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The Big Picture San Diego Blog


Investor Spotlight

May 17, 2019

For the next installment in our Board Member Spotlight series, we are pleased to introduce Dennis Doucette, partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP. Read the Q&A below and get to know Dennis and how he effects San Diego’s economic development outside of his role as one of EDC’s board members.

What is your “day job”?

I assist in company forming, funding, and selling. As a corporate attorney, I help my clients realize their goals with efficient legal and business solutions. I have been fortunate to have worked on more than 400 transactions representing buyers, sellers, and investors.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

I have served on many for-profit and non-profit boards and look forward to assisting EDC in its mission to make San Diego a better place for all companies and their employees.

Favorite quote?

“It often requires more courage to dare to do right than fear to do wrong.”

- Abraham Lincoln

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

Meeting my wife Margot and enjoying every day together.

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

Direct economic support to companies.

 

April 26, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For our next Board Member Spotlight, we are pleased to introduce David Andrews, president of National University. Read the Q&A below and get to know David, the work he is doing with National University, and why serving on EDC’s board is important to him.

What is your “day job”?

I have the privilege of leading National University, the second largest private, nonprofit university in the state. Having spent all of my career in higher education, it is very rewarding to run an open-access, adult-serving institution that is changing student’s lives and transforming the higher education sector.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

Economic conditions in San Diego are central to our ability to attract and retain talented faculty, staff, and students. As an open-access, adult-serving institution in California, we need to be at the table and doing our part to maximize opportunities for our students.

Favorite quote?

 “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it.” –Albert Einstein

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

My life-changing moment was when I found my wife, Marti, nearly four decades ago. All who knew me before meeting her regularly attest to the positive transformation she made in my life.

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

San Diego: Life. Changing.

 

April 19, 2019

For our next Board Member Spotlight, we are pleased to introduce Dan Broderick, who is Regional Managing Principal for the Southwest region at Cushman & Wakefield. Read the Q&A below and get to know Dan, the work he does for Cushman & Wakefield, and why he’s proud to serve on EDC’s board.

What is your “day job”?

At Cushman & Wakefield, I lead all of our commercial real estate services lines for the Southwest region - Brokerage (Occupier and Investor), Capital Markets, Asset Services, Construction Management, and Valuation & Advisory.  In San Diego, we are the market leader in the full spectrum of real estate services throughout the county, operating out of five offices with approximately 250 people in the region.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

EDC exemplifies what is great about San Diego: our demographics, our talent, our resources, our community, and our culture. EDC is the intersection where information, politics, business, trade, and technology converge for the betterment of our region. It is the gold standard for collaboration and creating a cohesive vision for the future of our great home, San Diego.

Favorite quote?

“The choice isn’t between success and failure; it’s between choosing risk and striving for greatness, or risking nothing and being certain of mediocrity.” - Keith Ferrazi

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

In 2010, I was asked to be the CEO of BRE Commercial, a 25 year-old San Diego firm. I will forever cherish the experiences and relationships I developed. Nine years later, we have achieved what we set out to do. We have become a premier global firm and a leader in the region.  We work with amazing people, who are talented, dedicated, driven, and leaders in the industry.  I am proud to work with all of them, and to be on this great journey together.

What is your favorite EDC program or initiative?

San Diego: Life. Changing.

 

 

April 12, 2019

Each year, San Diego Regional EDC honors an individual who has demonstrated outstanding leadership by addressing challenges and making significant contributions to improve our region. For 2019, we are thrilled to award Dr. Karen Haynes with the Herb Klein Civic Leadership Award, presented by SONY. 

Karen Haynes has served as President of CSU San Marcos since 2004 and is the longest-tenured president in the university’s history. Under her leadership, the school’s population has grown from 7,000 students to 17,000, while also overseeing the addition of 15 new buildings, more than 100 academic programs, and a new satellite campus in Temecula. 

Aside from fulfilling the duties as university president, Dr. Haynes has gone above and beyond to address the needs of underrepresented students. She has a passion for helping every student achieve their academic potential by removing barriers to access. CSUSM serves the highest per-capita numbers of both military veterans and Native American students in the CSU system and more former foster youth per capita than any institution of higher education in the United States. 
 
In addition to the new award she'll be receiving, Dr. Haynes carries a long list of notable awards and accolades, including:

  • In 2016, Dr. Haynes became the senior president in the 23-campus CSU system—the first woman to ever serve in that role. 
  • 2017 Social Work Pioneer Award by the National Association of Social Workers, for contributions to the evolution and enrichment of the profession.
  • 2015 Woman of the Year Award from San Diego Magazine for her commitment to creating positive change in the region.
  • 2015 President of the Year Award from the California State Student Association, which represents all 460,000 CSU students, for outstanding commitment to CSU students.
  • Named a Power Broker of 2015 by the San Diego Business Journal for being a “catalyst for change and a champion for the underserved” in her leadership of Cal State San Marcos.

Please join us on May 2 at Sea World, where will be recognizing Dr. Haynes for great achievements. 
More information & tickets are available: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edcs-annual-dinner-tickets-55729391109

April 11, 2019

San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation released a study—Qualcomm’s Contribution to San Diego’s Economy, showcasing how the company’s investment in the community has impacted the industry, economy and region as a whole. Since its humble beginning in 1985, Qualcomm has been at the forefront of innovation, entrepreneurship and research and development (R&D.) It settled with a home base in San Diego, providing a significant economic impact and tremendous contributions to our region since its founding.

Qualcomm is not only a technology industry leader in our region; it also engages the marketing, accounting, legal services, consulting, environmental and engineering industries in San Diego, in-turn creating jobs and opportunities along every step of the company’s tech journey. Just in 2018, Qualcomm had an economic impact of approximately $4 billion in the San Diego economy. To put that into perspective, it’s the equivalent of 41 Breeder’s Cup World Championships, 27 San Diego Comic-Cons and 3.6 San Diego Convention Centers.

Further, in 2018, Qualcomm created approximately 1,600 job postings, recruiting top-tier entrepreneurial talent while continuing to dedicate resources to strengthening our communities and educating the next generation. To its core, Qualcomm understands the importance of investing in the workforce of tomorrow. They have done just that through an interactive tutorial program called Thinkabit Labs, which engages students from different backgrounds and inspires them to be the next generation of inventors – combining science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) for an educational and hands-on learning experience. Through Thinkabit, students mature by learning real-world problem-solving skills, collaborate in teams and motivate creativity on a myriad of levels. Qualcomm has hosted students from 107 schools across San Diego, inspired close to 22,000 local students and helped them create more than 5,000 inventions. Over the course of this program, Qualcomm has expanded and collaborated with 20 school districts and organizations.

Just as Qualcomm has invested into our youth, it has equally invested into our local communities. Since 2000, Qualcomm has donated more than $355 million to the San Diego community from both Qualcomm and the Qualcomm Foundation. Just in the last five years, Qualcomm employees have donated to more than 1,000 local organizations, requested matches for more than 17,900 organization and contributed more than $26 million to local communities. Qualcomm truly is a trailblazer for local philanthropy.

Many people think of Silicon Valley as the premier technology hub in America, however Qualcomm is working tirelessly to bring that title to San Diego. It’s no secret that Qualcomm is one of the leaders in 5G and also a premiere leader in creating technology the world loves. More than 130,000 patents and patent applications have come from Qualcomm in the past year. While it couldn’t have been done without our San Diegans, this type of technology and innovation is something that should be celebrated. Roughly 12 percent of the region’s total tech talent is employed by Qualcomm. To break down the impact on local jobs, Qualcomm has created: 10,170 induced jobs, which come from the result of local spending of labor income; 7,680 indirect jobs, the effect of local, inter-industry or B2B spending through existing economic structure; and 10,030 Qualcomm employees, which all adds up to an outstanding 27,880 total jobs. Because of this, for every job at Qualcomm, an additional 1.8 jobs are supported elsewhere in the San Diego economy. It truly is the job multiplier – integrating other companies and industries to provide support and collaboration that leads to industry-leading technology.

Our economic study “Qualcomm’s Contribution to San Diego’s Economy” shows some of the great contributions that Qualcomm has given to the San Diego region, but it wouldn’t be possible without the people. Thank you to the communities, employees and organizations that are helping build San Diego.

*Qualcomm sponsored this study and provided employee data for EDC's impact analysis.*

April 5, 2019

Welcome to our first Board Member Spotlight. Every week, we'll be introducing you to a new EDC board member, so you can learn about the people that are helping support and drive our organization forward. Meet Tom Turner, commercial real estate attorney turned vice president of CBRE. After a 35-year career in law, the last 25 with the firm of Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, Tom has joined CBRE as vice president and will fill the firm’s seat on our board. We caught up with Tom to learn more about this unique career transition, and here is what we learned: 

What is your “day job”?

As a member of the CBRE tenant representation team, I specialize in helping secure favorable real estate deals for law firms, technology companies, and other commercial real estate users throughout Southern California, with a focus on San Diego. I joined CBRE after a 35-year career in law, the last 25 with the firm of Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, where I was managing partner and a trusted commercial real estate advisor to countless local companies. I am excited to step into the brokerage world and combine my real estate law insight, deal-making skills, and business perspective to create successful outcomes for my clients.

Of all the boards in San Diego, why EDC?

EDC’s board is a cross-section of executives from every part of the region, and nearly every industry, as well as nonprofit leaders and elected officials, making it possible to hear from diverse stakeholders on a broad spectrum of economic development issues. I find direct value from EDC’s work helping businesses expand their presence in the region and raising the region’s profile to attract investment.  Our respective research teams partner on products like The Economic Pulse and studies such as a recent project about precision health. We’re also proud sponsors of the EDC’s Annual Dinner at SeaWorld every year –our signs are as big as billboards!

Favorite quote?

"Reject the tyranny of the 'or.' Embrace the genius of the 'and.'" - Jim Collins, Good to Great.

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

Summer Soltice of 1980, the day I married my beautiful and amazing wife Jennifer, the mother of our three wonderful kids and the best Nana our grandkids could ever hope for.

 

May 2, 2017

This week, we sat down with Dino D'Auria, executive vice president and chief banking officer at Silvergate Bank. One of EDC's newest investors, Silvergate Bank is a San Diego-based community bank that serves individuals and businesses across industries including manufacturing, defense, property management, real estate investment and many more.

 

1) Please tell us what your company/organization does.

Silvergate Bank has four main lines of business: Mortgage Warehouse Lending, Correspondent Mortgage Lending, Real Estate Construction and Investor Financing, and – my division – Business Lending and our Branch network.  We also have an on-line portal that serves our Fintech clients for Treasury Management services.

In our Business Banking group, we primarily serve growing, privately held companies or Community Service Organizations (Not for Profit) by helping them position their balance sheets for growth and assist them in efficient and cost effective cash management.

Many of our clients come to us after having trouble working with larger banks, because they did not fit.  We take the time to teach clients how to properly report their financial statements and communicate in “banker-speak” to enable them to get the financial services needed to grow.  Some examples of our work:

  • A privately held company that rents film production equipment was piecing together many small loans at typically high rates of interest to finance their 25 percent year-over-year growth. Silvergate Bank was able to consolidate these loans into two loans at a more favorable interest rate and reduce the monthly debt service by 25 percent. This allowed more working capital to be preserved in the company, which can be leveraged to support his continued growth.
  • A privately held company that sells packaging material was using UPS to finance its shipments of product.  By coaching the company on maintaining supporting net worth in his company, we were able to replace this expensive funding source with a Formula Line of Credit cutting his financing costs by 50 percent and setting him up to grow his business.

2) What are some advantages to being located/doing business in San Diego?

San Diego is a close-knit business community. Our team is able to bring other professionals as resources for our clients through our networking activities.  The economy is diverse and provides a stable base for entrepreneurs to grow their companies and have the confidence that things will be good in the future.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation. Pick another San Diego company that is at the top of its game.

Gap Intelligence is a dynamic marketing research company that is very progressive in using technology and creating a positive dynamic culture. 

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?

We expect to grow Business Banking to be an equal share of our balance sheet as our other lines of business.  We also plan to expand into Orange County, Los Angeles and the Inland Empire so there are plenty of growth opportunities at the bank.

San Diego will continue to positively progress as it has over the last 20 years.  

September 27, 2016

This week we sat down with Ken Behan, vice president of sales and marketing at SYSTRAN Group. With operations in San Diego and as a program sponsor of WTC San Diego's MetroConnect Program, the language technology company is helping local SMEs connect with international markets - driving economic and innovative growth for the region.

1) Please tell us what your company/organization does. 

With 48 years in the language technology industry, SYSTRAN Software has been in business long enough to witness sweeping changes in the way people communicate globally. Over recent years, large amounts of data have become more accessible to anyone with an Internet connection, enabling businesses of all sizes to better compete on the world stage. Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are now able to branch into global markets that were previously reserved only for large corporations due to more affordable technology tools. However, SMEs are often slowed down by their inability to understand their customers in other countries or benefit from valuable data if it is in a language other than their own.

Through our enterprise software, SYSRAN provides advanced machine-based translation of 130 languages to global companies like Apple, Adobe, Cisco, Toyota and Symantec, among others. Now SMEs can leverage the same enterprise-level language technology with SYSTRAN.io, a new API platform that provides a hosted 50-language translation toolkit with customization capabilities. SYSTRAN.io allows software developers, customer experience (CX) companies, marketing departments, social media and marketing technology companies, and online gaming developers to easily and cost-effectively develop multilingual applications that were once only available to large, international companies. 

2) What are some advantages to being located/doing business in San Diego?

San Diego is a hub for technology innovation and talented software developers who want a lifestyle that only San Diego can provide. As a global language technology software company with offices in San Diego (as well as Seoul and Paris), we leverage our location to attract the best technicians and software developers on the market.

Software contributes billions of dollars to San Diego’s economy, and the region consistently ranks in the top 10 cities for VC funding nationally and globally. With such a strong investment market, both large and small businesses have more opportunities to invent and thrive. We believe San Diego will continue its growth in software development, life sciences, biotech, cleantech, medical devices, and information and communications technologies.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation. Pick another San Diego company that is at the top of its game.

Semantic Research is a privately held San Diego software firm that is extending its reach into global markets. Its primary software, Semantica, provides a solution for data organization from multiple channels and is constantly evolving.

Semantica iDEA™ is a unique Intelligent Decision Enterprise Analytics platform from Semantic that provides a single, holistic view of all layers of your data regardless of source or format and without the need for a data warehouse or an integration platform. Advanced analytics add a layer of intelligence on top of data to identify patterns of behavior and links among people, things, places and events. Cool stuff!

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years?

With the growing need for seamless communication across borders and language intelligence technology, we anticipate a steady incline for SYSTRAN’s growth. We are seeing SYSTRAN software being used by Fortune 100 companies and startups alike. SYSTRAN has made a significant investment in its API platform – SYSTRAN.io.  We anticipate that by opening the SYSTRAN language intelligence technology to multi-national companies of all sizes with a cloud-based application, we will see a ground swell of integration between automated language translation and natural language processing in web, mobile and enterprise applications.

SYSTRAN.io is becoming a preferred solution for collaboration bots used on platforms and team messaging apps such as Slack, which offer simplified communication with team members around the world. In today’s need-it-now environments, there's simply no time to click a drop-down box to choose a language or cut and paste. To solve these challenges, SYSTRAN.io is being integrated for real-time translation into collaboration platforms.

SYSTRAN is also seeing wide use among customer support teams to handle real-time translation of complaints, customer feedback or service outages. We see this as a huge market for SYSTRAN’s machine-based translation technology moving forward. E-discovery is another area where automated language technology is greatly needed and we have many law firms and compliance officers using our software daily.

Today, millions of users around the world interface with SYSTRAN multilanguage technology daily. Platform customers include ADP, Adobe and Apple, which integrates a language translation widget on the dashboard of its MacBook. We see opportunities for text and audio language translation software integration growing daily. 

August 30, 2016

EDC investor Innovative Commercial Environments (ICE) is a full service hospitality and office furniture dealership. From design concept to project completion, ICE creates an inspired, ergonomic workplace that allows companies to increase efficiency, creativity and output. In addition to representing more than 300 manufacturers, ICE also fabricates a line of locally made office furniture – supporting local artisans, welders and retired military personnel.

Recently, ICE provided EDC's office with a custom reception desk with walnut “live edge” wood slab accents and laser cut steel signage. We sat down with the company founder & CEO DeLinda Forsythe to discuss ICE's commitment to San Diego.

1)Tell us about Innovative Commercial Environments (ICE).

ICE helps organizations consciously build their corporate culture.  ICE crafts furniture solutions that encourage a company’s staff to connect, solve problems together, grow and ultimately “create magic.”  The open environment encourages team work.  The majority of the workforce today is under 35 and they have a strong affinity towards more simple materials.  They don’t want to work in a space that feels contrived.  They came through a rough recession, they want to work in a space that feels like money was spent wisely.  Our furniture is a fun way to help management build an empowered corporate ecosystem.
 
We've recently expanded from a full service office and hospitality furniture dealership to manufacturing a “brewery inspired” office benching system through ICE WorkShop. 

2) Tell us more about WorkShop and the benefits of innovative office design.

At $1000-$1500 per user, customization can not only be affordable, it can also be designed to complement and enhance the architecture of a space while meeting unique client requirements of height adjustability and flexibility. WorkShop can be designed to reflect your corporate culture, helping attract and retain the best talent at your company.  A talent race is on and we think the authentic design of our WorkiBeam system can provide a competitive advantage.

Join other local manufacturers on Oct. 7 for MFG Day 2016 as we celebrate one of San Diego's most diverse industries.

August 23, 2016

This week EDC sat down with Underground Elephant's CEO Jason Kulpa to discuss the company's recent office opening and expansion in San Diego. Founded in 2008, the 100-person technology company works to advance the online consumer experience in the insurance and financial services sectors. Recently featured in the New York Times piece, "A Beer Garden Lays Down Roots for a Technology Hub," Underground Elephant new innovative office space is driving company success and a collaborative culture.

1) Please tell us what your company does.

Underground Elephant (UE) is a digital marketing and technology company dedicated to advancing the online consumer experience. Starting in the insurance sector, we expanded over the course of 8 years into other financial services including credit cards, bank accounts, mortgages and loans. We have been listed on Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest Growing Private Companies for four consecutive years, seeing 192 percent growth in the past three years. With a team of more than one hundred employees, UE is dedicated to increasing quality interactions between consumers and providers. Recently, we moved our headquarters to the historic Wellman Peck warehouse in East Village. Designed by San Diego’s acclaimed Paul Basile of Basile Studios, the space lends itself to our open and collaborative culture, and is complete with an indoor schoolhouse, five olive trees and an in-house bar.

2) What are some advantages to being located/doing business in San Diego?

When deciding where to move our company, we considered relocating to Denver or tech-central San Francisco. However, the environment that San Diego provides is hard to find anywhere else. Not only is the weather idyllic, but the top-rated local universities make the area a hotbed for talent. The increase in San Diego tech startups has also created a community here that we wanted to be involved with. Our new headquarters in East Village is the ideal spot for us, since it intertwines the richness of San Diego's history with the future of innovation. Moving into the new space has not only changed our environment, but it’s also increased our entire company’s productivity. For instance, our tech team has reduced their deployment cycles by 62 percent since the move. Being located steps away from Petco Park, countless restaurants and cafes, and entertainment is also a great benefit for our unique, millennial-based culture.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation. Pick another San Diego company that is at the top of its game.

There are many companies throughout San Diego who are at the top of their industries and contributing to the culture of our city. In the hospitality realm, Please & Thank You Liquor Bar sets itself apart from all other catering companies by offering a distinctively unique cocktails-only service. We have had the pleasure of working with them in our new space; they are truly at the forefront of the craft cocktail industry in San Diego, which is a difficult niche to set yourself apart in since it’s already quite saturated.

Additionally, downtown agencies Red Door and Mirum (formerly Digitaria) are influencers as well, adding to the innovative digital tech hub in East Village with unique company cultures and spaces.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?

Our multi-million dollar investment in our office space in East Village signifies our intention to set down permanent roots. The bet is that our investment will trigger others to do the same; we’d like to change downtown into a buzzing work-epicenter. With the lifestyle that San Diego can provide, we believe the city will continue attracting both companies and talent from across the country.

 

Underground Elephant's newly opened office: