Stories for August 2004

Monday, August 30

Owning the Job

Newman Grace Inc. founder Jerri Hemsworth takes on high-profile role as president of National Association of Women Business Owners--California

Robbins Bros. Reportedly Seeks Partner

A New York-based publication is reporting that Robbins Bros. The World's Biggest Engagement Ring Store is seeking an equity partner.

Employment Growth Slow in "Odd Economic Recovery"

Between 1997 and 2002, American manufacturers reported a 15.5 percent increase in sales, shipments, receipts, and revenue, according to federal figures released this month.

Hospitals Work to Cope With Closure

The decision by San Francisco-based Catholic Healthcare West to close the San Fernando Valley's oldest hospital by the end of the year will increase the patient load on neighboring hospitals

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Simi Valley Manufacturer Planning Move to Arizona

A Simi Valley plastics manufacturer with 350 employees is seeking to relocate to Arizona, citing California's high business costs from workers' compensation and electricity as well as a lack of incentives

Restaurant and Market Make Healthy Choices

THE BRIEFING - Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park is known for both its heart-healthy cuisine and heart-warming service.

THE LIST - Largest SFV Employers

The Business Journal's list of the top 20 Largest employers, ranked by number of employees in the greater San Fernando Valley

SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Safety Net

Wonder Years baby proofing helps give parents peace of mind by customizing houses to keep ;pyhazards for children at a minimum

THE LIST - Commercial Real Estate Brokerages

The Business Journal's list of the top commercial real estate brokerages, ranked by combined value of property sales and leases in the San Fernando Valley in 2003

Despite Earnings Boom, Firms Tight With Money

Call it the year of the well-heeled tightwad. Sluggish hiring and continued caution over capital spending belies a very different trend in the economy

NEWSMAKERS

Valley Businesspeople in the news, on the move...

Sport Chalet Acquires Firm to Extend Reach Among Team Sports

Sporting goods retailer Sport Chalet Inc. has acquired a local supplier of sports clothing and equipment in a bid for a larger share of the team sports market.

News of the Day: Learning Some Lessons

News of the Day: Learning Some Lessons

Fernando Award Finalists Chosen

The field of nominees for the 46th annual Fernando Award was narrowed down to 5, and the finalists are Jill Banks Barad, Karl Boeckmann, Dorothy Jean Jauck, J. Richard Leyner and William F. Powers Jr.

More Red Teams Try to Stem Flow Of Business Exits

Some call it the "red team," but Bruce Ackerman, president and CEO of the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley, refers to it as the "A-team."

Head of Grubb Office Learns Tough Realities of Market

These are not good times for nice guys in the real estate brokerage business. Just ask Pete Puzo.

Divorce Can Get Complicated When There's a Business

Guest Column By Peter M. Walzer

Selleck to Develop Van Nuys Site

Under a deal currently being hammered out with CHW, Selleck Development Group would acquire the property and redevelop it for residential and retail use.

City Vows to Get Involved as Rocketdyne Future Shakes Out

Even as Boeing considers the future of the landmark Rocketdyne Propulsion and Power factory in Canoga Park, L.A. will do everything it can to keep the company's 3,000 jobs in the San Fernando Valley

CRA Reorganization: Getting Close to the Community

The reorganization plan is strongly supported by Mayor James Hahn, and even some of his rivals in the 2004 mayoral election are supportive.

Firewalls: Keeping the Big, Bad World Out of Your Firm

MEDIA AND TECHNOLOGY By MIKE NEWMAN

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

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

Monday, August 16

Young Aerospace Workers Moving Up

At 27, Northrop Grumman Navigation Systems technical staffer Benjamin Davies often has the responsibility of telling co-workers some of whom in their 50s or 60s could be his grandparents what to do.

Valley Briefs

Valley Lags in Employment; Woodbury Offers Help; Firm Changes Name; Pacoima Homes Open; ECHO Gets Boost; Council Approves BID Funds; Fernando Award Luncheon; AML Communications Results; Unico Net Increases

Generations Face Change In Workplace

When Mike Moore entered the banking industry in 1973 as a brand-new business management grad from USC, the "uniform" for his fellow trainees in a management track program was just that.

Getting Bigger Thinking by Smaller Businesses

Guest Columnist - Bruce Weide, author of "Getting Rid of Taxes in Business and Retirement," and CEO of TAX-FREE Benefit Specialists and Insurance Services.

Politics of Health: Voters Will Get to Decide on Cures

Among the 16 ballot initiatives California voters will have to sort through on Election Day in November, almost one-third deal with health care or health-related issues. -

New Video Game Release Strategy Mirrors Hollywood

Calabasas-based video game publisher THQ Inc. is apparently taking a cue from Hollywood.

Community Response Prompts Center's Design Change

"When you get a Starbucks you know you've arrived."

40 Professionals Who Are Leaders in Their Industries

40 Professionals Who Are Leaders in Their Industries

INTERVIEW - Power Down?

Rocketdyne propulsion and power head Byron Wood, a 40-year veteran at the Canoga Park firm, steers it through rough voyage as it faces uncertain future

Rocketdyne Future Put Into Question

The largest aerospace employer in the San Fernando Valley, one of the largest remaining manufacturing companies in Los Angeles, may shut down local operations entirely by the end of the decade.

Capitol Punishment: "California Dollars"

Guest Column - Gregory N. Lippe, managing partner of the Woodland Hills-based CPA firm of Lever, Lippe, Hellie & Russell LLP (LLHR) and a director of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association (VICA).

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

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

THE LIST - Valley Auto Dealers

The Business Journal's list of the top 10 Valley Auto dealers, ranked by revenues in 2003

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

Wells Fargo Rapidly Expands Its Valley Retail Operations

Wells Fargo is making a big push into the San Fernando Valley as competition for retail and small business banking customers heats up.

Valley Picture Uncertain After Villaraigosa's Entrance

Almost four years after he was defeated by James Hahn in the Los Angeles city mayor's race, Antonio Villaraigosa is back, bringing the number of serious contenders in the March primary to five.

NEWSMAKERS

Valley Businesspeople in the news, on the move...

National Retailer Sets Plans for Valley Location

A new retailer is set to move into Los Angeles with its first San Fernando Valley store slated to open in the first or second quarter of next year.

Amid Boom, Construction Managers Become Scarce

Construction companies throughout the Greater San Fernando Valley are in search of qualified top-level managers to oversee a growing number of projects. But the area is scarce of qualified candidates.

Firms Say VoIP Has Promise, but Isn't Quite There Yet

Although the technology for making phone calls over the Internet has been touted as the next big innovation in telecommunications, local companies are not jumping on the bandwagon just yet.

40 Under 40: Spotting Age-Old Traits of Success

40 Under 40: Spotting Age-Old Traits of Success

Monday, August 2

Antelope Valley Economic Development Head Resigns

The latest point man charged with attracting businesses to the Antelope Valley has left as the region readies a new strategy for its efforts.

VALLEY, L.A. COUNTY ECONOWATCH

Charts of Economic Indicators, Real Estate, Tourism...

How Next Depression Has Been Planned

Guest Columnist by Bruce Weide

Bird Store Spreading Its Wings in Valley

THE BRIEFING - Jennie Ayers and Kris Campbell, co-owners of Wild Birds Unlimited in Woodland Hills, have managed to capitalize on one of the top hobbies in America.

CBS Entertainment Staff May Move

CBS Studio Center in Studio City will house television stations KCBS (Channel 2) and KCAL (Channel 9) when the complex is renovated that's not a question.

THE LIST - Assisted Living Facilities

The Business Journal's list of the top Assisted Living Facilities, ranked by licensed beds in the San Fernando Valley

Washington Mutual Plans Valley Layoffs

About 10 employees in the commercial group of Washington Mutual Inc.'s Encino branch will be laid off in a company-wide move to downsize the commercial lending business.

United Online Move Expected To Boost Its Tech Capabilities

For United Online, a Westlake Village-based dial-up Internet service provider, the move to a new facility at LNR Warner Center this month serves several purposes.

VALLEY STOCK WATCH

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

Scammers Bilk Businesspeople In Check Scheme

Cary R. Bronstein was doing some routine accounting, reconciling his real estate appraisal and consulting company's checking account when he noticed something was very wrong

Developer Moves to New Projects After Building Legacy

A news item about the sale of an office building in Agoura Hills got me thinking about the seller, Katell Investment Co. LLC, so I decided to check in with Jerry Katell.

Published Report Focuses on Improvements in NoHo

When Robert "Bud" Ovrom was city manager in Burbank, the competition for new business development was Glendale or Pasadena, never the city of Los Angeles.

Boeing Considers Merger Options for Rocketdyne Unit

The future of Rocketdyne Propulsion & Power could include it becoming the centerpiece of a merger resulting in the leading rocket engine manufacturer in the world.

Indies See Niche Between Big Box and Mom and Pop

Two recent store openings in the San Fernando Valley seem to suggest that the independents are back to reclaim some of the turf they have lost to large chains over the past two decades.

Recovering Aerospace Sector Faces Aging Workforce

Just as business is picking up at the greater San Fernando Valley's major aerospace contractors, they are facing an aging workforce and are having trouble recruiting skilled new employees, according to company officials.

VICA Raises Volume on Business Advocacy

Stem cell research? The Valley Industry and Commerce Association is for it. A statewide standard for development in oak woodlands? The association, known as VICA, is against that.

Insurer Consolidates in Warner Center

One of the top ten insurance brokerage firms in the nation will be centralizing its Los Angeles County operations in Woodland Hills this month, officials said.

Small Business Spotlight - Royal Reputation

Diane Knight's persistence and a passion for baking has kept her Lady Di's Cookies in Valencia a local favorite despite news events beyond her control

Longtime Canoga Park Firm Forced to Relocate From Busway

A longtime Canoga Park business and a neighboring company are being forced to relocate because they are in the way of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Orange Line

Boutique Hotel Set For Studio City East

A local real estate group is proposing to build a boutique hotel along the lines of Ian Schrager's Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood on a site that currently houses an office building on Ventura Boulevard just east of Tujunga Avenue.

Complicating All Those Simple Business Solutions

Complicating All Those Simple Business Solutions

Flight of Firms From L.A. Not Always Fault of Business Taxes

Many of the companies that have made a move into the cities that surround L.A. in recent years say the Los Angeles city business tax had little, if anything, to do with their decision.

Renaissance of Studio City East Comes With Problems

Guest Columnist by Jack Mcgrath, president of the Studio City Chamber of Commerce

Making the Most of It

Jim Gilbert finds flaws in local companies' manufacturing systems and makes them more efficient so they can survive in a tough business environment