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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

San Diego People

Executive Spotlight: Taylor Stevens

Rancho Financial Mortgage Center has hired Taylor Stevens as chief operating officer. Stevens has 19 years of mortgage experience, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer of General Mortgage Corp. Stevens is a licensed real estate broker and member of the state association of mortgage brokers. Stevens’ knowledge of in-depth customer service will be critical to her new role at Rancho Financial. “They handle every type of transaction , residential, commercial, land, refinancing and income-producing property acquisition,” she said. “I’m very enthusiastic about being able to work with Rancho Financial on this level.”

Awards and Recognition

The Petco Park Accessibility Collaboration Team has been honored for its efforts by the National Conflict Resolution Center. The team, comprised of Erik Judson, the executive vice president for external affairs for the San Diego Padres; Louis Frick, the executive director of the Access Center; Linda Woodbury, disability services coordinator; and Vern Westenberger, senior compliance officer with the city of San Diego, received the Peacemaker Award for its efforts in helping to design optimal access for people with disabilities at Petco Park. The Achievement Rewards for College Scientists Foundation will honor Burt Rutan as Scientist of the Year. Rutan formed the Rutan Aircraft Factory in 1974 to develop light, home-built aircraft, and founded Scaled Composites in 1982, the world’s most productive aerospace prototype development company. Edward J. Cass & Associates was awarded the 2005 U.S. Air Force National Award for Sustainable Design for its design of the new Consolidated Support Facility at Edwards Air Force Base. The building was designed by the EJCA team to consolidate all the support functions of Edwards AFB into one centrally located facility.


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Hunter Douglas donated more than $660,000 to AmeriCares Foundation, Inc. for its tsunami relief effort. Hunter Douglas matched all contributions from its employees and independent fabricator partners on a two-for-one basis.

David C. Copley, the chief executive officer of Copley Press, Inc. and publisher of the San Diego Union-Tribune, contributed $2 million for the new Main Library located Downtown. Funding for the project is a combination of redevelopment money, private contributors and a state library construction grant.

Banking and Finance

Phil Gibbs has been hired as branch manager for San Diego National Bank in Escondido. Gibbs will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the branch. Before joining SDNB, Gibbs worked at Smith Barney as a financial consultant. HSB North America appointed Lee Whatcott as chief financial officer of HSBC Auto Finance. Whatcott will lead the firm’s financial accounting and management efforts. Before joining HSBC, Whatcott held a variety of positions at Westcorp, including chief financial officer.

Construction and Design

Roel Construction has hired Lisa Sproat as senior administrative assistant for the firm’s safety department. Sproat has more than 14 years of administrative experience. Roel has also hired Paula Montore as project coordinator. Montore has eight years of administrative experience.

Health Care and Biotech

John Wingfield has been elected president of the San Diego Blood Bank’s board of directors. Wingfield has been a member of the board since 1999, serving on the finance, personnel and executive committees in addition to serving as vice president of the board. Before being elected president, Wingfield retired from serving as partner in charge of the tax department for Price Waterhouse, LLP.

High-Tech and Manufacturing

Bruce Gray has joined the American Technology Corp. as vice president of its business group. Gray will lead and direct the marketing and selling of ATC’s proprietary sound products. Science Applications International Corp. announced the appointment of Larry D. Cox as senior vice president and general manager of the Intelligence & Information Solutions business unit. Cox previously served as vice president of Signals Intelligence Strategy at Lockheed Martin and was founder of Orincon Sygenex Inc.


Erik Bliss has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as special counsel in its business trial practice group in San Diego. Bliss, most recently with Latham & Watkins, has extensive experience in complex business litigation. Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP has elected Cori Mandy as president of the San Diego Legal Secretaries Association, and hired Kendra Hall as an associate on the litigation team. Mandy previously served a two-year term as second vice president and program chair for SDLSA. Hall was previously a partner at Klinedinst, PC, where she chaired the Appellate Department.


Mark Sterk has been elected the 2005 president of the California Landscape Contractors Association-San Diego chapter. Sterk, the president and chief executive officer of Columbine Landscape Co., became a CLCA member in 1997 and joined the board of directors in 2000. Michael Lindauer has been promoted to vice president of Nautilus Entertainment Design. Lindauer has served as an associate with NED since 1999 and previously worked on both live production and entertainment systems design. Lindauer also served as project manager for numerous cruise ship and land based projects.

Real Estate

Paula Mraz has joined the Land America Commercial Services team as an escrow officer. Mraz previously worked at Chicago Title in the Commercial Escrow Department and has 15 years of industry experience.

, Compiled by Stacey Bengtson


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