Board of Directors 2020-21
Susan’s love for music started early, with the Spanish guitar, when she was a child in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Her father was a United States Naval Officer stationed there and their family listened to music of the region. Moving back to the States, Susan began studying guitar at age 5. At age 9, she heard another beautiful instrument, the flute, courtesy of the Honolulu Symphony and wanted to learn to play that as well. Susan has continued playing and performing on the flute. She enjoys supporting professional ensembles, helping to foster beautiful music for the community. Susan believes music can heal our souls, creating a better world. Susan and her husband, Gary, have been married for 33 years and live in Poway. They have one daughter, Alana, who will start her freshman year in college in a few weeks. Gary is a physician, a Neuroradiologist, and one of partners at Imaging Healthcare Specialists. Together, they have cheerfully catered The Spoto Dinner for Camarada for the last eight years. Susan has been a supporter of Camarada, since its inception over twenty years ago. A retired Clinical Laboratory Scientist, she continues to follow the latest medical discoveries and enjoys food, wine, travel, art, skiing, opera, theater and an occasional sports car.
Robert’s expertise includes marketing, advertising, social media, business consulting, leadership training, public relations, journalism, and broadcasting. Best known to San Diego radio listeners as the co-founder and show host of 102.1 KPRI, San Diego’s locally owned adult rock radio station, he is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at ChangeWell Training Academy in San Diego. Robert is co-author of Enhance Your Presence: The Path to Personal Power, Professional Influence, and Business Results. He speaks frequently at healthcare conferences around the US. Robert is also a former White House TV news correspondent and author of How to Write a One Page News Release – Make Your Own News and Get it Covered for Free. He subsequently turned his writing and producing skills to the field of advertising where he created marketing campaigns for thousands of clients. His commercial copywriting, directing, and producing talents have won him the coveted Mercury Award, a Clio Award, and several ADDY Awards from the American Advertising Federation. Throughout his career, Robert has lectured and taught subjects as diverse as media and politics, advertising and marketing, and self-expression and leadership. He graduated from Fordham University in New York with a degree in English and Mass Media.
Désirée M. Wilson is a provider of financial estate planning. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Agnes Scott College, an all women’s liberal arts college in Atlanta. After completing her undergraduate degree, she pursued a law degree at which time she interned with Elder Law and Advocacy, a non-profit San Diego-based organization focusing on the estate planning, tax and health care needs of the senior community. She also worked with Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps LLP in the Family Wealth and Exempt Organization practice group. This experience enlivened a desire to work with clients to protect their most valued assets, their family and business, while enabling them to keep the maximum amount of income and profits. This inspired her to obtain a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Financial Planning and Taxation. In 2011, when a struggling construction company came to her asking for help before they had to close their doors, she was not afraid to take on the task to assess their financial and business affairs to determine the best road to recovery and success. After several months of work to turn it around she decided this is something she could see herself doing. Désirée went on to get her contractor’s license allowing her to start an Iron Works and Fencing Company, which she operates out of her financial services office in Old Town. In August 2014 she was featured in the San Diego Reader cover story entitled “Babes in Boyland” focusing on her role as a woman in a mostly male-dominated field.
Jeanne Simmons graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a degree in Journalism. Following a lifelong dream, Jeanne attended law school and, in 1982, graduated with honors from California Western School of Law. She then began her career in law at Higgs, Fletcher and Mack where she represented clients involved in civil litigation disputes. Jeanne is also an experienced mediator, arbitrator and lecturer. Since retiring from the Higgs firm Jeanne has enjoyed raising her daughter Nicole and supporting non-profit organizations including Camarada. Her current interests include helping to solve the homeless crisis in San Diego. Jeanne is actively volunteering at the Monarch School in San Diego. Monarch is a K-12 comprehensive school designed to educate approximately 450 homeless youth and provide additional support to their families. Jeanne and her husband Roger, a retired professor at San Diego State University, have been married for 31 years and enjoy all of the wonderful opportunities to experience local cultural and outdoor activites.
Our Dedicated Staff
Thank you to our dedicated and FUN Board of Directors!
“It takes a village…and dedication to keep our vision for Camarada going!”