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Malin Burnham, event namesake and Center for Civic Engagement founder and San Diego changemaker, has 70 years of experience growing a vibrant region through philanthropy.

Most-Admired Service Organization:
Sierra Club San Diego

Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots organization, dedicated to leaving our children a legacy – clean air, safe drinking water, and natural grandeur. From Yosemite National Park to the Grand Canyon, since 1892 the Sierra Club has been instrumental in preserving nature’s most splendid wild places.


KPBS values integrity, truth, transparency and lifelong learning. KPBS strives to engage with our citizens and showcase the unique neighborhoods and people that make our community thrive. And as a public service of San Diego State University, education is a core value – from children’s programming to local news coverage. KPBS is committed to being a reliable source for in-depth, thoughtful, and high quality content.

Most-Admired FOUNDATION:

The San Diego Foundation maximizes the impact of your charitable giving. We mobilize philanthropic resources to advance quality of life, increase social impact and champion civic engagement. For more than 40 years, The Foundation and our donors have granted more than $1 billion to grow a vibrant San Diego region.

MOST-ADMIRED business/corporation:
carrier johnson + culture

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE distinguished itself for this honor in large part because of a longstanding commitment to both charitable giving and volunteerism, fostered actively among the firm’s leadership and staff. The firm is well known for a focus on supporting major charitable events, such as the recent Open House San Diego. Carrier Johnson + CULTURE is known for an approach to building design and urban planning that results in active and inclusive environments blending creativity, art, and social expression with sustainable economic development. Likewise, the firm’s leadership and staff participate frequently in volunteer community activities for the betterment of San Diego and all its residents.

Most-Admired Public Leader:

Ken E. Nwadike, Jr., is one of the nation’s top motivational speakers for colleges and universities. He has spoken at hundreds of schools and business conferences, inspiring students and professional groups of all ages to be the change that they wish to see in society. Best known for his viral videos on Facebook and Youtube, which have reached hundreds of millions of views, during Ken’s keynote speeches, he inspires students, educators, and business professionals to make a positive impact in their schools, workplace, and community. Nwadike Jr., has been featured on CNN, FOX, New York Times, Boston Globe, San Diego Union-Tribune, Buzzfeed, NBC, USA Today, and many other major news sites.