Stories for May 2011

Thursday, May 26

End of Shuttle Program Means Lay Offs at Engine Maker

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

K-Swiss to Develop Products for Fitness Company

Westlake Village-based K-Swiss will serve as the exclusive footwear and apparel provider for Life Time Fitness’ running-themed programs and events business, which is called Life Time Run.

Wednesday, May 25

Music Technology Firm Receives $10 Million Investment

Entertainment technology company Music Mastermind received $10.8 million in financing from private investors to develop and release a create-and-share music platform.

Tuesday, May 24

Airport Advisory Council Member Bob Jackson Passes Away

Bob Jackson, a former pilot and long-time member of the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council, died on May 21.

Monday, May 23


News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

We’re Getting Better – Not Just Older


Cooper column: Growing older doesn’t affect productivity

Construction Underway on Laemmle Theatre in NoHo

Develop: J.H. Snyder Co. donated land, provided loan to theater company to build.

Real Estate column: Construction starts on movie theaters in North Hollywood

Hospital Adds Executive Position for Service Excellence

MEDICAL: Valley Presbyterian taps former assistant CNO to monitor patient satisfaction.

Healthcare Column: Valley Presbyterian Hospital hires new executive to monitor patient satisfaction.

CFOs Who Are Changing Their Companies

The Valley’s Top Chief Financial Officers

New Assignments Puts Jones Lang LaSalle at Top of List

Numbers: Other changes in rankings as management firms add or lose retail, office space.

How property management firms rank based on square feet. Includes the 2011 SFV's LARGEST COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRMS list for download (pdf)

The List: Property Management Firms


ABOUT THE LIST: Largest Property Management Firms ranked by office and retail square footage in the greater San Fernando Valley. Includes the 2011 SFV's LARGEST COMMERCIAL PROPERTY MANAGEMENT FIRMS list for download (pdf)

New Law Firm Focuses on Flexibility, Client Service

Legal: Law partners leave Oxnard firm, start employment law practice in Camarillo.

New law firm opens in Camarillo.

THE LIST: Largest Leased Office Space


About the List: Largest Leased Offices Space, ranked by total square footage. Includes the 2011 SFV'S LARGEST LEASED OFFICE SPACE list for download (pdf)

Nestle, Entertainment Companies Top Lessees in Valley

Location: Burbank leads the Valley area with greatest number of largest leased offices.

A look at the largest leased office space in the greater Valley area. Includes the 2011 SFV'S LARGEST LEASED OFFICE SPACE list for download (pdf)

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SeamBI Providing a New Way to See Television Ads

Placement: Use of digital technology can create billboards, offer companies more flexibility.

SeamBI in Sherman Oaks creates new way to see ads on TV. Advertising & Marketing Column by Mark Madler

Real Estate Brokerage Firm Expands

Invest: San Fernando Valley stands as a market of its own for BRC Advisors team.

BRC Advisor, a commercial real estate brokerage, opens office in Encino.

Taming the Curls

Hair Care Company Fills Gap for Bi-Racial Consumers

ENTREPRENEUR: Hair products manufacturer Mixed Chicks in Canoga Park.

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Northrop Lays Off 71 Workers at Woodland Hills Facility

DEFENSE: Government contract work dropping off.

Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems in Woodland Hills lays off 71 workers as contract delays and cancellations reduce the amount of work.


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

Last Thoughts as Editor Exits the Newsroom

Schaff Column: Editor Jason Schaff gives final thoughts on the Valley.

County Fee Hikes for Businesses are Excessive


Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks. New L.A. County fees would be excessive toward business.

Sexy Hair, New Hope

CHANGE: Investors rescue bankrupt hair care company.

Sexy Hair Concepts acquired by an investment firm and emerges from bankruptcy.

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Beyond Math

The business program at Cal State Channel Islands aims to give students an education with a multi-disciplinary approach. The school also has a business program for addressing social issues.

PROFILE: Will Cordeiro & Andrea Grove of the Martin School of Business & Economics at Cal State Channel Islands.

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Reality TV Link Boosts Firm

MARKETING: ‘Flipping Out’ star helping Caesarstone ads.

Caesarstone partners with TV reality star Jeff Lewis.

New Freelancer Work Hub Attracts Regional Interest

OFFICES: Company may franchise business concept.

Owners of cooperative workspace considering franchising.

Performer Health Issues Heat Up in the Adult Industry

Regulate: Trade group starts new testing program to replace shuttered health clinic.

Adult performer health services issues heat up as city and state officials consider new regulations.

Video Conferencing Provider Opens Office Abroad

TECH: Location is expected to ‘springboard’ international growth for company, CEO says.

Providea Conferencing LLC opens its first office outside the U.S.

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Westwind Campus Project Creates Mini Media District

Build: Redevelopment area to get boost from $500,000 investment to improve buildings.

WESTWIND: Post-production house Weswind Media creates media district.

New Editor Takes Helm at Business Journal

MEDIA: Giovis replaces Schaff in heading up newsroom operations.

Jaclyn Giovis is named editor of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

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Chase Adding Small Business Bankers in Local Expansion

FINANCIAL: Company says move is designed to help more small businesses recover.

Chase bank adds bankers to the area as it ramps up small business lending.

Company Explores ‘Galaxy’ Abroad

GLOBAL: Opportunity draws design firms to Asia, Middle-East

The Goddard group of North Hollywood designed Galaxy World Macau, a $1.9 billion mega-resort that opened in China this month.

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Boeing Employees Help Fund Poppy Festival Display

Support: Donation enables Lancaster festival to teach youth about animals and nature.

This is a regular feature on philanthropic activities by Valley-area businesspeople and companies.

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Firm Builds Space for Future Tenants

REAL ESTATE: Owners take a risk, develop project on speculation.

Santa Clarita’s first speculative industrial project in three years is underway.

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Wednesday, May 18

Caruso, Boingo in Wi-Fi Agreement

Shoppers at The Americana at Brand will have access to a Wi-Fi connection starting in June.

More Grant Money for Quallion Production Line

Quallion LLC received an additional $5.8 million grant from the California Energy Commission to develop an automated manufacturing line for battery components.

Tuesday, May 17

Net Loss for Trio-Tech in Q3

Lower sales to a major customer contributed to Trio-Tech International reporting a net loss for the third quarter when compared to the same period last year.

Monday, May 16

Software Firm in Line for Business Award

BlackLine Systems was named a finalist for the 2011 American Business Awards.

Thursday, May 12

Industry Groups Oppose Insurance Rate Review Bill

Industry and economic groups say giving California insurance regulators authority to deny rate increases deemed excessive is unnecessary and would jeopardize the quality of health care.

HemaCare Corporation Widens Losses For First Quarter

Trouble with HemaCare Corporation’s blood services division led to company to have a greater financial loss in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

Wednesday, May 11

Tix Board Turns Down Buy Out Offer

The board of directors of discount ticket seller Tix Corp. rejected an offer by shareholder Baker Street Capital to purchase outstanding shares in the company.

Insurance Commissioner Speaks About Premium Rate Increase Issues

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones told local insurance professionals he has been monitoring the state’s largest health insurers and hopes to soon have the power to reject excessive rate hikes.

Tuesday, May 10

Disney Income Dips in Q1

Poor box office results made the studio entertainment division of The Walt Disney Co. the sole division to have a drop in revenue in the second quarter when compared to a year ago.

Lower Net Loss in Q2 for Vitesse

Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. narrowed its net loss in the second quarter when compared to a year ago.

MannKind Corporation Narrows Q1 Loss

MannKind Corporation slightly lowered its financial losses for the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period a year ago.

Northrop Receives B-2 Antenna Contract

Northrop Grumman Corp. is developing a new satellite-based antenna system for the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber.

IHOP Starts Making Frozen Breakfast Food Products

IHOP has entered into an agreement to produce and distribute retail frozen breakfast items inspired by the Glendale-based restaurant chain.

Teledyne Subsidiary Received Weapons System Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $9 million contract for a weapon system for U.S. Navy combat ships.

Monday, May 9

Ryland Fighting to Shift Course

HOUSING: CEO’s strategy hinges on building homes, cutting costs.

Ryland Group Inc. is lagging behind other homebuilders in a challenging housing market. CEO Larry Nicholson tries new tactics to improve performance.

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Court Dramatically Expands Illegal Retaliation Concept

WORKPLACE: Decisions make it easier for employees to sue their companies.

EMPLOYMENT LAW Column by Richard Rosenberg

Brokers Boost Customer Service through Technology

INNOVATION: Companies say digital systems save time and money for their clients.

TECH: Insurance brokerage firms increase efficiency and save money with system upgrades. Clients are benefiting from the digital improvements, too.

Brokers Gain Edge, Help Clients Through Partnerships

alliances: Companies align with professionals who offer customers added services.

PARTNERSHIPS: Insurance brokerage firms are partnering with other service providers to refer business and help clients.

Premium Perks


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Largest Insurance Brokers Register Boost in Premiums

ACTIVITY: Some companies also undergoing changes in structure, adding divisions.

ABOUT THE LIST: The major players in the insurance brokerage business: who’s doing what in the industry? Includes the 2011 SFV'S LARGEST INSURANCE BROKERS list for download (pdf)

Sampling Success

uSamp founders Matthew Dusig and Gregg Lavin are testing the mobile research market.

ENTREPRENEURS: Time and technology has finally caught up with Matthew Dusig and Gregg Lavin, the co-founders of uSamp

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News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley area

Van Nuys Airport Group Donates to Children’s Hospital

PHILANTHROPY: Gifts taken by helicopter used in transporting patients.

Giving: Martin Cooper donates profits from book sales to non-profits.

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

Where Is The Advocacy in Business Groups?


Commentary by Brendan Huffman

Firm Adds Offices as Medical Records Business Grows

HEALTH CARE: Facilities meet company’s needs as it expands business nationally.

Medical technology company expands with new offices in two cities and grows in another location.

As Film Industry Changes, Firm Tries to Reinvent Itself

PRODUCTS: Digital era forces company to market its expertise to other industries.

Manufacturer of entertainment industry equipment reinvents itself in the digital age.

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Health Plans Use Social Media To Get Closer to Customers

MARKETING: Carriers hope to give more of a personal touch amid negative publicity.

CARRIERS: Carriers are using social media and online forums to answer clients’ insurance questions.

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Construction to Resume on Retail Project

SHOPPING: Long-planned development was stalled by economic downturn.

BUILD: A proposed retail development in Camarillo is finally attracting tenants and nearing construction.

Berzack Group Goes Under Lee & Associates Umbrella

BROKERS: Multi-family investments veteran to bring his team with him in move.

REAL ESTATE Column by Mary Catherine Holcomb

Klassen Corp. Building its Future in Santa Clarita Valley

DEVELOP: Company opens a new office in region where it has logged much activity.

Klassen Corp. of Bakersfield opens a Santa Clarita office to be near area local design and construction projects.

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Santa Clarita’s Office Market Will Take Time to Recover

COMMERCIAL: Signs of life are showing despite vacancy rate of more than 20 percent.

OUTLOOK: The Santa Clarita office and industrial market should improve over time, according to real estate experts

Network Names New President

TV: Ex-ABC executive takes helm of The CW this month.

A former executive with ABC Studios has been named as the new president of The CW, the network co-owned by Warner Bros. Entertainment and CBS.

Real Estate Advisory Company Expands Nationally

INVEST: Financial veterans will guide the Glendale firm’s growth on both coasts.

AMERICAN: Glendale-based American Realty Advisors is expanding its business nationwide.

Ace Real Estate Agent Joins Troop, Once Again

recruitment: Troop Real Estate attracts one of its former star agents and his team of eight.

TROOP: Top agent Stephen Christie returns to Simi Valley-based Troop Real Estate with a team of agents.

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Hotel Makeover Boosts Camarillo’s Downtown Image

HOSPITALITY: Owner spent more than $1 million on improvements for boutique inn.

BOUTIQUE: Remodeled hotel in Camarillo opens downtown, drawing new clients and opportunity.

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Aerospace Company Finds Huge Space in Moorpark

growth: 265-acre complex offers defense company room to grow manufacturing operations.

Aerospace company Ensign-Bickford buys a 265-acre office and industrial complex in Moorpark as it plans for growth.

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Earnings Roundup

Earnings reports for key companies

ValueClick Buys Into Mobile Ads

ADVERTISING: Company says recent acquisition is key to growth.

ValueClick acquires Greystripe, Inc., a mobile advertising network, and aims to grow with the expanding mobile advertising market.

Guardian Eyes Saudi Opportunity

EXPANSION: Firm may build pool fences in the Middle East.

Guardian Pool Fence in Van Nuys may enter into a partnership with a Saudi Arabian company to seize opportunity in the Middle East.

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The LIST: Insurance Firms & Companies. Includes the 2011 SFV'S LARGEST INSURANCE BROKERS list for download (pdf)

Friday, May 6

Wheel Demand Good For Superior in Q1

Superior Industries International Inc. continued to show improvement in its quarterly earnings despite weather-related disruptions at its manufacturing plants.

Thursday, May 5

Income Jumps for California Bank & Trust

California Bank & Trust reported a dramatic increase in 2010 first quarter earnings compared to the same period last year.

Income Drops in Q1 for Medical Device Maker

IRIS International reported a 4 percent increase in revenues for 2011 first quarter earnings compared to the same period last year.

Grossman Plans New Burn Center

MEDICAL: Facility is second outside California for network.

The Grossman Burn Center plans to open a new burn center in Phoenix this summer, its second outside California.

Earnings Improve in Q1 for Crown Media

Improved advertising revenues contributed to Crown Media Holdings Inc. to report positive earnings in the first quarter compared to a net loss from a year ago.

Wednesday, May 4

Earnings Up in Q1 for Mortgage Lender

The PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust reported an increase in 2011 first quarter results compared to fourth quarter earnings in 2010.

Health Net’s First Quarter Produces Net Loss

Health Net Inc. had a financial loss for its fiscal first quarter, showing a decline compared to the same period a year ago even with improvement in certain segments.

Valley Companies Named as Best Suppliers

Two San Fernando Valley companies were recognized by aerospace and defense giant Northrop Grumman Corp. in its annual supplier awards program.

DineEquity Has Earnings Growth in First Quarter

DineEquity Inc.’s earnings for the first quarter of 2011 more than doubled compared to the same period last year, with its Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar chain showing strong sales performance and its IHOP chain performing less favorably.

Airport Council Hears Complaints of Helicopter Noise

Residents of the Hollywood Hills came to the Van Nuys Airport Citizens Advisory Council on May 3 seeking advice on how to deal with noisy helicopters.

Warner Bros. Adds to Digital Delivery

film: “Rotten Tomatoes” site comes with Flixster purchase.

Warner Bros. Entertainment extended its strategy of making digital content available to viewers with the acquisition of Flixster.

Repairs to Close Van Nuys Runway

Van Nuys Airport will close for two 24-hour periods in June in order for repair work to be done to the main runway.

Tuesday, May 3

Loss Widens for Video Game Company

Video game publisher THQ Inc. widened its net loss in the fourth quarter even as it released one of the best selling games of the spring.