BTSD DIRECTOR NAMED TO THE JACOBS CENTER BOARD
The Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation (JCNI) has been a community treasure in Southeastern San Diego. Throughout its 23-year history, the center was guided by a board of directors made up of members of the philanthropist Jacobs family.
That history changed in October when the board added three members representing Southeastern San Diego, among them Elizabeth Bustos, the Director of Community Engagement for Be There San Diego.
“The JCNI board expansion process will bring the community’s voice at the highest level of the organization and ultimately a Board of Directors, ready and able to carry out the ongoing mission of JCNI beyond the family’s involvement,” explained Board Member Andrew Hapke, in making the announcement.
The Jacobs family, led by the late Joe and Vi Jacobs, has been the main financial support of JCNI since it opened in 1995. Under their leadership, JCNI built the Market Creek Plaza shopping center and worked to redevelop the low-income area and spur local businesses. The family’s support, however, is scheduled to end in the years to come, with control of JCNI to transition to the community.
“We are now at a crossroads for JCNI and the community … We are excited that as we begin the shift towards a transition of governance from the family to the community, we have strong community leadership coming on board to develop and drive these efforts,” he added.
The other new trustees are Laila Aziz, Director of Operations of Metro United Methodist Urban Ministry, and Michael Brunker, Executive Director of Jackie Robinson YMCA. The three respected leaders were sworn in at the board’s annual meeting on Dec. 15.
Bustos has worked in Southeastern San Diego for nearly 40 years for various organizations. In that time, she’s seen that area’s population evolve to its current profile of 53 percent Hispanic, 21 percent African American, 13 percent Asian and 9 percent white.
“There’s so much treasure there,” Bustos said, adding that she’s looking forward to adding her voice to the board at this defining time for the center.