HBA has the second highest level of recognition by members among all Business Improvement Districts (74 percent).
— KPBS news article

Board of Directors

Paul Smith, President

Paul Smith has been a small business owner is Hillcrest since 2008 and currently the sole owner and operator of The Merrow, a welcoming dive bar featuring cocktails, craft beer and live entertainment most night of the week. Southern California born and raised, he moved to San Diego in 1993.  Paul is a graduate of the California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, and a graduate of the San Diego State University with a Master’s in Business Administration.

He had more than 20 years of experience in the design, manufacturing, and management of consumer electronics and mobile telecommunications products, before taking on the challenge of owning and running his own business. Paul has been a supporter of the Hillcrest Business Association and has taken a more active role in recent years participating in committees and helping with events like CityFest.

Tami Daiber-Hirst, Trustee

Tami Daiber, RPA®, FMA® is Chief Operating Officer at Carleton Management. With more than 20 years in the real estate industry, Tami has managed suburban office buildings, retail shopping centers, industrial and medical office buildings for nationally recognized institutional owners, publicly traded real estate investment trusts as well as local San Diego investors. She has also managed multi-million dollar tenant improvement projects and has completed numerous building renovation projects.

A graduate of University of San Diego, Tami holds a California Real Estate License and the Real Property Administrator (RPA) and Facilities Management Administrator (FMA) designations from the Building Owners and Managers Institute International (BOMI International).

Glenn Younger, Vice President 

Glenn Younger is president of Grah Security / Grah Safe and Lock and they have been helping San Diegans to be Safe, Secure and Successful since 1914.  The Grah office is located at 10th and University Ave. In addition to the retail storefront, Grah dispatches service vehicles throughout San Diego country from their convenient Hillcrest location. The supply division of Grah also takes advantage of the Hillcrest location and serves facility and building professionals with their door and security hardware needs.

Glenn has been involved with the HBA since 2006. He is also involved with the Hillcrest Farmers Market, Hillcrest CDC, Metro CDC,  and the Uptown Community Plan Update committees.

Ryan Bedrosian, Secretary

Ryan Bedrosian is the general manager at Rich’s Nightclub.

Cecelia Moreno, Treasurer

Cecelia Moreno is rejoining the HBA Board as its Treasurer.

Previously, she has also served on the Uptown Community Parking District as Treasurer. Cecelia thrives in an activist roll to advocate for the viability of the Hillcrest Business Community. She has previously served as Chair of the Hillcrest Parking Committee and the Beautification Committee.

Cecelia is a native San Diegan and has owned and operated the Crest Cafe since 1985. She is a graduate of the University of California Irvine with a BA in Social Ecology and attended one year of Graduate school in Mass Communications at San Diego State University. She is currently a resident of Oceanside California with her husband Kit Sackett and their two dogs.

The Crest Cafe, celebrating its' 37th year in Hillcrest, proudly participates in Dining out for Life, Taste of Hillcrest, Taste and Tinis, Shop Hillcrest for the Holidays; as well as a founding donor to the Hillcrest Pride Flag. She looks forward to help ensuring the continued success of the Hillcrest Farmers Market and seeing the fruition of the Hillcrest Promenade Pride Plaza and the ATT mural project.

Matt Ramon, Board member

Matt Ramon is with Mo’s Universe.

Tina Shirley, Board member

Tina Shirley has been the Office Manager for Medical Age Management (located on Normal St.) for the past 3 years.  Her previous experience was in the health and fitness industry which lasted 20 years.  She now manages a small medical office that specializes in anti-aging, hormone replacement therapy as well as aesthetics.  Born and raised in San Diego, Tina has worked all over the county.  She now looks forward to being more involved in Hillcrest, specifically the Hillcrest Business Association, where she can make a difference in the community. 

Colleen Cavalieri, Board member

Colleen Cavalieri operates VOM FASS San Diego

John Husler, Board member

John Husler is the Founder and Operator of Lestat’s Coffeehouses and has been in the food, beverage, and hospitality industries for his entire career.

In 1997, John opened the original Lestat’s Coffeehouse in Normal Heights. Soon to follow was Lestat’s expansion, which provided a great outlet for local performers and artists with their award-winning Open Mic venue. A second Lestat’s opened in University Heights in 2010 and the third (and largest location) opened in Hillcrest in 2016.

Lestats is consistently voted the Best Coffeehouse with Live Music, the Best Open Mic and winner or runner-up for the Best Coffeehouse in San Diego by San Diego CityBeat readers. John cherishes everyone who works with him as well as his customers and community. He looks forward to lending his dedication and expertise to the HBA Board.

Jeff Jackson, Board member

Jeff Jackson is the owner of Flicks, San Diego’s original Gay Video Bar. He has a Bachelors in Economics from the University of Buffalo, and more than 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry.

Jessica Magers, Board member

Jessica Magers is the Regional Manager for Sunset Restaurant Management Group. She oversees Fiesta Cantina in Hillcrest.

Professional Staff

Benjamin Nicholls, Executive Director

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Benjamin Nicholls has served as the HBA’s Executive Director for over ten years. While in Hillcrest, he has been the recipient of the “Outstanding Ally Nicky” award by the San Diego LGBT Imperial Court, he is the recipient of an San Diego Architectural Foundation award, he was the project manager for the creation of the San Diego LGBT Pride Flag and Hillcrest Pride Historical Monument, he oversaw two expansions of the Hillcrest Farmers Market, and the complete renovation of the Hillcrest Sign. Prior to his time with the HBA, he managed Discover Pacific Beach where he created the Beach Area Community Court in a partnership with the San Diego City Attorney’s office and the San Diego Police Department. He has presented at national conferences on community development, marketing, criminal justice, and urban development. As a private consultant he oversaw a lighting demonstration event in Barrio Logan’s Chicano Park National Historic Landmark and an event unveiling the Barrio Logan Community Sign. He is the president of the Uptown Community Parking District and holds a masters degree in leadership and nonprofit management from the University of San Diego.

Jonathan Lopez, Placemaking Program Manager

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Jonathan is HBA’s Placemaking Program Manager. Before joining HBA, Jonathan previously worked for Evans Hotels as a Group Room Coordinator where he gained 5 years of hospitality experience. Born and raised in San Diego, Jonathan has worked all over the county. He has a passion for Hillcrest and has become more involved within the Hillcrest community by becoming Hillcrest Town Councils Neighborhood Improvement Committee.