In a valley blessed with a rich tapestry of compassionate people it is difficult to choose only one Man & Woman of the Year. Indeed, it is a significant honor to be nominated.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR NOMINEES!
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Alex has been literally indispensable to COH. He served as Chairman for 2 1/2 terms while continuing to be on every major fundraising committee and even as event chair. From his creativity in planning and marketing our events, to the heavy lifting or transporting our supplies, auction items and equipment to and from events, our events would not have been as successful without Alexander's leadership and participation. As past Chairman, he has spend countless hours supporting our successor Chairman's while continuing to be a leader without our board including co-chairing our upcoming fundraiser Hoedown for Hope. He also continues to be our Director of Social Media. He has chaired all major events including Vine2Wine, Afternoon Tea, and Hoedown for Hope. In 2020, he played a significant role in our two virtual events, Vine2Wine2Go and Twilight Tea2Go. His impact on our fundraising success and serving our clients is significant!
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Sharlene is passionate, educated, focused and driven. I have worked with her on a few volunteer projects, but one in particular, with JCI Santa Clarita & WiSH Education Foundation. She shows up for every meeting ready to work. She has great ideas and incredible follow through. If Sharlene is involved rest assured a difference will be made. She has a great reputation of being someone who gets the job done successfully and is a great manager.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: For the past 17 years, Kimball has served on the Hospital’s Board of Directors. Kimball has actively participated on and chaired numerous Committees at the Hospital. He is a member of the following Committees - Audit and Compliance, Finance, Evaluation and Compensation, and Strategic Planning and Marketing. Kimball is a Past Chairman of the Board, having completed a 3-year term from 2015 – 2017. Kimball had the honor of being Chairman at the time of the groundbreaking of the new Patient Tower that opened in 2019. Kimball recognizes the connection of health and wellness to the January 22, 2023 quality of life in the Santa Clarita Valley and the importance to the community of having access to quality, local healthcare. Kimball joined the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation in 2018 to assist the hospital in fundraising and now serves as the Foundation’s ex officio on the Board of Directors for the hospital.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Jenny was a longtime Club supporter before joining the Governing Board in 2018. Starting in the 2000’s, through her involvement in Santa Clarita Valley Jaycees, she organized Christmas events for underserved youth and volunteered at fundraising events. As a Board Member Jenny provides leadership in staff training and development, strategic planning, and fundraising. Jenny leads Club tours where the community can see first-hand the positive impact of the Club. She leads strength-based leadership trainings for Club staff that have improved communications and effectiveness. Her expertise in human resources helped guide the Club’s strategic goal to “attract and retain the best youth development professionals”. In the face of inflation and hiring challenges her leadership has kept the Club competitive. In 2022, Jenny and her husband chaired the Festival of Trees. The event raised 42% more than the goal, for a total of $189k. She currently serves as Board Secretary.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Mitzi has been actively involved as a Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation volunteer and donor for more than a decade. During her time as our Foundation Board of Directors Chair, Mitzi’s leadership and her philanthropic dedication to our hospital showed in the additional roles she enthusiastically took on. She co-chaired the 40th Anniversary Gala of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital during this time, and also was the chairperson for the Corporate Partners Committee. While working on the Corporate Partners Committee, Mitzi helped build and foster relationships between the hospital and the business community, always leading by example. Not content to just be a major donor, Mitzi helped to actively inform the community of our patient tower, and hosted cultivation events at her home, inviting neighbors and colleagues to hear first-hand about the hospital. She continues to serve on our board and committees and provides invaluable counsel and support.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Diane has worked tirelessly through SCV Rotary to support SCV Veterans, Seniors and the Homeless by working with many nonprofits in Santa Clarita Valley. Working with Rotary on such programs as Veterans Outreach Food packaging and distribution of 10,000 meals to SCV Veterans with the volunteer help of VFW, American Legion, Veterans Collaborative. Diane works with Camp Pendleton necessary basics drive for marine families; coat, socks and toy drive for homeless families, adopting 5 families for Xmas through Child and Family Center, Purple paloozza walk pancake breakfast for child and family attendees, River clean up, working with girl scout troops on opportunities for learning how to give back, supporting SCV Sheriffs dept projects in the community, providing a Scholarship grant to College of Canyons EMT Program, donation of 300 turkeys and 100 chickens to SCV Food Pantry, all SCV Veteran organizations and needy families, Samuel Dixon , SCV Senior Center.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Nola Aronson's support of the Valley Industry Association has been instrumental to the organization's success. From membership to programs and event planning to financial support - she does it all. She has been an active member of the Valley Industry Association since 2013, joining the VIA Board of Directors in 2018. She has served as the VIA Leadership Program Committee Chair, has actively participated on a number of other committees (membership, BASH, Leadership, Marketing & Sales Academy, Marketing Committee) and has generously sponsored the organization since first joining in 2013. Whenever a volunteer is needed, Nola's hand is immediately in the air. The benefit of her experience has been invaluable to the organization and its membership and Nola's leadership skills and strong community connections with other organizations have also assisted us in building important partnerships in the SCV (Soroptimists, Boys & Girls Club, SCV Senior Center, Alzheimer's Association, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Single Mother's Outreach, Circle of Hope). Additionally, she has been instrumental in helping VIA attract other like-minded business professionals to help us continue our work in assisting the business community of the SCV grow and prosper. Her dedication to her community and the non-profit organizations within it make her an excellent candidate for Woman of the Year.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Upon retiring from Kaiser Pat joined Rotary where he served as Secretary, Treasurer, Sergeant of Arms, President Elect, President, and Vice President twice. Pat’s volunteering became important role in developing of St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, Peach Cobbler Cowboy Festival, 4th of July pancake breakfast, Rotary Golf Tournament, Turkey GiveAway for various charities for Thanksgiving, Food for Veterans, meals donated to Henry Mayo staff during Covid, lunch for local teachers and our Sheriff Dept., restoring our Rotary trailers and selling American Flags.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Taylor was so experienced with Charities he helped found this Non-Profit. He has run several of our events and is always available to lend a helping hand. It got us up and running much quicker than expected. Couldn't have done it without him. Also nominated by: Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and College of the Canyons Foundation
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Randy's contributions to the Valley Industry Association have been significant in moving the organization forward. Randy was the first Board member to serve as Chairman for a 2 year term, and has consistently supported VIA's Board, Committees, Program and events for more than a decade. Randy has also worked to include other employees of LBW Insurance & Financial Services as volunteers for VIA's programs and events. Randy was selected as VIA Volunteer of the Year, a prestigious award presented at the VIA BASH each year, and LBW Insurance & Financial Services has been awarded VIA's Business of the Year Award as well. Randy is currently serving his second stint of the VIA Board of Directors, and also carries the office of Chairman for the VIA Education Foundation, the organization that raises funding for the VIA Connecting to Success Program, a critical workforce readiness program for the high school students of the Santa Clarita Valley. Randy's insight and expertise have guided VIA into new avenues, and allowed us to better serve the business community.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Laura has been a Soroptimist for 14 years and with passion and leadership became immediately involved in the organization. She has been a leader serving on the Board of Directors for 9 years. She supports all committees and programs through her countless hours of volunteerism and commitment to fundraising, Dream-It, Be-It Program, Blanket Factory, Soroptimist/Zonta Dinner Program, Nominating and By-Law Committee Chair, and other programs within the organization. Through these efforts, Laura has helped Soroptimist establish relationships with local nonprofits whose mission aligns with serving women and girls in our community. Laura's efforts not only benefit our organization, but in turn have benefitted over 20 SCV nonprofit organizations and individuals who have received over$400,000 in contributions creating a collaborative effort between Soroptimist and meaningful causes in our community. Laura's efforts and program involvement help to improve the lives of women and girls leading to their social and economic empowerment.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Lynne served on our plastics team in 2018 to encourage recycling of plastic bags,a large source of plastic pollution in our community, resulting in a press conference with Sup Barger to get collection bins back in stores. She served on our corridor preservation team resulting in funding to protect the Newhall wildlife corridor. She has served for several years as our Board secretary.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: A long time donor and volunteer, Matt is the Club’s current Board President. Matt’s passion for providing programs and services to underserved Santa Clarita youth drives him to be a vocal board member; sitting on multiple committees, including safety, fundraising, strategic planning, and board development. During the unpredictable and challenging COVID-19 pandemic Matt advocated for needed board and community support by spearheading strategic pivots that kept Club operations running, all staff employed, and saw the first period of Club growth in 17 years-expanding Club sites from 2 to 5. Matt continues to leverage his relationships to enhance funding and create meaningful opportunities for Club programs. Thanks to Matt, the City’s River Rally cleanup event has become a signature annual teen service project to emphasize environmental and community stewardship. Matt consistently works to position the Club to bring critical services to youth and families in our community.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Neil Fitzgerald joined JCI Santa Clarita Valley in 2012 after moving from the United Kingdom for his job; in the UK he had served as a City Councilor. He became Local President in 2013 and 2014, State President in 2016, and National Vice President in 2017 before serving as JCI USA’s first-ever Director of Chapter Development in 2018, helping to create over 20 new local organizations. In 2020, Neil served as JCI USA Metro & Extensions Director, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, Neil pivoted into leading on training and development and has helped train over 2,000 JCI Members.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Rhona has been very involved with Circle of Hope, serving on just about all committees from event planning to set-up and clean-up and everything in between. No non-profit event or program can be successful without dependable volunteers and Rhona consistently comes forward to help out on all aspects of our organization, putting in the time even for responsibilities that are difficult to fill. Rhona has also been extremely involved in the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce and is remembered by business owners as the person who first helped introduce them to the community. She has been a Member since 2004 and served as Ambassador Chairperson and lead the Membership Monthly Meetings. Rhona can be seen at many, many community charitable events whether it be volunteering and/or supporting by attendance. Some of these include SIGSCV Fashion Show and Wine Affair, HMNH Home Tour, Carousel Ranch Heart of the West, Child and Family Center, Non-Profit Golf Tournaments, COC Silver Spurs, SMO Empowering HeArts Gala, and SCV Senior Center.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: For nearly three decades, Michael R. Mazzetti has provided invaluable services to the Santa Clarita Valley through SCVTV and other organizations. As the station’s longest-serving volunteer, he's personally been responsible for the engineering and directing for thousands of locally-produced shows. He's responsible for the technical production of the Saugus Strong Vigil livestream in 2019 which reached over 200,000 viewers all over the country. He's also responsible for the annual State of the City and Fourth of July Parade productions as well as the day-to-day maintenance and support of the station's equipment. Mike’s support has enabled SCVTV to serve hundreds of local nonprofits, too. Mazzetti has trained hundreds, if not thousands of production and media students -- helping to inspire generations of media professionals who serve in one of Santa Clarita's most booming industries. Without Mike's volunteer service, SCVTV wouldn't be nearly as impactful of an organization as it is today.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Jackie Hartmann has been an inspirational volunteer for the SCV Senior Center for several years. The highlight of Jackie’s work for the Senior Center came into focus when the Senior Center had to close their Banquet Hall in March 2020 and immediately open a “ Meals Drive Thru Service” outside in the parking lot. Jackie spearheaded this project and made it a point to be outside serving food for up to 900 Seniors every day for over two years. Jackie brought life and joy to a “Drive Thru” service – the first of its kind in LA County and by far the largest for the Senior population. Jackie would know the name of the person coming to pick up the food just by the make and model of their car. She has a “Social Workers” heart and would listen to their problems and concerns during the Covid Crisis.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Josh has always been a generous donor to our organization both with his time and treasure! He has participated in our Gentlemen for a Cause event 2 times (his third time will be this year's event) which involves donating high value auction items, soliciting donations before and during the event, and participating in the event. Last year, his donations raised the most amount of funds for our club! Josh's generosity has helped us further our mission of improving the lives of women and girls in our community. Also nominated by: Soroptimist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley & Sebastian Velona Foundation
Carolina Orozco Hernandez
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: In the 12 years Carolina has been a member of the BOD, she has been part of SDFHC’s continued growth in support of SDFHC’s mission to provide quality health care for the underinsured and uninsured of our community. During this period, Carolina was instrumental with the expansion and accessibility of our services. This growth included: the addition of our Newhall Health Center, the remodel and expansion of our Canyon Country location, expanding the days and hours of operation, the addition of oral and behavioral health services, obtaining certification from the CDC for our Diabetes Prevention Program, adding healthcare enrollment services, successful fundraising campaigns, and the securing of countless grants. Today SDFHC operates three health centers, 2 outreach sites at Cal Arts and COC, three behavioral health locations, and an oral health program.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Christina Dronen Created and developed programs within Finally Family Homes to assist aging out Foster Youth in creating lasting success. In a state where 5000 Foster Youth leave the system without families, she has shed light on the Foster Care system here in the SCV for these "Forgotten Youth". These include programs such as "Life Launch", teaching basic life skills to best prepare these "unseen members" of our community for life outside of the Foster Care System. Finally Family Homes is the first of it's kind and creates affordable housing while teaching job skills, creating ownership and a sense of agency for those struggling with housing security. This "Tiny Home" innovation build project can help this struggling young adult break the cycle of poverty and live up to their own poitential. These homes are on wheels, are environmentally friendly and efficient. She opened the very first housing for youth in need here in the Santa Clarita Valley. It was through her hard work and resilience, her dedication and strength that resulted in Finally Family Homes being named SCV Non Profit Organization of the Year in 2022.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Susan came to Santa Clarita in 1993 to manage the local public television channel – SCVTV – designing, equipping, and developing it into a communications venue showcasing the talents and activities of the City, local schools, and a variety of nonprofit arts, music, and community service organizations. As the Community Television Manager from 1993 to 2007 and subsequently as a volunteer Board member, Susan developed and provided support for hundreds of individual programs and series related to the visual and performing arts. Early on, she fostered relationships with video production instructors in the Hart School District and COC, turning SCVTV into a classroom laboratory for students. She's personally mentored countless young filmmakers and journalists, and has been an integral part of the Finding Art program which focuses on profiling arts & cultural people and organizations in Santa Clarita. Susan continues to voluntarily provide invaluable mentorship and professional support for SCVTV's day-to-day operations.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Dr. Cherise Moore’s deep belief in Zonta’s mission is proven in the impact of her actions. Cherise is instrumental in the creation, installation, mentoring, and guidance of four youth “Z clubs” within the SCV at Golden Valley, Canyon, West Ranch High Schools, and College of the Canyons Golden Z Club. Her dedication to the youth of the SCV is integral to the development of these clubs which provide opportunities for young adults to develop communication and leadership skills, explore career alternatives, and increase their civic and international awareness and understanding through service. Knowing the sacrifices of single mothers, Cherise committed herself to changing the trajectory of their lives while also making an impact on the lives of their children. As a leader of our LifeForward workshop series she has changed the lives of many grateful single mothers in the community.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Dr. Avelino has been Co-Chair of the SCV Senior Center’s Covid Re-Imagining Committee since the start of the pandemic. Each month, he would meet with the SCV Senior Center team and provide guidance as the pandemic took its course. He brought the latest information to the Senior Center leadership team and guided them on protocols, closures, outdoor events, drive thru meal services, safety of the Seniors and safety of staff. In the middle of the pandemic, Dr. Avelino held an open forum and took questions from staff over well over an hour in order to alleviate their concerns and provide them with the latest information. It was his guidance that helped the Senior Center pivot and become a leader during the pandemic. He gave of his time and expertise to make sure that the Senior Center took the right actions during un-precedented times. He has led us well.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: In the 12 years Mike has been a member of the Board of Directors (BOD), he has been part of SDFHC’s continued growth in support of SDFHC’s mission to achieve Reverend Samuel Dixon’s vision of quality health care for the underinsured and uninsured of our community. During this period, Mike was instrumental with the expansion and accessibility of our services. This growth included: the addition of our Newhall Health Center, the remodel and expansion of our Canyon Country location, expanding the days and hours of operation, the addition of oral and behavioral health services, obtaining certification from the CDC for our Diabetes Prevention Program, adding healthcare enrollment services, successful fundraising campaigns, and the securing of countless grants. Today SDFHC operates three health centers, 2 outreach sites at Cal Arts and COC, three behavioral health locations, and an oral health program.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Jean LaCorte is an amazing volunteer and cares about the community. Her passion for the mission at Child & Family Center of “Changing Lives” is first and foremost in the volunteer work she does, and guides her leadership. She inspires other board members and volunteers with her enthusiasm and wealth of ideas. Her background in Event Planning has been invaluable to the success of our Taste of the Town and Purple Palooza fundraising events. Her positive energy and willingness to help is contagious and provides critical help and support. While her knowledge and experience are invaluable, she is always willing to do the “hard labor duties” as well, which is equally as crucial and helpful. Whether it’s sorting through clothes and toys for Adopt-a-Family event, or helping to set up tables and chairs for meetings, we know we can count on Jean! Jean remains dedicated to educating the community on the work of Child & Family Center while helping to raise funds and awareness for the agency.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Leadership is Marc’s greatest contribution as a volunteer. Having served as Superintendent for Newhall School District during his career, his passion for serving children and families remains steadfast in his volunteer life. He takes his role seriously and encourages board members to contribute in many ways – giving of their time, talent and treasure. Most recently under his leadership, the board successfully identified a replacement for retiring CEO, Joan Aschoff. His decades long commitment to Child & Family Center to helping children, teens and families facing mental health challenges, drug and alcohol issues and domestic violence survivors has helped thousands in our community in need of our services.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: She has improved the lives of countless students by volunteering over 900 hours per year. Student achievements such as careers at companies such as Space-X, internships and scholarships awarded is literally impossible without her. Her students participate in real NASA missions. Teresa values mentor-mentee relationships & forms deep links with her Astronomy & Physics club & STEM Equity Alliance students. Teresa has impact by listening and encouraging STEM students and builds confidence in in her student’s. Field trips, workshops, and team-building activities empower students to be fearless and have honest conversations with her and each other. She has hosted Los Angeles children for Astronomy Day at COC, planned and coordinated public Star Parties since the event's debut, taught Upward Bound students, given presentations at local libraries, developed and facilitated NGSS training for SCV teachers, and volunteered in SCV primary schools. Teresa enjoys science outreach & making science accessible.
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: Marianne has seen us through the best and worst of times, leading with kindness, compassion and commitment. She is simply someone who GETS THINGS DONE and her answer is always YES. Marianne served as Board President for 9 years and currently serves as Immediate Past President. Marianne’s early years focused on our capital campaign, completed in 2014. This long-time dream to build a covered arena was a success due to her ability to rallying participation and teamwork to accomplish this monumental task. Once completed, her focus was the organization’s future. She led the board through three Strategic Plans, resulting in program growth (including adding the Ready to Work vocational training program) and the revenue to support it. Marianne is always working to bring Carousel Ranch to the next level, creating long term sustainability and today because of her, Carousel Ranch is stronger and more sustainable than ever!
VOLUNTEER IMPACT: In 2017 Alfredo attended our Heart of the West event and never looked back. From that moment, he was all in - dedicating his time, knowledge, passion, resources and connections. Alfredo is so passionate about the population we serve and Ranch’s mission, always making time for us even when he’s across the country. We have honestly learned so much from Alfredo and call on him regularly for his advice and ideas. We love Alfredo’s thought process and ability to think outside the box always challenging us to go the extra mile, try new things and be creative. Alfredo’s work as Co-Chair of our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan Committee led us to develop the strongest and most thorough plan to date. With his help and leadership, we look to the future with clear goals and action steps to grow programs, revenue, staffing and retention and so much more.