Director, Multi-Sector Alliance
- So, you are the Director of Multi-Sector Alliance at Partners for Progress San Diego. Can you break down what “Multi-Sector Alliance” means for our audience?
There are groups of people in San Diego who have a lot to say about the policies that affect them and who want to be involved in the process. Sadly, though, they aren’t given the right structure or the opportunity to do that. The multi-sector alliance basically just means that I bring these new voices to the table to shape San Diego County: small businesses, academia, veterans, for example. On the surface, these groups seem disconnected, but together they can advance an agenda based on equity to disrupt the status quo. I really have the best job, because I work with fearless people who like rattling some cages and speaking up on what matters.
- What are your hopes for the newly formed Business for Good San Diego?
To change the perception of what businesses care about. The idea that they’re just motivated by making as much profit as possible is so inaccurate. The owners who are a part of Business For Good are deeply invested in how well their employees are doing and how healthy their communities are. That makes them huge agents for change, and Business For Good gives them the opportunity to match their values with their acts.
- Best Taco in San Diego?
Easy – Tacos El Gordo in Chula Vista or La Fachada in Logan Heights!
Mixte Communications, Inc
- So your PR firm, Mixte, is well-known for your effective social-justice campaigns. How did you get started in that work?
Our work stems from our values. When you’re defined by these values, you see that the only work worth doing is the work that improves your community for all people. It’s an easy choice to specialize in social justice campaigns because it’s the right thing to do
- What does it mean to you to be named 2013 Commuter of the year?
I was selected as San Diego County’s Commuter of the Year because I traveled all over the county on bike, bus, Coaster and through carpools. But the better metric is that Mixte earned the highest county recognition again this year for our company’s commuter program, which means most of our staff commutes this same way. We’re showing companies of every kind that you can do anything if you just set the culture and lead by example.
- Finish this: All I want for Christmas is, _____
A classic clock for my living room wall. I never had one until my grandma passed this year. One of the only things I selected from her house was this cheap clock that always hung on her wall, but it stopped working a few months ago. Every time I see that blank spot, I feel that I’m not honoring my grandma’s long love affair with the tick-tock of clocks. Though, and maybe to Gma’s chagrin, my new clock would ideally be silent.
The Auker Group
- So, you’ve been consistently named “Top 1% of all REALTORs in San Diego County.” What has led to this distinction?
I did what some really brilliant mentors told me to do. Fast forward three years of doing that and having my focus on people and not selling houses… and low and behold, I sold a ton of houses.
- What’s the coolest home feature you’ve seen?
I’m still a sucker for a master bath shower with a panoramic view and a door to the outdoors.
- What’s your favorite secret spot in San Diego?
Red House Pizza in University Heights. (Although I don’t know how much of a secret it is… they’re always packed!)
Roxie Prima & Phoebe Cornog
CoFounders, San Diego Letters
- When did you team up as SD Letters, and how many murals have you painted together?
We teamed up in August 2015 and started San Diego Letters as a monthly Meetup group. After collaborating on planning events, branding the club, and promotion, we realized what a good team we made. After doing a couple freelance jobs together for fun, we realized that we had a passion for painting murals. We were both frustrated and unfulfilled with our full-time jobs so we decided to quit our jobs and turn San Diego Letters into a business in January 2016. We’ve been loving entrepreneur life and have big plans to continue to grow the business. Since we turned it into a business we’ve painted 42 murals and are excited to do our first international mural in Tasmania in a couple weeks!
- What’s your favorite thing about the gig?
Our favorite part about working for ourselves is the freedom to travel. We love teaching workshops, painting murals, and meeting up with our friends that we’ve had on our podcast (Drunk on Lettering) in every city we go to.
- Do you actually get drunk when recording the “drunk on lettering” podcast?
Yes, we actually get drunk for our podcast and most of our guests do too. The only time we don’t get drunk is when we have to record at 9am with a paper lettering artist in Mumbai!
Check out more about what Phoebe and Roxie are doing at sandiegoletters.com and see more of their work on their Instagram account @sandiegoletters and their podcast @drunkonlettering
President/Founder, WIT- Whatever it Takes
- So your company teaches teens how to be entrepreneurs.Why teens?
Because teens make great entrepreneurs – they are rebellious, don’t like to be told what to do, think they know more than most adults (which they do!), and want to make a difference in the world. And I just LOVE working with teens. They bring an energy and authenticity to the field of entrepreneurship that I don’t often see with adults. Plus, our teens aren’t getting access to “real world” business experience in school and I think if we want to set the next generation up to be successful in the “real world”, we’ve got to give them the tools needed to thrive.
At WIT we know that not every teen will go off and launch their own business, but every teen can benefit from developing an entrepreneurial mindset.
- What is your favorite secret spot in San Diego?
Wait… if I tell you it won’t be a secret anymore! OK, I’ll reveal a couple favorites … I love the bridges in the city … you can enjoy them on alltrails.com. I’ve gotta favorite bridge, but I’m keeping that a secret :)
- If you had endless time and money – what could you see yourself getting super into?
Happy to say that I’d just be doing more of the same. I’m incredibly passionate about engaging teens in finding solutions to the challenges facing our communities and world. When teens are engaged their confidence and sense of self worth increase…and that’s a win-win for everyone! I’d also want to reform the education system … I’m trying to do that now, but the Teachers Union is heavily funded and they fund a lot of political campaigns …but if I had endless pockets of money, hmmmmmmmm……
Check out more about what Sarah is doing at sarahhernholm.com and learn more about her WIT work at www.doingwit.org and www.smartcitysaturday.com
We work with companies throughout San Diego, but have decided on La Mesa as our headquarters for Four Fin. Why? Because, we believe in real connections, genuine people, easy parking and sunshine. It’s a straight shot on the 94 to Downtown San Diego, and quick to hop on the 8 or 125 as well. We like the creative vibe of our space, the neighboring businesses and the growing culinary scene out our front door. La Mesa is turning a corner in it’s history, to appeal to younger crowds with cool new establishments like Public Square, Coin Haus, Farmers Table, Boulevard Noodles and Sheldon’s Service Station.
Those last two are owned in part by mover and shaker, Aaron Dean, who is infusing life into the business community with his involvement with the La Mesa Village Association and his energy into a number of new local hotspots.
La Mesa Business Owner
- So, we’ve seen you pouring serious heart into La Mesa (we’re amped). Why this part of San Diego?
La Mesa has always been a part of my family. I went to Fuerte Elementary decades ago. My father medical practice has been at Grossmont for over 38 years and my Grandparents were active in the community since 1959. For me I see huge potential for growth and love the feeling of being part of this community.
- What was the last thing you got really excited about?
Well I was really excited and honored to be on the cover of Day & Night in last weeks Union Tribune. It was a great article not just about me but the happenings in La Mesa. It felt good to be able to talk about so many of the businesses and events happening in La Mesa.
- If you could only drink one beverage for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sheldons Coffee of course…however in a few months my answer would change to Depot Springs Beer!
For more information on Aaron, and his improvements to La Mesa, you can read the latest two union tribune articles he was featured in:
La Mesa: the next culinary hotspot – The San Diego Union-Tribune
Aaron Dean has appetite for big plans in La Mesa
Thank you Aaron for all you do to foster community and encourage the growth of this town we love. See you at Sheldon’s!