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About Louise Torio

After getting her B.A. from Rutgers College in New Brunswick in Communications and Art History and working as an account executive at major Manhattan advertising agencies for many years, Louise moved to San Diego with her husband Steve Veach, a graphic designer. Louise is a motivating preservationist and a lover of history who has inspired people throughout San Diego county to appreciate and restore value to their inner-city neighborhoods.

Through her business, Historic San Diego Marketing & Consulting, Louise uses her skills in newsletter writing, marketing, advertising, and docent training to organize exceptional community home tour events that have raised tens of thousands of dollars for local preservation organizations. Louise was honored in 2000 with a "40 Under 40 Making a Difference in San Diego" award from San Diego Metropolitan Magazine for her work in historic preservation throughout the region of San Diego. In 2003 she received the Award of Honor from the Congress of History for her contributions to the preservation and development of the history of San Diego.

THE HEARTHBEAT OF SHERMAN HEIGHTS

Louise makes the layers of history come alive for locals and visitors through her animated walking tours of the Sherman Heights Historic District and the historic Villa Montezuma Museum located in the District. She is also restoring her own two, side by side, 1887 Victorian homes. She has been a leader on the Sherman Heights/Grant Hill Revitalization Team and a member of the Southeastern San Diego Planning Group, where she promotes the use of preservation for neighborhood improvement and the adaptive reuse of older buildings. Louise currently serves as Chair of the Sherman Heights Neighborhood Cultural Council (SHNCC), a year-old pilot program to promote cultural heritage tourism. The SHNCC is organized under the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture and is a part of the National Trust's Living Traditions Cultural Heritage Tourism Initiative. Under Louise's leadership the council has produced exciting local events, including an expanded outdoor Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebration where local residents and professional artists created gorgeous altars and offerings to departed loved ones, each altar done at a local historic site. Hundreds of people attend the popular event. Her next project with the Cultural Council is a call for contemporary photographs of the people, places, and issues within the historic district for a book on Sherman Heights today.

COMMUNITY ACTIVISM AND ADVOCACY

As a Mills Act advocate Louise is a believer that this property tax reduction incentive can turn unpopular older housing stock into beautiful, desirable historic districts. She was instrumental in organizing the historic homeowners of Chula Vista and National City to successfully lobby for the adoption of the Mills Act. She has testified to the benefits of and the need for historic preservation before many city councils and other government groups, and has written articles on the Mills Act for San Diego Home/Garden Magazine as well as other publications. Louise has helped with varied historic preservation projects throughout the region and served for six years as board member of the Balboa Theatre Foundation to save the important theatre, which is now slated for restoration by CCDC. (She continues to serve on the Balboa Theatre Foundation Advisory Board.)


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