Diplomacy Gala 2017

November 4, 2017: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Diplomacy Gala 2017

November 4, 2017: 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Please join us at the 2017 Diplomacy Gala, “Global Entrepreneurship + Public Diplomacy: A New Venture.” Our annual fundraiser is a unique celebration of the impact of public diplomacy in San Diego.

This year we will highlight our professional exchange programs which connect local social and traditional entrepreneurs with their international counterparts to build mutual understanding, share best practices and form lasting business relationships. While trade has long been used as a catalyst for diplomacy, global social entrepreneurship is the next chapter in this narrative. At the 2017 Diplomacy Gala, we will celebrate social entrepreneurship as a new diplomacy tool to address some of the most intractable global challenges.

The event will feature a sit-down dinner with entertainment, unique keynote speakers, a live auction and the bestowment of the Hostler Diplomat of the Year Award, Partner Agency of the Year Award and Member of the Year Award. In addition, the cocktail hour offers a great opportunity for silent auction bidding and networking for our 200+ guests, that include diplomats, elected officials, business and civic leaders. Click HERE to Register. 

Guests of Honor

Keynote Speaker: , CEO of Classy

Scot is the CEO & Co-Founder of Classy, a social enterprise that creates world-class online fundraising tools for nonprofits, modernizing the giving experience to accelerate global social impact. Since 2011, fundraising on the Classy platform has doubled each year—resulting in thousands of nonprofits collectively raising over half a billion dollars. Based in San Diego, CA, Classy partners with organizations of all sizes and has raised $53 million to-date in growth capital. Classy was selected by Fast Company as one of “The World’s Most Innovative Companies in Social Good,” and recognized on the “100 Brilliant Companies” list by Entrepreneur Magazine. Most recently, Scot was recognized by Glassdoor as a Highest Rated CEO in 2017.

Outside of Classy, Scot is an active advisor and angel investor. He’s also part of the founding investor group and on the Board of Directors at San Francisco City Football Club, the country’s first social enterprise semi-professional soccer club.

Master of Ceremonies- Amanda Lettmann

Amanda Lettmann, a San Diego native, and US Air Force Veteran, is a Vice President of the Board of Directors for the San Diego Diplomacy Council.  Amanda is a global entrepreneur and is currently the Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Simple Disability, a software as a service platform technology company. She has a 20-year career in technology business transformation and a passion for growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Through her company Kardia Ventures, Amanda supports entrepreneurs, women, and Veterans in Tech, is an angel investor, active speaker, startup pitch coach, judge, and hackathon host. Amanda holds a MBA in Technology Management, she is a Business Mentor at The Founder Institute and an Advisory Board member of Girls In Tech San Diego.


Qualcomm – Citizen Diplomat Organization of the Year Award

Qualcomm was founded in 1985 in San Diego and today they are a multinational company that specializes in telecommunications equipment. Qualcomm is a company with a diverse workforce and their main focus is to invent mobile technology breakthroughs. They are considered to be dreamers and do what others thought was impossible. Billions of times a day people from around the globe are in contact with a product improved by Qualcomm.

QWISE, the Thinkabit Lab, Qualcomm Diversity, and the Wireless Reach Team have been outstanding partners of the San Diego Diplomacy Council this year, coordinating many high-quality meetings for our international delegates and fostering entrepreneurship and STEM careers across the world while forging business relationships.

Ambassador Charles W. Hostler – Citizen Of The Year Award: Andy White

Andy White is currently the Startup Advocate with the Downtown San Diego Partnership. The goal of the role is to create an environment to foster the growth of startups in downtown San Diego. Prior to this, he was one of the founding partners of the VegasTechFund part of the Downtown Project. For the past 7 years, he’s been completely consumed by entrepreneurship and startup ecosystems. From these experiences, he’s been connected with many impactful projects happening all across the country.

Andy White’s contribution to the San Diego Diplomacy Council has been tremendous. Andy hosted Zamir Zhukov, one of our Professional Fellows at the Downtown San Diego Partnership and offered him an engaging, hands-on fellowship experience that translated into a successful business relationship. After the fellowship program, Andy flew to Russia to speak at Moscow’s equivalent of Start Up Week. More recently, he served as a judge for our Mandela Washington Fellowship Pitch Competition and connected us with other valuable partners, such as Rock My Run, EvoNexus, Zeeto, and Le Red Balloon among others.

Colleen and Victor – Member Citizen Diplomat Award of the Year

Amongst our many committed members, it is always a challenge to choose only one person or family to receive this award. Nevertheless, when thinking about their incredible help and spirit as citizen diplomats throughout this year, Colleen and Victor were the evident choice. We would like to recognize them with the Member Citizen Diplomat Award of the Year for their wonderful commitment, hospitality, and generosity to our international visitors and our organization. They have welcomed many delegations throughout the year.

“We have had a tremendous amount of fun being involved in the marvelous programs of San Diego Diplomacy Council. We started out hosting dinners and attending events from a desire to contribute in a small way to American diplomacy. But we quickly realized that these delegates are such wonderful people that we just enjoy spending time with them whenever we can! Being with them is the next best thing to traveling to their amazing countries. We’re so glad the Diplomacy Council works to put America’s best foot forward and gives us the opportunity to know these interesting and accomplished people!” – Colleen and Victor



DJ Kutz, Resident GoPro DJ

GoPro Resident DJ, DJ Kutz, lives to create and mix music that crosses racial, social and ethnic borders. He spins largely EDM/Progressive/Electro House, mixing it with hip-hop, R&B, Reggae, House, Funk, Soul, & Latin. Originally a New Jersey native, DJ Kutz first started DJing at the famous Skate 22 in Union, NJ. He has played all over the Tri-State area, across NYC’s boroughs, throughout the U.S. and even in Hyderabad, India. His mixtapes have traveled the world from the United Kingdom to Zimbabwe, Bermuda to China, and everywhere in between. He is currently the resident DJ for GoPro at their Carlsbad office. His passion is to make people dance and have a great time, using music to unite people across cultures.


Voices of Our City Choir

“Serving and Advocating for the Homeless Community Through Music, Poetry and Art”
As seen on KPBS and ABC10, Voices of Our City Choir is committed to transforming the perception and experience of homelessness through the healing power of the arts. Formed by Steph Johnson and Nina Leilani, the choir builds bridges to connect diverse communities in positive ways through musical performance, advocacy, and education. Their purpose is to uplift and heal those involved, to offer friendship to our men, women and children living on the streets and in shelters, and to provide a space every Friday to sing and work towards their live performances. (Photo shared by Michele Zousmer).

Live Auction



Our evening would not have been possible without the in-kind support of many individuals and businesses in the community including:

Sempra IntlMany thanks to Sempra Energy for its sponsorship at the Platinum Diplomat Level


Chinyeh HostlerMany thanks to Chinyeh Hostler for her Gold Diplomat Sponsorship

Many thanks BD for its support at the Gold Diplomat level



Many thanks Qualcomm for its support at the Gold Diplomat level

Many thanks the Unified Port of San Diego for its support at the Gold Diplomat level

Sureride LogoThank you to SURERIDE for its Silver Diplomat Sponsorship


Many thanks to Takeda Pharmaceuticals for its Silver Diplomat sponsorship.


Many thanks to The San Diego Foundation for its Cocktail Hour Sponsorship


Sponsorship Levels

$5,000 – Platinum Diplomat: Premier table for eight with wine, one-year SDDC membership for eight, banner with logo, logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.

$2,500 – Gold Diplomat: Complimentary tickets for four (4), free 1 year membership for four (4), logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.

$1,000 – Silver Diplomat: Complimentary tickets for two (2), logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.

$2,500 – Cocktail Hour Sponsor- Complimentary tickets for four (4), free 1 year membership for four (4), logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.

$1,000 – Valet Parking Sponsor- Complimentary tickets for two (2), logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.

$750 – Dessert Sponsor- One (1) complimentary ticket, logo displayed on all available print material, recognition on website and in other publicity.


Click HERE to Register 


November 4, 2017
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park, KIPJ-134
San Diego, CA 92110 United States