Thriving in San Diego County:
Driving a More Inclusive
Regional Economy

Richard Chacon

Director of Supplier Diversity and Development,
MUFG Union Bank, North America

Mr. Chacon joined Union Bank in 1998 and has been the driving force behind an increase in diverse business supplier spending from $26 million in 1998 to $212 million in 2017. Prior to his current position, Mr. Chacon served 10 years in various personnel-related positions in the U.S. Army, and worked for Pacific Bell for 13 years in the personnel and supplies distribution departments. At Pacific Bell, he established the supplier diversity program for Pacific Bell’s Southern California Region, then managed the Pacific Bell Services for the Disabled program.

Mr. Chacon is an active member of his community and of numerous business development organizations throughout the nation, including holding the Board Chair of the Western Regional Minority Supplier Development Council. He is a founding member and board member of the Council for Supplier Diversity in San Diego and a corporate advisor to the Asian Business Association of Los Angeles.


Lenny Mendonca

Chief Economic & Business Advisor,
Governor Gavin Newsom, State of California

Governor’s Office of Business & Economic Development (Go-Biz)

Lenny is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and a Lecturer on Inequality at the Stanford Business School. He received his MBA and certificate in public management from Stanford. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard and is on the board of multiple economic development and advisory foundations and organizations.




Dr. Nikia Clarke

Executive Director, World Trade Center San Diego;
Vice President of Economic Development, San Diego Regional Economic Development Council

Dr. Nikia Clarke oversees the economic development, research, and global engagement priorities of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Dr. Clarke was appointed to the National Investment Advisory Council, a collection of senior leaders that advises the administration on FDI policy and strategy, and is founder and former Director of OUCAN, an international network of emerging market industry leaders, policy makers and researchers. She also serves on the Board of the International Business program at San Diego State University, and the San Diego Innovation Council. She holds a BA from Loyola Marymount University, an MPhil from Cambridge University, and a PhD from Oxford University.

Barbara Jiménez

County of San Diego, Health & Human Services Agency, Central & South Regions

With 30 years of experience in the planning, management and delivery of social and human services, Ms. Jiménez directs a professional workforce of over 1,100 employees with a $143 million annual operating budget. Ms. Jiménez is responsible for ensuring the development and implementation of regional programs, in collaboration with communities and partners, that advance family and community solutions. She is responsible for the operations of six Family Resource Centers, public health services at three public health clinic sites, child welfare services at two locations and regional community health promotion. Ms. Jiménez is bilingual and has extensive experience working on border and binational health issues.




Omar Passons

County of San Diego, Health and Human Services Agency, Integrative Services

Omar Passons leads a team to align critical services and supports offered by the County to best improve the lives of San Diegans in need. Omar is a former construction and land use attorney who has worked to elevate inclusive workforce and economic development in San Diego. As an attorney, Omar represented large public and private clients throughout the San Diego region and developed an understanding of the workforce challenges and labor shortages that frustrate construction sector growth. Omar grew up in San Diego County’s foster care system and brings a unique perspective to the work of elevating workforce opportunities for young people of varied backgrounds. Omar is a past-President of the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association.