News & Updates

Interested in Serving on a Board or Commission?

There are a variety of vacancies at the local and state levels for boards and commissions. If you are interested in serving, on a volunteer basis, please make sure the Chamber policy team has your information. These opportunities are on an as-available-basis but present a critical opportunity for private-sector leadership to leverage their background, their understanding, and even specific industry expertise, to inform policy and programming.

Information on City vacancies available here. County information is available here.

Contact for more information.

Chamber Policy Department Welcomes Two New Team Members

The Chamber’s Policy Team is excited to welcome two new staff members, each bringing a specific and unique skillset and perspective to support member advocacy.

Rebecca Lieberman joins the team as Policy Advisor, where she will also leverage her background in economic research, rounding out the department’s ability to produce formal research reflecting the region’s priorities and pressing questions. Rebecca will oversee the Chamber’s Education and Workforce Roundtable, and the Small Business Roundtable, among other policy responsibilities. She was most recently with the Times Square Alliance in New York City.

Erin Magee joins the team as Policy Coordinator, where she will support the policy department’s overall lobbying efforts, and staff the Healthcare Committee. Erin was most recently with the district office of Representative Scott Peters and will no doubt provide expertise in local and federal policy.


l to r: Erin Magee, Rebecca Lieberman

Mexico Combines Federal and State Resources to Address Transboundary Pollution

Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC, or CILA its acronym in Spanish), signed a collaboration agreement with the State of Baja California’s Public Services Commission in Tijuana (CESPT) to address transboundary polluted flows impacting our region.

The agreement was signed by Baja California Governor Francisco Vega de Lamadrid and Roberto Salmon Castelo, Mexican Commissioner of CILA. The document outlines the next steps for CILA to take over the rehabilitation, operation, and maintenance of the pumping stations that gather sewage flows from the Tijuana River. In addition, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with agencies within the Mexican Federal Government to allocate funding to mitigate pollution and reduce transboundary flows.



Member Spotlight: Tyson & Mendes

Pat Mendes and Bob Tyson from Tyson and Mendes

Tyson & Mendes began with two attorneys in the trenches, working to give clients the best defense and service of any firm in the industry. Today, Tyson & Mendes is an AV-rated litigation firm with more than 150 lawyers across the U.S.

Principals Robert Tyson and Patrick Mendes are seasoned trial attorneys who collectively have a nearly 50-year background defending corporations, insurance companies, and their business clients in civil litigation matters. The firm provides the most practical and personalized defense possible, using advanced technologies and precise legal and support staffing to efficiently manage any size litigation. Practice areas include insurance defense, automobile, and autonomous vehicle liability, cannabis litigation, commercial and general civil litigation, environmental and toxic tort, medical malpractice, hospitality liability and more.

Founded in 2002, Tyson & Mendes has grown at a rapid pace, and has been ranked on both the San Diego Business Journal’s “Fastest-Growing Private Companies” and “Biggest Law Firms” lists. The firm also greatly outpaces the national average of female attorneys and was named in Law360’s annual “Best Law Firms for Female Attorneys” list in 2019.

Recognized for taking on well-known plaintiffs’ attorneys and achieving many high-profile jury wins, the firm gained a national reputation when it won the multi-billion dollar, landmark Howell v. Hamilton Meats California Supreme Court case, which forever changed the state’s litigation landscape.

Over its 17-year history, Tyson & Mendes has established itself as a leader on damages – and is frequently brought in before trial to triage high-stakes, high-profile litigation. In the face of skyrocketing personal injury verdicts and settlements across the nation, Tyson & Mendes’ team of skilled litigators are trained to employ unique defense methods proven to deliver outstanding results against the best plaintiffs’ attorneys in the country.

The firm tracks the amount in damage awards saved by clients throughout the year, and in 2018 alone, Tyson & Mendes saved clients more than $368 million.

The firm is headquartered in San Diego with 10 offices throughout California, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, New York, and Florida.

Learn more at

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Sponsored Content: Zoho One

Join us in San Diego for a Free Zoho One seminar, October 18th, The Point. Register today!

Every business is unique, and that means every business has unique processes they need to function successfully. No matter what type of business you have, there’s a lot of work to be done behind the scenes to enable growth. But when that “behind the scenes” work becomes “busy” work, all of the effort you and your employees put in may not be enough if you don’t have the right applications to enable success across your organization. Not to mention, you’d probably rather be focusing on the future of your business, instead of tedious busywork.

Zoho is inviting business professionals of all levels to their free, educational seminar in San Diego on October 18th. At their half-day event, they’ll discuss how you can manage your sales, marketing, support, finance, analytics, and more—all with one comprehensive platform. Zoho will even show you how you can enhance your business’ productivity, increase customer satisfaction, and amp up growth with one cloud-based operating system. Zoho understands how difficult it can be to get your business started, and they also know how much it takes to keep it going. That’s why they strive to provide relevant educational opportunities to empower entrepreneurs and help ensure success. Join their free seminar to learn new tips and tricks and equip your business with one integrated platform that automates processes so that you can focus on what’s important. Click here for more information and to register. 

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Member Spotlight: Staples Energy

Staples Energy - Innovative Savings Solutions

Staples Energy delivers energy savings to homes, businesses and public facilities throughout California. Their direct install approach begins with energy specialists who educate customers on how they can save energy and money. They round out the installation process with trained installers, call center, in-house marketing, invoicing, and incentive processing services. They combine quality assurance site visits with customer satisfaction calls to help track both successes and challenges.

Staples Energy has been working in the energy efficiency arena since 1998. With offices in Bakersfield, Hayward, Pasadena, Sacramento, Salinas, and San Diego, their licensed staff handles the installation of energy efficiency products including LED lighting, HVAC and refrigeration measures. These upgrades are designed to save money on utility bills, enhance looks, help people live and work more comfortably, and increase safety.

Staples Energy hires local. Their 200+ employees include program directors, energy specialists, certified raters, journeyman electricians, weatherization specialists, installation crews, database managers, invoicing specialists, and others with interest in the energy efficiency field.

To learn more about Staples Energy or to join their team, call 1-800-827-1890; or email Or visit

Safety – It’s in everything we do
Integrity – We do what we say we are going to do
Teamwork – Together we can achieve excellence
Quality – In our people, our work, and our customer service
Knowledge – Innovative thinking for our future


The 2019 Mission to Washington D.C. represents the Chamber’s largest delegation trip to date. The group of 162 business and civic leaders from San Diego and Baja California traveled to the nation’s capital to advocate for the policies and projects that will help grow business, create jobs, and maintain a thriving CaliBaja region.

  • Our group included five mayors and several other elected officials from San Diego and Baja. Joining us were:
    • San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer
    • Imperial Beach Mayor Serge Dedina
    • Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear
    • Poway Mayor Steve Vaus
    • Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastelum
    • Supervisor Greg Cox
    • San Diego City Council Members: Jen Campbell, Chris Cate, Mark Kersey, Monica Montgomery and Vivian Moreno
    • Consul Generals Sue Saarnio and Carlos Gutierrez
    • Tijuana City Councilmembers Ivette Casillas and Monica Vega
    • Imperial Beach City Councilmembers Paloma Aguirre and Mark West, and
    • Coronado City Councilmember Bill Sandke

Over three days from September 22 through 25, the delegation took part in more than 40 meetings to advocate for issues vital to the regional business community. Delegates met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, San Diego Congressional Representatives Susan Davis, Mike Levin, Scott Peters, and Juan Vargas, Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena, Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador C. J. Mahoney, Acting Secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, representatives from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and many others. These meetings covered a range of issues from advancing trade and the ratification of the USMCA, to transboundary pollution, housing and homelessness, healthcare, defense and veterans, transportation, border infrastructure, and workforce development.

Some of the key trip highlights and accomplishments:

  • Ratification of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the new North American free-trade agreement, was a big focus. The delegation heard from the Mexican Ambassador to the U.S., the U.S. Trade Representative, and met with Speaker Pelosi’s staff and were pleasantly surprised by the positive comments our congress members, and Senator Feinstein made on the outlook for the agreement. On Tuesday afternoon news of impeachment proceedings broke and brought a new urgency and focus to the agreement. This highlighted the need for us to work even harder to press for ratification of this critical agreement.
  • Another key priority was the transboundary pollution issue. In meetings with the EPA, Department of State, congressional representatives, and Senator Dianne Feinstein, we were able to convey support for the high priority infrastructure projects and legislation that would provide the funding necessary to move these projects forward. The EPA is working with engineers to determine which projects to pursue first and expects to have a prioritized list of projects by the end of fall. In our meeting with the Department of State on Tuesday, they committed to taking the lead to call the official designated by Mexico’s President Lopez Obrador to handle the pollution issue. By Wednesday the two offices were in contact. County Supervisor Greg Cox and regional Mayors including Mayor Faulconer and Mayor Dedina met with White House and EPA to make the case for funding for water infrastructure projects to address the sewage spills. Mexican Ambassador Martha Barcena shared that Mexico is focused on addressing the pollution with long-term, not reactive, solutions. Ambassador highlighted the importance of the role of the NADBank in providing funding and prioritizing infrastructure projects to address the many factors at play in the pollution issue.
  • Congressmember Scott Peters led a panel discussion on climate politics, science, and morality and how bipartisanship is key to advancing legislation on climate change.
  • We found a path forward for a possible grant for San Diego from the office of community policing programs.
  • Delegates got the federal government perspective on addressing homelessness from representatives with Housing & Urban Development; the nonprofit, non-partisan National Alliance to End Homelessness; and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness which is responsible for coordinating the Federal government response to homelessness.
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection shared an update noting that staffing is at an all-time high. Efforts to streamline the hiring process and provide incentives are successful in attracting and retaining officers. Staffing is critical for reducing border wait times which cost our region over $7 billion in revenue each year. CBP also shared news that new technology is being implemented, with more to come in the next couple of years to facilitate trade while strengthening border security. By 2022, 40% of vehicles and 72% of trucks will be scanned with x-rays, currently, 16% of vehicles get x-rayed. CBP recognized our region for being pioneers on programs and thanked our delegates for sharing input and ideas which later become a reality.

Our members are vital to the work we do at the Chamber and that is very evident on our delegation trips. Having a large, diverse group sends a strong message as we tell our region’s story and advocate for the projects and policies that are crucial to the business community on both sides of the border. We simply wouldn’t be as effective without each of our delegates and we thank everyone who participated for making this important investment.

Click here to view event photos

#SDinDC was trending in San Diego – check the Twitter feed

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