Tireless volunteers instill confidence in leadership


By Joe LaCava

While La Jolla is facing some challenges, those with long memories can no doubt recount similar challenges in our community’s past (as frankly, any active community must occasionally suffer through).

Recent events caused me to think in particular about leadership. Leadership comes not from one or two individuals, regardless of how talented or passionate, but from organizations that have a hierarchy of leaders that are fully engaged not only at meetings, but outside the meetings as well.

For the CPA, leadership comes in four ways: keeping the community informed while encouraging participation at our monthly meetings (currently from 25 to 40 at our 2009 monthly meetings so far); a discipline of consistent attendance by trustees and subcommittee members; proactive response to issues important to the community, i.e., a bias toward finding solutions, not just complaining about the problem or other folks’ attempts at a solution; and, our subcommittees.

For the CPA, the tireless work of subcommittee chairs Todd Lesser, Tony Crisafi, Ione Stiegler and Helen Boynton (and their most recent predecessors Mark Broido, Tiffany Sherer and Tony Espinoza) in running meetings as well as their efforts in preparing for their meetings ensures consistency, transparency and accountability for our organization.

All of these actions are what inspire confidence by the community, applicants and city staff. Like any volunteer organization, we are not perfect; but we own up to our mistakes, quietly work to resolve them and stay on track doing the community’s business.

In my humble opinion, all of this is what leadership is about, and it is what La Jolla deserves.

Learn more about the CPA at

  1. Our meetings are the first Thursday of the month, 6 p.m., at the La Jolla Recreation Center.