Street renowned for philanthropist, community leader Cheri Fleming of Santa Clarita
Auto Center Drive in Valencia has been renamed Cheri Fleming Auto Center Drive in memory of the late Valencia Acura co-owner in Santa Clarita.
The city of Santa Clarita revealed a new name for Auto Center Drive in Valencia in memory of businesswoman, philanthropist and community leader Cheryl Anne “Cheri” Fleming during a ceremony Tuesday morning.
“Cheri Fleming was a monumental member of the Santa Clarita community,” said Laurene Weste, Mayor of the City of Santa Clarita. “She dedicated her life to helping others and giving back, and she always did so with a bright and beautiful smile. She had a kind, compassionate, and energetic spirit that captured the attention of all who had the nice to meet her.
Fleming, 69, died in November 2020 from complications from a brain aneurysm.
Auto Center Drive has now been renamed Cheri Fleming Auto Center Drive in her honor.
Many well-known figures from the Santa Clarita community attended the street dedication ceremony, including Congressman Mike Garcia, Congresswoman Suzette Valladares, and members of the Santa Clarita City Council.
See related: Community leader in remembrance, philanthropist Cheri Fleming
“I love the Fleming family,” Garcia said. “I love Cheri. She was a matriarch of our valley and all that Santa Clarita stood for. It’s a utopia we live in and it doesn’t become that way by chance. It becomes that way because of leaders like Cheri.
Twenty-five years ago, Fleming and her husband Don Fleming purchased the Valencia Acura dealership. They were recognized for revitalizing the dealership and received awards for their business operations.
Cheri was named “Dealer of the Year” by Newsweek Magazine and the American International Automobile Dealer Association in 2006 based on Valencia Acura’s business practices and community involvement. At the time of his death, Fleming served on the board of the Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers Association.
For more than twenty years, Fleming has been a contributor to Soroptimist International, a non-profit organization that campaigns for gender equality.
Fleming eventually became a member of the organization’s board of directors and assumed the role of president of the US branch of Soroptimists International shortly thereafter.
Valladares explained how, despite his accomplishments and powerful presence, Flemming was approachable and welcoming.
“It’s really inspiring for young women in politics and business, because it’s not always easy,” Valladares said. “And when you have examples like Cheri Fleming who are leaders in our community, who are mentors to our women and girls in our community, we’re in good hands.”
At Tuesday’s ceremony, Fleming’s accolades were also mentioned. She was named Woman of the Year by Santa Clarita in 2004.
Six years later, she was recognized as Woman of the Year by the Fifth Supervisory District and the Los Angeles County Women’s Commission.
In 2006, Fleming was the first woman to win Dealer of the Year awards from the American International Automobile Dealers Association and Newsweek.
“She led with the golden rule: treat others as you wish to be treated,” Weste said. “The business success and philanthropic accolades she accrued throughout her life are the result of her example of the Golden Rule.”
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