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Chamber honors local businesses, members

Event: Chairwoman shares goal to develop business relationships, promote growth

Posted: January 24, 2011 10:35 p.m.
Updated: January 25, 2011 4:55 a.m.

Michael Crain and Terri Kingery, the chamber’s new president, pose at the dinner.

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The annual Santa Clarita  Valley Chamber of Commerce Recognition & Installment Dinner was held Friday evening at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Ed Masterson, former interim chamber president, served as the event’s master of ceremonies.

This is the chamber’s 87th year of operation.

Several SCV community leaders witnessed the tribute to outgoing 2010 Chairman of the Board John Shaffery, and to welcome the new CEO and President Terri Kingery, incoming Chairman of the Board Dana Cop, and the new board of directors.

Among the community leaders who were on hand to acknowledge chamber members were state Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, Mayor Marsha McLean and Councilwoman Laurie Ender.

Smyth said chamber of commerce organizations throughout the state are dying, but he noted the local chamber is vibrant.
Chamber members Morris Thomas, Greg Amsler, Chris Angelo, James Backer, Julie Benson, Hunt Braly, Scott Capistrano, Raj Chandani, Dana Cop, Jason Crawford, Carlos Dominguez, Anna Frutos-Sanchez, Jon Gardner, Jeffrey Hacker, Moe Hafizi, Kris Hough, Bill Kennedy, Terri Kingery, Kimberly Kurowski, Marlee Lauffer, Dean Maloney, Dan Masnada, Dan McBrearty, Sue Nevius, Susan Reynolds, John Schleif and John Shaffery were installed as the new 2011 chamber board of directors.

Reflections
The chamber must reach out to companies and provide value to its members, Shaffery told the audience.

“The city is no longer a bedroom community,” Shaffery said. “There are major industries including biotech, aerospace and film-production companies employing thousands of people, changing the composition of the valley.”

The future success of the chamber hinges on integrating the various industries, and the biggest challenges for companies are over-regulation and business rules, he said.

Castaic Chamber of Commerce President Latisha Stewart Smith gave a special thanks to Shaffery for guiding her community’s chamber and helping them over the bumps to get that chamber started.

Shaffery acknowledged Charlie Gill, who served as interim director of the chamber this year, thanking him for his outstanding service in 2010.

In closing, Shaffery took a line from the Bruce Springsteen song “Lucky Town” and quoted: “When it comes to luck, you make your own.”

“The chamber’s goal this year is to go back to basics, developing relationships with local businesses of all sizes to help them grow and expand,” Cop said. “We should be the first contact.”

In her new position as chamber CEO and president, Kingery told attendees that there is a renewed focus on members and providing value to members in 2011.

Business awards
Highlighting the evening’s event was the recognition of local small, medium and large businesses of the year.

Winning in the 2010 Small Business of the Year category was Steve’s Valencia Florist. Small businesses were defined as having one to nine employees. EmbroidMe, Joie De Vivre Photography, Melaleuca Inc. and New Market Careers were all nominated as contenders in this category.

SCV Bank took home the honors for 2010 Medium Business of the Year. Medium businesses were defined as having 10 to 40 employees. Honored in this group of nominees were Comfort Keepers In-Home Care, Dink’s Deli, Jersey Mike’s Subs and Mission Valley Bank.

“I’m honored to live and work in this community,” Kris Hough said as she accepted the award on behalf of SCV Bank.

In the third business category, large businesses were defined as having 40 or more employees. Stay Green Inc. won the honor in this category, joined by nominees Castaic Lake Water Agency, Good Neighbor Pharmacies, Princess Cruises and Salt Creek Grille. Good Neighbor Pharmacies represents Saugus Drugs, Valencia Pharmacy and Valencia Town Center Pharmacy.

Stay Green’s CEO and president Chris Angelo attributed his firm’s success to the employees, who can be seen around the community wearing green with a red-rose insignia.

“They’re the people who really make this happen,” Angelo said.

Special recognition

Also recognized Friday evening were individuals for special achievement recognition honoring their work with the chamber throughout the year. In a tie, Kim Kurowski and Allen West and Joan Margolis West won the award. Also nominated for their efforts in the past year were Jon Gardner, Jeff Lui and Nikki Simon.

Steve Youlios, local owner and operator of Jersey Mike’s Subs, was named Rookie of the Year. The award honored a new member to the chamber who actively participated in chamber activities. Although a relatively new member in 2010, Youlios was credited with devoting more time in his short term of membership than many rookies have in a year.

The chamber paid special tribute to member Fred Arnold for organizing the funeral procession last March for Sgt. Ian T.D. Gelig, an Army paratrooper and Stevenson Ranch resident, who was killed in Afghanistan that month. Thousands of Santa Clarita residents lined city streets to honor Gelig.

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