BY LEON WORDEN / SCVNEWS.COM
Fred Arnold took the reins of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce board from Stay Green’s Chris Angelo at the chamber’s annual installation and awards dinner Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Valencia hotel.
Arnold, an investment counselor with American Family Funding, outlined goals that included leadership development, strengthening partnerships and helping U.S. military veterans find jobs.
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“This city is not about handouts from the state and federal government. We take it upon ourselves” to pull ourselves up, he said.
The business community can expect the chamber to be the driver of a leadership development program this year with the dual goals of developing “world-class companies” and training a new crop of leaders to take the SCV’s numerous nonprofit organizations to the next level.
All local chamber-member businesses “need to make a commitment to hire one more employee” this year, Arnold said. He discussed plans for a Veterans Job Fair this summer that’s being organized by the chamber with assistance from Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon’s staff, and he affirmed the chamber’s commitment to honoring Santa Clarita’s fallen military personnel.
Acknowledging the contributions of local educators, Arnold said, “The reason we have great leaders, the reason we have great employees, is because we have great schools.”
There were five nominees in each of three categories of business awards, divided by company size. Emcee Ed Masterson introduced the previous year’s recipients, who announced the winners.
The 2012 Small Business of the Year award went to AM-1220 KHTS, represented by co-owners Carl Goldman and Jeri Seratti-Goldman, and news reporter Perry Smith.
The Medium Business of the Year award went to the Bank of Santa Clarita, represented by CEO Frank D. Di Tomaso and Senior Vice President Elizabeth Hopp.
The Large Business of the Year award went to AT&T, represented by External Affairs Director Dana Cop, who had chaired the chamber board in 2011.
A Special Achievement Award went to Nikki Simon, and Steven Lettau of Advanced Audiology was selected as Ambassador of the Year.
Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, administered the oath of office to the SCV Chamber’s incoming Board of Directors:
Greg Amsler, Salt Creek Grille
Chris Angelo, Stay Green Inc.
Fred Arnold, American Family Funding
James Backer, JSB Development
Bill Barritt, Aerospace Dynamics International
Pete Bellas, College of the Canyons
Raj Chandani, Westfield Valencia Town Center
Steve Chegwin, CPA
Dana Cop, AT&T Inc.
Jason Crawford, City of Santa Clarita
Anna Frutos-Sanchez, Southern California Edison
Jon Gardner, John Gardner Insurance
Jeffrey Hacker, Hacker Law Group
Moe Hafizi, Magazine of Santa Clarita
Elizabeth Hopp, Bank of Santa Clarita
Casey Kirkman, AQMS
Kimberly Kurowski, A-1 Party Balloons
Marlee Lauffer, Newhall Land & Farming Co.
Dan Masnada, Castaic Lake Water Agency
Dan McBrearty, The Walt Disney Co.
Sue Nevius, La Quinta Inn & Suites
Bonnie Rabjohn, Six Flags Magic Mountain
Sue Reynolds, NewMarket Careers
John Schleif, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital
Anya Smilanick, Small Dog Creative LLC
Nancy Starczyk, Southland Regional Assn. of Realtors-SCV
Doug Sutton, Valley Publications
Tony Tartaglia, Southern California Gas Co.