New Roles in the Santa Clarita Valley – Feb/Mar 2018

by | Jan 22, 2018 | New Roles

 Neal Thurman
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Join us in congratulating Neal Thurman as the new appointed President of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor. For 22 years he has served the Six Flags team. The last position he held was as President of Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ. Previous to that, for seven years, Thurman has served as Director of Operations. “I am very excited about rejoining one of the leading theme park properties in the world,” said Thurman. “Having worked at Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor previously, I look forward to ‘coming home’ and contributing to the park’s exciting future” says Thurman.

Dr. Dianne Van Hook
Chamber Board Member
Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Dianne Van Hook, Chancellor of College of the Canyons, will join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce as a new board member. For the past several years Dr. Van Hook has been an instrumental role in advancing higher education in our community. Her many years of working in the education sector as a teacher and executive will be an excellent addition to launch, “The Chamber Institute”. This new development is to create an executive-level think tank focused on business issues in the SCV. Additionally, it will manage the newly re-designed Leadership SCV, “a leadership training program being designed in conjunction with College of the Canyons” defined by current Chairman of the Board, John Musella.

Troy Hooper
Chairman of the Board
Chamber of Commerce
The Chamber of Commerce welcomes in the new Chairman of the Board taking the helm from current Chairman John Musella. For several years, Hooper has been the General Manager for the Tournament Players Club Valencia. His excellent leadership skills and welcoming personality will make a great addition to the Chamber’s Executive board. “It’s an exciting time to be involved in the Chamber. We’re not only the voice of business in the Santa Clarita Valley, but we’re the heart of networking and information vital for businesses to succeed,” Hooper stated in an interview.

Steve Sturgeon
William S. Hart Union High School District
The William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board held its annual reorganizational meeting Wednesday night, naming Steve Sturgeon as Board President. It will be Sturgeon’s fourth time serving the Board in that capacity. As a longtime resident, Sturgeon has served on serval committees and school boards. He has been an instrumental force in the betterment of his community education outlets and has received many awards, including being named SCV Man of the Year in 2013.   “We have seen tremendous growth in all of our numbers, the numbers of students and families whom we serve; the improvement in test scores and our overall ranking compared to County, State and Federal educational measures,” Sturgeon stated in an interview with the local radio station.

Jan Hayes-Rennels
Director of Special Programs
and Staff Development.
William S. Hart Union High School District
Ms. Hayes-Rennels has been the Principal of Placerita Junior High School for the past six years. Before that she was an Assistant Principal at Canyon High School for six years and a science teacher for ten years. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from UC-Irvine, teaching credential from UCLA and Master’s Degree from the University of La Verne. “I am very excited to continue the great work we are doing as a district for all our students,” Hayes-Rennels said. “In education, we are in the life-changing business. There is no better work than empowering others, giving them the tools, support, and guidance to grow and succeed in immeasurable ways.”

Dr. Collyn Nielsen
Chief Administrative Officer
William S. Hart Union High School District
Dr. Collyn Nielsen has been appointed as the Chief Administrative Officer for The William S. Hart Union High School District. For the past 11 years Dr. Nielsen has served as the Principal for Hart High School. Prior to this he was an Assistant Principal at two local high schools: Hart and Saugus for almost a decade. Prior to that he was an English teacher circa 1992. Dr. Nielsen obtained his Ph.D. from UCLA in Educational Leadership and received his Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Northridge. This new position will consist of maintenance and operations, facilities and emergency preparedness. With this new position, he will also become a member of the Superintendent’s Cabinet.

If you or someone you know has a new role in life please let us know we would love to feature them just email Arnold Bryant at