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Port Commissioners’ Bios

Chris Stephens
Commissioner & Chairman of the Board

Chris Stephens, Director of the Ventura County Resource Management Agency, was appointed to the Ventura Port District Board effective July 1, 2017.

“There are many exciting projects underway at Ventura Harbor and I look forward to working with the other commissioners to see that they are successfully completed,” Stephens said.

Stephens has served as the head of the Resource Management Agency since 2006. Previously within the county, he worked as Ventura County’s Planning Director and as the Deputy Executive Director of the Ventura County Transportation Commission. He has been involved with many community organizations and programs, and has served as a Hansen Agricultural Trust Advisory Board member, a member of the City of Ventura Visioning Committee and Charter Committee, and the Ventura County Planning Commission.


Brian Brennan
Brian Brennan Board of Commissioners Ventura Port District
Commissioner & Vice Chairman of the Board

Brian Brennan is a former Ventura County Planning Commissioner and a 16-year veteran of locally elected offices in the city of San Buenaventura. He served as a city councilman from 1998-2013 and mayor from 2003-2005, representing the city on numerous boards and commissions including the California Coastal Commission for three years.  A professional restaurateur for over 25 years, Brian has opened and operated restaurants in coastal California, Hawaii, Florida and the Virgin Islands. He is an alumnus of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland and was appointed by Gov. Christie Todd Whitman to the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Advisory Council on Environmental Policy and Technology for his work in Brownfield and Greyfield redevelopment along with advocacy for fuel cells and the Hydrogen Highway.  While serving as chairman of the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau, Brian was one of the founding members of the Ventura County Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. He has been on the forefront of coastal and wetland protection policy both locally, regionally and statewide for all of his adult life, which culminated in an appointment by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Coastal Commission in 2011. He presently serves as Executive Director of BEACON, a California Joint Powers Authority that advocates for adaptive living shorelines and coastal resiliency in the face of rising sea levels. An avid sailor and surfer, Brian learned to sail on Galway Bay, increasing his sailing skills while in the Caribbean and upon moving to Ventura fell in love with the community on sailing trips out to our Channel Islands.  Brian continues to crew on racing sailboats in Ventura Harbor whenever he is invited!


Jacki Gardina

Jackie Gardina
Commissioner & Secretary

Jackie Gardina is the Dean and Chief Academic Officer of the Santa Barbara and Ventura Colleges of Law (COL). Before joining COL in 2016, Jackie taught at Vermont Law School where she focused on, among other things, the intersection of environmental law and bankruptcy. She also practiced in the commercial litigation department at the Boston firm of Choate, Hall, and Stewart after she clerked for Chief Judge William Young of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and the Honorable Levin Campbell of the First Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Jackie has served on multiple professional and non-profit boards, including with the American Bar Association, the State Bar of California, and Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

Jackie enjoys the outdoors and since she moved to Ventura she has taken full advantage of the county’s recreational areas. Within two weeks of arriving, she had hiked Santa Cruz Island and she has kayaked in the harbor multiple times.


Everard Ashworth

Everard Ashworth is a principal with Ashworth Leininger Group, a consulting and engineering firm that provides expertise to business and government on air quality, environmental, and coastal zone permitting issues. Ev and his wife Brooke have lived in Ventura for over 25 years.  Ev is an active member of the Ventura Sail and Power Squadron, where he has served in a number of capacities including Commander of the Squadron; he continues to teach advanced coastal piloting and safe boating classes. Ev and Brooke are also members of the Ventura Yacht Club.  They have two college-age children: Henry, a graduate of Foothill Technology High School, and Emma, a graduate of Ventura High School.  Ev is an avid boater, never happier than when he is out on the water.


Mike Blumenberg
Mike Blumenberg

Mike Blumenberg works for the Northrop Grumman Corporation as a Program Manager overseeing a team of engineers and technicians supporting the US Navy at the Naval Base Ventura County. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and Project Management Professional. Mike’s career is focused on working in and around the ocean. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy, a Master of Science in Management from Cardinal Stritch College and a Master of Engineering in Civil and Ocean Engineering from UC Berkeley.

He spent 20 years in the Navy as an ocean engineer and diver, retiring as a Commander in the Civil Engineer Corps. While serving on active duty, Mike served in multiple roles aboard ship and ashore, building and maintaining the Navy’s infrastructure. He was stationed at the Naval Base Ventura County for several years and was happy to come back to Ventura with Northrop Grumman. Mike volunteered for the Ventura Port District because he wants to help the Port maximize its economic impact for Ventura. He remains an avid SCUBA diver who enjoys diving the Channel Islands. He also enjoys exploring our local beaches while his son surfs, his wife hunts for sea glass and his dog plays in the waves.

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