Sherman Oaks, CA – The San Fernando Valley’s brightest stars, an unprecedented amount of elected officials & dignitaries and over 330 guests, took center stage at the 17th annual Valley of the Stars Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 31 at The Autry National Center. Hosted by The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA), the region’s premier economic development organization, the event celebrated leadership in arts and entertainment, business, community development and leadership.
“Since its founding in 1998, the annual gala has fast become one of the most prestigious events of its kind in our region,” said TVEA Chairman Martha Diaz Aszkenazy. “With great pride, we honor individuals and organizations that have helped grow and strengthen our economy, improve the quality of life in our communities, and bring national recognition to the San Fernando Valley,” Aszkenazy added.
Popular sportscaster and long-time Valley resident Ross Porter served as Master of Ceremonies and started off the night long festivities. The following recipients were honored with the “Stars of the Valley” award at the Autry’s Heritage Court. In the Arts & Entertainment category, Wink Martindale, an American Icon, longtime Valley resident whose work in entertainment, charitable causes and continuous involvement in the community shines throughout the San Fernando Valley. Marla Clemow, Los Angeles Metro EVP and Regional President accepted the Business award on behalf of Wells Fargo Bank, for their outstanding leadership, commitment and investment to finding local solutions for local communities needs and improving the long-term economic stability to the San Fernando Valley. The Community Development award was accepted by Southland Regional Association of Realtor’s President Jim Link, for providing relevant tools for business success and education and social programs that keeps the San Fernando Valley neighborhoods vibrant and strong. Leadership award went to Tracy Rafter, BizFed, whose leadership qualities and measurable success have impacted and benefited the San Fernando Valley.
“This is a shining example of the community coming together to recognize 4 deserving honorees for their selfless services in our San Fernando Valley. It is encouraging to see so many elected officials from the 5 city region gather to celebrate the Valley of the Stars,” said Greg Krikorian, President & CEO, TVEA.
Following the awards ceremony, guests enjoyed dinner under the stars, live music, wine, dancing and an array of cowboy boots and hats at the Autry’s Plaza.
Platinum Sponsors of the gala included Wells Fargo Bank and Galpin Motors. Gold sponsors; Bank of America, Lathan & Watkins LLP, Southland Regional Association of Realtors, Inc., and Walmart. Silver Sponsors; Metro, Tracy Rafter, Glendale Adventist Medical Center, City of Glendale, Providence Health & Services, Mel Wilson & Associates, Southern California Gas Company and Van Nuys/Los Angeles World Airports. Bronze Sponsors; California State University, Northridge, Daily News, Los Angeles Community College District, NASA Services, NBC Universal, Occidental Petroleum, Richard Katz Consulting, US Bank, Valley Economic Development Center, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, The Walt Disney Company and West Hills Hospital.