Page 1

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

1


2

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal


AMS Logo.pdf

3/19/09

7:32:06 PM

‘51’ WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE Our Top 51 continues at the “Next Level” this year as we honor the people who make a huge imprint on our valley through their tireless dedication, hard work and often behindthe-scenes support for community causes and contributions to our economy. For several years, The Signal’s Top 51 tradition honored the “most influential” people in the Santa Clarita Valley. Last year, we decided to identify and honor a whole new group of people who may or may not be the most influential but certainly contribute much to our community: the “Next Level”. This year the tradition continues. We have identified people at all levels of business, community groups and volunteer organizations who get the job done and make the Santa Clarita Valley a better place. Their names may not be well known, but their deeds are. This publication tells their stories. The individuals are grouped into community categories with five in each category. They are not ranked. The only ranking we have is our No. 1 Overall Leadership Award which goes to Taylor Kellstrom. Congratulations to all.

C

M

Y

CM

MY

CY

CMY

K

CONGRATULATIONS TO

TAYLOR KELLSTROM and to all the recipients of The Signal’s Top 51

AMS Salutes the Santa Clarita Valley for being a Community of Collaboration

Jason Schaff

Vice President and Editor

COLLEGE OF THE CANYONS

Congratulations

Jasmine Foster & Cindy Schwanke (Education) and

James Temple (Technology) Thank you for your tireless efforts to support and inspire, not only our college, but our community as well.

canyons.edu The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

3


Scott J. Burdett Teri Hughes Fox OVERALL NO. 1 Taylor Kellstrom EMERGING LEADERS Lindsay Schlick Alexander Hafizi Myles McNamara Nicole Stinson Amanda Benson VOLUNTEERISM UNSUNG HEROES Pegah Hunt Thomas Iland Kim Kurowski John Torres

NON-PROFITS Gillian Stone Cheryl Gray Matt Nelson Richard Cohn Tom Dierckman Ann-Marie Bjorkman HEALTH CARE Robbie Gluckson Nola Aronson Dr. Mark Liker Patrick Moody Dr. Patrice Rifkind ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Steve Kim

Jay Schutz Todd Stevens Don Kimball Mike Bjorkman TECHNOLOGY Jason Vasquez Corey Quinn James Temple BUSINESS Michael Fox Scott Schauer Bruce Burrows Adam Hatley Pam Ingram GOVERNMENT Carrie Lujan Gregory Hisel Jeff Preach

Congratulations to

DON KIMBALL

AND ALL RECIPIENTS ON THIS AWESOME ACHIEVEMENT

Valencia.com • 51 of 2017 • The Signal 4NL014606_ValenciaTop51PrintAd_FNL

| 7.25” x 4.69”

Dr. Cherise Moore Julie Olsen HOSPITALITY/ PHILANTHROPY Sonja Randall Dole-Humphries Jennifer Chadwick Missy Carter Troy Hooper EDUCATION Jasmine Foster Chef Cindy Schwanke Sarah Avanessian Samantha Ford Bill Bolde


Congratulations Matthew

Nelson Executiv e directo r Boys and Girls Clu b of Santa

Ann-Mar

Clarita

ie Bjork Board of man Director s Boys and Girls Clu b of Sant a Clarita

Tom Die r

ckman Board of Director s Boys and Girls Clu b of Sant a

Clarita

on being HONORED

for Top 51! The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

5


Congratulations to The Signal’s

15 0 2

14 0 2

13 0 2

Thank Again for Voting Voted #1 PictureYou Framing Store Multiple Years#1 Running! Us The Picture Framing Store • • • • • • • • •

Quick turnaround Family Owned Business Providing: Same day service available All• work fully guaranteed Photos/Prints/Posters Free design consultation •pickup Shadowboxes/Needlepoint Free and delivery Installation available • Custom Framed T.V.’s Special corporate pricing and terms • Custom Mirrors No job too big or too small • FAST Turnaround Voted Best Custom Framing in SCV multiple years runningPricing • Competitive • Voted Best Small Business by the • Chamber Outstanding Service SCV

We’re PROUD to have been voted

6

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

by the SCV Chamber of Commerce!

24204 Valencia Blvd. (661) 291-1325

24204 Valencia Blvd.


OVERALL NO. 1 Taylor Kellstrom As an entrepreneur and as a philanthropist, Taylor Kellstrom is completely committed to serving Santa Clarita in every way he can. “Taylor is the definition of volunteerism and a role model for our youth,” Chris Markos of SCV Book Exchange said. “He has a huge heart.” At 27 years old, Kellstrom owns three businesses. He started the SCV Book Exchange to equip College of the Canyons students with affordable textbooks, runs SCV Educational Outreach and is a realtor for HomeSmart. He began his business ventures by founding Heroic Threads, a T-shirt company, and TK Events and Promotions years ago. The West Ranch High School and College of the Canyons alumnus currently leads Circle of Hope as the organization’s president and has been

on the Board of Directors for six years. He has served as the nonprofit’s chair for their annual Vine 2 Wine event and has been on the group’s financial committee.

Kellstrom hosted his first charity event in 2012 when he held a “Bowling for Kids” night at Valencia Lanes to fundraise for the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital and has continued the tradition for six years.

In other volunteer efforts, he has helped with the SCV Dancing With Our Stars event and organized Bands for Boston in 2013 to raise funds for victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. Seeking to inspire other Santa Clarita Valley youth, Kellstrom is a motivational speaker for high school and college students, including at the annual California-Central Seminar. He is creating a free workshop series to help high school students learn to start their own business and will launch it in the spring. When he was 23, Kellstrom became the youngest nominee for the SCV Man of the Year award and was nominated three more times after that. He was awarded Young Business Person of the Year in 2014 at the Chamber of Commerce’s SCV Leadership Awards. The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

7


Emerging Leaders Lindsay Schlick and worked long enough in the SCV to have captured most of local business life, including work as a photographer at Princess Cruises.

For all the images local photographer Lindsay Schlick has captured during her career, she herself is seen by many as a snapshot of community participation. As the co-owner, CEO and studio manager of SchlickArt, Lindsay has lived

8

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

extraordinary ability to effectively contribute to local organizations. She is a member of Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita, JCI Santa Clarita, Valley Industry Association and Business Connections. She provides in-kind and media sponsorships for many of the biggest local charity events and organizations in town, including: Boys and Girls Club, Single Mothers Outreach, Domestic Violence Center and the Soroptimist What makes her characInternational of Greater SCV ter jump off the page is her and Valencia.


Alexander Hafizi At the forefront of his engagement, Hafizi serves as the vice president for It’s hard to find a community event or organization Alexander Hafizi hasn’t Best known as the associate editor of Santa Clarita Magazine, which his par-

HandsOn Santa Clarita.

Circle of Hope, which gives financial,

“He takes whatever he puts his mind

emotional and educational assistance

to seriously,” Hafizi’s partner Arnold

to those with cancer in Santa Clarita.

Bryant said. “He has been my inspira-

He has been the co-chair for SCV Forty

had his hands in.

and Remembrance, which benefits

Under 40, Dancing With Our Stars and Vine 2 Wine for Circle of Hope.

tion to be a better person and do things better.” Often, Hafizi defines his own suc-

ents started 30 years ago when the city

Also, he serves on the committee for

cess by the success of the Santa Clarita

was formed, he works diligently to in-

Cocktails on the Roof, which benefits

community as a whole. While Hafizi is a

form and engage the community.

the WiSH Education Foundation, as well

go-getter, Bryant said he is happy-go-

as the committee for 9/11 Day of Service

lucky and kind-hearted.

Myles McNamara In his work and in his volunteer ef-

and the Valley Industry Association.

forts, it is strikingly evident that Myles

Previously, he served as the committee

McNamara has a heart for seniors. Since 2001, McNamara has been the President and Owner of Comfort Keepers In-Home Care, providing home health care services for elders with offices in Santa Clarita and Encino. Additionally, he has served as the president of the SCV Senior Center

for the SCV Senior Center Committee on

Foundation since 2013. He is also a board member of the Henry

Mayo

Newhall

Foundation

chair for the SCV Chamber of Commerce

Aging for three years.

for three years and as a board member The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

9


Nicole Stinson Nicole Stinson is an active real estate

Fernando Valley is a valuable asset to cli-

broker and has lived in the Santa Clarita

ents seeking the homes of their dreams

Valley for 25 years. Married 22 years

in a community that supports their cho-

with two children, Nicole understands

sen lifestyles.

the value of giving back, investing time

Nicole has chaired many nonprofit

her homeowners association. She holds

and energy in the community she lives

events and is the first to step up to help

various other leadership positions in or-

in and believes in.

a charity in need. An example is the SCV

ganizations across Southern California.

Charity Chili Cook-off, an event she and

Her leadership and organizational skills

her colleagues created in 2013.

have won Nicole accolades among her

Nicole provides a personal touch when working with buyers and sellers by putting herself in their shoes. Her

Nicole is serving her second term on

depth of experience and knowledge of

the Southland Regional Association of

both the Santa Clarita Valley and San

Realtors Council, and is Vice President of

peers as well as those who put their trust in her.

Amanda Benson

Amanda Benson has contributed to the life of the Santa Clarita Valley as owner of a flower shop, a real estate broker, in leadership roles at the Hyatt Valencia (where she won the Hyatt

10

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

Public Relations Award of the Year in 2015) and SCV élite Magazine, and now as a business consultant. “Ask Amanda” Small Business Solutions helps businesses improve customer service, implement social media strategies, and market events or workshops. Benson can help business owners launch a marketing campaign, set up an e-blast or publish a newsletter. Her goal is to help businesses reach that next level of success. As co-chair of the 2017 SCV Charity Chili Cook-off, Amanda Benson helped raise nearly $60,000 for SRD

Straightening Reins, which provides behavioral, educational, and community outreach services to youth and their families in the Los Angeles, Kern, and Ventura counties, and Spotlight Arts Center, which creates a community hub that promotes visual and performing arts of all mediums. Benson serves on the SCV Child & Family Center’s Governance Board of Directors and is a volunteer with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s annual Teddy Bear Drive. She studied at College of the Canyons and Saugus High School, and lives in Valencia.


Volunteerism Unsung Heroes Pegah Hunt When Pegah Hunt’s loved ones are asked to describe her, “selfless” is the first word they say.

planning the Rescues on the Runway fashion show for October. Hunt has been involved in Santa

Participating in various nonprof-

Clarita’s schools as both a member of

it events, she has taken part in the

the Parent Teacher Association and

Soroptimist Fashion Show, Bras for

the School Site Council. A Valencia

a Cause, Dancing With Our Stars

High School alumna, Hunt is current-

and various efforts for the Domestic

ly on the 20th reunion committee

Violence Center and Single Mothers

where she and the other committee

Outreach. She has served on the board

members are raising money to give

for Junior Chamber International and

back to the school.

Women Empowered and co-chaired

She also takes care of her grand-

fundraisers for She-Is. Currently, she is

mother and her elderly neighbors,

regularly taking them to their doctors’ appointments. Hunt also fosters dogs and finds them families through Shelter of Hope.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

11


Thomas Iland In both his work and his spare time, Thomas Iland looks to serve others. Iland is on the board of directors for Junior Chamber International Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita Valley Safe Rides and the Santa Clarita Mayor’s Committee for the Employment of Individuals with Disabilities. Though Iland is a certified public accountant, he recently left his accounting job to pursue motivational speaking. In this role, he encourages youth with autism and learning disabilities. In an

effort to further help those with disabilities, he serves as the treasurer for The Art of Autism and is a member of the self-advocate speaker’s bureau for the Autism Society of Los Angeles. He is also the author of “Come to Life! Your Guide to Self-Discovery,” which encourages readers to know, love and be themselves.

Kim Kurowski For three decades, Kurowski has owned A-1 Party to help Santa Clarita celebrate its momentous occasions, where she decorates venues for corporate and private events, grand openings, ribbon cuttings, anniversaries, birthdays and showers. She has also been a dedicated 30When Kim Kurowski isn’t spending her time dedicated to her 30-year business, she is giving back to countless Santa Clarita organizations.

12

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

year member of the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce. Currently, she is serving her second term as president of Soroptimist

International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley. She has been greatly involved with various

nonprofits,

including

the

Domestic Violence Center, Single Mothers Outreach, SCV Youth Project, SCV Education Foundation, Circle of Hope, Carousel Ranch, New Horizons, Mending Kids, Zonta International and has helped with job fairs at both College of the Canyons campuses.


John Torres Notably, JT had been part of the team If you look for lacrosse in Santa Clarita, you’ll find John Torres. And if lacrosse had a fan club here, John Torres would be the fan club

In 2009, with a vision and just 14

that initiated Wildcats Football in Santa

youngsters, JT started the Santa Clarita

Clarita as well as the Saugus Spartans

Wildcats Youth Lacrosse program.

and Golden Valley Grizzlies youth foot-

While he had no experience playing

ball and cheer teams.

the sport, using his relationships he had

After starting this fledgling SCV la-

built in the youth football communi-

crosse team, JT gave Wildcats Lacrosse

he is affectionately known - has worked

ty he was able to demonstrate why la-

immediate legitimacy by persuading a

tirelessly and built the foundation for la-

crosse would be a valuable addition to

lacrosse league in the Conejo Valley to

crosse in the Valley.

the Valley.

accept the Wildcats.

president. From a modest start Torres - or JT as

Scott J. Burdett Scott J. Burdett is the guy you always see but just barely able to pick up

behind the scenes, lending a hand, expecting nothing in return.

in photos depicting some big event,

Whether he’s a 4th Degree Knight of

standing off to the side or in the back,

Columbus or soccer coach, if there’s an

but always there contributing, always a

event that requires work, Burdett is the

part of the team.

worker doing it.

For more than a quarter of a century

If it’s a hard-to-assemble fundraiser or

Burdett has been a fixture on the SCV

a presentation that needs hobbling to-

landscape, having lived here all that

gether, Burdett is the guy called on

time and having volunteered on a num-

to do the hobbling - helping, orga-

ber of non-profit events, from golf tour-

nizing, building, fundraising, setting up,

naments to church functions, working

cleaning up, offering his construction

skills and equipment, to carry and create whatever needs to go from place to place.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

13


Teri Hughes Fox Teri Hughes Fox has gained tough experience transforming personal adversity into generosity. In 2000, following her father’s death from pancreatic cancer, she launched the Paul A. Hughes Family Foundation to keep his legacy alive and to support research to cure that disease. Nearly six years ago, her son Sebastian Velona, who goes by Sebi, was diagnosed with Batten disease CLN8, a fatal and degenerative neurological disorder. “Anyone who knows him loves him and loves his hugs and actually feels the

power in his hugs,” she said. “His big smile and his hugs keep us positive. Everyone seems to love him and have a connection with him.” After Sebi’s diagnosis, Teri and her husband Michael began searching for treatments and found the Gray family, who pioneered a new gene therapy to help their two daughters with Batten disease CLN6 — another variation of the disease. The early success of the Gray family’s trial inspired the Fox family to start their own foundation and raise $3.5 million for gene replacement therapy to help Sebi

and other children suffering from CLN8. The large fundraising task promoted the family to begin the Sebastian Velona Foundation to help those with CLN8 and to start their fundraising campaign called “Healing Hugs 4 Sebi.” “It’s devastating what’s going on with him, but he says, ‘It’s OK, we’ll raise this money and it will make me better,’” Fox said.

William S. Hart Union High School District

Congratulations to Dr. Cherise Moore, Sarah Avanessian and Bill Bolde for Winning Top 51! www.HartDistrict.org 14

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal


Non-Profits Gillian Stone For Gillian Stone, her life centers around servicing the children and families at the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer, where she serves as executive director. Stone has been at the foundation since October 2011, where she has grown in her abilities and helped the foundation grow as well. Her role as executive director comes first, according to Michael Hoefflin Foundation board member Daniel Sterkel, who said Stone even works on her days off to ensure everything and everyone is taken care of.

“She is very dedicated to do what her job is, and that is to help these families,” Sterkel said. “She has only gotten better. She’s so perfect for the

job.” The executive director always gives 100 percent of her heart and mind to the charity and is efficient, caring, intuitive and responsive, according to Sterkel.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

15


Cheryl Gray Through all her volunteer efforts, it

for just as long. She has also served with

is clear Cheryl Gray has a heart for the

the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita for 18

people in Santa Clarita. A member of the

years. In her time in the valley, she has

community since 1984, Gray has been

also shown her support for Henry Mayo

involved in countless organizations as a

Newhall Hospital’s golf tournament, the

leader and volunteer.

ALS golf tournament, the Senior Center’s

She has served as a valuable member

Celebrity Waiter fundraiser, Carousel

of Circle of Hope’s Board of Directors

Ranch’s trap and skeet shoot, the WiSH

since 2011. Gray has been involved with

Education Foundation, the American

the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls club

Heart

for nearly three decades and has been a

League, Michael Hoefflin Foundation,

member of the Chamber of Commerce

and the Child & Family Center.

Association,

the

Assistance

Matthew Nelson

There are few people who know or love the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club as much as Chief Executive Officer Matthew Nelson. Though Nelson has just begun his role as CEO,

16

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

he has been involved in the club in various capacities since 2003. He began as the Education Coordinator before becoming the Education Director in 2004 and the Newhall Clubhouse Branch Manager in 2006. Over the last year and a half, he took on the leadership role as Chief Administrative Officer. In this most recent position as CEO, Nelson has taken charge and gone above and beyond to move the Boys & Girls Club in a new direction. “He has done an unbelievable job,” Governing Board President Wayne

Crawford said. “Everything he gets his hands on he does well.” The CEO truly cares about the kids the Boys & Girls Club serves and Crawford said he can envision him in his role for decades to come. Nelson holds degrees from College of the Canyons and San Francisco State University and is currently working on his master’s in Public Administration: Non-Profit Sector Management from California State University, Northridge. Being well-educated and organized has lent itself to Nelson’s success in his role, according to Crawford.


Richard Cohn

Richard, his wife Patricia and daughter Sara (a Hart district student) have lived in the SCV for 16 years. Richard works as Director of Supply Chain & Logistics for Orora, a global packaging solutions company. Proudly serving in his second year as Chairman for the WiSH Education Foundation, supporting the 23,000 students and administrators of the Hart

School District, Richard is active in numerous fundraising activities & school initiatives. Additionally, Richard sits on the Board of Governors for the Star and Shield Foundation, a charitable arm of the Professional Peace Officers Association and Los Angeles Sheriffs Dept. Richard is co-founder of the Annual Heroes Ride, celebrating its 5th anniversary earlier this year, raising funds to support families of fallen Peace Officers as well as Veterans groups, and serves as the ride Chairman, Also giving from

the heart, Richard reaches the 4 gallon blood donor level this year for the American Red Cross. Always active in the neighborhood & the community, Richard volunteers for numerous local events, golf tournaments & school programs. An avid Harley Davidson rider and classic car guy, he frequently participates in charity car shows and motorcycle rides. Other causes that Richard actively supports include the RETT Syndrome Research Trust, Susan G Komen for the Cure and MEND Poverty.

Tom Dierckman From the time he became an Eagle Scout back in 1963 to the time he was named Man of the Year five years ago, Tom Dierckman has appreciated - and demonstrated - how important it is to give back to the community. Thomas E. Dierckman, 69, has become a familiar and welcomed face on the boards of many SCV groups. He’s served as director on various boards including those of the Valencia Water Company, the Castaic Lake Water Agency, Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and at the Valencia Bank and Trust. He is the former president of the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clarita Valley.

And, for more than a quarter century was on the board of directors of that

club. And, in in his ongoing commitment to the SCV, he served as past chair of the College of the Canyons Foundation and director emeritus of the COC Foundation. The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

17


Ann-Marie Bjorkman Ann-Marie Bjorkman’s passion for serving the Santa Clarita Valley’s Boys & Girls Club makes her a valuable asset as a member of the nonprofit’s governing board of directors. “The Boys & Girls Club benefits from her energy and devotion to the job,” Governing Board President Wayne Crawford said.

Bjorkman is the president-elect of the board and will soon serve a two-year term. Her enthusiasm, diligence and take-charge attitude make her perfectly-suited for the position, Crawford said. She has served as the chairwoman of the club’s Annual Benefit Auction and has been heavily involved in the Festival

of Trees. In addition to her dedication o these special events, she helps at the Boys & Girls Club nearly every day.

Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Congratulates The Signal’s Top 51, with special nods to: Don Kimball - Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Board Member Mark Liker, M.D. - Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Affiliated Physician and Board Member

Myles McNamara - Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation Board Member

Patrick Moody - Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Director of Marketing and Public Relations

Todd Stevens - Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Board Member www.henrymayo.com

18

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal


Health Care Robbie Gluckson Robbie Gluckson is known as a cham-

“She is an amazing person who is

pion of patient rights and a believer in

working to make sure everyone has

world-class medical services.

access to healthcare no matter their

As the director of marketing, devel-

income level,” Adina Klaus said. “She

opment and community outreach for

has worked with all leaders of the SCV

UCLA Health’s Department of Medicine,

as well as COC to find out what areas of

Gluckson has worked tirelessly to bring

healthcare are most needed and then

UCLA healthcare to the Santa Clarita

she has tried to fill those specialties.”

Valley.

Many patients, including Klaus, cred-

In this role she runs outreach pro-

it Gluckson with saving their lives by

needs of the community above her

grams to educate the community about

ensuring that they see the right doctors

own in an effort to save lives,” Klaus

UCLA’s services and connects patients

and that they take the right medication.

said.

in need of immediate care with doctors

“Robbie by far is most deserving of

who are able to service them.

this award because she has put the The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

19


Nola Aronson Nola Aronson has been helping locals hear for as long as Santa Clarita has

in the office and has the drive to get something done.”

been a city. For 30 years, Aronson has

In addition to her tireless efforts in her

owned practices that have helped hear-

practice, Aronson is actively involved in

ing impaired patients. She has had her

helping Santa Clarita by donating her

practice Advanced Audiology, the city’s

time and finances.

largest diagnostic hearing center, since 2010.

“She really is a partner with the community,” Eelkema said. “She made it her

“She is a visionary,” said Advanced

mantra to continue to give back.”

Audiology Public Relations Manager

She has been a generous donor to

Laura Eelkema. “She motivates people

Circle of Hope, the Boys and Girls Club

and Soroptimist International’s Go Girls dance program. Most recently, she made a donation to the Senior Center and will have a room named after her in their new facility. Aronson has also been involved with the Chamber of Commerce and the Valley Industry Association.

Dr. Mark Liker

As the top neurosurgeon in the Santa Clarita Valley, Dr. Mark Liker is credited with saving the lives of many local residents. Liker is the founder

20

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

and senior partner at the California Neurosurgical Institute in Valencia. As a board-certified neurosurgeon and spine surgeon with 22 years of experience, he has developed a broad range of technical and clinical expertise, mastering complex and minimally invasive surgeries. “This perspective provides him with the insight and experience to identify the most appropriate and effective methods of treating the full variety of spinal and brain disorders,” the California Neurosurgical Institute said of Liker on its website.

In addition to his practice in Valencia, Liker is the head neurosurgeon at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and is on staff at Keck Hospital of USC and at LAC+USC Medical Center. Liker also works as an assistant professor and faculty member at USC Keck Medical Center where he directs the Center for Deep Brain Stimulation. During his career he has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts and chapters, and has given more than 40 presentations on neurosurgical topics.


Patrick Moody

As Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s director of marketing and public relations, Patrick Moody continuously shares the success of the hospital with the Santa Clarita community. Moody joined the Henry Mayo staff three years ago where he used his experience in healthcare marketing to update the hospital’s internet presence

and digital messages, enhance its social media, invigorate its brand, design new campaigns and expand its community outreach and education programs. “He leads a great team of committed folks in our marketing department and would be the first to say it’s a team effort,” said Marlee Lauffer, Henry Mayo vice president, marketing and communications and president of the Henry Mayo Newhall Foundation. “He’s thoughtful, committed and has a great sense of humor.”

In addition to his work with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Moody also increased the presence and status of Henry Mayo Fitness and Health. Moody also devotes time to the community, serving on the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and working with several area nonprofits. “A dedicated family man, he spends time at school, sports and art events with his wife and three daughters,” Lauffer said.

Dr. Patrice Rifkind For more than two decades, Dr. Patrice Rifkind has worked to improve

their best for communicating in a world of people with normal hearing.”

the status of hearing for Santa Clarita

Rifkind often assists veterans, those

Valley residents of all socioeconomic

who have suffered cancer or other disor-

levels through her practice, Audiology

ders, and those who are unable to afford

Associates.

hearing devices.

“Patrice is an excellent audiologist.

This generosity extends beyond her

She goes above and beyond with her

practice, as Rifkind also volunteers and

patients to make sure they are hearing

contributes to local organizations like

well,” Ken Rifkind said. “She frequently

Zonta, Assistance League, Boys and Girls

handing out or supplying earplugs to

helps people pro bono to be sure they

Club, Circle of Hope and the SCV Senior

protect hearing or fans on hot days,”

are hearing well and to help them do

Resource Alliance.

Ken Rifkind said.

“Patrice can be seen at many events

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

21


Economic Development Steve Kim “This country, and this communi-

Kim grew up in Seoul, South Korea

ty, gave me opportunity,” Kim said.

with little money, and came to the

“When I saw the new SCV Senior

United States in 1976 with $2,000 and

Center building project, I felt urged to

earned a master’s in electrical engi-

give something back to the commu-

neering at Cal State Los Angeles. In 1984, he launched Fibermux Corp., a networking company, with a stake of $100,000 and grew it to a $50

Since buying the former Robinson

million company. In 1993, Kim start-

Ranch last year and transforming it to

ed Xylan Corp., which made network

Sand Canyon Country Club, Steve Kim

switches, and sold the company to

has already made a mark on Santa Clarita’s charitable landscape. He donated $150,000 to the SCV Senior Center’s capital campaign and has supported other local nonprofits.

nity and to the United States, which gave me the fair opportunity to be where I am. I am very happy to be able to do something meaningful for Santa Clarita seniors.”

22

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

Alcatel for $2 billion in 1999. Kim’s philanthropy includes his Dream Hope Future Foundation to encourage young entrepreneurs, to which he donates more than $2.8 million annually.


Jay Schutz

Jay Schutz began his McDonald’s career in 1979 with his father and his brother Mark, and worked his way up the ranks. In 1996, Jay was awarded his first restaurant as a McDonald’s owner/ operator and now is part of an organization that includes six restaurants in Santa Clarita.

Schutz has been recognized with numerous corporate and community awards. He has shared his wisdom and leadership on the College of the Canyons Foundation Board and the college’s Culinary Arts Campaign Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Santa Clarita Economic Development Corporation. He also has been managing member of CanAm Holdings LLC, since 2004, overseeing a privately held commercial/ retail industrial park.

In 2015, with Schutz’s support, Santa Clarita Valley Child & Family Center received a Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California Community Grant for $16,610 to purchase therapeutic equipment and toys for Child & Family’s Bright Beginnings Therapeutic Preschool and support the center’s programs. Away from work, Jay likes to spend time playing hockey, visiting his children in college, playing fantasy football and traveling with his wife Shelly.

Todd Stevens Todd Stevens has served as president, CEO and a director of California

on the board of directors of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Resources Corp. since 2014. Stevens

“Part of being in a great community is

previously held top management posi-

having a great hospital and to provide

tions with Occidental Petroleum Corp.

residents access to great health care,”

and its subsidiaries.

Stevens said when appointed to the

A resident of Santa Clarita since 1998,

hospital board. “It goes hand in hand.”

Stevens and his wife Karen are rais-

Stevens has a deep knowledge of the

ing their five children here. He is co-

oil and gas industry and his expertise

chair of the SCV Senior Center’s Capital

in strategically evaluating and valuing

MBA from the University of Southern

Campaign, is on the executive commit-

oil and gas assets is derived from years

California and a Bachelor of Science

tee of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic

of buying and integrating exploration

degree from the United States Military

Development Corporation, and serves

and production assets. He holds an

Academy. The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

23


Donald Kimball Donald Kimball is the community president, Newhall Ranch, charged with overseeing development of Newhall Ranch for FivePoint Holdings, LLC. FivePoint designs and develops mixed-use master-planned communities in Coastal California providing homes, commercial, retail, educational and recreational elements of communities, as well as civic areas, parks and open spaces. Kimball, who began his career as a CPA, has been part of the management

team for Newhall Ranch and its first phase, Valencia, for more than 30 years. Prior to his current position, he was executive vice president for Newhall Holding Company LLC. He was also senior vice president and chief financial officer at Newhall Land. Kimball serves as a member and immediate past chairman of the board of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. He also sits on the executive board of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation.

He served for many years on the board of directors for the Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging in various executive officer positions and founded the Santa Clarita Valley Area Chapter of the American Diabetes Association in 1997 and was its first board president.

Mike Bjorkman In fact, he’s completed over 4,500

in the Nation and Top 10 and is a mem-

real estate transactions and is cur-

ber of their Hall of Fame, Chairman’s

rently managing over 350 residential

Club and Platinum Club.

properties. Bjorkman has been a Realtor since 1991 and his goal has always been to educate, protect and serve his clients. His personal real estate group Team Bjorkman expanded in 2013 when he

In addition to his accomplishments as a Realtor, he is also an author, speaker and agent trainer. To give back to Santa Clarita, Bjorkman volunteers with the Boys & Girls Club, Single Mothers Outreach,

As Mike Bjorkman has always called

launched a HomeSmart in Valencia.

Santa Clarita home, he is certainly

Additionally, he serves as the broker

Domestic Violence Center, Senior

well qualified to help others find their

and owner for SCV Leasing.

Center, Old Town Newhall Association,

home in the city.

He is the recipient of the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award, Top 1%

24

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Circle of Hope and HandsOn Santa Clarita.


Technology Jason Vasquez Jason Vasquez is owner and president of Priority Technology Solutions in Santa Clarita. With over 18 years of industry experience in computer support, networking and security, he has been serving small business clients in Santa Clarita for more than 12 years. Vasquez formed Priority Technology Solutions to address the specific needs of small businesses and individuals in the Santa Clarita Valley. The firm specializes in IT consulting, PC and Mac computer repair & support, and installs, maintains and troubleshoots computers and networks; security consulting; PC & Mac

computer repair; and data backup and recovery. “We’ve worked with a number of charities in Santa Clarita, and are glad to lend our support to their efforts,” Vasquez said. Being local to the Santa Clarita Valley gives Vasquez the ability to quickly respond to his customers’ needs, and is part of the reason his company is a multiple winner of The Signal’s “Best of Santa Clarita” in the computer repair category Vasquez also makes a fine batch of chili, a skill he demonstrates each year at the Santa Clarita Valley Charity Chili Cook-Off. At the 2015 event, his

entry was awarded First Place by a panel of six judges. When not fixing computers or installing networks, the Burbank High graduate enjoys spending time with his three children.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

25


Corey Quinn Corey Quinn is the chief marketing officer who propels Scorpion through the internet marketing industry. Scorpion’s tagline reads: Leadership at every level. At Corey Quinn’s level, Scorpion excels at the marketing level. Quinn joined Scorpion due, in part, to the company’s culture of exceeding clients’ expectations, high standards of performance, and strong work ethic. Scorpion’s mission to help redefine and transform clients’ businesses aligns perfectly with Corey’s professional and personal goals of directly contributing to making the world a better place.

Prior to Scorpion, Corey held numerous business development and marketing leadership roles at emerging businesses, including launching and running his own company. Corey holds an MBA from USC’s Marshall School of Business. During non-working hours, he enjoys spending time with family and friends, spending time at the beach, reading, and traveling.

James Temple

For 20 years, James Temple has acted as College of the Canyons’ (COC) Vice President of Technology, providing technological and audio/visual resources, training and expertise to the college. Temple, a lifelong resident of the SCV, is

26

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

revered by his colleagues for his work at the college where he received awards as COC’s Classified Employee of the Year and COC’s Classified Humanitarian of the Year. “Jim Temple is one of the most talented, creative, focused and energetic individuals that I have ever had the great fortune of meeting,” Dianne Van Hook said. “He has amazing ideas, impeccable follow-through and is committed to doing what matters for the college and our students.” Temple helped build COC’s technology department from the ground up by leading the expansion and adoption of technology across the college campus. “He is someone on whom one can always depend, and he always brightens

the room when he enters,” Van Hook said. “He is a team player, collaborator, a great communicator and occasionally a comedian. It’s a joy to have him as a part of our team. “ He also works alongside statewide community college leadership as the president of the Chief Information Systems Officers Association. In addition to his work at COC, Temple currently acts as president of the Saugus Spartan Youth Football Organization Board. He also previously served as a member and president of the Plum Canyon Elementary School Site Council and as an Arroyo Seco Student Showcase participant in 2013, 2015 and 2017.


Business Michael Fox After years of charitable giving, Michael Fox found himself on the receiving side of fundraising and charity work, and it wasn’t easy. Fox and his wife and Teri Hughes Fox devoted much time and effort to charitable causes like Carousel Ranch, the Child and Family Center and the Paul Hughes Family Foundation, set up in memory of Teri’s father. Then, nearly six years ago, their son Sebastian, or Sebi, Velona, was diagnosed with Batten disease CLN8, a fatal and degenerative neurological disorder.

“We donated a huge part of our lives to charity and helping others, never thinking that we would need help,” Michael Fox, Sebi’s step-father, said. “Now that we need help, we don’t really know how to ask for it.” “It’s a genetic disorder and the only way you are going to know is through DNA testing and looking at the genes themselves,” he added. Positivity and a belief in healing hugs keep the family strong as they face Sebastian’s health concerns. The Fox family is seeking to raise $3.5 million to find a cure for CLN8

Batten disease. As the family raises money for the gene replacement therapy, they remain strong as a family and share in the biggest hugs.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

27


Scott Schauer You want to talk about being A couple of years ago, when active in the community talk to he was thinking of relocating Scott Schauer. his business to another location Active for the majority owner of the Santa Clarita Soccer Center means exercising and it means running up and down a soccer field kicking a ball. Schauer gets old SCV guys off their couches and onto the field. As an independent distributer of AdvoCare Health & Fitness, Schauer knows what it means to commit to a program, follow it through and make a difference.

in the SCV, Schauer had two considerations - his business, and the community. In an interview with The Signal, Schauer said: “If it doesn’t make sense to move to improve the business and improve what we’re offering to the soccer community, we wouldn’t move.”

Bruce Burrows Designs is a determined and persistent innovator who holds more than 150 worldwide patents. Burrows invented iCoffee’s SpinBrew Needle Technology, as well as the iCoffee multi-cup brewer with SteamBrew Technology. Both brewing technologies spin, steam and stir during the brewing cycle, delivering beverages with a Entrepreneur and inventor smooth and pleasant flavor, taste, Bruce Burrows has created solu- and aroma. iCoffee’s proprietary tions to household challenges SteamBrew and SpinBrew exsince he was a teenager. The traction processes are the result creator and CEO of iCoffee by of seven years of research and Remington and Remington more than 1,250 prototypes.

28

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

“Bruce is the type of leader that creates a passion through his work,” said Jennifer Shull, a vice president at Remington Pure. “Bruce has the tenacity of 10 men and he is always there to mentor his partners.” Burrows and his wife Bobbi have also been busy nurturing the country singing career of their daughter Savannah Burrows. He co-writes songs with Savannah, who rocked a capacity crowd at “Concerts in the Park” last summer at Central Park in Santa Clarita.


Adam Hatley Coughlin. “Adam inspires people to look

neurological disorder.

in the mirror and love what they see.”

old Santa Clarita resident Sebastian was

Hatley has been there for many members of this community who have batIn his work and volunteer activity,

tled cancer, obesity, depression and

Adam Hatley excels at helping people

anxiety, Coughlin said, and will make

bring out the best in themselves.

time for anyone in need.

Thirteen-year-

diagnosed with the deadly disease five years ago. “I can’t imagine, having children myself, having to wake up every day knowing that I may be one day closer to never

He is manager of Afterburn Fitness

Hatley has been an active fundraiser

and owns a group exercise business

for the Sebastian Velona Foundation,

seeing my child again,” Hatley said. “I

called The Grind. “He motivates people

which aims to raise $3.5 million for re-

want to do everything I can in my power

to want to be better versions of them-

search and gene therapy to find a cure

to help them achieve their goal, because

selves, said colleague Nicole Lynch

for Batten disease CLN8, a degenerative

I can’t imagine their situation.”

Pam Ingram Pam Ingram is an award-winning realtor with RE/MAX of Santa Clarita, a dedicated businesswoman and passionate community leader. She brings more than 30 years of insider knowledge of the Santa Clarita Valley directly to her clients, helping them to find both the home and community of their dreams. Her rich knowledge is generously shared, giving her clients insider knowledge of commerce, land development, schools, and culture as well. Ingram is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. She is a longtime

supporter of local charities and civic organizations such as Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Light the Night, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley, Carousel Ranch, Helmers Elementary School Parents Association, Old Orchard PTSA, the Special Olympics and the Senior Center. Pam has served on the Board of Directors of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce for seven years. She is a member of Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley, and won its Carmen Sarro

Community Service Award in 2015. Her nomination noted that “Pam has always, in both work and her volunteerism, held women and girls in high regard.”

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

29


Government

Carrie Lujan

For nearly a year, Carrie Lujan has been Santa Clarita’s voice and storyteller. Utilizing almost two decades of public relations and writing experience, Lujan serves as the city’s communications manager. “She brings a good mix of public and private communication experience to the table,” Assistant City Manager Frank Oviedo said. “She cares really

30

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

deeply about what she does professionally and about telling the story of the city.” Lujan is the perfect combination of professional and enthusiastic, uniting her communications competence and her light-hearted and fun demeanor, Oviedo said. She collaborates well with everyone from elected officials to local media because she is talented, creative and a good listener. In her role, she is the go-to media relations contact, a social media pundit, editor-in-chief for Seasons magazine and State of the City newsletter and a member of the city’s leadership team. Under her leadership, the city has launched their Heads Up pedestrian

safety campaign and their 30th anniversary of cityhood celebration. She also works closely with public safety officials to inform the community during floods and fires and share safety tips year-round. The communications manager has overseen key city events, including a ribbon cutting for Marketplace Park, the Newhall Ranch Open Space and The MAIN and groundbreakings for the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening and the Old Town Newhall Parking Structure. Lujan has earned two California Association of Public Information Officials awards and three City-County Communications and Marketing Association awards.


Gregory Hisel Covering a district that extends to the county line north of Gorman, Hisel has continually demonstrated he is the one to go to with questions about fire safety. Gregory Hisel is a 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. As Assistant Fire Chief of the department’s North Regional Operations Bureau Division 3, Hisel has become an active participant in the SCV community, making sure on a daily basis that SCV residents stay safe.

Whenever he’s called on to reflect on the latest brush fire, he never fails to reflect on what it really means to SCV residents. And, when the destructive Sand Fire was over, it was Hisel who seized the chance to thank everyone who came out to help the Fire Department battle the protracted fire, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Santa Clarita Station, the California Highway Patrol and the city of Santa Clarita.

Jeff Preach When community members think of Jeff Preach, they often think of his influence on Castaic. Preach, a U.S. Coast Guard Reserve veteran, has served on the Castaic Town Council for a decade. He launched the Castaic Chamber of Commerce in 1988 and served as one of its board members for 17 years. He has been heavily involved in the Castaic Lions Club and was the chairman of Castaic Western Days for 10 years. Also, he was on the Castaic Land Use Committee for 14 years. The beloved Castaic Santa Float was debuted by Preach and his

family 30 years ago, which the Lions Club has made a Christmas tradition since. In 1998, Castaic even named Preach “Man of the Year.” He has

been heavily involved in the community’s real estate since 1972 and has been a broker and owner for 44 years. The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

31


Dr. Cherise Moore Dr. Cherise Moore may be the newest member of the William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board, but she is more than prepared to take on the role and thrive. “I’m a public education advocate, I know the value of a public education and I understand the tradition of excellence we have here,” Moore said during a March 2017 board meeting when she was elected. Moore has more than 30 years of experience working in education as a

classified employee, teacher, program coordinator, site-level administrator and district administrator, including as an interim administrator at Golden Oak Adult School. In addition to her position on the Hart Board, Moore works as a senior researcher for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she works on national and state level projects in postsecondary education, adult education and career technical education for administrators and teachers.

As an education professional, Moore’s knowledge extends beyond the classroom. She also is well-versed in Education Code, fiscal management, specialized programs, English Learners, school accountability and more.

Julie Olsen and to create an innovative workplace

Board of Directors, as a “Big Sister” with

for staff.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los

Along with her involvement on the school board, Olsen served as the president of a School Site Council, as a PTA leader and on several school district advisory councils and committees. “Julie Olsen’s passion lies with serving In November 2016, Julie Olsen was

our community, particularly in support

elected to serve on the Saugus Union

of our local youth in the education sys-

School District Governing Board where

tem,” Andrew Taban said.

she pledged to ensure the highest qual-

In the community, Olsen has served

ity of education throughout the district

on the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry

32

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

Angeles and on the fundraising committee for the SCV Senior Center. She also acts as a volunteer judge for the SIFMA Foundation’s InvestWrite youth essay contest, leads financial literacy workshops for students and co-founded the Women’s Initiative Network to develop women leaders for community and government roles.


Hospitality Philanthropy Sonja Randall When it comes to hospitality and

“My company comes to you armed

helping with events it all comes down

with a fire on the grill and a fire in

to how it’s catered.

my heart for making the best barbe-

Enter Chef Sonja Randall, owner of Smokin’ Bar-B-Quties, which of-

cue possible,” Randall writes on her website.

fers not simply deliciously catered

The SCV has acquired a wide rep-

food but also the promise of some

utation, serving up food across the

relaxation.

Southland at community functions in

The smokin’ hardwork of the the Bar-B-Quties comes with an assurance from team leader Randall: “Relax and enjoy the company of your guests.

three counties - Los Angeles, Ventura and Orange. Smokin’ Bar-B-Quties feeds a variety of community endeavors including:

weddings, family nights, mixers, holiday parties, corporate conventions, birthday parties, graduations and social clubs.

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

33


Dole-Humphries Dole-Humphries is musical songwriting duo Steve Dole and Alesia Humphries. Humphries, a Hart High School grad and mother of three, came to Dole with a book filled with lyrics. Dole gave it some music and now the two share 20 co-written songs. When she moved to Santa Clarita from her birthplace in Corpus Christi, Texas, Humphries brought with her a fine appreciation of good music, never shying away from belting out a tune. “I will sing the national anthem for anyone who asks,” she said with a laugh,

having sung the anthem at several SCV events. Enter Steve Dole. A native of Southern California, Dole considers himself a “musical sponge,” having soaked up music for the better part of 35 years. His motto: “A strong melody is paramount for me. From there the words can live and breathe,” His true passion, however, can be found in writing and performing his own material which now dovetails nicely into Dole-Humphries material as well. Although time has become more and more scarce as their performance

schedule becomes busier, the local non-profits remain as important as ever for the duo and giving back is important to them. When they are not performing and writing new songs, they are actively doing what they can to remain involved, donating their time and music to organizations that make the lives of those that need them more fulfilled.

Jennifer Chadwick Chadwick stepped up to volunteer her time as the voice of SCV soccer parents with kids signed up to play soccer with

Jennifer Chadwick is director of sales and marketing at Salt Creek Grille, one of Santa Clarita’s cornerstone restaurants. But in the volunteer world – she is the mother of all local soccer moms.

34

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

the Santa Clarita American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) United. Chadwick, who grew up in Paso Robles and attended Paso Robles Union High School, one day ventured south to the Santa Clarita Valley where she continued her education at Master’s University. The young woman who came to the SCV, found a home, married a man named Steve Chadwick, and launched her career helping one of SCV’s most celebrated local dining spots become bigger and better. The expert marketing she brought to the table continues to push Salt Creek Grille forward.


Missy Carter

Those who work alongside Missy Carter all know her for her unwavering dedication and enthusiasm. Currently serving as Valencia Country Club’s Director of Membership and Marketing, Carter has been a valued member of their team for 18 years. She began by working at the beverage cart and spent her time as a member of the food and beverage department, then

worked her way up to Member Relations Director and then started in her current role. “She’s the type of person everyone loves,” Valencia Country Club Director of Catering and Special Events Tiffany Grummer said. “You walk away feeling like she’s your new best friend.” Though she’s personable, Grummer said Carter is a go-getter and never takes “no” for an answer. She is someone clients and coworkers trust and respect for her work ethic and loyalty. In her current position, she organized and spearheaded a charity golf

tournament for the family of Ryan Osler, a fallen firefighter who lived in Santa Clarita. Carter has also given her time to various volunteer efforts in the valley, including serving on the committee for the Boys & Girls Club Auction, where she was awarded Prom Queen for raising the most funds. She is currently co-chair for Bras for a Cause for Soroptimist International Greater Santa Clarita and has also co-chaired the 40 Under Forty Awards for Junior Chamber International.

Troy Hooper Troy Hooper is one of the few businessman who doesn’t conduct business on the golf course. This is odd since he’s the General Manager of Tournament Players Club Valencia. Stranger still since Hooper brings more business people together in the

and participates on multiple charity events and business alliance boards. He is a lifelong operations manager in the travel and hospitality industry. “I put in a lot of time volunteering with the Santa Clarita Valley Business Marketing Group,” he told The Signal.

Santa Clarita Valley through his volun-

The local marketing group is made

teer efforts than there are golfers return-

up of business executives in the Santa

ing to the club house over par.

Clarita Valley who help members de-

quarterly networking socials, events,

Hooper is an active community mem-

velop and achieve goals for personal,

and seminars that help each member

ber and is on the board of the Santa

business, and professional endeavors

build their book of business while sup-

Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce

by providing the business community

porting local non-profits. The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

35


Education

Jasmine Foster

As College of the Canyon’s public relations liaison, Jasmine Foster acts as a bridge between the college and the Santa Clarita community. She uses her position to share stories of inspirational students, notify the community of the college’s upcoming events and inform others about COC’s unique programs

36

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

through marketing, public relations and advertising projects. Her contributions helped support the success of the capital campaigns for the Canyon Country Campus, Culinary Arts Program, University Center, Performing Arts Center and PAC K-12 Education Arts Outreach Program. Foster also uses her public relations know-how to give back to the college and the community through fundraising coordination and planning.

With her volunteer spirit, Foster has helped countless organizations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, including the SCV Habitat for Heroes, the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and the William S. Hart Union High School District, among others.


Chef Cindy Schwanke various positions in catering, in hotels and at restaurants during her more than 20-year career. Before she became the department chair of Culinary Arts and Wine Studies at College of the Canyon’s iCUE (Institute for Culinary Education), Chef Chindy Schwanke showed off her expertise with a storied career in the restaurant industry. Schwanke’s specialty was in the pastry industry which led her to hold

Notable experiences for her include working at Spago for Sherry Yard—one of the best pastry chefs in the country— and creating intricate desserts for 2,000 people at the Governor’s Ball party after the Oscar’s. Now, as a full-time culinary instructor at COC, Schwanke is sharing her passion with students in her hometown. During her tenure at the college, she has increased the culinary program’s reputation, led cooking workshops and hosted fundraisers to support the iCUE.

Sarah Avanessian Sarah Avanessian knows how to make

Development program as well as those

an impact on her students through her

students in the Advanced Placement

English classes and innovative programs

program,” the Hart District said during

at Hart High School.

its Sept. 7, 2016 Governing Board

This positive influence was recog-

meeting.

nized and honored by the William S.

In addition to her work as an AP

Hart Union High School District last year,

Language and Composition teacher,

when the district named Avanessian as

Avanessian acts as the high school’s

the 2016-17 Hart District Teacher of the

English Department Chair and as an

Year.

Instructional Coach.

“Sarah makes an impact on the full

During her 14 years at Hart High

(Seize the Book) program to Hart,

spectrum of Hart’s English students,

School, Avanessian instructed her stu-

and published articles in educational

including working with students new

dents to create slam poems, TED talks

journals.

to the country in the English Language

and blogs, brought the Carpe Librum The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

37


Samantha Ford Last year, Samantha Ford gained na-

In addition to her philanthropic ef-

tional recognition for her altruistic ef-

forts throughout the district, Ford also

forts to put shoes on every student’s

acts as the district’s physical education

development; it’s one of the only things

feet in the Saugus Union School District

Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA).

that help their brains grow.”

“It’s something I feel really strongly

In her role as a PE TOSA, Ford edu-

With the help of social media and

about. I feel like kids don’t get out like

cates her students on the importance

community outreach, Ford was able to

they used to, kids don’t get out and

of physical activity, shares lesson plans

complete her goal and provide new,

play,” Ford told The Signal in February.

with teachers, manages the equipment

well-fitted athletic shoes for the entire

“I think kids absolutely, 100 percent

at all 15 school sites and leads profes-

district.

need PE.

sional development at each school.

(SUSD).

It’s good for their brain

Bill Bolde assistant principal and, most notably, principal. Bolde remained at the helm of Saugus High School for 16 years before his retirement in 2017, influencing

Bill Bolde began his career in the William S. Hart Union High School District at 19 years old. During the course of three decades he served the district as an equipment manager, coach, athletic director, teacher,

38

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

students, inspiring teachers and transforming the campus. “Bill is truly a giving man who wants nothing more than to see his students succeed in whatever path they choose, and whether it’s the Honor Walls or the banners that fly throughout campus celebrating a student and the college he/ she now attends,” said Dave Caldwell, public relations officer for the Hart District. As the school’s principal, Bolde dedicated a peace garden, opened a MakerSpace, celebrated the 40th anniversary of the school, broke ground on the Performing Arts Center and unveiled two Walls of Honor for graduates serving in the military and as first responders.


! s t a r g n Co NOLA ARONSON

Congratulations to

Pam Ingram

on the Top 51 most influential people in the Santa Clarita Valley. We thank you for your commitment.

Sweeping Views

Gourmet Cuisine

Experience the seasonally crafted cuisine prepared by award-winning “Ultimate Chef”, Peyton Poulsen,

among the elegant surroundings of the TPC Valencia

and stunning views of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Visit oaksgrilletpc.com for Complete Events Calendar

oaksgrilletpc.com

The Signal • 51 of 2017 •

39


CONGRATULATIONS

KIM KUROWSKI

of A-1 Party Balloons, for being recognized as one of the 2017 Top 51!

40

• 51 of 2017 • The Signal

Top 51 2017  
Top 51 2017