Bonnie Baranoff

Bonnie is one of the natives, born and raised in San Diego. She grew up in East County and is proud to call La Mesa her forever home.  She is a graduate of the University of California, San Diego and has worked in STEM and higher education publishing for over 20 years.  She’s proud to be among the first graduates of Antioch University’s “Women & Leadership” Certificate Program, and is energized by community involvement and getting things done. She hopes more La Mesa residents want to get involved in serving our community and working together to keep La Mesa the “Jewel of the Hills.”

John Greenwell

A native of San Diego's East County, John Greenwell is an Academic Coach at Arroyo Vista Charter School in Chula Vista.  In this role, John coordinates the school's staff development, monitors teaching practices, and facilitates continuous assessment of student progress.

John earned his bachelors degree in Philosophy and French Literature from Fordham University in New York City and his Masters of Science in Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

John currently serves as the Co-Director for the San Diego Leadership Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to developing young leaders in the San Diego metropolitan area.  He also is one of the leaders of the San Diego chapter of Gay For Good, the nation's only all-LGBT and ally volunteer organization. As an active member of the Young Professionals Council and the Leadership Circle, John continues to highlight the amazing work of the San Diego LGBT Community Center. John volunteers for many progressive, community organizations throughout the San Diego region. In his remaining spare time, John enjoys hiking, swimming, watching movies on Netflix or Hulu, and reading.  Proud to create meaningful dialogue in his community of La Mesa, John is excited to be a part of La Mesa Conversations!

Colin Parent

Colin Parent was elected to the La Mesa City Council in Fall 2016, and looks forward to serving La Mesa in this new capacity. He is Policy Counsel at the Circulate San Diego. He is responsible for advocating for affordable transit, safe walkable neighborhoods, and effective land use policy. 

Colin served on the Jerry Brown for Governor 2010 campaign, and was appointed by Governor Brown as the Director of External Affairs for the California Department of Housing and Community Development. Prior to working for Governor Brown, Colin practiced law for three years as a commercial litigator at the San Diego office of the international law firm of DLA Piper US LLP. During 2013 and 2014, Colin served as the Director of Policy at the San Diego Housing Commission. Colin is a serial social entrepreneur in San Diego. He co-founded the San Diego Leadership Alliance, an organization that trains young San Diegans to be equipped for civic leadership. As a board member of the League of Conservation Voters San Diego, he chaired the first ever coalition to grade the environmental records of elected officials in the City of San Diego. 

Colin grew up in East County San Diego and is a graduate of the NYU Law School, and the University of California, San Diego. He enjoys spending quality time with his Kindle, and taking pictures of his food. Find out more at


Dr. Anthony Mc Ivor, Founder Emeritus
After 27 years in Washington DC, as a subject matter expert and writer for the defense and intelligence communities, Dr. Mc Ivor now works from his family home in La Mesa. Most interesting client: Spanish Nuclear Agency in Madrid.  A proud Highlander still, Anthony holds degrees from Grossmont College and the University of California, San Diego.  He is a founding member of the La Mesa Conversations Committee.

Dexter Levy, Founder Emeritus
Retired Construction and Labor Relations Executive; Member and Former Chairman of the La Mesa Planning Commission; Chairman of La Mesa’s 
Building Code Review Committee; Member of the Proposition G Independent Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee for $247 million of General Obligation Bonds for new additions at Grossmont Hospital.

Gene Carpenter, Founder Emeritus
Gene Carpenter first discovered La Mesa in 1983, coming west from Ohio. Gene rounded off his mid-western education in South Eastern Kentucky, where daily work on a farm gave him a unique addition to his curriculum. After active duty in the Marine Corps, Gene launched a 40-year career in the US Postal Service, with over two decades in management and in his final five responsible for Customer Service and Finance in La Jolla. As a USPS Route Examiner, Gene has literally walked every community in San Diego County. With that perspective, he can say with certainty that La Mesa offers a rich and unique experience for all to enjoy and be proud of. Gene’s favorite hobby is preserving, restoring, and updating vintage RV’s – he’s done several and is scouting for the next one.