METRO Movers 2014
Metro Movers 2014
Introducing the Metro Movers for the year — men and women who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and who are poised to add to their achievements in 2014.
Jeffery Adler is the founder and CEO of Dlush, a youth-market drink and treat concept. He has held the position for 12 years. The retail chain has outlets in San Diego, Los Angeles, Kuwait and Qatar. Recent expansion initiatives include a new branch at the Rock Church in Point Loma and a branch set to premiere inside the Price Center at UC San Diego. Prior to Dlush, Adler worked as a retail consultant to executives in Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand. He is noted for his category-innovations in the Food & Beverage world. He has a deep passion for F&B and his mission is to build a company home to San Diego that can inspire the youth to connect around his product, and from it, inspire them to pursue their own personal dreams. Dlush participates in youth-related charity events like the Larry English Football Camp for Kids, Rady Children’s Hospital Annual Gala Event for Kids with Cancer, and Flavors of the Gaslamp to raise proceeds for kids with multiple sclerosis. During the Challenged Athletes Foundation’s 20th Triathalon, Jeffery distributed drinks to thousands of challenged athletes along with their friends and family. He has been involved with the Autism Society of San Diego, the seventh annual Homeless Connect and partnered with the Susan G Komen’s Race for the Cure. He helped strategically develop USD’s Bright Idea Initiative, a mobile kiosk to encourage students to step inside a booth, share and record their dreams in 60 seconds or less. He is a graduate of Georgetown Law and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland where he graduated summa cum laude as the university’s valedictorian.
Ileana Ovalle Engel
Ileana Ovalle Engel is the state director of government affairs for Cox California, leading a dynamic team that builds and maintains positive relations with local, state and federal government officials to cultivate an optimal environment for the third largest cable and telecommunications company in the United States. She is known for her connectedness and commitment to the diverse constituencies of San Diego. Whether it is hands-on work in cleaning up City Heights canyons, mentoring a diverse group of youth or raising upwards of $100,000 towards nonprofit fundraising campaigns, Engel is always willing to pitch in to improve our community. She has served on the boards of Ocean Discovery Institute, Junior Achievement, South County Economic Development Council, USD Nonprofit Leadeshipo & Management Advisory Board, the San Diego Foundation Opening the Outdoors Intiative, MABPA and the California Channel. A LEAD San Diego 2006 graduate, Engel was one of 20 Latina professionals statewide in 2013 to be selected to the Hispanic Leadership Institute through Hispanics Organized for Political Equality. A native San Diegan, she was raised by a single mother in the University Heights and North Park communities. Engel was the first in her family to go to college. She holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership/Management from USD and a B.A. in Public Administration from SDSU.
William W. Eigner
William Eigner is the go-to guy for emerging businesses and the angel and venture capital investors investing in them. With his Stanford connections, his service on the boards of San Diego Venture Group and CommNexus, and his involvment in Procopio’s Silicon Valley office, Eigner has developed a powerhouse network of investors and entrepreneurs who are fueling the rise of emerging and established businesses in technology, energy, the sciences and other sectors. He is recognized as one of San Diego’s top transactional attorneys, and a past U.S. Supreme Court judicial intern. He has a knack for getting companies and investors what they need to succeed. His practice further encompasses corporate and business transactions, including matters relating to telecommunications, electronic commerce, clean technology, life sciences/medical devices, corporate governance, competitive business practices, securities and business structuring and finance. Eigner also has significant experienced in handling mergers and acquisitions, contractual and political issues involving telecommunications companies and indpendent power producers. He is a director of the San Diego Police Foundation. He is a past director of the San Diego Regional Chamber and is a member of the chamber’s Public Policy Committee. He serves on the board of the Mundoval Fund, a publicly traded, global, large-cap, value-oriented mutual fund. He is a former trustee of La Jolla Country Day School and a former member of the Bishop’s School’s Headmaster’s Advisory Council. Eigner is a former trustee and land use chairman of the La Jolla Town Council.
Paul Leeds is an experienced trial attorney, having tried over 20 cases to verdict in state, federal and military courts, and has argued before the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Ninth Circuit’s Bankruptcy Appellate Panel. Prior to joining Higgs Fletcher & Mack, Leeds spent 13 years on active duty in the U.S, Marine Corps. After earning his JD in 1996, Leeds was assigned for six years as a military prosecutor and special assistant U.S. Attorney. During 2001, Leeds was recognized by the ABA as the Outstanding Young Military Lawyer by the U.S. Marine Corps. He is active in the Marine Corps Reserve where he is the head of litigation for the reserve government activity supporting worldwide military prosecution efforts. He teaches evidence and trial procedures through the San Diego Inn of Court, and is a member of the San Diego bankruptcy Forum. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame.
A native New Yorker, Ron Morabito discovered his passion for business at a young age. Morabito became a stockbroker at the age of 19, after achieving his goal of passing the Series 7 exam. After working as a broker for three years, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself and established a signage and printing company on Long Island at the age of 22. He built up a very successful business and after eight years sold the company and decided to relocate to California in 2007 where he opened up a new corporation, V Group, which provides signage, trade show displays, printing and promotional products. Morabito’s childhood was fairly normal throughout his adolescent years, but he ended up leaving home at a very early age and was homeless for several of his teen years. Many nights in the New York cold he slept outside, but never gave up hope. Only recently has he come out publicly about his story in the hopes that even if it inspires one person, it’s a story worth telling. Too prideful and honest to never beg or steal he always worked any odd job he could to survive those times. In San Diego, he is an active philanthropist who supports youth programs for underprivileged and at-risk children. He sits on the board of trustees for the San Diego Sports Commissioin and is an active member of the Century Club where he serves as chairman of the volunteer committee. He is a 40 Under 40 Award winner and was named San Diego’s Young Executive of the month by San Diego’s Young Professionals Committee. He also volunteers his time and signage for the All About Kids Foundation, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Huntington’s Disease Foundation. He has also recently launched a new company called South Pacific Woodwork, specializing in custom cabinetry, casework, display and furniture.
David Marino is executive vice president of Hughes Marino, the largest tenant representation company in San Dieo. Hughes Marino is committed to only representing tenants in their lease and purchase transactions of commercial space. Marino specializes in high-value, time-critical and complex transactions for technology, life science and business service companies. He is an expert in the strategic planning, market assessment, financial analysis, business terms structuring and negotiations aspects of commercial real estate. Marino has an in-depth command of the entire facility lease, purchase and disposition process. He has been exclusively representing tenants since 19912, completing over 13 million square feet, comprised of over 1,000 transactions. He has represented Alphaec Spine, Digirad, EMD Millipore, Encore Capital, Entropic Communications, Peregrine Semiconductor, Silicon National Bank and Volcano Corporation, where Marino does all of its work in North America for over a dozen leases. His selected venture-backed clients include ID Analytics, Mitchell International, Ophthonix, SmartDrive Systems and Tritech Solftware. Marino has been named Broker of the Year by the San Diegop County Commercial Association of Realtors, was a 2003 40 Under 40 Award winner by SD METRO Magazine and The Irvine Company’s “Broker of the Year” each year from 2005 to 2013. He is a columnist for SD METRO Magazine, a graduate of the UC Riverside and holds an MBA from the University of Southern California, with an emphasis in real estate and finance.
At a time when some are questioning the value of a liberal arts education, new University of San Diego College of Arts and Sciences Dean Noelle Norton think it is more important than ever. A political scientist who has taught at USD since 1994, Norton sees the value of learning about history, languages, science and other subjects as a long-term proposition. Norton became dean of USD’s largest academic unit with some 4,000 students and 225 full-time faculty in July 2013, and had led a number of USD initiatives that encourage students to integrate information, solve problems and communicate results. She directed the USD Honors Program for seven years where undergraduates are required to conduct and present cutting-edge research and create work in the humanities, natural and social sciences. She also co-directed the design and implementation of USD’s Living Learning Community program where 100 percent of all first-year students with similar intellectual interests live and take classes together, resulting in more interdisciplinary connections and community engagement. “USD provides an excellent liberal arts and sciences education to our undergraduates, whether business, engineering, science, social science or humanities majors,” Norton says.
Debra Rosen is president and chief executive officer of the North San Diego County Chamber of Commerce. She has turned around two underperforming nonprofit organizations by developing and implementing strategic plans, restoring profitability for member programs and benefits and winning market share in competitive regions and has continued to deliver growth for the chamber. She took the chamber out of debt and into being recognized as one of the few accredited chambers in California. She has led her management team and board in identifying critical issues, reduced and streamlined overhead expenses and paid off enormous debt that carried liens against the organization. She has delivered year over year revenue growth of more than 10 percent. As the chamber’s chief executive officer, Rosen has tripled the annual budget and revenue over the past three years. Before joining the chamber, she was in sales management at the U-T San Diego, responsible for new product development. She is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary, involved with the National Charity League, a member of the San Diego Chairman’s Roundtable and a member of the Advisory Board at National University’s School of Business and Management. She holds a B.A. in public administration from San Diego State University.
Ronson Shamoun is a tax controversy attorney with 15 years experience including 10 years in legal practice. Shamoun’s firm has grown from a solo practice into being the principal attorney at RJS Law, a full-service law firm of more than 20 individuals dedicated almost exclusively to criminal and civic tax practice. Through a series of high-profile cases, the firm has gained considerable prominence and recognition in the San Diego legal community and has developed a reputation for steadfast advocacy on behalf of its clients. RJS Law has also been recognized for the more than 1,000 pro bono hours it donates annually to the community and for its assistance to low-income taxpayers who could otherwise not afford representation. Shamoun is an elected member of the Ocean Beach Planning Board and formerly served on the Ocean Beach Town Council. Many are familiar with Shamoun through one of his two hugely popular restaurants: the Charcoal House in La Mesa and the Junction Steakhouse and Sports Bar in El Cajon. His businesses sponsor numerous local high schools and provide aid to various charitable organizations. He maintains a close relationship with his alma mater, the University of San Diego School of Law, and just recently created a scholarship for USD law students studying taxation. He has been named a top lawyer in California by the American Lawyers Media, and has chaired the annual Grossmont Hospital Foundation gala.
Mary Ann McGarry
Mary Ann McGarry is CEO of the San Diego-based Guild Mortgage Co. She has helped guide Guild achieve record increases in loan and servicing volume, expanded the company nationally and created an environment where employees are proud and excited to work. She was named president in 2005 and CEO in 2007. Under her leadership, the company has expanded nationally to more than 170 branch and satellite offices in 16 states, with plans for continued growth in the Southeastern United States. In 2012, Guild launched the Guild Giving Back Program, which encourages employees to donate time and money to worthy causes in their own communities.
Catherine Blair is president of the board of directors of Susan G Komen for the Cure, San Diego. She is an influential pillar of San Diego’s business and philanthropic community. She has worked with many nonprofits through critical transitional stages, helping them to become more effective and stronger community resources. As chair of the Grants Committee, Blair completely overhauled the grant-making process, increasing impact and transparency. Under her leadership, grants made to the San Diego community have grown from $750,000 to $1.4 million. Blair is an active volunteer. She began her involvement with the Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary. She has been involved with the Junior League of San Diego and the Bishop’s School Parents’ Association. Blair has also started her own business, Hummingbird Needlepoint, where she designs original hand painted needlepoint canvases.
Jon R. Williams
John Williams is president of the San Diego County Bar Association and a partner at Broudreau Williams LLP. He is a certified Appellate Specialist (State Bar Board of Legal Specialization) who specializes in civil appeals and writs at both the state and federal levels, and regularly partners with other law firms and trial counsel to handle their complex appellate matters. Willaim is an avid cyclist and surfer. He regularly participates in charity bike rides in order to raise funds for numerous local and national charities, including Challenged Athletes Foundation, American Diabetes Association and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has been honored as a San Diego Super Lawyer and is a past president of the California Western School of Law Alumni board of directors, and is a member of the Consumer Attorneys of California.
Stephen Friedman is a senior vice president and regional manager for Regents Bank, one of the leading community banks in San Diego. Friedman epitomizes the bank’s unique approach, spending extra time to advise his clients about business strategy. As a former CFO of Bruegger’s Bagels, the fomer CFO of the Westwind Group and a former owner of a local commercial bakery, Friedman thinks entrepreneurially. Knowing that he has had to sign personal guarantees and make payroll himself has motivated his clients to involve him in strategic decisions affecting all aspects of their businesses. He has been involved with the Rancho Bernardo Rotary Club to support returning service members who have been deployed overseas and Photo Charity, to support homeless youth in San Diego.
Danny Shepherd is president of Titan SEO, a San Diego-based SEO company that focuses on comprehensive digital marketing solutions including SEO, pay-per-click and social media services to businesses worldwide. A graduate of San Diego State University, Shepherd actively invests in and helps to fund early stage companies as an Angel investor with Tech Coast Angels. He founded Titan in 2004. It has been recognized as an Inc. Magazine 5000 company for the fourth year in a row. Utilizing proprietary software known as TitanBOT, which emulates search engine behavior, Titan SEO’s team can effectively test updates and identify the outcome of a campaign before going live. This technology has given Titan SEO a significant advantage and has contributed to years of positive growth. Titan SEO is a trusted Google Agency Partner. Shepherd donates funding and SEO support for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts.
Jacob James is managing director of the Waitt Foundation, focusing on novel approaches to philanthropy and public-private partnerships. He joined the Waitt Founation in 2009 as lead policy adviser and executive assistant to Waitt Foundation founder and chairman, Ted Waitt. Before joining the Waitt Foundation, He was an aide to Congresswoman Susan Davis. He is a member of the Waitt Foundation board and is an adviser to the Clinton Global Initiative on behalf of the foundation. He is also a member of the board of the San Diego Foundation and was recently named co-chair of the Malin Burnham San Diego Center of Civic Engagement’s Leadership Council.
Samantha Begovich is a deputy district attorney and currently co-chair of the Stanford University Law School Alumni Board in San Diego. Since 1995, she has tried over 70 criminal and civil trials as sole counsel to verdict and conducted numerous grand jury proceedings leading to indictments. She has collected over $7 million in stipulated civic and criminal judgments. Begovich is playing a leading role in building a new constituency for the San Diego Center for Civic Engagement’s new initiatives in education, jobs and civic technology. She is vice chair of the San Diego Foundation’s Leadership Fund Steering Committee and will be stewarding the upcoming San Diego Solution Series, five major leadership salons which seek to bring together San Diego’s best and brightest to seek ideas and action to issues pertinent to the growth of the region.