News & Updates

New Mexican Consul General in San Diego

We welcome to our region, Ambassador Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez who will serve as the new Consul General of Mexico in San Diego. He currently serves as Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Texas, and previously served in Sacramento’s consulate. Our Chamber had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Gonzalez during our delegation trip to Mexico City earlier this month, and look forward to working with him upon his arrival in San Diego.

We congratulate Ambassador Marcela Celorio, Consul General of Mexico in San Diego, in her appointment to serve as Consul General in Los Angeles. Ambassador Celorio has been an exemplary leader and valuable ally for the binational region and the Chamber, continuously advancing projects and initiatives that strengthen the bilateral relationship and benefit our communities. Ambassador Celorio and her team at the consulate have been instrumental in coordinating meetings with high-level officials during the Chamber’s delegation trips to Mexico City. We look forward to maintaining a close relationship with her in her new role.

Chamber Takes Action Amid Border Slowdowns and Threats of Border Closure

The Chamber has long advocated to reduce delays at our border because they result in more than $7.2 billion a year in lost productivity. We also know that a complete or even partial border closure would result in an economic disaster not only for our region but across the U.S.  With the recent threats to close the border and the uncertainty that has created for the business community, our advocacy and outreach is even more critical. To be clear, border closures and simply having delays at the border hurt U.S. businesses and U.S. consumers. Our businesses from manufacturing to retail depend on the efficient movement of people and goods across our border. In Cali-Baja, we have a $2.5 billion integrated manufacturing supply chain which would be disrupted. You can’t sell a half-finished product. And you can’t sell to your largest consumer market if access to that market is cut off.

However, instead of taking efforts to make processing more efficient, the Department of Homeland Security has recently transitioned customs officers to aid border patrol with migrant detention centers and processing. A total of 545 U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have been reassigned from the following field offices for a period of 30 days: 300 officers from Laredo, 194 officers from El Paso, and 51 officers from San Diego. The number of officers reassigned from the San Diego field office represents 6 percent of San Diego’s CBP workforce.

As a result, we are now seeing increased border wait times and operations at ports of entry have been impacted with reduced hours or lane closures (in some cases, closed on Saturdays).

  • In San Diego, the Otay Mesa Port of Entry is now operating with 8 open lanes (down from 10) and experiencing increased wait times of 4 to 5 hours for cargo and passenger vehicles.
  • The Nogales-Mariposa Port of Entry ceased cargo processing on Sundays (typically processing 120 trucks).
  • The El Paso BOTA Port of Entry ceased cargo processing on Saturdays (typically processing more than 400 trucks)

In addition, with many cargo trucks waiting overnight, these ports of entry are starting off each morning already behind schedule. Because these changes are impacting the entire system, passenger and cargo vehicles cannot be redirected to a different port of entry.

As crossing volumes continue to rise during the peak spring travel season, wait times are expected to increase.

We strongly disagree with the deployment of customs agents away from our ports of entry and urge the Administration to restore previous staffing levels to reduce border wait times.

We are dedicating efforts to making the case for trade efficiency here and across the country:

  • Chamber VP Paola Avila who serves as Chair of the Border Trade Alliance was in D.C. last week meeting with members of Congress to communicate the importance of keeping our ports of entry open and efficient, and eliminating additional barriers to trade via the ratification of the USMCA.
  • Paola was a panelist for the Wilson Center’s press call: Ground Truth Briefing, The Consequences of a U.S.-Mexico Border Shutdown
  • She also joined KUSI for a discussion on border issues and how shutdowns impact the economy and spoke with Northern California’s public radio station KQED about the issue.

San Diego Grand Central Update

The Infrastructure, Housing, and Land Use Committee was briefed on the San Diego Grand Central Proposal. SANDAG recently approved the formation of an inter-agency committee to bring forward concepts for improving transportation to the airport, including the Grand Central Proposal. While still in the early phases, the San Diego Grand Central concept would provide a modern transportation system from the airport to different parts of San Diego.

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Update at Energy & Water

The Energy & Water Committee heard from the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) and SANDAG on the current EV landscape in the San Diego region. In January 2018, former Governor Jerry Brown issued an executive order to put 5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030. Currently, there are 500,000 electric vehicles on the road statewide. SANDAG noted with an increase in EVs comes a greater demand for charging stations. CSE and SANDAG have partnered to create Plug-in San Diego, to provide no-cost support to local stakeholders interested in general and technical information on EVs.

The process to purchase and own an electric vehicle (EV) can be hard to navigate and quite cumbersome at times. Multiple mobile apps need to be downloaded and there isn’t a uniform nozzle at charging stations, to name a few challenges. At the April 10th County Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher called on the County to create an EV roadmap to address some of these issues. That item passed the Board of Supervisors and County staff will start developing the plan.

Public Policy Committee Supports State Housing Density Bill

Senate Bill 50 intended to boost housing density near public transit was advanced from the State Senate Committee on April 3, in a 9-1 vote. The bill’s main goal would allow for increased density and heights of residential buildings along transit corridors, near employment centers, and near quality schools. The Infrastructure, Housing, and Land Use and Public Policy Committees voted to support the bill in concept. On April 9, the Public Policy heard an update to the bill, and voted to support the bill, with the thought that housing was the group’s main priority for the year.

Chamber Supports the Preserve by Cisterra Development at Planning Commission

On April 4, the Chamber was at the City of San Diego’s Planning Commission speaking in support of the Preserve, the Class A employment center along the 56 Corridor. The Preserve proposes an employment center in proximity to residential development, providing an opportunity for decreased commute times and alternative modes of transportation. The project will bring nearly 2,000 high-quality jobs to the area, clustered near existing employment corridors. The Preserve takes significant steps to benefit the community and local environment by enhancing the local trail system, restoring previously disturbed land, and providing electric vehicle charging stations.

New Scooter Regulations

Both the Infrastructure, Housing, and Land Use and Public Policy Committee heard from Mayor Faulconer’s staff on the new regulations for dockless scooters and bikes to improve public safety. Highlights of the proposal include: limiting the maximum speed of motorized scooters in designated zones, vehicle staging and parking, rider education, data sharing, fees and legal indemnification for the City of San Diego. The proposal is expected to go to full council in April. Read the full press release.

Leader Board – April 2019

Ryan Ginard (San Diego Young Leaders) has been hired by National University as Chief of Staff, where he will help to catalyze systems change in education, civil discourse and philanthropy through the Sanford Programs. Tammy Carpowich (Impact ’16 & Advance ’18) has joined the San Diego County Office of Education Integrated Technology Services team as Senior Director of Media & Communications. Naila Chowdhury (Influence ’17) has been added to The San Diego Union-Tribune Community Advisory Board, created to better serve the community by facilitating broader access to people, events and ideas. Christine Antoine (Impact ’14 & San Diego Young Leaders) was selected as an honoree in the category of Government at Assemblymember Shirley Weber’s annual Salute to Women Leaders in the 79th District. Melanie Cohn (Impact ’18) is now on the local advisory board for LISC San Diego, which was her Impact Leadership Action Team Partner Agency. Tom Pellette (Influence ’10) has been named Senior Vice President of Caterpillar and President of Solar Turbines. And Kevin Harris (Impact ’05), CEO of CureMetrix, recently received FDA approval for his company’s mammogram software. Congratulations, all!

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Member Spotlight: SkyRiver IT

Skyriver IT is a San Diego based managed IT services provider. Our custom solutions have helped many local businesses solve technology challenges and take the frustration out of IT. We have found that approaching IT with a business-centric, rather than technology-centric mindset have helped to solve many of our client’s challenges. We focus on your technology needs so you can focus on growing your business.

Our approach to IT is aligned with what you need to stay focused on business goals and help you sleep better at night knowing your environment is reliable and secure. We pride ourselves on helping to make your business stronger, faster, and more efficient. Whether the issue may be a simple password change, or something more complex like a new infrastructure build out, we have all your IT needs covered. We can outsource your IT needs completely, or work to enhance your internal IT resources. Located on the top floor of the Miramar pyramid, Skyriver IT has helped many different types of local businesses with our services since 2010. We recognize that each business has unique needs, so no solution is ever designed the same.

When the work day is done, the Skyriver IT team focuses heavily on local non-profit work. We feel very lucky to be a part of the San Diego business community and enjoy giving back to it. Day for Change, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and The San Diego Foundation are just a few of the local organizations we support. We also take great pride in the company culture we have created. We have regularly scheduled team building events, employee of the month program, regular employee check-in meetings and reimburse for applicable trainings. We have created an environment where our employees genuinely enjoy coming to work.

We encourage you to visit us at  to learn more about us and how we can help with your business technology needs. Or feel free to contact us to schedule a free assessment.

Name : Alli Powell
Title : Director of Administration
Company : SkyriverIT
Website :
7310 Miramar Rd Ste 650
San Diego, Ca. 92126

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