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Senior Center adds 2

Posted: November 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: November 12, 2012 2:00 a.m.

A veteran of Santa Clarita Transit, Robert Galarza was recently hired as the Senior Center's director of transportation.

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The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center has added two new staff members last month, a move that will help streamline operations.

Robert Galarza is the center’s new director of transportation, overseeing the home-delivered meals program, plus upkeep and maintenance of vehicles for the home-delivered meals, handyworker program and senior transportation.

Joanna Vallelunga is the new director of food services, managing the daily operations in the center’s busy kitchen. The two filled positions that were vacant for several months.

“I’m very excited that we’ve been joined by two individuals with years of experience in management and operations, exactly what is needed to keep our transportation and meal programs running efficiently and smoothly,” Executive Director Rachelle Dardeau said. “Robert is filling two positions — director of transportation and home-delivered meals coordinator — that have been combined into one to streamline operations. Having studied at Le Cordon Bleu, Joanna is the perfect person to provide delicious, nutritious meals to our seniors.”

Vallelunga called herself “a chef at heart,” and looks forward to making the center’s meals the best they can be. She has spent most of her career working in food services, she said.

Vallelunga said she’s primarily sticking with the center’s existing recipes while making some tweaks here and there, “to improve the flavor profile.”

A former Marine recruiter, Galarza has been a SCV resident for five years. Prior to joining the Senior Center, he spent nearly five years with Santa Clarita Transit as a road supervisor.

“My vision is to ensure that transportation is running smoothly, and that everybody thinks safety and drives safely,” he said. “I have the utmost respect and gratitude for our volunteer drivers, and I want to help them accomplish their kindness in a proficient manner.”

The SCV Senior Center is located at 22900 Market St., Newhall. For more information call the center at 661-259-9444 or visit


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