San Diego WTC: Q1 Global Competitiveness Council Virtual Meeting

On April 1st, as the world collectively battles a pandemic and the global economy faces some of the most significant disruptions in a generation, the San Diego World Trade Center continued in its leadership role in helping the Cali-Baja regional economy at the WTC San Diego: Q1 Global Competitiveness Council Virtual Meeting.

Alongside San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria and U.S. Congressman Scott Peters, the WTC presented key findings from their revised strategic plan to the Council and demonstrated that global trade and investment in the region remains healthy, is poised to increase, and has helped San Diego remain resilient in these uncertain times. The WTCSD proposes five key strategies for the San Diego region:

  1. Lead with the region’s most competitive industries and anticipate most growth and job creation will come from the region’s leading innovation–based industries.
  2. Leverage binational assets to attract foreign investment. Capture investment along the entire value chain in priority industries.
  3. Prioritize market access for small businesses. Small businesses create the most jobs but face higher barriers to internationalization.
  4. Invest in critical infrastructure that enables global commerce. Modernize, maintain and expand service through international ports of entry.
  5. Enhance San Diego’s global identity and reputation for innovation. 
  6. Deepen public-private partnerships focused on international activity.

With an outstanding speaker lineup including, Garry Ridge, Chairman of the Board & CEO, WD-40; Kathleen Lynch, Vice President, Global Government Affairs & Public Policy, Illumina; Maritza Diaz, CEO, ITJ; and Dr. Vivek Lall, Chief Executive, General Atomics Global, the Council meeting attendees were able to hear first-hand insights from executives of some of San Diego’s most prominent companies on how the COVID-19 “next-normal” has impacted their industries and what that means for global growth in the years ahead.

One important theme was how San Diego’s strategic location—just across the border of the fast-growing Mexican city Tijuana – presents a perfect opportunity to leverage binational assets to attract further foreign investment giving the  mega-region a tremendous boost as we begin to exit the pandemic crisis. In the words of Mayor Todd Gloria:

“San Diego is filled with world-class innovation and smart people solving global problems. Now is the time for our big, binational City to show up on the world stage to help us reach our goals faster” 

The Cali-Baja region can house the entire value chain for advanced industries—from corporate functions to R&D, to cost-effective production and distribution—all in just one time-zone, and within an hour’s drive. At a time of significant global supply chain disruption, the region can showcase its $2.5 billion cross-border supply chain, facilitate opportunities for binational expansion, and capture market-seeking investment along the entire value chain in priority industries.

On that note, Maritza Diaz, CEO of ITJ and a thought leader in the field of cross-border collaboration, highlighted the potential of the Cali-Baja region due to the growing digital transformation that the area is experimenting to overcome the challenges brought by COVID-19.

“[…] companies that were not digital-ready did not survive; that highlights the importance of software and digital talent. Within the Cali-Baja region, the pandemic accelerated the digital transformation. We see an opportunity for San Diego to leverage this talent now as the digital transformation is here and it’s now. I’m really excited about this unique opportunity and I know it will be leveraged for both sides of the border. We will be the Mega-region, we should be.”

The region’s competitive advantage is in professional, scientific, and technical services, like research and development, cybersecurity, and engineering and software. These industries also capture the highest concentration of foreign direct investment (FDI) via mergers and acquisitions and venture capital investment.

By the end of the Virtual Meeting, something was more than clear: San Diego’s economic evolution has demonstrated that global competitiveness and domestic resilience reinforce each other. There are good reasons for nations to turn inward and focus on domestic needs, and yet, if this year has taught us anything, it is that we are a global society that is inextricably connected. 

Read more about the WTC San Diego: Q1 Global Competitiveness Council Virtual Meeting 

Tijuana EDC

Tijuana EDC appoints Maritza Diaz, CEO of ITJ, to lead its Innovation and Emerging Sectors Commission

Tijuana, April 5, 2021 — Maritza Diaz CEO of ITJ, a technology services company based in San Diego that enables customers to create technology centers of excellence in Mexico, has been appointed by the Tijuana EDC as leader of its Innovation and Emerging Sectors Commission. The commission’s charter is to strengthen Mexico/US bi-national relationships and advance Baja California’s role as a major hub of digital innovation and technology development servicing the IT, Biotech, and related industries. 

The Tijuana EDC Committee asked Maritza to take on the leadership role based on her wealth of experience in engineering excellence, digital transformation, and building high-performing teams for the biotech industry. While aiding the Commission’s role of creating connections and understanding the industry’s current & future needs and inform and drive awareness of Baja California’s capabilities.

 “We are excited to be collaborating with Maritza, whose leadership and passion for driving economic growth in our area will be a tremendous help in guiding our actions, as we move forward with our vision to develop the community and transform the region”, said Patricia Hernandez, CEO of Tijuana Economic Development Corporation. 

Over the past seven years, Maritza has become an established thought leader in the field of cross-border collaboration for the software engineering industry between San Diego and Baja California. She is a member of the Forbes Technology Council and is a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she represents San Diego. 

As leader of the Innovation and Emerging Sectors Commission, Maritza will connect and collaborate with other respected industry leaders to share expert insights and help forge relationships between companies and suppliers across the Baja California/California megaregion.   

With a combined population of more than 7 million, the Cali-Baja region has the largest population concentration along the US-Mexico border. Thanks to its transnational culture and a well-educated talent pool, together with its unique cross-border collaboration experience in manufacturing, R&D, and IT/Software Development, Tijuana, Baja California, ranks very highly as a site for the location of global and bi-national business investment.

About Tijuana EDC

Tijuana EDC is the only IEDC-AEDO accredited professional Economic Development Organization in Mexico, working as an industrial concierge and government liaison that provides free of charge support to businesses seeking to expand their operations in Mexico. 

In the last 30 years, Tijuana EDC has successfully help establish over 250 FDI and innovative manufacturing projects in Tijuana, partnering with major corporations, including Fortune 500 listed companies, from all over the world in a variety of industries such as Medical Devices, Aerospace, Automotive and Electronics..

About ITJ

ITJ is devoted to serving fast-growing and high-value market sectors, particularly the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), working with innovative medical device companies looking to improve people’s lives. With a unique BOT (build, operate, and transfer) model that sources only the best digital talent available, ITJ enables companies in the US to create technology centers of excellence in Mexico. For more information, visit


ITJ Continues Expansion: The #1 Cali Baja Technology Services Company Welcomes Ever Portillo

At ITJ we are committed to helping drive the ever-growing Cali Baja technology industry, providing world-class digital engineering services to innovative companies in the San Diego mega-region and throughout the rest of the US. As part of that mission, we are very excited to announce that Ever Portillo has joined ITJ as a senior member of the team and new Site Lead for Software Engineering.

With over 20 years of experience in the IT sector, Ever has an impressive history of helping major companies — world leading life sciences service provider Thermo Fisher Scientific, global irrigation experts Rain Bird Corporation, and Mexican leader for customer interaction centers Telvista — bring their digital innovation to market. 

“Now, as part of ITJ, Ever’s wealth of experience significantly enhances our ability  to rapidly establish high performance nearshore engineering teams for our clients, as well as providing broader and more in-depth technology and architecture advice,” said Maritza Diaz, CEO of ITJ “Ever will also be responsible for the ITJ Trainee Program, mentoring our trainee engineers on industry best practices in software development, guiding their professional/technical skills development and supporting their career aspirations. The ITJ Trainee Program has over 60 top engineering students and is paving the way for the next generation of digital talent in Tijuana. With Ever at the helm, our trainees will be well placed to reach their full potential, further boosting the area’s economic expansion and recognition as a technology hub.” 

In Ever’s own words: It is a privilege to join the ITJ family; I am very proud of our mission to grow the Cali-Baja region through helping our clients build their Technology Centers of Excellence here in Tijuana and putting the area on a path to becoming the next Silicon Valley. 

We’re excited to have Ever join our team. Ever’s addition significantly enhances our ability to partner with enterprise organisations focused on digital innovation by providing them with world class Technology Centers of Excellence just a 4 mile drive from the San Diego border and a short hop away from the rest of the US.

About ITJ

ITJ is devoted to serving fast-growing and high-value market sectors, particularly the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), working with innovative medical device companies looking to improve people’s lives. With a unique BOT (build, operate, and transfer) model that sources only the best digital talent available, ITJ enables companies in the US to create technology centers of excellence in Mexico. For more information, visit