Mediha DiMartino

Staff Reporter

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

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 224

Recent Stories

Advantage Solutions Keeps IPO Watchers Waiting

MARKETING: In robust IPO year, biggest biding its time

Several local companies sprinted to the stock exchange shortly after filing for an initial public offering this year, matching the national pace of just over 50 days, according to a report by PwC in New York.

Ad Shop Bought

Newport Beach-based digital marketing agency ymarketing was acquired by Sandbox in Chicago on undisclosed terms.

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Kaiser Aluminum Misses

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the September quarter that fell below Wall Street expectations.

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Hyundai Styles Self As Auto Nordstrom

AUTOMOTIVE: Intros app, buyer cooling-off period, more

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage?

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Reality Star Wreaks Havoc Proving Badness Creds

Nicole Richie Gets Urban Decay Post in the End

Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC in Newport Beach released the first in a series of YouTube videos featuring its latest brand ambassador, Nicole Richie, star of comedic reality shows “Great News,” “The Simple Life” and “Candidly Nicole.”

J.D. Power CEO to Retire

J.D. Power Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill will retire in March.

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Auto Industry’s Nordstrom

Worried you may not like your new ride the minute you park it in the garage? No problem, Hyundai Motor America Inc. will take it back within three days of purchase.

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Autobytel Rebrands

Autobytel Inc. in Irvine changed its name to AutoWeb Inc. and its Nasdaq stock ticker symbol to “AUTO.”

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ASICS to Talk Up Fitness at New York Festival

Irvine Brand Riffing Off Of #IMOVEME Slogan

SICS America Corp. is sponsoring several experiential marketing initiatives at the upcoming Festival of Fitness in San Francisco, hosted by Virgin Sport USA LLC in New York.

Racer Turned Retailer Now Racing Promoter

Roland Sands Designs 1st Moto Beach Classic

Roland Sands’ perfect day at the beach includes surfing, punk rock and reggae beats and of course, motorcycle racing.

Bradford Renaissance Bucks Trends, Pays Homage

RETAIL: Thriving photography business in age of selfies

Bradford Rowley started his photography business in the late 1980s, when one-hour photo processing was the speediest way to share memories. Nowadays, despite the glut of selfies overtaking our social media feeds, his portraiture remains relevant—and lucrative.

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September Sales Mixed for OC Automakers

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

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Entrepreneur’s Second Venture Came From His Gut

HEALTHCARE: Approach that helped him now for sale

Hiep Tran built and sold a payment-processing business, a profitable venture he says cost him his health.

Milk Meets Food in New, Smoking-Hot Series

Processor Board Suggests Sexy Pairings

The California Milk Processor Board’s newest installment of the “Food Loves Milk” campaign is a heartbreaker, but in a good way.

Smart Camera Co. Gets $5.4M

Opkix Inc. in Costa Mesa said it raised $5.4 million in Series A funding, and it now has a value of $90 million.

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ASICS Replaces Creative Agency

ASICS Corp., the parent of Irvine-based ASICS America Corp., selected Saatchi & Saatchi as its global creative agency.

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Ahead of the Curve

Retail Developer Foresaw Shift From Consumption to Connection

Shaheen Sadeghi’s a developer with a knack for envisioning gathering spots that inspire community pride and appear resilient to challenges plaguing bricks-and-mortar retail.

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.”’s New Logo, Slogan Tell Whole Story

Branding Changes Follow Parent Co.’s Recent Sale

Irvine-based real estate marketplace, 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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