Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is composed of volunteer business and community leaders appointed by the Mayor and City Council. Board members establish the Convention Center’s PoliciesBylaws, and Strategic Plan imperatives. Learn more about the City of San Diego's Boards and Commissions.

Upcoming Meetings

The meeting schedule below is subject to change. Individual meeting agendas include location and/or call-in details.

MeetingDate & TimeMaterials
Special Board Meeting May 22, 2024, 12:30 p.m. Special Meeting Packet958.42 KB
Board Meeting June 26, 2024, Noon  
Board Meeting August 28, 2024, Noon  
Board Meeting September 25, 2024, Noon  
Board Meeting October 30, 2024, Noon  
Board Meeting December 11, 2024, Noon  

Board Members

Jeff Gattas
CHAIR

Jeff Gattas is the Associate Chancellor and Chief of Staff at UC San Diego, where he serves as the senior strategic advisor to the Chancellor and the campus executive leadership team. As a key architect of the Chancellor's strategies and tactics to achieve institutional goals and objectives, Jeff provides senior executive-level oversight and coordination to implement the directives and institutional initiatives of UC San Diego. Jeff also leads the University Government and Community Relations unit.

Jeff has over twenty-five years of experience in communications, government, and public affairs. At UC San Diego, he previously served as Executive Director for University Communications and Public Affairs. Jeff also served as San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders’ Director of City Council Affairs, as Chief of Staff/Policy to San Diego City Councilmember and Acting Mayor Toni Atkins, and District Director and Press Secretary for California Assemblymember Denise Moreno Ducheny.

Shawn VanDiver
VICE CHAIR

Shawn VanDiver is the founder of #AfghanEvac and works with government leaders at all levels throughout California to identify innovative solutions to long-term civic challenges. Shawn is the founder of the San Diego Chapter of the Truman National Security Project and serves as Executive Director of the Defense Entrepreneurs Forum’s San Diego Chapter. He also serves on the Boards for Emerge California, Veterans Community Connections and the Downtown San Diego Partnership. 

He attended National University, the Naval Postgraduate School, and University of San Francisco and holds degrees and certifications related to homeland security, cybersecurity, emergency management, and public leadership. Shawn is a Navy veteran, proud father and avid sailor.

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy
TREASURER

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a public servant and community leader who serves as a Defense and Veteran Affairs Field Representative in the Office of Congressman Scott Peters and as the Vice President of the County of San Diego Civil Service Commission. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, he has more than a decade of demonstrated service to community, county, and country.

Will became civically active in his fight against the unconstitutional "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy when he was outed in the military as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Since then, Will has been a leading voice on issues of social and economic justice. His previous board service includes San Diego LGBT Pride and the San Diego County Veteran and Military Advisory Council.

Alyssa Turowski
SECRETARY

Alyssa Turowski is the General Manager of the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, where she is responsible for overseeing the guest experience and operations of the hotel, located at the 18th green of the prestigious Torrey Pines South Golf Course with views of the Pacific Ocean. With more than 20 years of experience in tourism and hospitality, 15 of her years have been here in San Diego.

Alyssa’s volunteer experience has included serving on the San Diego Tourism and Marketing District board and the San Diego County Lodging Association. The San Diego Women in Tourism and Hospitality named Alyssa a 2022 Honoree.

Jaymie Bradford
MEMBER

Jaymie Bradford is the Assistant General Manager of the San Diego County Water Authority, where she guides the agency’s outreach, education, and advocacy efforts. She previously served as Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Jaymie has worked in policy and public affairs for the City of San Diego for more than a decade, including leadership roles in the offices of Mayor Jerry Sanders, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria, and Mayor Kevin Faulconer. With an extensive history of community involvement, she currently serves on the board of the American Red Cross of San Diego-Imperial Counties and UC San Diego Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board.

Sam Nejabat
MEMBER

Sam Nejabat serves at the California Department of Justice as the Senior Advisor of Business Affairs to Attorney General Bonta. Previously, Sam was Assistant Deputy Director of External Affairs for the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, and served as President of SJN Properties from 2013 to 2020. He is a member of the 22nd District Agricultural Association Board of Directors.

Sam earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California Berkeley, a juris doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a Master of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College.

Gretchen Newsom
MEMBER

Gretchen Newsom is an International Representative for the Ninth District of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Previously, she served as the Political Director for IBEW Local 569. She specializes in labor relations, government affairs, and community advocacy.  

A graduate of the California State Executive Fellowship Program, Gretchen serves on the California Employment Training Panel, the California Coastal Commission as an alternate Commissioner, and the San Diego Regional Airport Authority Audit Committee as Chair. She is President Emeritus of the Ocean Beach Town Council.  

Gretchen graduated Magna Cum Laude from Humboldt State University with a degree in Government and Politics.

Past Meetings

Meeting minutes memorialize votes on Action Items and Staff Reports and are not verbatim transcripts of Board Meetings. Audio copies of meetings are available upon request; contact Pat Evans at pat.evans@visitsandiego.com for a file.

April 2024
MeetingsDateMaterials
Audit Committee Meeting April 17, 2024, 10:00 a.m. Audit Packet1.44 MB
Budget Committee Meeting April 17, 2024, 11:00 a.m. Budget Packet1.43 MB
Board Meeting April 24, 2024, Noon Board Packet3.04 MB

 

San Diego Convention Center Logo Sails Elements Without Text

  • San Diego Convention Center
    111 W Harbor Drive
    San Diego, CA 92101
  • 619.525.5000