Tom Topuzes, president and chief executive officer of Thomas Topuzes & Associates, LLC, in El Centro, has been elected to membership in the San Diego Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, an Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics.
Founded in the1930s, the organization provides a catalyst for the advancement of land economics by facilitating the interaction of members who have distinguished themselves in their professions, their communities and through academic achievements. Lambda Alpha International provides a forum for distinguished practitioners and scholars to discuss, debate, and solve dilemmas involving use of land resources.
Topuzes was nominated to join the San Diego Chapter of Lambda Alpha International, one of 22 chapters of the organization throughout the world. Lambda Alpha International has more than 2,000 members from diverse professional backgrounds and perspectives in the non-political, not-for-profit professional organization. To qualify for membership, individuals must have:
- achieved professional distinction, with a minimum of 10 years of work experience;
- made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of land economics; and
- distinguished themselves in the community through public service.
Topuzes brings to his membership extensive experience in governmental service, banking, business and community involvement. His business consulting firm assists with strategic planning, business management, real estate development, international trade, board governance and banking.
Currently, Topuzes is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Community Valley Bank in El Centro. He is a founder and organizer of the institution. His prior experience includes executive management positions with Valley Independent Bank in El Centro, First International Bank in Chula Vista and Great American Savings Bank in San Diego.
As Regional Administrator of Region IX of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Topuzes’ areas of responsibility included California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. He also served as Deputy Director and Counsel for the California Governor’s Office, Office of Economic Opportunity.
Topuzes currently serves on the Board of Trustees of National University System, the Board of Directors of CDC Small Business Finance Corporation, Boy Scouts of America, San Diego-Imperial County Council, and is a member of the San Diego & Imperial District Export Council and US/Mexico Border District Export Council. He is the Co-Chair of the Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region Initiative.
He serves on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Imperial Valley and the Imperial Valley Economic Development Corp. (IVEDC). He chairs the IVEDC International Committee and was recently named Volunteer of the Year by IVEDC. He is past president and member of the Kiwanis Club of El Centro.
A member of the California State Bar, Topuzes holds a Juris Doctor degree, a BA degree in finance, economics and psychology and an AA degree in business management. He also served in the United States Air Force.