Carol Kim, Elvin Lai Join San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors

Published on : Monday, December 11, 2017

Carol Kim, Elvin Lai JoinThe San Diego City Council voted to approve two new board members ­– Carol Kim and Elvin Lai ­– to serve on the San Diego Convention Center Corporation Board of Directors, effective Tuesday, December 5, 2017.


In addition, the officers of the Board of Directors were selected at the December 6, 2017 Board Meeting. Gil Cabrera will be Chair of the Board in 2018, Xema Jacobson will be Vice Chair and Jaymie Bradford will serve as the Board’s Secretary.


Cabrera said he was “honored and humbled” to serve as Board Chair and that he “looks forward to working with the entire team at the San Diego Convention Center to continue delivering a world class facility to benefit the city and the region.”


Carol Kim serves as Political Director for the San Diego County Building and Construction Trades Council (SDBCTC) and Director of Community Engagement for the SDBCTC Family Housing Corporation.


“The Convention Center is such an important economic engine in San Diego, supporting hundreds of good-paying jobs year-round for local residents as well as contributing millions of dollars to fund vital city services from public safety and parks to bike paths & streets,” said Kim. “I’m honored to be able to serve on this board, and looking forward to supporting the opportunities that exist for the Convention Center and San Diego.”


The daughter of Korean immigrant parents and a UCLA graduate, she began her career as a classroom teacher in an inner city school in Los Angeles. Her years as a teacher were followed by several more working in HIV prevention, where she served high-risk groups including active and recovering substance users, adolescents in the foster care and judicial systems, LGBTQ communities, as well as communities of color. The following eight years were spent as a Research Associate for an education research, development, and service non-profit, working with schools and school districts in San Diego and throughout the state of California to provide effective programs that support health, safety, and well-being for students in public schools, and to develop career and technical education opportunities for young people in partnership with community colleges. Most recently, she has been an advocate for working families and underserved communities, with the United Way of San Diego County and now the Building Trades Council.


Kim currently serves on the boards of the California State Building and Construction Trades Council, Cesar Chavez Service Clubs, Run Women Run, the Climate Action Campaign, Middle Class Taxpayers Association, and is a member of the San Diego Community College District Trustees Advisory Council. Carol is the married mother of two school-aged children, and she and her family live in San Diego.


San Diego Native Elvin Lai is a fourth generation owner-operator of the 72 room Ocean Park Inn hotel in Pacific Beach since 2003. He says he is not only passionate about his family and community, but also an active member of the hotel community serving as President of the San Diego County Hotel and Motel Association, Board Chair of the California Hotel and Lodging Association, and past board member of both the San Diego Tourism Marketing District, and of the San Diego Tourism Authority.


“The San Diego Convention Center is a major economic engine that supports San Diego’s working families, tourism industry and regional economy. I am honored to have been appointed by Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the entire City Council to serve on the Board of Directors,” Lai said. “I hold enormous respect for my board colleagues and look forward to working together to strengthen and bolster the Convention Center’s impact guaranteeing future economic growth for the region of San Diego.”


Additionally, Lai also serves and is a past President of the Pacific Beach Business Improvement District called Discover PB. As an entrepreneur with four different businesses in three different sectors, He says his greatest passions are to build relationships, support the growth of our economy and tourism industry, and working to better our community for future generations. In addition to his hotel, Lai refers to himself as “a serial entrepreneur” with many profitable exits and turn-arounds. He is currently working on, Abnormal Company Beer and Wine, and a restaurant called The Cork and Craft @ Abnormal.


He has also served on the San Diego Parking Advisory Board and the Mayor’s API Advisory Board.


Lai has a Bachelor in Biology and minor in Chemistry from the University of San Diego.


The San Diego Convention Center Board of Directors sets policy for the public benefit corporation that was created by the City of San Diego to exclusively manage, market and operate the 2.6 million-square-foot waterfront facility.

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