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San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Announces New Board Members

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, which operates San Diego International Airport (SAN), is governed by a nine-member Board whose members are appointed by elected officials representing all areas of San Diego County. This year, we are welcoming a new Board Chair and four new Board members who are replacing members whose three-year terms have ended. With the new appointments, the Airport Authority Board is now comprised of regional leaders including five women and four men.

Here is a look into our new Board Chair and members:

Airport Authority Board Chair Johanna Schiavoni

Chair Schiavoni is an appellate lawyer who has been serving on the Authority Board since February 2018. She has served on the Advisory Committee working with external community stakeholders and as the airport’s representative on the Transportation Committee of SANDAG. She also chairs the Authority Board’s Executive Personnel and Compensation Committee.  She was reappointed as a member of the Board in March 2020, for a term ending January 31, 2023. On her appointment she said, “The Airport Authority is facing a number of significant opportunities and challenges in the coming year, and I’m honored to be selected by Mayor Gloria to help guide the organization, with my fellow board members, through this crucial time.” Chair Schiavoni replaces former Chair April Boling whose term ended in December 2020.

Board Member Gil Cabrera

Mayor Gloria also appointed attorney Gil Cabrera for a term that began December 31, 2020.  Mr. Cabrera has long been an engaged member of the San Diego community, serving as a wish granter and on the Board of Directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego and ultimately on the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America National Board of Directors. His public service includes serving as co-chair of Chief David Bejarano’s San Diego Police Department Use of Force Task Force, which reviewed the department’s use of force procedures and made 100 recommendations to improve police interaction with the public. Mr. Cabrera was also appointed to the San Diego Ethics Commission where he served for five years, two as its Chair. During his chairmanship, the Commission ushered in the largest overhaul of the City’s lobbying laws, increasing transparency of lobbyist activity. He also served as Chair of the San Diego Convention Center board of directors. Cabrera also served on the San Diego LGBT Community Center Board of Directors and the Alliance for Hope International Board of Directors. Since 2018, he has served on the Sharp Healthcare Board of Directors, currently serving as its Vice Chair. Mr. Cabrera’s term on the Airport Authority Board ends January 31, 2024.

San Diego City Councilmember Marni von Wilpert

City of San Diego, District 5, Councilmember Marni von Wilpert was also selected by Mayor Gloria and approved by the full City Council to serve on the Airport Authority Board. She previously was a San Diego Deputy City Attorney and has served as Chair of the Committee on Active Transportation and Infrastructure, Vice Chair of the Committee on Environment, member of the Committee on Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods, and member of the Committee on Rules. In addition to her service on the Authority Board, von Wilpert currently serves on the San Dieguito River Valley Regional Open Space JPA, and the Los Peñasquitos Canyon Preserve. She will also continue to serve on the boards of several community organizations, including San Diego Youth Services, Teen Health Mississippi, and the National Women’s Political Caucus. Councilmember von Wilpert will serve a term ending on January 31, 2024.

Board Member Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas

Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas was appointed by the mayors of the South County cities to serve on the Board. She was elected Mayor of Chula Vista in 2014, becoming the first elected Latina mayor in Chula Vista and the County of San Diego. During her tenure as Mayor, Chula Vista has received national and international recognition for its greenhouse gas reduction efforts, smart cities initiatives, and actions to ensure sustainable development.  Mayor Casillas Salas led the campaign to adopt Measure P to rebuild the city’s aging infrastructure and advanced the development of the Bayfront in partnership with Port of San Diego with a signed "Letter of Intent" with RIDA Development.  She continues to guide major projects, including the development of a four-year university and the revitalization of western Chula Vista. Mayor Casillas Salas will serve a term ending on January 31, 2024

San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas

San Diego County Supervisor Nora Vargas was appointed by the Board of Supervisors Chair Nathan Fletcher and confirmed by the full Board to represent the County of San Diego on the Board. On January 4, 2021, Supervisor Vargas was elected to the District 1 Supervisorial seat, which includes SAN. She is the first Latina to serve on the Board of Supervisors, of which she currently serves as Vice Chair. Prior to her role as County Supervisor, she served on Southwestern College’s Governing Board of Trustees and was Vice President of Community and Government Relations for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest. Supervisor Vargas replaces former County Supervisor Greg Cox and will serve a term ending on January 31, 2024.

These newly appointed members join returning Board members Vice Chair Paul Robinson, Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, Encinitas Mayor Catherine Blakespear, and Robert T. Lloyd. Returning Ex officio members include Gustavo Dallarda with the California Department of Transportation, Gayle Miller with the California Department of Finance, Col. Charles B. Dockery a Representative of Navy/Marine Corps. 

This coming year is going to be a busy one as we focus on recovery and the much-anticipated plan to replace Terminal 1. We welcome returning Board members and those that have been newly appointed.