SJDA Appoints New President

The San Jose Downtown Association (SJDA) has named Katia McClain, a managing partner at architecture firm Steinberg Hart, as its new board president.

According to her official bio, McClain boasts three decades in her field and presided over some of Steinberg Hart’s largest and most complex projects.

Over the years, McClain—a Mexican native—has worked on hospitality and commercial developments in the US and her home country while volunteering her leadership to the Design-Build Institute of America and the SJDA Downtown Design Committee. She is also a founding member of the AIA SV Women in Architecture Committee.

“Born in Mexico City and an avid traveler, McClain embraces an international outlook in her work,” the SJDA wrote in a press release about her new position. “Drawing upon her extensive travel experience, her design approach reflects a belief that architecture respects the language of the past while inspiring future development.”

McClain’s appointment came Friday along with that of Facebook policy manager Jarrod Jenkins to McClain’s prior role as vice president of operations. Continental Bar and Lounge owner Sam Ramirez will continue to serve as vice president of marketing. Oracle Director of Real Estate and Facilities Doug Bartl will keep his post as treasurer while Nick Nichols, of Symphony Silicon Valley, will stay on for another term as secretary.

In the wake of controversy over a speech by SJDA Executive Director Scott Knies that was criticized as racially insensitive, the board’s top three positions are now occupied by a woman and two men of color. The trio will preside over the SJDA’s 32-member board for one-year terms that begin on Jan. 1, 2020.

The SJDA is a nonprofit founded in 1986 by Ray Rodriguez and San Jose Inside/Metro publisher Dan Pulcrano—who this year rejoined the board—to represent downtown businesses and property owners.

Since 1989, SJDA has overseen a Business Improvement District, which taxes about 2,000 downtown property owners to fund clean-ups, security, beautification and ongoing improvements to the heart of the city. It also produces a number of signature events, including Music in the Park, Dine Downtown, a farmers market and Downtown Ice.

8 Comments

  1. 1) Never apologise to the mob

    2) Sell your house

    3) Profit from the collapse our leaders are ushering in

  2. > She is also a founding member of the AIA SV Women in Architecture Committee.
    . . . .
    > In the wake of controversy over a speech by SJDA Executive Director Scott Knies that was criticized as racially insensitive, the board’s top three positions are now occupied by a woman and two men of color.

    More evidence that SJI is just a part of the matrix.

    In the matrix, illusions are projected onto everything.

    I’ve heard sales executives say, “if the customer wants a blue shirt, turn on the blue light”.

    Silicon Valley Newsrooms’s narrative about a non-profit organization that represents the interests of business property owners is really a “blue light special”: the blue light of identity politics.

    By the way, did SJI check with Katia McClain to see if she was agreeable with being SJI and SJDA’s gender token?

  3. So the top leadership is either Mexican-born, Chicano or African-American, and the organization was co-founded by a Chicano… sounds pretty diverse to me. What the heck is Raul talking about? I guess when you don’t like the message, attack the messenger.

  4. We all owe Scott Knies a debt of gratitude for bravely speaking truth to power about local progressives’ increased racial divisiveness at the San Jose City Council and the utter hypocrisy of labor’s (Un)Fair Elections Initiative. The SJDA caving to the Woke Mob is predictable–like the SVO going limp in the face of faux outrage over its endorsement of P. Oliveirio when he was running for Supervisor. These are big, wimpy organizations that quake in their loafers at the thought of negative press and being called bad names. But Knies’ message rang through loud and clear and everybody heard it. Even though the SJDA, like the Silent Voice Organization (SVO) may wilt, the rest of us are stiffened and emboldened by his gutsy statements. Well done, Scott, don’t let them keep a good man down. We await your ongoing voice.

  5. Was this leadership change a direct result of Knies’ speech, or was Knies’ retirement planned in advance? Really hoping it’s the latter. Knies was a really impressive leader, and he doesn’t deserve to be forced out because some Councilmembers can’t handle his widely-supported criticism.

    • Wow indeed, it completely slipped past me that Scott Knies has been serving as the Executive Director, not the President, and has not been replaced or forced out. Clearly I am a hasty reader.

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