January 29, 2014 – San Diego, CA – The San Diego Foundation today unveiled 16 new steering committee members who will primarily serve as neighborhood ambassadors for a number of new initiatives being launched in 2014.

This minority majority committee will help build a new civically engaged constituency and drive the continued outreach endeavors of the Civic Leadership Fund (CLF). Helping strengthen the capacity for community change by creating engagement opportunities for civic leaders, members will steward continued diversity across the region through philanthropy and innovative ideas to address community issues.

“The Civic Leadership Fund is a new and dynamic movement,” said Jacob James, CLF Chair. “We intend to bring leaders together with our members to engage in discussion and problem solving. The exchange of information and fostering of new relationships between public, private, nonprofit and philanthropic partners can enable and create impactful change while also providing individuals with the opportunity to learn about national trends and develop strategies to accelerate innovative ideas at the local level.”

The CLF helps facilitate the Vision by bringing together like-minded people from all walks of life who share our passion for a vibrant and prosperous future and whose contributions will enable the Center to achieve its bold targets in education, the environment, jobs, and the civic engagement.”

The San Diego region is expected to grow by more than 1 million in the next 40 years and we will face a number of unique, yet exciting challenges on how to deal with those ensuing growth pressures.

The Civic Leadership Fund will support numerous programs at the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement identified by Our Greater San Diego Vision – a public outreach campaign that garnered the input from 30,000 residents on the future of the San Diego region. The Center for Civic Engagement serves as the epicenter of civic activity where nonprofits, government agencies and businesses convene to ensure San Diego has a bright future.

CLF project currently underway:

Great Neighborhood Challenge (GNC)
The Great Neighborhood Challenge will sponsor 10-20 community awards between $1,000 and $5,000 each to encourage the creation and implementation of projects that improve our neighborhoods.

Watch the GNC video.
Learn how to apply for a GNC grant.

Watch the video to learn more about CLF.

Civic Leadership Fund Steering Committee Roster

Chair: Jacob James – Managing Director, Waitt Foundation (92038)
Through his role at the Waitt Foundation Jacob supports a variety of national and international programs concentrating on ocean conservation initiatives and marine related issues and serves as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative. Currently serves on The San Diego Foundation Board of Governors and Co-Chair of the Center for Civic Engagements Leadership Council.

Vice Chair: Samantha Begovich – District Attorney (92101)
Wrote and advocated in Sacramento for $15 million/year in grants, collected $7 million in stipulated civil and criminal judgments and serves s current Chair of Stanford Law School San Diego Chapter.

Megan Baehrens – Executive Director, San Diego Coastkeeper (92106)
Megan also serves as a director on the boards of United Way San Diego County and EarthShare California.

Trevor Blair – Manpower (92101)
Board member Barrio Logan College Institute, JUMA Ventures and convener of Herb Klein Leadership Roundtable.

Efrem Bycer – Manager, Economic Development, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. (92101)
Founder of Leaders 2020 Board Next program and serves on numerous policy committees at United Way, Equinox Center and YNPN.

Lee Ann Kim – Executive Director, Pacific Arts Movement (92106)
Former KGTV News Anchor, Received an Emmy Award for investigative reporting, the California Teachers Association award for best educational reporting for her coverage of bilingual education. In 2010 she received the KPBS Hero of the Month award and was also named in San Diego Magazine’s Top 50 People to Watch in 2009.

Miranda Ko – Scripps Institute of Oceanography (92122)
Assistant Regional Manager for Al Gore at The Climate Reality Project, serving as the youngest presenter for Al Gore. Climate Queen Award, California Center for Sustainable Energy, Green Goddess Award, Women’s Health Magazine (Rodale).

David Lopez – Executive Director, Teach for America (92105)
Native San Diegan; led 84% of his bilingual kindergartners to master all reading objectives while working in Houston schools and co-founded USAdelante, an organization that connects Latino college students to a network of mentors.

Elizabeth Neubrand – CSR Consultant (92116)
Former Director of Development and Community Affairs, San Diego Habitat for Humanity and Board Member, Copley Family YMCA.

Colin Parent – Director of Policy, San Diego Housing Commission. (92104)
Co-Director and Founder, San Diego Leadership Alliance. Recipient of the 40 Under 40 award by San Diego Metro Magazine and the Top Young Attorney Award by San Diego Daily Transcript.

Ahmed Sahid – CEO, Somali Family Services (92115)
20 Year history of leadership within San Diego’s East African communities. Community Spotlight Award 2013 LEAD Visionary Awards, KPBS Local Hero of the Year 2010.

Elizabeth Schott – Executive Director, Accion (92114)
Granted 2,700 loans in excess of $17 million to more than 1,700 clients with over 60% of recipients from minority backgrounds. Currently on the Community Advisory Boards of Comerica and Torrey Pines Banks.

Sean Sheppard – CEO Embrace (92101)
Received SDSU Presidential Diversity Award. In the past year has served over 25,000 meals and provided thousands of clothing and blanket donations to homeless veterans and civilians in need (Made possible by mobilizing students to provide over 15,000 volunteer hours). Named one of San Diego Metro Magazines “20 Men Who Make A Difference”

Danitza Villaneuva – Editor, Giving Back Magazine (92117)
Elected the youngest ever member of the Board of Directors of the San Diego Opera. Graduate of HOPE Leadership Institute for Latinas.

Sid Voorakkara – Senior Business Development Specialist, Office of Governor Brown (92102)
Member of the advisory council for the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees and the San Diego LGBT Community Center Board of Directors. Previously worked at the California Endowment.

Pat Walsh – Stay Classy (92101)
Selected by Businessweek as one of the top 5 most promising social entrepreneurs in America. Founder of Stay Classy – 2nd largest peer to peer fundraising platform in the world and CLASSY Awards the largest social impact awards ceremony in the United States.

About the Malin Burnham San Diego Center for Civic Engagement
The San Diego Center for Civic Engagement is the community involvement arm of The San Diego Foundation established to drive the implementation of the Our Greater San Diego Vision project, mobilize stakeholders to develop solutions to community issues and better align donor support with the needs of the region. For additional information, visit www.sdcenterforcivicengagement.org.

About The San Diego Foundation
Founded in 1975, The San Diego Foundation’s purpose is to promote and increase effective and responsible charitable giving. The Foundation manages more than $641 million in assets, almost half of which reside in permanent endowment funds that extend the impact of today’s gifts to future generations. Since its inception, The Foundation has granted more than $852 million to the San Diego region’s nonprofit community. For additional information, please visit The San Diego Foundation at sdfoundation.org.

Vince Heald, Beck Ellman Heald, 858-453-9600, vheald@behmedia.com
Heather Back, The San Diego Foundation, 619-235-2300, Heather@sdfoundation.org