Meet the Staff
Biography for Tom Gehring, CEO/Executive Director of the San Diego County Medical Society
Tom Gehring was born in Cologne, Germany in 1953, and lived in Germany and France until he came to the United States in 1960. In 1975, he graduated from Rice University with a double major in Electrical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He was commissioned an officer in the United States Navy in 1976, immediately after receiving his Masters in Electrical Engineering.
Following two years of training, he served at sea for 18 years on four nuclear-powered attack submarines, two afloat staffs, and a large surface ship. In his last at-sea tour, he implemented a number of quality and strategic improvements on a very large afloat industrial facility. In the final tour of a 22-year Navy career, he was the leader of the Pacific Fleet’s Quality Improvement Team.
After retiring from active duty in 1998, he joined Booz∙Allen∙Hamilton as a senior strategic consultant, working at the boardroom level with a number of high technology military organizations.
In 2000 and 2001, he was the pro bono lead consultant for the California Medical Association’s Re-engineering Task Force, a two-year project that produced revolutionary changes at one of the largest state medical associations in the United States.
He joined the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in September of 2001 as the chief executive officer (CEO). Under his leadership, SDCMS has been recognized as one of the most innovative medical societies in the United States, where physician membership, the critical measure of organizational health, has steadily grown to where SDCMS is the largest county medical society in California. He is deeply involved with healthcare policy and legislation at the county, state, and federal levels.
He is also CEO of SDCMS’ 501.c.3 Foundation, which has brought in $2.6 million in grants and whose flagship program, Project Access San Diego, has engineered the delivery of over $6 million in free care by local physicians to San Diegans without health insurance.
He served as chair of his statewide professional association, the California Medical Executive Committee, for two years.
Tom is the immediate past board chairman of the San Diego / Imperial Counties Chapter of the American Red Cross, and led the recent search for the new CEO of the Red Cross.
He is a member of San Diego’s Downtown Rotary Club, where he has chaired the “Rotarians at Work” committee, and serves on the Public Policy, Legislative / Small Business, and Health Care committees of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Tom is fluent in German and French.
He lives in Point Loma with his wife of 30 years, Catherine D. Moore, MD, and their 15-year-old son, Ted.
James Beaubeaux arrived to San Diego as a young military dependent.
His passion for business began early. As a child-entrepreneur, his hobby of painting slot cars turned into a solid business. In the late '60s, “Jimbos” painted slot cars were in high demand at all of the local raceways. By thirteen years old, he managed the operations of the Armed Services YMCA slot car raceway in downtown San Diego.
A high-school fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy launched James on his lifelong path of community service. He was president of his high school’s Key Club, which collaborated with the local Kiwanis Club to provide volunteer services to the community. His academic and leadership merits awarded him a place at Boy’s State California, representing his community in a nationwide program to prepare young men for leadership. In his graduating year at Sweetwater High School, he was recognized by the California Scholarship Federation and awarded “Lifetime Seal Bearer” for high standards in scholarship and community service. When voting rights opened to 18 year olds, the mayor of National City appointed James to head up the “Teen Focused Campaign” for Kyle Morgan’s successful 1974 re-election.
At 18 years of age, James was running another full-time business. While taking classes at San Diego State University, he worked as a professional entertainer, and designed, built, and marketed his own magic show. Throughout the 1970s, he was widely known as San Diego’s foremost magician, and frequently volunteered performances for hospitalized children and for the developmentally disabled in facilities such as Home of Guiding Hands. In the mid-'70s, he performed close-up magic at Love’s Wood Pit BBQ. The San Diego chain of five family restaurants featured James as their official spokesperson for their televised advertising campaign. During that time and into the late '70s, James presented, every year, more than 500 assemblies for over 100,000 students in more than 250 San Diego City and County elementary schools. Every September he emerged with an entirely new magic show centered around educational themes in American history, math, cultural diversity, reading, and music appreciation. Strangers often ask him, “Haven’t we met before?” A 1977 Channel 8 television news clip about him can be found at YouTube - KFMB TV 1977.
In 1978 James acquired a small bookstore in Lemon Grove. With dedication to customer service, targeted advertising, and precision financial oversight, annual sales increased more than 2,000% before he negotiated a merger with a national mail-order business in 1995.
In 1989, Lamb’s Players Theatre asked James to volunteer for the board of directors, and for the next 15 years he served as their financial advisor. By 1992 he joined the staff as business manager before becoming the CFO and administrative director in 1995, holding that position until his departure in 2005. James took the organization from a budget of $500,000 to $4.5 million and increased staff from 10 to 50+ employees, earning Lamb’s Players Theatre a position in the top three professional theatres in San Diego. He systemized financial processes, allowing for rapid growth while maintaining a solid fiscal position. In 1994, he served on the development team that raised $2.5 million dollars for the new theatre, and supervised the restoration of the 1917 historic Spreckels building, transforming it into a state-of-the-art live performance space. Then, as architect, designer, and general contractor, he restored the three-story, 1898 Thomson House into the new Lamb’s Players headquarters. James’ work was featured in San Diego Magazine in 2000.
Seven years ago (2005), James joined the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) team as CFO / COO. Recognized by the California Medical Association as one of the fastest growing medical societies in the United States, SDCMS is also the second largest medical society in California. He serves on SDCMS' GERM Commission (Group to Eradicate Resistant Microorganisms) that monitors infectious diseases in San Diego, and SDCMS' EMOC (Emergency Medicine Oversight Commission), which brings together all of San Diego County’s hospital emergency departments to discuss best practices and collaboration among the various health systems.
Since 2005, James has volunteered with CHIP (Community Health Improvement Partners) and continues his enthusiasm for their mission to assess and address community priority health needs through collaboration. CHIP is one of San Diego County’s most respected health-related nonprofits with active partners from every facet of San Diego’s healthcare community. His volunteer involvement with CHIP includes serving on the board of directors since 2011; chair of the Executive Partners Committee since 2011; member of the Steering Committee for seven years, and chair in 2010–11; founding champion and co-chair of the San Diego Childhood Obesity Initiative’s Healthcare Domain since 2006; member of the San Diego Community Health Needs Assessment Committee in 2007–08, as well as co-chair in 2010–11; member of the Public Policy Committee since 2008; and member of the Fund Development Committee in 2012. In 2010, James was awarded the “Outstanding Community Partner Recognition” for “exceptional contribution and commitment to CHIP and its mission.”
James’ interest in mental health led him to volunteer as the board of director’s treasurer and CFO for MHA (Mental Health America San Diego). MHA is a nonprofit organization founded in 1942 and is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders, and achieving victory over mental illnesses through advocacy, education, research, and service. He has served on the board of directors, Executive Committee, and Finance Committee since 2010 and chaired the Executive Director Search Committee in 2011. James volunteers for MHA because they address vulnerabilities within the mental health community in San Diego. One of MHA’s major programs, “Breaking Down Barriers,” attempts to increase access to mental health services and to guide persons with severe mental illness in underserved or unserved populations to overcome cultural barriers to mental health assistance.
Working with the San Diego County government since 2006, James volunteers on the Health Services Advisory Board, a charter to inform the County Board of Supervisors on healthcare issues. He is also active on the Healthy San Diego Advisory Board overseeing the County’s 200,000 managed Medi-Cal patients. In recent years he has served on the Health Advisory Committee on Threats; Health Resources and Services Administration Steering Committee; San Diego County Safety Net Funding Committee; and the Long-Term Care Integration Project.
James volunteered on the 211 Steering / Coalition Committee from 2006 to 2009 and currently advises for the 211 Health Navigators Committee overseeing San Diego’s 211 new focus on healthcare resource management.
As a coalition member for San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage, James worked with the 18-month task force that published the “San Diego Roadmap to Coverage and Care” in 2011. He was invited in 2012 to join the Audit Committee for the board of directors of the Alliance Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit that plays a critical role in the San Diego community by supporting programs that improve access to care for the region’s underserved through grants totaling $2–3 million each year.
In 1975, James married his childhood sweetheart, Carmen Perry. They are preparing to celebrate their 37th wedding anniversary in 2012. In 1991, they adopted a two-year-old child with special needs from the County of San Diego foster system. Their son now serves his country as a U.S. Navy corpsman practicing in family medicine. James has a bachelors of arts in industrial technology from San Diego State University and a masters of science in information technology management from Coleman University. He graduated summa cum laude and was valedictorian of his graduating master's class.
Contact Marisol should you have questions about your SDCMS membership status or dues, if you need to change or update your contact information, or if you need assistance with any political, legal, or economic advocacy issue you’re facing.
Contact Brian should you have questions about joining SDCMS or if you would like to learn more about the benefits of your membership.
Potential vendors are also encouraged to contact Brian to discuss the process of becoming an endorsed partner.
Contact Brandon should you have questions about your SDCMS membership status or dues, including questions regarding billing and accounting of your dues, or if you would like information about the benefits available to you as an SDCMS-CMA member. Brandon, as well, coordinates the distribution of our communications with members and can easily help ensure your contact information is accurate and up to date.
Contact Jen should you have questions about SDCMS committees and leadership, CMA councils and committees, SDCMS events, or how you can become more involved with your San Diego County Medical Society.
Contact Kyle should you have questions about San Diego Physician magazine, SDCMS’ e-newsletter, website, or any other SDCMS communications vehicle. As well, contact Kyle should you like to be contacted by San Diego County media for your expertise in certain medical issues.