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EJ Harrison

Working Together for a Better Environment
Harrison Donates $75,000 Toward Ojai Libbey Bowl Project
Harrison Industries has made a $75,000 pledge toward the Ojai Libbey Bowl reconstruction project. The venerable amphitheater, the site of hundreds – perhaps thousands – of culturally-enriching musical and stage performances over the decades, fell victim to old age and termites.

Ralph and Jenny Harrison, along with Jim Harrison and I, attended the wonderful “Last Gasp of the Bowl” celebration on June 19. Hundreds paid their final respects to old Libbey Bowl during the free concert performed by the Ventura Jazz Orchestra. The Nordhoff High Marching Band also played, and actor Peter Strauss served as Master of Ceremonies. The food, donated by local restaurants, was great!

While the old Libbey Bowl, demolished three weeks ago following “Last Gasp of the Bowl,” may be gone, materials from it will live on! Harrison roll-off trucks hauled between 400 and 500 tons of concrete from the demolition site to Gold Coast Recycling and another 20 tons of wood to Agromin Premium Soil Products to be processed. Sales Manager David Harrison estimates that over 90 percent of the materials will be recycled and put to future use.

We look forward to the new $2.4 million Libbey Bowl that is expected to be ready in May 2011, just in time for next year’s Ojai Music Festival.

Harrisons Support Boys & Girls Clubs in Ventura County
Pictures: The Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley’s “Taste of the Valley” fundraiser was a wonderful event that raised $20,000.

The Harrison brothers – Ralph, Jim and Myron – carry on the tradition started by their parents E.J. and Myra – helping the Boys and Girl Clubs of Ventura County.

As it has for 17 years now, the Boys & Girls Club of Ventura threw a Garden Party on May 2, supported by Harrison Industries. About $30,000 was raised for vital programs that the club provides to kids all over the Poinsettia City.

“It was perfect weather for relaxing in the garden,” reported BGCV Chief Executive Officer Diane Koranda of the benefit event held at the Pierpont Inn that each year features great food and fine wine from about 30 vendors as well as great musical entertainment.

About 300 people attended the Garden Party, and many bid on 80 silent auction items that included gift baskets, jewelry, clothing, art and weekend getaways.

The Harrisons also were out in force at the 26th annual Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club Auction on May 15 that raised about $100,000 for the city’s kids.

About 320 people – including a table full of Harrison Family members – attended this year’s festive event which featured 300 silent auction items and 20 live auction items. Prime rib and grilled salmon were on the dinner menu.

“This is one of the biggest events each year in Carpinteria, and it was just a great day,” reported CBGC Director Richard Medel, adding that the sun broke through the day-long overcast “just at the right time.”

Then on June 5, the Fillmore City Hall courtyard was the setting for the 5th annual Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley’s “Taste of the Valley” fundraiser that raised $20,000.

A picture-perfect “Chamber of Commerce” day welcomed the 200-plus guests, who were treated to tasty treats and drinks provided by 18 local restaurants, wineries and beverage companies.

“This was a wonderful event, filled with good food, fun people, interesting silent auction items, great music by The Tune Bandits, and fun in the Fillmore sun,” reports Carole Power, the club’s director of Resource Development.

Patty Harrison served as co-chair of the “Taste of the Valley” event with Tammy Hobson, while Jim Harrison, Lynn Harrison and I were happy to chip in as volunteers. Ralph’s visiting daughter, son-in-law and their children as well as Lynn and Patty’s kids also rolled up their sleeves, helping Mike Mobley take down all the tents and tables after the event and loading them onto trucks.

Harrison Industries is happy to sponsor these wonderful events for such a worthy cause – the boys and girls of Ventura County!

Harrison is a Proud Sponsor of Moonlight at the Ranch IV
64th Ojai Music Festival as Bold and Magnificent as Ever
Picture: Capacity audience at Ojai Festival’s Libbey Bowl. Photo by Robert Millard.

Harrison Industries is a corporate sponsor of the Ojai Music Festival, which takes place every year in picturesque Libbey Park, where music lovers have experienced performances by legendary artists of their time since 1947.

The 64th festival on June 10-13 lived up to its reputation as one of the boldest and most innovative events of its kind in the U.S. This year Music Director George Benjamin brought together a blend of classical music, from the old classics to contemporary composers. They included music by Californian Steve Potter, Saed Haddad of the Mid-East, Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg and American composer Elliot Carter.

The festival even devoted its second day to the late rock musician-composer Frank Zappa. The Ensemble Modern, conducted by Brad Lubman, performed over a dozen Zappa compositions. Friday’s concert also included two works by experimental “organized sound” musician Edgard Varese, Zappa’s favorite composer since boyhood.

Zappa’s and Varese’s music isn’t for everyone, but experimentation is what the Ojai Music Festival is all about. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to experience it next year!

16th Ventura Music Festival is a Feast for the Ears
The Ventura Music Festival turned “Sweet 16” this year and, without a doubt, this culturally-enriching event only gets better with age!

The 2010 edition – “Romanze: A Musical Journey from Vienna to Ventura” – held from April 29 to May 8, featured world-renowned violinist Itzhak Perlman, jazz legend Herbie Hancock, classical guitarist Sharon Isbin and 24-year-old classical pianist sensation Yeol Eum Son. How’s that for a world-class lineup?

Harrison Industries has been a patron of the Ventura Music Festival from the very beginning, and this year we were particularly honored to be a sponsor of the Opening Night Gala at the Ventura Beach Marriott. And as member of the festival’s Advisory Committee, I can’t wait for 2011! recycling. We enjoyed visiting with them at Camarillo Business & Community Expo!

Drivers Have a Long Haul with Harrison Industries
Pictures: Top - Manny Robles has been a driver for Harrison Industries for 36 years. Currently, Robles is a roll-off driver. He likes the fact that he doesn’t have the same route every day. Middle - Jesus Ochoa has been a driver for Harrison Industries for 22 years. Currently, Ochoa is a commercial driver. He enjoys the camaraderie among the Harrison drivers. Bottom - Mario Ramirez has been with Harrison Industries for 35 years. Currently, Ramirez is Harrison’s head supervisor.

Manny Robles’ first day on the job at Harrison Industries came a week after President Richard Nixon resigned from office. Gasoline was about 50 cents a gallon, the Vietnam War had just ended and Robles was a year out of high school.

“After that first day, I was ready to quit, man,” Robles remembered. “It was tough work handling those heavy metal trash barrels. I said to myself, ‘I’m done!’”

The day was Aug. 14, 1974, and Robles couldn’t wait to go home. But he showed up the next day, and the next day, and the day after that. He even eventually came around to enjoying the demanding work. “I like the physical part. It keeps me in shape.”

Robles has seen a lot of changes in the trash hauling business in his 36 years at Harrison Industries – for starters, the trucks now do most of the heavy lifting for him – and he is happy he stuck with it.

Robles is not alone when it comes to working two, three and even four decades at Harrison Industries. The company employs 112 truck drivers, and 14 of them have been on the job for 25 years or more. Jose Aguayo is the longest employed truck driver, having celebrated his 40th anniversary with Harrison in March.

The drivers enjoy their jobs for a variety of reasons. In addition to the physical work, Robles enjoys the freedom of being on the road. “You’re all alone and nobody hassles you,” Robles explained, adding that as a roll-off driver, he doesn’t have the same route each day and gets to drive to different construction sites each day.

Commercial driver Jesus Ochoa has been on the job since 1988, and he enjoys getting to know customers on his Ventura route. “I like talking to people and making friends,” said the outgoing Ochoa. He said he makes it a point to always have a smile on his face. “It’s important to be nice to people.”

“I like what I do, and I always try to be the best I can be,” Ochoa said, adding he also enjoys the camaraderie among Harrison drivers.

Mario Ramirez started with Harrison in 1975, and in May celebrated his 35th year with the company. He began as a driver and gradually rose up the ranks to trainer, and eventually, to Harrison’s head supervisor.

“The Harrisons gave me the opportunity to grow with the company,” Ramirez said. “When I came here the company was small, but I learned that if I put my heart in it, yes, I could go anywhere.”

Ramirez added, “This is a good steady job. Especially the way things are now, it’s good to know you have a paycheck on a weekly basis.”



Nan Drake signature
Nan Drake
Harrison Industries

phone: 805-701-9809