50 People to Watch in 2003
By Thomas K. Arnold, Tom Blair,
(page 9 of 10)Louis Spisto
The Globe Theatres’ new executive director has a tough road ahead. Since the departure of beloved Tom Hall in 2000, the theater has been bleeding red ink and has come under attack for de-emphasizing its Shakespearean productions.
Spisto says his top priority is to “strengthen the Globe’s financial foundation,” particularly its subscription base, which he says “certainly has eroded.” To that end, he vows to work closely with artistic director Jack O’Brien to turn things around. There’s even talk of returning to three summer Shakespeare productions instead of two. “The Globe has a set of responsibilities we hope can be congruent, which are to not only serve the community but to lead the community,” Spisto says. “Simply to provide a very entertainment-oriented and safe season is not necessarily what we want.”
You—or your visiting relatives and friends —are likely a satisfied customer of one of Stewart’s multiple endeavors. Director of Historic Tours of America, which operates Old Town Trolley Tours San Diego, he’s the idea man behind those ubiquitous colorful vehicles that cruise and amuse sightseers while weaving through local landmarks. It’s a natural vocation for a man with a background in the movie biz and with London’s Royal Shakespeare Company.
His interest in community issues, though, stems from his practice of dedicating 10 hours a week to charitable and civic causes, he says. In 2003, expect to see Stewart in his role as chair of the Old Town Community Planning Committee, where he hopes to create incentives for developers to improve the historic district —including his own ambitious project on San Diego Avenue.
A reasoned and seasoned new voice now speaks from the sports pages of The San Diego Union-Tribune in columns penned by Sullivan, who joined the paper last May from The Cincinnati Enquirer, where he held steady as a sports columnist and racked up awards for 18 years. The Queen City along the Ohio River knows a thing or two about football, baseball and pesky stadium issues, and Sullivan says of our counterpart measures, “I’ve heard it all before.”
He’s immersed himself in the San Diego scene, and one writing wag praises his columns on all issues Qualcomm as “wonderfully nuanced.” Sullivan says he loves to write “quirky stories about people who deeply care about what they do.” His favorite local one to date? A swell yarn about the tireless efforts of the San Diego Jewish Academy to field an eight-man football team.
After years of talk but no action, the San Diego City Council last November finally approved a $312 million finance plan for a new central library and improving 23 branch libraries. Now comes an even harder part: implementing the plan—particularly getting started on replacing the aging main library. All eyes will be on Tatar, the city’s passionate library director, who begins an ambitious drive to raise $50 million in non-city funds as a show of public support. “It’s important to involve the community,” she says. “Just as we want to be responsive to the community, it’s a collaboration.”
Tatar has worked with San Diego libraries since 1971, and cites the opening of 14 branch libraries and the establishment of various cultural programs as among her major accomplishments.
The Chargers’ remarkable running back has given San Diego football fans what a succession of quarterbacks couldn’t: a star player. Tomlinson carried the team to several key victories, including the overtime triumph over the Denver Broncos in which he scored three touchdowns in a single quarter and set a new franchise single-game rushing record (220 yards). Just 23 years old, Tomlinson isn’t about to rest on his laurels, however. “My No. 1 goal is to get this team to the Super Bowl,” he says, echoing boss Dean Spanos. “I will do whatever it takes to make that happen. If we can build on what we did in 2002 and stay focused, we’ll win a Super Bowl for San Diego.”