Stories for June 2018

Friday, June 29

VICA Adds Names to Hall of Fame

Business and civic leaders came together at the Universal Sheraton in Universal City on Thursday as the Valley Industrial & Commerce Association held its Hall of Fame Awards, where Woodland Hills-launched insurer Health Net, Kirsch Kohn & Bridge in Woodland Hills, Laurence School of Valley Glen, Encino’s Tapia Bros. Fresh Producer and Traders Loan & Jewelry of Reseda were honored.

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NoHo Shopping Center Fetches $6 Million

The North Hollywood shopping center at 6005 Vineland Ave. known as Palms Plaza has sold for $6 million in a deal cemented in May, according to CoStar Group.

Economist’s Mid-Year Assessment of Valley Region

It’s the midpoint of 2018, so the Business Journal decided to check in with California Economic Forecast Executive Director Mark Schniepp to see how 2018 is progressing.

LTC Renegotiates $600 Million Credit Facility

LTC Properties Inc. has entered into a new amended unsecured credit agreement to replace its previous unsecured credit agreement from 2014, the company announced Thursday.

Thursday, June 28

Metro Board Approves Van Nuys Rail Project

The board of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, voted Thursday to build a light rail system down the center of Van Nuys Boulevard.

Avita Medical Takes Over Lease for Ventura Plant

Medical device firm Avita Medical has agreed to acquire the lease for a 23,000-square-foot Ventura manufacturing plant from a manufacturing vendor effective July 1, the company announced Thursday.

Valley-Region Companies Join Russell 3000

A pair of health-related companies in the Valley region announced they joined the Russell 3000 Index this week.

Talent Agency Buys Burbank Buildings

Osbrink Talent Agency has spent $3.35 million on a two-building, 5,000-square-foot Burbank Media Center property.

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Compulink Changes Name

The company formerly known as Compulink Business Systems Inc. in Newbury Park has changed its name to Compulink Healthcare Solutions in an effort to rebrand itself as a provider of software solutions for the medical industry, the company announced Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 27

Business Groups Appeal to State on Dynamex Decision

Dozens of businesses and trade organizations, including three local chambers of commerce, have sent a letter to the California Legislature outlining concerns about the legal precedent set by the state Supreme Court’s decision in Dynamex Operations West Inc. v. Superior Court. The letter also requested that the Legislature suspend the application of the ruling until a new method of classifying employees can be determined.

Governor Extends Film Tax Credit

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on Wednesday a law that extends the state’s film tax credit program to 2025.

Ball Beverage Plant in Chatsworth to Close

The Ball Corp. beverage packing plant in Chatsworth is expected to close this summer, resulting in the loss of more than 100 jobs.

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B. Riley Financial to Rebrand Subsidiary as B. Riley Wealth Management

B. Riley Financial Inc. announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, stock brokerage and investment advisory Wunderlich Securities Inc., will change its name to B. Riley Wealth Management Inc.

Tuesday, June 26

Simulations Plus Names CEO

Simulations Plus Inc. has named Shawn O’Connor as its new chief executive officer.

Antelope Valley Hospital to Lay Off 137 Workers

The Antelope Valley Hospital plans to lay off 137 workers, according to a notice filed June 18 with the state Employee Development Department.

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Valley Home Prices Hit Record While Sales Dip

In May, the median cost of a single-family home in San Fernando Valley hit a new all-time high of $708,000, according to Southland Regional Association of Realtors. That represents a month-over-month hike of 1.6 percent and an increase of 11 percent more than in May 2017.

AeroVironment Beat Expectations on Revenue, Income

AeroVironment Inc. beat Wall Street estimates on earnings and revenue for the fourth quarter.

Sherman Oaks Chamber Announces Golden Oak Award Winners

The Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce has announced the eight winners of its Golden Oak Awards. The winning businesses will be honored at an Award Gala at Club Aston on the lot of Galpin Motors in North Hills on July 20.

Monday, June 25

Business Journal Repeats Winning National Award

For the second straight year, San Fernando Valley Business Journal has won the Gold award as best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the nation.

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Chatsworth Company Buys Lustre System from Intel

DataDirect Networks Inc. has acquired the Lustre File System business and related assets from Intel Corp., the companies announced.

Multifamily Proposed on Ventura Boulevard in Encino

Encino Investors LLC has submitted plans for a 106,846-square-foot, 114-unit apartment building to be built on Ventura Boulevard in Encino.

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Atara Opens Thousand Oaks Facility

Thousand Oaks city officials and business leaders came out Monday morning to witness the grand opening of Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. new research and development facility, dubbed ATOM, in the Conejo Spectrum Business Park.

Higher Costs, Tax Reform Pinch Nonprofits

LIST: Organizations train donors on navigating new rules on contributions.

Valley charities face fundraising challenges.

The IHOB Strategy

Name change yields social media attention, stock gains for chain

Name change to IHOB puts emphasis on burgers.

Valley Parking: More or Less?

CONSTRUCTION: Driverless cars could stall building boom.

Parking garage builders prepare for future with driverless cars.

Santa Clarita Signal Has New Owners

Former publishers want to expand coverage, distribution.

Former publisher buys Santa Clarita Signal.

The Number

Taxes and fees are business’ biggest concern.

#1 Ranking of ‘taxes and fees’ as business issue for last eight years

Tall ServiceTitan

TECHNOLOGY: Software startup lands venture capital, says company worth ‘in the neighborhood’ of $800 million.

ServiceTitan gets $62 million in venture capital.

Russell Index Means Visibility for Cinedigm

ENTERTAINMENT: Film distributor sees inclusion underscoring value.

Cinedigm joins Russell Microcap Index.

Choose Your Child

Fertility Institutes’ Dr. Jeffery Steinberg pushes the envelope by giving parents the option to select their offspring’s eye color.

Clinic offers parents chance to choose child’s eye color.

e-Music Man

Working from his Encino home studio, Inon Zur creates music for some of the video game industry’s biggest blockbusters.

Video game music composer Inon Zur.

Shortages on Horizon for Valley Aviation Firms

LIST: Lack of hangar space and skilled pilots could slow industry growth.

Firms face pilot, hangar shortages.

Disney, Comcast Lock Horns in Battle for Fox

ACQUISITION: Domino effect follows federal ruling on AT&T-WarnerMedia deal.

Disney, Comcast in bidding war for 21st Century Fox assets.

Glendale Memorial Chief Exec Starts With Safety

HOSPITALS: Former chief nursing officer has plan to boost assessment ratings.

New Glendale Hospital chief focusing on safety.

Santa Clarita Most Business-Friendly City

SURVEY: BizFed finds that municipalities fare better than L.A. County, state.

Santa Clarita named friendliest city for business.

Mall Closures Open Doors for Dave & Buster’s

REAL ESTATE: Eatery and arcade chain moves into Northridge vacant space.

Dave and Buster’s opens at Northridge Fashion Center.

Around the Valleys

News and notes from the greater San Fernando Valley - June 25, 2018


Calendar of Events

It’s Just What the Doctor Ordered

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong appears to be the ideal owner for Los Angeles Times.

Preserving Choice for Consumers

"Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

Friday, June 22

Medtronic Insulin Pump Approved for Pediatric Patients

Medtronic’s closed-loop insulin pump is now approved for use in young patients with Type 1 diabetes, expanding the market for the medical device, the company announced Thursday.

Economic Forecast: Grim Reality for Ventura County

California Lutheran University Center of Economic Research Executive Director Matthew Fienup on Friday gave an overview of Ventura County’s regional economy in “stark contrast” to the robust growth in neighboring San Fernando Valley.

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Cheesecake Factory to Debut New Chain in Thousand Oaks

Cheesecake Factory Inc. plans to open a new Asian fusion restaurant chain, which will make its debut at the Promenade at Westlake in Thousand Oaks this fall.

Preview: Choose Your Child

Fertility Institutes' Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg pushes the envelope by giving parents the option to select their offspring's eye color.

Preview: The IHOB Strategy

Name change yields social media attention, stock gains for restaurant chain.

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Thursday, June 21

Limoneira Stock Offering to Fund Chilean Acquisition

Limoneira Co. is offering around $60 million of its common stock to help fund the acquisition of a ranch in Chile, the Santa Paula agribusiness company announced Wednesday.

OnTrac Officially Launches Sun Valley Hub

A team of Colliers International brokers and tenant OnTrac celebrated the grand opening of a 255,528-square-foot warehouse in Sun Valley.

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Natren Opens Expanded Manufacturing Plant

One year after breaking ground on a 7,000-square-foot addition to its Westlake Village manufacturing plant, probiotic supplement maker Natren Inc. has opened the new facility.

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New Bus Route to Serve Warner Center

Representatives of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, politicians, business leaders and Valley residents turned out Thursday to introduce a new shuttle bus to serve the Warner Center area.

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Wednesday, June 20

Metro Committee Recommends East Valley Light Rail

The planning and programming committee of Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, or Metro, on Wednesday recommended that the Metro board approve a proposal to build a light rail system along Van Nuys Boulevard.

Whole Foods Opens in Burbank

After more than a decade of trying, grocery chain Whole Foods Market has opened in Burbank.

Surf Air in Tiff with Operator

Members-only airline Surf Air Inc. has been sued in federal court over allegations of defaulting on agreements it has with the company that has operated its flights in California.

EPA Orders Groundwater Cleanup

The Environmental Protection Agency has ordered two aerospace manufacturers to spend more than $21 million to clean up groundwater contamination at a Superfund site near the Hollywood Burbank Airport.

Fox Agrees to New Disney Bid

The Walt Disney Co. has reached a second agreement with 21st Century Fox to purchase Fox’s movie and television assets, this time for the much higher price of $71.3 billion.

Tuesday, June 19

Soon-Shiong Takes Ownership of L.A. Times

Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong said that he will seek a seat on the Tribune Co. board now that his $500 million purchase of the Los Angeles Times and other California News Group holdings was finalized on Monday.

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Valley Contractor to Build Electric Car Manufacturing Plant

Electric vehicle manufacturer Faraday Future has selected San Fernando-based construction company Bernards as the general contractor to create its new, 1 million-square-foot factory in Hanford.

Battery Pact Sends BioSolar Shares Up

BioSolar Inc. has signed a joint development agreement with a Spanish subsidiary of Ferroglobe PLC to develop and market silicon anode materials for use in lithium ion batteries.

Dole Appoints President of Fresh Vegetables

Dole Food Co. Inc. has appointed Michael Solomon as president of Dole Fresh Vegetable, the Westlake Village company announced Tuesday.

Monday, June 18

B. Riley Participates in $1.4 Billion Rent-A-Center Acquisition

B. Riley Financial Inc. has partnered with Vintage Capital Management to acquire Rent-A-Center Inc, the Woodland Hills financial firm announced Monday.

Teledyne Lands $80 Million Missile Defense Contract

A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. received a $79.6 million contract to design and build target missiles used for testing and evaluation.

Milken Study Finds Expanded Film Tax Credit Effective at Job Creation

California has recently seen an increase in the number of motion picture industry employees, but the state government could do more to lure movie making back to the Golden State, according to a Milken Institute study.

Friday, June 15

Twin Towers May Bring 610 Residential Units to Warner Center

Real estate developer Sandstone Properties Inc. has submitted plans to construct two residential towers at 6400 N. Canoga Ave.

Farmers Insurance Names Chief Claims Officer

Farmers Insurance has promoted Rob Howard to the position of chief claims officer, effective June 11.

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Tutor Perini Wins $410 Million Contract for Purple Line Extension

Tutor Perini Corp. announced Friday that its joint venture with Frontier-Kemper has won a contract to build tunnels for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Purple Line Extension project.

Modest Job Gains in L.A. County for April

L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained steady at 4.4 percent in May as the local economy hovers near full employment, according to state figures released Friday.

Thursday, June 14

Developer to Expand Sheraton Universal Hotel

A developer has filed with plans with the city of Los Angeles to expand the existing Sheraton Universal Hotel near Universal Studios Hollywood.

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Princess Cruises Screen World Cup Matches on Deck

Princess Cruises has begun broadcasting this year’s World Cup soccer matches for guests aboard nine of its cruise ships.

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Cherokee Quarterly Report Hints at Insolvency

Cherokee Inc. could face the prospect of bankruptcy, the company announced in an earnings report on Thursday.

Lancaster Homeless Project Breaks Ground

A groundbreaking on Thursday officially started construction in Lancaster for Kensington Campus, a facility to provide shelter and services for the homeless.

Wednesday, June 13

Palmdale Retail Site Sells for $10.2 Million

Valuerock Investments Partners LLC has purchased a 54,942-square-foot retail property in Palmdale from HFC/PRP Palmdale LLC for nearly $10.2 million.

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Business Journal Honors CFOs, HR Professionals

The Valley region’s financial professionals gathered at the Hilton Woodland Hills on Wednesday for the Business Journal’s annual Chief Financial Officer and Human Resources Awards ceremony.

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NetSol Expands Board

Shareholders of NetSol Technologies Inc. elected two new members to the board of directors at the company’s annual meeting on Tuesday.

Comcast Outbids Disney for Fox Assets

Comcast has placed a $65 billion all-cash bid for the same film and television assets that 21st Century Fox had agreed to sell to Burbank-based Walt Disney Co. for about $52 billion.

Tuesday, June 12

Judge Approves AT&T Purchase of Time Warner

A federal judge has approved AT&T Inc.’s acquisition of Time Warner Inc., the parent company of Warner Bros. Entertainment in Burbank.

BlackLine Gains on Hiring of Former NetSuite Executive

Shares of BlackLine Inc. rose Tuesday after the company announced the hiring of Mark Woodhams, a former sales executive at NetSuite, as senior vice president of global sales effective July 1.

Developer Proposes Encino Assisted Living

A Pacoima developer plans to build an assisted living facility at 17017 Ventura Blvd. in Encino, according to the Real Deal.

Cinedigm Joins Russell Microcap Index

Cinedigm Corp. will be part of the Russell U.S. Indexes this month, a move that gives the company greater visibility in the investment community.

Monday, June 11

Lemons Sweeten Limoneira’s Second Quarter

Higher lemon prices propelled Limoneira Co. to higher net income and revenue during the company’s fiscal second quarter.

Cornerstone Development in Agoura Hills Rebuffed by Court

Los Angeles Superior Court has ruled against the city of Agoura Hills, suspending the progress of developer Doron Gelfand’s Cornerstone, a proposed 8.2-acre retail, office and residential project at Cornell and Agoura roads that promises to become Agoura Village’s first major development.

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IHOP Rebrands as IHOb

IHOP is temporarily changing its branding to IHOb as part of a marketing campaign to introduce a new line of burgers, the restaurant announced Monday.

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Cheesecake Factory Fined for Wage Theft

Cheesecake Factory Inc. in Calabasas and its janitorial contractor Americlean Janitorial Services Corp. have been cited for $4.57 million in wage theft following an investigation by an industry watchdog and the California Labor Commissioner’s office.

Valley Mom’s Cookie Flavor Could Earn Her $500,000

Winnetka woman has a winning Oreo flavor.

Shopping App Eases Store Exit

RETAIL: Ralphs tests scanning technology at Studio City store.

Ralphs in Studio City tests checkout app.

Rethinking the Mall

Northridge Fashion Center plans to turn third floor into creative offices

Northridge mall reimagines its future.

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Consultant Doubles as Matchmaker

Hellen Chen’s two businesses focus on better relationships.

Hellen Chen is a matchmaker for business.

Disney Withstands ‘Solo,’ ‘Roseanne’

Entertainment: Analyst believes Star Wars franchise remains strong.

Disney stock under pressure as Fox vote looms.

Those Going Broke Blues

Retail: Unless profits improve, S&P predicts Guitar Center will default on debt by 2020.

Is Guitar Center approaching insolvency?

Valley Vendors Flock to E3

Technology: Video game studios and hardware makers to debut products at convention.

Valley gaming companies prepare for E3.

Burbank’s Futurist

Former mayor Thomas Flavin now works on economic development as chamber CEO.

Burbank Chamber CEO Thomas Flavin.

Valley Country Mart Seeks Boutique Tenants

DEVELOPMENT: Mix to include fitness gym, bakery and coffee shop.

Valley Country Mart seeks tenants.

Large-Cabin Jet Charter Firm Slows Airspeed

VAN NUYS: Jet Edge International consolidates operations in new HQ.

Jet Edge International consolidates.

Ready for Nasdaq?

Cure Pharmaceuticals wants to uplist its stock to finance the growth of its under-the-tongue drug delivery system.

Cure Pharmaceuticals to move to the Nasdaq.

C-Level Executive Compensation Turns Slippery

LIST: Yearly pay changes range from 500 percent gain to 66 percent decline.

Executive compensation fluctuates.

Sherman Oaks OKs Sunkist Building Revamp

Development: Apartments and Trader Joe’s in future for Riverside Drive site.

Sunkist HQ redevelopment moves forward

S3 Builders Can’t Leave Woodbury Campus

CONSTRUCTION: Common alma mater underpins culture and contracts.

S3 Builders share alma mater.

The Valley’s Frozen Assets

Ice cream made with liquid nitrogen takes a bite out of market.

Nitrogen ice creameries open in Valley.

Long-Haul Innovator

Moore Industries builds parts for automation.

Around the Valleys

News and Notes from the greater San Fernando Valley


Calendar of Events

Gas Is a Taxing Matter in This State

Are Californians finally fed up with unreasonably high gasoline prices?

New Lead Weight on Homeowners

The recent flurry of legislation coming out of Sacramento that claims to fix the problems for property owners created by a recent court decision on lead paint misses the mark and fails to protect millions of California – and San Fernando Valley – homeowners from the very serious threat they now face.

Friday, June 8

Santa Clarita Valley Signal Sold to Former Publisher

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported Friday that the newspaper has been sold to former Signal publishers Richard and Chris Budman.

Preview: Rethinking the Mall

Northridge Fashion Center plans to turn third floor into creative offices.

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Preview: Shopping App Eases Store Exit

Ralphs tests scanning technology in Studio City.

Atara Hires Former Amgen Exec as CFO

Atara Biotherapeutic Inc. has appointed Utpal Koppikar as chief financial officer.

Thursday, June 7

ApolloMed Appoints CFO

Apollo Medical Holdings Inc. has appointed Eric Chin as chief financial officer. He will succeed the current CFO, Mihir Shah, effective July 1.

Mixed Quarter for Capstone

Capstone Turbine Corp. fell short of Wall Street estimates on revenue in fiscal 2018 but beat on earnings.

City Sues Van Nuys Motel in Criminal Crackdown

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Hyland Motel on Sepulveda Boulevard in Van Nuys seeking an injunction to curb alleged drug sales, prostitution and violent gang crime at the property, the city attorney’s office announced Thursday.

TechX Addresses Energy, Infrastructure

More than 30 people turned out Thursday morning for TechX, a talk-centric event about new technologies and products sponsored by the Valley Economic Alliance.

Wednesday, June 6

Cherokee Shares Drop Back Below $1

Shares of Cherokee Inc. fell back to below a dollar on Wednesday, after jumping 34 percent Tuesday on news that the company had sold its Flip Flop Shops retail chain.

Local Firm Solidifies Deal

US Nuclear Corp. has signed a definitive agreement to be the exclusive manufacturer of medical isotope generators for a nuclear medicine company.

Report: Pegi Matsuda Leaving Valley Pres

Pegi Matsuda, a longtime civic leader in the San Fernando Valley, has sent an email saying she will step down from her position at Valley Presbyterian Hospital.

Tuesday, June 5

Coinstar to Feature Provision Holographs at Kiosks

A holographic advertising display, powered by Chatsworth-based Provision Interactive Technologies Inc., will be available on Coinstar LLC’s coin-counting kiosks in most Giant Eagle supermarkets, Coinstar announced Tuesday.

Penthouse Media Bought Out of Bankruptcy

The assets of Penthouse Global Media have been sold for $11.2 million to the owner of, according to media reports.

IHOP Teases Name Change on Social Media

On its social media accounts, IHOP has announced that it will be “flipping” its name to “IHOb” on June 11.

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Flip Flop Sale Sends Cherokee Shares Higher

Shares of Cherokee Inc. gained more than 34 percent to close at $1.06 on Tuesday, after the company announced the sale of its Flip Flop Shops retail chain to footwear manufacturer Bearpaw Holdings LLC for an undisclosed amount.

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Monday, June 4

Amgen's Neulasta to Face Competition From Biosimilar

Mylan NV has received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to market its biosimilar of Amgen Inc.’s drug Neulasta.

New Movie Ranch Coming to Simi Valley

Last week, Allied Pacific Studios signed with Simi Valley Waste Management to lease a 1,000-acre portion of the Simi Valley Landfill, located in unincorporated Ventura County, to develop as a movie ranch, according to a Simi Valley Acorn report.

Disneyland to Blackout Pass Holders for Stars Wars Launch

Walt Disney Co. is adding blackout dates for some pass holders to its Disneyland theme park to help keep down crowds after the opening of new Star Wars attractions next summer, according to media reports.

Wesco Renews Rockwell Collins Chemical Contract

Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc. has renewed a multi-year agreement to provide chemical management services to aerospace and defense contractor Rockwell Collins Inc.

Friday, June 1

Disney Offers $15 Minimum Wage to Park Workers

Walt Disney Co. has proposed to pay some of its unionized employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour by 2020 at the Disneyland Resort.

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Pot Bank Bill Moves to Assembly

A bill that will allow cannabis business owners to start a limited charter bank moves to the California Assembly following its passage this week in the Senate.

FDA Rejects Amgen Application for Herceptin Biosimilar

The Food and Drug Administration has denied Amgen’s application for a biosimilar of Roche’s breast cancer drug Herceptin.

Two Reseda Apartment Buildings Sell for $9.3 Million

Marcus & Millichap has announced the sale of a 39-unit Reseda apartment portfolio featuring a pair of Reseda buildings that sold for a combined $9.3 million, or $313 per square foot, according to James Brian Markel, regional manager of the firm’s Encino office.

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