Orange County Business Journal


OC Tech Alliance Award Winners Run the Gamut

Skyworks, Mavenlink Among Top Honorees

Woburn, Mass.-based chipmaker Skyworks Solutions Inc., which has an executive base in Irvine, and Irvine-based business software maker Mavenlink Inc. were among the big winners at the 23rd Annual OC Tech Alliance Award Gala at Westin South Coast Plaza.

Real Estate Deals

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

VR Irvine Pad LLC sold a retail property in Irvine to Wesco Properties Inc. for $13.7 million, or about $1,088 per square foot.

World Affairs Council Presents Saudi Prince; Santa Ana’s Ink Well

Keen sense of timing at the World Affairs Council of Orange County, which will offer a reminder that life goes on around the globe, even during the compelling-like-a-train-wreck U.S. presidential election.

Harbor Associates Ramps Up OC Acquisition Push

REAL ESTATE: Pays over $30M for offices in Tustin

A startup investment and development group based in Long Beach that focuses on creative-office conversion projects has made its largest investment yet in Orange County, for a three-building property in Tustin.

Greenwave Hires Goldman Sachs, Eyes Possible IPO

TECHNOLOGY: Optimistic on heels of strategic buy

Irvine-based smart technology provider Greenwave Systems Inc. is exploring an initial public offering.

El Pollo Loco Taps San Diego Ad Shop

MARKETING: New campaign to aim for ‘Main Street foodies’

El Pollo Loco in Costa Mesa hired Vitro as its creative agency of record following a competitive review.

Aerospace & Defense Contractors Lose Altitude on Jobs

Slight Decline 2nd in Row For Biggest With Operations Here

Orange County’s largest aerospace and defense contractors posted a modest drop in local employment in the past year.

Sports Marketer Lands Basketball Event

Sports Anaheim will own and operate a CCA Division II college basketball tournament with both men’s and women’s teams to be held annually in Orange County.

Permanent Hospital Head Appointed

Placentia-Linda Hospital named Christina Oh chief executive to succeed Interim Chief Executive Chuck Orlando, who took the position in May after former Chief Executive Audrey Gregory left the hospital.

Medical Device Maker Raises $5 Million

Harbor MedTech Inc. in Irvine raised $5 million in equity funding from three investors as part of an unfinished $8.5 million effort, a regulatory filing said.

Events Producer Buys Florida Expo

San Juan Capistrano-based Emerald Expositions LLC acquired Digital Dealer Conference & Expo from Dealer Communications in Boca Raton, Fla., on undisclosed terms.


More than 350 Orange County people gathered on Sept. 24 for Discovery Cube’s Wild West at the Cube annual gala, which raised more than $1.1 million for science education.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No. 42

Newport City Council voted to sell the 1920s-era Balboa Theater to Costa Mesa-based Lab Holding LLC, developer of The Camp and The Lab “antimalls,” the Daily Pilot reported.

Tall Reputation, Top Rents at 200 Spectrum

Houston-Based Crown Castle Takes 2 Floors

Wireless infrastructure firm Crown Castle International Corp. is the latest big lessee signed for the 200 Spectrum Center tower in Irvine, where top floors appear to now boast the highest rents of any space in the city.

A Leg Up the Ladder

Real Estate Developer Helps Budding Businesspeople

Leslie Burris is like a hummingbird in search of nectar at Blaze Pizza in San Clemente. The franchise owner is multitasking: greeting customers, making pizzas and overseeing employees. A few minutes later, she’s outside on the patio training a handful of new recruits.

Zillow Sells Software Unit Amid Expansion in Irvine

MARKETING: Seattle brand’s local office up to 250 OC workers

A software firm that served as the springboard for Zillow Group Inc. to establish a major presence in Irvine has been sold—but don’t expect the online real estate marketer to close up shop in OC.

Software Maker Sees Bigger Future in New HQ

TECHNOLOGY: SecureAuth about doubles digs for hires to meet demand

Security software maker SecureAuth Corp. has leased new headquarters at Irvine Spectrum to accommodate a hiring surge as it expands its services.

Boost Aims to Do Good, Well at Polls

MARKETING: Sees chance to bolster brand, spur civic engagement

An Irvine-based unit of Sprint Corp. hopes to transform retail stores across the nation into polling places on Election Day in an effort to turn out the vote in underserved, urban communities.

More OC Schools Write a New Program Prescription

3rd Campus Seeks Pharm Studies, Others Grow Theirs

Pharmacy schools in Orange County are growing their programs as a new player prepares to enter the field.

Chapman Digs Deeper Into Research With New VP

Engineer By Training Plans Multipronged Approach

Chapman University has recently redoubled its research pursuits, bringing on Thomas Piechota as first vice president of research.

Ophthalmology Program Leverages VR for Training

Headsets Allow Students To Simulate Eye Exams

Students in a lab on the campus of Marshall B. Ketchum University in Fullerton wear virtual reality headsets to examine a retina. The optometry students are practicing how to perform an eye exam on virtual patients.

OC MBA Enrollment Up 25%, Number of Grads Down

Online Schools Lead List Of 41 SoCal Programs

Numbers are up in the Business Journal’s annual survey of MBA programs in Orange County. The Business Journal publishes an unranked list of 41 MBA programs throughout Southern California (see related graphic, page 25).

Talent Tells Tale of New Era in OC

It can be hard to recognize an era while it’s happening.

San Jose Investor Buys Surf City Rentals for $60M

REAL ESTATE: Complex 2nd recent deal for Saratoga

An apartment investor in Silicon Valley has snapped up a big rental complex in Huntington Beach, extending its acquisition push in Orange County since the start of the summer past the $130 million mark.

Irvine-Based Avocado Board Eyes China’s Potential

MARKETING: Talks set for Chicago later this month

The Chinese language has several names for avocado—“è lí,” which literally translates to “crocodile pear”; “niú yóu guǒ,” the “butter fruit”; and “lào lí,” the “cream pear.”

YL Device Facility In $500M Sale

A former CareFusion Corp. facility in Yorba Linda that makes medical devices for respiratory care has seen another change in its ownership structure.

El Pollo to Expand Outside Southwest

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. in Costa Mesa signed a franchise development deal with Listo Way Group LLC to enter the Louisiana market with the chain’s first restaurants outside the Southwest region.

Masimo CEO Co-Leads $24M Investment

Masimo Corp. Chief Executive Joe Kiani co-led a $24 million equity investment in Stereotaxis Inc. that could be worth as much as $50 million.

First Foundation Buys Two Branches

Irvine-based First Foundation Inc. agreed to acquire a Pacific Western Bank branch in Laguna Hills and one in Seal Beach.

Smith’s Toba Backs SF Software Firm

Newport Beach-based Toba Capital took a lead role in a $10 million initial funding round for San Francisco-based human resources software specialist Restless Bandit.

Manulife Adds Irvine Office to Airport-Area Holdings

17911 Von Karman Likely Sells for $33M+

Financial services company Manulife Financial Corp. has added another office to its real estate investment portfolio near John Wayne Airport.

ICU to Pay $1 Billion for Pfizer Unit

ICU Medical Inc. in San Clemente said it would buy New York-based Pfizer Inc.’s infusion therapy division in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $1 billion.

DeCero Named CEO of Mechanics Bank

Former president of California Republic Bank John DeCero was named chief executive of Mechanics Bank in Walnut Creek, Calif., to succeed Ken Russell, who will continue to serve as a director on Mechanics Bank’s board.


Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 39, No. 41

The Orange Coast College Foundation received $240,000 from PIMCO co-founder Bill Gross and his wife, Sue, to establish a “Sue and Bill Gross Scholars” program, which will support students pursuing vocational and technical education (see related item under Finance).

Standout Properties Top Today’s SoCal Listings

Rundown of the Biggest Price Tags by County

Exclusive enclaves up and down the Southern California coast boast extraordinary estates that are awe-inspiring, and their prices can be equally so.

You’ve Got a Friend in Birds of a Feather App

Company Founder Saw Chance to Connect People

A Newport Beach-based startup recently launched an app called Birds of a Feather that enables people to find others with similar interests to join in activities.

OCBJ Calendar

Oct. 10-19, 2016

This week's business and other event listings.