Category Archives: New Member

Susan Davis

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Retired-Federal Government-Congress

Susan is a former American politician who was elected to serve ten terms as the U.S. Representative for California’s 53rd district. She was a member of the New Democrat Coalition and portrayed herself as someone who was willing to work across party lines, serving on the House Armed Services Committee, the Education and Workforce Committee, and as a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development.

With two sons and three grandchildren, Susan and her husband Steve have spent their 50 years of marriage helping the greater community where they live. She received her master’s degree in social work before embarking on a political career. She became President of the League of Women Voters in 1977, then President of the Board of the San Diego Unified School District in 1983. From there she was elected to the California State Assembly for three terms, and finally to Congress from 2000 to 2020—totaling 35 years as an elected public servant. Susan’s father was a very loyal Rotarian from whom she learned the importance of service.

While acting as President of the Aaron Price Fellows Program, she mentored our now mayor, Todd Gloria. This, along with her start at the League of Women Voters, influences her passion for joining Rotary committees who engage in mentoring and apprenticeship programs as well as workforce preparation opporunities. The Afghan Refugee Outreach program is dear to her heart as she spent a lot of time working on solutions regarding our Afganistan presence while she was in office.

Susan believes “all Rotarians share a love for our communial responsibilites and caring for one another.”

She is grateful to Amnon Ben-Yehuda, Alan Spector and Richard Eger who are her sponsors.

Brad Saunders

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Real Estate Development

Brad is a San Diego Rotary member returning after the short break he took due to scheduling conflicts. He originally joined in 1981 and was a Paul Harris Fellow. He is a third-generation San Diegan, having grown up in Point Loma, and his father was a member of our club as well. Brad and his wife Alice have been married for 46 years and have three sons and a daughter.

He currently holds memberships at the San Diego Yacht Club and the Rest and Aspiration Society, while formerly serving on the board of directors of Lambda Alpha, the Bishop’s School, San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, and the San Diego Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He has been involved in local real estate development projects throughout his career with a combined value in excess of $1.5 billion.

Brad is the founder and CEO of Bricehouse Inc., an organization specializing in the development and financing of public and private projects with a particular emphasis on transit-oriented development. Bricehouse Inc. is currently serving as the Master Concessionaire for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System, in charge of placing retail vendors at various transit stations throughout their network. In addition to their retail activities, his company has a subsidiary that is involved in outdoor advertising. In fact, Brad promises he can “help you do anything you want to do on a bench in San Diego!”

His current sponsor is Will Newbern.

Matthew Ryan

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Financial AdvisorMatt Ryan

Matt started playing basketball at a young age here in San Diego. He graduated from Saint Augustine High School and went on to play as an Olivet Nazarene University Tiger in Illinois, while focusing his studies in Financial Planning. After graduating from college, Matt left the cold winters behind and settled back home where he plays beach volleyball, coaches youth basketball, and has already served as the president of the Pacific Beach Toastmasters.

As a financial advisor at a boutique firm, Creative Capital Management, he works with professionals who seek personal wealth advising through either comprehensive financial planning, or the firm’s investment management services. Whether Matt is taking a deep dive into his client’s finances to develop a road map for their retirement, investments, taxes and estate planning, or, if he is managing their investments and directing their assets—he is steadfast in helping them reach their portfolio goals, creating peace of mind so they can focus on the things that matter most.

With a one-year-old son and a wife who works as an emergency room nurse (who Matt describes as “basically a superhero”), his young family stays quite busy. Still, he is looking forward to being an active member of San Diego Rotary.

Matt is very grateful to Peg Eddy, Duke Sobek and Ben Clay for sponsoring him.

Michael Novak

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Mike NovakInvestment-Fiduciary

In 2021 Mike joined ProFiduciary, Inc. where he serves as trustee, executor, guardian and agent for individuals and families with a focus on accounts concentrated in real estate and/or family businesses. He has worked in wealth management and fiduciary services for over 25 years. After completing his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at Lake Forest College, he earned a paralegal certificate and worked for two law firms in Chicago that specialized in estate planning and settlement as well as corporate and real estate transactions. Mike then moved to Washington, D.C., and worked two years in the finance division of The Nature Conservancy managing assets donated to the organization that were not part of its conservation programs.

He is a member of the Professional Fiduciaries Association of California, the North County Estate Planning Council, the Probate Attorneys of San Diego (affiliate member), the Estate Planning Council of San Diego, the National Trust Closely Held Business Association (pending), and the National Trust Real Estate Association. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Opera and sits on its Audit Committee.

Mike and his husband Frank live in La Mesa, California, where they enjoy its annual Flag Day Parade and Fire Department Pancake Breakfast, La Mesa Classic Car Show nights in the summers and the largest Oktoberfest in San Diego County. He has a soon-to-graduate stepdaughter at home and he is delighted to continue his community outreach efforts through San Diego Rotary.

 

Sponsored by Chris Christopher, Stan Hartman and Jan McDonough.

Ed Mracek

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Real Estate-Residential

Ed has been a member of the Top Producers Group of La Jolla Realtors since 1995, and a licensed Realtor since 1989. He has successfully represented many luxury ocean front and estate properties over the years and now works for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. Named San Diego Magazine’s “Five Star Agent” for multiple years, he also received the La Jolla Real Estate Broker’s Association’s McNaught-Davis/Knox Award—its highest professional honor.

Ed’s passion for helping our local communities started early in life, as he is a native San Diegan. Although both of his parents were on faculty at SDSU, he graduated from  UCLA. He then returned home to start his real estate ventures while volunteering extensively within the San Diego community.

With a strong dedication to arts, education, music and science, he uses his deep-rooted local connections to passionately help the greater San Diego/Tijuana region. As a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, Kyoto Prize Symposium Host Committee, UCSD Real Estate Roundtable, Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute Fishman Fund Advisory Board, The Order of St John, San Diego Opera, Honorary Deputy Sheriffs Association, Rest and Aspiration Club, UCLA and FBI San Diego Citizens Alumni Associations, and Mary, Star of The Sea Knights of Columbus Council, Ed maintains a very active portfolio of community service commitments. He has served at the La Jolla Rotary Club, and interestingly he was formerly awarded a spot on the Leonard Simpson 10 Best Dressed List. A few of his other former memberships include the La Jolla Art and Wine Festival, and the Catfish Club. He looks forward to continuing to promote “Service Above Self” through the San Diego Rotary.

He was sponsored by Wendy Urushima-Conn, Mel Katz, and Phil Blair.

Julie Roland

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Military-Navy

Lieutenant Julie Roland is a Naval Aviator, Helicopter Aircraft Commander, and ACTC Level III Mission Commander. She served aboard USS Carl Vinson, USS Lake Champlain, and USS John C. Stennis, and has managed over 20 maintainers while they performed maintenance and upkeep on two MH-60R helicopters in preparation for, and while aboard, the USS Michael Murphy . Having served as an officer for the last seven years, she has led divisions of up to 30 Sailors in the maintenance of helicopters while serving as an aviator and flying the MH-60R. Julie assisted and advised command leadership with multiple legal proceedings as a Legal Officer. After back-to-back deployments in the Persian Gulf and South China, she is now an Aviation Certifying Officer at ATG San Diego, where she certifies flight decks on ships to ensure they are ready for flight operations, and fully manages a budget of $25,000.

Julie credits her parents, her mom who was a yoga instructor and poet, and her dad, a man who wears Birkenstocks, with her drive to help create a better world. As a young child Julie started volunteering for local charities. Then she noted, while considering her future, all of the things the Navy has to offer: service, leadership, team work, the ability to travel the world and “Free College!” matched her personal goals. She graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts in History, then was commissioned as an Officer through the NROTC program where she was Head of Philanthropy. During her college years, Julie volunteered with diverse organizations such as: Habitat for Humanity, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, Give the Kids the World, Orphanage Outreach and Baltimore Homeless Services.

Just Tryna Make Friends (JTMF) Show, a “backyard variety show” that promotes local artists and builds community, is something she produces in her free time. This show recently became a finalist in San Diego Reader magazine’s “Best of 2021” for Best Neighborhood Event, and Best Place to See Live Music Outside. JTMF is applying for nonprofit status currently. She is a Magician Member of the Academy of Magical Arts, and a member of the League of Women Voters. As a magician in her off-time, she finds ways to defy gravity without the use of Naval Aircraft, making “service above self” an interesting concept for this new Rotarian.

Her sponsors are Duke Sobek, Wendy Urushima-Conn, and Phil Silver.

Linda Lattimore

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Consultant-Social Impact

Linda grew up in Peru and Mexico, then became an attorney and international business woman. She has worked as General Counsel/Chief Compliance Officer for 3 multinationals and is a dedicated and passionate collaborator and architect for change. A well-regarded speaker, published best-selling author (Solutionaries—You are the Answer!) and educator in the field of Sustained Leadership, Linda is committed to models that recognize the significance of social responsibility to a world in need.

Always wanting to serve her family and community, she became interested in the nonprofit sector, helping underserved women all over the world. As a strategic business advisor with a particular focus in the social impact space, she helps individuals through her Solutionaries Academy find work that leaves a positive impact, but is also financially fulfilling. She also founded WGN Global Fund, a women’s business networking group, which specializes in programs to educate the next generation of women about sustainable leadership, and it offers financial assistance to women creating socially responsible business.

Having recently moved back to San Diego from Austin, Linda wants to be very intentional about where she can both learn and add value. She believes Rotary is a wonderful group of kindred spirits and a great opportunity for her to continue to serve. Considering all of Linda’s former addresses have contained two 3s, she feels very at home already in Rotary Club 33.

Judy Thompson, Mike Conner, and Jo Dee Jacob are her sponsors.

 

Don Wells

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Social Services-Just In Time For Foster Youth, Additional Active

Don Wells is the Chief Empowerment Officer for Just In Time For Foster Youth, which helps to transition foster youth ages 18-26 to achieve self-sufficiency and well-being. He is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis with degrees in Psychology, History, and Political Science, and a certification to teach secondary education. In 2004, he also earned a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology.

Don began his career as a high school history and psychology teacher before three decades in media as an award-winning artist/animator, writer-producer, news director, project manager, and communications consultant, including receiving the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The one constant throughout the years has been Don’s commitment to use his talents and influence to serve the community.

Don was instrumental in the early formation of Just in Time for Foster Youth and used his leadership position at KGTV/ABC10 San Diego to produce a My First Home Extreme Makeover segment, giving JIT much-needed visibility in its infancy. Since then, Don has been a consistent supporter, joining the board in 2009 and assuming the duties of Executive Director (now Chief Empowerment Officer) in 2010.

Don loves being a catalyst for change in the world, learning new things every day and connecting with people in significant conversations. His work/life integration includes watching movies and playing games, being able to work, dance, and laugh with his wife Diane all week long, and spending his time being useful in any way he can.

Sidd Vivek, Michael Brunker and Alan Spector were his sponsors.

Diane Cox

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Social Services-Just In Time For Foster Youth

Diane Wells is the Development Director for Just In Time For Foster Youth. They engage a caring community to help transition age foster youth with critical resources and lasting relationships to achieve self-sufficiency and well-being as they become confident, capable and connected.

A graduate of University of Michigan, Diane was a sales representative for First American Title for 20 years. But prior to that, she was an English teacher, hitch-hiked across the United States, lived in a Zen Monastery on top of a mountain, then started a town paper in northern CA, but ended up joining a commune in southern CA, before deciding she had to actually make a living!

Diane found a way to further leverage her success in the corporate world for the greater good in 2003 when she co-founded Just in Time for Foster Youth, starting with a simple concept of transporting gently used furniture donated by her clients in Rancho Santa Fe and Del Mar to the empty shells of apartments occupied by young adults leaving the foster care system and who had accessed subsidized housing but lacked basic furnishings such as beds, vacuums, and kitchen supplies.

In 2014, Diane joined the staff of Just in Time and graduated from the Hudson Institute of Coaching with the specific intention to develop a coaching model to assist foster youth to heal from adverse childhood experiences and train volunteers to see themselves in partnership with youth who are creative, resourceful and whole. CA2M training has also been provided to other San Diego nonprofits, including Children’s Legal Services, National Charity League San Diego del Norte Chapter, and Community Resource Center.

Alan Spector, Judy Thompson and David Kvendru were her sponsors.

Shelly Verhoye

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Investment-Fiduciary

Shelly Verhoye is a licensed professional fiduciary with ProFiduciary, Inc., one of San Diego’s largest private fiduciary firms providing trust and estate administration services.

Shelly’s husband is San Diego’s treasured concert pianist Bryan Verhoye.  But she wants you to know some other things about her that you may not know….

The first time she ever sang in front of an audience, she was about 6 years old.  She sang I’m A Little Tea Pot for a family dinner party.  It went over pretty well and she has been singing ever since.

Another activity near and dear to her heart is dancing.  She began dancing as a teenager, joined a professional dance company as a young adult, and went on to manage her own dance company for a number of years after that.

But her most favorite of all…is her beautiful daughter, Molleigh Rae, who is now away at Columbia College Chicago, an Arts & Media college.  She is  majoring in Musical Theater and minoring in Non-profit and Public Affairs Communications.

But through all the years, Shelly also worked developing her career in the area of trust and estate administration.  She worked as a Trust Officer in several bank trust departments and joined ProFiduciary in 2008.  She says her career keeps her extremely busy, so unfortunately there hasn’t been much time to sing and dance!

Jan McDonough, Suzy Spafford and Debbie Day were here sponsors.