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News & Press: Leadership Lines

2019 CIT Wraps in San Diego at Session IV

Monday, November 25, 2019  
Posted by: Leadership California

The 2019 CIT Class concluded its Leadership California journey in beautiful San Diego at the end of October. The theme for the final session was “A Thriving California through Inspiration and Innovation.” From a tour of the Scripps Institute for Oceanography to hearing from women military veterans to an in depth look at fire prevention efforts at San Diego Gas & Electric and learning about San Diego’s leading edge in innovation, the final session capped the year-long program with focus on knowledge building and inspiration to act.

The first day allowed the women to dive deep into their own personal leadership journeys to reflect on their time in Leadership California’s CIT program. During this time, the Class was reminded by alumna Britt Kopping, Director for Learning, Design & Technology with Genentech, that “strategic leaders must make the time to reflect,” as they completed their action plans.

That evening, the Class had an opportunity to hear directly from a panel of women military service veterans who shared their own leadership journeys. The military is a major driver in the city – one in five jobs in San Diego is related to defense / military. It was a unique opportunity to hear from four women about how their service shaped their lives and influence in their careers and community.

On day two, the focus was centered on San Diego’s innovation. Less than 20 years ago, San Diego was best known for great beaches and surfing. Today, the city is still known for those things, but has also gained a reputation as a hub for startups and innovation.

The morning began with a presentation from LC alumna Christina Bibler, Director of Economic Development for the City of San Diego. Bibler shared that the CIT program was important to advancing her own leadership journey. The Class learned that San Diego is the #2 most patent intense region in the U.S. and home to 17 million square feet of lab space. There are more than 80 research institutions that contribute $4.6 billion annual impact and 136,000 people are employed in the innovation economy. San Diego also is host to 35.8 million visitors each year.

The Class also took a fascinating tour of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography where they learned about critical research being done for our oceans and climate. They visited the Benthic Invertebrate Collection and the Scripps Research Pier. 

Following the tour, an incredible group of science and tech women leaders, founders and CEOs of their own companies, proved that nontraditional paths are at the root of so many innovative ideas. The panel reminded the Class that we have more work to do to increase the number of women in STEM and in forming new companies to advance innovation. Then the insightful Kay Iwata provided a glimpse into what our future looks like and how women leaders need to reimagine, reinvent, and retool to adapt and maximize opportunity. 

The second day concluded with the CIT Class of 2019 graduation, a special evening to celebrate class members’ transformation and leadership journey, as well as the exciting things the future holds for all the alumna. 

On the final day of the session, the Class visited San Diego Gas and Electric Company (SDG&E), a sponsor of Session IV, where they received an in-depth lesson on its fire mitigation efforts using advanced weather networks and sustainable energy projects. These efforts started in earnest after a catastrophic fire more than 10 years ago. The final day concluded with a moving speech from the Honorable Judge Randa Trapp, San Diego Superior Court Judge, recapping her own inspiring leadership journey.

While the CIT program may be over for the Class of 2019, there is no doubt they will take the knowledge, connections, and inspiration to positively impact their organizations and communities.

The final day concluded with a moving speech from the Honorable Judge Randa Trapp, San Diego Superior Court Judge, recapping her own inspiring leadership journey alongside Jennifer Persike.
 2019 Class at Scripps Institute of 
Oceanography Research Pier
 2019 CIT Class at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Dr. Silvia Ma, President & COO of Connect with San Diego Venture Group; Dr. Orianna Bretschger, Founder and CEO of Aquacycl; Cheryl Goodman, Head of Corporate Communications at Sony Electronics; Dr. Debbie Chen, Founder and CEO of Hydrostasis; and Shan Cureton, Founder and CEO of Kiddie Commute.
 Christina Bibler, Director of Economic
Development, City of San Diego