“My entire career was devoted to bringing housing costs down,” Winckel said. “Despite my best efforts, the outcome was often a partial decrease in supply and an increase in costs, usually due to well-intended but misguided state regulations.
“I feel strongly that everyone should have access to a home, and San Diegans should have many more housing options to choose from than what the market supplies. I keep hoping that enough consensus can be reached to solve our housing crisis through more supply. This will take bold political leadership and compromise. If not, housing will remain a talking point, not an action item,” he continued.
The BIA represents nearly 800 companies that plan, design and build the places where San Diegans live, work and play. The association’s mission statement describes it as “the region’s voice on housing,” advocating for the building industry and attempting to influence decisions affecting the ability to build and develop in San Diego County.
Winckel spent the last dozen years as head of the BIA, taking over in 2008. Prior to that, he guided Riverside County as executive director of the Riverside County BIA, where he worked from 1996-2008.
His retirement will take effect mid-year. Until then, he will continue to lead the organization while working with the BIA board to find his replacement. A search committee has been formed and applications are being accepted.
Born in the Netherlands, Winckel arrived in the United States in 1977 following his family’s acquisition of property in Riverside County. Educated at Boston University with dual degrees in print journalism and public communication, Winckel initially joined Chase Manhattan Bank’s New York City head office as a press spokesman and speechwriter. Chase found him better suited for banking and placed him in its corporate finance credit training program on Wall Street. Thereafter, his mixed-use land development activities led him to the Riverside County BIA.
Winckel is a resident of San Juan Capistrano and is married to Kay Sutton-Nagel. The couple has three children, Emilie, Sophie and George Jr.