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SDBJ Names District Employee Woman of Influence

San Diego Unified’s Small Business Coordinator Named One of SDBJ’s “Women of Influence” in Construction
Posted on 02/26/2021

SAN DIEGO - This week, the San Diego Business Journal (SDBJ) highlighted 80 of San Diego’s most influential women who take part in construction, commercial real estate and design.   Alma Bañuelos, Small Business Coordinator for San Diego Unified’s Facilities Planning and Construction (FPC) Department, is among the women to receive the recognition.


Within FPC, Bañuelos works tirelessly on business outreach, advocating for small, local and diverse construction contractors, suppliers and architect/engineer companies. These companies range from minority, veteran,  and women-owned, etc. Her goal is to help these businesses learn about the district’s Propositions S & Z, and Measure YY capital bond projects. 


 “More knowledge builds more confidence in these businesses that otherwise might not know what opportunities are available within the district,” Bañuelos said. “My first decade of small and minority-based outreach brought in more and more diverse businesses, but the job is never done.” 


 In the past decade of the outreach program, Bañuelos, alongside Business Outreach Program Manager Karen Linehan, brought small business participation up by 18% and minority businesses up by 11%. Last year’s Construction Expo, held virtually for the first time, saw its largest turnout, with more than 330 participants.


 Bañuelos with staff from the Swinerton project team during the 2020 online Construction Expo. 


“Alma’s work has been nothing short of amazing,” Linehan said. “She adapted quickly to the pandemic and managed to bring in more small and minority businesses, despite the COVID-19 restrictions.” 


To ensure small, minority, women and disabled veteran business owners are aware of contracting opportunities, the district’s Business Outreach Program maintains a database; notifies the companies of construction bidding opportunities via email, social networks, and other media; issues the Business Outreach Newsletter regularly; promotes contracting opportunities through public outreach and procurement events; provides subcontractors tools to network with general contractors; develops additional strategies based on stakeholder feedback; and informs contractors and Disabled Veteran Businesses (DVB) about the district’s 3% DVB participation requirement. 


 Bañuelos also sits on the board of the U.S. Disabled Veteran Business Alliance and is active in many diverse business organizations. For the past decade, she has served as the chair of San Diego’s Public Agency Consortium (PAC). 


 “Congratulations to these extraordinary, talented professionals who made the list and thank you for your contributions to San Diego’s economy,” the San Diego Business Journal wrote.


Read the full feature at this link and below. 




Related Links

San Diego Unified Business Outreach Page

San Diego Business Journal Website


Media Contact:

Jamie Ries, Facilities Communication Liaison, [email protected]