Community Wide Civic Organization
James Lawson, Downtown Partnership
James Lawson is seeking re–‐election to the Downtown Community Planning Council as a representative of the Downtown San Diego Partnership. He currently co–‐chairs the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Planning and
Public Policy Committee, and is actively involved in making Downtown a vibrant neighborhood that supports residents, businesses and tourists alike. Originally from Northern California, James came to San Diego in 2001 and attended the University of San Diego. He currently works in public affairs and lives in the Downtown’s Columbia neighborhood with his girlfriend, Angela, and their bulldog, Chancho.
As a Cortez Hill resident I homeowner for over 10 years, I have watched the face and character of Downtown change and grow. Professionally, I am a REALTOR with the Willis Allen Real Estate office located on Fifth Ave. in the Gas/amp. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Engineering as an Environmental Resource Planner and previously worked as a project manager in the construction industry for 18 years.
I began my civic involvement with the building’ live in; Discovery at Cortez Hill, on the Facilities Committee and then served for several years on our HOA board. Making decisions and influencing the quality of life for my neighbors has been a rewarding experience. I currently also serve on the Downtown Partnership PBID board, representing Cortez and the Clean & Safe Program. Other activities include being on the board to the Cortez Hill Active Residents Group (CHARG), and the Downtown Residents Group (DRG) as its current representative to the DCPC. I’m also a member of Friends of Downtown that engages in many local charitable activities. While my dogs, Puck & Rosie, and my love of amateur photography are my favorite pastimes; I’d like to expand and continue my service to the community on the DCPC.
Core Columbia Residential Tenant or Owner Occupant
I moved to San Diego in 1999 and became a Columbia condominium owner in 2011. Exploring each of the downtown neighborhoods began early on through many Clean & Safe walkabouts, at which time I could see clearly how each neighborhood has its own personality, priorities, and level of resident engagement. It has been a pleasure working with my Columbia neighbors to address a variety of concerns and to improve our quality of life.
Having worked as a nurse with the homeless in Chicago, Houston, and in San Diego, I currently serve on the DCPC Social Issues subcommittee. I am optimistic about the progress being made to resolve the homeless problem downtown.
I have been on DCPC for the past two years and have appreciated being at the table for discussions influencing long-term growth and quality of life downtown.
East Village Business/Investment Property Owner
Pat Stark has been a member of DCPC since 2010. He is currently serving as Vice-Chair and holds an East Village Business Owners seat. As a 30-plus year veteran of the construction industry, he developed an interest in urban planning and regional design. As Vice President of Operations for Roel Construction, Pat was involved in many downtown projects including Petco Park, Salvation Army Silvercrest, Hilton Gaslamp, Renaissance Condominiums, and a variety of tenant improvements. He is an active member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and an adjunct professor at SDSU teaching construction cost estimating. As the owner of an East Village condo he is interested in the ongoing development of downtown as a regional economic engine and international urban center. For downtown San Diego to attract the density anticipated by our Community Plan, we must continue to work on the quality of life issues in order to attract and retain residents and visitors to this vibrant community.
Pat and his wife Rosemary live in Lakeside, but are downtown regularly taking advantage of the sights, sounds, and always exciting environment. The new DecoBike program is a great way to get around – Give it a try.
Rivera began his career in commercial real estate after receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of San Diego.
As a resident and business owner in Downtown San Diego, Rivera would like to serve the community by sharing his time and experience. Rivera would bring more than 21 years of commercial property experience and expertise to the DCPC board.
Currently, Rivera serves on the board of the East Village Association and has enjoyed helping the area transition into a vibrant, diverse, and urban neighborhood. His hope for joining the DCPC board is to support the entire downtown community, as he is passionate about the long-term growth and development of Downtown San Diego.
He is married to Carly and just welcomed a new baby girl named Ava.
Andrea Ferentz is a 13 year San Diego resident and currently serves as the Transaction and Project Manager for H.G. Fenton Company. Andrea has over 8 years of real estate experience with expertise in the development and management of retail, multi-family, and mixed use projects. Through her experience working on projects in downtown San Diego, Atlanta, and Houston, Andrea developed a passion for urban redevelopment, most recently with the completion of the new East Village multi-family project, Urbana. As an East Village representative for H.G. Fenton Company and a resident of the East Village, she is particularly interested in the future growth and redevelopment of the East Village neighborhood.
East Village Residential Tenant
Alex Ward is running for a full term representing tenants in the East Village. Having served for the last year by appointment, Alex is eager to continue the progress made in building a stronger Downtown for renters.
As member of the Communications Subcommittee Alex has helped engage new audiences for DCPC by volunteering to live-tweet all council meetings. The results have been great—the total number of followers and interaction with key stakeholders has increased at a steady pace.
Alex also served as a member of an ad hoc committee tasked with naming the new park at 14th Street and Island Avenue. By hosting forums and engaging the public, Alex and committee members were empowered to champion the name ultimately selected by the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation Board.
East Village Residential Owner Occupant
A native of Lima-Peru, she moved to San Diego in 1992 to pursue a Master in Architecture from the University of California, San Diego. Since 1994 she has worked in downtown and has been responsible for the design and project development through construction administration of various mixed used projects throughout downtown.
Witnessing the multifamily housing boom that brought many people to seek urban living, in 2005 with her husband and two young children they decided to make the move from the suburbs and bought a condo in East Village. At the time they joined only three other families with young children in a building with 230 units. Since then things have changed and more families have enjoyed living downtown, but Claudia has seen, first hand, neighbors leave when their kids reach school age. For this reason she joined DCPC to be a voice for families with young children who wish to live in a
neighborhood that also offers great school choices from pre-K to high school. Anticipating her kids growing as teens in downtown and as they seek more independence Claudia is also particularly interested in issues of safety and homelessness.
With a passion for all things outdoors you can always find her with her family exploring the neighborhood on their bikes, scooters or roller blades. At the top of Claudia’s list is also to contribute to making downtown a more pedestrian and bike friendly place with ample open space for recreation. As part of recreational opportunities, she supports bringing back artistic locales that were present in East Village prior to the multifamily development. She also welcomes new creative cultural venues, which will result in the enrichment of the arts and culture of the neighborhood she represents.
Claudia currently works as a Project Manager at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. She continues to be deeply involved in many residential projects downtown and recently expanded her experience into corporate architecture by working as Project Architect on the New Sempra Energy Headquarters currently under construction in East Village.
I’ve lived in the East Village since Petco Park was the far edge of Downtown development (2007.) As my wife and I consider our future, the family friendliness of the East Village is a concern. There are more schools and some parks on the horizon but our community can be more livable. Downtown is growing East and as we all come out of the recession that halted development, my goal is to see a community with amenities beyond restaurants and entertainment. I bring a diverse leadership background and believe smart growth is the path towards full potential of our Downtown while remaining good neighbors to the surrounding communities outside of Downtown.
As a real estate community leader I’m: Adjunct Faculty (Cuyamaca College Real Estate Department,) Chair of South County Government Affairs Committee (Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors) and licensed REALTOR® with www.theHomeMap.com at Team Aguilar Real Estate.
I serve on the San Diego Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission, volunteer on several non-profit boards, and have served on my hoa’s facilities committee in the past. I completed the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, a non-partisan course on leadership and public policy that takes business experience and applies it to public policy challenges.
Gaslamp Resident Tenant or Owner Occupant
Daniel works for the Downtown San Diego Partnership as the VP of Economic Development and Public Policy. In this position, he develops strategic partnerships with organizations and works with DSDP’s membership base to foster economic progress downtown. Among other things, Daniel works closely with tech companies to clear any hurdles towards growing the Downtown tech industry, leads DSDP’s binational efforts, and works with developers and the community to ensure that the vision for downtown is achieved.
In addition to serving on DCPC, Daniel serves on the Downtown Parking Management Group, the Regional Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee, and the Smart Border Coalition. He is an active member of ULI and sits on ULI’s Management Committee, Program Committee, Revitalization and Reuse Council, and he co-chairs the Binational Committee.
Prior to joining the Partnership, Daniel worked as a project manager at Civic San Diego specializing in alternative financing mechanisms and the development of tools that create opportunities for economic revitalization such as the New Market’s Tax Credit program.
Daniel graduated from USD in 2012 where he earned an MBA and a Master of Science in Real Estate degree.
Figaro Miguel Nauta
Figaro Miguel Nauta is an international sales representative for Tulip Medical Products, a local medical product development company. He is a San Diego native and Gaslamp resident for over 20 years, though he has lived in Colorado, Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, and Baltimore. Figaro has experience in the hospitality industry while at the University of San Diego and a downtown community organization in Baltimore. Well traveled, Figaro developed a world perspective on life, business, and social issues. He knows both residents and businesses need each other to thrive. Figaro’s focus is to represent Gaslamp residents and ensure their needs are considered and their rights are protected.
Horton Business/Investment Property Owner
Kimberly Brewer is the Vice President of Development for Westfield LLC. Westfield is the owner of Horton Plaza as well as five other large shopping centers in San Diego. Kim has been with Westfield for eighteen years and has been in San Diego for the last five working on development opportunities for Horton as well as North County in Escondido. Prior to moving to San Diego Kim lived in Los Angeles where Westfield has their corporate headquarters for the United states and worked on very large redevelopments in LA and previous to that she was on the management side of the company. Kim holds a bachelor of business administration degree from the University of San Diego. She currently is on the Horton Theater Foundation Board as well as the Downtown San Diego Partnership Board. Since moving back to San Diego she has been a resident of downtown and in her free time loves to travel and is on a competing sailing team in San Diego Bay. She has held the Horton business seat for several years.
Little Italy Business/Investment Property Owner
Luke was an original founder and COO of the American Strategic Management Institute (ASMI). He also has extensive experience in managing political campaigns across the state of California. Currently, Luke serves as an advisory member to various organizations and is the Honorary Mayor of Little Italy in San Diego. Luke also operates as a public servant and has served for 8 years in his elected seat to the Center City Advisory Committee (CCAC), a community organization that works to advance the growth and redevelopment of downtown San Diego by providing a link among citizens, the CCDC, the City Council and Redevelopment Agency now known as the Downtown Community Planning Council (DCPC). April of 2013 Luke was named to San Diego’s young influential list. Luke is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles and currently resides in San Diego.
Little Italy Residential Owner Occupant
Bill Orabone has made San Diego his home after living all over the U.S. Now retired, Bill was a very successful serial tech entrepreneur and angel investor whose companies created thousands of new jobs. Bill graduated from Purdue University with a degree in chemical engineering. He has worked with Governors, US and State Representatives, Mayors and other elected officials as well as sitting on numerous corporate, not for profit and community boards and is currently on the San Diego Downtown Residents Group board.
With some projections of the downtown area virtually tripling over the next 15 years, thoughtful and intelligent planning and effective use of our resources is needed. Bill’s experience in other areas of the country will bring San Diego solutions which help make San Diego a leader and not merely a follower.
Bill and his wife Jeni live at Breeza in Little Italy and have two daughters – Koryn who is a senior at SDSU and Ellen who runs a teaching garden in Austin, Texas.
Little Italy Residential Tenant
Scott Barnett has loved living in Little Italy for over 5 years with his dog Milo and (on occasion) his grown children Tess and Katie.
Scott Barnett has over three decades of political and public policy experience, including his recently completed four-year term on the San Diego Unified School Board. He was elected to a term on the Del Mar City Council (elected at age 21) and served on the SANDAG and North County Transit boards. He was executive director of the San Diego County Taxpayers
Association from 1994-2001 with offices downtown and was actively involved in the Convention Center expansion, and the Ball Park project, as well as reviewing the financing for the Qualcomm expansion.
As a Del Mar City Councilman (1984-1988) Barnett led successful efforts to redevelop downtown Del Mar with council approval and voter’s passage of the Del Mar Plaza and L’Auberge projects. As an elected Trustee of the San Diego Unified School District (2010-2014), Barnett spearheaded the districts joint use of properties and was the lead author of Prop Z, the $2.1 billion GO bond which passed by over 2/3 vote in November 2012. During his school board tenure, Barnett supported SDUSD funding and placement of E3 public Charter school in the new downtown library, and completed an agreement with the Little Italy association to have them take over, upgrade and maintain Washington Elementary School/Amici park, and facilitated the placement and preservation of a 100 year old historic house on school property which will be remodeled into public restrooms, and maintained at no cost to the City or the school district.
Barnett recently started a business to work with school district to collaborate with the private and non-profit sector to upgrade and enhance school and community resources.
Born in NYC 1962, Scott Barnett has been a San Diego resident since 1973.
Marina Business/Investment Property Owner
An elementary school ‘Mathlete’ and student of Gematria, Michael has always been fascinated with the power of math and numbers. He grew up in the Chicago Suburbs as the son of a Realtor riding along with buyers showing property and serving as the de facto tech support for his mom’s Real estate office. This period of dramatic change in technology during the late 80’s and early 90’s gave Michael a rich understanding of the personalities, lifestyle and marketing needs for agents and their clients.
Prior to beginning his mortgage loan origination career, Michael moved to San Diego in late 1999 and immediately began work in the booming dot-com environment. He provided technology leadership and development while consulting at some of the largest mortgage and related vendor institutions including Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, RELS, and First American Title Corporation amongst others. Moving to the Realtor vertical, Michael began consulting with agents and assisting with technology solutions enhancing online and offline marketing.
In 2006, Michael earned his license and began originating mortgage loans. Almost immediately after entering the industry, the market began its crash. Building a career, client base and team in one of the toughest housing markets and with a tight credit market has allowed Michael to bring a new streamlined, professional and secure approach to lending relying on the traditional values of trust and leveraging key relationships to grow. Doubling his loan sales production each year of his career, Michael has made himself a top producer and is now recognized among the most respected, visible and reputable mortgage lenders in San Diego.
In 2012, Michael and his team opened their boutique mortgage office located in the TR Office building, directly across from Petco Park in the East Village of Downtown San Diego before moving to a larger space at the historic Marina District ‘Royster Building’ in 2014.
Michael’s mastery of mortgage lending and perspective are sought regularly by media as he has been quoted over the past few years in articles published by Reuters, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, MSN Real Estate, Deseret Times and others. He consistently ranks among the top reviewed mortgage lenders in San Diego on Yelp while having similar visibility and placement in Google, Yahoo and other key web search engines.
Michael is committed to contributing to change through community participation and involvement. He has two young children and lives in Downtown San Diego Marina District. He previously lived in Little Italy having been elected to serve that community on the San Diego Downtown Community Planning Council (DCPC). He is a co-founder of Kavod Elementary Charter School and an advocate for Charter School Development and education. Michael also is an active participant in the San Diego real estate community; a previous elected Committee member of the Downtown San Diego Realtor Caravan, and manages their website and social media, performing similar volunteer work for the METRO San Diego Realtor Caravan and Coronado Real Estate Association.