Watson, Mead renamed to fair board

DEL MAR — David Watson and Kathlyn Mead were reappointed Jan. 17 by Gov. Jerry Brown to the 22nd District Agricultural Association, which governs the Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Watson, a land-use attorney and partner at Duane Morris, was named to the board of directors in 2011 and reappointed two years later.

“I’m honored that Governor Brown has reappointed me to the 22nd DAA board of the directors,” Watson said. “Since my initial appointment in 2011, the board has been working hard to resolve issues related to compliance with the Coastal Act, settle environmental lawsuits resulting from the fairgrounds master plan and, in general, improve our relationships with the state regulatory agencies and our neighboring cities and communities.

“I believe we’ve made significant progress in those areas, particularly resolution of all issues with the Coastal Commission,” he added. “We are still working hard to improve the fairgrounds’ environmental compliance, particularly in water quality issues. And we continue ongoing communications and improvements in our relationships with our neighbors. I look forward to more progress in these areas in the future.”

Mead, president and chief executive officer at the San Diego Foundation, has been a board member since 2014.

“The fairgrounds is a valuable community asset that I am delighted to be a part of,” she said. “It truly is an honor working with my fellow board appointees. They demonstrate their commitment to the organization by also serving on committees and always being prepared. And they contribute significant time outside of regular meetings to support the purpose of the fairgrounds.

“Management and staff are a joy to work with,” she added. “They live the values of the organization every day, always making safety, learning and fun a priority for our many guests.

“I continue to be enthralled by the economic impact the fairgrounds has on San Diego and the region,” Mead said. “Beyond directly creating and sustaining jobs at the fairgrounds for the many events we host, business is generated for the hotel, restaurant and transportation sectors, to name only a few.

“This year we brought an international audience to San Diego with the Breeders’ Cup,” she added. “It was a wildly successful event by any measure. Importantly, we also know that many guests arrived early or remained visitors in San Diego post event.”

Board members are appointed by the governor to four-year terms. They receive no pay but are allowed perks that include free parking and admission to fairgrounds events. The board meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

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