Jackson and Limón to Honor Ventura First Responders as Women of the Year

April 27, 2018

VENTURA– In recognition of their bravery during the devastating Thomas fire, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) and Assemblymember Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) will honor women first responders from Ventura County as 2018 Women of the Year today, April 27.

“These women courageously stepped up during our community’s time of need,” said Senator Jackson. “We are fortunate to have such brilliant, talented and brave women and men serving Ventura County.”

“We are so grateful for the courage and service of our women first responders during the chaos and confusion of recent natural disasters. The expertise and dedication they provided was critical to promoting accessible emergency communications and community safety,” said Assemblymember Limón.

Senator Jackson and Assemblymember Limón will honor the Ventura County Women of the Year on Friday, April 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Ventura County Credit Union, 2575 Vista Del Mar Dr. Suite 100, Ventura. Due to limited space, the reception is closed to the public. However, members of the press are invited to cover the event.

The Ventura County honorees are:

  • Lourdes Campbell, Interpreter with Campbell Lourdes Interpreting: Campbell is a translator and interpreter. Those services include relay translation for sign language as well as for indigenous languages. She interprets the simulcast broadcast of every City Council meeting for the City of Oxnard and as needed for the Cities of Ventura, Ojai, Moorpark, Fillmore and Santa Paula.
  • Kimberly Coley, Executive Director of the Red Cross, Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapters: As Executive Director of the Pacific Coast and Ventura County Chapters of the American Red Cross, Coley leads a talented team of humanitarians who heroically serve the 1.6 million residents who live and work in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.
  • Genevieve Flores-Haro, Associate Director for the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project: Haro serves as the Associate Director for the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project, a nonprofit serving Ventura County’s indigenous immigrant community. When the Thomas Fire broke out, Genevieve was a leader in making sure Spanish-speaking residents were receiving and had access to the most updated information in their language.
  • Nicky Gore-Jones, Executive Director of the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center: Gore-Jones joined the SPARC Board of Directors in 2014 and became SPARC’s executive director in 2015. Ms. Gore-Jones led her team in preparing for the evacuation of the shelter’s animals the night the Thomas Fire began and the days following to find them appropriate boarding options. Since then, her team continues to work hard to find homes for their animals as well as make way for any animals displaced by the fire.
  • Jolene Hoffman, Ventura County Humane Society Shelter Director: Hoffman came to the Humane Society as a volunteer when the shelter opened in 1982 and worked her way up to becoming the shelter director in 1985. She has remained in that position to date. Within 24 hours of the start of the Thomas Fire, Ms. Hoffman and her team worked tirelessly to shelter the animals of county residents that were under evacuation orders.
  • Junelyn Segui, Program Administrator with the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (VCOES): Segui serves as an emergency manager for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services. In her position Segui manages emergency planning, response and recovery programs. During the Thomas Fire, Segui was instrumental in successfully leading the Ventura County Emergency Operations Center Finance Section. She also manages the Thomas Fire public assistance program which is crucial for Ventura County’s recovery.  
  • Kelly Turner, Certified Sign Language Interpreter: Turner is a life-long interpreter and educator. Her assistance in the Thomas Fire was crucial in making sure that those hard of hearing got the updates they needed for dealing with the tragedy.
  • Amariz Loza Vorzimer, Deputy Sheriff: Deputy Vorzimer has been a Deputy Sheriff for the last 6 years and is currently assigned to patrol services in the City of Moorpark. As part of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Vorzimer assisted with the evacuation of residents from their homes and directing them to safety. She was among the first to assist as the fire quickly spread throughout the county prompting rapid action and response to make the community aware of the imminent danger. Because of her work and that of her team, residents were safely evacuated and out of harm’s way when the fire spread.
  • 146th Airlift Wing Channel Islands Air National Guard: The 146th Airlift Wing is an Air National Guard base located in Port Hueneme, California. During the Thomas Fire, the 146th Airlift Wing was activated on December 5, 2017 to fight what became the largest fire in California history. This courageous team included female first responders ranging from pilots, support staff, and communications. Their role was critical as their Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System was activated and sent to drop the fire suppression chemical onto the fire’s path to slow its advance in support of firefighters on the ground.
  • City of Ventura: Women from various departments of the City of Ventura played an essential role in securing services and resources for residents of Ventura County during the Thomas Fire and January 9th Debris Flow. They were key in gathering federal, state, county and local agencies and service providers to assist the community in recovering from the devastating effects of the disasters. Immediately before the fire was almost fully contained they began a fire recovery process which included financial assistance, medical services, and holding community meetings to keep the general public informed and updated with any developments.

Santa Barbara Women of the Year were honored at a ceremony on April 20.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.