April 2015
Issue: 19
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Soroptimist April Program Meeting Given by Erik Sternad, Executive Director of Interface Children & Family Services


The Ventura Soroptimist Club welcomes Erik Sternad, Executive Director of Interface Children & Family Services, as their speaker for their luncheon meeting on April 22 at 12 noon at the Ventura Marriott Beach Hotel on Harbor Blvd in Ventura. Erik will speak about how Interface Children & Family Services is one of Ventura County's leading nonprofit social service agencies and how they provide services across the social and economic spectrums in our community through their many programs.


Founded in 1973, Interface works to prevent and heal the effects of child abuse, neglect and abandonment; domestic violence; family conflict and mental health issues. Interface also strengthens children, families and individuals to be safe, healthy and thriving members of Ventura County and its surrounding region's communities. Interface operates our region's most comprehensive domestic violence program, including shelter, support and counseling.  The 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service, a 24-hour comprehensive helpline for health and human services support was the first 2-1-1 in our state, developed by Interface.  


Erik Sternad has served as the Executive Director of Interface Children & Family Services since 2007.  Prior to serving Interface, Sternad worked at the Stanford Home for Children, a social service agency in the Sacramento area where he served as the executive director for six years.  Sternad has served in a number of private and nonprofit management and social service positions, in addition to working as a private practitioner treating children and families with clinical issues. Sternad also currently serves on the 2-1-1 California Board of Directors.  


If you are interested in attending this meeting please call Arlene Briggle at 658-2048 to RSVP by Monday, April 20. The cost is $15. 

Make your Reservation for the Mother's Day Scholarship Awards Lunch today!


This year's event will once again take place at the scenic Ventura Yacht Club in the Ventura Habor on Saturday, May 2 at 11:30 am. Join your fellow Soroptimist's and their guests as we celebrate the recipients of the Violet Richardson Awards and Live Your Dream Scholarship Award.   A delicious buffet lunch will be served followed by the Scholarship Awards.


Please plan on attending this event and be inspired by the two young women that will receive our Violet Richardson Scholarship Awards as well as the perseverance of our Live Your Dream Award recipient.  


To place your reservation and that of your guest's please call Arlene Briggle at 658-2048.


Tickets are $25 each and are payable by Wednesday, April 22.


Mother's Day Basket Fundraiser Continues


Donations for the grand prize, a $500 Visa gift card are still being accepted and are highly appreciated. 

Flyers were available and raffle tickets passed out at the February 25 Program meeting by Arlene. Please continue to sell your raffle tickets to friends, family, associates, and others you regularly come into contact with. If you need more tickets, please contact Arlene at 658-2048. The raffle sales will continue until the drawing at our Scholarship Awards Luncheon on May 2.

You may contact Cyndi Damron at 805-216-4728 or by e-mail at  damroncyndi@gmail.comfor more information.

SIV Members Tour Azahar Place 


The SIV Fundraising, Public Awareness, and Service Committees met Thursday, April 2, 2015, at the Azahar Place Community Room in east Ventura.  Azahar Place includes 60 affordable apartments, and was developed and is owned by Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation, where Karen Flock is the Real Estate Development Director.  Alex Castilla, Resident Manager, explained the programs held at Azahar Place and showed the Committee a vacant apartment.


Azahar Place includes a Community Room with adjacent administrative offices and Computer Room for residents, a basketball court, and community garden, in addition to the 60 apartments, 30 of which are reserved for farmworkers.  It's part of a larger community that includes a park with a playground and soccer field; and adjacent market rate detached single family homes and attached condominiums, some still in construction by another developer.


The complex received a LEED for Homes Platinum designation, a high green building designation, the first in Ventura County; and produces a significant amount of its own energy through photovoltaic panels.


Programs for residents include after school tutoring, Zumba, nutrition classes, and ESL classes.  The Service Committee will explore a possible role for SIV.

"Cruising with Camino Real!" Camino Real Region Spring Conference 2015

Come join us as we embark on new adventures, preserve our history, and continue to ride the wave of change.  


The 2015 Spring Conference of Camino Real Region is hereby called to meet in Long Beach, California at the Marriott Hotel on April 24, 25, and 26! Spring Conference is designed to recognize your work, your members, and what we have done collectively to carry out the vision and mission of Soroptimist.  


 Click Here for the official "Call to Conference" for your use. Please read the entire call and review the itinerary. New activities will be  introduced like the Club photo, Personal and Professional Workshops (an expansion of Leadership Academy), New Member Mixer and so much more... The new mix and mingle activity is a way to recognize members who have joined in the last two years and hear from our veterans. What a great way to connect with members and have fun!  


If you are interested in attending the Spring Conference please call Arlene Briggle at 658-2048 for more information.

Latest Life Skills Session Ends


Life Skills GraphicMarch 31 was our final session in the current offering of the Life Skills Program. Our group was small this time, but they were engaged and enthusiastic. They expressed their gratitude for our program and the time we spent with them. 


One of the highlights of the program was the live interviews. This is the second time we've offered this and it is definitely a hit. One of the participants said she was terrified prior to the session, but the interviewers were so supportive and gave such valuable feedback that when she subsequently went on interviews for actual jobs, she was much more relaxed and realized she really could "do it."


They felt the program was very valuable and all aspects were important. They would not change a thing and couldn't think of anything to add. 


One request they did have was to see if there was a way we could establish a time when they could get together with us and just chat. Perhaps talk about things that come up and some suggestions as to solutions - sort of a mentoring type scenario. We said we would look into that possibility for the future.


All in all, another successful delivery of our signature program.

Mark Fowler Speaks About the Key Aspects of Business Success 

Donna Nelson and Mark Fowler
Mark  H. Fowler spoke at our program meeting on March 27. Mark specializes in transitioning companies from challenge to achievement with a focus on enhancing revenues and profits. For more than twenty-five years he has assisted hundreds of businesses with corporate re-engineering. His expertise includes growth management, strategic direction, business plan implementation, and merger and acquisition placement, to name just a few of his many business talents. 


Mark shared the Key Aspects of Business Success with our club. In addition, he shared information from his book, "Revolutionary Conversations, The Tools You Need for the Success You Want," which introduces not just a concept but a new way of communicating: the S.H.A.R.E.™ Tools.  Find out more about his book at  www.revolutionaryconversations.net.

Live Your Dream Campaign Fundraiser Tickets Available Until Spring Conference  


As you know, the Women's Opportunity Award is now Live Your Dream. The basic rules are still the same and we still will have a Club award as well as Region award. We all know where the Club funds come from for this award, but the
Region award is dependent on the annual donation pool for the voluntary Region Service Fund. 


As we have seen, the Region award is often less than some of our Club's awards. To help remedy that situation, with the approval of Governor Dora and the Region Board, an "opportunity" campaign was launched at Fall Workshop and will run through Spring Conference 2015. 


Each Club in the Region has been given 25 tickets, which will be sold for $20 each. Members are asked to buy or sell at least one ticket. The winner will be drawn at Spring Conference and need not be present to win, but must be 21 years of age or older and the prize is non-transferable. All proceeds of the campaign will fund Live Your Dream Awards. So, what is the prize?

  • One Week (8 days, 7 nights) at the Worldmark by Wyndham in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, September 3rd to September 10, 2015, on the 24th floor. The date is set and non-negotiable. 

But wait, there's more:

  • The Club with the highest percentage of sales per membership will receive $1,000 for theirt 2016 LYD winners.

Share this opportunity with your friends and families! Join all the Region Clubs in making this Region-wide effort a GREAT success!


To purchase a ticket please contact Arlene Briggle at 658-2048.

Beads of Esiteti Fundraiser Ongoing 


Beaded jewelry from Beads of Esiteti are still available to purchase.  Please email Cyndi at  damroncyndi@gmail.com 

or Kay at kayaarmstrong@gmail.com for more information.  With this fundraiser we receive 50% of the profits from the sale of the beaded jewelry which will go towards our scholarship fund. 


Beads of Esiteti is a fair-trade social business dedicated to empowering the Maasai community of Esiteti through the selling of their traditional beadwork.  Beads of Esiteti generates an income for over 275 Maasai women while creating the means for them to care for themselves.  Please help us support the families and  community of Esiteti while creating educational opportunities for their children and future generations. For more information go to www.beadsofesiteti.com.

Advertise in Our E-Newsletter and Help Support Our Community Service Fund

 For a donation of $100 to our community service fund, we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for a year. That is a $20 dollar savings over the monthly rate of of $10 per month. 
Or, donate $50 to our community service fund and we will advertise your business in our e-newsletter every month for six months. 
Mail your donation check to:  Soroptimist, P.O.Box 6133, Ventura, CA 93066 -- Include your ad information and email contact -- or contact us at siventura@soroptimist.net We will contact you to finalize the ad copy.

2015 Pledge & Inspiration Schedule 


 April 8  Meeting: 

Pledge - Celia Sugden 

Inspiration - Shirley Lorraine  
April 22 Meeting:

Pledge - Marcia Wright 

Inspiration - Trevor Summerlin 


Please email Karen Flock at kflock@sbcglobal.net if you would like to lead the pledge or inspire us at a meeting. 


April 8 - Business Meeting - Noon

April 22  -  Program Meeting  -  Noon


April 24-26, 2015  -

Spring Conference

Long Beach


May 2, 2015  - Scholarship Awards Luncheon  -
Ventura Yacht Club

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Welcome New Member Ann Hewitt!


At our March business meeting we inducted new member Ann Hewitt. 

Congratulations and welcome to SI Ventura. We all look forward to getting to know you better in the future!!!


Advertise Your Business

in SI Ventura's Scholarship Awards



To defray some of 

the costs of the Scholarship Awards Luncheon on May 2, SI Ventura is selling business card ads for the event program at $25 per ad. Consider buying one for yourself and asking your business friends to do likewise. We are planning for attendance in excess of 50 so there will be business exposure. 


RESERVE your business card ad for the printed program now by sending your business card with a $25 check made payable to SI Ventura to the following address: 


SI Ventura

Attn: Cindy Daly

P.O. Box 6133

Ventura, CA 93006


For questions either email Cindy Daly at cmdaly@pacbell.net  

or call her at


Thank you for your support.


Lori Balzer mug shot

Presidents Message


The end of our current fiscal year is fast approaching and we will soon be gathering for our Focus meeting to plan for the next Club year. 

We have accomplished many things this current year and welcomed several new members who are already a tremendous addition to our SI Ventura family. 

We will review our year at the Focus meeting - look for time and place soon.

Lorie Balzer signature 

Lorie Balzer


SI Ventura 2014-2015 


Benjamin Unseth Updates SI Ventura on Project Understanding


At our March business meeting, we had the pleasure of welcoming Benjamin Unseth, The 
Executive Director
of  Project Understanding.


Benjamin spoke about the services that Project Understanding offers in our community. His talk was very informative. 


Thank you Benjamin for all of the great information you shared with our club.


2015 AXXess Books are Still Available


The 2015 AXXess Books are still available for $30.

If you are interested in either selling the books or buying a book for yourself, please contact Lorie Balzer for details and more information at 805-443-8757 or email her loriebalzer@
Support SI Ventura

Advertise your business here and reach over 200 people!!!
Only $10 per month.
For Information call Cindy Daly at 
805-647-1554 or email her at

Club Meetings
  • 2nd & 4th Wednesday of each month
  • Luncheon Meeting at 12 noon
  • Ventura Beach Marriott Hotel, 2055 Harbor Blvd., Ventura