News & Updates

11th Annual California-Mexico Trade Initiative

Full delegation

2016 Delegation

This year’s California-Mexico Trade Initiative to Mexico City was the largest delegation to date, with 90 business and community leaders including five mayors, six councilmembers, county supervisor, Baja and California Governor representatives and 44 companies.

Delegates enjoyed a robust agenda that featured high-level meetings with the Federal Customs Administrator and the Director of Transportation from the Secretariat of Communication & Transportation . In these meetings discussions centered on El Chaparral/PedWest, Otay II, Otay POE Exit Route, Online Processes, Investment in Technology. Delegates also had the opportunity to meet with Cabinet member Secretary of Energy, Pedro Joaquin Coldwell regarding energy reform investment and renewable energy opportunities.

Sec of Energy

Sec. of Energy Coldwell (center)

Delegates had the opportunity to meet two newly appointed officials during the trip: Undersecretary for North America, Paulo Carreño King who was only two weeks into his position; and the newly confirmed (by Senate that week) Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, Marcela Celorio joined our group for several meetings.

The delegation also met with both the Mexican Congress and Senate. At our visit with the Senate, we were joined by Senate President Roberto Gil Zuarth.

Jerry greeting Senate President Zuarth

Jerry greeting Senate President Zuarth

With members of the Senate's Northern Border Affairs Committee

With members of the Senate’s Northern Border Affairs Committee

The meetings yielded a number of policy wins including:

  • The FMM tourist card is now confirmed to allow multiple entry points into Mexico’s border region,
  • We obtained a commitment from Mexican officials to reevaluate their funding and construction of the PedWest border crossing to maintain a completion date closer to the summer completion date, which is now July 15,
  • The land purchase for the Otay II Port of Entry (on the Mexican side) will be completed this year in order to keep the project on schedule
  • Federal government representatives agreed to joint marketing plan proposed by Sportfishing Association of California
  • Delegate company, Siva Power, considering a company expansion worth $800 million USD in manufacturing operations in Mexico
  • US Embassy Chargé d’affaires confirmed work is being done to consolidate Trusted Traveler program for the US, Mexico and Canada

The trip wasn’t all policy, we also got in some time with local businesses and business organizations. We hosted a Chamber Shark Tank with five Mexico start-ups and signed an MOU with the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico.

RefereePro pitching

Start up, RefereePro pitching to the Chamber Shark Tank

MOU AmericanChamber

MOU with American Chamber of Commerce

Thank you to all the delegates who took part in this year’s trip. We look forward to working with you on the action items moving forward. For more photos and updates from the trip, check out Facebook album or the hashtag #SDinMX.

SDinMX collage


Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of In & Out Smart Repair


Kevin Rogers and Brandon Bruce proudly opened In & Out Cell Smart Repair at the latest San Diego location at  2020 Camino Del Rio N #105. A fun fact about the business – they use original factory parts to fix your device, not cheap knock-off stuff, therefore your device retains its value. They are experts in all brand and devices. To learn more, click here.

San Diego Chamber Launches Regional Jobs Strategy

The San Diego Regional Chamber – in partnership with the County of San Diego, the City of San Diego, and the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) – has convened an unprecedented coalition focused on coordinating a unified effort to spur economic growth and create jobs for the entire Cali-Baja region.

“We are fortunate to have so many partners with successful initiatives participating in this coalition,” said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Through the collaboration we will identify and share ways we can build a stronger, more resilient regional economy. This is just the beginning and we look forward to this effort growing over the next year and adding the insight and perspectives of even more business community partners.”

Called the “Regional Jobs Strategy,” this initiative includes over 40 of the region’s business organizations, providing a diverse range of industry and geographical perspectives. The
coalition will work to match proven solutions to shared challenges, as well as align and leverage existing job creation efforts.

Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer said, “While we’ve seen positive job growth in our region in recent years, we can’t stop there. We have to think strategically to build on that momentum, and build an even better San Diego for our children. I’m proud to help lead this effort as we come together as a region to strengthen our shared vision for job creation.” While most job creation efforts tend to be designed around municipal or other political borders, regional economies are defined by monetary transactions, commute patterns and relationships. This effort will take a broad and inclusive view of job creation to create the most benefit for the region as a whole.

“Regional economic prosperity requires connecting talent from all communities with opportunities for employment throughout the Cali-Baja Mega-region,” said Omar Passons, Vice President of Community Development & Policy for the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation. “The Jacobs Center is committed to helping the Chamber’s member companies find well trained and highly motivated talent in the Diamond Neighborhoods and contribute to the diverse workforce needed to keep San Diego’s economy strong for decades to come.”

In its first meeting held today, the coalition focused on determining San Diego’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities with respect to job creation. The effort began with a thorough discussion of San Diego’s industry trends led by SANDAG’s Chief Economist Ray Major.

The data-based initiative will progress over the next year to identify opportunities for collaboration and best practices for job creation. The partners will aim to issue a Regional Jobs Strategy final report early next year that truly represents a unified vision for job creation. The report will contain a clear and direct strategy for leveraging the region’s resources and aligning initiatives.

Leading up to the final report, the coalition will release its findings in several milestones:

  • Business & Tax Climate Dashboard – June 2016
  • Affordability Dashboard – July 2016
  • Standard-of-Living Dashboard – September 2016
  • Final Regional Jobs Strategy Report – January 2017

The group of participating organizations in the Regional Jobs Strategy initiative is growing
and currently includes:

Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC)
Bonsall Chamber of Commerce
CA Apartment Association
CA Restaurant Association, SD Chapter
Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce
Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce
City of Chula Vista
City of Oceanside
City of Poway
City of San Diego
Coronado Chamber of Commerce
County of San Diego
Downtown San Diego Partnership
East Village Association
Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) San Diego Chapter
Escondido Chamber of Commerce
Greater San Diego Business Association
Industrial Environmental Association
Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation
Junior Achievement
La Jolla Village Merchants Association
La Mesa Chamber of Commerce
Lakeside Chamber of Commerce
National City Chamber of Commerce
Ocean Beach MainStreet Association
Poway Chamber of Commerce
Public Leadership Institute
San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG)
San Diego County Apartment Association
San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce
San Diego Military Advisory Council (SDMAC)
San Diego North Economic Development Council
San Diego Port Tenants Association
San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation
San Diego Ship Repair Association
San Diego Workforce Partnership
San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce
Union of Pan Asian Communities
Urban League of San Diego County

Member Spotlight: Law Offices of Ian S. Topf – Quality Representation at Affordable Prices

IanThe Law Offices of Ian S. Topf, APC offers clients one complimentary billing hour per
month for any out-of-office attorney-client contact (phone calls, letters, emails) so we
can collect all the necessary information and gain the very best outcome for you.

Ian is a local attorney with over 19 years of extensive law experience in Family Law, Estate Planning, Bankruptcy and Debt Relief, Criminal Defense, and General Civil Litigation.

Ian has a B.S. in Human Development from the University of California at Davis and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia. While Ian primarily handles State and Federal matters throughout California, he also maintains his license to practice in Missouri.

Ian’s extensive professional relationships in the San Diego legal system offer a distinct advantage over attorneys who fear going to trial, even when their clients’ best interests require pursuing the case in court.

Memberships and affiliations include the State Bars of both California and Missouri, San Diego County Bar Association (Family Law Section and Delivery of Legal Services, the Children at Risk Committee, Wills For Heroes Committee, and Service members Civil Relief Act Pro Bono Panel) and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.

Contact us today for a free consultation and learn more about how we can help you and your family.

Law Offices of Ian S. Topf, APC
3838 Camino Del Rio North, STE 120
San Diego, CA 92108
Office: 619.546.9777

Meeting with California’s Senators

senator-de-leon-meetingOn Friday, April 22 the San Diego Chamber hosted California Senate President pro Tem Kevin de León, Senator Marty Block, and Senator Ben Hueso for a meeting with Chamber members to discuss some of the hot issues affecting California businesses. Following the meeting, Chamber Vice President Paola Avila led the senators on a tour and visit of the Cross Border Xpress (CBX), plus a meeting with the Consejo Coordinador Empreserial (CCE), which represents the presidents of all business organizations in Tijuana.

Home Expressions Launches Grand Opening in Kearney Mesa

JDR 3 group shot

Todd Jackson, Founder and CEO of Jackson Design and Remodeling opened Home Expressions on April 21st with a ribbon cutting. This is a unique center offering homeowners kitchen, bath and specialty design build remodeling within four walls with no structural changes or architecture is needed. Attendees for the ceremony included, Allen Young, a representative for Councilman Chris Cate, Sheryl Riechert, President of San Diego’s Better Business Bureau and Courtney Gant of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Kevin Faulconer gave a commemorative certificate for this company milestone.

Home Expressions is located in Kearney Mesa at 8135 Ronson Road. Todd Jackson is thrilled to invest and be a part of the growing Kearney Mesa community. He has been a leader in hoem remodeling for over 27 years and Home Expressions offers homeowners the expertise of JDR with emphasis on home design.

Home Expressions will be hosting an Open House from noon to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.  The Home Expressions Selection Center is now open. To schedule an appointment, call 858-751-6640 or email Connect on social media at Pinterest, Houzz, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.



Business Leader Spotlight: Ernesto Arredondo

EArredondo_CroppedWe’re excited to introduce our new Business Leader Spotlight series, where the Chamber team sits down to interview members that are the driving force behind San Diego’s business landscape. This week, we had the pleasure of meeting with Ernesto Arredondo, the San Diego Region President of Wells Fargo and the Chamber’s newest Board Chair.

As San Diego Region President, Ernesto oversees 55 retail stores with more than $5 billion in total deposits and $1.5 billion in total loans. In 2013, he was named a “Top 40 Under 40” business executive by San Diego Metro Magazine, and in 2015, he was recognized at the Latino Impact Awards as the “Volunteer of the Year” by San Diego Magazine. In addition to serving as the Chamber’s Board Chair, Ernesto also serves on the boards for Father Joe’s Villages, LEAD San Diego, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Diego County, and the American Red Cross.

Read what Ernesto had to say below:

SD Chamber-6784What do you see for the future of San Diego business?

I see San Diego’s business community coming together with elected officials across all political party lines to ensure our city is one of the friendliest areas for business while – at the same time – continuing to attract business from different industries.

I think we’ll continue to foster a thriving work force that recognizes and promotes ingenuity while making sure all the great things that originate in San Diego are shared internationally.

What are you most excited about for Wells Fargo this year?

I’m excited about our ongoing work to build a stronger, more competitive Wells Fargo by making the company more effective, efficient, and focused on the customer.

We redesigned the online banking experience and began introducing free, ongoing access to FICO® Credit Scores for eligible credit customers. We also have unique opportunities throughout the year to work with our community partners. Through innovative programs we’re continuing our focus on supporting the development of our local communities while being guided by our vision of satisfying customers’ financial needs and helping them succeed financially.

SD Chamber-7013Any advice for young professionals who want to be in your shoes one day?

Work hard and stay true to your moral fibers. Create a strong network of peers, mentors, and sponsors. Don’t be afraid to get out and meet new people. Surround yourself with people that think differently from you, that help you become more intelligent, and provide you with a diverse outlook. Put your people and teams at the center of everything that they do.

What book is currently on your night stand?

The Bible.

In a parallel universe, what career would you be in?

Career Military or Police Officer.

Which famous person would you like to take out for coffee, past or present?

Abraham Lincoln.

A special thank you goes to Ernesto Arredondo for taking the time to sit with the Chamber team and answer our questions! Do you know a Chamber member with a great story to tell? Nominate them for a business leader spotlight by emailing

Is Mexico the New China? Recap from MIT Enterprise Forum

On April 13, Chamber VP Paola Avila hosted a MIT Enterprise Forum event at Knobbe Martens. The Forum gave attendees insight on business and investment opportunities in Baja California, as well as what mistakes to avoid when doing business. Current business owners and investors doing business in Baja also provided their perspective on how to successfully grow a business and take advantage of the opportunities our crossborder region provides.

The event was well attended with standing room only. For an overview on the event, watch MIT Enterprise’s video below:

Member Spotlight: Any Budget Printing & Mailing

anybudgetAny Budget Printing & Mailing is a full service printing and mailing company serving Southern California. Some of the many products and services they offer include banners, business cards, brochures, letterhead & envelopes, magnets, multi-page booklets, newsletters, posters, postcards, presentation folders, stickers and much more.

Launched in January 1999, Any Budget Printing and Mailing is proud of the strong roots they’ve built in the San Diego community. The company prides itself for being a complete source for all of your business communications needs. Having always been on the leading edge of technology, Any Budget understands an investment in technology can actually save money by improving efficiencies. Any Budget’s staff continues to evolve in the printing and mailing industry – Staying up to date with technological changes, the staff will meet whatever challenges your business may face. In 2000, they launched to make it easier for clients to request estimates, place orders, check proofs, or transfer files online.

AB3In 2014, Any Budget launched the Any Budget Print Store “Online Store” which showcases some of their most popular products, such as business cards, brochures, postcards and vinyl banners, at significantly discounted prices. The new online store allows print buyers to “do it themselves” to design, preview, get an estimate and order their full color, printed products quickly and easily. Paying for your printing is easy too with their new shopping cart system. Ordering printing has never been easier. Go to and click ONLINE STORE to check it out.

AB 1Any Budgets’ CEO and founder, fourth generation San Diego native, Charlie Silveria, was invited to join the Pacific Beach Lions Club in 1992 and was elected to President in 1994 at 25 years-old. In 1999, Charlie transferred to the San Diego Downtown Lions Club, where he has been elected to many positions on the Board of Directors, and served as President of the Downtown club, beginning in July 2012 thru June 2013. In addition to his work with the Lions Club, Charlie has also been very active with The Navy League of the United States. Charlie believes in the philosophy that you get back what you put in, so his volunteer work is very important to him.

Any Budget Printing & Mailing is located in the Kearny Mesa area. For more information, contact:
Any Budget Printing & Mailing
8170 Ronson Rd., Suite L • San Diego, CA 92111
Phone: 858-278-3151

New Innovative Water Bottle on Kickstarter

Logo (3)FitPod is a revolutionary new way to take your hydration to the next level. Using the Shark Tank backed, Clean Bottle technology along with an easy to use charge pod, users can enhance their water throughout the day easily with a squeeze! Simply load your FitPod Charge or One-Shot with your favorite powder or liquid based supplements, then place the FitPod on the bottom portion of the bottle, fill with water, and squeeze at your own convenience!

Still for Sponsored Content_02Specialized for pre and postworkout powders, The One-Shot offers a one time use. The FitPod Charge offers up to ten infusions with one fill, perfect for those liquid-based water enhancers like Stur or MiO. The FitPod Charge or One-Shot will only release enhancements when the user squeezes the bottle while the cap is closed. This eliminates the risk of over-flavoring your water and gives the user complete control over their supplements and enhancements.

On top of giving users a fully customizable water enhancement experience, all of our products are also made with high-quality BPA-free plastics. We use only the best materials so that our users can feel confident that every charge is free of nasty chemical byproducts. We believe that lesser grade plastic water bottles should be a thing of the past, so that consumers can feel safe while enjoying what they need most, healthy hydration.

Fitpod. The Bottle We’ve All Been Waiting For. Gain More, Carry Less.

Learn more at and check us out on Kickstarter today!

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