2019 Annual Conference Agenda

8:00 AM - Registration and Networking Breakfast

8:45 AM - Powering Up – Welcome and Opening Remarks
Let’s set the stage for why we have gathered. SDG leadership, including members of our Board of Directors and our new President & CEO Debbie McKeon share where we have come from, where we are, and the vision for our time together today. Kicking it all off will be a rousing performance by artists bkSOUL, who will stoke your energy for the day ahead!

  • Steve Eldred, Board Chair, San Diego Grantmakers and Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment
  • Debbie McKeon, President & CEO, San Diego Grantmakers
  • Dr. Jesse Mills, Board Member, San Diego Grantmakers and Associate Professor, University of San Diego

9:30 AM - The Power in Philanthropy
Imagine what philanthropy could really accomplish by better activating our collective power. How do we seize on - not shrink from - the evolving nature of power? How do we use our influence and command of resources to grow and share power, in new and transformational ways, across people and places?

This plenary session will launch our day-long examination of power - naming the difficult contradictions of philanthropy’s source of economic might with the goal of re-envisioning power.

  • Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy
  • James Head, President & CEO, East Bay Community Foundation
  • Jackie VanderBrug, Head of Sustainable and Impact Investment Strategy, Bank of America
  • Host: Dr. Nelli Garton, Co-founder and Chief Impact Officer, Tablecloth and Board Member, San Diego Grantmakers

10:45 AM - Transition

11:00 AM - Real-Time Consulting
We’ve examined power, now it’s time to put our thoughts into action! Real-Time Consulting is a structured dialogue that helps colleagues and friends practice the art of workshopping together to solve problems and seize opportunities for impact. Broken out by tables in to specific cases (for which you’ve registered or been pre-assigned, as noted by the numbered and colored sticker on your name badge), you will join a highly participatory guided discussion aimed at generating ideas, questions, debate and real solutions for the challenges you face every day.

12:00 PM - Lunch and Conversation

12:30 PM - The Power in Philanthropy: Lessons Learned from Walking the Walk
Leaders are recognizing that now, more than ever, we need to be bold with strategies that utilize our full breadth of power to achieve the social impact we, as a sector, seek. Yet demonstrating your power and leverage as a leader often is not without consequence. Hear from two renowned trailblazers as they share an honest look at the trials, tribulations and triumphs of their personal pathways to harnessing their power for good.

  • Tonya Allen, President & CEO, The Skillman Foundation
  • john a. powell, Director, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, UC Berkeley
  • Host: Debbie McKeon, President & CEO, San Diego Grantmakers


#1 Diving into Power Moves Workshop on the Assessment and Toolkit
Power Moves is a self-assessment toolkit to determine how well you are utilizing power. In this session, identify practical tools and actionable s teps toward transforming your programs and oper ations for lasting, equitable impact.

  • Aaron Dorfman, President & CEO, National Committee For Responsive Philanthropy

#2 Wielding, Building, and Sharing Power: San Diego Case Studies
Local philanthropy leaders are leveraging their power for transformational change and greater equity in San Diego communities. Hear creative examples related to youth development immigrant and migrant rights, and collaborative funding.

  • Anne McEnany, President & CEO, International Community F oundation
  • Matt D’Arrigo, Director, Creative Youth Development Initiative, Clare Rose Foundation
  • Paul Khalid Alexander, Founder, Pillars of the Community and Committee member, Social Equity Collaborative Fund

#3 Impact Investing Track 
While San Diego is a hot spot for business, social, and financial innovation, not all San Diegans have the same access to resources to launch and grow businesses. For example, at our current rate of progress it will take 100 years for American women to reach equal representation in corporate leadership. In this session, a powerhouse trio of impact lenders look at lending - specifically gender lens investing - as a social change strategy, including a highlight of SDG’s new Women’s Empowerment Loan Fund.

  • Valery Belloso, Chief Strategy Officer, Accion
  • Catherine Berman, Co-founder & CEO, CNote
  • Shreya Shah Sasaki, Chief Operating Officer, Mission Driven Finance and Board Member, San Diego Grantmakers

#4 Vision for a Better California
Philanthropy is grounded in the belief that a better life is possible - for our people, our environment, and our institutions. When we come together, we bring the seemingly impossible within reach. Join this session to contribute your ideas to a framework initiated by our colleagues at Northern California Grantmakers to get the conversation started around statewide shared values that will shape a vision for a better California.

  • Steve Barton, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Northern California Grantmakers
  • Carolyn Laub, Strategy Consultant, Public Equity Group
  • John Newsome, Founder, Public Equity Group

3:00 PM - Break

3:15 PM - New Power in Philanthropy 
Young, dynamic, and diverse talent is the future. Our day ends with the inspiring stories of San Diego’s rising generation of leadership, a good dose of hope for the future, and a dash of truth to power. A new generation of leadership across political, volunteer, nonprofit, philanthropy, and impact investing spaces share their personal stories, unique insights, and best advice for philanthropy.

  • Paloma Aguirre, Coastal and Marine Director, WILDCOAST 
  • Cait Kelly, Program Manager, Connect w/San Diego Venture Group
  • Armand King, Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer, Paving Great Futures
  • Adriana Loson-Ceballos, Director of Network Resources, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy
  • Dominique Navarro, Co-chair, Latina Giving Circle of San Diego
  • Samuel Tsoi, Lead Organizer, Welcoming San Diego
  • Host: Sid Voorakkara, Principal, Ten Page Memo

4:30 PM - Performance by bkSOUL and Closing Remarks

The arts are core to our humanity, and they inspire our creative minds. We opened this morning with bkSOUL to get our creativity flowing for all we would hear and learn. Thanks to bkSoul for closing our gathering to inspire continued creativity as we can take what we experience today and put it into practice tomorrow.

  • Closing Remarks: Warren Ruis, Board Chair Elect, San Diego Grantmakers and Director, Regional Public Affairs, Sempra Energy

5:00 PM - Reception | Come out and end the day by celebrating the power of the network!