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

Kaiser Beats the Street

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Boardriders Gets Ex-Oakley Exec

Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc., which owns the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes brands, named Nate Smith president of its Americas region.

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Gallegos Hires Ex-Mazda Ad Exec

Harvey Marco, a former chief creative officer of Mazda North American Operations’ advertising agency of record, Garage Team Mazda in Costa Mesa, joined Gallegos United in Huntington Beach as chief creative officer and co-president.

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Tustin Aerospace Co. Buys Competitor

Elite Aerospace Group in Tustin acquired Halo Industries Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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Sister, Brother Believe in Bricks-and-Mortar Retail

Handle Hobie Brand Stores, Including Furniture Venture

Growing up, Laurie Alter’s older brother Mark Christy wanted to keep “her and her hamsters and her dolls” as far away as possible—he said he was “desperately trying to be cool,” and having a Ford Pinto as his ride didn’t help, either.

Kawasaki Gets in Ring With Wrestler for Campaign

Steve Austin to Get Word Out on Off-Road Wheels

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. in Foothill Ranch partnered with pro wrestler Steve Austin on a new advertising campaign to promote its Mule Pro-FXR off-road utility vehicle.

Tustin Aerospace Co. Buys Competitor

Elite Aerospace Group in Tustin acquired Halo Industries Inc. on undisclosed terms.

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Volcom Shifts PR Lens To Wider Audience In Fresh Growth Effort

APPAREL: New ads, ambassadors pan out beyond its traditional core

Volcom LLC is giving you permission to ditch the daily grind and pursue your true passion, whatever that may be. Heck, it’ll even foot the bill for about a dozen winners of its #ThisFirst social media contest.

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Wilson Automotive Group Diversifying, Not Panicking

Other States Pick Up Slack for Business Journal’s No. 11

David Wilson is keeping things in perspective when it comes to cooling U.S. auto sales.

Food Maker Closes Distribution Center

Michigan-based Kellogg Co. is closing its distribution center in La Palma and eliminating 280 jobs there, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification the cereal and snack giant filed with the state.

Chicken Chain Goes Crazy for Foodie LA Dodger

Adrián González Will Lob El Pollo Loco Props

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. is turning to influencer marketing in its latest Loco Summer Fun advertising campaign.

Kellogg Leaving La Palma

Michigan-based Kellogg Co. is shuttering its distribution center in La Palma and cutting 280 jobs there, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification the cereal and snack giant filed with the state Employment Development Department.

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Karma’s First Reveros Hit the Road Smoothly

AUTOMOTIVE: Production slow now for exclusive clientele

Krishnan Menon had unique plans for the launch of Karma Automotive LLC and its $130,000 hybrid sports car, Revero—he envisioned it as the world’s first invite-only auto brand. Works Its Way Into New Wardrobe Corners

APPAREL: Garden Grove E-Tailer Adding Shirts, Suits wants to be a one-stop shop for the modern man—at least from the waist up.

Stance, New Balance Partnership Crosses Country

Companies’ Home Turfs Inspire Shoe, Sock ‘Kits’

Stance Inc. is collaborating with New Balance Athletics Inc. on a series of shoes and socks kits, the first of which pays homage to the companies’ hometowns—San Clemente and Boston.

Going Once … on the Auction Block

A piece of prime local real estate—albeit a virtual one—is up for grabs.

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Milk Promotor’s Campaign Spills Across California

Sings Dairy’s Praises, To Give Away Refrigerators

The California Milk Processor Board in San Clemente launched the “California Thrives on Milk” campaign, designed to “help guide consumers to more healthful choices this summer” via educational events in Los Angeles, Fresno and Bakersfield.

Boot Barn Misses on Q4

Shares of Boot Barn Holdings Inc. were down 15% to $6.30 during Friday morning trading after the company reported revenue and adjusted profits for the April quarter that missed the Wall Street expectations.

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May Auto Sales Mixed

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

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City Clubs' Future Sparkles

Members-Only Establishments Preserve Purpose as They Change With Times

Are member-only dining clubs vulnerable to technology advances that in the past decade have rendered paper maps, pay phones and film cameras obsolete and conditioned us to communicate on social media more often than in person?

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Genetic Tests Maker Cuts Jobs

Ambry Genetics Corp. plans to cut 99 jobs at its facility in Irvine next month, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification it filed with the state Employment Development Department.

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Experian Ad Presents Company as Data Protector

Highlights Vulnerability Of Personal Info Online

Experian PLC’s latest TV spot juxtaposes footage of the Miller family building a blanket fort in their living room with the sound of an auctioneer offering up their personal data to the highest bidder online.

Emerald Expo Reports First Q1

Shares of Emerald Expositions Events Inc. in San Juan Capistrano fell slightly after the tradeshow operator met Wall Street expectations on revenue but faltered on earnings for the March quarter.

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Tilly’s Up in Q1

Tilly’s Inc. reported sales that beat Wall Street expectations for the April quarter, sending its shares up 14% to a $279 million market cap in recent trading.

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E-tailer to Close Irvine Operation

Australian online retailer SurfStitch Group Ltd. said it will close its North American operations based in Irvine this year and shift its SWELL ecommerce business there to Australia.

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Apparel Makers’ OC Employment Drops 5% to 8,593

54 Biggest Firms Include Four Newcomers

Orange County’s largest apparel makers slowed hiring over the past year.

Billabong Seeks Smaller OC Space

APPAREL: Two-building Spectrum site listed for lease

Billabong USA may be looking for new, smaller, digs in Orange County, the company confirmed last week.

Glass Company Breaks With Traditions to Thrive

3rd-Gen Owner Nabs Big Accounts; Markets Online

Greg Wingert took the time to hear out the Mater Dei High School guidance counselor’s push for college, but the senior’s mind was already set on joining the family business.

Mother, Daughter Immersed in 40-Year Labor of Love

Swimwear Maker Moves In Market In Its Own Way

Felicia Madrigal sees Laguna Beach-based Merrilee’s Swimwear returning to shelves at popular retail chains, including PacSun and Nordstrom.

Sadeghi Plans More Retail Magic at 2 New Sites

Shaheen Sadeghi, the visionary behind the Anaheim Packing House and other hip retail concepts, has picked a 12-acre site in San Marcos in San Diego County as his next challenge.

Boost Mobile Aims to Boost Sales With ‘Project Switch’

Ads Highlight How Easy It Says Switch to It Is

Boost Mobile LLC in Irvine launched national marketing and advertising campaign “Project Switch,” which highlights its “four lines for $100” offer.

Advantage’s Next Growth Step: IPO

Advantage Solutions Inc.’s initial public offering filing provides a glimpse into the Irvine-based company’s strategy of growth through acquisition of complementary sales and marketing businesses—it spent about $566 million on 39 deals in the past three years.

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Revero Hits the Road

The first batch of Karma Automotive LLC’s Revero luxury plug-in hybrid vehicles is on its way to 10 dealer showrooms in the U.S. and Canada.

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J.D. Power Gets First Ad Agency, Partly for Auto Creds

Goes With Torrance-Based PCG, Which Serves Honda

J.D. Power and Associates in Costa Mesa hired Pacific Communications Group as the agency of record for its automotive division.

Apparel Maker Cuts Jobs

St. John Knits International Inc. next month plans to cut 130 jobs at its facility in Irvine, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification it filed with the state Employment Development Department.

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ASICS Down in Q1

ASICS America Corp.’s sales in the March quarter declined 5.3%, according to its parent, Japan-based ASICS Corp.

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Inventory of Influence

The Business Journal compiles roughly 60 lists a year using various factors to rank local companies—growth pace, employee count, and in some cases, annual revenue. The OC 50—published since 1992—sorts entries alphabetically, so rather than a list, think of it as an always-evolving collective of local influencers.

Kia Replaces Marketing VP With Auto Industry Vet

Saad Chehab Previously Worked for Maserati, Ford

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine hired Saad Chehab as vice president of marketing communications.

Autobytel Exceeds Q1 Forecasts

Autobytel Inc. reported March quarter revenue and adjusted profits that beat Wall Street expectations.

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