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Wednesday, Jul 24, 2024

San Diego People

Executive Spotlight , John Mei

Modern Postcard, a provider of direct mail advertising solutions, has hired John Mei as chief financial officer.

Mei brings 15 years of experience in public accounting and financial leadership roles to his new post. In this role, Mei will be tasked with providing financial strategy, forecasting and analysis tools.

Mei joins Modern Postcard from Elgar Electronics Corp., where he served as vice president of finance and chief financial officer.

Additionally, he has held management positions at various business and communications companies, including Acterna, General Electric Industrial Systems and Coopers & Lybrand.

Banking and Finance

Annalena Thompson has joined Wells Fargo Bank as vice president in construction lending in the community banking real estate group. Thompson has 10 years of industry experience and specializes in construction lending for builders and developers in the Southern California region.

Construction and Design

AppTek Industries has hired Chris Fitzsimmons as vice president of its new steel framing and drywall division. Fitzsimmons spent the last two years with a contractor in commercial reconstruction on the Gulf Coast.

Brookfield Homes has promoted Lynn Ortega to vice president of sales for the San Diego/Riverside division. Formerly director of sales, Ortega’s responsibilities have expanded to include contract review and approvals as an officer with the company and broker of record. She has more than 25 years of experience in residential real estate.

Bruce Winer has been named senior vice president of T.B. Penick & Sons Inc. and Convergent, T.B. Penick’s affiliate design-build construction company. Winer will manage business development and pre-construction activities. He has 25 years of construction experience in San Diego, and previously worked for Turner Construction and Sundt Construction.

Government and Nonprofit

Catherine Aguilar has been appointed to the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation. Since 2005, she served as manager of workers’ compensation for San Diego County Schools Joint Powers Authority.

Grameen Foundation has appointed Julia Wilson as executive director of development, West Coast. Wilson will be based in San Diego. She has more than 20 years of experience in fund raising and operations management for trade organizations and universities. Before joining Grameen, she was vice president for development at RocketTalk, a mobile software startup in San Diego.

Maureen Hallahan, a partner with Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP, has been appointed as a judge of the San Diego Superior Court by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Health Care and Biotech

Invitrogen Corp. has appointed Farnaz Khadem as its new director of corporate communications. He brings more than 15 years of experience in strategic communications and public relations to his new position. Most recently, Khadem served as the assistant director of media relations at UC Irvine.


The Grand Del Mar, slated to open in the fall, has named Reena Gurtner its director of human resources. Gurtner will help develop the resort’s HR department, oversee the hiring of more than 500 employees, and take charge of recruitment, training, health and safety, benefits and insurance.

Ronald Stapleton has been named pastry chef at the Santaluz Club. In his new role, he will work under the executive chef to develop pastries, confections and breads and oversee all pastry operations.

Dussini Mediterranean Bistro has announced the appointment of its new executive chef, Walter Manikowski. Previously, Manikowski served as the executive chef for Vinifera Restaurant & Wine Bar in Milwaukee.

Destination Hotels & Resorts has named Alyson Heidesch as director of corporate and leisure travel for its Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa and L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa properties in San Diego County. Heidesch will represent both of the luxury properties, overseeing sales and marketing strategies for both the corporate and leisure markets.

Sycuan Resort & Casino has appointed Sandra Swenson to the position of communications manager. Swenson joins Sycuan with more than 20 years of corporate communications experience.


Mitchell International, a provider of information and workflow solutions to the insurance claims and collision repair industries, has promoted Erez Nir to the position of senior vice president of technology. In his new role, Nir will be responsible for driving Mitchell’s technology strategy.

Real Estate

Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial has hired Brian Jinings as a member of its retail division to focus on the sales and leasing of retail and office properties in San Diego’s East County. Jinings was previously a vice president/senior broker at EPC Commercial in La Mesa. Both principals at East County Properties, Kerry Schimpf and Ken Ruppert, as well as administrative assistant Helen Jennings, have joined Grubb & Ellis as well.

Prudential California Realty has appointed Marsha Duldulao to the San Marcos office. Previously, Duldulao founded and owned a consulting firm providing resources to financial and mortgage banking industries.

Prudential California Realty also announces that real estate agent Monica Stone has rejoined the organization at its Marina District office downtown.

Michael Morrison joins GVA IPC Commercial Real Estate as director of the research and development, sales and leasing team.


Contract Interiors has announced the promotion of Anne Benge to president. Benge brings more than 20 years of experience in the office furniture industry to her new position.

Technology and Manufacturing

Sequoia Communications, a semiconductor company, has announced that Duncan Pilgrim has joined the company as director of marketing. Pilgrim has more than 14 years of experience in the mobile communications market.

Ethertronics, a provider of customized embedded antenna solutions for wireless devices, announced that Andy Wrobel has joined the company as chief financial officer. In his new position, Wrobel is responsible for the company’s global financial, administrative and IT functions.

, Compiled by Liz Wiedemann


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