CSUN’s impact and influence in the San Fernando Valley was highlighted this month with its heavy representation on the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s “The Valley 200” list, an annual look at the 200 individuals considered to be the most influential in the Valley area. The list features 42 Matadors including university administrators, alumni, staff, supporters and parents of students.
Two university leaders — President Dianne F. Harrison and CSUN David Nazarian College of Business and Economics Executive-in-Residence Wendy Greuel — were additionally recognized as “Icons of Influence,” a special designation reserved for individuals deemed among the top 20 most influential in the Valley. Icons of Influence are “the standouts among the standouts, the most influential of the most influential,” wrote Charles Crumpley, San Fernando Valley Business Journal (SFVBJ) editor and publisher.
Harrison’s accomplishments include fostering relationships with community organizations and employers to create partnerships that elevate both CSUN students and the regional economy. The magazine also cited her decision to postpone the planned end of her CSUN tenure to provide steady leadership during the pandemic.
“I’m honored to be included on the list of the Valley’s most influential, a list which illustrates our university’s positive impact by its inclusion of so many alumni, supporters, parents, staff and administrators,” Harrison said. “CSUN has long had a transformative impact on the lives of individuals and families in the community, and that effect will only grow in the years to come. This year has revealed new challenges and magnified existing challenges for all of us that must be addressed in the coming years, both in the San Fernando Valley and beyond. The diversity of talents and backgrounds of CSUN students make them ideally suited to help come up with solutions, and their well-rounded educations prepare them to do just that.”
The Valley 200 aimed to identify individuals involved in organizations “that strive to make our community a better place,” Crumpley wrote. Individuals with direct connection to CSUN made up nearly one-fourth of the list. That includes alumni business owners and executives in a wide range of fields including finance, health care, politics and real estate.
The university is also represented on the Valley 200 list by CSUN Nazarian College Dean Chandra Subramaniam. The SFVBJ noted CSUN’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program in the Nazarian College, which each year helps thousands of low-income taxpayers realize millions of dollars in tax refunds and credits.
“It is an honor and privilege to be listed in the Valley 200 alongside great leaders and influencers, many of whom are colleagues, friends and Nazarian College alumni,” Subramaniam said. “This is proof positive of the impact we are making in our community and speaks to the quality of our programs given that our alumni are well-represented at the upper echelons of business and industry.”
CSUN’s reach within the community is further illustrated by the number of individuals listed who have supported the university through donations, have served on university advisory boards, or who work for organizations that have partnered with CSUN on initiatives — by that count, CSUN touches more than half the list.
CSUN was also well-represented among the magazine’s list of the 20 “most influential of the most influential.” The “icons” include Bill Allen Hon.D. ’14, CEO of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation; David S. Honda, president of D.S. Honda Construction and longtime co-chair of CSUN’s Construction Management Program; Brad Rosenheim ’81 (Political Science), founder and chief executive of Rosenheim & Associates, a Woodland Hills land-use entitlement consultancy; and Greuel, who has served as executive-in-residence at the CSUN Nazarian College since 2016.
Greuel has a long history of public service, including her 2002 election to the Los Angeles City Council, where she represented the Second District in the northeast San Fernando Valley until her election as city controller in 2009. Prior to that, she spent 10 years on the staff of then-Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley and served in President Bill Clinton’s administration as Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Field Operations Officer for Southern California. The SFVBJ noted that she was instrumental in opening Discovery Cube Los Angeles and that she serves as the vice chair of its board; she also serves on the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the California Film Commission.
“As a true ‘Valley Girl’ born and raised in Granada Hills, it was gratifying to receive this recognition and especially in the area of education,” Greuel said. “Cal State Northridge is one of the crown jewels of the San Fernando Valley and I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to assist in the growth of the Nazarian College and to play a small role in ensuring both its robust future and that of the wonderful students who walk through its doors, or these days, Zoom through them!”