News & Updates

Sponsored Content: Azzur Fore ALS

As one of the newest members and sponsor for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Azzur Group would like to invite you to enjoy a day of friendly competition as you putt your way through the beautiful views at the Goat Hill Park Golf Club in Oceanside, CA on Thursday, July 15, 2021.

All of the proceeds from the tournament benefit the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI). For more information on our partnership with ALS TDI, sponsorship opportunities, or tournament registration click here!


Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disease. The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) and its scientists actively discover and develop treatments for ALS. It is the world’s first and largest nonprofit biotech focused 100% on ALS research. Led by people with ALS and drug development experts, ALS TDI understands the urgent need to slow and stop this disease.

Based in Cambridge, MA, ALS TDI has over 30 full-time, industry-trained, drug discovery experts on staff. This interdisciplinary team of scientists works 24/7 in ALS TDI’s state-of-the-art laboratory and partners with pharmaceutical and biotech companies around the world. ALS TDI is the foremost drug discovery center concentrated solely on ALS.

ALS TDI is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for ALS.\

Member Spotlight: Futures Academy

Futures Academy is School Reimagined. Discover a Better Way to Learn.

Students have different learning styles and needs. For some, the traditional classroom is not a place where they thrive. Futures Academy recognized this 35 years ago when it pioneered the one teacher to one student teaching model. Since then, Futures has helped more than 19,000 students achieve their educational success through personalized instruction that instills confidence, character, and a lifelong love of learning.

The one student-one teacher classroom allows for flexibility and customization, both in class scheduling and curriculum design, creating a space where students can learn without distractions while mastering the skills and material presented in the course.

What sets Futures Academy apart is a belief that schools should adapt to the needs of its students, not the other way around. Students build healthy relationships with teachers who serve as mentors and advocates for learning success and quickly find they are in a school where they are seen, known and belong.

Futures Academy helps students develop a healthy mindset about learning. Through research-based principles, students learn how to improve study habits, manage stress, overcome obstacles, approach homework successfully, and meet deadlines. As students learn to be self-aware and work independently, they adopt behaviors and actions that are proven to lead to a sense of success and fulfillment.

When not in class, students have ample opportunities to connect across a micro-community through guided study, clubs, field trips and social activities. Empowering the next generation of thinkers and doers, Futures Academy offers 170 courses including 32 Honors, 16 Advanced Placement (AP) and more than 70 21st century skills electives.

Discover a better way to learn with a Free Trial Experience at Futures Academy! Register your child and choose from a virtual 50 minute live 1:1 class, a homework coach session, or a college counseling seminar. Meet with a live teacher or coach to explore the benefits of 1:1 learning and support programs. Sign up today at

The San Diego campus is located at 9915 Mira Mesa Blvd., Ste 210. Futures Academy is WASC Accredited and UC, CSU & NCAA approved. To schedule a no-obligation campus tour, call 866-994-0920 or visit

Apply for LEAD San Diego Flagship Program, Impact, through July 2

LEAD San Diego has extended applications for their 2022 LEAD Impact program to July 2. Join the 3,000 leaders from across the region who have taken part in this enriching leadership development program for mid- to senior-level managers. Create a comprehensive foundation for greater civic and community engagement, expand your personal networks, and establish long-term relationships with Impact. Learn more here.

Biden Nominates U.S. Ambassador to Mexico

The White House announced nine ambassador nominations as President Biden wrapped up meetings in Europe with the Group of Seven countries and NATO. Former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has been officially nominated to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.

Salazar also served as Senator of Colorado and was the first Latino Democrat to serve in Capitol Hill since 1972. In 1998, he was elected to serve as Attorney General, becoming the first Latino elected to statewide office in Colorado. Since the end of the Obama administration, Salazar joined an international law firm.

Nominees are yet to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Workplace COVID-19 Regulations Updated

Cal/OSHA met last Thursday, June 17, to consider updates to the Emergency Temporary Standards, following a confusing and complicated sequence of meetings .

The update, however, includes some good news. The board voted to adopt the revisions which will bring the state closer into alignment with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. More specifically, the updated revisions will:

  • Allow vaccinated employees to go without masks indoors
  • Remove physical distancing requirements
  • Requires employers to document the vaccination status of their staff by:
    • Copying and keeping a record of vaccination cards
    • Keeping a record of employees who have shown cards (but employers don’t keep copies)
    • Keeping a record of employees who self-attest to being vaccinated
  • Requires employers to provide N95 masks to employees who request them

Cal/OSHA has already provided an FAQ that you can find here. Additionally, Governor Newsom signed an Executive Order putting the revision into effect immediately, so there will not be the usual 10-day wait period.

State Launches Vaccination Record Portal

California has launched their vaccine verification portal, But definitely don’t call it a “passport.” Instead, the site allows vaccinated Californians to access their vaccination information which will be downloaded into a QR Code on their phone and can provide secured verification before entering sites that require it. While participation in the verification system will not be mandatory, it could provide a simpler way to access those records for individuals who were vaccinated early or have lost their vaccination cards.

Cross-Border Non-Essential Travel Update

Temporary restrictions on non-essential travel across shared ports of entry between Canada, the U.S., and Mexico were extended to July 21. With northbound waits of up to six hours at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry during the past few weeks, border restrictions and delays continue to impact businesses across our region. At the Chamber, we have urged the federal government to lift restrictions and shared an overview of the negative economic impacts these restrictions have had on our business community. Senators and Representatives from Texas and Arizona also sent letters to Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas urging him to commit to a timeframe to lift restrictions and collaborate with border communities.

The U.S. announced the donation of 1 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to Mexico. The Mexican Federal Government stated that the vaccines will be distributed amongst individuals aged 18-39 in border communities to help lift travel restrictions at the border. In Baja, vaccines are now available for this age group at designated vaccination stations across the state.

Secretary Mayorkas traveled to Mexico City this week to meet with Mexico’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcelo Ebrard. Their discussion focused on identifying strategies to facilitate trade and travel, including measures to gradually lift non-essential travel restrictions impacting our shared land ports of entry.

This follows Vice President Harris’s visit to Mexico City earlier this month to meet with President Lopez Obrador. Both leaders discussed shared commitments to expand bilateral economic cooperation, strengthen labor cooperation, and work together to address migration in Central America – another issue impacting the border region.

Cross-Border Vaccination Program

The Mexican Consulate in San Diego, in partnership with San Diego County and UCSD Health, launched a cross-border vaccination program where 10,000 vaccines were granted by the County to vaccinate Mexican workers at U.S.-owned assembly plants in Tijuana. Additionally, vaccines are being administered by medical staff from UCSD at the San Ysidro Land Port of Entry.

The goal is to expand the program to include other industries and replicate the initiative across the U.S.-Mexico border. This initiative has been critical in our efforts urging the federal government to lift travel restrictions impacting our shared land ports of entry. For information on how to participate in the program, please contact Chamber Executive Director of International Business Affairs via email at


Mexico’s 2021 Elections

93 million Mexican voters headed to the polls on June 6 to elect members of the lower house of Congress, 15 governors, 30 state representatives, and nearly 1,900 municipal government positions. The president’s MORENA party will now hold between 265-292 seats in the 500 person lower chamber, falling quite short of their current two-thirds majority. MORENA will depend on its allies (Labor Party and Green Party) to pass legislation requiring a simple majority.

In the gubernatorial races, MORENA will hold 11 of the governor seats including Baja California and Baja California Sur. Former Mexicali Mayor Marina del Pilar Avila will become Baja’s first female governor, joined by another 6 female governors shaping Mexico’s political history. Governor-elect Marina del Pilar announced a strategic plan for her first 100 days in office comprised by a list of priorities and action items to promote economic development, tourism, fisheries and aquaculture, sustainability, education. The plan also highlights the need to strengthen and increase cross-border collaboration in our Cali-Baja region.

MORENA also won all municipal elections across Baja California:

  • Montserrat Caballero (Tijuana);
  • Norma Bustamante (Mexicali);
  • Dario Benitez (Tecate);
  • Armando Ayala (Ensenada, reelected); and
  • Araceli Brown (Rosarito, reelected).

Despite the mixed results from the midterm elections, President Lopez Obrador stated that he is still planning to implement a recall referendum as promised during his campaign – a chance to vote him out of office in 2022.

Applications Open for 2021 Small Business Awards


– The application period has ended. Finalists will be announced on July 14.  –


Do you have a business success story? Is your business/minority business leading in your field? Or maybe you’re a nonprofit whose mission is all about the community… If so, we want YOU to apply for the Chamber’s 2021 Small Business Awards, where we honor our region’s top small businesses that are driving the San Diego economy forward.

Winning an award for your organization is a great way to strengthen your brand, increase your visibility and stand out from the competition. Finalists and award recipients will be recognized at our Summer Splash + Small Business Awards Mixer in front of 200+ business and community leaders.

Applications are quick, easy and free for members – submit your application below or nominate a business you know by Wednesday, June 30, 2021.




Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must be a current member in good standing with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Eligible applicants must have 50 or fewer employees in total. Small businesses (including nonprofits) must be independently owned and operated, and home-based, street front or office-based organizations. Organizations may apply to multiple categories. Award winners from the last 2 years will not be eligible to win again in the same category.


Winning an award is an excellent opportunity to gain exposure for your company and earn recognition for your achievements.

Winners receive:

  • Recognition during the Summer Splash + Small Business Awards Mixer on July 22! Register here >
  • Award engraved with company name
  • Official award winner logo
  • Digital, and social media recognition
  • Complimentary tabletop exhibit at a future Chamber mixer

Finalists receive:

  • Recognition at the Small Business Awards Mixer and listing in the event program
  • Digital and social media recognition


zeynep_ex“Confirm Biosciences is honored to have received this award as Outstanding Emerging Business. We are grateful for this recognition and would like to thank the San Diego Chamber for their outstanding work in the community and their support of growing businesses.”

Zeynep Ilgaz | President & CEO, Confirm Biosciences


“As a nonprofit agency in the senior space, ElderHelp of San Diego works hard to convey the message that there are too many seniors in San Diego whose safety net has failed them. Those seniors are almost invisible, and we look forward to any opportunity to get the word out. We are very pleased that our Bill Trumpfheller Social Impact Award allowed a new audience to learn about ElderHelp and its social impact for seniors.”

Gretchen Veihl | Director of Philanthropy, ElderHelp


“Being recognized by the Chamber is a huge honor. Participating in award opportunities has helped us to elevate our brand awareness and establish our credibility.  Exposure to different audiences through the Chamber has helped us to gain additional clients, increase our presence in San Diego and allow others the chance to get to know us. We are grateful for the hard work the Chamber does to support small businesses and look forward to being part of the organization for years to come.”

Jennifer Barnes | CEO, Optima Office



Submissions must be received by Wednesday, June 30 at 11:59 p.m. PDT to be eligible. Winners will be announced live at the Small Business Awards Reception in July.

Award Categories

Community Minded


This award recognizes an organization that is dedicated to helping others and making a positive impact in the community during this time of crisis/uncertainty.

Best Success Story


Now’s your turn to brag about your organization’s success this past year– large or small – but something you’re proud of.

Outstanding Minority, Woman, Veteran, DBE-Owned Business

This award celebrates the success of a small business that is contributing to the growth and diversity of the American economy.

Customers First

Customer service is what sets this organization apart from the competition.