Meet Celina

Celina Zacarias is the Senior Director of Community and Government Relations for California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) where she is responsible for advancing CSUCI’s positive presence and goodwill at all levels throughout the culturally diverse service region, the state, the nation and internationally by planning, directing, and implementing a comprehensive proactive program of community and government relations. Celina is also responsible for establishing and maintaining strong relationships with local elected officials, state legislators, and U.S. Congressional representatives in Washington D.C. and their staff members with the goal of communicating the campus’ positions on issues and to obtain support for needed resources.

Appointed in 2020 to the Oxnard Harbor District Board where she utilizes her business, education and community experience to assist in strategic planning, economic vitality, employee empowerment and community outreach to improve the Port of Hueneme and the lives of Ventura County residents.

The daughter of migrant farmworkers in Oxnard, Celina worked alongside her mother on weekends, winter/spring breaks and the summers picking strawberries. Celina was the first in her family to attend a University and graduated from UCSB with Bachelor of Arts Degrees in Spanish Literature and Hispanic Civilization.

Business Experience – 25 years:

  • GMAC Mortgage – New Markets Segment Manager
  • Wells Fargo – Emerging Markets Manager
  • Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation – Lending Manager
  • Business Experience Focused on:
    • First Time Homebuyer Programs
    • Affordable Housing Developments
    • Partnerships & Collaborations
    • Emerging Markets
    • Creation of Lending Department
    • Business Development in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties
  • 2016 – Industry EXPO “Art of the Possible” in Partnership with NAVSEA
  • 2014 – Commander Naval Air Force Distinguished Visitors Program
  • 2011 – U.S. Department of Defense – Pentagon - Joint Civilian Orientation Conference


Community Service (partial list):

  • 2020 – Appointed to the Oxnard Harbor District Board to fill the seat of Dr. Manuel Lopez after his passing
  • 2019 – California State University Channel Islands Liaison 2020 Census Statewide Committee
  • 2015 – Appointed Ventura County Coordinator for Special Olympic Athletes from New Zealand and Saudi Arabia participating in the 2015 Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles
  • 2008 – Present – Appointed to the Ventura County Workforce Development Board
  • Board Member:
    • Oxnard Chamber of Commerce – Board Chair
    • Camarillo Chamber of Commerce – Board Chair
    • Moorpark Chamber of Commerce
    • Ventura County Economic Development Association
    • Ventura County Civic Alliance
    • Regional Defense Partnership – RDP 21

  • Frequent public speaker on homeownership, real estate fraud, women in business and education issues including:
    • Keynote speaker at the California Department of Education State Migrant Parent Conference: “The Universe is Small for the Potential of the Migrant Child”.
    • Keynote speaker at the United States Office of Education –National Migrant Education Conference: “The Bracero Program and its impact on my life”.


Awards and Recognitions (partial list):

  • 2020 Woman of Distinction Honoree – Girls Scouts of California’s Central Coast
  • 2018 Latina in Leadership Award – Pacific Coast Business Times
  • 2017 & 2011 Oxnard Chamber of Commerce Chairman’s Award of Excellence
  • 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year – Oxnard Chamber of Commerce
  • 2012 Top Latina in Higher Education Award – Pacific Coast Business Times
  • 2007 Woman of the Year – Oxnard Chamber of Commerce
  • 2007 Diversity Ambassador – American Red Cross
  • 2006 Top Woman in Business Award – Pacific Coast Business Times
P.O. Box 7046,  Oxnard, CA  93031-7046

Paid for by Celina Zacarias for Oxnard Harbor Commissioner 2020 ID# 1427381