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Ventura Chamber of Commerce


State of Education 2017

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Name: State of Education 2017
Date: April 27, 2017
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM PDT
Event Description:
Online registration is now closed. Please come to the venue by 11:15am tomorrow and pay at the door.

The Ventura Chamber of Commerce hosts the third annual State of Education luncheon in partnership with the Ventura Unified School District, Ventura College, and California State University Channel Islands.

We will hear reports from educational sectors (Ventura Unified School District, Ventura College and CSU Channel Islands) and a review of where they are, and what is in store.
  • What new legislation is being proposed and how will it affect higher education?
  • How do funding challenges impact local education?
  • How do recent elections and the political climate change education moving forward?
  • How can local businesses best engage with the education sector?
Speakers will include Dr. Erika Beck, President of CSU Channel Islands; Dr. Greg Gillespie, President of Ventura College; and Mr. Joseph Richards Jr., Interim Superintendent of the Ventura Unified School District.
Erika D. Beck was appointed by the CSU Board of Trustees on March 9, 2016 as the president of California State University Channel Islands (CI).
Prior to her appointment to CI, she served as Provost and Executive Vice President at Nevada State College (NSC) located in Henderson, Nevada for six years. In this role, she provided leadership for academic affairs, student affairs, enrollment management, institutional research, and instructional technology.
A native Californian, President Beck holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, a M.A. in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of California, San Diego where she also served as a faculty fellow. A former Research Associate at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, she has conducted research in the areas of developmental psychopathology and cognitive neuroscience. In addition to her formal education, she is actively engaged in the national dialogue regarding inclusive excellence and the use of data to improve student learning outcomes.
A devoted mother of two young boys, President Beck enjoys running, yoga, and perpetual conversations with her children about how many more minutes until “we get there.”
Dr. Greg Gillespie (President of Ventura College and newly appointed Chancellor of the Ventura County Community College District) has served as the President of Ventura College for nearly four years. He has worked for more than 23 years in the community college system and has served in faculty, director, dean, vice president, and president positions at community colleges in Arizona, California and Washington. These positions provided direct work experience and responsibilities in instruction, administrative services, and student services functions of community colleges. Dr. Gillespie is focused on supporting Ventura College and the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) in providing student-centered access to quality and relevant educational programs and support services. He works with employer, education, and governmental partners to address shared educational and community priorities. He also serves on a number of local, state, and national organizations and Boards. Dr. Gillespie was recently selected by the Board of Trustees of the VCCCD to serve as Chancellor. He will begin this new role in July.
Dr. Gillespie grew up near Yakima, Washington. He earned a Doctor of Philosophy and Master of Science in Agronomy (Crop Science) from North Dakota State University. He attended Yakima Valley Community College and then transferred and received a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Washington State University. He conducted agricultural research in the public and private sectors for ten years prior to beginning community college work as an agriculture faculty member.
Mr. Joseph Richards Jr., Interim Superintendent for the Ventura Unified School District, attended California State University Los Angeles and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration/Accounting. He received his Masters Degree in Negotiations, Conflict Resolution and Peacemaking from California State University Dominquez Hills. Mr. Richards has worked in the field of business for approximately 41 years—eight years in financial institutions and over 32 years in school business. Prior to serving as the Interim Superintendent, he served as Deputy Superintendent Business Services, Assistant Superintendent Business Services, and Director of Budget and Finance for Ventura Unified School District.
Mr. Richards is a firm believer in giving back, thus has served in the Ventura community for many years. He is very active in his church, has served as a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club, has coached youth soccer, basketball and track. He has chaperoned for the historically black college tours for middle and high school students, is a student mentor, and a Rotarian. Additionally, he is an adjunct instructor at California Lutheran University. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Gold Coast Trust, the Oversight Board of the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency of the City of San Buenaventura, the Ventura County Schools Public Facilities Financing Corporation, the Executive Board for the Ventura County Schools Self-Funding Authority, and serves on the Ventura County First Five Administration Finance Committee.
Parking: Free parking is available at the Wright Event Center parking lot, as well as in the East Lot. If you park in a different lot, please purchase a $2 parking sticker at one of the kiosks on the campus.
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Wright Events Center
Ventura College
4667 Telegraph Rd.
Ventura, CA
Date/Time Information:
Thursday, April 27
Contact Information:
Events Director
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