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In This Issue
Remembering Myra Harrison on What Would Have Been Her 100th Birthday
'Midnight at the Oasis' Raises Funds for Santa Clara Valley's Kids
VCREA Honors Ventura County, Thousand Oaks and Fillmore for Energy Saving Efforts
21st Ventura Music Festival May 1-9 Will Be a Feast for the Senses
69th Ojai Music Festival under Direction of Renowned Percussionist
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Remembering Myra Harrison on
What Would Have Been Her 100th Birthday

Feb. 17 would have marked the 100th birthday of Harrison Industries co-founder Myra Harrison. As you may know, she fell just months short of reaching this incredible milestone when she died peacefully in her sleep on May 25, 2014, with loving family members at her side.

 

We miss her so, but are at peace knowing she lived a long, loving and accomplished life, and we feel her presence every day.

 

For those who didn't know her, Myra was born in Ventura, one of 12 children of Francisca Moraga Velarde and Elias Velarde. She outlived all of her siblings and left hundreds of nieces, nephews and cousins. Myra was proud of her Spanish heritage and her family. She was a direct descendent of Lt. Jose Joaquin Moraga, a member of the DeAnza party, which founded the San Buenaventura Mission in 1782.

 

Myra met E.J. Harrison and became a 15-year-old bride. Two years later she became a mother and started a trash company with her husband in 1932 during the Great Depression. That year, E.J. began making a modest living by hauling his neighbors' trash to the Ventura dumps for 75 cents a load. In its first year of business, Harrison Transfer Company had 150 customers. Today, 83 years later, we serve about 90,000 customers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.

 

Myra worked beside her husband to build the fledgling company, keeping the books and enrolling in classes at Ventura College to hone her business skills while raising her young family and being active in the community. Myra was a leader of the women's movement decades before there was one.

 

Myra was well known in the business community as someone who greeted every business associate, co-worker and employee with her warm smile. Her family will always remember her sound advice and wisdom that often came with a pat of encouragement also.

 

Myra spoke often of her life with her beloved E.J. They stood beside each other through life's joys and sorrows. They loved to entertain and their beautiful homes, decorated by Myra, were most often filled with flowers along with friends and family. She loved to cook and made the best enchiladas in the world! She always made sure that people were welcomed in her home with a big smile and lots of food.

 

Myra loved playing cards. She and E.J. also traveled extensively all around the world but were most happy at home in Ventura. They were married 62 years.

 

When E.J. died in 1991, Myra became president and worked with four generations of Harrison family members who are involved in the day-to-day operations of the company. When Myra's eldest son Ralph became president, she remained as founder, while her other sons Jim and Myron continued to serve as vice presidents.

 

Myra was also one of Ventura County's most generous benefactors. While building Harrison Industries over the years, she, E.J. and their sons remained committed to giving back to the communities the company served, providing longtime financial support to local non-profit organizations and community cultural events like the Ventura and Ojai Music Festival, the Camarillo Art and Jazz Festival, the Grant Park Conservancy, and the Rubicon Theatre. The company has been particularly generous to organizations that help children, such as Casa Pacifica, the Boys Scouts of America, and the Boys & Girls Clubs in several cities. And in 2013, the doors opened at the Harrison Family Youth Center, the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Ventura's new clubhouse in Saticoy, where the company is headquartered.

 

Quite simply, Myra was the most incredible woman I've ever known.

'Midnight at the Oasis' Raises Funds for
Santa Clara Valley's Kids

Harrison Industries President Ralph Harrison and his wife Jenny arrive at "Midnight at the Oasis."

The Saticoy Country Club had a mystical Mid-Eastern feel to it as about 250 attended the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley's 11th annual auction and dinner on Feb. 7. The gala's theme was "Midnight at the Oasis," and judging from the costumes of some of those who attended, I wouldn't be surprised if they had arrived by camel or magical carpet ride.

 

Harrison Industries is an enthusiastic sponsor of this delightful event that features a cocktail hour, followed by a silent auction, dinner and live auction featuring assortment of gifts, jewelry, entertainment packages and luxurious stays in private vacation rentals.

 

A table full of Harrison family members attended - Ralph Harrison and his wife Jenny, Lynn Harrison and his wife Patty and David Harrison and his wife Sandi were there, along with Jim Harrison and me. As they say, a great time was had by all.

 

A highlight of the evening was an inspiring speech - "Stand Up for Kids" - given by Javier Valdovinoz, a student at California Lutheran University who also works at the B&GC's Fillmore clubhouse. He shared his experiences as a member and what it still means to the hundreds of kids who are regulars at the nonprofit's clubhouses in Fillmore, Santa Paula and Piru and who participate in its many after-school and summer programs.

 

Director of Operations Pearl Galvan doesn't have final totals, but she expects "Midnight at the Oasis" to be "the most profitable event we've ever had. It was a huge success"


VCREA Honors Ventura County, Thousand Oaks and Fillmore for Energy Saving Efforts

Paul Young (left), GSA Chief Deputy Director, and Bruce Fischer, GSA Energy Manager and VCREA Energy Champion, with Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann, received the Energy Saving Impact Award for the County of Ventura.
John Brooks, Senior Environmental Analyst, with Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann (left) and Sue Hughes of VCREA, accepts the Green Community Leadership Award for the City of Thousand Oaks.

 

 

 










Fillmore Mayor Douglas Tucker, with Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann (left) and Sue Hughes of VCREA, accepts the city's Emerging Leadership Award.

The Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance is a Joint Powers Agency composed of public agencies working together to develop and implement sustainable energy initiatives that support sensible growth, a healthy environment and economy, enhanced quality of life, and greater self-reliance for Ventura County communities. VCREA's goals are to reduce energy demand, increase energy efficiency and advance the use of clean, efficient and renewable local resources.

 

I serve on the VCREA's Technology Advisory Council and was happy to attend its second annual Energy Leadership Reception on Jan. 29. The event provided an opportunity for partners and stakeholders to meet, acknowledge the program's 2014 community impact, and assess goals for the upcoming year.

 

Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann presented three new awards to local communities that demonstrated significant leadership and had an impact on energy efficiency. Those cited were:

 

* The County of Ventura, with the Energy Savings Impact Award for having the largest total number of Kilowatt hour savings from projects completed in 2014, with over 1.5 million kWh saved

 

* The City of Thousand Oaks, with the Green Community Leadership Award for its extraordinary community outreach and education efforts, engaging the community through weekly blog posts, social media and a monthly e-newsletter that reaches more than 8,000 residents

 

* The City of Fillmore, with the Emerging Leadership Award for achieving more than 10 percent energy savings through implementing energy efficiency programs since 2006.

 

Harrison Industries and I congratulate the award winners. The awards are well deserved!

21st Ventura Music Festival May 1-9 Will Be a Feast for the Senses

Each year the Ventura Music Festival presents the finest musicians playing the world's greatest music: classical, jazz, crossover and popular. The 21th annual festival will be no different as Festival Artistic Director Nuvi Metha has put together another outstanding lineup of musical artists who will perform May 1-9 in venues throughout Ventura.

 

If the festival's preview concert on Feb. 14 - Valentine's Day - featuring the 2014 Grammy Award-winning Pacific Mambo Orchestra is any indication, all I can say is get your tickets now! The 19-piece band, which uses the traditions of the mambo-crazy orchestras of the 1950s to deliver their original music and clever, modern arrangements of hit songs, had 'em dancing in the aisles of the Majestic Ventura Theater.

 

The event's ever-popular Tea & Trumpets concerts featuring the Festival Brass Quintet will take place May 1 and 8 at the Wyndham Garden Ventura Pierpont Inn. Also performing May 1 will be Cantabile: The London Quartet, a British a cappella group with a repertoire that includes ancient madrigals, the Beatles, Randy Newman and songs about cricket. It will appear at Community Presbyterian Church.

 

Also, trumpeter Herb Alpert will perform at the Ventura High School Theater on May 8 with his vocalist wife, Lani Hall. The program will include songs from the 2014 Grammy-winning "Steppin' Out" and from their respective days with the Tijuana Brass and Sergio Mendes.

 

There's more, a whole lot more. For information the festival's other performing acts or to order tickets, go to www.venturamusicfestival.org or call 648-3146. Tickets also are available at the Ventura Music Festival office at 472. E. Santa Clara St.

 

Harrison Industries has been a Silver Sponsor of the Ventura Music Festival from the beginning and I'm thrilled to be the advisory committee of this fantastic cultural event.

69th Ojai Music Festival under Direction of Renowned Percussionist

Percussionist Steve Schick will direct the Ojai Music Festival in June, which features 17 composers new to the event.

As a longtime corporate sponsor, we at Harrison Industries also are looking forward to the 69th Ojai Music Festival, set for June 10-14. The festival will be under the direction of world-renowned percussionist Steve Schick, music director of the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus and Artistic Director of the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players. It promises to be another spectacular show!

 

Set under the stars at Libbey Bowl, this year's festival will celebrate 20th and 21st century composers, including works by 17 composers new to Ojai, such as Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang and Pauline Oliveros. Also featured will be emerging composers including Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Lei Liang.

 

The festival also features the West Coast premiere of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Luther Adams' Sila "The Breath of the World," and the American premiere of Roland Auzet's staging of Kurt Schwitters' "Dadaist Masterpiece Ursonate."

 

In addition, the festival will salute French composer, conductor and pianist Pierre Boulez, who has been Ojai's music director seven times, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

 

Harrison Industries encourages music lovers of all kinds to attend this culturally enriching event. Series tickets are available now for $55 to $850. Single ticket sales will begin in the spring.

For ticket information, call 646-2053 or visit www.ojaifestival.org.

 

The Ojai Music Festival also is seeking corporate sponsors. Membership in the Corporate Partnership Program begins at the $2,500 giving level. For more information, call Gina Gutierrez, communications and marketing director, at 646-2094, ext. 104, or visit www.ojaifestival.org.

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Sincerely,

Nan
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Nan Drake
Harrison Industries

email: nand@ejharrison.com
phone: 805-701-9809
web: http://www.ejharrison.com