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Community Member Spotlights

It’s more important to understand someone than to judge them. We think the first step to understanding someone is asking them the fundamental questions about who they are and how they became the person they are today. Understanding and empathy are essential building blocks for a better, more compassionate world. We’re incredibly fortunate to be able to ask these questions each week through our interview series. Below you’ll find interviews from our community members and content partners – the folks who’ve been heavily involved with us, collaborating with us on content, sponsoring our mission and spreading the word about the work we do.

Mel Sage | Woodworker

My name is Mel Sage and I’m an artist and woodworker focusing on sculptural wooden art inspired by topography. Read more>>

Lisa Nicholson | Licensed Acupuncturist

I’m Lisa Nicholson, licensed acupuncturist for over 20 years, and owner of Balboa Park Holistic Wellness Center. For the first 15 years, my practice focused on working with people with work injuries, sports injuries, and chronic pain. I’ve been working with the VA’s community care program since it began, helping veterans to manage chronic pain and PTSD. During this time, I was an avid ultra-distance road cyclist, well-known in the local and US randonneuring community. In 2015 I was one of 45 women to complete Paris-Breast-Paris, a 1200k (780 mile) ride across France. Read more>>

William Lopez | Full Service Marketing Communications Firm

My name is William Lopez. I own Alternative Strategies; a successful marketing and communications firm in San Diego. Our team members assist in the development and maintenance of 40+ local restaurants, bars, breweries, shopping centers and TAVA-Downtown Chula Vista. We are a full-service agency that prides itself in going “above and beyond” for our clients to develop effective PR, marketing, branding and social media campaigns as well as providing graphic and web design services. I also serve on the board of directors for Paws4Thought Animal Rescue Read more>>

Dylan Jones | President of The Poppyfield Agency

My name is Dylan Jones and I am the President of The Poppyfield Agency. We are a full-stack digital marketing, web design/development, app design/development agency. My wife and I started this business in 2019 and have had the pleasure of growing it into what it is today. I run the project management aspects of our agency currently. Luckily we have a great team to help make everything happen the way it needs to! Read more>>

Sarah Morgan |Premiere Branding, Headshot and Portrait Photographer serving San Diego County

Hi, I’m portrait and branding photographer Sarah Morgan. My photographic journey started in the 1980’s while attending my friend’s weddings and wondering what the heck the photographer was doing and why he wasn’t capturing this and that. After several years of being a wedding photographer apprentice, I opened my own photography studio as a wedding photographer in Kennebunkport, Maine in 1997. My studio was a success because I focused on capturing the emotion of the attendees as well as the action. After a cross-country move to San Diego, I decided I wanted to focus more on portraits that held the same emotion I could capture during weddings. I discovered I enjoyed working with business people and entrepreneurs. I loved the challenge of telling their story in amazing images they could use for their online presence, to capture the attention of their dream clients and help convert them into real clients. I specialize in personal/business branding, headshots and contemporary portraits for clients who want that “model for a day” experience. Read more>>

Victoria Cartagena | Esthetician, Lash Artist and Body Contour Specialist

I am one-woman creative in North Park as a Licensed Esthetician, Body Contour Specialist & Lash Artist who is building an experience around these services that approach and artistically express beauty as it is today. I have always had a genuine knack at making people feeling good about themselves and always had a love for art. Today as an artist, I bring a nurturing and fun aesthetic into my creative studio to provide the complete experience that empowers all of my clients to “Adore” themselves and feel beautiful. My mission is to empower other artists to strengthen their style of vision behind client experience. Read more>>

Michael Lopez | Fashion and Beauty Photographer

Hi my name is Michael Lopez Jr. I am a 23 year old fashion and beauty photographer in Southern California. I have been doing photography professionally the past three years but I picked up photography when I was 14 years old. I am working on getting an agent and doing photography full time, but in the meantime I work with students with disabilities in a school setting. Read more>>

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