Washington, D.C. — Today, Congressman Duncan Hunter released a list of the breakout panel leaders for the upcoming public conference he is hosting on the relationship between San Diego and the U.S. military.  The conference, titled San Diego and National Defense: Protecting our Future, is scheduled for Tuesday, September 25, from 7:30 AM PT to 10:30 AM PT at UC San Diego’s Hojel Hall of the Americas Auditorium.

“Judging by the positive response so far, a high turnout is expected among community leaders, business owners and others who have experiences and ideas about strengthening the San Diego region’s relationship with America’s military,” said Congressman Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee.  “I’m really looking forward to having a constructive conversation on issues of importance to our community, and I’m also hoping for a diverse set of viewpoints.  National defense is a major piece of San Diego’s economic foundation and, regardless of political affiliation and interests, we all share the goal of strengthening our economy for the future.

“I’m especially grateful for the interest and commitment of the breakout session leaders.  They all bring much needed insight and experience to the array of topics under discussion, and their presence and contribution will be a tremendous benefit to the conference and those who attend.”

San Diego and National Defense: Protecting our Future will be moderated by Barry Jantz, Grossmont Healthcare District.

Individual breakout panel leaders are:

  • Marcel Becker, JCI Metals.  With his extensive experience with BRAC, Marcel will lead the “BRAC and Sequestration” breakout session.
  • Rick Snyder, San Diego Association of Realtors.  Rick will lead the “Housing” breakout session that will focus on how the housing sector is dependent on the military and how sequestration will impact the market.

  • Sean Barr, Vice President San Diego Economic Development Council.  Sean will lead the “Small Business” breakout session, which will focus on the economic impact of defense sector in San Diego, especially for small businesses.

  • Virginia Bayer, President RAVE Inc.  Virginia is a retired Navy Commander and a senior defense acquisition professional with a significant background in dealing with federal budgets and procurement.  She will be leading the “Acquisition and Procurement” breakout session.
  • Dr. Mary Walshok, UC San Diego.  Dr. Walshok  is the Associate Vice Chancellor for public programs and Dean of Extension at UCSD and will be leading the “Education”