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VIA installs 2012 board members

Posted: December 22, 2011 1:30 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2011 1:30 a.m.

City of Santa Clarita Mayor Laurie Ender, left, reads the oath of office as the new VIA board members raise their hands during the swearing-in ceremony held at the Valencia Country Club in Valencia on Tuesday.

Capping off its year, the Valley Industry Association installed its new 2012 chair and board of directors at the Valencia Country Club in Santa Clarita on Tuesday.

Outgoing chairman, Tim Burkhart, told VIA members and guests the organization has emerged from a rough year as a strong organization that brings value to its members.

“VIA has had an exceptional year,” said Kathy Norris, president and CEO of VIA. “Our membership has grown by 28 percent.”

The organization partnered with other business organizations to focus on collaboration, rather than competition, to better serve its members, Burkhart said.

“Kathy flawlessly executed strategies and plans, and always kept members focused on our goals,” he said.

Before turning the chair over to 2012 Chairwoman Diana Meyer, Burkhart presented a special award to Andrea McAfee, controller with Bayless Engineering and treasurer of VIA.

Andrea has done an astounding job dealing with the finances, and more so serving as a key partner with Kathy, Burhart said.

“That support is the key to making things happen.”

Before  Mayor Laurie Ender swore in the 2012 VIA officers, Ender, along with representatives from senators Tony Strickland and Sharon Runner, Los Angeles County of Supervisor Michael Antonovich, and Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita, were on hand to present certificates honoring Burkhart’s efforts with VIA in 2011.

“It has been a great pleasure working with Tim Burkhart,” Norris said. “I look forward to another excellent year with Diana Meyer at the helm.”

VIA’s goal is to connect and build industry in the Santa Clarita Valley, said Diana Meyer, 2012 chairperson.  That goal is achieved by reaching out to others and collaborating in the regional business community.

Citing the many programs VIA sponsors, as well as ones in which they join other organizations as a means to better serve members, Meyer also noted VIA’s participation in the SCV Leadership Council with the SCV Chamber of Commerce, the
SCV Economic Development Corporation and the SC Latino Chamber of Commerce.

VIA has also worked with the Small Business Development Center to provide more programs, events and training to members, she said.

One of Meyer’s goals for 2012 is the expansion and realignment of the organizations business committees.

The business organization’s Connecting to Success event was attended by nearly 2,000 high school students with the help of 60 professional business facilitators, Norris said.

Showcasing the success of the organization, VIA celebrated its 30th anniversary at the Hyatt Regency in October of this year. The commemorative slide presentation was shown at Tuesday’s luncheon.

VIA specially thanks its 2011 lunch sponsors, LBW Insurance and Financial Services and the city of Santa Clarita, said a spokesperson.

“We look forward to an even better 2012,” Norris said. “We’ll kick off with our annual Business 2 Business industry show on March 1, with keynote speaker Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson.”


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