JIM DURAN | Executive Director
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.
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.
DALE & PATTI DOWNS | On-Site Managers
Dale and Patti have just celebrated fifty years of marriage and forty-nine years of public ministry. Dale and Patti have four married adult children and four grandchildren. During their 49 years of ministry they have been Youth Pastors, Assisting Pastors and Senior Pastors in the Foursquare Denomination.
They have also served as missionaries in Costa Rica, Puerto Rico and lastly in Brazil where they taught in the Instituto Teologico Quadrangular, as well as, National Supervisors. In 2011 they were invited to return to Brazil and serve in the area of Pastoral Care for Pastors and leaders, returning stateside in Aug. of 2016. At that juncture they were privileged to receive funding for training in Life Coaching and were certified with Creative Results Management. Patti has since served with the NEAD as care coordinator for the Brazilian Pastors wives and women pastors in the US Portuguese-speaking church. During their ministry career they served as pastors in Ventura, CA; Glendale, CA; Decatur, IL; Indio, CA; and Brockton, MA.
At this time in their lives the Lord has graciously opened a new door of care-ministry within the framework of The City Center, in Ventura, CA. Dale and Patti feel blessed to be available, and experienced, in the area of giving pastoral care. It is their desire to walk along side the residents of The City Center and offer spiritual guidance and soul care, under Pastor Jim’s direction.
BARBARA SUGGS | Case Manager
Four years ago Barbara resigned her post at The City Center, (then known as The Kingdom Center, where she served as Mentor Coordinator), to complete her studies in Clinical Psychology and pursue becoming a therapist. Now she comes full circle as she returns to do case management for residents during this time of staff transitions.
Her background contains 10 years of experience as a licensed minister and Christian Education director at Ventura First Assembly, followed by 25 years as a missionary in Colombia and Southern California. It was during her final years as a missionary that she joined the Kingdom Center startup team and developed the mentoring program that is such an essential part of the success of the City Center today.
Barbara came to Ventura as a single mom with three children, so has walked the path of many City Center residents. Her two sons, Greg and Jeff, are now with the Lord, having had their lives shortened by bad choices in their younger days. Her daughter and son-in-law, Julie and Harold Powell, and their children (her only and favorite granddaughter Lauren and grandson Cooper), are the light of her life, only surpassed by her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Barbara is one of the interim case managers for The City Center Transitional Living.
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.
OLGA HAMRA | LEAD 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 theinvisible 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.