By IVY WEISS Contributing Reporter Canoga Park/West Hills The Walk of Hearts Foundation will be taking nominations until April 20 for their 2009 honorees. If you have a teacher who has made a difference in your life or a difference in the life of a family member and you would like to nominate them for a Walk of Hearts Plaque, complete the online application at www.walkofhearts.com. This will be the sixth year that the foundation will be selecting outstanding teachers and honoring them for making a difference in a life of a child. The foundation was initiated by Joe Andrews, president emeritus of the chamber in 2003. The Main Street Farmers Market kicks off on the first weekend in June. The Chamber has joined with Main Street Canoga Park and the Canoga Park Improvement Association to bring this weekly event to the neighborhood. The Farmers Market will be on Owensmouth, just north of Sherman Way. If you would like to participate by taking a booth at the Farmers Market, contact the Chamber to get more information, (818) 882-4222. Greater San Fernando Valley The Chamber’s 97th Inaugural Ball on March 27 was the occasion for announcing the winners of the 2009 Excellence Awards honoring individuals and businesses who have improved the lives of San Fernando Valley residents and businesses. “The awards honor entrepreneurial spirit, diversity, innovation and perseverance,” said Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, CEO of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce. “These recipients embody the promise of our region and their successful enterprises help make this an attractive place to do business.” Nominated by their peers throughout the Valley, the awards were presented in five categories: Chairman’s Award of Distinction: Thomas Graphics Family Business of the Year: Flip’s Tire Center Excellence in Customer Service: U-Frame-It Excellence in Technology: NetOps Corp. The Heroes Among Us Award was presented to Ross Bradder, formerly of Los Angeles Community Builders. This special tribute honors a leader whose strength and spirit shape destiny through exceptional courage, decency, and strength. Since 1982, the Excellence Awards have been the region’s celebration of the exceptional achievements of businesses, business owners, and community leaders, who are the backbone of the San Fernando Valley. Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village TOWLV will honor a local non-profit community organization at their seventh annual Spirit of Community Awards Celebration in June. The public is invited to submit the names of non-profit organizations that have made a positive impact on the communities of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village. Nominations must be received by April 17 to be considered. The nomination form can be downloaded from the chamber website at www.towlvchamber .org/sponsorship.aspx or you can call (805) 370-0035 to have a form faxed or mailed to the location of your choosing. The Spirit of Community Awards Celebration will also recognize top area educators, a local community volunteer, law enforcement agencies, fire protection agencies, and armed forces personnel for contributing their time and effort to make the cities of Thousand Oaks and Westlake Village better places to live and work. The awards event is open to the public and take place June 5, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Los Robles Greens Banquet Center in Thousand Oaks. The evening will include a two-hour dessert reception and awards presentation and the cost to attend is $28; reservations are required. United Chambers of Commerce The April 17 Southern California Constitutional Convention Summit will focus on whether the California constitution should be re-written. Other issues to be discussed include whether the present super-majority requirement for passing a budget should be eliminated; whether the present initiative system should be restricted or even eliminated; whether state constitutional officers should continue to be elected or be appointed by the governor; and whether the State Constitutional Convention if held, should be limited to certain topics. Confirmed speakers include Senator George Runner, 17th District; co-chair of California Forward, Bob Hertzberg,; former state assemblyman Keith Richman; and Joel Fox, president of the Small Business Action Committee The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Pickwick Gardens Conference Center in Burbank and is hosted by United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, the Los Angeles Chamber, Los Angeles County Business Federation and the Valley Economic Alliance. To be a part of this event, please contact the United Chambers at (818) 981-4491. Woodland Hills-Tarzana Councilman Dennis P. Zine will address the April 16 chamber business luncheon at Maggiano’s in the Westfield Topanga Promenade. All community members and businesses are welcome but reservations are required. To make yours call (818) 347-4737. The cost for members is $25; all others are $30. The annual Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber-sponsored Festival in the Park will join with the Valley Cultural Center’s Concerts in the Park, making it a one-day extravaganza for the whole family. Beginning at 2 p.m. on June 28, there will be arts and crafts, food, corporate booths and a children’s area featuring rides, games and hands-on crafts. At 6 p.m., ’70s pop-rock band Orleans will take the main stage. For further information, including advertising and booth space, call (818) 347-4737. North Valley Regional The NVRCC announced a new partnership with the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC is funded by the Small Business Administration and provides free one-on-one business consulting and low cost comprehensive training in business plan development, basic accounting and bookkeeping, marketing and sales and technology as well as assistance in accessing capital, state and federal government contracting and much more. NVRCC is a sponsor of this program and serves as an authorized counseling center for the entire San Fernando Valley. Contact the SBDC at (661)294-9375 for your free consultation today. For more information visit www.nvrcc.com or call (818) 349-5676. Promotions and Elections Schultze Elected to Two Boards Debi Schultze, president of the United Chambers of Commerce of the San Fernando Valley, was elected to the board of directors for the Southern California Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (SCACCE). The organization is made up of Chamber CEOs from throughout Southern California. The SCACCE provides education and training to Chamber executives, staff and volunteers. Schultze was also elected as Chair-Elect for BizFed. She will follow current chair Tara Bannister, president of the California Apartment Association in January 2010. BizFed, founded by David Fleming, represents 64 business-related organizations throughout all of Los Angeles County. TO-WLV Names New President The Thousand Oaks-Westlake Village Regional Chamber of Commerce has named Jill Lederer as president and CEO. Lederer replaces Janet Levett, who retired in January after 20 years with the Chamber. The Board chose Lederer,a local businesswoman, former board chairman of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce (now the TO-WLV Regional Chamber) and a past Chamber Woman of the Year,to take on the role of interim president in January to assume the day-to-day operations of the Chamber. After an extensive search, the board voted at their March meeting to select Lederer as the permanent president. Lederer earned her MBA at Pepperdine University and was owner of BTR, Inc., with a chain of 10 local Domino’s Pizza franchises, which she recently sold. Lederer has been a chamber member for 25 years and is involved in many other local civic and charity organizations. TO-WLV is a four-star accredited chamber sanctioned by the United States Chamber of Commerce and has served the Conejo Valley since 1939. Heyd to Lead Granada Hills Longtime Granada Hills resident Nicki Heyd is the new executive director of the Granada Hills Chamber. A member of the chamber board for 5 years and a homeowner for more than over years, Heyd joined the Granada Hills board as representative for the Granada Hills Theater. After the theater closed due to lack of funding, she continued as a board member representing her husband’s business, Al & Bob’s Carpets. Heyd has been a senior administrative assistant for several non-profit organizations and has an extensive background in soliciting donations and planning fundraising events. The former voice major still has a passion for singing and the theater, and said her comfort in speaking in front of groups and in meetings is a direct result of her theater experience. Woodland Hills-Tarzana New Executive Director The Woodland Hills-Tarzana Chamber of Commerce has appointed Diana Williams as executive director. Williams has been leading sales forces, creating marketing and sales campaigns and managing corporate teams throughout her 26-year professional career. She has also served on the executive teams of growing corporations. This experience will contribute to the growth of the members’ businesses. Williams looks forward to her involvement in growing the organization as well as working with the board and chamber staff to increase its recognition as a top chamber in the Nation. “As homeowners, we are passionate about the community and are enthusiastic about watching it prosper,” she said. “It’s exciting to know that membership in the Chamber will increase your visibility and contribute to your success. The success of business owners and residents directly impacts the progress of our community. It is so rewarding to contribute to this progress.” The new executive director and her husband, David, reside in Woodland Hills with their two canine boys. The Woodland Hills-Tarzana team is comprised of Felicia Paust, now a full-time administrative assistant and Jen Svedja, director of business development.