Meet our new faces

Posted: February 3rd, 2017 | Columnists, Downtown Partnership News, Featured, News | No Comments

By Kris Michell | Downtown Partnership News

(Editor’s note: This edition of Downtown Partnership News was written by Angela Wells.)

It’s a new year, and the Downtown San Diego Partnership has some new faces on its team. If you haven’t had a chance to meet them, be sure to swing by the office to say hello.

Katherine Johnston

Katherine Johnston is senior vice president of communications. She is originally from Northern California and holds a political science degree from UC San Diego, as well as a master’s degree from UCLA.

She recently joined the team after six years with the Office of the Mayor. She is a great athlete who once lost both of her front teeth while saving a goal in a high school soccer match.

Mari Katherine





Mari Katherine Urtasun, senior vice president of branding and CEP, is from a cattle ranch in Colorado. She came to San Diego to earn a degree from University of San Diego.

MK and her husband Tomas (and her dog Olive) live in North Park and love to cook family meals together. She will be leading the Partnership’s new digital strategy and Downtown branding campaign.

Alicia Kostick



Alicia Kostick, vice president of finance and administration, is the nicest military “brat” you’ll ever meet.

She has Midwest roots, but was thrilled to move to San Diego with her husband. Alicia enjoys riding her horse, hiking around Southern California, and snowboarding … in Japan. She manages and oversees the Partnership’s annual budget.

Ally Berenter





Ally Berenter is the public policy manager, helping the organization implement its robust policy agenda. A San Diego native, Ally left town to attend Washington University in St. Louis.

Upon graduation, she spent five years in Washington, D.C. as a congressional staffer where she gained valuable experience working with the federal government. Fun fact: Her all-time favorite travel destination is Israel, a country she visited with former Vice President Joe Biden.

Shelby Harrison

Shelby Harrison serves as the events and program manager, helping the Partnership put on some of our biggest events, including the Alonzo Awards, Yoga in the Park, and the annual Installation Dinner.

A native of Northern California, Shelby attended UC San Diego, where she recently graduated with a political science degree. She is the proud mother of a flat-faced kitten named after her favorite “Harry Potter” character: Dobby.

The Downtown San Diego Partnership is a nonprofit, member-based organization that serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. The Downtown Partnership represents more than 300 businesses and 11,000 property owners. To learn more about the Downtown Partnership, visit

 —Kris Michell is the president and CEO of the Downtown San Diego Partnership, a nonprofit, member-based organization that oversees the Clean & Safe program and serves as the leading advocate for the revitalization and economic health of Downtown. Angela Wells is media coordinator for the Downtown Partnership. Reach her at or 619-234-0201.

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