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A Close-up Look At People Who Matter : 2 Pillars of the Castaic Community


Samuel Ara Azhderian Jr. and Phyllis Dozier have been named Man and Woman of the Year by the Castaic Chamber of Commerce.

Azhderian, president of the Castaic Area Town Council, was cited for organizing food and water distribution after the Northridge earthquake. The 72-year-old realtor and horseman has lived in the Castaic area for 32 years.

"He's been a leader and staunch supporter of the Castaic and surrounding area for years," said Dalton Celauis, president of the chamber.

Phyllis Dozier, a member of Friends of Castaic Lake and Castaic Area Pride Committee, has organized fishing events for local youth and works in the area's anti-graffiti program, Celauis said.

Dozier, 41, moved to Castaic from Van Nuys five years ago.

"We got tired of the graffiti and the crime. We found our small town here in Castaic," she said, adding that they immediately got involved in the community. "This is such a beautiful little town and we didn't want to see what happened in the San Fernando Valley happen here."

Dozier also heads the Public Safety Commission for the Castaic Town Council and teaches preschool part time in Valencia.

Jean Kostoff was named Outstanding Senior Volunteer by the Burbank City Council March 8. Kostoff has volunteered at the Joslyn Adult Center in Burbank for five years, working as a receptionist and organizing the center's bingo games.

"Jean is a volunteer who is always there when you need her," said Gale Migden, the city's recreation program coordinator. "She's very uplifting."

Kathy Edell, owner of Edell Business Services, has been named the 1993 Entrepreneur of the Year by the Women's Referral Service. The award honors local businesswomen and men for their commitment to supporting women in the Southern California business community.

Edell's Encino business provides financial, administrative and training services to small and mid-sized businesses in Los Angeles County. Edell is also president of the Mid-Valley chapter of the Women's Referral Service, which meets monthly in Encino.

Stuart M. Solomon, president and founder of Transcon Property Services Inc. in Encino, has been named recipient of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn.'s 1993 Harmon Ballin Community Award. The award, created in 1991 in memory of Ballin, a former VICA officer, civic leader and philanthropist, recognizes VICA members who have served individuals and the community within the San Fernando Valley.

Solomon serves on the board of directors of numerous organizations, including Valley Presbyterian Hospital; the United Way, North Angeles region, and the Jewish Federation Council, San Fernando Valley region.

Jean and David W. Fleming have been named Valley Philanthropists of the Year by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives, Greater San Fernando Valley chapter.

In September, 1992, the couple donated $1 million to Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, where David Fleming served as chairman of the board of directors. Fleming, who is also an attorney with Latham & Watkins, was the recipient of the Fernando Award for community service in 1991.

Former test pilot Robert L. Riedenauer has been appointed executive director of the Flight Test Historical Foundation in Lancaster. Riedenauer retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel in 1978. He had been chief of the SR-71 flight test programs and flew test programs at Edwards Air Force Base. Riedenauer, who lives in Palmdale, later worked for Lockheed Advanced Development Co. as engineering test pilot and operations manager.

Personal Best is a weekly profile of an ordinary person who does extraordinary things. Please address prospective candidates to Personal Best, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Or fax (818-772-3338).

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