Orange County Business Journal

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PBS SoCal Gets Foster Kids Project Grant

PBS SoCal in Costa Mesa received a three-year, $1.7 million grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to produce documentaries about real-life issues faced by foster youth in Southern California.

Vans at 50: Art, Music to Laud Design, Innovation

Brand Unveils New Logo, ‘Special’ Products, Parties

Vans Inc. in Cypress kicked off its year-long 50th birthday celebration with a new logo to accompany “special product releases” that showcase its “timeless design and innovation.”

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Taco Bell Names New CMO

Taco Bell Corp. promoted Marisa Thalberg to chief marketing officer.

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Freedoms Asks Court to OK Auction

Freedom Communications Inc. in Santa Ana is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California to approve its plans to hold an asset auction March 16.

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Sadeghi’s LAB Pays $10M for Anaheim Sites

LAB Holding LLC in Costa Mesa will buy four development sites from the city of Anaheim for $10.1 million.

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Kia Shows Full-Size SUV Concept

Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc. showed a full-sized sport utility vehicle concept car called Telluride at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Mazda Dealer Shifts to ‘Open Point’ in San Juan Capistrano

AUTOS: Prior owner plans townhomes on Laguna Hills lot

Phillips Mazda has moved from its longtime home in Laguna Hills and followed its new owner down the freeway to San Juan Capistrano, where Miles Brandon has been selling Volkswagens for nearly two decades.

Incipio Sells Minority Stake to PE Firm

Irvine-based Incipio Technologies Inc. agreed to sell a minority stake to New York-based private equity investor Goode Partners LLC on undisclosed terms.

Hyundai Super Bowl Ad to Highlight ‘Core Values’

Carmaker Plans 3 Other Spots for Elantra, Genesis

Hyundai Motor America Inc. in Fountain Valley said one of its four upcoming Super Bowl ads “will use compelling storytelling to highlight the core values of the brand and what Hyundai delivers to its consumers.”

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7 New Restaurants at Market Place

The Market Place in Tustin and Irvine has signed seven new restaurants to its lineup at the 165-acre shopping center.

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Kaiser Aluminum Adds COO

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. in Foothill Ranch appointed Keith Harvey chief operating officer—a newly created position.

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Carmakers’ Year-End Numbers Mixed

Orange County-based automakers were split on sales performance in December, even as most notched gains for the year, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Kawasaki Motorcycle Gets Props in Popular Science

Magazine Lauds ‘Ninja’ Supercharger as Innovator

The Kawasaki Ninja H2 motorcycle by Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. in Irvine landed on Popular Science magazine’s Best of What’s New 2015 list, which usually is a rundown of innovations, such as smartphone apps, electric race cars, aerospace developments, and advancements in wireless technology.

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Incipio Sells Stake

Irvine-based Incipio Technologies Inc. has agreed to sell a minority stake to New York-based private equity investor Goode Partners LLC on undisclosed terms.

Medical Apparel Brand Grows in Laguna Hills

MARKETING: Counts on style, performance to claim niche

Think of Medelita LLC as a Patagonia Inc. for lab coats and scrubs—its products are pricier but come with better style and performance than the average stuff from a uniform supply shop.

Buena Park-Based Grocer to East Coast

RETAIL: 99 Ranch picks up pair of New Jersey locations from A&P

Asian-themed grocery store chain 99 Ranch Market has landed in the Garden State for its East Coast expansion, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Services: Tanya Domier

Why Advantage Solutions’ Boss Chose to Lean In

Advantage Solutions’ Tanya Domier nearly turned down a job leading one of Orange County’s largest private companies.

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Apparel Maker Takes Equity Stake

La Jolla Group LLC in Irvine acquired an equity stake in Laguna Beach-based apparel maker Roark Revival for an undisclosed amount.

Kaiser Aluminum Puts $150M to CapEx

Kaiser Aluminum Corp in Foothill Ranch said it will spend $150 million on equipment upgrades at its Spokane, Wash. facility over the next five years.

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Retiring Longtime Mazda Exec Replaced

Mazda North American Operations in Irvine appointed Masahiro Moro its new president and chief executive to replace Jim O’Sullivan, who will retire from the company on Jan. 1.

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Mall Manager Changes With Sale

Westfield MainPlace in Santa Ana will get new management as Sydney-based Westfield Corp. sold a majority stake in the mall to a partnership that includes USAA Real Estate Co. in San Antonio, Texas, Dallas-based Centennial Real Estate Co. and Montgomery Street Partners LLC in San Francisco.

Asics Pulls Sponsorship of Another Major Marathon

Shoe Brand Still Backs Dozens of Other Races

Asics America Corp. said its last sponsorship of the TCS NYC Marathon will be next year, ending a relationship that commenced 25 years ago with the inaugural race, which drew fewer than 100 people to New York’s Central Park and has grown into an event with more than 500,000 runners.

2016 Preview: RETAIL/MARKETING

Retailers will likely continue to search for new ways to connect with their customer bases, providing services that add to the shopping experience at brick-and-mortar stores—touches such as valet parking, concierge or personal shopping services.

Advantage Sees New Name as Solution

MARKETING: Change reflects turn toward digital as company nears $2B

Advantage Sales and Marketing LLC has outgrown its name.

Paddling Along

MEDIA: Rumors of print’s demise have been exaggerated

The fate of the Orange County Register will likely begin to take shape early next year with the expected bankruptcy auction of Freedom Communications Inc., the daily newspaper’s Santa Ana-based parent.

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Shoemaker Buys Eyewear Brand

Footwear manufacturer OluKai Inc. in Aliso Viejo acquired Newport Beach-based eyewear brand Kaenon for an undisclosed sum.

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Fire Destroys SCP Christmas Tree

An early morning blaze consumed a 96-foot Christmas tree at Town Center Park in Costa Mesa, just outside Westin South Coast Plaza.

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Tribune Yields on Freedom Financing

Tribune Publishing Co. withdrew its objection to Santa Ana-based Freedom Communications Inc.’s proposed debtor-in-possession financing deal with Silver Point Finance LLC, according to documents filed Friday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California.

UCI’s Next 50-Year Plan: Bigger Future

Birthday Celebration in Books, New Ad Campaign to Raise Profile

It’s an alma mater to tens of thousands, a major research hub, and one of Orange County’s biggest employers.

2015 YEAR IN REVIEW: Media & Marketing

We said Mirman was one to keep an eye on last year as he took on the challenge of getting Freedom Communications Inc. “back on a trajectory of growth.”

Morgan to Exit Namesake Firm

MARKETING: PR vet sells building, strikes deal with staffer

Melinda Morgan Kartsonis’ last pitch was for her own agency, Morgan Marketing & Public Relations in Irvine.

2015 YEAR IN REVIEW: Retail

Thomas had a busy year, to say the least. In the months after we pegged him as one to watch, he helped the Foothill Ranch-based Wet Seal emerge from bankruptcy in April with a pared-down lineup of 171 stores and under the ownership of Mador Lending LLC, an affiliate of Philadelphia-based private equity firm Versa Capital Management LLC.

Stance Videos Depict ‘Wild’ Day in the Neighborhood

Play on Mister Rogers Points Up Underwear

Stance Inc. in San Clemente launched a series of videos to promote its inaugural collection of men’s underwear, “Wildly Comfortable, and Comfortably Wild.”

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Freedom Seeks OK on New Financing

Freedom Communications Inc. in Santa Ana is asking the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Central District of California to allow it to accept $4.5 million in financing from Silver Point Finance LLC.

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Volcom Names CEO

Volcom LLC appointed Todd Hymel as its new chief executive, effective immediately.

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Tilly’s Reports Mixed Q3

Shares of Tilly’s Inc. were down about 2% in Thursday morning trading for a market cap of $172 million after the Irvine-based apparel, footwear and accessories retailer reported results yesterday that beat Wall Street expectation on sales in the October quarter but slipped on earnings.

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PacSun Reports Loss

Shares of Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. were down in midday trading as it reported a loss for its most recent quarter.

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OC Automakers Beat U.S. Sales

All four Orange County-based automakers met or exceeded the national sales pace for new vehicles in November, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

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Depactus Co-Founder Steps Down

Bruce Beach, chief executive and president of Depactus, stepped down from active duties at the San Clemente-based apparel company, “to focus on other pursuits.”

Mazda’s Michigan Man

GC Played Key Role as Auto Brand Regained Footing After Ford Split

Shawn Murphy was set on becoming an investment banker until the savings and loan crisis in the late 1980s took his job prospects away.

OC Retailers Bring Head of Steam Into Holiday

The top 33 shopping centers in Orange County notched a sixth straight year of growth in taxable sales, with an overall performance that suggests the local retail scene is hot heading into the crucial year-end holiday season.

Heading Off Trouble

Goodwin Guides Oakley to Pursue the Best Contracts It Can

David Goodwin used the term “embedded” to describe his position as general counsel for government and military matters at Oakley Inc. in Foothill Ranch.

OC Carmakers Show Their Stuff at LA Auto Show

Beer Bar, Bigger Booths, Other Features Rolled Out

All four Orange County-based automakers had something to present at the Los Angeles Auto Show a couple of weeks ago.

Auto Dealer Sales, Makers’ Staff Up

The 40 largest auto dealers in Orange County combined for $5.3 billion in sales for the 12-month period that ended June 30, based on this week’s Business Journal list.

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Cypress Firm Buys Atlanta Sign Maker

Christie Digital Systems USA Inc., a Cypress-based manufacturer of high-definition movie projectors, acquired Allure Global Solutions Inc. in Atlanta on undisclosed terms.

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Sock Maker Opens First Store

Stance Inc. in San Clemente opened its first retail store, in New York’s SoHo district.

SJC Socks, Apparel Brand Acquired

St. Louis-based Shoes.com acquired socks and apparel brand Richer Poorer Inc. in San Juan Capistrano on undisclosed terms.

Data as Driver

San Clemente Software Company ‘Owns Desktop at Dealership,’ Passes $200M in Revenue

DealerSocket wants to be the Amazon.com for the automotive sector.

Innocean Crafts Ads for Hyundai’s Super Bowl Return

Carmaker Plans 4 Spots As NFL Auto Sponsor

InnoceanUSA in Huntington Beach is already working behind the scenes on Super Bowl ads for Hyundai Motor America Inc.

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Action Apparel Firm Names Exec

Lost Holdings in Irvine selected former Rip Curl executive Rick Petri as president, a new position.

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