Santa Clarita Valley Latino Chamber of Commerce officials are hosting their fourth annual gala, honoring local Latino businesses within the community and longtime Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita.
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In addition to business awards, there will be a special award presented to McKeon, thanking him for 36 years of service to the community during “Corazon: Heart of the Santa Clarita Valley,” on Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
“Congressman McKeon understands the importance of supporting all businesses in order to foster economic growth and development,” said gala co-chair Gloria Mercado-Fortine. “He supported the development of Latino/Hispanic chambers of commerce both here and in the Antelope Valley,” Mercado-Fortine continued.
McKeon,, who is retiring this fall, has represented the 25th Congressional District since 1993.
He also served on Santa Clarita’s first City Council, after the city’s formation in 1987. Among his congressional career highlights were his efforts to secure funding and support for the cross-valley connector (Golden Valley Road/Newhall Ranch Road), a vital 8 ½-mile road that has provided a much-needed, traffic-alleviating link between highway 14 and interstate 5. Since 2011 he has served as chair of the House Armed Services Committee.
The gala will also include awards honoring businesses and entrepreneurs, and among those nominated is the evening’s presenting sponsor, Chiquita Canyon.
The company operates the Chiquita Canyon landfill just west of Santa Clarita off highway 126. Among the ways the company gives back to the community is methane recycling operation that provides electricity for several thousand homes, and an annual community benefit donation for public programs in the nearby community of Val Verde.
“We are thrilled to have Chiquita Canyon as our Title Sponsor,” said Mercado-Fortine. “They are a community partner that has a long history of helping support many nonprofits and organizations that contribute to the well-being of our community, including the SCV Latino Chamber,” Mercado-Fortune continued.
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The full list of awards nominees includes:
Business of Year: Eternal Valley Memorial Park & Mortuary, iMortgage, Owen Patterson and Owen and Advanced Audiology;
Sponsor of the Year: Chiquita Canyon, Southern California Edison, Desert Drugs Pharmacy and Wells Fargo;
Entrepreneur of the Year: Homayoun Daryani, Byron Alvarado, Martha Aguilera and Jessie Torres;
Community Leader of the Year: Gloria Locke, Moazzem Chowdhury, Dante Acosta and Oscar Dominguez;
Nonprofit of the Year: Straightening Reins and Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP)
“It really was a challenge narrowing down a list of nominees, because we have such a vibrant business community in the SCV,” Mercado-Fortine said. “The people and businesses on this list are, in many ways, representative of how wonderful our entire community is,” Mercado-Fortune continued.
Other sponsors include Southern California Edison, Henry Rodriguez State Farm, Union Bank, J&M Entertainment, SCVTV, KHTS AM-1220, The Signal and Our Valley magazine.
The gala will also include a keynote address by Santa Clarita City Councilman Dante Acosta, a nearly 30-year SCV resident and founder of the Rudy A. Acosta Memorial Foundation, named for his son, Army Spc. Rudy Acosta, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2011.
There will be a cocktail hour at 6 p.m. including a mariachi band, followed by dinner and music from singer Jimmy Carnelli. The night will also include dancing and music by the band Cervantes.
Tickets and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, visit www.scvlatinochamberofcommerce.com or call (661) 666-1639.
Source: Santa Clarita News