Executive Director Press Release
Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego Names Wendy Urushima-Conn as New Executive Director
San Diego community leader to take helm of organization in advance of 20th annual Sharon’s Ride on March 31st
SAN DIEGO – March 6, 2019 – The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County today announced that Wendy Urushima-Conn will serve as their new executive director. In her role, Wendy will oversee the foundation’s mission to empower individuals and families impacted by epilepsy to overcome challenges through education, advocacy, counseling, resources and other supportive programs.
Wendy brings a 20-year career of executive experience in community outreach, fundraising, marketing and public relations. She was previously President and CEO of the Asian Business Association (ABA) and comes to the Epilepsy Foundation with a leadership background across a multitude of non-profit organizations. Currently she serves as Chair of Southern California Chapter, California Diversity Council; Chair for the Board of Library Commissioners; Chair of the Honorary Committee for National Philanthropy Day; Trustee of the San Diego Public Library Foundation and is a member San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Asian Pacific Islander Advisory Council.
“This is a very important time for the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County and I am excited to take on this leadership position in our community,” said Wendy, whose family has been personally touched by Epilepsy. “One out of 26 people in the community will have epilepsy and 1 out of 10 will have a seizure in their lifetime, so we have a tremendous opportunity this year to further grow the important work the foundation does for the 50,000 individuals affected by epilepsy in San Diego County.”
Wendy is a graduate of UC San Diego, and additionally earned her CFRM from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Prior to the ABA, she served as the Associate Executive Director of Development for Center for Community Solutions as the chief fundraising and marketing officer for the non-profit. She has also co-founded a media coaching company, worked for more than a decade as the Community and Media Marketing Manager at 10News, as well as and as an account executive in the advertising and publishing field.
Wendy will take over for Maureen Sweeney, who has served as the interim executive director of the foundation since August. Her new role includes leadership oversight of the Epilepsy Foundation’s commitment to strong community partnerships in the areas of governmental affairs, expanding educational programs and service outreach throughout San Diego County.
“Wendy brings tremendous experience and perspective to our team and I couldn’t be more delighted that this dynamo is joining the foundation and will devote her talents to building this essential organization in San Diego County,” said Sweeney. “Wendy is deeply in tune with the mission of the foundation and the important work we do in the community, particularly with our 20th annual Sharon’s Ride taking place later this month. We could not have picked a more qualified individual to help the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County grow and chart the course for the future.”
One of the largest epilepsy awareness events in the United States, Sharon’s Ride. Run. Walk will celebrate 20 years in San Diego on Sunday, March 31. Featuring a 15-mile bike ride along scenic Mission Bay and a 5K run / walk, the community event culminates with a finish line BBQ and celebration along the bayfront. All proceeds support trainings in our local communities for teachers, first responders, public and religious institutions, restaurants, shopping centers and more to educate + train the public for those times when safe intervention is needed. Online registration is open for individuals and teams at Sharonsride.org/SanDiego. For more information about the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, visit epilepsysandiego.org.
About The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County
The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County helps individuals with epilepsy and their families to overcome the daily challenges of living with the unpredictability of seizures. Throughout San Diego County we provide free community-focused education, advocacy, counseling, and other supportive programs to empower clients with resources, life skills, self-confidence and self-advocacy. For more information about the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County, visit epilepsysandiego.org.
Dan Cruz, 619-925-7671