Nice Guys Of The Year

Sandra den Uijl — 2023 Nice Guy Of The Year

Nice Guys of the Year Sandra den UijlBorn in Texas and raised in Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico, Sandra began her professional career as a Certified Public Accountant more than thirty years ago. After successfully completing her MBA in Mexican Taxation from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, she became a professor of Accounting and Taxation at her Alma Mater. She left her career in Guadalajara to marry her husband Henny and they moved their blended family to San Diego. After completing a second MBA in Global Management, she developed a successful career in corporate America. Additionally, she and her husband, Henny, established and grew their own marketing company.

After several years of working in the corporate world, she decided to establish more balance between family life and work. Her children were grown so she could now dedicate more of her time to community work. Sandra spent the next nine years as a volunteer and fundraiser for Rady Children’s Hospital through the Rancho Santa Fe Auxiliary. Wanting to do more, she got together with a number of friends and started a new foundation called Rancho Santa Fe Tea3 Foundation. The group wanted to create a bigger impact in their community and decided to do project-based work with other organizations whose efforts focus on helping children, the military, and animals. The Tea3 Foundation believed this would provide better accountability for their donors.

With her “can do” attitude and positive outlook on life, she feels blessed to be able to provide a supportive role in making a difference within the community she loves so dearly. She lives in Rancho Santa Fe with her husband, Henny. Together, they have four children: Edgar, Christopher, Corey, and Kellan.

Coach Steve Fisher — 2022 Nice Guy Of The Year

Coach Steve Fisher, originally from Herrin, Ill., began his career as a coach at Rich East High School in Park Forest, Ill in 1971. He went on to an illustrious career at Western Michigan and then the University of Michigan. In 1999, he was hired by SDSU to coach a moribund program that had only had one winning season since 1985.

Coach Fisher became SDSU’s all-time winningest coach and the winningest coach in Mountain West history. He led the Aztecs for 18 seasons before announcing his retirement in April 2017. He led the Aztecs to a Mountain West-record 10 conference titles, eight NCAA tournaments and 13 postseason appearances. At the time, SDSU was the league’s all-time winningest program in conference wins (168). He was a two-time national coach of the year and the recipient of the prestigious 2015 John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award.

To the San Diego community, having a winning team was a dream come true, but it was a lot more than winning. Coach Fisher created an atmosphere, a culture that embraced developing young talent and helping to shape their lives. It also brought the business and philanthropic community together to support SDSU and students.

Coach Fisher lives with his wife, Angie in Rancho Santa Fe and continues to be a special consultant at SDSU. They have two sons, Mark and Jay. Mark and his wife, Jill have a son, Max, who is a big part of the Fishers’ lives these days.

Jon and Dee Ammon — 2021 Nice Guy Of The Year

The Ammons have been involved in the San Diego Community both professionally and philanthropically for more than 40 years. Jon, who grew up in the family business, Tri-County Insulation Co., Inc. has served as President and CEO since 1990.

Born in Guam, Dee moved to San Diego in 1983. She began volunteering and fundraising at her children’s schools while also working as a law firm administrator. Dee and Jon met in 1991 at an American Cancer Society event and married in 1996.

Jon began his community involvement in 1988 as a board member with the Jackalopes, Inc. In 1994, he joined the San Diego Nice Guys. He served as board member, was President in 2000 and remains an active member today.

Dee has held a variety of board and chair positions which include: Grossmont Hospital Corporation, Patrons of the Prado, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and Women of Dedication, Friends of Vista Hill Foundation, the Board of Governor of Grossmont Hospital Foundation, Sharp’s Hospice Care Regatta, City Ballet, the San Diego Police Foundation, and St. Madeline Sophie Center’s Luncheon. She was a member of the Capital Campaign Committee raising funds to build the Bonita Hospice Home and was a member of the Alpine Community Center Auxiliary. The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary honored Dee as a Women of Dedication in 2017. Jon and Dee are long-time volunteers at the Noah Homes Annual Summerfest Fundraiser.

The Ammons live in Alpine, are avid golfers and together have six children and eight grandchildren.

Joe Harper — 2019 Nice Guy Of The Year

Joe Harper 2019 Nice Guy Of The YearJoe Harper grew up in one of the greatest Hollywood families of all time – the world of the man many consider its premier producer/director, Cecil B. DeMille. Joe’s Mom, Cecilia, was the famous showman’s oldest daughter. Joe spent his early years living and learning in the DeMille compound in the Hollywood Hills. He was a child actor who played in two of DeMille’s epics, the Academy Award-winning “The Greatest Show on Earth” and the movie everyone remembers DeMille for – “The 10 Commandments”. Joe’s Mom was a horsewoman and Thoroughbred breeder of note and when the young- man Joe Harper went looking for a career, he found it at the racetrack. He’d ridden lots of horses growing up (and learned to play a wicked game of polo) and when he was taken under the wing of the award-winning racing movie producer Joe Burnham, things began to click. Joe learned to see the game through the eye of a camera and he liked what he saw. When the game looked back, it liked Joe, too.

Hired on first at Santa Anita to help run the show, he next moved up to a larger role as an executive at the seaside oval that is Del Mar. And that may have been true kismet. Del Mar was the child of one of the great American stars of all time, Bing Crosby, opened by the show business icon in 1937 and soon established as Hollywood South. Crosby gave his track its show business roots; when Harper came on board, he slowly but surely did the spade work to return it to those fertile times. While other racetracks stuck to the formula of serious gambling and old guys with cigars, Harper oversaw a youth movement that made Del Mar so much more – with music, festivals and flashy styles making a day at the races an event all its own. The track, which once was a nice afterthought in the Thoroughbred world, today conducts one of the foremost race meets in America. Its rebuilt grandstand, its renowned $1 million Pacific Classic race, its host status for the Breeders’ Cup, the game’s championships, all happened under Harper, each with a maestro’s show business touch of their own.

Early on, teenage Joe got lucky when he met a sassy New York girl who’d come west to go to school. They formed a partnership that provided the show business guy with an insightful sidekick who often helped him see the right way to turn, including their deep- rooted community philanthropy. Fifty-five years later they still call each other husband and wife, and they both revel in their four daughters and nine grandchildren.

Debra Reed — 2018 Nice Guy Of The Year

Debra Reed is executive chairman of Sempra Energy, a San Diego-based Fortune 500 energy services holding company with the largest customer base in the U.S. The Sempra Energy companies’ approximately 20,000 employees serve more than 40 million consumers worldwide.

Debbie served as CEO of Sempra Energy from 2011 to 2018, and as president of Sempra Energy from 2017 to 2018. Prior to that, she served in a range of executive leadership positions over the years after becoming the company’s first female officer within 10 years within of joining the company. During her tenure as CEO, she ranked as one of 27 female chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, and, from 2011 to 2017, was recognized as one of Fortune magazine’s “Most Powerful Women in Business.” She was also recognized by Forbes magazine as one of the nation’s most influential female CEOs.

In San Diego, Debbie currently serves on the Rady Children’s Hospital and Health Center Board of Trustees, Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego Board of Directors, and on the Chairman’s Competitiveness Council of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, where she formerly served as chair.

She has championed a number of major volunteer efforts in San Diego, including a Habitat for Humanity project, where nearly 1,000 employees built a two-story home for a wounded U.S. veteran and revitalized neighboring homes in northeastern Escondido. She also served as co-chair of the USGA Pro-Am Golf Championship in 2017, an effort that netted over $200,000 for Pro Kids | First Tee of San Diego and the Southern California Golf Association Foundation. And, for the third year in a row, Debbie is team captain for Team Sempra/SDG&E at Padres Pedal the Cause, donating $300,000 in underwriting and raising more than $200,000 more for local cancer research institutions.

Debbie has received many awards, including the “2018 Woman of the Year” from California Women Lead; a “Cool Woman Award” from the Girl Scouts in 2016; the “Distinguished Alumni Award” from USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering in 2013; and was named a Lifetime Laureate in Junior Achievement’s Business Hall of Fame in 2006, to name a few.

Debbie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and lives in Rancho Santa Fe with her husband Mark Klages.

Peter Seidler — 2017 Nice Guy Of The Year

Peter Seidler is the Managing Partner of the holding company which owns the San Diego Padres Baseball Club and its related assets and is the lead investor in the Padres. Peter currently sits on Major League Baseball’s Ownership Committee and Investment Committee.

Peter is a founder and the Managing Partner of Seidler Equity Partners, a family-oriented private equity fund which provides capital and management support to growing entrepreneurial companies across the United States. Seidler Equity Partners was established in 1993 and manages equity capital with a market value of approximately $2 Billion. Seidler Equity Partners has backed proven entrepreneurs with strategic support and equity capital in a variety of diverse industries including health/fitness, advertising, scuba diving/recreation, printing equipment and children’s clothing. The philosophy of Seidler Equity Partners is to apply a long-term and patient strategic approach in helping entrepreneurs and the companies they have founded and built continue on a path of success, job creation and excellence.

Peter and his wife, Sheel, focus their philanthropic activities on health and medical matters. They are active with the San Diego Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The American Cancer Society, The Turning Point Home (a San Diego facility dedicated to treating young women with addiction-related diseases), and various health and wellness initiatives at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Peter is currently working closely with key San Diego business leaders along with the San Diego mayor and counsel on projects designed to reverse and significantly improve the city’s homeless problem. Peter is a member of the Board of Trustees and chairs the Student Affairs Committee at The University of San Diego.

Peter earned a Bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Virginia and his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Michael D. McKinnon — 2016 Nice Guy Of The Year

McKinnon PhotoMike McKinnon was born in North Hollywood, California, and his family moved to San Diego in 1944. His father, Clinton McKinnon, started a daily newspaper, The San Diego Journal, and was elected to Congress in 1948 as San Diego’s only Congressman. He later started a group of weekly papers, including The Sentinel and La Jolla Light.

Mike learned the newspaper business at an early age, working at his father’s papers from age 10 delivering papers, to becoming Publisher of the La Jolla Journal. Mike graduated from Mission Bay High School, worked for a year, then attended the University of Redlands. More interested in working that College, he left Redlands for a job as Cameraman at KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reaching the position of Senior Director.

In the early sixties, Mike and his older brother, Dan McKinnon, with a small inheritance bought KSON Radio. Mike enjoyed the TV business more, and Dan made KSON one of the great Country Western Stations in the Country. Mike left the radio business to join the U.S. Army Reserve.

Mike had an opportunity of a partnership with his father and several other Partners to apply for a Television License in Corpus Christi, Texas. The application was successful and Mike went to Texas to put KIII-TV on the air. With his experience growing up in a New family, he quickly adapted to Television News, and KIII-TV became one of the leading ABC News Stations in the country. After 3 years, he bought out the other Partners.

In 1976 he bought KBMT-TV, which was almost in bankruptcy, and made it into a successful ABC/NBC dual affiliated Station. A few years later, he put KBVO-TV (now KEYE) on the air in Austin, Texas.

Mike’s political involvement led him to run for the Texas Senate, which he won by over 60% of the vote, and became the youngest person to serve in the Senate. He also was delegate to the Constitutional Revision Commission to revise the Texas Constitution.

Community Services was important, and Mike led several Community Organizations, including Chairman of the Art Museum of South Texas, Boss of the Year by the National Secretary’s Association, and Outstanding young Man of the Year.

A pioneer in TV Broadcasting, McKinnon served as President of the Texas Association of Broadcasters, was elected to the Board of Directors of the ABC Broadcasting Affiliates Board, and the National Association of Broadcaster’s Board of Directors.

In 1982, Mike focused on his home town, San Diego, and partnered with United States International University, which had received a TV license buy didn’t have the ability to finance a News Station and put KUSI-TV, Channel 51, on air. McKinnon became the Financier and General Partner, and bought out the University positions in 1990. Since that time, KUSI-TV has become a leading local News Station.

Mike’s experience in Television News led KUSI-TV to be the leading independent Station in the U.S. Currently doing 81/2 hours of news daily, it dominates the local Morning News, and has dominated the 10:00pm News for 25 years.

KUSI-TV has won many local Emmy’s and various community service awards.

Mike also owns San Diego Home Garden Magazine, a successful design magazine.

Mike is a Plank Member and Founder in helping bring the USS Midway to San Diego, Foundation Board Member of San Diego Zoo Global, and Member of the Lincoln Club. He saved 12 years on the Board of Trustees of the University of Redlands, and was given an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University. Mike is a Senior Member of MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas Board of Visitors. He has also received the National Broadcaster Foundation Leadership Award.

Mike has two sons; Mike, President & General Manager of KUSI, and Mark, publisher of San Diego Home/Garden magazine. He also has five grandchildren; Mike (graduating this year from SMU, Dallas), Kacey (attending NC), Mitchell, Callie and Kelli.

He and his wife Martha live in Point Loma.

Douglas O. Allred — 2015 Nice Guy of the Year

Doug AllredDouglas O. Allred attended the University of Arizona on a football scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business. While attending the university, he was enrolled in the Naval Reserve Officer candidate program and obtained a commission after graduation. His three and a half year naval career included shipboard duty and graduation from the Underwater Demolition Team (UDT) training program. After training, Mr. Allred was assigned to UDT II, which would later become Navy Seal Team 5 based in Coronado, California. During Mr. Allred’s final year attending the University, he met his future wife Ann Allred.

Upon release from the Navy, Mr. Allred started his real estate career at Coldwell Banker & Company as a commissioned salesman. Specializing in residential income, commercial and investment properties, his sales performance ranked among the top 5% of all Coldwell Banker sales professionals.  In 1970, Mr. Allred co-founded Lion Property Corporation and served as the firm’s president and chief executive officer for 11 years.

In 1981, Lion Property Corporation was dissolved, and Mr. Allred formed the Douglas Allred Company, a diversified real estate firm providing residential and commercial land development, construction, marketing and property management services.

Under Mr. Allred’s and son Dave’s leadership, the firm has developed over 6,300 multi-family and single-family residential units and more than 5,500,000 sq. ft. of commercial, industrial and retail space. Today, the Douglas Allred Company remains a family-owned and operated corporation, developing and managing a diverse portfolio of business operations, including the San Diego Tennis & Racquet Club, the Beach Colony in Del Mar, Club Torrey Pines, and Sports Arena Village. Always an athlete and sports enthusiast, Mr. Allred is often credited with being among the first developers to build fitness centers and sports facilities into planned residential communities.

Based in coastal North San Diego County, the Douglas Allred Company has expanded its development and property management operations into Phoenix and Chandler, Arizona, and has also developed and sold properties in North Carolina and Florida.

Mr. Allred has and continues to serve on the Board of Directors of prominent business and community institutions, including the San Dieguito Boys & Girls Club. In honor of his many years of support, the organization named one of its two Carmel Valley facilities “The Douglas and Ann Allred Branch.” In addition to generously supporting San Diego’s youth, Mr. Allred is committed to supporting military families through organizations such as the Naval Special Warfare Foundation. He proudly supported the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, the San Diego Hall of Champions, as well as the Torrey Pines High School and Rancho Santa Fe Youth Booster Clubs. After 56 years of marriage Mr. Allred lost his wife, Ann, to ALS. They have 5 children and 14 grandchildren.

Denny Sanford — 2014 Nice Guy of the Year

Denny SanfordIn 2001 Denny Sanford formed the Denny Sanford Foundation for charitable giving.  Since then his acts of generosity have been truly amazing.  One of his focuses has been helping abused, sick and neglected children and to that end he has donated millions of dollars to organizations across several states including $400 million to establish Sanford Health. In our area alone Denny has donated 30 million to the San Diego Consortium for Regenerative Health, 20 million to the Burnham Institute of Medical research in La Jolla and in 2010 issued a 50 million matching gifts challenge to the Burnham Institute which has now been renamed the Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute.  Denny recently made one of the largest donations in the history of the UC system; 100 million dollars to UCSD to establish the Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center. He has also provided an inaugural gift to establish the Sanford Education Center at the La Jolla based National University.

Denny’s many acts of kindness and generosity have made him one of the most honored Philanthropists in the country. There are numerous other recipients of Denny’s charity, landing him at #14 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list of top donors for 2005, #49 on BusinessWeek’s “50 Most Generous Philanthropists” in 2006, #3 on the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s “Philanthropy 50” in 2007,  and #15 on BusinessWeek’s “Top 50 American Philanthropists” in 2008.  Over the years, Denny has also garnered many awards and honors for his generous contributions.

Douglas (Papa Doug) Manchester — 2013 Nice Guy of the Year

His motto is “Making Positive Memories”

2014 Nice Guy of the Year - Douglas ManchesterDouglas Manchester is Chairman of the Manchester Financial Group. He is also the Chairman and Publisher of the U-T San Diego and its new UT-TV network. He is an industrialist with accomplishments on a local, national and international level in banking, telecommunications, radio broadcast, medical instrumentation, publishing, and real estate development. He is known internationally for owning and developing two of the largest hotels in the United States: The Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego and the San Diego Marriott Hotel & Marina, and most recently, the luxurious Grand Del Mar resort. Currently, through his Manchester Texas Financial Group, he is embarking on development of an 1100-room, 50-story Convention Center Hotel in Austin, Texas.

Locally, Manchester.was the catalyst for the Biotech Business cluster at Torrey Pines. Manchester was also responsible for founding the La Jolla Bank and Trust Company, La Jolla Pacific Savings Bank, and co-founding the San Diego Port Tenants Association, San Diego Crime Commission, NextWave Telecom, and the Broadcast Company of the Americas. He was the founding chair of the San Diego Chapter of the Alexis de Tocqueville Society of United Way, a founding member of the San Diego Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization, the Jenna Druck Foundation, The Richard Sabala Foundation, and a Life Director of the Holiday Bowl. He served on the University of San Diego’s Board of Trustees since 1978, The Burnham Institute, NextWave Wireless, Cygnus Multimedia Communications, and the Junior Seau Foundation. In addition, he is a Director Emeritus of the San Diego International Sports Council, and serves as a member of the Directors Cabinet at San Diego State University.

A devoted benefactor to causes that address the health and well being of children and the community, he has endowed scholarships and funded facilities at USD, the Bishop’s School, San Diego State University, Wake Forest University, and Cathedral Catholic High School. Most notable are the Bishop’s School Library, the Manchester Conference Center, the Manchester Family Child Development Center, and the Manchester Village and Athletic Fields at the University of San Diego.

Manchester is a major sponsor of the County’s Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, and significant contributor to the Preuss School, Monarch School, Polinsky Children’s Center, and San Diego Diocesan Ministries. His generosity has extended to the YMCA, Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Southern California, Scripps Memorial Hospital, the USS Midway Museum and many more.

Among the many recognitions Doug Manchester has received are the Alexis de Tocqueville Society Award, ConVisionary Award from San Diego’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, Alonzo Award San Diego Downtown Partnership, American Diabetes Association Father of the Year Award, San Diego Press Club Headliner of the Year Award, the Human Unity Award presented by the San Diego region of the National Conference of Christians and Jews, Man of the Year by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, also receiving Man of the Year Award from the Young Presidents Organization, Significant Sig Award from Sigma Chi Fraternity, and was a St. Vincent de Paul Society honoree.

Ernest Rady — 2012 Nice Guy of the Year

Ernest Rady has led a life filled with successful entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and community leadership.

Distinguished Entrepreneur

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, Ernest Rady moved his family to San Diego in 1966 to enjoy the warm weather and favorable business climate. Soon after arriving, he began investing in real estate and other local companies while becoming an integral part of San Diego’s business community. In 1967, he formed American Assets, Inc. (AAI), a privately held conglomerate. Through AAI, Rady controls and manages a group of companies dedicated to financial services, investment and real estate.

Rady founded and was Chairman/CEO of Westcorp, a publicly traded financial services company, which in 2006 was sold to Wachovia Corporation, now part of Wells Fargo Bank. Currently, Rady serves as Executive Chairman of the Board for American Assets Trust (NYST: AAT), a publicly traded real estate investment trust that was formed in 2011 from the successful real estate business AAI, and as Director of the Board and Chairman of ICW Group, a multi-line property and casualty insurance company, which he started in 1972 as Insurance Company of the West.

Passionate Philanthropist

Throughout his life, Mr. Rady has been passionate about supporting importnat causes. His significant philanthropic work has been primarily focused on education, the health and well-being of children and scientific research. Through American Asets, Inc., a donation was made to Children’s Hospital. UCSD’s School of Management was also renamed Rady School of Managment due to Rady’s leadership, vision and financial contribution.

Community Leader

As an active leader in the community, Mr. Rady’s volunteer efforts include serving as the Chairman of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Rady School at UCSD, as a Board Member of San Diego Private Bank, and as a Trustee of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. Additionally, Mr. Rady was past Chairman and Treasurer of Children’s Hospital and Health Center of San Diego and a Trustee of Scripps Health.

In recognition of his current significant achievements, Rady has been the honeored recipient of numerous awards, including the UCSD Chancellor’s Medl, the Lifetime Achienvement Award from LEAD San Diego and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year – National Winner Award.

Ernest Rady is especially proud to receive the 2012 Nice Guy of the Year Award and looks forward to continuing his work as a passionate and inspirational leader throughout San Diego County.


Nice Guy of the Year 2011 Ted RossinTed Rossin, a leader in the San Diego’s steel industry, was born in Chicago and moved to Indiana with his family when he was eight. He spent his childhood there and began his career in the steel industry when he started working in a steel shop for his father in 1963. He graduated from Purdue University and then served in the United State Navy Seabees from 1965 – 1969, which included two tours in Vietnam. He subsequently moved to San Diego in 1979 when he went to work for Bannister Steel. He began as an estimator, was promoted to General Manager in 1982 and then to Vice President in 1987. In 1996, after the passing of Ralph Bannister, Rossin and other partners bought Bannister Steel. Soon after, Rossin became the CEO. In 1998, Rossin and his partners sold to Schuff Steel from Arizona. He continued to work for Schuff Steel for the next seven years. In 2005, Rossin and Jeff Clinkscales, who have worked together for 28 years, established Rossin Steel. Rossin and Clinkscales have been involved in hundreds of projects in the San Diego area, including such high profile projects as Horton Plaza Mall, Del Mar Race Track Grandstands, Trolley Bridges, many buildings for Qualcomm, and the tower at Lindberg Field.

Rossin is very active in the construction industry and has served on the Board of Associated General Contractors San Diego Chapter (AGC) 17 years. In 2001, he was the first subcontractor to be named President of AGCSD. He was also one of the charter members who helped start the American Subcontractors Association Chapter in San Diego.

Rossin is also committed to giving back and supporting the San Diego region. He is a board member of the Century Club, the San Diego Nice Guys and Bannister Family House, as well as a supporter of Mulcahy Food for Marine Families, Pro Kids, United Cerebral Palsy, Jackalope, and East County Boys & Girls Club. He was named the Construction Building Industry’s “Good Scout of the Year” in 2009 by the Boy Scouts of America.

Rossin and his wife, Connie enjoy time with their twin daughter’s and son’s families, including five grandchildren and two black labs.

“We are privileged to have Ted Rossin as our Nice Guy of the Year,” said Nice Guys President, Kristy Gregg. “His achievements as a businessman are matched only by his generosity for others in our community. He is a dedicated community leader who has been a long-time contributor to many organizations in San Diego. He exemplifies what the Nice Guys organization and its members are all about.”

SeabeesAssociated General Contractors



Peter Farrell is Founder and Executive Chairman of NYSE-listed ResMed Inc., a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of innovative products for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep-disordered breathing. Born in Sydney, Australia, he has won numerous civic, academic and professional awards including the Australian, San Diego and US National Entrepreneur of the Year awards for Life Sciences. He holds bachelors and masters degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Sydney and MIT, a PhD in bioengineering from the University of Washington as well as a Doctor of Science from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney for research related to treatment with the artificial kidney. He has published 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals. He also holds fellowships at several universities and academies, including the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. In 2004 he was made a member of the Order of Australia.

Farrell serves on the boards of the UCSD Rady Business School and the Jacobs School of Engineering. He’s current Chair of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center at UCSD and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNSW. He is also Chair of the Executive Council of the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and President of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

His numerous charitable interests include MIT, UCSD, UNSW, the University of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego and the San Diego and Sydney Operas. He has also gifted a Chair in Sleep Medicine to Harvard and significantly supports the MIT/Harvard Health Science and Technology Program. Along with his wife and three children on the Board, the Farrell Family Foundation contributes to many San Diego and international causes.


Each year, the Nice Guys select one distinguished San Diegan who demonstrates their dedication to making San Diego a better place to live, work, and play. The selection process begins early in the year and a committee of Nice Guy members come together to begin the selection process. This is one of two major fund raising events that take place each year to fund the requests received from San Diegans in need of a hand up. Proceeds from this event are distributed to the charity(s) selected by the honoree and to the Nice Guy organization. The monies that remain with the Nice Guys are used to fund charity requests and to pay for the annual Community Christmas Party.

The Nice Guy of the Year Gala has been an annual event for the past 30 years. The Nice Guy of the Year Gala is a black tie event which takes place in the fall of each year. It is always a memorable evening that includes an awards ceremony honoring the newest addition to the distinguished list of honorees. The evening includes dinner and dancing to one of San Diego’s finest local bands.


The 2009 Nice Guy of the Year is Conrad Prebys, a successful business man, community leader, philanthropist and quiet benefactor to those in need. Conrad, the owner of Progress Construction Company, Inc., exemplifies what the Nice Guys organization and members are all about. The Nice Guys are proud to honor him as the 2009 Nice Guy of the Year.

Mr. Prebys is inspired to share his good fortune with the San Diego community. In addition to the Nice Guys, his generosity has included capital and operating gifts to the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County, the San Diego Opera, the Old Globe Theatre, Scripps Mercy Hospital, the San Diego Zoo, UCSD Music Centre and the Burnham Institute for Medical Research – to name a few.