The Los Angeles Business Journal has announced nominations for both the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce and chamber President/CEO Ivan Volschenk for the 2022 Nonprofit and Corporate Citizenship Awards.
“This is an extraordinary honor for the SCV Chamber, and its leadership, and we couldn’t be more proud of the important work and diligent effort our chamber has put in these past several years for the Santa Clarita Valley business community,” Chris Raigosa, chair of the board of the SCV Chamber, said in a prepared statement.
The Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2022 Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards honor the contributions of the nonprofit community along with the citizens and businesses that support them. The award looks to highlight the tireless work of nonprofit leaders, teams and programs, alongside the efforts of individuals and companies who donate their time, funds and efforts to improve the Los Angeles communities they serve.
“The SCV Chamber has undoubtedly set the bar to a new level, for what a leading business organization should be doing with its advocacy and education for its business community,” Santa Clarita City Mayor Laurene Weste said in the prepared statement.
The chamber’s statement added: “Today, the SCV Chamber is a strong, energetic business membership organization which now boasts the most diverse board of directors in the organization’s 99-year history as a direct effort to meet the moment of equity and inclusion. It consists of 45% of the board membership being women; 41% of board membership are people of color; and 10% of the board represent the LGBTQ+ community. In addition, two board members are foreign-born entrepreneurs.”
Volschenk said in the statement, “I am tremendously proud and grateful for both nominations. We’ve worked hard to transform the SCV Chamber into a strong advocate for our business community and to create a coalition of businesses working to better our community.”
Volschenk came to the U.S. from South Africa having started his own software company at the age of 26 and grew it to become one of the most widely used legal management software solutions in southern Africa.
The chamber statement said, “Volschenk is credited with helping to secure the chamber’s long-term future as it approaches its 100th anniversary by creating a new, dynamic and modern chamber for Santa Clarita’s thriving business community. He has been able to reinvent the chamber to best meet the current needs of the business community, build a grassroots advocacy program and provide a wide variety of educational and informational programs for the membership. He is also credited with maintaining the chamber’s financial viability through the pandemic and building a six-figure reserve account to ensure its continued success.”
“Ivan Volschenk’s leadership at the SCV Chamber has been an example to other local and regional business organizations that are struggling to find their footing in a new world post-pandemic,” Raigosa said in the statement. “His success in leading the SCV Chamber is not only an inspiration to others, but a roadmap to other chambers of commerce across greater LA.”
The chamber’s statement listed the following among the chamber’s recent accomplishments on behalf of the business community:
• Launched a 401k retirement plan for its members to provide a resource to businesses that needed to address new state regulations for employers to offer retirement plans to workers in partnership with LBW Insurance and Financial Services.
• Launched a medical insurance benefits plan for its chamber member businesses to help provide competitive prices for small businesses by bringing member businesses together.
• Created the ImpactSCV grassroots advocacy effort to better amplify the voice of businesses through strategic email generating campaigns on important business issues. To date, the program has generated more than 7,000 emails for over a dozen campaigns in less than 18 months.
• Led a Pandemic Frontline Workers Campaign, in partnership with then-Mayor Bill Miranda, that raised over $40,000 from the community and then injected that back to local retail businesses with the purchase of gift cards that were presented to frontline workers.
• Created a Shop Local campaign to support small businesses, which ran from March to November to encourage people to shop local and win prizes.
• Partnered with PPE unite and L.A. County on a successful personal protective equipment drive, which provided free PPE in the middle of the pandemic to nearly 200 local businesses.
• Partnered with local photographer, SchlickArt Photography & Video, on a 12 Months of Quarantine campaign that raised over $8,000 for local nonprofits and provided participants a fun photo session. Charity exhibition was held at Westfield Valencia Town Center.
The Los Angeles Business Journal will feature the SCV Chamber in its April 25 edition, with the final honorees being selected during their virtual event on April 20 at 2 p.m. If you are interested in attending the event, email [email protected] to register.