Orange County Business Journal

OCBJ SPECIAL REPORTS

Q&A

The Business Journal often asks Orange County’s hoteliers to comment on changes we’ve noticed in the industry. This time we wanted to know what they were seeing and how they thought it would play out this year. We asked a sampling of executives, general managers, sales directors, and others in the hospitality and tourism industry here, “What is the most important trend you’ve identified for this year?” Answers focus largely on food and customized experiences, from food trucks to sand castle construction. Edited excerpts of their responses follow:

Time, Place Drive Meeting Spaces’ Marketing Moves

Changes Focused on Youth, Food, Local Flavor

Orange County hoteliers said their meetings and events marketing is heavy with the local “flavor”—from surf to sand to entertainment—and new food offerings.

Top 50 Hotels for Meeting Space Delve Into Details

Slight Increase in Current Stock, Several Newcomers in Works

Meeting space is meeting space, right?

Q&A

Regulations, while they remain a common key challenge for all financial institutions, aren’t the only burden on bankers’ minds. There are other concerns that may be specific to a bank or credit union, including its size, customer base, and other factors. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked local bank and credit union executives to discuss their current concerns other than regulations. Their responses touch upon a variety of topics, ranging from data security and competition from online lenders to finding skilled talent and catering to younger generations. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Commercial Bank Assets’ Biggest Jump in Decade-Plus

20 Institutions Based Here See 38% Increase to $24.2 Billion

Orange County-based commercial banks have recorded the biggest year-over-year increase in assets in more than 10 years.

Credit Unions Grow Assets Faster in Recent Fiscal Year

25 Biggest Combine For 8% Increase to $18 Billion

The biggest local credit unions have picked up the pace of growth, notching an 8% increase in combined assets to $18 billion.

Pot Products Maker Grows Like a Weed

Terra Tech Sales Up 754%, Largely On Cannabis Demand Surge

Terra Tech Corp.’s crops of basil, oregano, thyme, parsley and lettuce are a steady line of business, but the Newport Beach-based company’s newer line of products derived from another leafy green is the big growth driver.

Q&A

Myriad technological tools have taken on increasingly important roles in day-to-day business in the information age, and the industry of wealth advisement is no exception.

Myriad technological tools have taken on increasingly important roles in day-to-day business in the information age, and the industry of wealth advisement is no exception. The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked several Orange County-based advisers how they now use technology in their everyday operations and in the development of client relationships. Here are edited excerpts of their responses:

Financial Advisories Cut Local Representatives By 6%

Top 25 Down to 1,705 Advisers in Past Year

The combined number of local registered representatives at Orange County’s biggest financial advisory firms dropped while the firms boosted their total OC work forces.

Q&A

Dr. Bob Foresman, a local Orange County orthodontist and avid sailor, gathered around the kitchen table with his family and invented the first product of what would become an innovative profitable manufacturer nearly 50 years later.

Big Data Becomes Big Initiative at Local Campuses

Programs, Research Added to Meet Increased Demand

Orange County colleges and universities are launching and expanding programs in big data to train students to capture and analyze the reams of information that’s become available in an age when data storage capacity has ballooned.

Grant, Dolls and Gaming Link Commerce, Creativity

Schools Teach Students To Turn Inspiration Into Work

Chapman University plans to open a business incubator for arts and culture-based enterprises at the end of a two-year, $200,000 grant the European Union awarded the school last month.

MBA Programs’ Numbers Down in Strong Economy

Specialization, Speed Enhance Schools’ Efforts

Numbers are down in the Business Journal’s annual survey of MBA programs that serve Orange County—and that’s a good thing.

Q&A

Consolidation among insurance brokerages continues at a pace that had a recent Deloitte report identifying “serial acquisitions” as the “core driver of brokerage growth.” The Business Journal’s Jane Yu asked Orange County brokerage executives to share their thoughts about the consolidation trend. They discuss some key factors that are contributing to the mergers and acquisitions activity, such as low interest rates and increasingly complex regulations, as well as risks that come with the changes. Here are edited excerpts of their responses.

Insurance Brokers Continue Revenue Gains for 5th Year

Biggest Firms Combine For $570M, Up 13%

Orange County’s insurance brokers grew for the fifth straight year, notching a 13% increase in combined revenue last year.