Signal hosting Top Businesses awards event in December

About 100 members of the Santa Clarita Valley business community gathered Thursday at Valencia Country Club, to recognize local leaders and organizations at the 2018 Top Businesses awards banquet.   The even celebrated leadership and achievement among the SCV’s business leaders.   “We appreciate that business and the leaders who make the Santa Clarita Valley a great place to do business,” said Richard Budman, publisher of the Santa Clarita Valley Signal, “and the event was a chance to say thanks, and recognize achievements over the last year.”   The list of honorees was a list of names and places that have played a significant role for SCV commerce and industry in 2018.   The Business Leaders of the Year, for example, include Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of the Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp., or SCVEDC, who leads an organization that’s created numerous public and private partnership to help local businesses. A new web resource for entrepreneurs, as well as several new additions to the SCV. And the other awardee for Business Leaders of the Year is John Shaffery, who’s a member of the board of directors for the SCV, as one of the founding partners of Poole & Shaffery, which just celebrated its 20th anniversary in the Santa Clarita. And both individuals play an important role in why the SCVEDC is being honored as the Top Businesses Growth Leader, for its advocacy and work in attracting new business.   The Company of the Year award went to FivePoint Holdings LLC and Landscape Development Inc. FivePoint’s master-planned neighborhoods set for Newhall Ranch will provide thousands of new homes for the population growth expected to hit the SCV as part of the area’s longstanding “One Valley, One Vision” plan. And  Landscape Development has expanded quickly in the last 12 months, opening numerous new offices, including a Las Vegas location. Scorpion is being celebrated for its success and growth in 2018 as the Santa Clarita Valley’s Employer of the Year. The internet marketing company has been recognized for its employee-friendly atmosphere. The Innovation of the Year award had two winners for 2018: Kaiser Permanente has expanded patient care access in the Santa Clarita Valley with a brand new, welcoming facility; and Advanced Bionics remains a global leader that constantly creates new technology and help for those with cochlear implants. The Best Community Impact award went to two organizations: College of the Canyons, for the last decade has consistently grown its graduating classes, increasing access for local students. The other honoree, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, is adding more than 140 patient beds to its facilities, and continually brings new health outreach to SCV residents. The New Business of the Year is being given to Sand Canyon Country Club, which was recently purchased by Steve Kim. Previously known as Robinson Ranch, Kim has announced big plans for Sand Canyon. This year’s winners for Ad Campaign of the Year award also showed of SCV’s marketing acumen: “Stolen,” by the city of Santa Clarita creatively demonstrates how residents need to be more mindful of the “designer collection” it makes available for would-be thieves; and “SCV Points Of Interest,” by Valencia Acura demonstrates not only its vehicles’ curb appeal, but also the Santa Clarita Valley’s. Don and Cheri Fleming, co-owners of Valencia Acura, who are involved in numerous nonprofit organizations, also took home the People’s Choice award. –30– CEO OF THE YEAR Kathy Norris, Valley Industry Association Long live VIA! Now in her 17th year at the helm of Santa Clarita’s leading B2B organization, Norris continues to keep VIA on the cutting edge of business and innovation through advocacy and educational opportunities. In 2018, VIA transformed its annual gala event into the inaugural VIA Monster BASH Ball, which was a local business community smash! NEW BUSINESS OF THE YEAR SchlickArt – Brian and Lindsay Schlick This husband-wife duo have established themselves as a powerhouse business photography and video company in the Santa Clarita business community, creating visual voices for many local companies. AD CAMPAIGN OF THE YEAR Valencia Acura “SCV Points of Interest” Limited dollars – Big impact. Past campaigns focused solely on Acura vehicles and the Valencia Acura dealership. In 2018, Don and Cheri Fleming chose to feature local photographers and their works that displayed points of interest in and nearby Santa Clarita. They received wonderful comments regarding the featured sites, the campaign has been well received by participating artists, and residents let Valencia Acura know how much they appreciate how they’ve used their marketing dollars to help promote local art. GROWTH LEADER Carousel Ranch “Ready to Work Program” Carousel Ranch has seen incredible growth in 2018 due, in part, to the success and scalability of their Ready to Work program. From pilot program to full course offering, Ready to Work is an innovative and creative approach to vocational training for young adults with special needs. The program has two components. The first is a classroom-based curriculum that teaches soft skills needed to be successful in the workplace: clocking in, learning to wear a uniform, how to work as a team, having appropriate behavior, being flexible, having a positive attitude, and more. Students complete a resume, learn, and practice interview skills. Next, the classroom curriculum is brought to life through actual work in the Tack Shack/Snack Shack social enterprise, which is run by the students, as well as various jobs around the ranch. By the time students complete the program, they have done a variety of work – from horse and ranch care to vehicle washing, construction to office work, retail, food service, cashiering and so much more. There’s even a Ready to Grow garden. The community has embraced Ready to Work. Several have found meaningful employment while others are volunteering and working toward job placement. BEST COMMUNITY IMPACT Valencia Auto Center It’s one thing to tout ‘Shop Local.’ It takes it to another level when Santa Clarita’s largest tax base contributor gives back to the community. The Valencia Auto Center signed on as Presenting Sponsor for Thursdays at Newhall and official business sponsor for Light Up Main Street in 2018. Over the course of eight months (March – October), more than 15,000 residents enjoyed combinations of 56 events. Everything from Revved Up Car Shows to Art Walks to Dance Jam Sessions, these free events brought night life to Main Street. The ever-popular SENSES themed events catered to every taste imaginable from St. Paddy’s Day to Cowboy Kickoff to Monster Mash. This year’s Light Up Main Street promises to be the biggest and brightest yet with more than 6,000 community members filling the streets of Downtown Newhall for one magical night. PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS Cast votes for: Valencia Acura Marston’s Restaurant

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