May 2010
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CAVC's Energy Assistance Program Receives Boost from WC

Community Action of Ventura County (CAVC) HEAP imageCommunity Action of Ventura County has reported a significant increase in the number of applications it has received for its Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) following a press release that Whisenhunt Communications sent out to the media promoting it.

CAVC Executive Director Socorro Lopez-Hanson said that in February, before the press release was sent, the Oxnard nonprofit served 151 HEAP clients. In March, after the press release, the number of HEAP applications jumped to 648 - a 400 percent increase.

The HEAP program, which runs through June, pays either one gas or electric bill per year for low-income families throughout Ventura County who qualify.
Harrison Earns Environmental Business Award in Ojai

Jim HarrisonE.J. Harrison & Sons has earned the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce's 2010 Environmentally Conscious Business of the Year award.

Harrison Vice President Jim Harrison (right) accepted the award during the Ojai Chamber's 3rd annual Celebrating Business in the Ojai Valley gala on March 4 at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. Over 150 people attended the gala.

Voting was open to all Ojai residents. Harrison was cited for its innovative curbside trash collection and recycling programs - both residential and commercial - that have helped the City of Ojai surpass the state's stringent mandate that requires cities and counties to divert more than 50 percent of trash it sends to landfills.

Ojai's diversion rate is at 53 percent and climbing, and we'll continue to do all we can to keep it climbing!

"We are always proud when one of our longstanding members is recognized for what they do," said Ojai Chamber CEO Scott Eicher. "The Harrison family has been in business in Ojai and Ventura County for three going on four generations and has been a strong supporter of the Ojai Valley Chamber for over 40 years."
Rose & Arts Festival Draws
Huge Crowds

Rose ShowThe Temecula Valley Rose Society's16th Annual Rose & Arts Festival received terrific publicity in both the local newspapers - the Riverside Press Enterprise and the Californian - thanks in part to efforts by Whisenhunt Communications to help spread the word about this great annual event.

The festival was held May 1 and 2, and on both days, the venue was packed with visitors enjoying the flower displays. Whisenhunt Communications had sent out press releases, made posters to be mailed to club members and their friends, and created a colorful e-blast that Rose Society members could forward to many people in the community.

All of these efforts, plus efforts over the past two years to publicize the event, led to a huge turnout on both days this year. Both papers printed advance notices and articles about the festival and the Rose Society. The Californian sent a reporter on Saturday to cover the festival and the nice feature story that was published in the Sunday paper the next day - on the cover of the local section -  helped bring even more visitors that Sunday. Here is the link to see the article:
Drake Makes Pac Biz Times' 'Top 50 Women in Business' List

Nan DrakeNan Drake, community relations director for longtime Whisenhunt Communications client Harrison Industries, for the third straight year has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Business in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties by the Pacific Coast Business Times.

Drake is the voice of one of the largest family-owned trash-hauling companies in the United States. She also represents Gold Coast Recycling and Agromin Premium Soil Products.

Her tireless commitment to recycling has made Ventura County the most lauded and praised county in California. The California Integrated Waste Management Board frequently cites Ventura County as an excellent example to follow in recycling.
OUHSD Holding 10th Mariachi Festival on May 26

OUHSD Mariachi graphicYoung singers, violinists, guitarists and trumpet players wearing colorful trajes will fill Pacifica High School's Robert Q. Valles Center for the Performing Arts with the traditional music of Mexico on Wednesday, May 26, during the Oxnard Union High School District's 10th annual Mariachi Festival.

About 10 high school bands, including four from OUHSD schools, are expected to perform, with the music beginning at 5 p.m. Admission is free. The festival is the largest of its kind in Southern California.

While it showcases the best young mariachi musicians in Southern California, the festival emphasizes educational growth and musical improvement. Bands don't compete against each other, but instead will be rated based on a musical standard established by a panel of judges.

Pacifica High School is located at 600 E. Gonzales Road in Oxnard. Information: 278-1114.
Humane Society Hires Nelson as New Volunteer Coordinator

Kate NelsonThe Humane Society of Ventura County, a Whisenhunt Communications client, has appointed Kate Nelson as its new volunteer coordinator.

Nelson, an Oak View resident, is herself a longtime volunteer at the local nonprofit animal shelter and the owner of three dogs and three cats.

"Kate has been a wonderful addition to our staff at HSVC," reports Executive Director Sherry Brockus. "She is already hosting our events, holding all the volunteer orientations, and managing our Web site. I am thrilled to have her.  She has so many talents."

Nelson and the HSVC are seeking volunteers. Applications are available at the HSVC shelter, located at 402 Bryant St. in Ojai, or online at Click the "Get Involved" icon for the application.

For more information, call Nelson at 646-6505, ext. 110.

Issue: 9
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  WC's Joan Phelps Serves the Ventura Community

Joan PhelpsJoan Phelps, a graphic artist with Whisenhunt Communications since 2001, has been an active supporter of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and her efforts have helped to bring an exciting new art exhibit to Community Memorial Hospital.

Joan was the Chamber's Volunteer of the Year in 2005. In 2007, she graduated from the Leadership Ventura Program run by the chamber's Commerce and Education Foundation. In 2008, Joan served as co-host for the class and she has served on its Advisory Council since that time.

As the team project for Leadership Ventura, Joan and her fellow team members, including Haady Lashkari, the assistant vice president at Community Memorial Health System, helped transform the ground floor at CMH into an art gallery as a community project. The ground floor gallery walls now showcase the works of more than 60 local artists. Currently on display through June 5 is the "New Beginnings" exhibit.

"The different exhibits offer a variety of art and mediums, including paintings, pastels, prints, photographs and sculptures. The gallery helps show the range of talented artists we have in Ventura County," Joan said.
"This project has been a great opportunity to bring together local artists, and showcase their talents in a healing environment. It has also had a very positive impact on our patients and families, as well as staff and physicians," CMH's Haady Lashkari added.

Joan highly recommends the Leadership Ventura Program. "This program is near and dear to my heart for more reasons than I can count. It offers a unique opportunity to experience, first-hand, the accomplishments and challenges facing our elected officials, business and cultural communities," she said.
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Client News In This Issue
Community Action of Ventura County (CAVC)
Harrison Industries
Temecula Valley Rose Society
Nan Drake - Harrison Industries
Oxnard Uninion High School District (OUHSD)
The Humane Society of Ventura County
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Stan Whisenhunt
Whisenhunt Communications