On March 24, 2016, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Foundation (VCSF) held a groundbreaking fundraiser that included women in Ventura County supporting women in Ventura County law enforcement. 100% of the proceeds raised at the ‘Women in Law Enforcement’ event were earmarked for the professional leadership development of women in law enforcement. The innovative and hardworking fundraising committee members included: Betsy Bourne, Christina Conley, Marlene Dean, Jacqui Irwin, Sherry Lippel, Monica McGrath, Dianne McKay, Barbara Murray, Liz Platts, Cheryl Wade, and Holly Cole. Amazing and talented women representing various bureaus, collateral assignments, and job classifications within the Sheriff’s Office were in attendance as agency ambassadors. Those ambassadors included: Crime Lab Manager Nivanjit Gil; Human Resource Director Tracey Pirie; Commanders Monica McGrath and Cheryl Wade; Major Crimes Captain Melissa Smith; IT Services Manager Yvonne Hornsby; Sheriff’s Communication Center Manager Rayen Davidson; Senior Records Manager Stacie Snow; Sergeants Denise Sliva and Julie Novak; Senior Deputies Andja Marco, Shannon King, Danielle Delpit and Marta Bugarin; and Deputy Laura Sedillos.
With over 100 in attendance, the committee exceeded their goal by raising over $18,000. A survey sent to over 400 women in the Sheriff’s Office helped to identify the topics of importance and types of training they felt were vital for their professional development—an informative speaker was their top rated request and Lt. Colonel Patricia Murray was identified as the perfect guest speaker to fulfill the need.
On January 5, 2017, the Sheriff’s Foundation used raised funds from the March event to sponsor a 4-hour leadership development seminar held at the Ventura County Office of Education, which was attended by 115 women working in the law enforcement profession throughout Ventura County. Ventura County Sheriff female Explorers were also in attendance.
What’s Lt. Colonel Murray’s claim-to-fame you ask? Well she has a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from California Polytechnic State University and earned her Masters of Science in Military Science and Operational Art. She used her scholarship earned as Miss California 1992 to pursue a career in commercial aviation and she’s been a pilot for American Airlines for 17 years. She was recruited by the Air National Guard to fly C-130 J Super Hercules aircraft and was awarded the top honor of the Commanders Trophy at her military pilot training graduation. She has flown six tours of duty in the Middle East and was awarded five flying Air Medals. The now retired Lt. Colonel was named the 2010 California Air National Guard Field Grade Officer of the Year and she lives with her husband and three daughters in Redondo Beach, California. Patricia is a director on the Disabled Veterans Charities board and was recently appointed by Miss America as the CEO of the Miss California Organization.
A survey was sent to those who had attended the January event and overall 98% rated the event as very good to excellent. What did attendees like most about the event? Overwhelming they appreciated the networking opportunity and hearing from a speaker that was dynamic, engaging and enlightening.
In the survey, respondents wrote:
“She shared some wonderful learning moments and advice”
“We got to know ourselves better”
“She was an excellent representative for women achieving their goals,” and
“She effectively communicated the means and methods she found useful in achieving her goals, and she conveyed those ideas in a very basic, simple, yet interesting manner.”