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SCVNews.com | Selection Panel Gets Look at Man, Woman of Year Nominees | 03-16-2017
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March 23
1886 - Film director Robert N. Bradbury born in Washington state; launched John Wayne's career in Placerita Canyon [watch]

| Thursday, Mar 16, 2017
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The 12 male and 16 female nominees for 2017 Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year were formally announced Wednesday evening at the annual Paparazzi Party at the Sand Canyon estate home of Wayne and Dianne Crawford.

Emcees Lois Bauccio and Jim Lentini, 2016 Woman and Man of the Year. Photo: Michele E. Buttelman.

This year, 20 nonprofit organizations stepped up to nominate candidates for the prestigious honor.

The 52nd annual SCV Man and Woman of the Year banquet will be held May 5 at the Valencia Hyatt Regency. The event honors men and women who have given outstanding volunteer service to the Santa Clarita Valley.

Wednesday’s emcees for the unveiling party were the 2016 honorees, Jim Lentini and Lois Bauccio.

“Thank you all for coming, and congratulations to all the nominees,” Bauccio said. “Organizations: Thank you for your nominations. We are going to highlight more about what you do at the event.”

The large crowd gathered in the Crawfords’ great room to hear representatives of nominating organizations give 2-minute speeches about their nominees’ accomplishments.


Photo by Gary Choppe

The nominees for 2017 SCV Man of the Year are:

Alan Ferdman, nominated by Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc.

A resident of the SCV since 1965, Ferdman has a long history of volunteer leadership in the SCV including Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers. For the past two years, Ferdman has chaired the planning committee for the Rubber Ducky Festival. Under his leadership, the event has raised more than $160,000 – the most successful two years in the event’s 14-year history. He has also volunteered for the Canyon Country Advisory Committee (17 years), Santa Clarita Community Council (5 years, formerly Canyon Country Advisory Committee), SCV Senior Center Advisory Council (2 years), City of Santa Clarita Adult Sports, Bridge to Home Shelter Task Force, L.A. County Emergency Winter Shelter Site Selection, Santa Clarita Valley Open Space Committee, College of the Canyons Canyon Country Site Selection Committee, City of Santa Clarita Material Recycling Facility Site Selection, Sunrise Rotary, Old Town Newhall Association, Whittaker-Bermite Citizens Advisory Group, North Oaks Park, and the Santa Clarita Elks and Mint Canyon Moose lodges.

Tom Hough, nominated by Boy Scouts of America.

Hough has been a volunteer with the Boys Scouts of America (31 years collectively, 16 years in SCV), SCV Youth Project (16 years) and the SCV Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Santa Clarita Libraries, 1in6, Inc. and Zonta Club of SCV.

Taylor Kellstrom, nominated by Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Circle of Hope.

Kellstrom has volunteered for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (4 years) and served as chair of its Bowling for Kids event, which has raised more than $10,000. In addition he has served Circle of Hope (3.5 years) and the Santa Clarita Junior Chamber of Commerce (3 years).

Jonathan Kraut, nominated by Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley.

In his volunteer work for the Domestic Violence Center of SCV (4 years), Kraut became the first man to graduate from the center’s 40-hour Domestic Violence Advocate Training. He also has served as a volunteer for the SCV Interfaith Council (10 years), SCV Human Relations Forum (11 years) and California Advocacy Project (2 years).

Nick Lentini, nominated by Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley and Santa Clarita Child & Family Center.

Lentini’s resume of volunteer service includes Rotary Club of SCV (18 years), College of the Canyons Foundation (7 years) and Child and Family Center (8 years), as well as the Cub Scouts of America Pack 608, SCV Sheriff’s Advisory Committee, SCV Chamber of Commerce, American Cancer Society and Domestic Violence Center of SCV.

Randy Moberg, nominated by College of the Canyons Foundation.

Moberg has been an active volunteer with the COC Foundation (10 years), serving in a variety of positions including chair and vice chair; chairman of Planned Giving, Foundation Board vice chair, co-chair of the Scholarship Committee, co-chair of the Silver Spur Committee, as well as a member of the Chancellor’s Circle, Finance Committee, Foundation Executive Committee and the Performing Arts Center K-12 Advisory Committee. He has also served the VIA Education Foundation in a variety of roles.

Bruce Munster, nominated by SRD-Straightening Reins Foundation.

Munster’s contribution to SRD’s mission comes in the form of fundraising and business management. Being new to the nonprofit world, his business knowledge and financial assistance has been instrumental in assuring the foundation grows responsibly while also solidifying the financial base necessary to provide daily services.

Kirk Nelson, nominated by American Red Cross.

In addition to his work as a captain with the L.A. County Fire Department, Nelson has volunteered for the American Red Cross (22 years collectively, 16 years SCV). He has served as chairman of the board of the Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition, Volunteer Partner to Disaster, Director and Regional Disaster Officer, Operations Management chair, Disaster instructor, Shelter supervisor and CPR/First Aid instructor. He has also volunteered at Fair Oaks Elementary and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Fill the Boot fundraiser (15 years).

Todd Stevens, nominated by the SCV Senior Center.

Stevens has a long list of volunteer service to the SCV and Southern California including serving as co-chair of the capital campaign for the SCV Senior Center (2 years) as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley (11 years), Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital (1.5 years), Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation (6.5 years), Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission Advisory Board (7 years), Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corp. (2 years), SCV Sheriff’s Foundation (3 years) and Southern California Leadership Council (3 years).

Eric Stroh, nominated by Carousel Ranch.

Stroh was the founder and ongoing chair of the annual “How the West Was Won” trap shoot to benefit Carousel Ranch. The event has raised more than $250,000 over the years. Stroh has also served as board president and vice president.

Chuck Strong, nominated by American Legion Post 507.

Strong volunteers 100 hours per month and serves as the post’s musical coordinator. His efforts to convert the Legion hall into a performing arts center has increased membership and volunteers in support of veteran services.

Jim Ventress, nominated by Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita.

In addition to his 31 years leading the Boys & Girls Club, Ventress has volunteered for Big Brothers of Greater Los Angeles (17 years), United Way (18 years), the Anti-Gang Task Force (9 years), City of Santa Clarita’s hiring panel, Domestic Violence Center (3 years) and L.A. Alliance for Boys & Girls Clubs (6 years).


Photo by Gary Choppe

The nominees for 2017 SCV Woman of the Year are:

Mary Ann Bennett, nominated by SRD-Straightening Reins Foundation.

Bennett as served as a weekly volunteer at the equine-enriched therapy ranch as well as a volunteer for the Los Angeles Kings Santa Clarita Hockey Team, Glendora Food Pantry for the Elderly, senior flu clinics, Dialysis at Sea, and she’s a women’s health volunteer.

Jane Bettencourt-Soto, nominated by Forged by Fire Foundation.

Bettencourt-Soto has assisted the new nonprofit Forged by Fire Foundation for the past three years. She has also served as chief non-profit advisor of the Betty Ferguson Foundation (4 years), executive director of Toastmasters International Valencia (1 year) and many other SCV nonprofits.

Ann-Marie Bjorkman, nominated by the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

As one of the new generation of nonprofit leaders in the SCV, Bjorkman has helped the Boys and Girls Club of SCV (3 years), Legacy Christian Academy, Henry Mayo Golf Tournament, SCV Senior Center (10 years), and she was named Ambassador of the Year by SCV Chamber of Commerce.

Marianne Cederlind, nominated by Carousel Ranch.

Cederlind is serving in her third 2-year term as board president of Carousel Ranch. Her other volunteer activities include Los Angeles Police Department’s Foothill Advisory Booster Association, Mission Community Police Council, Zonta Club of SCV’s Jane Klausman Women in Business Scholarship Committee (2 years) and Canyon Country Little League, Warrior Football, MEND, and the San Fernando Valley Boys & Girls Club.

Tami Edwards, nominated by Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

Edwards has served the Rotary Club of Santa Clarita Valley (1 year), Circle of Hope (4 Years) and the SCV 4th of July Parade Committee (5 years).

Diane Green, nominated by SCV Disaster Coalition.

Green is co-founder of the Santa Clarita Valley Disaster Coalition (13 years) and has served the Michael Hoefflin Foundation for Children’s Cancer, Grace Resources, and has served homeless veterans, Ventura Sand Down, and Beit ‘T Shiva Drug Rehab in Culver City.

Sandra Ann Hardy, nominated by Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, Santa Clarita.

Hardy has volunteered in a variety of capacities for the Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles for 16 years.

Tracy Hauser, nominated by the SCV Senior Center.

Hauser’s contributions to the SCV nonprofit scene include SCV Senior Center (15 years), Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley (15 years), Bark for Life (3 years), Sulphur Springs Elementary School (6 years), Pinetree Elementary School (7 years), SCV Education Foundation (2 years) and Habitat for Humanity (5 years).

Pam Ingram, nominated by Soroptimist International of Greater Santa Clarita Valley.

A member of Soroptimist International for 17 years, Ingram has also served the Santa Clarita Child and Family Center (2 years), Betty Ferguson Foundation, Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce (7 years) and Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.

Janine Jones, nominated by American Cancer Society Inc.

Jones has volunteered for the American Cancer Society (9 years), Soroptimist International of Greater SCV (13 years), Betty Ferguson Foundation (2 years), L.A.R.C. Ranch (2 years), St. Clare Catholic Church (5 years) and Santa Clarita Elementary School PTC (5 years). In addition, she has volunteered for Henry Mayo’s Women’s Philanthropy Advisory Council, Painted Turtle Camp, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation, SCV Boys and Girls Club, SCV Senior Center, SCV Homeless Shelter and Saugus High Booster Club.

Laina McFerren, nominated by the Santa Clarita Child & Family Center.

McFerren has served as a volunteer for the Santa Clarita Child & Family Center Foundation for 12 years and has been Taste of the Town co-chair for three years. Her volunteer work also includes SCV American Red Cross Foundation (3 years), College of the Canyons Foundation (3 years), United States Figure Skating Association-SCV Chapter (11 years), Mountainview School Career Day (11 Years), Los Angeles Brewers Guild (a 501c3, 2 years) and Carousel Ranch, SRD-Straightening Reins, Circle of Hope, Betty Ferguson Foundation, Vine 2 Wine, Soroptimist International, SOAR Mardi Gras Madness race, Wine in the Pines and VIA.

Gloria Mercado-Fortine, nominated by Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers Inc.

Mercado-Fortine’s contributions to SCV nonprofits include the Samuel Dixon Family Health Centers (10 years), Child & Family Center (12 years), VIA (3 years), City of Santa Clarita Anti-Gang Task Force (19 years), SCV Fourth of July Parade (19 years), YMCA of Santa Clarita Valley (8 years), College of the Canyons (18 years), Providence Health System (12 years), Zonta Club of SCV (35 years), SCV Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (5 years), SCV Latino Chamber of Commerce (4 years), SCV American Cancer Society (12 years), Aid to Victims of Domestic Violence (8 years), Hart High School Board (16 years), Castaic Union School Board (10 years), Castaic Town Council – founding member (4 years) and L.A. County Probation Dept. Volunteers, Flying Samaritans, SCV Youth Project, SCV Theatre Guild, SCV Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scouts, Veterans Advocacy Network, Michael Hoefflin Foundation, SCV Senior Center, and the Measures M, V, and SA bond committees.

Taylor Kellstrom and Janice Murray, nominated by Circle of Hope. Photo: Michele E. Buttelman.

Janice Murray, nominated by Circle of Hope Inc.

Murray has served as a volunteer for Circle of Hope (6.5 years), Pinecrest School, Providence Holy Cross (5 years), SCV Disaster Preparedness Coalition and SCV Boys & Girls Club.

Susan Reynolds, nominated by Boy Scouts of America and Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Reynolds’ nonprofit involvement includes the Boy Scouts of America (30 years collectively, 7 years SCV), SCV Domestic Violence Center (5 years), California Office of Emergency Services (5 years), Valley Industry Association (11 years), Soroptimist Int’l of the Americas (12 years), SCV Chamber (10 years) and Zonta Club of SCV (6 years). She also has volunteered for 4H, Habitat for Humanity, Newhall Trail Riders, the SCV Senior Center, Wiley Canyon Adult Day Care, SCV Education Foundation, College of the Canyons, Association of Women Entrepreneurs, Castaic Lake Water Agency, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, SCV Jaycees, First Lego League Robotics and City of Santa Clarita.

Christine Sarro Sexton, nominated by Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley.

As the daughter of Carmen Sarro, one of the SCV’s premier volunteers and 1985 SCV Woman of the Year, Sexton has spent a life devoted to community service. Her work includes Zonta Club of SCV (25 years), Boys and Girls Club (41 years), Henry Mayo Home Tour (25 years), SCV Senior Center (9 years), City of Santa Clarita (17 years), Child & Family Center (7 years), Grace Baptist Church (5 years), SCV Pregnancy Center’s Walk for Life (16 years), as well as Realtor-sponsored Child Spree School Clothes Give Away, Realtor-sponsored Burrito Bowl and DCFS Foster Care children clothing giveaway.

Doris Marie Zimmer, nominated by College of the Canyons Foundation.

Zimmer has served the College of the Canyons Foundation (12 years) in a variety of positions and also served the Betty Ferguson Foundation, Santa Clarita Child & Family Center, National Charity League, Ventura Art Assn., PTA, Rural Health Assn., California-Mexico Border Health Assn., Clinicas de Salud de los Campesinos Unidos.


Winners are selected by members of the Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year Committee, which is comprised of previous winners.

Individual volunteer services must be given to a group or organization that is a designated 501c3 community service organization. Volunteer service includes, but is not limited to, the years of volunteer service, the type of service, and the impact of the service that was provided to multiple local organizations.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the recognition ceremony where the honorees are announced, visit scvmw.org.


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