LEAD honorees
Dr. Adela de la Torre (left), Jerry Sanders, Dr. Constance Carroll, Tammy T. Blevins and Mathew Gordon of Blue Heart Foundation, Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade, Nathan Fletcher and Sam Attisha. Photo by Melissa Jacobs

LEAD San Diego honored six business, community and elected leaders for their efforts to lead the region forward at the 20th annual Visionary Awards.

This year’s awards from the affiliate of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce went to leaders making “positive, meaningful change through leadership rooted in collaboration, inclusivity, and understanding.”

“LEAD San Diego is all about empowering San Diego changemakers, creating collaboration success stories, and highlighting innovative leadership,” said Trevor Blair, LEAD San Diego board chair and CEO of Blair Search Partners at a ceremony on Wednesday.

“Tonight’s event celebrates our region’s visionary leaders, and all who believe in the innate potential for great leadership in each one of us. Together, we continue to pave the way and advance our community.” 

This year’s awards went to:

  • Dr. Constance Carroll, chancellor emerita, San Diego Community College District — Neil Morgan Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement
  • Sam Attisha, senior vice president of field operations, Cox Communications — LEAD Graduate of the Year
  • Dr. Adela de la Torre, president, San Diego State University — Innovation and Economic Opportunity Award 
  • Nathan Fletcher, chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors — Ronald Kendrick Memorial Award for Regional Collaboration   
  • Yolanda Selene Walther-Meade, co-founder, This is About Humanity — Charles Nathanson Memorial Award for Cross-Border Region Building  
  • Tracy Morris (Posthumous), co-founder, Blue Heart Foundation — 2022 Community Spotlight Award

As the nonpartisan leadership development arm of the chamber, LEAD offers a set of programs designed to mobilize leaders by enhancing knowledge of key regional issues, strengthening personal leadership skills and establishing strong community connections.

“For more than four decades, LEAD San Diego has been cultivating our region’s most effective leaders, making sure we are equipping the trailblazers of today, and developing those who will lead us into the future,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber. 

The chamber is the largest on the West Coast, representing 2,500 businesses and an estimated 300,000 jobs in the San Diego region.

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