News & Updates

Who’s waiting for you? Get there faster with FasTrak!

Being stuck in traffic is never any fun, but you aren’t the only one waiting. When you can’t afford to be late, get to your destination faster with FasTrak on the I-15 Express Lanes and South Bay Expressway. The I-15 Express Lanes provide 20 miles of congestion-free travel between SR 163 and SR 78. Carpools, vanpools, clean-air vehicles, and transit can ride the Express Lanes for free while solo drivers pay as little as fifty cents. South Bay Expressway FasTrak customers save up to 80% on tolls between Chula Vista and Otay Mesa, with easy connection to East County and Mexico. Paying tolls on South Bay Expressway is easy. In addition to pre-paid FasTrak accounts, customers can use convenient automated cash and credit machines located at the northbound entrance and southbound exit ramps.

Pick up a FasTrak transponder at a participating Costco and receive $5 in free tolls. Priced at $34.99, each activated account will receive $40 in pre-paid tolls.

Already love FasTrak? Here are some ways to save.

  • Refer-A-Friend and you’ll both receive $10 in free toll credits when your friend opens an account.
  • One lucky FasTrak customer will win $50 in free tolls every month during 2015. All you have to do is drive on the toll road. Every one-way trip you take counts as one entry.
  • Baseball is back in San Diego. Save up to 50% off Padres tickets this season when you buy tickets online with our group password: SANDAG15.

Get more information on FasTrak, the I-15 Express Lanes, South Bay Expressway, and current free toll promotions today.

About FasTrak:
FasTrak is the electronic toll system that allows customers to use any toll road, bridge, or express lane in California without stopping to pay. To participate, drivers must have a prepaid FasTrak account and a transponder properly installed on their windshield when they use a FasTrak toll road or bridge. The correct toll is automatically deducted from a prepaid account.

Community Partner of the Month: Make-A-Wish® San Diego

05 Make a Wish Foundation
The Chamber is proud to announce its newest Community Partner, the Challenged Athletes Foundation! Make-A-Wish San Diego grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions in San Diego and Imperial Counties to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Since its inception in 1983, the San Diego chapter has granted more than 3,500 wishes to children in our community. In the coming year, the organization anticipates granting over 200 wishes for children in our community, and hosting over 200 Wish Kids from other states to grant their wish in San Diego. At Make-A-Wish, the goal is simple: to come into a child’s life during a difficult time and provide hope and a much-needed break from the daily challenges they are forced to face. For more information about Make-A-Wish San Diego, visit us online at or call us at (858) 707-WISH.

Wishes generally fall into one of these categories:
I wish to have…
I wish to be…
I wish to go…
I wish to meet…

Make-A-Wish® San Diego believes in the power of a wish®. It is their purpose to provide children and their families with a life-affirming experience in the midst of a very challenging time. A wish has the power to change a child’s mental state, provide desperately-needed respite for a family, and allow the child’s and his/her family to experience a sense of normalcy. The organization’s vision is to grant a wish to every eligible child in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Make-a-Wish serve schildren from all areas of both counties and our demographics span every socio-economic and ethnic demographic. No eligible child is ever turned away, and a family’s financial status, race, or religion has no bearing on whether or not a child will receive a wish.

Wish Referrals
Their vision is that every eligible child will experience a wish come true. If you know a family with a child between the ages of 2 ½-17 battling a life-threatening medical condition, please ask them to visit or contact the Make-A-Wish office at 858-707-9474. A child can be referred by a parent/guardian, medical professional treating the child or the child themselves.

Christine Altrock, DDS: Creating Great Smiles

Christine AltrockDr. Christine Altrock and Dr. Brian Fabb are excited to introduce themselves to the San Diego community, as these recently engaged doctors purchased a dental practice together in Pacific Beach. One of their first tasks with the established practice was upgrading the technology in the office, making patient communication more streamline and offering more services to their patients, including: Invisalign orthodontics, in-office tooth whitening, live photos and videos of the oral cavity, and the latest in esthetically pleasing dental biomaterials. They utilize text message and email-based appointment reminders, and have Pandora Radio and Netflix-capable televisions mounted on the ceilings of treatment rooms to make patients’ appointments breeze by with fun distractions.

In April, the couple had an office Open House for the community, family, friends, and dental colleagues to tour the office and be a part of the ribbon cutting ceremony! With over 60 people in attendance, they were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support and loyalty to the office. As residents of PB, they love contributing to the overall health and well-being of their community through fundraising efforts and donating time for the American Heart Association and the Veteran’s Village of San Diego, and regularly donating blood to the San Diego Blood Bank.

If you or your family and friends need a dentist, they would love to provide you a gentle and caring dental home. Check them out at, or swing by the office on the corner of Garnet and Olney and say hello!

Office Information
Christine Altrock, DDS
Brian Fabb, DDS
(858) 272-8330
2187 Garnet Ave
San Diego, CA 92109

Westgate Hotel: Celebrating 45 Years of Sophisticated Hospitality

05 WestgateThe iconic Westgate Hotel, a Grand America Hotel, is preparing to celebrate its 45th anniversary in August 2015. Designed as a recreation of an anteroom in the Palace of Versailles, Esquire Magazine named it one of the three finest hotels in the world. Today, the Westgate Hotel continues to stand a symbol of style and one-of-a-kind European luxury in San Diego.

When it opened its doors on August 29, 1970, the Westgate Hotel ushered in a new era of hospitality and sophistication in San Diego. When the hotel was built, it was the most expensive hotel built in the country at $14.5 million. With 235 luxurious guest rooms and suites, two restaurants and a blend of Louis XV, Georgian and English Regency décor, the hotel filled in the void formal classiness that had long been absent in San Diego. Opening room rates for single occupancy were $26, $33 for a double room and suites started at $65.

To celebrate this amazing milestone, the Westgate Hotel is offering a 45th Anniversary Package featuring a deluxe room at the standard rate of $299 and a second night stay for only $45. The exclusive deal is available through December 30, 2015 and is subject to availability. Tax and gratuity are additional.

Guests will save just under $250 and enjoy an elegantly appointed guestroom offering a full array of luxury amenities. Each room, some of the largest in downtown San Diego and the Gaslamp Quarter, offers spectacular views, luxury bedding, opulent marble bathrooms with brass fixtures and imported European furniture. Reservations may be made online at or by phone at 800-522-1564.

The Westgate Hotel has played host to many celebrities and dignitaries including President Gerald Ford, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Kate Hudson, Bette Davis, Mel Gibson, Betty Davis, Brooke Shields, Sean Connery and Meryl Streep.

The Westgate Hotel
Linda Karimi, Hotel Communications Director

Aztec Graphics: San Diego’s Largest Selection of Prints & Posters since 1983

05 AztecAztec Graphics has been in business since 1983. Our family owned  business originally started at Kobey’s swapmeet in 1983  and then opened as a storefront for the first time in 1987 at the Campus Plaza shopping center, corner of College Avenue and  El Cajon Blvd. In 1991, we moved to our current location at 1439 Garnet Avenue, in Pacific Beach. We established ourselves as one of San Diego’s most trusted and reliable picture framers.

We have the city’s  biggest selection of posters/prints, with over 4,000 in stock. We’ve really strived to keep the business diverse by offering framing and selling a wide selection of prints, which no other frame shop offers in San Diego. We offer a  vast selection of pre-made frames, for people who are looking for fast and economical picture  framing.  So truly we have evolved the business to the point that we can fufill the needs for someone looking for a simple black pre-made frame, all the way up to the customer who is looking for a museum quality custom framing job. We like to think of ourselves as a one stop shop for everyone’s art and framing needs.

Compare Our Prices
Aztec Graphics $59.95
Michael’s $125.00
Aaron Brothers $150.00
*24″ x 36″ black metal frame, including mounting, glass and labor

We opened our first on line store in 2005.. This allows us to reach the worldwide market with our extensive poster inventory. The thing that makes us unique in the extremely competative online market, is that we’ve collected many rare out print posters dating back to the early 1970s. There are three separate platforms where we sell. They are Ebay, Etsy, and our online poster Squarespace website in which we ship worldwide. Our website is Our Etsy store name is PosterAmerica and our Ebay store name is Poster America.

Aztec Graphics
Owners: Rick, Barbara and Tim Bailey

1439 Garnet Avenue
San Diego, CA.   92109

Full-Service Vacation Rental Property Management and Marketing

VacasaAt Vacasa, we’re leveling the playing field when it comes to the hospitality industry, equipping private vacation home owners with the same technological advantages that much larger hotels and resorts have traditionally enjoyed…along with the hands-on caretaking and personal service that both guests and homeowners have come to expect.

As a technology startup, we offer full-service vacation rental property management and marketing, with an intense focus on innovation and automation. Our company began in Portland, OR in 2009, and last year, we were honored to be named #9 on Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation—for the travel industry category, we were named #1.

In 2014, we also began offering our management services to homeowners in the San Diego. We now manage more than 40 homes in the area, and are thrilled to be a part of such a vibrant community. Our local San Diego team of property managers, maintenance staff, and housekeepers take excellent care of our homes and handle any last-minute guest issues that may arise, while our central support team in Portland takes care of marketing, reservations, and much more.

We believe this unique combination of hands-on caretaking and tech-focused marketing helps us provide our owners a fantastic experience and a much higher return on their investment. For instance, our proprietary rate optimization system is the first of its kind in the vacation rental industry: rather than setting rates by weekday or weekend, off-season or peak season, our dynamic system automatically updates rental rates four times a day—much like airlines and hotels have been doing for years.

For guests, we provide a sense of security that’s often hard to find, without losing the special experience of staying in a private vacation home. Every Vacasa home is unique, but in San Diego especially, many have amazing amenities that you just can’t get in a hotel: gourmet kitchens, pet-friendly policies, free WiFi, plus the character and comfort of a private home…and many of our rentals have truly amazing oceanfront locations in lively neighborhoods like Mission Beach and Pacific Beach.

Lunch and a Selfie

Congressional Selfie
The Chamber produced its annual Congressional Luncheon with nearly 600 attendees at the Marriott Marquis & Marina on April 27. Congress members Darrell Issa, Juan Vargas, Scott Peters and Susan Davis led a candid discussion on a variety of issues, including reliable water resources for San Diego, national security threats, presidential candidates, and student loan debt.

The Congress members took questions from the audience and the event received quite the attention on social media, especially on Twitter with the hashtag “DCinSD.” In that spirit, Chamber CEO and President Jerry Sanders took a “selfie” with the Congressional delegation.

If you were not able to attend this year, check out this recap by our moderator Gene Cubbison on NBC’s website and watch our highlight video:

2015 California Mexico Trade Initiative

11050856_1137400099619705_5455210982954043895_nThe Chamber’s 10th annual California-Mexico Trade Initiative delegation of 75 people included the Mayors of Chula Vista, Imperial Beach and Tecate Mexico, and business leaders in our mega-region’s key industries: high tech, education, energy, real estate, and transportation.

The group had the opportunity to meet with members of the Mexico Congress, Mexico Customs, Secretariat of the Economy among many others. The delegation also had a reception with the US Ambassador to Mexico, toured the Mexico Stock Exchange and the Palacio de Bellas Artes.

The Chamber’s International Business Affairs will be following up with delegates and elected officials from both sides of the border on the many actions we have as a result of our productive meetings.

For more photos, check out our album on Facebook!

Album 1 »
Album 2 »

MosaicVisual Communications: Web – Mobile Apps – Print

04 MosaicVisualMosaicVisual Communications is a full-service web, mobile app, and print design company in San Diego dedicated to producing results-driven visuals for our clients and partners.

The perfect blend of form and function. Creating a pleasant and logical user experience for web sites, and print designs is paramount. Strong design improves our customer’s brand and credibility which in-turn gets results.

Once you have your site build, an important role is the promotion of that site. We can help you create a strategy that works and will get you the desired results you seek, whether that be traffic, registrations, or product sales.

Monitor results and make improvements. It’s not enough to launch your website and wait for your ROI. For best results you must track and report on efficiencies and constantly improve the user experience.

Getting optimal organic search results. Google and Bing are powerful search engines that need help understanding and indexing customer sites. We’ll optimize your websites so they communicate needed information.

Social Media and other forms of traditional Marketing. We’ll develop campaigns that meet your marketing strategy – PPC campaigns on Google and Bing, Facebook Ads, Display ads in the Google network – we have it all covered.

Reputation is more important than ever, and more fragile. We’ll develop a reputation recovering campaign to rebuild and manage your online reputation. We’ll monitor the web for anywhere your company is mentioned.

Build relationships with your loyal customers. Mobile Apps are undeniably the wave of the future. We’ll develop custom apps that help your customers stay informed with up-to-the-minute news and other useful tools.

Multi-media will catch customer attention. Great videos or HTML5 animations can inform, educate, or even close a sale more effectively than any other media. We’ll build videos so you can build your professional image.

Less work for you at the best prices. As a print broker, you’ll find we can negotiate the best printing deals. It saves you time since we do the work. It saves you money since we get trade discounts and pass the savings to you.

Who is BofI Federal Bank?

04 BOFI1BofI Federal Bank is a diversified financial services company with over $5 billion in assets, headquartered in San Diego. We provide innovative banking and lending products and services to personal and business banking customers across the nation.

BofI Federal Bank leverages the benefits of a branchless banking system to provide better value to customers through industry-leading products and interest rates. Our experience and drive to provide branchless banking has given us the opportunity to grow into markets traditional banks are unable to do for their customers. With technology every-changing, we feel our expertise will only expand and benefit a customer’s experience.

Our deposit products are offered through a wide range of retail distribution channels and loan products through retail, correspondent, and wholesale channels. This variety allows for a more expanded footprint to ensure our customers need to bank with only one financial institution – thus providing a streamlined banking experience.

The capital markets division of BofI Federal focuses on commercial and industrial loan origination through vertical markets to help customers diversify their loan portfolios, generate fee income, and manage balance sheets.

Join the growing family of customers that call BofI Federal Bank a banking partner and see how we can help you today.

04 BOFI2“We aspire to be the most innovative branchless bank in the United States providing products and services superior to our competitors, branch-based or otherwise.”

Gregory Garrabrants
President | Chief Executive Officer