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50 People to Watch in 2009

(page 2 of 2)

 Hannah Kim

Hannah Kim

The 12-year-old golf whiz and Chula Vista resident beat out the boys to win her age group at last year’s Mutual of Omaha Drive, Chip & Putt National Championships, the world’s largest junior golf skills competition. More than 6,500 junior golfers participated in local qualifiers leading up to the nationals.

 Lee Ann Kim

Lee Ann Kim

The former 10News anchor and reporter left her job of 12 years last September to work full-time for the San Diego Asian Film Foundation, the nonprofit she created in 2002. Under her leadership, the San Diego Asian Film Festival continues to garner attention from the international film community. “The beauty of our foundation is that we have created a place where everyone, Asian Pacific Islander or not, is welcome to share and discover stories that connect us as human beings,” says Kim.

 Betsy Kinsley

Betsy Kinsley

Last year, Kinsley went from serving one president to another. Formerly chief of staff to San Diego City Council president Scott Peters, she now holds that title in the office of San Diego State University president Stephen Weber. Her new duties include working on the cabinet and acting as liaison with the provost, vice president and other campus constituencies. She went to the University of Richmond, and has a law degree from the University of San Diego.

 Kendell Lang

Kendell Lang

As CEO of SensorWave Technology, a Carlsbad-based video surveillance service company, Lang is working with San Diego law enforcement to reduce inner-city crime rates and create safer neighborhoods. The company’s Changing Lives in Inner Cities initiative targets affordable-housing communities such as Sea Breeze Gardens in Logan Heights, where crime statistics have been significantly reduced, thanks to SensorWave’s Virtual Patrol system.

 Harvey Levine

Harvey Levine

Levine is one of just two San Diego lawyers in the California State Bar’s Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He has received verdicts or settlements in excess of $1 million 75 times. Levine represented former San Diego Charger Steve Foley in his wrongful-shooting case against a Coronado police officer. In 2009 he’ll represent the family of a Sacramento woman who died trying to win a Wii in a barroom contest that required contestants to drink water and refrain from bathroom breaks.

 Ryan Lindley

Ryan Lindley

The way the coach doted on his quarterbacks, you’d think the QB position at San Diego State would have been a dream come true. Unfortunately, the way former head coach Chuck Long led his team to ignominious defeats, very few Aztecs fans were watching the games. Too bad, because freshman redshirt Lindley has shown promise—at one point, racking up 66 percent of the team’s total yardage in his first season. Will the scouts be watching? If they’re interested, there are plenty of tickets available.

 Tina Luu

Tina Luu

Besides being chief culinary instructor at the Art Institute of California, she’s the artist behind the delectable confections at Heaven Sent Desserts and says the complexities of chocolate make it her favorite decorative medium. Her goals for 2009? “I am planning to return to school to get my doctoral degree in culinary arts education and see that Heaven Sent Desserts is standing on a good foundation for growth.”

 Anya Marina

Anya Marina

Last July Marina quit her day job as deejay on FM 94.9 (KBZT) to pursue her music full-time. Her songwriting talent and indie pop sound caught the ear of the music supervisor for Grey’s Anatomy, who featured her songs on the popular TV show. Marina’s label, Chop Shop Records/Atlantic Records, is releasing her new album, Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II, January 20.

 Ed Martinez

Ed Martinez

The Yale University graduate heads the border-area San Ysidro Health Center, whose traditionally under-served patients in south and central San Diego number more than 50,000 annually. Opportunities to expand services include using a $1 million grant, recently awarded to San Ysidro Health Center, Scripps Mercy Hospital Chula Vista and three other South Bay clinics, to establish an after-hours urgent care program in Chula Vista.

 Dawn Mitschelle

Dawn Mitschelle

She’s been compared to singers Corrine Bailey Ray and Edie Brickell. Mitschelle, a New Jersey native, is on the rise in the SoCal acoustic scene. The singer-songwriter was voted Best New Acoustic Artist at the 2007 San Diego Honoring Acoustic Talent Awards and has been featured on CTN’S Java Jams show, as well as on local morning news programs. She’s currently working on a follow-up album to her previous release, Town of Trees.

 John & Becky Moores

John & Becky Moores

John Moores bought 80 percent of the San Diego Padres for a reported $80 million in 1994. Forbes says he’s worth $750 million; the Padres are valued at $360 million. In February 2008, after 44 years of marriage, Becky filed for divorce. The Moores, who met at a Texas high school, have four children. In 2009, we’ll find out how the Padres will be affected by divorce proceedings. Both say they have the best interest of the team in mind.

 Francisco Gabriel Morales

Francisco Gabriel Morales

National City Police Chief Adolpho Gonzales gives Morales credit for helping reduce gang violence. Morales, who owns the dual nicknames of “Lucky” and “Two Tears” (from a tattoo), is a crusader who marches through the barrios carrying a Mexican flag. He stops along his route from Barrio Logan to National City to talk to youths and gang members about ways to deal with their disputes in less violent ways.

 Matt Rimel

Matt Rimel

The La Jolla restaurateur looked to North County for the latest offshoot of his Rimel’s Restaurant Group. Opening in February in the Cardiff-by-the-Sea Towne Centre, Rimel’s and Zenbu are sure to shake up the sleepy coastal burg. Rimel also operates Ocean Giant, an eco-friendly fishing company, and Homegrown Meats/La Jolla Butcher Shop, which sells top-quality, all-natural meats.

 Mitt Romney, Matt Romney

Mitt & Matt Romney

An also-ran for the 2008 Republican nomination, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney bought a mini-mansion in La Jolla last year, putting him close to his son, Matt, a commercial real estate broker who lives in 4-S Ranch. But don’t look for the senior Romney to sink deep roots here. He’s already being talked up as a possible contender for California governor. And there’s always that 2012 presidential race. A western White House in La Jolla?

 Crissy Russo

Chrissy Russo

San Diego’s perkiest weather-and-traffic reporter changed channels last year. When Fox and CW switched affiliations, most of her former team became on-air talent at San Diego 6. Not Russo—she stayed a Fox. Now seen in the mornings on Fox 5, she sizzles on the screen as she paints the weather picture and summarizes the commuter street scene. Russo will remain in her post as a pre-Padres-game reporter on Cox Channel 4.

 Jonathan Segal

Jonathan Segal

The recipient of numerous national and local design awards heads a development company that concentrates on designing sleek urban living and multi-use spaces at a reasonable cost. A minimalist who makes use of skylights, steel, stucco and solar panels, Segal serves as his own contractor and property manager. His current project is the seven-story Q, a sustainable office/residential/retail building in Little Italy.

 Darren Sproles

Darren Sproles

Was it really LaDainian Tomlinson’s sprained toe that haunted him the first half of the Chargers season, or has the MVP running back lost a beat or two? The fact that nonbelievers are even asking that question raises the stock of back-up back Darren Sproles, whose speed and moves are reminiscent of the old LT. At maybe 5 feet 6 and maybe 180 pounds (soaking wet), Sproles may not be the replacement every-down back. But whether he’s returning kickoffs or punts, or subbing for an injured superstar, he definitely lights up the field and the fan base.

 Lorin Stewart

Lorin Stewart

From the Royal Shakespeare Company to the Old Town Trolley to the new San Diego Tourism Promotion Corporation, it’s been a smooth ride for the affable Stewart. Now all he has to do is please the several hundred hoteliers who hired him to help market their hotels—in an economy that’s already taking a big toll on the region’s hospitality industry. Executive director Stewart’s basic job description sounds simpler than it is: Put more heads on beds.

 Steven Strasburg

Steven Strasburg

This homegrown hurler (West Hills High) returns to the mound for San Diego State University after an amazing 2008. Last season he went 8-3 with a phenomenal 1.57 earned run average and struck out 133 in 97.1 innings. Strasburg was the only collegiate player picked to play on the U.S. Olympic team that won a bronze medal in China. Buzz in the college ranks has him as one of the top draft picks—if not the top pick—in 2009.

 Scott Suckow

Scott Suckow

Recent studies revealed that patients with serious mental illnesses die at least 25 years earlier than the general population, due to preventable medical conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Suckow, CEO of Mental Health America of San Diego County, pledges to help break down barriers to healthcare and ensure access to prescription medications for the mentally ill.

 Rich Sweeney

Rich Sweeney

The 27-year-old executive sous-chef at Confidential Restaurant & Loft was the most recent San Diegan to enter the Top Chef fray, selected as one of 16 contestants for the fifth season of the popular Bravo reality-TV show. Though the Long Island, New York, native was sent packing his knives in episode three, after the “cheftestants” prepared a Thanksgiving meal for the Foo Fighters rock band, Sweeney’s poised to become our city’s next celebrity chef.

 Roger Tsien

Roger Tsien

He won the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry (to the tune of $1.4 million), and we hope to continue to watch him make fellow staffers proud at the University of California, San Diego. Tsien (pronounced “Chen”) was honored for figuring out how to use green fluorescent protein from glowing sea life to create molecules used to light up the inner workings of microscopic cells. He attended Harvard College on a National Merit Scholarship.

 Randy Voepel

Randy Voepel

Santee’s incumbent mayor blew out two candidates in the November election with 79 percent of the vote. Voepel touted economic gains over the past eight years in his recent campaign. He’ll be kept busy in 2009 fighting an expansion of the Sycamore Landfill and fending off the county on expanding the Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility, a move he says would be “a $175 million mistake.”

 Gabrielle Wimer

Gabrielle Wimer

The 24-year-old Grossmont College student was interviewed by Matt Lauer on the Today Show after she helped crack a cold murder case while working as an intern for the San Diego Police Department. Wimer, a criminal justice major who graduates this year, helped identify a fingerprint match and bring the killer to justice some 36 years after the crime was committed.

 Samuel Wood

Samuel Wood

Dr. Wood is one of the leading forces in the controversial and forward-leaning areas of stem-cell research. His work has been condemned by President Bush and the Vatican, but he persists as a strong advocate for policy that would allow stem-cell research to help find cures for diseases of our day. His Stemagen company made national news when it became the first to clone an embryo from an adult human cell.

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