Welcome Our 2023 President ~ Maddy MacElwee

January 11, 2023

Maddy MacElwee in front of the pyramids in Egypt

We at SDAF are all extremely excited about 2023, and I am grateful to be the incoming President of this amazing organization. Huge thanks to Pauly for his leadership as President over the past several years. His vision of making membership in SDAF free is going to continue with the goal of educating our San Diego community through the promotion of outstanding architecture, planning and urban design and making it accessible to a wider audience. YES!! Encourage your friends and colleagues to join because we have a great year ahead!

Join here: https://sdarchitecture.org/members/

Before I list the 2023 BOD and outline some of our upcoming events – I wanted to tell you a bit about myself. I am Maddy MacElwee, founder and CEO of The Lighting Element and have been a member of the SDAF BOD since 2014 and the Treasurer for the past three years. I moved to San Diego as a child from the East Coast as the youngest child of immigrant entertainers. I have had a colorful and unconventional education; I try to live each day with an open mind and heart and am a fanatic for great design. I am very passionate about San Diego and our built environment and look forward to leading this great organization this year.

The 2023 Board of Directors is a dynamic team of leaders. I am excited to announce our Executive Officer slate for 2023:
Laura DuCharme Conboy, Vice President
Anne Militante, Secretary
Mike Thorpe, Treasurer
Pauly De Bartolo, Immediate Past President

It is also with great pride that I announce our 2023 Board of Directors: Suzanne Clemmer, Traci Cortez, Kevin deFreitas, Rosina A. Diaz, Tyler Ezell, Tony Garcia, Jonathan Gonzalez, Michelle Harrison-McCallister, Tommy Hernandez, Aaron Magdaleno, Amber Mauer, Nadia Nunez, Tatiana Perez, Olga Sanchez, Roger Showley, Allison Witt, and Bree Wong. And the illustrious Lauren Cook continuing as our Executive Managing Director. I thank each of these individuals for their dedication to the San Diego Architectural Foundation!

Many of our goals for SDAF 2023 are based around reaching a much wider audience within San Diego and actively encouraging a more diverse and engaged membership while continuing our amazing programming.

• Everyone loves PechaKucha Night, or PKN as we like to call it. 20 photos with 20 seconds to explain each image makes for a lively and transformative experience – and is a crowd favorite!

• The BEEP (Built Environment Education Program) which includes our second Saturday KidSketch program where everyone, not just kids, can be amazed at their creations through guided perspective sketch techniques.

• We have OH! San Diego- where neighborhoods host and open their doors to the public for our curious “lookey-loo enjoyment.” Did you know that last year we had over 14,000 social media engagements while visiting the 7 neighborhoods and enjoyed 80 sites throughout the 3-day weekend event? Stay tuned for more on 2023 OH!

• Context 2023 will bring our region together as we focus on San Diego & Tijuana with our designation as Design Capital of the World 2024.

• And of course, we have our flagship event of the year, Orchids & Onions – which gives recognition by our esteemed Jury to Orchid winners as well as some Onions – which by the way, underwent a thoughtful revamp in 2022, so that the second “O” is just a little tastier and easier to swallow. What projects will you nominate in 2023? I encourage my lighting friends to nominate projects for a new lighting design category!

• We give back through Scholarships- We love to promote the thought leaders of the future and have partnered with SDNOMA in distributing a $7500 scholarship with the goal to increase minority representation in the San Diego Design Community, as well as a $4000 Pillars scholarship through NewSchool.

• Even though membership to SDAF is free – If you are someone who likes to be a VIP- we have some “extras” for you! For $250 annually – you can obtain additional access to events like sneak peeks and exclusive tours of some of San Diego’s hottest new spots during VIP only events and enjoy free entry to programs like our Film Series and Taste of Design.

I would like to thank all our past Partners, Sponsors & Volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do any of these amazing events without them. Please renew your support and encourage your colleagues and friends to join SDAF, become a volunteer, or an Event Sponsor or Annual Partner! Click here for more info https://sdarchitecture.org/joingift/

I feel privileged and honored to be the 2023 President of the San Diego Architectural Foundation. I look forward with excitement to all we will do together in the San Diego & Tijuana region in the year ahead!


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