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Today in
S.C.V. History
June 19
1960 - SCV switches to Direct Dial, All-Number Calling [story]

After nearly two years of development and planning, a Santa Clarita Valley father-son team and a partner are officially launching PayForward, a social financial platform.

Steve Marks, a serial entrepreneur and chief executive officer of PayForward; his son and President of PayForward, Armando Rand; and Chief Operating Officer, Ronnie Silos have been developing PayFoward for nearly two years.

Santa-Clarita-Valley-Businessmen-Launch-PayForward-620x330“(Ronnie), Armando and I sat down to talk about what this new company might do and we came up with three problems that we thought needed solving,” Marks said. “No. 1, the average family in the United States lives paycheck-to-paycheck and doesn’t have enough discretionary income.

“No. 2, the merchants in response to that condition were competing harder for that static, if not diminishing, purchasing power of the middle class so they were spending more and more money in advertising and promotion dollars. The third problem was that our schools, community projects and nonprofits were underfunded.”

Marks began his journey in the business world after graduating from UCLA with an engineering degree. He then entered graduate school to earn his Master’s Degree in business.

My family needed the money and my dad had a heart attack so we started a company in a garage,” Marks said.

When Marks was just 28 years old, his company had 475 employees and was an internationally distributed brand of music amplifiers in the rock-n-roll industry, he said.

“The people I grew up with in the music business were The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead. These were my friends, these were the people I hung out with,” Marks said, with a laugh. “But as that industry turned more and more towards drugs, I turned away from it.”

Marks went on to start another company, ACT Litigation Services, after selling the first.

While building the company, Marks got married — but he didn’t just have a wife, he now had a 3-year-old son, too, named Armando Rand.

“I’ve been Armando’s step-dad since then, only we don’t have any steps in our family,” Marks said. “He’s been my son since he was three. Armando’s biological dad is also a vital member of the family and one of my dearest friends.”

When Marks sold ACT Litigation Services in 2011, Rand, who had degrees in journalism and communications, was a significant stockholder and major contributor to ACT’s success, suggested starting a new company, Marks said.

“We started talking with Ronnie Silos, who is the third partner in PayForward,” Marks said.

Marks, Rand and Silos moved into a little office on Constellation Drive where they talked for hours every day for four months to develop the concept of PayForward. They began developing the software in April 2013, which went live online last week.

“I will take a little bit of the blame for putting this crazy animal together in the sense that it was a notion and an idea that we collectively had,” Rand said. “We were working to create a platform, to create an idea that could bring together, just generically speaking a consumer and merchants, and if you could do that in a way that’s convenient and capable, there might be a better way to influence the world.”

PayForward, which is backed by Visa, creates a win-win-win situation for the consumer, merchant and community, Marks said.

One of the nonprofit organizations that benefits from PayForward is the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley.

“It’s a way for nonprofits to get hooked into the community to get money back (from purchases),” saidLinda Davies, executive director of the Domestic Violence Center of the Santa Clarita Valley. “And it’s also a way for businesses to be a social platform and give to the community — and they can also promote their business.”

When the consumer uses the card when purchasing products from PayForward merchants, the consumer can get anywhere from 5 percent to 15 percent of their money back to use on themselves or their community.

“We want to give our consumers the ability to fund whatever they think is of interest — whether it’s themselves first or their church, teams, schools and give a better, trackable mechanism back to the merchant,” Rand said. “The fact that we can see our community in a better light, we can see our schools have the signage that they need, that our kids can go to science camp and enjoy that experience, that for the teams that we are able to fund are given the capability of having proper jerseys and equipment.

“That’s incredibly meaningful as you grow older and go through life. It really does fall back onto what the kids are doing and what they can have because they are our future and that is a really meaningful piece. When we built this company it was all about how we could deliver back to the communities.”

For more information about PayForward and how to sign up, [click here].

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Tuesday, Jun 18, 2024
The ARTree Community Arts Center will host a Botanical Drawing Workshop 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 at the center's Studio 2, 22508 6th St., Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
Monday, Jun 17, 2024
The Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Santa Clarita Symphony Orchestra is open to performers in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, and will result in a concert in October by the winning soloist performing live with the SCSO. 
Friday, Jun 14, 2024
The Acton Agua Dulce Arts Council is calling for entries for its upcoming “Endless Summer” exhibit at the TAADAA Art Gallery, located in Acton.
Friday, Jun 14, 2024
Santa Clarita Valley nonprofit Fostering Youth Independence recently held a “Celebration of Everything,” its annual event appreciating the many volunteers who make such a difference in the lives of Santa Clarita Valley foster youth and celebrating 18 youth for education milestones.
Friday, Jun 14, 2024
The Fourth Annual Win Place Home Cabaret Fundraiser will be held Saturday, June 22 from 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at Win Place Home, 16257 Lost Canyon Road, Canyon Country, CA, 91387.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1960 - SCV switches to Direct Dial, All-Number Calling [story]
The ARTree Community Arts Center will host a Botanical Drawing Workshop 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 1 at the center's Studio 2, 22508 6th St., Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
Aug 1: ARTree Botanical Drawing Workshop
Create a superhero identity at the ARTree Summer Superhero Art Camp from July 22- July 26 at ARTree Community Arts Center, ARTree Studio 1 22508 6th St., Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
ARTree Summer Superhero Art Camp
Join the city of Santa Clarita for a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the grand opening of Needham Ranch Parkway on Monday, June 24, at 9:30 a.m.
June 24: Needham Ranch Parkway Grand Opening
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,690 acres and is now 24% contained. This latest update was issued at 4 p.m.
Post Fire: Red Flag Conditions Continue to Hamper Efforts
The Graffiti Beautification Workday city of Santa Clarita: Volunteer Engagement Program is seeking volunteers for Wednesday July 24 and Wednesday, July 31, 8-11 a.m.
Graffiti Beautification Workday Volunteers Sought
Nick Payne's "Constellations" will run June 27-30, at The MAIN, 24266 Main St., Old Town Newhall, CA 91321.
The MAIN presents ‘Constellations’ by Nick Payne
The Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade Committee has extended the deadline to enter the parade without a late fee to Wednesday, June 19. The committee is seeking entries from the commumity for the 92nd Annual Santa Clarita Valley Fourth of July Parade.
June 19: Last Chance to Enter SCV Fourth of July Parade Without Late Fee
The Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency will host a free gardening workshop on Saturday, July 13 9-11 a.m. "Selecting the Perfect Plants for SCV Landscapes" workshop will elevate your landscaping game.
July 13: ‘Select the Perfect Plants’ Workshop
Celebrate the longest day of the year at the Summer Solstice SENSE Block Party, Thursday, June 20, 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.
June 20: Summer Solstice Senses Block Party
The California Department of Foresty and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) reports that the fast moving Post Fire that broke out in Gorman on Saturday, June 15 around 1:47 p.m. has reached 15,611 acres and is now 24% contained.
Post Fire 24 Percent Contained CAL FIRE Reports
1945 - PFC Johnny Cordova of Castaic killed in action on Okinawa [story]
Johnny Cordova
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide investigators are responding to a shooting death investigation on the 22900 block of Lyons Avenue, near the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Newhall. The incident was reported on Monday, June 17, at approximately 7:35 p.m.
BREAKING NEWS: LASD Responds to Shooting Death on Lyons Avenue
Manny Herrera has signed his National Letter of Intent to continue his baseball career at The Master's University.
Manny Herrera Signs with TMU Baseball
The Youth Concerto Competition sponsored by the Santa Clarita Symphony Orchestra is open to performers in the Santa Clarita Valley and surrounding areas, and will result in a concert in October by the winning soloist performing live with the SCSO. 
Youth Concerto Competition Deadline Extended
Runners of all ages are invited to support the College of the Canyons cross country and track & field programs by participating in the 49th Annual Cross Country Summer Series sponsored by Fleet Feet on Thursday evenings from July 11 to Aug. 15, 2024.
Registration Now Open for Annual COC Cross Country Summer Series
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is alerting residents and health care providers about a concerning increase in mpox cases, with 10 new cases reported in Los Angeles County in the past two weeks up from an average of less than two cases per week during the preceding several weeks.
Public Health Announces Rise in L.A. County Mpox Cases
Calling all bicyclists, runners, walkers and more! Central Park is about to get a brand-new trail!
Construction Set to Begin for Bouquet Canyon Trail
College of the Canyons will launch its first bachelor’s degree program in January 2025.
COC Launching Bachelor’s Degree Program
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office has released the list of three productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, June 17 - Sunday, June 23.
Three Productions Filming in Santa Clarita
Update: As of 6:30 p.m. Monday, the Post Fire has spread to 15,611 acres, with 20% containment, according to CAL FIRE.
UPDATE: Post Fire Grows to 15,611 Acres, 20% Containment
California State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, is strongly encouraging residents to prepare their households and families for wildfires, as numerous fires burned across Senate District 21 over the weekend.
Wilk Urges Emergency Preparedness as Multiple Fires Burn
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce invites the full community to attend its highly-anticipated Business Expo on Thursday, June 27, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
June 27: SCV Chamber Business Expo
1890 - 18-day murder trial of Castaic's W.C. Chormicle and W.A. Gardner ends in acquittal [story]
William Chormicle