In spite of his local-sounding name, Tony Newhall is not a native of the Santa Clarita Valley. He grew up in Berkeley, attended Stanford University, then spent two years in the Peace Corps in Peru (1964-66). He returned to the Stanford Business School, but dropped out in 1968 and moved to Newhall to help his family with the fledging Newhall Signal newspaper. Working alongside his father, Scott Newhall, and with his twin brother Jon, who was then editor, Tony started as circulation manager. He was named general manager later that year, and then publisher in 1977.
When he first arrived in Newhall in 1968, Tony joined the Board of Directors of the Newhall Boys’ Club (now SCV Boys & Girls Club). In 1972, placed in charge of fundraising and growing tired of luaus, he initiated the Boys Club Auction and chaired it for first two years, and continued chairing the live auction for the next 10 years. In both 1972 and 1980, he was named Boys & Girls Club Director of the Year, and he served as president of the Board in 1980. During the ’70s and ’80s he served on the board of the H.M. Newhall Memorial Health Foundation, on the board of United Way annual campaigns, the board of the SCV Historical Society, and was on the founding Board of the Friends of Hart Park.
In 1975, in an effort to improve his social skills, he took dance classes at Reena’s Dance Studio in Saugus. The class teacher was Reena. They were married seven years later in 1982. Tony has three stepchildren, Eric, Beth and Jana, and a daughter Lindsey who was born in 1983, and is now working in China.
In 1985, Tony was honored as the Santa Clarita Valley Man of the Year, an honor that totally shocked him.
During the ’80s, he served on the Board of the statewide California Newspaper Publishers Association, and was elected its president in 1986. In the late ‘80s, he served on the board of the SCV Historical Society, worked again with the Boys & Girls Club Auction. He left The Signal that year and moved to San Francisco and where he worked for 10 years as Associate Publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle. He also served as an officer of the statewide California Press Association, 1989-96.
Tony moved back to the Santa Clarita Valley in 1999, and has been working financial manager of the Cinema Park center and for A Chorus Line, his wife’s dancewear and costume business. He and Reena taught “The Hustle” to the performers at the 2005 Boys & Girls Club “Disco Fever” Auction.
Tony is still surprised by being chosen SCV Man of the Year 20 years ago. “This came as a pleasant shock,” he said. “I’ve always loved doing volunteer work in this community. It’s challenging and rewarding. Volunteer work has been the center of all social and creative activity in this valley, and for me it’s created lifelong friendships.”