Laurie Black, president and CEO of LJ Black Consulting and president of RS Lawrence Development as well as past president of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, is well known as a keen and prolific producer of new and innovative ideas. She is a proactive manager who has the experience and confidence to lead. She brings to a project the maturity, courage, integrity, good judgment and critical insight necessary for the development of a focused mission and strategic plan. Laurie is an accomplished strategist and creative change agent of collaborative systems and shapes innovative solutions addressing the needs of our most vulnerable citizens. Ms. Black is a passionate advocate developing and funding programs and augmenting supportive housing for people who are chronically homeless and have chronic mental health conditions.
Ms. Black has been a part of the political and business landscape in San Diego for over thirty years. Half of of her career has been spent working for local, state and federal candidates for elective office. From 1986 to 1991 she operated her first business, which included political fundraising, issue development, press relations and implementation of campaign strategies. Ms. Black served as Chief of Staff for Congresswoman Lynn Schenk wherein she managed the budget and staff, and assisted in developing the Congress member's legislative and political agenda. She also served as chief liaison to all government agencies, state and local officials, and local business and community groups. Prior to that, Ms. Black worked for Four Square Productions wherein she produced company videos and commercials. She simultaneously served as the public relations contact for a major motion picture produced in San Diego.
Ms. Black has given many presentations and speeches and is well known for her advocacy on homelessness, disabled veterans, the San Diego Waterfront and mental illness as well as Melanoma and has presented her ideas on mitigating homelessness at the International Downtown Association's Annual Conference as well as other national and international conferences. She has been invited to speak at functions by Francis Parker School, the U.S. International University, the San Diego Chapter National Association of Women Business Owners, the San Diego World Trade Center, the United Jewish Federation of San Diego County, the County of San Diego CIA, the Citizens Coordinate for Century 3, and the San Diego Repertory Theatre. She is also recognized nationally for her passion and expertise in patient advocacy, specifically those with Melanoma needing help mitigating their healthcare and treatment possibilities and opportunities. Laurie was the Keynote Speaker in Panama City, Panama August 2015 for the III Summit of Patient Organizations hosted by the International Alliance of Patient Organizations (IAPO), and sponsored by Novartis.
Laurie has also been recognized within the community for her civic-mindedness. She was selected as a San Diego Metropolitan Magazine 2011 Metro Mover and twice as San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch. The Salvation Army named her one of the 10 Women of Dedication in 2002. The Downtown San Diego Partnership honored her with an Alonzo Award in 2001 for her vision in creating the Clean & Safe program, which has contributed significantly to the improvement and quality of life in downtown San Diego. The Athena/UCSD Connect program presented her with a Pinnacle Award for her contribution to the San Diego business community. In 1999, the YWCA selected her for the TWIN Award for Women in Industry. Laurie received a leadership visionary award, Quality of Living, from LEAD for all her community activities that relate to the quality of life in San Diego, her leadership and her vision. UCSD Moore’s Cancer Center named her Caregiver of the Year in 2012 and in February 2014 Vista Hill Foundation named her Mental Health Advocate of the Year.
Laurie was most recently appointed to be a Trustee on the UCSD Foundation Board where she volunteers with critical issues related to the university as well as community building. She was a Board member at Centre City Development Corporation now called Civic San Diego from 2010 to 2012. She served as a San Diego Port Commissioner from 2007 – 2009 using her environmental credentials to help create the Green Port Program enhancing the Ports role as an environmental steward of San Diego Bay. Ms. Black was a member of the 2010 “Pipeline to Leadership” program, which was recognized by the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations with its Outstanding Member Program Award and a past Commissioner at the San Diego Port District from 2007-2009. She was a founding committee member of the Bankers Hill/Park West Community Development Corporation. She was on the Board of Overseers at the University of California at San Diego for 9 years and was past co-chair of the LEAD San Diego Leadership Trust. Ms. Black was an Ambassador for Higher Education in 2001 at San Diego State University and was chosen to help establish Partners for K-12 School Reform with San Diego Dialogue. She served on the San Diego City Library Commission for five years and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board for four years. She served on the Board of Directors of the San Diego City College Foundation as well as the Community College Advisory Board for SDCC. Laurie was a member of the Budget, Finance and Nominating Committees of the San Diego Opera as well as a member of the Board of Directors at Congregation Beth Israel. She helped with the expansion efforts of the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center and has participated on the Women's Studies Community Advisory Committee at SDSU.
Additionally, Laurie served on the award selection committee for the San Diego Association of Fundraising Professionals 2004 National Philanthropy Day as well as the Lead San Diego selection committee for their annual awards. She was a co-chairperson for the Annual Networking Luncheon hosted in 2001 by the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research. She also chaired the Judge Learned Hand Award Dinner given by the American Jewish Committee in 2000 and was a nominee for San Diego Dialogue Creating Livable Communities: A Celebration of Civic Excellence 2000. She served as an honorary chairperson for the 1998 Annual Auction/Celebrity Event given by the Institute for Arts Education and served as a judge for both the Bank of America's Innovation Awards and the San Diego Business Journal's Women Who Mean Business Awards.
Ms. Black is a graduate of the CORO Summer Program and LEAD San Diego. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Women's Studies from San Diego State University.