News & Updates

Member Spotlight: Veterans United Loans of San Diego


What would it look like if you took a small group of veteran service members and a few civilians who wanted to Enhance Lives Every Day, Be Passionate and Have Fun and Deliver Results with Integrity in the VA Mortgage Lending world?  You’d meet Chris Cano and his team at Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego. They’re living out the three values of Veterans United – Enhance Lives, Be Passionate, and Deliver Results – each day.


Chris Cano, Branch Manager

Chris served in the U.S. Navy for 10 years on fast-back submarines stationed out of Pearl Harbor Hawaii.  He joined the Veterans United Home Loans of Hawaii team in 2010 as a Loan Officer, and by 2013, he was the top producing Loan Officer out of the 21 Veterans United Home Loan branches nationwide.  Chris became the Branch Manager for Veterans United in San Diego in January 2015, and his team of four grew to 22 employees just 16 months later.

Veterans United puts service to the homebuyer above all else.  We passionately serve those who served our country. Our staff is trained to work with veterans and active duty service members, and because many of our employees are veterans, we have a unique understanding of the military lifestyle. Veterans United isn’t your typical mortgage company.  Yes, doing loans keeps the lights on.  But they have two other arms to their company that set them apart.

Education.  Many veterans and active duty service members don’t know how to use their VA Home Loan benefit, and there are even more misconceptions and myths about the loan process out there.  On the first Wednesday and the first Saturday of each month, veterans and service members can attend a Free VA Home Loan Seminar at the Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego office in Mission Valley. There, they can get the information they need to take advantage of their VA Home Loan benefit.  The team also hosts seminars on different military bases in San Diego, as well as a seminar on the second Saturday of each month at the Wounded Warrior Battalion on Camp Pendleton.

The Veterans United Foundation.  The Veterans United Foundation is the nonprofit, philanthropic arm of Veterans United. The nonprofit is funded solely by Veterans United employees and seeks to give back to military charities, organizations and families in need. Veterans United of San Diego is proud to give back to local charities and support their military community through the Foundation.

Through educational efforts and the Foundation, the team at Veterans United of San Diego lives out their company values: Enhances Lives Every Day, Be Passionate and Have Fun and Deliver Results with Integrity!


Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego
8885 Rio San Diego Drive, Suite 135, San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 296-5626


Veterans United Home Loans of San Diego is a VA approved lender; Not endorsed or sponsored by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs or any government agency. NMLS# 1907. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. All Rights Reserved. An Equal Opportunity Lender. Chris Cano, NMLS# 879294, Branch Manager.

California Secures $200 Million for Workforce Training

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

The California Legislature passed a budget which included an additional $200 million for workforce training programs. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, if recent trends continue, California will likely face a shortage of skilled workers by 2025.

These skilled professions include high-wage industries, such as installation maintenance and repair (aircraft mechanics and technicians, industrial machine mechanics, etc.); protective services (police and sheriff’s patrol officers); and healthcare practitioners (registered nurses, radiologic technologists, etc.), among many others. Last month, the Chamber – along with 22 additional members of the Regional Economic Association Leaders Coalition –  issued a letter in support of the proposed funding allocation.

Why this matters: In order to succeed, businesses need a large pool of educated and highly-skilled workers. By investing in our workforce, California is ensuring that future businesses will continue to innovate and thrive within the global marketplace.

60 percent of the new funding will go directly to community colleges; the other 40 percent will be invested in regional consortia where colleges and employers can work together to identify specific needs.

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Governor Brown Strikes Affordable Housing Deal in New Budget Proposal

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

As California’s housing costs continue to skyrocket, Governor Jerry Brown has proposed new legislation to streamline the permitting process for developers wishing to build affordable homes. As research has already shown, San Diego’s housing regulations contribute to 40 percent of housing costs, and 21 percent of San Diego’s households are priced out of the market.

If Governor Brown’s legislation passes, new projects with 20 percent affordable housing or 10 percent near public transit would be exempt from most local reviews. And, on June 9, the governor struck a new deal with low-income housing advocates: in order to receive the $400 million of subsidies to build low-income housing, legislators must first approve his affordable housing legislation.

While the Chamber has not taken a formal position on his new legislation, the Chamber team is pleased to see Governor Brown moving away from proposals that strictly rely upon housing subsidies, and instead begin to address the onerous regulatory burden that developers face when trying to build additional homes.

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Chamber Announces New Railroad to Connect Tijuana’s Factories to the United States

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

Photo from Cross-Border Railroad Announcement

Photo from Cross-Border Railroad Announcement

On Thursday, June 9, the San Diego Chamber – along with the San Diego Metropolitan System (MTS), Pacific Imperial Railroad, and Baja California Railroad – announced a new agreement to finance the reconstruction and operation of the binational Desert Line Railroad. When completed, the new railway will connect Tijuana’s factories (maquiladoras) to cross-border businesses within the United States.

Each year, the San Diego region and U.S.-Mexico binational economies lose $6 billion due to the long delays of transporting goods across the border via trucking systems. With a new railroad in operation, the increased shipping capacity will reduce cross-border congestion and air pollution while increasing economic output for the entire border region.

Check Presentation of Cross-Border Railroad

Check Presentation of Cross-Border Railroad

Construction on the 60 miles of track between Tecate and Coyote Wells in Imperial County is expected to begin this summer. While the Pacific Imperial and Baja California Railroads will oversee its financing and reconstruction, San Diego MTS will retain ownership and oversight authority of the entire Desert Line Railroad.

Click here for the full press release.


Map of New Cross-Border Railroad

Map of New Cross-Border Railroad (click for larger image)

San Diego & Baja California Election Results

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

The Chamber team wishes to congratulate all of our endorsed candidates on a successful election! We’ve listed the results of our endorsed candidates below.

Please note that these results are still unofficial; as of June 13 at 5 PM, there were still 170,000 provisional ballots left to be counted, and San Diego’s District 1 results are still pending. For the full updated list, click here.


  • Scott Peters, 52nd District: Secured a majority with 58.28 percent of votes


  • Greg Cox, Supervisor, District 1: Secured 100 percent of votes
  • Kristin Gaspar, District 1: Secured 33.94 percent of votes, and will run in the November election


  • Kevin Faulconer, Mayor: Secured a majority with 58.78 percent of votes
  • Ray Ellis, District 1: Secured 34 percent of votes, and will run in the November election
  • Mark Kersey, District 5: Secured a majority with 71.24 percent of votes

Baja California Election Results:

While San Diego conducted its own municipal elections, Mexico also celebrated the results of their municipal and state elections. The Partido de Acción Nacional (PAN) party, which represents Mexico’s more conservative and free enterprise-minded policy leaders, gained leadership of seven out of twelve states.

Baja California’s election determined the state legislators and mayors of Ensenada, Mexicali, Playas de Rosarito, Tecate and our neighboring city of Tijuana. It is important to note that the City of Tijuana has now gained PAN leadership which reflects the Baja State Governor’s party.

The Chamber team congratulates all newly elected officials regardless of party affiliation, and look forward to working collaboratively on common goals to strengthen the overall Cali-Baja mega-region.

For the full list of results, click here (Spanish).

City Mayor Elect Party
Ensenada Marco Antonio Novelo Osuna PRI
Mexicali Gustavo Sánchez Vásquez PAN
Playas de Rosarito Mirna Cecilia Rincón Vargas PAN
Tecate Nereida Fuentes González PRI
Tijuana Juan Manuel Gastélum Buenrostro PAN

Trade Corridor Bill Passes Through California Assembly

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

AB 2170, the bill that – if passed – would allocate funds to border infrastructure projects, has successfully passed through the California State Assembly and was forwarded to the Rules Committee after its first reading in the Senate.

AB 2170 is part of the Chamber’s overall effort to allocate funds to the Trade Corridors Improvement Fund (TCIF), which finances trade corridors (or, systems transporting goods) with a high volume of freight movement.

Why this matters:

California’s land and sea ports of entry serve as key international gateways for the $538 billion of products that enter and exit the United States, and 4.4 million jobs in California are dependent on this foreign trade.

However, California’s 7 land points of entry and 11 sea ports are heavily congested and are in urgent need of repair.  If the state invests the necessary amount for infrastructure improvements, our ports of entry can provide large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants, relieve congestion and wear-and-tear on California’s highways, and provide an influx of economic activity throughout the state.

Community Partner of the Month: Walden Family Services

Walden-Anniversarylogo-wtag-2016-rgbforweb (002)Every child deserves a loving family and the ability to realize their greatest potential toward becoming a self-sufficient and productive member of their community.

Founded 40 years ago, Walden Family Services has earned national recognition for its pioneering foster care, adoption and youth services that prepare children and youth throughout Southern California to thrive. Every day, Walden social work professionals provide families with the skills to break the cycle of neglect and abuse, and ensure that children who cannot return home grow up in loving foster and adoptive families. In 2015, Walden served more than 1,500 children, youth and families, and became the first foster care and adoption agency recognized by the County Board of Supervisors as a Live Well San Diego partner.

Post_Children_JHR (002)Since the California Fostering Connections to Success Act went into effect in 2012, Walden has also become the fourth largest agency offering extended foster care and transitional housing for youth ages 18 to 21 who are continuing their education or pursuing employment. In 2015, Walden served 170 youth through this program, which aims to reduce homelessness, increase graduation rates, and put young adults on the path to self-sufficiency.

And because growing up in family and community settings is vital to kids’ well-being, Walden recently started to examine how limited affordable housing impacts the agency’s programs and services. For example, high housing costs constrain families’ capacity to care for their children, and reduce the number of families who meet state-mandated space requirements to foster or adopt a child or sibling group. Walden also struggles to find safe, affordable housing near public transit for young adults in extended foster care.

To offset housing costs and other expenses not covered by county contracts, Walden engages businesses such as AJW Facilities and Construction, Barney & Barney, the San Diego Business Journal and Union Bank to sponsor Wine D’Vine and other signature events that benefit children and families. Through these events, Walden builds relationships with philanthropists and corporate partners who see value in ensuring that every child in our community reaches their full potential.

Teresa Stivers, CEO
Walden Family Services
(619) 727-5881

Job-Killer SB 878 Defeated

The following content is from our latest Policy Update newsletter. To get these updates directly to your inbox, sign up here.

The San Diego Chamber was part of a statewide coalition – which included the CalChamber, California Grocers Association, and California Retailers Association – that defeated the proposed SB 878 bill. If passed, the regulation would have required employers to give workers a full 21-day work schedule and 7 days’ notice for any changes. The bill posed a major threat to businesses in industries reliant on schedule flexibility, including: hospitality, retail, and restaurant businesses.

The Chamber was in strong opposition of SB 878, as it would have completely eliminated worker flexibility and exposed employers to costly penalties and litigation – even for hybrid (“on call”) employees or requests explicitly by the workers themselves.

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