Jeffrey Sitcov is Founder & President of Photocharity. Jeffrey, a Physical Therapist for 18 years, suffered a career ending injury while treating a patient in 1998. After much soul searching, he decided to volunteer his life & help youth make better choices in their lives. He interviewed over 100 non-profit San Diego organizations that empowered youth to make better choices for themselves. One of those organizations was the Storefront. He spent 5 hours on the streets with the Storefront Outreach Program and was shocked to find there were over 2000 youth under the age of 18, and 4000 more between the age of 18 to 24, that were homeless in San Diego County. After this experience Jeffrey realized he must help Save Homeless Youth and Photocharity was born.
Jeffrey is an award-winning Photographer. His first break photographing music concerts and celebrities came when Bill Silva asked him to be the House Photographer at San Diego State Open Air Theater. Jeffrey’s relationships with Billy Joel, Elton John, BB King and others, facilitated the donation of guitars, keyboards, and drumheads that were signed and sold, raising over $600,000 for Photocharity.
Jeffrey has committed to spearhead fundraising efforts for a new shelter called the “House of Hope”. It will be the first shelter in San Diego for 18-24 year olds. There are presently 4000 plus homeless youth between the ages of 18 to 24 and no shelter to serve them. The Vision is that the “House of Hope” will be a template for other communities & countries to duplicate.
Jeffrey’s newest venture is “Arts for Hope, Empowering Homeless Youth”. He will partner with ex homeless youth and mentor them in Sales, Marketing, and PR in a for profit business selling Art, Photography & Music. Jeffrey’s goal is to teach them how to be financially secure so they in turn will mentor other ex homeless youth.
Jeffrey has received awards locally & nationally by being a semifinalist for Volvo For Life Awards, Channel 10 Leadership Award, & Jewish Family Service Volunteer of the Year Award.
Steve’s affordable housing experience over the last 10 years consists of the development and construction of 444 single family lots, 38 homes, the rehabilitation and sale of over 75 HUD homes, the acquisition, rehabilitation, and management of over 1,602 multi-family housing units and 25 homes, the new construction of 776 multi-family housing units and the construction of 2 parks. Currently, Steve is developing a new 90 unit affordable senior apartment project. Most of these projects provide rents that are one half of what they would be for a market rate apartment. This serves to fill a huge need for people and families trying to have safe and decent housing who would otherwise not be able to do so. An example of who this benefits would be a family of 4 that makes $37,500 or less annually.
In addition to Steve’s participation in affordable housing, he has donated his time to further building education as Chairman of the University of California San Diego’s Architectural and Construction Department and has volunteered and contributed to rehabilitate family housing shelters, including participation with the Building Industry Association.
Steve has also assisted another non-profit teen homeless shelter organization to develop a facility in the Inland Empire and supported foster care providers. Steve has run, volunteered and donated funding each of the past 5 years to Providence Place, which is a program that helps women who have been incarcerated to get back on their feet and stay out of trouble. Steve has also been the Nation Chief for the YMCA and responsible for running their Annual Giving Campaign for the Coyote Nation, as well as leading approximately 300 dads and children in this dads and daughters program.
Steve is married to Wendy Deaver Bram, an elementary school teacher. They have 3 children ages 8 (twins) and 9. When Steve isn’t working, he is a full time Dad who is very involved in his children’s activities including the YMCA’s father daughter Indian Princess program, Dads Club, coaching his girls youth soccer teams, supporting other activities like swimming and dance, and supporting their education.
Ms. Slaby is the Senior Project Manager with Affirmed Housing Group, Inc., a San Diego based affordable housing developer. With a real estate career that spans fifteen years, Ms. Slaby has enjoyed the privilege of overseeing the development of nearly 1,000 units of multi-family affordable housing and has developed in excess of 700 market rate single family homes. Ms. Slaby’s involvement in the affordable housing industry provides her a rewarding opportunity to produce safe, quality housing options for lower income households, seniors, disabled individuals and those at risk of homelessness. Ms. Slaby’s expertise includes oversight of all phases of real estate development from due diligence, acquisition, underwriting, entitlements, financing, architectural and site design, environmental and agency approvals and construction management.
As a volunteer for San Diego Youth Services, Ms. Slaby participates in the outreach program working to educate San Diego’s homeless youth about Storefront Shelter, connecting children with services that provide access to stabilized housing. With her own two children in college, volunteering with San Diego’s homeless youth gives Ms. Slaby hope that those we reach out to on the street of San Diego will one day enjoy the same opportunities of our own children of privilege. Serving on the Board for Photocharity is both a tremendous honor and commitment to providing the best possible solutions for San Diego’s homeless youth.
Manda Wallbridge is the owner of the local interior design firm, Smart Design Commercial Interiors, (SMART). It’s been said that architecture and interiors must have been in Manda's genes. A Missouri native, she daydreamed about redeveloping dilapidated buildings while visiting St. Louis as a child... and it didn't take long for her to get started. She moved to San Diego in 1996 to embark on her design career.
Manda received a bachelor of fine arts from the Design Institute of San Diego, and as she started her career she not only enjoyed the aesthetic side of design, but excelled technically on projects, which sparked her interest in the architectural side too. Manda added architecture to her skill set while employed at a small Pacific Beach firm. She later realized that her true passion was between buildings' walls, so she started a partnership, Bloc Studios, where her successful design projects included the San Diego County District Attorney's South Bay office, Seacoast Commerce Bank and the SDSU Bookstore.
Forming SMART, where she takes center stage, allows her to focus on her goal of helping clients achieve their dream of creating a successful business. SMART focuses on small businesses and also has the pleasure of working with esteemed clients including the San Diego Convention Center, SDSU Research Foundation and Pall Corporation. Additionally, SMART donates design services to a non-profit organization every year, which has included The Elizabeth Hospice, iloveschools, and Photocharity.
New to the Photocharity board, but Manda is no stranger to the organization. She’s been a volunteer for Photocharity continuously for more than 7 years.
Manda is married to Mark Wallbridge, who is a heavy equipment operator. They reside in Pacific Beach, with their dog, Lily.
Ms. Grant has spent the last 14 years working as a legal secretary in the Real Estate Department at the law firm of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Downtown San Diego. Prior to this, she worked at the International Labor Office, a United Nations agency in Geneva, Switzerland. There, she helped develop programs to train disabled populations of third-world countries become self-sufficient. Her current journey to work downtown everyday has opened her eyes to the general problem of homelessness (including youth) on our own streets. She is a volunteer for San Diego Youth Services, participating in a weekly Outreach program with the Storefront Shelter to save homeless youth.
Alison lives in North County and has two daughters. Her interests include soccer, tennis, the Olympics, traveling, wine, cooking, socializing and reading. Serving on Photocharity’s Board is a huge honor and a responsibility she takes very seriously in an effort to make a difference in the lives of San Diego’s homeless children.
Rhonda Migliaccio –
CFO/Director of Client Relations-Cavallo Motor Sports
Mr. Makebakken is the Manager and Chief Investment Officer of Southwest Fund, L.P. He is the owner in MS Development Holdings, LLC, a full service development company headquartered in Phoenix, AZ. MS Development Holdings LLC has 15 entity LLC's under its management umbrella. Mr. Makebakken is a 25-year veteran of the real estate and construction industries, with experience directing all disciplines associated with the management and execution of real estate based businesses.
Mr. Makebakken began his career as a principal of a general contracting firm specializing in retail construction, which has constructed over 500 single tenant buildings. Makebakken has successfully constructed over 500 buildings for national credit tenants and developed over 1.5 million square feet of commercial real estate over the past 20 years and with a construction value of more than $125 million.
He maintains a proven and fortified alliance with many national and regional credit tenants. Mr. Makebakken also has several institutional and national lending relationships. All of these relationships are an integral part of SWF's ability to secure needed financial backing on mutually beneficial assets. In 25 years, Marc has preserved investors principal and has consistently produced average annualized IRR¹s of 16-35 percent and an average ROI of at least 192 percent.
Mr. Makebakken has sat on several boards in his career including, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Regional Board of Directors, National Conference of Community and Justice (NCCJ) and the Leukemia Society of America. Mr. Makebakken is presently an Advisory Board Member of Goldwater Bank based in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Mr. Makebakken has enjoyed many athletic accomplishments during his career including National Top 10 Rankings in the sport of Triathlon. As a global giver, Mr. Makebakken supports many NGO's around the world including his support of the International Rescue Committee's lifesaving work in Darfur, Sudan and in neighboring Chad, where approximately 200,000 Sudanese refugees have fled.
- Born in Los Angeles, CA, raised in New Orleans, LA
- A proud graduate of San Diego State University, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology
- Enjoys Volunteering work with several organizations:
Helen Woodward, SD Jewish Family Services, National PTA
- Court Appointed Special Advocate - Voices For Children for 4 yrs
- Currently Project Engineer - For the new construction of Monarch School for the homeless in San Diego for Bycor General Contractor.
- Attends the Rock Church in San Diego
- Lives in Southeast San Diego with one teenage son and grandmother
- Enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, wine tasting, traveling and Cooking
- Passionate about helping others
My favorite recent quote that ties all things together for me is:
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”
Tom Kowalski is a successful businessman with over 40 years experience in retail sales. he was instrumental in building a chain of 17 retail liquor stores, wine shops, and cheese stores in the Chicago area before relocating to California. Tom is the former owner of the Los Angeles Wine Co., and the San Diego Wine Co.
After selling his stores. Tom became a Real Estate broker in San Diego. In his first year, he was ranked in the Top 10% of agents nationwide. Now affiliated with Ascent Real Estate Inc., Tom specializes in representing buyers and sellers in the Metro area from Pt. Loma to Kensington.
Throughout his life, Tom has supported programs to help homeless youth. After learning about PHOTOCHARITY'S work in San Diego, he decided to focus on fund raising to help PHOTOCHARITY continue to find, rescue, and save homeless youth.
Tom has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University, and a Master's Degree from Iowa State University. He has been involved in many professional organizations and has received numerous awards for his business leadership.