LAI San Diego Honors Alan Nevin and Inducts Record-Breaking 18 New Members at Annual Gala

LAI San Diego

San Diego, CA, March 8, 2023 – The San Diego chapter of Lambda Alpha International (LAI) held its 45thannual Crystal Globe Award and Installation Gala on Saturday, February 11, 2023.  This year, the organization honored one of San Diego’s foremost real estate economists, Alan Nevin, with the 2023 Crystal Globe Award.  The organization also welcomed 18 new members—LAI San Diego’s largest group of inductees ever.  Each year a select group of San Diego professionals is invited to become members of the San Diego chapter of LAI.  Membership is a high honor reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in land economics-related activities.  

Crystal Globe Awardee Alan Nevin 

LAI’s Crystal Globe Award recognizes an exceptional, lifetime body of work relating to the advancement of land use, real estate development, and land use economics in the San Diego area.  This year’s recipient, Alan Nevin, is a widely respected author, educator, and real estate expert.  He co-founded four firms that bought, built, rehabbed, and operated more than three dozen residential and commercial projects in San Diego County, valued in excess of $250 million.  He is currently is an advisor for both the University of San Diego and UC San Diego, where he taught for over 25 years.  He authored the book, The Great Divide, and served on the City of San Diego’s redistricting commission in 2021.  He is currently principal at Nevin Real Estate Advisors and director of research at Vertex.  

2023 New LAI Members 

The Crystal Globe Gala was also an installation event for LAI’s newest members.  The 2023 class includes:

  • Tiffany Allen, city manager for the City of Chula Vista
  • Matt Awbrey, principal and co-founder of Matter Strategies
  • Stephanie Benvenuto, vice president, public affairs for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce
  • Lucy Contreras, deputy director for the City of San Diego Department of Real Estate and Airport Management 
  • Ricardo Flores, executive director of LISC San Diego
  • Martin Gertler, senior vice president of development for IQHQ
  • Mike Hansen, president of City Forward
  • Mary Jane Jagodzinski, senior vice president of housing & real estate development for Community HousingWorks
  • Sean Kilkenny, project manager at Dudek
  • Dennis Larson, principal and founder for Nexus Planning & Research 
  • Sean Litchney, program manager for the City of San Diego Planning Department
  • David McCullough, principal-in-charge at McCullough Landscape Architecture
  • Renee Mezo, assistant deputy director for the City of San Diego
  • Steven Otto, partner at CGS3
  • Matthew J. Semic, president & principal at Latitude 33 Planning & Engineering
  • Joseph Smith, principal at California Coastal Works
  • Kristin Tillquist, founder of Kristin Tillquist Performance Programs
  • Melanie Woods, vice president, local public affairs for California Apartment Association

“Congratulations to our 2023 inductees,” said Jon Schmid, LAI’s 2023 president.  “Their talent, knowledge, and expertise will enhance our programming, and provide professional growth as we share best practices and improve our understanding of the innumerable facets of land use across our various disciplines.” 

Crystal Globe Award and Installation Gala Sponsors

This year’s Crystal Globe Award and Installation Gala sponsors included: Allen Matkins; IQHQ; Environmental Law Group LLP; RICK Engineering Company; Dealy Development, Inc.; California Coastal Works; Cook + Schmid; BCIpr; Civic Communities; Juniper Strategic Advisory; California Strategies, LLC; Vertex; and Community HousingWorks.

About Lambda Alpha International

Lambda Alpha International is an honorary society for professionals in the field of Land Economics. Celebrating more than 90 years, LAI has nearly 30 chapters including Toronto, London, Madrid and Tokyo. The San Diego chapter was founded in 1979.  Since then, the chapter has continued to expand and now has more than 100 members. For more information, visit