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Daily Business Report-March 28, 2017

Daily Business Report-March 28, 2017

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum at a press conference in Mexico City. (Courtesy San Diego Chamber)

San Diego and Tijuana Leaders Pitch

Cross-Border Collaboration in Mexico City

Times of San Diego

Business and political leaders from San Diego and Tijuana took their message of cross-border collaboration to Mexico City on Monday amid continued uncertainty around the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

“This trip and our mission as champions for cross-border commerce are more important than ever,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, which organized the mission.

“Our region is a national model for successful cross-border commerce and it is critical that we bring the voice of our region’s business community to leaders in Mexico City to facilitate collaboration and to keep moving forward with the projects and policies necessary for economic growth,” he added.

America’s 8th largest city and Mexico’s 6th largest are increasingly pitching the combined Cali-Baja region as a location for investment and tourism. But President Trump’s criticism of the North American Free Trade Agreement and vow to build a massive wall along the border worries both cities.

The annual, four-day advocacy mission includes over 80 business, community and government leaders from both sides of the border who are meeting with top Mexican government officials and agencies to advocate for policies and initiatives important to regional growth and global competitiveness.

Among the leaders taking part are San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, Tijuana Mayor Juan Manuel Gastélum and Mexican Consul General Marcela Celorio.

“The Tijuana-San Diego region is an economic development engine on a global scale, which is why the brotherhood between the two cities is closer and more solid today, than ever before. Despite efforts to build walls to divide us, we build bridges of understanding and cooperation,” said Gastélum.

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Alumnus Taner Halicioglu kicked off the Campaign for UC San Diego with a $75 million gift to establish a data science institute at UC San Diego. (Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications)

Alumnus Taner Halicioglu kicked off the Campaign for UC San Diego with a $75 million gift to establish a data science institute at UC San Diego. (Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications)

Facebook Pioneer Kicks Off $2 Billion

UCSD Campaign With a $75 Million Gift

UCSD alumnus and Facebook pioneer Taner Halicioglu is kicking off the Campaign for UC San Diego with a $75 million gift that will establish the Halicioglu Institute for Data Science.

“This is one of my first times giving big money,” the 42-year-old said. “I’m giving something up, but getting something back. I want to do something transformative.”

With a goal of raising $2 billion, the Campaign for UC San Diego is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.

With a goal of raising $2 billion, the Campaign for UC San Diego is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.

With a goal of raising $2 billion, the Campaign for UC San Diego is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.

Halicioglu graduated with a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1996. He went on to work for such companies as Loudcloud and eBay before landing at Facebook in October 2004, less than a year after the company was founded. Halicioglu was Facebook’s first full-time hire. As a software and operations engineer, he was instrumental in developing hardware infrastructure that enabled the social network’s explosive growth. The company now has about 1.8 billion active users worldwide.

He left Facebook in 2009 and served as a reliability engineer at Blizzard Entertainment before returning to UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering in 2013 as a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Halicioglu remains active in industry sectors as an adviser and investor in San Diego area start-ups.

As a child, Taner Halicioglu discovered how things worked by dissecting electronic equipment—it could be a radio or walkie talkie, and even a TV at one point. At UC San Diego, the self-described nerd didn’t mind that the campus lacked a football team—access to the Supercomputer Center was just as exciting. And today, he is a visionary: with a $75 million gift, Halicioglu will ensure that his alma mater represents the future of data science.

“This is one of my first times giving big money,” the 42-year-old said. “I’m giving something up, but getting something back. I want to do something transformative.”

As an undergraduate studying computer science, Halicioglu remembers feeling a strong sense of camaraderie with other students and faculty. That camaraderie, combined with access to excellent resources, is what turned him on to the field of computer operations. His undergraduate experience, along with a desire to help students while also promoting the field of data science, is what led him to make the largest alumni gift the campus has ever received to establish the Halicioglu Institute for Data Science at UC San Diego.

“This generous gift will transform our institution and forever change the way we educate the next generation of scholars, which is what the Campaign for UC San Diego is about,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “What we accomplish together in this campaign will lead to a future that is smarter, and brighter, than ever.”

With a goal of raising $2 billion, the Campaign for UC San Diego is the most ambitious fundraising effort in the university’s history.

“Private support will help us enhance the student experience, enrich our campus community and spark research and innovation, impacting lives here and across the globe,” added Khosla.

Read more…

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San Jose Airport Honcho to Take

Reins of County Regional Airport Authority

Kimberly Becker

Kimberly Becker

Kimberly J. Becker, who has been with Mineta San Jose International Airport since 1995, and Director since 2013, has been hired as San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s president/CEO.  She will begin in the position on May 1, succeeding Thella F. Bowens, who is retiring as of March 31.

Angela Shafer-Payne, the Airport Authority’s vice president of operations, will serve as interim president/CEO.  Shafer-Payne has been with San Diego International Airport since 1995.

Becker will join the Airport Authority as it adds new nonstop air service, building a new Customs and Border Protection facility to accommodate rapid growth of international arrivals, and planning the replacement of the 50-year-old Terminal 1.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity that I am honored to have,” Becker said.  “Thella has built a strong organization and culture.  Succeeding her allows me to leverage all that I have done in San Jose and to build on a very solid foundation.

San Diego International Airport is the nation’s busiest single-runway airport and last year saw total passenger volume increase to a record 20 million.  The airport is owned and operated by the Airport Authority, which is governed by a nine-member Board representing the entire region.

Becker also worked at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey and Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport for a total of 10 years. She earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

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SANDAG Awards $1.8 Million to Jewish

Family Service for Senior Transportation Program

Jewish Family Service of San Diego was awarded nearly $1.8 million from SANDAG to provide two years of funding for JFS’s On the Go senior transportation program.

On the Go is the largest senior transportation program in San Diego County, serving seniors of all faiths and backgrounds and helping them maintain their independence and mobility. Services vary from shuttled field trips and group transportation to JFS’s Social & Wellness Centers, to Uber and Lyft rides to appointments and errands. To date, the program has provided local seniors with close to 300,000 rides.

“With the number of seniors in San Diego County expected to double by 2030, this grant positions JFS to meet the growing demand for affordable transportation solutions to ensure they remain active, contributing members of our community,” said JFS CEO Michael Hopkins. “Our biggest need now is for volunteer drivers. Our volunteers get to choose when and where they drive, and often comment that they find the experience incredibly rewarding.”

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