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Hopp and Sturgeon are SCV's Woman and Man of Year

Pair received the honor at Friday night ceremony

Posted: May 4, 2013 10:37 p.m.
Updated: May 4, 2013 10:37 p.m.

Elizabeth Hopp, left and Steve Sturgeon are named the Santa Clarita Valley Woman of the Year and Man of the Year, at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Friday.

Bill Lively did the honors again as he “sang in” the  winners at the annual SCV Woman and Man of the Year banquet held Friday evening at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.

Steve Sturgeon, owner of Confidential Data Destruction and AVM Technologies, and nominated by the Child & Family Center Foundation and Rotary Club of SCV, and Elizabeth Hopp, senior vice president of the Bank of Santa Clarita, and nominated by Michael Hoefflin foundation for Children’s Cancer, were named the 2013 honorees.

“I was very surprised,” said Hopp. “I was trying to figure out why Bill was saying my name, then I realized, oh my God! I think there were others that deserved it more than I. It’s just such an honor to be part of that group.”

Sturgeon also said he was surprised to hear Lively call out his name as the winner.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by your peers,” Sturgeon said. “In this valley we have so many people who contribute their time and talents.”

Sturgeon, a trustee of the William S. Hart Union School District, said he had been told that someone else was winning the honor.

The annual award, first presented in 1964, celebrates individuals who have spent many years as volunteers for nonprofits in the SCV.

Individuals are nominated by SCV nonprofits and the winners are chosen by members of the SCV Man and Woman of the Year committee, made up of previous winners of the honor.

To be chosen for the award, winners must have volunteered their time and efforts to more than one nonprofit and been a volunteer in the SCV for many years.

Other nominees for the 2013 SCV Man and Woman of the Year were: Robert Benjamin, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Health Foundation; Al Ferdman, Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers, Inc.; Skip Henke, Santa Clarita Elks Lodge; Carl Kanowsky, Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club; Taylor Kellstrom, Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles; Rick Patterson, SCV Facilities Foundation; Cary Quashen, Action Parent & Teen Support Program; Sue Endress, Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley; Cheryl Gray, Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club; Karen Henke, Santa Clarita Elks Lodge; Debbie Heys, Child & Family Center Foundation; Kris Hough, Santa Clarita Facilities Foundation; Gail Pinsker, WiSH Foundation; Susan Reynolds, Domestic Violence Center of the SCV, Soroptimist International of Greater SCV; and Elizabeth Seipel, Circle of Hope.

After dinner Hopp and Sturgeon were seated onstage as they received trophies, gifts and certificates of recognition.

After leading the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance Santa Clarita Mayor Bob Kellar returned to the stage to pay tribute to the honorees.

“What a privilege it is to be here tonight to acknowledge these two fine community members who have given so much to the citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley,” Kellar said.

In a true “small world” story Kellar told the crowd that when he first started working for the Los Angeles Police Department in 1969-70 his sergeant was Sturgeon’s father, Pat Sturgeon.

“I reflect back and remember what a fine man Sergeant Sturgeon was in the Los Angeles Police Department,” Kellar said. “It was an honor to serve under his guidance.”

Kellar then introduced Pat Sturgeon who stood to the applause of the crowd.

Hopp received a bouquet of flowers from Gillian Stone of the Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer.

Jim Ventress, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Club of SCV, presented Hopp with a plate decorated with handprints of children from the club.

“She is serving her second year as our board president, and we have a cast of characters on our board that she keeps in line,” Ventress said. “Thank you for your devotion.”

Marlee Lauffer spoke on behalf of Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

“We have always considered Elizabeth to be our Woman of the Year, Actually we consider you to be our woman of the decade.” Hopp has served on the hospital’s governing board since 2001.

Sturgeon was honored by Robert Challinor, superintendent of the William S. Hart Union School District, Lois Bauccio, executive director of the Child & Family Foundation and Tom Christensen of Rotary Club of SCV.

Christensen chastised Sturgeon for not wearing his rotary pin and promised him a “hefty fine” at the next meeting, then he praised Sturgeon’s selflessness.

“Steve and others like him are what make Santa Clarita different, love and a willingness to help others is why Steve Sturgeon exemplifies service above self.”


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