News & Updates

Out and About with Jerry

I’m pleased to report that the Vets’ Community Connections is ready to accept volunteer applications. If you remember, Vets’ Community Connections is a community-based initiative that allows San Diegans to offer their professional expertise to veterans transitioning to civilian life. More than just saying, “thank you for your service,” VCC gives us the opportunity to truly give back to the veteran community in a meaningful way. To learn more, please take a moment to read about the program here.


Speaking at The Dress Code launch event

Another way to thank our veterans is by donating professional attire to The Dress Code. The Chamber team has recently partnered with this organization which supplies veteran women with the tools they need to successfully transition into the civilian workforce. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at The Dress Code’s kickoff event, and – I must say – I am greatly impressed with their level of commitment towards empowering veteran women. If you or someone you know have new or gently-used clothing or accessories that may be donated, please visit The Dress Code website to find drop-off locations in your area. (Hint: the Chamber office on Broadway is one of them.)


At CANACO’s annual national conference in Tijuana

Last week, I had the pleasure of visiting our sister organization in Tijuana, CANACO, for their annual national conference. CANACO does incredible work to promote a business-friendly environment in Mexico and I look forward to working together with this organization to enhance our binational region. Earlier this month, the Chamber also held its third International Tribute Awards Gala to honor the individuals who are making strides towards bridging the U.S. and Mexican economies together. For a recap and photos of the event, I invite you to visit our website.


At the International Tribute Awards Gala with award recipient, Congressman Juan Vargas

Coming up, we’re hosting our last morning mixer of the year this Wednesday at Office Depot. Space is limited to the first 150 people, so be sure to register today to reserve your spot. On November 12, our annual Legislative Lounge will bring San Diego’s elected and public officials together with our members for a night of networking and fun at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego. And, finally – our much-anticipated Holiday Reception is December 9 at the Hotel Del Coronado. Be sure to bring an unwrapped, new toy or two, as Toys for Tots will be accepting donations as well.

Until next time, have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween!

Jerry Sanders
President & CEO
San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Chamber Joins Vets’ Community Connections

vets communityThe San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce is proud to be a founder and leading partner in Vets’ Community Connections , a community-based initiative designed to involve a wide variety of people and businesses to help veterans transition into civilian life.

As one of three sites across the nation chosen for this pilot program, San Diego is already poised to continue its leadership in supporting veterans. A study funded by the Chamber recently found that what our veterans need now is assistance in connecting to their community. Our veterans are looking for the tools in their community to help them lead their life as a parent, neighbor, volunteer and professional.

VCC was established to be a clearinghouse for businesses, individuals and organizations of all kinds to step up to support veterans in whatever way is most appropriate. Businesses can offer discounts, special rates or prioritize hiring vets. Individuals can offer professional services, guidance, or even friendly suggestions about daily life, like where to sign up for your community’s little league.

VCC offers businesses and individuals a way to thank our veterans in a meaningful way that has a positive impact on the lives of veterans and their families.

How It Works:

Veterans, active duty, and spouses will call a central number or 2-1-1 and be linked with a “Vet Connector,” someone who can listen to his/her question and connect them with the appropriate community member via email or phone. These requests can include subjects such as:

  • I’m thinking of going into xxxx profession.
  • Can you help me learn about what it’s like, what skills are needed? Can you help me get training or a job in that field?
  • I’m considering going back to school in xxxx. Can you help me learn of what a degree in x can offer?
  • I want to know where to volunteer in my community.
  • Can you let me know what businesses provide a veteran, active duty discount as I have a large purchase coming up.
  • I’m looking for a (product)/(service) here in San Diego. Can you answer some questions I have to make sure this (product)/(service) meets my needs?

Your Role:

Answer a call or an email from a veteran/active duty/spouse when a match in your expertise comes in through the VCC program built through 2-1-1 San Diego.  That’s it.  Simple.  Works in your schedule and fits with your non-profit, government or business model.


There are two ways to apply:

  • As an individual offering advice/answer questions in your area of expertise
  • As a business or organization offering a discount or service to a veteran, active duty, or spouse.

VCC is made up of the community.  And the Community is YOU.  Visit to apply.

We at the Chamber are thrilled to be a part of this effort, and we know our members are ready to pledge their time, services or resources to joining as well. We strongly encourage all members to participate.

Announcing: A New Chamber Website

NewWebsiteOver the past year, the Chamber team has been hard at work building a brand new website with an incredible user experience. No matter what device you are using, our redesigned and responsive interface ensures members and new users can access the content they want in the easiest way possible. Hundreds of new features have been added to the website, but we’ve listed just a few below that we thought you’d be most excited about:


Membership Directory

The feature you all have been waiting for! Not only does our membership directory contain a complete, searchable list of members with real-time accuracy, but we’ve also included a map where you can search for member-businesses in your area with the click of a mouse.

Searchable Event Calendar

Our new event calendar now includes a search function that allows users to find events based on a date, location or keyword. In addition to search functionality, event “tags” also allow users to sort our calendar based on the type of event, such as Networking, Professional Development, International and more.

Need to spread the word about an event? No problem! Our new community event form allows users to share their events directly to our website.*

News & Stories

Our News & Stories page hosts the Chamber’s most dynamic content including Chamber announcements, policy alerts, event highlights, grand openings, and much more! Members can also share their stories directly on our website by submitting content through our member news form.*


Member Portal

The private member portal contains information on member benefits such as our Business Alliance Group program and professional development workshops. To access the member portal, all members must create a new login.


We hope you enjoy exploring our website and find the new features useful. To get started, click on our logo in the upper left-hand corner to go to the homepage. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to give us a call at (619) 544-1300 or email

Let’s go, San Diego!


*Submitted events and member news are subject to membership verification and Chamber approval.

One Region, One Voice: Mission to Washington DC

2015 Recap

DC1The Chamber led 150 elected officials and business leaders on the annual “One Region, One Voice, Mission to Washington D.C.” September 27 – 30, 2015. During the trip, the bi-national delegation met with members of the San Diego Congressional delegation, along with other Congressional leaders and key policy makers to discuss critical issues for the economy of the San Diego/Baja California mega-region: water, transportation, military/veterans, trade, healthcare, cross-border, and housing/homelessness. We were successful in advancing many of these issues and are continuing to follow up on action items to keep the momentum we created with those in Washington going. Some of the highlights from the trip include:

  • Transportation & Infrastructure: We received great information related to funding from the Department of Transportation on behalf of the SANDAG, and a date for the announcement of the TIGER grant program awardees. We also heard new information regarding a grant program for engineers and students to advance their careers in transportation during a panel at the White House.We initiated talks with CBP to plan a connection between the San Diego Trolley and a new light rail system in Tijuana/Tecate.
  • DC 2Veterans Affairs: Our team spoke with Senator John McCain regarding support for veterans’ services in our region, including Veterans Community Connections and zero8hundred. I’m happy to report that, as a result of our meeting, Senator McCain has assigned a staffer to specifically work on this regional issue.Separately, in the international trade track, we developed an outreach plan targeted to the veteran community as an effort to fill hundreds of vacancies at the Customs and Border Protection agency with San Diego’s veterans.
  • Water: Potable reuse is now a major focus for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is great news for San Diego as our City’s Pure Water Program continues to address the need for a locally-controlled, drought-proof water supply. Additionally, we heard great news from the EPA concerning future streamlined waivers for the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant.  We also heard from Senator Feinstein regarding her drought legislation and how the San Diego region can compete for funding.
  • Cross-Border: In a meeting held at the Wilson Center, representatives from organizations along the U.S. Mexico border, agreed to join the Chamber’s efforts in building a joint advocacy strategy for economic development in the border region.
  • DC 3During our meeting with Department of State, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Sue Saarnio we advocated for expanded use of the joint inspection facility at the future Otay II Port of Entry currently limited to agricultural products. Asst. Secretary Saarnio took immediate action and reached out to Mexican counterparts and partner agencies (DHS) to expand the pre-inspection to other goods.

Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to making this our greatest delegation trip yet! Be sure to sign up for our Policy Update newsletter and visit our Facebook for photos from the trip. And, finally – to get a delegate’s perspective – read Amanda Caniglia’s “Life on the Mesa” San Diego Magazine blog where she recaps her experience in Washington, D.C.


SDG&E Introduces New Pipeline Project

pipelineLast month, SDG&E proposed a new pipeline to increase the safety and reliability of our region’s energy supply. The Pipeline Safety & Reliability Project – consisting of a 47-mile natural gas pipeline extending from Riverside County to Miramar – was developed to address the energy needs of San Diego County’s growing population of 3.2 million people and is expected to bring 3,000 new local jobs.

Before it begins, the project must undergo a thorough review by multiple state and federal agencies. SDG&E seeks to collaborate with residents, businesses, and government agencies to gather input on the project. To get involved, call SDG&E at (844) 873-7417 or email

To learn more about the Pipeline Safety & Reliability Project, watch the video below:

Introducing the Veterans Honor Roll Program

2015 Flag BallThe Chamber has recently announced a new initiative, led by the Defense, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, to encourage the increased hiring of veterans and military spouses throughout the San Diego region. Chamber members with veteran employees may submit an application to be awarded as an Honor Roll Award recipient.


To be eligible for the award, Chamber members must:


SDRCC_HonorRoll_logo_v4 (002)Recipients of the Honor Roll will receive the following package:

  • Business highlight at Board of Director’s Meeting following designation
  • Decal to use in physical storefront and/or in web or promotional items
  • Social media highlight from the Chamber
  • Business logo featured on Chamber website (updated quarterly)
  • Notification to appropriate legislative/elected offices of constituent businesses Honor Roll designation
  • Joint letter of congratulations from Chamber President & CEO, Jerry Sanders and Defense, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee leadership
  • Press release and annual report language ready for modification and use


Businesses with an employee population comprised of at least 10 percent veterans are eligible to receive the following:

  • Recognition at the Flag, General & Senior Officers Ball
  • Eligibility for Small Business Award
  • Eligibility for Honor Roll Member of the Year Award- presented at the Flag Ball
  • Opportunity to be featured as a “Success Story” on Chamber website and other marketing materials
  • All other incentives included in the standard Honor Roll Award Package


Apply today!

Copa Vida Celebrates Grand Opening in East Village

Earlier this month, Copa Vida, East Village’s newest coffee shop, celebrated their grand opening. We look forward to meeting their award-winning baristas and learning more about their community cafe philosophy.

Stay connected with Copa Vida here:

Member Spotlight: San CPA

sancpa_clare_vazin_pic_for_chamber_adProviding individual and small business accounting and tax services, San CPA is a San Diego based CPA Firm. The owner, Clare S. Vazin, started the firm in 2015. Clare has extensive experience in the accounting industry and has worked in both private and public accounting. She is a California CPA (License #104906) and holds a bachelors degree in accounting and a master’s degree in taxation.

Through experience we have learned there is no one size fits all approach to assisting a client with their accounting and tax needs. We work to get to know the client’s needs and desired way of working with us. We provide training and support when there is a need to modify the client’s accounting process. All work can be done remotely or we can come to you.


Bookkeeping services can be tailored to fit your needs. From entering and reconciling all transactions to quarterly or annual reviews of your books, we can customize a process that works for your business.

We can help you understand the financial reports generated by your accounting software and setup customized reports as needed. Access to accurate and meaningful financial statements is an important part of running and growing your business.

Good reliable accounting records help you know where your business stands at a point in time, so you can make better business and tax decisions.

QuickBooks Consulting/Support/Training

QuickBooks is the most widely used accounting software for small business. We can help you decide which version of QuickBooks is right for you. We can help you with the setup and answer any questions you have as you get to know the software.

Tax Services/Tax Planning

We provide tax services for individuals, partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, S-corporations, C-corporations. We specialize in small business and real estate taxation.

sancpa_logo_for_chamber_adNobody likes tax surprises. We help our clients plan ahead for tax time. By taking a look at a client’s business and/or personal tax position prior to year-end, we can help our clients plan for what lies ahead.

We offer free initial consultations for SDRCC Members and $50 off first service billing.

Member Spotlight: Realty Income Corporation

realty-income-logo1Realty Income, The Monthly Dividend Company® (NYSE “O”), is an S&P 500 company dedicated to providing shareholders with dependable monthly income. The company is structured as a REIT, and its monthly dividends are supported by the cash flow from over 4,400 real estate properties owned under long-term, net lease agreements. The properties are leased to 235 regional and national commercial tenants operating across 47 different industries, located throughout 49 states and Puerto Rico (as of 6/30/15). To date, the company has declared 544 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 46-year operating history and increased the dividend 82 times since its public listing in 1994. The company has in-house acquisition, portfolio management, asset management, credit research, real estate research, legal, finance and accounting, information technology, and capital markets capabilities.


Fast Facts:

  • Founded in 1969 to provide investors with monthly dividends that increase over time
  • Listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994 (ticker symbol “O”)
  • Paid over $3.6 billion in dividends over its 46-year operating history
  • Dividends are supported by the lease revenue generated from its portfolio of over 4,400 real estate properties
  • Total Market Capitalization: $16.2 billion
  • Dividend Yield: 4.6% (as of 10/26/15)
  • Member of S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats® index
  • Member of the S&P 500 index
  • Headquartered in San Diego, CA


For more information, please see Realty Income’s Fact Sheet.
Additionally, for a more complete discussion of the company, please see the
2014 Annual Report on the company website.

Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase Plan
Realty Income offers a Dividend Reinvestment and Direct Stock Purchase Plan. This is a cost-effective way for investors to purchase shares of common stock or increase the number of shares they own by reinvesting their dividends through the plan. See more on the company’s website.

Taco Bell

For a complete overview of Realty Income, please visit their website at or contact Realty Income’s Investor Relations Department at 858-284-5000.


Community Partner of the Month: The San Diego Chapter of Childhelp

Childhelp2What is child abuse? Child abuse is when a parent or caregiver, whether through action or failing to act, causes injury, death, emotional harm or risk of serious harm to a child. There are many forms of child maltreatment, including neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse, exploitation, and emotional abuse. Here are a few facts:

  1. A report of a child abuse is made every 10 seconds in the U.S.
  2. FIVE Children DIE every day as a result of child abuse
  3. One in Four girls will be sexually abused before they turn 18

The Childhelp approach to ending child abuse:

At Childhelp, our goal is to meet the physical, emotional, educational, and spiritual needs of abused, neglected and at-risk children. We focus our efforts on prevention, intervention, and treatment. Childhelp programs and services help children from any situation and let them experience the life they deserve: one filled with love.

Childhelp Programs Include:

  • Prevention Programs – We are working to bring these prevention programs (Speak Up Be Safe for Educators; Speak Up Be Safe for Athletes) to San Diego schools & children’s programs.
  • Intervention Programs
    • The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD
    • Childhelp Foster Care & Adoptive Services
    • Group Homes
  • Treatment Program – Residential Treatment Facility in Southern California

Join us for the 29th Annual Holiday Fantasia


Date: Saturday, November 21, 2015
Location: Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa – 9700 North Torrey Pines Road; La Jolla, CA 92037
Time: 10:00am – 3:00pm
Event Website:
Online Auction:
Includes: Reception, Boutique Shopping, Fashion Show, Luncheon, Speakers, Award Ceremony, Opportunity Chance, Silent & Live Auction

Like us on Facebook!

For more information visit our website at or contact Rhea Tobin, Chapter Board Member at (858) 531-8983 or by email at