VIA celebrates 2019 Bash

William S. Hart High School District Superintendant Vicki Engbrecht accepts a lifetime achievement award presented by her assistant Superintendent Mike Kulhman at the VIA Bash held at the Hyatt Valencia Saturday night. October 19, 2019. Bobby Block / The Signal.
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The Valley Industry Association hosted its annual VIA Bash on Saturday at the Hyatt Regency Valencia to celebrate its members’ accomplishments with an awards ceremony and support its community outreach. 

In addition to recognizing the accomplishments of local businesses, the event supported VIA programs like Connecting to Success, which aims to help students bridge the transition from the classroom to the workforce. This program provides services to build workplace professionalism through role-playing, case studies, group discussions and individual assessments, according to the VIA website. 

“Each year, the theme changes,” Broadwater said of the sold-out event. “We started with ‘Winter Wonderland,’ and this year is ‘Black and White.’ All guests dressed in white or black to coordinate with the bash’s theme.”

An award ceremony is a staple part of every VIA Bash. As an opportunity to recognize members of VIA, a total of five awards were awarded at the banquet, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

“When we brought (the event) back after the (Great Recession), we wanted to bring it back with a purpose,” said Hillary Broadwater, chair of the bash. “It became an award banquet along with a fundraiser for connecting to success.” 

After more than four decades in the William S. Hart Union High School District, Superintendent Vicki Engbrecht received the Lifetime Achievement Award. 

“One of the things that makes (Santa Clarita) so special is our supportive community and especially our supportive business community,” said Engbrecht, “who recognize the importance of supporting its young people.”

Once the awards were handed out, guests socialized, ate and danced, with the musical accompaniment of rock band Crowd/Theory, which performed throughout the bash. 

“One of the goals of Santa Clarita is always attracting and recruiting more businesses here and keep people off the freeways,” said Santa Clarita Mayor Pro Tem Cameron Smyth. “They can live and work in the same community.” 

Other award winners: 

  • Business of the Year: Hyatt Regency Valencia 
  • Connie Worden-Roberts Volunteer of the year: Sue Tweddel, Primerica 
  • Rising Star: Thrivent Financial, Jeff and Melanie Meyer 
  • VIA Vision and Inspiration Award: William S. Hart Union High School District 

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