[KHTS] – SCVTV President Leon Worden and SCV Senior Center volunteer Sue Endress were named the SCV Man and Woman of the Year Friday night at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia, in a 49th annual celebration of the Santa Clarita Valley’s volunteer community.
Every year, the past recipients get together and vote on the winner, which is chosen from the nominees, who are selected by the Santa Clarita Valley’s nonprofit community.
Photo by Gary Choppe
The purpose of the Santa Clarita Valley Man and Woman of the Year awards is to honor men and women who have given outstanding volunteer service to the Santa Clarita Valley area,” according to the organization’s website.
The 2014 Man and Woman of the Year, Bill Lively and Cheryl Gray, hosted the ceremony.
Individual volunteer services must be given to a group or organization that is a designated 501c3 community service organization.
Endress was nominated for the honor by the SCV Senior Center Foundation and the Rotary club, Worden by the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society.
Volunteer service is defined by long-time community commitment (not work-related). 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.
SCV Woman of the Year Sue Endress
The eldest of five children, Sue was born in Alhambra and raised in the San Gabriel Valley.
She attended Arroyo High School and Rio Hondo Junior College.
She met her husband, Bob, while working at the University of Southern California, where she worked in Human Resources. After they were married they moved to Newhall in 1978.
Growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, Newhall was quite a cultural shock – no malls, major restaurants, theaters, horse tracks or beaches.
After a few months, the quaint community of Placerita Canyon grew on her, and she knew she would live in this area for the rest of her life. Their first daughter, Casandra, was born in 1979 and Nicole followed in 1983. Rounding out their family is step-son, Bobby, and his wife, Melinda, their son, Jake; step-daughter Belinda; Casandra’s husband, Matt; granddaughters Avery and Ryann; and Nicole’s husband, David.
Sue and Bob started Unicom Wireless in 1980, selling two-way radio systems and service, pagers and cellular phones. They still work closely with the community, schools and municipalities with their communication needs.
In 2006, thinking she needed yet another challenge in her life, she opened Sue Endress Insurance Services to assist families with their insurance needs.
Sue’s volunteer spirit started as a child with her mother and father who volunteered in their church and schools. They were always at some project in the community of helping a family needing assistance. She has worked hard to instill that spirit of volunteering in her own children.
Sue’s primary support and dedication through the years has been the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center. She has watched it grow from serving barely 2,000 seniors a year to serving over 10,000 yearly.
She has been involved with numerous fundraising activities, events, and programs. She was a founding member and Trustee for the former Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center Foundation.
She has also been involved with the other end of the age spectrum: children, through her years with Girl Scouts, Hart High School Band Booster Club, PTA, etc.
Although she no longer has children in school, and although she actively operates two successful businesses, she donates countless hours to work with kids through the Rotary Club where she has guided and mentored approximately 1,000 students at four local high schools, teaching them the principles of ethics and the importance of service to others.
SCV Man of the Year Leon Worden
Leon Worden is president and CEO of SCVTV, the 501c3 nonprofit corporation that operates the Santa Clarita Valley’s public television channels and provides multimedia services to all education and government agencies, and to the 120-plus nonprofit organizations that serve the Santa Clarita Valley.
An SCV resident since 1970, UCLA graduate and award-winning journalist (Associated Press, California Newspaper Publishers Association, National Newspaper Association, Numismatic Literary Guild awards for investigative reporting, business writing, opinion pages, websites), Leon has produced local television programming since 2002 and has served as president of the SCV Historical Society, chairman of the city of Santa Clarita’s Newhall Redevelopment Committee, founding member of the Los Angeles County Small Business Commission and the county’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Homeless Services (SCV), founding member of SCV Habitat for Heroes, founding director of the Friends of Mentryville, and co-creator of the SCV Sheriff Station’s first Haunted Jailhouse.
Leon established the Old Town Newhall Gazette in 1994, and was editor of The Signal newspaper until 2007, when he left to prepare the reorganization of SCVTV.
Today, he is chief administrative officer of the Santa Clarita Public Television Authority and manager of SCVTV.com, SCVNews.com, SCV History In Pictures (SCVHistory.com) and other local websites.
He is a member of the Hart School District’s Measure SA Bond Oversight Committee and Career Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Group, the SCV Historical Society board, the Friends of Hart Park board, the Rancho Camulos Museum board, and he continues to serve as president of the Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade committee.
As a past contributor to Coinage, the largest U.S. numismatic monthly magazine, he has won multiple awards including best numismatic article in any medium, worldwide.
Leon Worden has been a huge asset in the quest for historic preservation and education in the Santa Clarita Valley. His services to the SCV Historical Society have contributed volumes of knowledge of our past history. As a past president of our organization his leadership contributed greatly to the success of the Historical Society.
He has volunteered countless hours scouring websites for local historic artifacts and paperwork that “set the record straight” regarding many historic “facts.” He is the go-to guy in Santa Clarita when it comes to our city’s history.
Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley is requesting nominations from local, nonprofit organizations who would like to have their outstanding volunteer contributions recognized at Zonta’s Women In Service Recognition Luncheon event to be held Saturday, May 2, at Sand Canyon Country Club.
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