Steve Pontell – Founder of the La Jolla Institute
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Steve PonTell is CEO and President of National CORE, one of the country’s premier non-profit developers of affordable and senior housing. Based in Rancho Cucamonga, California with operations across four states. National CORE is recognized as an expert in community development as well as creating forward thinking organizations designed to maximize evolving market environments.
Early Life and Education
He has long been recognized as an authority on community development and creating innovative organizations capable of meeting new challenges. Additionally, he was responsible for founding La Jolla Institute which assists forward-thinking communities and corporations take full advantage of changing market environments. He has worked as President & Director at UCI since 2000.
Ponell earned his Bachelor’s in City and Regional Planning at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo and Master of Business Administration from Claremont Graduate University’s Drucker School of Management. Additionally, he has written several books and numerous articles related to deviance and social control, white collar crime, corporate fraud punishment and capacity issues in criminal justice systems.
He is an esteemed leader in affordable housing and community transformation projects, having presented at various national and international symposiums.
Steve PonTell has spent 26 years at National Community Renaissance, one of the nation’s largest affordable housing developers based out of Rancho Cucamonga. Additionally, he founded and is now leading La Jolla Institute as a nationally recognized expert on community development. Additionally, he holds both an undergraduate degree from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo’s City & Regional Planning program as well as an executive master of business administration from Claremont Graduate University Drucker School of Management.
He has built in every county in Southern California except Ventura, where he finds it too insular and protectionist for him to do business. Today he and other business leaders in Ventura will gather to discuss how to bridge the digital divide, which affects those without access to broadband internet due to lack of devices, income or skills.
Achievement and Honors
Steve hails from a Navy family, yet has made his own mark as an entrepreneur, business executive and policy expert over decades. He has spearheaded multiple business enterprises while holding several public/private leadership roles including CEO of Inland Empire Economic Council, Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Big Bear Chamber of Commerce. Furthermore, Steve founded La Jolla Institute, a non-profit think tank dedicated to policy research and education.
He is passionate about building vibrant communities while respecting the needs of its residents and understanding key components needed for sustained economic competitiveness. He remains optimistic and dedicated to upholding the integrity of each community he creates.
He has organized regional and national symposiums on housing affordability and community revitalization, presented to both California Assembly and Congress members and published multiple books, most notably Profit Without Honor: White-Collar Crime and Looting of America (2020).
Steve is an internationally recognized expert on housing affordability and community revitalization. He has led regional, state and national symposiums and testified before Congress and the California Assembly about ways to combat our country’s housing crisis. Steve is committed to building vibrant communities that honor residents’ needs while simultaneously understanding which elements are required for lasting economic competitiveness.
Robert is an active member of both the Redlands Chamber of Commerce and University of Redlands Town & Gown Trusteeship Boards. With his wife, they own a 1901 Fisk-designed house located in Redlands’ Historic District that they use to collect World’s Fair artifacts.
Mr. Verde also serves on the boards of directors for both the Inland Empire Economic Council and Ontario Chamber of Commerce, in addition to being principal at Verde, Steinberg & Pontell’s litigation department and senior member.
Steve Pontell is an acclaimed entrepreneur, business executive, and policy expert. He has led various entrepreneurial ventures as CEO of Inland Empire Economic Council, Ontario Chamber of Commerce and Big Bear Chamber of Commerce; furthermore he established La Jolla Institute; a nonpartisan think tank dedicated to policy research, education and economic development.
He is a national leader in affordable housing and community transformation, having led regional, state, and national symposiums and testified before Congress and California Assembly regarding solutions to address our nation’s housing crisis. A passionate optimist committed to maintaining integrity of communities he creates.
He currently heads National CORE, one of the largest affordable housing developers in the nation based out of Rancho Cucamonga in California.