Word by Word 2019

On September 24, 2019, the Friends of A Way with Words — the radio show’s volunteer support committee — hosted an entertaining program, dinner, and cocktails at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Mission Bay.

The program celebrated language and recognized three San Diego leaders: Mark Cafferty, Nancy Sasaki, and Dr. Mary Walshok, whose careers and accomplishments closely align with A Way with Words’ mission of raising the level of public discourse.

Of course, A Way with Words hosts Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett were there to share language tidbits. And, we had a special guest — quiz guy John Chaneski, our emcee for the evening.

The Honorees

Mark Cafferty is the president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, which maximizes the region’s economic prosperity and global competitiveness. Mark has spent more than 20 years designing systems to promote career advancement and economic opportunity for American workers. He has served in numerous public-sector leadership positions and has been sought as a consultant on workforce development efforts throughout the country. Over the last few years, Mark has served as chair of the San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Workforce and Economic Advisory Committee and as a member on Governor Jerry Brown’s International Trade and Investment Advisory Council.

Nancy Sasaki is the president and CEO at United Way of San Diego County, an organization focused on early childhood success, youth success, and family stability. She has more than 35 years experience in the nonprofit sector, including roles as the executive director of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, executive vice president at Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties, and as president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. Nancy is committed to improving the lives of the underserved. She serves as chair of Funders Together to End Homelessness-San Diego, board chair of San Diego Grantmakers, board member of the Regional Task Force on the Homeless San Diego, vice-chair of the Homeless Executive Board-Imperial County, member of the Homeless Task Force-Imperial County, and board member of San Diegans for Health Care Coverage.

Dr. Mary Walshok is the associate vice chancellor for public programs and dean of Extension at the University of California San Diego. She is an author, educator, and researcher. Mary is a thought leader and subject matter expert on aligning workforce development with regional economic growth and has published more than a hundred articles, reports, and book chapters on the topic. As an industrial social scientist focused on the dynamics of regional economic development and transformation, Mary has studied various communities across America. Her commitment to strengthening the community is demonstrated by years of service on the boards of San Diego CONNECT, which she also helped found, the La Jolla Playhouse, the United States-Mexico Foundation for Science, the International Community Foundation, and the Girard Foundation.

The Host Committee

  • Betty Willis, co-chair
  • Constance Carroll, Ph.D., co-chair
  • Jack Beresford
  • Ignacio De La Torre
  • Judy Friedel
  • Joan Houston Hall, Ph.D.
  • Jeanne L. Herberger, Ph.D.
  • Kenneth Lounsbery, J.D.
  • Margaret Lamb
  • Cindy Miles, Ph.D.
  • Betty Peabody
  • Liz Anne Potamianos
  • Rana Sampson, J.D.
  • Bonnie Scott, Ph.D.

Scenes from the Gala

Word by Word 2019 Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Community Sponsors

  • Allie Akmal
  • Betty Peabody
  • Michael Breslauer and Rick Seidenwurm
  • Bonnie Scott
  • Josh Eckels
  • Betty Willis