January 28, 2023
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Editorial: Region remembers the late Tom Petrovich


Nobody exemplified the old-school Ventura County business culture better than Tom Petrovich, a community leader and CPA who died March 8.

As a named partner of Soares Sandall Bernacchi & Petrovich in Oxnard, he represented businesses across the county and the region.

He brought conservative fiscal values and conservative accounting standards to the table and fought for property rights and economic freedom.

Petrovich never saw the value of advertising but was a firm believer in free-market ideas. He also recognized the tremendous potential of Ventura County as a place to work and live, which meant that he fought hard to preserve the trust and relationship-driven culture that makes Ventura County very different from Los Angeles.

Out of respect for the family, we’re going to omit some details about his personal life, but his love of classical music and the Ventura County Symphony were well documented.

He was a longtime member of the UC Santa Barbara Economic Forecast Project and he followed economist Bill Watkins to California Lutheran University’s Center for Economic Research and Forecasting program.

“Tom was old school, in the best senses of the term,” said Watkins, who called on some of the CPA firm’s business clients as a banker earlier in his career. “With Tom, you never had a surprise. He told you what the situation was upfront. Then he and his clients did exactly what Tom said they would do.”

At the Economic Forecast Project, Watkins recalled Petrovich as an elder statesman who had the ability to bring humor to lighten up an overly-serious moment. “He was one of the anchors of that board, and he had a big part in keeping the forecast fresh, relevant, and solvent,” he said.

Watkins said that Petrovich resigned from the board several years ago but never disclosed he was ill. In the understated manner that was typical of his career. “He just said he couldn’t carry his share of the load,” Watkins said.