helps form and maintain beneficial relationships with other businesses that are linked to your sector, market, region, or specific interest. VCEDA is a great source of relevant connections that you can call on when you need them – connections that will help support and grow your business, as well as serve the interests of our regional economy.
For over 65 years, VCEDA has been Ventura County’s most influential regional business organization among national, state and local elected officials, government staffs, community leaders, the media, and the public. VCEDA helps members navigate the bureaucracy of local and state government, acting as a liaison and advocate for its members.