Skip to Content
The Big Picture San Diego Blog

Investor Spotlight

January 5, 2016

This week we sat down with Seth Stein, president of workforce recruitment at Eastridge Workforce Solutions, to discuss how Eastridge is helping companies refine their talent recruitment processes. With Eastridge's Talent Acquisition Assessment, companies can see how their recruitment and technology practices stack up against their peers, providing insight on how to improve and refine current hiring processes.

For more on talent, attend EDC’s study release event to see how San Diego stacks up against its peer metropolitan cities in talent attraction and retention on Jan. 14. Register here.

1) Please tell us what Eastridge Workforce Solutions does.

Backed by over 40 years of experience, Eastridge Workforce Solutions makes attracting and managing a skilled workforce easier. We develop strategic workforce management programs, innovative technology platforms, and comprehensive staffing solutions customized for your organization. As the success of an organization relies on its talent, businesses partner with Eastridge to solve their workforce needs and stay ahead of the competition.

2) Identify current obstacles companies face in hiring.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics November 2015 report showed the unemployment rate declined to 4.8 percent, the lowest level in seven years. Across the country, niche positions are becoming increasingly difficult to fill as candidates receive numerous compelling offers.

In the recently published Consumer Price Index Report, consumer confidence in the economy is the highest rate in eight years. Candidates are feeling more confident than ever that they can find a position that offers competitive compensation and career growth. With multiple offers, candidates are demanding higher pay—even for entry-level positions.

As San Diego has shifted to a more candidate-driven market, employers have to quickly revise their hiring strategy. In order to secure top candidates, organizations must have a well-defined recruitment process to ensure consistent and repeatable performance through the hiring life cycle. This measures effectiveness and sets a baseline for ongoing expectations.

Organizations that do not have efficient hiring processes, like quick turnaround time from interviews to offers, are subject to losing top candidates to their competitors. To help HR professionals assess hiring challenges in today’s labor market, Eastridge Workforce Solutions developed a Talent Acquisition Assessment to gather data from companies nationwide and learn more about their recruitment performance.

3) How does the Talent Acquisition Assessment enable companies to refine their current hiring processes?

The Talent Acquisition Assessment allows companies to gauge their current recruitment and technology practices against their peers, helping reveal problem areas that exist in current hiring, communication and technology methods.

Organizations that are aware of any gaps that exist in current recruitment processes are better able to secure top candidates and stay ahead of the competition in today’s labor market. Companies that have leading edge recruitment technology and proven talent acquisition practices can source, interview, and hire top candidates quicker. Sticking to outdated methods creates gaps in talent acquisition performance.

December 8, 2015

This week, we sat down with Sean Curtis and Barbara Curtis Smalley of Coffee Ambassador, a family-owned office coffee service company based in San Diego.  Serving over 250,000 cups of coffee a day to businesses across the region, Coffee Ambassador keeps San Diego’s workforce well-charged in the comfort of their own offices.   

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

Founded by Bill and Vera Curtis in their Pacific Beach garage, Coffee Ambassador has kept the coffee brewing in San Diego breakrooms for 45 years. Now led by the brother and sister team of Sean Curtis and Barbara Curtis Smalley, the company has used its nearly five decades of experience in the office coffee industry and local business community to create modern coffee solutions for offices of any size.

With the rise in popularity of high-end cafes, today’s workers have raised their expectations of coffee, and those expectations have extended to the workplace. It’s not just about getting a quality brew, although that is a major component. They crave the café experience at work--the opportunity to reflect, connect, recharge, or brainstorm as they would at their favorite coffee shop. Coffee Ambassador creates these great tasting moments at local businesses, where 250,000 Coffee Ambassador cups are filled every day.

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

San Diegans appreciate local quality. Quality weather, food, leisure—these are just some of the things that San Diegans love to enjoy. It’s no surprise then that they understand the value of both having a quality coffee experience at work and supporting a local, family-owned company that is committed to providing superior customer service.

In gratitude for the tremendous local support we have received, we have kept our focus solely on being the “office coffee experts” in San Diego County. Staying local and serving locally allows us to monitor developments in the international coffee industry but implement solutions with a unique understanding of coffee trends within San Diego. 

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.

Begun in 1989 as a small screenprinting shop in San Diego, Custom Logos has transformed into a leading national supplier of promotional products and branded apparel.  They still do their own screenprinting and embroidery in house at their Kearny Mesa headquarters, which allows them to closely monitor quality and provide a quick turnaround time. We are big fans of their high-standard products, not to mention their personal and professional customer interaction.

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

We anticipate that companies will continue choose San Diego as a draw for high-quality workers and that a number of startups in incubators today will grow into large local presences in the next five years. As a company, we want to grow with them, supporting them from the beginning and then adapting to their changing needs. We also anticipate that as more Millennials join the workforce, the expectation of a better office coffee experience will become tied into quality of life at work. While the products or equipment may change over time, we hope to keep providing the same great tasting moments that our customers have come to expect and appreciate.

November 23, 2015

This week, EDC talked with Jay Scovie, director of Corporate Communications and Education at Kyocera International, Inc. The company – with its North American headquarters in San Diego – manufactures high-tech products for use by semiconductor companies, among others. In just under five decades, the company’s North American operations have expanded to more than 4,000 employees dedicated to the development of innovative products.

1) Please tell us what your company does.

Kyocera was founded in Japan in 1959 — our name comes from “Kyoto” and “Ceramic.”  We serve many diverse high-tech markets, including office document equipment, telecom equipment, solar energy, and engineered components, which are used in electronic, medical, industrial and automotive applications. Much of our work is tied to the semiconductor industry. In 1971, we became the first Japanese company with manufacturing operations in the State of California. We have manufactured ceramic semiconductor packages in San Diego for 44 years. Our telecom equipment business came to the U.S. in 2000 when we acquired Qualcomm’s wireless phone business.  And today, many leading institutions in San Diego (and worldwide) generate renewable power using Kyocera’s solar modules, which are based on silicon cells, a type of semiconductor.  It sounds trendy now, but Kyocera started its solar business in 1975, making us one of the early solar pioneers.

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

My short list would begin with “best climate on Earth,” which makes San Diego ideal for events and tourism. I’ve never lived in another city where you could enjoy pristine beaches, desert, mountains and snow, all in the same day.  From a business standpoint, San Diego has an entrepreneurial culture, globally-renowned universities, Pacific Rim gateway status, and of course, U.S./Mexico manufacturing and trade. We are a global hub for wireless and biotech, with legendary research institutes like Salk, Scripps, Venter, Sanford Burnham Prebys, and yes, the Zoo and SeaWorld. We have unique technology incubators like Biocom and Connect. These all make San Diego “the place” for great minds to meet, with unique meeting opportunities — like the Kyoto Prize Symposium.  Certainly, a lot of people moved to San Diego for the weather. That’s no surprise, but the weather is really just a bonus.

 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.

Can you really pick one favorite?  Ballast Point would have to merge with Rubio’s.  Nobody has a crystal ball, but if you ask this question in a year I think we’ll all be saying it’s Qualcomm — again. They are constantly reinventing, and their current restructuring is going to be pivotal. It’s easy to envision Qualcomm emerging leaner, more focused, and ready to establish new paradigms for the global communications industry — again.

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

Globalization will continue, and companies with a global network for R&D, supply, manufacturing and marketing will fare best.  That should be good for Kyocera. The forces shaping our global economy generally align to create new markets for Kyocera’s core products and technologies. Our founder, Dr. Kazuo Inamori, has always considered it impractical to make long-term business plans – even five-year plans – due to the pace of change in technology. Instead, we focus on accumulating small results daily, making today better than tomorrow, and tomorrow better than today. We are very fortunate that our advanced materials have such broad application in the fields of electronics and industry, in many of the most innovative new components, devices and equipment. This gives us potential to improve the lives of millions of people in the areas of information processing, communications, renewable energy, medical technologies, and automotive components. What do I anticipate in five years?  Kyocera will still be thriving. The company will still have North American headquarters in San Diego. And I expect to be here, too, although if it’s lunchtime… I may be at Rubio’s.

Kyocera Corporate Profile from CC&E on Vimeo.


November 9, 2015

This week we sat down with Kurt Chilcott, president and CEO of CDC Small Business Finance. Headquartered in San Diego, the nonprofit serves the financing needs of small businesses in California, Arizona and Nevada. CDC offers fixed-rate, low down-payment loans to promote economic development and business expansion. Since 1978, the organization has helped provide 174,000 jobs throughout the country.


1) Tell us what CDC Small Business Finance does.

Our roots go back nearly 40 years when a seasoned businessman with a passion for community development – Art Goodman – launched CDC Small Business Finance. In many respects, Art, along with the old Bank of Commerce, pioneered Small Business Administration (SBA) lending in San Diego and beyond. They fine-tuned a loan production process that made SBA lending attractive to traditional banks and set the stage for the development of SBA financing for small businesses. Today, CDC offers financing to startups, as well as more established businesses. Our financing capabilities range from $50,000 to over $20 million. The capital is the means to an end: job creation and economic development in the communities we serve throughout California, Arizona and Nevada. We are the nation’s largest SBA-504 program lender (loans used to buy commercial real estate), as well as the largest SBA Community Advantage lender. And we continue to innovate within the small business finance space, a huge asset for San Diego.

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

San Diego has always been small-business centric, which lines up perfectly with CDC’s mission to help small businesses grow and create jobs.  Small business by its nature is entrepreneurial and so are we. We’re constantly developing better ways to help entrepreneurs pursue their small business dreams via access to capital. Our own entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the power of economic development motivated us to put down our corporate anchor in Liberty Station in 2004 before any of the new development became reality. It was a bold move at the time, but we feel good about being a corporate pioneer in one of the city’s more successful revitalization areas.

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.

Manufacturers are among the most dynamic small businesses because they comprise a strong industry that keeps dollars and jobs in the San Diego economy.  A couple of examples that we have helped grow are Stone Brewing Co. and Steico Industries. Stone Brewing really took off when it built its new San Marcos production facility which we’re proud to have financed. And Steico Industries, which manufactures precision components for aerospace and medical industries, created an entire manufacturing village, buying multiple buildings in the same business park with the help of SBA financing.

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

We envision a good deal of regional innovation and diversification, all in pursuit of developing and delivering the best low-cost, easy-to-access loan products and services to small businesses. Their success is the catalyst for job creation in San Diego.  The small business landscape is changing dramatically for San Diego, with the amount of available capital growing and coming from a variety of sources, the newest one being online lenders. Collaboration has been the hallmark of the San Diego business community and that should continue, as it helps us compete effectively against other regions. Our challenge going forward is to create new business in a variety of industries that spawn quality, high-paying jobs.

October 27, 2015

This week we sat down with Dan Ryan, Executive Vice President and Regional Market Director (San Diego) & Strategic Operations at Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE:ARE) to learn more about Alexandria’s San Diego operations.


We are thankful to Alexandria for their consistent support of EDC's regional economic development efforts through sponsorship of our study on the Economic Impact of San Diego's Research Institutions, and of the upcoming MetroConnect Grand Prize event on Nov. 17. To join us, click here.

1)      Please tell us what Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. does. 

Founded in 1994, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. established the life sciences real estate niche with its first properties in Torrey Pines, and has evolved into a global office real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on collaborative science and technology urban campuses.  In addition to its large presence in San Diego, Alexandria has a large footprint in Cambridge, San Francisco, New York City and Seattle.

In San Diego, we are known for our significant campuses, such as Campus Pointe, which was California’s first LEED Platinum certified core and shell building.  Our innovative campuses create opportunities to collaborate, and offer unique amenities, including Brian Malarkey restaurants, fitness centers and organic farms. The Alexandria at Torrey Pines, our latest endeavor, serves as a communal place, filling the need to activate the Torrey Pines Mesa with a new restaurant, gym, theater and meeting and event space. Our high-quality tenants include Illumina, Celgene, Eli Lilly, UC San Diego, The Scripps Research Institute and more. 

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

San Diego is an extremely vibrant, highly educated and entrepreneurial community.  Our dynamic and innovative campuses, complemented by the climate, allow our tenants to recruit and retain top talent.  With a strong concentration of biotech and pharmaceutical companies, the world’s finest sequencing, and renowned institutions, San Diego is one of the most successful innovation clusters.


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.

I really admire Illumina, a company that not only sets the bar for its industry, but also continually exceeds it.  Illumina is the unequivocal leader in next generation DNA sequencing and Alexandria’s largest tenant on our engaging San Diego campus.  They have a tremendous ability to execute quarter after quarter at the highest level, delivering new technologies and cutting-edge products, and enabling massive adoption of sequencing across healthcare and other industries.


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

Since joining Alexandria five years ago, we have grown and transformed the San Diego region from approximately 1.6 million square feet to nearly four million square feet of highly dynamic real estate today. In the next five years, we will continue to develop relationships with high-quality tenants and will remain committed to growing San Diego’s life science industry.

September 15, 2015
This week we sat down with Phil Blair, Executive Officer of Manpower-West, to learn more about the company’s vital role as one of San Diego’s largest and most prominent employment agencies. For four decades, Blair and Mel Katz have worked to build their thriving temp-to-hire firm into San Diego’s fourth largest employer. Manpower is dedicated to enriching people's lives with meaningful employment and development opportunities, and providing companies with innovative workforce solutions that help them increase agility, improve productivity and boost the bottom line - in San Diego and beyond. 
1) Tell us about Manpower-West.
We help our corporate clients throughout the county to find trained and capable employees to fill their temporary, temp-to-hire, and staff positions. Through Manpower Search, we provide permanent placement search, specializing in the placement of executive assistants, CFOs, controllers, and marketing professionals.  We are also pleased to offer discounted rates for non-profits.
Manpower-West is the largest Manpower franchise in the U.S., with annual revenues exceeding $125 million. Each day, we employ 3,500 associates jobs in our region, allowing our clients’ companies and their employees to thrive in the ever-changing world of work. 
2) What are some advantages to being located and doing business in San Diego?
With all the great economic strides San Diego has made in recent years, we’ve become home to some of the world’s most innovative and vibrant companies, especially in the fields of science, engineering, medicine, and cybersecurity. Learn more about Manpower's critical presence in San Diego here.
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. 
Qualcomm will always be near and dear to our heart.  It continues to be the employer of choice and one of the most innovative and exciting companies in our region.
4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego? 
We’re excited about the potential for growth -- not only throughout the soon to be eight states in which we operate franchises, but also about San Diego’s continued potential as a global economic hub. That’s true in so many ways, especially within the past decade or so. We truly believe the best is yet to come.

September 8, 2015

Four decades of innovative musical technology poured into millions of acoustic and electric guitars has made Taylor Guitars a leading contender in instrument manufacturing. The company has equipped world-renowned artists from Taylor Swift and Jason Mraz to Black Sabbath’s Toni Iommi with well-crafted, easy-to-play guitars. With more than 900 employees, the company produces hundreds of guitars per day in its state-of-the-art factory complexes in both El Cajon and in Tecate, Mexico. For the third consecutive year, Taylor Guitars will open its doors alongside 30 other regional manufacturers to celebrate National Manufacturing Day on October 2.

 This week we talked with Barbara Wight, CFO of Taylor Guitars, about why the company chose San Diego.

Tell us what your company does.

Established in 1974 by Bob Taylor and Kurt Listug, Taylor Guitars has evolved into one of the world’s leading manufacturers of premium acoustic and electric guitars. Renowned for blending an innovative use of modern technology with a master craftsman's attention to detail, Taylor guitars are widely considered the best sounding and easiest to play in the world. The company was a pioneer of the use of computer technology, lasers and other high-tech tools and machinery. Today, Taylor Guitars is widely recognized throughout the musical instrument industry as the visionary acoustic guitar manufacturer. Outstanding playability, flawless craftsmanship, and stunning aesthetics are just a few of the reasons that many of today’s leading musicians make Taylor their guitar of choice.

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

Since the company’s inception, Taylor has remained located in San Diego as it gives us the ability to attract and retain quality employees who want to live here, resulting in increased tenure and a quality pool of employees. Along with this, we are able to operate as a binational manufacturer with factories in both El Cajon and Tecate giving us a high-level of quality control over our products.

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.

Deering Banjos is known throughout the world as a leader in its product class, and for good reason. Founded in the same shop as Taylor Guitars by Greg and Janet Deering 40 years ago, the company has continued to thrive in San Diego. If you turn on the TV or look in any entertainment magazine, alongside the acoustic guitar, Deering banjos are the instruments du jour of some of today’s biggest acts. 

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

As a company, we anticipate additional growth in size, capacity and market share. We will continue to grow our brand presence and the true ‘Taylor experience’ in additional regions in the world. We expect San Diego to continue to be a world-class location for both businesses and families.

September 1, 2015

For 138 years, Dentons' presence in San Diego has been a vital part of business and civic life. Operating out of its downtown and La Jolla offices, Dentons’ lawyers provide comprehensive legal counsel to a broad spectrum of businesses, including startup ventures, closely held firms, publicly traded companies and multinational corporations headquartered in Southern California, the U.S. and across the globe. This week, we talked with Kurt Kicklighter about why San Diego’s innovative culture matters to Dentons.

1) Please tell us what your company does.

On July 1, 2015, Dentons US and McKenna Long & Aldridge merged, expanding Dentons’ geographic reach and strengthening our talent base in the U.S. Dentons offers clients the full range of business and dispute resolution services through approximately 3,000 lawyers and professionals, 1,100 of whom are located in the U.S., delivering integrated, multidisciplinary cross-border solutions at any one of our 80-plus locations in 50-plus countries.

Dentons is driven to provide a competitive edge in an increasingly complex and interconnected world. A top 20 firm on the Acritas 2014 Global Elite Brand Index, we are committed to challenging the status quo in delivering consistent and uncompromising quality in new and inventive ways. With a legacy of legal experience that dates back to 1742 and builds on the strengths of our foundational firms—Salans, Fraser Milner Casgrain (FMC), SNR Denton and McKenna Long & Aldridge—the Firm serves the local, regional and global needs of private and public clients.

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

Dentons is a polycentric firm with no dominant national culture or single headquarters. This approach benefits our clients as they compete in their particular industries and in global markets, providing legal talent from diverse backgrounds regardless of geography. While this polycentric approach may sound like some futuristic vision, it is happening today—in San Diego and elsewhere. Marketplaces that were out of reach only a few years ago are today eager to have San Diego usher in this new era of commerce. Witness, for example, how quickly our city’s biotech sector has blossomed in a relatively short time period. According to a recent study, nearly 450 technology and life sciences startups were founded in San Diego just last year. These companies emerge here and quickly flourish on the international scene.

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

Earlier this year, the Firm launched NextLaw Labs—a collaborative innovation platform focused on investing in, developing, and deploying new technologies to transform the practice of law and benefit our clients—and we continue to find timely, innovative and practical solutions to get a deal done or a dispute resolved.  As our clients’ business changes, we change ours as well.

San Diego’s development depends more than ever on attracting international partners to our city’s collaborative, innovative culture and bi-national economic engine, and Dentons is excited to be a part of this growth.

August 25, 2015

For more than six decades, Kilroy Realty Corporation has been a leader in West Coast commercial real estate markets - providing services to a diverse array of industries spanning the coast from Seattle to San Diego. This week Jamas Gwilliam, vice president of Southern California Development and Investments, elaborates on what the San Diego market means to Kilroy Realty.

1) Please tell us what your company/organization does.
We are committed to creating collaborative, sustainable, highly-amenitized work environments and improving the quality of life in the communities we are a part of. We are proud to work with some of the most innovative companies in technology, engineering, health care, biotechnology, entertainment and professional services.

Kilroy Realty was named #1 Landlord in North America by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark in 2014 across all asset classes and #5 in the world. Kilroy’s San Diego office, Kilroy Centre Del Mar was most recently awarded The International Office Building of the Year (TOBY) award in July 2015 which is a testament to the quality of operations the company stands for.

We are passionate about being environmentally responsible and improving the quality of life throughout the West Coast: Kilroy is the major donor for the Rozalia Project for a Cleaner Ocean, participating in furthering their mission of marine preservation and education.

2) What are some advantages to being located/doing business in San Diego?
San Diego has one of the most diversified economies in the world with a phenomenal bench of intellectual talent.  At the hub of this economy are some of the finest educational institutions in the world.  When you add in the great weather compared to other west coast markets and the relatively inexpensive cost of doing business here, San Diego is well positioned to compete globally for talent and future investment. Personally, having grown up here and recently having moved back to San Diego after 5 years in Los Angeles, I love that I can surf before work and still get to the office by 8:30. San Diego’s pace of life is just the right blend of laid-back and ambitious.

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.
Within our 3 million SF San Diego portfolio, we provide space to many innovative companies.  One dynamic organization that we have done business with is UCSD. The amount of innovation that they are fostering and investment they are making across almost every San Diego employment sector is immense.  As an example, the Altman Research Institute and Jacobs Medical Center are part of a $2 billion building campaign, transforming health and medicine for UC San Diego and for the region.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?
We hope to strategically increase our presence in San Diego by continuing to adjust our portfolio to reflect what we see are the changing demands in the modern workforce. Before the end of the year, we will complete The Heights Del Mar, a three-story 75,000 SF Class-A  office building prominently located in one of San Diego’s largest employment centers. And as most of San Diego has seen, we hope to begin construction on One Paseo which will be a unique mixed-use community unlike anything else in the county. We are also positioning ourselves to move forward with opportunities on a few of our projects: the Horizon at Carlsbad, in Sorrento Mesa at Pacifica, Sorrento Gateway, in UTC at 9455 Towne Centre Drive, and off SR-56 adjacent to our Intuit Campus, The Meridian at Santa Fe Summit.

Over the next five years, we believe that San Diego will continue to adapt in order to not only compete but also lead in areas of innovation and technology across a multitude of existing and emerging sectors.  We look forward to the opportunities that come with that innovation and change.

June 16, 2015


This week we sat down with CEO and founder of Innovative Commercial Environments (ICE), DeLinda Forsythe to learn more about their full service capabilities providing office and hospitality furniture. ICE provides their customers with the ideal furniture solutions. 

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

ICE is a full service hospitality and office furniture dealership.  We help organizations consciously build their corporate culture.  Furniture design has truly evolved and is an unconventional effective way to build your business culture. ICE plans furniture solutions that encourage a company’s staff to connect, play, solve problems together, fail, learn, grow; and ultimately “create magic.”   We use furniture as a tool to build an empowered corporate culture.

Inspired by “The Rainforest” book a rainforest corporate culture is not a mere business theory; it provides a new paradigm for policies and strategies that transcend the way businesses have traditionally worked.  A rainforest environment in an office eliminates hierarchy and encourages teamwork.  The mechanisms of a rainforest touch the heart of a company, making it more efficient and innovative.  It creates an interior environment where vibrant engagement makes it possible to build a culture of inspiration.  Employees working for a common goal will build an inspired company.

Why ICE chose San Diego Final

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

I’ve been in the furniture business for 30 years, starting the first 7 years in Phoenix then San Ramon.  I know how it feels to work in other cities.  There is an amazing camaraderie, warmth and authenticity about San Diego.  We are an intimate 1.3 million!  People genuinely care and want to support each other, our charities and our homegrown companies.  There is no other city I’d rather work, play and live in because of our inclusive community spirit.  I started ICE from a spare bedroom 9 years ago.  From those humble beginnings we’ve made the SDBJ 100 Fastest Growing Companies in San Diego the last 3 years!  It is this inclusiveness that has led to our successful growth.

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.

Cybersecurity is one of the fastest growing industries and iboss Cybersecurity is one of San Diego’s fastest growing companies.  According to the Deloitte Fast 500, iboss is the #3 security company with over 60+ patents and patents pending. They also have an industry-leading customer retention rate of over 98.5%. iboss’ rapid growth has fueled both domestic and international expansion.  Its North American headquarters is in San Diego and they’re one to watch!

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

I believe San Diego, along with our neighbor to the south in Tijuana, is poised for explosive growth.  It is vital that we are all politically knowledgeable and engaged. It is our politicians that will lead us legislatively to grow intelligently and protect our environment.  Mixed-use urban and suburban development, which reduces the need to travel, serves every demographic from our seniors to our young families and we must support these projects and adequately plan for this essential, smart growth. 

Everyone now knows what we’ve all known. We are one of the world’s smartest cities and we should be very proud of what we’ve created.