San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will be the keynote speaker for the annual Commercial Realtors Association (CRA) Deal Maker Awards breakfast.
Sanders was sworn in as mayor of the city of San Diego on Dec. 5, 2005. He served as chief of police from 1993 until 1999, capping a 26-year career with the department. During his tenure, he and the department's employees gained national recognition for their pioneering work with community policing and, with active assistance from the community, achieved a more than 40 percent decrease in crime during the six-year period he led the department. He also reorganized the department, making it more responsive to the community, reaching out to neighborhoods and utilizing more than 1,000 volunteers to address San Diego's public safety needs.
Sanders left the Police Department to become president and CEO of the United Way of San Diego County in April 1999, at a time when the agency was being criticized for a bloated bureaucracy and a decline in contributions. During his tenure, the local United Way dramatically increased fundraising and decreased overhead costs. In addition, he served as the United Way community campaign chair in 2002.
Sanders was appointed to the board of the American Red Cross San Diego and Imperial Counties Chapters in July 2002 after the local CEO was fired by the national headquarters in the aftermath of controversy concerning the Alpine Fire. He helped recruit Ronne Froman as the organization's CEO and oversaw the turnaround of the local chapter, which resulted in support for victims of the Cedar Fire, praise from former critics for the transparency of fundraising efforts and a staff reorganization that substantially reduced overhead costs.
He has also been active in the private sector, serving as founding partner and consultant for local high-tech startups involved with homeland security and infrastructure assessment.
Sanders, 56, and his wife, Rana Sampson, live in Kensington. He has two daughters, Lisa and Jamie.