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Optimism Stays Near Peak In Survey of OC Execs

Hiring Plans Goose Index Amid New ConcernsIn looking to the second quarter, Orange County executives kept up the optimism. That’s according to California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey, whose composite index held near its all-time high, dipping slightly quarter-over-quarter from 95.2 to 94.4.

Goodwill: Talarico Resigns

Frank Talarico, Jr. resigned after six years as president and chief executive of Goodwill of Orange County, effective April 9, the nonprofit said in a letter by Board Chairman Dick Trueblood.

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NZ Operator Wants Taco Bell at Home

Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd. said in an investor presentation and in a news report it wants to buy a Taco Bell franchise group on the U.S. mainland, bring the brand to New Zealand, and expand the chain in Australia.

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Irvine Architectural Firm Bought

Gkkworks, an Irvine-based architectural firm with 100 employees, has been bought by CannonDesign.

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United Capital Unveils Adviser Tool

Newport Beach-based United Capital Financial Advisers LLC, which has $21.6 billion assets under management, released its newest white-label software for financial advisers.

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AutoWeb Names CEO

Jared Rowe was named director, president and chief executive of Irvine-based marketing firm AutoWeb Inc.

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JetSuite Moving to Dallas

Charter airline JetSuite Inc. plans to move its headquarters from Irvine to Dallas as part of growing JetSuiteX, its scheduled charter division.

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State Fines Oil Driller $12.6M

State regulators fined Greka Oil & Gas $12.6 million for safety violations related to the Richfield oil fields northeast of Anaheim.

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Hotel Rates, Revenue, Occupancy Up

Local hotels had higher average daily rates, occupancies, and revenue per available room in February, in both year-over-year numbers and compared with January, CBRE Hotels said. Most OC submarkets also increased.

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Tourism Spend Tops $12.5B

Orange County Visitors Association data shows tourism-related spending in Orange County rose last year for the fourth year running, topped $12.5 billion, and involved more than 177,000 jobs.

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Ten-X Unit Adds COO named Min Alexander chief operations officer, replacing Javid Jaberi, who the company said is retiring.

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JetSuite Gets Qatar, JetBlue Cash

Qatar Airways invested in JetSuite Inc., and JetBlue Airways increased its stake in the Irvine-based charter carrier on undisclosed terms.

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Shipyard Names CCO

Marketing firm The Shipyard named David Sonderman chief creative officer on Tuesday.

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Bedrosians Hires Home Depot Exec

Anaheim-based Bedrosians Tile and Stone named Diana Kelly president and chief operating officer.

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AutoGravity Targets Foreign Students

Irvine’s AutoGravity said it will work with Westbon Inc., which runs a lending platform for international students in the U.S.

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Cancer-Tester LAM Exits Stealth Mode

HEALTHCARE: Launched IvyGene; to expand Irvine HQ

Irvine-based Laboratory for Advanced Medicine Inc. isn’t pursuing a magic-bullet immunotherapy drug to cure all cancers yet, but it sure is in growth mode.

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