Transition marks new focus on power networking, diversity and business outreach
SHERMAN OAKS, Calif., Aug. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — The Valley Economic Alliance (VEA), the San Fernando Valley’s premier economic development organization, today announced the election of accomplished business leader and newspaper publisher Martha Diaz Aszkenazy as the new chair of its board of directors effective immediately. She will succeed attorney and business leader David Fleming, who has held the position since 1996.
At its annual meeting held last night, the VEA Board of Governors—comprised of approximately 150 delegates representing Valley business and community groups—also elected new board officers and presented a film tribute to Fleming honoring his vital contributions to the organization over the past 16 years.
Following a standing ovation, Fleming officially passed the gavel to Diaz Aszkenazy and was immediately nominated and elected to serve as chair emeritus in a non-voting, advisory role.
“During these tough economic times, it is both a great honor and responsibility to create a new roadmap for VEA’s long-term viability and success,” said Diaz Aszkenazy. “We need to bring together individuals who are willing to roll up their sleeves, cut through the red tape and address the critical issues affecting both large and small businesses today.”
Diaz Aszkenazy emphasized that discovering new ways to provide businesses access to the resources and decision-makers needed to create a more favorable business environment will be among her top priorities, from power networking events to social media platforms. “Overall, I believe our role is to represent the faces of business in our community, utilize new channels for communication and effect positive change.”
A native of Los Angeles, Diaz Aszkenazy and her husband Severyn co-founded Pueblo Contracting Services, Inc., in 1984, a general contracting firm specializing in the restoration of historic landmarks. It has since grown to provide diversified construction services including real estate and construction management, and is ranked as one of the most influential Latino-owned businesses in the nation.
In 2002, Diaz Aszkenazy became publisher of the weekly bilingual newspaper The San Fernando Valley Sun, strengthening its reputation and role as a strong voice in the community.
Among her many accomplishments, Diaz Aszkenazy has served on the Building for the 21st Century California Commission and California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth, as secretary for theCalifornia Governor’s Conference for Women, as executive board member for Providence Holy Cross Foundation and as Regent at Loyola Marymount University, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
She currently serves as chair for Providence Health & Services Community Ministry Board, California Region and board member for Project Grad. She has been actively involved with VEA for over a decade, filling the role of board secretary for the past five years.
Diaz Aszkenazy is the recipient of the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Woman-Owned Business, City of Los Angeles’ Ron Brown Award, Greater Los Angeles YWCA Silver Achievement Award, Women in Business Excellence in Business and Community Service Award, and Latin Business Association Latina Entrepreneur of the Year Award, among others.
“Martha is a respected and accomplished business leader with a strong vision for the future,” said VEA President and CEO Ron L. Wood. “Her selection ushers in a new era of business outreach, growth and diversity at VEA. The real benefactors are our investors.”
About The Valley Economic Alliance
The Valley Economic Alliance (VEA) is a non-profit economic development organization founded in 1994 to connect businesses with the resources and leadership of the San Fernando Valley. Its mission is to strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life in the Valley’s five-city region: Burbank, Calabasas,Glendale, Los Angeles and San Fernando. VEA provides free professional business assistance, workforce training, networking opportunities and information resources. Visit www.thevalley.net or call (818) 379-7000 for more information.
SOURCE The Valley Economic Alliance