Candidates list goals for La Jolla merchant group

Below are the statements submitted by many of the candidates running for the board of the new La Jolla Village Merchants Association.

Mike McLaughlin, the consultant hired to help organize a group to replace Promote La Jolla, noted in an e-mail that “submitting a statement was optional.

Statements are limited to 250 words and are reproduced exactly as submitted.”

He also said candidates and business owners and merchants within the boundaries of the 30-block La Jolla Business Improvement District are invited to a coffee at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 11 at Aquamoreé, 1250 Prospect St.

Ballots will go out next week and must be returned by 5 p.m. Feb. 17. They will

be publicly verified, opened, and counted at 1 p.m. Feb. 18 at the La Jolla Recreation Center.


Reneé Allison

, Spencer Company Interiors, 1010 Torrey Pines Road

— No Written Statement Submitted

Biljana G. Beran

, Galeria Jan, 1250 Prospect St. B21 — No Written Statement Submitted

Claudette Berwin

, BRK, GRI, Gallery Properties, 7861 Herschel Ave. — I would be honored to serve on the board of directors for the newly formed bid in La Jolla. I am the owner/broker of Gallery Properties on Herschel, a full service real estate firm with 25 agents and growing. My husband and I also own Prime Vines Incorporated, an International Importer of Fine Wines and wholesale/internet retail distributor. I consider it a privilege to live and work in our community. I have quietly watched the issues of the past and have decided to become active in the newly formed group. I think we need fresh faces and representatives from businesses both big and small. La Jolla is an international resort destination. I am passionate about the village, cultural diversification and keeping businesses here. I support our community events like the Concourse, Christmas and Pet parade etc. and support fund raising for local charities. I know we have parking issues but with recent changes in our community, there could be a fresh alternative that will satisfy all parties.

I have served as director of the Newport Beach Association of Realtors, liaison to the city council and chairman of the government and political affairs committee. A great director should have leadership skills but represent the majority of the businesses in La Jolla. I do not have a personal agenda only a desire to assist in the betterment of our village! My full resume can viewed at “About”. BA, Pepperdine University

Tom Brady

, La Jolla Cottage Rentals, 7486 La Jolla Blvd. — I have had a business in La Jolla for thirty-five years, first as a partner in Peterson Co. CPA’s and now as a sole proprietor of a real estate rental business.

I am currently a member of the By-Laws working group helping to create a new not for profit corporation. It will named the La Jolla Village Merchants’ Association which will contract with the City to administer the improvements and activities which will be provided within the La Jolla Business Improvement District. They will be funded by assessments on the business owners within the BID. I have just been reappointed as the City Council District #1’s representative to the Mayor’s Parking Advisory Board by Councilmember Sherri Lightner. I have served on and serve on several nonprofit boards, including the La Jolla Community Planning Association (present) and the La Jolla Y.M.C.A, (past). I believe that I can, with my experience, be a productive board member for you and our business neighbors in helping to make the La Jolla Business Improvement District one that the community can be very proud of and the best in California.

Kate Brainard

, Retail Mgr, Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy, 7650 Girard Ave. — My vision is for La Jolla to be a fun and relaxing destination town for San Diegans and tourists alike. Our businesses, working together with a unified voice can further evolve and develop into a community that has something to offer for everyone and fulfilling a broad set of needs. La Jolla businesses can work together through co-marketing and outreach as vehicles to achieve enhanced unification between diverse businesses and consumers.

Troy Bushyakanist

, Kitima Extraordinary Thai, 8008 Girard Ave. — No Written Statement Submitted

Trevor Calla

n, Callan Capital, 1250 Prospect St. — La Jolla is no longer the destination of choice for many San Diegan’s looking for entertainment. I would like to help create an environment that encourages people to drive into our community. My background: Co-founder, Callan Capital with my two brothers Ryan and Tim Callan. Callan Capital is located at 1250 Prospect Street and provides high net worth families with wealth management services.

I am currently a Board Member for the San Diego Social Venture Partners. I am a former Board Member and currently active in the La Jolla Music Society. I am a co-founder and current Board Member for the Equinox Center which is a non-partisan, independent, nonprofit research center focused on economically sound environmental sustainability for the San Diego region. I live in La Jolla with his wife Sandy and baby girl Jade Callan.

John Clarke

, Your Home Finders Realty, 1237 Prospect St. — Let’s Do One Thing Well. If we can’t buy a parking lot or build a parking structure with our limited funds let’s focus on one thing. Let’s make a deal with several of our parking lot owners, and use our funds for free customer validated parking. This would at least put our business at par with nearby UTC and other strip mall commercial sites that have free parking. Our customers can shop in leisure and have a refuge from parking ticket tyranny.

And by the way, the gas lamp restaurants and shops offer no parking for their clientele.

Thanks, John Clarke broker/owner, Your Home Finders Realty, La Jolla

Leon Chow

, Nelson Photo Supplies, 7720 Fay Ave. — No Written Statement Submitted

Philip J. Coller

, Everett Stunz, 7616 Girard Ave. — I have been a resident of La Jolla for 20 years and a local business owner for 6 years. I am married to Nicki Coller who is also my partner in our La Jolla business Everett Stunz The bed Linen store at 7616 Girard. We have 6 children all whom graduated High School in La Jolla.

As a resident and business owner I am saddened by the deterioration in the appearance of our business district and the community spirit that attracted my family to La Jolla 20 years ago.

Improving the La Jolla Business District’s ability to provide goods and services that tastefully provide residents and visitors with an appealing and satisfying experience will improve our community.

The experience that I can bring to the board managing the La Jolla Business Improvement District is: I am a Civil Engineer, local business owner and resident.I have been a board member of a number of for profit companies both local and international, in some instances I have also been board president. I have sat on two ASCE national construction committees and been a director of one US and one International Society both representing the construction industry. I am currently the President of the Montefaro HOA in La Jolla.

If elected to the board I will be accessible to BID members by appointment at Everett Stunz.

Dr. T Earle Darnaud

, Darnauds Customer Products, 7660 Fay Ave., H409 — My experience includes multiple investment activities, multiple business operations, and executive management services on various Boards of Directors. Current business involves entrepreneurial investments dealing with business opportunities and finance.

Michael Dougherty

, Assisting Hands of San Diego, 7825 Fay Ave. #200 — My business experience is extensive. I was the founder and principle of Florida Communications, a Florida telecommunications company. We grew to four offices in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach over a 22 year period. I sold the company to Honeywell. Subsequent to my telecommunications experience I was in the real estate business for 15 years. I was a 50% owner of Lodge McKee and Associates in Naples Florida for 8 years.

My value to La Jolla lies in my experience in real estate in Naples Florida. In my opinion parking is critical to the expansion of the business community in La Jolla. My business partner, Lodge McKee was on the Planning and Zoning commission during the time evaluations were being made on the redevelopment of the “Old Naples” commercial district.

The City of Naples hired Andres Duany as the architect and city planner advising the City. Duany is a world famous urban planner who is famous for designing Seaside Florida.

The major problem to overcome in Naples was to create ample parking and incentivize property owners to revitalize their properties. The revitalization of downtown Naples was a great success.

My experience was not as a city council member or member of the planning and zoning commission. I successfully worked with these groups representing client of Lodge McKee and Associates.

Additionally I developed multi-million dollar (per unit) condominiums in Old Naples and an office park in Naples.


Sheila S. Fortune

, Aquamoreé,1250 Prospect St . — Owner/General Manager, Aquamoreé. As a new business owner in La Jolla I have been inspired by the opportunities that exist for us all in the forming BID’s managing organization. I have built a business model for Aquamoreé with forward thinking and positive energy. In today's world you cannot stay in business unless you adapt to a world of change ..often reinventing your business over and over! It might be comfortable the way you used to do it but it's probably not going to work that way in the future.

La Jolla has given way to some unfortunate economic events and lack of consistent, strong leadership. This is evident in our community in many areas. The first priority must be creating a vision and identity that is current with the times, which will attract the demographic market segments that La Jolla Businesses need to survive and strive. This beautiful community and all business owners involved deserve nothing less.

Having been in the commercial development and construction industry in the SE United States for 20 years, I have learned what it takes to create a vision, extend and educate the stakeholders of the positive points of that vision, while encouraging unity to make the vision a reality. My experience as a participant with one of the strongest and national award winning community improvement districts in Atlanta, GA has shown me that this forum can work for a community and help flourish a once vibrant and beautiful Village.

• Bob Grassa, Bob’s Casa Del Habano. 7966 Herschel Ave. B — As a member of the By-Laws working group, I think that we have created a document that will start the new La Jolla Village Merchants' Association on the right path towards creating a Village we can all be proud of. I was born and raised in La Jolla, and have owned my business here for almost 14 years. I have fond memories of the past, and look forward to the challenges for the future of our Village. I will be dedicated to polishing our Jewel, and to making Tourists, San Diegans, and La Jollans alike want to come into the Village, be happy that they did, and have them leave looking forward to their next visit.

Glidia Holland, Glidia Salon, 7760 Fay Ave. Suite L — I would like to give you a little history about myself. I have had the pleasure of owning a successful hair salon in La Jolla for the past thirty four years and have been a resident in La Jolla for thirty one years.

I love being a part of the Jewel and look forward to making it shine again.

As a business owner and resident I want to contribute to the community. I have been involved with the formation of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association from the beginning. Attending weekly coffees and volunteering on the indemnity committee has given me the opportunity to listen to the issues facing all of us and I am very excited to work towards improving the quality of the business community for everyone.

I thank you for your support.

Egon Kafka — La Jolla Village Lodge, 1141 Silverado St. — I love La Jolla, the Jewel.

My better half Maureen and I are happy to live and work in the village as mom and pop owner operators of the La Jolla Village Lodge. We care very deeply about our neighbors.

My vision for the BID:

La Jolla's welfare is driven by vibrant healthy active businesses.

It is time for the BID to wake up and become an efficient and constructive organization.

I ask for your vote to the La Jolla Village Merchant Association Board so that I may better serve the business community.

My activities and affiliations:

I am a very active member and Chair of the Streetscape and Beautification Committee; ongoing projects include the hanging planters, planting and trimming trees, coordinating the village holiday decorations, monitoring street and sidewalk pavements, keeping the streetlights on, news racks, village trash and cleanup issues.

I am an active member and a Trustee of the La Jolla Town Council.

I also enjoy affiliation and working with the Historical Society, Athenaeum, MOCA, L.J. Art Association, CAF, Soroptimists, and the La Jolla Pet Parade Committee.

• Bryan King, Karl Strauss Brewing Company, 1044 Wall St. — My name is Bryan King. I am the Regional Manager for Karl Strauss Brewing. I have been w/ Karl Strauss for 10 yrs and have worked in the La Jolla Community with Karl Strauss. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to better the business community in La Jolla. Thank you for your consideration.

• Robert Lane, La Jolla Light Newspaper, 565 Pearl St. #300 — As an account executive for the La Jolla Light newspaper, I have an intimate knowledge of the local businesses, having met with many of the owners personally. During my nine-year tenure at the newspaper, I have worked with the business community to create marketing and promotional campaigns and events that drove traffic and sales to the Village. I handled the Light’s sponsorships with the La Jolla Historical Society, La Jolla Art and Wine Walk, Motor Car Classic and many others. Through my media experience, I have developed a keen sense for how to create a buzz and stimulate new business through marketing efforts.

La Jolla, as the Jewel of San Diego, has strong brand recognition and my goal as a member of the Business Improvement District would be to help strengthen that brand. The businesses in our “BID” have a unique opportunity to use combined revenues from their business tax to better our business environment and community. I can also bring many resources from the paper to assist in getting the word out to residents and visitors. It would be a privilege and an honor to serve on this newly created organization that will help unify and enhance the local business community through the La Jolla Village Merchant Association.

• Michelle Ciccarelli Lerach, Cups, 7857 Girard Ave. — As someone who has been engaged in starting up a new business here in La Jolla over the past year or so, I have a good perspective on the concerns and issues related to attracting new business to the LJ business district. Although Cups is a recent addition to the Village (restaurant, retail, cooking school), I am a practicing attorney with over 20 years of business experience including sitting on a number of non-profit boards. I am very experienced with working with groups of people representing diverse interests and negotiating an agreeable outcome. I am also in the unique position of offering a fresh perspective to the particular set of tasks facing this BID, but with vast experience in addressing these very sorts of tasks. To better serve our business community, I am in favor of revitalization of the BID through events geared towards making the Village a destination of choice no only for LJ locals, but all of SD. This can be accomplished through concerts in the Cove, family-friendly street festivals, etc – signature events that LJ would become to be known for and attract visitors. I would love to see the Village as a spot where people come to spend their day and their dollar. As a LJ resident and businesswoman I feel a sense of obligation to try to better our business community, and while I surely do not have all the answers to the challenges facing it I do have the energy and determination to…

(250 word limit reached)

• Scott Frederick Levin, Blue Book Publishers, 7911 Herschel Ave. #205 —

My name is Scott Levin. I am 32 years old and graduated from La Jolla High in 1997. I grew up in La Jolla and understand exactly what we all want to preserve and improve. I lived in New York City and Virginia and I've practiced law in San Diego since 2004. For the last four years, I have worked with hundreds of small businesses to improve their sales and bottom lines while working at La Jolla Blue Book.

I want all our small businesses to thrive and I want to help make the tough decisions needed so that we attract more people to our community to shop and do business so that La Jolla businesses universally benefit.

I have never worked with a betterment organization but I'm a quick study. I spend a majority of my non-Blue Book time working pro bono as an attorney and with my wife and our two Australian Shepherd puppies. I understand the challenges that small business owners face and I am hoping to bring my legal and marketing skills along with my unique understanding of this community to the table to improve business conditions within the La Jolla community. It's only because I believe I can really help that I am asking for more work and more time away from home. Please allow me the opportunity to serve you on the Board of Directors.

Thank you for your consideration.

• Tammy Ly, Tammy Alteration, 7531 Girard Ave. F — No Written Statement Submitted

• Jaspal S. Mahal, Subway Store # 2677/Mahal Enterprises, 7514 Girard Ave. #9 — No Written Statement Submitted

• Jeff Michaelson, CPA, Jeff Michaelson Co.,7713 Fay Ave. B — As I longtime resident and business owner in La Jolla, I feel that I would provide a great service for my community. I moved to La Jolla in 1978, started my own CPA firm, raised two beautiful children, and have never left. I find great joy in the beauty of this area and all that it has to offer. We need not dwell on the past, but need to look forward and provide tangible results that are necessary for improvement. The fee that we pay should not be wasted on items of little use. I believe we can make this community a place not just of beauty, but of pride. Thank you for your time in reading my statement.

• James A. Niebling, Ventro Esteban Interiors, 7605 Girard Ave. . — I bring to the Board of Directors of La Jolla over 25 years of senior level retail management experience with such companies as Macy's, Express, Ann Taylor, Ralph Lauren, and Pacific Sunwear. As a business owner and partner now for over 5 years I am incredibly excited about the growth potential for La Jolla. My primary goals as a board member are to unite businesses together in a meaningful way, promote public awareness, and to create new and exciting business opportunities. I like to think "outside of the box" with regard to new a different ways of generating revenue for the district. Having been previously located in the Little Italy area of San Diego I was a founding member of The Art Design District, Little Italy and served as Treasurer. This service and collaboration brought about many successes such as the “Kettner Nights" events, streetlamp banners, and sponsor tags. It also allowed for extensive Public Relations activities including TV, and Print coverage. I welcome the opportunity to bring the same enthusiasm, creativity, and spirit to La Jolla.

• Tal O’Farrell, Wahoo’s Fish Taco/ Endless Summer Enterprises, 637 Pearl St. — No Written Statement Submitted

• Scott Patrick, Village Gifts Engraving, 7660 Fay Ave. D — It is my intent to nominate myself, Scott Patrick, owner of Village Gifts and Engraving, to the Board of Directors for the new not-for-profit business betterment corporation. It is time for La Jolla’s merchants to work together and infuse a new dose of energy and spirit into the business community. I am a relatively new La Jolla business owner and see a lack of genuine spirit / interest amongst ourselves. 2011 presents us with an opportunity to create and control a new organization that will benefit all. As a business owner, I feel that I must take the responsibility to get involved. I have over 17 years of corporate work experience, most recently managing vendor relations across multiple cross-functional teams. I feel that my background would be helpful in organizing and contributing to a new successful merchant group.

• Anthony Scoma, DDS, FAAPD La Jolla Pediatric Dentistry, 875 Prospect St. 202 — No Written Statement Submitted

• Kevin Smith, Extreme Pizza, 834 Kline St. — I have over 26 years’ experience owning and operating my businesses in Food Service, Real Estate, and Entrepreneurial ventures. The past President of HOA board of directors for 6 years, and current member of the San Diego Chamber of Commerce.

I have an educational background from San Diego State, Fullerton, and Irvine with 3 separate degrees including my BS in Public Administration.

I was born and raised in Southern California and have lived in San Diego for the past 18 years.

My vision for our town is to keep the history, beauty, and uniqueness of the community while making the area well known for the beaches, restaurants, art, education, tourist destination and the closeness to the San Diego business community.

Some wonderful examples are Del Mar, Solana Beach, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Malibu, and Pebble Beach.

• Patrick R. Tira, Tira Law APC, 7825 Fay Ave. #200 — My name is Patrick Tira, and I work in La Jolla as a young attorney focusing on real estate and business law. I was raised nearby Chicago, Illinois. I attended the University of San Diego and have been living in San Diego County for over ten years. I have worked in the Village of La Jolla since graduating from college.

La Jolla is a dynamic and vibrant community. A local business betterment corporation should focus on enhancing the qualities of La Jolla while respecting its character. Nowhere is this more true than La Jolla. Here, we must take special care to balance our need to develop and promote our businesses with our obligation to respect and preserve La Jolla’s traditions and history.

As a young attorney and La Jolla businessman, I would like to see this new organization focus on enhancing cooperation amongst La Jolla’s existing businesses. I would like to see our businesses work together where possible, rather than relying on outside vendors for supplies and services. I envision our new business betterment corporation promoting La Jolla businesses online, throughout San Diego County, and elsewhere. We can make La Jolla the place to do business for years to come!

• Cesar Vallin, Prospect Bar Lounge, 1025 Prospect St. #210 — My name is Cesar Vallin. I am one of the owners of Prospect bar grill in La Jolla. I have attended multiple meetings to help with development of the new business district and the budget development group. I have been working in the La Jolla district for the past 7 ½ years. I am dedicated to helping this business district improve in all areas needed.

• Nancy Warwick, Warwick’s, 7812 Girard Ave. – La Jolla is an exceptional community, renowned for its natural beauty, artistic, cultural, and scientific institutions, top-notch educational facilities, and wonderful dining and shopping. Within the larger boundaries of La Jolla, the business community of the Village is fortunate to attract both residents and tourists alike, and I believe the new LJVMA must bring unity to its diverse membership. As a board member, my priority would be to bring people and businesses together. I would like to help develop a multi-faceted campaign that embraces both residents and tourist-oriented businesses; supports beautification projects; and increase our competitive edge over other San Diego destinations through marketing and special events. What we stand to accomplish in the Village is within our reach. We need to unify, commit, beautify, promote, work hard and move on from the past. I would like to be part of this effort.

I offer experience to the board as the owner of a historic business in La Jolla, Warwick’s.I am currently on the board of the Friends of the La Jolla Library. I am a past board member of PLJ, and I’m strongly opposed to paid on-street parking in La Jolla. I am the founder and sponsor of the website Art + Culture | La Jolla and I’m one of the founders of the popular and successful La Jolla Pet Parade Festival. I would appreciate your vote, to serve on the La Jolla Village Merchants Association.

• Gordon Wong, O.D., GW Eye Associates, 7825 Fay Ave. Suite 140 — My name is Gordon Wong and I have been a member of La Jolla business community since 1994. I am current the President and Senior Associate of GW Eye Associates, Inc located in the Merrill Lynch Building and near the La Jolla Sports Club. I have served on the Board of Directors of the La Jolla Tennis Club, including President I have no political agenda and wish to promote what is best for businesses here in downtown La Jolla.



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