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Commissioners

Photo of Stephen Groce

Stephen Groce

Chair

As a 10-year resident of Clairemont, Stephen Groce, his wife Angela, and three children Dario, Giuliana and Alida have decided to plant roots in the community, despite career opportunities that offered relocation packages out of state. This decision is why Stephen joined the Clairemont Town Council. As a fulltime husband and father, passionate entrepreneur, and career business and Financial Asset Protection Professional, he has gained a wide range of experience that has allowed him to maintain a sense of balance during multi-tasked and unpredictable times.

Photo of Faye Detsky-Weil

Faye Detsky-Weil

Vice Chair

Faye Detsky-Weil is a registered volunteer Medicare Counselor for Elder Law & Advocacy’s Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy (HICAP) Program and serves as a member of the San Diego County Aging and Independent Services (AIS) Advisory Council. Ms. Detsky-Weil served for five years as City of San Diego Ethics Commissioner. She has been active in numerous organizations, including 10 years on the Torrey Pines Community Planning Board serving as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary; volunteer Paralegal for Nursing Home Rights Enforcement Program at Elder Law & Advocacy; a member of the Torrey Pines High School Foundation Board; co-chair of Torrey Pines High School Student Success Services; and a member of Del Mar Heights Elementary School’s Site Council. Ms. Detsky-Weil received the 2001 City of San Diego Community Service Award. She is formerly an Instructional Systems Designer with L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), designing and developing training for the Department of Defense on aircraft, health care, and computer systems. She received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Northeastern University in Boston, holds a Massachusetts Teaching Certificate in Secondary Education, and earned a Paralegal certificate from the University of California, San Diego.

Olympia Beltran headshot

Olympia Beltran

Olympia Beltran is a registered nurse, mother of four, proud wife of husband Brent and active community leader. She currently serves on the board of directors of San Diego Habitat for Humanity, and passionately advocates for affordable housing. As a resident of Barrio Logan, Olympia served as a member of the Barrio Logan Community Planning Group, and remains engaged in the AB617 Air Quality Steering Committee spearheaded by the Environmental Health Coalition. As a member of the Yaqui Nation of Southern California and the American Indian Movement Southern California Chapter, Olympia has close ties to local Kumeyaay communities and uses her frontline medic training to support health and wellbeing in the defense of human rights and environmental justice. Olympia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from the University of California San Diego and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing with an emphasis in Public Health.

Photo of Dolores Canizales

Dolores Canizales

Dolores Canizales holds a bachelor’s degree from San Jose State University in Public Relations. She is a graduate of the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management, and holds a certificate from Harvard-MIT public disputes program. She is a member of the Union Tribune Latino Advisory Board, Poway Unified School District Partners in Excellence program, and a member of the Poway Road Corridor Study ad-hoc committee. Ms. Canizales was appointed president & CEO of the Poway Chamber of Commerce in August 2012, and formerly served as District Director for Councilwoman Janice Hahn and as Community Affairs Manager for former Mayor Richard Riordan in Los Angeles. She also worked as Director of Community and Government Relations at Loyola Marymount University.

Tammy Gillies

Tammy Gillies

A native New Yorker, Tammy moved to San Diego in 2000 and began her career with ADL in 2007. In 2010, she assumed her current role as Regional Director.

Tammy takes great pride in the ADL staff in San Diego, their focus on hate crimes, anti-bias and diversity education, civil rights, and building bridges with the many diverse groups that make up our great San Diego community.

Photo of Shana Hazan

Shana Hazan

Shana Hazan is a community leader, educator, and proud parent. She serves as Senior Director of Resource Development at Jewish Family Service of San Diego, where she oversees the agency’s institutional and individual fund development, government relations, and public policy work. She recently designed and secured funding for the Linda Vista Kindergarten Readiness Network, which utilizes a collective impact model to address barriers to kindergarten readiness. She also designed and supervises the Hunger Advocacy Network, an innovative initiative comprised of social service agencies, anti-hunger organizations, and nutrition advocacy organizations that collaborate to support policies that increase food security. Shana serves on the California Children and Families (First 5) Commission, the City of San Diego’s Human Relations Commission, and on the boards of CORE Educational Services, the Foothold Foundation, and Stanley Foster School of Engineering, Innovation, and Design. Previously, she developed JFS’s nationally-recognized Youth Leadership Program model, and launched Emerging Leaders at JFS, which engages young professionals in leadership, philanthropy, and service. She also worked for ABC News in London, taught elementary school in Chicago’s inner city, and served as Safe Routes to School Director for Active Transportation Alliance. She has also served on the executive committee of Run Women Run, chaired Women Give San Diego’s Advocacy Committee, and served on the board of Young Nonprofit Professionals Network. Shana holds a Master’s degree in Education and Social Policy fromNorthwestern University. In 2016, she was recognized by Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins as a 78th Assembly District Woman of the Year.

Photo of Godwin Higa

Godwin Higa

Godwin Higa received his bachelor's degree in education from the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Masters of Administration from Azusa Pacific University, and his Administrative Credential from the University of San Diego. He has been a principal, with San Diego Unified School District for 15 years. His passion is his students. He demands that all students are treated with the utmost respect and academically succeeding in their studies. He is an active member of the Mid-City community, and a member of the Citizens Review Board of San Diego. He is actively involved in the improvements of the Mid-City area of San Diego, focusing on safe schools, safe neighborhoods, and community improvements involving improved bike lanes, transportation, and safe walks to school and skate parks in the area. He is an active member of policy changes on student discipline, focusing on Trauma Informed Schools and Community, Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices in schools and the community. He is also an ongoing member of the Compassion Project of San Diego, International Day of Peace, and most importantly believes in human rights for all.

Kathie Moehlig

Kathie Moehlig

Kathie Moehlig is the Executive Director of San Diego-based TransFamily Support Services, and a leading authority on supporting transgender and non-binary youth and their families. A tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community, she was named “Woman of the Year” by California Assemblyperson Todd Gloria, and one of the “Best People of San Diego” by CityBeat Magazine. A certified life coach, parenting instructor and motivational speaker, Kathie’s work has been featured in the New York Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune and on the NBC News. She has lived in San Diego for 25 years, raising her children here and regularly crisscrossing the county to work with families, school, healthcare and the organizations to promote understanding, inclusion, and equality.

April Purcell photo

April Purcell

April Purcell is a proud parent of three school-aged children, an active community volunteer. She has lived in San Diego for the past 17 years and is active member, and past board member, with Rady’s Children’s Hospital Auxiliary, she serves on the School Site Councils and School Governance Committees for two local schools, she has served as the Mothers & Daughters Club Assisting Philanthropies Class Benefit Chair for the past 5 year, and in an active volunteer with Teens Volunteers In Action.  April is passionate about social justice issues with a strong belief that change begins within. She is also a certified Life and Equus Coach, and yoga instructor.

Formerly April was the General Manager of a multitherapeutic research organization, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Science and a Masters in Government Democracy Studies and Governance from Johns Hopkins University and served three years in the US Peace Corps in Lesotho, Africa.

Photo of Nicole Murray Ramirez

Nicole Murray Ramirez

Nicole Murray Ramirez is a 68-year native Californian who has dedicated over 45 years of his life to the Latino community, LGBT community, public service and social justice for all people. A charity and nonprofit fundraiser and leader in raising funds and awareness for those in need for over 40 years as the Chairman of International Court Council of USA, Mexico and Canada.

Kristin Rizzo headshot

Kristin Rizzo

Kristin Rizzo is a native of San Diego. She is an employment attorney, mediator, conflict resolver, impartial fact-finder, wife, and a proud parent of two daughters. Through her professional neutral work, Kristin helps people resolve disputes in creative and meaningful ways and provides answers to people and companies by finding and delivering facts underlying workplace conflict.

A cum laude graduate of the University of California, San Diego, Kristin holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science – International Relations and Spanish Literature and obtained her juris doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law. Kristin deeply values service to the San Diego community and has been active in numerous organizations. She sits on her law school’s Board of Visitors and has spent many years volunteering with the San Diego County Bar Association, ultimately serving as the association’s President. In 2019, she was recognized by the San Diego Metro Magazine as a top leader under 40.

M. Tootie Thomas

M. Tootie Thomas

Through service to others our lives take shape and have true meaning. I take pride in my business endeavors and being able to provide opportunities to others. Employing drag personalities and transgendered people throughout the years, meant not only providing an income stream but also life experience and real world techniques. The highest of these ideals are gratitude, commitment and living by my golden rule “Principles before personalities”. Being Mahu and a performer, writer has allowed me to be very “out” and heard when it comes to issues that concern our community; identity, workplace equality, relationships, our youth, marriage equality, substance abuse and sobriety. Effecting change and understanding in attitudes and cultural norms through activism, speech and comedy. I am inspired by the motto on our county building “the noblest motive is the public good.”

Board Member and President at The Boulevard BIA 10 years, Executive Director since 2019. Chair Mid-City Community Parking District. Inaugural speaker (2013-2015) USD LGBTQ Student Organization PRIDE. Copley-Price YMCA Board of Advisor. California State Assembly and Senate Pride Honoree 2019.  Writer, Business Owner

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