Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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TECHNOLOGY: distributor is ‘predictor of marketplace’
Rand Technology Inc., an Irvine-based company that has no recurring revenue, notched a 160% two-year growth rate for the period ended June 30. Founder and Chief Executive Andrea Klein, who views the lack of predictability as a challenge rather than a problem, has figured out a way to bring more stability to Rand’s bottom line and boost its revenue amid fears of looming trade war.
MARKETING: Adds frequency discounts, interstate portability
For those of us who never dedicated windshield space to the toll roads transponder and are still chasing the 4-inch plastic box all over the dashboard—relief is on the way.
RETAIL: Local, lifestyle are themes of $200M redo
More than a dozen new stores and eateries sprouted in the north section of the Irvine Shopping Center that not too long ago housed Macy’s department store. New tenants are national and local favorites—Sephora, 85°C Bakery Cafe, Stance, Afters Ice Cream—that complement the rest of the 150 shops at the outdoor center.
INNOVATION: Came to UCI in 2014 and ‘moved very quickly’
Firms with connections to the University of California-Irvine have raised more than $18.9 billion over the past 10 years, according to Richard Sudek, an angel investor and executive director of the school’s Applied Innovation center.
Dirty Cookie Scales Milk Shots Famed Chef Created
Shahira Marei jumped from managing projects at Boeing to serving cookie-enveloped milk shots. The career switch was rather drastic, but it was her ties to the aerospace giant that made her Dirty Cookie business a possibility.
OC Execs Share Their Fish Stories and Passion
Most anglers consider fishing an escape, an antidote to our plugged-in lifestyles. For several Orange County executives, it’s also a great way to entertain clients—the sport provides ample opportunity for uninterrupted conversation and reeling in the catch can be a team effort.
Matt Cook Brought Business Chops to Small Apparel Company; Brand Influencers Were Already There
There are a lot of easier ways to make money than starting an apparel brand, according to Ethika Inc. Chief Executive Matt Cook, who joined the underwear manufacturer in 2012, little more than a decade after its founding.
Divers Hone Skills, Make Pals Like POTUS
Most executives associate the term parachute with a golden one they can count on if they part ways with the company they’re running.
MEDIA: Two web series are also in works
Nitro Circus has pulled yet another stunt. The actions-sports entertainment company signed a deal with Facebook to broadcast 28 events on the social media giant’s Facebook Watch video app.
MARKETING: Starts with businesses it knows best
A Laguna Beach-based ad agency that’s helped numerous entrepreneurs take their brands to the next level is now cultivating its own business ideas.
APPAREL: Billabong purchase closes; companies co-locate
Boardriders Inc., just before the recent closing of its purchase of Billabong and after the January disappearance of President-elect Pierre Agnes, named its new executive leadership team and is contemplating co-locating the combined company in Boardriders’ Huntington Beach headquarters.
Got Lift With Letter Sent to Paris Boutique
Most cosmetics startups consider landing on Sephora shelves as a benchmark of success. For Laguna Beach-based Ilia Beauty Inc., the nod came from Colette, an influential Parisian boutique frequented by Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and other fashion gurus.
Moonlighting Gigs Build Client Bases, Help Charities
Orange County is the birthplace of a number of national headliners—No Doubt, Cold War Kids, Sublime, The Offspring and Social Distortion.
Eight Days of Flicks Include New Theater
Several Orange County companies are taking lead roles in producing the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival.
AUTOMOTIVE: Gets traffic from nearby dealers
Karma Automotive LLC’s landing in Newport Beach was a good one—so good it’s in the process of doubling its presence there.
Spots Point Up Frequency Of Online Data Thefts
Experian PLC’s latest round of TV commercials continues its spotlight on the proliferation of personal-data theft and its credit-monitoring service, which uses proprietary technology to peruse content posted on parts of the internet not indexed by conventional search engines.
Manufacturers Say High-End Cluster Lifts All Kitchens
The Costa Mesa theater district, home to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, has added another showroom to its repertoire—the Fisher & Paykel Experience Center, where a reference to a high note is more about a 36-inch stove’s British thermal unit output than about a vocal range.
MARKETING: Onex down to 65% of Emerald Expositions
Onex Corp. is further reducing its stake in Emerald Expositions Events Inc., less than a year after the San Juan Capistrano-based trade show operator completed its initial public offering and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
OC Operator Helped Keep One Speech Short
Did you recognize the Jet Ski Jimmy Kimmel offered for the shortest acceptance speech at the 90th Academy Awards?
Clinics in Observance Of International Celebration
Vans Inc. in Costa Mesa has scheduled more than 100 skateboarding clinics in Brooklyn, Chicago, London, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Bangalore, São Paulo, Mexico City, and other major cities to “inspire a new wave of women’s skateboarding progression.”
Most of us, at least as children, “have looked at the birds and thought that they might be having more fun,” said flight instructor Michael Church, who’s helped a number of Orange County-based executives follow through with the fascination by getting a license to operate their own set of wings.
RETAIL: Puts second HQ in Newport Beach; $100M in 2018?
Orange County’s where the party’s at, just ask the folks at Drunk Elephant Holdings LLC.
Competitors Wore Its Goggles on the Slopes
Oakley Inc. wasn’t a sponsor of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, but its oval-shaped logo got plenty of airtime. Nearly a dozen athletes won medals while wearing Oakley’s Harmony Fade goggles, including Chloe Kim, who won gold in the snowboard halfpipe, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, first in giant slalom, and snowboarder Red Gerard, who won in slopestyle
MARKETING: Sees opps where rivals fear to tread
Think of Super Toy Box as a digital ad shop that picks up technology-heavy assignments traditional advertising agencies tend to shy away from.
Insurer Started in Sac, Moved to NB in 1972
Pacific Life in Newport Beach plans to celebrate its 150th birthday all year long.
RESTAURANTS: Former Starbucks VP joins elevated vet
Taco Bell Corp.’s January shuffle in the top ranks was apparently a sign of things to come.
RETAIL: Not just PJ’s, now ‘bed to brunch’
P.J. Salvage hired Simon Cohen as president in November, the first shift in top management at the Irvine-based apparel manufacturer since Peter Burke bought it out of bankruptcy in 1997.
Partners With BitAuto Holdings on Digital Projects
J.D. Power in Costa Mesa formed a partnership with China-based automotive website BitAuto Holdings Ltd. to “build the most efficient automotive big data center and artificial intelligence platforms serving China’s automotive industry.”
Various Tacks to Get Vast Audience’s Attention
Several Orange County-based companies were part of the enormous marketing push around Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.
Billboard Campaign 20K Plays on Several Screens
Realty ONE Group launched a series of video ads on Times Square digital billboards last month in New York to get noticed by industry professionals attending the Inman Connect conference at a nearby hotel.
APPAREL: Head of newly combined surfwear giant lost at sea
Boardriders Inc. lost President Pierre Agnes less than a month after the Huntington Beach-based action sports giant announced a deal to acquire main competitor Billabong International Ltd. in Australia.
They call themselves The Old Boys. Just don’t confuse them with the stuffy office crowd your father’s generation had to contend with.
RETAIL: Porsche Design sells merchandise, not cars
Shortly before Porsche Motorsport North America left Orange County for Carson in 2016, another brand-inspired outfit moved in—Porsche Design.
Preschoolers Talk Up New Menu in Latest Ad
A new TV commercial by BJ’s Restaurants Inc. in Huntington Beach employs Generation Z to test its new EnLIGHTened menu, which is “loaded with vegetables and grains.” Spoiler alert—it passed.
APPAREL: Will Costa Mesa designer come back home?
Kering SA announced this month it will spin off Volcom LLC, the Paris-based owner of the Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga and Brioni brands.
J.D. Power Certifies Exceptional Offerings
D. Power’s Power Circle Ratings serve as a seal of approval on various products and services, most notably in the auto industry. The Costa Mesa-based market research company is now looking into customers’ satisfaction with apps. It launched the Mobile App Certification Program, which recognizes brands providing “an exceptional mobile app experience.”
Oakley Inc.’s headquarters in Foothill Ranch was featured in the most recent video the eyewear and helmet manufacturer posted on its social media channels.
AUTOMOTIVE: CEO hands wheel to fellow turnaround man
Tom Corcoran did what he came to do—get Karma Automotive LLC up and running, and ready for the next big leg of its journey: China.
Agency Boss Reeled in Big Fish
Steve Jun transferred to Huntington Beach in 2015 to help boost INNOCEAN Worldwide Americas’ growth beyond its core automotive account, Hyundai Motor America Inc.
She Loaded Up That Taco
Taco Bell Corp. “wasn’t a turnaround job” when Chief Marketing Officer Marisa Thalberg took over the reins in June 2016. Systemwide sales that year at the Irvine-based Mexican-themed fast food chain were up 6% to about $9.6 billion.
AUTOMOTIVE: Makes pricey statement ‘about OC car culture’
On a recent evening at the Morris and Welford dealership in Newport Beach, no one was kicking the tires, opening engine hoods, peeking into the glove box, or tinkering with the car radio.
JWA Ads Land $1M+ Annually for County
John Wayne Airport and the county of Orange are looking for a new partner to pick up an advertising concessions lease.
We’ve all heard and read “Amazon” and “death of bricks-and-mortar” in the same sentence many times this year. Expect the rhetoric to continue in 2018, all while brands and retailers continue to adapt to the new normal.
Food & Wine Wrap To Celebrate Its Charms
A takeover of Time Inc.’s Food & Wine magazine’s holiday issue is the newest installment of the California Milk Processor Board’s “Food Loves Milk” campaign.
Irvine-based Karma Automotive LLC tapped Liang Zhou to replace Thomas Corcoran as chief executive of the luxury carmaker.
Chosen to Be One Of 60 Curators of Playlists
House of Vans, a string of music venues hosted by Vans Inc. in Costa Mesa, is now one of more than 60 curators for Apple Music, tasked with perusing 40 million songs available on the streaming platform and developing playlists that its audiences would appreciate.
Galardi Group Inc. appointed J.R. Galardi president, replacing Dennis Tase who retired in May 2016.
Developed With CarLabs To Follow NiroBot
Kia Motors America Inc. just upped its chatbot game.
Experiential Marketing Run Lasted 23 Years
Apparently all things must come to an end, including Vans Inc.’s Vans Warped Tour.
AUTOMOTIVE: NB stretch grants needed early exposure
Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach is looking more like the Bloomingdale’s of luxury auto brands nowadays, and Karma Automotive LLC naturally had to be part of a stretch that’s like no other.