Tracy Taris Keynoter at Inaugural Book Festival

Zontian Tracy Taris, MA, LMFT, was the keynote speaker at the community’s inaugural SCV Book Festival held on Saturday, June 8th, at College of the Canyons’ University Center. Tracy, who is currently holding the office of Secretary for Zonta SCV, is owner and president of Healing The Mind & Spirit, Inc., a local private group practice offering individuals, couples, and family counseling. She is also a published author. The festival featured books from more than sixty local authors, and Tracy’s speech spoke directly to them and the emotional issues that writers face. “From Doubt to First Draft: Overcoming Anxiety in your Writing Journey” addressed the authors and others who need to conquer anxiety and fear to unlock their full potential. It was a vibrant festival hosting hundreds of guests; a first timeevent success. Congratulations, Tracy!

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Holds Installation for Castaic Z Club

On May 21, 2024, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley held an installation ceremony for the Castaic Z Club at the Castaic High School Library.  The presiding officer was President Nicole Miller, Zonta Club of SCV and District 9 Z Club Committee Chair.  About twenty attendees including special guests from Zonta, William S. Hart Union School District Governing Board, Castaic High School, and the community, along with family and friends of the Z Club celebrated the new student club.  President Nicole Miller acknowledged the Z Club’s official charter from Zonta International and welcomed the Z Club to the worldwide network of student clubs. Dr. Cherise Moore, Z Club Committee Co-Chair, discussed the connection to World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development and the role that Z Clubs play in joining Zonta in intercultural dialogue for achieving peace and sustainable development.  Castaic Z Club Advisor, Jennifer Burrill, officially swore in the officers and the President’s gavel was presented to the Castaic Z Club President, Karen Soares.  All members of the Castaic Z Club were presented with a yellow rose, official certificate, and Z Club congratulatory gifts.

Castaic Z Club joins a network of three other local Z Clubs, Golden Valley Z Club, Canyon High School Z Club, and West Ranch Z Club, also sponsored by the Zonta Club of SCV.  The Z Clubs advisors, officers, and members look forward to an official welcome and collaboration with the new Z Club.

Young women and men are important to achieving gender equality and ending violence against women and girls around the world. To improve the lives of women and girls globally now and for generations to come, we must invest in youth development and mentor young leaders for gender equality.  These student Z clubs are intended to offer opportunities for young people to develop communication skills and leadership qualities, encourage a community mindset to contribute to the collective well-being, and encourage members to participate in community, school and international service projects.

Celebrating Women History Month

At our April business meeting we continued celebrating women, highlighting again the importance of uplifting women of all ages. During the program portion of the meeting, the club members heard from Nadine Teter, a previous Virginia Wrage Memorial scholarship recipient about how the award changed her life.  The club was also able to donate backpacks filled with essential items for children needing support directly to Nadine that evening, given her work as a LASD Victim Services Representative. Also, the Canyon High School Z Club students and advisor Maria Cooper, shared about their successful self-defense workshop, noting that the self-defense workshop would be held again next spring!

Spotlighting the Importance of Uplifting Our Youth

In celebration of Women’s History Month this past March, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley spotlighted the importance of uplifting young women and girls at its business meeting.   During the program portion of the meeting, the club members heard from Harper and Remi Hartshorn, students from the College of the Canyons Golden Z Club, and a previous Young Women in Public Affairs Award recipient.

Zontian Candace Hartshorn brought her young daughters in 2nd grade, Harper and Remi to present their Famous Influential Person Projects.  The project included choosing a famous person who made a difference in the world, completing research items about that person’s life, decorating a doll that represents the lifestyle and time in which the person lived, and finally writing and presenting a speech about that person. Remi chose Amelia Earhart and Harper chose Sally Ride.  Their diligent work sharing what they have learned about these amazing women in history was evident in their presentations!  Remi noted that “Amelia Earhart was a strong willed and adventurous daredevil.”  Harper reported that “Sally Ride is a determined famous American who has impacted our lives by showing women that they can do anything.”  Harper’s final statement, “I believe in her” reminded us all of the impact that these women have made in the lives of all women, and the importance to continue to tell their stories today.

Members of the College of the Canyons Golden Z Club were joined by advisor and Zontian Patty Robinson.  Golden Z Club members Aliyah, Dina and Lauryn talked about the challenges in recruitment for the club, as well as their successes in projects, especially noting their Non-Profit Community Resource Fair: "Building Relationships to Foster Community Belonging and Wellbeing" being held on April 30, 2024 with over 30 local nonprofits participating.

Lastly, we heard from successful Young Woman in Public Affairs recipient Ashley Hernandez about her accomplishments since winning the award in 2019.  Ashley is the daughter of Zontian Carolina Orozco de Hernandez and she wanted to thank us all again for believing in her and allowing her to pave the way for generations.  Through her experiences at St. Mary’s College of California, as a mediator for family and judicial conflicts, as a changemaker for the Latinx community, a crisis counselor, and a volunteer in private and community-based clinics, Ashley graduated with a BS in psychology and two minors in Latin dance and sociology and multiple awards.  Ashley is currently attending USC where she is pursuing her masters in marriage and family therapy.  Ashley said, “I have a strong passion for advocating for and empowering women and girls in higher education, especially system-impacted students. I will continue to hold Zonta’s values close to my heart as I pursue my future.”  We are so proud of Ashley!

With engaged youth like Harper, Remi, Aliyah, Dina, Lauryn, and Ashley, the future for women and girls looks brighter than ever, and we can’t wait to see what they all do to build a better world for women and girls.

Kim Kurowski named SCV Woman of the Year

The SCV Man and Women of the Year recently held their annual celebration and named Kim Woman of the Year.

We were so excited to celebrate nominee for SCV Woman of Year, Nicole Miller, along with the four other Zontians who were nominated: Renee Berlin, Debbie Holbrook, Kim Kurowski, & Carolina Orozco de Hernandez. What a thrill to honor and congratulate the 2024 Woman of the Year….Kim Kurowski!  Kim is the most recent in a long list of Zontian Women of the Year!  Congratulations to Kim!  Thank you to all the nominees for your volunteer service to build a better world in our community.


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Zonta Welcomes Two New Members

Dinh Montane and Charity Evans with President Nicole Miller

On April 10,2024 we welcomed two new members to our club.

Charity Evans is a returning member to our club. She is an English teacher at Valencia High School. She is excited to help with volunteer efforts and has done lots of volunteering for the community. She grew up in Antelope Valley and  has a son in college majoring in music composition. She has worked in high poverty schools.  Charity has experience teaching computer science. She likes to go hiking and to the gym.

Also welcomed is Dinh Montane who came as a refugee from Vietnam when she was 1 ½ yrs old. She has always been intrigued by history and other cultures, as well as had an interest in international affairs. She has two B.A.'s from UCLA in International Development Studies & Economics.  She speaks fluent French, Chinese (Cantonese Dialect), and is proficient in Kiswahili.  Dinh met her husband while working in Tanzania where he worked at the United Nations Tribunal for Rwanda and she worked for the Netherlands Development Agency helping small entrepreneurs and farmers.  They have been residing in Saugus for the past 18 years with 3 children.  She is a certified Project Management Professional and also hold a green belt in Lean Six Sigma.  In addition, she is also the local coordinator for the oldest non-profit for international student exchange, CIEE (the Council for International Education Exchange), continuing her passion for learning about and sharing different cultures.  Dinh hopes to use these skills and experience to contribute to Zonta's programs and events to improve the lives of all girls and women, as well as serve and create a positive impact within the community.

Zonta Club Gathers for Leap Day Social Feb 2024

On February 29th, Zontians gathered for a social get together to “leap into” Women’s History Month.  Members of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley and friends shared conversation and charcuterie at the Double Trouble Wine Room on Main Street in Old Town Newhall.  Tasty varietals from the Hoi Polloi Winery and Pagter Brothers Winery were available.  About fifteen Zontians and friends strengthened their friendships while enjoying a relaxing evening.  Later in the night, stand up comedians provided some additional laughs before winding down for the evening.  A fun time was had by all with comments to socialize again very soon!

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Commemorates International Women’s Day

The City of Santa Clarita proclaimed March 8, 2024 as International Women’s Day noting that it “is a call to action for accelerating women’s equality - a day to inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness about discrimination, and encourage and mobilize all people to imagine a gender equal world where we create a sense of belonging, relevance, and empowerment.”

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley, together with Soroptimist of Greater Santa Clarita Valley and Soroptimist International of Valencia, accepted the proclamation and joined with the City to #InspireInclusion as we all strive to further efforts for women’s rights and gender equality.

President Nicole Miller thanked the City of Santa Clarita for the honor and “recognizing the collective impact of the three clubs, and the difference we are making for women locally.”

This year’s International Women’s Day global campaign theme is #InspireInclusion -  “when we inspire others to understand and value women's inclusion, we forge a better world.  And when women themselves are inspired to be included, there's a sense of belonging,  relevance and empowerment.”

On International Women’s Day and every day, Zonta invites members of the community to join and help us build a better world for women and girls.

SCV IWD Proclamation

Welcome Susan Kakiki

Susan was welcomed into Zonta at our March 2024 meeting. She is a financial services professional, as a limited partner with Edward Jones. Her office is located on Lyons Avenue in the Newhall Area of Santa Clarita. She enjoys working in the SCV where she also lives with her husband and family.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Western Governors University, and she has been with Edward Jones since 2003.

Her hobbies include hiking, dining out, enjoying our beautiful local parks with her family, and taking martial arts and krav maga classes.

Quoting from her professional biography, Susan says, “building relationships and helping others has been an integral part of who I am…I enjoy working with people and believe I can make a positive impact through personal connections.” She sounds like a great Zontian, doesn’t she?!

Welcome to Zonta!!

MLK Day of Service 2024

On Saturday, January 13th, several members of our club joined community members across the Santa Clarita Valley for a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.  The activity, hosted by Assemblywoman Pilar Schiavo and the Santa Clarita NAACP, was held at the Newhall Boys and Girls Club.  The service options included painting the teen room and restroom, making lunches for Bridge to Home and writing thank you and appreciation cards to teachers, first responders, health care workers and also writing support and congratulation cards to new mothers.  Over 50 community members, including 7 Zontians who joined in to participate and support the theme of “It Starts With Me: Shifting the Cultural Climate Through the Study and Practice of Kingian Nonviolence” in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy.

We were inspired by a beautiful and uplifting event, and want to give a special thank you to Zontian and NAACP SCV President Valerie Bradford for her amazing speech.

Zontians celebrate 2023 Holidays

The Zonta Club of SCV had a holiday party on Sunday, December 10, 2023. Club member Darleen Lyons and her husband Bill, hosted the party at her beautiful home.  The party was a wonderful opportunity for members to chat and socialize over great food and drink.  Everyone gathered around the table or the kitchen, where the food was. There were about 35 Zontians and spouses sharing the holiday spirit.

We signed about 180 holiday cards that were distributed to the Post-Acute Care Center and Bridge to Home, Santa Clarita's homeless shelter. Each organization was very grateful for the cards.

What a wonderful way to kick off the holiday season!

Scroll through the pics for all the fun!

FYI Holiday Party 2023

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley along with our Z Clubs (Canyon High, Golden Valley High, and West Ranch High Schools) collected items for Fostering Youth Independence’s (FYI) annual holiday party for the foster youth in their program.  The Club provided $20 Target gift cards, while the Z Clubs provided lotions, lip balm, and packets of gum to be used as stocking stuffers.  On November 30, 2023 Club President – Nicole Miller, Club Vice President – Beth Ryan, Service Committee Lead – Jackie Howarth, and club member Candace Hartshorn delivered the items to FYI.

In addition to the stocking stuffer items, club members as well as members of SCV Boss Ladies baked cookies for the FYI youth.  Lois Bauccio graciously hosted a cookie bagging night at her home and on December 8, 2023, a handful of members from both groups gathered and created 80+ bags of cookies.  Beth Ryan delivered the goodies to FYI the following morning prior to their holiday party.

The FYI Holiday Party was Saturday, December 9, 2023.  Lois Bauccio serves on the board for FYI and was in attendance, while Beth Ryan, Jackie Howarth, Volunteer Committee Lead – Oriana John, and Advocacy Committee Lead – Christy Ferguson helped check in attendees and hand out pajamas to the youth.

Fostering Youth Independence is an amazing organization that helps youth leaving the foster care system feel safe, connected and loved.  FYI’s mission is to equip foster youth to complete post-secondary education and become successful, independent adults.

Kim Kurowski receives Volunteer of the Year award from Valley Industry Association

Kim Kurowski, owner of A-1 Party and Zonta member for 13 years, was awarded the Connie Worden-Roberts Volunteer of the Year award by Valley Industry Association at their recent fundraising event in November 2023.

Kim literally dresses all events in Santa Clarita. She has been in the balloon industry for over 30 years. A-1 Party is a home-based operation in Santa Clarita selling balloons for all occasions, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and more. Not only is Kim a prominent small business owner in the Santa Clarita Valley but she uses her platform to give back to non-profits like Carousel Ranch, the College of the Canyons Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, LARC Ranch, Zonta Club of SCV, the Soroptimist International of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley and many other organizations.

Kim serves on the VIA Executive board, SCV Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors for over 20 years and on the Executive Committee for over 12 of them. She served as the President of the Chamber in 1998. In addition, she serves on the board for Soroptimist International of the Greater Santa Clarita Valley and supports other organizations such as SCV Senior Center, Child and Family, Family Promise and many more. She was recently selected as the 21st Senate District, represented by Sen Scott Wilk, as the October 2023 Small Business of the Month.

Kim says, “I believe in being part of people’s lives. Providing balloons for a special occasion is one way and helping organizations that support our community is another. There are so many good people and organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley doing great things. I find it an honor to support them.”

Connie Worden-Roberts was an SCV resident who dedicated her life’s work to volunteering in numerous organizations throughout the valley. She was involved in organizations including Zonta Club of SCV, Boys & Girls Club governing board, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital speaker’s bureau, and the Hart district board of trustees. Connie was instrumental in the formation of the City of Santa Clarita, and prominent in the formation of Valley Industry Association.  After more than four decades of service, she died in 2014.

“I knew Connie when I first started (my) business 37 years ago. She’s always been my mentor as how far she used to get involved with the community. She was a good friend of mine … so this is more than just an honor to be awarded after her. She is someone to follow in the footsteps,” Kim said after receiving her award.

Summer Breeze : Hello Fall 2023 benefits Zonta

Terrell Edwards presenting donation from Summer Breeze: Hello Fall event

On October 28, 2023 Top Entertainment and presenting sponsor Fred Arnold and American Family Funding hosted the Summer Breeze: Hello Fall concert at the new Executive 360 Suites in Stevenson Ranch to benefit the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley.  It was an intimate outdoor affair and a beautiful evening filled with wonderful music by Terrell Edwards and an appearance by the aspiring artists of Vibe Performing Arts of Santa Clarita.  Several club members attended the event and enjoyed listening and dancing to the music.

A special thank you to the club members that volunteered during the event: Oriana John, Jackie Howarth, Christy Ferguson, Alicia Estrada, Mary Shippy, Ines Cadavid, Christine Sexton, and especially Fran Fiel who was in town from her new home in Virginia.

Terrell visited our club meeting on November 11 to present our club with a donation from the event.

Thank you Terrell Edwards and Fred Arnold. Your support is greatly appreciated.

SCV Boss Ladies Hold Inaugural Trunk or Treat Event

On October 19, 2023, the SCV Boss Ladies, a TEAM Referral Networking Group, held their inaugural Trunk or Treat event for the community to gather, meet, network, and have Halloween fun! Over 40 vendors decorated their trunk or table to hand out candy and other fun treats to over 250 parPcipants. Some vendors held raffles for prizes, had opportuniPes to win games, and sold their exclusive merchandise. Guests were even able to purchase tacos, shaved ice, dance to music by a DJ, and tour a mobile recording studio and party bus!

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Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Raises Awareness of Domestic Violence with the SCV Red Dress Project

During Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley raised awareness of domestic violence in the community by displaying the SCV Red Dress Project at the Newhall Farmer’s Market, and at College of the Canyons in partnership with the Golden Z Club.  For the past seven years, a cornerstone of the club’s focus on ending gender-based violence is raising awareness and discussing the impact of domestic violence in our community. The SCV Red Dress Project campaign has included a display of red dresses to symbolize those individuals who have lost their lives to domestic violence in Santa Clarita. These bright red symbols are meant to remind us of the reality of domestic violence and the impact it has on our community.

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Foundation Annual General Meeting 2023

On October 30, 2023, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation held its Annual General Meeting.  This meeting is held annually to thank outgoing trustees for their service and install newly elected trustees and Foundation officers.  Outgoing Foundation trustees Lois Bauccio and Patrice Rifkind were recognized and thanked for their service during the 2022-2023 fiscal year.  Additionally, a special recognition was awarded to Lois Bauccio for successfully completing her term as a Trustee and Foundation President of the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation.

Parliamentarian Darleen Lyons proceeded to install the elected and appointed Foundation Trustees: Gloria Mercado-Fortine, Barbara Meyer, Christine Sexton, Di Thompson, Club President Nicole Miller, and Club Vice President Beth Ryan.  Finally, the Foundation officers were installed and welcomed into their roles: President Cherise Moore, Treasurer Alicia Estrada, and Secretary Peggy Edwards.

The agenda also included a Foundation history and description of its purpose led by Foundation President Dr. Cherise Moore, an overview of Foundation financials and investments from Finance Committee Chair Francine Fiel, and a summation of the Foundation budget by Foundation Treasurer Alicia Estrada.

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In closing, many thanks were given to all those who serve and support the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Foundation.  If you would like to support the Foundation and the work we do to build a better world for women and girls, please contact us at or visit our Donate page.

Purple Palooza 2023

Saturday, October 14 was a morning of fun at the Purple Palooza 5K Color Walk, a fundraiser for the Child & Family Center's Domestic Violence Program. The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley teamed up with the SCV Boss Ladies to fundraise, participate, and walk in this wonderful community event. Nicole Miller (Zonta Club of SCV President), Beth Ryan (Zonta Club of SCV Vice President), Candace Hartshorn (SCV Boss Ladies President and Zontian), Lois Bauccio, Oriana John, and Selina Thomas were a few of the Zontians that participated in the event.

The net proceeds for the Child & Family Center were an amazing $75,471!! The funds are critical to provide domestic violence services to those in our community. Zonta supports the Child & Family Center’s mission to provide domestic violence services for individuals and their children who are in abusive relationships. The services are free and include safety, shelter and support for survivors. Zonta believes in protecting all women and children and ending gender based violence.

Thank you to the special sponsors, donors, and walkers who supported the Purple Palooza 5k Walk to End Domestic Violence.

Join our Zonta and SCV Boss Ladies team next year and help to build a better world for women and girls!

New members welcomed August 2023

lt to rt: Desiree Dodd, Beth Ryan, Lois Bauccio, Mary Shippy, Gloria Salas and Cyndi Kleinfeld

The Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley announces three new members at the August meeting. Gloria Salas, District 9 Lt. Governor and Lois Bauccio, Membership chair for Zonta Club of SCV, welcomed the new members and presented them with their pins.


Dr. Rian Medlin earned her Bachelor’s degree in Art History from San Diego State University, her Master’s degree in Political Science from Cal State University Northridge, and her Doctorate degree in Organizational Change and Leadership from USC. She is the Assistant Superintendent and Vice President of Human Resources at College of the Canyons. Her career has been both supervisory and collaborative in nature with two decades of working in large diverse and effective teams. She is excited to share her skills with Zonta to improve lives for women and girls, particularly in our advocacy work.


Mary Shippy earned her Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Park University in Missouri, and her Master’s degree in Business Knowledge Management from Cal State University Northridge. Mary has broad experiences in the business technology industry as an active duty member of the United States Air Force, at start-up companies in Silicon Valley and as a civilian program manager in the US Space Force. Currently she is Advanced Programs Deputy Manager at US Space Force Systems Command, Los Angeles, where she co-leads a $2.1 Billion program that is proudly on-schedule, within cost, and meeting performance requirements. As Program Manager, Mary effectively leads day-to-day activities across government and contractor integrated product teams aimed towards the delivery of a critical classified capability to counter threats. She is looking forward to bringing her management and leadership skills to Zonta SCV for service to the women and girls in need in our community.


Desiree Dodd earned her Bachelor’s degree in Consumer Affairs from Cal State University Northridge. She is Director of Development and Engagement for the College of the Canyons Foundation where she utilizes her more than 20 years of experience working within the field of philanthropy by supporting campus fundraising efforts, interfacing with both donors and campus colleagues to advance philanthropy and student support. Desiree’s expertise in the areas of donor relations, gift management, fundraising development and special event planning are attributed to her “can-do” personality and willingness to continually learn and to take on new challenges. She is excited about the prospect of helping our Zonta club’s increase our effectiveness and impact on behalf of women and girls in the community and around the world.

Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley Increases Membership by 65% and Wins Add Your Voice Campaign

Zonta SCV  winner of 2023 Add Your Voice Campaign for membership recruitment

Zonta’s voice becomes stronger when we recruit great individuals to work with us to further the mission and vision of Zonta. 

Since 2020, the needs of women and girls have increased and the strides we have made for equality and opportunity are taking a step back in many places. Zontians are needed more than ever and we should not be shy about asking individuals to join our community and speak out for our causes.

Over the past year, the Zonta Club of Santa Clarita Valley has welcomed an astounding 26 new members, which resulted in a 65% increase in our membership!  These new members form a diverse group of powerful women ready to make inroads into the global issues of women’s inequality with a specific focus on community issues such as: violence against women, educational opportunities for women and girls, addressing the existence of occupational glass ceilings for women, and much more.

In addition, we have been recently notified that our efforts in April and May have resulted in our win in the Add Your Voice Campaign as a Tier 1 club.  We are so proud to welcome these new members to our storied club!

All of these accomplishments would not have been possible without the passion, dedication and #ZontaSpirit of Membership Chair Lois Bauccio, and the membership committee.  President Nicole Miller said that Lois has a particular talent of identifying new leaders in our community who will bring a fresh face to our proud legacy and help us make the world a better place for women and girls.

We have excitement and energy building around the year ahead, and as we celebrate our Club’s 50th anniversary, we look forward to continuing to make a lasting impact in our community!