After only three years in Ventura County, Michele Newell has obviously made her mark on the community. In 2018, she was recently named one of the Pacific Coast Business Times Top 50 Women in Business. An Honoree in the Technology & Agriculture category, Michele is the Public Affairs Coordinator for Aera Energy, where she manages their community relations, volunteer opportunities and corporate giving.
“I represent Aera in the community and have the opportunity to establish partnerships between our company and a variety of businesses and non-profit organizations,” said Michele. “These partnerships build capacity within our community and allow organizations we support to make services accessible to more of our neighbors. It is through these partnerships that I get the opportunity to learn more about local organizations and how Aera can positively impact them. I serve on a variety of boards and committees to further the mission of the organization and work toward achieving Aera’s goal of becoming a valued community member.”
When asked for 3 words people would use to describe her, Michele gave us “honest, trustworthy, and dependable.” These words are also reflective of how she feels about her work. “If I didn’t believe that Aera was a good corporate citizen and a valuable community member I could not do the job I do. I believe our work in the community truly makes Ventura a better place to live and work. Our employees not only work here but they live here too so it is important to protect our community while producing the energy that keeps California moving.”
Not long after she arrived in Ventura from Bakersfield, CA, Michele was invited to WEV’s Empowerment is Priceless breakfast by board member Elena Brokaw. “Elena had such wonderful things to say about the organization so when she invited me, I just had to go! It was an uplifting and positive event highlighting successful women-owned businesses. I was so happy I went. There are so many amazing women associated with this organization. I am just honored to be part of it all.
“When I heard about the League, the name itself compelled me. Who doesn’t want to be associated with Extraordinary Women? I joined right after the Kickoff Event and I am proud to be a Founding Member.”
One of the reasons Michele was attracted to the League is the opportunities it provides to network with other women who are active in the Ventura community. “As a newer resident, I am trying to glean all I can from those who have grown up here in hopes that as we come together, we can effect positive change on this community through the mentoring and collaboration with a variety of women-owned businesses.”
Michele shared that her parents were her first role models and to this day she tries to emulate them as best she can. “While they are no longer living I strive every day to make them proud of the person I am and the work I do. Making my parents and my family proud is my goal each and every day.”