2017 40 Under 40 Awards
One of our 40 Under 40 Award winners is Sandy Young, first VP of J. Walcher Communications, who took to skydiving with champion Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld to learn firsthand about the agency’s client, the U.S. Parachute Association. So it was work related, but also part of her 30th birthday present.
Presenting Our 40 Under 40 Honorees for 2017
A Salute to 40 Outstanding San Diegans
SD METRO is proud to present winners of our 40 Under 40 Awards for 2017, a group of men and women who represent some of the best and brightest minds in San Diego County.
The 2017 40 Under 40 Awards Luncheon will be held Sept. 26 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina on Harbor Island. Registration is at 11:30 a.m. The luncheon and program lasts from noon to 1:30 p.m.
Micaela P. Banach
Micaela Banach has worked hard to earn her role as the only female partner at two firms. She was affiliated with the former law firm of Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge, which gave rise to the firm she and partners founded this year — Noonan Lance Boyer & Banach. Banach has an impressive track record in representing plaintiffs and defendants in real estate, employment, products liability and business disputes. In one arbitration, she defended a major national restaurant chain sued for over $12 million for alleged discrimination and wrongful termination. After a week of testimony, an award was returned in favor of Banach’s client. Outside of her law practice, Banach provides justice for the region’s underprivileged as president of the San Diego County Bar Foundation, a nonprofit providing legal services for veterans, immigrants, and domestic violence survivors. She also is heavily involved in The Lawyers Club of San Diego, which promotes the advancement of women in the legal profession and society.
Since opening her own firm in 2013 — Barry APC — Su Barry has obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for her clients, and is respected as one of the best litigators in San Diego. She specializes in business and employment litigation, bad faith insurance and personal injury. From 2005 to 2008, Barry worked with lead counsel in the recovery of more than $7.3 million in additional insurance benefits on behalf of Cedar Fire victims, represented former Chargers player Steve Foley in an excessive force case, and represented a San Diego developer in winning one of the largest verdicts in California in 2006. Barry has committed herself to volunteer and fundraising efforts. In 2011, she led the fundraising effort in raising more than $21,000 in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation during the Wallace Inns of Court annual holiday dinner. In 2012 and 2013, theWallace Inns of Court raised over $63,000 for charities.
As the senior vice president at San Diego County Credit Union, the largest locally owned financial institution in San Diego, Sarah Bilyeu is responsible for defining and implementing the organization’s overall community relations and business development strategy. Bilyeu joined the credit union in November 2013 as community relations officer and has since been instrumental in expanding its reach. The organization has grown to $8.1 billion in assets and reaches over 350,000 members, a more than 30 percent increase in membership in the three and a half years Bilyeu has spent in her role at the credit union. In 2014, the credit union was the first financial institution to be named a Live Well San Diego partner by the county of San Diego for its commitment to initiatives aimed at achieving healthy, safe and thriving communities. That was a direct result of Bilyeu’s strategic vision. The San Diego County Credit Union has received notable recognition as a result of its community outreach efforts led by Bilyeu.
Stefanie Benvenuto is public policy manager for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, an organization she joined in 2015 following successful work in government and community affairs in Orange, Las Angeles and Riverside counties. She has worked in the state Legislature as a communications director and district director, managing a team on various political and legislative efforts. Since coming to San Diego, Benvenuto’s goal has been to support and help implement policy that benefits San Diego, but it has also drawn her to volunteer efforts. She is a court-appointed special advocate with Voices for Children, and sits on the Community Action Partnership board for the city of San Diego, where she helps review county contracts and efforts to help San Diego’s marginalized families thrive. Benvenuto also is active in the San Diego Lincoln Club, the Coalition for Housing & Jobs, and the San Diego Military Affairs Council Legislative Committee.
Tara Burns has worked her way up through the San Diego commercial real estate industry to become vice president of Cultura, a firm that helps companies express their culture and identity through workspace design and furnishings. As vice president Burns helps the team strategize how to expand existing relationships and pursue new work. She is credited with achieving approximately $25 million in gross revenue for the firm over the past year. Burns is a member of NAIOP’s Developing Leaders Council, which provides educational, networking and mentoring opportunities for commercial real estate professionals. She spent several years on the board of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego, overseeing its newsletter, website, marketing committee and public relations efforts. Burns has a particular passion for working with young life science companies, as evidenced by Cultura’s expanded roster of life science clients. She’s earned several awards from CREW, including MVP, Sponsor of the Year and New Member of the Year.
Shannon Casey is vice president of Cleantech San Diego, where she directs corporate communication, strategic marketing and public relations activities to position the San Diego region as a global leader in the cleantech economy. One of her first efforts was leading the Education and Outreach Committee in rebranding the organization, showing its growth from a small startup in 2007 to its leadership in the cleantech industry today. Her enthusiasm for environmental and clean technology doesn’t stay at the office. She is scheduled to join a local GRID Alternatives “We Build” event where a team of women will undertake installations in underserved communities in San Diego. She has shared her experience working at Scripps Institution of Oceanography by being a STEM Career Speaker at Birch Aquarium as well as supporting the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, an academic competition and program addressing gaps in environmental and earth sciences in public education.
After earning her doctorate in chemistry from Johns Hopkins University in 2008, Crystal Culhane sought a career outside of the lab where she could use her science background. Today, as an associate in the San Diego office of Fish & Richardson, Culhane works with clients from the ground up during the development of products, patents and patent strategies to proactively safeguard their intellectual property and assets. She works predominantly with drug development companies, her science-backed legal perspective giving her clients a unique advantage. She’s helping to mold young minds and the local life science and pharmaceutical industries by combining her passions and expertise. This year she served as a mentor-judge for IGNITE San Diego, the UC San Diego program aimed at igniting the entrepreneurial spirit in students by bringing together entrepreneurs, innovators, investors and leaders for hands-on learning, competition and mentoring. Culhane also is active with Athena San Diego, an organization for women in science, technology, engineering and math-related fields.
Craig Countryman, partner in the San Diego office of Fish & Richardson, can boast of multiple wins at the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Circuit. He served as lead counsel and received a unanimous decision in Halo Electronics Inc. v. Pulse Electronics Inc., which was considered the most significant patent decision of the 2015-2016 U.S. Supreme Court term. The case changed the standard for when punitive damages are awarded in patent cases. Countryman is also active in bringing legal services to persons who cannot afford them. For seven years he has served on the board of the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program. He handles pro bono cases for the program and recruits others to do the same. He is a member of the Pro Bono Panel of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California and has obtained successful settlements in multiple civil rights cases where the court appointed him as counsel.
Joel Day is executive director of the city of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission. He has a PH.D. in international affairs and advises the San Diego mayor and City Council on issues of global engagement. He is a principal leader in advancing Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan “to enhance San Diego’s global identity.” With his academic background, Day leads a regional interagency group on resilience to violent extremism, and leads the city’s efforts with the Strong City Network, a group of cities around the world fighting extremism. After the violent attacks in San Bernardino and Orlando, Fla., he briefed Congress and the Pentagon on issues of extremism. He is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Young Leaders group and is a board member of the San Diego World Affairs Council. Day represents San Diego on the regional Hate Crimes Coalition, Cities Engaged Against Sexual Exploitation, the San Diego Refugee Forum and the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium.
Melissa Deleon is the equity attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego & Imperial Counties, focusing on litigation and initiatives that advance civil liberties and social justice. Before joining the ACLU, Deleon was a lawyer at plaintiff’s law firm Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, where she helped to recover millions of dollars on behalf of injury victims and focused her practice on aviation litigation. A longtime Bar leader, Deleon currently serves on the board of the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and is a 2017 committee chair for the Lawyers Club of San Diego. For her volunteerism and leadership, Deleon received the San Diego Bar Association’s annual service award for “Outstanding Service by a New Attorney” in 2013. A native San Diegan, Deleon received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from San Diego State University and her law degree from California Western School of Law.
Brian Dersch, president and founder of Dersch Design & Engineering, has designed and worked on the installation of more than 60,000 kilowatts of solar panels. He’s a 13-year veteran of the electrical engineering and construction industry and a LEED-accredited professional certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. Dersch teams with structural engineers, general contractors and architects to solve complex engineering design challenges for higher education, commercial and government projects. Dersch founded Dersch Design & Engineering in 2013. The six-figure firm employs four full-time engineers. He is a renewable energy and energy storage expert, having worked around the globe for multi-million-dollar projects. Dersch has worked on the most energy efficient high-rise currently in the world — the Pearl River Tower in Guangzhou, China, and the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He recently joined San Diego Habitat for Humanity, believing his electrical and renewable energy experience will help in the building or rehabilitation of many homes.
Ahmed S. Diab
Ahmed S. Diab is senior trial attorney at Gomez Trial Attorneys in San Diego, representing plaintiffs against pharmaceutical and medical device companies, including Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-Aventis, Fresenius Medical Care, and Bard and Cook. His awards for his work are numerous: named a Rising Star by the San Diego Attorney Journal; and Super Lawyers Rising Star in 2015, 2016 and 2017 — a recognition reserved for only the top attorneys in California. Diab is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and obtained his law degree from the California Western School of Law.
Jason Evans is a key member of law firm CaseyGerry’s complex litigation team, focusing on consumer class actions, product liability and serious personal injury litigation. During his six years at the firm, Evans has prosecuted several multi-million-dollar cases, including complex, high-stakes personal injury and product liability litigation involving serious and catastrophic injury, wrongful death and traumatic brain injury. Evans has worked for the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program drafting requests for restraining orders for victims of domestic violence and elder abuse. Active both professionally and within the community, he was the 2016 chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Forum for Emerging Lawyers. For his pro bono efforts, Evans was awarded the San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program Distinguished Service Award in 2011, as well as the Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services from the California State Bar in 2011 and 2012.
Ashley Gosal is the in-house legal counsel at Bosa Development, managing and overseeing all of the legal aspects of the company’s corporate, planning, acquisitions, leasing, property management and development activities. She joined Bosa to manage the purchase and entitlement of the Downtown San Diego block bordered by Broadway, Seventh and Eighth Avenues and C Street. Not long after, she was doing the same for property Bosa acquired at 10th Avenue and Market Street and 530 B Street in San Diego, and 401 Mile of Cars in National City. In her role with Bosa, Canadian-born Gosal hopes to bring to fruition Nat Bosa’s vision of attracting big-name national retailers and restaurants to Bosa’s Downtown San Diego projects, including Pacific Gate and Savina — two of the company’s newest residential developments. In looking for a way to give back to the community, Gosal founded and continues to support Project One Life, a nonprofit that provides volunteers and donors for projects in Latin American countries.
Andrew Haden is an assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego, the deputy chief of the Reactive Crimes Section in the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He has distinguished himself as a talented federal prosecutor, working more than 17 felony jury trials. He is particularly passionate about firearms offenses and crimes against children. From 2013 to 2016, he was the Project Safe Neighborhoods coordinator for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. In that capacity, he focused on the aggressive prosecution of gang-related firearms cases. In 2014, he was part of the team that prosecuted a 22-defendant sex-trafficking racketeering conspiracy that involved recruiting minor females from local high schools. Haden’s extra-curricular activities in the community are typically focused on issues related to juvenile justice, human trafficking, veterans issues and higher education — causes which he is passionate about. He obtained his bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and his law degree from the USD School of Law.
Andy Hall is the chief operating officer for the San Diego Workforce Partnership, overseeing 60 employees and $35 million in annual revenue. Recognizing the changing landscape of public workforce development funding and opportunity, Hall has led efforts to transform the organization from a primarily pass-through funding agency to a dynamic nonprofit with multiple funding streams and a growing fee-for-service practice. Since joining the organization in 2013, Hall has increased private funding by 400 percent, attracted more than $15 million in competitive grant funds into the region and increased the number of funding streams from 17 to 43. Hall is viewed as a national leader in public employment programs, and has spoken on the subject at national, state and local conferences and forums. He is advising the U.S. Department of Labor and the state of California on public policy and financial regulations and guidance. He holds a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego and a master’s degree from Clark University in Worchester, Mass.
Teri Heard is assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP). She has been helping families successfully navigate the college search and application process for the past 12 years. Heard began her career working for the undergraduate admissions office at the University of San Diego while completing her master’s degree. Upon graduation in 2004, she began working as a counselor at OLP. Heard balances her work at OLP with the role of an admissions reader for USD and UC San Diego. Over the course of her time at OLP, Heard has taught in the Social Studies Department and served on multiple leadership committees related to accreditation and curriculum planning. She earned her Administrative Credential in 2015 from San Diego State University. Her personal belief is that all students deserve a world-class education and there is no better place to receive that than at OLP.
Miles Himmel is the founder of the Larry Himmel Foundation. Larry Himmel was a gifted humorist and storyteller who had a special connection with San Diego and San Diegans. His son Miles created the foundation to allow his dad’s impact to grow even stronger. The foundation provides assistance both financial and otherwise to organizations large and small, and individuals in need. Past projects have included Back to School haircuts for kids, building playground equipment for special needs kids and providing gifts for homeless youth at Christmas. Miles was born and raised in San Diego, attended La Jolla Country Day and graduated from Bradley University, also his dad’s alma mater. After his father lost his battle to cancer, Miles started the foundation to help others as Larry Himmel did. Miles is a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and a board member of Holy Innocents Children’s Hospital. He is also a producer at AM 760 KFMB and is a play-by-play announcer for UC San Diego’s athletic teams.
Grant Holm is the chief financial officer for WAXIE Sanitary Supply, responsible for all finance and accounting operations and contributing to the overall organizational and strategic planning initiatives of the company. Holm has broad financial experience in a number of industries including manufacturing, distribution, software and energy. He has spent the majority of his career in San Diego, working for both Sempra Energy and Gateway. Before coming to San Diego, Holm worked in public accounting for KPMG in San Francisco and in Sydney, Australia. Besides his general finance and management experience, he has been instrumental in merger, acquisition and outsourcing transactions. Holm has also been instrumental in assisting his employers with managing assets, insuring financial stability and above-market returns. He has been effective in many cost-containment programs over his career, saving companies more than $25 million through efficiency initiatives and system implementations.
Timothy Hutter is senior counsel at the San Diego office of Allen Matkins, a law firm specializing in real estate, litigation, labor, tax and business law. Among his many accomplishments, he represented multifamily and commercial developers in successfully defending legal challenges to entitlements and permits issued by local municipalities. That included a 2017 judgment in favor of client CityMark Development for a single-family housing project with an affordable component in the city of Encinitas. He successfully represented the Palomar Community College District in 2016 arbitration over the acquisition and development of a proposed college site in Fallbrook. Outside of the Office, Hutter is a board member of the Life Choices Crisis Pregnancy Center in Poway, and is the volunteer adviser to the executive director regarding legislative and legal developments. Hutter was appointed to the city of San Diego Historical Resources Board in March 2016, confirmed by the City Council and elected vice chair in March 2017.
Amy Savicky Injaian
Amy Savicky Injaian is vice president of corporate communications for Wells Fargo Bank. With her leadership and tremendous work she became the subject matter expert of the internal social space with many teams across the Wells Fargo operation. She was the first to build an internal social strategy for a specific business at Wells Fargo. In the wake of Wells Fargo’s sales practices settlement, she played an important role in helping the bank’s leadership team engage with team members through the internal social media platform. She is very active with the Warriors Foundation, the USO, Operation Gratitude and the German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County. She is a San Diego LEAD graduate and received the public relations professional award of Top 15 Practitioners to Watch Under 30 by PR News.
Amanda Katona is the marketing director at Dell and Executive Management Team member of the Junior League of San Diego. As the director of marketing, she is at the helm of all open source marketing efforts for Dell Technologies focusing on advantaging emerging technologies to support software-based infrastructures. She heads up its open space digital presence, technical marketing, community management, trade show management, partner relationships, media relations and analyst relations. She is vice chair of the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee and co-led the first and now annual Anti-Human Trafficking Rally. She is a graduate of Colorado State University, holds a master’s degree in leadership studies at the University of San Diego and is a 2015 graduate of LEAD Impact San Diego. She also holds a California Senate Certificate of Recognition in Outstanding Community Service.
Maddy Kilkenny manages day-to-day client activities for Intesa Communications Group and is responsible for working closely with clients and project teams to develop and implement government and community relations strategies. She has extensive experience working with local government at all levels in San Diego. She spent six years as vice president of government relations at the Clay Company and last year was appointed to the board of directors of Civic San Diego by Mayor Faulconer. She also serves on the board of directors for the USS Midway Museum, San Diego Young Leaders and as secretary of the board of directors of Reality Changers. She also spent 11 years at the County of San Diego where she was a senior policy adviser to Supervisor Greg Cox, focusing on health and public safety issues, community outreach and special events. She and her husband Sean are proud parents of two sons, Logan and Owen.
Samuel Lance, M.D.
Samuel Lance is an assistant clinical professor of craniofacial and plastic surgery at UC San Diego. He is also a volunteer doctor for Fresh Start. His numerous awards include the Inspirational Resident Mentorship Award at the University of California Davis. He was introduced to Fresh Start while he was a Plastic Surgery Fellow at UC San Diego/Rady Children’s Hospital. He immediately became a volunteer and became involved with both patient care and patient surgical planning. His specialty in craniofacial surgery has given him the expertise in dealing with many cases of children who have complex craniofacial abnormalities. As a bilingual doctor, he readily gives his time to patients who come from underserved populations in both English and Spanish speaking countries. Oftentimes, Lance serves Fresh Start patients at his own clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital. On Fresh Start Surgery Weekends, he donates his time to provide free surgery to kids who need cleft lip and palate, microtia and other deformity procedures.
Fernando Landa is a partner at Crosbie Gilner Schiffman, Southard & Swanson LLP. As a real estate attorney, he specializes in the acquisition,, development, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial real estate assets, representing a variety of developers,, investors and lenders. A native of Mexico, he grew up in San Diego and has worked at a number of prestigious law firms. He has made a name for himself in legal and commercial real estate circles by possessing a unique expertise in distressed real estate workouts and receiverships. He has served on the board of Voices for Children Young Professionals Group, raising awareness and funds for an organization that provides court-appointed special advocates for San Diego’s foster children. In 2014, he was awarded the California Bar Association’s Morning Star award given to the top five young real estate attorneys in the state. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a law degree from the University of San Diego.
Cameron Lamming is the chief development officer for RAR Hospitality. As a partner in RAR, Lamming has been at the forefront of the company’s growth and leads the company’s development and strategy creation. With his expertise, RAR has grown its portfolio to 25 hotels. RAR has just completed the development of a Fairfield Inn and Suites in San Marcos and has introduced several new technological advancements including its own robot. Since the start of his partnership with Robert Rauch, the portfolio of RAR hotels have spread to Arizona and Colorado as well as California. Special emphasis is put into each property to give it a unique identity and character for itself. RAR’s revenues have grown to $80 million to make it one of the fastest growing companies in San Diego. He joined RAR after a successful career with the Walt Disney Company and helped build Brixton Capital. He is a graduate of Stanford University.
Kent Lee is at the helm of Pacific Arts Movement, one of the largest media arts company in North America that focuses on Asian American and Asian international cinema. Pacific Arts is a critical organization in San Diego as it shines a light on Asian and Asian American voices from all over the world. It is the presenter of the San Diego Asian Film Festival and provides a way to engage with the Asian Pacific Islander community and serves to strengthen San Diego as an arts destination. He is a graduate of the FBI Citizens’ Academy, a program which is designed to educate community leaders on the significance of the FBI in local neighborhoods . He is a board member of the Asian Business Association and has been a part of the Mira Mesa Community Planning Board. He is s graduate of UC San Diego.
Joseph Leventhal is the managing partner of Dinsmore & Shohl LLP’s San Diego office. He served as an attorney and deputy assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney in the White House and successfully invalidated a patent and took down a patent troll in a case the Los Angeles Times called “one of the most closely watched patent cases in the technology world.” He is a member of the board of directors of the Lincoln Club of San Diego, the nonprofit Kids Included Together, and past president of the Federal Bar Association chapter for San Diego. He successfully defended an online media company in a defamation lawsuit brought by a well-known boxing and mixed martial arts trainer, resulting in the court ordering the trainer to pay all of the defense’s attorney fees and costs. He is listed as a Super Lawyer in San Diego. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and holds a law degree from Georgetown University.
Adam Levine is an attorney at CaseyGerry where he is a member of the litigation team specializing in serious personal injury, premises liability and aviation liability. Before joining CaseyGerry he was an attorney at Levine & Miller, the law firm of his late father, the revered San Diego trial attorney Harvey R. Levine. Adam was a licensed architect for 11 years before deciding to become a lawyer. He graduated first in his class , summa cum laude, from California Western School of Law. He has been named a Super Lawyer Rising Star. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and holds a master’s degree in architecture and real estate development from Woodbury University.
Sara Lucchini is the program director at Angels Foster and directly responsible for improving the lives of over 700 infants and toddlers that have been placed in foster care in San Diego County since 2005. She began her career with Angels 12 years ago and has been instrumental in establishing Angels’ unique model of care where it places only one child or sibling set with each family after the foster family commits to the stable care of that child until otherwise decided by the county or the court. Ninety percent of the children Angels cares for return to their family or are placed in their forever adoptive home. Since becoming the program director, she has nearly doubled the daily average of number of children in Angels care. Angels is now the largest provider of foster homes in San Diego County. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego.
David Munoz owns Mission Legal Center, one of the top personal injury law firms in San Diego. He is an active member of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, dedicated to advocating on behalf of consumers who are faced with difficult circumstances. He is actively involved with the San Diego Rescue Mission, Thanksgiving for the Homeless, Christmas for Orphans, American Cancer Society, Tap Out Cancer and the San Diego Blood Bank. He is a Rising Star by Super Lawyers, cited for excellence in customer service by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.
Dr. Lindsay Pfeffer
Dr. Lindsay Pfeffer is a graduate of the School of Medicine at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, has a master’s degree in Oral Biology from the University of Southern California School of Dental Medicine, a master’s degree in BioMedical Ethics from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and is a candidate for her doctorate at West Chester University. She has been the recipient of multiple awards such as Boys & Girls Club of San Diego, a Champion of Women’s award as an emerging business owner. She has dedicated countless hours to Give Kids A Smile, Share the Care Volunteer for screenings and treatment for the poor, Team Smile with the (former) San Diego Chargers and Smiles Change Lives, providing free care for those less fortunate .
Lindsay Stevens is a trial attorney in the Complex Litigation Department at Gomez Trial Attorneys. She is actively involved in several mass tort litigation against pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufactures. She is actively involved in Las Patrons, an organization that is committed to providing financial assistance to nonprofit organizations in San Diego County, She is also dedicated to the American Cancer Society and Susan G Komen. She was named a rising star by Super Lawyers in 2017. She is a graduate of UC San Diego and holds a law degree from California Western School of Law where she graduated in the top nine percent of her class.
Dustin Steiner is chief of staff for county Supervisor Kristin Gaspar. He served nine years as chief of staff for county Supervisor Bill Horn, whom he helped guide through two successful elections to the Board of Supervisors in 2010 and 2014. As Horn’s chief of staff, he managed an office budget of over $1.5 million along with seven staff members. He played an integral role in the redistricting of North County as well as the general plan update and established the Red Tape Reduction Task Force to streamline business operations and reduce burdensome regulations. He has been a member of the board of the Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego and the Miramar Ranch North Planning Committee. He is a graduate of American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Anneke Sender is an executive president and part owner of TAG where she oversees the corporate accounting and family CFO division with a team of 30 client relationship managers and accounting staff. She also focuses on new business development, client retention and implementing strategic plans for the division’s growth into new industries and geographic areas. A native of Germany, she moved to San Diego by herself after high school for a year of English studies. She fell in love with San Diego, decided to stay and graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Diego State with a degree in finance. She recently won the Women of Influence “Game Changer” award. She is a board member of the Scripps Health Gift Planning Advisory Board. At TAG,, she helps market and brand outsourced accounting as a mainstream service and feasible option for companies of any size.
Annie Tame is president and publisher of EQ Equestrian Almanac, a publication for the equestrian communities throughout Southern California. A graduate of the University of San Diego, she launched her publishing career in sales for the Rancho Santa Fe Review and the Del Mar Times. Later, she was publisher of Riviera Magazine, a luxury lifestyle magazine. She joined EQ as part owner in 2015 and has driven the magazine from focusing only on its San Diego County roots to an expansion across the five-county region of Southern California. As a horse owner and competitive jumper, she is very involved in the Horse and Dog Rescue Mission and the Animal Farm Rescue Mission.
John Valencia is vice chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. He has accomplished many things in his career, having founded his own nonprofit, an international manufacturing company, led multiple San Diego nonprofits and helped form the East County Education Alliance. He has led “Stop the Hate” walks and campaigns to bring awareness about social issues. He has received the Coastal American Partnership Award for his success in building partnerships with local nonprofit organizations and government agencies. He is involved with the YMCA of San Diego, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Lung Society, San Diego Oceans Foundation, Volunteer San Diego and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is a graduate of University of San Diego, holds a master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake University and is currently a doctorate candidate at San Diego State.
Rebecca Van Loon
Rebecca Van Loon is an associate at Seltzer Caplan McMahon & Vitek practicing in the areas of estate planning, trust and probate administration and taxation law. She assists families and individuals with all aspects of their estate planning needs, including wills, trusts, advance health care directives and financial powers of attorney. She also assists clients with estate, gift, and property tax planning, including charitable gift planning. She is certified as a specialist in estate planning, and trust and probate law by State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She is president of the Gonzaga University San Diego Alumni Association. Van Loon is a volunteer for the San Diego Blood Bank. In addition to Gonzaga University, she holds a law degree from the University of San Diego.
Sandy Young is the first vice president of J. Walcher Communications, making her second in command at the agency. She spearheaded JWC’s PR efforts for San Diego’s first iFLY indoor skydiving facility. She leads JWC’s nonprofit and pro bono accounts with compassion and dedication. Young has worked on Home Again, a United Way public awareness campaign and is a member of United Way’s Emerging Leaders Council. She helps manage the agency’s clients such as the International Council on Systems Engineering, Jewish Family Service, Pacific Hospitality Group/Warner Springs Ranch Resort and Noonan Lance Law firm. She is a graduate of UC San Diego.