Stories for May 2018

Thursday, May 31

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.7% in midday trading to 2,705.51.

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Southwest Boosts Long Beach Presence

Southwest Airlines will add flights on current routes from Long Beach Airport for at least the first two months of a JetBlue Airways pullback from the airport.

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Opting for Hope

Annette Walker to Head City of Hope OC in July

The uniqueness of City of Hope’s new cancer center in Orange County speaks for itself—the project certainly caught Annette Walker’s attention.

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OC 500: Mark Wetterau

Sells meat, dairy, produce to major food service cos., including McDonald’s Corp. … also logistics, trucking … $7B revenue, 7K workers … largest OC-based food distributor … second-largest OC private co. after Pacific Life … his hero-role model: father, Ted … his dog, Bodie, half black Lab, half German Shepherd … backs Second Harvest Food Bank, GSF Foundation … passion: ‘my family’ … three success words: ‘people, people, people’

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Allergan Seeks to Shed Two

In response to its lagging stock, Allergan Plc (NYSE: AGN) will seek buyers for both its women’s health and infectious disease units. CEO Brett Saunders confirmed the unanimous board decision in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

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Wednesday, May 30

Blue Gate Bank Sold: Report

Blue Gate Bank, a Costa Mesa-based bank that opened early last year, is being sold, according to American Banker.

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Brandman to Educate Walmart Workers

Walmart employees will be able to attend Irvine-based Brandman University for $1 a day as part of a new program the retail giant said on Wednesday.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes rose in midday trading on easing of worries over Italy’s political woes and sector strength in finance and energy.

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OC 500: Suzanne Richards

Women in Business honoree … oversees seven KPC hospitals, including four OC hospitals with about $340M revenue, 750 inpatient beds … part of KPC Group, Riverside … hospitals formerly in Tenet system … Richards began with KPC 2012 to aid restructuring … KPC ESOP launched 2015 … CSUF RN, UCI MBA, healthcare management … attended Ren Faire as pirate … rollercoaster buff

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Chipotle to Newport, Will Tap Local Talent

RESTAURANTS: Niccol back, brings $12B market cap with him

Brian Niccol’s coming home, and he’s buying lunch.

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Tuesday, May 29

Irvine Co. Names Resorts President

Irvine Co. today named Scott Hermes its resorts division president to succeed Ralph Grippo.

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Evolus Names CFO

Evolus Inc. (Nasdaq: EOLS) appointed Lauren Silvernail as chief financial officer and executive vice president of corporate development.

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Yogurtland Adds Internationally

Yogurtland opened in the Emirate of Sharjah, one of the kingdoms in United Arab Emirates; it has two other locations in UAE.

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Franchiser Names Chief Tech Exec

Home Franchise Concepts promoted Faisal Khan to chief information officer, a new position;. He’d been vice president of technology at the Irvine-based franchiser of homecare services.

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Disney Begins $100M Parking Structure

Disneyland Resort has begun building a 6,500-space parking structure valued, according to permits, at $100 million, and part of the park’s’ $2 billion expansion, which also includes a fourth hotel and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

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ICU Talks Merger with Smiths Unit

British engineering firm Smiths Group plc (LON: SMIN) confirmed it is in “very early stage discussions about a potential merger of its medical division with ICU Medical Inc. (Nasdaq: ICUI),” according to a company press release.

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KIA names COO

Irvine-based automaker Kia Motors America named Michael Cole chief operating officer and executive vice president on Tuesday. He succeeds Michael Sprague, who left the post last month.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Markets declined in midday trading on fears that an Italian political crisis may affect Europe’s common currency.

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OC 500: Kory Kramer

Dealmaker for hotel owner-operator… PHG leads buyer groups, runs facilities … 2017 sold Bacara Resort, Goleta, to two nontraded REITs … sources say $300M price, plus … paid $185M 2013, plus $27M upgrades … PHG high-end includes HB Pasea, Balboa Bay Resort … owns AC Hotels in Irvine, Tempe, New Orleans … PHG in planning on 50%+ expansion, flagship Meritage Resort & Spa, Napa

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Hospitality Guides: Hotels Help, Helped By, Schools

Irvine Co. Big Man On Training Campuses

No one sits at Pelican Hill—well, no one who works there does.

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Monday, May 28

Ad Firm INK Bets On Its Own Creativity

MARKETING: Starts with businesses it knows best

A Laguna Beach-based ad agency that’s helped numerous entrepreneurs take their brands to the next level is now cultivating its own business ideas.

Cookie Maker Has New Name, Headquarters, Flavors

Now Nui Foods, It Will Reach Beyond Keto Heads

The ketogenic diet is the latest health craze—even praised by celebrities Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian—but one keto snack maker has ditched its Keto Kookie name to appeal to a wider audience.

REITs Sabra, CareTrust Positive on Payment Reform

Model Increases Skilled Nursing Reimbursement

Proposed payment updates by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have buoyed skilled nursing, an industry that’s taken a hit from lowered reimbursements.


UCP of Orange County celebrated its annual Life Without Limits gala on May 5 with more than 300 community and business leaders and other supporters.

Making Room on the Wooden Dance Floor

NONPROFITS: How St. Joseph nun started movement for success

Fewer parents will be camping out the night before auditions at Santa Ana-based nonprofit The Wooden Floor.

Tinker to Evers, Stoecker to Niccol

BIG stories this week, grist for the mill … FivePoint-City of Hope alliance, $200M centerpiece of Great Park Neighborhoods medical campus; Newport Beach serial entrepreneur Alan True, shifting seamlessly from China-based furniture importer to U.S. food-biz disruptor; OC-borne fintechs Acorns and SAY drawing love and lead investment from BlackRock and Steve Cohen’s Point72; and the “Did I read that right?” story, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Taco Bell-poached boss Brian Niccol getting out of Denver, escaping New York, moving HQ and as many as 250 top-level jobs to Newport Beach … low-cost, low-reg, low-tax OC.

Co-Working Firm Latest Big Addition to Quad

REAL ESTATE: 102K SF for Spaces at 3 OC office locations

Orange County’s rapidly growing base of co-working spaces geared to smaller businesses is expanding to another prominent location at a nearly ready office campus in the Irvine Spectrum.

Hotel Rooms Snapshot: Hilton Still Tops, Others Move

51 Properties’ Total Stable; Tower, Refreshes Added

In the league of Business Journal lists, hotels sketch out a stable game. Room totals—the metric for this week’s list—pivot little, if at all.

Economics, Expansion Drive Hotel Renovations

Still-Rising Tourism Tide Lifts OC Resorts’ Boats

Sometimes, it’s just time. Hotels and resorts refresh their looks about every seven to 10 years as styles change in “linens and lotions” and as food and beverage and design trends emerge, even in the kinds of cocktails crafted for travelers.

Q & A

The Business Journal’s Paul Hughes asked hospitality companies and academic programs they work with about formal, systemic efforts properties take to recruit, hire, train and advance personnel—including technical staff, line workers and executives.

Fast-Growing Fintech Acorns Plots Big Growth

REAL ESTATE: New HQ to triple Irvine presence near UCI

Irvine-based Acorns Grow Inc., fresh off a $50 million funding deal headed by investment giant BlackRock Inc., plans to nearly triple the size of its local headquarters near the University of California-Irvine.

The True Way to Successful Investing

MANUFACTURING: Exec sees opening in fresh foods

Alan True knows how to spot great investments.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 22

Anaheim-based retail chain Pacific Sunwear of California Inc. is reportedly in talks with Bellevue, Wash.-based sports retailer Eddie Bauer to consolidate their businesses, Reuters reported. Both retailers are owned by private equity firm Golden Gate Capital.

OCBJ Calendar

May 28-June 6, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

BLD Ventures LLC sold an office building to the Wang Family Trust for $10.5 million, or $405 per square foot.

SAY Finds Backing to Rock Proxy Vote System

Platform Founded in OC, Backed by Investor Legend

A New York-based startup with deep ties to Orange County raised an $8 million seed round led by Stamford, Conn.-based Point72 Ventures, with participation from Quiet Capital, Struck Capital, Core Innovation Capital and other venture and strategic investors.

Toshiba Flash Unit Sale Gets Final Needed Approval

China Gives Nod to $18B Deal to Kingston Group

Chinese regulators approved the $18 billion sale of Toshiba Corp.’s lucrative flash memory unit to a consortium that includes Fountain Valley-based Kingston Technology Co.

SchoolsFirst Credit Union Buys Office in Riverside

$25.4M Deal Comes Year After OC Group Buy

Santa Ana-based SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union, the largest credit union in California, has added one of the most prominent office buildings in the Inland Empire market to its real estate portfolio.

Friday, May 25

Walker and Hope, Niccol and Chipotle, Choose OC

A look at Annette Walker’s decision to leave the nation’s No. 2 hospital chain to run Hope’s first OC cancer center at Great Park Neighborhoods.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,719.52.

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Still In The Picture

Cuts at Headquarters Meant to Fuel Growth

Vizio Inc. has downsized its Irvine operation and is in jeopardy of losing its long-held No. 2 position in flat-panel TV sales in North America.

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OC 500: Howard F. Ahmanson Jr.

Home Savings scion quickened arts pace 2017 … showings, OC; gallery planned LA … art a passion of late father, wife Roberta … new digs could work for another focus: salons … ‘conversations on culture’ says one

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Thursday, May 24

JWA Traffic Up

Year-over-year John Wayne Airport passenger traffic was up 5% in April to 894,000 on about 3,775 commercial flights, up 4.4%.

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Chipotle Moving to Newport

Chipotle Mexican Grill is moving to Newport Beach.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,728.24.

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PacSun Explores Merger

Anaheim-based retail chain Pacific Sunwear of California is reported to be in talks with Bellevue, Wash.-based sports retailer Eddie Bauer to consolidate their businesses, according to Reuters.

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Orange Offices Eyed for Rentals, For-Sale Homes

A seven-building office complex in Orange near MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana has been proposed as the site of a large residential complex featuring rental units and for-sale homes.

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OC 500: Joan Irvine Smith

Her grandfather incorporated Irvine Ranch … fortune from Irvine family inheritance, sale in Irvine Co. stake … has backed education, health initiatives, related work … gave Irvine Museum Collection to UCI 2016 … equestrian, rancher … sold horse farm in 2011 for $20M … born 1933; shares given name with late mother, Athalie Anita … father died when she was 2 … three sons

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Wednesday, May 23

OC First On Galaxy’s Edge

Walt Disney Co. said Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge will open at Disneyland Resort in summer 2019; the Walt Disney World iteration will follow in late fall.

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Visit Anaheim Teases 2019 Event

Visit Anaheim Chief Executive Jay Burress today in Denver led a live-streamed, kick-off to promote a 2019 tradeshow expected to bring about 6,000 travel industry attendees to Anaheim and Orange County.

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Chipotle Moving to Newport

Chipotle Mexican Grill is moving to Newport Beach.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.3% in midday trading to 2,716.91.

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DPW Buys Israeli Firm

Newport Beach-based DPW Holdings Inc. (NYSE American: DPW) said subsidiary Coolisys Technologies Inc. bought Enertec Systems 2001 Ltd. of Israel for $4.8 million.

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Real Mex for Sale

Real Mex Restaurants Inc.’s owners seek to sell the chain and have hired investment bank Piper Jaffray to unearth a buyer, according to Bloomberg. The chain’s second bankruptcy filing in seven years could precede a transaction, the report said.

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Museum Site Project Plans Scaled Down

REAL ESTATE: Vivante senior homes on table for NB

Plans are under way to build a high-end senior living facility on the site of Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, where the museum has been since the late 1970s.

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OC 500: David Pyott

Led Allergan through prevention of hostile takeover, sold to Actavis PLC, now Allergan PLC … $543M payout … focus on giving … SJC foundation backs glaucoma treatment training, education, builds eye clinics in developing nations … advisory boards, exec roles eyecare nonprofits … chair, Bioniz Therapeutics, Irvine, where with Joe Kiani led $13M funding 2016 … mountaineer … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $275M

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Tuesday, May 22

Mitsubishi Electric US Names First COO

Mitsubishi Electric US Inc. in Cypress named Mike Corbo to the newly created position of chief operating officer.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.1% in midday trading to 2,735.26.

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For 35 Years, an OC Immigrant Success Story

Now Charlie Zhang Pursues His Dream

Charlie Zhang built his fortune in the restaurant business when he started fast-casual chain Pick Up Stix in 1989 in Rancho Santa Margarita—growing to 100 locations, then selling it in 2001 to TGI Friday’s owner Carlson Restaurants Worldwide for $50 million.

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OC 500: Ray Wirta

No. 2 Irvine Co. exec … guides all aspects of expansive office, retail, resort portfolio for OC’s dominant real estate firm … give-it-to-the-busy-guy dept.: also chairman CBRE Group Inc., former CEO at brokerage giant … top slot at OC developer Koll Co. … one of three Rich Uncles, the local investment platform … partner in developer-investor Arrimus Capital, NB, where son works

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Monday, May 21

John Wayne Gets JFK

Delta Air Lines will fly nonstop between John Wayne Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, daily except Saturday, beginning Oct. 15.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 climbed 0.7% in midday trading to 2,733.15.

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OC 500: Barry S. Arbuckle

Wants ‘value-based’ care … pay by patient health, not per-procedure … services from smaller, nontraditional sites … 200+ to date … goals include ‘integrated delivery system,’ ‘living relationships rooted in care’ …

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Mortgage Modernizer Raises $50M in Latest Capital Round

STARTUPS: Cloudvirga pledges OC’s growing fintech fraternity

Irvine-based startup Cloudvirga Inc. has attracted big-name customers and backers as it aims to modernize a mortgage industry steeped in manual processes more than a decade old.

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JetSuite First on Board New Jet

JetSuite Inc. plans to get the first “hybrid-to-electric” aircraft from Zunum Aero when it’s ready for takeoff in 2022.

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Real Estate Deals

Sales and leases of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Izhak and Dalia Termeforoosh sold a retail building to Blake Megdal for $2.4 million, or $815 per square foot.

Pack to the Future Part 2: Drone delivery service could be last-mile game changer

Hover boards and flying cars may still be a long way off, but forward-thinking e-commerce giants have made huge strides in newer and more efficient delivery methods. Autonomous drones are viewed as the way of the future, and many companies and communities are already pushing to turn science fiction into reality.

Agents Explore the Gender Divide in Real Estate

Five Longtime Female Realtors Share Insights

According to the National Association of Realtors, 63% of Realtors in the U.S. are women—a marked contrast to representation of women in commercial real estate—not just brokerage, but all segments.

Trio’s Line Aims to Make Monthly Cycle Less Painful

Rael Raises $2.1 Million In Preseries A Round

Buena Park-based startup Rael wants more women to talk about their periods, and investors are listening.

Veritone’s Q1 Mixed as It Tries to Leverage AI

Revenue Rises Over 40%, Mostly on Media Business

Veritone Inc.’s latest quarterly report produced a mixed bag of results for the wildly traded Costa Mesa company trying to crack into the booming but highly speculative artificial intelligence market.

Newport Beach’s Newest Hotel Hub for RE Execs

Lido House Busy With OC Dealmakers

Looking to do a real estate deal and need a partner?

Music Streamer in NB Makes Music With Distributor

Edge, MondoTunes To Put Songs on Big Channels

Music video streaming service Edge Music Network wants to help users reach more fans and make more money.

Blue Shield Steps Up to Care for Chronically Ill

Brings on Landmark To Provide Home-Based Care

Care is moving homeward, driven by patient preference and more importantly, cost.

Women-Owned Businesses Wanted for Annual List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: List will be centerpiece of July 9 edition

Is your company women-owned? The Business Journal wants to hear from you.

Community-Minded Companies Wanted for Our Annual List

CALL FOR ENTRIES: Website will take entries through June 29

Is your company about much more than its bottom line? Does it also use its resources to better the Orange County community?

Size Doesn’t Matter in Corporate Civic Engagement

Just Ask 2017 Honoree Teacher Created Materials

Last year, for the first time in a local market, the Business Journal presented the 2017 Civic 50 Orange County in partnership with OneOC, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium and large Orange County companies.

Tustin Legacy Mixed-Use Project Slimmed Down

REAL ESTATE: Blimp hangar now out of Brookfield plans

Plans for an ambitious mixed-use project at the Tustin Legacy development have been scaled back, with the city now planning to oversee reuse of one of the base’s two iconic blimp hangars rather than a private developer.

Irvine Co. Adds To Spectrum Mix

REAL ESTATE: 4th Thales building in landlord’s portfolio

Irvine Co. has bought one of the largest commercial properties in the Irvine Spectrum that it didn’t already own, an office used by the in-flight entertainment division of Thales USA Inc. for its domestic headquarters.

Endologix’ New Chief Refocuses Firm on Quality

HEALTHCARE: Positive momentum; foresees FDA OK

The past couple of years have been difficult for Endologix Inc. (Nasdaq: ELGX), but conditions appear to be improving at the Irvine-based medical device maker, with a repositioned portfolio and a new leader at the helm.

City National On Hunt for Executives

FINANCE: CEO outlines plans for OC expansion

City National Bank wants bankers, wealth managers and other financial executives in Orange County to know one thing.

Barry Family Engineers Firm That Stands Time’s Test

64-Year-Old Business Shows Their Teamwork

Bob Barry decided a decade ago to emphasize more family values at his dozen-employee firm, John Barry & Associates.

Bob’s Watches CEO Calls Site Marketing Company

It’s Top Online Seller; Seeks Larger Headquarters

“First, I am not Bob,” said Bob’s Watches owner Paul Altieri.

Acorns Still Grow Here

World’s largest investment manager BlackRock Inc. just took an “anchor stake” in Irvine-based fintech Acorns, micro-investing app with 3.3 million customers robo-investing their change on every purchase—often into Black Rock managed ETFs.

They Feed Others From the Overflow of Kinship

Foodmakers Live Traditions, Ventures

Family-owned food enterprises naturally have a special something in their recipes.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 21

Eran Cohen was appointed chief executive of Irvine-based luxury label St. John Knits, succeeding Bruce Fetter, who retired after more than 15 years.

Friday, May 18

Long Beach Passengers Up 9%

Long Beach Airport passenger traffic grew 9% in April to 348,000, compared with the same period last year.

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The Vizio Picture

Technology editor Chris Casacchia reports on Vizio, just over one year since the $2 billion sale to China’s LeEco fell apart.

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New Can in 7-Eleven Test

A “self-chilling” beverage can created by an Irvine-based firm is on shelves in 15 Los Angeles 7-Eleven stores.

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OC Unemployment Drops to 2.6%

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.6% in April from a revised 2.8% in March and below the 3.4% reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.2% in midday trading to 2,714.20.

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Legacy Tech Vets Go AI With Chip Startup

TECHNOLOGY: Raise $5M, plan new VC round with big backer

An Irvine-based startup led by former Broadcom, Mindspeed Technologies and Lantronix Inc. executives has emerged with backing from the world’s largest chipmaker and its first deal.

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OC 500: Dean Spanos

Heads NFL team that jumped to OC/LA orbit from San Diego … interim HQ Costa Mesa … ‘long-term stability … deal for state-of-the-art stadium’ his biggest 2017 accomplishment … son of majority owner, his role model, Alex Spanos … team in family some 35 years …Dean Spanos has yellow lab, Enzo … life turning point: ‘becoming a father’ … three words: ‘integrity, hard work’

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Thursday, May 17

Airport, OC Businesses Back Live Music at JWA

John Wayne Airport and local businesses will expand a pilot program that brings live music to ticketed passengers in secure areas waiting for or arriving on flights at the facility.

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St Joe’s Walker to City of Hope

Annette Walker has been named president of City of Hope, Orange County, in charge of developing the cancer center planned for the Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,722.11.

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Women-Owned Businesses Wanted for Annual List

List Will Be Centerpiece of July 9 Edition

Is your company women-owned? The Business Journal wants to hear from you.

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St. John Names CEO

Eran Cohen was appointed chief executive of Irvine-based luxury label St. John Knits on Thursday, succeeding Bruce Fetter, who retired after more than 15 years.

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Costa Mesa’s Plaza Tower Gets Flurry of Leasing

REAL ESTATE: IBM renewal among largest deals this year

Plaza Tower, one of Costa Mesa’s best-known and swankiest offices, has experienced nearly 100,000 square feet of leasing activity from a variety of tenants over the past few weeks.

OC 500: Tilly Levine

Retail maven, co-founder Tilly’s Inc. youth fashion chain … still active, client, community outreach … former husband, OC 500’s Hezy Shaked, Tilly’s chairman … Tilly’s Life Center, or TLC, started 2012 mentoring youth, keeps kids moving toward college … group’s program at Boys and Girls Club Capo Valley helped produce Saddleback grad … giving gala honored CHOC Children’s

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Wednesday, May 16

FDA Sets Evolus Back

Irvine-based Evolus Inc.’s stock (Nasdaq: EOLS) have taken a rollercoaster ride this week. Shares earlier buoyed by news of its new chief executive dove today when it gave updates related to the regulatory progress on the pending approval of its drug candidate DWP-450.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,723.24.

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Cloudvirga Raises $50M

Irvine startup Cloudvirga today announced it closed a $50 million Series C funding round led by private-equity firm Riverwood Capital in Menlo Park.

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This CTO Enjoys Problems

Wang Pushes Hot Startup AutoGravity Into Future

Sheng Wang likes to overcome obstacles. An advertising platform for eBay Inc.? Check. Walt Disney Co.’s first apps for its amusement parks? Check.

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OC 500: Daniel Ivascyn

$1.6T assets, annual bonus pool topping $1B … made name post-2008 betting on nonagency mortgage-backed securities … co-manager with Alfred Murata of (PIMIX) Income Fund, PIMCO’s largest, $96B AUM … fund No. 1 in its Morningstar category for trailing decade … posted equity-level returns, 19% to 22% several years … grandfather Ukrainian immigrant … Boston sports fan

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Tuesday, May 15

Lazy Dog Adds Chicago

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Huntington Beach said it will add one location in Illinois—a new state for the casual dining chain—one more in Texas, and two more in its California backyard.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.7% in midday trading to 2,711.61.

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Ex-Allergan Aesthetics Unit Head Joins Evolus

HEALTHCARE: Wants to make drug big-brand contender

Wall Street is pleased with Evolus Inc.’s (Nasdaq: EOLS) new president and chief executive, David Moatazedi, as shares of the company shot up more than 40% since the news broke on May 7.

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OC 500: Frank Jaksch

Nutrition ingredient developer, maker … $27M revenue 2016, up 20% … shares up 30% YTD to $200M market cap … nabbed $25M buy-in, China billionaire Li Ka-shing … proprietary product maker for others … adding consumer-products line … had exited arena, 2013 … China deal gets company global retail reach via investor’s other holdings … sold testing business to LabCorp. of America

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Flight Paths: Region’s Airports’ Airline Mix Shifts

TRANSPORTATION: Ontario to China; Long Beach to Hawaii

Orange County-area airports have experienced recent shifts in air carrier mixes and routes due to changes related to ownership, operations and government actions.

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OC 500: Tom Donovan

Named to role March 2017 … flagship Irvine Co. resort … second MD in property’s history … reports to OC 500’s Ralph Grippo … 30 years experience includes Grand Wailea, Maui—led $30M renovation—Ritz-Carlton,

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Monday, May 14

Commercial Bank of California Goes Private

CBC Bancorp (OTC Pink: NCAL), the parent company of Irvine’s Commercial Bank of California, has gone private and will no longer trade on the stock market.

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Titan Names CEO

Footwear veteran Joel Oblonsky was named chief executive of Huntington Beach footwear licensee Titan Industries Inc.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.2% in midday trading to 2,734.14.

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Kia Offers Ultra-Inexpensive Stinger GT Via AR

Facebook Messenger Puts Virtual Car Anywhere

Want a quick and free way to get a Kia Stinger GT in your driveway? Log onto Facebook.

Designing Plan to Fit Changing Advertising Model

Hoping Merger of Unequals is Savvy Move

A mix of wine, appetizers and sketches on a napkin sparked a merger between Costa Mesa-based advertising agencies Sunday Brunch and Irvine-based Gigasavvy.

Lido Revival Continues With Projects Near Water

Slew of Development Revives Peninsula Area

When Lido House, Newport Beach’s first newly built hotel in a decade, held its grand opening ceremony last month, the property was given a blessing by the Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees of the neighboring St. James Episcopal Church.

Lease Rates Hit All-Time High in Q1

The average monthly Orange County asking lease rate increased 2 cents to $2.90 per square foot in the first quarter, driven by supply constraints that spurred steady demand. Asking rates were the highest ever, though the impact was mitigated by larger tenant improvement packages that offset rising construction costs associated with demand for premium amenities.

Industrial Market Picks Up in Q1

Last year ended on a sour note, but Orange County’s industrial market bounced back nicely in the first quarter, garnering plenty of attention as occupancy gains improved. With an ever-shrinking industrial base and no significant new product delivered, rents continued to increase.

Magic The Toastmaster

Bob Olson isn’t running for office in his hometown of Newport Beach, but good luck finding someone more popular in the city these days.

Record Price for New Anaheim Industrial Site

REAL ESTATE: Fund manager gets Rosendin’s new SoCal HQ

The sale of a fully leased new industrial building in Anaheim has apparently set a new high-water price point for large Orange County warehouse and distribution properties.

TherOx Raises Debt In Hopes of Launch

HEALTHCARE: 20-plus years later, device co. plans for FDA nod

Irvine-based TherOx Inc. secured debt financing this month from existing investor Zoll Medical Corp. to support a limited launch of its SuperSaturated Oxygen therapy system upon receipt of Food and Drug Administration approval.

A Lifetime of Devotion

Born Leader Discovered She was Born to Serve

When someone receives an award like Women of the Year, it’s typically a capstone on a career marked by success, drive and unique talents to stand out among accomplished contenders.

She Can Answer Hunger Question Now

Nicole Suydam Learned, Now Leads Second Harvest

If you asked Nicole Suydam more than 20 years ago to explain hunger in Orange County, she wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer.

Private Companies Wanted For Annual List

SPECIAL ISSUE: List will be centerpiece of June 18 edition

The Business Journal is preparing its annual list of privately owned companies for publication in June.

‘Will Over Skill’

Mortgage Firm Co-Founder Explains Drive to Success

Patty Arvielo is unapologetic about her success as co-founder of Tustin-based New American Funding.

‘Enrich Women Around the World’

Rogers-Kante’s SeneGence Recently Launched New Initiatives

Joni Rogers-Kante is on a mission to help women take control of their lives.


The 2018 Men of Character dinner was held on April 19 at the Irvine Marriott by the Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council.

Largest Makers Held Payrolls Steady

Early Returns on Major Moves At Big Three Coming Soon

The largest consumer electronics makers in Orange County shrank payrolls slightly compared to last year.

Chipmakers Grew as Group, a Few Rapidly

Modest Job Gains As Microsemi Sale Looms

This year’s roundup of Orange County’s largest chipmakers is defined by the deals that got done and the one that got away.

Edwards Strengthens Portfolio with Tricuspid Therapy

First Commercially Available Treatment

Edwards Lifesciences Corp. (NYSE: EW) continues pushing the envelope on cutting-edge transcatheter cardiovascular therapies, recently receiving European CE Mark approval for the Cardioband Tricuspid Valve Reconstruction System for the treatment of tricuspid regurgitation.

Karma’s Old Costa Mesa HQ Sold, Getting Upgrades

2-Building Site Next To JWA Trades for $33.7M

Two industrial buildings in Costa Mesa next to John Wayne Airport, including the former headquarters of Karma Automotive, have traded hands for about $33.7 million.

Acacia Continues Wild Ride Aboard Veritone Volatility

NB Firm Reports $41M Q1 Loss on Startup Holdings

Patent licenser Acacia Research Corp. (Nasdaq: ACTG) has lost nearly all of its big gains from investments in Costa Mesa-based startup Veritone Inc., which trades wildly from week to week as it seeks a foothold in the booming artificial intelligence segment.

Local Business Accelerator Staying Busy

OCTANe Forum Soon; Presents Eight

Aliso Viejo-based accelerator OCTANe will showcase eight LaunchPad companies at its annual Technology Innovation Forum at the Newport Beach Hotel & Spa from May 31 to June 1.

BeLeaf Taps Cannabis Boom, One Degree Removed

Seeks $2 Million, Plans To Add Blockchain

The cannabis industry is booming, generating $9.7 billion in North America last year, up 33% over 2016, according to a report by Arcview Market Research and BDS Analytics that predicts the market will reach $24.5 billion in sales by 2021.

OCBJ Calendar

May 14-23, 2018

This week's business and other event listings.

Business Bites

Other items of interest Orange County Business Journal Vol. 41, No. 20

Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. surged after the Newport Beach company said it received an investment and launched a leasing program for heavy-duty natural gas trucks.

Friday, May 11

Say Yes at the Door

At the Business Journal’s 24th annual Women of the Year Awards, keynote speaker Julie Hill urged women starting careers to “say yes at the door.”

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading at 2,722.40.

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Thursday, May 10

16 Tons: Execs Rope, Ride, Range in Pursuit of West

High-Powered Cowpokes Take Horse-Powered Days

Some claim to be “kind of a big deal,” but a 1,200-pound horse—large as a car, lithe as a cobra, and not sure it likes you—removes all doubt.

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OC 500: Mohamed El-Erian

Gained prominence as chief exec, co-CIO, PIMCO … one of world’s foremost economists … regular, CNBC, other financial media … author, ‘When Markets Collide’ … FT/Goldman Sachs 2008 business book of year, one of best

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$83M Investment in Clean Energy

Shares of Clean Energy Fuels Corp. surged after the Newport Beach company said it received an investment and launched a new leasing program for natural gas heavy duty trucks.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.8% in midday trading to 2,719.97.

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OC 500: Erwin Raphael

Leads luxury brand launched by Hyundai Motor Co. 2015 … companies share space at Hyundai HQ … has begun to separate elements: design, development, sale, marketing … developing plan for 100 to 150 US dealer network; Hyundai brand has 800+ … ‘operationally we are very independent … different company with a different soul’ … launching third model … line begins at $41K

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This Carpenter Builds Banks in California

FINANCE: Anticipates fintech will be shaking up banking industry

Ed Carpenter likes to call his banking company “a 1974 startup.” When did he know Carpenter & Co. would make it?

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Wednesday, May 9

Allergan Appoints New Aesthetics Head

Allergan Plc named Carrie Strom as senior vice president of U.S. Medical Aesthetics, reporting to Chief Commercial Officer Bill Meury.

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Alteryx Beats Q1

Analytics software maker Alteryx reported first quarter revenue and operating income that beat Wall Street expectations.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1% in midday trading to 2,698.25.

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Acorns Wins BlackRock Backing

Irvine-based Acorns Grow Inc. won a major endorsement from BlackRock Inc. (NYSE: BLK), the world’s largest asset manager, with $6.3 trillion.

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‘If That Person Calls, Do You Pick Up the Phone?’

Looking for A Trademark in ’93

In late 1992, early 1993 Business Journal Publisher Richard Reisman and Editor Rick Reiff had been on the job just over two years, “learning fast but a lot to learn,” Reiff recalled.

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OC 500: Wende Zomnir

Chief creative officer … co-founded makeup brand 1996; bold colors, edgy product—early entrant in latter … sold in 2000 to Louis Vuitton owner for $22M … part of L’Oreal since 2012 … Fashion Island flagship … company backs global women’s efforts via its Ultraviolet Edge … five-year goal to give $3M … backs OC shelter Laura’s House, microlending in Uganda

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Tuesday, May 8

Magic Morning in Irvine

Seventeen years ago Orange County United Way President Sue Parks cofounded The Women’s Philanthropy Fund within the nonprofit.

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Disney Parks Shine On

Walt Disney Co.’s parks and resorts unit, which includes Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, reported quarterly revenue of $4.9 billion, up 13% year-over-year, and operating income of $950 million, up 27%.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.2% in midday trading to 2,666.06.

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OC 500: Paul Merage

Entrepreneur, investor, philanthropist … born Iran during WWII … moved to U.S. as teen … 2002 $2.6B sale family’s frozen foods business to Nestle … products included Hot Pockets … $30M to UCI for named business school … three words: ‘constantly reinvent yourself’ … son Richard runs $1.3B hedge fund, No. 21 Barron’s, 2016 … son Greg runs real estate co. … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $1.7B

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Mobilitie's Next Moves

Telecom Firm Grows With Beer, Books, R.E.

As the founder of the largest telecommunications firm based in Orange County, Gary Jabara has been a mainstay on the Business Journal’s annual listing of the area’s most influential and prominent businesspeople for nearly a decade.

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Monday, May 7

Data Backs OCVA View

Trade groups give rosy numbers and data delivered at Irvine-based Orange County Visitors Association’s tourism conference gave the group's “endless summer” tagline some statistical backing.

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Evolus Taps Allergan Exec

Evolus Inc. named David Moatazedi president and chief executive. He comes from Allergan plc, where he was most recently senior vice president of U.S. medical aesthetics.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% in midday trading to 2,676.63.

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OC 500: Edwin "Ed" Fuller

County destination marketer … longtime Marriott exec; its chief in China … founding member, with Buck Laird, Laguna Strategic Advisors consultancy … ex-U.S. Army Captain, service in Vietnam, Germany … produces

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Biomerica Pivots To Big Stomach Pain Market

HEALTHCARE: Diagnostic test shorter pathway to sales

“All disease begins in the gut,” wrote Greek physician Hippocrates. There’s a lot of truth in the claim; studies have shown that the health of the gastrointestinal system impacts not only the entire body, but also brain and emotional health.

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Pacific Premier’s Net Income Triples

FINANCE: OC banks report big profit growth

Pacific Premier Bancorp (Nasdaq: PPBI), Orange County’s biggest bank by market cap, reported profit increased threefold in the first quarter to $28 million, aided by tax cuts and acquisitions.

Safety in Numbers for Cybersecurity Companies

TECHNOLOGY: NY buyout house merges OC firm, 3 more

A Lake Forest security services provider is gaining global resources and deep pockets as a result of a four-company merger led by private equity firm The Riverside Co.

Prologis Buys Foothill Ranch Site, More on Way

REAL ESTATE: $55.4M industrial buy; DCT deal agreed

Prologis Inc., the country’s largest warehouse property owner, is beefing up its Orange County presence following the largest industrial purchase in the area so far this year, and through the blockbuster acquisition of a national competitor with a modest local portfolio.


Inside OC With Rick Reiff (KDOC-TV), Sunday 5:30 a.m.; (KOCE-TV/PBS SoCal), Tuesday 1 a.m., Repeats Friday 2:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 5 p.m., Saturday 4:30 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday 12:30 a.m., Guests (May 13): author and Superior Court Judge Jim Rogan

OC 50

Our Annual Inventory of Influence

25 Years of OC 50

Boardriders, With New Execs, Ready to Ascend

APPAREL: Billabong purchase closes; companies co-locate

Boardriders Inc., just before the recent closing of its purchase of Billabong and after the January disappearance of President-elect Pierre Agnes, named its new executive leadership team and is contemplating co-locating the combined company in Boardriders’ Huntington Beach headquarters.

OC Insider

Nifty Fifty

25th OC 50 … most influential businesspeople starts at the start: Our cover has newcomers like Natalia Ostensen Olenicoff, Olen Properties, Steve Jones, boss of Allied Universal. We also start at the start of OC 50 with Editor at Large Rick Reiff talking about the genesis, the tough calls—just as this year—and a list that’s mirrored the growth and depth of the OC ecosystem. (OC 50 stories, page 1, inside Special Report).

Olloclip’s O’Neill Ponders More In-Kitchen Creations

Post Shows He’s Ready For Next Challenge

Olloclip founder Patrick O’Neill has left the Huntington Beach company he established in 2011, a company that brought consumers quality attachable lenses to improve smartphone photos.

LBA’s Industrial Buying Spree Approaches $170M

2 More Sears Deals Follow Santa Ana Buy

Irvine-based LBA Realty has splashed out nearly $168 million on industrial deals outside of Orange County over the past month, in Los Angeles, Pennsylvania, Florida and the Pacific Northwest, according to local news reports.

Sports Agency Creates Marketing Firm With Partner

Former Big Sports Execs Join Management Team

The Athletes First sports agency is expanding its arena of services with the launch of Athletes First Partners, an international sales and marketing services company.

Avid Expands Biologics Manufacturing Capabilities

Increases Lab Space; Adds Three Customers

Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO) is moving on. It’s bid farewell to its days as immuno-oncology drug developer, including divesting its lead immune-oncology drug, and is growing its position as a pure-play biologics manufacturing business.

RE Firms Tackle Needs of Returning Servicepeople

Firms, OCCF Team To Raise $750K for Support

The ballroom was silent, with 650 pairs of eyes riveted on Jake Wood. The former Marine sniper shared his experience of protecting fellow Marines in a war zone. He also addressed the unique challenges military veterans face when they return home, including the potential psychological consequences of experiencing the traumas of war.

Givsum Says Its Platform Makes Giving Easier

Online Community To Grow Charitable Giving

While nonprofit organizations aren’t revenue-driven, they’re businesses in the sense that their progress can be measured—more precisely, how much money they raise from donors to support their visions. Irvine-based Givsum Inc., whose platform consolidates elements of philanthropy onto a single platform, is building a community “to solve the big problems of the world,” said Chief Strategy Officer and General Counsel Robert Kollar.

Fresh Hotel Eateries Destinations in Their Own Right

Plus, Leatherby’s New Look Drawing the Diners

Hotel restaurants have certainly come a long way in the culinary world. I can remember when hotel coffee shops were often my only option—and usually my last resort.

Business Bites

Cypress-based automaker Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said Mark Chaffin will succeed Don Swearingen as chief operating officer. Chaffin will report to newly minted President and Chief Executive Fred Diaz. He previously served as vice president of fixed operations after joining the company in 2007 as director of parts operations. Swearingen will remain with Mitsubishi in an advisory role until his retirement in June. — Subrina Hudson

Friday, May 4

Nifty Fifty

25th edition of the OC 50, most influential business leaders, includes a number of first-timers and a look back, at how this special issue began.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indexes were up in midday trading on a strong U.S. jobs report and a tech stock rally.

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More Tenants to Old Broadcom Space Near UCI

REAL ESTATE: Paciolan, Medtronic’s Covidien move

Irvine Co. has backfilled a good portion of Broadcom Inc.’s former office campus near the University of California-Irvine after leasing a total of nearly 144,000 square feet.

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OC 500: Lynsi Snyder

May 5—35th birthday—became controlling owner SoCal burger chain founded 1948 by grandparents Harry and Esther Snyder … president since 2010 … has taken on increasing responsibilities … 325 SW U.S. locations—none franchised … average unit volume tops $2M … known for aboveaverage pay scale, clean-cut look, ‘secret menu’ … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest $1.2B

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Long Beach Airport March Traffic Up

Long Beach Airport passenger traffic grew 11% year-over-year in March to $356,000.

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Thursday, May 3

El Pollo Loco Revenue Up, Beats Street

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) in Costa Mesa said revenue in its most recent quarter grew about 1% year-over-year to $101 million and net income declined 49% to $2.5 million; pro forma net income, a non-GAAP measure, increased 9% to $6.7 million.

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Blizzard Posts Mixed Q1

Presales for Blizzard Entertainment Inc.’s next World of Warcraft expansion helped boost revenue in the first quarter, though operating income decreased as it rolled out new business lines.

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Del Taco Revenue Up, Net Income Down

Del Taco Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: TACO) in Lake Forest said revenue increased about 7% to $113 million and net income fell 24% to $3.2 million in its most recent quarter.

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Women of the Year

The Business Journal’s 24th annual Women of the Year Awards on May 3 honored women for their exceptional work in business and other professional organizations. Julie Hill delivered the keynote address during the luncheon at Hotel Irvine.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Indices had recovered after each diving more than 1% earlier, hovering amid mixed-to-flat levels in midday trading.

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OC 500: David Loechner

Took trade show, events operator public 2017 … Loechner’s ‘biggest accomplishment’ for year … $1.7B market cap … 100+ shows, mostly B2B, some a century old … 450 workers … hero-role model: ‘my wife’ … pets: ‘we have a dog and a cat that don’t like each other’ … backs School Power, Laguna Beach HS baseball … three words: ‘surrounded, great people’

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30 Years Away, Why Fram Virjee Returned to OC

EDUCATION: Power lawyer back in power in ivory tower

Framroze Virjee waved goodbye to his colleagues at the prominent Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP and hopped on a plane to live out his retirement in Rwanda.

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Wednesday, May 2

Mitsubishi Names COO

Cypress-based automaker Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. said Wednesday that Mark Chaffin will succeed Don Swearingen as chief operating officer.

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Yogurtland Adds in Dallas

Irvine-based Yogurtland signed current franchisee Yang Group to expand the chain in Dallas-Fort Worth with up to eight locations over the next three years.

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Taco Bell Sales Up, Profit Down

Irvine-based Taco Bell Corp.’s system-wide sales grew 4% to $2.34 billion and operating profit declined 6% to $132 million in its most recent quarter.

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Franchiser Names Development Chief

Home Franchise Concepts promoted Jonathan Thiessen to chief development officer, a new position. He was previously vice president of franchise licensing.

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Habit Sales Up; Earnings, Comps Down

Habit Restaurants Inc. reported about $92 million in revenue for its most recent quarter, up 17% year-over-year. Net income plunged 61% to $700,000.

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Allergan Considers Options

Allergan PLC Chief Executive Brent Saunders told investors on Monday that the company is evaluating a range of strategic options, including “splitting the company.”

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CoolSys Buys Georgia Company

CoolSys, a Brea-based refrigeration and heating company, said it bought Axiom Energy Solutions of Savannah, GA.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,653.04.

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OC 500: Edward O. Thorp

Card-counting math prof grew up poor, loving numbers … age 6 could name kings and queens of England in order, years reigned … published best-selling memoir 2017 … top-ranked tome on in gambling, and analysis and strategy … previous books on Las Vegas, Wall Street … inspired authors of Black-Scholes options pricing model … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest, $325M

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What Happens In Vegas

Kingston Player In New Esports Arena

Las Vegas, built on gambling and embellished with rock-star residencies, Broadway musicals, magic acts, adult entertainment and exclusive nightclubs, has a new game in town with a different demographic.

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Tuesday, May 1

South OC Community College Names Chancellor

Kathleen Burke has been named chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District.

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Auto Sales Decline

Orange County automakers’ sales dropped in April, and only two—Mazda Motor of America Inc. and Mitsubishi Motors N.A. Inc.—are up for the year.

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Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss Mazzo Case

Judge Andrew Guilford ruled on Tuesday that the government can proceed with a third trial against health-care executive Jim Mazzo on insider trading charges.

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OC 500: Alexis Schulze

Creative force behind juice bar chain … delve into healthful eating prompted 2010 launch with husband, Steve, fellow OC 500er,

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Yield of Dreams: Candy Man’s Passions Are Child’s Play

Hydrox Hawker Goes Toy Shopping in Newest Push

The business plans at Strategic Marks LLC are in constant motion, as is Ellia Kassoff, the man with the plans, but the business of adolescence takes longer than you think.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 fell 0.8% in midday trading to 2,627.00.

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