Orange County Business Journal

Split Decision on Trump Smell Test; Doti Goes Solo

Reports from the Lincoln Club’s recent annual dinner at the Island Hotel indicate Al Frink captured the mood of many of the assembled GOP stalwarts with a turn as a prop comic.

Will Haddad Re-Up With Navy? Locals on Publicity Blitz

Expect to hear more from various sources around the state about the growing stature of Emile Haddad and Aliso Viejo-based FivePoint Holdings Inc.

SCP Plays Carnegie Hall; Vogel Steps Up; Kiani Answers Call

The Insider hears that the “Segerstrom family and South Coast Plaza” intend to build on ties to Carnegie Hall in New York and “other respected arts institutions” in coming months.

OneOC Luncheon Adds Spice to Nonprofit Menu

Last week’s annual OneOC Spirit of Volunteerism Awards luncheon at the Disneyland Hotel added humor, insight and style to the standard heartwarming fare of the nonprofit circuit, giving the crowd of more than 1,000 a mix that felt fresh as it highlighted the extraordinary levels of support the community of business provides nonprofit organizations that serve Orange County …

Déjà Vu All Over Again for Register? Levine Meets Flanagan

You might want to think again if you think the situation over at the Register is settled under new owner Digital First Media. DFM is ultimately owned by N.Y.-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital, which gives no signs of a long-term interest in the publishing business.

NBFF Finds Niche; Calle Moves Up

Here’s a take worth the telling before it gets overwhelmed by all the beautiful people bound to keep hotels and restaurants hopping as a byproduct of the 17th annual Newport Beach Film Festival, which starts this week: Executive Director Gregg Schwenk says well-heeled cinema buffs account for many of the 50,000 or so visitors the event regularly attracts, but he also notes that certain screenings draw a different crowd, with representatives from distributors and other industry pros accounting for as much as 30% of the gate.

Gavin's Growth Formula

Allergan Founder Lured Talent, Listened for Opportunities to Build Local Behemoth

Who in the world is Irv Leopold?

Gavin Likes It; OCMA Sticks to Mission

A bit of chit-chat over a brisket sandwich early last week offered a surprising indicator that OC Hall-of-Famer Gavin Herbert wasn’t at all sold on the notion that Pfizer would wrap up its buy of Allergan PLC, the latest iteration of the company he founded. It wasn’t long before Wall Street and everyone else followed Herbert to the same conclusion—after the Treasury Department derailed the deal by essentially cancelling the benefit of a tax-inversion that Allergan would have brought via its on-the-books HQ in Ireland

UCI’s New Game Face; Oscar Winner in Focus at Chapman

A sign of the times: UC Irvine’s men’s basketball team didn’t make much of a ripple in the media—print, new, social or otherwise—considering they were the last Southern California squad standing in the post-season this year.

Praise for Allergan Ongoing; El-Erian’s OCSA Lunch Tab

Belated validation has been pouring in lately for the job that the leadership of erstwhile Allergan Inc. did in fending off the raiding team of hedge funder Bill Ackman and Valeant Pharmaceuticals.

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Freedom to Go to Digital First

A bankruptcy judge in Santa Ana this morning approved the sale of Freedom Communications Inc. and its Orange County Register to Denver-based Digital First Media Inc.

Wylie and George Walk Into a Bar…; Re: Leader Board

Call it a St. Patrick’s Day miracle—or maybe just a simple, human reminder that it’s possible for folks to line up as political opponents rather than enemies, a distinction that can keep friendships alive, come what may.

Kudos, Questions for First American; Why Jabara is Thankful

Kudos to title insurer First American Financial Corp., the lone OC-based representative on Fortune’s recent national list of “100 Best Companies to Work For.”

Lindquist Legacy; Julia Turns 19; Jun’s Latest

Here’s a bet that Jack Lindquist got a couple of extra smiles before his recent passing at the age of 88.

Irvine on Agenda; Wall’s New Digs; Gross X 2

Irvine continues to punch well above its weight as it grows into a globally renowned center of commerce.

SCP Gets Credit; Irvine Company’s Star on Instagram

Last week brought word of the buzz of activity stirred up by the Lunar New Year around these parts, with everyone from homebuilders to shopping malls beckoning members of the various Asian-American communities in Orange County to the larger American Experiment.

Steel-y Approach; Monkey Business; NB’s Shipyard

Give OC Supervisor Michelle Steel credit on understanding what government can actually do to help the local economy, and for sticking to the task at hand.

Aitken Defers; Medley Shows; Hartenstein Sticks

The Insider was ready to call Wylie Aitken true to our school when it came to his role in the recent selection of Matthew Parlow to succeed Tom Campbell as dean of the Fowler School of Law at Chapman U in Orange.

OC-LB Ties Displayed at ‘State of Port;’ CFOs & Shakespeare

Score a hit for the Port of Long Beach and a tally of ties to OC at the State of the Port last week, a first-class affair from the decor of the hall at the city’s convention center to the impressive talks by Harbor Commission President Lori Ann Guzmán and CEO John Slangerup …

Simon Hire Points to Larger OC Strength

The silliness of an election season abounds, the stock market has dropped into “correction territory”—and business continues strong in Orange County.

Augie’s Other Job: OCMA’s Other Menu; IrvCo.’s Other Plan

How’s Augie Nieto these days?

Another Case of Select Company for Ueberroth

Thoughts turn to baseball when Peter Ueberroth’s name comes up—logical enough, since the fellow who now runs the Contrarian Group in Newport Center made a big mark as commissioner of the game. He ran the L.A. Olympics before MLB, of course, so he’s got ties to just about any sporting endeavor. Need more?

Expect Sparks to Go Sooner; Kelly’s Tour de Fleur

Tough to top the New Year’s plans of a couple of the best of the better halves around these parts.

Oyler the Toiler; Dapper Doti; Trieu Enough

Sound out this apt email address for Tennyson Oyler, VP of brand management and public affairs for Pac Life: TOyler@pacificlife.com.

Alzheimer’s Outfit Ponders Split; El Sol’s Star

The Insider has picked up on rumblings that the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of Orange County is taking a hard look at whether to stay with the Chicago-based national organization or become independent.

Musco’s Next Mark; Standing Room Only For Sunwest Forum

Paul Musco is a self-made man who has shown the Midas touch on everything from catalytic converters to big data to Texas oil. Imagine what he’ll do with Oprah Winfrey on his side?

Feuerstein’s Low Profile, High Impact; Caan-Do at Chapman

Members of OC’s Jewish community are sitting Shiva with the latest passing of a nonagenarian giant.

Freedom Rings From OC to Boston; Pyott Proves Prescient

What do OC and Boston have in common?

Octane’s Timely Take; Rome Is the New Beige

Octane does plenty of work to stir the atmosphere and foster an environment where “entrepreneurs, investors, executives, academics, clinicians, and business advisors come together to collaborate, create, and grow.”

Rome-ing Around; Governor Magnet; Kareem & Sandra

The Insider has been in Rome, marveling over the bunch of rustic hilltop settlements that grew into the Eternal City by welcoming talent from anywhere, absorbing and adapting the best that newcomers of all stripes have had to offer over the past 2,700 years

Campbell’s Gut; APU’s Cheek; Hawkeye’s Ride

Tom Campbell is nowhere near Washington—he’s busy packing his office as dean of the Dale Fowler School of Law at Chapman University in Orange, and seems to be looking quite forward to taking a faculty post early next year with more time for writing.

Name Game at Montage; Gillman Shows for Cove

Can’t blame anyone for doing a double take on the lineup for the Oct. 19-21 run of the Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital conference at the Montage, where Apple CEO Tim Cook gets top billing and a star-studded undercard includes Tony Hsieh and Chris Cox.

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).

Stump Speech for Pyott? Carter Backs Kiani’s Cause

David Pyott was his sharp-witted self and then some at last week’s British American Business Awards at the Hotel Irvine.

ADDENDUM

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

John Krafcik, former chief executive of Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. plans to join Google Inc. later this month to lead the technology company’s self-driving car project.

Fastest Growers Prove Efficient

Fewer Companies, More Jobs in All 3 Categories

The number of entries on this week’s Business Journal lists of fastest-growing private companies based in Orange County is down by about 10% from a year ago.

Will Kasich Call on New Majority With Media in Tow?

Could be pretty impressive timing for New Majority on its next interview session for campaign 2016, especially if Ohio Gov. John Kasich impresses in the GOP debate slated for Sept. 16 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Julia & George Put Priority on Plaza at Segerstrom Center

This week’s special report on philanthropy starts on page 15, includes lists of corporate and private foundations, and seems especially well timed in the wake of the recent splash the Segerstrom Center for the Arts made with the kickoff of its $68 million fundraising campaign.

About That 100,000; Kudos for Ingram; Prediction for Aitken

A key number overlooked in last week’s initial blast of publicity on the $68 million makeover of the central plaza at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts: 100,000.

Hale Fellow Well Met; DeFranco Goes Platinum

Not a lot of details offered when Blackstone Group’s deal for a majority of Santa Ana-based Stearns Lending came to light late last week, with initial reports offering no price and the description of founder and Chairman Glenn Stearns’ ongoing stake limited to “significant”(see Addendum item, page 15).

Brown’s New Suffix; Haddad’s Old Trees; Tu’s Star Turn

Mary Ann Brown has maintained a low profile despite her status as one of the highest-ranking female executives in OC, with a resume that stretches from here to New York and London.

Santa Ana Stop for KPCC Road Show; OCMA’s Art/Work

Put Santa Ana on the itinerary for the road show rolled out by KPCC/89.3 FM to mark Larry Mantle’s 30th anniversary as host of the popular Air Talk program.

Mirman’s Break; Wang’s Keynote; Martini’s Passing

Publisher Rich Mirman might have caught a break in his bid to boost the OC Register’s value for the remaining investors who took a flyer on Aaron Kushner and Eric Spitz before their vision for the daily proved to be less than 20/20.

$62B Worth of Food for Thought

Wealthiest List Shows Diversity of OC’s Fortunes

Real estate, technology, healthcare, inheritances.

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St. Joseph Health in Talks on Affiliation

Irvine-based St. Joseph Health System is near a deal for an affiliation with Providence Health & Services, which has extensive operations in Los Angeles County among other markets in the western U.S.

Lennar Gets Funky; Quik Goes French; About Bus(c)h

Word on the street has Lennar getting “funky” with at least one of its several projects at Beacon Park, the next phase of Great Park Neighborhoods.

On Overtime & Innovation; Mall & Anti-Mall

You can hardly get through any conversation about business these days without getting an earful on the importance of the Millennial generation in the workforce and the need to develop leaders.

OCSA Gets Hand From Argyros Clan; Different Donalds

George and Julia Argyros were there for daughter Stephanie when she took on the role of co-chair of the Southern California chapter of We Day back in May, donating $1 million and opening their Harbor Island home to kick off the cause.

Memo to Anaheim: Entertain This!; Jay’s Judgment: Ed Rocks

“Disney tax break up for renewal,” proclaimed the L.A. Times in its business section last week.

Ko’s Call on Sleep Trend; McLarand’s Double Vision

Toni Ko had a crystal ball to go with her public-speaking chops as she held the crowd of more than 800 rapt with the keynote at the Business Journal’s 21st Annual Women in Business luncheon last week.

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