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.