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Saturday, Feb 4, 2023

San Diego People

Executive Spotlight: Cliff Carnes

Cliff Carnes has been promoted to chief operating officer of commercial real estate investment banking firm Johnson Capital. Carnes joined Johnson Capital in March as the senior vice president of operations.

In his new position, Carnes will oversee human resources, accounting and finance, marketing, public relations, information technology, vendor management and administration in 20 domestic and foreign offices.

Previously, Carnes served as an activated U.S. Navy Reserve officer.

Advertising and Public Relations

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Jennifer Cornelius has joined Gable PR as an account manager. Cornelius has six years of experience in public relations, spanning across multiple disciplines. Cornelius will be responsible for strategic planning and management of multiple accounts while serving as the day-to-day client contact.

J. Simms agency has announced the addition of Lauren Englehardt as account executive. Englehardt will be responsible for managing public relations activities for clients in the homebuilding and real estate industries.

Banking and Finance

Comerica Bank has named Billie Jo Leuschen its vice president and district manager in San Diego County. Leuschen joined Comerica Bank in 2006 as assistant vice president and banking center manager and has seven years of experience in the financial industry.


Marty Block has assumed the presidency of the San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees. Block, re-elected to the five-member college district board in 2004, is serving his second four-year term.

Health Care and Biotech

ZyGem has announced the appointment of Susan Barker to vice president of business development. Barker has more than 20 years of international business development, marketing and sales experience with biotechnology and medical supply companies. Barker will focus on identifying global opportunities for expanding ZyGem’s partnerships in multiple markets.

MicroIslet has announced the appointments of Chris Marsh to lead transplant adviser and Ronald Goldblum to lead clinical development consultant. Marsh is chief of organ transplantation service in the division of general surgery and organ transplantation and co-director of the center for organ and cell transplantation at Scripps Green Hospital. Goldblum has 19 years of industry experience in clinical development. Goldblum is a rheumatologist with clinical development expertise in autoimmune disorders, immunology and inflammation, analgesia, and prevention of graft rejection.

David Tam has joined Palomar Pomerado Health as chief administrative officer for Pomerado Hospital. Tam has 24 years of experience as a physician and a health care executive in the U.S. Navy.

Richard Vortman has been elected chairman of the Scripps Health Board of Trustees. Vortman most recently completed an assignment as interim president and chief executive officer of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.


W San Diego has added three new chefs to its culinary team. The additions are Anthony Torres, director of food and beverage; James Pearson, sous chef; and Yvonne Marquez, pastry chef. Torres will oversee Rice restaurant and the hotel’s banquet events and bars. Pearson joins the Rice kitchen after serving as senior lead cook of the Westin Bellevue. Marquez, formerly of La Jolla’s Azul restaurant, will be responsible for developing dessert items.


Jennifer Kinsbruner Bush, David Kleinsmith and Joseph Reid have been named principals at Fish & Richardson. Bush’s practice focuses on litigation in all areas of intellectual property. Kleinsmith focuses his practice on complex technology licensing, intellectual property due diligence and patent prosecution. Reid focuses his practice on patent litigation for plaintiffs and defendants.

Higgs Fletcher & Mack has named Julian Myers and Mary Robberson partners. Robberson joined as an associate in 1997 and is part of the firm’s business litigation and international practice groups. Myers joined the firm as an associate in 2002 and is part of the corporate securities, international and real estate practice groups.

Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear has announced that Erik Anderson, Brenden Gingrich, Gregory Hermanson and Boris Zelkin have been named partners of the firm. Anderson’s practice focuses on patent procurement, intellectual property litigation, and general counseling on infringement and licensing issues. Gingrich specializes in patent prosecution and litigation. Hermanson focuses on intellectual property due diligence and litigation, licensing, patents, right-to-practice opinions, trade secrets, trademarks and domain names. Zelkin has more than 10 years’ experience litigating, prosecuting, and licensing intellectual property.


Quality Assurance International has announced the promotion of Jaclyn Bowen to general manager. Bowen will be responsible for the operation and expansion of QAI’s certification programs , implementing new business initiatives, while ensuring compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Program regulations.

Technology and Manufacturing

DiBcom has appointed Glenn Collinson to chairman of the board of directors’ strategic committee. Collinson will be responsible for preparing the board to make strategic decisions.

Lauren Dougherty has joined Red Door Interactive as senior business manager. Dougherty has more than 10 years’ experience in consumer marketing across a wide range of media, including print, broadcast and interactive.

PortVision has announced the hiring of Nick Skinner as head of business development. Skinner has more than 25 years of international and domestic experience as a senior operations and business development executive for companies in maritime and technology markets.

BidShift has appointed Cindy Watson to vice president of client services. Watson will be responsible for customer retention, with a focus on account management and furthering BidShift’s growth in health care markets.

, Compiled by Kevin Black


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