San Diego Foundation and its leadership team have had an exciting first three months of 2024, with notable accomplishments and awards in recognition of our service to San Diego’s diverse communities. We’re taking the opportunity to acknowledge our team’s outstanding achievements so far this year.

Pamela Gray Payton recognized for leadership

Black History Month is celebrated in February and honors the contributions and accomplishments of Black people across the United States and throughout U.S. history. Pamela Gray Payton, Vice President, Chief Impact and Partnerships Officer at SDF, was recognized as a 2024 Black Business Leader of Influence by the San Diego Business Journal and the County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce.

Pamela Gray Payton

The 2024 Black Business Leaders of Influence award was presented in February and honored Pamela as an exceptional leader who guides our Community Impact Team, including efforts with the San Diego Flood Response Fund, where over $1 million went to local nonprofits helping assist those impacted by the January 22 floods.

Her leadership also includes managing the Black Community Investment Fund at SDF, launched in 2020 and has funded more than $4 million in grants to support initiatives in education, employment, entrepreneurship and homeownership that create generational wealth for Black San Diegans. She has also helped launch the San Diego Black Homebuyer Program in August 2021, which has assisted 50 families in purchasing their first homes so far.

SDF Board of Governors Recognized as 2024 Black Business Leaders of Influence

As part of celebrating Black History Month and honoring the accomplishments of Black people throughout the United States, in San Diego County, the San Diego Business Journal and the County of San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce also named two SDF Board of Governors as 2024 Black Business Leaders of Influence for their contributions and leadership throughout our community.

Becky Petitt

Becky Petitt is our Board of Governors Secretary. She brings over 25 years of experience in equity, diversity and inclusion work across the higher education community. Becky currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at University of California San Diego and is a member of the Chancellor’s Cabinet. Petitt helps lead UC San Diego in productive collaborative partnerships throughout the campus and with external constituents to catalyze change.

Rudy Johnson

Rudy Johnson is an SDF Board of Governors member and President & CEO of Neighborhood House Association (NHA), one of the largest multi-purpose nonprofits in San Diego County. He has lived in San Diego for most of his life and is aware of the challenges that families, children and seniors face every day to make ends meet. He knows that the programs and services provided by NHA can make a significant difference in their lives and the community. As a child, Johnson participated in NHA’s Federal Head Start program.

Cool Women Award

March is Women’s History Month which honors the achievements and contributions of women in American history. Pamela Gray Payton was celebrated as one of the 2024 Cool Women by the Girls Scouts San Diego. Each year, Girl Scouts San Diego honors exemplary women whose personal and professional lives make them consummate role models for girls. Cool Women inspire girls to pursue their aspirations and realize their full potential.

Cool Women Luncheon recognition

Each honoree was recognized and celebrated during its inspiring Cool Women Celebration and Luncheon. Congratulations to all of the local female leaders recognized for their outstanding achievements by their fellow community leaders!

Pamela currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Monarch School Project and the Community Foundation Opportunity Network. She served previously as Board Chair for RISE San Diego, the Kim Center for Social Balance, and Girls Scouts San Diego and Imperial Council. Pamela joined San Diego Foundation in May 2020.

We celebrate the recognition of our SDF Leaders and are grateful to have them all as integral parts of our SDF Team!

Meet the Entire SDF Team