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Ventura County JACL Annual Installation to Set for Jan. 28

By January 19, 2024April 23rd, 2024No Comments

Luncheon will feature California Strawberry Festival Chair Dean Kato.

Dean Kato, chair, California Strawberry Festival

The Ventura County Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League has announced that the keynote speaker for its annual installation of officers luncheon will be Dean Kato, chairperson of the California Strawberry Festival. The luncheon will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Jan. 28.

“We are excited and pleased that Dean will be sharing an important story about our agricultural community here in Ventura County,” said Lily Welty Tamai, co-president of the Ventura County JACL. “Strawberries have become a very important product in Oxnard and throughout the Central Coast. Dean Kato has been pivotal in making this festival an important part of the region each year just when strawberries are at their best.”

The festival, which was held this past May at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, had a record-breaking attendance of 55,000 according to the Ventura County Star newspaper. Kato will talk about the history of the festival and the present-day activities of the nonprofit organization that produces and manages the event. He will also discuss the event’s evolution and the challenges faced by the festival’s organizers over the past 37 years.

The luncheon will also include a special recognition to the Ventura County JACL from California State Assemblymember Steve Bennett in recognition for the chapter’s work in Ventura County.

“Our chapter welcomes anyone in the community who would like to attend our installation event,” Tamai added. The cost to attend the luncheon event is $45. To register for the event, please visit