Lauree Sahba
Lauree Sahba introduces the campaign on Tuesday at the Skybox at DiamondView. Photo by Chris Jennewein

The San Diego business community is spearheading a national marketing campaign to raise the visibility of the region’s innovation economy.

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. unveiled the three-year, $1 million “San Diego. Life. Changing” campaign Tuesday at the baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Arizona Diamondbacks.

That campaign, which includes video clips and the new website, is designed to attract scientific and entrepreneurial talent to San Diego.

“People truly come here and stay here because they can change the world in their work,” said Lauree Sahba, chief operating officer of the EDC.

“San Diego isn’t fully baked. We’re not LA or New York or even Boston. You can still be involved,” she added.

The campaign is backed by Qualcomm, CBRE, ViaSat, Sudberry Properties, Kaiser Permanente, Chase and a number of other regional businesses and nonprofits.

Ashley Van Zeeland, chief technology of the biotech Human Longevity, said her company hopes to attract top scientific talent to San Diego to help fundamentally change the practice of medicine.

“We need help telling the story of why they should consider San Diego,” she said.

Bill Bacon, executive vice president of CBRE in San Diego, said he considered the campaign “one of the most important economic initiatives” ever for the region.

“People outside of San Diego don’t know what we all know,” he explained.

One company that the business leaders hope to interest is Amazon, which is considering a second headquarters location.

“If we’re not top of mind to Amazon, then we don’t count,” cautioned Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the EDC.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.