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San Fernando
Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

Raising Your Spirits

Canoga Park “People are getting more and more depressed by the day, hearing horror stories about the economy, stock market, electing a new President. Let’s do something fun that lifts peoples’ holiday spirit.” That was the pitch from Ryan Goldman, district manager for Canoga Park-based Cary Inc., the company that owns and operates the permanent Costume Warehouse Superstore and the “pop-up” Halloween Adventure stores that emerge around the Southland in September and fade away a week or so after October 31. Ryan Goldman’s father, Lenny Goldman, started the business in 1983, with the first temporary Halloween store. “We have been headquartered in the Valley for 25 years,” said Goldman. The corporate offices, warehouse and the Costume Warehouse store are in about 23,000 square feet of space on Canoga Avenue. They’ve been in that spot for six years and just signed an extension for another six. The business employs about 40 permanent staff with seasonal hiring of about 600 workers who toil for about 2-1/2 months. “What we want to do is transform this business from it being temporary, which is what everybody’s doing, to permanent, which nobody’s doing,” Goldman said. The company has a total of 20 temporary locations in Southern California. According to controller Jim McDevitt, Cary Inc. does “between $6 million and $10 million annually in sales,” with a net profit of about 10 percent. “The last two years were the best we’ve ever had; really off the charts,” said McDevitt. “This year we’re working very hard; we’re not there yet, but we’re very optimistic.” So when the rest of us are picking through the candy stash looking for the good stuff, the folks at the Costume Warehouse start bringing out their Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. “We always have costumes,” said Goldman but for Thanksgiving they’ll bring in some Pilgrims and Indians and dedicate another section of the store to Christmas and Hannukah. After that it is New Year’s and Mardi Gras. “Easter, you sell a couple of bunny suits but not much,” Goldman went on, “Then April to June is renaissance fairs. We do big business.” One of their year-round activities is catering to schools with costumes and props for theatrical performances of all kinds. There’s good reason that Halloween has become a $6 billion industry, Goldman said. “The harder the times get, the more people want to escape to something else, to forget about their troubles,” said Goldman. “If it’s not for a month, it’s at least for one day and that’s what Halloween has turned into for adults.” SAN FERNANDO VALLEY Burbank Abe: Bob Rogers, founder and chief creative officer of BRC Imagination Arts, will receive the Order of Lincoln for the company’s work designing the Lincoln Presidential Museum. Rogers will be among 30 people receiving the award in February to mark the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The Order of Lincoln is the highest award bestowed by the state of Illinois. The Lincoln Museum in Springfield has become the most visited presidential museum and a source of tourism dollars since opening in 2005. Using advanced technologies normally reserved for Hollywood and Broadway, the museum presents a fully immersive theatrical experience, enabling 21st century visitors to inhabit Lincoln’s life and times. Calabasas Writing: Final Draft Inc. handed out its 4th annual Hall of Fame Award to screenwriter and producer Steven J. Cannell, the creator of such series as “The Rockford Files,” “The A-Team,” and “21 Jump Street.” The Calabasas-based company gives the award to entertainment industry figures who foster the art of scriptwriting and nurture and inspire the creative process. Cannell, who writes mainly detective novels these days, received the award Oct. 23 at the annual event at which Final Draft honors the top three winners of its Big Break International Screenwriting contest. Chatsworth Supply: Pentadyne Power Corp. received the Critical Supplier Award from defense contractor Beaver Aerospace & Defense for its on-time deliveries and commitment to sales and service. Beaver placed a $4.5 million order with Pentadyne last year with follow-on orders worth $400,000 this year. Beaver uses the Pentadyne flywheel system to absorb energy until it is needed for acceleration. “I’m proud Beaver Aerospace has chosen Pentadyne energy recycling systems for use in these vital national defense facilities,” said Pentadyne President & CEO Mark McGough. “The superior performance and reliability of our product has proven to be a perfect fit for this need, and I’m proud that the Pentadyne product and its employees have earned this Critical Supplier Award.” Recognition: Better Nutrition Magazine named Carb Intercept, supplement made by nutrition manufacturer Natrol as the “Metabolism And Weight Loss” category winner in the publication’s first “Best Of Supplements” awards. The winning supplements chosen by a roster of experts, consumers and Better Nutrition’s editors will be featured in the magazine’s November ’08 issue, recognizing 72 products in 31 categories. Better Nutrition is published in print and online at. “We are proud that Better Nutrition has named Natrol Carb Intercept for its first annual Best of Supplements award in the metabolism and weight loss category,” Natrol’s Research and Development Vice President Dr. Michael T. Yatcilla stated. “Over the years, this product has received testimonials from consumers, as well as positive feedback from health care professionals, media, retailers, and other members of our industry.” Glendale Cars: Caruso Concours d’Elegance took place Oct. 12 at The Americana at Brand. The event featured 35 cars valued at more than $85 million from elite collections. Petersen Automotive Museum presented the event, which featured vehicles including a1925 Rolls-Royce Phantom I Aerodynamic Coupe, a 1939 Bugatti Type 57C, as well as automobiles from Bentley, Mercedes, Packard, Duesenberg and other rare and valuable makes. North Hills Launch: Galpin Auto Sports (GAS) celebrated its grand opening extravaganza Oct. 18. GAS focuses on vehicle design and customization. MTV used the services of GAS on television show “Pimp My Ride.” The event included a car show featuring vehicles form Pimp My Ride and Kustom Kulture show cars by George Barris, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Von Dutch, and classic million-dollar vehicles. There was cuisine by Wolfgang Puck and performances by Camp Freddy and Xzibit. The event benefited several local charities, including the Boys & Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley, Wheels for Humanity/United Cerebral Palsy and Friends & Helpers. Northridge Donation: Cal State Northridge’s Bookstein Institute for Higher Education in Taxation received a contribution of $10,000 from Citi, a global financial services company. The contribution will be used to support the institute’s latest initiative to facilitate free educational seminars for small business owners throughout the Los Angeles area. The seminars will inform owners of their rights and responsibilities regarding federal taxation and will be facilitated by undergraduate and graduate tax students of CSUN. For more information, visit http://blogs. csun.edu/news/2008/10/14/citi-awards/. CONEJO VALLEY Thousand Oaks Breakfast: Scott Foraker, vice president of research and development at Amgen, spoke at California Lutheran University’s Corporate Leaders Breakfast Oct. 21. For more than 25 years, Amgen has explored scientific discovery and innovation to advance the practice of medicine. The Fortune 500 company pioneered the development of novel products based on advances in recombinant DNA and molecular biology. Foraker came to Amgen in 1994. He has previously served as vice president of licensing of new products and technologies and associate general counsel. He was the executive in charge of integrating Imunex into Amgen in 2002. Prior to joining Amgen, he practiced law at McDonnell Douglas and Latham & Watkins, specializing in mergers, acquisitions, securities law and finance. The Corporate Leaders Breakfast Series brings members of the business and civic communities together to share ideas and hear from prominent leaders in the region. Agreement: Restaurant chain Baja Fresh Mexican Grill has entered into an agreement with California-based Bluesun Corp. Bluesun is an international consumer products brokerage firm specializing in the worldwide sales of food and non-food products to high profile retailers including Costco Wholesale, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Sam’s Club, Trader Joe’s, and Wal-Mart. Initial product offerings are expected to include a line of unique Baja Fresh Salsas featuring the flavors of Mexico. “We believe this is a natural step for Baja Fresh,” said Baja’s Chief Development Officer James Walker. “Consumers are looking for fresh, high quality products, and Baja Fresh is synonymous with those attributes.” ANTELOPE VALLEY Mixer: Palmdale Mayor Jim Ledford and Antelope Valley community and business leaders headlined a networking mixer hosted by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management Oct. 15 at the AERO Institute in Antelope Valley. Last year, Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management began the MBA program at the AERO Institute. The school has worked with the Antelope Valley Board of Trade, the Palmdale Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Antelope Valley Economic Alliance and the AERO Institute. In April 2009, new MBA classes will meet on Monday and Wednesday from 6-10 p.m. at the AERO Institute. For more information on the Pepperdine MBA program in Antelope Valley and the next cycle of course offerings, visit http://bschool.pepperdine.edu/pro-grams/av/.

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