Jim Duran was born and raised in Ventura and has a passion for this city. Jim currently serves as the Lead Pastor of The River Community Church in Ventura, a ministry his team began in 2004. Jim has a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts Degree in Theology from Channel Islands Bible College & Seminary.
In 2014, The Ventura Family YMCA presented Jim The Golden Triangle Award, one of its most prestige’s honors. In 2010, The California Assisted Living Association selected Jim as “Executive Director of the Year”. He was honored with the 2010 “Hometown Hero” award for the city of Ventura, and in 2009, Jim was selected as Ventura’s Citizen of the year by the Ventura Chamber of Commerce.
Pastor Jim serves on the Board for the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and the Ventura Family YMCA. He is the Vice President of the Ventura Buccaneer youth football organization and serves on many other committees. He is actively involved with the Homeless to Home collaboration, Ventura Social Service Task Force, Project Understanding and others.
Jim and Pam have been married for over 25 years and have six children, a daughter-in-law and a brand new grandchild. Jim’s passion is to serve the community and to be a blessing to his neighbors.
OLGA HAMRA | Assistant On-Site Manager, Case Manager
Olga Hamra is the Assistant On-Site Manager and Case Manager for the City Center. Her passion to see her residents succeed is fueled by her own Recovery journey; this is a true asset when helping any client overcome the invisible hurdles of substance abuse. Olga began her Clean & Sober life on September 8, 2005 and has turned her focus toward service ever since. She graduated from Oxnard College in 2013 as a Drug & Alcohol Counselor, and worked in many treatment facilities, including Project Understanding in 2012 and City Center, beginning in 2013.
A Havana native, Olga emigrated from Cuba in 1969 and graduated from Huntington Park High in 1974. She gave birth to her wonderful son (Joshua) in 1985 and is now Nana to his two beautiful children (Megan & Jack). Olga attends The River Community Church and enjoys exercising, relaxing at the beach and spending time with Joshua’s family.
TERRY & DEE COX | On-Site Managers
Terry & Dee Cox serve as On-Site Managers of the City Center. They are ordained pastors, having served for fourteen years as Senior Pastors of the East Ventura Foursquare Church (yes, the birthing church of The River Community Church) and for the prior six years as Associate Pastors at The Sanctuary in Santa Clarita. According to Terry & Dee, a transitional living facility, like a church congregation, is a small village where personal goals are attained in the context of community; where logistics and life skills are effectively blended with structure and grace.
Married for 43 years, they have two amazing daughters, an incredible son-in-law, and three beautiful and talented grandchildren. As empty nesters, they acquired three spoiled dachshunds that have become City Center celebrities. Terry & Dee are on staff at The River Community Church and enjoy cooking, road trips, spending time with the grandkids, and entertaining friends.
DIANA WIGHTMAN | MA, MFT
Diana Wightman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in anxiety treatment and family reunification. For more than eight years she has worked with Ventura-area families transitioning out of homelessness, through Tender Life Maternity Home, Project Understanding’s Transitional Living Facility, the City Center and RAIN Transitional Living Center. She is currently the Assistant Clinical Director for Family, Hope and Recovery, Inc., which provides counseling services to the families at RAIN. In her private practice her primary focus is on children dealing with trauma and behavior issues. Diana leads classes and workshops on anxiety and personality disorders at the Camarillo Health Care District. Prior to earning her Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Diana received a BA in Journalism from Syracuse University and spent more than a decade as a television anchor and medical news reporter. She’s been active with the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and has enjoyed many years of community service through Rotary International.
Linda has a passion for helping people and this is best demonstrated by her choice in careers. Linda was a hospital based nurse for 24 years, and the majority of those years were spent at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital as an Intensive Care Nurse. Her focus was always to advocate for her patients by communicating their needs to the physicians, to lessen their fears through education, and to support the family members by listening to their concerns. Realizing that so much of what she loved about nursing was rooted in interpersonal dynamics, she turned her focus to psychology and returned to school in 1997 to obtain her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University. She became licensed in 2003 and has spent that past 12 years in private practice. Much of her training was at the Coalition to End Domestic Violence, now called the Coalition for Family Harmony and thus has an affinity for men and women who have experienced trauma in their lives. While she was in training at the Coalition, she felt the need for some balance and creativity in her life, so she re-visited her love of photography and opened a part time photography business in 2004.
Currently, Linda is launching a new therapy service – Walk and Talk Therapy, where there is no office, only the outdoors, and therapy is conducted during an hour long walk. She is also working with military families on our local bases and in nearby elementary schools through a contract with the Department of Defense, and still shoots an occasional wedding or portrait. She lives in Ventura with the love of her life, Jim, and has 2 adult children, and 5 grandchildren.
We both grew up in Ventura and went to school in Ventura since elementary school. That was when Two Trees was still Five Trees! We were married on July 4th, 1975 and have three sons, Morgan, Matthew, and Mason. We also have three wonderful grandchildren.
We love the Lord and are looking forward to serving Him and doing Kingdom Work here at the City Center. Please pray with us for this ministry!
Mariane Dibblee is the Full Charge Bookkeeper for the City Center since June of 2014. She has been a freelance Bookkeeper for 20 years to businesses and individuals in Ventura. She hails from Virginia and as a Navy “brat” was born in Fontainebleau, France. Mariane was gifted with a voice and a love for music. She majored in Music Performance/Theatre Arts at Greensboro College in North Carolina followed by a lifetime of singing in church choirs, community chorales, and performing in numerous community theatre productions. After raising her children, Mariane went back to school and earned a Certificate of Accounting at Ventura College and a PHR (Professional Human Resources) from Channel Islands University.
Mariane is married to Steve, a commercial photographer, and they have two grown children: Matthew is active duty in the US Navy and is currently stationed in Naples, Italy; Sara is married and gave birth to her first child last Christmas day.
Working at the City Center is a real blessing to Mariane. She serves the Lord through her passion for accounting and finance. When she is not doing books somewhere, she and Steve enjoy taking their Motorhome out on the open road…. And you can bet that she’s singing to the radio!
Melinda Johansson is a nonprofit fundraising and marketing professional. She has served in leadership positions for a variety of social service charities in Santa Barbara for more than 15 years. Prior to her nonprofit career, Melinda spent nearly 20 years in the corporate arena specializing in business administration, marketing and public relations. She received her bachelor of arts degree in English from UCLA.