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Tuesday, Jun 25, 2024

San Diego People

Executive Spotlight: Thomas Carter

Thomas Carter has joined Capstone Advisors, Inc. as chief financial officer. He will be responsible for sourcing and directing project and corporate level debt and equity capital, as well as oversee accounting, treasury, human resources and technology and coordinating all audit and risk management. Carter has more than 30 years of financial experience and most recently was executive vice president with Legacy Bank. Before that, Carter was executive vice president and chief credit officer for First National Bank of San Diego. “Tom brings superb capital markets experience with a strong emphasis in real estate finance, operations and accounting,” said Alex Zikakis, Capstone’s president and chief executive officer.

Banking and Finance

Laurie Oakland returns as senior loan officer at Rancho Financial Mortgage Center. Oakland has 41 years of industry experience and has served various roles such as loan officer, management and credit administration. Darin White and Amanda Scott have joined General Ledger Resources as a senior associate and associate, respectively. Catherine Wright, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the financial industry and is the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Landmark National Bank, was installed as the 2005-06 San Diego County group president of Financial Women International.

Construction and Design

Jan Taylor has joined the sales team at Brookfield Homes. Taylor will be responsible for pre-qualifying potential home buyers, reviewing floor plans and site plans, and the preparation of weekly sales, traffic and competition reports. Ashbrook Community has added Jim McLennan as chief financial officer. Most recently, McLennan served as senior vice president and chief financial officer with Newland Communities.


Michael Caligiuri, UC San Diego professor of psychiatry, has been named the first director of the clinical research protections program. Caligiuri is also a member of the UCSD Institutional Review Board and the Society of Biological Psychiatry. Russell Chapman has been named executive director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD. Chapman was the founding dean of the School of the Coast and Environment at Louisiana State University.

Government and Nonprofit

Diane Eidam, the executive director of the California Transportation Commission, will join Sandag as chief deputy executive director beginning in mid-December. Eidam will be responsible for managing the daily work activities of nearly 200 professionals.

Health Care and Biotech

BrainCells, Inc. has appointed James Schoeneck as chief executive officer and member of the board. He will be responsible for continuing to develop the strategic direction and capabilities of the company. Most recently, Schoeneck was chief executive officer for ActivX Biosciences. The Burnham Institute for Medical Research has announced that William Zondler has been appointed the vice president of information technology and Edgar Gillenwaters the vice president of external relations, while Sherri Marinovich has been promoted to vice president of human resources. Zondler has more than 20 years’ experience in biotech and most recently was with Diversa Corp. Gillenwaters will focus on attracting key resources to advance the institute’s research mission. Marinovich has been with the institute for 20 years.

High-Tech and Manufacturing

David Lyle has been appointed the chief financial officer of RF Magic, Inc. He has more than 18 years of finance experience, and most recently was with Broadcom Corp., and before that Zyray Wireless.


Robert Francavilla, a partner at Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield, has been elected to the American Board of Trial Advocates. Francavilla focuses his practice on all aspects of serious personal injury and wrongful-death actions. Laura Roppe has been appointed of counsel at Brown Law Group. She is a specialist in business and employment litigation. The San Diego County Bar Association has selected Lena Sims, an associate at Littler Mendelson office, to be co-chair of the Labor and Employment Law Section.

Media and Marketing

Denise Cunningham has joined SBC Communications as vice president and general manager. Cunningham is charged with overseeing SBC leadership in the areas of customer service, marketing and sales. Cunningham has been with the company for more than 26 years. Brandon Stigers has been promoted to director of sales development at Z57 Inc. He will be responsible for expanding the sales force through recruiting, training and retention programs as well as developing and implementing pre- and advanced training for new product launches. Before joining Z57 in 1999, Stigers was a sales representative for Road Runner Sports. Josh Higgins has joined Miriello Grafico Inc. as a designer. Before joining the company, Higgins held various design positions at Earth Products, Conover and Six One Nine Graphic Design. Rona Alviar has joined Advanced Marketing Strategies as a media buyer. Alviar has 10 years of media buying experience and has worked for Western International Media. HMC Advertising, Inc. has hired Dave Lemox as the new director of business development. Lemox has more than 17 years’ experience in sales management and program directing and most recently worked as an account executive for Uniradio Corp.

Real Estate

Capital Real Estate Investments Inc. has hired Colby Haugness as senior vice president of brokerages. Haugness was previously with Net Leased Real Properties and Marcus & Millichap. Patrice Fuchs and Michael Gantert have joined Re/Max of Rancho Bernardo as real estate sales agents. Julie Morgan-Jones has joined Re/Max Associates’ Rancho San Diego as real estate sales agent. John Hall has joined Re/Max Associates’ Clairemont office as a real estate sales agent.

Awards and Recognition

The Asian Business Association of San Diego honored Eleonor Castillo with the Community Service Award for her efforts to preserve Filipino language courses at public schools, and Shirley Grothen with the Business Leadership Award for her commitment to small-business advancement. The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America and Reagan Consulting recognized Barney & Barney LLC as a Best Practices insurance brokerage firm for its dedication to quality. Ramona Finnila, a former city of Carlsbad councilwoman and San Diego Association of Governments director and chairwoman, has been honored with the Fran Aleshire Leadership Award by Leadership North County for her contributions as a catalyst for positive change in the region. Ben Press, the president of the Greater San Diego Tennis Council, received the USTA/USPTA Community Service Award by the U.S. Professional Tennis Association. Hunter Marine named H & S; Yacht Sales one of the top five dealers in both sales and customer service for 2005.

, Compiled by Stacey Bengtson


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