FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 2, 2005
Nine More Members Added to Foundation Board
With 19 women and 21 men, the College of the Canyons Foundation board has grown in number and in gender balance this year. Of the 19 women on the board, six- Rita Garasi, Charlotte Kleeman, Myrna Condie, Diana Cusumano, Doris Marie Zimmer, and Cindy Smith- are new members inducted during the foundation's installation dinner on June 29. Three men- Jeffrey Hacker, William R. Lively and C. Patrick O'Brien- were also inducted at the June dinner.
Garasi is corporate secretary at Gruber Systems in Valencia. Currently chairing the Vital Express Center for the Performing Arts' endowment campaign, Garasi's avid support of the performing arts is what interested her in becoming a foundation board member. "I desire to help the foundation's efforts to organize and fund an endowment to sustain and enrich the activities of the college's performing arts center," said Garasi. She was the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year in 1990.
Kleeman is an active community member involved with the Santa Clarita Valley Child and Family Center, the Foundation for Children's Health, the Samuel Dixon Family Health Center and the American Association of University Women. She also is a member of the COC Silver Spur Committee and COC Library Associates. "I have been very involved with College of the Canyons for many years. The college is very important to me," she said.
Condie is a former teacher of clothing, textiles and fashion design. A resident of the Santa Clarita Valley since 1974, she is on the foundation board for the SCV Boys and Girls Club and is on the SCV Festival of Trees Executive Committee. She said she became interested in becoming a foundation member "to support the college in its fundraising efforts and to help grow its circle of influence."
Cusumano is president of Interior Dimensions Inc., which incorporates interior design and decorative arts and specializes in sewing and painting. Cusumano said she wished to become a foundation board member to "support the educational vision and goals of College of the Canyons." Cusumano is also involved with the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital and is a board member of the Betty Ferguson Foundation and the Child and Family Center. A substitute teacher for 12 years in the Hart and Newhall school districts, she said she has always believed that education, in its many forms, is the key to success.
Zimmer, a resident of Valencia, is a life and corporate coach who helps individuals define goals and actions. She said she was interested in becoming a foundation board member "to support the fundraising and recruitment efforts through hospitality and program planning."
Smith is owner of RSVP Catering in Newhall. She is a member of the International Catering Association and the Santa Clarita Alliance of Professional Women. A believer in yoga and exercise, Smith also has served on the Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital Golf Classic Committee since 1995. "I have lived in Santa Clarita since 1963. It has been a plus having College of the Canyons here, and I am excited for its growth and contributions to the education of our population," she said.
Hacker is an attorney with HackerBraly LLP, a firm whose practice is limited to business, real estate, land use, governmental affairs and lobbying. He also is involved with the Child and Family Center Foundation, Boys and Girls Club Foundation and the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce. Hacker said he expressed an interest in becoming a board member to assist the area's youth. "It is imperative today that our youth be given all the tools necessary to compete in a global marketplace, which includes our community," he said. "I would like to assist the college in continuing its efforts to train its students to have the skills necessary to compete in today's marketplace."
Lively is the principal of the Law Offices of William R. Lively and Associates. He is a board member of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association and the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry, and the president-elect of the Santa Clarita Valley Bar Association. The father of a student currently attending COC, Lively said he became interested in becoming a foundation board member because of his "enormous admiration and support for the college, in general, and the foundation in particular."
O'Brien is senior vice president of business development for the Tower organization, which focuses on the advisement of debt-equity purchases. He said he expressed an interest in becoming a board member in order to give back to the community.
For more information regarding the College of the Canyons Foundation and how to donate or become involved, visit the College of the Canyons website at www.canyons.edu or call (661) 362-3434.