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Wednesday, Jun 7, 2023

State Senate Passes Hertzberg’s Blockchain Bill

The California State Senate has passed a bill from a Valley lawmaker that would allow some corporations to use blockchain technology to issue, transfer and record share certificates. Blockchain enables transactions to be stored and updated on multiple computers that act as a distributed leger. While it is best known as the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, blockchain has also been touted as a more secure and direct way to facilitate contracts, loans and financial securities. SB 838, introduced by Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), passed the Senate Floor on May 17 and will head to the Assembly for a vote. If approved, it would only authorize corporations and nonprofits that do not have outstanding shares listed on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq to use the technology to issue shares. “It’s a big step to bring new technology to government,” Hertzberg said in a statement. “But it’s important we start employing secure blockchain technologies, even in a limited capacity, because that will allow us to find other creative ways that government can use this technology.” City and state governments across the country have begun considering using blockchain. The Berkeley City Council recently moved forward with a plan to utilize the technology to sell municipal bonds. In Colorado, lawmakers also passed a bill this month instructing state agencies to explore how to use it to protect state data and prevent fraud. Dine Brands’ CFO Dine Brands Global Inc. has appointed Thomas Song as chief financial officer. The Glendale restaurant company, which owns the Applebee’s and IHOP chains, has hired 10 new executives over the past year, including Chief Executive Steve Joyce, who replaced Julia Stewart in July. Song, a senior executive at Choice Hotels International Inc., will replace the company’s interim chief financial officer Greggory Kalvin effective May 29. Kalvin will stay on with Dine Brands as senior vice president and corporate controller. In February, Dine Brands changed its name from DineEquity Inc. and announced a comprehensive plan to return to growth after two years of declining revenues. The Glendale-based company said it will invest heavily in technology and data analysis to better understand consumers. “Our approach includes strengthening the leadership team and making strategic and meaningful investments,” Joyce said in a statement. “After a comprehensive nationwide search, during which we identified and evaluated a number of highly qualified candidates, Tom emerged as the clear choice to become our next chief financial officer.” Song has overseen corporate development and strategy at Choice Hotels since 2013. The company owns hospitality brands including Comfort Inn, Quality Inn and Econo Lodge. $97 Million MagicJack B. Riley Financial Inc. has raised nearly $97 million in a senior note placement, with a portion of the net proceeds partially funding the previously announced acquisition of MagicJack VocalTec Ltd. The Woodland Hills finance conglomerate held a public offering for $100 million worth of notes at 7.375 percent. Net proceeds totaled $96.9 million after deducting underwriting discounts and commissions, but before expenses. MagicJack is an Israeli corporation that sells a plug-in device that allows users to make phone calls on a personal computer. In November, B. Riley offered about $143 million for the company. Valley Education Grants The California Credit Union has awarded $500 teaching grants to two Valley educators to use for class projects. Daniela Fritz of Leichman Career Prep & Transition Center in Reseda and Martin Yaney of PUC Lakeview Charter High School in Sylmar each received the Spring 2018 CCU Los Angeles County Teacher Grant, along with eight other educators in the L.A. area. “California Credit Union is honored to continue our commitment to Los Angeles schools and students through our Teacher Grant Program,” said California Credit Union Chief Executive Steve O’Connell in a statement. “The energy and passion of these educators is remarkable as they outlined creative ways to support hands-on projects that inspire their students. We wish these teachers continued success in their classrooms.” The money will be used to fund programs to combat school violence, promote community sustainability and study plant and animal life cycles, among others. Since creating the program in 2012, the California Credit Union has awarded $65,000 in teacher grants throughout Southern California. Police CFO Los Angeles Police Federal Credit Union has appointed Angelino “Gino” Cayanan as chief financial officer. The Van Nuys organization serves 39,400 law enforcement personnel in the Los Angeles market. Cayanan previously served as the chief financial officer for the CBC Federal Credit Union from 2013 to 2017. He is replacing Edwin Hada, who was promoted to chief executive after serving as the LAPFCU’s chief financial officer for 10 years. “We are very pleased to welcome Mr. Cayanan to LAPFCU,” Hada said in a statement. “Gino has a track record of achievements in the credit union industry. At his previous organization, he improved operations by adding $9 million in capital. He also helped reduce loan losses and drove growth in mortgage- related income.” Staff Reporter Ethan Varian can be reached at (818) 316-3130 or evarian@sfvbj.com.

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