About 250 attendees packed the ballroom at the Airtel Plaza Hotel in Van Nuys, where Valley Industry & Commerce Association held its 69th Annual Meeting on Friday.
After some opening remarks by San Fernando Valley Business Journal Publisher Charles Crumpley, Assemblywoman Laura Friedman came to the podium to present the business advocacy group’s board candidates for 2019. Recognizing the impact of the businesses represented at the meeting, Friedman said, “It’s all of you in this room who are the antidote for poverty.”
VICA Chair Lisa Gritzner discussed her experience at the halfway point of her two-year term.
Alan Gettelman of Bobrick Washroom Equipment presented the 40th Robert E. Gibson Corporate Award of Excellence to Amgen Inc., a startup in Thousand Oaks that became a global leader in tackling such medical challenges as cancer, cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s. The company has 20 approved medicines.
“We want to give back to nurture the next biotech startup success story,” said Amgen Executive Director of Corporate Affairs Karen White.
Presenting the 26th Annual Harmon Ballin Community Service Award, Woodbury University President David Steele-Figueredo invited up the stage Jane Skeeter, owner of Chatsworth-based business UltraGlas Inc., who urged the crowd to “think globally but act locally.”
VICA Board Member Natasha Fooman of California Financial Service Providers Association presented the 13th Annual President’s Award to Pam Berg, founder of MP Printing and Mailing, the Panorama City business she runs with her husband, Kevin. She chairs the organization’s membership committee.
Scholarships were presented by VICA Treasurer Alex Kasendorf of the law firm Alpert Barr & Grant; VICA Vice Chair Matt Swearman of nonprofit Valley Village; and Gloria Pollack of real estate firm Gelb Enterprises. Closing out the program, Anthony Williams, a VICA board member who is leaving Boeing Co. to work for California Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, conducted a raffle for those in attendance.