Lorena Ruggero and David Ogul
Lorena Ruggero and David Ogul

Lorena Ruggero has left Grossmont College in El Cajon after seven years as director of college and community relations to join the San Diego Foundation as director of communications.

She will be responsible for creating awareness for the foundation’s products, services, programs and impact on the San Diego community. She also will work with departmental teams to provide updates on the Foundation’s initiatives and community impact programs to donors, nonprofit partners, elected officials, community members and other stakeholders.

“As a lifelong San Diegan, I’ve always admired The San Diego Foundation and its commitment to our region. I’m excited to join the team and our vision for just, equitable and resilient communities,” Ruggero told Times of San Diego.

Prior to Grossmont College, Ruggero spent 13 years in various marketing and communications roles at San Diego State University and Associated Students of San Diego State University, Inc., a non-profit auxiliary of SDSU, and as a lecturer with the School of Journalism and Media Studies. She earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations and a master’s degree in mass communication and media studies from SDSU.

Succeeding Ruggero at the community college is David Ogul, a former San Diego Union-Tribune news editor from 2000 to 2011, who spent the past decade in freelance communications roles with the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, the San Diego Community College District, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, MiraCosta College and National University.

Ogul’s title at Grossmont College is interim director of college and community relations. He will oversee public relations, marketing and special event coordination at Grossmont College.

“I’m excited to be working with such a dynamic Grossmont College team committed to transforming lives through learning and providing anyone the tools and support they need to reach their career and education goals, all through an equity lens,” said Ogul.

In addition to the U-T, Ogul reported for the Press-Enterprise in Riverside, Calif., the Times-Advocate in Escondido and the North County Citizen. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science from San Diego State University.

Navy Veteran Launches Statewide Veterans Magazine

A Navy veteran with no prior publishing experience is preparing to launch a statewide 80-page, glossy, four-color magazine in January that she hopes will connect with the more than 165,000 women veterans who reside in California.

Melissa Washington, founder of Women Veterans Alliance, a 400-member national organization that supports women veterans, said the magazine, called Women Veterans Magazine, will include a directory of resources for women veterans who are transitioning out of the military and stories about issues affecting women veterans.

“No, I have no publishing experience,” Washington told Times of San Diego. “But, then again, I had no experience when I started a national organization from the ground-floor. And, we’re still going strong today.”

Melissa Washington

As an 18-year-old, Washington enlisted in the Navy and served three years in active duty and five years in reserve. In the mid-1990s, she left the Navy having witnessed the burdens that come with a dual-active service family. Her husband remained in the Marine Corps for 21 years.

She then spent a decade working in corporate recruiting and human resources, working with Nissan, Oracle, Tickets.com, Randstad and the 2002 Winter Olympics, followed by four years with LinkedIn in the company’s global corporate meeting and events division.

In 2015, Washington founded Women Veterans Alliance. Its mission includes supporting women veteran-owned businesses and partnering with other organizations that share our same mission of empowering women. 

“This magazine is long overdue,” said Washington. “There are thousands of women veterans out there who are not using the many benefits they’re entitled to. Our advertisers are excited to reach this targeted population.”

Initially, the magazine’s publishing schedule will be annually. About 7,500 copies are planned for distribution in California at military bases, military medical facilities, college campuses and government offices. Some supermarkets, bookstores, newsstands and airports are planned to sell a limited number of issues at a $12.95 retail price. Subscriptions and advertising information is available online at www.womenveteransallinace.com.

Women Veterans Alliance will host its annual convention called the Unconference, Oct. 8-10, at the Tropicana Resort in Las Vegas. For event information, visit www.WomenVeteransUnconference.com.

Carrie Parker Named Senior VP of Marketing at Cordial

San Diego-based Cordial, offering a cross-channel marketing platform for retail brands, has named Carrie Parker as senior vice president of marketing.

Carrie Parker

Cordial said Parker will oversee the company’s marketing and communications programs, including digital strategy, branding and demand generation, with a focus on business growth and market expansion. With more than 20 years of marketing experience, Parker previously held marketing positions at Vericast, Kantar Group and American Express.

“We are thrilled to welcome Carrie to our executive team, as we continue to execute on our vision of transforming cross-channel marketing and focus on driving exceptional experiences and outcomes for our clients,” said Jeremy Swift, co-founder and CEO of Cordial. “Carrie is a proven leader and rare marketing talent. Combined with our strong platform and product roadmap, we are poised to further bolster Cordial’s reputation and recognition as the most innovative platform in the marketplace.”

“At its core, Cordial helps brands create more meaningful, personalized experiences with their customers,” said Parker. “Cordial’s platform and mission are both grounded in a commitment to creating authentic connections, which is really special. Cordial is also at a critical inflection point in its growth, and I am thrilled to be joining this stellar team to accelerate our momentum and introduce many more businesses to Cordial and our next generation approach to cross-channel engagement.”

Cordial serves a number of high-profile retails brands, including Revolve, 1-800-Contacts, Backcountry and Eddie Bauer. The company also recently announced it became the first cross-channel marketing platform in the digital customer experience category available on Amazon Web Services Marketplace.

PRSA to Discuss Rady Shell PR Strategies

The Public Relations Society of America’s San Diego-Imperial Counties chapter will host “The Scoop on the Shell,” a lunch-and-learn webinar about PR and media relations strategies used for the recent launch of the Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, a new concert venue in downtown San Diego, from noon to 1 p.m., Friday, Oct. 8, over Zoom.

Speakers will include Carrie Jones, chief communications office, and Kelsey Buller, public relations supervisor, both with Raindrop Agency of San Diego. They will discuss whether the outdoor, year-round bayside venue can become a cultural landmark and profit-generator that rivals the Hollywood Bowl and Sydney Opera House.

The state-of-the-art venue, which occupies about a third of downtown’s 10.8-acre Embarcadero Marina Park, hosts performances by the San Diego Symphony and others. More than 99% of the $85 million construction budget for the Rady Shell came from private funding.

Cost to attend the webinar is $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers. Attendees will be eligible to win a drawing for two tickets to an upcoming Rady Shell event.

 For more information, visit www.prsasdic.org.

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