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Chamber of Commerce President Fred Arnold's Vision For 2013

American Family Funding’s Certified Mortgage Consultant Fred Arnold was installed as president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce board during their annual awards and installation dinner, Jan. 18. Arnold succeeds Stay Green’s CEO Chris Angelo.

At the ceremony, Arnold outlined goals that included leadership development, strengthening partnerships and helping U.S. military veterans find jobs.

“This city is not about handouts from the state and federal government. We take it upon ourselves (to pull ourselves up),” he said.


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Arnold was born and raised in Valencia, and after moving away a short time during his childhood, he returned to the Santa Clarita Valley as soon as he could, shortly after graduating college, he said.

“It wasn’t my choice to leave, but I came back as soon as I could,” he said. “I love the community in Santa Clarita.”

A community focus is something that’s vital to his business and achieving his SCV Chamber of Commerce goals, he said.

“The thing we specialize in is our relationship to the community,” he explained. “We understand how small business operates -- that’s really critical in our field.”

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.

One of the groups he made a point of wanting to help was local veterans, he said.

“I think one of the major things we have right now is a need to create jobs within our community,” he said. “We’re looking to team up with College of the Canyons and do some type of veteran job fair to help them look for opportunity within the community. They defended our country, they fought for us, but in some cases, they’re challenged for employment.”

“Out of the Rough,” a 24-minute SCVTV show is divided into six-minute segments, is also part of his effort to help and serve the community, he said.

The show, which has filmed more than 200 interviews, offers tips from successful members of the community that, as the golf analogy implies, is intended to help anyone who might be struggling -- whether it’s a business or a nonprofit -- achieve a better tomorrow, he said.

"Out of the Rough" runs on SCVTV, which is available on Time Warner's channel 20, AT&T U-verse 99 and SCVTV.com Live Stream.

He also discussed the Chamber 1,100 initiative that hopes to encourage and enable all 1,100 member businesses in the SCV to hire, if even on a part-time basis, at least one employee, Arnold said.

In addition to Arnold, business leaders from around the Santa Clarita Valley took the oath of office on Jan. 18 to become members of the 2013 Chamber of Commerce Board. Assemblyman Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, officiated.

The members are:
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.

More on Fred Arnold: Santa Clarita's Unsung Hero — Fred Arnold

More on the Awards Dinner: Chamber Awards Go To KHTS, AT&T, Bank Of Santa Clarita