A note on Annual Dinner from Mark

Honoring the most ‘Life Changing’ among us

For the first time in almost three years, San Diego Regional EDC will welcome investors, board members, and community partners to our Annual Dinner.

This year’s event—hosted under the night sky at Petco Park—will feel a bit like a family reunion for us, having had so much time pass since we have been able to gather with the region’s broader economic development community to celebrate our work and our relationships. Alongside sponsors who represent an amazing cross-section of our economy and our work, there are two special relationships we will be taking time to recognize on June 9 with the 2022 Life Changing Awards:

The first is The San Diego Foundation. For almost 50 years, The San Diego Foundation has served as our primary community and philanthropic foundation, supporting a wide range of causes and organizations throughout our region. But never has its work been more important or its resources more critical to San Diegans than during the many months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the region’s healthcare systems and public health officials grappled with an unprecedented crisis and managed new and changing regulations, threats, and policies emerging around us, The San Diego Foundation sprang into action, starting the COVID-19 Community Response Fund to get resources directly to those hit hardest by the pandemic—individuals who were out of work, families who needed to put food on the table, elderly residents who were shut off from services and support, and more. The Foundation raised and distributed more than $65 million to more than 250 non-profits and community-based service providers in the first 15 months of the pandemic to help ease the suffering, uncertainty, and fear felt across San Diego.

We will also be recognizing the most visible heroes of the pandemic—our region’s healthcare professionals and systems. For more than two full years, the individuals who work within and lead our hospitals, clinics, medical practices, and healthcare access points throughout the county have supported, treated, and healed countless local and neighboring patients and families.

From testing, to vaccinations, to life-saving care, to mental health and emotional support, and much, much more, words cannot possibly express what we know they have been through nor what they have meant and continue to mean to our community. Thanks, awards, and accolades seem insignificant in the face of true heroism, selflessness, and service. But as an economic development community, we will pause to remember, celebrate, and thank our region’s healthcare professionals for being the very best of who we are through the most difficult times we may ever know.

So please join us for this special evening, in a special place, surrounded by special people, who all play their part in making San Diego the ‘Life Changing’ place we continue to know and love.

join us june 9


Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Red Door Interactive unveils new HQ in Sherman Heights

EDC, local leaders cut the ribbon on Red Door’s innovative office space

Today, EDC member Red Door Interactive, a national, award-winning marketing agency, unveiled its new San Diego headquarters alongside EDC and staff from Councilmember Vivian Moreno’s office at a ribbon cutting ceremony. Reflective of Red Door’s company culture and vision for the future of the modern workplace, the company’s three-building campus features panoramic views of Downtown San Diego, a variety of collaboration hubs, seven outdoor patio spaces, an urban garden, and state-of-the-art technology for interactive video conferencing throughout the campus, among other amenities for its 90-person staff to enjoy.

For Red Door, the project has been years in the making; the company originally purchased the land in Sherman Heights, a designated Opportunity Zone, for its new headquarters in 2020. Despite a variety of pandemic-fueled hurdles, construction for the project was crafted entirely by local vendors including AVRP, Swinerton, Cultura, and many more.

“We’re excited to bring our diverse team of talented, creative minds to this neighborhood,” Reid Carr, CEO and co-founder of Red Door Interactive, said. “This is not only a place of work for us, but a home for the work we do as a collective. We built this campus with an eye toward the future of work, along with the ability to reflect some of the best San Diego has to offer—outdoor spaces, accessibility, and the spirit of its unique neighborhoods.

With 20 years in offices in Downtown San Diego, including an award-winning, ground floor space in the DiamondView Tower at Petco Park, this new headquarters marks a bold move to a nearby neighborhood. It also represents Red Door’s commitment to physically coming together as a team, while also continuing to openly support hybrid and remote work—a philosophy the company embraced long before the pandemic.

Red Door hopes its new campus is a step toward bringing more awareness and investment to Sherman Heights. The neighborhood has long been regarded as a vibrant, historic place, rich in culture with fantastic views of downtown, Coronado, and the Bay—but it’s also centrally located around some of San Diego’s greatest assets. Sherman Heights provides easy access to Interstates 5 and 15, and state Routes 163 and 94. It’s also a few minutes from the San Diego International Airport and walkable to Balboa Park, and the unique neighborhoods of East Village, Golden Hill, and Barrio Logan.

EDC’s Mark Cafferty shares, “Reid and the team at Red Door Interactive have always been stewards of our region—investing in organizations like EDC and charting paths for other local companies in San Diego’s urban core. Twenty years ago, the company began a movement in East Village that proved to be monumental for the growth of Downtown. We know Red Door will bring that same vision, passion, and creativity to the historic and vibrant Sherman Heights community.”

A note on progress from our Senior Director

“The Obstacle Is the Way”

This is the title of a book I recently started reading about applying stoic philosophy to everyday, modern life. The core teaching is to turn adversity into advantage. Obstacles, both predictable and unforeseen, are not an impediment to growth or progress but rather the path to achieving our goals—it’s a matter of perspective.

EDC and a steering committee of the region’s largest employers determined that for our region to continue to grow and remain competitive, by 2030, San Diego will need:

  • 50,000 quality jobs in small businesses,
  • 20,000 skilled workers per year, and
  • 75,000 newly thriving households.

However, to do so, inclusion needs to be our focus. To achieve these goals, we must invest in and support the segments of our community that have been historically and systemically excluded from growth and prosperity—not simply because it’s the right thing to do,  but because it’s an economic imperative.

Small businesses employ 60 percent of San Diego’s workforce but struggle to compete for new customers and talent. On top of that, supply chain disruptions have impacted nearly every industry in our region. Connecting local small businesses to big, institutional buyers builds resiliency for both sides.

To keep pace with the demand for talent, we must double the production of skilled workers in our region. If San Diego’s Black and Hispanic youth were prepared for post-secondary education at the same rate as White youth, our talent shortage would become a talent surplus.

San Diego is now the most expensive major metro in the country. The rapidly rising cost of living is impacting employers’ ability to attract and retain talent. Investing in the infrastructure needed to support working families ensures that the region remains an attractive place for people to work and businesses to operate in.

That is the scale of our challenge. It is also the size of our opportunity.

Even the pandemic itself, a once-in-a-century global health crisis that has claimed the lives of nearly one million Americans, has paved a new way forward. It taught us that how and where we work can be different and better. It reaffirmed that small businesses are not just places of employment but also part of the fabric of our community. It reminded us that no matter how much technology we have at our fingertips, it is the human spirit that drives the life-changing and life-saving innovation in our region and world.

During last week’s Report to the Community, I shared that four years later progress toward these goals remains elusive. Yet, the more than 200 people in attendance reminded us that our collective commitment toward these goals will drive the region toward success.

San Diego’s future growth and competitiveness could be undermined by the inequities we currently face; or, the next wave of innovation and prosperity could be fueled by greater inclusion. It’s a matter of perspective. The obstacle is the way.

Take care, Eduardo

Eduardo Velasquez
Eduardo Velasquez

Sr. Director, Research & Economic Development




Investor Spotlight: Bristol Myers Squibb

As a nonprofit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego, and leads initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with Neil Bence, vice president of oncology discovery and San Diego site head at Bristol Myers Squibb, to discuss the company’s mission to combat serious diseases with life-changing medicines. Check out its Investor Spotlight below!

Tell us about Bristol Myers Squibb and its mission.

Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS) is a global biopharmaceutical company whose mission is to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.

Protein degradation is a core strength for BMS R&D, and we are building on our legacy and scientific expertise to discover and develop therapeutic approaches in blood cancers, solid tumors, and other important therapeutic areas. Protein degradation is the process by which proteins are destroyed in a cell; with targeted protein degradation, our researchers are harnessing the cell’s own machinery to degrade several whole new classes of proteins that were previously considered “undruggable.”

Why San Diego?

San Diego is an important hub for innovation and we are committed to our presence and leadership in the vibrant life sciences ecosystem. Our location in San Diego allows our scientists to leverage state-of-the-art technologies to profile diseases and activate biopharma and academic partnerships earlier in discovery and development.

Recently, BMS announced the execution of a long-term lease for the development of a new R&D facility—an iconic 427,000 square foot world-class building at Alexandria Point. Bringing our four sites together into a single building will accelerate collaboration across all research groups and drive BMS’ commitment to bringing critical medicines to patients living with serious illnesses.

We wanted to pursue a San Diego site footprint that encourages collaboration and cultural integration, enables organic growth, and promotes agility to pursue new scientific opportunities. Our extensive San Diego R&D campus houses several distinct industry capabilities, including our Oncogenesis Thematic Research Center, Discovery Biotherapeutics, Medicinal Chemistry, and Nonclinical Research and Development teams.

In San Diego, BMS scientists are focused on the exploration of novel biology and target concepts such as protein degradation and complex biologics. This research is to better understand the complexities of cancer, autoimmune, and neurodegenerative diseases in order to advance the next generation of therapies to help treat these diseases which currently have high unmet needs.

How is BMS improving access to quality care of medically under-resourced patients in San Diego?

BMS is united by a critical mission: Transforming patients’ lives through science. As an inclusive, patient-centered, global biopharmaceutical company, we are committed to doing our part to help advance health equity and deliver innovative medicines that improve the health outcomes of medically underserved and increasingly diverse patient populations. We have been on a health equity journey for many years—continuously building on and expanding our tools to meaningfully tackle health inequities in the U.S. and worldwide.

In August 2020, we announced our $150 million investment over five years to address health disparities, increase clinical trial diversity, expand supplier diversity, increase workforce representation, and enhance employee giving in support of social justice organizations. We remain deeply committed to doing our part to help transform patients’ lives around the world.

BMS recently announced nearly $8 million in new health equity grants to 24 U.S. nonprofits focused on improving access to quality care for medically underserved communities, including the American Lung Association and Dia De La Mujer Latina which have a presence in San Diego, that work with community health workers and patient navigators to increase access among medically underserved patients and communities. The grants are intended to bolster community outreach and engagement, increase care coordination services and to ensure an ethnically diverse, culturally competent community health worker and patient navigator workforce. Grant recipients span across BMS’ therapeutic areas of focus—oncology, cardiology, immunology, and hematology—as well as health equity programs that serve a range of medically underserved patient populations, including Black and African American, Latino and Hispanic, AAPI, LGBTQIA+, and rural communities.

Tell us about BMS’ collaboration and partnership with San Diego Regional EDC.

Bristol Myers Squibb shares San Diego Regional EDC’s mission to invest in local life sciences organizations for the economic prosperity of the region. BMS appreciates the support and partnership of EDC to keep the organization and talent apprised of key economic developments in the region that allow BMS to remain an employer of choice. The team at EDC is collaborative and responsive to our evolving needs.

Looking ahead, what is on the horizon for BMS?

We’re looking forward to bringing together our four current San Diego sites into a single, newly constructed facility. Our vision is to continue to be a major research hub with incredible opportunities for scientific discovery throughout and following this transition.

Overall, it is an exciting time to be at BMS. In the year ahead, we are excited about the growth opportunities in our in-line brands and new product portfolio as well as our powerful innovation engine driving a broad early-stage pipeline. With more than 50 assets in our early-stage pipeline and the opportunity for more than 20 proof of concept decisions over the next three years, BMS is advancing one of the most exciting pipelines in the industry, amplified by our strong external partnerships.

Learn more: bms.com

Twitter: @bmsnews

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Bristol Myers Squibb by becoming a member of EDC.

Interested in publishing an investor spotlight? Contact our team:

Candela Delucchi
Candela Delucchi

Coordinator, Investor Relations & Marketing

A note from our COO

Together at last. 

EDC’s team, investors, and partners do our best work when we are together; this reflects our values of collaboration and inclusion and is core to our mission. But it’s been a minute…

While we safely begin to gather again, we recognize many things are different. Whether you have trepidation about returning to in-person gatherings or are eager to get from behind the Zoom screen, EDC will meet you where you’re at—offering opportunities for both interactions in the months and year ahead. Hearing from and being with our investors and partners in either setting is essential.

Last week, we hosted a two-day retreat with 40 leaders from industry, academia, nonprofits, and government to share complex data unpacking the pandemic’s impact on the 2030 Inclusive Growth goals. The common thread: inclusion is an economic imperative and thus, requires shifts in our regional priorities.

And this week for the first time in two years, EDC’s Chairman Julian Parra led an in-person board meeting with 60+ leaders across the region. Julian took the gavel in June 2020 and never imagined his term would largely be served virtually; however, he has continued to drive the inclusive economic development strategy with the same fervor as instilled by past EDC Chair Jim Zortman in 2017.

For the region to fully emerge from this global pandemic, it must reconcile an economic recovery that is full of contradictions. The region is simultaneously experiencing strong job growth and record venture capital inflows, along with a fierce battle of seemingly unavailable talent, small business closures, and the most expensive housing market in the U.S., with the brunt of these impacts incurred most by low-income earners and people of color. To get this recovery right, the San Diego region must double down on the goals for quality jobs, skilled talent, and thriving households.

That’s why we hope you will join us on April 8 at EDC’s Report to the Community, where we will unveil data on the region’s progress towards these goals and hear commitments from regional leaders.

Here are other opportunities for engagement with us in the months ahead:

  • This Friday, March 11, at our quarterly Economic Development Committee meeting, hear how San Diego companies are re-evaluating talent attraction techniques to see success in a new world of hiring challenges. Register now with password EcoDev2022.
  • On March 23, join the virtual Global Competitiveness Council meeting to hear an update from Congresswoman Sara Jacobs (CA-53) on the devastating conflict in Ukraine, followed by an update on the state of global aviation from the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority.
  • In May, EDC will host another investor reception—stay tuned for the date and location. If you missed any of our recent gatherings, we hope you are able join us.
  • On June 9, EDC celebrates the return of its Annual Dinner—this year at Petco Park. Together with 900+ friends and colleagues, join us for a special night honoring the region’s healthcare providers for their unwavering care and The San Diego Foundation for its essential community investments throughout the pandemic. If you would like to sponsor, please contact Jennifer Storm.

For two decades I have had the pleasure of being a part of the team at EDC. Never have I been more certain of our value proposition than right now. To our investors, my sincere gratitude for your support—especially these past two years. There is critical and challenging economic development work ahead, but with and through all of you, we can ensure our regional competitiveness and create better futures for more San Diegans. As our past EDC Chair Janice Brown reminded us, when Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the score for Hamilton, the lyric wasn’t “on the Zoom, it was “in the room where it happens.” Somewhere on the journey ahead, I look forward to being in the room alongside you.

With regards,


Lauree Sahba
Lauree Sahba

Chief Operating Officer


Investor Spotlight: Curebound

As a nonprofit, San Diego Regional EDC is supported by investment from nearly 200 private organizations, companies, and public agencies. With their support, EDC provides direct services to help companies grow and thrive in San Diego, and leads initiatives to enhance the region’s recovery and resilience.

We sat down with EDC investor Anne Marbarger, CEO of Curebound, to discuss its mission to accelerate cures for cancer in our lifetime and realize a world without cancer from San Diego. Check it out!

Tell us about Curebound and its mission.

Launched in 2021, Curebound is an evolution and expansion of two highly respected cancer organizations, Padres Pedal the Cause and the Immunotherapy Foundation, which have come together to help create a robust, sustainable source of funding for cancer research and to broaden awareness, education, and outreach across San Diego. To date, we have donated $20 million to fund 78 innovative research projects, including six clinical trials.

Our mission is to mobilize San Diego to accelerate cures for cancer in our lifetime. To help realize our vision of a world without cancer, Curebound is committed to investing $100 million into collaborative cancer research over the next decade and making San Diego a global center of cancer research and cures.

Why San Diego?

Curebound is headquartered in San Diego amidst a unique combination of three National Cancer Institute cancer centers, clinical care hospitals, biotech companies, venture capital investors, philanthropic networks, and, most importantly, a regional culture that embraces the spirit of collaboration. This ecosystem positions San Diego and Curebound at the forefront of discovery—bringing genomic medicine, new technologies, and clinical trials to market and presents an unprecedented opportunity for research collaboration.

Curebound is a catalyst that brings these resources together to accelerate cures. We are proud to partner with the top cancer research institutions in San Diego, including Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Rady Children’s Hospital, Salk Institute, Sanford Burnham Prebys, La Jolla Institute for Immunology, and Scripps Research. We see that San Diego has enormous potential to become a “cancer-curing city” and that the next decade will be critical in the development of sophisticated, personalized approaches in the way we prevent, treat, and ultimately find cures for cancer.

How can San Diegans get involved?

Padres Pedal the Cause is Curebound’s signature community event on April 9 at Petco Park. After two and a half years of virtual events due to the pandemic, we are excited to be back in person and look forward to celebrating with our cancer-fighting community of survivors, friends, families, doctors, scientists, and volunteers. One hundred percent of every dollar raised funds life-saving cancer research in San Diego.

The event features cycling courses for all abilities that ride out over the beautiful Coronado Bridge and finish at Petco Park, the option to run or walk a new and improved 5K through downtown San Diego, and a rooftop spin class atop the historic Western Metal Supply Co. building with fun, inspirational rides from some of San Diego’s most popular instructors.

This year, we are encouraging our local businesses to take part in our Corporate Challenge. The Corporate Challenge is an opportunity to come together as a company in support of family members and friends whose lives have been changed by cancer. It’s a great way to bring your workforce together with a positive focus on health and wellness, community engagement, and strong internal team building.

Tell us about your involvement with San Diego Regional EDC and its team.

Curebound is proud to invest in the fantastic work being done by EDC. We all feel very fortunate and appreciate the opportunity to partner with CEO Mark Cafferty and the EDC team, along with so many exceptional business leaders across San Diego.

EDC has done so much to advance and empower San Diego for many years and we believe Curebound aligns with EDC’s vision in many ways. For example, Advancing San Diego‘s collaborative effort to align economic development and workforce development around a common set of goals is truly impressive and speaks to the heart of our own core values of community, collaboration, and cures. Thank you all!

Looking ahead, what is on the horizon for your organization?

Our mission, vision, hope, and dream is to accelerate cures in our lifetime, so that the next generation doesn’t have to experience a cancer diagnosis in the frightening way that too many of us do now.  We will continue to increase and expand our outreach and opportunities for community engagement as we grow with new events and programs on the horizon. There is much in the works and we’re excited to share more in the coming months.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll join us for Padres Pedal the Cause in April and look for more information coming soon for our next series of events in honor of World Without Cancer Day on June 20.

Learn more: curebound.org

Twitter: @PedalSD

Read more about EDC’s investors in our investor spotlight blog series. Or, join Curebound by becoming a member of EDC.

A note on talent from Bree

It’s not you—it’s all of us. 

The long talked about ‘war for talent’ is more competitive than ever, with established firms upending whole hiring systems to meet the demands of today’s applicants—and still, not getting enough. You are not alone; this is not a one-company problem. In our countless conversations with HR leaders and executives, it’s clear firms across industries and size are struggling to fill their open positions (EDC included).

In a survey of 200 local businesses, hiring difficulty reached a new high in December. That same month, local San Diego employers posted more than 158,000 unique jobs—nearly half of which were new positions and predominantly in STEM. And yet, there are just 61,000 people currently unemployed in the region.

Flexibility. Remote work. Mission. Culture. Inclusion. The pandemic flipped the script on workforce demands with companies across the country being stretched to meet the needs of prospective recruits. Established firms can’t compete with the benefits offered by startups from salary to signing bonus to equity. Startups can’t offer the structure or safety net available at large corporations. Yet San Diego is uniquely positioned to compete.

The region stands apart with its thousands of mission-driven companies, its unparalleled quality of life, and its collaborative ecosystem. These are the stories we tell in San Diego: Life. Changing., and the connections we drive through Advancing San Diego.

EDC can help:

  • Lean into the San Diego story in selling your business to recruits using these tools;
  • Engage with us to mold student curriculum to meet your industry needs;
  • Apply for interns paid for by EDC’s foundation;
  • And share your open roles for promotion across our channels.

And above all, turn inward to upskill and promote your existing workforce and consider rethinking existing job requirements which may be inadvertently excluding qualified San Diegans. Pandemic-induced challenges aren’t going away soon, and the battle for talent may endure, but with San Diego as your homebase, we’ve got you covered.

All my best—Bree

Bree Burris
Bree Burris

Director, Marketing & Communications


A note from Dr. Clarke

Goals for 2022

Like we do every year, our team spent the last few months of 2021 working with EDC’s executive committee, board, and investors to establish annual goals that are informed by current economic realities, led by employers, and have measurable outcomes that contribute to prosperity and competitiveness across the binational region. As San Diego emerges from a global pandemic to an economy full of contradictions—strong job growth, eye-watering VC numbers, and massive capital investment as well as widespread labor shortages, small business closures, and housing prices almost 30 percent higher than 2019—it is abundantly clear that smart economic development is inclusive economic development.

In 2021, EDC reframed our organizational goals around these fundamental building blocks of a strong economy—quality jobs, skilled talent, and thriving households—and committed to working with and through our investors to accelerate progress towards these Inclusive Growth goals. In 2022, resilience means connecting more people to innovation industries; competitiveness means more San Diegans have the skills the economy needs; and prosperity means that working families can afford to live here. Please find EDC’s 2022 goals outlined below.


Goal: The region needs to create 50K quality small business jobs by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • Industry Insight: Track regional business sentiment and economic resilience via regular research publications, and complete AI industry series.
  • Business Services: Execute 250+ business expansion, attraction, and retention projects and support major mixed-use projects, leading to 5,000 quality jobs. Leverage the Life Sciences Task Force to establish a “one-stop-shop” framework for expansion support for Life Sciences industry and major development projects.
  • World Trade Center San Diego: Execute MetroConnect VI export accelerator program and expand the export Small Business Development Center to support 35+ export-ready companies, leading to $5M+ in new international sales. Enhance binational project support in priority industries.


Goal: The region must create 20K degreed and credentialed workers per year by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • San Diego: Life. Changing.: Communicate opportunities for diverse, skilled talent in San Diego—especially to strategic competitive markets by enhancing Life Sciences recruiting tools.
  • Advancing San Diego: Maintain employer working groups and network of 40+ Preferred Providers for high-demand occupations, update and release regular talent demand reports, and place 80+ Healthcare and Life Sciences interns.


Goal: The region must create 75K newly thriving households by 2030.

EDC will contribute to this goal in 2022 through:

  • Anchor Collaborative: Set shared regional procurement goals for region’s largest purchasers, identify $100 million in new small business spend, and create supplier navigation map.
  • Global Identity: Advance San Diego’s global agenda, support investments in critical infrastructure, and lead Mayoral Thriving Cities trade mission to international market.
  • Inclusive Growth: Create regional alignment on Inclusive Growth goals, launch downtown research and policy collaboration at UCSD’s Park & Market, and execute demonstration project on infrastructure needs.

EDC programs have real, measurable outcomes—supporting thousands of quality jobs, placing hundreds of interns and job seekers, and creating opportunities for millions of dollars of new contracts for small businesses. But ultimately, even the most driven and passionate team won’t substantially move the needle on these ambitious regional goals; we do not ourselves create jobs, train workers, draft policy, or build roads, high-rises, or housing. You do.

EDC can draft the roadmap, but you all—our region’s largest employers—are the only ones who will get us there, through working collaboratively and creatively to accelerate progress towards our regional 2030 goals. That is what “with and through” our investors means, and we at EDC can’t wait to get started.

– Nikia

Nikia Clarke
Nikia Clarke

Senior Vice President; Executive Director, World Trade Center San Diego




A note of reflection from Mark

“May you live in interesting times.” 

I was always told growing up that this phrase was a “Chinese curse.” Turns out that isn’t true. There is actually no real evidence to indicate that any ancient Chinese curses could have even be mistaken for this phrase. But there are a few blessings—in a few different cultures—that may likely be the origins of the statement.

The last year has certainly been interesting. Depending on who we are and where we sit, it may have seemed like a curse, a blessing, or anything in between. But without a doubt, it will all be behind us in a few weeks as we usher in the new year—full of new opportunities and new possibilities.

At some point in the years ahead, we will all look back on 2021 (and 2020 that in many ways is bundled in) and relive its ups and downs—its starts and stops. We’ll remember where we were and who we shared this year with. Beyond my closest friends and family, I will remember sharing this year with all of you, on screen or otherwise. And as we look back, the joys, successes, hardships, losses, opportunities, and challenges will likely have new perspective and clarity that only time can provide. But unmistakably—in the moment—I want to express my sincere gratitude for all of it, and for all of you.

Here you will find some highlights of the team’s work over these last few weeks and some information on events/opportunities still on the horizon; see also our Year in Review and Good News of the Year for a wrap-up of our biggest wins and headlines of the year. And as we continue to live and work in interesting times, take stock of who you are living through them with, and consider each relationship and each opportunity the blessing that it truly is.

Happiest of holidays seasons to everyone, and thank you (as always) for your continued leadership, dedication, and support.


Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read EDC’s Monthly Report

A note from Mark…

Life Sciences innovation is at center stage of San Diego economy

As my mind continues to focus on the health of our community and our economy, I find so many of my conversations centering on the work of San Diego’s Life Sciences industry. Long an anchor of our region’s innovation economy, the Science and Biotech sectors are taking center stage in more ways than ever before—leading in vaccination and testing innovation, and in inbound financial investment and commercial real estate demand.

A key finding from our Q3 Economic Snapshot reveals that our local Life Sciences industry attracted nearly $1 billion in funding during the quarter—nearly 70 percent more than the amount received in the same quarter last year. Just last month, San Diego’s elected leaders were at the center of a deal to reduce prescription drug costs, while also supporting the funding model for scientific research and innovation that enables life-changing drugs, therapeutics, and cures to find their way to market—many from right here in San Diego.

With all of this swirling around us, it is no surprise that a great deal of EDC’s work continues to focus on the growth and support of the skilled workers and quality jobs that power San Diego’s Life Sciences industry, including the work summarized below:

  • Advancing San Diego‘s recently released Talent Demand Report outlines key talent needs in the Life Sciences industry, as determined by employers. The program is currently accepting applications for Preferred Providers of Life Sciences talent here.
  • EDC’s Life Sciences Task Force is working to build a strategic economic development framework for industry support in order to enhance the ability of Life Sciences companies to discover, grow, and thrive in the San Diego region. To complement this work by EDC’s economic development team and further support talent attraction and retention in the industry, San Diego: Life. Changing. will be pivoting its focus to primarily feature scientific innovation and opportunities for talent.
  • Current MetroConnect V finalist White Labs, along with three other diverse companies, will compete for an additional $25,000 in funding towards their international expansion strategies during MetroConnect’s virtual Grand Prize PitchFest on November 15, 2021. Register here to cast your vote—and apply HERE to be part of MetroConnect VI and take your company global with us.

With gratitude and optimism,

Mark Cafferty

Mark Cafferty
Mark Cafferty

President & CEO

Read edc’s monthly report