Board of Directors

Board of Directors

MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO 

2019 – 2020 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ROSTER – Voting Members

Adolfo Ventura, Board President
Director of Operations, MAAC

Adolfo Ventura is a strategic thinker who has spent his career dedicated to building stronger communities, with a particular focus on education, economic development, and real estate development. He is passionate about strengthening the nonprofit sector and has deep experience transforming organizations by developing strong systems and structures, as well as creating pathways for leadership development. A natural relationship-builder, he is highly successful in community engagement and in his advocacy on behalf of under-invested communities and complex issues related to poverty. 

Ventura is the Director of Operations at MAAC, a social service organization that spans 32 sites across San Diego County and includes over 400 staff members and an annual budget of $43 million. In that role, he has a broad range of responsibilities including management of procurement, contracts, facilities, and IT. He is also in charge of safety and risk management. Throughout his career at MAAC, Ventura has gained extensive experience in and responsibilities for real estate development, including affordable housing, educational facilities, and commercial projects. Additionally, he plays a key role in MAAC’s labor management and negotiations team, which works directly with two unions that represent MAAC staff members. Ventura earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, where he majored in Latin American Studies and minored in Portuguese and Spanish Language and Literature. He earned his master’s degree at the University of San Diego, where he studied Nonprofit Leadership and Management.



Paul Espinosa, Vice President
President & COO, Espinosa Productions

Award-winning filmmaker Paul Espinosa is President/CEO of Espinosa Productions, a San Diego film and video company specializing in documentary and dramatic films focused on the U.S.-Mexico border region. He’s been involved with film production for nearly 40 years and is Professor Emeritus in the School of Transborder Studies at Arizona State University.

Espinosa has produced, directed ,and written numerous films for PBS including California and the American Dream, The Price of Renewal, The Border, The U.S.-Mexican War: 1846-1848, In the Shadow of the Law, …and the earth did not swallow him, Uneasy Neighbors, The Hunt for Pancho Villa, and The Lemon Grove Incident. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his Ph.D. from Stanford University, both in Anthropology. Espinosa’s films have been screened at festivals around the world and have won many awards, including eight Emmys. He has been honored with retrospective Paul Espinosa Film Festivals in Phoenix, Albuquerque, El Paso, and San Diego. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the California Chicano News Media Association and was inducted into the National Association of Hispanic Journalist’s Hall of Fame. He has received a variety of funding including from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, ITVS, the American Experience, Latino Public Broadcasting, the NALIP Producer’s Academy, and The John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

 

Francisco Mata, Secretary
Coordinator, Public Relations & Community Services, San Ysidro School District

Francisco Mata is an accomplished communications professional with over 26 years experience in the media industry; he has a strong reputation in the community as a Latino market specialist. He began his career with The Sacramento Bee newspaper, building an impressive record of achievements in local retail, Spanish language, and national advertising sales. Nationally recognized for his pioneering work in Spanish language news media, he conceived and implemented The Bee’s first Spanish language newspaper, Vida en el Valle. 

At The San Diego Union-Tribune, he served as a member of the Executive Committee and as Publisher of Enlace, the Spanish language newspaper. Francisco has recently embarked on a new career in the public education field as Coordinator of Public Relations and Community Services for the San Ysidro School District. In addition to serving on the board of the Media Arts Center of San Diego, he also serves on the board of Encuentros Leadership. Mata is a member of the San Diego Advertising Club’s Hispanic Marketing Day Committee and the San Diego Community College Corporate Council. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Advertising from California State University, Fresno.

 

Vanessa Barron, Director
Marketing and Outreach Project Manager, San Diego Blood Bank

Vanessa Barron has over 9 years of marketing and advertising experience. She attended San Diego State University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. The experience of working with several nonprofit organizations during the course of her undergraduate education inspired her to continue helping the community, as she served on different committees and boards. In 2005, Barron completed a MBA with an emphasis in Marketing. Her marketing experience includes working for Univision San Diego; the South County Economic Development Council; Third Avenue Village Association where she was the Marketing and Event Director coordinating major community events in collaboration with the City of Chula Vista. her most recently worked for Simon Property Group owner of Las Americas Premium Outlets, where she held the position of Director of Marketing and Business Development, spearheading marketing and events for the largest retail outlet center in San Diego.

 

John Kiladis, Director

John Kiladis is currently the Residential Marketing Supervisor at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E®). In his position, He is responsible for the strategic marketing and communication of SDG&E commercial and industrial programs. 

Kiladis has over 19 years of experience creating sound strategic direction and developing successful marketing communication plans for organizations like the FDA, the re-launch of Napster, California Bank & Trust, and the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism. For ten of those years he was in charge of strategic direction and communications to the Multicultural consumer for brands such as Disney, Gilead, Sunny D, General Mills, Levi’s, Washington Mutual and Converse working for Carol H. Williams Advertising, Arnold Worldwide Communications and TBWA Chiat/Day. Kiladis is a graduate of Babson College with a degree in International Business and Marketing.

 

Gustavo M. Rios, Director
Construction Attorney & Project Advisor, Law & Consulting Offices of Gustavo Rios, P.E., Esq.

Gustavo M. Rios holds an MBA from Georgetown University—The McDonough School. Rios has over 20 years delivering construction, engineering, and legal advice to private and public clients. He is creative in seeking new business development opportunities and a seasoned project management specialist. Rios is a California Registered Civil Engineer (PE), Member of the State Bar of California, and the D.C. Bar, and a LEED-Accredited Professional. Bi-national, multilingual, and a native speaker of Spanish and English, Rios is also proficient in Italian and Portuguese, with reading proficiency in French.

Taina Berardi, Director
Holistic Health Entrepreneur

Taina Berardi is a holistic health entrepreneur that integrates movement therapy, meditation, and the creative arts to build custom solutions for private clients, corporate wellness programs and community-based organizations looking for ways to reduce stress, remediate chronic pain, invigorate and/or educate their students, staff and the underserved on the benefits of developing healthy habits. 

Formerly a marketing and communications executive in the video game industry, Berardi worked with brands like SONY, Star Wars, DC Comics, and Marvel Universe, and spent more than fifteen years crafting product development strategy and mass-market promotional campaigns focused on gamifying consumer behavior and spending habits in online games and digital products. After earning her MBA from San Diego State University, she now melds her passions for yoga, meditation and holistic healing with her corporate background and digital marketing experience to mentor and consult with businesses who aspire to bring well-being to the masses.

 

Maria Toscano, Director
Licensed Real Estate & Insurance Agent

Maria Toscano has been in the Real Estate industry since 1988. Ranging from Lending, Notary, Commercial & Residential Marketing and Sales. She is active with the National City, Hispanic and Chula Vista Chamber as an ambassador. Currently, Toscano is also a member of San Diego Junior League, earning a Board Academy Certificate, which is how she became inspired to become a board member. 

Through extensive sales training, marketing and experience, she has developed a strong network of influential San Diegans. Bilingual in Spanish and licensed as a Health and Life Insurance agent, Toscano is involved in the Senior community helping them navigate their Social Security and Medicare benefits.

 

Michael Caro, Director
San Diego Regional Manager, Assistance for Veterans

Michael Caro first learned about the Media Arts Center San Diego while working for a national print publication based in Hollywood. The San Diego Latino Film Festival was his first exposure to MACSD and has been a consistent thread throughout the years and has been a proponent of MACSD’s Teens Producer Project.

Caro was a New York transplant in Los Angeles, who first enjoyed San Diego while in the Navy back in 1977. He went to boot camp at the now Liberty Station grounds. Since then he has pursued a career in I.T. and technical support. Caro has lived in San Diego for 20 years and has been at Cox Communications for the last 15 yrs.

Caro also sits on the Cox Charities Advisory Board where he has been able to champion the Teens Producer Project and help elevate the MACSD’s profile in his corporate arena. He hopes to continue to bring to light those issues and organizations that help lift up those who interact with them.

Michael is passionate about giving back to the community. A Veteran of the US Navy and the California Air National Guard, Caro is the San Diego Regional Manager of Assistance for Veterans (AFV) a nonprofit whose mission is to deliver food to in need veterans in San Diego duplicating efforts of the Los Angeles team of AFV.

 

Shelby Batchelor Courtney, Director
Pastoral Care Counselor & Duolingo Ambassador

Shelby Courtney has spent over 10 years in the healthcare industry working in pediatrics, trauma, adult psychology, ICUs, and most recently as a community educator. Having graduated from Yale in 2001 with a B.A. in Film Studies, with a focus on screenwriting and documentary filmmaking, her love of international cinema and the creative process has only grown. 

In 2007 she graduated from Yale Divinity School with an M.Div. and dedicated herself to the service of others as a Spiritual Care provider. In her most recent role, Courtney offered extensive end-of-life, cultural intelligence, and spiritual care training to her colleagues and the larger community while developing outreach programs. She was responsible for writing/directing/producing company-wide marketing and educational videos. One of her productions was screened by the CEO at the Business Research Intelligence Network’s Palliative and Hospice Care Congress in January 2019. 

Courtney has been active with MANA de San Diego completing the Latina Success Leadership Program in 2015 and presenting a workshop at the Latina Success Conference in 2018. In 2017, she received the Health Committee Member of the Year Award. Since 2011, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Yale Club of San Diego as the Outreach and Social Media Chair responsible for content creation and email marketing to the local Yale Alumni community. This year, she is ecstatic to be a Fellow in the RISE Urban Leadership Program Gen V and excited to discover new ways to positively impact local San Diego communities. 

 

Alberto Cruz, Director
President, JAMR Properties

As president of JAMR Properties, Alberto Cruz is part of the executive team that sets the strategic direction and oversees day-to-day operations at San Diego’s Park, Shuttle & Fly. 

After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in real estate from Point Loma Nazarene College, Cruz earned his real estate sales credentials from Anthony’s School of Real Estate and went to work at the family real estate firm, Central Realty, Inc., where he spent four years as the broker of record in residential home sales and mortgage originations. Cruz then went to work as a broker associate for McMillin Realty, where he spent six years.

In 1994, Cruz took an ownership interest in Credit Mortgage, Inc., where he managed a staff of 35 employees and a $30 million line of credit. In 2001, he started Premiere Real Estate & Loans, representing buyers and sellers in both real estate transactions and other financial transactions.

Cruz also has significant relevant experience operating general-use parking lots. His earliest experience was in 1989, when the Cruz family purchased a 1000-space parking lot in San Ysidro near the U.S.- Mexico border. A few years later, he won a contract with Caltrans to turn a vacant dirt lot in San Ysidro into a 200-space parking facility. Through his vision, resourcefulness, and ingenuity, Cruz turned a non-performing asset into a vibrant business that created a new revenue stream for the State of California.

Cruz has a history of civic engagement and community service in San Diego. In the early 1990s, he was hired by Gil Partida to manage Hispanic outreach at the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. He was one of the first two individuals to take on this role for the chamber. While working in the San Diego Film Division, he was able to use his role in the chamber of commerce to close the San Ysidro Mexico border crossing in order to film No Man’s Land. He continues to be a member of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the Mexican-American Business Professionals Association. Cruz is an active member of the community at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Bonita; he is also a member of the Knights of Columbus.