Stories for November 2013

Friday, November 29

Simi Valley Center Sells for $16.9 Million

The Smart & Final Center in Simi Valley has been purchased by Milan Capital Management of Anaheim for $16.9 million.

Glendale Galleria Opens Early for Big-Box Shoppers

Thursday marked the first time major department stores at the Glendale Galleria opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Commission to Decide on Maguire Airport Leases

The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners is scheduled Monday to vote on approving a transfer of leases for property at Van Nuys Airport from Maguire Aviation to Signature Flight Support.

Wednesday, November 27

Sport Chalet Gets Delist Warning

Sport Chalet Inc. filed a notice Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission announcing communication from Nasdaq Stock Market LLC about the company’s non-compliance with the exchange’s rules.

Crown Media Rings Nasdaq Bell

An executive from Crown Media Holdings Inc. rang the opening bell at the Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square on Wednesday.

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Tuesday, November 26

Obama Visits DreamWorks Campus in Glendale

President Barack Obama visited the campus of DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. in Glendale on Tuesday, getting a first-hand look at how the studio makes its feature films.

AeroVironment Earnings Drop 80 Percent

AeroVironment Inc. reported a drop in profit and revenue in its fiscal second quarter as orders for its unmanned drone aircraft and electric car battery chargers continued to slow.

Cheesecake Opens in Escondido

Cheesecake Factory announced Tuesday it is opening at the Westfield North County mall in Escondido, the chain’s first restaurant in north San Diego County.

Monday, November 25

NTS Acquisition Finalized

Aurora Capital Group on Friday completed its acquisition of National Technical Systems Inc., a product engineering and testing company.

Tablet-Equipped Shopping Carts Debut at Northridge Center

Northridge Fashion Center will be rolling out tablet-equipped shopping carts on Monday after closing.

Galpin Highlights History at L.A. Auto Show

Galpin Auto Sports is spotlighting historical involvement with tricked-out cars and trucks at the L.A. Auto Show taking place this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Briefs: LTC, Ryland

LTC Properties Inc. has sold $70 million in senior unsecured notes to pay down its credit line.


Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - November 25, 2013

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Kelly Kepner and Jordan Landes-Brenman

If there’s one business tactic that Kelly Kepner and Jordan Landes-Brenman have learned since starting Haute House PR & Marketing four years ago, it’s that kindness will get you places – even in business.

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Jason Lau and Brandon Florian

What makes you company unusual or unique? Jason Lau: We are still the only place to offer traditional martial arts and CrossFit under one roof in the San Fernando Valley and possibly Southern California.

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Matthew Smith

What led you to start your own company? Matthew Smith: I was previously an entrepreneur before going back to college in my mid-20s.

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Antony Donico

While some 20-somethings ask their parents to loan them cash for a month’s rent or an unexpected car repair, Antony Donico asked his mother for a much larger investment – a sum that eventually totaled $50,000.

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A.V. Filmmaker Peaks With Everest Documentary

Production: Allan Smith takes extreme measure for mountain-climbing film.

Most filmmakers will go to incredible lengths in support of their art but few would likely go the lengths that Allan Smith did for the documentary “Eight Summits.”

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Troy Pollet

What made you want to get into commercial real estate? Troy Pollet: I had an internship when I was a sophomore in college at Trammell Crow Co. and I just wanted to do what he did.

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Senior Debt

Health Care: LTC Properties, a Westlake Village REIT invested in nursing homes and related properties, has been quietly building its portfolio.

HealthCare: LTC is on a buying spree for nursing homes.

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Cal Lutheran Goes Global For Talent

Business school appoints international scholar to faculty.

Education: California Lutheran University hires new business faculty.

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Lindsey Deitsch

What makes you company unusual? Lindsey Deitsch: Our entire product line is not only gluten free, but is also rice free – a huge selling point.

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Palmdale Mall Getting Sporty

Retail: Center attracts Dick’s, will do $10 million makeover.

Retail: Dick’s Sporting Goods is opening a store at the Antelope Valley Mall.

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The broad market slowed in the two-week period ended Nov. 20 in reaction to news the Fed would begin tapering bond purchases during the coming months.

special report Model Millennials

The Millennial generation takes a lot of abuse.

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A Life (Still) Worth Living

Editor: The mortality of journalists, both literal and figurative.

Volunteer Group Seeks to Halt Housing Closure

Development: National Charity League sues over 12 Oaks.

Real Estate: A lawsuit could stop’s closure of a senior living center.

Storm Clouds Gather Over Sunkist

Marketing: Co-op sells Valley office, hit with $1.6 million judgment.

Marketing: Citrus cooperative Sunkist sells its headquarters and is hit with a legal judgment.

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Clearing the Runway for Drones

Ventura County is leading an effort to bring a drone test program to the area. Millions of dollars are at stake.

Over the next several years Southern California has an opportunity to once again be at the forefront of a new chapter in aviation history.

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VALLEY BIZ SEEN - November 25, 2013

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

Spiffing Up Pooch – With Spray Paint

Local man gets in ‘Shark Tank’ to fund doggie dress-up biz.

Entertainment: A local entrepreneur appears on “Shark Tank.”

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Orange Lines, Ciders and Tax Breaks

In the heyday of holiday travel and stressful mornings in the kitchen, we often forget that Thanksgiving celebrates that autumn day in 1621 when the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag enjoyed the colony’s first successful harvest.

Wild Wheels

Automotive: Galpin Auto Sports’ GTR1 supercar has style.

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Former SFVBJ Editor Dies

Publishing: Founding editor Mark Lacter dies at age 59.

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Billboard No Snore for Sleep Outfit

Camarillo firm creates buzz with campaign showing mixed couple.

Advertising: Camarillo company puts up another controversial billboard.

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Infomercial Executive Trying to Raise the Bar

Marketing: Former TV exec leads advertising agency for lawyers.

Acquire new clients at the lowest cost.

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Taylor Chien

What makes your company unusual? Taylor Chien: The Dji phantom is brand new and has changed the way people take pictures and video.

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Dimitry Slabyak

Dimitry Slabyak wants to be in control of everything.

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Firefighters’ Cancer Group Draws Business Support

Philanthropy: Network assists firefighters felled by occupational hazard.

The Firefighter Cancer Support Network celebrated a three-day event and fundraiser earlier this month to support firefighters and their immediate families diagnosed with cancer.

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Used Car Dealership Strikes Valley Land Deal

Leasing: Latino-focused Tricolor Auto Group takes space in San Fernando.

A used-car dealership chain focused on the Latino community is coming out West and will open its first California outlet in San Fernando.

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around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

ImmunGene, a biotech firm developing anti-body proteins for cancer drugs, has landed $9 million in funding.

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Market Share Trumps Chaos

Insurance: Health Net and Anthem gain with ObamaCare.

Insurance: Two Valley insurers expect to benefit from health care reform.

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Calendar of Events

Alan Campos

What makes your company unusual? Alan: Getting your iPhone or other personal electronic devices repaired is still a new concept.

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Model Millennials

Ever wonder what is the secret sauce for success?

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Friday, November 22

Disney's Pixar Cutting Jobs

Walt Disney Co.’s Pixar Animation Studio cute about 5 percent of its workforce following a delay in the release of the studio’s next film, according to a report Friday.

Local Unemployment Rate Dips

Los Angeles County unemployment inched down a tenth of a point to 9.7 percent in October as the local economy added 48,000 nonfarm jobs since September, according to state figures released Friday.

Decision: Warner Bros. Owns Superman Rights

A federal appeals court has upheld lower court decision giving Warner Bros. Entertainment’s DC Comics the ownership of the Superman character.

Briefs: Simulations Plus, Obama, Disney

Simulations Plus Inc., a Lancaster developer of the clinical trial software for the pharmaceutical industry, announced on Friday that longtime Chief Financial Officer Momoko Bean has decided to retire Jan. 15.

Thursday, November 21

Revenue Plummets at Ceres

Energy crop company Ceres Inc. announced Thursday a sharp decline in revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter as it continues to struggle in the Brazilian market.

IPC Buys Florida Doctors’ Groups

IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. has purchased two acute care doctors groups on Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Earnings Roundup: Wesco, Mission Valley

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc., a Valencia supplier of aircraft parts, reported fiscal fourth quarter results on Thursday that met analysts’ estimates.

Wednesday, November 20

NTS Shareholders Approve Merger

Shareholders of National Technical Systems approved Tuesday a merger with private investment firm Aurora Capital Group.

Van Nuys Charter Adds Aircraft

Aircraft charter and management firm company Jet Edge International has added four business jets to its fleet.

Corproate Briefs: Ryland, Ixia

Ryland opens new development; Ixia fails Nasdaq compliance.

Tuesday, November 19

Cherokee Strikes India Deal

Cherokee Inc., the apparel and accessories brand licensing company, announced Tuesday it struck a deal to have its Liz Lange Maternity Brand sold online and at retail stores in India.

Corporate Briefs: Simulations Plus, Ixia, Semtech

Simulations Plus Inc., a Lancaster developer of software for clinical trials, reported on Tuesday fiscal fourth-quarter results that slightly missed expectations after a big order was delayed.

Monday, November 18

Upscale Multiplex Theater Planned for Simi Valley Mall

An upscale multiplex theater with in-theater dining will be constructed at Simi Valley Town Center.

City of Hope Opens Lancaster Center

City of Hope opened its full-service cancer center in Lancaster on Monday through a partnership with Antelope Valley Hospital.

Friday, November 15

Lancaster: Most Business Friendly City

Lancaster has been named one of L.A. County’s Most Business Friendly Cities by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Company Briefs: Interlink, PizzaRev

Interlink Electronics Inc. broadened its net loss for the third quarter, the company announced on Friday.

Thursday, November 14

Regulator Lifts Bank Consent Order

A federal regulator has lifted a consent order at Santa Clara Valley Bank.

Earnings Roundup: Trio-Tech, Qualstar

Trio-Tech International and Qualstar Corp. both reported losses on Thursday in their fiscal first quarters.

Home Foreclosures Fall

Home foreclosures continued to drop in Southern California in October, with rates in the greater Valley varying widely, according to a report released Thursday.

Former Business Journal Editor Dies

Mark Lacter, a veteran Los Angeles business journalist who was founding editor of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal, has passed away from a stroke. He was 59.

Wednesday, November 13

Cheesecake Cuts Harry & David Deal

Cheesecake Factory Inc. has reached an agreement to sell its cheesecakes through Harry & David, one of the leading catalogue and online gift sites, the companies announced Wednesday.

Marcus & Millichap Files First Earnings Report

Marcus & Millichap Inc. reported on Wednesday growth in profit and revenue in its first earnings report since going public, citing improving real-estate market conditions.

Company Briefs: Anthem, Tutor-Perini, Point.360

Thousand Oaks health insurer Anthem Blue Cross named Mark Morgan company president on Wednesday.

Dick's Opening A.V. Mall Anchor

Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. is opening a store in the Antelope Valley Mall to become the newest anchor tenant of the Palmdale retail center, officials announced Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 12


Editorial Cartoon SFVBJ - November 11, 2013

TAKE TWO - This week's Editorial Cartoon by Steve Greenberg

Post-Production House Owners Plead Guilty to Embezzlement

The owners of a Glendale post-production house pleaded guilty on Tuesday to embezzling from their employees' retirement plan and failing to pay taxes.

Disney Donates to Typhoon Relief

Walt Disney Co. announced Tuesday that it will donate $500,000 to humanitarian efforts in the Philippines, following Typhoon Haiyan last week.

Company Briefs: Disney, Talon, Unico

There's been a management shuffle at Walt Disney Co.'s interactive game unit.

Monday, November 11

Sport Chalet Disappoints on Earnings, Revenue

Sport Chalet Inc. reported a quarterly loss Monday driven by declining sales figures and the closure of three underperforming stores.

DataDirect Lands Alamos Lab Contract

Computer storage company DataDirect Networks will supply computer storage systems to the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

Burbank Won’t Appeal Wal-Mart Decision

Burbank has decided not to appeal a ruling that blocked the opening of a new Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet at the city’s Empire Center.

‘Thor’ Scores $86 Million

Marvel Entertainment’s “Thor: The Dark World” brought in $86 million in domestic box office in its opening weekend, the fourth highest for the year.

‘It’s Not Your Father’s Factory Anymore’

Much has been said about the 600,000 “missing” skilled workers that are in dire need by the U.S. manufacturing industry.


Calendar of Events

Economy Boosts Financing Options

Finance: Should a company bankroll growth with private equity, loans or crowdfunding?

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‘85 Is Good Vintage for Race Driver

CEO is older than his collectable cars but beats younger rivals.

Automotive: On weekends, Si Robin is a vintage race car driver.

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Market Watch Summary

Stocks of the Valley 50 edged higher, buoyed by the updraft of a broader market rally during the two-week period ended Nov. 6.

around the valleys

News and notes from around the greater San Fernando Valley

DC Comics will move its operations to the Warner Bros. Studios lot in Burbank in 2015.

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L.A. Developer Has Fervor for Encino Project

Multifamily: Complex by Held Properties going up at old synagogue site.

Construction began late last month on a 50-unit upscale apartment building in a dense Encino neighborhood.

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Taking Risks With The Force

Fencing studio runs Jedi Academy under Disney’s nose.

Sports: Fencing studio follows the way of the Jedi.

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Head of the Class

Profiles of the some of the top fastest growing companies in the greater Valley.

Companies: Four fast-growing companies share their stories.

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Habit Burger Founder Grills Up New Concept

Restaurants: Higher-end Hook Burger opens near Westfield Promenade.

After three decades of building Habit Burger Grill from one cafe in the tiny coastal city of Goleta into a regional restaurant chain, founder Brent Reichard has gone upscale.

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Brokerage Spawns ObamaCare Small-Biz Spinoff

Insurance: Montage opens agency focusing on firms with freelancers, part-timers.

Montage Insurance Services has a new little sister.

Don’t Have An MBA? Try The SBA.

Valley business people graduate from intense training program.

Government: SBA classes teach entrepreneurs to grow their business.

No Lounging Around

E-Commerce: Online sales, celebrity tweets spark Calabasas furniture maker Abbyson Living.

E-Commerce: At one fast-growth company, celebs help sell furniture.

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Getting the Undercover Scoop

CEO of Menchie’s frozen-yogurt chain stars in CBS show.

TV: Menchie’s chief executive learns lessons on “Undercover Boss.”

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growth infusion

Specialty pharmacy TNH tops fastest growing list.

Health Care: TNH Pharmacy tops the fastest growing private companies list. Includes SFVBJ's 2013 VALLEY'S FASTEST-GROWING PRIVATE COs list for download (pdf)

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Office Romance

Karenjo Goodwin and Michael Crump are a couple who separately run two fast- growing companies. So how does that work?

Q&A: Married couple Michael Crump and Karenjo Goodwin each run a growth company.

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Ixia Loses CEO, Gains Acquisition in Wild Week

Tech: Resume troubles hit longtime executive, stock goes into sharp decline.

Technology: Ixia losses a chief executive but gains an acquisition.

Broker Deals Lower on IPO

Real Estate: Calabasas firm grosses only $72 million.

Real Estate: Why Marcus & Millichap’s IPO fell short financially.

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Don’t Do the Dirty Work

Editor: Fastest growing lessons.

Project Wakes Bedroom Town

Development: Builder wants 450-unit complex in Camarillo.

Development: Builders believe Camarillo needs more upscale apartments.

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The Fading California Dream?

Business group argues laws and regulations are hampering growing companies – but it’s a fixable mess.

California has historically been thought of as the place where dreams come true, where anyone can make a better life for themselves and their families.

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East Coast Firm Takes Charge of Battery Maker

Manufacturing: Billionaire Al Mann sells battery-maker Quallion.

Friday, November 8

Corporate Briefs: NetSol, PS Business, Ryland

NetSol Technologies Inc. lost nearly a third of its market cap Friday after the Calabasas software developer reported disappointing earnings announcement.

Morton Bolt Plant Celebrated

Aerospace fastener manufacturer Morton Manufacturing held a grand opening Friday of its new plant in Lancaster

Thursday, November 7

American Homes Misses on FFO, Revenue

American Homes 4 Rent reported Thursday that its revenue skyrocketed in the third quarter on strong leasing activity, but it still missed Wall Street estimates for its funds from operations.

Earnings: Health Net, Capstone Turbine

Health Net Inc. and Capstone Turbine Corp. reported earnings on Thursday.

Walt Disney Reports Strong Earnings, Netflix Deal

Walt Disney Co. reported strong fourth quarter earnings on Thursday, the same day it announced a new deal to provide Marvel superhero series to Netflix Inc.

Thousand Oaks Biotech Receives $9 Million Investment

ImmunGene, a Thousand Oaks biotech firm developing anti-body proteins for cancer drugs, has landed $9 million in funding.

Eight Blockbusters Closing in Valley Area

The greater Valley will lose eight Blockbuster outlets that could put some 40,000 square-feet of retail space back onto the market, as the money-losing video rental chain is closed down by its owner.

Wednesday, November 6

Amgen Announces 2014 Tour Dates

Amgen Inc. has announced host cities for its 2014 Tour of California.

Lancaster to Build Solar Farm

The City of Lancaster is collaborating with two solar companies on a 16-acre solar farm that will generate 4 megawatts of electricity.

EnBio Opens Colorado Office

Biomed services provider enBio opened its first satellite office this month in Colorado to better serve the Rocky Mountain region.

PennyMac, Signature Report Earnings

Quarterly financials from PennyMac Financial Services, PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust and Signature Holdings.

Tuesday, November 5

PS Business Parks Prices $103 Million Offering

PS Business Parks Inc. announced on Tuesday the pricing of its public offering, which it expects will gross about $103 million before underwriting discounts and offering expenses.

Corporate Briefs: Easton Bell, Reach Local, ValueClick, Salem, Cherokee

Easton-Bell Sports Inc., Reach Local Inc., ValueClick Inc. and Salem Communications Inc. reported third quarter earnings, while Cherokee Inc. declared a dividend.

Antelope Valley Hospital Selects CEO

The struggling public Antelope Valley Hospital has selected a new chief executive, who comes from a for-profit chain.

Media News Chief to Step Down

William Dean Singleton, the 62-year-old founder and chairman of the company that owns the Daily News of Los Angeles, will retire in the coming weeks due to health concerns.

Monday, November 4

Earnings: Tutor Perini, MannKind, LTC

Tutor Perini Corp., MannKind Corp. and LTC Properties Inc. reported third quarter earnings on Monday.

BYD Defends Itself From Labor Charges

Electric-vehicle manufacturer BYD Co. Ltd. defended itself on Monday from charges that it did not comply with minimum wage laws for engineers working at its Lancaster plant and North American headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.

National Technical Scores U.K. Contract

National Technical Systems Inc. announced on Monday a five-year agreement to provide engineering and test services for U.K. aerospace and defense company Meggitt PLC.

Friday, November 1

Sunkist Ordered to Repay Retirement Funds

Sunkist Inc. has been ordered by a Los Angeles federal court judge to pay back more than $1.6 million to its employee retirement plans after using the money for operating expenses.

Security Increased at Burbank Airport

Burbank Bob Hope Airport increased security on Friday following a shooting at Los Angeles International Airport that left one victim dead and several injured, including the gunman, who was in critical condition.

FTD Splits From United Online

United Online Inc., completed its tax-free spinoff of FTD Cos. Inc. on Friday, with all FTD common stock distributed among United Online shareholders.

Glendale Collection Agency Completes Acquisition

Fidelity Creditor Service Inc., a Glendale collection agency, has acquired another San Fernando Valley debt collection firm, its eighth such acquisition since 2005, the company announced

Corporate Briefs: Dole, Crown, Superior, Ryland

Dole's goes private, Crown Media and Superior Industries report earnings, and Ryland Group announces another home development.