Visionary Awards receipients
Dr. William Roberts (left), Dr. Paula Aristizabal and Dr. Nicholas Holmesof Rady Children’s Hospital; LEAD Chair Kerri Verbeke Kapich; Alan Ziter of NTC Foundation; Jill Ellis of San Diego Wave FC; Chris Neils, USS Midway Museum board chair; and Dr. Teresa Smith of Dreams for Change.

LEAD San Diego, the leadership development arm of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, has recognized five visionary leaders for their commitment to moving the regional forward.

The 21st annual Visionary Awards brought together nearly 600 business, community, and elected leaders at the Manchester Grand Hyatt last week.

“LEAD has a long history of inspiring and equipping civically minded community leaders ready to bring their skills and passions to positively impact our region,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber. “Tonight’s honorees embody that mission and through their innovative ideas, collaborative approaches, and commitment to the greater good are making our community a better place.”

This year’s Visionary Award honorees are:

  • Neil Morgan Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement — Alan Ziter, former executive director of the NTC Foundation
  • Ronald Kendrick Memorial Award for Regional CollaborationUSS Midway Museum
  • Charles Nathanson Memorial Award for Cross-Border Region BuildingRady Children’s Hospital International Outreach Project
  • Innovation & Economic Opportunity AwardSan Diego Wave FC
  • 2023 Community Spotlight Award — Dr. Teresa Smith, Dreams of Change

“Our honorees are a reminder of the potential for change-making leadership that each of us holds. I hope that by celebrating their achievements, everyone at the Visionary Awards is inspired to find ways they can make a difference as well,” said Kerri Verbeke Kapich, LEAD San Diego 2023 board chair, and chief operating officer for the San Diego Tourism Authority.  

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