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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.

Tom Turner

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Real Estate Sales-Commercial, Additional Active

Tom Turner is a Commercial Real Estate Broker and Vice President at CBRE.

Born in North Carolina, Tom and his military family moved around quite a bit.  He finished high school in Japan then attended college at UCLA.  Without a definite career plan after college, the self-proclaimed “beach bum” ran a cafe in Mission Beach, moved furniture, sold sailboat rides and sunscreen in Maui and spent some time as a guide in the Rocky Mountains.

After finally deciding to get serious, he passed the LSAT and attended law school at UC Berkeley and Oxford University.  Tom then moved to San Diego and has been here ever since.

Tom spent 35+ years as a commercial real estate lawyer, with the last 25 years at Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch.  For 17 years, he served as the firm’s Managing Partner and CEO.  He has earned virtually every real estate law award out there, including San Diego’s Best Lawyers, California Superlawyers, Best Lawyers in America, San Diego Bar Association’s Outstanding Attorney and California Law Firm Leader of the Year.

He made the leap from real estate law to real estate brokerage and joined CBRE where he does a variety of specialty investment work and large private/public joint ventures.

The joy of Tom’s life is his family.  He and his wife Jennifer celebrated their 40th anniversary last year.  They have 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren whom they love to share everything sports, music and nature with.

Jan McDonough, Tom Cohen and Josh Buchholz were his sponsors.

Ben Alev

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Real Estate-Investment

Ben Alev is a real estate investor and manager for 58-Twelve, LLC.  His specialty has been working in distressed assets and low income housing, where programs are implemented to encourage compassion and community involvement.  In his extensive real estate career, Ben has bought and sold properties in over 38 states.

Originally from Chicago, he moved to Arizona where he met his wife, Rebecca, and where they raised their family.  Ben coached his children’s youth sports teams for 20 years and was a founder of youth soccer and baseball programs. When his daughter married and settled here in San Diego, it also became his and Rebecca’s new home, too.

Ben is an avid sports fan and an active outdoorsmen whose hobbies include scuba, skiing, fly fishing, hunting, horseback riding, gold and spending time with his family.

Though he didn’t finish college himself, he comes from an educated family and all of his children have degrees.  Ben proudly says that he learned at a young age that “if you know a lot about something that is a little bit important, you can be successful.” He also said “when you learn the principles of business and understand the momentum in giving your word and putting others first, it comes back to you in a very large way. Therefore, this leads me to being grateful for the opportunity to serve with you in Rotary and create that momentum in life that is so important.”

 

Zackary Albrecht

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Education-State University-Fundraising

Zackary “Zack” Albrecht is the Associate Director of Digital Communications and Fundraising at San Diego State University. He is responsible for the strategic vision and execution of SDSU’s annual giving program.

Zack spent most of his formative years in a small town in California’s central valley before falling madly in love with San Diego and attending SDSU to study journalism and public relations. At SDSU is also where he became a proud Rotaract member and started getting entwined with the San Diego Rotary family by volunteering at incredible events like Camp Enterprise. After graduating, and as with most recent arrivals to America’s finest city, he found every reason to stay here.

However, the role he is most grateful to hold, is that of “uncle.” Zack’s nephew and two nieces are the joy of his life.

During his new member introduction, Zack said: “When I was writing some notes on what I was going to say, I thought about the world’s events, Valentine’s Day coming up and what your presence at today’s meeting means. The word that came up, as corny as it may be, was love.

In the midst of a pandemic that has brought immense pain, Rotary continues to find new and meaningful ways to bring light back into it; and you, its incredible members, continue to attend meetings and build relationships even through these screens. How else can this be done besides through love for one another and our community? 

I promise to bring my heart and soul to service like each of you, and I look forward to getting to work. Thank you.”

Jenni Prisk, Jordan Maharaj, and David Oates were his sponsors.