Term Ending March 2023
Wendy Ranck-Buhr is an avid reader and life-long learner which made the field of education a natural career fit for her. Wendy has over 30 years of experience in education working at preschool through university levels at schools and universities throughout San Diego. Wendy earned her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Art degrees at San Diego State University and completed her Ph.D. at Claremont Graduate University and San Diego State University. She currently serves as an Instructional Support Officer for San Diego Unified School District.
Term ending March 1, 2024
Sarah Moga Alemany recently served as the Binational Affairs Manager for San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria. Sarah received her M.A. in Latin American Studies and is fluent in Spanish. In her role she served as the liaison to the Mayor of Tijuana and the Governor of Baja California. She also dealt with issues related to the ports of entry and the Tijuana River Valley.
Sarah also formerly served as Mayor Gloria’s Coordinator for the “Back to Work San Diego” task force. Prior to joining the Gloria administration, Sarah was a Campaign Coordinator and the campaign’s Press Secretary.
Before getting involved in Democratic politics, Sarah was an Emmy-nominated television producer, booker and writer in the news and entertainment business. After working for several years as a writer for local news in Chicago, Sarah moved to New York in late 2006 to work for CBS National News. During that time she covered many world events including the 2008 Presidential campaign, the “Miracle on the Hudson” and the death of Osama Bin Laden. Because of her fluency in Spanish, Sarah frequently covered events in Latin America for the network. She also served as a senior producer in the control room for “The Early Show" (now "CBS This Morning").
In 2011, Sarah helped develop the PBS interview series, “The Artist Toolbox.” She then helped launch the first season of “Anderson,” Anderson Cooper’s syndicated daytime talk show. Sarah was then recruited to help expand original video programing for “The Daily Beast,” and handled all high profile celebrity, news-maker and political bookings for the site’s shows.
Sarah has degrees from The University of San Diego and The University of Chicago. She lives in Point Loma with her husband and three young children.
Term expires March 1, 2023
Ms. Urushima-Conn is the President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation where she advocates for individuals and families impacted by seizures and seizure disorders. She is formerly the President and CEO of the Asian Business Association, the leading voice on business, cultural and political issues for San Diego’s Asian and Pacific Islander Community. She has more than twenty five years of experience in community outreach, marketing and public relations. Ms. Urushima-Conn is the former Associate Executive Director of Development for the Center for Community Solutions (CCS), and was the chief fundraising and marketing officer for the nonprofit agency. Prior to joining CCS, she worked for more than a decade as the Community/Media Marketing Manager at KGTV/10 News where she was responsible for the station's community affairs programs, non-traditional revenue generation and all press and promotions. Ms. Urushima-Conn serves as the President of the California Diversity Council, San Diego Chapter and Board Member for San Diego Rotary, Club 33. She is a former board member with the San Diego Public Library Foundation, and is a past Chair of the Asian Business Association Foundation, past President of Girls Incorporated of San Diego, Scholarship Committee; member of the San Diego Foundation. She graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communications.
Shawna Hook-Held believes in the power of storytelling, reflection, and infusing joy in all aspects of life. One of the first things she did after moving to San Diego from Washington state for graduate school was to get her San Diego Public Library card. She is a voracious reader and usually will have 1-2 wildly different book recommendations at any time. You can often find her running throughout District 7 preparing for her next half marathon, or visiting her neighborhood library with her wife and kids.
A first generation college graduate, Shawna works within higher education to empower students to showcase their worth and capture their stories through a variety of tools, such as the Co-Curricular Record. She utilizes her experience self-designing her undergraduate degree at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Western Washington University to reimagine and reignite joy both within and outside of the classroom. She is a former vice-chair of the UC San Diego LGBT Staff and Faculty Association, 2014 San Diego Leadership Alliance (SDLA) Fellow and 2013 Young Professionals Council (YPC) graduate.
Term expires March 1, 2024
Elizabeth A. Hansen is a public affairs professional with extensive experience in strategic planning and implementation of community, government and media outreach programs. As Executive Vice President of Southwest Strategies, Elizabeth assists the firm’s wide variety of private and public clients through the entitlement process, overseeing outreach programs related to land use, transportation and infrastructure projects for clients such as Pardee Homes, Starbucks Coffee, SANDAG, Caltrans, Poseidon Water, City of Carlsbad and Donahue Schriber. Prior to joining Southwest Strategies in 2000, Elizabeth was a staff writer for Arizona’s leading sports magazine and worked for San Diego Magazine as a photojournalist. Elizabeth is a graduate of Arizona State University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism, cum laude. Elizabeth was Vice Chair of the Scripps Miramar Ranch Community Planning Board on which she served four years. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s San Diego/Tijuana Chapter, and serves on the YMCA of San Diego County’s Youth & Family Services Board and the National University Holiday Bowl and San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl committees. Elizabeth lives in Scripps Ranch with her husband and son.
Term expires March 1, 2024
Ben Moraga made the decision Eighteen years ago to attend San Diego State University (SDSU) and call “America’s Finest City” home. While at SDSU, he earned a B.A. in Economics, with a minor in Public Administration. Currently, he is Vice President, Sharp HealthCare Foundation. He leads a team of twelve across three foundations, representing four acute care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, and over twenty-two outpatient clinics. Sharp is San Diego’s health care leader and the largest private employer with over 18,000 employees. Prior to joining Sharp, Ben spent eight years with the San Diego State University (SDSU) as the Associate Vice President, University Relations & Development. In 2010, then Mayor Jerry Sanders appointed him a Commissioner of the San Diego Housing Commission. He is currently a member of the Audit Committee and Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee.
In addition, Ben serves as Board Chair of the Monarch School. He is also a graduate of LEAD San Diego-Class of 2010; a member of the San Diego Bowl Game Association-Life Committee; Fieldstone Foundation Emerging Leaders-Fellow 2011; FBI Citizens Academy-Class of 2012; Herb Klein Leadership Round Table-Steering Committee; Phi Kappa Psi Alumni & Housing Corporate Board; SDSU President’s Latino Advisory Committee; SDSU’s Leadership Advisory Board; and Housing Development Partners-Board member. Ben and his wife, Jamie, currently live in Del Sur with their three-year old son, Jack.
Term expires March 1, 2021
Ms. Sotelo is the Executive Director of the New Americans Museum. She was previously President and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Sotelo created opportunities for Hispanic businesses while empowering the wider community. She has also held senior level executive positions with the San Diego Workforce Partnership, inSITE97 and inSite2000, where she worked to support artistic and cultural collaboration across the border of San Diego and Tijuana. Ms. Sotelo received a Bachelor of Arts in business and history from the United States International University and a Masters of Arts in international business and economics from Regents College, London.