April 2006 Business Brief
April, 2006 - Issue #18
Local IHOP Owners and Community Supporters Announce COC Scholarship in Memory of Son

Mike Sandnes, a College of the Canyons football star and inspiration, died of cancer at the age of 21. His parents have since created a memorial scholarship for full-time COC students.
Mike Sandnes, a College of the Canyons football star and inspiration, died of cancer at the age of 21. His parents have since created a memorial scholarship for full-time COC students.
Mike Sandnes was an exceptional student athlete, a natural leader and an inspiration to those whose lives he touched. Above all else, he was a determined yet compassionate person, a loving son, and a vibrant young man whose life was just beginning to blossom when cancer claimed him at 21.

Twenty-seven years after they buried their son, Richard and Marian Sandnes have established a scholarship in Mike's name at College of the Canyons.

Two years before Mike died, Richard launched Mr. Stax Inc., a Valencia company that has grown to the point where it now operates 46 IHOP restaurants in six states from coast to coast.

The Santa Clarita couple has donated $100,000 to the College of the Canyons Foundation to create the Michael "Mike" Sandnes Memorial Scholarship, an endowed scholarship fund that will live on in their son's name in perpetuity.

The merit-based scholarships for fees and books will require candidates to be full-time students maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA while enrolled in physical education programs and athletics.

The scholarship funds will come from accrued interest earned from the initial $100,000 donation. Actual scholarship amounts have yet to be determined. The scholarship should be available in about 12 months.

Prospective candidates will be able to apply at the college's Financial Aid Office.

SCV School & Business Alliance Installs New Officers

Betty Peters, founding co-chair of the SCV School & Business Alliance, conducted the installation of the new officers including: Chairman Marc Emmer, president of The SST Group; Vice Chair Dena Maloney, dean of Economic Development at College of the Canyons; Treasurer RJ Kelly, president of International Tax and Accounting Network, Inc.; and Secretary Suzan Solomon, representing the SCV PTA Council. Dena Maloney replaces the outgoing Vice Chair Tammy Messina of WildCat Technology Solutions.

Justin Guarini of "American Idol" fame preformed at the Little School of Music
Justin Guarini of "American Idol" fame preformed at the Little School of Music's grand opening in February.
Little School of Music Celebrates Grand Opening

On February 2, the Little School of Music hosted their ribbon cutting, which boasted facility tours and a much-anticipated performance by "American Idol" star Justin Guarini.

The singer/actor is a big supporter of music education for children. Owner Mindy Cabral, in conjunction with the event, spoke of educational goals for each age group's program.

Second Annual Monopoly Mania to Benefit SCV School & Business Alliance

The Second Annual Monopoly game tournament will be hosted by the SCV School & Business Alliance on Saturday, April 1. Proceeds will be used to help implement School-to-Career programs, such as job shadowing, internships and Educators in Industry. It's sure to be an evening of fierce competition and lots of fun.

Washington Mutual has signed up as the Official Bankers of the game. Thus far properties have been purchased by Andy Gump, Answer Products, Awards, Trophies, & Treasures, Aquafine Corporation, Bob & Jami Kennedy, the City of Santa Clarita, "I Do" Parties, International Tax and Accounting, Lundgren Management, McDonalds, Mike Lebecki - Tracy & Mike Re/Max, Mountasia Fun Center, Newhall Land, Oats & Whey, Priority One Credit Union, Saenger Associates, The Ingram Team - Re/Max of Santa Clarita, Ultra Violent Devices, (UVDI), U. S. Borax, Inc. and Valley Industrial Association.

Cost is $75 for players, $50 for non-players; both include a sumptuous dinner with carving stations of prime rib and turkey, plus plenty of Monopoly play time.

The SCV School & Business Alliance is an intermediary organization that connects schools with businesses and community organizations to provide School-to-Career programs designed to prepare today's students to become 21st century adults.

Call Ann Kerman at 259- 0033, extension 776, for more information.

Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce Hispanic Business Committee Announces Second Annual Scholarship Program

The Hispanic Business Committee of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the Hispanic Business Committee (HBC) Scholarship Program.

The amount of each scholarship is $750, which is being offered to one student from each of the following schools: Valencia High, Saugus High, Hart High, Canyon High and Bowman.

Interested students must fill out the Hispanic Business Committee Scholarship Application, which can be picked up at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce or downloaded at Sergio Ibarra, chair of the Hispanic Business Committee Scholarship Program, stated, "To ensure all applications receive full consideration, it is crucial that it be filled out completely and submitted back to the chamber by the deadline - March 31, 2006."

For information on the scholarship or how to make donations to the HBC Scholarship fund, call the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce at 702-6977 or contact

SCV Jaycees Announce Scholarship Program

On June 6, the Santa Clarita Valley Jaycees will award four $500 scholarships to local students who have demonstrated a record of excellence and a dedication to leadership through community service. The Jaycees plan to give two scholarships to local high school students and two scholarships to students at College of the Canyons.

Candidates must submit an application package which includes a resume detailing their community service activities, along with an essay addressing the topic: "Leadership Through Community Action - How I Make a Difference." Submissions must be postmarked on or before April 25 and will be judged based upon the writer's clarity of expression, composition, content and originality.

In order to be eligible for the competition, an applicant must be high school senior and attend a high school in the Santa Clarita Valley or is a student at College of the Canyons. Further, the student must be in good academic standing and must not be subject to disciplinary probation.

Winners of the competition will be notified by the Jaycees on or about May 16. For additional information, including a list of all eligible institutions, contact Jenny Ketchepaw at 586-4244.To obtain a copy of the application and release, visit

College of the Canyons receives $75,000 Grant for Workforce Development

College of the Canyons has been selected to receive a grant of $75,000 over three years as part of a major project designed to develop innovative approaches to education and workforce development that go beyond traditional strategies of training workers for current jobs.

College of the Canyons is one of a number of organizations that will be working with the California Space Authority on a project that is intended to stimulate the creation and sustainability of high-skill, high-wage opportunities for American workers within their regional economies.

The project is one of 13 funded nationally by the U.S. Department of Labor as part of President Bush's Competitiveness Agenda. Through the WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) initiative there will be a $195,000,000 investment in 13 regional economies.

David Herzer Photography Offers Free Sitting to Celebrate Grand Opening

On Thursday, March 30, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., the well-respected wedding/event/portrait photographer David Herzer and his wife Lynn will host their grand opening. The couple moved to the SCV three years ago. The recent adoptive parents of kids aged 8, 4 and 3, the busy pair look forward to growing their business in the Santa Clarita Valley. RSVP to 263-7794 to reserve your free photo sitting.
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