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Boardroom Bows Out From Its Helping Role

Grace Decker has put the word out: The Boardroom San Diego is closing down. The final session is Jan. 27.

Decker founded The Boardroom in June 2009 to be a resource, support and network community for professionals dealing with the shock of losing their jobs. The downturn was devolving into the Great Recession, and every week brought more unemployed and despair.

Decker thought she had successfully transitioned from the corporate executive ranks to a retail management role — minus the 70-hour weeks and constant travel — but that job was eliminated. She saw around her many people struggling to make sense of what had happened to their careers. Decker was called to motivate them. The Boardroom would become a 501C and a full-time volunteer job.

For 6 1/2 years, every Tuesday morning at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, she brought together speakers, resources and hope for as many as 80 people. Some people came once. Some came for years. Two members fell in love and got married.

Decker is not sure what’s next for her; she just knows it is time to move on. The solo-preneur who helped several thousand San Diegans says she’s looking to do something more collaborative. It’s hard to imagine how she could do something more impactful. Thank you, Grace.

• • •

One month from today, Padres pitchers and catchers report. With the new outfield of Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Wil Myers, FOX Sports San Diego reports that their commercial inventory for the upcoming season is nearly 60 percent sold out. Those sales are up 23 percent from this point a year ago.

• • •

San Diego-based Jack in the Box was the second-highest performing restaurant chain on Wall Street in 2014, with its price increasing almost 60 percent. Its strategy of favoring franchises over corporate-owned stores has reduced expenses and increased margins. That and the rapid growth of its burrito chain Qdoba has led the stock price from $20 to about $80 in the past three years.

CEO Leonard Comma told an industry gathering last week not to expect Qdoba to be spun off anytime soon, despite a likely high valuation and cash to fund expansions. He called it a short-term solution. Restaurant News summarizes Comma’s position as “a growth vehicle” being fueled by “a cash cow.” That’s a satisfying recipe for investors.

• • •

Congratulations to Voice of San Diego, CEO Scott Lewis and staff for reaching the 10-year mark as a news media outlet. Surviving the past 10 years is no small feat in the local news business; growing the staff in a nonprofit business model is remarkable.

Editor-in-Chief Nels Jensen can be reached via njensen@sdbj.com or
858-277-6897.

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