Valley Briefs Judge Hill Recognized Judge Alice C. Hill of the North Valley District of the Los Angeles Superior Court received the San Fernando Valley Bar Association’s (SFVBA) Judge of the Year Award at the SFVBA Annual Judges’ Night last week at the Woodland Hills Hilton. Hill was appointed to the Los Angeles Municipal Court by Gov. Pete Wilson in November 1995. She served as Supervising Judge of the San Fernando Branch from 1998 until the court’s unification with the Superior Court in 2000. Hill helped oversee the opening of the Chatsworth Courthouse in 2002, and a year later, the transfer of caseloads between San Fernando and Chatsworth. She is a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court Rules, Community Outreach, Domestic Violence, and Legislative Outreach Committees. Hill received her B.A. from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law. Training Grant Received The Valley Economic Development Center has received a $557,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist low-income residents of the Northeast San Fernando Valley with business start-up, expansion and financing. Assistance for the business owners will come in the form of a five-week Micro-enterprise Training Program. After completing the training and creating a business plan, participants will be eligible for loans in the amount of $700 to $5,000. Classes will be held in both Spanish and English. PerfectData Losses Mount Losses at PerfectData Corp. mounted in the most recent period as a result of the company’s failed acquisition attempt. PerfectData, a Simi Valley-based marketer of office care products, posted a loss of $211,000 or $0.03 per share for the third quarter ended Dec. 31, compared to a loss of $127,000 or $0.02 per share for the comparable period in 2002. Revenues increased 27 percent to $636,000 from $500,000 in the prior year period. PerfectData, which has been actively seeking a merger partner or acquisition in order to boost its revenues and stem a string of losses, had agreed to merge with SuperCom Ltd., an Israeli technology company, but the agreement was terminated earlier this year. The company attributed its loss for the period to expenses associated with that decision. PerfectData is now seeking approval to sell its operating assets to Spray Products Corp. For the nine month period, PerfectData posted a net loss of $471,000 or $0.08 per share, compared with a loss of $494,000 or $0.08 per share during the nine months in 2002. Semtech Forecast Bright Semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. reported earnings of $12.5 million or $0.16 per diluted share, on sales of $55.4 million for the company’s fourth fiscal quarter ended Jan. 25, 2004. That compares with earnings of $62,000 or $0.00 per diluted share, on revenues of $44.5 million for the comparable period last year. Camarillo-based Semtech, said it anticipates a sales increase in the range of 7 percent to 10 percent for the first quarter of its fiscal 2005 year, compared to the fourth quarter results, and earnings in the neighborhood of $0.17 to $0.18 per diluted share. “New product development and design win data suggests continued strength in cellular phones, notebook computers, communications equipment and other portable devices in the coming year,” the company said in its earnings release. WellPoint Recognized Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint Health Network, Inc. came in second in a recently released survey ranking California’s top companies by gender diversity. Forty four percent of the directors on the board of WellPoint are women, said Leonard D. Schaeffer, the chairman and CEO of the nation’s second largest health insurer. The company also previously ranked as one of the top four employers for executive women. The gender survey was collected by Corporate Women Directors International, an advocacy group. Runaway Business More than 40 percent of California companies surveyed by the California Business Roundtable said they have plans to move jobs out of state, according to a new study. The researchers, Bain & Co., a global business consulting firm that conducted the survey, California Competitiveness Project, for the Business Roundtable, canvassed 50 companies, from small businesses with about $1.5 million in revenue to large corporations that had $90 billion in revenues, who noted that California’s business climate was bad. The companies surveyed were from various industries. “This research reveals that business as usual is not working in California,” said Dick Kovacevich, chairman and CEO of Wells Fargo and Co. and the Roundtable chairman. “The tech bubble merely masked the erosion (and) California has lost its edge.” The Roundtable membership is comprised of CEOs of the state’s top corporations. “Looking forward, if nothing changes, things are likely to get worse,” Kovacevich added. UCC Endorsements United Chambers of Commerce, an umbrella organization for the Valley’s chambers, has thrown its support behind Propositions 57 and 58 and voiced its opposition to Proposition 56 and Measure R in this week’s primary election. “Propositions 57 and 58 are necessary to protect California’s credit rating and put controls on the state legislature’s spending,” said Joel Simon, UCC chair. “At the same time, we can’t afford to give more money to the Los Angeles Unified School District (via Measure R) when we don’t have a good accountability of where all the previous bond money went.” If approved, Measure R would provide a $3.87 billion bond for the school district, one of the nation’s largest. UCC represents 24 member chambers in the Greater San Fernando Valley.