Dr. Mary Beth McCabe of San Diego has spent her career mixing academia with real-world advertising and marketing strategies.

In 1985, she started teaching advertising at Grossmont College and the University of California San Diego Extension. Earlier, in 1982, she joined KUSI-TV as the station’s first advertising sales employee. She left KUSI in 1993 to establish Sun Marketing Advertising and Media, her own company.

“My first entrepreneurial venture client was a start-up with this new idea called advertising on the soon-to-be-named Internet,” McCabe told Times of San Diego. “I helped sell what I believe was the first graphic Internet national banner ad in 1993 to the University of Phoenix,”

Over the years, Sun Marketing has served more than 3,000 clients, including Novartis, Sempra Energy, Weyerhaeuser and PepsiCo.

Today, the 64-year-old is continuing to teach, while still operating Sun Marketing. “I’ve been fortunate to have taught at every major university in San Diego, starting with Grossmont and UCSD Extension, then San Diego State University, University of Phoenix, University of San Diego, National University and now Point Loma Nazarene University,” she said. “I’ve also been a visiting professor in Guangzhou, China, and Taipei, Taiwan.”

After 11 years at National University, serving as academic program director of the masters in marketing program, McCabe recently joined the Point Loma Nazarene University Fermanian School of Business faculty as a marketing professor. She is teaching in-person and online classes in principles of marketing, marketing research and analytics, and integrating marketing communications and sales.

“I’m passionate about teaching and learning new things,” McCabe said. “The classroom has been my research-and-development division for Sun Marketing, My students have been invaluable partners for research and testing of the broad-scope concepts and real-world marketing strategies and tactics.”

McCabe also is part of a group of digital marketing experts who is currently revising their eighth edition of “Mobile Marketing Essentials,” a textbook that has been used at 53 universities worldwide.

“In 2014, there was no college textbook on this subject. So, I gathered a group of experts from industry and academia for mobile marketing and digital marketing content creation,” said McCabe. “Thousands of dollars from book sales have been donated for scholarships for marketing students.”

In addition to teaching, McCabe is passionate about travel for women. By 1993, she had traveled to six continents solo so she self-published a guidebook under the pseudonym Dr. Mary Travelbest, which sold 10,000 copies. Since 2019, she has hosted “Dr Mary Travelbest Guide” a weekly podcast that is ranked among the top 10% of downloaded podcasts with about 40,000 downloads.

“I’ve created 145 episodes, each about five-to-eight minutes in length with tips and destination advice, including my lessons learned,” McCabe said. “I have visited nearly every major U.S. city at least once. In the middle of the pandemic, in July 2020, I completed a 5,000-mile solo journey by car and achieved my goal of visiting all 50 U.S. states.” 

Business Journal Names George Lurie as Editor-in-Chief

The San Diego Business Journal, a local weekly business newspaper, announced George Lurie has been promoted from special sections editor to editor-in-chief. He joined the Business Journal in August 2021.

George Lurie

Lurie has more than 40 years of journalism and communications experience, including writing for the Fresno Business Journal. He also has covered breaking national news for USA Today, managed an international staff of reports and editors at the Japan Times in Tokyo and covered the Colorado statehouse for the Durango Herald. He began his career as a reporter for the Denver Post.

He also has worked as a communications specialist for a school district, two public universities and a federally-funded healthcare organization.

Prior to the Business Journal, Lurie was living in Fresno and working for the Sierra News, an online publication that covers communities near Yosemite National Park. He has a daughter who recently began attending San Diego State University.

“San Diego has many warm and friendly people,” Lurie told Times of San Diego. “In the late 1990s, I lived in San Diego on a boat anchored in a marina on Harbor Island. The city was terrific then and it’s even better now.”

Lurie is the publication’s fourth editor-in-chief in three years. He succeeds Jay Harn, a former owner and publisher of community newspapers, who served as editor from February 2020 to October 2021. Harn succeeded Stephen Adamek, who served as interim editor in chief following the departure of Vic Jolly, who left the publication in June 2019.

A statement from Publisher Barb Chados also announced the promotion of Mark Misiano from controller to chief operating officer, a newly created position at the company. Misiano, with about 20 years of experience in the publishing industry, joined the Business Journal in 2004. He started his career at Ernest & Young. In his new role, he will oversee the finance department, as well as circulation and production departments.

The San Diego Business Journal is owned by CBJ LP, which also operates the Los Angeles, Orange County and San Fernando Valley business journals.

Craig Hughner Leaves Padres for LA Lakers

Craig Hughner has left the San Diego Padres after four years as VP of communications to join the National Basketball Association’s Los Angeles Lakers as director of media relations.

With the Padres, Hughner, 41, oversaw media relations and business and crisis communications and was responsible for internal and external communications strategy for the ballclub and Petco Park.

With the Lakers, Hughner will serve as a primary media contact. He will oversee game-day media relations, including the production of game notes, credentials, seating charts, photo charts and stats. He also will conduct press conferences and media events, develop PR plans and media strategy and serve as a media liaison with the NBA league office. His first day on the job was Jan. 3.

Hughner spent 15 years in Major League Baseball. Before the Padres, he served for a year as director of media relations for the Detroit Tigers and spent nine seasons in various baseball communication roles with the Philadelphia Phillies, including their World Series championship in 2008. He began his MLB career as a baseball information intern for the Seattle Mariners in 2007.

He was born and raised in Lomita, and is a 1998 graduate of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in communication from Washington State University.

“We are thrilled to bring Craig back home to Los Angeles and welcome him to the Lakers family,” said Tim Harris, the Lakers’ president of business operations. “He is widely respected by his peers and brings a wealth of media relations expertise to our organization.”

“It’s truly a dream come true to join this historic and iconic franchise,” said Hughner. “The amount of pride I’ll feel wearing the purple and gold of my hometown team is indescribable. I am humbled and thankful for the opportunity.”

Health Care Communicators Accepting Entries for 2022 Awards

The Health Care Communicators of Southern California, a professional networking group, is now accepting entries for its 2022 Finest Awards program that recognizes excellence in healthcare marketing, advertising and communications for work completed between Nov. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021.

Entries will be accepted until Jan. 29. Entry cost is $75 for members, $100 for nonmembers. Award categories include public relations, advertising, digital marketing, multimedia, writing, publications, collateral and design and special events. For more information, email hccsdevents@gmail.com, call (949) 322-7262, or visit the online entry form.

The organization is also is also accepting nominations for its annual Communicator of the Year award. The COTY award is open to all professionals at any level who work in a marketing communication capacity in healthcare or other health-related fields in Southern California. This includes professionals from public relations, marketing, advertising, healthcare or media professions.

Eligible nominees must have consistently demonstrated excellence in healthcare communication through service to their organization and-or to the healthcare industry as a whole. There is no entry fee for COTY nominations. The deadline for COTY nominations is Jan. 15. For more information, visit the online entry page.

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