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Big Picture San Diego Blog

June 28, 2019

Meet Kim Becker, President and CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. Read the Q&A below to learn about Kim and her role in exposing more people to the San Diego experience.

What is your "day job"?

I’m President/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which operates San Diego International Airport. We employ about 9,400 people, who serve 24 million passengers per year. The airport provides the first and last impressions our passengers have of San Diego, so it’s our job to make it count, make it memorable, and create good feelings, nonstop.  I’m talking about an on-time arrival. A friendly San Diego smile. Intuitive wayfinding and helpful workers at every turn. Providing an authentic San Diego experience that is professional yet laid-back, efficient yet unhurried; and most of all, open and easy-going.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

Both EDC and the Airport Authority are focused on connecting San Diego businesses to the world. So there’s a synergy there that benefits the entire region. 

Favorite quote?

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - Anonymous

What has been your life-changing moment? Something that changed the trajectory of your life for the better:

When I was younger, a former boss pushed a large responsibility on me that I felt I wasn’t ready for, nor did I feel that I “lived in that world.” My response was “Who, me?” and the boss said “Yes, you!”  I kept pushing back, all the while doubting my own ability, until my boss finally told me to “Just do it!” And I learned that when I was finally out of excuses, and I started to actually ponder the problem, I was able to rise to the challenge.

Marissa Mayer once said, “I always did something I was a little not ready to do. I think that's how you grow. When there's that moment of 'Wow, I'm not really sure I can do this,' and you push through those moments, that's when you have a breakthrough.”

That’s how I live my life today.

What part of EDC interests you most?

 I really enjoy the San Diego: Life. Changing. campaign.

 

June 25, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Tours San Diego Tech Companies
Tour demonstrated San Diego’s thriving innovation economy and collaborative focus on increasing cybersecurity throughout the region

SAN DIEGO – June 25, 2019 – US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information technology and cybersecurity leadership – including more than 30 senior federal personnel from government and military – are touring six tech companies located in San Diego on June 24 – 25, 2019.

With support from San Diego’s Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) and San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC), the tech tours allow participants to witness how San Diego and the surrounding region continues to evolve as a technology and cyber hub within the United States.  

While many San Diego companies were considered for this visit, CCOE and EDC tapped six companies to highlight a cross section of new technologies in the region to include Qualcomm, Redhorse, Shield AI, Teradata, Analytic Ventures and Walmart Labs. The collective group will demonstrate everything from artificial intelligence and machine learning to 5G, data analytics and cybersecurity.

Dr. John Zangardi, the DHS Chief Information Officer (CIO),  whose office is jointly leading this outreach trip with the DHS Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, “sees industry engagement as vital to ensuring the DHS mission takes full advantage of the best industry has to offer.  There are exciting advancements in 5G, IOT, ML/AI and cyber that we want to learn more about.  And I want to ensure that industry understands the DHS mission challenges.”

“The Science and Technology Directorate seeks opportunities to make connections, share ideas, and discuss best practices and new capabilities with cybersecurity professionals from across government, industry, academia and the international community,” notes William N. Bryan, DHS Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “Through this series of tours, we hope to learn from companies that are advancing their capabilities in cybersecurity to better inform our efforts to build a secure and resilient cyber backbone for the nation and address the complex threats of our future.”  

Rear Adm. (ret) Ken Slaght, CCOE chair and president, emphasized that visits like this provide new perspective on cybersecurity and cyber readiness.

“We’re excited that San Diego is being recognized by national IT leaders,” said Slaght. “For Dr. Zangardi, Mr. Bryan, and other high-ranking federal IT leadership to take an interest in what San Diego continues to do to support innovation and technology development means a great deal. San Diego plays a significant role in cyber preparedness for the nation and will continue strengthening these efforts well into the future.”

The DHS CIO and S&T tour highlights the importance of collaboration between the public, private, academic, government and military sectors to foster greater cybersecurity, and is a component of CCOE and the City of San Diego’s Secure San Diego initiative, which fosters region-wide efforts to create a more secure cyber environment and position San Diego as a global hub of cybersecurity innovation. 

 

About Cyber Center of Excellence

San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) is a non-profit that focuses on regional planning and program implementation in order to address cybersecurity workforce, economic development and infrastructure challenges and opportunities through collaboration with industry, academia and government agencies. CCOE supports the growth of the cyber industry, promotes cybersecurity in San Diego and provides a template to mobilize other regions. Learn more at www.sdccoe.org.

June 21, 2019

Each month the California Employment Development Department (EDD) releases employment data for the prior month. This edition of San Diego's Economic Pulse covers May 2019. Check out EDC's research bureau for more data and stats about San Diego's economy. 

This report is sponsored by Manpower San Diego.

Highlights include:

  • The region’s unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in May, down from a revised 3.0 percent in April 2019, and unchanged from the year-ago estimate of 2.8 percent
  • The region’s unemployment rate remains lower than both the state and national unemployment rates of 3.5 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively
  • Between April 2019 and May 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,501,600 to 1,510,600, adding 9,000 jobs
  • Between May 2018 and May 2019, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,485,000 to 1,510,600, adding 25,600 jobs
  • Between May 2018 and May 2019, education and health services led the year-over gain, adding 8,700 jobs

 

June 20, 2019

For our next Board Member Spotlight, meet Kathryn Lembo, president & CEO at South Bay Community Services (SBCS). Read her Q&A below, get to know Kathryn and find out why EDC’s inclusive growth efforts are something she finds most interesting.

What is your “day job”?
As CEO, my days are dynamic and filled with a broad cross-section of individuals throughout the county. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with residents and youth (many with no home) who share their crucial insight on challenges impacting everyday living and hopes for the future. It’s through their eyes that navigate my day in discussions with school, nonprofit, health, and business leaders as well as policymakers as we work together to build true measurable solutions that respond to our community’s challenges. Above all, it’s an honor to take an idea to inception with my dedicated team at SBCS and our regional partners by implementing evidence-based programs that are changing the trajectory of families and communities.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?
To grow San Diego’s innovation economy: This is something that will demand a diversity of voices contributing to the conversation. The economic vitality of San Diego County is also crucial to the well-being of families we [SBCS] serve, and thus, important for us to take part in developing a strong local workforce to benefit employers, economy and our population.

Favorite quote?
"Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says 'oh sh*t, she's up!'"

We know San Diego is a life-changing place, what was your life-changing moment?
A couple of summers into my undergraduate studies in biochemistry, my father insisted I needed a summer job. He proceeded to find one for me – a job as a lifeguard at a home for girls in New York. I spent the summer getting to know these young women who had lived through and experienced some truly horrible situations. They taught me about resilience. Most all, I learned the importance of community in helping to build strong families. Even though their homes were scattered with issues like violence, poverty, and drug abuse, the girl’s dreamed and hoped of returning home to their families. The following school year, I changed my major and this experience was in part the reason for my professional journey.

What part of EDC interests you most?
I’m most interested in EDC’s inclusive growth efforts.

 

 

June 7, 2019

Meet Cheryl Goodman, head of corporate communications at Sony Electronics. Read the Q&A below, get to know Cheryl and find out why she is proud to have Sony Electronics’ North American headquarters located here in San Diego.

What is your “day job”?

Every day, in Corporate Communications for Sony, I unearth and translate the deep tech that makes press, employees, and the general public excited to have Sony products not only in their homes, but to have Sony Headquartered in their hometown—#HelloSanDiego. Working alongside Sony President Mike Fasulo, we are on the road nearly every week to talk tech from sensors, to standards, to 8K, to robotics, to Hollywood events at Sony Pictures or Sony Corp in Tokyo. Sony is a creative entertainment company with deep technology roots, and I’m fortunate to be able to illustrate how we move people emotionally though epic content & our best-in-class technology.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

EDC gathers relevant leaders surrounding key topics to make business move forward...and it’s fun. Summer Bash, anyone?

Favorite quote?

“Be the CEO your mom wanted you to marry.”

We know San Diego is a life changing place, what was your life changing moment?

Leaving a great paying job at a great company to start my own business in 2013 reconfirmed to me that the only limits in life are the ones we put on ourselves. I left because I didn’t like my title or future growth path, those things changed and so did my life.

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

San Diego: Life. Changing.

 

June 5, 2019

Today, San Diego Regional EDC and its employer-led Inclusive Growth Steering Committee officially endorsed a regional goal to create 50,000 new quality jobs within small businesses by 2030. Driven by EDC’s latest study release, Equipping Small Businesses to Compete, the regional goal and accompanying set of employer recommendations aim to help small businesses in San Diego to compete.

 “If you care about the future of San Diego—economic competitiveness and mobility—then you need to pay attention to small businesses,” said Janice Brown, board chair, San Diego Regional EDC. “From large employers to elected officials, it’s everyone’s responsibility to make sure that small businesses have the tools to succeed.”

In its new study, EDC found that while small businesses—those with fewer than 100 employees—employ the majority of San Diego’s workforce, only 26 percent of jobs in small businesses are quality jobs—those that pay enough for economic security (paying wages of at least $40,529 per year or $19.49 per hour).

Additional key findings include:

  • Due to financial challenges, small businesses pay 14 percent lower average wages.
  • Only 36 percent of all businesses are minority-owned, and about the same proportion are woman-owned.
  • Opportunity industries, such as construction and transportation, offer a greater number of quality jobs than many innovation industries, including precision health and cybersecurity. Additionally, many opportunity industry jobs can be accessed without a bachelor’s degree.

Citing these key findings, it’s important for the region to invest in diverse founders, support existing small businesses, and focus on job growth within opportunity industries. San Diego will be able to drive a greater economic impact and broaden access to quality jobs, especially for people residing in communities with lower rates of educational attainment.

“When small businesses succeed, it leads to more quality jobs, better local economies, and healthier communities,” said Jane Finley, senior vice president and area manager, Kaiser Permanente. “We support this goal and invest in programs like Inner City Capital Connections because Kaiser Permanente believes that investing in small businesses and creating more quality jobs leads to improved health and well-being for every San Diego resident.”

EDC’s Inclusive Growth Steering Committee is led by large employers, who understand the crucial role that small businesses play in the regional economy.

In order to meet its goal by 2030, the Inclusive Growth Steering Committee is committed to collaborating with other regional employers through the following actions:

  1. Transparency – connect with and better understand existing local service providers to strengthen their capacity and resiliency.
  2. Engagement – commit to mentoring and/or building strategic partnerships with small businesses in high-growth, high-wage industries, particularly from underrepresented groups (women, minority, veteran, disabled, low-moderate income).
  3. Investment – invest directly in small business support programs, such as supplier diversification and growth acceleration initiatives.

For more information about these actionable recommendations or a complete list of employers committed to this effort, visit smallbiz.inclusivesd.org.

EDC’S INCLUSIVE GROWTH INITIATIVE

In 2018, EDC launched a data-driven initiative focused on promoting inclusive growth as an economic imperative, emphasizing that San Diego employers must take active measures to promote inclusion, or the region will no longer be able to compete with other regions. Together with its Inclusive Growth Steering Committee, EDC aims to set regional targets and release actionable recommendations for three main goals: build a strong local talent pool; equip small businesses to compete; and address the affordability crisis.

Additionally, San Diego recently won a $3 million grant from JPMorgan Chase’s AdvancingCities program to further propel the inclusive growth initiative and its goals.

For more information about the Inclusive Growth initiative, visit inclusiveSD.org. Join the conversation at #inclusiveSD.

**Read the full press release.**

 

May 31, 2019

Meet Manuel Rodriguez, market president and commercial banking team leader at U.S. Bank. Read the Q&A below, get to know Manuel and find out how U.S. Bank’s mission aligns well with the work EDC is doing.

What is your “day job”?

As the San Diego market president and commercial banking team leader at U.S. Bank, I lead a team of experienced commercial bankers who are dedicated to providing financial solutions to mid-sized organizations. I lead the company-wide efforts and activities in San Diego County and chair the San Diego market’s charitable foundation committee, partnering with senior leaders from across U.S. Bank to best serve the community.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

EDC’s mission to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness aligns very well with U.S. Bank’s commitment of investing our time, resources, and passion in economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes, and vibrant communities. 

Favorite quote?

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Benjamin Franklin

We know San Diego is a life changing place, what was your life changing moment?

My life-changing moment was deciding to go to college 1,500 miles away from where I grew up, out of my comfort zone and in a city/state where I didn’t know anyone. This led me to my first job in banking, which then provided me the opportunity to live and work in many wonderful cities including San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Dallas. I was also fortunate enough to meet my wife (a native San Diegan) along the way, which ultimately led us and our four kids to relocate and make San Diego our permanent home!

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

There’s a lot going on at EDC, and I’m new to the board. However, I’m particularly interested in the Inclusive economic growth initiative.

 

May 24, 2019

Meet Tom Pellette, President of Solar Turbines. Read the Q&A below to get to know Tom and find out why a global company, like Solar Turbines, finds value in San Diego Regional EDC.

What is your “day job”?

As President, I am responsible for driving Solar Turbines’ strategic direction as we design, develop, manufacture, and service innovative energy solutions. Solar is a leading provider of industrial gas turbine generator, compressor, and mechanical drive packages. We provide best-in-class service support and connected product technology to drive value for customers around the world.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

As a global company that has been in San Diego for more than 90 years, Solar Turbines recognizes the critical importance of organizations like EDC to maximize the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness.

We know San Diego is a life changing place, what was your life changing moment?

Getting my first job at Solar Turbines. I have been fortunate to have a long, fulfilling career of 26 years both at Solar Turbines and Caterpillar, our parent company. For much of my career, I have been lucky to call San Diego my home.

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

All of the programs at EDC are important because of their ability to coordinate and represent corporate interests, from supporting international trade, to fostering local talent development, and maximizing economic prosperity to promote San Diego as a globally competitive region.

 

May 23, 2019

Planck Aerosystems, a technology company that develops specialized drones, was awarded a $25,000 voucher as part of its participation in the inaugural Defense Innovation Voucher Program (DIV) Grand Prize Pitch. Launched in 2018 to help small and mid-sized defense companies in San Diego scale, the DIV Program worked directly with 15 local defense companies throughout 2018-2019, providing strategic boot camps and business consulting services via an initial $15,000 grant to aid in strengthening and expanding company operations.

“Our local defense economy supports one in five jobs, and small businesses represent 98 percent of total companies in our region,” said Mark Cafferty, president & CEO, San Diego Regional EDC. “This is why EDC is committed to building programs that promote defense innovation and build resiliency in small and mid-sized businesses.”

Five DIV companies were chosen to participate in the DIV Grand Prize Pitch, based on their accomplishments, goals and overall involvement in the program. The finalists were EpiSci (EpiSys Science Inc.), Fuse Integration, Inc., GET Engineering Corporation, Planck Aerosystems and Trabus Technologies.

A live voting audience and a panel of judges selected Planck Aerosystems as the winner.

Planck is thrilled to win the Grand Prize Pitch event and be a part of DIV’s first year,” said Dave Twining, COO of Planck Aerosystems. “Thanks to San Diego Regional EDC, Booz Allen Hamilton and Propel San Diego for your guidance and support through the DIV program. We’ll be using the funds to scale our marketing efforts, which we hope will generate additional sales and investment in San Diego.”

In its inaugural year, the DIV program provided two primary benefits to chosen participants. Companies selected a pre-approved contractor to assist with services including marketing, certifications needed for government work, strategic planning, accounting compliance or lean supply chain & additive manufacturing support. Additionally, participants enrolled in a six-month-long boot camp, which provided best practices and strategies on topics ranging from contract procurement to fundraising to marketing and branding.

“We are proud to support the continued innovation that is a hallmark of the San Diego defense community,” said Jennie Brooks, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton. “At Booz Allen, we empower people to change the world, and DIV’s mission helps empower and strengthen the small and mid-size businesses that are bringing an incredible range of solutions to all branches of the military.”

Managed by San Diego Regional EDC, DIV is primarily funded through Propel San Diego, a grant award provided to the City of San Diego from the Department of Defense’s Office of Economic Adjustment. Additional programmatic funding for DIV is provided by Booz Allen Hamilton, the presenting sponsor.

The DIV Grand Prize Pitch event was hosted at San Diego Central Library on Thursday, May 23, with a keynote presentation by Marisa Silva, partner at Booz Allen Hamilton.

May 23, 2019

San Diego Regional EDC welcomes new investor Aerotek to its membership of more than 180 companies in the region. Headquartered in Maryland, this privately-owned staffing company has more than 230 integrated offices throughout the United States and Canada. They have had a presence in San Diego County for 25-plus years, currently operating out of San Marcos, Scripps Ranch, and Kearny Mesa. In 2018, Aerotek grossed $6.6 billion in revenue and they continue to maintain more than 100,000 active contract employees weekly.

Aerotek’s mission is to bring great people and great organizations together, which functions well in San Diego’s diverse and robust economy. This has also allowed them to serve many people throughout different professional industries. Additionally, Aerotek has benefited from San Diego’s deep talent base and strong economic prowess, and of course from the features that make San Diego so Life. Changing. From the beautiful beaches and Petco Park to Old Town’s rich and historic culture, it is easy to see why Aerotek chose to open offices in San Diego.