Ventura County's Support-Local Program


People grounded by integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness tend to create not only successful organizations but also lives.

compassA compass is a relatively simple instrument based on a simple concept. With its northward facing needle, it is a consistent and true indicator of physical direction. Put the word “moral” in front of compass and we evoke a clear picture of the mental processes that points a person in a particular direction in their lives. This process is a very consistent and true indicator upon which personal belief and action can be based.

Principles to live by

I have found that people who are grounded by these four principles, integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness tend to create not only successful organizations but also lives. I think that this is because they are guided by their ethics.

Unfortunately these days it seems that so many people have a moral compass that lands in about 20 shades of gray. What is wrong with us? People continue to find legal ways to skirt moral issues, lie when they want to gain something or lie instead of standing up when they make a mistake. They ignore ethical and even basic good business practices when it suits the pocketbook or feeds the ego: “Oh dear, it might interfere with my lifestyle!”

Check your compass

My father always told me that the only thing you have when you die is your honor – protect it well. In the end, the money, cars and houses will not matter, but what will matter will be if you were a good person and if you lived with honor. They will talk about the good you have done and if you were an honorable person. Because of man’s nature to always treat the effects instead of addressing the cause, the solution to this, I am sure, will continue to perplex many of us and I know will continue to frustrate. It does frustrate me quite often. But I do know that I am not perfect nor do I expect anyone to be. I check my compass regularly to try and ensure I am staying on course and that I am ok with me.

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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One Comment

  1. Pete Pierre Tulloch Barnes III another David Pu’u photo. Amazing!

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