November 22, 2023
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Street Smarts: Patagonia’s CEO talks business, environment with NYT


Patagonia CEO Ryan Gellert has landed in the New York Times “Corner Office.”

A mountain climber with a business degree from Florida Institute of Technology and a law degree from the University of Utah, Gellert had a career in retail and a love of extreme climbing before he landed the top job. The Times describes an abrupt transition after Rose Mercario departed and Gellert moved over from running Patagonia’s overseas operations.

The company has ramped up its operations and is on track to hit $1 billion in revenue, the Times reported. It’s also ramped up its environmental activism — the company donated all $10 million of its Black Friday sales to environmental groups and recently won the U.S. State Department’s award for Corporate Excellence for Climate Innovation because of its work in Argentina to “advance climate solutions.”


Saalex Corp.’s Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support 3, or ELVIS 3, team is helping NASA and its partners prepare for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, designed to succeed the Hubble Space Telescope as NASA’s top space observatory. With a diameter of more than 21 feet, the JWST will become the largest telescope mirror ever launched into orbit. The launch is scheduled for Dec. 24, from the European Space Agency’s Guiana Space Center in South America.


Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks, is teaming up with Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub and Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko to propose measures to respond organized retail theft in California. Her proposed legislation would give district attorneys a bigger role in prosecuting “large theft conspiracies” like the ones that triggered massive heists in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Walnut Creek and San Jose.


Kudos to Larry Willett and leadership of the Ventura County Chapter of SCORE, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022. The SCORE chapter has been one of the most active in the greater Southern California region and we are excited to see them reach this milestone. A Jan. 25 luncheon is planned for Los Robles Greens. Email for details.


• The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Conejo Valley has recruited two heavy hitters for its board. Judith Sánchez López has over 30 years of experience as an expert in cosmetics and is chief marketing officer at Jafra Cosmetics International. Preston Kevin Lewis has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment industry and is senior vice president of Warner Media Latin America.

• After over 34 years as the CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County, Lynne West will retire from her role. Over her tenure, West has led the local agency, as well as served as a Big Sister to Juanita for over a decade. She has also sat on state and national committees of the Big Brothers Big Sisters federation.

• El Camino Homeless Organization in Paso Robles is celebrating its one-year anniversary at its newest facility, located in the former Motel 6 at 1134 Black Oak Drive in Paso Robles. On Dec. 7 of last year, a few ECHO staff opened the doors to individuals and families seeking shelter. This past year more than 15,000 nights of stay have been provided and more than 600 men, women and children have received support.

• The Goleta & Santa Ynez Valley Libraries will resume their 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program with all-new reading logs and prizes.