Zach Schlagel Recognized By San Diego Business Journal

Congratulations to MABPA Executive Member , Zach Schlagel ! Zach was recognized as one of the San Diego Business Journal’s Next Top Business Leaders Under 40. The award was primarily for his work to increase UC San Diego Health’s presence in the South Bay and southeastern San Diego by expanding health care access, providing workforce education and development, and promoting research opportunities. Additionally, they recognized his work on health equality that led to UC San Diego Health being designated as a “Leader” by the Human Rights Campaign’s Health Equality Index. He spearheaded several initiatives to increase our engagement with this community, including the nation’s only hospital-based lighting event to celebrate health equality and our LGBT staff, patients and neighbors. Zach also have been the public face of our proposed Long Range Development Plan for our Hillcrest Health Campus, which will reimagine this hospital and the surrounding campus.

October 12, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about


Congratulations to Venus Molina! Recipient of SD Padres 6th Annual Comunidad Award

On Saturday, September 23 the San Diego Padres honored MABPA Member Venus Molina as one of the recipients of their 6th annual Comunidad Awards, which recognize and pay tribute to individual’s or organization’s whose work has made a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego’s Hispanic community. Venus serves as the President of MANA de San Diego, and received a check for $1,000 in recognition for the organizations contribution toward educating youth. Learn more about MANA de San Diego at


Here’s a short video about their Hermanitas program…

September 28, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about


American Society of Civil Engineers President Honors SD County Water Authority’s Emergency & Carryover Storage Project

Pictured left to right: Sandra Kerl, Deputy General Manager, Frank Belock, (Retired) Assistant General Manager, Maureen Stapleton, General Manager representing MABPA Corporate Member San Diego County Water Authority in award ceremony on July 11th

Congratulations to San Diego County Water Authority for winning ASCE’s top international engineering award with a plaque presentation ceremony at Olivenhain Dam near Escondido!



News Release: 


Plaque presentation ceremony recognizes value of $1.5 billion suite of projects that protects region from droughts and disruptions to imported water supplies

July 11, 2017

Today the president of the American Society of Civil Engineers, along with dozens of local water leaders and stakeholders, celebrated the San Diego County Water Authority’s Emergency & Carryover Storage Project winning ASCE’s top international engineering award with a plaque presentation ceremony at Olivenhain Dam near Escondido.

ASCE President Norma Jean Mattei presented the plaque for winning ASCE’s 2017 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award to the Water Authority’s leadership, including Board Chair Mark Muir and General Manager Maureen Stapleton. Mattei saluted the Water Authority and its member agencies for having the foresight and dedication to build the Emergency and Carryover Storage Project, a $1.5 billion system of dams, reservoirs, pump stations, pipelines and tunnels, to help protect the region’s 3.3 million people and $222 billion economy from extended dry periods or emergencies that could disrupt imported water deliveries.

“The Water Authority planned for the future, making an investment that ensures the public’s health, safety, and welfare in case of disaster through this project,” Mattei said. “We stand here today because the San Diego County Water Authority, and all 24 member agencies that are part of it, were willing to make the investment because they saw the value and had the vision to put plans in motion.”

Begun in 1992, the project is designed to ensure up to six months of local water supplies are available and can be moved around the region after an emergency, such as an earthquake that damages the large-scale pipelines delivering imported water into the region. The project also added capacity for more than 105,000 acre-feet of local “carryover” storage – water stored during wet years to help meet demands in dry years. Overall, it added more than 200,000 acre-feet of locally available water storage capacity. Major construction of the projects was completed in 2014. (Note: An acre-foot is approximately 325,900 gallons, enough to supply two single-family households of four for a year.)

“The Emergency & Carryover Storage Project is a testament to the vision and drive of the Water Authority’s Board, management, and staff to ensure water supply reliability for our region,” Muir said. “We are proud to receive this distinguished recognition, and to have ASCE’s president personally present this plaque further honors the hard work put in by everyone at the Water Authority and its project partners to make this project a success.”

Major elements of the Emergency & Carryover Storage Project include:

  • Olivenhain Dam and Reservoir, Pipeline and Pump Station. The project included construction of a 318-foot-tall dam that added 24,000 acre-feet of emergency water storage. (Completed in 2003) The ASCE plaque will be permanently affixed at a site on the top of the dam.
  • Lake Hodges Pipeline and Pump Station. The pipeline connected Olivenhain Reservoir to Lake Hodges, providing access to 20,000 acre-feet of emergency water in Lake Hodges. The pump station generates power and moves water between the reservoirs. (Pipeline completed in 2007; pump station completed and operational in 2012)
  • San Vicente Pipeline and Pump Station. The 11-mile, 12-foot-diameter tunnel and 8.5-foot-diameter pipeline connected San Vicente Reservoir to the Water Authority’s Second Aqueduct, and the pump station moves the water from the reservoir to the aqueduct. (Pump station completed in 2010; pipeline completed in 2011)
  • San Vicente Dam Raise. This project, the tallest dam raise in the nation, raised the dam by 117 feet, creating 52,100 acre-feet of emergency water storage capacity and approximately 105,600 acre-feet of carryover storage capacity. (Completed in 2014)

The Water Authority already has used the additional storage capacity to enhance the reliability of the region’s water supply, storing more than 100,000 acre-feet of water conserved during the recent drought in San Vicente Reservoir. (The reservoir is owned and managed by the City of San Diego.) These supplies, along with supplies from the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant, helped the region pass the state’s stringent water supply “stress test” in 2016, eliminating emergency state-mandated water-use reductions for the region.

The Water Authority project earned ASCE’s top annual engineering award this spring. Other finalists included: One World Trade Center in New York City; Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Terminal 2 in Mumbai, India; Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven, Conn.; and the Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar Project in Dallas, Texas.


For more information on the ASCE award, go to More information on the Emergency & Carryover Storage Project is at”>

July 11, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about Tags: , , , , , ,


SWA Awarded Transparency Certificate of Excellence

Congratulations to MABPA members Dina Yorba & Josie Calderon-Scott representing Sweetwater Authority! 

Sweetwater Authority received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence from the Special District Leadership Foundation (SDLF) in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance. MABPA President Josie Calderon-Scott was recently elected to the South Bay Irrigation Board of Directors better known as Sweetwater Authority in November of 2016, representing district 5 (mainly Bonita, Lincoln Acres, and parts of West Chula Vista). The Authority first received the award back in 2014, and recently completed the process to re-certify. 

In order to receive the award, a special district must demonstrate the completion of eight essential governance requirements, including conducting open and public meetings, and filing financial transactions and compensation reports to the State Controller in a timely manner.

Sweetwater Authority also fulfilled fifteen website requirements, including providing readily available information to the public, such as board agendas, past minutes, current district budget, and the most recent financial audit. Finally, the district must demonstrate outreach to its constituents that engages the public in its governance through regular newsletters and the annual public hearing for the budget. Special thanks to MABPA member Dina Yorba, Director of Administrative Services at Sweetwater Authority.

SDLF is an independent, non-profit organization formed to promote good governance and best practices among California’s special districts through certification, accreditation and other recognition programs.



May 31, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about Tags: ,


Ray Uzeta & Chicano Federation’s Annual Unity Luncheon

Chicano Federation’s Annual Unity Luncheon

Congratulations to MABPA member Ray Uzeta, President/CEO of the Chicano Federation for another successful event!


The annual Unity Luncheon brought together more than 400 Chicano Federation friends and supporters on Friday, May 5th at the Wyndham San Diego Bayside. Vic Salazar, Chair of the Development Committee, and Mery Lopez-Gallo from Univision, Mistress of Ceremonies, kicked off the event. Mery introduced Board Chair Mario Sierra, who thanked sponsors for their support, introduced board members and elected officials and gave an overview of our programs and services.

After lunch, President/CEO Raymond Uzeta recognized Melissa Diaz for her many years of board service. He also presented awards to Josephine Talamantez, Board Chair of the Chicano Park Museum and Cultural Center, San Diego Councilman David Alvarez, and Congressman Juan Vargas, for the pivotal role they played in designating Chicano Park as a National Historic landmark.

He then introduced keynote speaker Marcela Celorio, Consul General of Mexico, who spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities of U.S. Mexico Relations.

Title sponsor of the luncheon was SDGE, and Estrella sponsors included AT&T, Comerica, Chase, La Prensa, San Diego Community College District, Sycuan, Walmart.

The event raised $88,000. All proceeds from the event support Chicano Federation’s programs and services, which impact more than 8,000 people each year.

Our sincere thanks to everyone who supported this event!!

Article in San Diego Union Tribune (5/6/2017)

May 8, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about


Congratulations to Nora Vargas! Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher Recognizes 2017 Women of the Year

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher Honors 80th District’s 2017 Women & Girls of the Year

Students, Non-Profit Leaders, Community Activists Among Honorees

CHULA VISTA – (Monday, March 27, 2017)California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) recognized more than 40 local women and girls at her 80th Assembly District Women & Girls of the Year Award Ceremony, held at Chula Vista High School this past Friday. Amongst the honorees was MABPA members Nora Vargas, Vice President of Community & Government Relations of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. The event is hosted annually by Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher to celebrate the women who have contributed to our community, each with an inspiring story and exemplifying courage, tenacity, leadership and service.

“These amazing women have done so much for our community and we should be inspired by their example,” Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher said. “I am proud to honor such an accomplished and distinguished group of women and girls.”

The honorees represent a cross section of the community and were selected after being nominated by members of the public in categories including, but not limited to, activism, arts & culture, business, civic engagement, community service, education, health, environment, labor and youth empowerment. Girls of the Year honorees include student body presidents, valedictorians, peer mentors, national champion team captains, young philanthropists, Junior Legislators and more. All honorees live, work, attend school or have made substantial contributions to the empowerment of residents in the 80th Assembly District.


Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher’s 2017 Women of the Year:

Jacqueline Jackson, Advocate for the disabled community & non-profit executive.
Devonna Almagro, Executive Director of Sherman Heights Community Center.
Shauna Stokes, former Assistant Director, Chula Vista Department of Recreation (Retired).
Aimee Cuellar-Martinez, Educator & Youth Mentor.
Jaye Carballo-Braun, Coach, Educator & Special Needs Mentor.
Evelyn Huerta, Advocate for Students in Need.
Mireya Galvan, Small Business Owner.
Mona & Nada Dibas, sisters and President & Vice President of Southwestern College Associated Student Organization.
Susie Murphy, Executive Director, San Diego Mountain Bike Association.
Josie Talamantez, Community Activist & Scholar.
Chantal Marie Branscomb, Performer & Scholar.
Carla Holland, Director of the South San Diego Small Business Development Center.
Ileana Ovalle, Advocate for Environmental Justice and Equity in Education.
Mirella Lopez, Editor-in-Chief, The Sun & El Sol Magazine.
Maribel Gavin, High School Principal & Community Activist.
Ramla Sahid, Founder & Executive Director of the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans.
Sharon Ramirez, Chief Operations Officer, San Diego Building Trades Affordable Housing Corporation.
Mona Rios & Alejandra Sotelo-Solis, City Councilmembers, National City.
Nora Vargas, Vice President of Community & Government Relations, Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.

April 3, 2017 Maxin Rivera out and about


Conference to support economic vitality of the border region

MABPA members Paola Avila, VP International Business Affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Jason Wells, CEO for the San Ysidro Chamber of Commerce and Miguel Aguirre, President of Border Fusion joined other U.S.-Mexico border business leaders at the first private sector-led conference to support economic vitality of the border region.



First meeting for international representatives of business, trade and economic development organizations to address unique promise of border region

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – Today, business, trade and economic development organizations along the U.S. – Mexico Border held the first private sector-led meeting with the mission of strengthening border ties and addressing the unique economic promise of the border region. More than a dozen organizations convened in Las Vegas, Nevada, to discuss collaboration among border organizations and identify the current challenges affecting cross-border commerce as well as opportunities to enhance the region’s global competitiveness.

“Deliberate and sustained regional collaboration will allow us to take advantage of the diverse assets our areas offer and put the border on the map for investors in a way that our individual regions cannot do alone,” stated Rolando Pablos, Chief Executive Officer of The Borderplex Alliance. “In order to secure our place at the top of the world’s list of best investments, the U.S. – Mexico border needs united leadership, working together to address the unique needs of our region in order to attract high-quality investments that bring more jobs to our communities. Our collaboration will strengthen our global competitiveness.”

“While individual border communities have distinct needs and priorities, we have a great deal more in common. Working together will allow for more collective advocacy on border-wide priorities,” said Jerry Sanders, President and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We will all benefit from the sharing of best practices with respect to economic development, strengthening cross-border relationships, and common efforts to attract private and public investment to the border that brings quality, high-paying jobs to our regions.”

Cross-border commerce is vital to the economies of the United States and Mexico. In 2015 alone, the total trade of goods by the United States with the rest of the globe was USD $3.7 trillion, of which 14.2 percent (USD $531.1 billion) was with Mexico. Despite the incredible connection between the two nations, the economic strengths, contributions and needs of the border communities are not well understood in Washington, Mexico City or even in key parts of the private sector.

Just last month, U.S. Vice President Biden and Mexican Secretary Videgaray co-chaired the third Cabinet-level meeting of the U.S.-Mexico High-Level Economic Dialogue (HLED), where they discussed goals for 2016 and beyond. HLED is the premier forum for bilateral economic cooperation, promoting mutual economic growth and prosperity, job creation, and global competitiveness for Mexico and the United States. One key commitment that resulted from that meeting was that Mexico and the United States would continue improving their engagement with relevant stakeholders (private sector, academia, and civil society), in order to receive their feedback and those initiatives that contribute to the objectives of HLED. Thus, any resulting policy goals and economic development objectives defined by the new border coalition will be used by the participants to advocate for domestic and international policies at each level of government in both Mexico and the U.S.

“We brought together leaders from both sides of the border with one common goal: mutual advocacy to improve the understanding of the needs of these communities. Our work will strengthen the cross-border business voice as a united front with a coordinated message advocating for improvements along the entire US-Mexico border region,” said Michael Camuñez, President and CEO, Manatt Jones Global Strategies.

The meeting was organized by Manatt Jones Global Strategies, The Borderplex Alliance, and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.



Paola Avila, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce


Laura Rodriguez, The Borderplex Alliance

(915) 209-2230

March 30, 2016 leonardbruno out and about Tags: ,