Proud recipients of University of San Diego’s Kaleidoscope Award for Exceptional Governance.
Scott Grimes, Chair
Scott Grimes is Vice President of Endangered Habitats Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that promotes the conservation of wildlife habitat and open space in Southern California. The Conservancy owns and manages more than 7,000 acres of conserved open space. He is the author of three books, as well as book chapters and papers on policy issues related to urbanization, community development and regionalism. Grimes holds a Bachelors degree from UCLA and a Masters in International Public Policy from UC San Diego.
Dan McClellan, Vice Chair
Daniel McClellan, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), serves as an International Consultant advising clients on policy and strategy, organizational leadership and maritime affairs. While living and working abroad, he has supported consulting projects to improve national preparedness and response to a broad spectrum of maritime and organizational risks. During his 27 years of distinguished service with the U.S. Coast Guard, he served as Chief, Office of Strategic Analysis, and as Commander of Patrol Forces Southwest Asia, supporting maritime security operations. He was selected to lead the development of the nation’s first National Strategy for Maritime Security and served as the U.S. Coast Guard representative to the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Interagency Ocean Policy Group. Captain McClellan holds a B.S. in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a M.S./MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and served as a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Mindy Dominek, Treasurer
Mindy is an Audit Managing Director with Deloitte. Deloitte is one of the largest audit, tax and consulting firms in the world. Mindy has over 20 years of experience in financial accounting and auditing. She has served public and private clients in the asset management, banking and securities industries. Her experience includes managing and developing audit teams as well as providing advice and guidance to companies on matters relevant to business processes and controls, valuation, and accounting issues. Mindy graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in business and accounting.
Claudia Rodriguez, Secretary
Claudia Rodriguez is a first-generation college graduate from City Heights and Ocean Leader since 2004. She is currently Director for Student Programs for College Avenue Compact, a unique partnership with Price Philanthropies, San Diego State University, and San Diego Unified School District for guaranteed admission to SDSU for Hoover cluster students. With over 9 years of experience in college access and youth development, she has expertise in program development, public speaking, project management, college/career coaching, and community engagement. Prior college access work includes a GEAR UP partnership grant, Ocean Discovery Institute’s Leaders Initiative, and UC Berkeley’s Center for Educational Partnerships. She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and supports admission efforts seasonally as an Alumni Ambassador.
Drew Auker is a broker associate at Ascent Real Estate in San Diego. With over 10 years experience in the real estate industry, Drew remains the top-performing individual agent at Ascent and has been ranked in the top 1% of all REALTORS® in San Diego County for the last three years.His expertise lies in business planning, investment strategy, and relationship marketing. Drew attributes most of his success to building solid foundations within his community to create advocates for his business. As such, nearly 95% of Drew’s business comes from referrals. While his relationships span the county, Drew primarily focuses his attention on developing partnerships and representing clients the San Diego metro area neighborhoods including City Heights, North Park, Kensington, Mission Hills, South Park, Hillcrest and University Heights. “Relationships first. Then real estate.” – Drew Auker
Carolina Barraza has been involved with Ocean Discovery Institute since 2004 and is a program graduate. She has been a City Heights’ resident for the majority of her life. Barraza worked full time for Ocean Discovery for 3 years as the Events and Communications Coordinator. She was responsible for coordinating all organization-wide events. Barraza was also responsible for communications, marketing materials, and public relations such as television, radio, and print. She joined the team full-time in 2011 and during her time, successfully executed several events to engage community members and supporters, including a black tie annual fundraising gala that raises one-third of the organization’s annual budget. She had six years of experience prior, working part-time coordinating Ocean Discovery after-school and summer programs.
Barraza is fluent in English and Spanish. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and Latin American Studies from CSU Chico. She is currently a Marketing Consultant in downtown San Diego. Barraza is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Homeland Security.
After 32 years with telecommunications company Cox Communications, David Bialis retired in December, 2016. He served in multiple capacities with Cox including most recently Sr. VP/General Manager for California operations serving 800,000 customers; Sr. VP Operations-Western Division leading operations in five states in the corporate office in Atlanta, Ga; CFO for the newspaper Atlanta Journal & Constitution and Sr. VP and GM for Cox’s operations in Oklahoma. Prior to Cox his experience includes financial positions with Oak Industries and American Cinema which were both based in San Diego. After receiving his B.S. degree in Accounting and Finance from USC, he worked in the audit group for three years for Price Waterhouse & Co. in Los Angeles. David currently serves on the boards of Ronald McDonald House, Voices for Children(served as board chair 2014-2016), the La Jolla Playhouse and the Midway Foundation. David has a daughter who resides in San Diego and another in San Francisco.
Trestand “Tres” Conrique founded Rancho Santa Fe Technology Incorporated in October 1991. Before establishing Rancho Santa Fe Technology, he served as Manager of Communications Sales for Compel Corporation, a western region electrical contractor focused on providing design and construction services for data centers. With over 20 years combined experience in management and technology, his areas of expertise include banking operations, project management, and customer service. He is currently part-time faculty at the University of San Diego in the School of Business. Conrique serves as the Board Chair for the University of San Diego School of Business. Formerly has served on the Board of Directors of California State University San Marcos Foundation, and Pinecreek Foundation. He holds a B.S. in Accountancy and earned an M.S. in Executive Leadership from University of San Diego.
Theodore J. Griswold
Ted Griswold is a partner with the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP, and chairs the firm’s Native American Practice Group. His practice emphasizes natural resource, wetlands, habitat planning, Native American law, intergovernmental agreements, and environmental land use issues. A former research scientist, he has been practicing environmental law in southern California since 1992 and is involved with civil and community benefit organizations throughout San Diego County.
Stewart A. Halpern
Stewart has a broad business background with over 30 years of experience as the top financial executive of companies such as San Diego-based Mad Catz Interactive, videogame publisher Rock Star Games, and entertainment entrepreneur Russell Simmons’ Rush Communications, along with extensive Wall Street experience as a sell side equity analyst and investment banker.
Currently he is independently advising a number of private companies on strategic, financial and operational matters while also serving as the Chairman of the SANDAG TransNet Independent Taxpayers’ Oversight Committee, a member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Audit and Investment Committees of the Himalayan Cataract Project, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of San Diego Coastkeeper, Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Free Flight Exotic Bird Sanctuary and a member of the Board of Directors of America’s Finest Charter School.
Stewart earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree from Yale College and a Master’s degree from the Yale School of Management. He currently resides in La Jolla.
John E. Johns
Now retired, John was the principal and president of Providence Marketing Corp. His company provided strategic counsel, marketing, and advertising services to select companies and organizations that include SCJ Johnson, ITW, Jarden Corporation, Hill and Knowlton, The American Film Institute, and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He is the co-founder of New West Products, Inc., a consumer products company that was acquired by ITW. Prior to moving to San Diego, John was Publisher and Editorial Director of East/West Network in Los Angeles. During this time, he was Adjunct Professor in the USC School of Journalism and served on the Advisory Counsel for the Long Beach University School of Journalism. He has served as Chairman of Camp Ronald McDonald and Vice President of Southern California Children’s Cancer Services. A graduate of Brown University, John currently serves on the boards of Ocean Discovery Institute and The Educate a Child Trust (Sri Lanka) and the Advisory Board of Children and Nature Network.
Dr. Noelle Norton
Noelle Norton, PhD, was named dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 2013. Norton joined the University of San Diego faculty in 1994, and had previously served as associate dean, co-director of USD’s Living Learning Communities program and director of the Honors Program while maintaining her faculty role in the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Under her leadership, the College of Arts and Sciences is addressing the advancement of liberal arts at USD; revising its core curriculum; creating new interdisciplinary programs; and implementing new methods for including adjunct faculty in the USD community.
Norton has been published in the journals Congress and the Presidency, Political Research Quarterly; Policy Studies Journal; Legislative Studies Quarterly; Women and Politics; Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences; Policy Studies; and two edited volumes, Gender, Power, Leadership and Governance (Kelly/Duerst-Lahti, 1995) and Women Transforming Congress (Rosenthal, 2003). She is also the author of Creating Gender: The Sexual Politics of Welfare Policy with Georgia Duerst-Lahti and Cathy Johnson (Lynn Reinner Press, 2007). Norton is co-authoring a paper and edited volume on U.S. congressional handling of international women’s rights legislation.
Rudy is Senator Kamala Harris’ District Director for the San Diego and Imperial region. As a proud Aztec, he double majored in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Prior to joining Team Harris, Rudy worked at a number of local non-profits working to provide resources to some of our most underrepresented communities. Most recently, he served as a representative for the San Diego City Council. Working alongside City staff, he was able to steer multi-million dollar infrastructure projects including a new fire station and the first community skate park in City Heights, the neighborhood he grew up in. Rudy has been involved with Ocean Discovery Institute since 2005 and is a program graduate. He also served as the Living Lab Capital Campaign Co-Chair helping secure the funding and support to construct the Living Lab. Rudy is an avid photographer and cyclist.
Sean Caddell is a Luxury Property Specialist with Willis Allen Real Estate in Del Mar. In addition, he utilizes his interior design and architectural talents to offer his clients full service home consulting. Caddell graduated from San Diego State University with a B.A in Journalism with an emphasis in Advertising
Kurt Gering is the Director of Talent Culture & Capability for the San Diego Country Regional Airport Authority (SDCRAA). With over 15 years of experience in organizational development, he has expertise in workforce planning, performance management, individual development, and succession planning. He holds certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR-CA) and Human Capital Strategist. Prior to joining SDCRAA, Gering served as Vice President of Organizational Development & Training at GreatCall, Inc., a wireless health and safety services company, and as Director of the Master of Science in Executive Leadership at the University of San Diego. He holds a M.B.A from the University of San Diego and a M.Ed. from the University of Minnesota.
Michael T. Lucas
Michael T. Lucas is the Co-Founder of Frequentz, a leader in track and trace technology. He is widely considered to be a thought leader in comprehensive serialized data warehousing, traceability, and information management solutions. Lucas also serves as the CEO of TradeMotion, a leader in e-commerce automotive parts procurement, used by 6,000 dealerships nationwide, and is the preferred e-commerce solution for more than six of the major auto manufacturers. TradeMotion and other operations are held closely by the parent company, i3 Brands, an intellectual property holding company. As Chairman of i3 Brands, and under his leadership, i3 has built a broad patent portfolio spanning across 32 countries, formed an RFID systems integration company, and acquired TradeMotion. i3 Brands has established several high profile customers through its operating entities, including Fortune 100 companies, government and defense contractors, and leading automotive industry suppliers. Having started his entrepreneurship at the age of 14, Lucas currently sits on the board of several technology companies. A crowning achievement in his career was when Lucas was issued patent number 6,996,538 on February 7, 2006, which has launched to over 12 other patents pending in the United States.
A leader with private, public and nonprofit sector experience, Ileana currently works for the Google team at Alphabet, Inc. Ovalle has held several management positions at Google Fiber, Cox, San Diego Grantmakers, and at the cities of San Diego and Encinitas. As a bilingual business & community leader, she is committed to abundant and pervasive technology and access for our communities and families. Ovalle is an avid volunteer in education, diversity and the environment. She has served long term commitments on the board of Ocean Discovery Institute, Junior Achievement, South County Economic Development Council, Board of Governors of The San Diego Foundation and as an appointed Library Commissioner by the Mayor of San Diego. Ileana attended San Diego State University, University of San Diego and has a certificate in Fundraising and Development from the University of CA, San Diego.
Scott Pearson is Director of Environmental Services for San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E), where he is responsible for overall leadership and direction to the Environmental Services organization. This organization is responsible for environmental regulatory compliance, including regulations related to the protection of air and water quality. Prior to accepting this role, he served for four years as Senior Environmental Counsel in the Law Department for Sempra Energy, the corporate parent to SDG&E. Overall, he has practiced for thirteen years as an environmental attorney. Pearson holds a B.S. in Business and Management from the University of Redlands, and a juris doctor degree from the UCLA School of Law.
Clifford has been a financial executive for the past 25 years and is a Financial Advisor in Rancho Santa Fe, assisting clients in their personal, business, family and philanthropic, financial planning needs. Early in his career he grew a small food processing company into a nationwide company. His background includes; Private Banking, Investments, Mortgage Lending, Commercial Banking, Financial Modeling, Business Valuation, Trust and Retirement Planning. Clifford earned his BS BA from Roosevelt University in Chicago and has and resided in Olivenhain, California for 20 years. He has also served in prominent volunteer positions at Greyhounds as Pets, taught business planning to graduate engineering students at UNM, participated in technology transfer at Sandia National Labs business incubator, was Past President of NM Entrepreneurs Association and also involved in Cancer Research fund raising. Clifford Schneider is Series 7 licensed, Series 66 licensed, and holds insurance license #0I44549.
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