Author Archive

VIA Sales Academy is back!

VIA Sales Academy – 7 Skills to Connect to more Clients and Customers!

With a proven selling process, you will increase your sales.  In 2018 the VIA Sales Academy will give you the tools and skills to succeed.  Starting on June 1st for eight
90-minute sessions, you’ll discover how to:

  • Create a Value-Based Presentation
  • Turn Objections into Opportunities
  • Negotiate Win-Win Outcomes
  • Increase Revenue by Managing and Organizing your Time
  • Deal with Difficult Buyers – Understanding Behavioral Styles
  • Digital Side of Sales in Today’s Market
  • Sell with Social Media

Program Dates:  June 1, June 8, June 15, June 22, June 20, July 13, July 20 and July 27

Time:  7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Location:  Stay Green, 26415 Summit Circle, Santa Clarita

Cost:  $399 for VIA Members
$349 (Members) if registered and paid by April 30, 2018
$699 Non Members

For more information or to register, call the VIA Office (661) 294-8088

Categories: Uncategorized

Voc-Ed Makes a Comeback

April 16, 2015 Leave a comment

I received the article below (Forbes, 4/16/15, Neil Howe) as a forwarded post from GetREAL California, a group highly invested in growing Career Technical Education in California.

Those of us in the Santa Clarita Valley are fortunate to have a strong Career Tech Collaborative that has been hard at work building our CTE (Career Technical Education) offerings for students of the William S. Hart District and College of the Canyons. I hope you’ll take a moment to review to better understand how critical CTE training programs are to business.

Voc-Ed Makes a Comeback

Neil Howe, Contributor

San Jacinto College, south of Houston, had no choice but to schedule a 10 p.m.-to-2 a.m. welding class. That’s how many students were trying to sign up. According to The New York Times, this uptick in technical enrollment has been caused by a surging demand for young people with specialized technical skills. Once the black sheep of education, voc-ed is gaining favor under a new name: career and technical education (CTE).

This comeback is taking place at community colleges and high schools alike. Businesses themselves also have gotten in on the action, teaming up with school systems to search for a new generation of workers. The building and fixing professions once dominated by G.I.s are getting a second wind as Millennials enter the workforce—giving an extra push to this voc-ed revival.

Over the past decade, voc-ed has undergone an extreme makeover. In the 1980s and early ‘90s, this path was considered the “plan B” alternative for underachievers. In the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, when G.I.s and Silent retired in droves, voc-ed was reframed as a way to address the sudden shortage of skilled workers and rebranded as “career and technical education” in 2006 to remove its long-held stigma. From 2002 to 2012, the number of students earning sub-baccalaureate credentials in CTE fields rose 71%, compared to a 54% increase in all undergraduate awards.

This CTE revival is also happening in high schools today, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at official statistics. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the CTE percentage of total credits earned by public high school graduates steadily declined from 18% in 1990 to 13% in 2009. But today’s high schools are embracing CTE in the form of career academies, which aren’t included in these numbers. The number of U.S. career academies has more than doubled (from 2,500 to over 6,000) since 2008. These academies cater to career-bound and college-bound students alike—giving students both technical skills and academic know-how.

With CTE curricula that focus on student engagement, career academies produce phenomenal results. While the national high school graduation rate hovers at 80%, academies under the wing of the National Academy Foundation boasted a 97% graduation rate last year, with 93% of graduates planning to earn at least a technical degree.

In part, this sea change towards CTE is in response to increased skepticism toward the “everyone should go to college” model. Today, only 30% of young Americans actually end up earning a four-year degree. And low-income students, who would benefit the most from a degree, often have the worst outcomes: Fully 99% of college attendees from the top quintile graduate by age 24, while only 21% from the bottom quintile can say the same.

This shift is also buoyed along by economic forces, including the current and projected demand for middle-skilled jobs. According to Brookings researchers Harry Holzer and Robert Lerman, there will be new openings for 1.0 million computer specialists, 1.5 million health care workers, and 4.6 million skilled construction workers over the next decade. And the salaries that accompany these careers are remarkable, in some cases reaching six figures for entry-level positions.

A growing number of companies are partnering with high schools and community colleges to streamline the workforce pipeline. Along the Gulf Coast, energy companies like Fluor have contributed money, advice, and surplus equipment to nearby community colleges that train high-skilled workers. In Nashville, Tennessee, Country Music Television took over “The Academies of Nashville” program, which partners with over 170 local businesses. And Ford’s Next Generation Learning (NGL) initiative established career academies in 20 communities across the United States. These investments are a smart move because, in the words of Ford NGL’s Executive Director Cheryl Carrier, “[through this system] students, teachers, and businesses all win.”

There is a long generational drama behind this voc-ed revival. For the G.I. Generation returning from WWII, voc-ed was a modern and democratic innovation that prepared students for an expanding industrial economy. While many went off to college on the G.I. Bill, they also attended vocational schools to pursue careers in the trades. For Silent and first-wave Boomers, voc-ed continued to be a stepping stone to stable blue-collar jobs.

But for late-wave Boomers and Xers, who entered the job market in the deindustrializing late 1970s and ‘80s, voc-ed became a path to nowhere. The jobs that remained were filled by G.I. and Silent workers. Voc-ed also lost its luster once Boomer “yuppies” began championing schools that would prepare kids for an ideas-producing economy—not so much a goods-producing economy.

Times are now changing. Xer parents see CTE as an opportunity to keep their kids on track by teaching them practical life skills that produce measurable results. If public schools can put their kids on the path to a successful career, with or without the increasingly expensive bachelor’s degree, they’re on board.
The CTE curriculum also resonates with Millennials who crave structure and security. They’ve been taught to plan ahead to the extreme: A 2014 Nickelodeon poll found that 45% of 8- to 11-year-olds worry about finding a job “a great deal/a lot.” These risk-averse achievers view CTE as a safety net that fills the gap between high school and the working world—and that offers a long-term plan for achievement that is guided, monitored, and continuous.

Looking ahead, CTE will become an attractive option as students look for more efficient paths to successful careers. If the idea that “not everyone needs a four-year degree” continues gaining traction, doors may open for even more CTE options, such as for-profit schools. Affordable courses specializing in high-demand skills (like coding) have already launched dedicated students into the middle class. CTE (in its many forms) will continue to appeal to a “maker” generation like Millennials—just as it did for young G.I.s—in search of the American Dream.

For complete article, including embedded hyperlinks:

Categories: Uncategorized

Career and Technical Education Should Be the Rule, Not the Exception Gallop by Tim Hodges March 10, 2015

March 16, 2015 1 comment

It’s hard to argue with the success of Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs, which teach transferable workplace skills and academic content in a hands-on context. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently characterized CTE programs as providing “instruction that is hands-on and engaging, as well as rigorous and relevant.” He went on to say that CTE programs “are helping to connect students with the high-demand science, technology, engineering and math fields — where so many good jobs are waiting.” Furthermore, in recognizing CTE month on the House floor, Rep. James Langevin recently stated, “CTE is an investment in the future of our economy, our workforce and our country.”

Despite these benefits of CTE, only about one in four students (28.6%) earned five or more CTE credits, according to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Most students have some interaction with CTE during their high school experience, but few are immersing themselves in CTE programs.

One reason why more students are not pursuing CTE programs is that critics characterize it as a track for students who are less likely to attend college. This line of thinking is detrimental to students, employers and the future of our country. Students should no longer need to decide between college readiness and career preparation — it’s possible and increasingly necessary to achieve both.

A recent Gallup-Lumina Poll found that when hiring, U.S. business leaders say candidates’ knowledge and applied skills in a specific field are more important factors than where the candidate went to school or what their major was. To be successful in the workplace, college-bound students still need specific knowledge and skills, which they can get from CTE programs.

Additionally, the Gallup-Purdue Index finds that college graduates who had an internship or job in college where they were able to apply what they were learning in the classroom, who were actively involved in extracurricular activities and organizations, and who worked on projects that took a semester or more to complete, doubled their odds of being engaged at work. Yet, just 6% of college graduates say they had all three of these experiences. These are exactly the types of experiences that CTE programs offer to students.

Critics may argue that enrolling in a CTE program may divert college-bound students’ attention away from college preparation classes. However, a recent study found that 80% of students taking a college preparatory academic curriculum with rigorous CTE met the standard for college and career readiness, compared with 63% of students taking the same academic core without rigorous CTE. Further, while national graduation rates have inched up in recent years, students with a concentration in CTE are nearly 15 percentage points more likely to graduate high school than the national average. These data suggest that whether students take one CTE course or enroll in an entire CTE program, CTE should be a part of every student’s education.

As a student, I was actively involved in a variety of CTE programs. While the experience I gained through livestock judging may not seem like it directly prepared me for my role at Gallup, I often rely upon skills such as:

* working long hours toward a goal

* building relationships with instructors both in and out of the classroom

* keeping accurate records and managing budgets

* fundraising to cover the cost of materials, registration fees and travel

* representing the school or even the state at contests

* the joy of winning and the agony of defeat

* being part of a team

* serving as a mentor and being mentored by others

Regardless of the actual content being taught, these experiences build the transferable skills that lead to success in college and career, while painting a realistic picture of the future students will face in the working world. CTE should not just play a prominent role for a few students; it should be the new normal in education.

Tim Hodges, Ph.D., is Director of Research for Gallup’s Education Practice.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired

August 5, 2014 1 comment

I came across this article a few months back and was struck by how critical basic soft skills are to those about to enter the world of work. VIA’s Connecting to Success Program helps get high school students on the right track with those skills, but it is ever more important our students leave school equipped with the “right stuff” to get the jobs they seek!

The Real Reason New College Grads Can’t Get Hired
By Martha C. White Nov. 10, 20130

It’s because college kids today can’t do math, one line of reasoning goes. Or they don’t know science. Or they’re clueless about technology, aside from their myriad social-media profiles. These are all good theories, but the problem with the unemployability of these young adults goes way beyond a lack of STEM skills. As it turns out, they can’t even show up on time in a button-down shirt and organize a team project.

The technical term for navigating a workplace effectively might be soft skills, but employers are facing some hard facts: the entry-level candidates who are on tap to join the ranks of full-time work are clueless about the fundamentals of office life.

A survey by the Workforce Solutions Group at St. Louis Community College finds that more than 60% of employers say applicants lack “communication and interpersonal skills” — a jump of about 10 percentage points in just two years. A wide margin of managers also say today’s applicants can’t think critically and creatively, solve problems or write well.

Another employer survey, this one by staffing company Adecco, turns up similar results. The company says in a statement, “44% of respondents cited soft skills, such as communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration, as the area with the biggest gap.” Only half as many say a lack of technical skills is the pain point.

As much as academics go on about the lack of math and science skills, bosses are more concerned with organizational and interpersonal proficiency. The National Association of Colleges and Employers surveyed more than 200 employers about their top 10 priorities in new hires. Overwhelmingly, they want candidates who are team players, problem solvers and can plan, organize and prioritize their work. Technical and computer-related know-how placed much further down the list.

Jobs are going unfilled as a result, which hurts companies and employees. The annual global Talent Shortage Survey from ManpowerGroup finds that nearly 1 in 5 employers worldwide can’t fill positions because they can’t find people with soft skills. Specifically, companies say candidates are lacking in motivation, interpersonal skills, appearance, punctuality and flexibility.

(MORE: Black Swan Event: The Beginning of the End of Unpaid Internships)

One thing that does appear to make a difference is internships, according to a Harris Interactive survey of more than 2,000 college students and 1,000 hiring managers on behalf of textbook company Chegg: more than 80% of employers want new grads they hire to have completed a formal internship, but only 8% of students say interning in a field related to their major is something they spend a lot of time doing. Instead, the top extracurricular activities are hanging out with friends, working in an unrelated job and eating out.

And all internships are not created equal. Overall, only about half of college grads say they’re prepared for the workplace — and the number of bosses who think they’re prepared is lower than 40%.

Among students who don’t intern, only 44% consider themselves ready for the job market. That improves for students with unpaid internships; 58% say they’re prepared for the workplace. But among students who complete paid internships, that number jumps to 70%.

Part of the problem is that you don’t know what you don’t know, as the saying goes. Harris Interactive found a huge gap between students’ perceptions of their abilities and managers’ perceptions of those same skills.

None of the students think they’re entirely prepared for the workforce, but they’re a lot more confident than the managers surveyed.

There’s a 22-percentage-point difference between the two groups’ assessment of the students’ financial skills, which Inside Higher Ed calls “alarming,” in an article about the research. Managers also take a much dimmer view of students’ abilities to communicate with authority figures, prioritize and organize their work, manage projects, work in teams and with diverse groups.

It’s just harder to teach these skills, experts say. “It is hard to correct a lifetime of bad habits in a short period of time,” Roderick Nunn, vice chancellor for economic development and workforce solutions at St. Louis Community College, tells the St. Louis Beacon.

Categories: Uncategorized

VIA WORKS FOR ME! (By: Anna Frutos-Sanchez)

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment


It is hard to believe that it is now the end of November, and December will come and go as quickly as the year has.  Time flies when you’re having fun!  That’s exactly how I feel about the work I do for Southern California Edison and the Boards I serve on, especially VIA, a key organization in the Santa Clarita Valley that continuously has educated and provided solutions for business success through our monthly information, education and advocacy.  

When I first joined the VIA Organization and the Board in 2006, it was specifically because of I had heard this was the organization which has existed for over 30 years and has made exceptional contributions to the Santa Clarita Community.  It is an organization with an exceptional reputation, and does not compete with other organizations; it simply has a mission that continuously delivers to its members.

VIA’s Committees  have contributed to my knowledge of this community and have been a very important element of staying informed on legislative updates, environmental issues/concerns, transportation updates, educational programs, etc.  For a company such as Edison, it is key and very important to stay connected and informed, and in particular to stay engaged and be a member of the decision makers in the community… VIA has provided this and more!

2011 has been a very important year for VIA and one that has set the tone for the years to come.  VIA has had its share of economic problems, as have many other organizations and businesses, however, because VIA is comprised of folks who care, who give, and who contribute to the betterment of our Santa Clarita Community, VIA has grown and is strong.  VIA brings forth very successful programs such as the B2B Expo, the Gala, the monthly luncheons, Connecting to Success, and other.  I just want to compliment VIA for making a difference and for staying committed to its mission.

I look forward to VIA’s continued growth and advocacy!  Way to go VIA!

Anna Frutos-Sanchez
Local Public Affairs Region Manager
Southern California Edison

Categories: Uncategorized


February 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Some of you may remember parts of this post from a year ago, but I felt compelled to recall part of it.  Today, the Valley Industry Association of Santa Clarita is 30 years old!  Today marks the launch of a year long celebration for the organization and its members, culminating with a special celebration event tentatively scheduled for Friday, October 28.  I hope you will join us in celebrating the successes we have accomplished together.

Incorporated on February 9, 1981, VIA has changed in many ways since its humble beginning.  Originally a group of just 20 companies from the Valencia Industrial Center, VIA was created to push forth critical transportation initiatives.  That group discovered almost immediately that their collective voice was far more successful than each were individually. What an incredible incentive to grow!

And grow we did!  VIA, the fastest growing B2B organization in the Santa Clarita Valley, has moved in many directions over the years, but we have always remained true to our core values.  Our tag line, “Connecting and Building SCV Industry” says it all.  CEO Forums, member surveys, and regular personal contact with our members keep us in touch with pressing issues for business and allow us to continually provide real value to our membership. We have a rich history including VIA BASH events showcasing members and local industry clusters, B2B Industry Shows, Regional Executive Summits, the creation of the Valencia Learning Center (which later became the Employee Training Institute at COC), our annual Luncheon Series, the Website Contest, Connecting to Success, and VIA STAR .

HAPPY BIRTHDAY VIA!  I’m proud to be a part of this strong, vibrant organization and hope all of you will stay tuned for the next 30!

Kathy Norris

Categories: Uncategorized

11 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners

January 6, 2011 Leave a comment

The following article was recommended and shared with VIA’s blog by:

Laura Biery
Administrative Analyst
Economic Development Division
City of Santa Clarita
Phone: (661) 286-4017

11 New Year’s Resolutions for Small Business Owners

By:  Barry J. Moltz

January 4, 2011

As a small business owner, this is the perfect time of year to reflect on areas of accomplishment or places where desired results were not achieved in 2010. 

Here are 11 resolutions every small business owner needs to make now to get their 2011 off to a fast start:

 1. I will stop complaining about the bad economy

This country is still staggering out of the Great Recession. Face the fact that this is the “new normal”. However, in a $14 trillion U.S. economy, there are definitely more than a few new prospects that can help grow your business this year. While complaining doesn’t help find them, offering solutions to solve their problems does.

2. I will only sell painkillers

During better economic times, customers do buy “vitamins” (i.e. nice to haves). In tough times, find your customers’ pain by surveying them in January and asking where your business can help the most. Focus on selling what customers actually want, not what you think they need.

 3. I will fire the employees that do not increase profit.

Stop holding onto the people that are bad performers, poor fits, or just don’t add to the bottom line. If that employee went on a month long vacation, would the company suffer? Everyone one else knows that the answer is no. Get over the fear and fire them in January.

 4. I will only market to prospects that can actually pay for my product.  

Businesses spend a lot of time trying to sell their products to people that do not have the money to buy. We waste a lot of time on these “Mr. Maybes” (prospects that show inconsistent interest). Separate out the “tire kickers” from the buyers by determining the customer’s budget, decision makers, and timeframe for their purchase. 

 5. I will not lower my price to substitute a real marketing strategy. 

Have the confidence in what your company sells not to lower your price in an effort to win business. Focus on prospects that value the pain your company solves for them. Leave the price wars to your competitors. 

 6. I will meet with customers and vendors face to face. 

Stop relying on email and the phone as an exclusive way to talk with customers. Even in a social media world, deep and long lasting business relationships are still built IRL (In Real Life).

 7. I will attend at least one major industry event. 

A big part of success in business is to never stop learning from others. Don’t cheat at this while actually attending the conference by spending the entire day working on issues that are happening back at the office. 

 8. I will invest in me and learn at least one new skill. 

“Old dogs can learn new tricks.” We invest in training for many of our employees. This is the year to look at becoming proficient in an area where you are bad or very afraid.

 9. I will take time off

Professional and personal lives are merging. Take one vacation of seven days or longer this year without the work computer. Go at least one day this year without using the work cell phone. Yes, you can!

10. I will understand my businesses financial statements each month. 

Many business owners are too busy to check or don’t understand their financial statements. Make a commitment to learn what the profit and loss, balance sheet and cash flow statements mean to your business and use them as a guide for future action. Do not delegate that understanding to your bookkeeper, CFO or accounting professional.

 11. I will be proud to be a small business owner. 

Celebrate the big achievement of creating a company, helping your customers and employees through it. You are the future of this country.

What New Year’s resolutions do you want to add?

 Barry Moltz gets small business owners unstuck. With decades of entrepreneurial ventures as well as consulting countless other entrepreneurs, he has discovered the formula to get business owners marching forward.

Categories: Uncategorized

Volunteering – The Most Enjoyable Way to Network

November 29, 2010 3 comments

Imagine getting your next client or job opportunity from someone you interact with regularly on one of VIA’s Committees. Imagine building long-lasting relationships with other business people who share some of your same interests and passions. Well, it’s quite easy to turn these images or visions into reality! Yes, it will require a little bit of effort and time on your part, but the possibilities are endless.

You might be asking, “How can I make this happen? How I can I create opportunities for myself in 2011?”
Well, quite simply, check the online calendar on the VIA website for meeting dates and times, call the VIA office at 661-294-8088, or ask any one of the VIA Board members who would be more than happy to help you find a volunteer opportunity that matches your interests and skills.

On the flip side, if you’re looking to bring someone into your organization this is a great way to “try someone out” and see what they’re really like to work with or how they follow through on commitments. Remember, volunteering doesn’t come with a salary, so imagine what someone who gets things done while volunteering may actually accomplish when getting paid to do a job.

So, let’s learn from our schools that often times require students to do volunteer work to enhance their education, refine their skills, work with others, and make their community a better place.

There’s a Greek proverb that says “A civilization flourishes when people plant trees under which they will never sit.” We can all help ourselves and VIA flourish by getting involved in one of the many active committees so that we can strengthen our relationships with other business people, grow our own businesses, and ensure VIA remains a “living” organization.

Diana Meyer
Meyer Marketing Intelligence

Categories: Uncategorized

Proposed California “Safer Consumer Product Alternatives” Regulations

October 25, 2010 Leave a comment


On September 14, 2010, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) published proposed regulations that will impose sweeping new responsibilities and regulatory risks on companies world-wide that manufacture products for sale into California, as well as those California companies marketing consumer products in that state.

In the now officially proposed draft, DTSC places the duty to comply on a newly defined term, called the “responsible entity.” Companies selling products into California may be a “responsible entity” if they are:

  •  An owner or licensee of a brand name or trademark under which a consumer product is placed into the stream of commerce in California;
  • A California importer;
  • A California distributor;
  • a retailer; or
  • Any person who is party to a contractual agreement with a California importer, distributor or retailer concerning a consumer product placed into the stream of commerce, unless that contractual agreement specifically states that the product shall not be sold in California.

 The draft regulations set out a schedule for its four-step identifIcation and prioritization schedule over the next three years. Thus, the first product to be selected to attempt to comply with this new regulatory program would be in December 2013.

 Step One: DTSC is proposing to first establish an initial list of “Chemicals Under Consideration” by June 1, 2011, and a final list by March 1, 2012.

Step Two: DTSC is proposing to establish an initial list of “Priority Chemicals” by July 1, 2012.

Step Three: DTSC is proposing to have an initial list of “Products Under Consideration” by March 1, 2013.

Step Four: DTSC is proposing to have an initial list of “Priority Products” by September 1, 2013, and a final list by December 1, 2013.

All companies selling consumer products in and into California obviously have a substantial interest in what ultimately is contained on each of these important “lists.” It is important to note that this listing process is not envisioned to be an exclusively government exercise, as the regulations also provide for a petition process for any person to add chemicals and products to the lists. After they are all developed, the duty to comply with the alternative analysis reporting and documentation for the responsible entity for that priority product will commence

Comments can be submitted to DTSC electronically by using the comment link on DTSC’s website. They also can be submitted via mail or e-mail, or at a public hearing to be held in Sacramento on November 1, 2010

Tim Burkhart
Six Flags, Magic Mountain

Categories: Uncategorized

Connecting to Success – Connecting with Our Future!

October 8, 2010 1 comment

Connecting to Success – Connecting with Our Future           

Yesterday I had the opportunity to participate in VIA’s Connecting to Success program.  This was my first year participating in the program and I will admit, I went into the day not sure what to expect. 

My partner in crime for the day was Connie Sparks of the SBDC and together we co-led the session topic of Financial Literacy for three sessions of 40 students each.   The students were attentive, participative (yes the candy we brought did help) and asking really good questions throughout the morning. 

Connie and I traded off sharing stories from our own personal experiences with credit cards, ATM fees, and checking accounts.  We also enjoyed hearing the stories of success and struggle that the students shared.

As the final class boarded the bus just after 12:30pm today I walked back to my car and smiled.  I am happy to say that I ended the day with a renewed excitement about what the future leaders of the Santa Clarita Valley will bring to our community.  They are bright, determined, and ready to take on whatever the world may throw at them.  They are also much more acutely aware of the pitfalls of using out of network ATM machines and are planning to start saving today for that new car they want tomorrow.

If you haven’t participated in VIA Connecting to Success yet, there are two more sessions this year (October 18 and November 4th) .  I guarantee you will find it well worth your time and a true investment in the future.  

Contact the VIA office to register.  (661) 294-8088 or by email:

Laura Biery
Administrative Analyst
Economic Development
City of Santa Clarita

Categories: Uncategorized

VIA – A Trustworthy Organization in Santa Clarita

August 17, 2010 2 comments

The Valley Industry Association (VIA) plays an important role in the City of Santa Clarita through its many programs offered.  When I first came to represent Southern California Edison as the Public Affairs Regional Manager, the first organization I became acquainted with was VIA, because of the reputation this organization has had for many years, one of TRUST and Effectiveness.  These two aspects are important to the business customer that is looking for educational insight on key issues important to the business section and the residents in this City.  VIA offers the types of programs that Edison values in staying connected and informed on community issues and matters, such as the Advocacy. Committee, Education Committee, Marketing Committee, B2B Industry Show, and others, which have provided valuable information on making effective decisions.  

Why Trust is Critical in a Healthy Organization?  How important is building a trusting work environment?  When I speak about Trust, I refer to Aristotle (384-322 BC).  His writings in the Rhetoric, suggested that Ethos, the Trust of a speaker by the listener, was based on the listener’s perception of three characteristics of the speaker.”   “Aristotle believed these three characteristics to be the intelligence of the speaker (correctness of opinions, or competence), the character of the speaker (reliability – a competence factor, and honesty – a measure of intentions), and the goodwill of the speaker (favorable intentions toward the listener).”  I don’t think this has changed much even today. 

The same speaks for the type of environment you want to create in your community and your environment.  Trust is the necessary precursor for:

  • Feeling able to rely upon a person or business
  • Cooperating with the experiencing teamwork with a group
  • Taking thoughtful risks
  • Experiencing believable communication 

Trust forms the foundation for effective communication, employee retention, and employee motivation, and when trust exists in an organization or in a relationship, almost everything else is easier and more comfortable to achieve. 

 VIA promotes Trust and is a Key Organization in this Community, and for those of you that are not a member, I encourage you to join immediately! 

Anna Frutos-Sanchez
Public Affairs Regional Manager
Southern California Edison

Categories: Uncategorized

Most Important Step in Business?

“What is the most important step in business?’ is a favorite question I like to put to business people.  

The responses usually cover the range from “The decision to start in business,” to “The first sale,” to “The successful marketing campaign we initiated last year.”  Although the events cited certainly deserve a special place in the mind of any entrepreneur, the response that is my favorite is “The most important step in business is the next one!”

I like the latter response best because it reflects a forward-looking vision, not mere recognition of history.  Implicit in the statement is the realization that what got you to where you are is unlikely to be good enough to get you to where you want to be.  In today’s fast-paced, high technology world, success goes to the swift and agile over the big and strong. The great American humorist got it right when he said, “Even though you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there!”

The most successful businesses are already working on their next step as their competitors are admiring their last step.  Apple  Corporation is one such winner that readily comes to mind.

One of the many reasons I am a member of VIA is because we have a great group of leaders who understand this concept and it is reflected in the dynamic way VIA is keeping pace with the changing economy and using technology to meet the current needs of members.

What about you?  Are you keeping pace?  What is your next step?

Bill Kennedy, Wingspan Business Consulting

Supporting VIA

June 24, 2010 1 comment

Some of you might not expect a manufacturer to be one of the Valley Industry Association’s biggest supporters. However, during the many years of involvement in VIA, Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing and its related companies have continued to benefit in numerous ways through their VIA memberships.

VIA offers its members an excellent means to connect with the best of our local service organizations such as; advertising agencies, banks, environmental, insurance, staffing, technology, and various consulting firms. Looking at VIA’s member directory you can see a wealth of other industries showing how diversified the membership is.

Another impressive value to members is access to our colleges, the City, their services, and to the many Government Officials who continue to support the VIA membership.

The Valley Industry Association, almost 30 years in existence, is experiencing current and continued growth with newly added objectives for value to members. Bayless and group look forward to many more years of association with VIA.

Andrea McAfee


Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

Why VIA? For a Collective Voice

June 4, 2010 3 comments

Why VIA?  Discover the power of a collective voice. How are we going to hold the attention of our politicians, except by banding together?

VIA has existed as an organization for over 29 years.  VIA was originally formed to get the attention of the local politicians that represented the areas encompassed by the Valencia Industrial Park.  Since then VIA has grown and diversified, and now covers a greater geographic area, but one thing has remained constant: VIA is the voice of industry in Santa Clarita.

There are many other groups in Santa Clarita that represent businesses of all kinds.  Each exists for a specific purpose, doing many good things for their constituents and the community.

VIA is unique among the representative groups in Santa Clarita for several reasons:

  1. VIA is entirely supported by its members, and does not depend on government funds
  2. VIA is local, representing only the Santa Clarita Valley
  3. VIA’s primary focus is business to business (B2B), to serve our local manufacturers and the service companies that serve businesses.

Because of these factors, VIA is a reasonably “pure” collective voice, truly representing the specific needs of industry in the Santa Clarita Valley.  VIA’s only political agenda is to advance the business interests of its members.  For years, VIA has provided a unified voice to support various transportation and infra-structure projects.  This support helps our region attract state and federal dollars to fund projects.  These are dollars that could easily flow to other regions instead.

Come to any VIA event, and you are certain to run into: 1) a City Council member or a City Staff member, and 2) the deputies of your county, state, and federal representatives.  Why are our politicians such dependable participants of VIA events?  It is extremely efficient for our representatives to come to a VIA event.  At the event, the deputies and representatives can meet with the leaders of our business community, as well as with the other deputies and representatives.  For the VIA members, the VIA events are an extremely low cost and time efficient method of getting access to the politicians who represent us.

The politicians need our input.  Unless we tell them, they don’t know what is important to work on.  Unless we tell them, our reps don’t know what is hampering our businesses.  By giving our politicians feedback, we can encourage them to do more of the good things.  By backing up our politicians, we can help them find the resolve to do the right things while in session.

Think about how much work it would be if you had to connect yourself, one-on-one, with each representative.  A VIA membership is a great bargain that quickly pays for itself if you use it.

Andy Pattantyus

Andy is the President of Strategic Modularity, Inc. and has been a member of VIA since 2003.  Andy is also a member of The ACA Group

Face to Face

May 27, 2010 2 comments

Some thoughts on connecting – According to a current poll on Linked In, 51% of those surveyed stated that the primary way they market their business is through Word of Mouth, or Referrals.  That was followed by 22% who stated Social Media, 11% who stated Traditional Media, and 15% who said Other, or who don’t market themselves. 

I think this clearly shows that, even though Social Media is a great way to brand yourself and your business, the ole tried and true method of Face to face communication and building relationships is still the best way to conduct and to build Your business.  In our case that number would be much higher than 51%.

Randy R. Moberg, CLTC                 
Chief Operating Officer                             
California Insurance License # 0E26438
Direct Phone:  661-702-6020
Direct Fax:      661-702-7420

Proud VIA member since 1994

Helpful Tips When Attending Trade Shows/Expos

May 3, 2010 1 comment


By Diana Meyer
CEO, Meyer Marketing Intelligence, Inc.
VIA Board of Directors Member

Many of us have probably attended a trade show or expo or two in the past, but how do you make the most of your time there? Well, you might be asking yourself “What should I do if I’m exhibiting?”  

Over the years, I have organized several companies’ presence at trade shows and handled training of the sales force to prepare everyone for networking and selling at a trade show. Therefore, I’d like to share with you a few tips that will serve as a refresher before B2B or any other trade show you’ll be attending. As an exhibitor, remember the following:

  1. Bring your company name badge and wear it or the exhibitors’ badge on the right side. It’s been shown that people will look at your right shoulder area when shaking hands. Make it easy for everyone to find your name.
  2. This brings me to my next point, in this day and age of people being more aware of airborne illnesses, it would be a nice touch to have some anti-bacterial gel at your booth in a place where others can get to it easily. You don’t even have to mention it. Not only will you need to use this, but your potential customers will be grateful there is some for them to use at their discretion.
  3. Repeat the other person’s name in a conversation a few times in order to remember it and show that you’re genuinely interested.
  4. If you have chairs at your booth, do not sit down. You should stand – so ladies, remember to wear comfortable shoes that you don’t mind wearing all day. This demonstrates that you’re receptive to meeting others and interested.
  5. Make sure you don’t have gum in your mouth. You don’t want to come across as a teenager.
  6. Keep your phone out of sight either on silent or turned off. You’re there to make connections and meet new people. Why have the distractions of messages or calls? If you must check for messages or texts, step away from the booth during a slow period.
  7. Collect a business card or if the show has electronic scanning of badges capabilities, make use of that service. If you’re going to write something on the back of the card, ask for their permission. In some cultures, it’s very bad manners to write on a business card. By the way, when you return to the office, follow up with each person you met and personalize that call or email. If you have a group on a social networking site, invite them to join your group.
  8. Finally, have a warm and inviting smile on your face. You can have all the latest technology at your booth or all the marketing collateral promoting the company, but if you don’t appear like you want to talk to someone new, they won’t want to stop and talk to you.

Of course, there are other sales tips, but these are just a few to serve as a reminder for you. Good luck and create your own successes as you exhibit!


March 18, 2010 2 comments

Yesterday’s VIA luncheon on the subject of Identity Theft was an eye opener.  Most of us think we’ve heard it all and are savvy on the subject, but the presentation by Lynnette Madsen of BPG, Inc. showed many of us our information is sadly out of date, and that we are open to risks we hadn’t even considered.

Interestingly, more than 52% of Identity Theft happens in the workplace and doesn’t necessarily include monetary losses.   Social Security fraud is rampant.  Social Security numbers are so highly desireable that often, once acquired criminally, they are sold over and over again, allowing illegal aliens to live and work in the United States without danger or penalty.  Ms. Madsen offered us an example:  A young boy’s social security number is “stolen.”  With that number, loans are acquired, items are financed, and he is hugely in debt to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars – all before his fifth birthday.  Wow. 

For business, there are clear mandates and laws that require appropriate protection of customer and employees.   Obsolete office equipment carries a risk.  Inoperable computers are discarded without clearing hard drives and copiers are returned to the leasing company after the lease term is up with data left in memory.  Protecting our customers and ourselves requires unusual diligence. 

Ms. Madsen’s presentation may have opened our eyes, but it is up to us to implement best practices.  Clearly, the subject hit home for many.  We have a lot to learn!

Categories: Uncategorized

VIA March Luncheon!

March 2, 2010 2 comments

Tuesday, March 16, 2010 – 11:45am – 1:00pm
Valencia Country Club, 27330 N. Tourney Road in Valencia

Click here to RSVP:
or call 661.294.8088

Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in America affecting millions of people every year, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

With more than 52% of Identity Theft happening in the workplace, The Federal Trade Commission is looking to business owners to better protect their employees and customers Non-Public Information (NPI), which is the purpose behind new federal laws, as well as individual state laws. It is important for business owners to know what their liabilities are, and what they are required to do to protect their business, their employees, and their customers. In order to understand the “why” behind the laws, business owners need to understand the reality of Identity Theft, how businesses are being affected by the “crime of the century”, and how a business can also become a victim.

VIA is pleased to host Lynette Madsen, President and CEO of BPG Consulting, Inc., on March 16 to provide clear understanding about Identity Theft, and how to effectively protect yourself, your clients, your business and your employees.


Please RSVP NO LATER THAN Thursday, March 11 to the VIA Office (661) 294-8088
or through the VIA Website:

Members: $40.00
Non Members: $50.00

“No shows” or cancellations made less than 24 hours in advance will be billed.
Note: Attendees without reservations will be assessed an additional $10.00 fee for the luncheon.

Special Drawing Prizes for this event courtesy of: Premier America Credit Union, GAMEPLANZ, Proforma Graphix Unlimited, Priority One Credit Union, Signs By Tomorrow, Fast Signs, High Impact Event Resources and La Quinta Inn & Suites

Federal Reserve Bank Joins VIA!

February 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Life is very busy!  With that in mind, I hope all of you were able to observe President’s Day today to celebrate some of our country’s great leaders.   As well, I trust you also enjoyed a special Valentines Day over the weekend. 

Please be reminded that the February VIA luncheon is scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, February 16 , 11:45 a.m. at the Valencia Country Club.  VIA is pleased to host an excellent keynote speaker:

Robb Woldman, AAP
Western Regional ACH Sales Specialist
Senior Account Officer, Business Development
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Just a few space remain available for the luncheon so I encourage you to RSVP if you have not already done so. 

Please Click here to RSVP:

Lunch and the program are $40 for members.  Non-members may attend at the member price during the month of February!

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.


Happy Birthday VIA!

February 10, 2010 1 comment

The Valley Industrial Association of Santa Clarita is 29 years old!

Incorporated on February 9, 1981, VIA has changed in many ways since its humble beginning.  Originally a group of just 20 companies from the Valencia Industrial Center, VIA was created to push forth critical transportation initiatives.  That group discovered almost immediately that their collective voice was far more successful than each were individually. What an incredible incentive to grow!

VIA has had many faces over the years – all responding directly to the needs of our members.  CEO Forums, member surveys, and regular personal contact with our members have kept us in touch with pressing issues for business and firmly invested in providing real value to our membership. VIA BASH events showcasing members and local industry clusters, B2B Industry Shows, the creation of the Valencia Learning Center (which later became the Employee Training Institute at COC), regular luncheons, the Website Contest, Connecting to Success, and VIA STAR are all part of VIA’s vibrant history and ongoing value for business.

In reflection, I think VIA’s truest value is and has always been its remarkable flexibility in serving its members.  The ability to review, reflect, evaluate and effect necessary change quickly is the trademark of a strong organization and one of VIA’s core philosophies.   I thank you for your ongoing support and your membership, and…..

Happy Birthday VIA!

Kathy Norris

Categories: Uncategorized

The inaugural VIA ROCKS! event did just that!

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment

VIA proudly hosted more than 75 attendees at VIA ROCKS!  last night, offering dozens of opportunities for folks to network and build new long term working relationships.  

Local companies searching for vendors and services,  VIA members and others looking to secure business to business relationships, skilled workers looking for new opportunities, and those searching for information about Santa Clarita and what the VIA organization has to offer all came out to celebrate and promote business success in 2010!  The evening also enjoyed the soft rock sounds of the band “Bad Weather.” 

A new quarterly event for the Valley Industrial Association, VIA ROCKS! is about making connections and has something to offer everyone.  Plan to join us at every VIA ROCKS! – be there to be a part of the solutions businesses need now!  

Special thank to our sponsors:  City of Santa Clarita, Custom Human Resource Solutions, LBW Insurance and Financial Services, Point of View Communications and The Courtyard by Marriott.


VIA February 2010 Luncheon

February 3, 2010 Leave a comment


VIA February 2010 Luncheon

February 16, 2010 – 11:45am – 1:00pm
Valencia Country Club, 27330 N. Tourney Road in Valencia
RSVP to 661.294.8088 or


VIA is pleased to host a very special speaker from THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK:

Robb Woldman, AAP
Western Regional ACH Sales Specialist
Senior Account Officer, Business Development
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Mr. Woldman previously joined VIA in March of 2006 to offer us a clear understanding of
the functions, technology, process and future of the Federal Reserve Bank.  Since that time,
much has changed!

Join us on February 16th to learn how the banking system has been impacted from 2006 to date,
to receive a 2010 payments update and information on global payments trends as we enter
a new decade, along with pertinent banking topics of interest to all businesses.


February 2, 2010 1 comment

Hello All,

I’m very pleased and honored to be the first entry in the Valley Industrial Association’s blog – I invite you all to become regular readers.  I’m also excited to watch VIA off to such a strong start in 2010 with a variety of programs and events specifically designed to not only serve our membership and promote success and vitality for the SCV and beyond this year.   

This is a special year for VIA and for me as well – as VIA leads up to it’s 30th Anniversay in early 2011, I will celebrate 15 years with the organization this year.  I’d like to offer my personal thanks to all of you for your contributions to making VIA the vibrant business organization it is today.   I hope you will stay tuned.

Here’s to bright new possibilities in 2010! 

Kathy Norris

Categories: Uncategorized