Meet the CEO/President of the Valley Industrial Association: Kathy Norris
Supporting business in the Santa Clarita Valley for more than 40 years, the Valley Industry Association is a business-to-business organization working hard to support the growth and success of their member companies. And they feel the best is yet to come! VIA continues to forge partnerships with leading area business organizations and are proud to offer quick responses to the needs of their membership. Firmly invested in the vitality of the Santa Clarita Valley, VIA carries a special philosophy: To move quickly in identifying and satisfying member needs. VIA works for you!
At the helm of this organization, sits a woman whose tenacity for helping the busines community has been a part of her core being since 1995.
Kathy Norris moved to the Santa Clarita Valley with her family when she was a young girl. “I have been here since I was 12 years old. We moved from Michigan to the Santa Clarita Valley when my dad was transferred from Detroit to Los Angeles,” Kathy shared. After graduating from Hart High School she went on to pursue higher education. “I went to College of the Canyons for a year and then transferred to the University of Colorado where I majored in English,” commented Kathy. Taking a semester off, Kathy began working and found a job she truly enjoyed. “I came back to the Santa Clarita Valley wanting to take a semester off and found a job in a Title Insurance Company that I truly enjoyed so I stayed in that industry for the next 13 years,” she shared.
As a title officer and second trust deed manager Kathy quickly gained success in her industry. “It was busy and interest rates were great during those years and so many people were using our service. It was a good time for me,” Kathy added. Later on, Kathy sought a change in employment because she was a new mother and had two small children at home. “The 80-hour work weeks became a challenge because I had two very young daughters at home, (later joined by a son) so I had to make a change,” Kathy added. Soon after she would find her way to her true calling in helping others in business to gain success in the Santa Clarita Valley. “I was not quite sure what direction I wanted to go but was referred for an open position with VIA. I thought I would interview and try it out for a while if I was hired. 25 years later, I know it was one of the best decisions I could have made,” Kathy shared.
After an intense interview process Kathy would find this new position was just the right fit. “I was interviewed by VIA’s full Executive Board including Connie Worden-Roberts. Connie was an amazing woman. She became my mentor and a dear friend and taught me so much” Kathy fondly stated. In her new role, Kathy played a part in the long history of connecting businesses in both service and manufacturing industries.
In recent times, Kathy and the team at VIA have been navigating the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic by adapting a lot of their practices to online. “We have successfully completed our year with virtual programs. Normally we have 10-15 programs per year, but in 2020 we did 28!,” Kathy mentioned. She added, “we were fortunate enough to have fantastic speakers and presentations on topics that our members really found useful, but we look forward to having everyone back with us in-person as soon as we can.” Going forward VIA has planned the 2021 year in two segments. “We believe that the first six months will be much like 2020 and in a virtual environment but later in the year, we are hoping to return to doing more in-person events. VIA celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year and we’d love to have a big celebration with our members and the community,” Kathy shared.
photo by Schlickart Studios
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