Stories for June 2011

Wednesday, June 29

San Fernando Valley Business Journal Receives AABP Award

The San Fernando Valley Business Journal won a bronze award for best overall design in the small tabloids category from the Alliance of Area Business Publications.

National Technical Using $14 Million in Financing for Acquisitions

Engineering services firm National Technical Systems received $14 million in funding from a private equity firm.

Tuesday, June 28

Ixia Acquiring Smart Device Testing Firm

Network testing firm Ixia has signed an agreement to acquire a company that does testing for Wi-Fi enabled devices in a move to capture more of that fast-growing market.

Friday, June 24

Image Secures $17.5 Million in Credit

Image Entertainment Inc. has received up to a $17.5 million line of credit from PNC Bank, N.A.

Thursday, June 23

New Chief Executive Named for Camera Maker

John Suh has been promoted to CEO and president of Panavision, the venerable camera and lens manufacturer for the entertainment industry.

Tuesday, June 21

Income Up for AeroVironment

AeroVironment Inc. increased its net income by 25 percent in the fourth quarter when compared to the same period a year ago.

Monday, June 20

IHOP to Expand to the Middle East

IHOP Franchise Company LLC has signed a multi-restaurant franchise agreement for the development of 40 new IHOP restaurants in several countries in the Middle East.

U.S. Supreme Court OKs Class Action Waivers in Arbitration

LAW: Landmark ruling may apply to companies who enter into employment arbitration.

Supreme Court approves class action waivers. EMPLOYMENT LAW Column by Richard Rosenberg.

Real Estate Leader Volunteers to Help Orphans in Uganda

Support: Lee & Associates professional helps to care for children in need of health care.

GIVING: Lee & Associates professional volunteers in Uganda

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SoCal CDC Increases Small Business Loan Offerings

SoCal CDC receives U.S. SBA certification

THE LIST - Medical Device Makers

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

Largest medical device makers, Ranked by number of employees in the greater San Fernando Valley. Includes the 2011 SFV'S MEDICAL DEVICE MAKERS list for download (pdf)

Area Medical Device Makers Craft Innovative Products

Health: Companies develop products to advance health care.

Recently released products by local medical device companies. Includes the 2011 SFV'S MEDICAL DEVICE MAKERS list for download (pdf)

Therapy Institute Training Site Moves to Larger Space

Growth: Massage training students benefit from proximity to health-focused community.

Massage and physical therapy institute moves to a larger building

Membership Growth Spurs New Credit Union Branch

Money: Valley institutions benefit from consumers tired of national banks and their fees.

All Valley Federal Credit Union opens new branch. Banking & Finance Column by Mark Madler

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Real Estate Firm Offers Investment Planning, Services

Investments: Company offers shopping center clients advice on how to grow assets.

illi Commercial Real Estate starts investment division

AROUND THE VALLEYS

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

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Maintenance to Management

Moss & Company Partner Cindy Gray climbed the corporate ladder and shares her view on the real estate market.

Cindy Gray of property management firm Moss & Company.

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Hopeful Entrepreneurs Make ‘Pitch’ to Investor Panel

Funding: Lancaster hosts program to match business plans and deep-pocketed investors.

Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to angel investors in Lancaster

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Video Monitoring Firm Locks Down Future Expansion

Growth: Virtual Guard Inc. relocates, plans to hire 24 new people in the next two years.

Virtual Guard relocates to larger space in Chatsworth to support its growth.

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India’s Flavor Expands to Offer Cultural Entertainment

restaurant: Glendale restaurant seeks to draw crowds with Indian movies, live music.

India’s Flavor opens new Glendale location offering entertainment

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Live Response

Operators at Elite Merchant Solutions help customers dial into solutions to their credit card processing snafus.

Van Nuys-based Elite Merchant Solutions, a credit card processing firm.

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Buying Spree Helps Tutor Perini Grow, Build Business

Real estate: Company’s strategy is to ‘expand our reach geographically,’ CFO says.

Tutor Perini Corp. acquires various construction companies

In-flight Service Provider Lands Engineering Partner

Tech: Westlake Village-based Row 44 expects to announce new airline agreement this year.

Collaboration: In-flight firm Row 44 Inc. lands partner

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Colorful Changes

Beauty: Nail salon counters industry’s cheapened image with glamorous amenities such as cocktails and free Wi-Fi.

The Painted Nail is hoping to wow guests by using a reality show, a mobile salon and other amenities.

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In Perfect Harmony

Venture capitalists, angel investors provide funds for Music Mastermind.

Entertainment technology company Music Mastermind received $10.8 million in financing from private investors

K-Swiss in Deal with Gym Chain

Life Time Fitness will develop apparel line with shoe company.

K-Swiss will serve as the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for Life Time Fitness.

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Hoop Stars Play in All Dimensions

Cameron-Pace Group cameras broadcast NBA Finals in 3D.

Cameron-Pace Group broadcast the NBA Finals games in 3D in the U.S. and globally

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Retail Sales Rise, Mall Stores Hire

RETAIL: Sales are expected to beat last year’s figures, malls say.

Retailers at area malls are expecting higher sales this year, which could lead to more hiring.

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New Health Bill Pinches Insurers

REGULATION: State regulators seek control over health insurance rate hikes.

Insurance carriers and regulators are facing off over proposed health care insurance legislation.

Games Need Hype to Stay Alive

MARKETING: Studios aim to ignite buzz early, keep fueling it.

Life after E3 sees gaming companies marketing products through a variety of channels.

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Studios Play for Winning Titles, Glory

GAMING: Companies battle for development opportunities.

Area game studios develop video games for new consoles with millions at stake. Industry competition is stiff.

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Bank’s Name Change Brings Boston to the Valley

Finance: First Private Bank & Trust takes on moniker of Boston-based holding company.

First Private Bank & Trust in Encino changes name to Boston Private Bank & Trust.

VALLEY BIZ SEEN June 20, 2011

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

Closing prices as of June 15, 2011

Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies.

Film Industry Adjusts to Viewing Habits

FROM THE NEWSROOM

Layoffs hit studios. Commentary by Editor Jaclyn Giovis

On the Road to the End of the World

Kaleidoscope: Our Changing Valley

405 closure won’t be pretty. Column by Martin M. Cooper

Proposed Tax Bill Signals Rate Increases, Threatens Recovery

VICA LOCAL UPDATE

Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks.kk

Friday, June 17

Battery Maker Chooses Syspro for Software

Battery manufacturer ZPower LLC has chosen software from Syspro to supports its operations making rechargeable, silver-zinc batteries.

Thursday, June 16

Palmdale Power Plant Clears Hurdle

A committee of the California Energy Commission recommended approval for a natural gas and solar thermal power plant built by the City of Palmdale.

Tuesday, June 14

ReachLocal Adds Offices

ReachLocal will open four new sales offices, which brings the total to 54 offices for the local online marketing solutions firm.

Warner Bros. Selects Cinedigm For Distribution Services

Warner Bros. Entertainment will use software developed by Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp. to manage theatrical distribution in domestic markets.

Dole Refinances Debt

Dole Food Company plans to refinance its existing senior secured credit facilities in order to create more operating flexibility.

Friday, June 10

Cherokee’s First Quarter Earnings Rise

Brand management company Cherokee Inc. had higher earnings for its 2012 fiscal first quarter even though revenues were down.

Monday, June 6

Steps for Representing Business Before Government

CAPITOL OFFENSES

Huffman Column: Tips to represent business before government

VALLEY BIZ SEEN June 6, 2011

Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.

THE LIST: Alternative Energy Providers

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY / THE PACESETTER

ABOUT THE LIST: Top 20 Alternative Energy companies Includes the 2011 SFV'S ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROVIDERS list for download (pdf), Ranked by number of greater Valley employees.

Small Firms Work to Survive, Thrive in Valley Solar Business

STRATEGY: Solar companies find ways to power through the challenges facing their industry.

GOING GREEN: Valley Businesses Leading The Way. Small solar companies in the Valley face challenges.

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Delivering Goods

Online Shoppers Count on International Checkout for Overseas Shipping

ENTREPRENEUR: International Checkout serves online shoppers overseas.

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Wind Brings Jobs to Valley

Employment: Tehachapi wind projects create demand for skilled technicians, support.

Wind farms are creating thousands of jobs as new projects get approved in the Tehachapi Pass.

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New Editor Strives for a Page Turner

FROM THE NEWSROOM

Giovis Column: Making the Business Journal a page turner

DONE DEALS - June 2011

Real Estate Transactions during the period of May 25 to June 25

AROUND THE VALLEYS

Frugal Festival Gives Pointers in Cheap Eats

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

Historic Elks Lodge Building Listed for $2.85 million

On Sale: Historical Valley Elks Lodge on the market

Real Estate Column: Historical Elks Lodge building for sale.

Largest Green Companies Range in Size, Focus

Energy: Local companies are diversified in their use of green technology

GOING GREEN: Valley Businesses Leading The Way. Top companies on this year’s alternative energy list discuss growth. Includes the 2011 SFV'S ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PROVIDERS list for download (pdf), Ranked by number of greater Valley employees

$100 million IPO May Help Ceres Seed New Growth

Crops: Analysts say seed maker’s technology could spur revenue growth, biofuels market.

GOING GREEN: Valley Businesses Leading The Way. Seed maker Ceres filed plans in late May to go public.

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Solar Companies Show Patience as Opportunities Rise

ENERGY: Solar industry could take decades to catch on, but firms remain committed.

GOING GREEN: Valley Businesses Leading The Way. Major solar companies in the Valley are optimistic that the solar industry is growing, albeit slowly.

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Students Receive Guidance on Future Medical Careers

Health: Doctors bring Hippocrates Circle program to Pacoima middle school.

Giving: Doctors visit with middle school students.

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Hospital Boosts Competitive Edge with Improvements

HEALTH: Antelope Valley Hospital adding cath labs and 15-bed cardiocvascular center.

Health Care column: Antelope Valley Hospital upgrading facilities to be more competitive

CW Network Channels Social Media to Hook Viewers

Gadgets: New season introduces shopping app and bingo-style interactive game.

The CW network using social media to reel in viewers of its shows

Sun Rises on Lancaster, Taiwanese Firm Partnership

Energy: City provides land to US Topco Energy for solar farm, hopes to cash in.

City of Lancaster partners with Taiwanese solar company.

New Projects May Lift Prospects at Van Nuys Airport

AIRPORT: Officials hope to ramp up flight activity this year.

Van Nuys Airport officials and tenants are optimistic activity will pick up.

Media Reseller Finds New Wares

DVA Inc. in Burbank sells CDs, DVDs, electronics --- even your mother’s cookware.

Ryan Kugler, co-owner of entertainment media liquidation company DVA Inc.

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Woodbury University to Offer New Digital Media Program

Learning: Entertainment companies partner with school to give students hands-on training.

University offers degrees for the entertainment industry.

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Pratt & Whitney Cutting Positions

Space: End of Shuttle flights reason for layoffs in the Valley.

Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will lay off 150 employees at its San Fernando Valley facilities largely due to the Space Shuttle program ending this summer.

Valley Economic Development Center Expands to Pasadena

growth: Organization says expansion will not hinder efforts to help companies in the Valley.

The Valley Economic Development Center acquires Pasadena Development Corp.

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Ashley Furniture to Open New Showroom in Santa Clarita

Cluster: Location chosen for proximity to big-box retailers and other furniture stores.

Ashley Furniture opening a new store in Santa Clarita.

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Lighting Company Sees Clear Path for Selling Bulbs

Investors: Venture capital firms invest $15 million to help company produce bright lights.

Topanga Technologies using $15 million in venture capital to bring its first product to market.

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Will NASA Site Find New Life?

REDEVELOPMENT: Palmdale hopes to attract tenants to Site 9.

NASA Dryden Flight Research Center not yet an economic development magnet at Site 9 in Palmdale.

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Cancer Drug Helps Amgen

BIOTECHNOLOGY: Drug trial breakthrough may boost revenues.

Company has a major breakthrough with prostate cancer drug XGEVA.

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Medtronic Cuts 468 Local Jobs

MEDICAL: Company aims to save money through restructuring.

Medtronic is laying off 468 employees at its Northridge division.

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Powering Up

Alternative Energy Creates Buzz, Opportunity in the Valley

GOING GREEN: Valley Businesses Leading The Way

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Friday, June 3

Sporting Goods Retailer Makes Profit in Q4

Sport Chalet made fourth-quarter profit for the first time in years, with revenues largely boosted by an additional week in quarter.