Board Spotlight


We thank our departing Board Members for their years of service and leadership as we say good-bye to Wendy Gillespie, Ken Schmitt and Sandy Shippey. All three are resigning from the JA Board of Directors this month.


(From left to right: Wendy Gillespie, Alan Spector, Valerie Hash, Linda O'Connell and Susan Perkins celebrate JA BizTown's 10th Birthday) 

Wendy Gillespie, President & CEO, Frontier Trading Inc. / Starhawk Productions, Capdevilla Gillespie Foundation

Wendy has been a dedicated supporter of Junior Achievement San Diego for the past twenty years with fifteen years of service on the Board. Wendy and her late husband, Marty Capdevilla, played a key role in finding a new home for the Junior Achievement office, creating the Capdevilla Gillespie Center for Junior Achievement in Mission Valley in 2006. JA’s new home lead to the creation of the McGrath Family JA BizTown, a 10,000 square foot mini-city where 16,000 fifth graders each year discover how to start and run a profitable business.

Wendy was also on the Board during the opening of JA’s newest learning center, Mission Fed JA Finance Park in 2015. She considers JA Finance Park and JA BizTown her proudest achievements and living legacy for San Diego’s youth.

(From left to right: JA Board Member, Ken Schmitt having fun with KUSI's Brad Perry and the students from JA Company Program, Coffishake CFO, Nina Garcia, Coffieshake HR Director, Gaurav Dixitx and Canyon Crest Academy Teacher, Maureen Plumb)

Ken Schmitt, CEO & Founder, TurningPoint Executive Search

Ken is a passionate advocate of teaching young adults practical skills that will help them succeed in today’s global economy. His track record of extraordinary leadership is reflected in his role as a JA Company Program mentor. For the past three years, he has produced two winning teams from Canyon Crest Academy. In 2015, his student team won “Company of the Year” at JA USA’s national competition in Washington DC, beating out hundreds of teams across the nation.

(From left to right: JA Teen Ambassador Alex Wang, JA's Rebecca King, Tara Michener, JA Board Directors, Mike Schleyhahn and Sandy Shippey, JA's Jacqui Pernicano and former JA's Lauriah West) 

Sandy Shippey, Partner, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP

Sandy has led the JA Board of Directors through remarkable change and transformation. Under her leadership as Co-Chair, the signature JA Golf Classic event was created and her law firm, Procopio found a new home in JA BizTown. She was also part of the team that launched Mission Fed JA Finance Park.

Thank you Wendy, Ken and Sandy for the countless hours, passion and energy you have devoted to JA over the years.

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Kristi Zimsky

Kristi Zimsky

PR and Social Media Manager