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Chamber installs its 89th board of directors

Chairman calls for local businesses to spur hiring growth

Posted: January 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: January 23, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Incoming chairman Fred Arnold speaks at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce installation dinner at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Up to 300 people filled the tables at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 89th annual installation dinner Friday, Jan. 18.

The chamber’s achievements in 2012 were marked by its collaboration with the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, SCV Economic Development Corp. and the Valley Industry Association, said outgoing chairman Chris Angelo.

“We worked together to host some of the best business forums this last year that the community has seen,” Angelo said.

Recognizing those partnership efforts, Angelo awarded Kathy Norris, CEO and president of VIA, the chamber’s leadership award.

Angelo also noted the chamber’s growth and membership retention as signs of success in the past year, as well as the solid fiscal results in 2012 that set the stage for the chamber to really grow in 2013.

“In the first 18 days of 2013, we gained 18 new members,” said Terri Crain, president and CEO of the SCV Chamber of Commerce. “I see positive movement for the chamber this year and I think it speaks to the quality of programs we’re offering.”

Angelo also handed the gavel off to Fred Arnold, the 2013 chairman at the Hyatt Regency Valencia hotel.
“Since 1923 the SCV Chamber of Commerce has been the voice of business,” Arnold said.

To continue the tradition, Arnold announced a leadership program to develop a new core group of leaders in the community, and help business owners grow their companies.

“This city is not about hand-outs from the government,” Arnold said. “We take it upon ourselves to give a hand up.”

Saying good employees come out of the great schools in the valley; Arnold also challenged businesses to create more local jobs so residents can work locally and remain close to family and children.

Calling the program “Chamber Jobs 1, 100,” the chairman urged every local company to hire one more person in 2013.

The chamber also recognized local businesses in the community, first by awarding Steven Lettau with Advanced Audiology with a special Ambassador of the Year recognition.

Member businesses were also honored at the annual event.

Winning Small Business of the Year award, the chamber gave the nod to KHTS.

“This could not have happened without staff,” said Carl Goldman, co-owner of the local radio station.

The Bank of Santa Clarita was awarded Medium Business of the Year.

Starting in 2004, the bank went from zero assets to over $230 million, said Frank Di Tomaso, CEO and executive chairman of the board.

“The other businesses that were nominated are just as deserving of this award,” he said.

A member for more than 30 years, the chamber awarded AT&T as large business of the year.

The chamber also presented a special achievement award to member Nikki Simon, founder of Organize L.A.

As the dinner wrapped up, and before members moved on to Casino night benefiting the chamber’s Ian Gelig Scholarship fund and local Cub Scout Troop 894, the incoming chamber officials were sworn into office by Assemblyman Scott Wilk, (R-Santa Clarita).


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