See video of our January program: Journalists-turned-PIOs offering their views from the other side of the news

We taped the lively, informative discussion and want those of you who were unable to make this event to hear what was said. Click below for video excerpts of the evening.

Speakers included:

  • Ronald Powell, Director of Communications and Community Service for the Port of San Diego. He took this position in June 2009 after 32 years as a working journalist at newspapers in San Diego, Austin, Texas, Sacramento, Seattle, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara. He covered a variety of subjects over his career, including politics, government, medicine, science, the nuclear power industry, features and sports.
  • Maria Velasquez, Vice President, Community Relations & Communications Department, for the San Diego Housing Commission. She previously served as director of communications for the San Diego City Attorney’s Office, and she is an Emmy award-winning journalist and producer. She worked as a television reporter in San Diego and Phoenix and served as director of public affairs for KFMB-TV 8, where she played a major role in the station’s community campaigns.
  • John Culea, Media and Communications Director for San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn. He spent 31 years as a television anchor and reporter, including 20 years at San Diego’s Channel 8. He has worked at television stations in San Diego, Phoenix and Chicago and has received six Emmy awards for Special Programming, Journalistic Enterprise, General Reporting and Sports Reporting. He also has taught broadcast journalism, news writing and media script writing at Point Loma Nazarene University and Grossmont Community College.
  • Kim Edwards, Senior Public Information Officer for UC San Diego Health Sciences. Prior to joining UC San Diego, she was a television journalist for 18 years after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Journalism with a minor in Economics from American University in Washington, D.C.

Lee Swanson, Public Information Officer at San Diego Fire-Rescue Department, will moderate the program. Swanson previously was an executive news producer for KGTV 10 News. He also was the news director at KATU TV in Portland, Oregon, and has been a television news producer in Houston, Greenville, South Carolina and Waterloo, Iowa.

When: Thursday, Jan. 20, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. program

Where: KGTV Studio, 4600 Air Way, San Diego

Directions: Visit and click on “Contact Us” for directions

Cost: Free ($5 suggested donation)

Questions: Contact


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