CAMARILLO, Calif.,—Ventura City Council Member Cheryl Heitmann was installed as 2017 chair of the Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County’s board of directors at the organization’s 20th Annual Meeting on Jan. 19. She is joined on the executive board by Chris Meissner, president and CEO, Meissner Filtration Products, as vice chair and Peter Zierhut, Haas Automation, Inc. as secretary/treasurer.
“Cheryl has extensive leadership experience in local government and has worked tirelessly to provide opportunities for business growth and workforce development. Her insight will be beneficial to our board’s efforts to continue to develop partnerships, programs and services to support Ventura County’s quality of life,” said Bruce Stenslie, EDC-VC’s president and CEO. “As executives leading two well-established local companies, Chris and Peter both bring first-hand experience and in-depth knowledge concerning the challenges and opportunities existing in our local business economy.”
Heitmann was elected to her second term on the Ventura City Council in November 2016. She served as mayor, December 2013 – December 2015, and currently chairs the council’s Economic Development Committee as well as serving on the Homeless, and Finance, Audit and Budget committees. She serves as vice chair of the California League of Cities Women’s Caucus and is a board member on the Ventura County Ballet Company, the Women’s
Economic Ventures, the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, Downtown Ventura Organization, and city liaison to the Ventura Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee. Her previous political experience includes serving as a trustee eight years
on the Ventura County Community College District Board. Heitmann has a master’s degree in social work and is a licensed clinical social worker. She has worked as a private therapist and in several agencies as a social worker. In addition, she co-owned a political and fundraising firm for 18 years, managing many local and state races.
A Southern California native, Meissner is the founder of Meissner Filtration Products, Inc, established in 1989 and located in Camarillo. The company develops and manufactures advanced microfiltration and single-use products and systems worldwide. Meissner is a long-time EDC-VC board member and former board chair. A strong community supporter, Meissner also serves on the boards of St. John’s Seminary and the CSU Channel Islands Foundation. He attended Santa Clara University in Northern California, and graduated with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering.
An EDC-VC board member since 2012, Zierhut is a senior-level director at Haas Automation, Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of industrial machine tools, where he is responsible for oversight of Haas Automation’s motor-sports programs, including sponsorships in NASCAR and Formula 1 racing. Zierhut is also responsible for the Haas Technical Education Center (HTEC) network, comprising more than 1,500 educational institutions around the world that use Haas machine tools for educational purposes. Zierhut’s career at Haas spans more than 32 years, with experience including management positions in manufacturing, sales, marketing and IT. Zierhut’s volunteer positions include director of the Gene Haas Foundation and member of the board of directors of Workshops for Warriors, a nonprofit veteran-training facility in San Diego. Past volunteer positions include board chair of the Workforce Development Board of Ventura County and committee member of the Sales and Service and Government Relations committees of the Association for Manufacturing Technology in McLean, Virginia.
EDC-VC is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as a business-to-government liaison to assist businesses in Ventura County by offering programs that enhance the economic vitality of the region. For more information about the Small Business Development Center and loan, manufacturing outreach and international trade programs, contact Bruce Stenslie at 805-384-1800 ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or visit www.edc-vc.com.