Tuesday, August 8th

Announcements at today’s breakfast meeting:

  • The Optimist Club of Point Loma got a specific shout-out at Commodore Brian Davies’ change of command last Thursday, for our support of the sailors and families of Submarine Squadron 11.
  • President Roger Storer reiterated the slate of 2017-2018 officers, including his relief Bill Bramley.  The date for the Induction Dinner is under discussion.
  • This year’s Baja Chefs charity event will be Sunday, October 15th.
  • The Board will meet at 5 PM next week (August 14th), followed by the monthly Steak Fry at 6 PM.

Denny Knox, Executive Director of the OB MainStreet Association, is presented the coveted PLOC commemorative coin by President Roger Storer.

Optimist Mark Coonin and President Roger Storer thank Denny Knox for her presentation at this morning’s breakfast.

Our guest speaker this morning was Denny Knox , Executive Director of the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.  Her business (Cabrillo Art Center on Newport Ave.) was one of the original 5 founding members when the organization was formed as the OB Merchant Association in 1978.  It now has 545 members with an annual budget of $875,000 to support its mission of promoting and supporting local businesses and economic vitality in the OB community.  This is done through many activities, some of which include:

  • The popular OB Farmer’s Market (rain or shine on Wednesdays since 1992)
  • $67,000/year for repair and maintenance on Newport Ave. storefronts since the early 1990s
  • Support of the OB Business Improvement District (325 members contiguous to Newport Ave.)
  • OB Oktoberfest (October 6 & 7 this year)
  • Chili Cookoff
  • OB Fireworks
  • Utility box painting
  • Banners on Newport Ave.
  • Supporting the OB Restaurant Walk for holiday toy and food drives helping 70-90 families
  • Security guard program to supplement police coverage in OB
  • Many more activities that can be found on their very informative website:  http://OceanBeachSanDiego.com

Denny had a wealth of historical knowledge and answered many good questions.  She more details and insights on the proposed Target Express store on Newport Ave., for which the organization remains neutral.  We thank her for today’s presentation and for the work she and the OB MainStreet Association do to improve the community.

Tuesday, August 1st

Announcements:  New Member Jesse Sikorski was formally introduced to the Club today.

President Roger Storer officially announced Bert Barclay as the 2017 Golf Champion for the Club

 

Pres Roger Storer and New Member Jesse Sikorski

 

 

Pres Roger and Golf Champion Bert Barclay

August 14, 2017, 5:00 pm, Board Meeting at the San Diego Yacht Club; 6:00              pm Steak Fry at the San Diego Yacht Club

September 25, 2017, 63rd Annual Installation Dinner

October 15, 2017, Baja Chefs on the Point, Stone Brewery, Liberty Station

 

 

Today’s Speaker:  Scott Molloy, Senior Project Manager with Newland Communities

Scott Molloy is a Sr. Project Manager for Newland Communities and a Point Loma Optimist Member.  Scott presented the latest Master Planned Community (MPC) by Newland, Newland Sierra, to the Club members.  Sierra is a 1,985 acre ownership in the northern San Diego County.  The property lies along the westerly side of Interstate 15, north of the cities of Escondido and San Marcos.  The proposed MPC offers over 1,100 single family homes, 995 attached homes and 81,000 sf of neighborhood serving commercial space.  The site plan preserves over 1,200 acres of habitat land and 240 acres of community open space.  That is almost 74% of the property!  Additional community amenities include an elementary school site, and 36 acres of developed parkland.

Sierra is part of the Highway 76 employment corridor.  MarketPoint Realty estimates there are over 124,000 jobs in this corridor , with 63% of those job holders commuting from outside the corridor and 26% commuting from outside of San Diego County!  The Sierra MPC is designed to offer housing opportunities for some of those workers, thus reducing overall commute times and congestion.  “There is a big need for housing in San Diego County,” Scott commented.  “SANDAG estimates a need for 10,700 new homes per year for the period of 2012-2020.  MarketPoint estimates we are only averaging 5,400 new homes per year since 2012.  The Sierra MPC can help provide much needed home in a job rich area of the county.”

        Scott Molloy and Sect/Treas Jim Dennison

Sierra is also a cutting edge MPC with its integrated energy and water conservation plan.  “Every new single family home will be built with a solar photo-voltaic system.  The Sierra MPC will offset all GHG emissions for the life of the project.  The single family homes will also be built with EV chargers in the garages, to allow instant access for electric car recharging.  In addition to the current water saving requirements for new homes, the Sierra single family homes will all come pre-plumbed for greywater systems, allowing homeowners to reuse their own greywater (sink and shower drainage) for outdoor watering needs.  We are pushing the limits for conservation and alternative energy use,’ Scott said.

In addition to the developments costs, Newland will be committing over $173 million in public benefits and improvements.  A new interchange at Deer Springs Road and I-15, offsite improvements to Deer Springs Road, Twin Oaks Valley Road, Buena Creek Road, Mountain Meadow Road and North Twin Oaks Valley Road will significantly  improve the existing traffic conditions.  Over $26 million in fees for schools, fire mitigation, sewer and water services will also improve local conditions.

Now comes the hard part, the Draft Environmental Impact Report is in circulation for public comment.  The 60 day comment period will complete in August.  Then the County and Newland will have to respond to the comments before the public hearings can begin.  After finalizing the comment response, the proposal moves on to public hearings.  Here the NIMBY’s and YIMBY’s will provide their input to the County Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors.  A final vote on the project is still months away.  When the project reaches an approval, it will still take many more months to finalize all the other permits needed for construction and to begin “moving the dirt”.

 

Tuesday, July 25th

Announcements:  

September 25th will be the 63rd Annual Installation Dinner for new Officers and Board Members

October 15th will be the 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point event at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station.

Today’s Guest Speaker: John David (JD) Wicker, Athletic Director for San Diego State University

JD Wicker is the new Athletic Director for SDSU.  He started the job at the end of November, 2016.  “I have been in this position for about eight months now,” he told us.  “On my 45th day on the job, the Chargers announced they were leaving San Diego.  On my 100th day on the job, President Elliot Hirshman, the guy that hired me, announced he was leaving.  And, my 130th day on the job, Coach Steve Fisher announced he was retiring!  Now I ask you … was it something I said?”

Past Pres Ken S, Aztecs Steve D, JD Wicker, Gary C and Vernon L

JD is not new to SDSU, having served as Deputy Athletic Director from 2011 – 2015.  “It feels great to be back on the Mesa,” he said.  “I’m excited about the opportunities and possibilities for out student athletes and our programs.”  There are about 150 people working in the Athletic Department.  They cover 19 sport teams, 6 men and 13 women teams.  Since the 2012-13 year, SDSU teams have combined for 32 Mountain West championships including 8 in the last year.  SDSU has 329 Scholar Athletes (overall GPA of 3.0 and/or a 3.2 GPA in the most recent semester).  That is 60% of the total number of SDSU intercollegiate athletes at the school!  99 members of the Mountain West Conference All-Academic Teams are from SDSU.  And, all SDSU teams meet or exceed the APR (Academic Progress Rate) retention/graduation requirements set by the NCAA with scores of 962 -1000 (where a two year score of 930 is required for post season qualification and 1000 is a perfect score).

“We take pride in our students accomplishments, in athletics, academics and life skills.  We focus on life skills with our athletes, helping them learn skills to handle time management, leadership, financial affairs, resume preparation, job interviews, grad school applications, internships, media relations and many other life opportunities,” JD shared.  “We expect to continue to train young men and women to be successful in life, with or without a professional athletic career.”

JD also shared his thoughts about the Qualcomm Stadium issues.  He told us SDSU has 2 years left on its lease with the City and has begun negotiations to extend that lease.  “Expansion for SDSU is a must for SDSU.  The Mission Valley site is ideal because of its location, transportation facilities and planning opportunities.  UCSD sits on over 1,200 acres.  SDSU has 238 acres.  SDSU has a goal to be a top 50 research institute.  We need space for expansion and the Mesa does not allow for continued growth.  In 2007, an Economic Impact study for SDSU showed a $2.4 billion benefit for San Diego.  An updated study is being prepared now.  We expect that number will grow significantly.”  SDSU is meeting with other potential partners for the redevelopment of the Qualcomm Stadium site.  They expect  to have their ideas ready for public review later this year.

The Point Loma Optimists want to thank JD Wicker for sharing his insights on SDSU Athletics and the future of SDSU.  With a number of Aztec grads in our club, we are ready to help make SDSU the best it can be!

 

Thursday, July 13th

At our meeting on Tuesday, the Club also introduced a new member to the Point Loma Optimist Club.  Brian Harrison of Banner Bank was formally accepted into full membership.   We welcome Brian to the Club and look forward to working with him to improve the lives of the children on the Peninsula.

Membership Chair Tom Lewis, New Member Brian Harrison and 1st VP Bill Bramley

 

In addition to the membership addition, the Club also announced the results of the Nominating Committee for selection of Officers and Board Members for the 2017/2018 year.  The nominations are:

President:  Bill Bramley

1st VP:  Steve Doyle

2nd VP:  Jeff Fischbeck

3rd VP:  Chris Jacobs

Sec/Treas: Jim Dennison

2nd Year Board Members:  Joe Davis, John Ponder and Gary Correia

1st Year Board Members:  Bill Fiedler, Sean Smith and Mike Panissidi

Immediate Past President:  Roger Storer,  and

Senior Past President:  Ron Lauderbach

 

Thank you gentlemen, for you agreement to serve and your efforts for the betterment of the Club!

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 11th

Announcements:  VP Bill Bramley hosted this morning’s breakfast meeting.  Bill announced:

July 17th will be the Annual Golf Tournament at River Walk Golf Club, followed by the next Board Meeting at 5:00 pm and the Steak Fry / Golf Awards Dinner at 6:00 pm.

July 25th will be the next Breakfast Meeting at the SDYC at 7:00 am.  The guest speaker will be J.D. Wicker, the Athletic Director for SDSU.

September 25th will be the 63rd Annual Installation Dinner for new Officers and Board Members

October 15th will be the 3rd Annual Baja Chef’s on the Point event at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station.

Today’s Guest Speaker:  Peter Comiskey, Executive Director of the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership

Balboa Park is a 1,200 acre island of peace, tranquility and beauty, nestled in the canyons and along the mesas of San Diego.  The Park is home for 17 museums, the world famous San Diego Zoo, the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages, the California Tower, the Cabrillo Bridge and many more fascinating sight, sounds and tastes of California.

A big challenge for Balboa Park is how to get 30 arts, science, and cultural institutions, representing over 120 non-profit groups, 500 trustees, 7,000 volunteers and 3,500 staff members to work together for the greatest benefit of the 6.2 million annual visitors?  Well, you start with the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) whose focus is to achieve greater effectiveness, innovation and excellence and to contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Balboa Park.

Gary Correia, Peter Comiskey and Bill Bramley

The Executive Director of the BPCP is Peter Cominskey.  Peter visited with the Point Loma Optimist Club this morning to give us some insight into the group’s activities and upcoming activities in the Park.  “We are focused on outreach to the greater San Diego community.  One way we are doing this is with our Explorer Pass,” Peter explained.  Starting at $99 for one year, the Explorer gets 12 months of admission to 16 museums and exclusive newsletters, recommendations and invitations to Explorer-only events.

“We are also working with community non-profit groups to provide Community Access Passes to economically disadvantaged, at-risk and traditionally underserved families through-out San Diego.  The Community Access Passes provide all the benefits of the Explorer Passes and are made available by special corporate, civic and private donors,” he continued.  “And our newest program is the Military Appreciation Pass.  This program offers Explorer Passes to active duty military families in San Diego.”

Peter also shared some of the upcoming improvements to the Park.  “The Plaza de Panama project will move auto traffic to the perimeter of the park and offer additional parking opportunities.  We hope to begin this project in 2018.”  Meanwhile, the House of Pacific Relations is adding 9 new cottages.  The Museum of Man is going to undergo a seismic retrofit.  The Hall of Champions is being converted to the Center for Cultural Experiences in a joint program with Comic-con.  All in all, the BPCP is very active and interested in improving every visitor’s experience in Balboa Park.  And, with Peter Comiskey at the helm, there will continue to be communication, coordination, collaboration and success!  Thank you, Peter.

Tuesday, June 27th

Announcements:

July 4, 2017: NO breakfast meeting, have a great 4th celebration!

July 17, 2017:  Annual Point Loma Optimists Golf Tournament at River Walk CC

Board Meeting at 5:15 pm at SDYC

Steak Fry at 6:00 pm at SDYC

October 17, 2017:  3rd Annual Baja Chef’s on the Point at Stone Brewery in Liberty Station

 

Peggy Pico, registered nurse, journalist, writer and now Director of Development for the Community Resource Center (CRC).  Since 1979, the CRC has been working to end hunger, homelessness and domestic violence in the North County San Diego region.  As a provider of integrative services, CRC’s programs include a domestic violence emergency shelter, hotline and prevention/education outreach, a Therapeutic Children’s Center, professional counseling, legal advocacy, food and nutrition distribution center, homelessness prevention and rental and housing assistance.

Peggy Pico

Ms. Pico visited with the PL Optimists this morning to share some insights into her careers and the paths her life took to reach this new point.  “I started my professional career as a registered nurse.  I worked as a nurse for 10 years, when I made my first career changing decision,” she told us.  “I always enjoyed writing and I decided to do something about it.”  A career in journalism came calling.  From Tucson, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, Peggy was a three time Emmy Award winning broadcast journalist, including stints as the nightly host, anchor and reporter at KPBS and NBC 7 News in San Diego.  When station changes at KPBS were suggested a couple months back, Peggy decided a new direction was again warranted, and the opportunity at CRC was offered.

“I know it sounds like a great professional life and people assume my success was all prescribed at birth.  You know the old adage, born with a silver spoon…?  Well, nothing could be further from the truth,” she said.  “Let me share some facts about my early years…”  Peggy was born to parents of limited mental capacity.  “My mom had a 3rd grade level intelligence and my dad had a 6th grade level,” she confided.  She grew up with three other siblings and experienced some of the darker sides of life on the streets.  Homelessness, hunger, foster care, living with prostitutes, parents trying to stay one step ahead of the law and constant moving were “normal” for Peggy’s early years.

“I didn’t start school until I was 7,” she shared.  “Then I got lucky, my aunt and uncle agreed to take me in.  I found stability in my life.”  This was the opportunity Peggy needed.  She went on to get a Bachelor’s Degree from Biola University and then a Journalism Certificate from UCLA.  Now she wants to use these experiences with CRC.  “I know what it means to grow up poor, in foster care and living in the shadows.  I saw the caring and professional people at CRC working with their clients … people and children like I once was … and I knew I needed to join CRC.  So here I am, career number three.”

Peggy is writing a book about her experiences.  Life and Success by Stepping Stones.  Each challenge and each opportunity can be a stepping stone.  By following the right stepping stones, you can achieve success and have a good life.  So the question is … will you be a stepping stone and help others along their life’s path?

Thanks for sharing Peggy!

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 6th

Dr. Cynthia Smith, Pres. Roger Storer and Kristina Martz

The mission of the National Marine Mammal Foundation is to improve and protect life for marine mammals, humans and our shared oceans through science, service and education.  That is big job for Dr. Cynthia Smith, the Executive Director and Kristina Martz, overseeing Executive Operations.  The Optimist Club of Point Loma welcomed these ladies to our weekly breakfast meeting to hear all about their work.

Focusing on the scientific and health related issues of marine mammals, protecting the health and well being of these amazing creatures and educating the next generation of scientists and ocean ambassadors about marine mammals and their habitats is a full time job and passion.  Dr. Smith related to us some of their important ongoing studies.

“We have 180 professionals and 60 college interns working across the world on special study programs,” Dr. Smith told us.  “Do you know dolphins don’t get diabetes? And, dolphins don’t age the way humans do?  We are hopeful we can learn why and use that knowledge to improve human lives!”  At the same time, the Foundation is working to understand the effects of the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on dolphin health and safety.  They are rescuing sea lion pups that get stranded on California beaches.  They are studying the impacts of military activity on the endangered Beluga whales and Killer whales in Alaskan waters.  They are conducting hearing and acoustic  studies with elephant seals.  These are but a few of their recent activities.

Vaquita porpoise

In a cooperative engagement with the government of Mexico, the Foundation is attempting to save the remaining few Vaquita porpoise in the northern part of the Gulf of California.  The plan involves relocating some of the remaining vaquitas to a temporary sanctuary, while crucial efforts aimed at eliminating illegal fishing and removing gillnets from their environment continue. The emergency action plan will be led by the Mexican government and supported by a consortium of marine mammal experts from more than a dozen organizations around the world.  “We believe there may be as few as 30 Vaquita porpoise remaining in the wild,” stated Dr. Smith.  “Without an immediate action plan and the cooperation of the Mexican government, this species could vanish!”

To learn more about the National Marine Mammal Foundation, please follow this link to their website: http://www.nmmf.org/.  Special thanks to Dr. Smith and Ms. Martz for sharing their stories with us this morning!

Cabrillo Elementary students and Optimist Steve Doyle

In other news about the Club, on Monday, June 5th, the Club made a follow up presentation of their donation to the students, teachers and parents of Cabrillo Elementary at their monthly Awards Program.  Club Members Steve Doyle, Jeff Fischbeck and Chuck Shedd provided the surprise of the morning when they offered the BIG CHECK to Principal Irene Hightower.  The students were extremely excited at the prospects of new school computers and library books.  If you would like to view a short video on the presentation, please follow this link:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/nvc723nv8sshvp8/170605%20Cabrillo%207897.mp4?dl=0

In addition, Club Member Bob Silides announced that the Optimist Club of Point Loma would be awarding $20,000 of scholarships to graduating seniors from Point Loma High School on Thursday night.  “We are really proud of the students we selected and amazed at their scholastic and civic achievements,” Bob said.  “They will make us proud as their accomplishments grow in their college experiences.”

Two additional notices were provided to Club Members.  Member Bert Barclay announced the Annual Golf Tournament will be held on July 17th.  Watch your email for more information.  And, Member Jim Seman announced the 3rd Annual Baja Chefs on the Point event will be held on October 15th.

 

Tuesday, May 30th

Another BIG DAY at the Point Loma Optimist Club.  We started the morning by celebrating four members’  birthdays.  A special congrats go out to Jim Dennison, Bob Silides, Mike Panissidi and Ron Lauderbach.

(left-right) Chuck Shedd, Pres. Roger Storer, Principal Irene Hightower, Steve Doyle, Admin. Asst. Arlene Precola and Library Asst. Venessa Stokely

We then awarded Cabrillo Elementary with a check for $12,400.  The money was raised at the Club’s Annual Golden Grand Gala, chaired by Check Shedd.  Principal Irene Hightower thanked the Club members and promised the donation would be used for new computers and books.  “We have been without a computer lab for a couple of years now.  This money will bring 16 new Google Chromebooks to the classroom and provide new books for our library.  We are very grateful to the Point Loma Optimists!”

Our speaker for the morning was Gary Gallegos, Executive Director of the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG).  Gary is a nationally recognized expert in transportation, land use, regional public policy making and binational planning.  He leads a staff of approximately 350 professionals who develop public policy initiatives for elected officials of the 18 incorporated cities and the unincorporated County of San Diego.  SANDAG is responsible for regional planning issues including, population growth, transportation, environmental  management, economic development, municipal financing, public safety and binational coordination.  The budget for SANDAG for FY2017 is $1.357 billion.

“While many of the subject matters covered by SANDAG concern the recommendations for policies to be implemented by the individual jurisdictions, regional transportation infrastructure is an area that starts with planning and ends with construction.   TransNet, is a voter approved 1/2 cent sales tax measure that originally passed in 1988 as a 20 year plan.  It was extended by a second voter approval in 2004, taking the sale tax addition out to 2048,” according to Mr. Gallegos.  “During the recent economic downturn, SANDAG to advantage of the bonding provisions of the measure and the aggressive bidding of subcontractors to build 50% of our approved projects.  We now have 30 years left to finish the other half!”

Pres Roger Storer and SANDAG Ex. Director Gary Gallegos

The Mid-Coast trolley extension takes the trolley from the Old Town Station thru UCSD to the UTC shopping center.  This $2.6 billion construction project is underway and received nearly 50% of its costs from a Federal Transportation grant!  The North Coast corridor program includes the double tracking of the rail lines from San Diego to the Orange County border.  This project is 2/3 complete.  A second part of this program is the widening of I-5, adding 2 lanes in each direction.  This project is now underway and will take over 30 years to complete.

Mr. Gallegos fielded questions from Club members and shared some interesting perspectives regarding upcoming SANDAG work programs.  The Optimist Club of Point Loma thanks Mr. Gallegos for his presentation and invites him to come back anytime!

 

 

Tuesday, May 23rd

The Point Loma Optimist Club recognized eight local elementary school students today during their Annual Youth Appreciation Breakfast today at the San Diego Yacht Club.   Students are nominated by their teachers and principals.  To be nominated for the award, “a student must represent the qualities of citizenship, academics, and most of all, an optimistic spirit that radiates from him or her making everyone’s day a little brighter”.  An amazing group of young people were presented to an audience of club members, family, friends, teachers and principals.

Vince Glorioso, Club Vice President and Executive Director of the Point Loma YMCA, served as the master of ceremonies, “Welcome to the Optimist Club of Point Loma Youth Appreciation Awards Breakfast.  This is our signature event, celebrating accomplishments of the youth in our community.”  Vince asked the award winning students to introduce themselves and their guests, then began the awards program.  The winning students include:

Pres. Roger Storer and the 2017 Youth Appreciation Award Winners

 

David Baker, from Loma Portal Elementary, is a responsible student and great friend.  He is a leader and very helpful to his teacher.

Amelie Jacobs, from Ocean Beach Elementary, is a helpful friend, shows great empathy to others and volunteers to help all other students.

Marina Jacoway, from Sunset View Elementary, is an ideal student, who gives 120% and takes her education very seriously.

Isabel Kincart, from Warren-Walker School, has a passion for learning and Girl Scouts, she is a leader, athlete and outstanding young lady.

Jehu Perez-Gonzalez, from Silver Gate Elementary, is a great benefit to his school, and a thoughtful young man who always looks out for his younger sister.

Daniel Rose, from Dewey Elementary, is a great student, determined to go to college and rides a bus from Spring Valley every day to attend school.

Giovanni Sanchez, from Cabrillo Elementary, volunteers for school flag duty, tutors kindergarten students and helps out his teacher and classmates.

Emma Santos, from Saint Charles Borromeo Academy, is an excellent student, leads by example, a great friend and a nine-year attendee of the school.

The Youth Appreciation Award reads: “For upholding the dignity of youth, for showing sincere devotion to the welfare of others, and for generous and unselfish contributions to society.” Each of these outstanding students received a framed, personalized Certificate of Achievement and a cash prize of $200.

Vince asked for all attendees to applaud these great young people.  He then asked the parents, teachers and principals of the award winners to be recognized and applauded for their continuing efforts to guide these students.

The event concluded with Club President, Roger Storer congratulating the winners and requesting the students, family members and school dignitaries to join him for a group picture.

Tuesday, May 2nd

The University of San Diego (USD) is a 180 acre campus with 3.2 million square feet of space in 94 buildings.  The University serves over 7,800 full time students and 65,000 alumni.  USD is a highly regarded by US News & World Report, The Princeton Review, Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes, Business Insider, Kiplinger and many other professional organizations.

         Steve, Glenn and USD VP of Operations, Ky Snyder

USD offers 43 bachelor’s degrees, 29 master’s degrees, the JD, five LLM degrees and 3 doctorates from 440 full time and 466 part time faculty.  USD student athletes compete in 17 NCAA Division I teams and 23 sport clubs.  USD is fully accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and has been since 1956.

Ky Snyder is the Vice President of University Operations and oversees a diverse job that includes Facility Management, Parking Services and Campus Scheduling, Public Safety and Intercollegiate Athletics.  And, as busy as he is, he still found time to visit with the PL Optimist Club this morning to give us an update on all things important at USD.  First and foremost on Ky’s agenda is the University’s Conditional Use Permit and Master Plan Update.  After three years of planning and public review, the approval is now scheduled to go before the San Diego Planning Commission on June 1st and followed then with a City Council approval in mid-July.  “This is very important to the University.  The approval of the Master Plan update will allow USD to grow it’s student population to 10,000 and governs the site development of the campus,” he shared with us.  “Everything from the number of employees we may hire, to the landscaping to be installed is governed by the Master Plan.  We need to get this completed and begin implementation.”

Ky also shared with the Club members his thoughts on NCAA athletics and the challenges they will be faced in the near future as television contracts come up for renewal and court cases regarding athlete rights make their way through the system.  “We will see change.  The rules will be re-written.  How athletics and athletes are treated by the system will change, hopefully for the benefit of both the schools and the athletes,” he concluded.  Ky should know, as he started his employment with USD as the Director of Athletic Development and then spent 12 years as the Executive Director of Athletics for the University.

The Vision for USD  is to set the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic University where innovative change-makers confront humanity’s urgent challenges.  This Vision is guided by Core Values that include Academic Excellence, Knowledge, Community, Ethical Conduct and Compassionate Service.  Ky asked us, “Whatever happened to civility in discourse?  Why are we so polarized in our opinions and positions?  There is no middle ground anymore.  We are pushed to extremes and refuse to recognize compromise as a viable solution.”  USD is looking to create change-makers who are compassionate leaders.  The Optimists believe with leaders like Ky Snyder, they are headed in the right direction!

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