The 53rd annual Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year ceremony honored the 2018 winners Friday night at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
Nick Lentini and Gloria Mercado-Fortine were named as the Man and Woman of the Year honorees, respectively.
“The purpose of the Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year Recognition is to honor men and women who have given outstanding volunteer service to the Santa Clarita Valley area,” according to the event’s website.
Lentini, managing partner of Lentini Financial Advisory, has been a part of the Rotary Club for 19 years, and his past community service also includes nine years with the College of the Canyons Foundation and nine years with the Child & Family Center. He also volunteered with several other nonprofit organizations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, including the Boy Scouts and the American Cancer Society.
Mercado-Fortine, who runs Global Education Solutions, has taken in part in community service through Samuel Dixon for the last 11 years, the Boys & Girls Club for 23 years, the C&FC for 12 years and numerous other organizations.
Lentini was nominated by the Rotary Club of the Santa Clarita Valley and the SCV Child and Family Center. Mercado-Fortine was nominated by Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers.
The Child & Family Center’s CEO praised the dedication of both individuals, who are both currently on the leadership board for the community-based organization.
“Both (honorees) have given so much support and guidance to the Child & Family Center,” said Dr. Joan Aschoff, the center’s CEO.
“Nick has really spearheaded so many fun and innovative ways to bring in funding for the agency,” she said, mentioned an inaugural tricycle race fundraiser at Wolf Creek Brewery that Lentini was instrumental in getting off the ground, as one of several examples. He was also a big help recently when, as president of the center’s fundraising foundation, he helped streamline the process in the merger with the center’s governing board.
“One of the first things Gloria did when I got here (about four years ago) is she introduced me to (Samuel Dixon CEO) Philip Solomon, and she’s created this wonderful bridge for us to provide additional care for the community,” Aschoff said. “She has been so supportive of our mission and then extending that to the work that’s done at Samuel Dixon, and making sure we meet the needs of the people in this community.”
The complete list of volunteer activities for each of the winners are available at SCVMW.org.