Urban Corps of San Diego County

Board of Directors

Tracey Williams

Board President

Senior Accounting Manager, Eastridge Workforce Solutions.

Tracey Williams has over 15 years of accounting and finance experience. Until recently, Tracey was the Principal Tax Analyst for Sempra Energy. Prior to joining Sempra Energy she was the Chief Operating Officer of a local fitness chain in San Diego.

Tracey received her Bachelors in Accounting from San Diego State University and is currently pursuing her CPA license. Tracey’s other affiliations include: LEAD San Diego Graduating class of 2009, actively participating in the Big Brother Big Sister program, Sempra recruiting and Junior Achievement.

Bob Benson

Board 1st Vice President​

Regional Director, Western Governors University

Mr. Benson serves as 1st Vice President on the Urban Corps of San Diego Board of Directors, the LEAD San Diego Alumni Council, and has been a member of other boards such as the Community Resource Center and the Carlsbad Library Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of the City of Carlsbad Citizens’ Academy and the LEAD San Diego Program where he was awarded the LEAD San Diego Herbert G. Klein Visionary Award for making significant leadership contributions to the San Diego community.

He served in Bolivia as a Peace Corps Volunteer and as a member of the Butler University Board of Directors. Mr. Benson was also selected as a “Power to Be” in the December 2008 issue of San Diego Magazine.

​Mr. Benson earned Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Political Science from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He also holds a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies from the University of California, San Diego and a Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University.

Mario X. Sierra

Board 2nd Vice President

Assistant Director, Facilities Management, Building Services, University of California San Diego

Mario X. Sierra spent 31 years with the City of San Diego before retiring from his position as the Environmental Services Director. During his career, Mario served as the Director for four separate Departments including General Services, Transportation & Storm Water and Department of Information Technology.

Mario also served as an Emergency Operations Center Director and has extensive, broad municipal government experience. Mario is a seasoned manager with extensive budgetary experience, contractual knowledge and strong negotiating skills. Prior to joining the City of San Diego, Mario worked for a Consultant and General Engineering Contractor.

He received a B.S in Applied Mechanics & Engineering Sciences from the University of California San Diego and a Master of Public Administration from National University. Mario is a 2004 LEAD Graduate and a 2003 Graduate from the Chicano Federation Leadership Training Institute. Mario was active in professional organizations including American Public Works Association, US Conference of Mayors – Municipal Waste Management Association, League of California Cities – Environmental Quality Policy Committee and the Solid Waste Association of North America.

Mario has been active with nonprofit community organizations since high school including the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, Casa Familiar, MANA de San Diego and most recently served as the Chair for the Chicano Federation.

Jim Madsen

Board Secretary

Retired: Former Executive Vice President, Loan Administration, Guild Mortgage Company

As the former Vice President of Loan Administration at Guild Mortgage, Mr. Madsen brought over 30 years of broad financial services experience to the position. Key strengths included project management and implementation of government compliance regulation, management of loan servicing operations, financial planning & analysis, management reporting, due diligence reviews and valuation analyses and employee development. Maintained ability to work rapidly and effectively in a dynamic environment. 

Mr. Madsen’s strong work ethic and attention to detail, combined with technical and people (team building) skills balanced an ability to combine compliance with business unit goals.

Matt Manning

Board Treasurer

Director of Automation & Process Optimization, Nike Inc.

As the Director of Automation & Process Optimization, Matt is responsible for creating robotic automation at Nike Inc. Matt has a demonstrated history of leadership and accolades within the technology industry specifically in the areas of wireless communication, education, and robotic automation. Prior to joining Nike Inc.

Matt was the Finance Automation Controller at Intel Corporation in Portland, Oregon and spent 12 years at Qualcomm overseeing the financial reporting for multiple start-up companies under the Qualcomm umbrella. Matt served as project lead for the launch of a Qualcomm Global Shared Services Center in India as well as drove the roll out of Robotic Process Automation across Qualcomm Finance.

As Intel Corporation and Qualcomm have global operations, Matt has been fortunate to have visited many of these locations. His past responsibilities have also allowed him to live in Hyderabad, India and Taipei, Taiwan to support his business projects.

Matt earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from New Mexico State University. He lives in Portland with his husband Joe.

Kevin Schlegel

Board Member

Kevin A. Schlegel, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC (ret.) is with American Mortgage Network where he works as a residential mortgage loan originator with multiple state licenses. He resides in San Diego with his wife and three children.

In his more than 20 year career with the Marines, Lieutenant Colonel Schlegel served primarily as a Naval Aviator with multiple overseas and stateside assignments and as an Aviation Acquisition Management Professional. He was assigned to the Pentagon as the Chief of Staff for the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development, Test and Evaluation. He also attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA and led the USMC Regional Contracting Office Far East in Okinawa, Japan where his office handled procurements for the entire western Pacific region.

Additionally, he has served as a Program Manager on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter with a focus on jet engine production as well as a professor of DoD Systems Acquisitions Management at the Defense Acquisitions University in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel Schlegel has degrees from the University of Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts in Classics & Letters and a Masters of Business Administration “with distinction” from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He is a graduate of the Naval Aviation Safety School, Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, and the Program Manager’s Course.

Lieutenant Colonel Schlegel has accumulated over 2,000 flight hours in the KC-130 “Hercules” and his decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Korea Defense Service Medal, and various unit awards and citations. He is the recipient of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research Development and Acquisition Award for Acquisition Excellence and the Defense Acquisition University Military Officer of the Year Award.

Leon Brooks

Board Member

Principal, Leon Brooks & Associates, Designers-Planners

Leon Brooks is the principal and founder of Leon Brooks & Associates, a problem-solving design firm that specializes in designing spaces to accommodate specific needs, functions, and activities. Projects are developed from conceptual design through construction completion and range from medical centers and educational institutions to residential development. Mr. Brooks is adept at managing and developing cohesive teams and overseeing approvals from government agencies and planning departments to ensure project success.

Mr. Brooks is a skilled environment and land use professional and currently serves on the San Diego County Planning Commission.

Linda Caballero Sotelo

Board Member

Executive Director, New Americans Museum & Immigration Learning Center

A first-generation immigrant born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Caballero Sotelo is deeply committed to the advancement of immigrants of all backgrounds, believing in the power of civic engagement as a catalyst for the integration, inclusion and celebration of immigrant contributions into the American experience.

Caballero Sotelo has over 20 years of professional experience as a senior level executive, advocate and activist for high profile national and international projects and organizations. She is fluent in Spanish, conversant in French, and has led initiatives and high performing teams in a variety of corporate, public and non-profit settings in both the U.S. and abroad.

Her board member roles included; member of the Balboa Park Trust, the SD Media Arts Center, the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, president emeritus of the National Latina Business Women Association-SD, and founder & chair of Latinas In Business Foundation, a 501c3 women’s leadership, advocacy and education forum. She is currently a member of Mayor Todd Gloria’s Latino Advisory Board; Commissioner, City of SD Libraries System; and Officer, Sharp Healthcare Metropolitan Hospital Board of Directors.

Caballero Sotelo is a graduate of LEAD San Diego, a fellow of Leadership America, and of the US/Mexico Foundation’s Scholars program. She has been honored with various recognitions throughout her career including NAWBO’s Advocate of the Year, KPBS’ Hispanic Heroes award, Women Who Move the City, 40 Under 40, San Diego Magazine’s 50 People to Watch, and is featured in the City of Tijuana’s Paseo de la Fama [Walk of Fame] corridor for her contributions to binational understanding and cooperation.

Caballero Sotelo received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations & History [UCLA, US International University] and Master of Arts degree in International Business & Economics, Marketing concentration [Webster-Regents College, UK & London School of Economics]. She holds additional executive training and certificates in organizational management, & leadership studies from the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business.

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Nate Watkins

Board Member

Mortgage Loan Originator & Land Use/Entitlement Consultant – CMG Financial

Nate has enjoyed a 20-year career as a residential mortgage loan originator and joined CMG Home Loans in 2018.  Nate is also an experienced professional whose expertise is assisting real estate developers and homeowners with navigating the San Diego Development Services Department permitting process to achieve success in expediting plan approval. Specifically reviewing and developing plans as submitted to the City of San Diego, coordinating with development team professionals and interacting with the appropriate staff in the City of San Diego’s Planning & Development Services Department, staff of elected officials and other government agencies and civic organizations. 

Nate is especially focused on community advocacy. In addition to serving on the board of Urban Corps of San Diego County, Nate is a board member of the Beach & Bay YMCA in Pacific Beach, has coached youth basketball at the Mission Valley & La Jolla YMCA, and volunteers at the local non-profit Autism Tree Project Foundation.

Nate was born and raised in San Diego, California and currently lives in Windansea, La Jolla with his fun-loving husky/lab pup Dahlia. In his spare time, he enjoys relaxing and swimming at the beach, live music, outdoor activities such as hiking and going to dog beach and traveling abroad.  

Gino V. Mazzanti

Legal Counsel to the Board


Gino Mazzanti is an attorney who earned his law degree from California Western School of Law in 1976. He has been in private practice with the Law Offices of Gino V. Mazzanti in San Diego since 1977. His practice concentrates in the field of business law where he is engaged in forming and advising partnerships, corporations (both for profit and not for profit) and limited liability companies. He also handles business litigation.

He is currently general counsel for the following nonprofit corporations: Interface Community Services, Inc., OpenOceans Global Inc., and Chapel Of Awareness Spiritual Church Corporation.

Richard Barrera

Board Member Emeritus

President, San Diego Unified School District

Richard Barrera has spent more than 20 years as a community and labor organizer, helping working families build power to win economic, political and social justice. As a community organizer with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and the Consensus Organizing Institute, Richard worked with residents of neighborhoods from San Diego to Chicago to Little Rock and Las Vegas to build affordable housing, improve schools and public transportation, establish job training programs and increase voter participation.

As a union organizer with the United Domestic Workers of America, SEIU United Healthcare Workers, and the California Nurses Association, Richard helped home care providers and service workers in hospitals win new organizing drives; negotiate higher standards in wages, benefits and patient care protections; and build political power.

In 2008, Richard was elected to the San Diego Unified School Board, representing the communities surrounding San Diego and Hoover High Schools. During a period in which public schools in San Diego faced historic budget cuts from the State of California, Richard helped build coalitions of parents, students, teachers, classified workers, administrators and community leaders to protect the outstanding work going on in neighborhood schools. This process of community-based reform – distinct from top-down corporate reform – has produced unprecedented gains in student achievement, narrowing of the achievement gap, and reduced dropout rates in San Diego’s public schools.

San Diego Unified is now recognized as one of the top performing large, urban districts in the nation, and has received prestigious awards for its groundbreaking work in science instruction, arts and music education, career technical education, and classroom technology. Under Richard’s leadership, San Diego Unified has also passed two bond measures totaling nearly $5 billion in taxpayer investment. Richard was re-elected to the School Board in 2012 with 100% of the vote.

Richard J. Freeman

Board Member Emeritus

Past President & COO San Diego Padres

Dick Freeman joined the Padres as Chief Financial Officer on January 1, 1981. Prior to joining the Padres, Dick served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, as a CPA with the firm Peat, Marwick, Mitchell and Co. (Today’s KPMG) and Controller and Treasurer of Central Federal S&L of San Diego.

Dick became President of the Padres in September 1988 and served as President until 1995. He became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996 serving in this capacity until 2002 when he returned to the Padres as President and Chief Operating Officer.

Dick currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Salk Institute and the National Board of the March of Dimes Foundation, the San Diego Economic Development Corp. and the San Diego International Sports Council. He and his wife Judi have one daughter, Heather. She and her husband Rob are attorneys living in Boston. The Freeman’s live in La Jolla, CA.

Wil Williams

Board Member Emeritus

Retired Vice-President Titan Corporation

Wil Williams is past Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Titan Corporation (now L-3 Communications). Wil has served in various public affairs and communications positions in government and industry, ranging from the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs to prominent Fortune 500 companies. He is a retired Air Force officer, pilot, and author.

As Former Chairman of the Board of Selectmen for the town of Windham, New Hampshire, Mr. Williams oversaw the acquiring and conserving of land and maintained direct authority over the Conservation Commission, a Board-appointed and advisory body that oversees day-to-day conservation matters and conducts research into local land and water areas, dealing with habitat, wetland and aquifer protection.

He oversaw Site Plan, Subdivision, developmental, and land-use approvals for adherence to local and state requirements and regulations, and to provide buffer zones between and prevent any impact with habitat, wetland and aquifer protections or any land deemed to be conserved.

Mr. Williams resides in Carlsbad with his wife, Clare.

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