LEADers On The Move

We enjoy seeing what our graduates are doing and how they are making an impact on the world. Share your good news with us via email: lead@sdchamber.org.

The following LEAD graduates have been (re)elected to serve in office: 

Scott Peters (95) – reelected to Congress

Nora Vargas (06) – elected to County Board of Supervisors

Colin Parent (19) – reelected to La Mesa City Council


The following LEAD graduates are now serving on the LEAD Board & SDYL Board:

Karen Higareda (19) – new to LEAD & SDYL Boards

Rosa María Hernández (20) – new to LEAD Board

Melanie Cohn (18) – SDYL

Katharine LiMandri (18) – SDYL

Jordan Marks (19) – SDYL

Ryan Maxson (15) – SDYL

Javier Metoyer (18) – SDYL

Melissa Peterman (19) – SDYL

Lauren Rowley (18) – SDYL

Jim Woods (17) – SDYL


The following LEAD program graduates have recently taken on a new title:

Paola Avila (20), Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Todd Gloria, City of San Diego

Alexandra Berenter (18), Senior Water Policy Manager, Office of Mayor Todd Gloria, City of San Diego

Kirby Brady (18), Chief Innovation Officer, City of San Diego

Gil Cabrera (01), Board Member, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Matt Cobas (20), Trustee, Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego

Denice Garcia (10 & 19), Chief of Staff, Office of Supervisor Nora Vargas, County of San Diego

Vicky Joes (12), Chief of Staff, Office of Councilmember Joe LaCava, City of San Diego

Griselda Ramirez (18), Director of Community Engagement & Partnerships, Office of Supervisor Nora Vargas, County of San Diego

Mario X. Sierra (94), Assistant Director, Building Services, Facilities Management, UC San Diego

Michael Simonsen (09), Chief of Staff, Office of Councilmember Raul Campillo, City of San Diego

Joe Stuyvesant (09), President & CEO, Port of San Diego


The following LEAD program graduates have been named to the San Diego Business Journal’s 500 Influential Business Leaders:

Jason Anderson (07), President & CEO, CleanTech San Diego

Sam Attisha (11), Senior Vice President & Region Manager, Cox Communications

Kimberly Becker (19), President & CEO, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

Phil Blair (83), Executive Officer, Manpower San Diego

Gordon Boerner (93), Senior Vice President / Western U.S. Region Private Banking Manager, U.S. Bank

Betsy Brennan (06 & 18), CEO, Downtown San Diego Partnership

Dan Broderick (05), President, Western Region, Cushman & Wakefield

Peter Callstrom (98), President & CEO, San Diego Workforce Partnership

Reid Carr (11), CEO, Red Door Interactive

Kurt Chilcott (92), President & CEO, CDC Small Business Finance

Nikia Clarke (16), Vice President & Executive Director, San Diego Regional EDC/World Trade Center

Steve Cologne (12), Managing Partner, Higgs Fletcher & Mack

Michael Cunningham (15), Chancellor, National University System

Natalie Dahl (18), Managing Director, CBRE

Carol Dedrich (17), CEO, Girl Scouts San Diego

Rob Douglas (16), President & COO, ResMed

Paul Downey (96), President & CEO, Serving Seniors

Barry Edelstein (17), Erna Finci Viterbi Artisitc Director, The Old Globe

Jane Finley (15), Senior Vice President & Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente

James Floros (13), CEO, Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank

John Frager (16), Executive Managing Director, CBRE

Marilyn Hannes (17), President, SeaWorld San Diego & Aquatica

Melissa Hayden-Cook (16), President & CEO, Sharp Health Plan

Jo Dee Jacob (03), Retired CEO, Girl Scouts San Diego

Stephen Jennings (16), Senior Vice President, Executive Director, Foundation, Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego

Rudolph A. Johnson, III (94), President & CEO, Neighborhood House Association

Stath Karras (94), Executive Director, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, University of San Diego

Sara Katz (89), Founder & CEO, Katz & Associates

Tim Keane (20), Dean, School of Business, University of San Diego

Susan Lew (87), Founder & CEO, S. Lew & Associates

Alessandra Lezama (19), CEO, TOOTRiS

Jim Madaffer (89), CEO, Madaffer Enterprises

Nancy Maldonado (17 & 20), President & CEO, Chicano Federation of San Diego County

Lidia S. Martinez (11), Retired Manager, Community Outreach & Grassroots, Southwest Airlines

Sandra McDonough (16), Partner, Paul, Plevin, Sullivan & Connaughton

Michael Neal (00), President & CEO, H.G. Fenton Co.

Mark Neville (15), Executive Director, San Diego Bowl Game Association

Eric Northbrook (16), Managing Director, Voit Real Estate Services

Lisa D. Ordóñez (20), Dean, Stanley & Pauline Foster Endowed Chair, Rady School of Management, UC San Diego

Julian Parra (09), Senior Vice President & Region Executive, Bank of America

Tom Pellette (10), President, Solar Turbines

Alan Prohaska (15), Region Manager & Senior Vice President – Middle Market Bank, Wells Fargo

Garry Ridge (16), CEO, WD-40 Company

Rip Rippetoe (19), President & CEO, San Diego Convention Center Corporation

Manuel Rodriguez (19), Market President, U.S. Bank

Nathan Rogge (02), President & CEO, Bank of Southern California

Nancy Sasaki (93), CEO, United Way of San Diego County

Lori Ann Stevens (14), Design Manager, Turner Construction

Matt Thoene (14), CEO, NFINIT

Robin Toft (17), Founder & Chair, Toft Group, a ZRG Company

Tonya Torosian (13), CEO, Promises2Kids

Roxana Velásquez (11), Executive Director, San Diego Museum of Art

David Wellis (15), CEO, San Diego Blood Bank

Caroline Winn (02), CEO, SDG&E

Carisa Wisniewski (10), Partner, Moss Adams