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That's What She Said: Cheers to Dreaming Big this New Year

The rumors, events, people, and stories keeping the Mesa interesting


Christmas Gala 2014

Just Mesa'n around...

1,000 of their closest friends. Are you headed to the infamous Christmas Gala on the Mesa this Saturday, hosted by San Diego’s most eligible bachelors Denny Sanford, bestie Michael Cunningham, Tom Groff and the gang? Last year I had no idea what to expect, only dress to kill, show up with an unwrapped toy and a date donned in a tuxedo. Got to hand it to this group of usual suspects. They throw one hell of a shindig. And the Mt. Everest of toys collected and later donated to Athletes for Education, the Polinsky Children’s Center and the SDPD Southeastern Division will leave you speechless. So come swing from the chandeliers with me as we celebrate the holidays while giving back. Need a ticket? I just might have one with your name on it.


Upcoming Events (I’ll be at the fun table…)

As the year winds down so do the networking and business gatherings. Take advantage, and get your culture on! There are several great options for you to immerse yourself in the arts this winter holiday.

There are also a few “up and coming” stars on my “kickin’ ass and takin’ names” radar to keep an eye out for in early 2016. Drumroll…

  • CureMetrix. CEO Kevin Harris and Co-Founder Dr. Homa Karimabadi, CureMetrix’s team leaders are receiving accolades from all quarters including the MIP Innovation Award from CONNECT and SanDiegoVentureGroups’ 2015 COOL Company. Last night they crushed it at SDVG’s Pitchfest Gala, taking home first prize. This San Diego start up is backed by several local investors including personal favorite Analytics Ventures and is housed at EvoNexus. Navid Alipour said it best: It takes a village.

  • Intersection, Inc. I met and instantly clicked with Chuck and Joan over wine at the MIT Enterprise event in 2014. Little did I know that the down-to-earth Mr. Pelly was a world renowned product, seating, auto and transportation designer. That award winning BMW 3 series… yep that was Chuck. Best part, you’d never know it. Joined by his wife Joan Gregor and daughter Crista Tekstra, this trifecta is out to change the way people interact. Stay tuned as they bring Human Centered Design workshops to San Diego and London.

  • San Diego Regional Chamber Young Leaders (SDYL). San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce has the right idea with their new Emerging Leaders program. Designed for 21-40-year old professionals, they are looking for leaders in their field with a “commitment to community involvement and professional growth.” A next step to existing programs such as LEAD, SDYL provides their members with the opportunity to get experience serving on a board. Led by Councilmember Mark Kersey, this program is a killer way to gain more access to the more senior leaders in our community. I got the golden ticket! Interested? They are taking applications now. The Chamber has been a huge player in my own professional career helping make key connections and providing unwavering support. They make it happen. I guarantee it!

  • Global shapers. Watch out for trailblazers Lolita Taub, Founder of the F Show, VP of Sales at Glassbreakers, Amber Brandner and Lauren Avenius , co-creators of Innovators Collective. Smart, poised, driven and plugged in, these female global shapers know that playing together in the sandbox is how we’ll move this city forward on a global scale.


Food for thought this holiday season...

Monday morning I found myself with a case of the Christmas blues. Doubtful and pessimistic, qualities I usually don’t identify with, Monday was one of those days I felt the sky was falling and there was no light at the end of the tunnel. But as I forced myself out the door and walked up the stairs to the café, I could feel the negativity melt away. With each customer that greeted me with a "good morning" or a simple "hello," I began to reconnect and was reminded that if we put ourselves out there, there is love all around. I said it in my first ever blog post and it still holds true months later… I am not in this business for the money. I am in it for the people. We all want two things in life—to feel loved and to feel like we belong. Everyday I strive to give my customers both. Monday, it was my customers who reminded me that yes I am loved and that yes, I do belong. Bella Vista has been such a blessing and I am thankful for the opportunity to meet so many interesting and sincere people. 2015 has proven a very successful and fulfilling year and I look forward to all the adventures and stories I get to share with all of you in 2016. Happy holidays and cheers to dreaming big this New Year.



Amanda Caniglia

Amanda earned a degree in political science at UC San Diego before embarking on a career teaching languages and dance. She is a self-described "networker extraordinaire” and co-owner of Bella Vista Social Club and Caffe, located on the bluffs of the Torrey Pines Mesa. Leading researchers, CEOs, and top graduate students frequent the café to talk science and surfing. You want to know what’s really going on around The Mesa? Ask Amanda. 

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Life On the Mesa

Where innovation and discovery happens in San Diego

About This Blog

Did you know they are making tiny livers in Sorrento Mesa? They are! Real ones. This blog will tell that story, and many others like it. Whether you're a grad student slogging it out in a lab or a post-doc grappling with funding issue, a scientist waiting on a breakthrough or a banker looking for the next big thing, or even a parent, spouse, friend or curious observer of these people, this blog is for you. It's a place to celebrate and discover what's happening on The Mesa. The science, the business, the people. The discoveries, the stories, the impact. It feels like most of us in San Diego don't know enough, yet, about this stuff. We're here to work on changing that. We'd like there to be some discussion of science, technology and innovative-type things at every cocktail party on San Diego, and hopefully this blog can help provide the fodder. 

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