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The MOST important thing we can do to achieve TRUE success as a College District, is to ensure that we are providing the essential tools needed for a student, of any age, to get a degree, acquire workplace skills, and become productive citizens by getting hired and making decent pay.


For the past 24 years as a business owner, publisher of Ventura Life Magazine, entrepreneur, and activist for the social greater good in Ventura, I am the only candidate who has actually worked for the college district. I am dedicated to the FUTURE of all those I serve at Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark colleges. My goals are simple, programs through policy and strategies that provide QUALITY OF LIFE for students and staff. Quality of life through higher education means our entire community thrives.


I am NOT a candidate of politics. I am a candidate of people. I want our students of all ages and our staff to THRIVE. For me, this is not a political stepping-stone. Having worked for our community colleges over the past decade has inspired me to be an agent for change. I will lead with compassion, creativity, real-life experience and common sense to help shape a better future in higher education:


• Fast-track pathways so degree earners and skill seekers can finish sooner.
• Class flexibility and more support that meet the needs of working students.
• Supplemented childcare for students with kids.
• More effective pathways for veterans to get a degree or learn a relevant skill.
• Enhanced on-line interactive programs with new technologies
• Local industry partnerships and employable skills for immediate job placement
• Leverage resources for more counseling and mentoring support for students.
• Create inter-generational programs for adult seniors & life long learners.
• Create Safe Harbor and mental health resources for All Walks of Life.
• Improved benefits for part-time faculty
• Improve campus and neighborhood safety!
• Eliminate Administrative Bullying and discrimination
• Money-saving Green Energy Practices at Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark Colleges
• Support and promote an Expanded College Campus in Santa Paula.
• Fiscal stewardship and accountability.



As I talk to people in the communities of Ojai, Ventura and Riverpark, many people have asked me “What are your politics?” “Why do you want to be a trustee?” “How can you make a difference?” Let me start by telling you about my PERMA. Think of this as my education/institution philosophy:




Positivity: Create a positive environment that includes satisfaction, pride and awe, among students and staff. These emotions are frequently seen as a connection to positive outcomes, such as longer life and healthier social relationships in the workplace. It is a key component to help students accomplish their academic goals and staff to thrive. Positivity can get lost in translation from the top down. Too often the boots on the ground are left out of the “pat on the back” chain. Giving staff the kind of feedback that includes pride and awe can change the overall outcome of students, staff and the community.


Engagement: Involvement in activities that draws and builds upon one’s interests is a practice that can lead to a sense of fulfillment and clarity. Keeping students and staff engaged in the things they are passionate about leads to creative and collective outcomes. It is the essence of critical thinking. Encouraging ways to keep students engaged leads to success. Professional development and positive workplace activities are just 2 of the many ways to engage staff and lead them to better outcomes and a true sense of self.


Relationships: In an educational institution and in any workplace, ALL people matter. EVERY voice matters. It is the essence of collegiality. Receiving, sharing, and spreading positivity to others through meaningful relationships is strengthened by communicating to one another positively. It is typical that most positive things take place in the presence of other people. This makes collegiality the essence of student success and staff well-being.


Meaning: Also known as purpose, this prompts the question of “why”. Discovering and formulating a clear “why” puts everything into context, from work relationships to life goals. Finding meaning is learning that there is something greater than one’s self. Despite potential challenges, working with meaning drives people to continue to strive for desirable goals. Students want their education to have meaning. Staff want their work-life to have meaning. We must always start with the WHY in our decision making process and ask ourselves “does this decision give our students and staff meaning. Is this what is best for their well-being?”


Accomplishment: In the pursuit of success and mastery, accomplishments can activate pride and positive emotion. These accomplishments can be individual or community-based, and are positive results when enacting PERMA. It is the finale, or the start of something new; graduation, promotion, sustainability, inclusivity, partnership, a thriving community!


I hope this gives you a better idea as to my WHY.


The Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) is the public community college district serving all residents of Ventura County. The District’s three colleges Ventura College, Oxnard College, and Moorpark College, provide a wide field of programs and services with a focus on our community’s unique needs and educational interests. The College District employs approximately 400 full-time faculty, 860 part-time faculty, 485 support staff, and 55 managers. VCCCD serves a diverse population of approximately 850,000 residents within its 10 incorporated cities: Ventura, Ojai, Oxnard, Santa Paula, Fillmore, Piru, Camarillo,  Moorpark, Port Hueneme, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, as well as unincorporated areas.


Founded in 1925 and one of the oldest community colleges in California, Ventura College currently serves approximately 14,000 students with associate degrees in approximately 36 majors, and certificates of completion and proficiency awards in approximately 55 areas of study. Ventura College is the founding home of the Ventura College Promise, a program started by President Emeritus, Dr Robin Calote. Underwritten by the Ventura College Foundation, it pays for the first year at Ventura College for all newly-graduated Ventura County high school seniors or GED recipients, regardless of family income or grade point average.


Oxnard College became a part of the District in 1975. Located in the heart of Ventura County just two miles from Pacific Ocean beaches, Oxnard College serves approximately 7,500 students, offering associate degrees and certificates in approximately 33 majors and courses in approximately 67 disciplines. Oxnard College includes the Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management Program, the Dental Hygiene Program and the Fire Academy program.


Founded in 1967, Moorpark College is the second-oldest and largest of the three District colleges and serves approximately 15,300 students. The College offers associate degrees in approximately 35 majors, and certificates of completion and proficiency awards in approximately 44 areas of study. Moorpark College is widely recognized for its Exotic Animal Training Program, national award-winning forensics team, and for its Nursing Program accredited by the National League for Nursing.


Boards of trustees exert leadership through governing the colleges on behalf of the community. A college trustee is tasked with making legal and fiduciary decisions, approving the organization’s mission, strategic goals, and objectives. Trustees also establish policies related to enrollment, programs, and services. Trustees SHOULD help ensure that the colleges in their District add value to their communities.


Our community colleges add value by providing access to higher education environments that develop and support student learning. Community colleges should prepare students to pursue a baccalaureate degree, to develop skills and become a part of the ever-changing workforce in businesses and industries, and to contribute to civic leadership. Our District also serves as an economic development and cultural center for our communities.



• Create strong ties to the community, and support community interests.

• Develop policies that establish the general direction of the college’s programs and services, quality standards, and legal, ethical and prudent parameters for college operations.

• Monitor performance of the institution to ensure that it is meeting current community needs.

• Anticipate future trends.



• Remain committed to the value of education,

• Reflect an attitude of community service,

• Desire to improve the entire community in which they live,

• Have an open mind,

• Remain optimistic about the future,

• Continue to seek knowledge about trustee responsibilities

• Contribute to the board’s functioning as a team;

• Bring ideas and maintain an open mind;

• Seek to learn about and understand all interests in the community,

• Help buffer the college from single interests;

• Learn about community colleges and your governing responsibilities;

• Adhere to the standards of practice and ethics adopted by your board;

• Avoid conflicts of interest

• Advocate for the district in the community, state and nation.


A Trustee has no personal authority as an individual trustee. Individual power is expressed as one member of a board through personal influence, persuasion and knowledge. Individual trustees do not direct college staff or programs. Being a trustee is not a paying job, although state law permits a stipend for board service. Trustees rarely have offices; staff support is for the board as a whole.


Being a trustee is a public service—a gift of individual talent, experience, knowledge, energy and time. Conflict of interest laws prohibit trustees from using their positions for personal economic benefit. Trustees should not use the board to focus on single interests or the needs of employee groups. While those interests are important, trustees are there to represent the common public good.


The board is not a platform for individual campaigns for future public office. Trustees will earn a reputation for success if your college is an effective institution that contributes to the vitality and health of its communities.




Dina has been a Ventura resident and homeowner for over 22 years. She co-owns a Ventura-based, full service media agency called 451 Media, with her partner, Amy Jones. They manage clients that include the DoD, ASA and other major medical industry area providers, and Ever-Bloom, one of the largest Agricultural businesses on the West Coast.  She and her business partner created and produced Ventura Life magazine for over 8 years. Dina serves as Chief Creative Officer on the CompassVentura Board. She provides donated services for numerous art committees, community organizations, and fellow Venturans. She and her partner are dog rescue enthusiasts. Dina has worked with and for the Ventura Community College District for 11 years.


“You could say that I come from a large family. We are in fact, 15 strong. My parents uprooted us from Mahwah, New Jersey in 1973 to bring their 13 kids to California, where there was something called “junior college.” My father was a Princeton Alumni. He served in Korea. His nickname was Hank the Tank. He had 3 jobs. My mother is classical pianist who attended Julliard. They wanted their kids to have a chance at college. In California, junior college was FREE. We sold everything we owned and left the East Coast in an old, red white and blue VW bus we christened Bessie. She had no starter. She had no starter. At the crack of dawn – from one motel 6 parking lot after another, we push-started that bus all the way across the continent before finally landing in a strange and faraway place called Simi Valley. I was 14.


So you see…the California Community College system transformed my life, even before I ever stepped foot in one. That’s what our Community Colleges are designed to do. Transform lives.


24 years ago, Dina moved to Ventura, arriving in a white Ford F150 pick-up truck with her partner, Amy Jones. They started a business here called 451 media. They created and published a magazine called Ventura Life. They opened an art gallery on the avenue called gallery 33. They fell in love with the vistas and the people of San Buenaventura, got involved in community projects and bought a home on a downtown hillside where they still reside today.



11 years ago, the community college transformed my life once again, when I decided to go to work for the district. Since then I have served 8 trustees, 4 chancellors, 7 Vice Chancellors and 8 college presidents, and a score of administrators. I have collaborated with hundreds of fellow staff and even more students. This has inspired me to be an agent for change. I want to serve as the Area 1 college trustee with compassion, creativity, real-life experience, and common sense.


I am not a candidate of politics…I am a candidate of the community! A candidate of people! I learned a long time ago how important it is to meet people eye-to-eye, listen to their struggles and challenges, and to try to better understand THEIR adversity. Quality of life for members of our community is something I continue to strive for in all I do.  ~ Dina Pielaet


As a visual artist and documentary maker, Dina collaborates with artists throughout the County and has a studio at the Bell Arts Factory, located in West Ventura. Her Media company won the Poinsettia Small Business of the year award and she was the recent, proud recipient of the Mayor’s Arts Award for Creative Entrepreneur. Dina is a death doula. She is currently working on creating a non-profit organization to bring education and services to assist with end-of-life issues, called End Of Life Academy (EOLA).



“Dina is a compassionist and a practicalist. She leads with her heart, real life experience and good old-fashioned common sense” ~ Amy Jones


Dina started her Community College partnership back in 2007 with then Ventura College President, Dr. Robin Calote, who hired her to help rebrand the college and to bring public awareness to the newly created Promise program. Dina worked with the Ventura College Foundation and collaborated with Norbert Tan to create methods of outreach and increase the bottom line. She was hired full-time by the District to create a Marketing Department and marketing strategies plan where none existed. Dina became actively involved in researching what works for the students, and what is needed to provide better support and access. Her job was to increase enrollment, retention and student success.


“Dina believes that true leadership means mentoring with your heart.  She knows how to roll up her sleeves and help to solve problems as a team player.” ~ Suz Montgomery


While at VCCCD, Dina was a founding member of SITE (Summer Institute of Teaching Excellence), served as a  Union steward for SEIU 99, and was on the union negotiations team, was a member of the Chancellor’s council, a member of the Health and Benefits committee, served on the P20 committee, the Ventura college Diversity committee, the Oxnard college foundation, the DAC IMPACT Committee, The District Marketing & Communications Committee, and more. She is a current member of the District Industry Advisory Board, and the VACE Digital Multimedia Advisory Committee, and the VACE Graphics Advisory Committee.


“The community college system belongs to us. These are OUR colleges. Lets create a new chapter together. I want to represent you as a college trustee, and I want this to be last public office in which I serve. I want a community tat thrives through higher education. I want to bring community back into community college! It’s time for the COLLEGE DISTRICT to transform. I have a lot of ideas I want to bring to the table. But I cannot do this without you. This is OUR story, and we must write it together.


Let’s bring the community back into the community college, and the college back into the community. You deserve opportunity and quality of life. I am ready to serve. Help me transform our college district by supporting me with your vote on November 6, 2018.”

~Dina Pielaet



  • Relocated from New Jersey to Simi Valley at age 14, with 2 parents and 12 siblings
  • Attended all 3 community colleges.
  • Homeowner, Downtown Ventura, 22 years
  • Resident, Ventura, 24 years
  • Business owner, Ventura based 451 Media Inc. since 1995.
  • Recipient of the Mayors art award for Creative Entrepreneur in 2017
  • Best business of the year Poinsettia award for 451Media Inc.
  • Co-publisher, Creative Director, VENTURA LIFE magazine, a high end publication that celebrated members of our
  • Teacher/editor for Lynda.com
  • Contributor, Graphic Artists Guild Guideline Handbook
  • Worked with president emeritus, Dr. Robin Calote at the inception of the Promise Program, 2007
  • Became a full-time member of the VCCCD classified staff as leading marketing expert at the district, 2010
  • Developed a marketing program from the ground up at VCCCD (Over 8 years)
  • Union steward and mediator, SEIU 99
  • VCCCD health benefits committee member
  • Contract negotiations team member, SEIU 99
  • Member of the VCCCD Chancellors Council
  • Served on the P20 committee
  • District Industry Advisory Board member
  • VACE Digital Multimedia Advisory Committee member
  • VACE Graphics Advisory Committee member
  • Helped to found the Ventura College Diversity committee
  • Worked on the Ventura College Foundation Development team
  • Worked on the Oxnard college foundation development team
  • Created a student Voice Blog for the Associated Student Body at Ventura College (PirateSoup)
  • Chief Creative Officer, COMPASSVENTURA, 501C3, all walks of life (LGBTQ+) counseling and educational center
  • Planning development of a small Hospice facility for AWOL clientele in transition
  • Co-created sensitivity training programs for the service community (Oxnard Police Department) on LGBTQ+ issues.
  • Filmmaker. Current projects include end of life legacy films and the RISE series (31 films strong) celebrating community members.
  • College student mentor
  • Arts community youth mentor
  • Member of the Chamber of Commerce
  • Partnered on creating the Pirate food pantry program (food for thought) at Ventura College
  • Collaborator, Community art projects/events
  • Studio owner at Bell Arts
  • Westside workshops and free marketing services for groups in need.
  • Senior-care education with Suz Montgomery’s ELA Extended Learning Academy
  • Founder, EOLA (End Of Life Academy), currently under development
  • Active proponent of Life-long Learning programs at Ventura College
  • Partnering with ASA, VCMC, VCHA, to create Health/Wellness technician-based CTE pathway programs
  • Working with a contingency of Nurses and Doctors in Ventura County to create a hospice caregiver certification pathway program
  • Human Rights activist
  • Contributor to the Annual ArtWalk as a photographer and designer, as well as a leading participant.
  • Provides free water and hot dogs to event visitors at Bell Arts Factory, as well as residents in the surrounding neighborhood.



DINA PIELAET is a woman with the widest range of direct experience in working with the Ventura County Community College District (VCCCD) and its college campuses in Ventura, Oxnard, Moorpark and Santa Paula. She is a common sense AGENT for CHANGE.



As the only candidate who has worked for the college district, Dina is dedicated to the FUTURE of the people she serves. Her goals are simple, programs through policy and strategies that provide QUALITY OF LIFE for students and staff. Because quality of life in education means our entire community thrives:

  • Enhanced on-line interactive programs with new technologies
  • Fast-track curriculum paths so degree earners and skill seekers can finish sooner
  • Supplemented childcare for students with kids.
  • Improve measures to provide flexibility that meet the needs of working adults
  • Local industry and cultural partnerships and programs that teach employable skills!
  • Leverage resources and refocus budget for more effective student support
  • Promote campus and neighborhood safety!
  • Protect the rights of staff while providing a fair living wage
  • Money-saving Green Energy Practices at Ventura, Oxnard and Moorpark Colleges
  • Create inter-generational programs for adult seniors & life long learners.
  • Safe Harbor and better mental health resources for All Walks of Life.
  • Quality of Life for Adjunct Faculty in overall benefits and compensation 
  • Professional development for women interested in leadership roles
  • A REAL college campus in Santa Paula
  • Creative outreach, more effective pathways for county-wide veterans
  • Mobile educational outreach centers in marginalized communities
  • Fast-track pathways so degree earners and skill seekers can finish sooner.
  • Class flexibility and more support that meet the needs of working students.
  • Fiscal stewardship and accountability.



The percentage of female students in our District has risen to almost 65%. There are more female teachers in our District than there are male teachers. Our Classified staff is almost 70% female. As a matter of fact, there are 2.2 million more women attending college in the Nation than men. Yet, Woman are the minority in most educational administrative roles and VCCCD is no exception to that rule.  Even though there are more woman teachers, staff and students in our District, there are more (white) male administrators. Currently the Board is also unbalanced. It is comprised of 4 men and 1 woman.



Dina developed targeted and strategic marketing outreach to the diverse range of potential students in Ventura County. Using students feedback, data research, and close working partnerships with the widest group of VCCCD departments and directors, she was able to participate in key enrollment enrichment outcomes. For over 11 years, she has worked with 8 Trustees, 4 Chancellors, 7 Vice-Chancellors, and 8 Presidents. She has worked with scores of administrators, and hundreds of faculty, staff and students. Dina also worked with all three College Foundations and many among their Donor communities of individuals and businesses.

Dina helped to launch the Ventura promise, a program that provides free college to first year students. She created and implemented a marketing strategies plan where none existed, designed to increase student enrollment and success. She participated in policy and strategy development for all 3 colleges while sitting on numerous district and community councils and committees.



The nation’s higher education board members are disproportionately older, less engaged, and not in tune with social change. They are almost entirely heterosexual males. Dina will serve as a steward of the District, and do so ably. Not because of her differences, but because of a shared commitment to higher education. Dina brings a commitment to fair practices. Dina brings a commitment to ensure that LGBTQ+ issues, and those of all walks of life,  are shared in the classrooms and included in the curriculum. Dina brings a commitment to her community and a passion to her community.


DINA was selected by her fellow Classified Staff members to serve as their SEIU Union Steward.


Every Voice Matters. Dina wants to make EVERY VOICE count. Dina will be a steward for students, staff and administrators. As a Trustee, she will create Safe Harbor programs. With access at the State level, Dina wants to tackle the real issue of a lack of civility and compassion at the Administrative levels in Education. This is a SYSTEMIC problem. Dina will advocate for more women in administration and leadership roles. Dina will advocate for LGBTQ+ issues in curriculum and program development. Dina will lead with authenticity, creativity, transparency, compassion and fiscal sustainability. Most importantly, Dina will represent the community that elects her.


“Women’s rights are at risk. Abuse and discrimination is on the rise, and our planet is choking. Now more than ever I feel compelled to STEP UP and SPEAK OUT.”



  • The District Chancellor’s Council
  • VCCCD Health Benefits Committee
  • VCCCD Marketing Committee
  • P20 Committee, a preshcool through college partnership steering coalition
  • SEIU 99 Contract Negotiations Team
  • Ventura College Diversity Committee     
  • SEIU 99 Contract Negotiations Team Member
  • SITE: Summer Institute of Teaching Excellence
  • Diversity & Culture Committee
  • DAC IMPACT Committee
  • VACE Multimedia Digital Advisory Committee


DINA was recently asked by the Oxnard Unified School District to serve on the County-wide District Industry Advisory Board, with a goal to advance industry/educational partnerships.


DINA has depth and breadth of hands-on working experience and understanding of the college District and its many facets and personalities. Her technical skill-sets coupled with her creativity, quick mind, and emotional intelligence is sought after and appreciated by the widest array of college and community stakeholders.


DINA was recruited by the VC athletic department as a mentor to members of the Ventura College Women’s Basketball Team, a role to which she is very dedicated and active. She has helped many young women to secure employment and internship opportunities. She has made herself available to her mentees in times of personal and/or academic crisis, and during celebrations & achievements. Dina maintains an open-door policy for her mentees, many of whom have become close friends and extended family members. In one extraordinary scenario, Dina even housed team members who were at-risk youths estranged from their families.


DINA is an active community volunteer, and has worked on numerous college cultural events and programs. She continues to donate her own time, as well as paying her own employees to help with community events, dance and theater performances. She provided free or greatly discounted advertising and content space in her former publication – Ventura LIFE Magazine.



  • COMPASS Ventura County, Co-Founding Board of Director /Chief Creative officer, LGBTQ+ Counseling /education
  • Partner/Collaborator to the Extended Learning Academy for area seniors
  • Ojai Shakespeare Festival, Former Board Member & Marketing Director
  • Livingston Memorial Hospice & Visiting Nurses Association, Hospice Volunteer
  • Private Certified End-of-Life Doula
  • Ventura ArtWalk Committee Member
  • Ventura Chamber of Commerce member
  • Kiwanis Member
  • Ojai Chamber of Commerce
  • Bell Arts Factory studio owner, West Ventura arts education contributor
  • District Industry Advisory Board Member
  • VACE Multimedia Digital Advisory Committee Member



Dina does not plan to pursue a career in politics. This is not a stepping stone. Her only motivation for seeking a seat on the VCCCD Board of Trustees is a keen and sincere desire to improve student success, campus sustainability and employee well-being, vitality & collegiality. She wants to ensure quality of life for students, staff, and the community. It is with these higher education goals that our community can thrive.


DINA PIELAET is a REAL Ventura LOCAL Candidate, who has lovingly and diligently committed herself to our community, our colleges, our non-profits, our arts & cultural entities, and our area’s rich mosaic of peoples. Dina first moved to Ventura 1996, buying her downtown hillside home in 1997. She headquartered her private business interests – 451Media, Ventura LIFE Magazine, and Gallery 33 in West Ventura, and has been a very active and generous citizen. For over 24 years, Dina has eagerly devoted her talents and resources as a community partner:

  • Prior, Winner of the Ventura Chamber of Commerce Poinsettia Award for Best Small Business
  • Prior, Winner of the Ventura Mayor’s Arts Award for Creative Entrepreneur
  • Prior, Former Simi Valley Citizen of the Year
  • Former C-Net Speaker & Conference Workshop Instructor
  • Former Flash Forward Film Festival Speaker and Workshop Instructor
  • Lynda.com Instructor, Curricula Developer, Instructional Books & Online Courses Beta Tester
  • Contributor, Graphic Artists Guild: Pricing & Ethical Standards Handbook
  • Former UCSB Adjunct Faculty



As an instructor of web development and a wide variety of web software, for internationally acclaimed Lynda.com, Dina taught web development executives and teams the most cutting edge project development processes and software. In addition, she contributed to the wide variety of instructional books produced by Lynda.com as a beta tester and writer. In this capacity, Dina worked with premiere companies such as: Sony, Disney, Lawrence Livermore Labs, Genentech, the Department of Defense to name but a few. Dina also developed and taught web development workshops to Ventura County area non-profit organizations.

DINA was a multimedia adjunct faculty member at UC Santa Barbara, teaching graphic design and web development processes and software, and she also provided consultation services for the department’s overall curricula.

DINA also conducted Professional Development Workshops at Ventura College, better enabling VCCCD staff and faculty to engage more effective marketing communications to promote their programs.



Despite horrifying mass shooter news headlines, the budget for VCCCD campus police department has been greatly reduced. Already, in 2018, from January through June, the U.S. has seen 194 mass shooting events, many that occurred on school grounds. As well, recent experience with the Thomas Fires revealed that it is imperative for the VCCCD Board of Trustees to develop better plans in responding to emergencies, connecting with first responders, connecting with mental health practitioners, partnering with law enforcement, and creating effective communications protocol. Dina wants students, staff and campus area neighbors to be safe. As a VCCCD negotiator, Dina fought for safety and crisis training for District staff. The Board must have better community emergency strategies in place at each campus. The District Campus Police Department needs support with updated equipment and more officers.



All VCCCD stakeholders and communities need to perceive the college as a “safe haven” in which open dialogue is encouraged and contributions are acknowledged and celebrated. Modern 21st Century best-practices in management and human relations need to be improved across the District. The board needs to better encourage and enable administrators to sponsor open dialogue. Better opportunities for open dialogue and discussion for all campus constituencies to voice their concerns and points of view are needed. Raising the bar in terms of management, communication and basic respectful human treatment are not just necessary for the staff’s right to quality of life, but it is also a money saver. Administrative bullying and discrimination is a systemic issue in the higher educational industry. Our District is no exception. And it costs us a lot of money yearly. Our leading healthcare costs district-wide, is to treat depression and anxiety. Bullied and under-appreciated staff tend to miss more work, suffer from more illness, and more. All of this costs money. With quality of life as a priority, everyone, especially the students, win!



Success of a diverse collection of students transformed into confident college graduates and professionals is a top priority. All too often students do not have access to the support services and classes they need, in a timely manner.  We need to add more counseling specialists, mentors and teachers to keep up with enrollment growth and successful outcomes. Dina wants RELEVANT programs developed through strong industry and cultural partnerships to lead our degree and certificate earners to fair living wages.

Through more community Industry partnerships, we can provide better pathway bridge for our kids from High School to our campus and then on to a career or degree of their dreams is a key to individual success. Dina feels that when students follow their passions, they become better critical thinkers. They also remain engaged. We have some very large key Industries in our area, like Health Care and IT. We need to partner with Industry leaders in defining a hiring need, and building programs based on County-wide needs.



SINGLE PARENTS: Dina wants to see free or supplemental child care provided to the students with kids on all 3 campuses. The benefits are 2-fold. Students who are parents can finish sooner while knowing their children are close and safe, and with less financial impact.

WORKING PARENTS: Dina would like to see the colleges offer more nighttime choices, Friday and Saturday classes, and class hours that are more reasonable for working parents.

Some students cannot attend college on campus. A more robust Online/hybrid learning environment is timely and necessary. Using new technologies and interactive learning environments, online classes can be a better experience for our students of all ages.  Computer literacy classes would be the first stop for those in the community that need to know their learning tools better. Using the learning models offered by The Ventura Adult and Continuing Education (VACE) programs, which are are open ended, would work very well as an example of a flexible/hybrid learning program. At Vace, you can start a 35 week training program based on your schedule. Dina feels that the Colleges can benefit from this model, while also partnering with community learning institutions like VACE to provide not just additional technical training but the classes needed to get an AA or AT degree.

VETERANS: With 55,000 vets in our county, Dina would like to create a stronger liaison and more effective guidance from the local bases to college campuses and ensure that mental health and support services are in place so that more of our vets earn a degree and/or certified training. 

AT RISK STUDENTS: Students, statewide, are suffering from anxiety and depression at an appalling rate. Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for 15-24 year-olds. Student suicide is at an all time high. Dina wants to partner with the colleges to put new strategies and services in place that help to prevent suicide, while better identifying at risk behavior. In addition, it is paramount that victims of bullying are given safe harbor and assistance. Dina would like to create a statewide student led coalition to raise awareness among peers of those with potentially harmful at risk behaviors.


Dina worked with her partner, Amy Jones through Los Angeles Unified, on a program called the EAGLE project. It was an alternative classroom in downtown Hollywood specifically for high school students at risk. These were students who could no longer be in traditional school due to bullying, abuse, or homelessness. Most of these students were LGBTQ+. It was through community partnerships that this program flourished, and so did the kids. The school consisted of a series of projects, including an anthology of their work.


I am passionate about the importance of support services and creative solutions while working with foster, poverty stricken and homeless students, from High School through college. Education is a way out. But these groups need special care. As a trustee, I want to “watchdog” the services and practices used to ensure the best outcome for these very special members of our community.



Our VCCCD employees deserve to thrive, not just survive. The college district is comprised of highly qualified, hard working people who have earned my respect, day in and day out. Our colleges have world-class Faculty. Our Classified staff is the most celebrated in the State. These dedicated people are our boots on the ground and the key to student success. Compassion, civility and common sense dictate that full and part-time faculty and classified staff be treated with fairness and respect while receiving a sustainable income and fair benefits. With one fair benefit for ALL, ALL will have a better quality of life.


The overuse and under compensation of part-time faculty in the California Community Colleges continues to be one of the major challenges the system faces in its efforts to provide quality education to the residents of the state.


Long-suffering and dedicated part-time faculty needs our support for fair compensation and professional treatment. Students deserve a learning experience provided by faculty who have adequate resources, access to professional services and advancement, and are full participants in the educational enterprise, whether they choose to do so on a full- or part-time basis.


Our VCCCD AFT representatives are about 900 strong. 60% are Adjunct (part-time). Our full time faculty enjoys a premium Health care benefit without a co-premium payment, while adjunct have little or no health care benefits. Our Classified staff has a co-premium payment for their health benefits.


“My message for quality of life is simple. Everyone deserves to thrive ­– Students, staff, and our community. Sometimes what a few WANT is not the same as what all NEED. As a college trustee, I want what the community needs; quality of life for all.”



Dina feels that is imperative to bring a more balanced teacher/student racial mix. This can help to enhance cultural understanding within the diverse class population, encourage participation and outcomes, and satisfy key hiring markers set forward in the District strategic plan.

We need more faculty, and we need to fill the gap during enrollment growth as well as finding flexible ways to meet individual scheduling needs of our students. With a 4-day-a-week curriculum, and not enough classes at night, on Fridays, and weekend choices, there are a lot of students who feel unable to achieve education goals in a timely manner. The answer is NOT to quit jobs and compound debt in a household…the answer is flexibility.



Much can be achieved by utilizing State and District level funding already available. The District is currently experiencing run-away costs at the “top.” Dina feels that by shifting these unnecessary costs, we can free up additional funds to spend where the money is needed…In the classroom and support services for our students’ well-being. In addition, by making environmental changes on each campus, we can reduce a 4-5 million dollar-a-year cost in utilities, while making each campus more sustainable. There are many ways to achieve quality of life objectives within the current budget and through County-wide partnerships.


“I am dedicated to the FUTURE of the people I serve. My goals are simple, programs through policy and strategies that provide QUALITY OF LIFE for students and staff. Because quality of life in education means our entire community thrives. I will bring the community back into the college and the college back into the community, and remain dedicated to the FUTURE higher education.”





SEIU Local 99—Education Workers United

Equality California | Equality California Institute

Jess Herrera, Port Commissioner, Port of Hueneme

Sabrena Rodriguez, Ventura Unified School District Board

Judy Warner, Visionary/Principal Emeritus of Foothill Technology, Oxnard School District Assistant Superintendent Emeritus

Doug Halter, Chamber Trustee, President of Rotary

Robin Calote, Ventura College President Emeritus

Leo & Marilyn Valenzuela, Central Labor Council President Emeritus, Union Activists

Marie Lakin, Candidate for City Council, Ventura Arts Commission

Jordan Laby, Inventor and philanthropist

David Puu, Writer, Photographer and Cinematographer

Ellen Dembowski, Realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, VC Foundation

InaJane Nicklas, Dean Emeritus, Moorpark College

Tiffany Morse, PhD, Executive Director, Career Education at Ventura County Office of Education

Sophia Kidd, PhD, Founder, China-US Art Institute

Steven Van Hook, Inetrnational Educator and UCSB Faculty, Sailboat Captain

Matt Fausset, Owner, Fausset Printing, Philanthropist, Business leader

Celia Sandhya Daniels, Transgender and Gender Non Confirming advocate for Ventura County.

Randy Encinas, Philanthropist, Business Owner

Cheryl and Marc Brown, Philanthropists, Business Owners, Film Makers

Sam Benner, Marketing and Real Property Visionary

Cathy Butter, Founder, Namba

Suz Montgomery, Senior concerns activist and educator

Gerald Zwers, Community Arts Leader, Philanthropist, Artist

Lorenzo DeStefano, Founder at Ventura Film Society. Producer, writer, Director

Kathy and Mark Hartley, Ventura Visionaries, Philanthropists

Patricia Parham, Assistant Vice President for Human Resources at CLU

Jennifer Holst, Educational Services Executive staff, Community Leader, Mom

Christy Weir, Ventura City Council

Bob Huber, Simi Valley Mayor

Michelle Rosenblum, Artist, Musician and Transgender Educator

Drew Lobenstein, Moorpark College Faculty

Rebecca Chandler, Pathways Visionary

Gary Maehara, VCCCD Human Resource Director Emeritus

Marta Alvaraz, Owner, Award winner for leadership excellence, owner of YCE Engineering

Norbert Tan, Associate Vice Chancellor Emeritus, Program Development, Antioch University

Jaime Casillas, Workforce Director and and Dean emeritus, VCCCD

Beth and Larry Baratte, Ventura College Educator and Coach Emeritus

Patti Channer, Women of Jewelia, Philanthropist

Michelle Kemick, Environmentalist

Angela E Sutter, DC, Beloved Ventura business owner, healer

Jonelle McClain, Botanical Garden Director, Women of Jewelia, Philanthropist

Doug Friedlander, Ojai director, actor, writer, Ventura Historical docent

Tony Janotta, Local Musician and Educator

The Girls Girl Club

Michelle Chapin, Gallery Owner, Educator

Peter Godinez, Ambassador, Xerox, Educational Community Leader

Kathleen Morris, Former Director of Income and Development at NY Youth at Risk, Inc.

Maribel Hernandez, Activist and Educator

Kryztofr Kaine, Educator, Antioch University

Diana Northrup, Foundation Director

Eileen Daniel Riddle, Ballet Foundation Director

MB Hanrahan, Distinctive Artist, Educator

Roylin Downs, Business Owner, Realtor

Michael O’Kelly, Producer and Artists, Downtown Ceramic Mural Project

Micaela Pericone-Kapp, Ventura College graduate, Los Robles certified RN

Marji Price-Seeger, College administrator and faculty member

Melissa Elam Baffa, Development Officer at Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History

Former Vice President, Program and Volunteer Services at Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast

Merle DeVita, President & CEO at Merle R. DiVita, CFP, CIMA

Elle Kearns, C.O.O, Anacapa Surgical, Visionary

Don Wood, Educational and Community and Charitable Philanthropist

Alice Love, Business leader, Director

Sylvia Raz, Ojai artists, Human Rights Activist

Marcy Sherbok, LGBT Advocate & Educator

Thomas Gapen, Creative Director, Journalist, leading local publications

Mary Perez, Owner, Vita Art Center

JK Mondol, Developer, Publisher

Classified Staff, Faculty and students too numerous to name at VCCCD

More to follow….


All titles for naming purposes only

I feel very passionately that our civic leaders need to be available, accessible and willing to listen (especially when it’s hard). You’ve demonstrated that you’re willing to do that, and for that reason I’ve decided to endorse you.  I know you’ll keep the well being of our students front and center.~ SABRENA RODRIGUEZ


Ventura’s Proud of You, Dina Pielaet for stepping up to the plate and running for College Trustee, VCCCD, Area 1. Vote for Dina on November 6, 2018. ~ PATTI CHANNER


Your energy and intelligence and caring heart will be a benefit to our Community Colleges!~ CHRISTY WEIR


In the spirit of total disclosure, Dina Pielaet is my friend and artistic collaborator. She’s my friend because I respect the values she lives by: She does the right thing motivated by a sincere desire to serve others. She lives a life that embraces diversity she doesn’t just talk about it. She is constantly exploring and implementing new ideas and methods. She communicates clearly honestly and effectively. She is passionate about mentoring youth she and respects her predecessors. She works in and for our community. She believes in, and understands our community college system because she has worked in that system. Her ideas are practical and far-reaching. These are the qualities I believe a Ventura county community college board of trustees should possess. I endorse Dina Pielaet. If not Now, When? ~MB HANRAHAN


To all of my friends: I fully endorse Dina. If you want to make a difference within the community colleges, please support her. I am a retired college dean from the district where I worked for 30 years. We need change within the district.~ JAIME CASILLAS


You will be an outstanding trustee and remain a vibrant art community supporter. Thanks for serving. Vote for DINA  ~ SUZ MONTGOMERY


I want to give a shout out to a dear friend. The Ventura County Community College District will be well served by Dina Pielaet, who is an amazingly kind and gifted woman. Go lady! I’m proud to run with you.~ MARIE LAKIN


Dina, you have a heart for young people and that is what we need for this district. I look forward to your leadership.~ EILEEN DANIEL RIDDLE


Dina, I am so proud of you. You are a blessing to me and my family and to the whole city. You have been a wonderful example to so many of the young people of Ventura College. I have seen these students become thriving members of Ventura under your mentorship. Thank you. ~HARRIETT JONES


Dina Pielaet is one of the most compassionate, talented, and effective community leaders that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. After having known her for thirteen years I can attest to her passion for students. She has served the VCCCD with distinction for over a decade and is an asset to the higher education community. I fully endorse Dina and invite others to support her as well. ~ KRYZTOFR KAINE


You know your School District very well. I have the upmost confidence that you will do your best to represent the community & School District as an Area 1 trustee. You are passionate about the District & about helping the community, and that is something that I greatly admire about you. Thank you so much for trying to make a difference. ~ MARTA ALVAREZ


We Endorse Dina and ask you to vote for her Because Dina Pielaet cares and will work diligently and with integrity!~ KATHY & MARK HARTLEY


Dina. You make a difference wherever you are….and the difference you’ll make as a trustee will be extraordinary. You are connected to this community and to concerns and issues that matter. Thank you for stepping into the center of a huge opportunity. ~KATHLEEN MORRIS


Attention to my Ventura County peeps!!! My mentor and dear friend Dina Pielaet is running for the board of trustees, specifically for the Vcccd College trustee area 1 position. I met Dina as a Ventura College student athlete. She has not only positively impacted my educational experience but as well as my teammates and other students in Ventura County! Dina is a devoted leader who knows how to bring a sense of community into these schools. She makes each person feel valued and seen as the unique individual they are. More counselors. More classes. More faculty. Better services. Your voice matters. She’s listening!!! Show her your support on November 6th when it’s time to vote for your next trustee!~MICAELA PERICONE-KAPP


Dina Pielaet is running for the Ventura County Community College Board of Trustees. Dina’s experience, enthusiasm and incredible ability to think outside the box brings a much needed new voice to an otherwise closed minded and stale group. Dina will represent her constituents well. Vote Pielaet! ~ MARCY SHERBOK


Please vote for Dina Pielaet for Trustee. She is the best of the best and we all need her in office.~ MICAHEL O’KELLY


Venturans… Please take a peek at Dina and vote!!! She’s a gem and we’re so lucky to have her!~ ROYLIN DOWNS


If you are a Ventura resident I encourage you to vote for Dina Pielaet. She will represent Ventura with passion and expertise.~ MARY-GAIL GREEN KING


You are awesome, Dina, and you’ve got my vote. ~ DIANA NORTHROP


You will be a great leader in any office to take over 🙂 excited that you will be the next new Trustee. ~ JEN LIVIA


My big-hearted, talented, and strongly ethical friend Dina Pielaet is running for office! You got my vote, Dina! Go get ’em.~ TONY JANOTTA


Dina has worked for the College District for 11 years. She has seen the “behind the scenes” stuff and knows what is needed to make the colleges reach their full potential as portals to success for our children – as well as those who would like to improve or gain career skills. Dina is a passionate, empathetic, intelligent person who can bring accountability to the campuses and the Board of Trustees. She is making campus safety her number one priority, and will ensure that campus police have the tools they need to safeguard the campuses, so they can become the fostering, nurturing places they need to be, to help students thrive. Please join me in endorsing, supporting, and voting for Dina Pielaet on November 6th~ MS. “M” VCCCD Staff


Dina-our students deserve better than what they’ve been getting and I think you’d be fantastic for the job. Please win this thing! ~ VCCCD CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE


Wow, I can’t imagine a stronger candidate! ~ NICOLE BRYANT


The Girls Girl Club encourages you to vote for Dina Pielaet for College Trustee. Our Community College District needs THIS woman’s passion, knowledge, and commitment. ~ GIRLS GIRL CLUB


I am but one voice. But I know how awesome you are. I will share that at the top of my voice to anyone who will listen. Love you Dina. ~DREW LOBENSTEIN


Ventura County peeps: Please please please support Dina Pielaet in her campaign for election to the VCCCD board. Stu, Andi, Sandy – she is working to make your local schools better. Small donations, voter education, photocopying flyers, whatever you can do. Pass the word.~ DAVID SATLIN



If you would prefer to send a check, please make it out to:

Dina Pielaet for VCCCD Trustee 2018

(If self-employed, please note that)


Dina Pielaet for VCCCD Trustee
432 N. Ventura Ave, #35
Ventura CA 93001

If you would like to volunteer or have any comments or ideas, Please email me: dina@dinapie.org
Or you can submit your email below. THANK YOU!

FPPC NUMBER: 1407106

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Together we can bring the Community back to the College
and the College back to the Community.