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  • Profile image for Mark Baza – Boardmember

    Mark Baza

    Secretary

    Coming soon

  • Profile image for Craig Benedetto – Treasurer

    Craig Benedetto

    At Large Boardmember

    For more than two decades, Craig Benedetto has worked in communications and government, focusing on public policy and economic growth. He applies this experience to help California Strategies' clients effectively position themselves with key stakeholders. His strength lies in his deep relationships in the community and experience with all levels of government.

    Benedetto joined California Strategies in 2008 as a Principal and manages the firm's San Diego office with Ben Haddad. In his work at California Strategies, he has represented a diverse array of clients including, health care providers, technology and wireless companies, home builders and land owners, utilities, engineering and land use firms, business and homeowners associations, local government agencies among many others.

    Benedetto is active in civic affairs in San Diego and sits on the Board of Directors and executive leadership team for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown San Diego Partnership and the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Benedetto also participates in the local chapter of the Building Industry Association, serving on their City/County Legislative Committee, the Public Policy Committee of the SD Regional EDC and is an elected member of Lambda Alpha, a land use fraternity.

    A native San Diegan, Benedetto attended San Diego State University studying political science. Benedetto was honored in 2001 as one of San Diego's "40 Under 40" by San Diego Metropolitan Magazine. The Greater San Diego Chamber of Commerce honored Benedetto with its President's Award and Volunteer Advocate of the Year Award in 2004 for his efforts on behalf of the business community to win the campaign to extend the local transportation sales tax, known as TRANSNET.

  • Profile image for Sarah Buchanan – Vice Chair

    Sarah Buchanan

    Board Chair

    Sarah Buchanan has over 15 years of experience navigating deadlines, orchestrating complex event schedules, and developing strong and lasting relationships with colleagues, donors, and elected officials. In her work as Director of Philanthropy and Marketing for MFRG-ICON Construction, she is able to showcase her knowledge of service, fund management, and social impact.

    Awarded San Diego Metro’s Woman of Influence and 40 Under 40 in 2020, she exemplifies what it means to go above and beyond in her work and life. Known for her dedication and how hard she works to achieve goals, Sarah tackles challenges with positive energy and solutions. She is an active member of the event industry and believes in giving back to the community and industry through volunteering, sponsorship and creating standards of excellence and raising the bar of professionalism.

    An avid volunteer, she dedicates her free time to the LGBTQ+ community, youth music instruction, assisting with special events for nonprofit organizations.

    Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Native American Studies from the University of Oklahoma. She is passionate about all things creative and loves supporting others in their creative endeavors.

  • Profile image for Melanie Cohn – Associate Director of Local Government & Regulatory Affairs

    Melanie Cohn

    Vice Chair

    Melanie is responsible for managing and implementing Biocom California’s regional policy agendas in San Diego, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area. She proactively lobbies public officials to advance the interests of Biocom California members and ensure consideration for the life science industry in new and existing regulations.

    Prior to joining Biocom, Melanie managed government and community relations for San Diego nonprofits, and worked in the local office of a State Assembly Member from 2005 until 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, with minors in Art History and Sociology, from the University of California, San Diego.

    Melanie’s interest and advocacy around transportation/transit is focused on commuting infrastructure and resources for the life science industry. She is very excited about the Blue Line extension to San Diego’s life science hub!

    In her free time, Melanie enjoys world travel, cooking complex vegetarian meals, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog Sammy.

  • Profile image for Jennifer Davies – Boardmember

    Jennifer Davies

    At Large Boardmember

    Jennifer Davies, a recognized leader in public affairs and communications, currently serves as the director of cultural tourism for Balboa Park at the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA). Davies has a long record of leading communications, marketing strategy and program development for a variety of prominent San Diego organizations.

    Prior to joining the SDTA, Davies served as the assistant dean of external affairs for UC San Diego Extension and as vice president of external affairs for the Downtown San Diego Partnership. She also served as director of communications for former City Council President Sherri Lightner. Davies spent much of her career as a journalist serving as a staff writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She received a bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA and has master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.

  • Profile image for David Dekozan – Boardmember

    David Dekozan

    At Large Boardmemeber

    David DeKozan VP, Business Development Cubic Transportation Systems David is Vice President, Business Development at Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. David leads business development and account management activities across the western United States and Canada.

    Over more than 25 years, David has held a range of management positions at Cubic having at various times, led marketing, proposal development, research and development, and strategic planning. He has been at the forefront of the company’s contactless mobile initiatives representing Cubic on various industry standardization and trade groups including the Smart Card Alliance Transportation Council and APTA’s Universal Transit Farecard Standards task force.

    David holds a degree in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School.

  • Profile image for Clarissa Falcon – Boardmember

    Clarissa Falcon

    At Large Boardmember

    With 25 years of experience, Clarissa Reyes Falcon has demonstrated expertise in the government, community, and non-profit arenas.

    Clarissa started Falcon Strategies in November 2010, a firm that provides government and community relations consulting to a broad spectrum of public and private clients. Clarissa began her career working as a community and policy advisor for former Assembly member Denise Moreno Ducheny, and thereafter worked for the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. She then returned to the California Legislature as District Chief of Staff to State Senator Denise Moreno Ducheny.

    In continuing her service to her community, Clarissa currently serves on the San Diego River Conservancy, and has served as a Commissioner on the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women appointed by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. She is past Chair of the South County Economic Development Council, and sits on the boards of the UCSD Chancellor’s Community Advisory Board, South Bay Family YMCA, Circulate San Diego and serves on the Energy and Water Committee at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. Clarissa received her undergraduate degree from the UC San Diego. She resides in Bonita with her husband, Michael Falcon, and children, Benjamin and Ella.

  • Profile image for Michael Hansen – Boardmember

    Michael Hansen

    At Large Boardmember

    Michael Hansen has 15 years of experience in planning, land use, and public policy in the San Diego region. He has represented both the public and private sectors in the development and implementation of complex planning initiatives and real estate projects.

    He previously served as Planning Director at the City of San Diego, where he managed major planning policies and projects that helped shape the future growth of the city. Prior to that, he served as Director of Land Use and Environmental Policy and Chief of Policy in the Mayor’s Office. He previously practiced land use and environmental law at an international law firm. 

    Michael is an urbanist at heart, enjoys traveling and exploring new cities, and is dedicated to improving mobility choices and affordable housing opportunities in San Diego. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, holds a Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law, and received a BA in Political Science from UCLA.

  • Profile image for Ana Melgoza – Boardmember

    Ana Melgoza

    Treasurer

    Ana R. Melgoza, MPA, is Vice President of External Affairs for San Ysidro Health (SYHealth).  Ms. Melgoza  is committed to SYHealth’s mission of improving the health and well-being of the communities  served with access for all. Throughout her 17 year tenure, SYHealth has grown exponentially and today has 109,000 lives in their care.   As part of the Executive Team, Ms. Melgoza oversees government relations/advocacy, public/private/non-profit partnerships, private fund development, outreach, social media, media relations and corporate communications.

    She is a graduate of the National Urban Fellows Program, earning her Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Baruch School of Public Affairs in New York City.  Ms. Melgoza is an alumna of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Institute and a graduate of LEAD San Diego. 

    Ms. Melgoza serves as Commissioner for the Healthy Chula Vista Advisory Commission where she was the inaugural chair.  She was recently appointed in 2021 to represent District 1 in the San Diego County Health Services Advisory Board.  Some of her honors include the San Diego County Health Equity SHEro award for her advocacy and exemplary representation of service to all especially underserved families by County Vice Chair Nora Vargas.

  • Profile image for Alex Moffat – Director - Clean Transportation

    Alex Moffat

    At Large Boardmember

    Alexandria is the Director of Clean Transportation at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), one of Sempra’s California regulated utilities. In this role, she oversees developing, advocating, and leading innovative programs and collaborations to advance the adoption of clean transportation throughout the region. The Clean Transportation department plays an important role in achieving California’s ambitious goals on climate change, air quality, and the adoption of zero-emission vehicles.
    Alexandria began her career with SDG&E in 2007 and served in a variety of roles including Portfolio Manager of Electric Construction and Materials within supply management and as the Manager of Business Services within customer services. Prior to SDG&E, Alexandria worked at Pulte Group in land development. Alexandria earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California.