Chamber celebrates new board at awards and installation gala

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Captain Robert Lewis, center, is presented with the Public Service Award by Supervisor Kathryn Barger's Field Deputy, Stephanie English, left, and event host John Musella during the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce 95th Awards & Installation Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Friday, January 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal
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Together we are working toward tomorrow. That’s the message Nancy Starczyk delivered Friday as newly appointed chair of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce during its 2019 Awards and Installation Gala.

“When we come together, together we make possibilities realities. Santa Clarita is a remarkable city to belong to,” she said. “We see growth and promise ahead. The chamber is the place to make it happen.”

Held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia, local dignitaries and business leaders gathered as chamber officials recapped a successful 2018 and welcomed 2019 with not only Starczyk’s installation but a new board of directors and a few recognitions.

Among those who received a standing ovation by attendees was Capt. Robert Lewis of the SCV Sheriff’s Station for the Public Service Award, presented by County Supervisor Kathryn Barger via a pre-recorded video message.

“We have built over the course of the past two years a great team and a great deal of responsibility for the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Lewis. “We are down in our crime since 1987, since the inception of the city…we are doing this for the community.”

For Business of the Year, Dr. Christian Raigosa accepted the award on behalf of Kaiser Permanente. “One in four residents of Santa Clarita are cared for by Kaiser Permanente and we are very proud to have that, so thank you,” he said. Looking ahead into the new year, the physician mentioned his excitement over the hospital’s newest specialty building on Tourney Road, which opened in February.

Outgoing Chairman , Troy Hooper, right, hugs Jill Mellady as he presents her with the Chairman’s Award at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce 95th Awards & Installation Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Friday, January 226, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

Heather Duncan and Daniel Leary of media production company Three Leaves earned the Rising Star Award. Internet marketing agency Scorpion received the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and Pam and Dennis Verner were honored as Volunteers of the Year. The 2019 Chairman’s Award went to Jill Mellady of Mellady Direct Marketing.

The Signal was recognized for 100 years of community journalism in the SCV, and Owner/Publisher Richard Budman thanked the chamber, his team and readers, and promised to continue “covering the news in the Santa Clarita Valley with heart, passion and a very strong sense of community.”

Toward tomorrow, as chamber officials reiterated throughout the night, the chamber plans to continue to advocate, educate and connect. This year, Starczyk said she will push for more advocacy. “We are the voice of business, right? So, we realize how important our legislaors’ decisions affect our businesses, so we will be making our voice heard.”

Co-Hosts John Musella, left, and Brian O’Connor look on as Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Incoming Chair Nancy Starczyk points to politicians in attendance as she asks for their support during her upcoming term of office during the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce 95th Awards & Installation Gala held at the Hyatt Regency Valencia on Friday, January 26, 2019. Dan Watson/The Signal

The chamber’s upcoming signature events for 2019 include the State of the County on May 1 at the Hyatt Regency, a health care forum on Oct. 15  at the Henry Mayo Center and the Hispanic Heritage Celebration on Sept. 18 at the Sand Canyon Country Club.

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