Steve Zimmer, Susan Armstrong and Kelly Burke
Below are the biographies of three volunteers up for the Man and Woman of the Year award. Each one deserves recognition for the work they do. We will feature three nominees every day this week.
10 Steve Zimmer
Steve Zimmer is an executive vice-president of Newhall Land and is a highly regarded business leader in southern California. He is totally committed to improving the community in which he lives through his volunteer and professional roles. His passion is making the Santa Clarita Valley a great place to live. In private and personal ways e supports many local civic and community organizations: the Taste of the Town, the Business Expo, Man & Woman of the Year, and the SCV Newsmaker of the Year Awards. He is also an avid supported of the performing arts. Steve has been a member of his nominating organization, the COC Foundation board, for five years, half that time as vice-chairman, the other half as chairman of the board. He has been a driving force at the COC Foundation, both a board member and as a donor. Under his leadership, the Foundation has received significant financial support for the Performing Arts Center, for the University Center, and for student scholarships. He is active in the Santa Clarita Valley business community, bringing in his experience with organizations like the California Major Builders Council, Governmental Affairs Committee, Water Issues Subcommittee, Building Industry Association of Southern California, and he is chair of the Environmental Issues Subcommittee.
11 Susan Armstrong
Susan Armstrong has been nominated by the Assistance League of Santa Clarita, of which she is a charter member and has been active for 18 years. She has served as the Assistance League's President, Secretary, Finance Chair, Philanthropic Projects Chair, Education Chair, and is currently the Treasurer. She works not only with the Santa Clarita chapter but also the National Assistance League, serving on the National Finance Committee for 14 years, the National Guild Development Committee/Finance Consultant for nine years and was the National Assistant Treasurer for there years. She has also been a member of the Hart School District's SCV Scholarship Foundation for 19 years, serving as its president for three years and is its current treasurer. She has been a spouse member of the Santa Clarita Velo Cycling Club for 15 years and is also its current Treasurer. Over the years she has been involved with the Hart High School PAC (serving as its president); the Hart High Soccer Booster Club; the Placerita Junior High School PAC, City Formation Committee participant; OLPH St. Joan Guild; Girl Scout co-leader; American Association of University Women, and the Valencia Hills HOA (social chair). Susan also financially supports the Food Pantry, Santa Clarita Adult Day Health Care, Hart High School Foundation, American Cancer Society, and the HMNMH Holiday Home Tour.
Susan's strong financial abilities have helped her serve numerous Santa Clarita Valley organizations.
12 Kelly Burke
Kelly Carrillo Burke is an Associate Professor of Biology at College of the Canyons. She has been nominated by the American Association of University Women with whom she's been active for five years. Through AAUW, Kelly has been an advocate for education, particularly in science, for young women who often are not aware of the opportunities provided. Knowing that education is the key for advancing the status of women, Kelly has played a key role in AAUW's Math Science Conference, a half-day event held annually at Valencia High School. She started out as evaluations chair, then chaired the entire conference for the next two years. Besides coordinating the core of 10 committee chairs and 50 volunteers, each year she has recruited 20 professional women from the fields of math and science to present workshops throughout the day. She has encouraged the production of materials in Spanish to reach others in the community, and she also recruited presenters for session for adults, teaching them about graduation requirements, financial aid and the California college system. Through her leadership, the attendance at the annual Math Science Conference has grown to nearly 250 girls and 70 adults. Kelly has also established a partnership with the Service Learning Program at College of the Canyons, allowing female students at COC to volunteer at the Math Science conference. She has also volunteered her time to support AAUW's Tech Trek program, a residential science camp for 7th-grade girls, and has helped its Book Sale. She helped initiate a social interest group called "Friday's at Eight" which meets on Fridays for social activity and relaxation. Kelly is a member of United Methodist Church, a member of the COC Alumni and Friends, and the Southern California branch of the American Society of Microbiology. She is involved with the Math, Engineering and Science Achievement program (MESA) at COC, and is contributor to the Biotech Outreach Program for high school students, and has volunteered as a career mentor for students in the Hart District. Kelly Burke's volunteer activities personify the AAUW mission: "To advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education and research."
The official 2007 Man and Woman of the Year will be named at the 40th Annual Recognition Dinner to be held Friday, May 4, 2007, in the Grand Ballroom of the Hyatt Valencia Hotel. The event will pay tribute to the top volunteers in Santa Clarita Valley and to past award recipients. It will benefit a number of charities and will include dinner, a multi-media presentation and the recognition ceremony.