To each of our clients, VPA's professional staff brings the benefits of our experience, leadership, teamwork, and creativity – as well as an unwavering commitment to success for our clients.
Principal, Public Affairs and Community Outreach
Ernie Villegas is principal owner of Villegas Public Affairs. He has more than 24 years’ experience in local government, public/private sector advocacy, business affairs, and media relations. Ernie is the former District Director for California State Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, having served from 2010-2014. Prior, he was Senior Partner for Paladin Principle LLC, a public affairs company. Also, he is a retired Public Affairs Manager for Southern California Edison, having served for 30 years.
Ernie’s political experience commands a broad regional presence. He was Mayor and Councilman for the City of Fillmore from 2002-2006. Prior, he served as planning commissioner for six years and parks and recreation commissioner for two years. Ernie served as Vice President of the Channel League of California Cities. He was Chairman of the Tri-County Air Pollution Control District for Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo counties. He was board member of the Economic Development Collaborative and Ventura County Council of Government.
Villegas served on diverse boards and committees. This includes the Chambers of Commerce for Carpinteria, Goleta, San Fernando, and Santa Barbara. He was President of the Gold Coast Hispanic Business Council and President of the Valley Industrial Association in Santa Clarita. He was board member on the Santa Barbara Community Environmental Council, Santa Barbara and Ventura Taxpayers’ Association, the Santa Barbara Industrial Association, United Way, and Red Cross. Currently, he is the 2015 Chairman of the Board of El Concilio Family Services in Oxnard.
Public/Government Affairs, Community Outreach
A tireless public servant, twice Bob Gonzales was mayor of his hometown Santa Paula and served on its city council for eight years Starting as a reserve officer, he began a stellar 33-year career with the Santa Paula Police Department. The last seven years he was Chief of Police. Bob Gonzales has been a trustee for Ventura Community College, Santa Paula Union High School District and Santa Paula Elementary Districts. President of the college board twice, he was also president of the elementary board three times. He’s been Interim Director of Public Safety for Mt. San Antonio College and for five years worked in the corporate world as Director of Security dealing with high profile individuals in the music industry. He’s worked on a county-wide community college bond measure and community grassroots campaigns involving land development and district consolidations. An all-CIF linebacker, he went on to become All-State and All-American. Bob attended Ventura Community College, University of Washington, Cal State Long Beach and graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice.
With 119 major awards, John Boston has been recognized as one of America’s top editors, writers and communicators. He is one of the few recipients of The Will Rogers Lifetime Humanitarian Achievement Award. He has 40-plus years of expert experience in newspapers, TV, radio, magazines, web design, advertising, media coaching and public speaking. Most importantly, he achieves dynamic and positive results.
Boston is a former NBC news editor, entertainment executive for Norman Lear. He was senior vice-president for Wentworth Advertising & Public Relations. John was also the media/public speaking coach to a prominent national political family.
Twice he took over as editor of The Signal, a Southern California daily newspaper. It was instantly honored as Best Daily Community Newspaper in America.
From The San Francisco Chronicle to The Washington Post, CNN to The Chicago Tribune, various media and his peers have recognized him as one of the nation’s top opinion writers and humorists. The Los Angeles Times once devoted their cover and two full pages of their Sunday Lifestyle section to his life and work.
Energy and Environmental Strategies
Scott Gobble brings a wide array of expertise to VPA. Gobble served for 23 years in Public Affairs for Southern California Edison’s huge South Bay division. In his 30 years with SCE, he has worked in community media relations, customer interface, emergency response, public works and for complex energy strategies from Catalina to Long Beach and beyond. A past president for the Chambers of Commerce in Palos Verdes, Lomita and South Bay Association of chambers, Gobble still enjoys close ties to his community.
Gobble is a talented and tireless people person. In charge of more than 10,000 youth, he was the Boy Scouts representative in Ventura County, operating summer camps and supervising more than 1,500 adult volunteers. For seven years he has been a commissioner for the City of Torrance Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation Commissioner where today he is chairman. He also served in the SCE planning departments of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties.
Business and Economic Development Relations
Gary Cushing has vast experience dealing with issues related to operating a business; he has been a business owner for over 20 years, which he still owns. Gary started Cushing Public Affairs in 2012 after working with Rincon Strategies to focus on representing businesses to government. Gary has a degree in Political Science from California State University, Channel Islands and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Cal Lutheran University. Gary has been an active member in the Community involved in the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce, Ventura County Tax Payers Association, Boys and Girls Club, Camarillo Hospice advisory board, Camarillo Health Care District advisory board, Chamber Alliance of Ventura and Santa Barbara County, Vice President Board of Directors ACE Charter High School, and President of Cal State University Alumni Association. He has represented and lobbied for organizations and businesses for many years.
Human Resources and Business/Labor Mediation
Andres Herrera brings more than 30 years stellar experience in management and problem solving to Villegas Public Affairs. From local to national, state to Fortune 100 companies, Andres is recognized as one of Southern California’s top executives. That wide-ranging life experience crosses into public and private enterprises. Andres was a small business owner of HAV & Associates and HR Consulting. Bilingual, he has been a senior state and federal consumer arbitrator, facilitated and developed community government relations programs and was a Certified Independent Vocational Evaluator.
He was former mayor pro tem and councilmember of Oxnard for 12 years. Andres both chaired and was a board member of the Oxnard Airport Authority and Oxnard Performing Arts Center. Also, he’s served on the boards of the Ventura Regional Sanitation District, Triunfo Water District, Economic Development Corporation, Ventura County Regional Energy Alliance, Ventura County Waste Management Agency, Economic Development Collaborative Ventura County.
An all-star athlete, Herrera competed in football, basketball and track at Santa Clara High School and UCLA. He was enshrined into the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Property & Real Estate Media Issues & Services
Chantelle is a licensed real estate broker and part of a network of RE/MAX associates which spans across the globe. She was highly instrumental in the establishment of RE/MAX Integrity, a six month acquisition and conversion process which took place in late 2009. As the Director of Marketing for the Camarillo based brokerage, she combines her interpersonal strengths with creative media strategies to promote the company's brand, services, and associates.
Chantelle earned her BA in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara and participates in local business and political initiatives. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce and sits on several of their committees. Chantelle has been honored with several awards, including The Beacon Award from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (2012) and the Young Professional Leader of the Year from the Camarillo Chamber of Commerce (2013).
With a heart for her community, Chantelle holds leadership positions with The Ventura County Community Foundation, The Young and Brave Foundation, and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Broadband, Wireless & WI Fi Communication Networks & Services
With more than 25 years of experience, Terry is a recognized leader and pioneer in telecommunications. He is one of the industry’s top consultants in broadband and wireless services. His life’s work: bringing the American Dream of an ever-unfolding modern network technology to all.
Besides working with VPA, he is also a managing partner at the Broad Band Warehouse. BBW is channel sales agency for ALL major Broadband, Cloud, Wifi and Wireless communications providers in the United States. He’s also the consulting partner for Vertex Solutions. VS focuses on Cloud-based, Wi Fi and Broadband networks for both private and public sectors.
Terry earned his degree in Business Administration & Finance from California State University at Northridge. He works tirelessly with America’s armed forces. He’s a member of the US Navy Reserve, achieving the rank of Petty Officer HN3/FMF. Also, he’s an executive board member of “For The Troops.” They’re a non-profit organization that serves deployed troops around the globe. He’s raised money for FTT’s annual dinner and gala and the Reagan Library each year, and has served on Operation Toy Drop. OTD donates bicycles, toys and games to the children of deployed active duty Navy Personnel located at Naval Base Ventura, California.
He’s held management and leadership positions at Starnet Data Design, Broadsoft Networks, Commpartners, Tollbridge Technologies, MRV Communications, Premisys Communications, GTE (Now Verizon), Southern Pacific Telecom (Now Sprint), and PacTel (Now ATT).
Terry has earned numerous business awards, such as the PacTel and GTE Presidents’ Sales leadership award. Five times he earned the President’s Club Top 3 Award at Southern Pacific Telecom. Four times he was honored with the President’s Circle of Sales Legends at Premisys Communications. He’s also been honored with numerous other sales and business awards as well.
Public Affairs - Community Initiatives and Strategies
Charles Kistner is a lifelong Ventura County resident who is committed to the betterment of the people and businesses of our dynamic and diverse communities. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Political Science at UC Santa Barbara, Charles has been actively involved in local politics, campaign management, public relations, marketing and small business, for over 28 years. He is an experienced leader in 'grassroots' campaigning and has an outstanding track record. He has a stellarreputation having earned the respect of both, those he has worked for and opposed.
Charles has advocated and lobbied for businesses at the state and local levels, while working for the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, and his own clientele. He understands the nature of doing business with the government and just how important it is to have the right support. He is committed to reaching successful outcomes by buildingrelationships with open dialogue, trust and perseverance.
Kistner has built many quality relationships within the community that can help VPA clients. He has a personal and/or professional relationship with many past and present elected officials at all levels of government in Western Ventura County. Charles, also, has created very valuable relationships with city management and staff in the Cities of Ventura and Oxnard, as well as, with members of commissions, boards, Chamber organizations, the leadership of employee unions and community groups.
Local Government, Project Management, Public Relations, and Energy Strategies
Mark Olson is a seasoned Public Affairs professional, recently retiring as Deputy Director of Metro Public Affairs at Southern California Edison. Olson’s career at Edison included 11 years in Customer Service/Accounting/Engineering, and 26 years in Governmental/Public Affairs. His geographical area of expertise included Ventura and Los Angeles Counties. Mark has a B.A. from CSUN, and an M.B.A. from California Lutheran University. He has a strong background in business, governmental affairs, project management, issues management, media, utility engineering, customer relations, and community relations. Mark has served on many various city commissions, committees, and organization boards including time as Chair/President of Chambers of Commerce - Camarillo, Malibu, Culver City, Santa Monica and the Westside Council.
Media Production, Digital Strategy, Business Development
Scott began his career in the tech industry as a hobby at the age of 10 by writing and designing video games for his home computer. Since then, Scott has written, designed, produced and directed over 100 software titles. His clients include Paramount Pictures, Mattel, TDK, Konami, Hanna-Barberra, Hasbro, Cartoon Network, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, Sony, Disney, Warner Brothers, Turner, Virgin Group, Indycar, PGA Tour, Caesars Entertainment, ESPN, NBA, NHL, Dr. Pepper/Snapple Group, Metro Goldwyn Mayer, International Olympic Committee.
"I've had opportunity to work with great people, characters and brands including Robin Hood, Robocop, Mickey Mouse, The Three Stooges, Sinbad, and The Terminator." One of my favorite moments is taking a slow-motion right hook from Muhammad Ali."