The San Diego 500, The Book of Influential Business Leaders, is the market’s most comprehensive product of people you should know in the business community. The 500 includes business leaders and executives who have founded or are running significant companies in terms of number of jobs, key products and services, experts who raise the level of the industry here and beyond and those who lead in the business community. The 500 is selected by the San Diego Business Journal newsroom.

Alessandra Lezama

CEO, Abacus NEXT

Telecommunications and technology veteran Alessandra Lezama is CEO of Abacus. The La Jolla-based Abacus provides clients with business- and practice-management software, balance accounting, billing invoices and virtual desktop solutions. Prior to joining Abacus, Lezama was chair and CEO for two Blackthorn Investment Fund companies responsible for development and execution of turn-around strategies. Her recent accomplishments include growing Abacus from 82 to more than 360 employees. Revenues were also increased by 560 percent.

ALMA MATER: Ma Christina Del Escorial in Spain

CIVIC INVOLVEMENT: San Diego Chamber of Commerce

CHALLENGES: “Being both Hispanic and a woman in a primarily male-dominated tech industry is a challenge I have to overcome every single day.”

BUSINESS ADVICE: “My father once said, ‘You’re only as good as your word,’ and it is the best advice I’ve ever been given.”