A Legacy of Giving
“Being the Woman of the Year has allowed me to be in the company of some of the most amazingly compassionate people I have ever met. I truly am in awe of the time and effort that these people have put into this community to make it a wonderful place to live.”
Jeri Seratti-Goldman (2005 Woman of the Year)
2022 Man of the Year
BIO: Brian Edward Koegle was the first-born child of Michelle and Robert Koegle. Born at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio on June 29, 1974, Brian quickly became the apple of his parents’ eye. Four years later, Brian was displaced as the only son when his parents brought home his brother Michael. Their sister Kathleen was the final completion of their family just two years later. Being an Irish-German Family, The Koegles loved to spend time with their large extended family and watch Ohio State Football… Go Bucks! Brian would spend his childhood sitting with his grandfather and watching Ohio State and the team up north football games and learning all about Woody Hayes’” Three Yards and a Cloud of Dust” offense. The Koegle Family lived in Newark, Ohio until 1982 when they moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Brian’s father, Robert, received a job offer as a Project Manager at Dowell. After quickly realizing that they were not Oklahomans at heart, Robert accepted a different job offer a year later as a project manager for Ronan Engineering that led them to California. The Koegle Family landed in Santa Clarita, California in 1983 and quickly found a perfect place to call home. Brian attended Santa Clarita Elementary School for third-sixth grade. He then continued to Arroyo Seco Junior High School and eventually graduated Saugus High School, class of 1992. During his years at Saugus, Brian got his first job working at Terry’s Chocolate Chippery and then moving on to work at Target for his senior year. After deciding, at the tender age of 8 to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps to become an attorney, Brian set his plan in motion after graduating Saugus High. He started his college career by attending College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita from 1992-1994. Brian then transferred to finish out his four-year degree at THE Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. (Go Bucks!) All throughout his college years, Brian worked at Radio Shack and could still tell you, to this day, some of the stock numbers for certain useless cords. It only took the first Columbus winter for Brian to realize that he loathed any sort of cold weather. The winter that Brian was in Columbus had, to this day, the coldest day ever recorded in Columbus -22. So instead of riding out his second year of winter in Ohio, he decided to pile on his credits and graduate a full semester early and head back to California as quickly as possible. Brian graduated The Ohio State University in December 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology and was a member of the Psi Chi National Psychology Honors Society. After graduating from The Ohio State University and moving back to sunny California, Brian spent a year immersing himself in the area of law by working in the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office- Newhall Courthouse during the day and selling women’s shoes at Robinson’s May at the Valencia Town Center at night. He was the number one seller of women’s shoes for the year he worked there… must be his light touch. Brian then continued to pursue his dream of becoming an attorney by attending Southwestern University School of Law. He was accepted into the SCALE Program, which completes a law degree in two years instead of three. Brian was a member of the Interscholastic Trial Advocacy Honors Program and apart of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. Brian graduated Southwestern with his Juris Doctor in May 2001. It was May 2001 that Brian also started dating his future wife, Lindsay. Brian and Lindsay met in 1998 while Brian was attending law school and Lindsay was in High School. Lindsay and Katy, Brian’s sister, met in High School and quickly became fast friends. It was in high school that Lindsay found out that her friend Katy’s mom was a piano teacher and decided to take lessons. While Lindsay was waiting for her first lesson in the living room of the Koegle Household, Brian walked in and promptly asked “Who are you?” Lindsay though he was a snob, but we don’t need to discuss that. Brian and Lindsay became friends as their families became closer. They would become workout buddies and hang out at The Spectrum Club in Valencia and try to find each other people to date. It wasn’t until after Lindsay turned 18 and Brian was desperate for a date for his law school graduation after breaking up with his girlfriend that anything happened. They went to Red Lobster before the party and on the way home from the party, Brian stopped off at a Seven Eleven and bought Lindsay a singing, light up plastic rose then proceeded to pull over on the side of the road at Tourney and Magic Mountain when it was just a dirt lot and slow dance on the side of the road with Lindsay. Brian and Lindsay married on August 24, 2002, in Thousand Oaks, California in Brian’s parents’ backyard. In 2003 Brian and Lindsay welcomed their first daughter, Ashlyn to the world. Ashlyn was the first grandchild and especially spoiled. In September of 2005 Brian and Lindsay welcomed their second daughter Addison, to the family and because they just love girls so much, two years after that in August of 2007 they completed their trio of girls with Amelia. In 2004 Brian joined the Santa Clarita based firm of Poole, Shaffery & Koegle as an attorney. Over the next 18 years, Brian helped to build the labor and employment department of the firm and quickly became recognized within the community as an expert resource on California Employment Law. In 2009 Brian became a partner in the firm. In 2019 his name was added to the firm and is now Poole, Shaffery & Koegle, LLP Oldest daughter, Ashlyn is currently attending nursing school at Lipscomb University in Nashville Middle daughter Addison is currently a junior and researching colleges Youngest daughter Amelia is a freshman in High School The Koegle Family enjoys vacationing to the Caribbean and various states, attending Ohio State games and celebrating Ohio State football wins with friends and family Brian got his start in local philanthropy The Jaycees in 2005 where he learned the value of giving his time, talent and treasure. Brian credits his abilities to run a meeting and organizing an event on the skills and training her received as a Jaycee. Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce (nominated him) Brian was on the Government Affairs Committee for 6 years and has been presenting the Annual Employment Law Update for 6 years Senior Center (Nominated him) Volunteer celebrity waiter for 4 years followed by emcee of the event for another 4 years. Co Chair for Celebrity Waiter for 2 years and he was on the event planning committee for 5 years. College of the Canyons (Nominated him) Board Member of College of the Canyons Foundation 2008- present time COC Executive Committee Member 2015-present COC Foundation Board President 2018-2020 COC Measure “M” Citizens’ Oversight Committee COC “Yes on Measure E” Campaign Co-Chair HandsOn Santa Clarita Chairman of the Board from 2011-2016 Volunteered for Make a Difference Day for 6 years Hosted and Co-Chaired 9/11 Day of Remembrance Played Santa Claus twice for the 5K/10K Fun Run at Magic Mountain for HandsOn Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association Lawyer of the Year Award Recipient 2012 Founders Award Recipient for Outstanding Community Contribution 2007 and 2009 Executive Board 2007-2012 Board President 2009-2010 Co-Chair Public Relations/ Marketing 2005 Chair, Law Appreciation Day 2007, 2009 Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project Board of Directors 2007-2015 Executive Committee 2008-2010
2022 Woman of the Year
BIO: Julie Sturgeon is the President of Julie M. Sturgeon CPA and has practiced in Santa Clarita since 1990. Her focus has been on tax preparation and tax planning for both individuals and businesses. Sturgeon has clients in varying industries; from restaurants to medical and entertainment. She has co-owned Confidential Data Destruction Company with her Husband Steve, and played an active role in the sale of the company in 2019. Sturgeon has worked with multiple charities and organizations around the valley for many years, including College of the Canyons Foundation, Child and Family Center, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, Rotary International, Sulphur Springs School, La Mesa Junior High, Canyon High School, the Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, AYSO, SCV Theatre Group, the Betty Ferguson Foundation and Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley. Sturgeon was nominated by the SCV Senior Center and the Rotatry Club of Santa Clarita.
2019 Man of the Year
BIO: Edward Joseph Masterson Jr., the only child of Edward and Noreen Masterson, was born September 3, 1958, very early in the morning at St. Vincent's Hospital in Los Angeles, right in the shadow of the Hollywood sign — a precursor of things to come. An only child, "Little Eddie," as he would come to be known, was the apple of his mom and dad's eye.
2019 Woman of the Year
BIO: Pamela Ann Robinson was born February 2, 1950, in Chicago. Because her father, Gil, was "on the road" in vaudeville during the time that mom, Eileen, was pregnant, Gil enlisted the help of his best friend, television personality George Goebel, to drive Eileen to the hospital when the time came. But on February 2, Eileen was unable to reach George, so she called a cab. The cab driver got lost on the way to the hospital, and Pam was almost born in the back seat of that cab. The driver finally did make it to Edgewater Hospital where Pam was safely delivered.
2018 Man of the Year
BIO: Nick’s long history with our Rotary Club includes both volunteer activities and financial contributions. He has served in leadership positions as well as serving with hands-on projects. His financial contributions have contributed to local Rotary service projects and to projects serving the global community through Rotary International. His contributions were essential to the club receiving recognition from our Rotary District as a 100% Paul Harris Club, and recognition for the Every Rotarian Every Year program. In addition to Rotary, Nick is a leader in many other areas of our community. He genuinely demonstrates his concern for the people in our community through his actions, and encourages others to get involved as well. Nick’s long-time commitment to service and positive energy are assets not only to our club, but also to our community. Nick has been a supporter of Child & Family Center for over two decades. Besides serving in various board positions, his leadership as chair of the Guardians of Hope Campaign in 2014 resulted in raising $117,000, which helps those children in need of mental health services continue their care when government funding has been exhausted. He and his firm have been longtime sponsors of the Center’s Taste of the Town. Nick also negotiated the City’s sponsorship in the Santa Clarita Century Ride. This past year, Nick has been invaluable serving on the board merger committee, resulting in the Center and Foundation Boards merging into one entity. He extended his term as chair of the Foundation Board to ensure the smooth merge transition. Currently, Nick is serving on the Child & Family Center Board’s Fund Development Committee, and is chairing an inaugural event - Child & Family Center’s Trike Derby. *** As managing partner at Lentini Financial Advisory, and a financial advisor with Signator Financial Advisors, Inc., Nick Lentini specializes in financial plans that are specifically tailored to his clients’ individual retirement needs. Nick earned his LUTCF designation in 1995 from The American College. In addition to life insurance Nick pursued an education in securities. He currently holds series 6, 7, 63 & 66 licenses and is an Investment Advisor Representative with Signator Financial Advisors. Nick is very personally involved in the Santa Clarita area, holding board-of-director positions for the following; The Chamber of Commerce, Santa Clarita Rotary, Past President of the Santa Clarita Rotary Club, American Cancer Society, Child and Family Center, Association for Victims of Domestic Violence, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s Advisory Committee and Cub Scouts Pack 608. He currently holds board positions for the Santa Clarita Valley Rotary Club, COC Foundation, COC Board Governance Committee, Chairman of Citizens Oversight Committee for Bond Measure M, and Child and Family Center Foundation Board Secretary. Nick and wife Elise are parents to two boys, Dominic and Marco.
2018 Woman of the Year
BIO: Mercado-Fortine was nominated for her volunteer work with Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc. Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers (10 years) • Chair of Board of Directors • Rubber Ducky Festival committee SCV Boys & Girls Club (23 years) • Board of directors • Vice president, Programs • Youth Scholarship committee • Creating Great Futures Program volunteer Child & Family Center (12 years) • Chair, Client Services • Board of Directors secretary Valley Industy Association (3 years) • Executive committee • Board of Directors • Co-chair VIA Bash • Connecting to Success and Leadership Series volunteer City of Santa Clarita Anti-Gang Task Force (19 years) • Hero of Week volunteer • Teens on Target • Graffiti Removal SCV Fourth of July Parade (19 years) • Committee member • Announcer YMCA of Santa Clarita Valley (8 years) • Board member • Advisory Board College of the Canyons (18 years) • Friends of the College donor • Culinary Arts Campaign • Student Scholarships • Library Associates • Silver Spur committee Providence Health System (12 years) • Board member • Medical Board member Zonta Club of SCV (35 years) • Past president • Chair, Young Women in Public Affairs • Chair, Healthy Kids Club of Val Verde • Rent-a-Santa SCV Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (5 years) • Chair, Light the Night SCV Latino Chamber of Commerce (4 years) • Board of directors • Co-Chair, Gala • Student Scholarship SCV American Cancer Society (12 years) • Founding president • Co-founder of SCV Unit • Founder, Relay for Life Luminaria Ceremony Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence (8 years) • Board member • New Year’s Gala committee • Programs Hart High School District (16 years) • Governing Board Castaic Union School District (10 years) • Governing Board Castaic Town Council Founding Member (4 years) Others: L.A. County Probation Dept. Volunteers, Flying Samaritans, SCV Youth Project, SCV Theatre Guild, SCV Chamber of Commerce, Measures M, V, and SA Bond committees, Girl Scouts, Veterans Advocacy Network, Michael Hoefflin Foundation, SCV Senior Center Organization Impact Gloria’s passion and leadership at Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers have helped guide the organization in obtaining the designation of a Federally Qualified Health Center, securing both federal and local grants, and establishing collaborative relationships with other local nonprofits serving the disadvantaged community. She has also helped to expand accessibility and services at the Newhall and Canyon Country locations. With Gloria’s leadership, SDFHC continues to provide quality comprehensive healthcare, dental, and mental health services to the uninsured and under-insured population of the Santa Clarita Valley serving over 4,000 patients and providing over 11,000 appointments annually. *** As a life-long resident, Gloria’s roots run deep in the SCV. She has been an active member of the community and has demonstrated a life-time commitment to public service and volunteerism. She has been a powerful advocate for education and a role model for young people in both her professional and personal life. Gloria is a graduate of the William S. Hart School District and holds a unique place in the district’s history as the only alumna to have taught for the Hart district and been elected to the school board. Gloria served four terms as a publicly elected official of the district’s governing board. Prior to serving there, she served on the Castaic Union School District board and was a founding member of the Castaic Town Council. Her 30-year career in education included positions as teacher, counselor, principal, and assistant superintendent including working in the second largest school district in the county, the LAUSD, where she supervised 125 schools and a budget of over $200 million. Currently she is the chief executive of Global Education Solutions, Inc,. working statewide to train future leaders, transform education, and improve school environments. Gloria holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cal State Northridge, a Masters of Science Degree, School Administration and Management from Pepperdine University, and a Masters of Science from LaVerne University in educational psychology. She also holds a Masters in Governance from the California School Boards Association. Gloria has taught as an adjunct professor at Cal State Los Angeles, Mission College, and College of the Canyons. She enjoys spending her leisure time with her family, friends, her husband Bruce, and their border collie, Lexi.
2017 Man of the Year
BIO: From the time Eric joined the Carousel Ranch board, he has been an integral part of the organization. Shortly after joining, Eric stepped up and filled the role of interim president. He took his position very seriously, working hard to take the organization to a new level. None of us, Eric included, could have had any idea of the incredible challenges and changes we would face in the years to follow – yet with Eric as our leader, the ranch not only survived the toughest of financial times, but thrived. Eric was with us, buying property to complete renovations of our new home, obtaining our conditional use permit, attending countless County meetings, to the completion of our biggest project ever -- the building of our long-awaited covered arena. One of Eric’s greatest achievements and contributions has been his work as co-creator and chair of our Trap Shoot. From concept to completion, this has really been Eric’s event. For many months each year (this being the 9th annual), Eric has been the one that has literally “made” this event, raising over $250,000 over the years. From soliciting teams to creating the day’s events, entertainment, and literally every element of how it all works. He is always involved in every event and undertaking that we have. He personally dedicates countless hours to the success of Carousel Ranch’s annual Heart of the West event, which his personal efforts directly result in raising tens of thousands of dollars each year. Eric is always ready, willing and able to make calls, obtain donations, and simply get any job done. Eric is exceptionally proud that his daughter, Jolie, has become one of the ranch’s staff. *** Eric Stroh has been calling the Santa Clarita Valley home since 1988 when his future wife praised it as the perfect place to raise a family. After he earned his Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Eric bought his first home, got hired as a sales engineer for Honeywell, and asked his college sweetheart to marry him. By 1996, the couple had two daughters. In 2003, Eric left corporate America and began working alongside his father-in-law at Santa Clarita Concrete. Being able to help grow the family business while having the freedom to be present and involved in all aspects of his daughters’ lives has been Eric’s greatest joy. He has never missed a school production, an award ceremony, or sporting event. Eric is always front and center with his camera as his girls’ biggest fan. It was his daughter Jolie’s obsession with horses that first brought Eric to Carousel Ranch. Together, they have given hours of love and support to the Ranch. When Eric isn’t working, he can be found on the water ,either wakeboarding or paddle boarding, with his family.
2017 Woman of the Year
BIO: Laina Castellani was the firstborn daughter of George and Marilyn Castellani in Walnut Creek, Calif., in 1967. Her excited parents, both teachers, created a stimulating environment for their little girl, filled with activities love and lots of great Italian food. That early love of food has remained with her and inspires her even today.
2016 Man of the Year
BIO: Gasper James Lentini was born In 1939, to second generation Sicilian immigrants,
2016 Woman of the Year
BIO: For most of her life, Lois has been in service to improve the lives of young people both professionally and personally. She has worked almost exclusively for causes that support young or disadvantaged people. Lois and her two children have lived in Santa Clarita since 1983. She remained an active volunteer in Santa Clarita during her years working in the San Fernando Valley, creating relationships with the philanthropic community in the SCV that have fostered improvement in the lives of its fellow citizens. In addition to community service previously listed, she participated fully in parental projects for Meadows School PTA for a year; Placerita Junior High School for four years; and Hart Football for three years. She was named AFP Fundraiser of the Year, San Fernando Valley Region in 2004, Zontian of the Year in 2006, and received the 2012 Empowering Hearts Award by SCV Single Mothers Outreach. Because of this involvement, her service to Zonta has had a strong impact since she takes responsibility for promoting the Zonta name in the community. Lois is a proud ambassador for the work that Zontians do with service projects and scholarships. She is regularly featured as a speaker to nonprofit organizations who seek to learn more about leadership, nonprofit management, fundraising, and volunteer manager. She has been asked to speak regularly at the College of the Canyons leadership forums, and she has helped numerous other organizations including the SCV Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy, the Girl Scouts, and the SCV Domestic Violence Center as a speaker, a workshop director, a grant writer, and a mentor.
2015 Man of the Year
BIO: An SCV resident since 1970, UCLA graduate and award-winning journalist (Associated Press, California Newspaper Publishers Association, National Newspaper Association, Numismatic Literary Guild awards for investigative reporting, business writing, opinion pages, websites),
2015 Woman of the Year
BIO: A newlywed, Sue and her husband moved to Newhall in 1978. Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, Newhall was quite a cultural shock — no malls, major restaurants, theaters, horse tracks or beaches. After a few months, the quaint community of Placerita Canyon grew on her, and she knew she would live in this area for the rest of her life.
William (Bill) Lively
2014 Man of the Year
BIO: Lively has been involved with the Senior Center for 10 years, the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita for 25 years and a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce for more than 30 years. He's also been on the SCV Food Pantry's Board of Directors, a trustee for the College of the Canyons Foundation, on the board for Family Promise and involved with the Santa Clarita Valley Arts Council.
2014 Woman of the Year
BIO: Gray has been involved with the SCV Boys & Girls Club for 26 years, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley for 16 years and a member of the SCV Chamber of Commerce for 26 years. She also supports Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, the American Heart Association and the Circle of Hope, in addition to the Michael Hoefflin Foundation, Carousel Ranch and the Santa Clarita Vally Child & Family Center.
2013 Man of the Year
BIO: Hart School Board member Steve Sturgeon was named Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year at the 47th annual recognition dinner at the Hyatt Valencia.
2013 Woman of the Year
BIO: Hopp was nominated by the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer. She has held various positions on the Board of Directors, chaired committees, worked tirelessly, and provided invaluable insight to this highly successful nonprofit organization.
2012 Man of the Year
BIO: Thomas E. Dierckman, former president of the Valencia Co., was born Oct 25, 1948, in Batesville, Ind., the only child of Stan and Marty Dierckman. He lived in Batesville until the middle of second grade, serving as an altar boy on Sundays and every other day a cowboy. Then he moved to Shelbyville, Ind., where his parents worked for General Electric.
2012 Woman of the Year
BIO: Myrna North Richardson was born Feb. 4, 1947, in Jackson Hole, Wyo. She was the fourth of 10 children (7 boys and 3 girls) born to Weldon and Roberta Richardson.
2011 Man of the Year
BIO: Harry Allen Bell was born July 2, 1923, five years after the end of World War I — "the war to end all wars." In the United States, the 1920s were a decade of extremes: a new prosperity had swept into some parts of the country prompting novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald to write about America's growing fascination with flappers, jazz, fancy cars, and airplane barnstorming.
2011 Woman of the Year
BIO: On the advice of his new boss Brad and Candy bought a home in the Santa Clarita Valley. After living in 12 places in their first 10 years of marriage, the Spahrs had found a home.
2010 Man of the Year
BIO: Wayne Crawford, the 2010 SCV Man of the Year, has been a Santa Clarita resident since 1969 and a committed volunteer for most of his life. Over two decades ago, Wayne worked tirelessly to help form the City of Santa Clarita as a founding member and director of CIVIC. The separation from Los Angeles County has exponentially benefited the people of our community. In 2001, as we struggled with an energy crisis, Wayne served as the Chairman of the City’s Energy Committee, where he tirelessly helped plan real solutions to both pragmatic energy issues and information disbursement. And when the City needs help, Wayne is still there, acting both as council and friend to City advisors and, most recently, donating needed supplies to complete our town’s memorial garden dedicated to local youth who’ve lost their lives in car accidents. More than ten years ago, Wayne’s beloved wife, Dianne, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her struggle with the disease prompted Crawford, along with business partner Don Fleming, to found the Crawford-Fleming Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Invitational. Hosting a golf tournament, arranging for auction items, soliciting in-kind donors and finding sponsors once a year for a decade is no easy task, but it has proved integral to the health of the women (and men) of Santa Clarita. Over $1 million has been raised and donated back to Santa Clarita. These donations have been imperative to maintaining the highest technological standards in imaging available. The importance of community support is noted that since its inception, the Breast Imaging Center, designated a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence *(BICOE) by the American College of Radiology, has conducted 49,072 screenings and 11,060 diagnostic mammograms, for a total of 60,132 combined mammography exams. And, to date, 435 cancers have been detected. Wayne has also worked hard in support of our local hospital, serving in many capacities of philanthropy. He is steadfastly supportive of Henry Mayo both in participation and resources. His financial acumen has helped to steer the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation to its height of responsiveness in providing vital philanthropic funding for life saving services at our community hospital. His counsel is sought and appreciated and his generosity goes beyond commitment. We believe that Wayne should not only be considered Man of the Year in Santa Clarita, but in the entire State of California…..and perhaps the nation! Wayne also helped found and organize (along with Lou Garasi and others) the Valencia Industrial association in 1980. A successful businessman who owns Santa Clarita Concrete and co-owns Valencia Acura and Inside SCV Magazine, Wayne has also made a financial commitment to many local nonprofits. His personal and professional contributions well exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was named one of 51 most influential people in Santa Clarita in 2007. In 2008, the Elks “honored” Wayne for his long-time commitment to the betterment of our community. Wayne was also bestowed with the title of 2008’s Silver Spur Award Recipient for Community Service, granted by the College of the Canyons. Wayne resides in his longtime Canyon Country home with wife of 44 years, Dianne. He is the proud father of three children and “papa” to five grandchildren (and one on the way!). Volunteer Contributions Include: Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation Foundation Treasurer 1988, 1989, 1990 Foundation Board Member 14 years Capital Campaign Committee 2004, 2005, 2006 Golf Tournament Chair 1988 and 1999 Inaugural Advisory Board Member Corporate Partners Chair 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990 Finance Committee Chairman 1988, 1989, 1990 Major Donor Sheila R. Veloz Imaging Center – Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Co-Founder of the Crawford-Fleming Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Invitational (1997 to present) Major Donor Carousel Ranch Board Member 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,2009,2010 Capital Campaign Chair (concurrent) Property Acquisition and Development Coordinator 2005-present Major Donor Child and Family Center Advisory Board Member 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Boys and Girls Club Foundation Board Member 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 Festival of Trees Co-Chair 2005 and 2006 Santa Clarita Symphony Advisory Board Member 2007 and 2008 CIVIC Founding Member and Director City of Santa Clarita Chair of Energy Committee 2001 Economic Development – present Additional Recipients Include: Soroptimist of SCV Betty Ferguson Foundation YMCA of Santa Clarita Randy Wicks Foundation Arthritis Foundation College of the Canyons Foundation (President’s Circle Member) Zonta International of SCV SCV Committee on Aging Canyon Theatre Guild William S. Hart Baseball Samuel Dixon Family Health Foundation Santa Clarita Symphony Foundation for Children’s Dental Health American Cancer Society (SCV) Santa Clarita Stars Booster City of Santa Clarita (Youth Memorial Garden at Central Park) Boy Scouts of America Wayne Crawford gives so much more to those than can be listed on a report. The philanthropy in his heart creates a soul of purpose in helping those who benefit from his generosity.
Mary Ann Colf
2010 Man of the Year
BIO: Mary Ann potponed the completion of her degrees to work as a full-time mother.
2009 Man of the Year
BIO: Greg Amsler, owner of Salt Creek Grille has participated in many nonprofit groups, including the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Michael Hoefflin Foundation and the SCV Child and Family Center board. He has volunteered much of his time and efforts to helping out. He and his wife Chell will be chairing the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club Auction set to take place at the Mann Biomedical Park on June 13.
2009 Man of the Year
BIO: Long time Santa Clarita Valley resident, Nancy Coulter, has dedicated much of her time to our community. She spends her time volunteering for the American Cancer Society, helping patients find programs and services to meet their needs. Nancy also drives cancer patients to and from treatment She is involved with the Relay for Life, and serves on the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Committee.
2008 Man of the Year
BIO: In 2006, Carl brought back the annual Congressional Art Award to Santa Clarita. Now in its third year, the award is presented in coordination with U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon. Together, they select a winning piece of art from local High School students. The winning piece is displayed for one year in the Capitol Building in Washington DC. The winning student is flown to Washington, with his or her family to a special Congressional event at the unveiling in June. Carl has received numerous awards from our schools, including the Santa Clarita Valley School Administrators Golden Apple Award in 2005. In the past, Carl has served on a number of other local boards; The Canyon Country Chamber of Commerce, The College of the Canyon’s Foundation, The Hart School District’s Honor Band and The Santa Clarita Senior Center. He’s organized many blood drives for the American Red Cross and Providence Holy Cross Hospital. He and his wife Jeri teamed up with Chris and Sue Hoefflin in 1994 and together they formed the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. Carl and Jeri donate their time, money and resources to many Santa Clarita charities. Their radio station devotes a tremendous amount of airtime for our Valley’s non-profits, along with daily exposure at the KHTS Kiosk at the Westfield Valencia Town Center. Carl has a Master’s Degree from the Annenberg School of Communication at USC and a BA from Hampshire College, Amherst, MA. Volunteer History Includes: Carl currently serves on the Executive Board of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, as Vice-President, Government Affairs. Carl won their prestigious Community Service award for 2007. In February 2008, he received the Santa Clarita Senior Center’s Executive Director’s Award for Leadership. He has served on the Santa Clarita Valley Film & Tourism Committee. He also heads up the Santa Clarita Council of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Red Cross, as well as founding and heading up the Santa Clarita Disaster Coalition. He currently serves on Advisory Boards for SCV Bank, The Michael Hoefflin Foundation and the Boys & Girls Club. In addition, Carl heads up the Committee for the Hart School District High School Honor Band Gala, and serves on a special advisory committee for Providence Holy Cross Hospital and on several advisory boards and coalitions for the City of Santa Clarita. In March 2006, he organized a group of local representatives on a trip to Sacramento to give a voice for our Valley with State Politicians. The Sacramento trip is now an annual journey, with seventy community leaders taking a two day bus trip to Sacramento, meeting with legislators to lobby on behalf of Santa Clarita schools, transportation and water issues. Carl also participates in the annual Santa Clarita Chamber of Commerce Washington, D.C., lobbying trip. In the past, Carl has served on a number of other local boards, including the board of the Canyon Country Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Clarita Valley American Red Cross, Santa Clarita’s Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, The College of the Canyon’s Foundation, The Santa Clarita Committee for the Aging; and numerous committees, and subcommittees. Carl has organized numerous blood drives for the American Red Cross and Providence Holy Cross hospital. He has helped coordinate a number of civic projects, including a Community Recycling Program, with the City and Waste Management/Blue Barrel, along with overseeing a special Santa Clarita event connected with the annual Love Ride in November 2005. He has spearheaded elementary school Safety Patrols, bringing in the Sheriff and Fire Department and KHTS radio to six elementary schools each year, spending a day at each school. Carl has received numerous awards from our schools, including the Santa Clarita Valley School Administrators Golden Apple Award in 2005.
2008 Woman of the Year
BIO: Judy moved to Santa Clarita 18 years ago and immediately became involved in a wide variety of community service activities in our valley. Local organizations ranging from A to Z (American Heart Association to Zonta) have benefited from her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for service. In leadership roles, Judy has served as president of the Zonta Club of the SCV two times, served on the board of directors of the Domestic Violence Center for fifteen years, including three terms as president, has co-chaired the Senior Wine Auction three times, and currently serves as Vice President of the Circle of Hope. Her many hours of service have translated into raising thousands of dollars for community organizations. She was recognized as the “outstanding volunteer of the year” in 2007 by the Boys & Girls Club and has a long history of supporting many of the Santa Clarita Valley’s best known fundraisers including the Committee on Aging’s Celebrity Waiter, the Boys & Girls Club’s Auction and Festival of Trees, and Zonta’s Celebrity Tribute. Judy’s job as Los Angeles Outreach Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Labor keeps her traveling throughout Southern California, Arizona and Hawaii. When Judy returns from a trip there always is an opportunity for her to volunteer for one of the many nonprofit organizations in Santa Clarita. Judy lives by the Helen Keller quote, “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”
2007 Man of the Year
BIO: Greg Nutter has served on the board of the SCV Committee on Aging for more than 10 years, and has helped the Committee on Aging to develop into the largest and most comprehensive service provider for needy senior citizens in all Los Angeles County. He has served as an officer and has chaired many committees. In these positions, he has coordinated facility repairs, financial oversight and ambassador duties. He has helped the Senior Center in fundraising through his work on the Annual Wine Auction and the Celebrity Waiter Dinner. Nutter has been a member of SCV Rotary Club for 15 years and, through that organization, was instrumental in obtaining the donation of a Percheron horse to Carousel Ranch for its horseback therapy for children with disabilities. The Club also donates money for the horse’s upkeep. Through Rotary, Greg has also supported the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center and Single Mothers’ Outreach, and helped establish Dental Health for Children. He has also been associated with the American Red Cross board of directors, the American Heart Association, the SCV Chamber of Commerce membership committee, the Boys & Girls Club Auction, Child & Family Center’s Taste of the Town, the SCV Chapter of the American Diabetes Association, the SCV Education Foundation’s Principal for a Day event, City of Santa Clarita’s Job Shadow Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Post 507.
2007 Woman of the Year
BIO: Jeanna Crawford has called Santa Clarita “home” her entire life and began volunteering at an early age. A product of local public schools, including Hart High, Jeanna’s volunteer service began by making blankets and planning entertainment for our local Senior Centers at the age of eight. In high school she was an integral member of Hart’s Associated Student Body (ASB) and a Safe Rides volunteer. As director of the Betty Ferguson Foundation’s “Youth with a Voice” program, Jeanna was afforded the opportunity to serve as a mentor to young girls. She led discussions about body image, mental/emotional health, friendship and more, creating lifetime relationships with her “girls.” Her 11-year experience as a international plus-sized model, with agents in both New York and Los Angeles, allowed her a unique chance to be a healthy role model for her charges, as well as for the average-sized woman. Jeanna has committed herself to assisting over a dozen local nonprofit organizations. As chair or co-chair of multiple fundraising events, her tireless efforts have translated to over $2 million net dollars raised that directly benefit our community’s neediest citizens. As president and co-publisher of Inside SCV Magazine, Jeanna has also formed numerous charitable alliances with Santa Clarita’s nonprofit organizations. Over the last two years, Inside SCV Magazine has supported many organizations. The company also sponsors and host websites for Soroptimist of SCV, Bras for a Cause, Carousel Ranch, SCV Man & Woman of the Year and William S. Hart Baseball.
2006 Man of the Year
BIO: Michael Berger is a senior vice president at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and is a 29-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley. He has been active with local business and service clubs for more than 28 years. He has served as president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, and as president of the SCV Rotary Club, where he is a 28-year member. In November of 2009 Michael was elected to the Board of Trustees at College of the Canyons. He has been active on the board of the College of the Canyons Foundation for almost two decades, serving as chairman of the Board, heading the Finance and Investment Committee, participating on the Capital Campaign’s Major Gifts Committee and volunteering at virtually every fundraising event sponsored by the COC Foundation. He recently served for 12 years as a member of the City of Santa Clarita Planning Commission. He has been involved with Activities for Retarded Children, and he has served for over 20 years on the Governing Board of Barlow Hospital in Los Angeles. In 2000, Michael was the recipient of the College of the Canyons Foundation’s “Silver Spur Award,” an event that raised thousands of dollars for the College.
2006 Woman of the Year
BIO: Diana Cusumano has involved herself in school, community and volunteer work for more than three decades in the Santa Clarita Valley. At Wiley Canyon School she served as Site Council President, PTA board member, was a three-year volunteer reading specialist and ESL tutor, and created the first Math Triathlon fundraiser. She chaired the founding board of the Newhall Elementary School District Foundation, which allowed that moneys collected in the District could stay in the schools and be tax-deductible. At Hart High School she became a member of the Parent Association Board and also a member of the Hart Auditorium Angels. She is a board member of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center, and a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club Auction. She has served College of the Canyons as a COC Foundation Board member, has served on the Education Scholarship committee and the Library Associates committee, and has played a key role with every Silver Spur dinner event since 1989. Diana has been a member of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Guild for 10 years, serving as Guild president and chair of the Silver Rose Debutante Ball for three years. She has been a member of the HMNMH Home Tour League for 16 years; she was chair of the League holiday event for three years, and co-chaired a design home for four years. Diana has been a volunteer at the SCV Child & Family Center for 20 years, where she served as a member of “Kares,” a member of the Golf Tournament committee and the “Taste of the Town” committee, and is a director of the Child & Family Center Foundation. She was a founding member of the SCV Heart Association board and provided two years of in-service training for elementary school teachers. She is also on the Board of the Betty Ferguson Foundation where she chaired the Education Advancement Forum and recently helped create a $100,000 Foundation scholarship endowment at COC.
2005 Man of the Year
BIO: Gary Condie, who was named 2005 Santa Clarita Man of the Year last May, was born and raised in Idaho. He moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1974. He established a local accounting practice in 1975 Gary has worked his entire professional life as a Certified Public Accountant. He is currently one of the partners of Condie & Wood, CPAs. Over the 32 years that he has lived in the community, Gary has devoted himself to civic and charitable causes. In 1984, he became the founding chair of the Henry Mayo Newhall Health Foundation which benefits the local hospital. He has been active with the Boys & Girls Club for decades; he has served as President of the Board for four years, has been a director for 20 years, has served on the Auction committee, and he was founding co-chairman of the annual Festival of the Trees that was started a few years ago and produces more than $100,000 in funds to the club every holiday season. Gary became a charter member of the Boys & Girls Club Foundation and now serves as its vice-president. He was a founding member and is currently vice-president of the Santa Clarita Valley Facilities Foundation; and he is also vice president of the College of the Canyons Foundation. Gary has been an appointee of the Hart School District Advisory Committee. He helps fundraising by donating items and memorabilia to local benefits, like the Randy Wicks Memorial Scholarship Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club Auction, and the Festival of the Trees. Last May, when Gary was named 2005 Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, he accepted the honor with his usual modesty. He said, “It has been an opportunity to work closely with others who are dedicated to this community.”
Jeri Seratti- Goldman
2005 Woman of the Year
BIO: Jeri Seratti-Goldman moved to the Santa Clarita Valley with her husband Carl Goldman in 1990. In the 16 years that she has lived in our community, Jeri has been a dynamo of energy both in local media and in benefiting local charitable organizations and social services. Jeri grew up in the radio business and it has become her professional life. She began in 1980 at KZLA in Los Angeles. In 1986, she was named Director of Finance and Human Resources at the Westwood One Radio Network. Fours years later in 1990, Jeri and Carl purchased Santa Clarita’s only local radio station – AM-1220, KBET. In 1995, Jeri took over at Saddleback’s KBET, and remained KBET’s General Manager till the station was sold in 1998. She was instrumental in launching Gold Coast and High Desert Broadcasting , serving as Controller for eleven radio stations, and was instrumental in staffing the two companies throughout their startup and initial growth. Jeri and Carl currently own and operate AM-1220 KHTS, Santa Clarita’s Hometown radio station. They have two children Ryan, a senior at Valencia High School, and Kyle, a fifth grader at Sulphur Springs Elementary. From the day she arrived in the Santa Clarita Valley, Jeri has immersed herself in volunteer activities and charitable good works. She has served on the Advisory Board of the Child & Family Center; she was one of the founders of the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Pediatric Cancer in 1994, has served on its board, and has chaired many of its fundraisers. She also donated her time as Treasurer of the Valencia High School Cross Country team, and has served two elected terms on the Sulphur Springs Elementary School District site council. She was also Treasurer on the Sulphur Springs PTA. Jeri was named the 2005 Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year, an annual award going back 40 years. Despite receiving such an honor, Jeri has not rested on her laurels. She currently serves on the board of Providence Holy Cross Hospital, and is a director of the Carousel Ranch. She served as vice-president of the local ROTC Booster Club, and she chaired the Taste of the Town, the large fund-raiser benefiting the Child & Family Development Center. On receiving her award last May of 2005 Woman of the Year, Jeri said, “Being the Woman of the Year has allowed me to be in the company of some of the most amazingly compassionate people I have ever met. I truly am in awe of the time and effort that these people have put into this community to make it a wonderful place to live.”
2004 Man of the Year
BIO: In the midst of the early days of World War II, on the dark night of April 3, 1942, a beam of light shined forth – Don Fleming was born in Daingerfield, Texas. The small town, near Tyler, gave little Don plenty of room to explore and play out the adventures of Tom Sawyer. From very early on, Don had a fascination and love of automobiles. He also loved sports, excelling at an early age in baseball and football. His prowess in football attracted more than one college scout. The summer before Don’s senior year at Daingerfield High School, two separate tragic events squelched any ideas he had of going to college on an athletic scholarship. In a double blow, Don lost his best friend and his mother. The high school senior’s excitement for football cooled, and so did his college aspirations. Following his high school graduation in 1960, Don joined the U.S. Marine Corps and found himself serving on a helicopter carrier in South East Asia. As a member of the Fifth Marine Expeditionary Force, Don was involved in sorties into Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and much like the rest of the country in the early ’60s, Don had no idea where the conflict was headed. When he was discharged in 1962, he began dabbling in a series of business enterprises which eventually led to a partnership with General Electric in Austin, Texas and the development of the first tanning salon in the United States. He was so successful that he was visited by other entrepreneurs. One was a young lady from Woodland Hills, wishing to open up her own tanning salon in California. Her name was Cheri. Don sold her tanning equipment and she became an instant success, and became one of Don’s most successful business protégés. Don’s business and consultation trips from Austin to Woodland Hills increased in frequency, until January 1984 when he moved to California and Cheri and he were married. They settled in the San Fernando Valley with Don’s children, Brian and Kymbra. Don and his bride had an entrepreneurial spirit. But it was the car business that “hooked” them in 1985. They purchased a partnership in an Encino car leasing business in 1985, then bought a Woodland Hills Lexus dealership in 1989. That prompted them to purchase a piece of a Toyota dealership in Santa Clarita. When their partner bought them out in 1990, Don and Cheri dabbled with retirement. Don indulged his love of golf and Cheri became active in charity work. A golfing friend urged them to purchase a partnership with him in the Santa Clarita Acura Dealership. Because the partner lived in Oregon, Cheri and Don were the hands-on partners. The Flemings had their work cut-out for them, reviving and rebuilding the dealership. Their perseverance paid off and the business began to work its way up the financial charts. Enchanted with the Santa Clarita Valley, the couple sold their house in the San Fernando Valley, moved to Valencia, and plunged into the Santa Clarita charitable and social scene. The Valencia Acura dealership mascots, “Scooter” and “Sparkplug,” became as familiar as their owners when Cheri started broadcasting commercials on cable television. The Shih Tzu dogs are permanent fixtures at the Creekside dealership. For the past seven years, the Flemings have electrified the fund-raising world with their innovative ideas and hard work. They each serve on a number of distinguished boards including the Hospital Foundation, the Child and Family Center, and the Boys and Girls Club Foundation. In addition, Don is continually called on to conduct charitable auctions, while Cheri provides the classy touches to events that inevitably translate into money for charity. Here are just a few of the positions that Don has served in the community over the past eight years: Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation • Board member and past Chairman • Co-Producer of the Crawford-Fleming Breast Cancer Awareness Golf Tournament • HMNMH Golf Tournament Committee Member • Donor of Portion of Car Sales Proceeds to HMNMH Emergency Room Expansion Santa Clarita Child & Family Center • Co-Sponsor of Annual Golf Tournament • Contributor to Capital Campaign SCV Chamber of Commerce • Five Years as a Director • Vice President of Economic Development Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club Foundation • Director • Boys & Girls Club Auction Co-chair (with wife Cheri) – 2004, 2005, 2006 United Way • Member of the Executive Committee American Heart Association, SCV Chapter • Member of the Executive Committee The Roar Foundation • Member of the Advisory Board Santa Clarita Valley Auto Dealers Association • President Other • Auctioneer for valley-wide Charitable Organizations • Torchbearer in Kick-Off for the 2002 Winter Olympics In 2004, Don was named the Santa Clarita Valley’s Man of the Year, sharing the award with his wife Cheri. It was only the second time in 40 years that a husband and wife had shared the award in the same year. In spite of all his accomplishments, Don says he was truly humbled and honored to be named SCV Man of the Year. “Of all the awards and honors that I have received, I treasure this one the most. To be named Man of the Year by your peers is a special recognition. I can tell you that no one among our ranks does volunteer work for anything but love and satisfaction. All of us are honored to join such a splendid group .”
2004 Woman of the Year
BIO: Cheri Fleming, known as one of the hardest working, most affable and effervescent young women in the Santa Clarita Valley, was born and raised in Parma Heights, Ohio. After graduating from Ohio University, she moved to Southern California. After deciding to open up her own tanning salon, she traveled to Austin, Texas to purchase the equipment. With the help of the Texas tanning salon equipment supplier named Donald Fleming, she soon set up shop in the upscale community of Woodland Hills. The tanning salon, which catered to the stars as well as the nearby residents, was an instant success. Cheri became one of Don’s most successful business protégés. Don’s business and consulting trips from Austin to Woodland Hills increased in frequency, until January, 1984, when he moved to California and married his protégé. They settled in the San Fernando Valley with Don’s children, Brian and Kymbra. Cheri and Don had the entrepreneurial spirit. It was the car business that “hooked” them in 1985. After owning and managing several auto dealerships in the late ’80s and early ’90s, Cheri and Don purchased Valencia Acura in 1997. At that time this Valencia dealership Acura ranked “dead last” among national Acura dealers, both in sales and customer satisfaction. With no place to go but up, Cheri and Don began turning the dealership around. Not content with being just a co-owner on Auto Row, Cheri set out to devote all her spare time to helping her new community. She joined the Henry Mayo Newhall Health Foundation board, became a member of SCV Soroptimists, and plunged her efforts into the SCV Child and Family Center. She helped fundraise for the American Cancer Society, where she co-chaired the Relay for Life and became chair-elect of the Cancer Society’s Los Angeles Regional Unit Council. She helped raise funds for the Sheila R.Veloz Breast Imaging Center at HMNMH. She and Don co-chaired the massive Boys & Girls Club Auction for three straight years, last year raising an all-time record of $513,000 for the Club. In addition, she is chairing the Arthritis Foundation Walk Chair to be held in April 2006. Not including many of her past accomplishments, Cheri’s current activities are: * Director and Past Chair Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation * Member and Past President Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley * Regional Governor-Elect Soroptimist International Camino Real Region * Director and Immediate Past Chairman Child and Family Center Foundation * Director The Roar Foundation Advisory Board * Director and Chair-Elect American Cancer Society Unit Council (2004 & 2005 Relay-for-Life Co-Chair) * Vice President Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center Advisory Board * Co-Chair Boys & Girls Club Auction (2004, 2005 and 2006) * Arthritis Foundation Walk Chair – 2006 In 2004, Cheri was named the Santa Clarita Valley’s Woman of the Year, sharing the award with her husband Don. It was only the second time in 40 years that a husband and wife had shared the award in the same year. Even with all she has achieved, Cheri Fleming says she is overwhelmed to be named SCV Woman of the Year. “I think very few true volunteers are looking for recognition for their efforts. Being able to volunteer is a great gift in itself. I always feel that I’m receiving so much more than I’m giving. However, to be a Woman of the Year in Santa Clarita is an amazing honor. There are so many wonderful causes and so many dedicated individuals in this valley. When I think of the past incredible men and women that have earned this award, I’m humbled and honored to be a part of this group.”
2003 Man of the Year
BIO: Duane Harte (1947-2015) was born in Hollywood, California, and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. In 1967, he joined the U.S. Naval Reserve, retiring in 1990 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer after 23 years of service. In 1974 he moved to the Santa Clarita Valley, and has lived variously in Canyon Country, Newhall and Valencia over the past 36 years. Duane was the proprietor of Academy Addressing & Mailing, a direct mail advertising service in Sun Valley until his retirement in 2013. Over the years Duane worked with numerous community organizations. He served on the board of the Friends of Mentryville, including the president and treasurer positions. He was a board member and treasurer of the SCV Historical Society, the SCV Veterans Memorial Committee, serving as its president in 2003 to 2006 and 2011 to 2015, and served as chairman of the SCV Chamber of Commerce. He served on the SCV Committee on Aging Board, where he was the Silent and Live Auction chair for their legendary Wine Auction as well as the Founding President of the Senior Center Foundation. He chaired the Newhall Redevelopment Committee and served on the SCV Historical Veterans Plaza Committee and Friends of the Libraries of the SCV, where he was vice president in charge of programs, and he was vice chair of the Santa Clarita Parade Committee. From 2000-2003 and 2008 until his death in November 2015, he served on the Parks & Recreation Commission. He was also a 15-year volunteer for Zonta’s “Rent-a-Santa” program. Duane joined the Board of the Canyon Theatre Guild since 2008. After being named the 2003 Man of the Year, Duane said: “Being named SCV Man of the Year was undeniably the most surprising event of my life. To be honored among and by the men and women who have received this award before and since is truly a wonderful blessing.”
2003 Woman of the Year
BIO: Linda Pedersen was born in Glendale, California, grew up “next door” in La Crescenta, and has spent the majority of her life within a 50-mile radius of those two towns. Opportunities to see the world beyond the sunny state were provided by a 3-year extracurricular focus as a competitive swimmer with the Los Angeles Athletic Club. National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) swimming meets took Linda to such fascinating spots as Topeka, Kansas; Bartlesville, Oklahoma; Dearborn, Michigan; and Indianapolis, Indiana. The high point of this intensive training program took place in 1959, in West Palm Beach, Florida where, as a Hoover High sophomore, she won an AAU National Swimming Championship in the 100-year breaststroke competition. Swimming continued to be an important pastime during her years at the University of California at Los Angeles, and was parlayed into summer lifeguard positions with the L.A. City Parks & Recreation Department. Linda became a baseball fan at UCLA watching future husband Tom pitch his way to honors as the leading CIBA pitcher in 1963. The UCLA co-ed swapped the last name of Clark for Pedersen in 1963, and, after a semester off to work in a bank, earned her BA in anthropology in 1966. Shortly thereafter, the Pedersens moved to the Santa Clarita Valley. Eight months later, Jeffrey Thomas Pedersen followed in his mother’s footprints (so to speak) by making his world debut in the same Glendale hospital. His brother, Don, continued the tradition three years later. While raising her two boys, and trying to keep pace with her husband on the tennis courts, soccer fields, and ski slopes, Linda began her volunteer career in 1967 as an officer and board member of the American Association of University Women, the UCLA Scholarship Association, the Placerita Nature Center Associates, and the Soledad Canyon PTA. Those affiliations led to additional board positions with the SCV Boys & Girls Club, the SCV Health Council, and the Sulphur Springs Community Education Committee. During her tenure on the board of the Boys & Girls Club, Linda was part of a brainstorming committee for the first auction and created posters and bid boards for the first four auctions. She also spearheaded a drive to create a Boys & Girls Club satellite program at Valley View Elementary School and served as the Parent Advisory Group liaison with the board. During that time, she participated in a 1970 AAUW study to implement a community park on the Valley View school grounds. The park was finished the following year. Linda stepped into the presidency of AAUW in 1973, the same year she began working as society editor for The Newhall Signal. Five years later she accepted a two-year stint as president of the Soledad Canyon PTA. These leadership experiences helped prepare her for one of her most daunting (and enjoyable) roles as the first woman president of SCV Rotary Club in 1992-93. Her continuous commitment to volunteerism in the Santa Clarita Valley has also included a two-year campaign with seven other parents to implement a Back to Basics educational program at Soledad Canyon Elementary School, as well as board and committee positions with the COC Foundation, the Soledad Canyon Site Council, Rotary District 5260, AYSO Soccer, various baseball booster organizations, the Celebrity Waiter Dinner, the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center Roast, the SCV Chamber of Commerce Job Shadowing Task Force, and the SCV Man & Woman of the Year Committee. About being honored as SCV Woman of the Year in 2003, Linda said: “Because there were so few government services in place here in the ’60s, volunteering offered many of us newcomers a way of improving the valley’s quality of life – it quickly evolved into a social phenomenon that has continued to the present. Volunteerism is so closely woven into the fabric of life here that I can’t imagine the Santa Clarita Valley without it.”
2002 Man of the Year
BIO: Frank Kleeman (1933-2016) was born and grew up in Los Angeles. He served in U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and worked as a Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff. In 1965, he and his wife Charlotte moved to the Santa Clarita Valley while he worked as an insurance investigator. In 1972 he joined the SCV Boys and Girls Club board of directors. He worked tirelessly in fund-raising. In 1974 he chaired the Boys and Girls Club Auction. He attended law school, passed the bar, and became an attorney. In the early 1980s, he was named a Workers Compensation Judge and worked as an arbitrator and mediator in a special Worker’s Compensation program. In the ’80s and ’90s, he became active in many volunteer programs in the SCV. He joined the board of the SCV Repertory Theatre, served on the College of the Canyons Foundation Board, and headed various committees for the Foundation. He also served on the Newhall Redevelopment Committee. In 2002 he was named Philanthropist of the Year for the Network of California Community Colleges. Also in 2002, he was honored as the SCV Man of the Year. Last year, Frank and his wife Charlotte were honored by the College of the Canyons Foundation as Recipients of 2005 Silver Spur Community Service Award. Frank said that of all the honors he has received, he cherished the SCV Man of the Year award most. “It has been a most meaningful award. It was recognition of years of silent service to the community. It was completely unexpected and I have great pride in joining the ranks of distinguished honoree’s before me. We have a great community and being part of its growth over the years has proven to be one of the highlights of my life.”
2002 Woman of the Year
BIO: Adele Macpherson grew up in Sale, England. In the late 1960s Adele and her husband Iain left the United Kingdom to work in Israel. After that they moved to Canada, then to the state of Washington. In 1986, they moved to the Santa Clarita Valley. Shortly after arriving in Santa Clarita, Adele volunteered with the PTA and the American Red Cross. That opportunity led to Adele becoming the Manager of the Santa Clarita branch of the American Red Cross. In 1990, just a few years after the City was formed, she accepted the position as Community Services Superintendent and the Emergency Coordinator at the City of Santa Clarita. By the year 2000, Adele had become involved with the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, the Zonta Club of the Santa Clarita Valley, the SCV Committee on Aging, the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, the SCV Resource Center, the School-to-Business Alliance, the SCV Boys and Girls Club, the United Way and the Daughters of the British Empire. In 2002, Adele was honored as the Santa Clarita Valley’s Woman of the Year. Since receiving that honor, Adele has not cut back on her volunteer work. She became an active board member for the Child and Family Center as well as the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health – which shut down in 2014 because it had accomplished its mission of providing emergency dental health care for needy SCV children. About her award as Woman of the Year, Adele said: “It was a numbing experience to be named Woman of the Year in 2002. I have always called my volunteer work ‘my soul food.’ and to be recognized for doing something I just had to do, and for something that I loved, was amazing. Also to join such an incredible group of people who have worked hard for our community for so many years was and still is an amazing honor.”
2001 Man of the Year
BIO: Steve Schmidt was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County and in Pasadena. He attended the University of California at Davis, graduating Phi Beta Kappa in Philosophy in 1976. He settled to the Santa Clarita Valley right out of college in 1976, joining The Newhall Land & Farming Co. as a Senior Vice President for community development. In this position he worked on land use and entitlements, long-range planning, architecture and community relations. During the next 25 years, Steve became active in numerous Santa Clarita Valley community groups and social welfare organizations. He joined the board of the SCV Boys & Girls Club where he served as vice president of the board. He became a director of the American Red Cross. He was a founding board member of the Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence. In 1982, he was named Board Member of the Year by the SCV Boys and Girls Club. He also joined the boards of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health, the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, the Newhall Rotary Club, the Santa Clarita Community Development Corporation (a shelter for the homeless), the SCV Chamber of Commerce and the SCV Anti-Gang Task Force. In 1988, he served as chairman of the Santa Clarita Campaign for the United Way. During that year he attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business as a Sloan Fellow, receiving an M.S. in Management. Steve also was active in social work outside the Santa Clarita Valley. He was a director of Hope in Hollywood, joined the St. Andrew & St. Charles Episcopal Church where he was a member of the Vestry, served as chair of the Property Committee and chair of the Temple Relations Committee. He was also named a director of the Zen Center of Los Angeles and of the Zen Mountain Center. Steve left Newhall Land in 1992 to devote time to his personal investments. He became a director of the SCV Chapter of the American Diabetes Association. He joined the Child & Family Center Capital Campaign, where he worked on the Pacesetter Gifts Committee, and was a volunteer on the Community Hotline’s “Rent-a-Santa” program. In 1994 he was named Volunteer of the Year by the County of Los Angeles Department of Health Services. In 1995-96, Steve chaired the United Way of Greater Los Angeles Leadership Giving Campaign; he also served as director of the Hart School District Scholarship Foundation, and became a director of the Valencia Bank and chair of its Advisory Board. He joined the board of the SCV Senior Center and the Small Business Development Center. He rejoined Newhall Land in 1999 as Senior Vice President for Residential Community Development, working for two years on the development of master-planned communities in Valencia, Palmdale, and Broomfield, Colo. During that time he worked closely with the Antelope Valley Rehabilitation Center where he chaired both the Literacy Advisory Board and the Stepping-Ahead Program. He also served as a State Representative to the Epiphany Prison Ministry of California. In 2001 Steve Schmidt was named the Santa Clarita Valley’s Man of the Year. He retired from Newhall Land that same year and returned to his personal investment business. In 2005, after serving 20 years on the board, he left the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, but continued on with the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health until it folded in 2014 because it had accomplished its mission of providing emergency dental health care to needy SCV children. Steve is a longtime horse racing aficionado. He currently serves on the Fans’ Committee for both the Santa Anita Race Track and Hollywood Park Race Track. About being honored as SCV Man of the Year, Steve said: “Being selected as Man of the Year was one of the great honors of my life. I feel very blessed to have received the award and to live in the Santa Clarita Valley.”
2001 Woman of the Year
BIO: Joyce Carson grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She taught kindergarten and first grade in Santa Clarita Valley for 32 years (1970 – 2002). She has lived in the Santa Clarita Valley since 1972. In the 1980s and 1990s, Joyce served as a board member of the SCV Child and Family Center. For several years she chaired “Taste of the Town,” the renowned gourmet-food benefit for the Center. Joyce has also worked as a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association, United Way, Michael Hoefflin Foundation, was a member of the LA County Sheriffs Advisory Committee, and the Anti-Gang Task Force. She also served on the SCV Arts Council, PTA, SCV Repertory Theatre, and was a Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Home Tour hostess. In 2001 she was honored as SCV Woman of the Year. Over the last 10 years, Joyce was recipient of Zonta’s “Status of Women” award twice, both in 1997 and 2004. She has also been honored by other organizations as “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser” and the “Community Builder’s Award.” In 2006, for the fourth time, she is chairing the “Taste of the Town” fund-raising event. She also chaired the SCV Child and Family Center’s Golf Tournament in 2004 and 2005, and chaired “Evening at the Rep” two times. She also serves on the Breast Cancer Awareness Committee. About her honor as SCV Woman of the Year, Joyce says: “Woman of the Year is a huge honor to me. It honors my work in support of our great community. It is all the individual volunteers of each organization working together for the good of our city. It takes a village with lots of leaders to step forward and work together. This award honors our leadership.” “To a single mother raising her daughter, teaching full-time and volunteering in my spare time – it was wonderful to be recognized for my hard work, and to be given the award in front of my parents before they passed away. I shall always remember the look of pride in my mom and dad’s faces. I learned from them – as I hope to be a role model for my own daughter.”
2000 Man of the Year
BIO: Tom Lee grew up in a suburb of Detroit, graduated from Denison University in Ohio, then joined the Navy, training as an officer in San Diego. There he met and married his wife Colleen. After the Navy, Tom enrolled in the Stanford Graduate School of Business, receiving an MBA in 1970. The Newhall Land & Farming Co. hired Tom right out of Business School and in July 1970, Tom and Colleen moved to Valencia. He went to work as an administrative assistant (a ‘gofer’) for the real estate department. Over the years, Tom moved from project to project, producing three-year and five-year plans for Newhall Land. In 1976, he became director of operations for Valencia Corp, then president of Valencia Corp, experiencing the constant “boom-and-bust, boom-and-bust” cycles of the Santa Clarita housing market. In 1985, Tom was chosen to take over the presidency of the Company, and in 1989, Tom was named chairman of Newhall Land. Over 31 years, Tom helped guide the operations of the most important company in the Santa Clarita Valley, leading the implementation and build-out of the Valencia Master Plan, creating homes, schools, parks, paseos, employment, health and social services, and laying the groundwork of the next big phase – The Newhall Ranch. From the moment he set foot in this valley, Tom has been a model corporate executive – an individual with a heart and conscience. Right after moving here in 1970, he joined the board of the SCV Boys & Girls Club. He helped arrange programs for the kids; he bartended and served food at the annual luaus; he was a volunteer on the benefit auction for 12 years, chairing the entire Auction in 1975; he became President of the Board of Directors; and he was named Boys & Girls Club “Man of the Year”. In 1973 when Magic Mountain donated the pennies collected from their pools to the Boys & Girls Club, Tom took the tubs of mud-caked coins to his home and organized “penny-cleaning” parties in his backyard, which brought many dollars to the B&G Club. There is not a charitable organization in this valley that Tom Lee has not touched. As CEO of Newhall Land, he established a policy that every executive must contribute and get deeply involved in community organizations. For decades, Newhall Land employees volunteered at schools, charities, youth and service clubs – every charitable organization in the valley. Among Tom’s many honors in the Santa Clarita Valley are: 1974 – SCV Boys & Girls Club “Man of the Year” 1984 – Helped establish the YMCA 1988 – Chaired the SCV United Way campaign 1990 – Was presented with the prestigious United Way Gold Key Award for service. 1990 – Co-Chair of the Boys & Girls Club $1.5 million Capital Campaign, which built their central facility in H.M. Newhall Park. 1990s – Chaired the committee to fund the YMCA’s main childcare center in Valencia (giving them a long-term lease at $1 per year). 1994 – At the Valencia Town Center grand opening, his organizing raised $100,000 for local charities. 1995 – As Chamber of Commerce director – Established first Education Committee 1996 – Named California “Veteran of the Year” by the National Veterans Foundation. 1998 – Hyatt Valencia Hotel grand opening – Raised money for HMNMH emergency room. 2000 – Chaired the Child & Family Center Capital Campaign (raising $2 million for a permanent facility) 2000 – Honorary chair for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. In 2000, Tom was named the Santa Clarita Valley’s Man of the Year. He has since served many organizations inside and outside the Santa Clarita Valley: Board member – Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Board member – Wells Fargo Bank Board member – Local and Regional United Way Trustee – National Board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Member, CEO Advisory Panel – American Red Cross Member – United Way Corporate Alliance Advisory Cabinet Trustee – California Institute of the Arts During the five years after he left Newhall Land, Tom was co-chair a the capital campaign to build the Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook University Center at College of the Canyons. Tom and his wife Colleen have been active in their personal lives. They are supporters of Hart High School, Heads-Up, Pleasantview Industries, and the Placerita Nature Center. They even opened their own home to the HMNMH Home Holiday Tour. On being named 2000 Man of the Year, Tom said: “This was a special honor to me because I was honored by a local group of people who had known me for years and themselves had done so much for our community.”
2000 Woman of the Year
BIO: Betty Seldner was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in many states, as her father was an officer in the U.S. Air Force. She and her husband Al moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1978, where he owned a successful tax and financial business. She became an executive in Human Resources with HR Textron in the Valencia Industrial Park. Today, Betty is the proprietor of Seldner Environmental Services and concentrates on training people in industry who handle hazardous substances and waste. She also does environmental site assessments when commercial property changes hands. She teaches two to three nights a week at a learning center in Southern California for the University of Phoenix. Her class includes those in the MBA program, communications and environmental science. During her first 25 years in the Santa Clarita Valley, Betty served on the board of the Child and Family Center. She was also a volunteer for the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the SCV Chamber of Commerce, the Zonta Club of SCV, the SCV Boys and Girls Club, and the local Elks Lodge. In 2000, Betty was named the Santa Clarita Valley’s Woman of the Year. Today, she is an emeritus board member of the Child & Family Center, she writes a column for the Signal on environmental updates, and a column for the SCV Chamber newsletter. She also finds time to solicit funds for the American Red Cross and the American Heart Association. She is active in the Zonta Club, in the Valley Industrial Association, and in the SCV Chamber of Commerce. And every year she still works on the Boys & Girls Club auction. About her award as SCV Woman of the Year, Betty said: “It was a great honor to be recognized by my peers for 25 years of volunteer work. This has become an additional opportunity for me – to work with a prestigious group of volunteers, assisting in the selection of forthcoming Man and Woman of the Year! It also has meant an increased commitment to continue volunteer work in the community.” She adds: “There is no community like the SCV for volunteers. When a job needs to be done, the volunteers line up and get it done. We are lucky to live in such a caring community.”
1999 Man of the Year
BIO: John Hoskinson, a long-time executive at Gruber Systems in Valencia, was born and spent his early years in Buffalo, New York, and in Ohio and New Jersey. In 1964 he enrolled at Kent State University in Ohio to study engineering. He left school in 1965, enlisted in the U.S. Army, attended Officers’ Candidate School, and participated in Parachute and Flight Training. He served two tours of duty Vietnam and was awarded several medals. He returned to college at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and graduated cum laude in 1973, with a B.A. in Economics, Accounting, and Psychology. In 1971, he joined Combustion Engineering as a customer service representative. In 1972, he went to Masonite Corporation where he worked as a system analyst. In 1979, he joined Flintkote as a Los Angeles area sales manager. In 1981, he was hired by Gruber Systems in the Valencia Industrial Park and he moved to the Santa Clarita Valley. Starting at national sales manager, he was promoted to president in 1994, and last year was named President and CEO. Since moving to the Santa Clarita Valley, John has been active in numerous community organizations. He served as a member of the SCV Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee; past director and chairman of Corporate Partner Program of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Foundation; past chairman of the Santa Clarita United Way Campaign; past chairman and current member of United Way Santa Clarita CEO Advisory Committee; and chairman of the North Angeles United Way. He also served two terms as trustee of the Santa Clarita Community College District (the COC Board) and was chairman of the COC Community Advisory Committee. He has chaired the COC Silver Spur Benefit Gala Awards Dinner for 10 years, and himself was the recipient of College of the Canyons Silver Spur Community Service Award in 1994. In 1998 he received the United Way of Los Angeles “Mendenhall Award for Outstanding Leadership and Dedication.” In 1999, John was honored as SCV Man of the Year. In the years since, he been serving on the boards of the Santa Clarita Child & Family Development Center and the SCV Boys & Girls Club Foundation. John said about being named SCV Man of the Year: “The honor of the nomination is a very humbling experience. The idea is energizing and inspires one to reach down and find more to give to such a wonderful and appreciative community. It continues to be a unique experience as you collaborate and work with such a dedicated and community focused group of professional ‘community caregivers’ as the past recipients of the award the Man and Woman of the Year Committee.”
1999 Woman of the Year
BIO: Pat Willett was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Fernando Valley. She traveled extensively throughout the U.S. while her husband was in the Air Force. When the couple returned to California, they found their little house in Encino too crowded, too smoggy and in the middle of too much traffic. They moved to Santa Clarita in 1967, living in the Emblem tract in Saugus. They built their own home in Placerita Canyon in 1973 and have been Canyon residents ever since. The Willetts got involved with the Jaycees in 1970, and Pat was active in Jaycee-ettes, serving in many positions including president. Projects included building the bleachers at Canyon HS; Operation Reseed after the devastating fires in 1971; and Lifeline Cambodia, which rescued one mother and 13 children from Cambodia just before the Khmer Rouge started a program of genocide. Pat helped promote non-profits throughout the SCV through a weekly cable television program and as writer for a local newspaper (The Clarion). Through the paper and Jaycees, the Willetts got involved in international exchange programs and have had nearly 20 young people from around the world living as part of their family for anywhere from 10 days to 2 years and up. For more than 20 years Pat was volunteer coordinator for British American Schools Exchange Club, placing British students in local homes and taking SCV teens to Britain for a home-stay program. When her two sons entered school, Pat became very involved in PTA, School Site Council, and other activities. She created a Young People’s Orchestra at Placerita Junior High to fill the gap for students who played orchestra instruments and could find no place in the school band. She was active with Friends of the Libraries, SCV Scholarship Foundation, and Healing the Children. With the Jaycees, she helped create the first Jerry Lewis Telethon pledge center in the SCV. Pat also created the annual Community Tree Lighting Ceremony at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital while working as a freelance public relations consultant for Newhall Land. Pat joined SCV Zonta in 1996, and has served as Healthy Kids Club chair, vice president and president. She also serves as co-editor of Zonta newsletter and publicity chair for most Zonta projects. Other projects include the SCV Chamber Education Foundation and American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life Committee. The Willetts have a very international family. Their Chilean son is married and currently lives in the SCV with his wife and their two grandchildren. A Guatemalan granddaughter and her parents are still part of their family despite currently living in the Antelope Valley. They have a Russian daughter who has been with them for 10 years through Healing the Children; and an Ethiopian daughter, also through Healing the Children. They currently are concentrating on “volunteer” vacations in such countries as Ecuador, Cambodia and the Philippines, as well as traveling with their international family members in such countries as Chile, Brazil, Ecuador and Cambodia. They took a month of vacation time to take donated items to orphans in Cambodia and to visit schools in the remote areas of northern Cambodia. Pat is also a freelance writer and has sold both fiction and non-fiction to national magazines. Her current project is a series of articles on travel in third world countries and the post-Khmer Rouge situation in Cambodia. “I have always lived the last line of the Jaycee creed: ‘Service to humanity is the best work of life.’ In that, I follow in the footsteps of my mother, Beulah Cannon, who spent her whole life giving of herself to others,” Pat said. “My mother should have been named ‘Woman of the Year’ many times over. I feel that she shares in this honor because I don’t think I would have earned it without her example.”
1998 Man of the Year
BIO: Bob Kellar grew up in the San Fernando Valley. He served in the U.S. Army in 1965-67. Then he served as a police officer in the Los Angeles Police Department 1968 to 1993, a 25-year career. In 1979, he moved to his current home Canyon Country, and has been a resident of the Santa Clarita Valley for 27 years. Bob worked with the Canyon Country Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s, serving as a its president and Frontier Days rodeo chairman. He was also a board member of the American Red Cross, and was president of the SCV Veterans Committee. He served on the board of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, on the board of the American Cancer Society. In 1998, Bob Kellar was named the Santa Clarita Man of the Year. Two years later he was elected president of the Santa Clarita Valley Board of Realtors. In 1999 he was appointed to the City’s Planning Commission, and in 2000 he was elected to the Santa Clarita City Council and he has served on the City Council every year since. In 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2016 he served as Mayor of the City of Santa Clarita. About being honored as Man of the Year, Bob says, “I have always been honored to work with so many fine community members that share in our love for this valley.”
1998 Woman of the Year
BIO: Roberta Veloz was born in Missouri. After moving to Yuma, Ariz., when she was two, she moved six years later to Whittier. She attended Whittier public schools and graduated from Whittier College. She became a medical technician at Huntington Memorial Hospital. After her marriage and the birth of her first son, she postponed a career and became a full-time mom. This lasted until she and her husband bought Aquafine Corporation in 1980 from other family members. The company was located in the Valencia Industrial Park, and she moved her family to Valencia. Roberta became not only a corporate executive, but plunged into local volunteer work in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined the board of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, then became a member of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation board and the Child & Family Center board. She was also invited to join the Whittier College Board of Trustees. Meanwhile she worked on various College of the Canyons capital campaigns. In 1998, Roberta was named the Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year. Since receiving that award, she has not slowed down. She has continued her involvement with the Child & Family Center, the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, and the COC Foundation. She has also joined the governing board of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. About her honor as 1998 SCV Woman of the Year, Roberta said: “I was totally shocked and very proud. The honorary license plate frames they presented to me – reading ‘1998 SCV Woman of the Year’ – are still on my car today.”
1997 Man of the Year
BIO: George Ludvig Pederson, Santa Clarita mayor in 1994, was born in Madagascar on Dec. 4, 1924, the last child of a family of Lutheran missionaries.
1997 Woman of the Year
BIO: We are proud to honor Pat Warford as this years woman of the year.
1996 Man of the Year
BIO: Charles B. Clark, World War II veteran and Santa Clarita resident. An active member of the community, Clark served on the Memorial Day Service Committee and the board of the Santa Clarita Valley Veterans Memorial, and shared his wartime experiences with veterans' groups and rotary clubs.
1996 Woman of the Year
BIO: Charlotte Kleeman was born in Chicago, but grew up in North Hollywood, California. She graduated from Occidental College. Thereafter, she worked as a social worker, and then received two teaching credentials. In 1965, she and her husband Frank moved to the Santa Clarita Valley. In the 1970s and 1980s, Charlotte served on the board of directors and executive board of the SCV Boys and Girls Club where she became extremely active in fundraising. She also chaired the Ambassadors of the SCV Chamber of Commerce. By the mid-90s, Charlotte was on the board of the SCV Child & Family Center, the Arts Council, on the board of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center, AAUW, and Foundation committees at College of the Canyons. In 1996 she was named SCV Woman of the Year. Over the past 10 years since, she has continued working with the SCV Child & Family Center, chairing Taste of the Town fundraiser. She served on the board of the Repertory Theatre, and was president of the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center board for two years. She is also currently on the board of the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health and the COC Foundation. In 2002, she and her husband Frank were voted the “Philanthropists of the Year” by the Network of California Community Colleges. In 2005, Charlotte and Frank were honored as the recipients of the COC Silver Spur Community Service award. She was also elected to the Occidental College Alumni Board of Governors. Charlotte said that receiving the honor of SCV Woman of the year has made her even more focused in volunteer work. “In order to feel like I really deserved it, I started volunteering more and began accepting more leadership roles. It was the most meaningful award I ever received.”
1995 Man of the Year
BIO: Born in Los Angeles, Sheldon Allen grew up in San Fernando graduating from San Fernando High School in the winter of 1950. He married sweetheart Pat in 1951 and the couple has four children, one daughter and three sons. Sheldon found time from his attorney cases to manage his first two sons Little League teams. When the family moved to Canyon Country in December 1967, he became a member of the Canyon High School Booster Club, serving from 1967 to l979. Sheldon also served on the William S. Hart School District Board from 1975 to 1978. The Canyon Country resident started volunteering for the SCV Boys & Girls Club Auction in 1982. He joined the Board of Directors for the SCV Boys & Girls Club in 1985 and still holds position on the board. Sheldon has been a volunteer on the Red Cross Disaster Team since 1993, and has served on the Red Cross Board of Directors for over six years, assuming the presidency for two of those years. He is currently on the newly formed Santa Clarita Valley Red Cross Council. Sheldon began delighting children and adults alike in his role as Santa Claus for the Hot Line fund-raiser, He continues to play that role, but now it is for the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita, the new sponsors of the fund-raiser. Sheldon began working on the Celebrity Waiter Dinner Committee when it was a fund-raiser for the American Heart Association. He continues to serve on the committee since it has been taken over the by Senior Center committee on Aging. He also continues to serve on the Boys & Girls Board, while also volunteering on the Disaster Team for Red Cross. He also volunteered for the Cowboy Poetry Festival for several years. Sheldon tells us, “Receiving this Honor of being named Man of the Year has made me work even harder so that I will feel I really deserved it.”
1995 Woman of the Year
BIO: As Director of the Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging, Laurene has helped safeguard the programs that assist our most experienced citizens and give them the dignity they deserve.
Dr. Alan Barbakow
1994 Man of the Year
BIO: Barbakow was not only our Valley's first orthodontist, he was known for his charitable nature. The doctor was honored in 2009 by the Zonta Club in Santa Clarita. He served as Board President and Member Emeritus of The Child & Family Center, was the President of the Betty Ferguson Foundation, and with his wife, Rise, chaired the Boys & Girls Club Auction. He was a founding member and President of the Santa Clarita Arts Council and helped found the Foundation for Children’s Dental Health, he also played a significant role in a capital campaign for major expansion for The Child & Family Center and for Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Dr. Barbokow is an artist, a face sculptor.
1994 Woman of the Year
BIO: Pat Allen, the 1994 Woman of the year was born and raised in San Fernando, graduating from San Fernando High School in the winter of 1950. Pat was Team Mother for the Little League Teams that husband Sheldon managed as their children were growing up. Even while working for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Pat found time to volunteer. She and Sheldon were on the first Canyon High School Community Committee when the school opened in 1967. Pat served as president of the Booster Club from 1977 through 1979.Other volunteer service in the Santa Clarita Valley included membership in the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, worker on the SCV Boys & Girls Club Auction, and member of the Red Cross Disaster Team. Pat actively engaged in fundraising for the local Red Cross office for several years. She also chaired the Celebrity Waiter Celebration for the American Heart Association for ten years. Pat retired from Lockheed in June of 1990, after 34½ years with the company. Retirement has given her more time to spend on volunteering. She is still on the committee for the SCV Boys & Girls Club Auction, continues her work with the Red Cross Disaster Team, maintains membership in Zonta, and has supported the local Senior Center working on the annual Wine Auctions and the Celebrity Waiter Dinner fund-raisers.“Receiving the award of Woman of the Year in 1994 made me volunteer even more to justify receiving this award,” Pat says. That commitment to the community led to her being named Woman of the Year by Senator Pete Knight for his Senatorial District in 1999.
1993 Man of the Year
BIO: A well-known figure in the community, Sierad dedicated many years to the SCV Senior Center, the SCV Boys and Girls Club and numerous other organizations where he provided a helping hand, a willing ear, and bent over backwards to help seniors and children.
1993 Woman of the Year
BIO: Betty Burke-Oldfield’s involvement with Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital began when the hospital first opened its doors to the Santa Clarita community. Betty did not hesitate to step in and volunteer. “It sounded like a good thing to do,” said Betty. Not only is she a founding member of the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Auxiliary Group, she was the first chair of the Holiday Home Tour League and served on the Hospital Board. While serving on Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Board of Directors, she was responsible for encouraging the hospital to seek its trauma designation in 1984. Later in 1992, she continued her work and helped the hospital to be upgraded as a Level II Trauma hospital. “The progress has been remarkable at Henry Mayo,” Betty said. “I couldn’t be more proud of what they are doing for the health of our community.” In addition to supporting the hospital, she co-founded a program designed to help get impaired teens home safely, no questions asked, called Safe Rides. Betty was the co-founder of the American Cancer Society in Santa Clarita Valley and Founder of the Docent Program at Hart Park.
1992 Man of the Year
BIO: Clyde Smyth (1931-2012), who was named Santa Clarita Valley’s Man of the Year in 1992, probably touched more lives in the Santa Clarita Valley than any other person in modern times. He was a prominent leader in the city, school system, youth clubs and health care fields for more than 37 years. A native of Pasadena, Clyde served in the army during the Korean Conflict, received a doctorate in Education from BYU, and worked in the Pasadena School district in the ’50s and ’60s, before becoming principal of Placerita Junior High in 1969. In 1971, Clyde and his wife Sue moved to Newhall. In 1974, he took the helm as Superintendent of the Hart School District, a position he held for 18 years. During his 37 years in the community, Clyde Smyth was active in SCV Rotary, the Boys Scouts of America and Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He chaired the Heath Care Association, was president of the SCV Boys & Girls Club’s Board, and also co-chaired the club’s capital campaign. Among Dr. Smyth’s most notable achievements was being elected to the Santa Clarita City Council in the mid-1990s, serving as our city’s mayor in 1997. Afterward, Clyde continued to serve the community as a volunteer and officer of the SCV Boys & Girls Club, with SCV Rotary, and as a special assistant to U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon. His family includes a number of high achievers. His wife Sue is a retired teacher of the Newhall School District; his son Colin is a major in the U.S. Air Force; and his son Cameron was a city councilman and former mayor of Santa Clarita before representing our valley in the California State Assembly. On being named 1992 SCV Man of the Year, Clyde said: “This honor came as a great surprise, and it was the high point of our years in the Santa Clarita Valley. This is a wonderful community in which to live, work and raise a family. Thank you, Santa Clarita.”
1992 Woman of the Year
BIO: Catherine Clark was born in San Francisco, but has few memories of the first years there. She spent the war years (WWII) with her mother and brother in the small town of Plympton, 11 miles west of Plymouth, Mass., while her father was serving in Army Intelligence. When the war ended in 1945, the family returned to California, living within commuting distance of San Francisco. Catherine grew up visiting historical sites in the United States, sharing laughter, far-ranging conversations, and excitement with many different people. With the birth of her first child, Catherine found her calling. She wanted to learn to do everything she could to enrich her child’s development. Eventually, that desire led to a job with St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Valencia, first establishing, then teaching at its new preschool. Because some of the children had behavior problems, Catherine began studying for a Master’s Degree in dealing with those problems at CSUN. At the same time, she consulted with professors for resources for the families at her preschool. In 1975, she established a half-day preschool at St. Stephen’s Church specifically catering to children with behavior problems. That small school outgrew its quarters long ago and now serves the entire Santa Clarita Valley as the Child and Family Center. During the late 1970s, Catherine served as treasurer and back-up listener for the local Hot Line while also helping to establish a scholarship fund for a preschool that would serve non-English speaking children. That work led to the institution of a Spanish language story hour at the Valencia public library. In 1983, Catherine joined the board of the Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence where she helped to design and deliver direct services. She also served as president of the board. In 1992, Catherine decided to retire and she and her husband left Valencia to spend 9 years visiting various locations in North and South America. They published The Occasional Gazette to keep friends and family informed of their whereabouts and adventures. Friends in Florida brought the Clarks back to the States and helped Catherine reenter the work world there. Some of her activities included managing and delivering a grant to bring literacy experiences to preschool children and children learning English; managing another grant to teach parenting to parents enrolled in two of Florida’s One Stop job development centers; and teaching at a juvenile detention center at Lake Okeechobee. The Clarks are now living closer to family inside the Washington beltway in Northern Virginia where Catherine teaches while working toward a Master’s Degree in Special Education for students with emotional disorders and/or learning disabilities. “I did not, and do not, think of myself as one to win awards,” says Catherine. “They are not why I work. My ways are too quiet, my scope too narrow to attract notice. And I know full well I have never done anything by myself.”
1991 Man of the Year
BIO: A 40-year SCV resident, Boyer's volunteer career included 11 years in the local emergency room; board service with the SCV Red Cross; involvement in the SCV Sheriff's Advisory Committee ride-alongs; and presidency of the Newhall Rotary Club. He helped initiate the "We Tip" crime prevention program and served on city of Santa Clarita's transportation committee.
1991 Woman of the Year
BIO: Ruth Clark grew up in Corning, New York, but she settled in the Santa Clarita Valley in 1955. She has been a career woman over the last 51 years. Her most recent position, before retiring a few years ago, was Staff Assistant in the office of Supervisor Michael Antonovich. Over the last 50 years, Ruth has been active in numerous good works in the Santa Clarita Valley, including the SCV Boys & Girls Club, the Santa Clarita United Methodist Church, Zonta International, the William S. Hart Mansion and Park, the Red Cross, the SCV Historical Society, the Elks Lodge, the Santa Clarita Wine Auction (benefiting the Youth Orchestra and COC), and the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Home Tour League. Ruth and her late husband Chuck were known as one of the most giving couples in the Santa Clarita Valley. In 1991 Ruth was honored as the Santa Clarita Woman of the Year; five years later in 1996, Chuck was named Man of the Year. They are one of only four couples in our valley’s history who have shared this honor. Since receiving this award, Ruth has remained active the Church, Zonta, the Canyon Theatre Guild, the Elks Lodge, Boys & Girls Club and the Historical Society. “This award was a surprise and great honor,” she says. “The meetings and the enjoyment of associating with other past men and women of the year is truly remarkable. I am happy to be a part.” “The Santa Clarita Valley, as a whole, fascinates me – the history – the people – the future. This area has grown a lot since we moved here in 1955. Its still maintains its identity of a ‘volunteer-supported’ valley.”
1990 Man of the Year
BIO: Lou Garasi located his business, Gruber Systems to Santa Clarita. He joined the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and served as Vice President and President. In 1981 he helped found the Valencia Industrial Association which would become the Valley Industrial Association. He served as its president in 1983 and 1984.
1990 Woman of the Year
BIO: In 1972 Rita together with her husband, Lou, and two daughters sought relief from the urban pressures of San Fernando Valley and relocated the family and business to Santa Clarita. Here they found a little piece of heaven in a magnificent valley with its own distinctive history and style. They were thrilled to be part of it. Rita’s first community participation was serving on an elementary school district committee tasked to manage declining enrollment and sell unneeded school sites! Wisely the committee recommended a wait-and-see what’s coming approach. The 1980’s saw rural Santa Clarita Valley became one of California’s fastest growing regions. Rita became an outspoken activist on land use, infrastructure and environmental issues leading to her appointment by L.A. County Board of Supervisors to the UCLA Chancellor’s Task Force on Rural Development Standards. Over the next decade she served on various local and state governmental planning committees including the Santa Clarita Valley Planning Advisory and L.A. County General Plan committees. After failing to break away from L.A. County in the early 1980s, Santa Clarita Valley was in desperate need of it own voice and local control. In 1987, Rita became an advocate for local city formation and managed the successful campaign portion of the effort to incorporate. In the ensuing years, she expanded into civic affairs as Chair of the Henry Mayo Hospital Marketing Committee and later as chair of the Hospital’s Board of Directors. Rita was a founding member and early Chair of the newly created Santa Clarita City Planning Commission. Rita, as a volunteer, has managed numerous election campaigns for congressional, council, various district wide offices, and particularly issues involving schools and bond initiatives. In 2001, College of the Canyons was straining to serve 13,000 students on a campus designed for 5000. She managed the successful $82 million bond campaign to build needed classrooms and upgrade facilities. She followed this with the 2006 passage of a $160 million bond to complete the build-out of the Valencia campus and initial construction at the new west valley campus. In 2007 Rita was the recipient of the college’s “Silver Spur” Community Service Award. At the presentation celebration, Chancellor Dianne Van Hook said, “Above all else, Rita is a person of character. She adheres to the highest standards of integrity … coupled with her talent and quick wit … Our community is lucky to have had the benefit of her leadership, foresight, commitment and courage over the years.” Presently, Rita is a member College of the Canyons Foundation Board. What she is enjoying most now is helping develop the college’s Arts Education Outreach Program with the goal to the introduce K-12 students of our valley to the arts by arranging for artists’ visits to schools and transporting students to special performances at the Performing Arts Center. Rita was told in advance that Lou was to be honored as the 1990 Man of the Year. She was excited and proud, and secretly arranged for their family and close friends to share his evening. When it was announced that Rita, as well as Lou, were the both honorees, it truly was an incredible surprise. She says of that evening: “I could not believe it that night and still have difficulty believing that being active in this amazing community is something that is rewarded. I have always felt honored to be a part of something so rare and wonderful.”
1989 Man of the Year
BIO: Dick Keysor joined his family business, Keysor-Century Corp., in the early 1950s. In 1957, he helped arrange the move of the company from the San Fernando Valley to Saugus. Eight years later in 1965, Dick himself moved to the Santa Clarita Valley with his family. He worked the next 17 years as an executive with Keysor-Century. During this time, Dick became closely involved with community work. He was a founding member of the board of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He also joined the board of the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, where he worked in fund-raising and development for eight years. He served two years as chairman of the Foundation’s board. During this time he initiated the fundraising program that financed and endowed the Adult Day Health Care Center. Dick also served as chair of the United Way Santa Clarita campaign, was District Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America, and served as a trustee for 12 years on the Sulphur Springs School District board.. When his youngest daughter was on the track program at Canyon High School, Dick qualified himself in track technique and volunteered as an assistant track coach. He became a “father figure” to many of the students and encouraged them to achieve their goals, resulting in their setting some school records. Dick also was a long-time member of the board of the SCV Boys & Girls Club where he served as president of the board and chairman of the Boys & Girls Club Auction in 1979, where he set fund-raising records. In 1982, Dick left active management of Keysor-Century and concentrated on his personal investments. He has since been owner and investor in many companies, and has served on many boards. He was a founding director of Valencia National Bank. Dick and his wife Arlene were recipients of the PTA Founders’ Award. In 1987, he was nominated for the Southern California National “Philanthropist of the Year” award for having donated more than 25,000 hours of community service. In 1989, Dick was selected at the Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year. Dick and his wife Arlene are the parents of nine children. All of the children attended Sulphur Springs Elementary School, Canyon High School, and all are graduates of Brigham Young University. They have 26 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. About being named 1989 Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, Dick said: “This honor means so much to me because the recognition comes from the community and people that I love and respect. I feel honored to be named with others that have contributed so generously to make this community the outstanding place that it is.”
1989 Woman of the Year
BIO: Jami Kennedy grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley from the age of 7. Her original home is still in the family. She was one of three elementary school representatives that broke ground for Sierra Vista Junior High — the first junior high in the Valley. There were only three elementary schools at the time. After living in the San Fernando Valley and Bishop for a total of 4 years, Jami came home to Santa Clarita where she and her husband owned and operated a plumbing contracting business for 15 years. When things got tough in the late ’80’s, the Kennedys shut the business down. Then Jami worked for United Way of Greater Los Angeles for 9 years. Her duties included raising money in the SCV. Even though Jami retired over 25 years ago, she has been “employed” as a full-time volunteer in the community. That has always been her passion – even while raising exotic birds. The Boys and Girls Club Auction was Jami’s first volunteer endeavor, and she still works on the Auction each year. She is also a member of Zonta and was a member of the SCV Crisis Community Hotline, serving as treasurer and working on the annual fund raiser, Rent-A-Santa (later turned over to Zonta when the Hotline shut down). The American Heart Association Celebrity Waiter Dinner was another event Jami worked on (before it became a Senior Center event). She worked on annual fund-raising for the Red Cross as well as working on the Save A Life Sunday around the holidays, getting blood donors. Jami has been a board member for Carousel Ranch Therapy on Horseback for several years, serving as secretary. She also has worked with the School and Business Alliance on its fund-raiser, Monopoly Mania. Jami is also a board member of the Gibbon Conservation Center in Santa Clarita, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of many species of Gibbon Apes. Another project has been Project Town Angels which got started in September, 2005. A small group of Grass Roots folks got together to organize an effort to bring a family, victimized by Hurricane Rita, to Santa Clarita and tend to their needs for a year. The project was enormously successful, resulting in the couple and their two small children moving to Santa Clarita, into a fully furnished apartment, rent paid for a year. Also included were donations of clothes, food, utilities, furniture, linens, toys for the children, a job for the husband, ESL classes for the husband, then citizenship classes, high school diploma for the wife, then nursing school. The project became a community effort. Girls Scouts raised money to buy towels, linens, kitchen goods and food; the Sheriff’s Dept. furnished Christmas toys; and a church furnished a tree and turkey dinner for Christmas. Jami feels that one task of the past Men and Women of the Year is to “duplicate themselves” and recruit other volunteers to step up to the tasks at hand. “I knew many of the Men and Women of the Year who went before me. I admired them for what they had done. This elite group represented hope for the future in our community. Giving of themselves, they really made a difference in so many lives. When I found out I had been nominated for this prestigious award, and who else had been nominated, I was in awe of the company I kept. The core of volunteers in this community will hopefully keep growing, so the needs of our neighbors will always be met.”
1988 Man of the Year
BIO: Tom Veloz was born in New York City. After establishing his company Aquafine in the Valencia Industrial Park in the 1970s, he moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in the early 1980s. At the time of being honored as Man of the Year in 1988, Tom was the owner of another Valencia-based water purification company, UltraViolet Devices Inc. (UVDI) and served on the board of the SCV Boys and Girls Club and also on the SCV Chapter of United Way. Next he became the founding member of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center. He is a major donor to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He sponsored a horse at Carousel Ranch, and was a major contributor to College of the Canyons. About being honored as SCV Man of the Year, he said: “It was personally gratifying to learn my efforts were recognized by the community.”
1988 Woman of the Year
BIO: Born Betty Marlow in 1931 in Rock River, Wyoming, the 1988 Woman of the Year graduated from Rock River High School in 1949 and was awarded a 4-year scholarship to the University of Wyoming, Laramie. Betty married Paul M. Castleberry in July 1951, then dropped out of the university and accepted a position as secretary to the Dean of the College of Pharmacy to help Paul complete a degree in mechanical engineering. The couple moved to Glendale, California in 1956 and then to Newhall in 1964. They moved to Grand Junction, Colorado in 1992. “When I was chosen Woman of the Year for 1988, I felt honored to be added to the list of women who had been recognized for making a difference in the life of their community,” commented Betty. “In serving my SCV community, I always received more than I gave. I’m grateful and indebted to the many people of the Santa Clarita Valley who encouraged and supported me in all my volunteer efforts.” Betty’s volunteer activities in the SCV include: • President of Peachland Elementary School – 1966 • Vice President of Newhall-Saugus PTA Council 1968 – Awarded a Life-time membership in PTA for outstanding contributions to the organization. • A.A. degree from the College of the Canyons. Named to Who’s Who in Junior Colleges in 1979 • B.A. degree from the University of Antioch, L. A. – 1982 • Member of the Board of Trustees Newhall Elementary School District – 1976. Served one year as President – Was honored for being instrumental in returning music to the elementary curriculum • Bank of America Awards Committee 1977 & 1978 • President of Soroptimist International of Santa Clarita Valley – 1981 – Received Soroptimist’s first annual “Women Helping Women” Award 1984 • President of Newhall-Saugus Business and Professional Women’s Club -1981 • Member of the Board of Directors of St. Stephen’s Special School (now Child & Family Center) – 1981 • Member of Regional Board of Camino Real Soroptimists – 1983 • Hart Scholarship Fund Board – 1983 • Charter member of Board of Directors – Association to Aid Victims of Domestic Violence- 1983. Served as Secretary and as Vice President • Received Newhall-Saugus Business and Professional Women’s “Women Helping Women” award –1983 • Recipient of “Woman of the Year” Award from Newhall-Saugus Business and Professional Women – 1984 • Member of the Association of California Water Agencies. Chair of ACWA’s Board Secretary Committee – 1984-86; vice chair – Personnel and Administration Committee – 1989 • Charter president of the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra Foundation – 1986 • Honored by Zonta International as “Woman of the Year” 1987 • Santa Clarita Valley Chamber’s “Woman of the Year” 1988 • Member of Finance Steering Committee – College of the Canyons • Member of the “Screening Committee” College of the Canyons to find a new president • Member of College of the Canyons Career Technology Subcommittee • President of the Friends of Hart Park and Museum • Board of Directors Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce- 1991 served as Vice President Public Affairs – Member of Legislative Committee • Retired 1992 from Castaic Lake Water Agency – (Position: Administrative Officer.) Grand Junction, Colorado Activities: • City of Grand Junction Arts and Culture Commission Member – 1992 • American Association of University Women – 1992 – Served as Educational Foundation chair , by-laws chair and ways and means • Member of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce “Rangers” 1992 • Board of Directors Chipeta Girl Scout Council – 1993 (Life member) • Advisory Committee for the Retired Senior Volunteer Program – 1993 • United Way Board of Trustees -Grand Junction – Vice President 1994 • Grand Junction Symphony Board of Directors -1997-2000 and 2002-2005
1987 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1987 Woman of the Year
BIO: Newhall married Scott in 1933 and, two years after their marriage, Scott and Ruth bought a sailboat to sail around the world. They made it as far as Manzanillo, Mexico, where a storm damaged their boat. The two rode horseback for three months through the Mexican countryside when Scott was kicked by a horse and his leg became infected. They returned to San Francisco and Scott's leg was amputated. Ruth Newhall worked at the San Francisco Chronicle — first as a secretary for editor Chester Rowell, then Herb Caen. Eventually she worked as a reporter in the editorial writers department and on the city desk. Newhall also taught journalism at UC Berkeley and Mills College in Oakland. During this stint, Ruth Newhall gave birth to her four children — Skip of Valencia, Jon of Oakland and Tony of Valencia; daughter Penny, the youngest, was killed in a 1955 truck accident. "She was less a businesswoman and more of a career woman," Skip said. "She had a lot of interests. She taught me a lot about the English language and she was known for her good cooking." "There was no such thing as a bad Ruth Newhall dinner," he added. After working at the Chronicle for nearly 30 years, Ruth Newhall wrote that Scott grew restless. "I'm tired of being one of the hired help," he said. "Let's buy a paper of our own." "We both knew it had to be a small paper, because anything we bought would have to be purchased with borrowed money. We had been sending our three sons through Stanford University and our bank balance was negative," Ruth Newhall wrote in a 1996 edition of the Old Town Newhall Gazette. During her tenure as editor of The Signal (1970-79 and 1985-88), Newhall created the news briefs section that ran above the masthead called "Our Amazing Planet." A memorable brief in 1977 included the news of the death of Elvis Presley, which Newhall titled, "The Pelvis is Dead."'
1986 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1986 Woman of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1985 Man of the Year
BIO: In spite of his local-sounding name, Tony Newhall is not a native of the Santa Clarita Valley. He grew up in Berkeley, attended Stanford University, then spent two years in the Peace Corps in Peru (1964-66). He returned to the Stanford Business School, but dropped out in 1968 and moved to Newhall to help his family with the fledging Newhall Signal newspaper. Working alongside his father, Scott Newhall, and with his twin brother Jon, who was then editor, Tony started as circulation manager. He was named general manager later that year, and then publisher in 1977. When he first arrived in Newhall in 1968, Tony joined the Board of Directors of the Newhall Boys’ Club (now SCV Boys & Girls Club). In 1972, placed in charge of fundraising and growing tired of luaus, he initiated the Boys Club Auction and chaired it for first two years, and continued chairing the live auction for the next 10 years. In both 1972 and 1980, he was named Boys & Girls Club Director of the Year, and he served as president of the Board in 1980. During the ’70s and ’80s he served on the board of the H.M. Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, on the board of United Way annual campaigns, the board of the SCV Historical Society, and was on the founding Board of the Friends of Hart Park. In 1975, in an effort to improve his social skills, he took dance classes at Reena’s Dance Studio in Saugus. The class teacher was Reena. They were married seven years later in 1982. Tony has three stepchildren, Eric, Beth and Jana, and a daughter Lindsey who was born in 1983, and is now working in China. In 1985, Tony was honored as the Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, an honor that totally shocked him. During the ’80s, he served on the Board of the statewide California Newspaper Publishers Association, and was elected its president in 1986. In the late ‘80s, he served on the board of the SCV Historical Society, worked again with the Boys & Girls Club Auction. He left The Signal that year and moved to San Francisco and where he worked for 10 years as Associate Publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. He also served as an officer of the statewide California Press Association, 1989-96. Tony moved back to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1999, and has been working financial manager of the Cinema Park center and for A Chorus Line, his wife’s dancewear and costume business. He and Reena taught “The Hustle” to the performers at the 2005 Boys & Girls Club “Disco Fever” Auction. Tony is still surprised by being chosen SCV Man of the Year 20 years ago. “This came as a pleasant shock,” he said. “I’ve always loved doing volunteer work in this community. It’s challenging and rewarding. Volunteer work has been the center of all social and creative activity in this valley, and for me it’s created lifelong friendships.”
1985 Woman of the Year
BIO: Carmen Sarro, the first employee of the city of Santa Clarita. Sarro was a volunteer for dozens of organizations spending 33 years volunteering in the SCV.
1984 Man of the Year
BIO: Milt Diamond ran the Newhall General Store at the corner of 8th Street and San Fernando Road (Main Street), where Weaver's WOWS plaque is located. He served on the Newhall Walk of Fame (W.O.F.) committee, later known as the Walk of Western Stars.
1984 Woman of the Year
BIO: A resident of Santa Clarita for over 23 years, Jo Anne Darcy attended Los Angeles City College, one year. Santa Monica City College, 1½ years. University of Colorado, Long Beach College, El Camino College, UCLA, USC, CSUN, Mills College and various classes and seminars as well as UC Davis.
Samuel X. Garcia
1983 Man of the Year
BIO: Samuel X. Garcia served as president of the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club. Additional bio information is unavailable at this time.
1983 Woman of the Year
BIO: Barbara was married in 1958, had three children and moved to Canoga Park in 1961. She moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1968. She has always been self-employed; she ran a secretarial service out of her home until she retired in 1998. Divorced in 1975, she lost a son in 1985, and married Russ Cochran in 1996. Barbara became active in volunteer work in the mid-1970s. She was a founding member of the SCV Community Health Council, serving as president and other officer positions. She reorganized the Community Hot Line, serving as a listener, trainer and president. She assisted in development of drug abuse research and she and her current husband, Russ Cochran, wrote grants for the Health Council from which the Community Care Center was established. Starting in 1974, she worked as a volunteer for the Boys & Girls Club Auction committee and has done so every year to date. In 1979, she helped develop the Santa Clarita Valley Health Directory, published by the Signal. She also assisted Russ Cochran in grant writing to fund the building of Committee on Aging Senior Center. During the 1980’s, she served as a member of North County Mental Health Advisory Committee, a member of board of Committee on Aging, and was a founding member of the SCV Domestic Violence Center. In 1983, she was honored as the SCV Woman of the Year. Receiving this honor did not slow her down. In 1984-87, she served on Boys & Girls Club Board of Directors, and in 1985 she started the Boys & Girls Club Building Fund with money donated in memory of son, Chuck Stearns. She joined the Policy Board of the SCV Child & Family Center in 1986, and started another building fund in memory of her son. In 1987, she became a KARES Auxiliary member and became an officer in Safe Rides. In 1986, she joined the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, and has served as President and many officer and committee chair positions over the past 23 years. She co-chaired Zonta’s Celebrity Tribute for three years, and was Zonta Area 3 Director for two years, 2003-2005. In 1989, she received the Women Helping Women award from the Soroptimist Club of SCV. She has also worked with March of Dimes, the Boy Scout/Sheriff’s Dept. Golf Tournaments, the COC Women’s Conference, was founding member of COC Symphony of the Canyons, a member of the Arts Council, a founding member of the Family and Community Coalition through City of Santa Clarita, and she co-chaired the Senior Center Wine Auction during five different years. She was a member of the Zonta Foundation Board of Trustees for four years, serving as its president in 2003-2004. She has served on the board of the SCV Child & Family Center Foundation since its inception. In 2003 she received the “Volunteer of the Year” Award from the Child & Family Center. Barbara has been an active community volunteer for over 35 years, and since 2005, she has co-hosted the KHTS AM-1220 radio show, “The Senior Hour.” About her honor as 1983 SCV Woman of the Year, Barbara said: “Receiving this honor was one of the most exciting events in my life, especially because my three children were present to see me receive the honor. I love my community and I love volunteering to help make it a better place in which to live. The people I volunteer with in this community are my friends. They have always been there for me in my time of need, and I want to be there for them.”
Fred Trueblood III
1981 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1981 Woman of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
Judge Adrian W. Adams
1980 Man of the Year
BIO: Adrian Adams was appointed judge of the Newhall Municipal Court in 1970 by Gov. Ronald Reagan. For the first time, the Newhall Judicial District had two judges. (C.M. MacDougall, already seated, was the other.) By the time Adams retired from the bench in 1991, a third seat had been added to the court.
Betty Houghton Pember
1980 Woman of the Year
BIO: Betty was born April 11, 1921, in Newhall at the Hapalan [Hap-A-Lan] Community Hall, formerly her grandparents' general store, at the corner of Market Street and Railroad Avenue.
1979 Man of the Year
BIO: John S. Fuller was an unassuming man. He helped create Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in 1975 and led the $35 million reconstruction of California Institute of the Arts after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. As a volunteer, in 1965 Fuller served as president of the Newhall-Saugus Chamber of Commerce (a predecessor to the SCV Chamber). He was a member of the Upper Santa Clara Water Agency board (now called CLWA), and he was the founding treasurer and later chairman, until 1991, of the hospital board. For about 15 years starting in 1985, he served on the local YCMA board, chairing it twice.
1979 Woman of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1978 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1978 Woman of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1977 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
Sara Faye Wood
1977 Woman of the Year
BIO: Sara Faye Wood of Surety Savings & Loan Association was the Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year for 1977. She was installed Saturday, Jan. 14, 1978, as president of the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce, later known as the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.
1976 Man of the Year
BIO: Realtor Richard G. "Dick" Millar (1976) was president of the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce in 1974-75 and again in 1977 when he negotiated a $0 lease to move the chamber into a new headquarters building in Newhall.
1976 Woman of the Year
BIO: Joyce Wayman (second from left) was Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital's first volunteer coordinator, staring around the time the Henry Mayo Hospital board and its nonprofit partner, the Lutheran Hospital Society, purchased Inter-Valley Hospital in Saugus and renamed it Hillside Community Hospital in the early 1970s.
1975 Man of the Year
BIO: Rene Veluzat (1975) chaired the effort to remodel and landscape the historic Pardee House, in preparation for the occupancy of the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce.
1975 Woman of the Year
BIO: Connie Worden-Roberts (1930-2014), who epitomized community building and leadership at its finest for four decades, was honored as Santa Clarita Valley’s Woman of the Year back in 1975. In the decades that followed, this remarkable lady neither slowed down nor withdrew from public service or her volunteer contributions. While the title of SCV Woman of the Year may be bestowed on an individual only once, Connie has deserved it many times. In fact, she has also been named Woman of the Year three times by the California State Legislature and was recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the SCV Press Club. Connie Worden grew up in Minnesota and graduated with a B.A. in English from San Jose State College. She did accounting work while in college. She moved to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1970 and worked with programs for gifted children at CSUN. During this time she was active in numerous civic and volunteer organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley. In 1974, she was among the first women elected to the Boys & Girls Club governing board. She worked on the Club’s benefit auction during its formative years, and served as Auction Coordinator in 1980 when the Auction first surpassed the $100,000 revenue mark. In 1975 she was elected to the Board of the (then-named) Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce. She organized and headed for many years the Chamber’s Transportation Committee which operated as a quasi-civic body to oversee local traffic needs and road construction. Also in the ’70s she was twice elected to the Hart School Board of Trustees. She served on Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital speakers bureau, and the Placerita Canyon Nature Center Associates. In early 1980, she worked as a special assistant to the president of HR Textron, and then with Assemblywoman Marian La Follette. Connie was an active leader in the Canyon County Formation Committee which attempted twice in the late ’70s to form the Santa Clarita Valley into a separate county. She was equally active a decade later in the incorporation of the City of Santa Clarita. She also found time to serve as chair of the League of Women Voters, and she worked on special programs for children at Wiley Canyon Elementary School. In 1990 Connie started her own business as the Transportation Management Association. She was appointed by Supervisor Michael Antonovich to the North County Transportation Coalition. She has been active as a board member in the Valley Industrial Association and she serves as the co-chair of the SCV Transportation Alliance. In the early 200s, Connie Worden-Roberts was still serving on the governing board of the SCV Boys & Girls Club and was re-elected to the SCV Chamber of Commerce Board for 2005-2008. Connie had this to say about her decades-old honor of SCV Woman of the Year: “It has been a great and continuing honor to have been selected by my peers to such a number of awards. It has been a distinct pleasure to have served in a variety of interesting capacities. I have had the privilege of learning a great deal about this fascinating Valley and the wonderful people who reside here.”
1974 Man of the Year
BIO: In 1974 Judge MacDougall received the "Man of the Year" award from the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his community [service]. His activities included membership in the Newhall-Saugus Kiwanis, the American Legion, the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce, and the board of directors of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. He also worked with the Santa Clarita Community College District, Boys Club, and founded the William S. Hart High School Scholarship Fund.
1974 Woman of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
Rev. Samuel Dixon
1973 Man of the Year
BIO: He was a pastor and a community leader, and his dream of a medical center in Val Verde lives on 30 years after his death.
1973 Woman of the Year
BIO: Jereann Bowman, a former William S. Hart Union High School District board member and the driving force behind the continuation school
1972 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
Bobbie Trueblood (Davis)
1972 Woman of the Year
BIO: An exhausted 21-year-old Aileen "Bobbie" Nash and her fiancé stopped for breakfast at MacDougall's cafe on the long hill leading to Newhall Pass. It was just before sunrise on June 19, 1946.
1971 Woman of the Year
BIO: Olive Ruby was the very first SCV Woman of the Year.
1970 Man of the Year
BIO: Ed Bolden was a board member on the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center. "I knew Sam Dixon as a pastor," the 77-year-old Bolden said. Bolden, a civil engineer, helped Dixon build a church in Val Verde during the late 1960s. Bolden performed grading plans and helped build retaining walls for the church, which also included an adjacent building for classrooms. The classrooms would eventually became a health center.
1969 Man of the Year
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1968 Outstanding Citizen
BIO: The bio for this honoree is unavailable at this time.
1966 Outstanding Citizen
BIO: Bill Bonelli, Jr. was the first president of the board of College of the Canyons.
1965 Outstanding Citizen
BIO: The charismatic educator was the first full-time principal of Hart in a career that spanned from 1948 to 1965. He later served as district superintendent. His mark on local education is still felt today.
1964 Outstanding Citizen
BIO: Born in 1891, Arthur B. "Perk" Perkins came to Newhall in 1919 to manage the fledgling Newhall Water Company, the forerunner of the Newhall County Water District.