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.

Lauree Sahba

COO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.

Lauree Sahba became COO at the region’s biggest economic development organization after serving four years as executive director of the Otay Mesa Chamber of Commerce, where she grew membership by more than 60 percent to 325. She manages strategic fundraising, public-private partnerships and community and government affairs. She serves on numerous civic and trade boards, including the local NAIOP chapter, SDSU’s Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate and LEAD San Diego. She’s responsible for establishing the nonprofit EDC Foundation to support workforce development programs.

ALMA MATER: San Diego State University (B.A., Public Relations, Advertising and Applied Communication)

BEST ADVICE: “The best way to keep a competitive edge is to remember it’s only practice if you’re not keeping score.”

WORST WORK DECISION: She once took a position only because it paid a lot more. “I hated that job.”