In 1975, as a 12-year-old member of The Golddiggers drill team, Veronica Flores first watched a Santa Clara Vanguard performance and immediately fell in love with the color guard. At that moment, becoming a part of the Vanguard was something she could never imagine. As fate would have it, SCV alumni Robert Garrett, and later Lani Avilla, instructors for The Golddiggers and the Rebel Cadets, respectively, led her closer to her dream of marching with the Vanguard. While marching in the Rebel Cadets winterguard, Christine Magee, SCV member and 1978 DCI Champion, began encouraging her to audition for the SCV 1980 season. As anticipated, she made the cut. Veronica marched in the color guard from 1980 until she aged-out in 1984 receiving the prestigious “Golden Foot Award”, awarded by the A-Corps instructional staff for excellence in marching.
The Corps had made such a great impact in her life, she wanted to stay involved but mindful of the one-year hiatus required of anyone leaving the Corps, Veronica had to wait until 1986 before she could become a Vanguard volunteer. Never one to shy away from hard work and a good challenge, she volunteered on the food truck, Ms. Amana. For most members, the food truck was not only the place to pick up meals, it was where members came to get a sense of home. If members were feeling ill, homesick, or needed a hug, Ms. Amana was the ‘Hub’ on tour. For Veronica, seeing the members daily brought so much joy to the often difficult and physically demanding job of cooking. And, what member Stacy Franqui recalls is “… for the marching members one of the highlights of those crazy-long rehearsal days was meal time. SCV is undoubtedly known for their amazing meals that are made lovingly on the food truck, Ms. Amana; but by far the best part of receiving those meals, was the kind smile that served them. For me, that kind smile was always Veronica’s.” Veronica eventually assumed the lead position which included the additional responsibilities of creating daily menus and schedules, shopping for groceries, food preparation, maintaining a positive working environment and overseeing volunteers. Veronica continued in this position until 1991, and again in 1996-1997.
Because Veronica wanted to continue to support the corps members, especially during the competitive tour season, she followed Gail Royer’s path and chose a career that allowed her to be available during the summers. In 1989, Veronica began working in the East Side Union High School District at James Lick High School in San Jose, CA, as a counselor, and later as Student Activities Director, until she retired in June of 2023.
In her nomination application, Annette Navarro wrote that the most significant example of how Veronica elevated and affirmed the status of the organization were the 18 summers she assumed the role of merchandise tour manager. “She not only performed her managerial duties but enthusiastically became the Brand Ambassador by default. She intuitively saw how her role as tour merchandise manager could impact the organization positively. On tour, she tirelessly and passionately promoted SCV, Vanguard Cadets and the Winter Programs, and volunteer opportunities to future members, parents, fans and alums”. Hall of Fame member Bob Amaya had the pleasure of working merchandise with Veronica for over 10 years and commented that “We often had members from other corps inquire about the audition process for SCV/SCVC. I was impressed with how passionate she was when encouraging these young members who may have lacked the confidence to audition to not give up and to pursue their dream. Veronica developed a strong camaraderie with souvenir volunteers from other corps and was well liked and respected”. Veronica’s knowledge of Vanguard history and shows, including music, staff and alumni made her an asset to the organization.
In 1993, Veronica worked one year as the Tour Administrator (formerly known as a “Go To” position…go to the store, go to the hospital, go to the airport, etc.).
When Veronica scaled back on the long touring schedules, she became part of the sewing crew. She would be the first to admit she was not the best sewer, but her smile and spirit always made the crew laugh and have a great time. Veronica also stayed busy in Santa Clara with various volunteer projects including promotional mailings, uniform and flag inventory/maintenance, cooking, birthday dinners, New Year’s Eve Bingo, Ms. Amana & souvenir trailer cleanings, alumni BBQs, camp registrations, data entry, general office work, etc.
Over the past three plus decades, one of her strengths has been her ability to adapt to the changes within the organization. Until her last tour in 2019, Veronica was one of only a handful of volunteers to have worked under every A-Corps director and participated in some of the organization’s major transformations such as the change from a Booster Club (1986-2008) to Team SCV to Star Club (2009-2020).
In addition to her volunteer work, Veronica has also served in the following leadership positions: Alumni Steering Committee Officer (1996-2000), Booster Club (Team SCV) President (2010-2012) and Board of Directors (2002, 2013-2017). She is also the recipient of the 1996 Director’s Award and the SCV Volunteer of the Year Award in 2013.