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The Big Picture San Diego Blog

Investor Spotlight

June 2, 2015

This week we sat down with senior director at BNY Mellon, David Noosinow to learn more about what BNY Mellon has in store for the future - as they collaborate with businesses in the region, provide wealth management expertise and lead in global investment.

1) Tell us about BNY Mellon.

Started by Alexander Hamilton in 1784, BNY Mellon is one of the longest-lasting financial institutions in the world. We have endured, innovated and prospered through every economic event and market in the past 230 years. We serve exceptional clients-- many of the world’s leading investors. They rely on us to connect them to opportunities in 100 markets across 35 countries. Our extraordinary people –  experts in their field – make it possible.

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

When I moved to San Diego in December of 2013 to help establish our new office in Del Mar, my primary motivation was to be close to my family, especially my daughter Averi who is in her first year at Mesa College. Before I moved to San Diego, I did not know about the breadth of industries from cyber to healthcare. And innovation is happening in every industry. In San Diego, not only will you  find global leadership in life science, but also a growing technology center, cyber security, sports and active lifestyle, and let’s not forget all the great craft brewing companies on the 78 Corridor.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out one of the biggest advantages the region provides is its active lifestyle. San Diego is where innovation and lifestyle collide.

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 prefer to share my thoughts on the San Diego business community: I have had the fortune to develop many markets in my career, however, I have never experienced a town where the business community and professionals are as collaborative and genuinely supportive of helping our firm establish our regional presence.

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

 In five years, I anticipate BNY Mellon will be the preeminent investment firm in San Diego; supporting innovation and the growth of the business community in the region, and the  business owners and entrepreneurs that our leading the way. After watching the National Geographic’s “World’s Smart Cites” documentary about San Diego, I see the region much in the same way I see many of the startup companies in our accelerators: thriving with life and global potential.   It’s a good time to be in San Diego.



May 19, 2015

Point Loma Nazarene LogoSan Diego Regional EDC’s Annual Dinner will be held on June 4, 2015 at Sea World San Diego. Point Loma Nazarene University (PLNU) is once again serving as the underwriter for this year’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

We sat down with PLNU president, and EDC board member, Dr. Bob Brower to learn more about PLNU and what’s in store for the future - as they work together with the region’s other universities, to help develop San Diego’s next generation of leaders.

1) Tell us about PLNU.

Founded in Pasadena, California in 1902, PLNU moved to Point Loma in 1973 with 1,000 students. Since coming to San Diego, PLNU has experienced unprecedented institutional growth and development alongside the rapidly growing San Diego region. Today we serve over 3,600 students at our residential campus in Point Loma, in regional centers across Southern California and online.

As a liberal arts institution, PLNU is known for being forward-thinking. At PLNU, academics, faith, and community are all vital. Students benefit from this balanced approach to education and leave PLNU prepared to think, act, and contribute to San Diego and the world.  During our four decades in San Diego we have become an institution known for excellence in academic preparation, wholeness in personal development, and faithfulness to mission.

2) Ensuring San Diego has a steady stream of talented university grads is essential to our regional competitiveness strategy. What are some of the advantages to having your university located in San Diego?

It is the accessible and collaborative character of our region that provides an unparalleled advantage to our students and compels PLNU to remain invested in San Diego.

Dr. Brower on why PLNU thrives in SD

Our students benefit from a region that is invested in developing talent to compete on the world stage - while maintaining a distinctly regional focus. Furthermore, the collaborative relationships that exist among San Diego’s robust and diverse higher education and business communities further affirms our respective institutions’ commitment to educational quality for the benefit of our students and the future of San Diego.

Through faculty leadership and community support, our students and alumni actively contribute to regional dialogue and potential solutions on a variety of issues. PLNU’s Fermanian Business and Economic Institute is actively informing local economic policy in the areas of housing affordability, military economic impact and homelessness. The Center for Justice and Reconciliation at PLNU serves as a regional convener of local law enforcement, nonprofit agencies and policy makers in the continued campaign against human trafficking in San Diego. Our Institute for Politics and Public Service, through the Malin Burnham Center for Civic Engagement, is engaged in the study and practice of civil discourse together with the promotion of the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes. School of Nursing faculty and students are invested in the community of City Heights through PLNU’s Health Promotion Center, providing health education, screening and access to care.

3) What do you anticipate for PLNU in the next 5 years?

Steven Mintz, writing in The Chronicle of Higher Education, explained more than two years ago that “higher education is now in a revolution of change.” American colleges and universities are experiencing the most rapid and dramatic changes in history – PLNU is no exception.

Preparing students as effective leaders in a rapidly changing world is not a new calling for PLNU; it is the foundation of our history and work. For generations, PLNU has developed students deep in conviction and life skills who were academically well prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities of their day.

In effort to support this development, PLNU will celebrate the completion of our new science complex this summer. With nearly 40 percent of PLNU’s undergraduate students majoring in one of the STEM-related disciplines, this much-needed facility reflects the quality of our faculty and students, further strengthening the undergraduate research programs which offer students the ability to conduct faculty mentored research. This hallmark of the undergraduate science experience at PLNU produces graduates ready for future doctoral research and equipped to serve in San Diego’s life science and high tech clusters – but it is not unique to the STEM disciplines.  As in the past, we will continue to develop critical and ethical thinkers equipped to meet San Diego’s workforce needs in the STEM, humanities and business fields.

PLNU remains focused on strengthening and expanding our distinctive learning community and enhancing our ability to respond proactively to the dynamic environment of higher education and the San Diego region. We continue to develop strategies and programs for degree access beyond the traditional, residential campus. Whether through new hybrid and online programs in advanced studies or adult degree completion, or baccalaureate partnerships with the region’s community colleges, we strive to serve new populations of students, thus allowing PLNU to further meet the workforce development needs in our region and prepare effective leaders who impact San Diego and the world.

4) What do you anticipate for the San Diego region?

As a region, San Diego is not immune to change. Building upon a unique culture of creativity and collaboration, San Diego has - and will continue to - distinguish itself as a leader in innovation, defense, healthcare, and tourism sectors. This necessitates the training and development of human capital in a variety of ways to better meet San Diego’s current and future workforce needs.

April 21, 2015

iboss Cybersecurity is a leading provider of innovative APT defense, web security and mobile security solutions. It’s Cyber Week in Washington, DC and the RSA Conference — “where the world talks security” — opens today in San Francisco with a lot of San Diego companies, including iboss. With increasing cyber threats to both business and government,cybersecurity is ubiquitous in every industry.  

This week, we had the opportunity to sit down with Paul Martini, CEO at iboss Cybersecurity in San Diego, to learn more about the company’s relationship with the region, and what’s in store for the future.


1) Tell us about iboss Cybersecurity

iboss is on the cutting-edge of cybersecurity, protecting over four thousand organizations from evasive malware and data theft.  Founded in 2003, iboss was created to provide next-gen cybersecurity for today’s complex network environments. Unlike legacy technology, we saw an opportunity to address emerging technology phenomena including mobile connectivity, cloud adoption, increasing bandwidth demands as well as the growing use of non-standard and often hidden Web ports for data stealing attacks.  With the release of FireSphere in 2014 iboss has introduced lean forward patented technology designed to close the critical gap between malware infection and detection, and contain data theft before malware can complete its mission.

We’re very proud of the fact that our technology is consistently cited by customers as being easy to use and supported by world class technical support that has delivered an industry-leading customer retention rate of over 98.5% for the last two years.


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

First, we consistently find prodigious talent in San Diego, including cybersecurity, engineering & software development experts.   Second, we have a many former UC San Diego (my alma mater) students working here, and we’re relocating our headquarters to be across the street from UCSD, which will make it even easier to access students and engage in collaborative research.  Lastly, one can’t forget the sometimes overlooked but significant benefit of being located in such a desirable travel destination, which always adds value for a wide range of visitors, from industry analysts and partners to customers and potential prospects.


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.

San Diego has always been known for defense and is of course a burgeoning hub for technology, cybersecurity and biotechnology.  We recently met with SPAWAR who is doing amazing things to keep our critical infrastructure and data safe.   There are many other great companies developing amazing technology and adding major value to customers and the region alike, including well-known enterprises such as Qualcomm, Solar Turbines, and CareFusion.


4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?
iboss is in a rapid growth phase and we look forward to meeting our goal of nearly doubling employees and overall revenue in 2015.  We’re also eager to move into our new location later this year, a 43,000 square foot facility off the I-5 in La Jolla, to house our worldwide headquarters and state of the art threat research center.   Our new facility is groundbreaking on construction in early April as part of a multi-million dollar renovation.  Once complete, it will house a cutting-edge threat research center, a technology incubator and engineering facilities. The building, which was previously home to SAIC worldwide data center, is primed to support iboss’ cloud infrastructure with multiple fiber drops, fully redundant power and suppression systems. The property will also feature an energy-efficient design, corporate fitness center, putting green, two-story slide and a technology incubator area.  iboss Cybersecurity has ambitious aspirations backed by innovative, patented technology.  Our goal is to be the next billion dollar Cybersecurity Enterprise in our region and we are putting the people and processes in place to achieve it.


April 15, 2015

With more than 100,000 employees worldwide, AECOM is a global company with a strong local presence. They’ve done it all; from rebuilding Ground Zero to helping San Diego County preserve water. Not only do they work on projects that positively impact our economy, but also those that impact our social and environmental well-being.

We sat down with Michael Kincaid, associate principal at AECOM in San Diego, to learn more about the company’s relationship with the region, and what’s in store for the future.

1) Tell us about AECOM
AECOM’s purpose — to positively impact lives, transform communities and make the world a better place — captures the essence of what we stand for and is intended to inspire us each day. Our core values support our purpose and are a reflection of AECOM’s culture. They include:

  • People. The expertise, passion and thought leadership of our talented people around the world make our success possible. We respect and encourage our people’s ideas, diversity and cultures.
  • Clients. We are committed to our clients and to setting industry standards for service and delivery. We take ownership for solving our clients’ problems and anticipating new opportunities.
  • Excellence. We believe in delivering unequivocal excellence in everything we do.
  • Integrity. We must always maintain our commitment to acting ethically and with integrity — in all that we do, every day of the year.
  • Safety. We are a company that puts safety first. We are all accountable for keeping ourselves and our colleague’s safe, and for delivering work safely to our clients.
  • Innovation. We differentiate our company by challenging ourselves to look for new and better ways to deliver our expertise through innovative solutions that enable each client to realize its vision.

These values, which reflect the culture of AECOM, guide the future that we forge together.

2) What are some advantages to doing business in San Diego?
Surf and sun meets innovation.” San Diego is uniquely positioned as a healthy and beautiful place to live, but also the West Coast hub of our military, the epicenter of a significant border region, and a dynamic and innovative center for business and research.  World class universities, clusters of biotechnology companies, defense industry, and communications companies attract talent to San Diego.  Unbeatable weather, world class beaches, parks, and countless opportunities for recreational activities keep people here.   But San Diego’s advantages don’t stop there.  Not only does it boast a bustling urban center promoting sustainable approaches to city living, but also preservation and careful stewardship of San Diego’s unique and precious natural resources continue to develop an environmental appreciation.

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.
Under the helm of Debra Reed, Sempra Energy is a global company pushing the envelope with sustainable fuels and renewable energy. It’s leading the way with investment in clean energy. Having recently broken ground on a new headquarters for its operations in the East Village, Sempra is leading the way in its commitment to its local community, for a safer, healthier, and environmentally more sustainable place to call home.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years?
Recognized by Fortune magazine as a World's Most Admired Company for the first time in our history, AECOM’s debut on the 2015 list is a significant accomplishment that primarily is a testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of our people around the world, who activate our vision and purpose every day. AECOM will continue to make our company even better in the months and years to come.

We will strive for excellence in nine key performance areas:

  1. Ability to attract and retain talented people
  2. Quality of management
  3. Social responsibility to the community and the environment
  4. Innovativeness
  5. Quality of products or services
  6. Wise use of corporate assets
  7. Financial soundness
  8. Long-term investment value
  9. Effectiveness in doing business globally

5) What do you anticipate for San Diego?
San Diego will continue to balance growth with its needs for improved and sustainable infrastructure and infill development along with preserving its local ecosystem, not only to generate and develop economically, but ensure the quality of life for its future generations. AECOM will be a partner with San Diego to realize its vision.

March 31, 2015

It was the early 1950s, and mudflats lined Mission Bay. WWII was over, and the tourism industry was beginning to boom. Where everyone else saw dirt and sand, the Evans family saw an opportunity. In 1953, Evans Hotels was born with the opening of the Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay. Today, the company employs more than 1,000 people at its three award-winning properties: the Catamaran, The Lodge at Torrey Pines and the Bahia Resort Hotel.

We recently sat down with David Cherashore, executive board member at Evans Hotels, to learn more about the company's evolution and its future plans in the region.

1)      Tell us about Evans Hotels.
Recognizing a need for high quality hospitality in the San Diego area, in 1953, Evans Hotels was born with the opening of the Bahia Resort Hotel on Mission Bay. Today, we are three generations in the making as a family in the San Diego area, both as residents and as part of the business community. We pride ourselves in creating a strong, stable working environment for employees. We have 80 employees that have been with our company for more than 20 years. We are an integral part of this city, and the fact that we have employees choosing to make Evans Hotels their career, not just their job, speaks volumes about what we do for employees, customers, and San Diego.  

2)      What are some advantages to being located  in San Diego?
When people think of San Diego, they think about the weather. This is a huge advantage to the hotel industry, but sometimes, what goes unrecognized is the range of activities that are available to visitors. We have multi-generational families staying with us – children, parents and grandparents – and they often remark on how surprised they are on the number of activities available to them. There is the Zoo and SeaWorld for children; adults have nightspots, fine dining, museums and parks. Our region is truly different from other tourist destinations.  San Diego has a soul, a heart. The lifestyle, the weather, the fact is that San Diegans are happy—that’s one thing visitors notice immediately.  Our staff reflects that; we are friendlier, warmer,  and more hospitable. It’s just 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.
 Look at your cell phone- you probably have Qualcomm to thank for it. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor is used in more than one billion devices worldwide. That’s innovation and a global trend by any definition. We also have companies like Mapp Biopharmaceutical which has collaborated in the creation of ZMapp, an experimental new therapy used to treat Ebola patients. Large and small, San Diego companies are addressing global problems.

4)      What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego? 
The future of San Diego and Evans Hotels are interlocked.  In the 80s, people avoided downtown at night, but look at the Gaslamp District today: fine dining, dynamic living options, popular nightclubs, and trendy shops.  This didn’t happen overnight. It shows San Diego is consistently moving in the right direction.  Before 1953, there was nothing on this bay; now, we have two successful hotels there.  This story repeats itself all over San Diego.  At the moment, San Diego has a vibrant economy with an abundance of  innovative companies which are attracting talented individuals with equally innovative dreams and ideas.  This is creating excitement in our city and new opportunities for everyone.  Evans Hotels is part of that.  We want to grow, and we have several projects in development and we are depending on this influx of talent to materialize these plans.  Everything is coming together.

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March 24, 2015

CSUSM 25th Anniversary Logo

This year, Cal State San Marcos (CSUSM) celebrates its 25th anniversary. As the only comprehensive public university in North County, they are a major source of talent for San Diego’s dynamic companies. Together with the region’s other universities, they help ensure San Diego’s global competitiveness.

We sat down with Dr. Haynes, president of CSUSM, to hear more about how the university has evolved over the past 25 years and what’s in store for the future.

1) Tell us about CSUSM.
For many years, the University was considered North County’s best-kept secret. Not anymore – the secret is out, Cal State San Marcos is THE university to be at. With 13,000 students and growing, we are nationally considered a large university and we are regionally a high-demand, first-choice institution. CSUSM is the place where dedicated and talented faculty facilitate the success of our students—our region’s future leaders and change-makers. It’s the place where area businesses and organizations partner to foster economic growth and create real-world learning experiences for the sake of stronger communities. And it’s a place with a track record of accomplishments. CSUSM has recently received national recognition for best practices as a model employer, a diverse and military-friendly campus, and a community-engaged institution.

2) Ensuring San Diego has a steady stream of talented university grads is essential to our regional competitiveness strategy. What are some of the advantages to having your university located in San Diego?
CSUSM on collaborations with the business community CSUSM is the only public comprehensive university in North San Diego County and we take that role very seriously. Beginning in 2006, we began establishing guaranteed admission agreements with 10 regional school districts, to ensure that students are prepared for college and supported throughout their entire educational journey.We are the only university in our state with a program of this magnitude – creating a college-bound culture for some 200,000 students from across our region.

We have also placed a particular focus on serving educationally at-risk students. We have the highest per-capita numbers, within the CSU system, of student populations often excluded or overlooked by higher education, including Veterans, former foster youth and Native Americans.For the last two years, 52 percent of our graduating classes were the first in their families to obtain a four-year degree.

We are very proud that not only do the vast majority of our students come from our region, but that after graduation some 85 percent of them remain here, equipped with profession-ready skills, creative talents, global awareness and homegrown commitment to help power the regional economy. Our sister public universities in the San Diego region have important roles, each of us filing a unique niche. While CSUSM serves all types of students, we have a strong focus on underrepresented and diverse student populations and those who stay after graduation to give back to their communities and contribute to the regional economy.

3) San Diego is full of dynamic companies, firms and service providers influencing global trends and innovation.   CSUSM is very engaged with many of them. Pick a San Diego-area company that’s at the top of its game.
One dynamic company and CSUSM corporate partner that comes to mind is ViaSat, a communication company located in Carlsbad.

Because it is always looking with an eye toward the future, ViaSat has been an invaluable CSUSM champion, providing support and expertise across campus to develop our students and provide real-world learning opportunities. Just to name a few examples:  They support our on-campus Summer Scholars program, which actively engages undergraduates in hands-on STEM research through a 10-week program; they provide multiple internship opportunities to our undergraduate students; and they sponsor events across campus, such as our recent Super STEM Saturday, a celebration of innovation and science education designed to expose and engage kids of all ages, and their families, to the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Several of ViaSat’s senior leaders volunteer their time and expertise on multiple college advisory boards, and ViaSat’s President and COO, Rick Baldridge even offered leadership advice and insight into the company and his career path by speaking at “In the Executive’s Chair” – a business course where students hear and learn from regional business leaders. The company’s leadership and input was also invaluable as we developed our new Cybersecurity Professional Master’s Degree.

4) What do you anticipate for the CSUSM in the next 5 years? What do you anticipate for the San Diego region?
For 25 years, there has been great synergy between the University and our region. We have literally grown up together, coming of age as we have helped create, and were fed and nurtured by, regional businesses, organizations, schools, neighborhoods and cities.  Moving forward over the next five years and beyond, we will continue to drive forward as a place of community engagement, a place for academic excellence and research, and a place for welcoming and stimulating environments supporting the success of the rich diversity of students we serve.

We know that the San Diego region will continue to have workforce needs in multiple areas, including the life sciences, healthcare and information and communication technologies.  To meet these demands we continue to survey key stakeholders in multiple business and nonprofit sectors to learn about their expectations and create innovative degree and certificate programs to fill those needs.  Among these are new or planned programs such as our master’s degree program in public health and health information management; stackable certificates, potentially leading to master’s degrees, in international business, business intelligence, tourism and hospitality; and professional master’s degrees in cybersecurity and biotechnology.  Efforts like these are part of our commitment to ensure that our students graduate career-ready to serve the needs of our region.

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March 17, 2015


Qualcomm. ThermoFisher (formerly Life Technologies).  BD BioSciences  (formerly CareFusion). These are some of San Diego’s most globally-recognized companies. They create products and innovations that are changing the world. But that’s not the only thing they have in common: each of these companies has also worked with DLA Piper – one of San Diego’s most recognized law firms. Although DLA Piper represents companies from a variety of industries, they focus on serving San Diego’s dynamic high tech and life sciences sectors.
This week we spoke with Robert Brownlie, managing partner in DLA Piper San Diego, to learn more about how they interact with some of San Diego’s most prominent companies and are helping to cement the region’s global identity. 
1) Tell us about DLA Piper.
DLA Piper LLP (US) is a global law firm with deep San Diego roots.  In 2005, San Diego’s Gray, Cary, Ames & Frye combined with the US firm Piper Rudnick and the international firm DLA to create DLA Piper.  
Our history in San Diego dates back to 1927 with the establishment of Gray Cary by Gordon Gray (a cousin of President Woodrow Wilson) and Judge William Cary.  The firm quickly grew into San Diego’s largest, with a heavy emphasis on litigation and a client list including both leading San Diego-headquartered companies and Fortune 500 companies.  Throughout our history, our lawyers have made a significant impact on San Diego – from Gordon Gray’s work in the founding of the San Diego Zoological Society to Jay Rains’ efforts in bringing the US Open to Torrey Pines.
Today, we represent a wide range of San Diego companies, including promising startups and the region’s largest companies in multi-national deals and cases.
2) What are some advantages to doing business in San Diego?
Why DLA Piper Chose San Diego with quote San Diego’s location and entrepreneurial spirit provide major advantages for our practice in San Diego.  For a global law firm, San Diego provides a strategic location at the crossroads for the Pacific Rim where US businesses and investors can come together with businesses and investors from Asia, Latin American and Europe.  We have been able to assist San Diego companies with transactions all over the globe.
Economic growth is as vital to law firms as it is to any other aspect of the economy.  San Diego’s entrepreneurial spirit, fed by institutions, like UC San Diego, and visionary business leaders, provide a strong engine for economic growth to compete with other markets.  We are fortunate to be positioned to assist with that growth by advising the region’s entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial companies.
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 has made itself into a global leader in wireless communications.  Through constant innovation, Qualcomm has managed to stay on top.  It has done this through terrific leadership and a commitment to hiring and retaining the most talented individuals.  It has also redefined itself seamlessly as wireless technology and the industry has evolved.  Few companies anywhere have been as influential or innovative as Qualcomm.
4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego? 
Since DLA Piper was formed, it has grown into the world’s largest law firm, with 4,200 lawyers in offices throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.   However, being big is not the goal.  Our goal is to continue to efficiently provide top quality legal services to innovative companies locally and around the globe.  The evolution of DLA’s San Diego offices are representative of that goal.  
For the San Diego region, we anticipate becoming more global and continuing to catalyze leading technology.  The mega-region represented by San Diego County, Imperial County, and northern Baja California is a competitive advantage to addressing the increasingly global and complex business needs of our companies in our region.  In addition to geography, our region will continue to lead in life sciences, wireless communications, data analytics, UAV’s, clean energy, and more.  If we continue to harness these advantages, San Diego can become one of the leading regions in the world over the next 5 years.

February 24, 2015

Junior Achievement SDIf you’ve read our blog before, then this won’t be news to you: Across the globe, the classic recipe for economic development success has evolved. A high growth and innovative region, such as San Diego, no longer spends its days nipping at the heels of large corporations, hoping incentive packages will entice them to relocate its corporate headquarters to town. They know that the majority of growth will come from cultivating innovation and helping grow existing companies. These companies have many reasons for choosing San Diego, but one item usually trumps them all: the need for smart, highly-skilled workers.

Talent doesn’t just come to San Diego for then nice weather. It is also cultivated here: the region is home to some of the best universities and program in the world. However, if we want to ensure we have the workforce to compete in the global marketplace, we must engage students earlier.

Joanne Pastula is one person that gets this. As the president & CEO of Junior Achievement of San Diego County, she is working to make sure more than 53,000 K-12 students throughout San Diego have the entrepreneurial and business skills to get ahead in the real world.

This week, we sat down with her to learn more about how JA’s investment in students is paying dividends for our global growth plans.

1) Tell us about Junior Achievement.

Look at the young people around you. Do you think they’re ready to lead America’s Finest City? San Diego’s greatest resource is the next generation of young people.  It is our job to make sure they’re ready.

National surveys show nearly 60 percent of today’s teens don’t think they are ready to financially support themselves by the time they turn 24.  This lack of confidence is partially due to their apprehension about obtaining well-paying jobs.

To ensure the region’s continued growth and competitiveness, we need to cultivate tomorrow’s professional’s right here on our home turf. That is why Junior Achievement of San Diego works locally to impact 53,000 students in K-12 classrooms each year.  Our volunteer-based programs prepare kids for the real world by showing them how to get a job, start a business and how money works.

Why Junior Achievement thrives in San Diego

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

Here in San Diego we have a lot to celebrate when it comes to our business environment and quality of life. Forbes recently named San Diego the No. 1 city in the United States to launch a small business in 2014. We also hold the distinction of being one of the top cities for STEM-related careers.  These distinctions give JA’s students access to some of the greatest minds and companies in the nation.  

A great example is our collaboration with AT&T. Through our JA Job Shadow program and the AT&T Aspire grant, we impacted hundreds of students from low-income families by giving them meaningful workplace experiences. Recently, students from The Monarch School and Hoover High spent a half-a-day touring the company’s technology, sales, data and retail centers to learn about career opportunities. This partnership teaches students how to look someone in the eye, shake their hand, as well as, gain the confidence to compete for a job in our global economy.

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.

We recently partnered with The Control Group (#TCG), the developers of and one of the fastest growing local startup tech companies, to teach students how to code.  The need for these high-tech skills is critical to the San Diego workforce. We are thankful to TCG for providing the opportunity to teach technological literacy.  

It highlights the wonderful work TCG does and how they are inspiring the next generation of STEM-focused career professionals.

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

It is estimated 44 percent of millennials look at their phones more than six times an hour. We are embracing this by redeveloping curriculum onto a digital platform. Incorporating technology into student’s learning will help them make better connections, between what they learn in school, and how to apply it to the real world.

There is strong projected job growth in high-tech industries in San Diego. Despite high-demand in these fields, preparation is marginalized in our K-12 education system. We must change this. Moving forward, we must do more to help our students achieve their dream outside of the classroom by giving them meaningful workplace experiences. We invite you to help us prepare and inspire San Diego’s future leaders now and for years to come.

February 17, 2015


If you want to know the future of San Diego or any region for that matter, talk to someone in commercial real estate. Whether a company is looking to expand into the market or increase their local footprint, a commercial real estate firm is the first to know. 

As one of San Diego’s largest commercial real estate firms, CBRE is helping San Diego companies realize their innovative potential.

This week, we spoke to John Frager, executive managing director at CBRE San Diego, to learn more about how the firm helps local companies and the advantages of doing business in the San Diego market.

1) Tell us about CBRE.

It’s an exciting time at CBRE as we invest in the platform and our people. For many other companies, their operating platform is seen as just a business expense; a requirement to keep the doors open and the lights on.  At CBRE, our leadership has a different vision. Our platform is an offensive weapon, a resource that can give our professionals an advantage in the marketplace and help us consistently create great client outcomes. We’re investing to become world class in our research, technology, marketing, learning and development, and workplace strategies departments. We often downplay the importance of being the biggest firm in our industry. But our size, scale and profitability give us the capacity and the willingness to invest in our platform. CBRE’s capabilities extend broader and deeper than any other real estate services provider, offering unparalleled tools and resources, leverage, credibility, market coverage and local expertise.  

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

Why CBRE Chose San Diego

In a nutshell, San Diego has an innovative culture populated by a highly educated workforce with an unsurpassed quality of life. It is an ideal place to live and work! We are already a leader in life sciences, wireless communications, sports innovation, unmanned systems, cybersecurity, medical devices, and now even beer! I believe we will learn a lot from the Global Cities Initiative, a joint project from the Brookings Institution and JP Morgan Chase, to increase productivity, exports and foreign investment into our region. We are a gateway city to Asia with more direct flights. San Diego is also the gateway to our expanded Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region. Our region is a great place to do business.

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.

Illumina is a great anchor company, but we are equally excited about early stage companies like Edico Genome and BioSpyder Technologies. BioSpyder is an early stage molecular profiling company developing and marketing TempO-Seq for targeted expression profiling, a technology that will enable researchers to economically measure the presence and quantity of 1000’s of molecular target across millions of samples. Innovation like this will ultimately help companies like Craig Venter’s Human Longevity, Inc. pursue their specific missions more economically.

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

Today, we are unquestionably the industry leader however we do not take this for granted and we continue to strive to truly be a world-class enterprise. We have an enviable client base, unparalleled service lines and a geographic footprint with the willingness and ability to invest in long term growth strategies. We transform real estate into a real advantage by putting our perspectives, scale and connections to work to deliver exceptional outcomes through real estate solutions that drive value and growth.  We deliver advantage though perspective, scale and our connections.

It is important to distinguish between client service and client outcomes. Providing excellent service to clients is a given – something they expect from any firm. We’re working to be a truly extraordinary firm, so we must deliver more than good service. We need to produce exceptional outcomes that create real advantages for our clients and help them to advance their own strategic agendas.

San Diego’s economy will continue to strengthen. The CRE market is doing well, achieving levels not seen since before the recession and CBRE will continue to strive to be the market leader providing our clients world-class service. 

February 3, 2015

When Cassidy Turley joined forces with DTZ, they brought another global company to San Diego. As one of the top three commercial real estate firms across the globe, DTZ has a presence across Asia, Europe and the Middle East helps connect San Diego to the rest of the world. From Oceanside to Otay Mesa, DTZ works to make sure San Diego companies have the creative space they need to thrive.

This week, we sat down with Dan Broderick, regional managing principal of DTZ’s Southern California office, to learn more about the company’s merger and plan for future growth.

DTZ Logo

1) Tell us about DTZ.
Cassidy Turley and DTZ have officially joined forces under new ownership and a new international DTZ brand. Combined, DTZ is a top-three global commercial real estate services firm, offering clients a complete suite of services in all major markets worldwide. At DTZ, we are market leaders, industry leaders and community leaders. Clients recognize us for the creative sophistication of our real estate advice as well as for the discipline and accuracy of our service delivery. Our thorough understanding of local business practices and market dynamics, combined with our customer focus and service commitment, give our clients a distinct edge in commercial real estate in San Diego. Our focus on exceptional client service and community involvement is because of our unique and exciting culture. We work hard as a team with a like minded purpose and we believe our success is measured by the success of the clients and communities we serve. We don’t just work in our communities, we belong to them. 

2) What are some advantages to being located in San Diego? 
Why DTZ chose San Diego Completed
America’s Finest City – for anyone who has spent any time here – needs no explanation. It is a special place in the world; a very diverse city fraught with opportunities. As one of the most educated cities in the United States, San Diego’s skilled workforce feeds thriving biotech and telecom industries. The region is also home to largest military presence in the world. These unique advantages continue to encourage economic growth which, in turn, further fuels the commercial real estate market.  As the market continues to get healthier, we have seen tremendous business growth with unemployment down to 5.2 percent.  Of course, we have the small advantage of having over 70 miles of coastline, rugged mountains, world class golf, amusement parks, and the best weather in the continental US! 

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.
D&K Engineering is one of San Diego's finest. They are driving leading manufacturing, product design, technologies and processes for highly innovative products and equipment on a worldwide scale. They were instrumental in developing the San Diego success story, EcoATM, and they have designed, developed and manufactured highly complex products from medical devices, to 3-D printers, to military mechanics. Simply put, D&K Engineering bridges the gap between concept and reality.

4) What do you anticipate for your company in five years? What do you anticipate for San Diego?
The new DTZ creates a culture that values extraordinary client care and exceptional service under the premise that we are growing to get better, not just bigger. Our customers can look forward to complementary product lines that together create a broader spectrum of commercial real estate solutions. Our plan is to pursue options for using our combined capabilities to optimize existing service lines. We also expect to expand capacity in strategic service lines and industry sectors to meet and exceed client requirements. San Diego continues to put itself on the map and grow each day and DTZ will continue to advance alongside of it.