People On The Move – San Fernando Valley Business Journal

For more information on how to submit a Listing, go here >>


Monday, April 25, 2022



Lara
CREDIT UNIONS

SchoolsFirst FCU announced changes to the executive leadership structure, splitting the current president/CEO position in two and promoting Jose Lara to president. Bill Cheney will continue to serve the Credit Union as Chief Executive Officer. Lara has been with the Credit Union for nearly 30 years. He started as manager of the Placentia branch and most recently served as executive vice president, chief operating officer. Prior to SchoolsFirst FCU, Lara worked for a savings and loan, as the vice president and manager of one of their largest branches. This change in the leadership structure will help the Credit Union continue to serve the evolving needs of Members and teammembers.

Additionally, the Credit Union announced the promotion of three senior leaders who will report directly to Lara as executive vice presidents: Carol Rose, Member service operations; Kevin Martin, strategic integration and Member experience; and Jim Phillips, chief information officer.

“Jose’s commitment to the credit union movement, its principles and his passion for championing our mission of delivering WorldClass Personal Service and financial security will help lead our growing and thriving Credit Union. He is an extraordinary leader and his vision and enthusiasm for our Members and teammembers will position us well for the future,” said Bill Cheney, chief executive officer.

SchoolsFirst FCU is the fifth largest credit union in the country. Serving school employees and their families, the organization is dedicated to providing World-Class Personal Service and improving the financial lives of its Members. Today they serve more than 1.2 million Members with a full range of financial products and services – from savings and loans to investment, retirement and insurance products. SchoolsFirst FCU was founded in 1934, when 126 school employees pooled $1,200 and established a Member-owned cooperative to help improve each other’s lives. In 2021, the Credit Union reported nearly $27 billion in assets and remains the largest credit union in California.

For more information about SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, visit schoolsfirstfcu.org.


Monday, February 28, 2022



Bishay

O’Toole
CONSULTING

Lukasa, a Business and Technology Consulting Firm, Launches in LA Region

An all-in-one consulting and execution firm, Lukasa fills an essential need in the fast-paced L.A. business community—offering a clear path and scalable solution for companies to gain the modern edge required to compete and thrive in a rapidly-evolving data-driven economy.

Founded by a veteran team of forward-thinking business and technology experts with deep experience across a wide range of industries, Lukasa was built for companies in need of process analysis and improvement, innovative technologies, and business transformation—key features of modernization.

Lukasa takes a partnership approach to every project, working side-by-side with client teams to gain a three-dimensional view of what each company needs to maximize efficiency and competitiveness.

“Over the years, Mark Bishay, CTO and I have been on the inside. We understand the pain points of companies in diverse sectors, and the typical roadblocks to modernization,” says CEO, Dan O’Toole. “The great news is that we know how to fix it. When you have the right team, transforming your business doesn’t have to be daunting or prohibitively expensive. It’s thrilling to help companies streamline to meet their goals. Highly efficient companies create engaged employee culture and deliver enhanced customer experience, resulting in growth and profitability.”

“We have the flexibility to scale a team to fit each company and project’s unique needs. We develop and implement innovative, integrated, custom solutions to optimize your organization,” says Bishay.

Modernization matters. Lukasa’s Los Angeles team reimagines business—designing a future-focused path to strategic growth.To Learn more about the company visit www.lukasa.com



Gaskill-Hames
HEALTHCARE

Kaiser Permanente Announces High-Level Executive Appointment for the Southern California and Hawaii Market

Michelle Gaskill-Hames has been appointed as Senior Vice President/Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategy, Growth and Experience Officer for Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii.

Gaskill-Hames oversees eight medical service areas in Southern California, including the following locations: Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Downey, Baldwin Park, South Bay, Panorama City/Antelope Valley and Woodland Hills/Ventura.

She will also lead Kaiser Permanente’s growth strategy and effort to improve the consumer experience and bring high-quality and affordable health care to more people in Southern California and Hawaii. Additionally, Gaskill-Hames will have oversight of the Member Services Department, ensuring the excellence in care.

“Michelle, among others, will partner with the Permanente physicians and local teams to ensure our health care delivery systems continue to provide excellent service and quality care,” said Julie Miller-Phipps, President, Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Hawaii, Health Plan and Hospitals. “I am confident she is the ideal leader for this challenging moment in history and well beyond.”

Gaskill-Hames began her career as a neonatal intensive care registered nurse and quickly rose through the ranks of several of the most respected health care organizations in the nation. She has delivered “leadership vision,” driven cultural transformation, and executed successful outcomes through her work at Advocate Healthcare, Huron Consulting, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare. She joined Kaiser Permanente’s Northern California Region in 2016.

Gaskill-Hames holds a Master of Health Services Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan. She also holds a Project Management Certification from the Harvard School of Public Health.


Monday, February 14, 2022



Carter

Yu
ENERGY

Cordoba Corporation, a nationally recognized, California-based engineering, program management, and construction management firm specializing in infrastructure projects in the energy, water, education and facilities, and transportation sectors, is pleased to announce two director-level appointments.

Brad Carter, P.E. recently joined Cordoba as Director of Electric Utilities, where he is responsible for Cordoba’s Energy Infrastructure sector’s electric portfolio with investor-owned utility and municipal utility clients. He previously worked at San Diego Gas & Electric for fifteen years in several key transmission, engineering, design, operations, project management and regulatory positions. Brad earned his B.S. in Structural Engineering and M.S. in Management Science at UC San Diego.

Peter Yu, P.E. joined Cordoba Corporation in August 2018 and was recently promoted to Director of Gas Utilities, where he is responsible for managing projects and programs with Cordoba’s natural gas utility customers, including SDG&E, PG&E and SoCalGas. Peter earned his B.S. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from UC Irvine and is a certified Project Management Professional.

Mr. Carter can be reached at Brad.Carter@cordobacorp.com or (626) 893-6419. Mr. Yu can be reached at: pyu@cordobacorp.com or (714) 322-8234.

Cordoba Corporation uniquely combines technical capabilities and experience with an in-depth understanding of public policy and regulations, infrastructure development, and the importance of Making a Difference in the communities in which we live and work. For more information, please visit www.cordobacorp.com or @cordobacorp on social media.



Wongkaew
INFRASTRUCTURE

Mike Wongkaew, Ph.D., PE, SE, PMP, has been named HNTB Corporation’s national tunnel practice lead-West region. His position supports HNTB’s growing number of tunnel and underground projects in this region. He is experienced in project development, from feasibility studies through final design for multiple procurement environments.

“This new role reflects the depth of technical excellence toward successful project delivery that Mike brings to HNTB’s tunnel and underground engineering practice group and our clients,” said Sanja Zlatanic, PE, HNTB chair national tunnel practice, senior vice president and HNTB Fellow. “He continues broadening HNTB’s in-depth experience and providing innovative solutions that could be readily implemented in practice; at the same time, he is very focused on managing risks inherent to major complex tunneling projects.”



Ellington

Halley

Klass

Landes

Wu

Kehler
ACCOUNTING

GHJ Announces Five New Partner Promotions and Executive Committee Updates

GHJ, a leading accounting and advisory firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of five talented leaders to partner:
• Dr. Frances Ellington (State and Local Tax Leader)
• Douglas Halley (Health and Wellness Practice Leader)
• Peter Klass (a leader in the Filmed Entertainment Practice)
• Dan Landes (Media and Advertising Practice Leader)
• Richard Wu (Real Estate Practice Leader)
In addition, GHJ is excited to announce that Partner and Chief Strategy Officer Mari-Anne Kehler will be joining the Firm’s Executive Committee.

FRANCES ELLINGTON, DBA, CPA

Frances Ellington, DBA, CPA, is GHJ’s State and Local Tax Practice Leader and has more than 10 years of experience assisting her clients on issues related to tax audit controversy, nexus and reporting requirements, as well as various tax planning initiatives. A strong supporter and mentor of other women outside and at GHJ, Frances is co-leader of GHJ’s Women’s Empowerment Cohort. Frances was also a recipient of The Accountant’s and International Accounting Bulletin’s 2020 “Young Accountant of the Year” award and CalCPA’s 2019 “Women to Watch” award.

DOUGLAS HALLEY, CPA

Douglas Halley, CPA, is a leader GHJ’s Audit and Assurance Practice. With more than 30 years of public accounting experience, Douglas primarily works with clients in the nonprofit and healthcare sectors. He demonstrates excellence in financial management and analysis coupled with executive leadership and financial expertise. Douglas is also a well-known industry speaker and lecturer at universities such as UCLA, USC School of Public Health and national conferences on accounting updates to corporate governance best practices. Due to his extensive expertise in the area, Douglas will also be responsible for leading and growing GHJ’s Health and Wellness Practice.

PETER KLASS, CFE

Peter Klass, CFE, has more than 20 years of entertainment accounting and audit experience, specializing in profit participations, distribution and contract compliance of film and television programs. He also consults on disputes and litigations, profit-sharing arrangements and settlement negotiations on behalf of clients. Peter is a co-author of the 3rd edition of Movie Money: Understanding Hollywood’s (Creative) Accounting Practices and has written and been interviewed on various entertainment and media topics. He is a guest lecturer at Pepperdine University and Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution and has participated in various speaking engagements centered on film and TV profit participations.

DAN LANDES, CPA

Dan Landes, CPA, leads GHJ’s Technical Consulting Group as well as the Media and Advertising Practice. With 15 years of experience, he is an expert accounting and revenue recognition for digital media, advertising, technology and filmed entertainment. He is a regular guest lecturer at universities, such as UCLA and California State University, Northridge, and leads the revenue recognition segment of CalCPA’s annual “Motion Picture and Television Industry: Accounting and Auditing Overview.” Additionally, Dan is actively involved in GHJ’s Mentoring Program and has led various internal trainings on revenue recognition and financial statement preparations.

RICHARD WU, CPA

Richard Wu, CPA, leads GHJ’s Real Estate Practice and provides business strategy, tax advisory and tax compliance services to regional, national and international real estate companies as well as family offices and high-net-worth individuals. He has more than 15 years of tax compliance and consulting experience. Richard advises clients with a clear understanding of their business operations and long-term goals. He also provides support on tax-efficient entity structuring, due diligence on sales and acquisitions of real estate investments, mortgage debt analysis and cash flow and net-operating-income projections. Richard has also authored numerous tax blogs for GHJ as well as having spoken on tax topics for CalCPA.

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE UPDATE

MARI-ANNE KEHLER, CDP

As chief strategy officer and a partner, Mari-Anne Kehler, CDP, is known as dynamic and transformational leader at GHJ. A longtime advocate for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, Mari-Anne uses her platform to create a better workplace for all. In 2020, she became a Certified Diversity Professional (CDP).
Mari-Anne was brought on to GHJ’s Executive Committee due to her ability to embrace change and challenges. Her innovative mindset was key to helping GHJ pivot during the business disruption caused by COVID-19. Additionally, she is managing the design and launch of GHJ’s firm-wide client experience program, creating a formalized approach to enhance client relationships.
Previously, Mari-Anne was featured as an LA Times DEIA visionary honoree and finalist for their Inspirational Women in Business Awards. Mari-Anne was also nominated for the Los Angeles Business Journal’s Women’s Leadership Awards and previously named one of their “Most Influential Marketer.” She also recieved the CMO Club’s “CMO Transformation Award” for her ability to lead company-wide brand transformation.

A FIRM OF THE FUTURE

By continually investing in the next generation of leaders, resources and technology, GHJ is transforming its vision and passion into tangible results for its clients and people. The Firm’s goal is to support and nurture its leaders to best serve and strategically advise its clients. By leveraging core values, these new partners will create a framework that fosters long-term relationships for future success and growth, all while mentoring and shaping the young professionals who follow them.


Monday, January 31, 2022


MERGERS & ACQUISITIONS

GHJ MERGES IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ACCOUNTING FIRM ORLANDO, MITTS, MOORE AND COMPANY

GHJ, an accounting and advisory firm headquartered in Los Angeles with team members and clients throughout the U.S., is excited to announce its expansion in Northern California with Orlando, Mitts, Moore and Company (OMM), an accounting firm based in San Jose, CA, joining its team. The addition of this second office demonstrates GHJ’s commitment to growth so it can better serve its clients nationally. Dedicated to excellence, GHJ believes merging OMM into GHJ will allow both employees and clients to #BeMore.

“OMM has a strong reputation in the community and brings a wealth of experience, especially in their tax services,” said GHJ Managing Partner Tom Barry. “The synergy between OMM and GHJ’s culture and values made this a perfect complement to our existing client offerings. Bringing OMM into GHJ is another demonstration of our commitment to better serve our clients located throughout California and the U.S.”

GHJ is thrilled for OMM Partners and Owners Laurie Orlando and Lou Mitts and their team to join GHJ. Founded in 1981, OMM provides accounting services to individuals and businesses, including compilations, reviews and audits. OMM specializes in tax planning and preparation for corporations, LLCs, partnerships, private foundations, nonprofits, estates and trusts.

Merging OMM into GHJ provides synergy with two likeminded organizations. Tightly aligning with GHJ’s own vision and values, OMM’s mission is to help clients achieve success by providing personalized attention and excellent service that addresses not only today’s needs but tomorrow’s plans. Similar to GHJ, OMM has also embraced technological innovations and evolved over the years to meet the needs of its clients, without losing its commitment to personalized service.

“We are excited to be joining GHJ and what this means for both our clients and our employees,” said Laurie. With this expansion to a new office in Northern California, GHJ will be able to grow both its reach and its ability to serve clients, including current OMM and GHJ clients as well as future ones.

“Giving our clients access to GHJ’s breadth of expertise and resources will give us the chance to expand our service offerings and serve our clients better than ever before,” added Lou.

GHJ’s Tax Practice pre-acquisition was comprised of over 65 professionals with expertise in state and local taxes, international tax planning, high-net-worth services and nonprofits in addition to corporate taxes. With tax providers located throughout the U.S., GHJ serves clients globally so they can grow revenues while minimizing tax burdens.

“Having OMM’s impressive team of professionals join GHJ will help deepen our pool of top-notch talent and resources and aligns with our commitment to excellence in client service,” Partner and GHJ Tax Practice Leader Akash Sehgal added.

700 S Flower Street, Suite 3300
Los Angeles, CA 90017
www.ghjadvisors.com • info@ghjadvisors.com
310.873.1600


Monday, November 8, 2021



Morreale

King
BANKING

BOSTON PRIVATE EXPANDS LOS ANGELES COMMERCIAL BANKING TEAM

Boston Private is pleased to announce the addition of two new commercial banking professionals in the Greater Los Angeles area: Sean Morreale and Paul King. The new talent expands the firm’s ability to provide commercial banking and lending solutions to nonprofits, professional services, institutional commercial real estate investors, and privately held businesses in the Southern California market, with strong connectivity to private banking and wealth management services.

Sean and Paul join an experienced team of commercial banking professionals — led by Denise Piper, Senior Managing Director for the Western Region, Specialty Commercial, and comprised of Monica Cooper, Karim Beleidy, Avaiur Fakir, Lora Kojaoghlanian, Lisa Watson and Curtis Chinn — in serving the business community of Los Angeles. The team is committed to providing clients with best-in-class service and solutions tailored to their business’s unique needs and goals.

Sean Morreale has joined as Managing Director for the Southern California Market. In his role, he will be responsible for overseeing commercial banking for privately held and professional service businesses in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Sean brings nearly 30 years of experience in the banking industry. Most recently, he served as Executive Vice President and Regional Commercial Banking Manager at Pacific Western Bank, where he led a team of professionals that focused on growing and retaining middle market companies, along with real estate financing for investor and professional developers. His past experience includes leadership roles at Citizens Business Bank, Rabobank, Comerica Bank, U.S. Bank and Bank of the West.

Sean received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from San Jose State University. He is a passionate supporter and volunteer for the American Red Cross and their support for members of the military, veterans and their families.
<br
Paul King has joined as a Director & Commercial Loan Officer and will report to Sean. He brings more than 20 years of experience in financial services and client relationship management on both the credit and business sides, primarily serving middle-market companies.

Prior to joining Boston Private, Paul served as First Vice President, Commercial Banking at Bank Leumi. His past experience includes positions at Citibank, GE Capital and Pacific Western Bank. Paul received his bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics from California State University at Northridge and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business. He is active in his community, currently serving on the board of his local City of Los Angeles Neighborhood Council.

This article was developed and paid for by Boston Private, an SVB Company. ©2021 SVB Financial Group. All rights reserved. SVB, SVB FINANCIAL GROUP, SILICON VALLEY BANK, MAKE NEXT HAPPEN NOW and the chevron device are trademarks of SVB Financial Group, used under license. Boston Private Bank and Trust Co. has been merged into and is now Silicon Valley Bank. Banking, lending, and trust products or services under the name Boston Private are offered by Silicon Valley Bank, a California bank with trust powers. Silicon Valley Bank is a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.



Wadhawan
TECHNOLOGY

Smita Wadhawan recently joined SimplePractice as the company’s first Chief Marketing Officer. Wadhawan joins at a pivotal time in the company’s growth, as it has achieved enormous customer growth and technological innovations in both the electronic health records management (EHR) and more general practice management space in the last year.

Before joining SimplePractice, Wadhawan served as Head of SMB Growth Marketing for GoDaddy, where she led marketing strategy and campaigns to support each stage of the customer lifecycle. She has also served as the Director of Consumer Product Marketing for Paypal and held consumer and acquisition marketing leadership positions for Visa and Intuit.

“The opportunity to join SimplePractice at this point in the company’s trajectory is enormous,” said SimplePractice CMO Smita Wadhawan. “Every member of the SimplePractice organization comes to work each day motivated by the opportunity to help health and wellness entrepreneurs thrive. The SimplePractice directive to care for the people who feel called to care for others is both an inspiring and enormously important mission to carry forward. I view my role as ensuring customers feel seen and heard as part of our story, and also helping to enlist more people who care about making a difference to join our team.”



Wongkaew
INFRASTRUCTURE

Mike Wongkaew, Ph.D., PE, SE, PMP, has been named HNTB Corporation’s national tunnel practice lead-West region. His position supports HNTB’s growing number of tunnel and underground projects in this region. He is experienced in project development, from feasibility studies through final design for multiple procurement environments.

“This new role reflects the depth of technical excellence toward successful project delivery that Mike brings to HNTB’s tunnel and underground engineering practice group and our clients,” said Sanja Zlatanic, PE, HNTB chair national tunnel practice, senior vice president and HNTB Fellow. “He continues broadening HNTB’s in-depth experience and providing innovative solutions that could be readily implemented in practice; at the same time, he is very focused on managing risks inherent to major complex tunneling projects.”


Monday, March 29, 2021



Rosenfeld
ARCHITECTURE

HGA welcomes David Rosenfeld, LEED AP, as Associate Vice President leading Business Development for the Southern California market. With 20 years’ experience in the architecture/engineering/ construction industry, he will focus on client relations and new opportunities throughout the region for HGA’s Healthcare and Science & Technology groups.


Monday, March 15, 2021



Lerner

Stelnick
INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES

LBW Insurance and Financial Services in Valencia announces two promotions and the addition of two new staff members. In February, Todd J. Lerner, BFATM was promoted to Vice President in the financial services division and Eric Stelnick is now Vice President of Sales with a specialty focus in the Cannabis industry. In addition, the commercial lines department welcomed Heidi Williamson as a Support Specialist and Miriam Lopez, CLIC, CCIP as a Senior Support Specialist.



Ferrer

Polk
ACCOUNTING

KKB is proud to announce these promotions:

Carisa Ferrer, CPA – Managing Partner
Carisa joined KKB in 2006 and became a Partner in July 2016, where she led the Firm’s Audit practice. Carisa is KKB’s first female MP in the Firm’s history and will carry on KKB’s core values of professionalism, attentive client service and exceptional work. Carisa accepts the reins from Stuart Jaffe, who continues his active role as Senior Partner.

Carisa has over 20 years’ experience in practice, with a focus on middle market clients, closely held businesses and nonprofit organizations. She develops close relationships with clients and provides strategies and solutions to address their tax challenges and financial matters. Carisa is a member of CalCPA and the AICPA, and a Board member and Audit Committee Chair for the nonprofit organization Plug In America.

Raven Polk, CPA – Principal
Raven provides professional accounting services to clients in both private industry and the non-profit sector. Since joining KKB as a staff accountant in 2007, Raven has demonstrated a keen ability to nurture lasting relationships. Raven’s technical focus is in our Audit practice, where she has been instrumental in implementing new policies and procedures. Raven earned her BS degree in Accountancy from CSUN and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

About KKB
Kirsch Kohn & Bridge LLP was established in 1961 and has grown to be one of the pre-eminent accounting firms in the San Fernando Valley. KKB provides a variety of tax and accounting services for our business and individual clients.


Monday, March 1, 2021



McHale

Petryshin
PROJECT & COST MANAGEMENT FIRM

VVA, a leading national Project and Cost Management firm, is pleased to announce new office leadership for the VVA LA Office. Catherine McHale, LEED AP, Director, is the Los Angeles office lead, and she is supported by Christopher Petryshin, Managing Director, who oversees VVA’s National Offices outside of NYC. Under their skilled leadership, VVA’s LA office provides a full range of advisory and technical project and cost management services within the real estate and construction industry, serving clients in Southern California and the Northwest United States.

Cathy has more than 25 years of experience in commercial interior design and project management, is a founding member of the VVA West Coast team, and is skilled at building and managing project teams. She has a diverse background working with clients in multiple sectors including law firms, financial services, entertainment, corporate, and life sciences.

With over 20 years of experience in the real estate and construction industry, Chris brings considerable knowledge and expertise to his clients. He is responsible for VVA’s client services oversight for national strategic accounts. His team oriented approach and broad range of managerial, creative and technical talents has brought clients unsurpassed value from their project management partnership. Chris’s experience spans all market sectors, over 7+ million SF of space including prestigious law firms, financial institutions, tech companies, manufacturing companies, higher academia, and charter schools.

Contact: VVA Project & Cost Managers

515 S. Flower Street 18th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90071

For more information contact Cathy McHale at cmchale@vvallc.com


Monday, February 15, 2021



Lungari
ENGINEERING

Vincent Lungari, PLS has been promoted to Associate

Psomas is pleased to announce that Vincent Lungari, PLS has been named an Associate of the firm. As Team Leader for the Valencia office Survey team, Vincent brings over 32 years of extensive experience in providing professional land surveying services for residential and commercial construction projects.


Monday, February 1, 2021



Demos
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Mark Demos, CPA, was appointed as the office managing partner for the Los Angeles office at Crowe LLP, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm. In this role, Demos will oversee local office personnel and strategy in Los Angeles while continuing to lead audit services for southern California.


Monday, January 18, 2020



Colliers
REAL Estate

ACCOMPLISHED INDUSTRIAL TEAM JOINS COLLIERS IN GREATER LOS ANGELES

Colliers has added one of Greater Los Angeles’ most successful industrial brokerage teams— David Harding, Greg Geraci, Matt Dierckman and Billy Walk —to their booming GLA business. The team joins Colliers from CBRE, where they have built a reputation over the last several decades as one of the top advisors of owners and tenants of warehouse, distribution and manufacturing facilities throughout Los Angeles County and, for their corporate clients, in markets across the U.S. and around the globe. Since 2000, the team has advised some of the industry’s most prominent landlords and the region’s largest industrial tenants on more than 2,400 transactions totaling more than 70 million square feet. Harding, Geraci and Dierckman join the firm as Executive Vice Presidents. Walk joins as Senior Vice President.

The team feels the depth and breadth of the Colliers platform will enable them to continue exceeding their clients’ expectations while supporting their expanding their business. Additionally, the Colliers culture is a perfect match for their own entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit.

David Josker, Colliers’ President of Brokerage for the U.S. Southwest, commented that “Adding a group of this caliber further solidifies our commitment to excellence as we continue to scale to meet the growing demands of our clients, both existing and new.”



Mekuria
INFRASTRUCTURE

Ted Mekuria, senior project manager for HNTB Corporation, has been named to the Valley Industry & Commerce Association’s board of directors for 2021. With input and guidance from its members, VICA maintains a regular presence at all levels of government to represent San Fernando Valley businesses effectively. He joins distinguished members from various Southern California public agencies and businesses.

“We congratulate Ted on his new leadership role with VICA,” said Wayne Feuerborn, HNTB West Division president. “With his extensive industry experience, he is well-positioned to help guide VICA in shaping and advancing policy that increases the vitality of the San Fernando Valley business community.”

Mekuria has two decades of engineering consulting experience in transportation planning and design for public and private clients and has completed major transportation projects in the Los Angeles area. He joined HNTB in 2019 and serves as the City of Los Angeles client service lead. As senior project manager, he is involved in every aspect of the project lifecycle, from data collection and design, to management, and on-time project delivery.

VICA is widely considered one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Southern California.


Monday, January 04, 2021



Ellingsen
BANKING

California Bank & Trust (CB&T) has promoted Eric Ellingsen to CEO after more than twenty years of unwavering commitment to the bank. Ellingsen will continue his role as president with new responsibilities as CEO overseeing CB&T’s growth across the state, including direct oversight of its commercial banking division. David E. Blackford will transition from his role as prior CEO to executive chairman, with continuing responsibility for the bank’s commercial real estate portfolio.

Ellingsen began his impressive career trajectory at CB&T in a four-month temporary role as a junior accountant that led to a permanent position within the company. Throughout the years, he’s handled risk management, regulatory compliance, international banking and asset/liability management. In 2012, he was promoted to CFO and in 2016, rose to the position of COO where he oversaw business and branch banking, SBA lending, private banking, corporate services, and the bank’s finance and planning functions.

As CEO, he sees tremendous opportunity ahead to continue to grow the bank, investing in employees, serving its clients and making a difference in the community. Ellingsen plays an active role supporting many nonprofit and professional groups; serving as the chairman of the Western Bankers Association, a board member of the California Bankers Association and president of the North American Asset and Liability Management Association. He’s been recognized as “CFO of the Year – Large Public Company” and a two-time recipient of the “San Diego 500 – The Most Influential Business Leaders in San Diego” by the San Diego Business Journal.


EXECUTIVE PROTECTION DRONE OPERATIONS

The World Protection Group (WPG), a leading security firm specializing in international executive protection and executive protection drone operations, has just received the FAA drone waiver, the beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) 107.31 – Beyond Visual Line of Sight Aircraft Operation. This is one of the most difficult waivers to acquire granted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The World Protection Group is the only security firm in the United States to acquire all 3 of the most difficult FAA drone waivers.

This waiver applies to a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) and regulates to Fly a UAS beyond your ability to clearly determine its orientation with unaided vision. The waiver allows drone pilots to control the drone outside their VLOS.

This waiver joins the two others already held by WPG:

• 107.39 – Operation Over People – To Fly UAS Over a Person waiver

• 107.29 – Daylight Operations – To Fly UAS at Night waiver

The ability to operate drones beyond the VLOS is essential to the protection of human life and for ensuring WPG’s clients and their properties are kept safe and secure at all times by using visual observers on each mission. The implementation of WPG’s security operations integrates its drones with manned security maneuvers to ensure its clients’ safety at all times and in any situation.

About The World Protection Group

Founded in 2001 by Kent Moyer and headquartered in Beverly Hills, with offices in New York City, Mexico, and Shanghai. The World Protection Group offers fullservice international security. WPG has armed security trained pilots, an extensive fleet of drones and they are required to have FEMA disaster response training.

Contact us at The World Protection Group.

Kent Moyer

+1 310-390-6646

www.worldprotectiongroup.com

info@theworldprotectiongroup.com



Nakagawa
WEALTH MANAGEMENT

Andrew Nakagawa has joined J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Westlake Village as a Vice President, Banker. In this role, Andy works with affluent families, corporate executives, business owners and nonprofit organizations across the region to pursue the important wealth management objectives required to grow and protect their wealth.


Monday, November 09, 2020



Colmenares-Stafford
BANKING

Pacific Premier Bank welcomes Armida Colmenares-Strafford to her new role as 1st VP/Senior Relationship Manager for the Encino office. Armida focuses on supporting small and medium-sized businesses with lending, deposit, and treasury management solutions. Armida brings 30 years of banking experience with various national, regional, and community banks in the greater Los Angeles area. Currently she Chairs UCC and is on the Board of TVEA.


Monday, September 28, 2020



Arlet
BANKING

Pacific Premier Bank promoted Arlet Hur To SVP, Director of Commercial Banking for the Los Angeles market, covering the San Fernando Valley/Encino area. Arlet brings 25-plus years of banking experience to her new role of leading relationship managers in overseeing multimillion-dollar deposit and credit portfolios for the Bank.


Monday, August 17, 2020



Chu
LEGAL

Joshua Chu appointed managing partner of Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP’s California offices. The firm’s Los Angeles and Silicon Valley offices consist of more than 40 intellectual property attorneys who focus on delivering service in the areas of trademark prosecution, patent prosecution, licensing, opinion work, post-grant proceedings and litigation.



McElwain
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Merryll McElwain joins Wilmington Trust as senior wealth advisor in Los Angeles and will be responsible for substantially growing the firm’s wealth management services, with a focus on individual and family wealth, business owners, and institutions in the Western region. She will work closely with clients and their advisors to develop financial strategies, help clients meet their current needs, and plan for long-term objectives. Merryll will also coordinate comprehensive financial planning services including, investment management, planning, trust, private banking, and family office services.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Merryll worked for over 12 years in financial planning. Previously she was a senior client strategist for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. She is a Certified Exit Planning Advisor and helps educate and advise entrepreneurs and shareholders before, during, and after the sale or transition of their companies. Merryll is also on the executive committee for the LA Chapter of the Exit Planning Institute.

“Now more than ever individuals, families and entrepreneurs in the Los Angeles area are looking for experienced advisors to navigate the changing environment,” said Merryll. I am excited to join a firm that possesses sophisticated solutions and holistic offerings to help create successful transitions and positive outcomes. I look forward to quarterbacking a team of advisors and working closely with strategists and investment professionals to guide our clients through times of challenge, growth, and succession.”

Merryll holds an MBA from East Carolina University and a bachelor’s degree from Appalachian State University. She serves as vice president of the board for Braemar Country Club and as a member of the board for Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
Over the past 12 months, Wilmington Trust has recruited a powerful list of market leaders, senior wealth advisors, wealth strategists, and private bankers to lead and expand regions within its footprint, including New Jersey, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston and Pennsylvania. Last year, the firm announced a new relationship-led operating model, which has attracted dozens more internally and externally to serve as wealth advisors to the firm’s high-net-worth and ultra-high-net worth clients


Monday, August 3, 2020



Surowitz

Forrest
SENIOR CARE

Los Angeles Jewish Home (LAJH) – One of the nation’s largest providers of comprehensive senior care, LAJH welcomes Dale Surowitz as its newest CEO and president. He succeeds Molly Forrest, who led LAJH for nearly 25 years of dynamic growth and development. Surowitz will leverage the expertise he built as CEO of Providence Cedars-Sinai Tarzana Medical Center to fuel LAJH’s continued expansion, while Forrest transitions to a new role as president of the Jewish Home Foundation.



Susskind
NON-PROFIT

AMANDA SUSSKIND NAMED NEW PRESIDENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS FOUNDATION (CRF)

Amanda Susskind joins CRF as their new President following nearly two decades as the Los Angeles Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League where she oversaw a broad civil rights agenda, anti-bias education and bullying prevention programs, Holocaust education, and hate crime victim assistance. In that role, Susskind conceived and convened LA For Good, a coalition of community leaders standing together to fight hate and create a more unified Los Angeles. She was also a leading voice advocating for ADL to take national positions on gender equity, LGBTQ rights, and immigration reform. Prior to ADL, Susskind specialized in public and environmental law as a partner at Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish and, before that, a shareholder at Richards, Watson & Gershon. She earned a JD from Hastings College of the Law and a BS in Mathematics from Stanford University. Susskind succeeds Marshall Croddy who was a major contributor at CRF for over 40 years serving as President since 2013. Susskind will bring her background in social justice, law and education to continue CRF’s legacy of creating the next generation of active and engaged citizens. CRF’s mission is to educate students, primarily in underserved areas, about what citizenship means, to empower them to be active participants in this democracy, and to amplify their voices in being thoughtful agents of change.



Brown
ACCOUNTING

Green Hasson Janks (GHJ) welcomes Peter Brown,CPA, CFF, ABV, as a new partner and practice leader of Forensic Services. With nearly three decades of forensic accounting experience, as well as extensive experience quantifying damages in commercial litigation and internal investigations, Brown will be an integral driver of growth for GHJ’s advisory service offerings.

Passionate about helping clients #BeMore, Brown has served as a litigation consultant and expert witness in numerous disputes.

“His expertise will help us to even better serve our clients,” GHJ Partner and Advisory Practice Leader Anant Patel said.


Monday, April 27, 2020



Kim
HEALTH CARE

Kaiser Permanente announced that John D. Kim has been appointed chief operating officer for the Kaiser Permanente Woodland Hills and West Ventura service areas. John will be responsible for day-to-day hospital operations, continuing care, capital projects, quality/regulatory services and operations support, as well as provide oversight of our West Ventura market.


Monday, February 3, 2020


ANNIVERSARY

American Financial Center, Inc. (AFCI) of Sherman Oaks is proud to celebrate its 20th year in business as of March, 2020.

AFCI Factors Accounts receivables for businesses and makes small loans and Merchant Cash Advances.

For more information:
American Financial Center, Inc.
A Factoring Company
14930 Ventura Blvd. Suite 320
Sherman Oaks, Ca 91403
www.afincen.com
818-981-1034



Hollman

Tronkina
ACCOUNTING

CohnReznick LLP, one of the top U.S. advisory, assurance, and tax firms, has promoted 12 professionals to its partnership ranks, effective February 1, 2020. Two are from the firm’s Los Angeles office:

Jeff Hollman, CPA, most recently served as an audit director and is a key member of the firm’s Cannabis, Retail & Consumer Products, and Manufacturing & Distribution practices. Jeff has more than 13 years of experience assisting companies with technical matters such as purchase accounting, debt and equity transactions and stock-based compensation. He combines technical expertise with industry knowledge to provide value-added solutions to his clients.

Natalie Tronkina, CPA, is a member of CohnReznick’s Transactional Advisory Service Practice. With more than 15 years of experience, Natalie provides buy- and sell-side due diligence for private equity, lenders, and strategic buyers and sellers. Her areas of focus include performing quality of earnings, net working capital assessments, preparing pro-forma financial statements, performing profitability and bridging analyses, evaluating financial reporting infrastructures, and recommending best practices.

“We are very excited to have Jeff and Natalie join our partnership. They are both highly talented business people who add value to our clients and our teams. They elevate our practice and we look forward to their continuing success,” said Scott Sachs, CPA, Managing Partner – Los Angeles Offices.


TAX SERVICES

(top left) Greg Kniss, KROST Managing Principal, followed left to right by new KROST principals Martin Belak-Berger, Scott Eisner, Robert Price, Scott Gilmore, and Philip D’Amico. Not pictured: Jerry Block and Jane Plant.

Los Angeles-based firm, KROST CPAs and Consultants, has merged with BPE&H out of Woodland Hills effective January 1, 2020. Seven principals join the KROST leadership team, including Scott Eisner, Martin Belak-Berger, Bob Price, Phil D’Amico, Scott Gilmore; and founding principals Jerry Block and Jane Plant.

For more information visit KROSTCPAs.com.


Monday, September 16, 2019


ANNIVERSARIES

Yale Management Services, Inc. reached their 40th anniversary in August, with a celebration scheduled for Oct. 13 — the day co-founder, Frances Kaufman would have turned 90. Her son and company president, Richard Kaufman, presides over the company’s 150 employees, 5,000 managed units and limited partnerships, including a recent large-scale acquisition. YaleManagementServices.com



Edy-Kiene
NONPROFIT

Theresa Edy-Kiene has been appointed new CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA), the largest girl-serving nonprofit in Southern California. Ms. Edy-Kiene comes to GSGLA from Fuller Seminary as the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Change Management in the President’s Office as well as the Executive Director for the Thrive Center for Human Development. Prior to that, she co-founded and led two national consumer food brands and was a successful television executive for Lifetime Television, Warner Bros., and Fox.

Beginning her new role on Sept. 16, Ms. Edy-Kiene will provide direction and vision for the development and achievement of the organization’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. A Girl Scout alumna, she succeeds Lise Luttgens, who retired on Sept. 6 after 11 years of leadership.

GSGLA is the fourth largest of 112 regional Girl Scout councils with nearly 72,000 members, solid retention rates, the most successful Girl Scout Cookie Program in the nation, and innovative leadership programs for girls in LA and beyond. Ms. Edy-Kiene joins the nonprofit as it enters the last year of a three-year strategic plan to reach more girls in underserved LA communities; deliver high-impact programs in entrepreneurship, STE(A)M, life skills, and outdoor; and invest in girls through philanthropic partnerships.



Paulus

Torres

Shaw
COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE

Executive Account Manager, Alexander Paulus transferred to LA from Carbon Lighthouse’s headquarters in San Francisco in July. He is instrumental in client success, partnering with commercial real estate owners to drive net operating income and reduce energy consumption. Paulus’s entire career has been dedicated to cleantech and sustainability.

Andres Torres, Data Acquisition Engineer at Carbon Lighthouse, transferred to LA from Carbon Lighthouse’s headquarters in San Francisco in April. He is a mechanical engineer, bringing 3 years of experience in the oil and gas and aerospace industries. He devises data collection strategies critical for enabling clean energy service in buildings.

A former Naval Officer, John Shaw joins Carbon Lighthouse as a Senior Data Acquisition Engineer. He will be the lead engineer heading up the technical team for the Los Angeles office. Shaw brings more than three years of engineering experience from SpaceX and five years from the U.S. Navy.


Monday, August 30, 2019



Reynolds
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES

Miwako Reynolds was promoted to managing director of audit services at Crowe, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm. She’ll focus on audited financial statements, developing and managing client relationships, and the strategic growth planning of the firm.



Shabani

Richardson

Woerner
ACCOUNTING

Mike Amerio, managing partner of Lucas Horsfall, announced three promotions at the firm. Lucas Horsfall, with 76 employees, is ranked by Los Angeles Business Journal as the 27th largest CPA firm in Los Angeles County. The firm specializes in medium-sized, privately-owned companies.

Ninelly Shabani, CPA, has been promoted to an audit manager at Lucas Horsfall. She is a graduate of U.S.C. with a B.S. in accounting and a resident of Glendale. Of Armenian heritage she was born in Iran.

Krista Richardson, CPA, MBA has been named manager of Client Accounting Services, specializing in the complete back office accounting function through the level of Financial Controller to mid-sized private companies She formerly worked in the entertainment industry as a feature film accountant for Universal Studios, Disney, and 20th Century Fox.

Kenneth Woerner, CPA, has been promoted to a tax manager in Lucas Horsfall. A graduate of U.C.L.A., with a master of science in taxation from Golden Gate University, he is a resident of Azusa. He has been with Lucas Horsfall since 2013.


Monday, August 5, 2019



Hariharan
INFRASTRUCTURE

Murali Hariharan, PE, GE, has been appointed senior tunnel engineer for HNTB’s national tunnel practice. He continues working on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project in L.A. as lead engineer for construction support services and has undertaken geotechnical tasks on XpressWest High Speed Rail project from Victorville, CA, to Las Vegas, NV, being provided at an accelerated schedule. He is based in HNTB’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters.

Hariharan has more than 18 years of structural and geotechnical engineering experience in the design of tunnels, shafts, deep excavation support, slope stability and underground structures in a wide range of geotechnical conditions. He joined HNTB in 2014 and has also worked on California High Speed Rail Project Segment CP4 in Bakersfield, CA, and the San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project in Orange County, CA, among others.

Previously, Hariharan worked on tunnel projects for Metrolink/Southern California Regional Rail Authority, California Department of Transportation, Ottawa Light Rail Transit, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and San Diego County Water Authority. He also has been project engineer for tunnel projects in New York City, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Melbourne, Australia.


Monday, July 22, 2019



Keshavarzi
BANKING

Bijan Keshavarzi has joined City National Bank as a senior vice president and regional banking manager. Based in the bank’s Encino office, he is responsible for the delivery of City National’s tailored financial solutions to business owners, professionals and their families in the Northern Los Angeles region, which includes offices in Burbank, Camarillo, Chatsworth, Oxnard, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sun Valley, Universal City, Valencia, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills.



Cooper
ACCOUNTING

FloQast has appointed Jill Cooper as vice president, sales. Cooper has more than 25 years of experience in leading global sales teams and driving significant revenue growth. She will help drive FloQast’s growing sales organization as it expands its leadership in close management software for accounting and finance teams.


Monday, June 24, 2019



Felix
FINANCIAL SERVICES

Wilmington Trust has appointed Jeffrey R. Felix as vice president and senior private banker. Based in the company’s Los Angeles office, he is charged with meeting the financial needs of clients throughout the Western United States by helping them obtain the right sources of funding for significant purchases, including real estate, yachts, aircraft, artwork, and other collections; business expenses; annual gifting; and the payment of taxes. Felix also has expertise in strategic asset allocation and personal trust administration. He joins Wilmington Trust’s growing team of wealth advisors in Los Angeles, which includes president of the Western Region Brian Oard, as well as Tracy Nickl, Julie Weiss, Melissa Graf and Victoria Flores-Manrique.

Wilmington Trust has experienced 12 percent year-over-year loan growth while its Los Angeles team has grown by double digits. The firm deploys the power of the M&T Bank balance sheet and a credit culture that delivers a suite of lending solutions, including structured and securities-based lending for high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth clients.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Felix was a senior private banker at East West Bank. Previously, he was a private banker at Wells Fargo and Union Bank, where he provided his clients with advice and customized solutions to meet their residential, real estate, and personal asset-backed lending needs.

Felix received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies from the California State University, Northridge. Wilmington Trust’s Los Angeles office is located at 10250 Constellation Blvd., Suite 2800. Felix can be contacted at (310) 300-3072.



Patel
BANKING

City National Bank has hired Jasleen Patel as senior vice president and commercial banking manager of its commercial banking team in the San Fernando Valley. Patel provides middle-market clients and real estate investors in the San Fernando Valley with portfolio management expertise, cash management and the bank’s full suite of custom financial solutions.


Monday, June 10, 2019



Sprengel
HEALTH CARE

CommonSpirit Health has appointed Julie Sprengel, President for Dignity Health Southern California, to lead the new Southwest Division of CommonSpirit Health. The Southwest division includes both Southern California and Nevada and is comprised of nine acute care hospitals and four micro-hospitals.

“We are thrilled that Julie has accepted this expanded role,” states Marvin O’Quinn, president and chief operating officer for CommonSpirit Health. “Her leadership and vision has transformed our Southern California hospitals. I am confident that she will bring the same passion and vision to our hospitals and health care facilities in Nevada.”

With nearly 20 years of progressive health care experience, Julie has successfully led a largescale strategic planning process for the Southern California market, with a focus on safety, quality and patient experience. She expanded the focus on the future state of health care, including the migration to population health and wellness, which benefits the underserved in particular. Her leadership will support our efforts to expand services beyond hospital walls and into patient’s homes and their communities via new innovative care models.

Julie is known across Dignity Health as an innovator whose leadership and collaborative style is both respected and admired. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to lead this division,” shared Sprengel. “I’m looking forward to working with our teams to continue to expand access to affordable high quality care for the families who live, work and visit our communities.”

Julie holds a nursing degree from the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University.


Monday, May 27, 2019



Eric Mandell
FINANCE

ERIC MANDELL JOINS CDC SMALL BUSINESS FINANCE

Eric Mandell, a 25-year veteran of commercial real estate financing, has joined nonprofit CDC Small Business Finance as a senior commercial loan officer to provide SBA financing to small businesses in Los Angeles North and Ventura County.

Prior to joining CDC, Mandell worked for American Business Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, extending more than $500 million in funding to help Ventura County and San Fernando Valley small business entrepreneurs. “Eric has strong relationships within the business community which will translate well into helping more small businesses gain access to SBA-504 financing for purchasing office or industrial buildings as well as large equipment,” said Michael Owen, chief credit officer for CDC.

Mandell’s current community involvement includes serving on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County; he will begin serving as board president in June. CDC Small Business Finance is the nation’s leader in SBA 504 loans – fixed-rate, owner-occupied commercial real estate financing that enables small businesses to expand and create new jobs. SBA-504 loans require only a 10 percent down-payment by the small business owner. The current SBA-504 rate for a 20-year loan is under 4.2%. An award-winning nonprofit and advocate for entrepreneurs, CDC Small Business Finance has provided more than $18 billion in funding to 11,000 borrowers over the last four decades.

For more information, contact Mandell at 805.300.0528 or emandell@cdcloans.com, or visit www.cdcloans.com. Mandell’s office is located in Westlake at 2945 Townsgate Rd., Suite 200.



Carpenter-Woods
BANKING

Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced the promotion of Redonna Carpenter-Woods to Market Executive for Business Banking, leading a 10-person team serving mid-sized companies with annual revenues of $5 million to $50 million that are located in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Ventura. She will work from offices in Thousand Oaks and Encino.

Carpenter-Woods is responsible for delivering the full capabilities of the bank, including treasury, credit, investment banking, risk management, international and wealth management, to current and prospective clients, helping them meet their financial goals.

She joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2011 as a member of the Small Business Banking team and transitioned to Business Banking the following year. She will graduate Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) at the University of Washington, earning a Master’s Degree in Banking in August, 2019. Carpenter-Woods has also taken an active leadership role with the bank’s employee networks, including its Black Executive Leadership Team and LEAD for Women (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development). She has also been honored with a Trusted Advisor Award by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.



Lopez
TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Fiber connection specialist Julie Lopez joined Cogent Communications as a NAM providing businesses with Tier 1 internet and Ethernet services for North America.

Secure fiber connection gives you the same up and down speed 24/7 with our Dedicated Internet Access connectivity that your business deserves without objectives of cost constraints, cloud connection latency.

Julie can be reached at 818-470-7916 or jalopez@cogentco.com


Monday, May 13, 2019



Sigler
ACCOUNTING

Green Hasson Janks is excited to announce the expansion of its service offerings with the addition of Todd Sigler who joined the Firm as a principal to further develop new and existing segments in the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice. Sigler is an accountant who brings with him over 15 years of experience in royalty audit services with an emphasis in internal investigations and litigation support. As a leader in the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice, he provides services in various industries including gaming, high technology, health sciences, and consumer products, among others.

In his role as a principal, Sigler will focus on expanding GHJ’s Royalty and Licensing Practice into new areas, such as gaming, life sciences, and manufacturing.

Prior to joining GHJ, Sigler worked for RSM as a director in their litigation support and forensic accounting practice. His experience includes leading royalty audit engagements and internal investigations. He started his career in consulting at Deloitte in their financial advisory services practice.

Sigler’s appointment as principal is an example of GHJ’s commitment to drive the momentum generated in existing segments within the Royalty and Licensing Practice.



Watson
ACCOUNTING

Green Hasson Janks (GHJ) is pleased to announce the expansion of its service offerings with the addition of Brian Watson, who joined the Firm as a principal to grow the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice. Watson is an accountant who brings with him 10 years of experience in contract advisory services with an emphasis in software asset management, royalties and license compliance. His experience includes building and managing global license compliance and asset management programs resulting in millions of dollars in revenue recovery and cost savings for his clients. He has a deep understanding of business process and a technical information systems background specific to technology, IT management and data analytics.

In his role as a principal, Watson will focus on expanding GHJ’s Royalty and Licensing service in the high-technology space to allow the Firm to better serve our clients in the future.

Prior to joining GHJ, Watson worked for a Big Four firm as a director in their major projects and contract advisory practice. While there, he managed and helped grow multiple software publishers’ license compliance programs.

Watson’s appointment as principal is a strategic move in GHJ’s plan to expand the Firm’s Contract Compliance and Forensics Practice beyond the entertainment industry. Watson’s expertise and commitment makes him a true asset to expanding the Firm’s service offerings.


Monday, April 29, 2019


May 21, 2019
7:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
Toyota Meeting Hall
3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance, CA 90503
Buffet Breakfast & parking included
Register at: www.scinstitute.org/OR2019

Please join us for our 3rd annual Owner’s Roundtable, a half-day, value-packed workshop designed for business owners who want to maximize the value of their businesses and exit on their terms.
Owners will walk away with:
• Personalized business score & marketability report;
• Self-identified action items to immediately begin improving your business value; and
• Invaluable connections with like-minded professionals and business experts

“If you are not ready to sell your business, you are not ready to grow it.”Chris Snider, CEO and President, Exit Planning Institute


Monday, March 18, 2019



Jenkins
INFRASTRUCTURE

Thomas Jenkins, PE, joined HNTB Corporation as a national transit/rail consultant. He will focus on advancing HNTB’s growth in the transit industry while providing strategic advice to the firm’s transit team and clients in Southern California and nationwide. Jenkins has more than five decades of extensive experience in highway and transit planning, engineering, financing and project management. He specializes in delivering complex, multimodal and multidisciplinary infrastructure projects.

Previously, Jenkins was principal professional associate and project manager for another consulting firm where he served as project team leader on Public-Private Partnership Consulting Services for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He also served as project manager of the project management consultant team on the 11-mile Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project for the San Diego Association of Governments.

Earlier in his career, he served as the first executive director of the Orange County Transportation Commission (now Orange County Transportation Authority) and was the staff director of planning and engineering for the then newly formed Orange County Transit District.



Baker
MARKETING

Robeks Fresh Juices and Smoothies, welcomes Mitch Baker as Vice President of Marketing. With a variety of marketing experience across many industries, Baker plans to take Robeks to the next level with his knowledge and expertise. Baker is also no stranger to Robeks; he led the Robeks marketing department in mid-2000’s.

In his role, Baker will lead the marketing team and its various support agencies in its continued brand enhancement with a focus on local store marketing initiatives. According to his vision, the partnership with the franchisee community is key for Robeks’ continued success.


Monday, March 4, 2019



Friel
INFRASTRUCTURE

Responding to ongoing growth and a robust U.S. transportation market, HNTB Corporation announced a new national leadership structure.

John Friel, PE leads the Western Region, which includes the firm’s Northwest and West Divisions. He has served in many significant roles of responsibility in his 25 years with HNTB. During the last five years, he successfully led the firm’s Design Build unit, coordinating with offices and project teams throughout the firm, establishing strong relationships with contractor clients, and developing firmwide processes while successfully delivering over $9 billion in constructed design build and public-private partnerships. Other named presidents include Michael Inabinet, PE, Central Region; James Thomson, PE, Northwest Division; and Keith Hinkebein, PE, Design Build.

As a leading engineering consultant to departments of transportation, transit agencies, airports and tolling authorities, and other public- and privatesector owners, HNTB is advancing on a strong growth trajectory. The firm currently is No. 16 on “The Top 500 Design Firms” list as ranked by revenue in Engineering News-Record, up three spots from last year.


Monday, February 18, 2019



Ghattas

James
FINANCE

CohnReznick LLP, one of the top U.S. advisory, assurance, and tax firms, has announced two new partners at the Firm’s Los Angeles office.

Mohamed Ghattas, CPA, has been with CohnReznick since 2013, most recently serving as a Tax Director before his election to the partnership effective February 1, 2019. Ghattas is a key member of the specialized industry teams for the Firm’s Commercial Real Estate, Retail and Consumer Product, and Cannabis Practices. He has more than 12 years of experience of diversified public accounting experience serving companies in a variety of industries. Ghattas was also named among Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Most Influential Minority CPAs.”

Darin James, CPA, joined the Firm on January 28, 2019 from RubinBrown LLP, where he led the firm’s subchapter C tax practice. James specializes in commercial tax and works across a range of industries. He has served as a subject matter expert for ASC 740 (Accounting for Income Taxes) and technical consultations in the areas of subchapter C, mergers and acquisitions, and partnership and subchapter K taxation issues.

“Darin is an important addition to help drive our growth. Along with Mohamed and the rest of our tax department, we look forward to driving value and success for our firm and our clients,” said Scott Sachs, CPA, Managing Partner – Los Angeles Offices.


CONSTRUCTION

Public works general contractor, AMG & Associates, Inc. (AMG), was awarded the construction project of Santa Maria’s $41M newest elementary school in Enos Ranch by the Santa Maria- Bonita School District Wednesday evening January 30, 2019 at the district’s board of education meeting. This will be AMG’s second job with the district since 2015.

Enos Ranch’s long-awaited project had been in discussions for many years until voters passed Measure T in 2014, a $45M bond measure that eventually turned the conceptual discussions into planning. Construction will consist of three new buildings, totaling approximately 67,700 square feet, 26 classrooms, and will hold up to 900 kindergarten through sixth grade students. In addition to a large multipurpose building, space will be devoted to Therapeutic Learning and Special Education. Two softball fields, a soccer field, and four basketball courts will also be included in the scope of work. Construction is expected to begin in roughly 30 days and complete in late summer of 2020.

In addition to this project, AMG was also recently awarded two separate projects from the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Community College District: Cuesta College North County Campus R&B Schultz Early Childhood Education Building and the Cuesta College SLO Campus Data Center Project. Construction of the $10.9M Childhood Education Building began in January of 2019 and is slated for completion in May 2020. Construction will consist of a new 10,935 square foot singlestory classroom and daycare facility, including all associated underground utilities, earthwork, parking, site work, and landscape.

The $5.6M SLO Campus Data Center will consist of a new Data Center Building and all associated underground utilities, earthwork and site work. Construction began in the fall of 2018, and is expected to complete in the fall of 2019.

These awards put AMG’s total backlog to around $100M—an achievement that reflects the 104% three-year average growth that earned AMG the #3152 spot on Inc. 5000’s 2017 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, which was AMG’s sixth time on the list. Only 4% of the tens of thousands of companies who have applied for recognition realize such an accomplishment.

To learn more about AMG, visit: www.amgassociatesinc.com


Monday, February 4, 2019



Gedney
ARCHITECTURE

Ryan Gedney, NCARB, AIA, has joined HNTB Corporation as national design director of architecture and vice president, overseeing the firm’s architecture and interior design work in several offices across the country and spanning a variety of market sectors, including sports, aviation and transit/rail.

Over the past 20 years, Gedney has played a lead design role on large projects, both domestically and internationally, with a focus on innovative master planning of sports and entertainment districts. This includes work on Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, State Farm Arena Renovation in Atlanta for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons; and Avaya Stadium for the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes.



Fox
BANKING

Union Bank today announced that Una Fox has joined as Head of Business Data and Insights. Fox will be responsible for leading the overall data driven philosophy for both Union Bank and PurePoint® Financial and for working with the product, marketing, and business line teams to help enable them to push the business forward.

She and her team will work to strengthen the bank’s analytical approach and deliver impactful, actionable business insights for the bank. Fox is based in the Union Bank office in Woodland Hills, California, and reports to Pierre P. Habis, Head of Consumer Banking.


Monday, January 21, 2019


ACCOUNTING

Charles, Blank & Karp is merging with Lucas Horsfall, it was announced today by the two managing partners, Mike Amerio and Jim Karp, respectively. The combined firm will be known as Lucas Horsfall.

Charles, Blank and Karp traces back to a firm founded in Beverly Hills by Max Seiff in the 1920s and operating over the generations under a sequence of names reflecting its succeeding partners. The firm has operated out of the San Fernando Valley for many years.

Jim Karp, managing partner of Charles, Blank and Karp said that the merger with the larger Lucas Horsfall firm will give his clients deeper in-house resources and experience. “Over the years we helped launch and enlarge a number of businesses only to pass along their care to much larger CPA firms. We now have the resources to serve larger companies,” he said. “With Lucas Horsfall we also have the kind of in-house specialties that only larger accounting firms offer, such as expertise in international taxation.”

Amerio said, “Our merger with Charles, Blank & Karp is significant because it adds to our growing geographical reach. Charles, Blank and Karp’s generations of relationships with successful businesses and families in Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley fits hand-in-glove with the personal relationships that have been our strength in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley areas where our home office is located.”