Category Archives: New Member

Liz Richards

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Credit Score Management-Marketing & Media

Liz Richards is the Creative Director for ScoreShuttle, a technology built to help consumers manage their creditworthiness.

Before diving into her current role, Liz started her career as a news producer for two morning shows in Evansville, Indiana.  She then moved to L.A.  and worked as Director of Development for High Noon Entertainment on shows such as Fixer Upper, Cake Boss and Good Bones. No longer a fan of the L.A. traffic, Liz moved to San Diego where she made the transition from television to digital marketing.

Her current community involvement includes volunteering with the San Diego Library Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation.  In her free time, Liz enjoys Pilates and boxing, and loves to explore the outdoors on a sunny hike or camp adventure with her fiancé, Jeff.  The pair have their first child on the way and just bought their first home in University Heights.

Wendy Urushima-Conn, Ginny Ollis and David Oates were her sponsors.

Lenny Leszczynski

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Museum-Automotive

Leonard “Lenny” Leszczynski is the CEO of the San Diego Automotive Museum.

Lenny was born and raised in San Diego;  he was born in Poway, grew up in La Jolla, spent his twenties in Point Loma and Pacific Beach, and started his family in East County.  He has worked in the non-profit sector his entire life because he believes that service to others is essential to helping create a better community.  He has worked for the YMCA for 20 years, and was with Promises2Kids for 5 years before joining the Automotive Museum.

He graduated from Cal State Northridge, received his masters from Western Governors University and is currently enrolled in Harvard’s extension school for Museum Studies.

When he is not working, you can find him coaching his daughters’ at softball.  He and his wife, Falon, have four daughters.  You can also find them at the carousel at Balboa Park trying to get the golden ring for another ride!

Lenny also loves to teach youth about football and loves working on committees that get kids to go to camp.  He believes camp is a great alternative learning environment.

A fun fact about Lenny: while living in L.A., he worked at the Staples Center, Dodgers Stadium, Arrowhead Pond and Anaheim Stadium.  He has been to 3 NBA championships, 2 World Series, 1 Stanley Club Series and 1 PGA event.  All that is left is for him to attend is a Super Bowl!

Michael Brunker, Sidd Vivek and David Oates were his sponsors.

Valerie Attisha

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Consultant-Non-profit Development, Additional Active

Valerie Attisha owns her own philanthropic consultant business.

She is Chaldean and her first language is Aramaic, which is the language she still speaks to her parents with.  Her family immigrated to the US in the 1970s and first settled in Detroit.  Eventually, they moved and were one of the very first Chaldeans to call San Diego home, which now number in the thousands.

Valerie grew up in the East County, graduated from USD and received her graduate degree from Sacramento State University.  Her original plan was to have a career in government, but the non-profit sector called!  She was in development for over 20 years and just over a year ago, established her own firm.

She says that service is really at the core of her being and it has always been important to her to make a meaningful impact and give back to her community.  She was previously a Rotarian of the El Cajon Rotary Club for 6 years.  She loves to travel, play tennis, cook for family and friends and attend concerts and the theatre.

Wendy Urushima-Conn, Joe Horiye and Trevor Blair were her sponsor.

 

Rick Brooks

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Investment- Wealth Management, Additional Active

Rick Brooks is a Principal and the Director of Investment Management at Blankinship & Foster, LLC. He oversees their investment analytics and serves as Chairman of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Rick was born in Texas and raised in Maryland. He earned a BA in Political Science from Duke University and a MBA in Finance from San Diego State. He also served in the Navy for 6 years and 9 months.

He is past Chair of the Board of Girl Scouts San Diego (the first male to serve in that capacity), currently serving on their Investment and Board Development committees.  He volunteers on the KPBS Professional Advisor Council and on the San Diego Foundation’s PAC.

Alan Spector, Jan McDonough and Keith McKenzie were his sponsors.

Jon Ray

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Painting – Residential

Jon Ray is the owner of PaintGreen, a full-service painting company based here in San Diego since 2006.  As an entrepreneur and community organizer, Jon has found that happy balance between the two different worlds.

Jon started a 501c3 that supports local artists.  They hold an annual 4 day and 3 night art and musical festival that is attended by some 3500 people and generates over $500k.  The proceeds of YOUtopia are invested back into the event, as well as a local makerspace he co-founded called CoLab.  CoLab hosts fancy tools that artists and inventors could not afford or house themselves, so they allow art and prototyping to be done for free or at minimal cost.

Duke Sobek, Dick Eger and Rick Chatham were his sponsors.

 

 

Tammy Blackburn

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Education-State University-Marketing

Tammy Blackburn is the Director of Marketing and Communications for San Diego State University and in her 23rd year of service. Her work in marketing has garnered 5 CASE Awards and she received SDSU’s Top 25 Award, chosen by former SDSU President Stephen L. Weber.

Tammy hails from Southern California where she was born and raised in Brea, Ca. At the age of 18 she accepted an offer to study and play basketball at SDSU. She studied Communications, Journalism, Television and Film where she was involved in a variety of student organizations on campus and participated in debate and SDSU Mortar Board. She has both a Bachelor’s of Arts in Communication and Journalism and a Master’s of Science.

Tammy was a member and two-year captain of the women’s basketball team from 1990-1994 and participated in the Student Athletics Advisory Council. Under her leadership, the Aztecs won two championships and played in the NCAA Tournament. During her sophomore season, Tammy received an invite to try out for Team USA Basketball.  In 1994, the university and SDSU Department of Athletics named an award in her honor, The Tammy Blackburn Award, which is given annually to a student-athlete who demonstrates academic and athletic prowess.

In September 2018, Tammy founded and launched SDSU’s Wallace, Shatsky, Blackburn, Courage Through Cancer Fund to support SDSU students faced with a personal cancer diagnosis or that of a loved one. She is currently living with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer, an incurable disease.

Tammy has served as a volunteer professional speaker and volunteer marketing consultant to many organizations around the United States. She moonlights as a sportscaster for CBS Sports, ESPN, and the Pac-12 Network. Her 22 years in the sports business has taken her all over the world.

Patti Roscoe, Jordan Maharaj and David Oates were her sponsors.

Stacey Murphy

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Training – Leadership, Additional Active

Stacey Murphy is a self-employed, award-winning serial entrepreneur with businesses in digital marketing (story-telling), architecture, leadership coaching, farming, and gardening, all with Earth consciousness and focus on impact for a more regenerative world. Currently, she is working on the future of city designs and real estate developments.

In 2008, Stacey founded BK Farmyards, a decentralized urban farming collective in Brooklyn that helped inner city youth become leaders in their communities by growing food and hosting nutrition awareness workshops. BK Farmyards was integral to the local food movement and helped create an urban farming task force in the mayoral office, one of the first wins was changing zoning laws making greenhouses on rooftops legal, paving the way to large-scale urban ag.

Stacey’s architecture career has been focused on creating spaces that bring communities together, helping to design churches, synagogues, libraries, community centers in NYC and parks in Detroit.

Her strength is gathering support for a vision. She has run crowd-funding campaigns for projects ranging from children’s books that raise awareness about where food comes from, to a Go Green high school curriculum to help teens understand their health and well-being, to Circus for Leaders to empower youth to go after their dreams.

What motivates her and why does she do what she does?  “To inspire the next generation to believe that they can create a life of their dreams.” “It is my legacy to bring mentorship to young people so they believe in a better future and become the leaders they were born to be.”

Be sure to ask her about formula car racing, the adventures of dating during a pandemic and learning how to fly a trapeze!

David Oates, Duke Sobek and Dick Eger were her sponsors.

 

Justin Rajah

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Analytics-Business

Justin Rajah is the Demand Generation Manager at Wrike, a work management platform.

He was born and raised in Santa Clara County, CA by a single mom, who taught him to love all things Disney and country music.  A first generation college grad, Justin received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 2017 from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  He has called San Diego his home since last summer.

Justin’s connection to Rotary began in 2010 with the Sunnyvale Sunrise Club. They had selected him to attend a RYLA summer camp with the intention to start a service club when he returned to high school in the fall.  He says RYLA changed his life forever.  Now, after being involved with RYLA for the last 10 years, he says it is still the strongest influence in his life.  He continues to be a mentor to campers and younger staff.

A fun fact about Justin: he is a marketer by day, but a karaoke singer by night.

“I promise to bring my passion for service and youth leadership to all Rotary activities.  And I promise to show up for this club and for what this club stands for.”

Jordan Maharaj, Jordan Harrison and Chuck Pretto were his sponsors.

Alessandra Costigliola

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Education-State University-Development, Additional Active

Alessandra Costigliola serves as the Development Officer for the College of Sciences at SDSU.  In her role, she is responsible for qualifying prospects for the College of Sciences and soliciting gifts of $25K and higher.

Born and raised in Sacramento (yes, she is a Kings fan), Alessandra moved to San Diego to attend SDSU. She received her Bacherlor’s degree in Political Science from SDSU in 2017 and is currently completing her Master’s in Public Administration.  During her time at SDSU, she was President of the SDSU Ambassadors and a member of the SDSU Rotaract Club.

When she is not working, she enjoys reading and loves to travel and go wine tasting.  She says her Italian family taught her the value of a really good glass of wine.

Jordan Maharaj, Jonathan Cole and Michelle Candland were her sponsors.

Corey Polant

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Education-State University-Development

Corey Polant is the Associate Directory of Development at San Diego State University.

He is originally from Long Island, New York and he says if you catch him on a good day you’ll still hear parts of that accent when he speaks-even though he has spent 9 years trying to lose it.

He is a double alum of SDSU, receiving his undergraduate degree in Sociology and his masters in Public Administration. He has been working with SDSU for 5 years helping to bring philanthropic support to an array of programs on campus.

Rotaract was a big part of Corey’s undergraduate experience and meeting San Diego Rotary members and seeing their commitment to doing good was his inspiration.

So after coming off a year of feeling helpless and isolated in this pandemic, Corey knew there was no better time to join Rotary.  He says he learned a lot about himself this past year and in many ways feels like he journeyed inwards and realigned what is most important to him… helping others and having a sense of community.

Corey has already been active in the San Diego community, sitting on a foundation board and participating in community service events. He is celebrating 4 years as a Big Brother to Luis, through Big Brothers Big Sisters, another organization he is very passionate about.

He says he owes a special thank you to President Chris Sichel, who has been his mentor ever since they were paired through Rotaract, and who has given him such valuable career and personal advice.

When he is not working or involved in the community, Corey enjoys playing tennis, practicing the piano, playing on a recreational kickball team and finding San Diego’s best new brunch locations.

Chris Sichel, Jordan Maharaj and Barbara Noerenberg.