Sarah Bilyeu

The International Association of Business Communicators San Diego Chapter has selected Sarah Bilyeu, senior vice president of business development and community relations at San Diego County Credit Union, as its 2021 Communicator of the Year.

Bilyeu will be honored at a virtual awards ceremony that will include a fireside chat and interactive questions-and-answers session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 27. To register, visit

IABC said its award recognizes a San Diego leader who demonstrates strategic excellence in communications and serves as an outstanding example to others through quality of work and contributions to the communications profession.

“We are thrilled to honor Sarah with IABC-San Diego’s eighth annual Communicator of the Year award,” said Jayanti Menches, president, IABC-San Diego. “She demonstrates what it takes to be a strategic communications professional and community leader.”

Bilyeu began serving on the IABC-San Diego chapter board in 2010, and served as president in 2016-2017. In 2013, she won an IABC Gold Quill for a Brand Advertising Marketing Campaign, Internal Communications Strategy category.

“This is an incredible honor, especially among so many exceptional communications leaders in San Diego,” said Bilyeu. “IABC has been an invaluable resource throughout my career. Not only did I learn early on the basic fundamentals and strategies for effective internal and external communications, but also, I continue to learn and expand my knowledge, and best of all, I have met lifelong colleagues and friends.”

IABC said Bilyeu is known for her leadership style and intense pride and passion for her work. Her extensive background in internal and external communications has contributed to the success of SDCCU’s business development and community relations programs, according to IABC.

At SDCCU, Bilyeu is responsible for defining and implementing the organization’s community relations, public relations and business development strategy including elevating brand awareness throughout Southern California. She also coordinates and maintains strategic relationships with local companies and community organizations as well as at SDCCU’s more than 40 branch locations.

IABC said award honorees must be IABC San Diego chapter members who exemplify the role of a leader in communication with proficiency in internal and external communications. Honorees also must have experience at implementing a strategic communication plan that addresses the vision, objectives and priorities of an organization and participates in new and innovative methods of communication to diverse audiences.

Previous IABC winners have included: Kate Griffin, Qualcomm (2020); Mike Godfrey, Scripps Health (2019); Margie Newman, Intesa Communications Group (2018); Lisa Hunter, Booz Allen Hamilton (2017); Anna Davison, AMN Healthcare (2016); Marilyn Olson, Charles Schwab financial services (2015); Cason Lane, Cason Lane Strategic Communications (2014).

The San Diego IABC chapter did not select a Junior Communicator of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Ballast Point’s New IPA Named After Radio Station 91X

San Diego-based Ballast Point Brewing Co. has introduced a new craft beer named after local radio station XTRA-FM 91X. The pale ale, called 91XPA, is available on draft on a limited release at three San Diego-area Ballast Point tasting rooms at 9045 Carroll Way, 2215 India St. and 5401 Linda Vista Road.

According to a Ballast Point statement, 91XPA is a balanced, approachable extra pale ale, malty but drinkable with amarillo, cashmere, northern brewer and mosaic hops, coming in at 5.4 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). 

“We’re proud of our newest release, 91XPA, a beer formed out of our partnership with 91X,” said Chris Takeuchi, Ballast Point brewer. “From its inception, to the creation of the idea, to the selection of ingredients, all aspects of this beer grew out of this collaboration with a name that couldn’t have suited the goal any better. The result is a delicious, well-balanced, full-flavored but highly drinkable hop-forward extra pale ale with a firm maltiness and notes of citrus, pear, and pine. We hope everyone enjoys drinking it as much as we did making it.”

“91XPA is the collaborative result of two proudly local and independent San Diego brands coming together to create a beer for a good cause that we’d all enjoy drinking,” said Garett Michaels, program director, 91X. “91XPA is the crushable extra pale ale of our dreams. We can’t wait for all our friends, neighbors and listeners to enjoy it.”

Local Media San Diego, LLC, operates 91X along with XHTZ-FM Z90.3, XHRM-FM Magic 92.5 and KFBG-FM 100.7 BIG-FM. Ballast Point Brewing, now in its 25th year, brews more than 50 styles of beer distributed in select markets across the U.S. and internationally.

Clearpoint Agency Adds AI-Based Shipper Airspace as Client

Clearpoint Agency, a public relations firm in Encinitas, reports it has begun representing San Diego-based Airspace, a technology company that leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to determine the optimal path for transporting time-critical deliveries, such as organs for transplants, vaccines and machine parts.

Bonnie Shaw

Clearpoint said it has been tasked with increasing the venture-backed company’s visibility through media relations and content. The PR firm also said Airspace’s AI technology can track more than 16,000 touch points and calculate the best routes in less than a second to transport goods from a pickup location to a destination at the lowest transit cost and minimal risk.

“A router generates a time and space expectation of where each order should be at any given time, which is checked via distributed sensors,” said Bonnie Shaw, president of Clearpoint. “Even if an expected flight is canceled, it immediately establishes a new plan and tracks it. Automated notifications are provided in real time, generating leading indicators rather than lagging ones.”

Founded in 2016, Airspace recently announced completion of Series C funding of $38 million, bringing its total funding to more than $70 million. It currently serves more than 200 customers in healthcare, high-tech, manufacturing and aerospace.

PRSA to Discuss Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter will host an online panel discussion on “Building Better Leaders of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” starting at from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, over Zoom.

Speakers will discuss PRSA’s three-year plan to achieve measurable EDI outcomes and how organizations can implement an EDI process. Speakers will include: Keith Bryant, news producer at KNSD-TV NBC 7 and current president of The San Diego Association of Black Journalists; Jamie Hampton, CEO of Mixte Communications and Tracks Public Relations and a PRSA board member; two staff members of Puzzle Pieces Marketing of San Diego, including Angel Mason Broadus, president and founder, and Kristine Mason Broadus, vice president.

Cost to attend the webinar is $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. For more information, visit

Rick Griffin is a San Diego-based public relations and marketing consultant. His MarketInk column appears weekly on Mondays in Times of San Diego.

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