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VIA to host SCV’s largest B2B show

Former state Sen. George Runner to speak at VIA’s reception

Posted: May 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 6, 2011 1:55 a.m.

The Valley Industry Association’s 2011 Regional Conference and Industry Show scheduled for 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Thursday blends Santa Clarita’s largest business-to-business industry exhibitor show with keynote speakers and panel discussions on topics relevant to many in today’s business community.

The show is designed to answer two questions. First, how do businesses find local products and services that will save them time and money; And second, how do businesses that provide products and services get in front of companies looking for local suppliers?

While industry business leaders can buy an all-inclusive package for $125 — which includes an opening night reception, speakers, panels, meals and the exhibitor show itself — all exhibits are open to the general public for $10.

“We understand that business people are extremely busy, and time spent away from their core business must have tangible value — both short- and long-term,” said Kathy Norris, VIA CEO and president. “That’s why we have evolved the show into a hybrid conference/show format to maximize the benefit attendees receive from participating.”

Former state Sen. George Runner, R-Antelope Valley, who is currently member of the California Board of Equalization, is speaking at VIA’s Reception event on Wednesday. The reception runs from 5:30-8 p.m.

The reception kicks off its annual business-to-business industry show. Food, drink and entertainment serves as the backdrop for industry business leaders to mingle. Anyone is welcome to attend the reception. Admittance fee is $35.

Industry show
The B2B industry show runs from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m Thursday.

The general exhibitor and speaker conference begins Thursday with a breakfast keynote address by Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. He will address California’s current investment climate. An outspoken advocate for California businesses, Stewart is known for his “tell it like it is” style regarding Sacramento politics.

“We’ve lost far too many middle-class jobs due to high, unpredictable operating costs,” Stewart said. “Reducing high levels of unemployment and finding long-term solutions to California’s budget crisis requires a healthy and robust private-sector economy.”

Following the breakfast, attendees will have the opportunity to attend two of six panel discussions. Each session will be led by industry experts covering the topics of biotechnology and medicine, business development, regulatory reform, defense and aerospace, green issues and film and entertainment.

Some of the many panelists include: Deanna Harshbarger, director of product marketing; Deep Brain Stimulation, of Boston Scientific; John Hoskinson, president and CEO of Gruber Systems Inc.; John Del Frate, director of advanced planning and partnerships of NASA; and Alberto Sandoval, state and local government operations with The Boeing Company.

Jim Kelly, senior vice president with Southern California Edison’s transmission and distribution business unit, is the keynote speaker for the luncheon address. Kelly is speaking on the sweeping changes anticipated in the energy sector that not only affect Southern California Edison, but many California companies.

“If you’ve been watching television, reading newspapers or listening to the radio, you’ve probably heard or read about a new phrase: ‘The Smart Grid,’” Kelly said.

Kelly will explain smart grids, and how businesses can prepare their gameplans for the next decade.

Throughout the conference, some 60 businesses are exhibiting their services and products, allowing companies to connect in a business-to-business environment.

“We’re looking to connect those who have needs together with those who can meet those needs,” said Gary Buterbaugh, owner of High Impact Event Resources.

Last year, more than 2,000 business leaders, owners, executive management, purchasing agents, human resource managers, government personnel, consultants, suppliers, decision makers and other business professionals attended the event, Norris said.

“VIA’s B2B show was a great opportunity to meet with our existing customers and showcase our human capital recruiting solutions to hundreds of potential new customers,” said Aaron Reynolds of Aerotek.

“Along with learning how to do business with the federal government at Naval Sea Systems Command, and Jack Stewart’s presentation on the state of manufacturing in California, this was a tremendous success for us.”

Title sponsors for VIA’s Industry Show are title sponsor Southern California Edison, and the city of Santa Clarita, Bayless Engineering and Manufacturing, Klassen Corp., Crissman Commercial, Burrtec Waste Industries, Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal, The Signal, San Fernando Valley Business Journal, Six Flags Magic Mountain, MD Commercial Cleaning, SOS Entertainment and Point of View Communications.

Both the reception and B2B industry show are at the Valencia Gateway Promenade center located at 28656 The Old Road in Valencia off the Newhall Ranch Road exit at Interstate 5 and Highway 126.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the VIA office at (661) 294-8088 or send an email to


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