Cardiff resident takes over as board chair of Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter


For many corporations and businesses in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds, the first of July brings a new fiscal year and, in many cases, a changing of the guard at the board of directors level.

For the Alzheimer’s Association’s San Diego/Imperial Chapter, this year’s changing of the guard brings a true Renaissance man to the chairman’s position.

David Crean, Ph.D

David Crean, Ph.D
(J.T. MacMillan)

Cardiff resident David Crean, Ph.D, managing director at Objective Capital Partners, LLC, comes to the helm of the Association in the proverbial “interesting times” that many would welcome, and many would dread.

The global impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the economy and financial markets is having an impact on the Alzheimer’s Association and many others in the non-profit sector.

“Like other organizations, we are monitoring our revenue and ensuring donor dollars fuel important programs to support individuals and families impacted by Alzheimer’s and advance much-needed research,” Crean states.

When it comes to dollars, Crean knows what he’s talking about. With more than 25 years in mergers and acquisitions and as a financial advisory specialist with a core focus on the healthcare sector, he is well suited to the task at hand.

He serves on the boards of directors for Histogen, Inc. (Nasdaq), Talapo Therapeutics, California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) and the Altus Institue.

“I was attracted to the Alzheimer’s Association given their focus on policy, advocacy and research. My personal connection to the disorder is what motivates me to being involved and making a difference,” Crean says. “I am a caretaker. My father, who lives in Western New York, has cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s. I was attracted philosophically to the leadership of the Association and its executive director, Kathryn Croskrey, and its mission.”

Crean’s respect for the chapter extends well beyond its leadership.

“It’s an honor to work with the incredible staff and volunteers at the Alzheimer’s Association who I meet and interact with on a daily basis, as well as the caretakers and patients I see who are living with dementia. They are the real heroes. I’m here to help advocate for them and make a difference in the lives of others, and to witness the first surviving patient with Alzheimer’s.”

As far as the board is concerned, Crean raves about how gifted and passionate they are about the cause.

“I have the opportunity to work with many talented colleagues in helping to shape and frame the organization’s strategy to drive sustainability and effectiveness. Each board member is a key opinion leader in their respective disciplines and invest their limited time and resources in helping our management team drive for success.”

When not working or volunteering, Crean is passionate about living along the north coast of San Diego County.

“Living in the coastal community of Cardiff by the Sea is congruent with my family and my own passions of seeking a laid-back, friendly coastal community composed of natural beauty surrounded by beachgoers and a surfing culture,” Crean said. “Quality of life is important to me, whether it is where we choose to reside or how our family members are treated or experience life’s challenges.”

The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is three-fold: to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected, and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Alzheimer’s disease is prevalent in more than 5.8 million Americans, is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. (second in California and third in San Diego County), and kills more people than prostate cancer and breast cancer combined.

Crean’s goals as chair will be to strengthen research, advocacy and policy in serving the communities of San Diego and Imperial Counties, continue to attract and retain the best in class board members and volunteer talent to help drive the mission, and profess efforts for diversity and inclusion within the Association. To that end, his incoming vice chair, Dr. Rema Ramen of the Alzheimer’s Therapeutic Research Institute (ATRI), will be a powerful force who brings significant experience and respect to the board.

“I want to see more people from our diverse community involved at all levels, including at the board, especially as this disease affects a disproportionate percentage of Hispanics, African-Americans and women,” Crean said.

A passionate family man, he is a dedicated husband and father, married to Heidi for 14 years, who serves as chief marketing and experience officer for the YMCA of San Diego County, the largest Y organization in the United States. They have two children and love to travel as a family, also pursuing interests including cooking, cycling and photography.

Crean hopes that everyone will find it in their heart to support the Alzheimer’s Association accomplish its goals, be it through their Walks to End Alzheimer’s,” “The Longest Day” (the Association’s “create your own” fundraiser based on the volunteer’s own hobbies and interests), or volunteering in any other capacity, as well as providing financial support that will help those who need it most critically. And of course, finding a cure.

Visit — Report by Douglas Friedman, Director of Communications, Alzheimer’s Association San Diego/Imperial Chapter