San Diego Leadership Alliance Announces the New San Diego 20

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Five-month training begins for the 2013 class of young professionals

SAN DIEGO, CA-February 5, 2013 – San Diego Leadership Alliance (Leadership Alliance), an organization dedicated to developing progressive leadership in San Diego, announces its 20 fellows in this year’s New Leaders Council Institute (NLC Institute). Deemed “The New San Diego 20,” these young professionals will undergo a five-month training program that provides them with skills and relationships to make change in San Diego.

The Leadership Alliance hosts the NLC Institute in San Diego, affiliated with the national non-profit New Leaders Council, which holds institutes in cities across the U.S. This year’s program in San Diego includes local experts who volunteer to share their knowledge in communications, political organizing, fundraising and policy. The Leadership Alliance also pairs each fellow with a mentor who will guide him/her through a post-graduation development plan that each fellow writes for him/herself.

The 2013 NLC Institute fellows includes:

  • Sadie Brinton, Program Associate, The San Diego Foundation
  • Caroline Epps, Director of Policy and Partnerships, LifeSTEPS USA
  • Wyn Furman, Manager, Community Research, The San Diego Foundation
  • Charles Gillig, Skadden Fellow/Staff Attorney, Casa Cornelia Law Center
  • Rebekah Hook, Public Policy Assistant, Collaborative Services, Inc.
  • Cody Hooven, Senior Environmental Specialist, Port of San Diego
  • Jessica Lawrence, Associate, LeSar Development Consultants
  • Mark Leo, Community Worksite Organizer, SEIU Local 221
  • Erubey Lopez, Attorney, The Law Office of Erubey Lopez
  • Carolina Martinez, Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition
  • Barbara Moreno, Web Content Specialist, Port of San Diego
  • Sandy Naranjo, Organizer, United Food and Commercial Workers – Local 135
  • Jessica L. Nare, Supervisor, Youth Leadership Programs, Jewish Family Service of San Diego
  • Jacqueline Palmer, Director of Practice Development, The Moore Firm
  • Kayla Race, Policy Advocate, Environmental Health Coalition
  • Paul Richardson, Pharmacy Intern Coordinator, CVS Caremark
  • Pari Ryan, Legislative Coordinator, San Diego Housing Commission
  • Kimberly Simms, Founding Attorney, Law Office of Kimberly R. Simms
  • Ali Tarzi, AVP of Classes & Coaching, Community HousingWorks
  • Gena Truitt, Veterans  Advocate, Interfaith Community Services        

Find full bios for all participants at the Leadership Alliance website.

The 2013 class will celebrate the end of its five-month training with a fundraising party in May. The fellows raise funds to support the next year’s class. The exact date, time and location will be announced soon. Speakers at prior year’s fundraisers have included Assemblymember Toni Atkins, Council President Todd Gloria, and Mayor Filner’s Chief of Staff Vince Hall.

San Diego Leadership Alliance will hold its next New Leaders Council Institute in 2014. Those interested in applying, sharing leadership expertise, or financially supporting the program should sign up for the electronic news found at The organization will release details for the 2014 Institute later in the year.
About San Diego Leadership Alliance - The San Diego Leadership Alliance (Leadership Alliance) is a nonpartisan nonprofit that develops San Diego's progressive leadership. The Leadership Alliance exists to build a network of progressives with the skills and relationships to provide and improve San Diego. Political change includes elected officials, and it also requires supporters from the business, nonprofits and other sectors. The Leadership Alliance's benchmark program is New Leaders Council Institute, which is a five-month training program affiliated with the national New Leaders Council organization. For more information on the institute please visit