For Immediate Release

June 30, 2021 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation expanded its team of experts with the recent hire of three new directors. The three new hires bring a wide breadth of local experience to their positions. Christiana DeBenedict is Director, Environmental Initiatives; Jason Rogers, AIF, CWS, is Director, Wealth Advisor Relations; and Lorena Nava Ruggero is Director, Communications.

“Christiana, Jason and Lorena are wonderful new additions to our team who will help lead the work of our new Strategic Plan that benefits communities across our region,” said Mark Stuart, president and CEO of The San Diego Foundation.

About Christiana DeBenedict

As Director, Environmental Initiatives, DeBenedict leads programs and directs resources to build a more equitable and resilient San Diego. She has built her career locally, developing capacity, resources, programs and networks in support of our regional and binational environment and community.

Prior to The San Diego Foundation, she served as the Director of Environment Leadership Initiatives at The Nonprofit Institute at the University of San Diego, where she managed The Equinox Project and the Outdoor Leaders Initiative, and directed the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative, a network of cities and public agencies working to advance local climate solutions.

DeBenedict graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in Hispanic Languages and Bilingual Issues and holds an International MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. She lives in the Point Loma Heights neighborhood in San Diego.

About Jason Rogers, AIF, CWS

As Director, Wealth Advisor Relations for The San Diego Foundation, Rogers serves as a subject matter expert and resource to wealth advisors across the San Diego area on opportunities to incorporate charitable giving strategies into the financial and wealth management plans of their clients. He is committed to and passionate about helping wealth advisors build successful practices and deepen their client relationships through charitable planning and delivering education on the advantages of various charitable vehicles and donor-advised fund growth.

Prior to joining The Foundation, Rogers was Senior Vice President of Business Development at Cetera Financial Group. In this role, he partnered with wealth advisors delivering guidance on financial planning strategies, revenue growth, investment management, due diligence and digital advice solutions.

Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Point Loma Nazarene University, and is a graduate of The Wharton School, Securities Industry Institute. He also holds Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) designations and FINRA Series 7, 24, 31, 57 and 63 licenses. He lives in Carmel Valley in San Diego’s North County.

About Lorena Nava Ruggero

As Director, Communications, Ruggero is responsible for creating awareness for The San Diego Foundation’s products, services, programs and impact on the San Diego community. She works with departmental teams to provide updates on the Foundation’s initiatives and community impact programs to donors, nonprofit partners, locally elected officials, community members and other stakeholders.

Prior to The Foundation, she was Director of College and Community Relations at Grossmont College where she managed external and internal communications for the mid-size community college located in El Cajon. As a member of the college’s senior leadership team, Ruggero was responsible for public relations, marketing, special event coordination and managing the college’s Creative Services Department.

Ruggero earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in mass communication and media studies from San Diego State University. She lives in Santee in San Diego’s East County.