Paul L. Watson, Jr., MSHS
Formerly Executive Director of the Training and Research Institute for Residential Youth Centers in New Haven, CT; San Diego Youth and Community Services; and Watson and Associates International. Paul began his career as a youth organizer at the age of 17. He has a Master's degree from Springfield College. He began a consultant organization in 1998 and specialized in Community Development, Youth Development, Child Welfare, and Organizational Development. He successfully completed International projects in Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan), The Netherlands, Brazil, Jamaica, and Egypt. He is a national trainer in Youth Development and a member of the Community Youth Development Design Team. He was trained as an ICA Participatory Facilitator. Paul has also served as faculty at Springfield College, New School of Architecture and Design, San Diego City College, and UC San Diego. Paul has won numerous awards and has published both books and articles.
Ahmed is a freelance community engagement and business owner who has lived in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood for more than 24 years.
He is the Founder and Executive Director of non-profit City Heights Youth and Family Outreach, which is dedicated to enhancing self-sufficiency within local families. Ahmed is an advocate for safe, organized and healthy communities, currently serving on the City Heights Area Planning Committee, City Heights Project Area Committee, Mid-City CAN Coordinating Council and City Heights on Portal.
Ahmed holds a Master’s degree, Organizational Management Leadership from Springfield College, School of Human Services. He speaks Somali and English fluently.
Clarence Henderson, III
Clarence is the Executive Director of The Inner City Athletic Program (ICAP) in San Diego. ICAP is an organization aimed at decreasing childhood obesity through sports and physical activity.
He has more than 20 years experience working with youth through athletics, as well as counseling youth within the child welfare system living in group homes.
Clarence holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Springfield College.
Bob is a Real Estate Investment and Property Management business owner with real estate holdings around the world. Bob was born in La Jolla and earned a BA at UC San Diego in Urban Studies and Planning (USP). He now serves on the USP Steering Committee which provides direction to the educational program on a wide range of issues (curriculum, events, opportunities for students, annual Urban Expo). He also currently serves on Project Wildlife's Board of Directors.
Bob began his business career at an early age. He was trained as a tailor to follow a long line of tailors in his family. After graduating High School at age 17, Bob moved to Belgium to begin an automobile export business. He exported S Class Mercedes Benz autos and converted them (EPA, DOT) for sale in the U.S. market. Bob bought his first apartment building in Hillcrest at age 19....and he has not stopped buying since. He spent 31 years buying property...money lending and renovations. He is a real estate agent, investor and building renovator.
After graduating from UCSD, Bob held the position of Assistant to the Director of the County of San Diego Department of Planning and Land Use (DPLU). He worked with former Mayor Susan Golding on the Sensitive Lands Ordinance. He also assisted in putting together County Supervisor Golding’s State of the County speech....research...etc. Bob has also done some advising and training for the federal government.
In the early 1990s Bob managed the largest ship chandlery in Los Angeles. For a short time he worked in quality control at Harrods (London). Bob has extensive experience in international banking and real estate transactions. He owns property in Hawaii, California, England and Greece....and soon SOBE. He runs various business ventures overseas, from olive oil production to an estate agency. Locally he runs a property management firm...acquisition and also a small invoicing company.
He has written articles on economic and real estate issues for KFI radio, Fox Business News and The Street.com. His work has appeared in The European and in the Athens News. He speaks Greek, Spanish and English fluently.
Bea has over 30 years of experience in the field of Human Resource Management, Labor Law, Employee Relations, Cultural Diversity, Supervision, Employee Safety, Training & Staff Development.
In 2002, she retired from her position as Vice President Human Resources, YMCA of San Diego County. She has served as Associate Executive Director at Jackie Robinson YMCA and Adjunct Faculty at Springfield College.
Bea holds a Master’s degree in Human Service Administration (Springfield College) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and Human Resource Management.
She has received numerous awards including Women Who Mean Business Award from the San Diego Business Journal; Tribute to Women in Industry Award from YWCA, San Diego; and San Diego Human Resources Association Professional of the Year Award.
Gil Ontai, EdD, M.Arch
Dr. Ontai is a practicing architect and urban planner for over 20 years in San Diego. Formerly, he was city planning commissioner and city redevelopment director for downtown San Diego. He also held positions as campus director and educator at Springfield College, School of Human Services. Ontai is currently State Commissioner on the Citizens Redistricting Commission and recipient of Harvard Kennedy Ash Center award for community engagement.
He has been an active advisor/board member on numerous cultural and minority organizations such as Neighborhood House, Union of Pan Asian Communities, Pacific Islander Education Foundation, and Samahan Health Center, where he has helped shape policies to address health disparities, economic growth, educational opportunities, resource access, and community/housing needs. Additionally, he has worked with numerous community planning groups in developing community master plans that addressed housing, environmental, recreational, educational, infrastructure and capital improvement needs. As redevelopment director, Ontai has worked with city officials, planning staff, private developers, civic organizations, and business groups in ways that bridged dialogue with neighborhoods and community leadership.
His area of on-going research focuses on community engagement through action research with emphasis on outreaching to diverse cultural and socio-economic communities through his practice as action researcher and urban architect. Ontai received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in architecture and Doctorate in adult education.
David Pellow, Ph.D.
Dr. Pellow is Dehlsen Chair and Professor of Environmental Studies, and Director, Global Environmental Justice Project, University of California Santa Barbara.
Previously, he was a professor in the department of ethnic studies at UC San Diego and director of California Cultures in Comparative Perspective, a research initiative that supports creative interdisciplinary research, teaching and collaborations among faculty, students, and the public.
His areas of research focus on environmental conflict in ethnic communities in the United States, Africa and Asia. Pellow can speak on issues concerning race/ethnicity, the environment, labor, social protest, immigration, free trade agreements, and globalization, as well as the global impacts of the high-tech industry in Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world.
Pellow has written on the social and environmental impacts of the U.S. and international waste management industries (garbage, pesticides, incineration, electronic computer wastes, etc.) and the global social protest movement that has emerged to combat this issue. Pellow has also published material on environmental racism, occupational health hazards, economic globalization, international environmental protest movements, Silicon Valley industries, the global environment in high-tech and social impacts, waste management industry, recycling industry, international movement of hazardous chemical wastes and international laws/conventions/treaties concerning environmental protection.
Pellow also seeks to make the academic enterprise more relevant and more accessible to non-academic audiences. Pellow received his B.A. in sociology and religious studies and his M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology.
Nohelia is a community organizer who focuses on the creativity, genius, and resiliency of communities of color, especially women of color.
Her organizing has ranged from environmental, racial and housing justice across indigenous and immigrant communities.