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Chatsworth Woman Named Top Volunteer

November 02, 1996|ED BOND

Nancy Schmidt of Chatsworth on Friday became the second woman to be named winner of the annual Fernando Award, meant to honor the person who best represents the spirit of volunteerism in the San Fernando Valley.

Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan made the announcement to a roomful of dignitaries as Schmidt became the 38th person to win the annual award at a ceremony at the Warner Center Marriott hotel Friday night. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, acting in his new role as the county mayor, opened the envelope.

"I'm so overwhelmed and stunned I'm almost speechless, which is unusual for me," Schmidt said. "By no means will this be a topping off of my volunteering. I've been a volunteer all my life. I'll continue to volunteer."

The first woman to achieve the honor was Jane Boeckmann, who won in 1986.

Schmidt, a branch manager for American Pacific State Bank in Sherman Oaks, helped found the San Fernando Valley Charitable Foundation and has been involved with the Valley Leadership Institute, the North Hollywood Rotary Club and the San Fernando Valley Economic Alliance.

Since 1958, the award has recognized community service.

Five finalists, nominated by local chambers of commerce and previous winners, were named at a lunch in August at the Universal Sheraton Hotel. They were selected from a field of 18 nominees, which included pharmacists, medical researchers, store owners, business and community leaders and heads of charitable groups.

The other four finalists were:

* Philip A. "Flip" Smith, owner of Flip's Tire Center and founder and executive director of the Sepulveda/Van Nuys Blvd. Business Watch.

* Kenneth C. Banks Jr., a North Hollywood insurance broker who has been active in the Rotary Club, the East Valley YMCA, the Police Activity League and the NoHo Arts District.

* Walter Mosher, president of Precision Dynamics Corp. in Pacoima and past chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn.

* Benjamin Reznik, a Sherman Oaks planning-use lawyer who spearheaded the earthquake recovery task force of the Valley Industry and Commerce Assn. and is also a former chairman of VICA.

There is no cash prize for the award. The winner's name is inscribed on a statue in Van Nuys Civic Center Mall and on a 19-foot obelisk in Warner Park in Woodland Hills. The winner will also present a $1,000 scholarship to a high school student.

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