Trevor Zierhut, Community Partnerships Director



A native to Ventura County, Trevor Zierhut has spent his career working in policy, politics, and advocacy. In 2018, he was brought on as Director of Community Partnerships at Ventura County Economic Development Association where he works with the Board of Directors to support every aspect of the organization’s mission. 

Prior to his current role with VCEDA, Trevor spent years working for a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives, in the California Central Coast Congressional District assisting constituents, and in Washington, DC, as well as holding positions on numerous local and national political campaigns. As Congressional legislative staff in Washington, DC Trevor managed a diverse policy portfolio ranging from civil rights and immigration policy, to campaign finance and judiciary legislation, among many others. 

After working in Congress, Trevor transitioned to government relations and political consulting. In that capacity he has assisted industry and candidate clients with policy and regulatory solutions, political strategy, and messaging campaigns.

Paul Fields, Legislative Analyst




Prior to his involvement with VCEDA, Paul worked with the International Trade Team at the World Trade Center Los Angeles (WTCLA), an affiliate of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. In his time at WTCLA Paul was responsible for identifying and evaluating local, national and international economic development initiatives. Along with WTCLA staff he was afforded the opportunity to work collaboratively with the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach to develop a foreign direct investment attraction strategy. 

Paul’s experience working with the Ventura County community extends back to his role serving as a District Office Intern for California’s 26th congressional district. As a District Office Intern he supported caseworkers in their efforts to assist constituents navigate federal agencies. 

Paul received a B.S. in Business from the Martin V. Smith School of Business at Economics at CSU Channel Islands and a Master of Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University where he chaired the Graduate and Bachelor’s Degree for Professionals Student Council.  

Carmela Carreño, Administration

Carmela Carreno


As a project manager with VISIONALITY, Carmela Carreño is part of a dedicated, innovative and resourceful team that partners with organizations to transform their VISION into REALITY. She provides the support necessary for VCEDA's day-to-day operations.

Carmela specializes in nonprofit management, with a broad knowledge of operations, development, communications, and event planning. She has over 10 years of experience designing, managing, and evaluating programs with a keen eye for process improvement and customer satisfaction. Carmela’s people-oriented personality and quest for efficiency drive her to navigate VCEDA’s behind-the-scenes processes with thoughtfulness and care. 

Carmela received her B.A. in Political Science and certificate in Project Management from UC Santa Barbara, after which she worked in development and program management positions with nonprofits such as United Way of Santa Barbara County and Just Communities Central Coast. She has also volunteered for numerous community organizations including service on planning committees and governing boards.