All candidates running for a DVP Board seat in 2022 were provided a questionnaire and allowed to submit both a short video statement, as well as a written personal statement. View each candidate’s provided bio, as well as their submitted information below. If candidates provide additional information, it will be added to this page, so feel free to check back.

Formal ballots were mailed the last week of February to all property owners within the Downtown Improvement District. For another copy of the 2022 Ballot or for any questions, please contact DVP Director Kevin Clerici at

Quickly jump to a specific candidate by clicking on their name in the list below:

Candidates – Property Owners

Hutton Becker

I am interested in being part of the DVP board as a property owner in Downtown Ventura. For the past 6 years, my work in property management, real estate, and project construction have been framed by the happenings around our Downtown Core. Whether that be meeting new clients looking to lease space, renovating residential units, or a conversation in passing with a tenant, my daily schedule revolves around Downtown. My current projects include leadership roles in converting the Elks Lodge on Ash & Main into a 34-room boutique hotel (Hotel San Buena), transforming the original Southern Counties Gas Building into the mixed-use Gasworks Project, and reviving multiple residential units in the Downtown area.

Ventura’s history, picturesque surroundings, and quality of life are what drives so many people to choose Ventura as a place for their business and/or home. The DVP is essential in cultivating this vibrant and economically viable Downtown Core. I am excited about the growth that has occurred in our Downtown, and feel my experience in real estate, design and navigating city processes would be a great addition to the DVP board.

Yvonne Besvold

As both a homeowner downtown and as a Patagonia employee, I have enjoyed playing a larger role in improving the community of downtown as a member of the DVP board since 2016. I feel that I am in a unique spot to bring perspective to the board related to our growing community of residents and workers as well as visitors. We have owned our home on Ash Street for 16 years. I am the Head of Global Finance for Patagonia coming up on 13 years in Ventura at the global headquarters.

I have served as Treasurer for the DVP board since my election, leaning on my financial background. Living and working in the downtown zone, I am aware of the unique challenges facing downtown. I think the perspective from residents and employees rounds out the board and vision.

My husband and I spent a large majority of our working lives in Burbank, CA, where we had an impact on the community through outreach and service. I have spent my career as a finance executive for global apparel companies including Disney. My service background has included leadership positions in community organizations, and I am currently on the board of Alaska Wilderness League.

Our family regards Downtown as our special gathering place and I would be honored to continue to support DVP for another term!

Emily DeArkland

I have had the privilege of serving on the DVP board for the past 6 years. With your help, I am hoping to have the opportunity to fulfill a third term!

My family’s company, OFI Property, owns real estate in Downtown and we all feel so fortunate to be part of the revitalization and restoration that continues to take place here. Most recently, our focus has been on S Oak St – we relocated our office here two years ago and share the building with a thriving construction-related business and a new restaurant which is scheduled to open very soon! 

I feel my investment as a Downtown property owner, my practical experience being intimately involved with Downtown through OFI, and as a representative of the generation that is being inspired to relocate to Ventura will continue to add value to the tremendous organization that is the DVP!

Marika Erdely

Marika Erdely has owned a townhouse in Mission Circle for over 15 years. Although, it has been an investment for Marika, she has been proud to take care of the unit, as if she lived in it. Marika is a grandmother, mother and wife and is passionate about being outdoors and taking care of the environment. Marika is the founder and CEO of Green EconoME, a full-service Energy Consulting and Construction Company with over 12 years of experience in the energy and water efficiency industry. Green EconoME is located in Santa Monica, CA. Green EconoME strives to help its clients understand their energy and water usage and implement high value solutions that reduce operating costs and increase property values. 

Prior to founding Green EconoME, Marika held the role of CFO/VP at New Millennium Homes, a major home builder and land developer of The Oaks of Calabasas and had previously worked as an accounting professional for nearly thirty years. Marika acquired her Contractors License B (#1001368) in 2007 and C-10 in 2018. Marika is a LEED AP BD+C (Building Design and Construction), a Certified Energy Auditor and a Fitwel Ambassador. Marika holds an MBA from Pepperdine University and a BA in Business Economics from UCSB.

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Mark Hartley

Mark is one of the founding Board Members of the Downtown Ventura Organization and Downtown Ventura Partners and has continued to be a dedicated Board Member to advance a well thought out plan to keep the integrity of downtown Ventura. Mark is a real estate investor and developer who focuses on maintaining the integrity of historic buildings. His past redesigning and remodeling work includes Watermark and W2O Lounge, the Star Lounge, and the Livery Complex on Palm Street, which now houses Rumfish y Vino and Fresh Realm. His current real estate includes buildings that house Palermo, Doora, Watermark/Limon y Sol, San Souci, Jimmy’s Slice, Marie Shannon’s Confections, Trystology, Star Lounge, and Café Fiore.

In 1977, Mark started Fitzgerald Hartley Company, managing recording artists, songwriters, and producers. He continues to manage Olivia Newton John and is consulting Kevin Costner. He works out of his Ventura office, co-operating Star Lounge and Lavender Inn in Ojai. Mark has been involved in philanthropic adventures, including co-producing the Thomas Fire Benefit Festival which raised $750,000 for local fire victims and the Santa Barbara Bowl Mud Slide Fundraiser that raised $350,000. Mark currently serves on the Board of the Academy of Country Music and their charity foundation, Lifting Lives.

Candidates – Business Owners

David Armstrong

I am the CEO of Smith-Hobson, LLC, a company founded in downtown in 1857. It is an honor to serve as the founding president of DVP. We face some significant challenges including the future of the Main Street closure, homelessness, parking and more. To address these issues, I’m proud of helping build a 30-person team of responsive and caring professionals who go above and beyond every day. Last year, our team raised $180,000 in grants that paid for the Main Street Moves closure expenses and allowed us to continue our high level of services throughout the district. Through additional grants, DVP is now the only non-profit providing outreach to the homeless, again helping with a critical downtown issue at no cost to our property or business owners. 

I strongly believe that we should leverage DVP to attract private and public investment to revitalize downtown as a destination and great place to live. That’s why we have already submitted more than $3 million in joint grant applications and will continue to seek more funding opportunities. We have made great strides but there is still much more to do. I hope you will consider re-electing me.

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Carey Jonker

I am a resident, business owner, and property owner in Downtown Ventura. I have lived in Ventura County my whole life and moved to Downtown Ventura in 2014. I am the owner, operator and brewer at Transmission Brewing on Front Street. I am also a partner and operator at Waypoint Ventura (Vintage Trailer Hotel) on South Ash St. Our Downtown businesses and their employees rely on a safe and clean environment in order to succeed; I see DVP as the lever to ensure positive progress in that department, and I feel I could be an asset on the board. I have a deeply seated interest in the daily goings-on of the Downtown area, so I’d like to be more involved in the decision-making process. I see the roll of the DVP as integral in creating a Downtown that impresses visitors, improves safety, and makes for a more enjoyable daily experience for our locals. For that reason, I am honored to be considered for a seat on the DVP Board.

Angela Rosales

I’m proud to call Ventura home! I own and operate Very Ventura Gift Shop and Gallery. By carefully curating our products, the shop celebrates our city and the California coastal lifestyle. My work as an entrepreneur earned me the “Rising Star” award from the National Association of Woman Business Owners of Ventura as well as Pacific Coast Magazine’s Latino Small Business award. My passion for our city and primarily the Downtown area sparks my volunteerism. In 2021, I partnered with the Ventura Unified School District. This partnership connects downtown businesses with student makers and future entrepreneurs. My goal is to continue to grow this relationship and formalize a program between Downtown Businesses and student makers. By creating mentoring and internship opportunities, this program can be a win-win for both Downtown and the community. Thank you for your consideration.

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