Photo by Gary Choppé
A Winning Partnership
By Katy Doyle
“I literally saw him across a crowded room,” Laurie Ender says of how she met her husband, Chris, at a launch party for Entertainment Tonight. He was a publicist for a public relations firm and she was a segment producer on the show. “Our first date was to a hockey game.”
Eighteen years later, the couple still loves sports and attends plenty of local games for their three sons, Jason, 16, Griffin, 14, and Davis, 10. Chris, who now is the Senior Vice President of Media Relations and Publicity for CBS, has done his fair share of coaching local youth sports as well, saying, “It’s exciting to follow the progression of the kids we have coached.” Laurie is equally enthusiastic about raising a family in Santa Clarita and interacting with so many other families. “We feel blessed to have these great relationships. You put down roots and they take hold.”
Laurie’s commitment to families and kids motivated her to run for the city council position left vacant by Cameron Smyth when he moved on to the state Assembly. “I felt it was the right time for me to do it,” Laurie says. Her sons really enjoyed the campaign, holding “Vote for my Mom!” signs at busy intersections on Election Day. Of all the candidates, she got the most votes.
In her position, Laurie hopes to strengthen what the city does best: coordinating its partnerships with other agencies and non-profits for the greater good of the community. She’d like to get more people involved in leadership positions, to get the next generation on board in order to ensure that Santa Clarita remains such a wonderful place to live and work. She’s already appointed two newcomers to City commissions.
And how do the Enders make their busy lives work? “We’re great jugglers,” Chris says. “And we always have been,” Laurie echoes. With the support of her family, Laurie is thrilled to have an opportunity to make a difference in the SCV. She recently visited an elementary school, telling the students that, as an elected official, she works for them. She asked them what Santa Clarita needs. Several students said more sheriffs or firemen, but one took a different approach: “We need a beach!” And Laurie replied, “I’ll see what I can do.”