Hard Work, Integrity & Generosity: A Marlee Lauffer Story!
Growing up in a family that believed in hard work, integrity and generosity, Marlee Lauffer learned to always do her best while being mindful of ways to make an impact in the community around her.
“I like to give to make a difference,” she said.
She moved to Santa Clarita in 1989 and worked for Newhall Land, the developer of Valencia, as Director of Community Relations with responsibility for public and media relations. She was promoted to Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Newhall Land, earning her reputation as a strong business leader and executive of community infrastructure. Her time there was greatly geared towards community involvement, in which she sought out her passion for healthcare by serving Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on its Foundation Board and the hospital’s Board of Directors. Part of Marlee’s early endeavors included raising money for the start-up of the Sheila R. Veloz Breast Imaging Center. This fell near and dear to her heart as her mother was a breast cancer survivor.
Currently, Marlee is the Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Foundation President as well as the hospital’s Vice President of Marketing and Communications. Her duties include supporting a very active Foundation Board, working with current and prospective donors and coordinating a variety of fundraising and educational events. Overseeing the marketing and communications aspect of the hospital entails the community benefit programs and brand promotion that better inform the community of local happenings. Marlee also works with the Hospital’s strong volunteer program.
“I have great passion for this community,” Marlee said. “And I am fortunate to be part of a great team equally passionate about the work we do on behalf of the hospital.”
She enjoys how her work emphasizes two-way communication—getting information out to the public as well as hearing back from the community, whether that be suggestions for improvement or words of appreciation and gratitude.
The most rewarding part of what she does is seeing the difference the hospital makes in people’s lives. She says it’s been amazing to see the generosity of people over the years to help the not for profit hospital expand.
Marlee feels enhancing the quality of life locally has always been an important part of her career, both at Newhall Land and Henry Mayo. For her, the hospital is critical to the success of the community since “there is only one hospital that everybody is going to use.”
Among her other roles in SCV, Marlee has served as Chair of the SCVChamber of Commerce. She is active in many local non-profit organizations such as Assistance League, Soroptimist International, and the WISH Education Foundation. She has been on the city’s initial Arts Commission and continues to be a longtime personal supporter of the hospital.
Marlee is also a founding member of the Bank of Santa Clarita, a thriving community bank, in which she remains a Director on its Board.
Honored this year by State Senator Scott Wilk, she was his choice for 21st District’s Woman of the Year. “It was awesome to be awarded,” she said, “It was truly a humbling experience.”
She had previously been named Ultimate Female Community Leader by élite Magazine in 2015; Woman of the Year by the California State Senate in 2008; Visionary Business Leader of the Year by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2006; and Betty Ferguson Foundation Woman of the Year in 2003.
What inspires Marlee every day is her 20-year-old daughter, Katharine. Her professional goals for the future include finishing the capital campaign for the exciting New Patient Tower, a campaign that is more than a third of the way complete. She also would like to see the hospital develop more programs and expand its existing service lines . “There’s a lot to be done,” she said, “I’m just getting started! It’s both challenging and enjoyable to come to work every day”.
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