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Local business leaders honored

Awards cover wide spectrum of commerce in the SCV

Posted: May 14, 2009 8:37 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Jay Thomas of Six Flags Magic Mountain holds the award the theme park won for Biggest Economic Impact.

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Roughly 350 business leaders packed the Hyatt Valencia Hotel on Wednesday when the San Fernando Valley Business Journal hosted the Santa Clarita Valley Business Leadership Awards 2009 to honor local companies and business individuals.

The event also named the Best Employers to Work For in the Santa Clarita Valley competition.

"I think that this is a great illustration of how strong our business community is," Marc Emmer said as guests mingled before the reception.

Emmer, president of Optimize, Inc. and committee chairman, announced the winners of the Best Employers competition.

The contest brought together judges who evaluated businesses based on items like compensation, training and development, and company culture.

Ultraviolet Devices was named Best Small Employer, while College of the Canyons was named Best Large Employer.

The small-employer category required 100 employees or less, while the large employers needed to have 101 or more employees.

"In terms of the final judging, the finalists were very close," Emmer said. "Ultimately, UVDI and COC demonstrated some unique qualities which we will illustrate in our report to the community, excerpts of which will be published in both the SFV and SCV Business Journals in the next few weeks."

Mayor Frank Ferry and Councilwoman Laurie Ender presented awards to six companies selected by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal and received input from the editorial awards advisory committee.

Committee members included: Marlee Lauffer of Newhall Land and Farming, Larry Mankin of the SCV Chamber of Commerce, Kathy Norris of Valley Industrial Association, Andree Walper of the city of Santa Clarita and Don St. Clair from Woodbury University.

The awards are as follows: Most Innovative: Wildcat Technologies; Most Innovative Product or Service: Applied Companies, Bioness and Stellar Microelectronics; Best Community Spirit: LBW Insurance, Magazine of Santa Clarita and Elite Magazine; Best Customer Service: Gothic Landscape; Newcomer Award: California United Bank; Economic Impact Award: Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Jay Thomas, president of Six Flags Magic Mountain, expressed pride in park's award.

"We're extremely excited about our Economic Impact award and we're looking very forward to our continued contribution not only to the community, but to the region itself," Thomas said.

This year, more than 20,000 people applied for jobs at the theme park, Thomas said. The park has about 4,500 employees throughout the year, he said.

Magic Mountain gives back to the community through a variety of nonprofit organizations, ranging from the SCV Boys and Girls Club to Single Mothers Outreach, Thomas said.

Don St. Clair, vice president of Woodbury University, took the stage to present a series of awards to individuals for their contribution to the business community. The winners were: Rising Star Award: Chris Angelo, vice president Stay Green Inc.; Best Business Leadership: David Poole and John Shaffery, Poole and Shaffery Law Firm; Best Business Leader: Small business: Linda Harris, president Jorgensen HR; Best Business Leader: Medium business: Calvin Hedman, president Hedman Partners; Best Business Leader: Large business: Barry Gump, president and CEO Andy Gump Inc.

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