Elected members serve as public officials for a two-year term. Elections are held annually.
Columbia ~ Business
Columbia ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Judy Radke is a Detroit native who also lived in Chicago and Houston before moving to San Diego. She was a founding member of the San Diego Women’s Foundation in 2000. She has volunteered as a nurse in homeless shelters and free medical clinics; served as a tutor for girls in Juvenile Hall; and served on the United Way Vision Council for Child Abuse and Neglect. She is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) with Voices for Children, advocating for foster children in the courtroom, classroom, and community.
Judy enjoys daily walks around downtown and values the easy access to the arts and great restaurants. She has been on the DCPC for 2 terms, serving as Secretary during her second term.
Subcommittees: Social Issues; CUP
Columbia ~ Resident
JD Wessling is a native of Iowa who was educated at St. Louis University and began his working career with Arthur Andersen & Co. in St. Louis. His career in financial management took him from St. Louis to Los Angeles and finally to Seattle. After 12 years with a natural gas utility headquartered in Seattle, he retired as CFO in 2005. Retirement provided the opportunity for JD and his wife Linda to join the Peace Corps and serve in the Republic of Moldova as community development volunteers. In 2013, after 19 years in Seattle, they made the decision to move to downtown San Diego.
In addition to his extensive financial experience, JD served on the board of The Pike Place Market Foundation, was a member of the Sound Transit Oversight Committee, was a board member of the King County Governance Org., volunteered with Washington Retired Executives Association, and currently serves as board treasurer of his San Diego HOA.
JD’s leisure time is spent playing tennis, riding his bicycle, reading, and travel.
Subcommittees: Budget/Finance, Preliminary Design
Core ~ Resident
Core ~ Business
Cameron Gharabiklou is a long time business owner downtown, and former resident. He is the founder/principal at the Justice Law Group, a full service law firm. In addition to operating his business downtown, Cameron has been active with the San Diego/Imperial County chapter of the American Red Cross, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego, San Diego County Bar Association and the Normal Heights Community Association. Cameron has been a resident of San Diego since 2003 and attended the University of San Diego, School of Law. He joined the DCPC in 2016.
Subcommittees: By-Laws (Chair)
Cortez ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
As a resident of downtown for the past 11 years, Dan Wery is eager to share his over 20 years of broad professional planning experience to improve the quality of life, use and operation of our built environment downtown.
- Proudly serving as DCPC member since June 2013
- Downtown resident for 11 years
- Committed to improving our quality of life and economy through a complete, sustainable and healthy built environment.
- Focused on ensuring new development contributes to a safe, attractive public realm and enduring value.
- Dedicated to improving our standards and processes to attract and guide development to meet community goals.
- Professional Planner for over 20 years:
- Consultant to Cities, Counties and Developers
- Policy and Ordinance Development
- Development Project Review and Approvals
- Comprehensive Plans
- Design Guidelines
- Environmental Regulations
- Hundreds of development project reviews and public meetings
- Active in many professional organizations and committees:
- Past Director San Diego American Planning Association (SDAPA)
- SANDAG Regional Plan Public Health Stakeholders Group
- Complete Streets Task Force – SDAPA/Walk San Diego
- ULI Smart Growth Awards Committee
- City of SD Technical Advisory Committee
- City of SD Code Monitoring Team
- Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)
Subcommittees: Preliminary Design; Public Spaces; CUP
Cortez ~ Resident
Kay DiFrancesca has lived in San Diego since 1972 and has been a resident and owner in Cortez Hill since January 2002. She has worked in San Diego as a forensic psychologist for 42 years. She has served on local, state and national committees and local boards that serve the homeless and the mentally ill.
In cooperation with the other elected DCPC members from Cortez Hill, her goal is to represent the needs and concerns of the residents in Cortez Hill and work in concert with all board members for the benefit of all of downtown.
Subcommittees: Budget/Finance; Public Spaces
Cortez ~ Business
Lindsay King has been a member of the DCPC since moving to San Diego in 2010 and is actively involved with the Pre-Design Sub-Committee. Lindsay received her Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida and Master of Architecture Degree from UCLA. Lindsay has worked in the field of architecture & development for the past 10+ years in cities including Milwaukee, Los Angeles and San Diego. She currently works as a Project Manager at Alcorn & Benton Architects in La Jolla.
As an owner of a Cortez Hill investment property Lindsay is interested in the long-term growth and development of Downtown San Diego. In hopes of making Downtown more family friendly, Lindsay often requests that developers consider 3 bedroom residential units, parking and green space. Lindsay enjoys spending her free time with her husband, 1 year old daughter and dog – they can often be found enjoying all the great outdoor activities that San Diego has to offer.
Subcommittee: Preliminary Design
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
James Lawson, President of Presidio PAG, Inc., brings more than a decade of experience in local government and lobbying to his clients. His diverse background includes creating public policy, advocating for private development interests and implementing complex strategic initiatives. Throughout his career, Lawson has built strong relationships in the public sector, private sector and on both sides of the political aisle.
Lawson’s career in San Diego began on the campaign of former San Diego City Councilmember and current San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer. Following Faulconer’s 2006 election to the City Council, Lawson served in his office for over five years as Senior Policy Advisor and Liaison to Downtown San Diego where he was responsible for all matters related to land-use, redevelopment, housing and transportation.
Following his tenure in Faulconer’s office, Lawson joined a statewide public affairs firm where he spent four years in the firm’s San Diego office. During that time, he worked directly with several large corporations to develop and execute advocacy strategies. He also specialized in building broad and diverse coalitions to support his client’s interests. Lawson is actively involved in several organizations throughout the San Diego region including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego County Taxpayer’s Association and the Downtown San Diego Partnership.
Subcommittees: CUP (Chair); Communications; By-Laws
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
John Baker is an architect and partner with the BakerNowicki Design Studio located at 731 Ninth Avenue, downtown. Specializing in the design of educational & civic facilities Jon’s professional experience covers 30+ years of professional practice. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, holds an NCARB certificate with licenses to practice architecture in 10 states and is a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects.
Mr. Baker has lived in San Diego for 35 years and has been an active participant on numerous community, civic and professional organizations and boards over the years. Currently he is president of the California Architects Board as a Governor appointee overseeing the licensing of California architects and is Regional Chair for the Western Council of Architectural Registration Boards covering 12 Western states. He is an active member of the Downtown San Diego Partnership’s Planning & Public Policy Committee.
Subcommittees: Preliminary Design; Public Spaces
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
Jennifer Litwak serves as the Executive Director of Housing on Merit. At the helm of Housing on Merit, Ms. Litwak has successfully managed the closing of over $283 million in multifamily acquisitions and overseen the preservation and renovation of over 2,150 units of affordable housing in California and Washington, D.C. Nationally, Ms. Litwak is an active member of the American Bar Association and is a member of the Forum Committee on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law. She is a Board of Trustee of the National Housing Conference and serves on their Research Committee which advises the Center for Housing Policy. In addition, Ms. Litwak serves on CREW Network’s Industry Research Committee, which provides the industry reliable statistics addressing the advancement of women in commercial real estate. In 2017, Ms. Litwak was profiled by the Daily Transcript’s Influential Women Report as one of the most influential women in San Diego County. In 2016, Ms. Litwak was chosen as one of the Top 100 Business Professionals in San Diego and in 2015 she was recognized as one of Real Estate Forum’s Fifty Under 40 in the commercial real estate industry.
Locally, Ms. Litwak has complemented her professional career with extensive community service. She was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to serve on the Consolidated Plan Advisory Board, which recommend processes, policies, and procedures for the fair distribution of approximately $14 million of Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Shelter Grant funds to non-profit and other organizations eligible to receive these funds. Ms. Litwak was elected to the North Park Redevelopment Project Area Committee and Chaired the Multifamily Housing Enhancement Loan Program Committee.
Ms. Litwak has a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University where she graduated magna cum laude. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is an active member of the New Hampshire State Bar, California Women Lawyers, Lawyers Club of San Diego, CREW San Diego, Urban Land Institute, the Women’s Foundation of California, and Women Give San Diego.
Subcommittees: Budget and Finance; By-Laws; and Social Issues
Downtown At-Large ~ Community Organization
Monica Ball has always lived or worked in Downtown throughout her 35 years in San Diego. She believes a thriving urban core is vital to the health of any metropolitan area and dedicates time and resources to promoting and protecting that in San Diego. Serving others has been her primary motivation from the early days of managing for Nordstrom Horton Plaza to current real estate sales for Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty. She loves the vibrancy of urban life and encourages active civic engagement for all. Monica currently sits on the Communications Subcommittee, and Chairs the Social Issues Subcommittee.
She has served as DCPC Charitable Organization Representative since 2011. Monica volunteers at street level and in leadership roles with multiple Downtown organizations, PATH & Neil Good Day Center homeless shelters, Washington Elementary & e3 High School, STAR/PAL, Downtown Fellowship and the New Central Library. She is a Board Member of UPLIFT a 27 year old Downtown outreach and past President of Downtown Kiwanis Foundation. Maximizing all available resources and facilitating collaboration between groups is a priority to her. She believes working as a team is essential to address our challenges of literacy, poverty, homelessness, housing and employment.
She also enjoys travel with her husband and loves spending time with their children, grandson and friends.
Subcommittees: Social Issues (Chair); Communications; CUP
East Village North ~ Business
MaeLin Levine is the principal and creative director of Visual Asylum. Her work has been nationally recognized by multiple organizations, including Print magazine, CommArts Magazine, HOW, Graphics USA and the San Diego Ad Club. She was also awarded the prestigious AIGA Fellow Award in 2008. Originally from Leadville, Colorado, Levine holds a BFA in Graphic Communications Design from the University of Denver and is a graduate of the joint professional program between Harvard Business School and AIGA.
East Village North ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Subcommittees: Social Issues; By-Laws
East Village North ~ Resident
Alex Ward has been a proud resident of the East Village since 2013. Using his professional background in city planning, Alex is committed to making Downtown San Diego a premier urban destination and improving the quality of life for residents and businesses.
Alex works for a local business improvement district and serves on the Downtown Parking Management Group. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from Syracuse University and master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
His interests include retrofitting/reuse, placemaking, and safer streets.
Subcommittees: Communications (Chair); Finance; Public Spaces
East Village South ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Claudia Escala got elected to represent East Village resident owners in 2013. With a degree in architecture she currently sits as Chair on the Preliminary Design Subcommittee, is on the Public Spaces Subcommittee, and the Social Issues Subcommittee.
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.
Subcommittees: Pre-Design (Chair); Public Spaces
East Village South ~ Business
Pat Stark has been a member of DCPC since 2010. He is currently serving as 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.
Subcommittees: Finance (Chair); Pre-Design
East Village South ~ Resident
Jason Wood has been a resident of the East Village neighborhood since 2008. Since then he has become a board member of the East Village Residents Group and Vice President of the East Village Improvement Association. Mr. Wood’s involvement downtown did not start in 2008. He is a partner at Cisterra Development and oversaw the entitlement and development of DiamondView Tower and the new Sempra Energy Headquarters Building. He is also heading up the effort for Cisterra in developing the 7th and Market project that will bring the Ritz Carlton and Whole Foods to downtown as well as additional Class A office space and over 200 residential units, including the renovation of the Clermont Hotel SRO. He also headed up for Cisterra the acquisition of Civic Center Plaza and 101 Ash Street and the leasing of these two high rise office buildings to the City of San Diego during 2015 and 2016.
Horton/Gaslamp ~ Business
Kimberly Brewer is the Vice President of Development for Westfield LLC. Westfield is the owner of 33 regional and super regional shopping centers in the United States and United Kingdom. Kim has been with Westfield for twenty years and has been in San Diego for the last seven years working on development opportunities for Westfield Horton as well as Westfield 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 Downtown San Diego Partnership Board. Kim also has been a board member on the Downtown Community Planning Council for several years. Since moving back to San Diego she has been a resident of downtown and in her free time loves to travel, sail and spend time outdoors.
Subcommittees: Public Spaces
Horton/Gaslamp ~ Business
Michael Rosenbaum 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.
Subcommittees: Public Spaces; Elections; By-Laws
Horton/Gaslamp ~ Resident
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 two-years of experience serving on the board for the DCPC. He currently serves on the Public Spaces, Elections/Bylaws, and Social Issues Subcommittees. Well-traveled, Figaro developed a world perspective on life, business, and social issues. He knows both residents and businesses need each other to build strong communities. Figaro’s focus is to represent Horton/Gaslamp residents and ensure their needs are considered and their rights are protected.
Subcommittee: Public Spaces; Social Isssues
Little Italy ~ Business
Sumrall Morgan is a business owner and resident of the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego.
In 2014, she founded Hairy & Merry Pet Spa and Dog Wash, which provides care to over 2,000 dogs in San Diego and employs a team of 12.
She currently serves on the Little Italy District Identity and Streetscape Improvement (DISI) Committee and is a Director and Secretary for the Board of the Porta d’Italia Homeowners’ Association.
She has experience as the Manager of Education Programs and Humane Education at Helen Woodward Animal Center; San Diego’s premier no-kill, non-profit animal center, where she led a team of ten instructors to develop curriculum and annually deliver educational programs to over fifteen thousand children in San Diego County. Sumrall is a former English teacher at San Diego High School and former tutor and manager at Kaplan, Inc..
She has also previously worked for the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC and for the American Veterinary Medical Association. She holds a M.A. in English from University of Central Oklahoma and a dual B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Additionally, she was an Oklahoma Board Of Regents’ Scholar and an Honors at Oxford University Scholar.
She lives with her husband, Christopher, and their dog, Ele, in Little Italy, San Diego.
Little Italy ~ Resident
Stacy Dion grew up in northern New England and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire in 2005 earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a dual concentration in both management and leadership development. A little over year later, with a strong thirst for technology and pristine weather conditions, she made the journey to San Diego to start a career in telecommunications. Stacy has been in business development at Cox Business for over 8 years solely focusing on new client acquisition and plant expansion. She serves on the events committee and YGEN board of the BIA and NAIOP’s developing leaders program. Stacy is both a resident and resident owner in Little Italy. She takes great pride in her community and has a strong interest in contributing to the safety, economic development, and quality of life in which she lives and works. Stacy also serves on the Downtown Planning and Public Policy Committee with Downtown San Diego Partnership. Stacy’s primary objectives are to:
- Work with local agencies to solve the homeless problem
- Identify and create innovative solutions to allow commercial and residential construction that will increase the affordability of housing without further impacting the parking crunch
- Fight to get more city finds for CIPs since downtown is a huge driver of city revenue from tourism
Little Italy ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Lieutenant Christopher “Psych” Rowland, age 30, has been a San Diego and Little Italy resident since 2011. He graduated with honors from the United States Naval Academy in 2009 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Chinese. He is also graduating from USC’s Executive MBA program this spring. He serves in the US Navy as a MH-60S Knighthawk pilot and a Seahawk Weapons and Tactics Instructor (helicopter equivalent of Top Gun) with orders to remain in San Diego for at least the next three years before planning to leave the military. While stationed in San Diego, he has served aboard the USS Ronald Reagan, with the HSC-4 Black Knights, and HSC Weapons School Pacific. During his career, Lieutenant Rowland has accumulated over 1000 flight hours and numerous personal awards/commendations.
He currently serves as vice president of his HOA at the Columbia Fir Lofts in Little Italy. He is also actively involved in the Wingman Foundation charity and Housing on Merit non-profit, both headquartered in San Diego. He enjoys traveling abroad, golfing, running marathons, skiing, scuba diving, reading, and spending time with his family and girlfriend, Jennifer Litwak.
Marina ~ Business
Cindy Blair, AIA, LEED AP and Urban Project Services principal, has been a downtown resident and business owner in the Marina District since 1982. A DCPC member since 2010, she served as Secretary for 4 years, Chairman of Pre-Design Subcommittee, and currently Chairman of the Public Spaces Subcommittee. A licensed professional architect and LEED acredited professional, she has worked in the architectural and development industry for 35 years, including many aspects in the commercial area but particularly urban mixed use, retail, and university projects. Owner/operators of Kansas City Barbeque, she and her husband enjoy walking the downtown and waterfront area, partaking of the great variety of downtown restaurants and businesses.
Active in downtown affairs, Cindy also serves on the Gaslamp Quarter Association Board and the Gaslamp Quarter Heritage Foundation Land Use and Planning committee. She strives for maintaining those qualities that make downtown a safe, enjoyable, and active and friendly place to live and do business.
Subcommittees: Public Spaces (Chair); Pre-Design; Finance
Marina ~ Resident
Ann Potter. I am a full time, Owner Resident Occupant, who has lived in the Marina District for 5 years. I live in the Atria complex and serve on the HOA Board. I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker by profession and value public service and public engagement.
Subcommittees: Social Issues; Public Spaces
Marina ~ Residential Owner-Occupant
Deb Herscovitz. They say find out what your passion is and do it! My passion IS real estate…….and finally after an extensive career selling in the high tech industry of Silicon Valley I’m finally doing what I always wanted to do. Having been born and raised on the East Coast (a great place to be from!) I ventured West following friends and the good weather to Northern California where I spent 28 years honing my sales skills in the semiconductor industry. A move in 2002 to even better weather and California’s second largest city, San Diego, I’m pursuing my second career and my dream……..I became a Realtor. Downtown San Diego is where I live, work and play……where else can you work, dine, shop, play (sports, boating, etc.) and never have to get in your car? This is such a vibrant city, still in its infant stages of growth and it’s wonderful to be part of such a captivating place! I’m looking forward to being on this committee and being involved in the Downtown communities and their future.
Subcommittee: Public Spaces