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I Made it in San Diego

Voice of San Diego

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I Made it in San Diego

I Made it in San Diego

Voice of San Diego

1
Followers
2
Plays
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About Us

There’s a personal story behind every business. Some succeed. Some fail. Many do both. I Made it In San Diego will introduce listeners to the stories behind the city’s small and well-known businesses, and the people who made them what they are today. It’ll delve into the triumphs, tough times and lessons learned along the way – as well as stories unique to San Diego’s technology and border economy.

Latest Episodes

The Making of a Local Music Legend

If you listen to local music, then you’ve heard of Tim Mays. Mays is the cofounder and co-owner of San Diego’s mythic music venueThe Casbah. On this episode of "I Made it in San Diego," Voice of San Diego's podcast about local businesses and the people behind them, hear how Mays went from a kid handing out concert fliers to an indie music legend. Mays started booking and producing shows in San Diego in the early 1980s as a way to make sure his favorite bands came through town. By the mid '80s, Mays and some of his friends also wanted to open a bar more geared toward his generation – with their music in the jukebox. Mays' side gig promoting shows and the bar he helped open, The Pink Panther, both found quick success. He quit his day jobs and became a serial entrepreneur with a knack for opening businesses that grew to be local icons. "I never said, 'I don't want to work for the man,' I just was lucky enough to not have to after a certain point." After the birth of The Casbah, Mays...

48 MIN2018 APR 18
Comments
The Making of a Local Music Legend

When Running a Hotel Isn't Enough

Entertainment and hospitality is one of the top 10 industries in San Diego. Because hotels play such a big role in our region, their owners have some political power. In anew episodeofI Made It in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to hotelier Elvin Lai about how running a hotel has led to his involvement in several business ventures, city politics and the community. After his father’s death, Lai was unexpectedly handed his family’s hotel when he was just 21. During the first few months of running Ocean Park Inn, a 72-room boutique hotel in Pacific Beach, he slept under his desk while he learned the ropes. He turned out to be an astute businessman. But running a hotel was never enough for Lai. He’s become a serial entrepreneur and an active community member. Currently, he’s a member of a few hotel trade associations, he’s on theSan Diego Convention Center board, and hehelps run a program addressing homelessness in Pacific Beach. ...

37 MIN2018 MAR 16
Comments
When Running a Hotel Isn't Enough

How Redhorse Became One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Last year, $9.4 billion flowed to defense contractors in San Diego. At the helm of one of those local private firms getting some of those military dollars isDavid Inmon, the CEO of Redhorse Corporation. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses,Inmon talks to Scott Lewis about how he built a fast-growing business that provides program management and technology services to the military and other clients. Almost exactly 10 years ago, Inmon and his business partner opened Redhorse Corporation. They had no capital besides a $50,000 loan from the small business administration. Inmon is from Oklahoma, a descendent of Choctaw Indians– a minority status that helped him get his foot in the door on government contracts. Redhorse grew quickly. By 2016, the business had revenue of $57 million and was among the 1000 fastest growing companies in the country, as ranked by Inc. 5000. In the world of government contracting, small busine...

24 MIN2018 MAR 8
Comments
How Redhorse Became One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Creating a Future Through Music

EFor music engineer Justin Watson, music has always been a part of him. Growing up in Detroit was tough. He lived near the stretch of highway known as the 8 Mile Road, in a neighborhood where everyone and everything was about work. Watson, who goes by Jay Wat, had to grow up fast. Music kept his family tight. Wat's parents would put on basement parties that got the whole neighborhood dancing to Roy Ayers and Sly and the Family Stone. In the sixth grade, Wat's mom bought him his first boombox, and he'd play his cassette tapes on repeat. In high school, Wat got a hip-hop education in Detroit’s "school of hard knocks," where DJs spun records, b-boys breakdanced to the beat, and emcees battled with freestyle rhymes. In a new episode of I Made it in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, Wat talks about how he turned his love of music into a career. “It just became a point to where I wanted to really do this full on,” Wat said. “I didn't make a con...

61 MIN2018 FEB 16
Comments
Creating a Future Through Music

A Place Maker Builds a Business

Ilisa Goldman thinks it should be easy for a group of neighbors to spruce up a vacant, city-owned lot with seating, shade, art and other simple amenities. Instead, they often end up having to claw through a series of bureaucratic barriers and many simply give up, or avoid the ordeal entirely. Goldman is the landscape architect and planner behindRooted in Place, a firm she started to help clients– mostly nonprofits and community groups– create public spaces and outdoor learning environments for kids. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to Goldman about the community gardens, outdoor classrooms and other projects she's designed, and her ongoing struggle to make it easier for people to improve their neighborhoods. Jargon like "tactical urbanism"and "placemaking" have gained popularity in recent years.Both concepts refer to the kind of work Goldman does – quicker, easier, more affordable urban projects, often in ...

45 MIN2018 FEB 8
Comments
A Place Maker Builds a Business

Moving Doesn't Have to Be Terrible

Moving sucks. Mike Glanz went all in on that basic premise and ended up running an online moving business in Oceanside that now pulls in about $8 million in annual gross revenue. A decade ago, most people were either renting their own trucks or hiring full-service companies and paying them thousands of dollars to do everything. Glanz and his roommate Pete Johnson started seeing the rapid emergence of a new type of move. More and more folks were renting their own moving trucks and then finding movers to hire by going online to sites like Craigslist, or swinging by Home Depot to pick up day laborers. Glanz and Johnson called it the "hybrid move," and they decided to buildHireAHelper.com, awebsite that would make it easier. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to Glanz about how and why he's helping to disrupt the multibillion-dollar moving industry. By simply entering a date and zip code, folks can easily compare p...

39 MIN2018 JAN 18
Comments
Moving Doesn't Have to Be Terrible

A Grueling Game of Farmers Market Musical Chairs

Brian Beevers is the man behind the farmers markets in Clairemont, Serra Mesa and at Horton Plaza. He's also got a farmers market-inspired shop called Simply Local in North Park that sells goods made by San Diegans. Becoming one of the region's biggest purveyors of local products, though, wasn't easy. The success of a farmers market relies heavily on finding— and keeping— the right locations. That means Beevers' businesses over the years have often fallen victim to the whims of landowners. In a new episode ofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, Lisa Halverstadt talks to Beevers about his ongoing struggle to open farmers markets and sustain the interest. “I've always known that I am at the mercy of the land owners, and it's something that you just have to kind of live with every day, that you just don't know for sure when somebody just might pull the plug on you," Beevers said.

13 MIN2018 JAN 11
Comments
A Grueling Game of Farmers Market Musical Chairs

Chasing the Lucha Libre Dream

When Josue "Josh" Anival Salcido entered his first professional wrestling ring in 2009, it was as a last-minute fill-in for a few performers who didn't show up. His twin brother Jaime Salcido was by his side, and they tag-teamed in a Lucha Libre match. They had been training for that moment for more than two years, and even though they thought they weren't quite ready, the fans disagreed. Their careers as Lucha Libre performers, Josh as Krazy Klown and Jaime as Rasta Lion, lurched forward. Sometimes the two wrestled on the same team, other times as rivals. On anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, I talk to Josh about wrestling in Lucha Libre matches across Southern California and Mexico, his recent retirement and his new venture as a promoter for a Lucha Libre business that puts on matches in the South Bay. Lucha Libre is more of an art form than a sport. It’s dripping with long-held traditions...

40 MIN2017 DEC 14
Comments
Chasing the Lucha Libre Dream

How a Kids Theater Program Grew Up

Back in the late 1970s, musical theater was growing rapidly from coast to coast. Semi-professional actors looking for a chance to perform on stage had several opportunities. But kids? Not so much. On anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, Paul Russell talks about how he filled that niche and built a kids' theater side job into what he said is now the largest youth theater program in the nation. In 1979, Russell got a job teaching drama at Christian High School in East County. The high school shows he produced were so popular in the community that the vice principal persuaded him to start Christian Community Theater. Christian Community Theater brought together dozens of churches and, for the company's first-ever production, kids and adults starred in "The Sound of Music" at an amphitheater on top of Mt. Helix. The show was not great, but the community loved it – especially the parents of the kid...

42 MIN2017 DEC 7
Comments
How a Kids Theater Program Grew Up

An Architect's Big Break, and the Struggle to Live Up to it

Jennifer Luce has made a name as an architect who takes an artful approach to designing buildings. Her firm, Luce et Studio, designed theNissan offices in La Jolla, Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy and dozens of other award-winning projects in San Diego and beyond. On a new episode of I Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, Lucetalks about how she got an unexpected break early in her career, and how she has worked to keep the momentum going ever since, with varying degrees of success. At her first job out of architecture school, Luce was tasked with designing prisons. She needed a creative outlet, so she entered a prestigious international design competition. More than 500 firms across the world applied, including people three times her age, with decades more experience. She wasn’t even a licensed architect yet. But the jury saw something special about her design, and selected it as the winner, effective...

41 MIN2017 NOV 16
Comments
An Architect's Big Break, and the Struggle to Live Up to it

Latest Episodes

The Making of a Local Music Legend

If you listen to local music, then you’ve heard of Tim Mays. Mays is the cofounder and co-owner of San Diego’s mythic music venueThe Casbah. On this episode of "I Made it in San Diego," Voice of San Diego's podcast about local businesses and the people behind them, hear how Mays went from a kid handing out concert fliers to an indie music legend. Mays started booking and producing shows in San Diego in the early 1980s as a way to make sure his favorite bands came through town. By the mid '80s, Mays and some of his friends also wanted to open a bar more geared toward his generation – with their music in the jukebox. Mays' side gig promoting shows and the bar he helped open, The Pink Panther, both found quick success. He quit his day jobs and became a serial entrepreneur with a knack for opening businesses that grew to be local icons. "I never said, 'I don't want to work for the man,' I just was lucky enough to not have to after a certain point." After the birth of The Casbah, Mays...

48 MIN2018 APR 18
Comments
The Making of a Local Music Legend

When Running a Hotel Isn't Enough

Entertainment and hospitality is one of the top 10 industries in San Diego. Because hotels play such a big role in our region, their owners have some political power. In anew episodeofI Made It in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to hotelier Elvin Lai about how running a hotel has led to his involvement in several business ventures, city politics and the community. After his father’s death, Lai was unexpectedly handed his family’s hotel when he was just 21. During the first few months of running Ocean Park Inn, a 72-room boutique hotel in Pacific Beach, he slept under his desk while he learned the ropes. He turned out to be an astute businessman. But running a hotel was never enough for Lai. He’s become a serial entrepreneur and an active community member. Currently, he’s a member of a few hotel trade associations, he’s on theSan Diego Convention Center board, and hehelps run a program addressing homelessness in Pacific Beach. ...

37 MIN2018 MAR 16
Comments
When Running a Hotel Isn't Enough

How Redhorse Became One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Last year, $9.4 billion flowed to defense contractors in San Diego. At the helm of one of those local private firms getting some of those military dollars isDavid Inmon, the CEO of Redhorse Corporation. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses,Inmon talks to Scott Lewis about how he built a fast-growing business that provides program management and technology services to the military and other clients. Almost exactly 10 years ago, Inmon and his business partner opened Redhorse Corporation. They had no capital besides a $50,000 loan from the small business administration. Inmon is from Oklahoma, a descendent of Choctaw Indians– a minority status that helped him get his foot in the door on government contracts. Redhorse grew quickly. By 2016, the business had revenue of $57 million and was among the 1000 fastest growing companies in the country, as ranked by Inc. 5000. In the world of government contracting, small busine...

24 MIN2018 MAR 8
Comments
How Redhorse Became One of the Fastest Growing Companies in the Country

Creating a Future Through Music

EFor music engineer Justin Watson, music has always been a part of him. Growing up in Detroit was tough. He lived near the stretch of highway known as the 8 Mile Road, in a neighborhood where everyone and everything was about work. Watson, who goes by Jay Wat, had to grow up fast. Music kept his family tight. Wat's parents would put on basement parties that got the whole neighborhood dancing to Roy Ayers and Sly and the Family Stone. In the sixth grade, Wat's mom bought him his first boombox, and he'd play his cassette tapes on repeat. In high school, Wat got a hip-hop education in Detroit’s "school of hard knocks," where DJs spun records, b-boys breakdanced to the beat, and emcees battled with freestyle rhymes. In a new episode of I Made it in San Diego, a VOSD podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, Wat talks about how he turned his love of music into a career. “It just became a point to where I wanted to really do this full on,” Wat said. “I didn't make a con...

61 MIN2018 FEB 16
Comments
Creating a Future Through Music

A Place Maker Builds a Business

Ilisa Goldman thinks it should be easy for a group of neighbors to spruce up a vacant, city-owned lot with seating, shade, art and other simple amenities. Instead, they often end up having to claw through a series of bureaucratic barriers and many simply give up, or avoid the ordeal entirely. Goldman is the landscape architect and planner behindRooted in Place, a firm she started to help clients– mostly nonprofits and community groups– create public spaces and outdoor learning environments for kids. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to Goldman about the community gardens, outdoor classrooms and other projects she's designed, and her ongoing struggle to make it easier for people to improve their neighborhoods. Jargon like "tactical urbanism"and "placemaking" have gained popularity in recent years.Both concepts refer to the kind of work Goldman does – quicker, easier, more affordable urban projects, often in ...

45 MIN2018 FEB 8
Comments
A Place Maker Builds a Business

Moving Doesn't Have to Be Terrible

Moving sucks. Mike Glanz went all in on that basic premise and ended up running an online moving business in Oceanside that now pulls in about $8 million in annual gross revenue. A decade ago, most people were either renting their own trucks or hiring full-service companies and paying them thousands of dollars to do everything. Glanz and his roommate Pete Johnson started seeing the rapid emergence of a new type of move. More and more folks were renting their own moving trucks and then finding movers to hire by going online to sites like Craigslist, or swinging by Home Depot to pick up day laborers. Glanz and Johnson called it the "hybrid move," and they decided to buildHireAHelper.com, awebsite that would make it easier. In anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, I talk to Glanz about how and why he's helping to disrupt the multibillion-dollar moving industry. By simply entering a date and zip code, folks can easily compare p...

39 MIN2018 JAN 18
Comments
Moving Doesn't Have to Be Terrible

A Grueling Game of Farmers Market Musical Chairs

Brian Beevers is the man behind the farmers markets in Clairemont, Serra Mesa and at Horton Plaza. He's also got a farmers market-inspired shop called Simply Local in North Park that sells goods made by San Diegans. Becoming one of the region's biggest purveyors of local products, though, wasn't easy. The success of a farmers market relies heavily on finding— and keeping— the right locations. That means Beevers' businesses over the years have often fallen victim to the whims of landowners. In a new episode ofI Made it in San Diego, a podcast about the people behind the region’s businesses, Lisa Halverstadt talks to Beevers about his ongoing struggle to open farmers markets and sustain the interest. “I've always known that I am at the mercy of the land owners, and it's something that you just have to kind of live with every day, that you just don't know for sure when somebody just might pull the plug on you," Beevers said.

13 MIN2018 JAN 11
Comments
A Grueling Game of Farmers Market Musical Chairs

Chasing the Lucha Libre Dream

When Josue "Josh" Anival Salcido entered his first professional wrestling ring in 2009, it was as a last-minute fill-in for a few performers who didn't show up. His twin brother Jaime Salcido was by his side, and they tag-teamed in a Lucha Libre match. They had been training for that moment for more than two years, and even though they thought they weren't quite ready, the fans disagreed. Their careers as Lucha Libre performers, Josh as Krazy Klown and Jaime as Rasta Lion, lurched forward. Sometimes the two wrestled on the same team, other times as rivals. On anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, I talk to Josh about wrestling in Lucha Libre matches across Southern California and Mexico, his recent retirement and his new venture as a promoter for a Lucha Libre business that puts on matches in the South Bay. Lucha Libre is more of an art form than a sport. It’s dripping with long-held traditions...

40 MIN2017 DEC 14
Comments
Chasing the Lucha Libre Dream

How a Kids Theater Program Grew Up

Back in the late 1970s, musical theater was growing rapidly from coast to coast. Semi-professional actors looking for a chance to perform on stage had several opportunities. But kids? Not so much. On anew episodeofI Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, Paul Russell talks about how he filled that niche and built a kids' theater side job into what he said is now the largest youth theater program in the nation. In 1979, Russell got a job teaching drama at Christian High School in East County. The high school shows he produced were so popular in the community that the vice principal persuaded him to start Christian Community Theater. Christian Community Theater brought together dozens of churches and, for the company's first-ever production, kids and adults starred in "The Sound of Music" at an amphitheater on top of Mt. Helix. The show was not great, but the community loved it – especially the parents of the kid...

42 MIN2017 DEC 7
Comments
How a Kids Theater Program Grew Up

An Architect's Big Break, and the Struggle to Live Up to it

Jennifer Luce has made a name as an architect who takes an artful approach to designing buildings. Her firm, Luce et Studio, designed theNissan offices in La Jolla, Extraordinary Desserts in Little Italy and dozens of other award-winning projects in San Diego and beyond. On a new episode of I Made it in San Diego, Voice of San Diego’s podcast about the region’s businesses and the people behind them, Lucetalks about how she got an unexpected break early in her career, and how she has worked to keep the momentum going ever since, with varying degrees of success. At her first job out of architecture school, Luce was tasked with designing prisons. She needed a creative outlet, so she entered a prestigious international design competition. More than 500 firms across the world applied, including people three times her age, with decades more experience. She wasn’t even a licensed architect yet. But the jury saw something special about her design, and selected it as the winner, effective...

41 MIN2017 NOV 16
Comments
An Architect's Big Break, and the Struggle to Live Up to it
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