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2018 Woman of the Year Nominees

        Julie Benson
        Retired, Princess Cruises
        Nominated by Carousel Ranch

        Carousel Ranch (11 years)
        • Board member
        • Communications committee
        • Ready to Work vocational training program
        • Liaison with Princess Cruises as Presenting Sponsor, Heart of the West
        Organizational Impact: Julie Benson has been a friend of Carousel Ranch for over 11 years.  Since Princess
        Cruises became a Presenting Sponsor for Carousel Ranch’s Heart of the West event in 2007, Julie’s dedication
        and partnership to the event has resulted in $160,000 in donations that year and has been a key factor in raising
        over $2.5 million through the event since then. Her commitment to other charities includes Michael Hoefflin
        Foundation, SCV Boys and Girls Club, SCV Chamber of Commerce and Repertory East Theatre. Since her
        retirement in 2015, Julie has become more and more involved in the program, joining the board and working on
        a number of projects within Carousel’s communications committee.  Her efforts in this area have helped them
        to create a new website, and she is currently working to create all new marketing materials for the program as
        a whole. In addition, Julie has become involved in our Ready to Work, vocational training program where she
        has taken an interest in mentoring one of our students in his quest to go into hospitality. Because of Julie and her
        support, Heart of the West has grown into one of the largest nonprofit organizations in the Santa Clarita Valley –
        helping Carousel Ranch to grow into what it is today.
        Biography: Julie Benson worked with Princess Cruises for almost 30 years. Her career included orchestrating
        23 ship inaugurals, featuring royalty, celebrities, a president, and a prime minister. In her role as vice president
        of Public Relations, Benson has led the line’s public and media relations initiatives, community efforts, crisis re-
        sponse and social media strategy. She led the company’s community relations activities, and has been involved
        in fundraising efforts for a wide range of non-profits in the SCV.  Julie currently sits on the boards of the Carou-
        sel Ranch and Michael Hoefflin Foundation, and has served on others including SCV Boys & Girls Club, SCV
        Chamber of Commerce and Repertory East Theatre. Benson took her first job in the cruise industry in 1983
        with Sitmar Cruises, which later merged with Princess Cruises. Prior to that, Benson had worked for some Los
        Angeles public relations firms. Julie was born in the San Fernando Valley, and moved with her parents to Valen-
        cia in 1970, and is a graduate of Hart High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism from
        California State University, San Diego. Benson met her husband of 22 years, Bruce Krumrine, while working
        at Princess. He is the vice-president of shore operations. The couple has two sons, ages 25 and 20. The family
        moved to Santa Clarita in 1998 after Princess moved its corporate headquarters to Valencia.  As for future plans
        outside of volunteering, Julie’s long-range plans include traveling the world with Bruce, and pursuing shared
        interests in honing culinary arts skills, gardening and design.

        Ann-Marie Bjorkman
        Co-Owner, HomeSmart Real Estate
        Nominated by The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley
        Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley (4 years)
        • Chairman of Annual Auction
        • Board president
        • Executive committee for Festival of Trees
        Legacy Christian Academy
        • Organizer of Auction Gala
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