Fifty-one of Santa Clarita Valley’s most influential people enjoyed a short repose in recognition of their hard work and dedication during The Signal’s 18th annual congratulatory luncheon.
On Wednesday afternoon at the Salt Creek Grille in the Valencia Town Center, 51 honorees enjoyed a meal and conversation with one another as part of the event. The Signal hosted the luncheon with the same purpose it did many years ago — to recognize the individual and combined contributions of these leaders to the SCV, according to Richard Budman, publisher of The Signal.
Ken Striplin, Santa Clarita city manager, was recognized as this year’s No. 1 overall “Most Influential” for his dedication to ensuring the quality of life in the city.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by The Signal and to play such an important role in the community,” Striplin said.
According to Striplin, the key to keeping the city great starts with teamwork from all levels at City Hall.
“We’ve got an amazing City Council that is very visionary, very supportive of staff and of me,” Striplin said. “I’m given a lot of responsibility and allowing me to work with our staff to really effectuate the projects, the services that the community wants and needs.”
During the luncheon, Budman shared a few words with the honorees and noted that “it’s good people that make a great community.”
“Not only the 51 on the most influential list… that’s the tip of the spear, but the people on the list act as a catalyst to encourage others in the community to make Santa Clarita a better place,” Budman said.
Joe Messina, presiding officer of the William S. Hart Union High School District governing board, was recognized as the fifth “Most Influential” person of 2022. He said he felt honored to be part of the group.
“When it comes to being board members on these school boards, we all have our passion for certain things,” Messina said. “Mine is career technical education.”
According to Messina, he has a strong desire to see career technical education thrive in the Hart district and to create opportunities for that.
Colleen Hawkins, superintendent of the Saugus Union School District, was one of eight new members to be on recognized as part of the “51 Most Influential.”
“I’m so honored and beyond surprised,” Hawkins said. “The Santa Clarita Valley is such a big community and I’m so new to it. To be included in that really makes me feel a part of the community now and at home where I live and work.”
To view the full list of The Signal’s 2022 “Top 51 Most Influential” people in the Santa Clarita Valley, visit signalscv.com/2022/10/51-most-influential-2022/.