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VIDEO: Cheli Mohammed of San Diego Pride named finalist for LEAD San Diego's top honor

SAN DIEGO – Five San Diegans currently participating in LEAD San Diego’s leadership development program have been nominated by their class for the organization’s Herbert G. Klein Visionary Award.

Cheli Mohammed, director of volunteer and community resources for San Diego LGBT Pride, has been named as one of the nominees.

Since 1981, LEAD San Diego has engaged up-and-coming and seasoned leaders in its programs, which are designed to develop and mobilize its diverse participants, equipping them with an understanding of the San Diego region, the personal skills and the right network of people to accomplish “great things” as civic and community leaders.

LEAD’s programs are designed to meet the specific needs of community leaders at various levels of professional and community involvement. Over 2,000 participants have taken part in the more than 30 classes that have graduated through the rigorous, interactive training program.

IMPACT San Diego is LEAD’s flagship community leadership development program, which is designed for civic- and community-minded individuals who want to strengthen their leadership skills and make a positive mark on their community.

As part of the organization’s annual Visionary Awards, the current IMPACT class of 50 participants had the opportunity to nominate a handful of their classmates for the award, which is named after Klein for his “unparalleled” contributions of leadership, dedication and service to the community.

LEAD San Diego created this annual award within the spirit of Klein’s achievement and commitment to recognize a member of the current IMPACT San Diego class.

Along with Mohammed, four other participants are finalists for the award, including:

- Karim Bouris, director of economic development for the MAAC Project

- Shannon Free-Cleveland, marketing and business development coordinator for the UC San Diego Extension

- Arzo Mansury, director of the Scholarship & Teacher’s Fund for the San Diego Foundation

- Betty Wageman, vice president of account management for AMN Healthcare.

The finalists will be recognized and the winner announced at the Visionary Awards, which will be held May 26 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

The event will include networking and a dinner program, with additional awards presented.

Individual tickets for the event are $150, with other sponsorship opportunities available.

For more information about LEAD San Diego, click HERE.

IMPACT San Diego Class of 2010 participating in a drum circle