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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 3
1918 - Box-office superstar William S. Hart promotes 4th series of Liberty Loan (World War I) bonds, which went on sale Sept. 28 [story]
William S. Hart

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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Friday, Sep 30, 2022
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative and Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions will host a Veteran Career Fair on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Curtiss-Wright facility.
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Museum will host the inaugural Haunted "Bones' Gulch" Halloween Attraction on Saturday nights Oct. 1-29. The final night of the attraction will be Sunday, Oct. 30. Proceeds go toward the LASD Museum.
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
Are you a Pickleball Player? Sign up for the Michael Hoefflin's Foundation Paddle for the Battle Pickleball fixed partner doubles tournament.
Tuesday, Sep 27, 2022
Santa Clarita Valley resident Kevin Karzin was named a gold medalist during the Professional Photographers of America’s 2022 International Photographic Competition.
Monday, Sep 26, 2022
Artist Bob Hernandez will exhibit his work “Water and Paint” at the MAIN from Tuesday, Sept. 27- Monday, Oct. 31.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1918 - Box-office superstar William S. Hart promotes 4th series of Liberty Loan (World War I) bonds, which went on sale Sept. 28 [story]
William S. Hart
1945 - Cattle-rustling "Phantom of Vasquez Rocks" captured [story]
Phantom suspect
1842 - Proof of discovery: New York Observer (newspaper) reports on gold in Placerita Canyon. [story]
New York Observer
Sixteen William S. Hart Union High School District 2022/23 Teachers of the Year were recognized by the Governing Board on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Hart District Teachers of the Year Honored by Board
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed six new deaths throughout L.A. County, 1,682 new cases countywide and 100 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID Roundup: Seven Day Average of County Case Counts Declines 8 Percent
The HOV, High Occupancy Vehicle, or carpool, lanes are open on I-5 in both directions between Magnolia Boulevard and Buena Vista Street.
I-5 Corridor Improvement Work Continues, SR-134  to Buena Vista Street
Two recent graduates of CalArts’ MFA Experimental Animation Program, Moon (Yuezhu) Wang and Dairys Escoto De León, have been selected for the 2022-23 Association for Independent Colleges of Art and Design Post-Graduate Teaching Fellowships.
CalArts Alums Selected for AICAD Teaching Fellowships
Join Route 66 Classic Grill for the longest monthly Classic Car Show in Southern California history. The last show of 2022 will be held Oct. 8 from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: Route 66 Classic Grill Classic Car Show
Los Angeles County’s new Veteran Suicide Review Team met for the first time Thursday, Sept. 29, kick-starting an innovative and collaborative approach to reducing veteran suicide in the county.
L.A. County’s New Veteran Suicide Review Team Begins Work
Agua Dulce Winery will host StompFest on Saturday, Oct. 1 at noon.
Oct. 1: StompFest at Agua Dulce Winery
Do you want to create a post on Facebook and Instagram at the same time? Learn to schedule posts, respond to comments and inbox messages from one place by attending this free Small Business Development Center webinar, "Manage Your Social Media Platform, Meta Business Suite."
Oct. 5: SBDC Free Webinar Helps Businesses Manage Social Media Platforms
On Saturday, November 12, 2022, the Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative and Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions will host a Veteran Career Fair on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the Curtiss-Wright facility.
Nov. 12: Veteran Career Fair at Curtiss-Wright in Valencia
A strong first half turned into a great start of the second half, but it ended going against Master's men's soccer team as they lost the Golden State Athletic Conference opener to Arizona Christian 3-1 Thursday in Glendale, Ariz.
GSAC Opening Win Eludes TMU Men’s Soccer
Motoko Shimoji earned medalist honors for the third straight week and Carla Menendez placed runner-up to help lead the College of the Canyons Golf Team to a 15-stroke victory over Bakersfield College at the Western State Conference event hosted by Moorpark College at Los Robles Greens on Sept. 26.
Cougars Win Again, Shimoji Medals for Third Straight Week
1955 - Actor James Dean, 24, drives through Castaic Junction en route to his final resting place [watch]
James Dean
Chelsea A. Kay, 37, an insurance operations manager living in Saugus, was honored by JCI USA (United States Junior Chamber) as a member of the 2022 class Ten Outstanding Young Americans.
United States Junior Chamber Honors Local Operations Manager
October is fast approaching. To help embrace the haunted season, we are happy to announce the return of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station Haunted Jailhouse after a two year hiatus.
SCV Sheriff’s Station Haunted Jailhouse Returns After Two Years
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control would like to remind residents within unincorporated county areas and participating contracted cities that the pet license amnesty period is almost over.
County Reminding Residents Pet License Amnesty Period Ending Soon
Four individuals and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2022 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.
Academy Announces Winners of Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowships
We began our Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Anti-Racism (EDIA) journey nearly two years ago, and while the path ahead was not clearly defined, Health Services leadership was enthusiastically joined by workforce members across our health enterprise in a united commitment to creating a more welcoming, inclusive and proactively anti-racist health care system for our patients, staff and the communities we serve.
Message from County Health Services Director Dr. Christina Ghaly
College of the Canyons student-athletes Brianna Botello (women's volleyball) and Sam Regez (men's cross coutry) have been named the COC Athletic Department's Women's & Men's Student-Athletes of the Week for the period running Sept. 19-24.
COC Names Botello, Regez Athletes of the Week
Detectives at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station need your help. On Aug. 13, 2022, the individuals pictured shoplifted items from a retail store in Valencia at approximately 6:15 p.m.
Detectives Seek Help in Identifying Shoplifting Suspects
Are you hiring? Looking for a new career? The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Center has partnered with College of the Canyons, the city of Santa Clarita and America's Job Centers of California to host a valley-wide job fair at the Canyon Country Community Center Thursday, Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
SCVEDC, COC, City Partner to Host Job Fair
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday no additional deaths and 49 new cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, with a total of 12 deaths and 1,517 new cases countywide.
Thursday COVID Roundup: 49 New SCV Cases; No Additional Deaths
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