Pete Weitzner

Editor

Email: Weitzner@OCBJ.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 216

Recent Stories

‘Let’s Get This Figured Out’

Patty. By now you know the tragic story of CDM High School student Patrick “Patty” Turner. Patty took his life on Saturday, Jan 27. The sophomore’s final exams started the following Monday.

Carson Kropfl Cruisin’ Through Growth Stage

‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner‘Shark Tank’ Winner Shreds Sales With Sir Richard as Partner

Seventh-grade entrepreneur, TED talker and Richard Branson protégé Carson Kropfl insists he “wasn’t an overnight success.”

Toll Road Turnaround

Once bitten twice in love—why Wall Street can't get enough of OC muni debt.

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What They Don’t Teach at M.I.T.

For the most part Orange County doesn’t have celebrities. At least not the Hollywood kind. Orange County has business celebrities.

How Green is Your Zone?

How Costa Mesa Dealt With Cannabis County

Costa Mesa councilman Jim Righeimer pretty much knew California’s Prop. 64 was a winner—the measure legalizing cannabis to smoke in the home and to grow, sell and distribute as a licensed business—he just didn’t want his city “to be the first to sell it in the post-prohibition era.”

Survey Says: OC Consumers Tad More Bullish

ECONOMY: Gen X, self- employed most sanguine

A fourth-quarter survey of Orange County consumers isn’t a total referendum on the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Sundance, Slamdance Breakout For Chapman Filmmakers

MEDIA: Rare ‘trifecta’ latest validation of business plan

The narrative and documentary films that opened the Sundance Film Festival last month were both directed by Chapman University film school alumni.

Hill Tops

Julie Hill has ascended to the upper echelon of Orange County business and civic life. Now the chair of the UC-Irvine Foundation faces another corporate hurdle straight ahead.

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Gray Area

In March the Business Journal debuts our list of the largest charitable gifts of 2017… long list, considering the cutoff of $1 million.

LoanDepot’s New Lines Compete With GreenSky

FINANCE: To provide home-improvement loans

Foothill Ranch-based LoanDepot LLC launched two businesses to expand its real estate lending, including one that competes against investor magnet and fintech giant GreenSky LLC.

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Opus, Banc of California to Up Lending This Year

FINANCE: Two OC banks see plenty of opportunities

Opus Bank and Banc of California Inc., which experienced turmoil last year, said they’re boosting lending this year.

New Initiative Focuses On County’s Challenges

ECONOMY: Losing our ‘seed corn generations’

Last year Chapman University researchers Marshall Toplansky and Joel Kotkin published study “OC Model: A Vision for OC’s Future.”

Always Time for Scrum

This week's issue features a diverse group of Orange County executives—bred from here to Auckland—and their common obsession beyond work: rugby.

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SCNG, Register Layoffs Raise Same Daunting Question

MEDIA: Sustainable newspaper model still evolving design

Whether the Orange County Register, its parent, Southern California News Group, and group parent Digital First Media Corp. are profitable is an open question. They’re all private entities, majority-owned by another—New York-based hedge fund Alden Global Capital, and it doesn’t disclose financials, much less break them out, doesn’t have to.

“Ready for A, B. Not …”

Amazon’s decision to decline the three OC bidders tickets for its Big Dance of 20 HQ2 finalists was unsurprising, still disappointing and … confusing.

Foreign-Owned Firms Add Jobs

In this week's issue, OC automakers paced a mini-jobs drive in 2017 among foreign-owned firms — keeping alive a multi-year streak of such companies adding to payrolls.

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Tech as in Wreck. Sometimes.

John DeCero doesn’t worry about technology—the Great Disruptor in seemingly all industries— disrupting his business: banking.

This Week: Work Gets More Creative in OC

Was a time when the folks who worked at ESPN “had all the fun.”

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El-Erian Bullish on OC

Mohamed El-Erian touts the ‘OC Edge’ in a wide-ranging interview in the Jan. 8 issue of the Business Journal.

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See Jane Go Drives Away

The idea was a ride-sharing service where women drivers served women passengers—the safety of both the driving force behind See Jane Go. But just sixteen months after its first fare, See Jane Go stopped operations Tuesday night.

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Botox Competitor Files for IPO

Evolus Inc. plans an IPO of up to $75 million, according to documents filed with the SEC Tuesday.

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Addition to Business Journal Newsroom

Subrina Hudson has come home. Sort of. From 2013 to 2017, Hudson covered retail and advertising, among other beats, for our sister publication, the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Optimism Near Peak In Quarterly OC Execs Survey

In looking out to the first quarter, Orange County executives turned up the optimism. That’s according to California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey, which popped seven points from 88.2 to 95.2 quarter-over-quarter.

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“Shall We Talk About the Jets”

Mohamed El-Erian was floated for Fed No. 2 in the fall.

More to the Story

Sept. 8 around 1 p.m. Donald Bren and Irvine Co. announce they’ll urge the city of Irvine to join up to vie for Amazon’s HQ2.

Bren was Pitch Perfect

The Business Journal has selected Irvine Company Chairman Donald Bren as its Business Person of the Year.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.5% in midday trading to 2,691.93.

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Flute Bug Skips Another Generation of McLarands

Needle Point: Wednesday, Dec. 6, I was commended to read two books (in one year?) … “Reinventing the Administrative State” and “Financial Management Theory in the Public Sector,” –both apparently preach the same sermon: “When Money Talks, the Truth is Silent.”

McKay & Carnahan Sold

Cleveland-based CBIZ, Inc. (NYSE: CBZ), the No. 10 U.S. accounting firm, bought McKay & Carnahan Inc. of Newport Beach on undisclosed terms.

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Bang: You’re a TV Star

Breaking at press time … Newport billionaire Ron Simon sells RSI Home Products to Va-based American Woodmark … $1.08B, in stock, cash, debt assumption … Simon founded his Anaheim cabinet-maker in ’89, products widely respected for high-quality and value—on pace for $560M sales ‘17.

Avanir Restructures, Will Cut 11% of US Workforce

Avanir Pharmaceuticals Inc. will lay off 73 employees by the end of January from its US work force as part of a restructuring. We’re told the majority will be outside of its Aliso Viejo headquarters.

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Shea and Scharrell

Real estate services giant JLL’s 2017 Tech Report on STEM grads shows average U.S. pay for math and science jobs 80% above all gigs. In OC: $94,780 vs. $55,890.

Consigliore as Merch Made Its Move

Busy Year for Jenny Wang, Who’s Bred for Business

Jenny Wang grew up in her family’s shoe manufacturing business. She ultimately parlayed her business expertise into a general counsel position at Irvine-based MerchSource. The company designs, develops, imports and distributes consumer goods, such as electronics and toys.w

Eight Feted for National Philanthropy Day

Association of Fundraising Professionals—OC honored eight of the county's outstanding givers at a National Philanthropy Day today before a lunch crowd of 680 at City National Grove in Anaheim.

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Five Honored With General Counsel Awards

A crowd of more than 400 members of Orange County’s corporate and legal communities gathered to honor this year’s top in-house lawyers at the Business Journal’s eighth annual General Counsel Awards.

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'Dinesty' Ends: Fifi Chao Dies

Fifi Chao the longtime Orange County restaurant columnist died Monday. She was 81.

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Follow the Bankers

Q&A responses of OC bank bosses (p. 22) sounds a sanguine note.

Chapman to Honor ‘Stranger Brothers’

Matt and Ross Duffer (Chapman ’07) didn’t put Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts on the map—but they sure made the University in Orange easier to find.

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352 and Growing

Among our P1 stories, Mediha DiMartino found a nondescript Garden Grove co. sitting on new business that could triple sales—a story anytime, more so when the growing concern is part of a 352-year-old French manufacturer.

50 Honorees, 5 Awards in 1st Civic 50 Orange County

‘Corporate Philanthropy Is in a Renaissance’

The list in this Special Report is unusual for the Business Journal in two ways. It’s a first—the first list of local-market Civic 50 honorees in the country. And it’s likely a first Business Journal list without financials. Rightly so.

Dancing Next Fall?

Deadline gone for Amazon’s HQ2. I was in London at Trafalgar Square when that city won the bid for the 2012 Olympics.

Newport Beach Tennis Club Land Trades for $12.4M

REAL ESTATE: Diamond Jamboree owners invest

The land underneath the Newport Beach Tennis Club has been bought by a prominent area retail developer.

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Morning Angels

Tech Coast Angels are the Blue Angels of angel investing.

New Shooter for HQ2; Found ‘Superwoman’

New Shooter for HQ2 Breaking late. Big Mike tells me a bid’s coming for Amazon’s HQ2, joint bid of Santa Ana, Garden Grove, and perhaps Orange and Anaheim.

Fashion Show Harvests $1M for Hunger

Anniversaries are good for giving. On the silver anniversary of South Coast Plaza’s Harvesters Fashion Show in the golden-anniversary year of the mall, the show took in more than $1 million.

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‘Thorpedo’

Monday. Lunch with Ed. Meeting The Great Ed Thorp is meeting Kareem (sky hook) or Jerry (Grateful Dead) or Steve (iPhone).

NY Hedge Fund Latest to Bet on Alteryx

TECHNOLOGY: Some insiders sell; sales stay hot in hot ‘BI’ space

Life in the public eye got intriguing for one of Orange County’s best tech stories in years, Alteryx Inc., the Irvine software maker that made a splashy Wall Street debut in March.

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A Piece of the Action

Mark Mueller’s P1 story “Aluminum” illustrates how a great reporter—who fairly exclusively writes exclusives—broke his latest.

Disruptive Innovation

‘Let’s Do It:’ The Redoubtable Joe Kiani Builds Medical-Device Power

People telling the Masimo Corp. story like to compare it to David and Goliath, the surprising victory of a shepherd boy defeating a nine-foot giant—aka a “garage startup” victor over larger device companies. Except, to Chief Executive and Chairman Joe Kiani, there’s nothing surprising about the company’s success.

Regulators to Innovators

Irvine Co. debuted the 21-story 400 Spectrum Center Wednesday.