Mediha DiMartino

Staff Reporter

Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at dimartino@ocbj.com.

Email: dimartino@ocbj.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 224

Recent Stories

Kia Stinger Race Revs Up Play for ‘Young at Heart’

Supermodel Wins As Fashion Week Unfolds

Kia Motors America Inc. set up “a fully functioning race track” in New York to host its Stinger Runway racing event this month.

Mitsubishi Names Ad Agency

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. hired Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners as its advertising agency of record.

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$260M Laguna Hills Mall Project Stalled

Redevelopment of Five Lagunas, one of the largest retail projects underway in the region, has halted.

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United Collective Taps New #2

United Collective in Huntington Beach hired Kristin Jackson as chief financial officer and chief operating officer, a new position.

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Hyundai Appoints US Head

Hyundai Motor America Inc. named Kyung Soo Lee president and chief executive, effective today.

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Metal Processor Buys Division

All Metals Processing of Orange County LLC acquired Triumph Processing-Embee Division Inc. from its parent, Berwyn, Pa.-based Triumph Group Inc., on undisclosed terms.

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What a Difference a Year Makes at Agency Rauxa

MARKETING: New clients, innovations help double sales

Rauxa is rising. The Costa Mesa-based tech-driven marketing agency—reporting a 90% jump in revenue over 2015—debuted at No. 5 on this year’s Business Journal list of the fastest-growing large private companies in Orange County. Quite the leap, especially for an 18-year-old company.

Allergan: Even Pro Athletes Worry About Wrinkles

Deion Sanders Signs On As Botox Ambassador

Deion Sanders, the only athlete to play in both the Super Bowl and the World Series, will serve as a brand ambassador for BOTOX Cosmetic, according to Allergan PLC.

New Boss Poised to Rev Up Sales at DealerSocket

AUTOMOTIVE: Investor move also raises a question

Sejal Pietrzak may be a newcomer to the staff at DealerSocket Inc. in San Clemente, but the private equity firm that owns the software-as-a-service company knows her well—the new president and chief executive was part of the management team at ACTIVE Network in Dallas, which Vista Equity Partners agreed to sell last month to Global Payments Inc. for $1.2 billion.

Jannard Partners Up in ‘Disruptive’ Smartphone Venture

Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. in Irvine said its upcoming smartphone will be developed in partnership with Menlo Park-based Leia Inc.

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Yamaha Will Peddle eBikes Here

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA said it plans to enter the U.S. electric bicycle market in 2018.

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Karma Angles for Natural Connection in Eclipse Shoot

Multicity Video Celebrates ‘Ethos’ to ‘Lean on’ Nature

Karma Automotive LLC in Irvine marked last month’s solar eclipse with a multicity video shoot.

Tilly’s Works Top, Bottom In ‘Difficult Environment’

RETAIL: Making ‘shopping experience fun,’ other strategies

A dragon’s roar disrupted the quiet hallway in front of the Tilly’s Inc. store at the Ontario Mills outlet mall last week, startling some shoppers and prompting others to take a closer look.

Advantage Buys in Fla.

Irvine-based Advantage Solutions acquired Data Council in Jacksonville, Fla., on undisclosed terms.

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Automakers’ Sales Mixed

The majority of Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in August, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Hurley Hit With Layoffs For Leaner, Faster Nike Innovation

A strategy shift at Nike Inc. translated into a recent wave of layoffs at Costa Mesa-based subsidiary Hurley International LLC. The surf apparel brand parted ways with about a dozen employees and transferred others, including several sales and marketing executives.

Behr Goes Green for 2018 With Fresh Color Palette

Tints Touted As Tranquil Remedy for Stressful Life

Behr Process Corp.’s 2018 color of the year is In The Moment T18-15, a “restorative blue-green hue honoring nature to create a soothing atmosphere.” It’s part of a spectrum of 20 hues “forecasted to influence décor and design in the year ahead.”

Auction.com’s New Logo, Slogan Tell Whole Story

Branding Changes Follow Parent Co.’s Recent Sale

Irvine-based real estate marketplace Auction.com, whose parent company, Ten-X, agreed this month to be acquired by Thomas H. Lee Partners LLP for about $1 billion, unveiled a new logo, a “Beyond The Bid” slogan, and an “updated design aesthetic that reaffirms its commitment to provide buyers and sellers with optimal disposition strategies for faster executions.”

Genesis to Leave Hyundai Nest and Set Itself Apart

AUTOMOTIVE: Luxury brand establishes exclusive identity

Genesis’ winged logo was perhaps a sign of things to come. The luxury brand Hyundai Motor Co. launched in November 2015 is about to fly the coop.

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J.D. Power Taps Strategist for ‘Digital Transformation’

New Position at Consumer Survey, Data Provider

J.D. Power and Associates in Costa Mesa hired Bernardo Rodriguez as chief digital officer, a new position. Rodriguez will be in charge of “advancing J.D. Power’s digital transformation,” which includes new-product development, branding, marketing and mergers and acquisitions. He will report to Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill.

Chain Plugs Into Xbox Love With Sweepstakes

Taco Bell Corp. in Irvine, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp., is giving away an Xbox One X gaming console to consumers who text a code found on its Steak Quesarito $5 box. A winner will be notified every 10 minutes from Aug. 31 to Oct. 4.

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Mining for New Business

RETAIL: Newport’s Lugano went retail in ’05, east in ’17

Aspen’s the new spot to get Lugano Diamonds’ designs. The Newport Beach-based luxury jeweler opened its third salon in the Residences at The Little Nell, a mixed-use complex a stone’s throw from the ski slopes.

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Fashion Island at 50

‘You had to dream a lot’ in ’67

Every pair of shoes Tom Gazsi wore until he reached high school, his parents bought at Dick Marowitz’s Newport Children’s Bootery at Fashion Island—“Adidas, saddle shoes, dress shoes, everything!”

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OC’s PR Shops Grew in Past Year

Social Media, Digital Storytelling in Toolset

The role of public relations professionals is changing—even the president is tweeting daily, bypassing the media.

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ASICS Stumbles in Q2

ASICS America Corp.’s sales in June quarter declined 8.9% to $231.2 million, according to figures provided by its parent, Japan-based ASICS Corp.

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Hyundai Hopes Spots Make Viewers Sweet on Sonata

Show 2018 Model Makes Modern Life a Tad Better

Hyundai Motor America Inc. is channeling Neil Diamond in its latest TV ad for the 2018 Sonata.

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Stance Tests New Markets, Sales Models

APPAREL: Seeks higher margins, VCs still believe

Stance Inc.’s bricks-and-mortar portfolio has expanded to six—all carefully curated locations.

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Site of Ex-Vans HQ Now Primary Color’s

RETAIL: Printer consolidating operations to improve efficiencies

Primary Color Systems Corp. plans to move its operations to Cypress—to the office and warehouse complex that Vans Inc. called home for a decade before moving to Costa Mesa this summer.

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Emerald Posts Mixed Q2

Shares of Emerald Expositions Events Inc. are down 4% to $21 and a market value of about $1.52 billion after the San Juan Capistrano-based trade show operator posted revenue for the June quarter below Wall Street expectations.

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Callaway Buys Surf City Sportswear Maker

TravisMathew LLC in Huntington Beach was sold to Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. in a $125.5 million cash-and-debt deal expected to close in the third quarter.

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American Vanguard Beats, Shares Pop

Shares of American Vanguard Corp. rose about 16% over the last two trading sessions to more than $20 apiece and a $613 million market cap after the company’s second-quarter profits exceeded Wall Street forecasts.

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Boot Barn Up in Q1

Shares of Boot Barn Holdings Inc. rose about 17% to $9 and a $242 million market cap during Wednesday trading, after the company reported revenue and profits for the June quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

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OC Automakers Beat National Pace

Three out of four largest Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in July, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Brandman U. Seeks to Set Self Apart With Arty Ads

Highlight Emphasis On Helping Mature Students

Brandman University in Irvine launched a “Your Partner is Here” campaign designed to help it stand out in the higher education marketing crowd.

Apparel Brand Posts Mixed Results

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. posted $123.2 million in revenue for the first half of 2017, a 4.4% decrease compared to the same period last year, according to Kering, its Paris-based parent.

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Vans Up in Q2

Vans, the largest and fastest-growing brand for parent VF Corp., posted a 9% uptick in revenue in its second quarter, which ended July 1.

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Best Places to Work Give Employees More Than Pay

100 That Came Out on Top Offer Perks, Extra Dough

Looking for a job with an unlimited number of vacation days? Check in with DKN Hotels in Irvine.

Brands Try to Swim Away From Pack

Biannual Tradeshow Showcases New Moves

Local swimwear makers’ approach to growth varied as much as the designs they presented at Swim Collective, a biannual trade show held last week at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.

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Kaiser Beats the Street

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the June quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

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Mazda Dealerships Redo Mirrors New HQ Office

Incorporates ‘Subtle Japanese Influences’

Mazda North American Operations, in the midst of a “Retail Evolution,” has chosen a different agency to help it implement a new dealership design concept.

Too Faced Cosmetics Marks Anniversary Makeup-Free

20th Birthday Bash Ushers In Big Global Brand Plans

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC plans to mark its 20th anniversary with a fresh face. It partnered with the New York-based Wilhelmina International Inc. agency on a search for the brand’s next spokesperson, who will be “the face” of its 20th Birthday Campaign.

Meet Orbee’s David Kim, Car Dealers’ Digital Ally

AUTOS: Bot detection tech, digital marketing optimized

In the market for a new vehicle? Talk to Daniel Kim.

Jannard Product Opens Firm to Consumers

TECHNOLOGY: Device brings 3-D, VR sans awkward aids

Jim Jannard, founder of Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., has figured out a way to allow viewing of 3-D and virtual reality content without the need for a pesky headset or glasses.

Jannard Unveils ‘Mind-Numbing’ Product

Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. is now making Hydrogen One, a smartphone that “seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content and interactive games,” founder Jim Jannard posted on the company’s online users forum this morning.

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Advantage Buys in Netherlands

Advantage Smollan Ltd. in London—a holding company Irvine-based Advantage Solutions Inc. set up in 2015 with Smollan Group in Johannesburg—plans to acquire Netherlands-based Hamilton Bright Group B.V. on undisclosed terms.

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OC Automakers Trail National Pace

The four largest Orange County-based automakers trailed the national sales pace for new vehicles in June, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Kia Finally Lands Sales Exec

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine hired Bill Peffer as its new vice president of sales, a position Michael Sprague held until he was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015.

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Largest Women-Owned Firms Made Gains in 2016

10-Year Trend in OC Keeps Pace With U.S.

Revenue generated by Orange County’s largest women-owned businesses grew about 35% since the recession and is on par with the national growth for the same time period.

Conversion Business Model: The Trend is Their Friend

MARKETING: No guesswork, process leads to e-commerce sales

There’s a chance that the face cream you just bought online was developed by a local ad shop.

Mortgage Lender’s New Campaign Promotes Perks

Ads Talk Up Interest Rate Guarantee, Free Insurance

LoanDepot LLC is in the midst of a “multimillion-dollar” branding campaign called “We believe in you,” featuring 30- and 60-second TV spots airing daily on broadcast and cable networks nationwide, including ESPN, CNBC, E!, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Direct Sports.