San Diego Business Journal
Jennie Brooks, senior vice president at information technology consultants Booz Allen Hamilton has been named the new Board Chair at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.

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Jennie Brooks Board Chair San Diego Regional EDC

Brooks, the leader of Booz Allen Hamilton’s (NYSE: BAH) regional office that employs more than 1,200 locally, takes over the gavel from Julian Parra, senior VP and region executive at Bank of America.


“After five years on the board, I look forward to taking on this new role and working even more closely with EDC’s team,” Brooks said. “Our mission is to drive greater inclusion, resilience, and innovation across San Diego — aimed at empowering and supporting our region and its people.”


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Mark Cafferty President and CEO San Diego Regional EDC

Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional EDC said that Brooks is “perfectly positioned to lead EDC in this unique moment in time.”


“With a pandemic still not behind us, Jennie’s leadership, commitment, and deep understanding of San Diego’s strengths and opportunities are exactly what the organization needs as we continue to make the business case for inclusion,” Cafferty said.


Member-supported, nonprofit San Diego EDC mobilizes government and civic leaders around an inclusive economic development strategy to connect data to decision making, maximize regional prosperity, enhance global competitiveness and position San Diego effectively for investment and talent.


EDC officials say that while San Diego’s innovation economy has more than rebounded, local small businesses, tourism and service jobs, lower income communities and people of color continue to bear the brunt of the pandemic.


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Julian Parra Past Board Chair San Diego Regional EDC

Goalposts outlined in the group’s Inclusive Growth Initiative are now farther from reach and it is imperative, the EDC says, that the region create more skilled talent, economically-stabilizing jobs, and thriving households – or risk losing San Diego’s competitiveness with other cities and counties around the world.


The Inclusive Growth Initiative includes 100,000 new quality jobs in small businesses, 20,000 skilled workers per year and 75,000 newly thriving households.


The organization’s nearly 200 investors range from growing startups like SkySafe, to the region’s largest employers like Qualcomm and San Diego Gas & Electric, to leading anchor institutions including universities, hospitals and sports franchises.


Parra, who led the EDC through the pandemic, helping to support more businesses than ever before, said he is proud to “pass the gavel” to Brooks.

 
“The necessity of economic inclusion has never been more clear; I have full faith Jennie will continue this important work for the betterment of our region, its people, and its employers,” Parra said.


Brooks is supported by other EDC board officers:

 
Vice Chair Rob Douglas, president and COO at ResMed;


Vice Chair of Inclusive Growth Lisette Islas, executive VP and chief impact officer, MAAC;

 
Treasurer Tom Seidler, senior VP, Community & Military Affairs for the San Diego Padres;


Secretary, Barbara Wight, CFO at Taylor Guitars.


The EDC board also elected eight new board members:

 
Debora Burke, VP and general counsel at General Dynamics NASSCO;


Kimberly Brewer, senior VP, Development at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield;

 
Cliff Cho, SVP and market executive at Bank of America;


Kelly Davis, chief strategy officer, SVP of operations at Sony Electronics;


Ingo Hentschel, SVP at Cox Communications;


Jason Jager, senior partner and managing director at Boston Consulting Group;


Tracy Murphy, president, IQHQ;


Deborah Nguyen, site head and VP at Takeda San Diego;


Karen Reinhardt, U.S. head of human resources at ASML.


San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation
FOUNDED: 1965
PRESIDENT AND CEO: Mark Cafferty
HEADQUARTERS: Downtown
EMPLOYEES: 24
ANNUAL OPERATING BUDGET: $4 million
BUSINESS: Independently funded nonprofit economic development agency
WEBSITE: 
www.sandiegobusiness.org
CONTACT: (619) 234-8484
NOTABLE:  San Diego Regional EDC business services are underwritten by nearly 200 investors seeking to create a more prosperous San Diego – and are available at no charge to companies looking to expand, stay in or relocate to San Diego.