Meet Mark Sandoval, Channel Islands Harbor Director

As you may have heard, I am the new Harbor Director for the beautiful Channel Islands Harbor.  In my inaugural message I will tell you a little about myself and how I view my responsibility.

The primary reason I am your new Harbor Director is that I spent nearly twenty years doing a very similar job for the City of Long Beach.  During my tenure there, we virtually changed the face of the waterfront in the city.  A downtown waterfront retail area named Rainbow Harbor was buiIt, the marina downtown was rebuilt, and we were over half way complete in rebuilding the marinas in Alamitos Bay.  The Long Beach waterfront had residential, retail, marinas, yacht clubs, beaches and visitor attractions, very similar to the Channel Islands Harbor. We brought these projects to fruition with vigorous interaction with our key stakeholders.  With this measure of success, I thought at the time that my career would end in Long Beach, but there were ultimately differences in management philosophy and my tenure ended with an unexpected retirement.

I was not ready to quit working, so my next venture took me to Lakes Nacimiento and San Antonio, sister lakes about 40 miles inland from Cambria, nestled in oak and vineyard covered hills above Paso Robles.  I was the General Manager there for five years.  That was quite a change for me.  I went from the public sector managing on the ocean to the private sector managing inland lake resorts.  In retrospect, it was a wonderful opportunity because it gave me a great perspective of, and appreciation for, the challenges faced by entrepreneurs running small businesses in the state of California.

When Lyn Krieger retired, I was made aware of the opportunity, and here I am – back in the public sector managing on the ocean.  I admittedly knew only a little bit about the Channel Islands Harbor, visiting here only twice for conferences.  I have been here about two weeks as of this writing, and can honestly say that this Harbor area is a true jewel!

As I did not have a place to reside in Ventura County, I decided the best place to live as I managed the Harbor was Harbor area itself.  As a result, I now live in the Harbor, work in the Harbor, and am coming to love the Harbor.  I can see why residents and guests alike truly appreciate this gem of a location.

I have, however, not viewed everything behind rose colored glasses.  We in the Harbor Department recognize that there are areas of the Harbor that simply should not look as they look now.  I will not spend time discussing these areas in my inaugural message, but want to let our readers know that we see the issues and are working hard to correct them.

From my personal perspective, I will make a number of assurances which I hope will be well received.  First, I will not bury myself in my office to do this job.  My philosophy is managing through interaction.  I am an empty nester, so there is little I will be doing while I am here except embracing my job.  I will be out and about as much as possible to “feel” the Harbor as you do.  I will be transparent, straightforward and honest.  It does no good to be unresponsive to our constituents and business owners, and the worst thing we can do as public service providers is be dishonest.  While we may not always agree on a course of action, you can believe that you are hearing the truth from me, and that I truly believe that the actions I am recommending and implementing are in my opinion in the best interests of the Channel Islands Harbor.  Do not hesitate to contact me at or engage me if you see me out and about, I only ask that you keep our interactions cordial.

Finally, on a personal level, I am married and the proud father of four wonderful adult children, grandfather to one rambunctious granddaughter, and have a grandson on the way.  I am very excited to be the Harbor Director, thankful that the County entrusted me with this position, and hopeful that I will succeed for you and that you will do what you can to assist me in improving the life here in the Channel Islands Harbor.

Always Enjoy Life To The Fullest,

Mark Sandoval