San Diego County First District Supervisor Greg Cox

Since joining the San Diego County Board of Supervisors in 1995, Supervisor Greg Cox has remained committed to improving the public safety, health and quality of life for all the families living in our region. He represents the more than 617,000 residents of the vibrant, multi-cultural neighborhoods of the First District, where he has lived his entire life.

A tireless champion for South County, Greg Cox resides in his hometown of Chula Vista. Both his parents were teachers in local public schools, and he too became an educator after earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from SDSU. He is a devoted husband and father of two grown daughters.

Cox began his public service career as a teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District. He was elected to the Chula Vista City Council and then elected to two terms as Mayor of Chula Vista. His expertise was tapped by the Governor when he was appointed Director of Local Government for the Office of Planning and Research. Cox also built successful businesses in the private sector, where the bottom line matters most

Since he became Supervisor, San Diego County government has been consistently recognized as one of the best managed counties in America. Its AAA bond ratings mean that taxpayer dollars are not wasted on interest payments, but instead go directly to public services.  That financial strength has allowed the County to replace worn out buildings with new, environmentally sound facilities that are welcoming to the public. The capital program generated thousands of good paying construction jobs.

Supervisor Cox oversees a regional government with a $5.4 billion budget and more than 17,000 employees. He has guided a dramatic transformation of County government, earning it accolades as one of the best, well-run governments in the nation.

Greg Cox works tirelessly to implement innovative ways to deliver valuable services to children, the elderly, foster and adoptive families and those needing access to affordable health care, workforce training and good jobs.

Over the years, he has helped create an array of major amenities in his district, including three vast regional parks, the Waterfront Park on the San Diego Bay embarcadero, new libraries and community centers in Bonita, Lincoln Acres and Imperial Beach, the Bayshore Bikeway, the Living Coast Discovery Center and the Olympic Training Center. He has had a hand projects ranging from the development of the Chula Vista Bayfront to the Chollas Creek Watershed Restoration.

His career has been defined and guided by the County motto that “The Noblest Motive is the Public Good.” That has earned him an outstanding reputation for leading non-partisan local government and bringing people together to work on the issues and challenges facing our region.

His style of leadership has made him the only elected official in California to have been elected by his peers (Mayors and City Councilmembers across the State) as President of the League of California Cities and by Supervisors statewide as President of the California State Association of Counties, where he still serves on the Executive Board. Just recently, he was elected Second Vice President of the National Association of Counties, and in two years will ascend to Presidency of the Association, representing 3,065 counties across the nation. 

Supervisor Cox’s reputation as a proven, trusted leader resulted in key appointments to the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and the California Coastal Commission. The Coastal Commission appointment by the Speaker of the California Assembly makes him uniquely positioned to give San Diegans a voice in the effort to preserve public access to the California coastline and protect natural resources. Now, he is creating parks, trails and bike paths throughout the state, just as he has done in our region. He has won numerous regional and national awards like the “Planning Advocate Award” from the American Planning Association and the Outstanding Public Official Award from National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials.

Yet, despite his achievements, Supervisor Greg Cox has never viewed local government as a rung on a ladder to another level of office. His passion is local government and he shares his expertise and enthusiasm for what it can accomplish through his role as President of the Institute for Local Government, passing his expertise on to others.

Brad Racino, Senior Reporter and Assistant Director, inewsource

Brad Racino is a senior reporter at inewsource as well as the organization’s assistant director and director of partnerships and innovation. As a reporter, he has produced work for print, radio and TV on a variety of topics including political corruption, transportation, health, trade, surveillance and maritime. His cross-platform reporting has earned more than 40 awards since he landed in San Diego in 2012, including back-to-back national medals from Investigative Reporters and Editors, two national Edward R. Murrow awards, a Meyer "Mike" Berger award from New York City's Columbia Journalism School and a national Emmy nomination. He currently lives in City Heights with his wife and pooch.

Dr. Theresa Talley, Coastal Specialist, California Sea Grant Extension Program, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Theresa is a marine ecologist who moved to San Diego in 1988 from New England to get her Master’s Degree in Biology from San Diego State—and she never left. She was a coastal researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography for many years, married her husband, Drew, earned a PhD in Ecology from U.C. Davis, and now lives with Drew and their daughter, Anna, in North Park. Theresa is currently a Coastal Specialist with California Sea Grant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Coastal Specialists work with the coastal community to identify pressing problems and potential opportunities, conduct applied scientific research, and then share that information with the community to help to develop science-based solutions. Her interest in local seafood emerged from a personal curiosity about why it seemed so difficult to buy San Diego-sourced seafood in San Diego, and from conversations with fishermen and aquafarmers about their visions for strengthening their industries, and their views on the barriers to achieving those goals. Her work on local seafood has been part of a larger team effort, with fishermen, aquafarmers, scientists, non-profits, local media, restaurateurs, and local, regional and state governments all coming together to improve the accessibility of the wide variety of San Diego’s (and California’s) responsibly sourced seafood.

Kelly Fukushima, Fisherman

Kelly Fukushima has a 20+ year history of catching swordfish, shark, tuna and more off San Diego’s coast, doing it right with his commitment to seafood sustainability. Kelly fishes for swordfish, squid, lobster, and groundfish. Kelly and his wife Jolene have three boys named Sai, Chase and Kade, all three love fishing and would like to be fishermen someday. Kelly's boat's name is the Three Boys.  In 2000, an ACCION small business loan helped with the purchase of a new boat.  Since then Kelly has been investing big in new technologies, and trialing more efficient, economical, eco-friendly seafood harvest methods.  

Shevis Shima, Senior Vice President, Santa Monica Seafood

Shevis Shima is a born and raised native to the island of Maui. Born into the Foodservice industry, Shima quickly acclimated himself into the seafood processing and distribution business. Earning multiple promotions in a short period of time, Shima excelled his career in becoming the youngest General Manager of the Chesapeake Fish Operations in the company’s 101-year tenure. In July of 2015, the Chesapeake Fish operations was acquired by Santa Monica Seafood. In the acquisition, Shima took his career to new heights, earning his Senior Vice President role with Santa Monica Seafood Company.
Santa Monica Seafood is a highly reputable processor, buyer, and distributor of both fresh and frozen seafood. Servicing numerous states and territories (California, Nevada, New Mexico and Arizona), Santa Monica Seafood has quickly evolved into the largest foodservice seafood distributor in the Southwestern US. Their Corporate Offices are located in Rancho Dominguez, CA. with a state of the art 120,000 SF processing facility. With multiple processing/distribution divisions, Santa Monica Seafood employs over 700 employees. Established in 1939, Santa Monica Seafood remains privately owned and operated.

Kipland Howard, Founder and President, Allegis Development Services

Kipland Howard is Founder and President of Allegis Development Services, Inc. In 1989, he formed Allegis as a resource for owners and municipalities who required high-end development services but didn’t want to sacrifice property equity in the process.

With over 35 years experience in all facets of real estate development; which includes architecture, construction, finance, and project management; Howard is able to offer a full range of development services to Southern California property owners. During Allegis’s tenure, Howard has overseen over three billion dollars of commercial real estate development including such notable projects as The Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel, ResMed Corporate Headquarters, Park Hyatt Aviara Hotel, and the Chula Vista Civic Center and Police Headquarters, to name a few.

The depth of Howard’s knowledge is instrumental in providing the well-orchestrated management necessary for a successful project: He has been a licensed architect since 1980, holds a B-1 contractor’s license, and Allegis is a certified small business enterprise.

Prior to Allegis, Howard was the Director of Architecture, then President and CEO of Torrey Enterprises, where he was responsible for developing more than $500 million in commercial and residential properties including downtown San Diego landmarks such as the First National Bank building, Marriott Hotel, and Hyatt Regency.

Howard holds a degree in Architecture from the University of Tennessee.

Rafael Castellanos, Port Commissioner Vice Chairman, Unified Port of San Dieo

Rafael Castellanos was sworn in to the Board of Port Commissioners on April 15, 2013, to represent the City of San Diego. He is the chair of the Port's Environmental Advisory Committee. Rafael is also a partner with the law firm Solomon Minton Cardinal Doyle & Smith LLP in San Diego, where he specializes in commercial real estate and business transactional law. His professional affiliations include service on the Board of Directors of MANA de San Diego, the San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association, and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.  Rafael is a member of the California State Bar Association, the San Diego County Bar Association, the Mexican American Business and Professional Association, and the San Diego Foundation’s Business Forum on Climate Change.  He was named one of the San Diego Daily Transcript's Top Young Attorneys in 2008, and in 2011 was named one of San Diego Metro Magazine's 20 Men Who Impact San Diego. Rafael graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree and he earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School as a Cornerstone Scholar.