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Wendy Harder, MBA, APRDirector of Community Relations
Wendy Wetzel Harder was appointed as the first Director of Community Relations for Soka University of America’s Aliso Viejo campus in January 1998. Harder came to Soka University of America from 14 years with Mission Viejo Company, where she most recently served as vice president for marketing and corporate affairs. Prior to joining Mission Viejo Company, Harder was an anchor/producer and reporter with KOCE-TV (PBS) for six years.
Harder holds an MBA from Pepperdine University, a BA (summa cum laude) in Communications from the University of Southern California, and an AA with honors from Palomar College. Harder is also Accredited in Public Relations (APR) with the Public Relations Society of America. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Alpha Gamma Sigma honor societies and was a member of the USC Debate Team and Outstanding Individual Events Speaker on the team. She was also Outstanding Speaker at Nationals for two consecutive years and State Champion in Debate while attending Palomar.
Harder has received two shared Emmy awards from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (one for Best News Cast and one for Documentary), the Radio & TV News Association’s Golden Mike Award, the Protos for Special Events from the Public Relations Society of America, and the Best Press Release award from the Orange County Press Club.
Harder serves on the Board of Directors of the Aliso Viejo Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), the Anaheim Orange County Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce and South Orange County Chambers of Commerce. She was founding president of the Aliso Viejo Community Foundation and formerly served on the Boards for the Vocational Visions Foundation, Laguna Niguel Chamber of Commerce, Saddleback College Foundation and Dunaj International Dance Ensemble. She also served on the Board of the Mount of Olives Church Foundation and was an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 1602 in Mission Viejo.
Harder resides in Mission Viejo with her son, Jonathan, and two Jack Russells - Pirate and Bandida.