News & Updates

Chamber Meets with Senator-Elect Bonilla

On July 25th, Chamber VP of International Business Affairs, Paola Avila, met with Baja California’s Senator-elect Jaime Bonilla in Tijuana with a group of business leaders. Bonilla reaffirmed Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s commitment to the border region, “whose policies have, for far too long, been determined by the capital” versus the local community.

Bonilla stated that various proposals impacting the border region will be formally submitted to Congress upon taking office in December. Those proposals are aimed at stimulating the economy and recognize the border region as an economic driver. Among the proposals are: a reduction in sales tax in the border region from 16 percent to match the rate in region on the U.S. side of the border, reducing income tax to 20 percent and moving customs facilities to 20 kilometers south of the border. As the fourth largest exporter in Mexico, Baja California’s tax reduction would significantly increase the number of exports and economic viability on both sides of the border.

Bonilla also stated the administration’s commitment to addressing the transboundary water pollution at the Tijuana River Valley, “is an urgent issue that will receive priority attention upon taking office.”

The Chamber is committed to continue working together with the Mexican government as we have with past administrations to develop and promote projects and initiatives that improve our economies such as border infrastructure and trade facilitation, workforce development, and minimizing transboundary pollution. We have also reached out to the newly elected members of the Mexican Congress as well as the members of Lopez Obrador’s proposed cabinet to foster relationships in advance of the Chamber’s 14th delegation trip to Mexico City taking place March 31 April 3, 2019.

Opening of San Ysidro’s PedEast Northbound Lanes

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on August 15th to celebrate the completion of the renovated and expanded pedestrian crossing on the eastern side of the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry. The project includes 22 pedestrian northbound lanes and a new pedestrian facility.

The Chamber’s advocacy efforts in 2013 and 2014 with our regional partners and Congressional members was instrumental in securing the funds for these improvements. The San Ysidro Land Port of Entry Expansion Project is often highlighted as one of the greatest examples of regional and bipartisan collaboration. Together with PedWest, which initiated operations in 2016, San Ysidro will process over 20,000 pedestrians crossing into the U.S. daily.

According to the U.S.  General Services Administration (GSA), improvements to PedEast Southbound are expected to conclude in Spring of 2019. For more information about the San Ysidro Port of Entry Expansion Project, including the realignment of I-5, please visit GSA’s website.



Calexico West Land Port of Entry Update

In order to improve cross-border trade and the economic health of our binational region, the Chamber has advocated for the expansion and improvements at the Calexico Land Port of Entry which include the construction of vehicle inspection facilities, additional southbound lanes into Mexico, and a new head house to supervise operations and service the non-commercial vehicle inspection area. On July 10th, three southbound passenger vehicle lanes were opened. U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) anticipates that full operations will start in September.  As the third busiest land port in California, the Calexico West LPOE processes 4 million northbound vehicles and 4.8 million pedestrian crossings each year.

Mexicali Mayor Gustavo Sanchez has noted that the project boosts the economy on both sides of the border and has participated in the Chamber’s delegation trips to Washington D.C. and Mexico City to join advocacy efforts to develop this project. Mayor Sanchez and the Chamber continue to work to secure funding from the Mexican federal government for the complete project which originally included the construction of two bridges that help alleviate congestion in Mexicali: one bridge to redirect incoming passenger vehicles around the commercial/tourist area which already suffers from heavy traffic; and a second bridge redirecting rail tracks that currently block some of the city’s main highways.

To review the project’s fact sheet visit the GSA’s website.

Trade War

Chamber VP Paola Avila shared with 10News – ABC San Diego KGTV reporter Jon Horn how tariffs are impacting consumers and our regional economy.

The Chamber, along with business organizations across the country, oppose tariffs as they are a tax passed on to businesses and consumers. Past use of tariffs to protect specific industries, proved to be counterproductive resulting in increased cost of living, a drop in U.S. exports, a decrease in production and loss of jobs. The best way to aid domestic industries and increase access to foreign markets is through trade agreements.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce conducted a state by state analysis of the impacts on U.S. exports which includes a list of California exports that now face greater competition in foreign markets. In addition, tariffs impact 4,869,200 California jobs that are supported by global trade.

If your business and/or industry has been impacted by tariffs, please email Paola Avila to share your story with the Chamber.

Member Spotlight: ASLPM

Saad Ilyas is the President & CEO for a consulting management firm named ASLPM. ASLPM provides Program & Project Management and project control services for infrastructure, aviation, utilities, rail and education markets.

ASLPM is a driven & innovative company that believes in a culture of collaboration, and focusing on the most important thing: provide the right service with the right resources, utilizing an integrated team approach to manage risk, expectations and deliverables. The firm provides consulting services to private and public agencies, by providing resources that are technically competent, have managerial acumen and have the emotional intelligence, to serve in standalone & staff augmented programs.

ASLPM’s company culture has enabled its success to a variety of clients. Recent successes have been the receipt of the “Partnered Project of the Year” award by the International Partnering Institute (IPI) and commendation by various municipalities on the successful completion of their respective Programs. ASLPM’s corporate offices are located in San Diego and has project presence in Phoenix, San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Contact information for ASLPM is below:

450 B Street, #720
San Diego, CA 92101

ASLPM is a certified SBE, MBE and DBE firm in the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, and Texas.

Member Spotlight: Plum Blossom Creations

Tapping insights from 30 years of experience as an educator, executive and emergency management professional, my 5-step program, Getting Ready, helps individuals and organizations deal with and heal from sexual harassment. My “I’ve been there, gone through that” approach is proactive, positive and aims to get us through this current crisis and back to focusing on the work we were hired to do, without blame, shame or distractions.

If you, your workplace, your book club, and/or your college campus is struggling with how to handle this issue, I welcome your call. I offer a handful of options to meet your budget, needs and commitment.

For Victims and Witnesses of Sexual Harassment:

  • Attend Sexual Harassment support group monthly meetings (Please RSVP) – FREE
  • Get a copy of Getting Ready: Your Journal to Help You Deal with and Heal from Sexual Harassment and learn what to think, say or do in that inevitable moment when you are sexually harassment $10 for SDRCC members: Use PROMO code SDRCC)
  • Read Weekly blog posts offering tips and resources on how to deal with and heal from sexual harassment
  • Access a list of victim-friendly community resources to help you deal with and heal from sexual harassment, from the comfort and privacy of your own home.

For Victim-Friendly Businesses in San Diego

  • Offer your services to victims via my website.
  • The nominal $60 annual fee (a bargain by any rate card standards) is waived if you offer victims the first session for free.
  • It’s a Win-Win-Win! Victims and witnesses get your help. You get their business. I fulfill my purpose and mission.

For HR Departments and C-Suite Members with a Commitment

  • Hire me to talk or host 1-3 hour workshops on how to use the book to your best success.
  • Run a “The 5th is for Flowers” campaign to help eradicate sexual harassment in your workplace, as quickly as possible.
  • Be an active participant in the effort to improve your workplace culture by being and leading the change you want to see in it.

Would you consider supporting the victims and witnesses in your sphere of influence with my services?

Always, in all ways, invest in Bloom,


Sara Jones, M.Ed., MBA
Founder & CEO
Plum Blossom Creations


Member Spotlight: STACKED

STACKED: Food Well Built is an innovative, full-service restaurant concept where guests can use their imaginations to create the perfect meal for themselves, choosing between dozens of ingredients in any of five menu categories.  Guests combine their favorite ingredients, visually creating their meal on an iPad at their table. 

Our restaurant in Fashion Valley (next to valet) offers a full-bar with an extensive selection of premium beers, wines and specialty cocktails.  We also offer take-out, delivery and CATERING (office and home).   Open for lunch and dinner, with afternoon and late night happy hours.

Imagine creating a burger, salad, pizza, sandwich or mac ‘n’ cheese with all of your favorite ingredients, and just your favorite ingredients.  And imagine those ingredients are fresh and flavorful, the proteins grilled to order, the vegetables crisp and fresh, the cheeses rich and creamy, the sauces and dressings freshly made from scratch.  Just imagine how amazing that would taste.  You have just imagined STACKED: Food Well Built!

We offer signature items in each menu category that you can order as-is or modify to your taste.  Or, you can STACK Your Own from scratch.  Our burgers are made with 100% fresh Angus Chuck and served on fresh, preservative and GMO free buns.  Our award-wining mac ‘n’ cheese has been recognized the past two years as the Best in San Diego at the San Diego Mac ‘n’ Cheese Festival. Our pizza, salads and sandwiches are made with your choice of fresh, flavorful ingredients.

Just as you can customize your meal at our restaurant, with STACKED Catering you can customize the menu for your office or home event.  Our goal is for your catering experience to be simple, but personally crafted to your preferences, including your guests’ nutritional preferences.  The STACKED ingredient-centric menu includes over 160 clearly-identified, gluten-free ingredients that can be combined to create a virtually unlimited selection of gluten-free meals.  Other nutritional preferences are also easily accommodated.

So, whether it’s at your place or ours, with STACKED you get exactly what you want – Food Well Built!

Visit us at 7007 Friars Rd., San Diego, CA 92108
Phone: (619)225-7900
Instagram: stackedrestaurants
Catering inquiries to: Candy Agatep, (949)619-5772,

Member Spotlight: Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern

Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern new Prime Wagyu Burgers

JFAT is now proudly serving new Prime, Mishima, Wagyu beef in its line-up of signature burgers. This naturally and humanely raised beef is graded three cuts above Prime, is uniquely flavorful, heart healthy, higher in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and lower in saturated fat than any other breed. If you are a vegetarian who craves the a burger still try our Impossible Burger. It is a 100% plant based burger that has the look, flavor and texture of meat…you won’t believe it’s not beef!

We have also introduced a new signature vegetarian Brown Rice Tavern Bowl with arugula, honey-marinated tomatoes, goat cheese, asparagus that can also be ordered with grilled chicken, steak, shrimp, salmon or Ahi poke.

JFAT is a Certified Green restaurant that is located on the beautiful Point Loma Marina. It has a lively bar scene and a large covered patio with firepit. We serve lunch and offer Happy Hour Monday through Friday, Weekend Brunch and Dinner nightly. Join us for Monday Burger & Beer and enjoy any of our prime burgers and any draft beer for only $14 all day and night!



4990 N. Harbor Drive
Point Loma, CA    92103
General Manager – Rocky Sheehan