Tanya Mannes Castaneda
Tanya was named California’s 2018 Communicator of the Year by California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). She holds the Accreditation in Public Relations credential. Tanya has developed strategic communications plans for clients ranging from nonprofits such as Girl Scouts San Diego and California Schools’ Voluntary Employee Benefits Association to government clients including San Diego Unified School District to development clients including Gafcon and the Seaport San Diego redevelopment.
Tanya served as chief spokesperson for the Port of San Diego for six years. Tanya managed the Port’s strategic communications program, including the website, branded social media accounts, speakers bureau and news releases, and responded to nearly 800 media inquiries per year. During Tanya’s tenure, the Port ranked No. 1 among maritime ports worldwide in Facebook and Twitter followers, and its social media policy was recognized as a national model for governments.
Tanya developed the Port’s Crisis Communications Plan in a nine-month process from 2017-2018. She led the widely praised crisis communications response to an international cyberattack in September 2018, resulting in the agency receiving the 2019 CAPIO Crisis Communications Award. An experienced and seasoned crisis communications manager, Tanya has completed Federal Emergency Management Agency training programs and has participated in regional drills focused on marine and aviation security, terrorism, medical epidemics and environmental disasters and has presented on crisis communications at the San Diego County Regional Public Information Officers Quarterly Meeting. She is a graduate of the Citizens Water Academy of the San Diego County Water Authority. In 2019, Tanya presented a session on Crisis Communications in a Cyberattack at 2019 CAPIO Conference in Newport Beach, Calif. She also participated in a panel discussion on Crisis Communications as part of the 2019 Association of Corporate Counsel/Procopio Cyber Series.
Tanya’s community outreach campaigns and strategic communications programs received awards in 2017 and 2018 from the American Association of Port Authorities, the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the California Association of Public Information Officials and the Public Relations Society of America San Diego-Imperial Counties. This year, Tanya was elected Vice Chair of the Chula Vista Democratic Club.
Before embarking on her public relations career, Tanya built a name in the media industry. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she reported for newspapers including The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Boston Globe and the Virgin Islands Daily News, along with on-camera work for affiliated broadcast news stations. She attended the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute of the Society of Professional Journalists.