Orange County Business Journal


Preferred Outcome

Marketing Programs Behind Growth of Service Provider for Independent HotelsPreferred Hotel Group’s 1,600-point hotel inspection is intense.

By Kari Hamanaka February 15, 2014 midnight   $$ Share

Wang’s Way

Business Failure Led Vizio Co-founder to ‘Innovate Myself Out of This Situation’

William Wang owes as much to his failures as his successes.

Status Update on Irvine Company Retail

Fashion Island Sidles Up to South Coast Plaza; A+ for Irvine Spectrum

The Irvine Company’s efforts to ensure its retail properties remain relevant to today’s click-happy shoppers have gotten noticed—and not only by the locals who descend en masse to the Irvine Spectrum Center on weekends or the well-heeled tourists flocking to Fashion Island.

CalAtlantic Goes With Irvine Over Westlake Village

REAL ESTATE: Expects to set up similar corporate hub on East Coast

Irvine has gotten the nod over Westlake Village in the merger of Standard Pacific Corp. and Ryland Group Inc.

Emulex Campus Next in Line for Creative Office Makeover

REAL ESTATE: Upgrade, possible addition to 3-building campus

The new owner of Emulex Corp.’s headquarters in Costa Mesa is planning a creative-office redevelopment of the existing three-building campus, with additional ground-up development on excess land at the property a possibility.


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.

WD Stake Pushes OC-China Ties to New Level

TECHNOLOGY: $3.8B deal catches Wall Street by surprise

China continued to make waves in Orange County last week with a $3.8 billion deal that will give Unisplendour Corp. Ltd. a 15% stake in Irvine-based Western Digital Corp.

Innovation Institute Adds Device Maker to Roster

HEALTHCARE: Collaboration to include Boston Scientific

The La Palma-based Innovation Institute LLC has landed another collaborator in its quest to foster the development of medical products and services intended to reduce costs and promote quality of care.

Sunstone Gets $26.5M for Purchasing Portal

An affiliate of Aliso Viejo-based Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. got $26.5 million on the sale of the hotel REIT’s online purchasing portal for hospitality products and services to Avendra LLC in Rockville, Md.

Frost’s Full House

Campus Approach, 24 Startups in San Juan Capistrano

Defining Frost Data Capital isn’t easy, says Stuart Frost, a serial entrepreneur who founded the San Juan Capistrano-based company to invest in startups focused on “big data.”

Simply Simon

‘Real Success Is Achieving What Others Believe to Be Impossible’

Ronald Simon started small.

Healthy Innovation Record

Edwards Lifesciences Exec Helped Bring Breakthrough Valve to Market

Stanton Rowe’s nearly 40-year career in medical devices has been one of intersection and innovation. He has played a crucial role in the development of what’s considered one of the major advances in replacement heart valves.

Inexperience as Edge

5.11 Tactical Cofounder Lends Ear, Designs to First Responders

Francisco Morales, cofounder of the specialty clothing and gear manufacturer 5.11 Tactical in Irvine, credits his success as an innovator to two seemingly disparate attributes—technical capability and inexperience.

Morris in Motion

Telogis Hooks Up With AT&T on Software for Automakers

Telogis Inc.’s new deal with AT&T Inc. marks another significant turn for the Aliso Viejo-based logistics software maker under the leadership of co-founder Newth Morris.

New Chefs, Enriched Eateries Offer Fresh Opportunities

Bistro Comes Into Its Own, Plus OC’s Best Indian Food

I mentioned two months ago that Little Sparrow in downtown Santa Ana had parted ways with its chef.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 38, No. 40

The former Fisker Automotive and Technology Group is now Karma Automotive.


Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County held its 51st annual Gourmet Dinner on Sept. 17 at the Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 5-14, 2015

This week's business and other event listings.

Alliance Executives Talk Investors, Update Business

Note Owner Change With Chinese Firm Share Buy

Newport Beach-based Alliance HealthCare Services Inc. executives recently gave shareholders an overview of the recent change in majority ownership and several other matters.

Asics Taps Bloggers to Run NYC Marathon in Its Shoes

Webisode Series to Chronicle Trials, Errors

Asics America Corp. has flipped the journalism adage, “Report the story, don’t become part of it,” on its head.

High-Rise Office Market Logs Healthy Second Quarter

The high-rise office market in Orange County ended the second quarter with steady demand, resulting in 69,314 square feet of positive net absorption.

Rare Investment Method Behind MTAB Acquisition

Search Fund Acquires Local Software Maker

Poplar Capital Partners LLC’s recent buy of Yorba Linda-based business software maker mTAB LLC was backed through a rarely used investment mechanism: a search fund.

Albertsons Plans Chilly Expansion in Irvine Spectrum

Distribution Center Project Could Start in November

The Irvine Spectrum’s industrial market is about to get a little cooler, and a creative-office redevelopment isn’t the cause this time around.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Makoil Inc. sold an office building in Lake Forest to Habor Associates LLC for $5.5 million, or about $153 per square foot.

Achieve Like a Girl

3 High-Profile OC Execs Count Gold Award as Precursor to Bountiful Careers

There was a budding business mind behind the cherubic face selling cookies door-to-door.

Why Google Has Eyes for Irvine

Quality Counts as City Joins SD, Louisville on Short List for Fiber Program

Irvine’s diverse economy, increasingly vibrant startup scene, affluent demographics, and residential mix all helped put Orange County’s third largest city on track for Google Inc.’s new Internet and TV service.

Out of Ordinary for Newport Beach: Factory Upgrade

TECHNOLOGY: Chipmaker to put $15M or more into plant on Jamboree

Israel-based Tower Semiconductor Ltd. is investing $15 million to $20 million to upgrade its Newport Beach manufacturing plant to meet growing demand for new generations of chips for smartphones and other wireless devices.

OC on Road Map for Autonomous Vehicles

ENGINEERING: Link to Bay Area test station runs through Irvine

Orange County has become a key pit stop in the race to develop a fully autonomous car.

Architecture Firms Ramp Up With 9% Billings Increase

40 Biggest Combine For $474M in Local Work

Orange County’s architecture firms combined for a 9.1% increase in local billings this year following a modest 1.6% increase in local billings last year, and are on track to return to the 13% surge they had in 2013.

Engineering Firms Reverse Last Year’s Billings Drop

Increase Total By 1.7% Following 1.5% Decrease

Orange County’s top engineering firms with headquarters or significant operations here have recovered from a 1.5% drop in billings last year, posting a 1.7% increase in local billings during the 12-month period ended June 30.

Innovator Award Catches Morales With Pants Up

A lot of good lines at the Business Journal’s inaugural Innovator of the Year Awards last week, including one that helped sum up how the event reaches beyond the buzzword for a comprehensive look at one of Orange County’s most valuable and broad-based assets—businesses of all sorts that turn fresh thinking into new products, processes or practices (see news item, page 7).

Buena Park Eyes Hospitality Improvement District

HOTELS: Assessment of 2% on room rates under discussion

Buena Park’s destination marketing agency and representatives of its 21 hotels and motels are working with city officials to form a hospitality improvement district as a source of dedicated funding for promotional efforts with a preliminary annual budget of close to $1 million.

New Game Plan on Goodwill Distribution Center

RETAIL: Nonprofit gets room to do strategic merchandising

Goodwill of Orange County plans to reshape the merchandising and logistics behind its retail business with a move to a 154,040-square-foot distribution center in Tustin by year’s end.

LA-Based Retailer Gets Anna’s Name

MARKETING: Fallas-Paredes chain also picks up 41 leases

Scott Gladstone didn’t manage to hold on to Anna’s Linens Inc.’s name, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California in Santa Ana.

Olen Sold on Aliso Viejo, Snaps Up Business Park

REAL ESTATE: Six buildings fetch estimated $20 million

Newport Beach-based Olen Properties Corp. has made its largest local purchase in two years, snapping up a business park in Aliso Viejo.

Koll Co. Makes Largest Local Purchase in Years

REAL ESTATE: Latest buy with Rialto valued at $30.5 million

The Koll Co. has made its largest reported local purchase in several years, snapping up an office tower just over the Los Angeles County line in Cerritos.

6 Honored at Business Journal’s Innovation Awards

About 415 people celebrated innovation and the people who create it at the Business Journal’s inaugural Innovator of the Year awards last week at the Hotel Irvine.