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Lambda Alpha International Recognizes San Diego City and County Elected Leaders



On Saturday, May 7, 2022, the San Diego chapter of LAI (Lambda Alpha International) held its 44th annual Crystal Globe Award and Installation Gala at the Westgate Hotel. The land use organization’s dinner event offered all the style and sophistication of years past, with City of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and County of San Diego Chair Nathan Fletcher in attendance help honor this year’s award recipients. LAI also welcomed its newest members, who will leverage the organization’s events and programming to engage in a meaningful exchange of ideas regarding development issues.

Crystal Globe Award

LAI’s Crystal Globe Award recognizes an exceptional, lifetime body of work that results in an outstanding regional contribution to the advancement of land use, real estate development, and land use economics in the San Diego area. These contributions make a significant impact on the region’s standard of living, quality of life, and sustainable growth. This year’s Crystal Globe Award was given to former city planner Brad Richter, who served as the Deputy Director for the Urban Division, Development Services Department for the City of San Diego, and as the VP of Planning for Civic San Diego.

The Humanitarian Award

Unique to this year, LAI chose to recognize an outstanding local initiative with a Humanitarian Award. With many agencies partnering during the pandemic, one program stood out as highly successful both for its temporary and long-term effects. LAI’s Humanitarian Award was given to Operation Shelter to Home, an initiative by the City of San Diego, County of San Diego, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego Convention Center, and San Diego Regional Task Force on Homelessness.

With the Convention Center sitting empty due to COVID-19 closures, the facility opened its exhibit halls from April 2020 to March 2021 as a safe, sanitary environment to protect people who were experiencing homelessness by offering physical distancing, medical care, ongoing testing, and consolidating resources among service providers. Mayor Gloria and County of San Diego Chair Nathan Fletcher attended the Crystal Globe Gala to accept the Humanitarian Award, along with several service providers.

Chair Fletcher said, “Along with our outstanding partners, the County of San Diego stepped-up to provide vaccines and valuable medical information to keep San Diegans safe, especially our vulnerable neighbors. We were honored to do our part to implement Operation Shelter to Home. In the end, we served more than 4,000 people, and helped nearly 1,300 individuals and 43 families find permanent or longer-term housing.”

LAI Membership

The Crystal Globe Gala also served as an installation event for LAI’s newest members. 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, a “Who’s Who in Land Economics” reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in land economics-related activities. The organization’s diverse membership provides a critical reservoir of talent, knowledge, and expertise to draw upon for educational programs and discussions. This year, the organization inducted nine (9) new members.

LAI Board President, Daniel Reeves, states, “We have an outstanding new class of inductees this year, who will certainly enrich our membership activities and programming. There’s an extremely valuable cross-pollination that happens when our diverse membership comes together. We all come away with fresh ideas and best practices to apply to our individual disciplines. We’re looking forward to seeing how our new members enhance that dynamic.”

About Lambda Alpha International

LAI (Lambda Alpha International) is an honorary society for professionals in the field of Land Economics. Celebrating more than 90 years, the organization was founded at Northwestern University by Professional Richard T. Eli. Currently, 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