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Inspiring Stories from Del Mar, Encinitas & Carlsbad

The heart of our mission at the SD Voyager is to find the amazing souls that breathe life into our city. In the recent weeks, we’ve had the privilege to connect with some of the San Diego’s finest artists, creatives, entrepreneurs and rabble rousers and we can’t begin to express how impressed we are with our city’s incredibly deep talent pool. Check out the rising stars from Del Mar, Encinitas & Carlsbad below.

Sirius Yoo, Amber Yoo

Founded in 2010, SKY Facial Plastic Surgery is a local, family-run company that draws patients nationally and internationally for customized surgical procedures of the face and neck. Best known for results that look natural, SKY Facial Plastic Surgery has received several awards including the locally coveted “Best Cosmetic Surgeon in San Diego” award from Ranch & Coast Magazine. Read more>>

Mark Panik

I lived and worked in LA for 18 years, working in almost every facet of entertainment. I began working on-set on low budget feature films as both an assistant director and line producer. I then transitioned into post-production by writing, producing, and editing my own projects. Read more>>

William McFarland

In 2000, a friend from Hawaii brought a video tape of locals surfing in the Waimea river to the company president Bruce’s house in Solana Beach. From there the idea was born to create a stationary wave in a controlled setting. After about four years of R & D, the first SurfStream® prototype was built in shipping containers in NJ. Read more>>

Andrew Aussie

I founded Earnest Eats in 2007 with friends in family, after over a decade of leading marketing and innovations with the team at Kashi. The first question we’re asked is who is earnest? The answer of course is we’re all earnest – it’s our motivation to create the greatest foods that consciously give back. Read more>>

Jesse Paul

I grew up around food, Mom was a kosher caterer as was my Grandmother. I always enjoyed being in the kitchen, I just didn’t know it was something I wanted to do as a career. I was making an impromptu dinner for my girlfriend ( now my wife) and she told me that I should go to culinary school. Read more>>

Jennifer Sedlock

Prior to becoming a public speaker, I held management and corporate training positions. After an undergraduate degree at Berkeley I started my management career at Meier and Frank of Portland, Oregon. I moved back to California and worked for three other organizations in management – The Broadway Southern California (at Fashion Valley Mall), Jenny Craig International (also as a traveling corporate trainer opening new centres in Detroit, Toronto, etc), and then Office Specialist of Boston, in Mission Valley Branch. Read more>>

Simon Lacey, Nina Lacey

Company founder and brew master, Simon Lacey, conceived the idea of a brewery focusing on classic English and American beer styles in 2007, just before the craft beer boom went into high gear in San Diego. New English Brewing is the result of that vision. Growing up around pub culture in the northwest of England, Simon developed taste for “real-ale”, that is, cask-conditioned beer. Read more>>

Mitra Sarkhosh

I started as a biochemist in my undergraduate and worked as a chemist for few years. However, I was very unhappy and wanted to help people and have direct contact with them and not be in a lab all day long. I eventually went back to graduate school and studied counseling and became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Read more>>

Mario Vucetic

Back in 2006 I was working as a bouncer at one of the nightclubs in Downtown San Diego. On one occasion, one of my coworkers started telling me about his auto detailing business he’s been running for 15 years. The more he talked about the great cars he was working on, the more I was getting excited to hear about it and then it just clicked! Read more>>

Juan Reque

I started as a physical therapist in Madrid, Spain. Although my education was oriented to work in rehab clinics I always liked the hands on treatments better. I got better results with my hands than with any laser, tens, electric machine or massage tools. Read more>>

Chris Swanner

SOL Computer specializes in E-Ink displays. These type of displays are like reading a newspaper. They are easy on the eyes because they don’t use a back-light. The term Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) is associated with people that can’t look into a back-light. Because of CVS there are a huge amount of people that can’t work as they can’t look into a computer monitor. Read more>>

Guy Howard, Heather Howard

Mimi’s Boutique SoCal is a result of my wife’s longtime dream of owning a women’s boutique coming to fruition. She has always had a knack for fashion, and would regularly accompany her friends to the garment district in Los Angeles and assist them with dressing fashionably and affordably. Read more>>

Steve Moore

I started my business Journey back in 2001 in Albuquerque New Mexico at the age of 23. I started Moore Heating and A/C from scratch in 2001 to now owning Steve Moore Quality Air in 2017 right here in Carlsbad California. With a state of California C-20 contractors license and a State of New Mexico MM3 contractors license I am a seasoned HVAC business owner with a 16 year track record of success. Read more>>

Joe Scharnweber

My love for music has been lifelong but my love for DJing and events began at age 13 when I helped a local radio station DJ a high school dance. I vividly remember carrying tubs of CDs and having to search through the thousands of discs when students came to the DJ booth to request music. Read more>>

Bill McNamara

My wife Mary and I started the business in 1978 after eight years with Webb pump and supply leaning. I started out of the back of my truck with very little savings in the bank and two young boys. We used part of our living room as a office, Mary balanced being mother involved with the kids, wife and running financial side of the business it wasn’t easy and she deserves much credit for our success. Read more>>

Jack Crocker

I have been in construction my entire career. I went from trade to trade, working my way up to journeyman in each trade I worked in. Once I felt like I had a great handle on the field I wanted to learn the office aspect so I went into sales and then operations. Read more>>

Andy Hagenah

I grew up in Anoka, Minnesota about 30 miles north of Minneapolis. When I was in 7th grade I started playing the drums and really getting into music. While playing at parties for friends, I would often mix music during our breaks and eventually started to just be asked to bring my “DJ gear” to parties that couldn’t fit our full band. Read more>>

Ryan Oleksy

I started Next Life Medical (The Parent Company that acquired Emergent Respiratory in 2016) in Minneapolis 2011. I was a recent graduate and had decided to shift my focus from Law Enforcement and EMS to business, which I had been taught my whole life from my Father. Read more>>

Anthony Khattar

I grew up in Illinois where my father Fred operated his own shop. As I was growing up I would hang in the store with him from time to time and watch him work and help with customers. After high school when I was in college I started working with him more and more and start to take the business more serious. Read more>>

Russ Bruhn

When my son Jordan was nine (9) years old he was playing Carlsbad Youth Baseball and we were playing in a Good Will Baseball Tournament with a team from Kauai, Hawaii here at Chase Field here in Carlsbad, CA. During player introductions, the team from Kauai presented our Carlsbad Team with a gift bag of branded items from Kauai. Read more>>

Janice Jordan

I am the inventor of the solid nail coating and co-founder of Minx. In 2006 I was looking for a way to protect my nails form the rigors of my graphics business in Oceanside. Polishes chipped, Band-Aids didn’t last, duct tape-lets just say don’t try it at home! Read more>>

Paula Sturm

Being a Registered Dietitian is a second career for me. The decision to pursue this path came when I saw how impactful nutrition was to my new found fitness passion. I knew when I went back to college that I wanted to focus on preventative measures to health and wellness, to help prevent people from being diagnosed with the debilitating health issues that plague so many people. Read more>>

Ann Kornelsen

In 1993, we began making canine wear out of a desire to protect our beloved dogs because, at the time, the available clothing did not suit the needs of our dogs. When we first started making dog apparel, our company was known as Voyagers Greyhound Apparel. Read more>>

Craig Cook, Chris Miller

Baja Bob and his spearfishing buddies have been partying in Baja Mexico for longer than they care to remember. Reeling in fish all day and trading stories around a campfire all night had become a lasting tradition. Delicious margaritas were a key ingredient to these perfect vacations. Read more>>

Summer Lumpkin, Cassie Sinnott

The definition of Sublime as well as the band was the reasoning behind our name.
My partner and cousin and I decided after planning her wedding and helping friends and family with theirs that we wanted to be able to do this for others and one day be our own bosses. Read more>>

Annmarie D’Ercole

We opened our store on 15th street in Del Mar 15 years ago. Annmarie was wholesaling her jewelry when a friend who owned Rusty Del Mar told us they would be moving to the corner spot and would we like to take over there spot to pursue retail. This October will be our 15 year anniversary. Read more>>

Richard Geisz

Amistar Automation was founded by key individuals from Amistar Corp., a public company. When Amistar decided to wind down operations after 37 years in business, the principles of that company approached myself and Joe Pultinevicius and asked if we would consider starting our own company. Read more>>

Wayne Perry

I founded The Sound Therapy Center in 1992, and have traveled the globe presenting my sound healing work as a keynote speaker at health and wellness conferences, and facilitating sound healing workshops. .My book, SOUND MEDICINE was published by New Page Books in 2007, now in its fourth printing. Read more>>

Nick Alford

I was a fly fishing guide in Idaho and had the “brilliant” idea that I wanted to leave the mountains and move back to San Diego and get into commercial real estate. So, in 1998 I traded in my flies, for ties, and started working at Flocke & Avoyer Commercial Real Estate, then on to Burnham Real Estate and finished up at Cushman & Wakefield. Read more>>

Stephanie Reynolds

I started in the restaurant industry as a 22 year old hostess at a restaurant in Del Mar. Within just under two years, I had become a bartender. That is when I had the privilege of meeting one of owners from the Verant group. My co-workers had let me know that had applied to a new Verant group restaurant opening in the area and I was looking for change. Read more>>

Jessica Mann

My story begins when I was just a kid, and my parents would take our family camping and backpacking every summer around the West. I learned to love wilderness and the natural world at a young age, and that love has stayed with me my entire life. It led me to study Environmental Science in college, and earn a Masters’ degree in Public Health after that. Read more>>

Lilly Frost

I was an egg donor about 13 years ago 6 times. I really appreciated the process and felt very comfortable with a couple using my eggs to achieve a pregnancy and fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Over the last nine years, I moved from a career in finance – I was a CFO of a mortgage company in Las Vegas followed by a Finance Manager at a museum installation company in Portland Oregon which is where I grew up. Read more>>

Bill Smith

Sequoia Home Funding champions manufactured home solutions that revitalize housing for seniors, retired persons, families and individuals. We bring new homes with affordable financing solutions to current owners wishing to improve their quality of life. Read more>>

Wayne Boyer

I started racing motorcycles at 14 years old. Racing in North America and all over the world. The companies that sponsored me with the racing gear worn were in Europe. These companies asked me to help them with advertising here in the USA. Read more>>

Jody Munro

I started off by taking Chammyz towels that you use to wash a car and having a seamstress create a hoody/pullover out of these chammyz which we started selling to the lifeguards because the nature of the material is its ability to wick water/moisture and then immediately evaporate. Read more>>

JD Speck

I started training Jiu Jitsu in 2007 under Baret Yoshida shortly after moving to San Diego. I had a long martial arts background and was immediately hooked on the art, training, lifestyle, everything that involved jiu jitsu. I started coaching in 2009 as a blue belt at the late Undisputed gym in East Village. Read more>>

Anita Noone

After practicing law in San Diego for more than 20 years, I was ready for something completely different. I had heard of the Feldenkrais Method® but didn’t know anything about it. I looked in the phone book and there was a teacher nearby, so I went for an individual session. Read more>>

Wenndi Freer

My journey was not a direct line by any means! From the time that I was in 7th or 8th grade, I was interested in questions about life and energy. I wanted to know about life after death, why some places felt better than others and how to navigate all this as a teenager. Read more>>

Susan Thompson

I was involved in the Marketing and Merchandising for a skiwear company back East, CB Sports, for 7 years. CB Vaughan and I had a professional and personal relationship with Dennis Conner (America’s Cup fame) and after a few conversations about expanding my professional career, I decided to move from the East coast to San Diego to assist Dennis with Marketing and Licensing for Stars & Stripes and Team Dennis Conner in the America’s Cup. Read more>>

Nicole Nguyen

I decided I wanted to go into obstetrics and gynecology when I was pregnant with my first child. I was very interested in the entire birth process and also I felt that sometimes women did not get treated with empathy when being examined and cared for during routine exams and pregnancy. Read more>>

Heather TJ-Palmer, Chloe Bisou

I had been behind the scenes of business’ social media and blogs for several years, and one day in 2014 it dawned on me that I too had a voice that I wanted to share. So I started our blog & social media presence as The Stylish Bisou, with my pug Chloe Bisou as a way to express our love for all things style, fashion, and San Diego. Read more>>

Amy Lyons

I was born and raised in Somerset, England. I received a BA in Fine Arts from England and straight after deployed to Afghanistan with the British Army as Combat Medic. I served for the three years and deployed multiple times. It was during these deployments that I met a US Marine who would later become my husband and reason for moving to the USA. Read more>>

Claude Hooton

As an SDSU graduate, I fell in love with San Diego while in college. After graduating, I had to go to Los Angeles because of career opportunities. However, after finishing up my MBA from Harvard, I was able to talk my wife into moving here in the nineties and we’ve never left. Read more>>

Steve Schutz

Steve Schutz was raised in Downey until he joined the Navy at 18 years old. As a Marine Medic he knew then that medicine was his passion. After the Navy, Steven worked as a Pediatric and Hospice Nurse in Santa Barbara while he completed his undergraduate degree. Read more>>

Gretchen Ashton

In 2000 I became an open water scuba diver. As an already seasoned fitness professional and owner of a private training facility, I was naturally curious about fitness programs for divers. Initially, I familiarized myself through experience; exploring the physical demands and sensations of the sport. Read more>>

Thomas Matthews

I’ve always been a writer, and artist and a story teller. As early as I can remember I have spun yarns, drawn and painted and scribbled out the images that have always lived in my imagination. That didn’t always work for me in the real world. Luckily, there were some important guides I met along my journey that helped me navigate the rocks of real life. Read more>>

Stan Hayduk

I began painting out of High School, mainly on summer vacation from college. Moving to California in 1976, I formed a partnership with another painter and began contracting in the North San Diego area. In 1982, I moved to Mammoth Lakes and, while managing Mammoth Reservation Bureau, painted condos in the off season. Moving back to San Diego in 1987, I began Stan Hayduk Custom Painting as a full time business. Read more>>

Mustafa Behan

I’m Mustafa Behan, founder of Amsety. Growing up my family faced many challenges with liver disease and I had lost my father to Diabetes. It was during these difficult times that I turned to understanding the role nutrition plays in these diseases. Years of research showed a link between proper nutrition and liver health – specifically a mixture of 16 vitamins and minerals. Read more>>

Scott McGervey, Lori McGervey

Drain Runner Plumbing a family run business was founded in 2004 by Scott Alan McGervey. As a young child Scott always had his hands in some type of project. At the young age of 6 McGervey was building his own bikes, finding parts at garage sales or neighbors trash bins. Read more>>

Nick Burchfield

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation: Supporting Carlsbad Students for over 30 Years With 33 years of history and a record of fiscal stability, Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) has strengthened our community by investing over $8 million in programs and resources for Carlsbad students. Read more>>

Doug West

My father, Neal West, was a builder for 40 years before going into real estate in the early 90s. I had no interest in real estate. I went to USD and studied Hispanic Studies. Then I did grad school at UCSD (Latin American Studies) and Middlebury College (Spanish Philology). Read more>>

Steve Baden

RESNET is a not-for-profit California corporation that sets the national standards for the inspection, testing and labeling a home’s energy performance. It’s main product is the HERS Index. The HERS Index for homes is like the MPG for automobiles. It provides a consumer an easy to understand guide in learning how much the home will cost to heat, cool and provide hot water. Read more>>

Farzan Dehmoubed, Jennifer Duvall

We started our business after California’s plastic bag ban became official this January when we quickly noticed that there was a need for quality, recycled bags that avoid filling homes with the abundant and cheap ones that are often forgotten at home, tear or quickly end up in landfills. Read more>>

Maya Li

Throughout my lifetime practicing art, I have found my interests in painting, and teaching art. I was born and raised in China, where I got my BA in design from China Central Academy of Fine Arts, which is the top one art university in Beijing, China. Read more>>

Jonathan Hanwit

My partner and I started thinkPARALLAX from our garage in Ocean Beach back in 2004. Our plan was to build brands that would make a positive impact on the world. Like all businesses, we’ve gone through several evolutions, starting more as a design agency, to a branding and interactive firm and now we are a full service strategic communications agency. Read more>>

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