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In This Issue

Happy Holidays, and a Happy 2020!


Harrison Brothers Take a Special Tour of CMH


Gold Coast Recycling Celebrates 30 Years


Congratulations to Ventura's 2019 Citizen of the Year


Thousand Oaks State of the City Brings Mostly Good News



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Happy Holidays, and a Happy 2020!

(L to R) Ralph, Jim and Myron Harrison.


At this special time of the year, we would like to take a moment to thank our customers and the communities we serve. As we head into our 88th year in business, we know that our work together has allowed us to keep advancing in our goals of recycling and improving the environment.

And our primary message for 2020 is clear: Don't stop recycling!

We want you to know that we are maintaining our efforts in recycling. Even in the current down market, diversion from the landfill continues to be our No. 1 goal. We need to keep the County of Ventura and our client cities in compliance with all of the many laws controlling the trash/recycling industry.

The new, state-of-the-art recycling system we rolled out this year at our Gold Coast facility has improved our operations to a sustainable level and we are finding alternative markets after China, our primary buyer for decades, pulled out of the recycling business in the past year.

We look forward to serving you in 2020 and in the years to come by providing you with the highest level of service - and continuing to work together toward a cleaner planet.


We wish you a very happy holiday season and a happy and prosperous 2020.


Harrison Brothers Take a Special Tour of CMH

The leaders at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura recently led Ralph, Jim and Myron Harrison on a private tour of the beautiful, upgraded facility - of course making a special stop to look at the lobby wall dedicated to the brothers, their late parents, Elmo and Myra, who founded the company 88 years ago, the entire Harrison family, and its long local history. The tour was so good - and very humbling. Pictured in the group shot, from left, are Adam Thunell, chief operating officer; Jim Harrison; Gary Wilde, CEO; Ralph Harrison; Mike Ellingson, vice president of marketing and development; Patty Williams, director of development; and Myron Harrison.

Gold Coast Recycling Celebrates 30 Years

 (Photos by Brendan Daly)

Commemorating 30 years in business, Gold Coast Recycling recently welcomed a host of local dignitaries and others to see the facility and to officially cut the ribbon on its new state-of-the-art sorting, picking and baling systems.

Also at the event, officials announced the launch of Gold Coast's new website and a new drone video that gives viewers a bird's-eye view of the operation. The website, at, launched this month.

The two-hour event on Monday, Nov. 25, drew about 150 invited guests to our partners at Gold Coast, at 5275 Colt St. in Ventura, for brief speeches and commemorations, the ribbon-cutting, and hard-hat tours through the massive, impressive recycling operation, followed by lunch from In-N-Out Burger and cake.

Gold Coast General Manager George Harrison welcomed everyone and thanked Ralph, Jim and Myron Harrison, who all were in attendance, for their continued look-to-the-future attitude and their vision so many years ago to build GCR. The three Harrison brothers are the sons of E.J. and Myra Harrison, who 88 years ago founded the Harrison trash company that spawned GCR in 1989. Ralph, Jim and Myron continue to run the company today.

George Harrison also shared with the crowd the recent downturn in the recycling industry, generated by the recent loss of China as the world's premier buyer of recycled materials.

"China's decision to no longer accept material for recycling has sent the marketplace into a downward spiral," George said. "Other countries are trying to accept recycled material, but they have the tough requirement of 1.5 percent contamination. However, because of this new equipment you will view today, we can meet their tough requirement.

"We did the right thing and invested millions to upgrade our equipment so that we can produce the material that meets this new tough standard, so that we can survive in this down market," he said. "Today we can produce the material quicker and cleaner AND we are selling it - not for the same higher prices but for Gold Coast Recycling it is (landfill) diversion that counts."

Two clear messages resonated throughout the Gold Coast event: "We're not going anywhere," as George Harrison assured the crowd; and, "Don't stop recycling!" as I stressed to everyone.

Among the dignitaries on hand were state Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, who took the dais to congratulate Gold Coast on its achievements, Ventura County Supervisor Kelly Long, Ventura Mayor Matt LaVere, Ventura City Councilmembers Cheryl Heitmann and Jim Friedman, Ventura Police Chief Ken Corney and Assistant Police Chief Darrin Schindler, Ojai Mayor Johnny Johnston, Camarillo Mayor Kevin Kildee, Fillmore City Councilman Manuel Minjares, and representatives for state Assemblywomen Monique Limon (Angela Cisneros) and Jacqui Irwin (Ryan Mundy) and for U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (Sasha Davidson), who were among the officials presenting Gold Coast with official proclamations for their remarkable work over 30 years. Past mayors and city councilmembers and chamber of commerce leaders from around Ventura County also attended. 


Congratulations to Ventura's 2019 Citizen of the Year

Sharing Elena Brokaw's big day at the Poinsettia Awards luncheon were, from left, Monica White, president and CEO of Food Share; George Harrison; me; Ventura Councilwoman Cheryl Heitmann; Elena; and Jim Harrison.

Sincere congratulations to Elena Brokaw for being named the Ventura Chamber of Commerce's new Citizen of the Year.

The Citizen of the Year Award is a huge honor and its presentation is the crowning moment at the chamber's annual Poinsettia Awards luncheon gala - held this year on Dec. 5 at the Ventura Beach Marriott.

Former Councilman Jim Monahan and I, as the 2018 and 2017 Citizens of the Year, had the distinct honor of co-presenting the 2019 award to Elena. Taking the torch, she was gracious and humble as always in her acceptance.

No one is more deserving. A perennial Ventura County civic leader over the years, Elena was raised on giving back and as a youth served her first internship at the Museum of Ventura County. She went on to work with the city of Ventura for 13 years, including as director of Parks, Recreation and Community Partnerships. In 2016, she brought her journey full circle when she began her current post as executive director of the Museum of Ventura County, overseeing the main museum in Ventura and the Agricultural Museum in Santa Paula.

Thanks for all you've done to help our community, Elena, and congratulations on this honor!

The Citizen of the Year Award presentation was the culmination of the Poinsettia Awards ceremony, which recognized the outstanding achievements of 19 businesses and individuals in our community.

The Poinsettia Awards luncheon is a wonderful way to honor those who are working hard to make a difference. We at Harrison are very proud to sponsor this popular, impactful event and, as a chamber board member, I was happy to sit on the selection committee.

For the complete list of 2019 Poinsettia Award winners, visit the Ventura Chamber at


Thousand Oaks State of the City Brings Mostly Good News

Many of the Harrison contingent at the Thousand Oaks State of the City luncheon gathered for a photo, at top, with City Councilman Ed Jones, fourth from left. The Harrisons pictured are, from left, Myron, David, Dan, Jim, George, Mike, Lynn and Ralph. The event's keynote speaker, T.O. Mayor Rob McCoy, in the bottom left photo, gave a great speech that included a wonderful video, pictured bottom right, depicting the mayor traveling around town meeting with people and discussing the environment, housing and jobs among other local concerns.

The news was largely good at the annual Thousand Oaks State of the City address, held Dec. 3 at California Lutheran University. Hosted as always by the city and the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce, the luncheon event took place in CLU's Gilbert Sports Arena. The keynote speaker was Thousand Oaks Mayor Rob McCoy.

Looking ahead to 2020, McCoy said the likelihood of continued economic growth is rising and there is no official call for a recession in the coming year. He did warn, however, that the slowdown in growth will render the economy vulnerable to a recession.

All in all, it was a far less somber proceeding than last year's State of the City, during which then-Mayor Andy Fox presented a voice of strength, unity and compassion to the record 400 in attendance as the city continued to reel from the one-two punch of the Borderline Bar mass shooting and a devastating wildfire just weeks earlier.

The crowd this year was more relaxed and congenial, and it was a great community event - as always, heavily attended by the Harrisons, with nearly a dozen of us there.

Last year, having survived the devastating Thomas Fire a year earlier in west Ventura County, we assured our friends and others we met at the Thousand Oaks event that there would be brighter tomorrows. This year, we were happy to look around us and see that we all were indeed enjoying our brighter tomorrows - today.

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Nan Drake
Harrison Industries

phone: 805-701-9809