News & Updates

Member Spotlight: TSA Construction, Inc.

TSA Construction Logo


TSA Construction is a second-generation, family-owned and operated general contractor based in San Diego. They offer a hands-on, collaborative approach to their clients’ vision and believe in building their communities for a better future. TSA Construction recently broke ground on The Salvation Army’s Rady Residence located at the existing Door of Hope Campus, home to programs serving homeless families of San Diego.

When complete, the Rady Residence project will consist of a new 37,900-square-foot, 4-story building that will provide 32 residential units (1, 2, and 3 bedrooms) with a 1-story Housing Services Wing. The Housing Services Wing will consist of an activity room, playroom, offices, and a laundry room and will help support residents of the new building as well as the residents of the existing Transitional Living Center, which provides each family with an apartment while they work on ending their homelessness. Amid a homelessness crisis, San Diego County has the fourth-largest homeless population nationwide, according to the Salvation Army.

TSA Construction’s primary goal is exceeding their client’s expectations in all aspects of the construction process. Their values of integrity, honesty, and accountability are implemented throughout the duration of every project. TSA’s success with client satisfaction is demonstrated through their proven track record of repeat clients. They have completed projects in California, Arizona, and as far as the Caribbean. TSA specializes in ground-up construction, site development and renovations, tenant improvements, and historical and building renovations. Their wide range of experience includes hotel, Class A office, multi-family, religious, retail, Native American gaming, restaurant, and hospital. To learn more about TSA Construction and view their project experience visit

You can find them on Facebook and Instagram: @tsaconstructioninc

Rady Residence Front Entry Rendering

New SDG&E Program to Help Businesses Transition to Zero-Emission Transportation

To support regional and statewide goals to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from tailpipes, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) will launch a major effort to help electrify large vehicles and industrial equipment, revving up zero-emission transportation beyond passenger vehicles.

On August 15th, 2019, SDG&E received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to build charging infrastructure for a minimum of 3,000 plug-in medium-duty and heavy-duty (MD/HD) electric vehicles and equipment, including transit buses, school buses, delivery trucks, and forklifts. This initiative also supports the electrification of refrigerated semi-truck trailers, which are vital for transporting perishable goods.

“Imagine a future where zero-emission trucks carry produce and merchandise to your local stores and zero-emission school buses pick up and drop off your children,” said Estela de Llanos, vice president of clean transportation, sustainability and chief environmental officer at SDG&E. “With this new initiative, our region is headed to a new phase of the clean transportation movement.”

Currently, the vast majority of charging infrastructure in the region is built for passenger cars. SDG&E’s new program will be the first large-scale program of its kind in the region to build chargers for local businesses and public agencies looking to transition to zero-emission transportation. The program will be implemented over five years and will also help stimulate a new economic sector that’s emerging to support the installation and maintenance of charging equipment.

Part of this approval is a new innovative technology where buses can provide energy back to the grid. The vehicle-to-grid pilot for large batteries on electric school buses will soak up electrons from the grid when energy is plentiful—such as during the day when there is abundant solar power—and discharge the energy when there is a high demand on the power grid.

The service areas of SDG&E, San Diego and southern Orange County, is home to more than 103,000 Class 2 through Class 8 commercial vehicles, including trucks that operate around the congested ports of entry along the U.S.-Mexico border and the Port of San Diego. These vehicles range in weight from 6,000 pounds to more than 33,000 pounds. In California, heavy duty vehicles produce more particulate matter than all of the state’s power plants combined and can cause or worsen asthma and other health conditions.

The state’s transportation sector also accounts for more than 40 percent of all GHGs, according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB). There is a statewide mandate to reduce GHGs by 40 percent below the 1990 level by 2030.

To clean up the air in areas suffering from the highest levels of pollution, socio-economic distress, and health impacts, 30 percent of the charging equipment installed through the MD/HD program will be targeted at vehicles and equipment that are based in those areas.

“As the region’s air quality regulatory agency, the District is increasingly focused on opportunities to reduce emissions from mobile sources, which are responsible for the vast majority of harmful smog-forming air pollutants and greenhouse gases in the region,” said Robert Kard, air pollution control officer at the County of San Diego Air Pollution Control District. “SDG&E’s MD/HD initiative would provide EV charging stations to support large equipment and vehicles that pollute our air, therefore reducing harmful emissions.”

When local EV drivers plug in their vehicles, they are charging with some of the cleanest energy in America because around 45 percent of the electricity SDG&E delivers to homes and businesses comes from renewable sources, such as solar and wind. That is more than four times higher than the national average of about 10 percent.

SDG&E’s MD/HD program was developed under the Clean Energy & Pollution Reduction Act, Senate Bill 350 (SB 350), which recognizes that widespread transportation electrification is required to meet the state’s goals to reduce GHGs. To support the adoption of MD/HD electric vehicles and equipment, SDG&E also recently filed an application with the CPUC for permission to create a new optional electricity pricing plan that would increase the price competitiveness of electricity as a transportation fuel for businesses that make the switch to electrically powered equipment.

The MD/HD program builds on SDG&E’s clean transportation initiatives. Under the Power Your Drive program, SDG&E has installed around 3,000 chargers at apartments, condo complexes and workplaces. As part of separate pilot programs, SDG&E is also installing charging equipment for electric delivery vehicles and shuttles, ground support equipment at the San Diego International Airport, and trucks, forklifts and other equipment at the Port of San Diego.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.

Leader Board – August 2019

Chanelle Hawken (09), Vice President of Government Affairs for Cox Communications and a member of LEAD’s Board of Directors, is serving as Co-Chair of The New Children’s Museum’s annual gala, Studio 200 on Island: Into the Future, to be held November 9th. Jabez LeBret (19), Chief of Schools for Sisu Academy, recently interviewed Qualcomm co-founder Dr. Irwin M. Jacobs during a fireside chat at the EDInnovateLive conference at University of San Diego. Bob Alden (06), who in retirement splits his time between Ft. Lauderdale and San Diego, served on the committee that supported and helped organize last month’s commissioning ceremony for the U.S. Navy’s newest guided missile destroyer, USS Paul Ignatius, in Port Everglades. Bob also recently received a second consecutive Marti Huizenga “Roll Up Your Sleeves” volunteer award from Junior Achievement, South Florida. Please join us in congratulating all!

Landau Sworn In As New U.S. Ambassador To Mexico

Christopher Landau was sworn in as the new U.S. Ambassador to Mexico last week and arrived to his post in Mexico City on Friday. Upon arriving, the new Ambassador shared this: “I arrive with my hand extended. The United States wins when there is a prosperous and stable Mexico, and Mexico wins when there is a prosperous and stable United States.”

Landau received unanimous Senate approval August 1. The position had been vacant since Ambassador Roberta Jacobson left the post in May of 2018.

Christopher Landau was previously a partner at the law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, and prior to that was partner and associate at Kirkland & Ellis, in Washington D.C. Born in Madrid, Landau is fluent in Spanish and earned an undergraduate certificate in Latin American Studies at Harvard. His father, George Landau, served as U.S. ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, and Paraguay.

The Chamber looks forward to continued collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and look forward to working with Ambassador Landau to strengthen the political, economic, and cultural ties between the U.S. and Mexico.

Downtown Mobility Plan Update

At the Public Policy Committee on August 13, the City of San Diego gave an update on their Downtown Mobility Plan Implementation. Last year, the City committed to improving lanes for cyclists and scooter riders. This push came as a result of the climate action plan’s goal to get people out of vehicles. Bike lanes have been added to Beech St. downtown from Pacific Highway to Sixth Avenue.

Carlsbad “First-Last Mile” Program

On July 16, the Infrastructure, Housing, and Land Use Committee was briefed on the City of Carlsbad’s first-ever “first-last mile” program, a shuttle service that will take people from the Poinsettia Coaster train station to their jobs, homes, or other destinations. One of the well-documented challenges for individuals looking to move away from solo-vehicle trips is the way to get from transit to their destination. This program seeks to fill that gap and further encourage transit use. Carlsbad City Council approved the contract with a shuttle provider to service for eight to ten months beginning in August. Rides will be free to anyone with a daily or monthly pass on the Coaster, and are available on the app.

Energy & Water Committee Supports Water Conservation Rebate Tax Parity Act

The Chamber’s Energy and Water Committee and Public Policy Committee have voted to support the Water Conservation Rebate Parity Act (H.R. 2313). The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code and expands upon current law that excludes certain energy efficiency measures to now include water conservation. The bill has gained bipartisan support by representatives from Arizona, California, Maryland, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors will vote on the bill at it’s next regularly scheduled meeting on September 26.

City Council Addresses Major Housing Regulations

The week of July 29, San Diego City Council voted on numerous housing policies. Beginning with the adoption of a mixed-use zone, and ending with the adoption of both the Balboa and Morena Specific Plans, the votes were indicative of the City’s continued focus on enacting policy that addresses the current housing crisis. Additionally, a major component of the Housing SD package, the middle-income density bonus, was approved unanimously by Council following a tense vote on an update to the City’s inclusionary housing ordinance. Although the inclusionary housing ordinance received a 5-4 vote in favor, a coalition including the Chamber will continue their efforts for technical amendments to the proposal.

MTS Business Outreach Workshops

The Chamber is partnering with Metropolitan Transit System (MTS) to hold business outreach workshops on MTS’s potential ballot measure to increase funding for transit around the region. This is a rare opportunity for employers and employees to provide feedback on what kinds of transit projects they would like to see in a ballot measure. The next workshops are: September 4 @ Riverwalk Golf Club 5:00 – 6:00 pm and September 10 @ East County Chamber 11:30 – 1:00 pm. It’s free!

Advance Session: “Teams & Managing Up”

Earlier this month, our Advance program participants convened for a session entitled Teams and Managing Up. Beth Smits, Vice President of Customer Success for Intuit’s Consumer Group, kicked off the program by sharing her insights and “Advocate, Assist, and Act” strategy for managing up and around to deliver great outcomes. Former LEAD Board member Garry O. Ridge (16), CEO of WD-40 Company, teamed up with his colleague, President of the Americas Patricia Q. Olsem, to share insights about their company’s culture of inclusiveness and building successful teams based on trust and respect. One of the key takeaways from the talk with WD-40 was their belief that there are no mistakes, only learning moments. That shift in thinking is just part of what makes their company culture so unique. Life and Career Coach Quinn Paglierani of Crestcom SoCal presented on the importance of having effective crucial conversations. Class participants learned about the 3x3x3 Method for productive conversations with direct reports and the Dialogue Method for fielding conflict effectively. Participants got to put what they learned into immediate practice by testing out the conversation skills on each other in mock tough conversations. And retired U.S. District Judge Irma E. Gonzalez shared her wisdom about the art of negotiation from many years on the bench and in private mediation practice. Many thanks to WD-40 Company for hosting the session at their headquarters!