Stories for June 2019

Friday, June 28

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,936.95.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.4% in midday trading to 2,936.95.

Paula Tomei

40-year run, 25 in current role, at OC’s Tony-winning, two-stage theater known as being, a theater critic notes, ‘great incubator for new plays’ … co-CEO with David Ivers; new artistic director, Sept. 2018 … SCR’s first play 1964 … founders David Emmes, Martin Benson … Emmes, Tomei married … received Key to the City 2017 … bachelor’s, UCI

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Fullerton Fixes to Be OC’s FiberCity

TELECOM: Biggest OC Deployment of Type; Questions on Viability

Fullerton is teaming up with a Morristown, N.J.-based developer of fiber optic networks to bring the next generation of wireless and internet connectivity to the city.

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Thursday, June 27

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 increased 0.5% to 2,928 while the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.2% to 26,588 at midday trading; Nasdaq jumped 0.7% to 7,967.34

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Restaurant365 Raises $88 Million

Irvine-based Restaurant365, a cloud-based restaurant accounting software, said it’s closed an $88 million minority investment led by ICONIQ Capital, a Silicon Valley-based growth equity firm.

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Wednesday, June 26

IPO Darling CrowdStrike Committed to OC

CYBERSECURITY: $14B firm plans more growth in Irvine

CrowdStrike Holdings Inc., the cybersecurity company whose stock soared following its initial public offering earlier this month, has reaffirmed its commitment to the firm’s “critical hub” in Orange County.

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Jeffrey Moore

30 years ... OC’s biggest commercial brokerage … co-runs region with Kurt Strasmann (see entry) … also SoCal retail services group … roots for Angels … NAIOP SoCal president-elect; JF Shea Therapeutic Riding Center … can’t miss: ‘El Viaje de Portola Ride on Rancho Mission Viejo’ (see Tony Moiso) … bucket list: hike Alaska backcountry … would like to meet Kit Carson

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UCI Names Diversity Chief

University of California-Irvine promoted Douglas Haynes to the newly-created position of vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,921.72.

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Tuesday, June 25

Saddleback Medical Building Secures Largest Tenant

Harvard Eye Associates Inks 27,000-SF Deal

The Saddleback Medical Building in Laguna Hills has secured its largest tenant, after the 136,000-square-foot medical office completed a major renovation.

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Anthony Hsieh

On his third mortgage lender … originated $135B in loans since 2010 founding … 2017 $1.3B, 7K workers … son of Chinese immigrants fleeing communism … self-described ‘terrible student’ at CSUF … lives in NB … raised $500K for vets at August fishing tourney … 36K LinkedIn followers … July 4th post: ‘so dang proud to be an American’

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.6% in midday trading at 2,928.07.

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Mechanics Bank to Have 2 CEOs

Mechanics Bank (OTCBB: MCHB) announced it will have two chief executives after its acquisition of Rabobank, N.A., a subsidiary of Rabobank Group.

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Mitsubishi Moving to Tenn.

Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. is relocating its headquarters from Cypress to Franklin, Tenn., a suburb of Nashville, the company said Tuesday.

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City of Hope Expands Irvine Plans

Duarte-based City of Hope National Medical Center has significantly boosted its planned investment to $1 billion for a new comprehensive cancer center and specialty hospital in Irvine.

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Allergan Being Sold for $63B

Chicago-based AbbVie Inc. has agreed to buy fellow pharmaceutical giant Allergan Plc for nearly $63 billion in cash and stock.

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Chapman Paints Slowing OC Jobs Picture

ECONOMY: Local housing sector headed for recovery

The jobs outlook for Orange County is slowing while the housing sector is headed for modest recovery, according to Chapman University economists.

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Kurt Busch

Joined AI semiconductor maker, 2017 … previously four years CEO, Lantronix (see Jeff Benck) … exec team includes ex-Mindspeed, Broadcom execs … 2018 raised $5M Series A round led by Intel Capital … chips will go into sensors, drones, phones, wearables … machine learning; enhance performance of items … Busch bachelor’s, biological science, UCI; MBA, Santa Clara U

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Yogurtland Expands in SE Asia

Yogurtland signed a multiunit deal with a franchisee to enter Indonesia; the frozen dessert chain already has locations in the region in Australia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand.

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Monday, June 24

Millennial Focus for Concierge Key Health

INNOVATION: Health FastPass gets reworked

Newport Beach’s Concierge Key Health, one of Orange County’s closely watched healthcare-related startups, has named its third chief executive in less than a year, while also making a change-up in its target demographic.

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Allied Universal Buys SF Security Firm

Santa Ana’s Allied Universal, the biggest private security firm in the U.S., today said it acquired a San Francisco-based firm with more than $40 million in annual sales and 1,300 employees.

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Long Beach Airport Traffic Down 12%

Long Beach Airport traffic dropped 12% year-over-year in May to 305,300 passengers.

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Airport Traffic Up, Flights Down

Airport traffic is up at John Wayne Airport on fewer flights.

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,950.93 during midday trading.

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Biotech Company Seeks Korean IPO

FINANCE: $100M for Cancer-Fighter PeproMene

Irvine-based PeproMene Bio Inc., a biotechnology company with a blood cancer treatment that has deep ties to Duarte’s City of Hope National Medical Center, is looking to become Orange County’s next big healthcare company to go public.

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Samantha Jones

Oversees Wells Fargo commercial banking for (see Keith Kobata, Chris Rommel) … OC’s largest commercial bank by deposits … 5 years in current role, 4 more in L.A., SD markets … previously at Wachovia, Morgan Stanley … bachelor’s, Spelman College; MBA, real estate finance, Wharton School … boards: Minds Matter, L.A.; YWCA Greater L.A. … fellow, Toigo Foundation

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Genesis Motor Ads Revisit Famous Movie Stunts

Starring Roles in Trio Of Recreated Scenes

Iconic car stunts got a special remake this month, thanks to Fountain Valley-based Genesis Motor America.

Real Estate Deals

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

Ashkan Hakhamian purchased a retail veterinarian/kennel building from Catherine Wagner for $1.1 million, or $411 per square foot.

OCBJ Calendar

June 24-July 3, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Management Consultants Employ 4,400 in OC

Deloitte, Blythe, Tevora Lead Local Expansions

Orange County management consulting firms increased local consultant count 7.2% to 1,849 and overall employment by nearly 9% to more than 4,400, the Business Journal’s annual list shows.

Accounting Firms Increase Local Headcount 6.9%

Big 4, Acquisition Spurs Jump; 54 Employ 5,400

Orange County’s largest accounting firms boosted their local headcount 6.9% in the year ended May 31, the eighth straight year of increases.

Hottest Companies’ Accountants

Who counts the money?

Orthopedic Institute Opens Clinic in Tustin

Hoag-Physician Venture Located at Tustin Legacy

Hoag Orthopedic Institute is on an expansion push.


State of the County: Accounting & Consulting

Taxes are always a high-stakes game; we’ve got the players.

Hoag Hits TAVR Procedure Milestone

Device a ‘Game Changer’ For Heart Surgery

Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach recently hit a notable milestone in the realm of cardiothoracic surgery—its 500th procedure using transcatheter aortic valve replacement, or TAVR, which is a non-invasive alternative to open-heart surgery.

Glaukos Sees Bright 2019 After Record ’18

Study Shows 97% Reduction In Intraocular Pressure

San Clemente-based iStent maker Glaukos Corp. (NYSE: GKOS) was a breakout star in Orange County’s healthcare industry last year, thanks to sales growth, expansion plans for its local operations, and a more than billion-dollar boost to its market value after a competitor flameout.

Women-Owned Businesses Wanted For OCBJ’s Annual List

List Will Be Centerpiece Of July 8 Edition

The Business Journal wants to hear from local businesses that are women-owned.

Buena Park’s Yamaha Names Macias as Brand Director

Quiksilver Vet Joins Music Powerhouse

Greg Macias has been named brand director for Buena Park-based Yamaha Corporation of America, one of the country’s largest makers of musical instruments.

Chipotle Urges to ‘Love What Makes You Real’

Donates Proceeds To Nonprofits Preventing Youth Suicides

Rainbow-filled parades have taken over Southern California and the rest of the country in celebration of LGBTQ Pride month and Newport Beach-based chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. (NYSE: CMG) joined the festivities.

Quartet Picked For OCTANe Event

Ophthalmology Cos. Get Look

Newport Beach’s IACTA Pharmaceuticals Inc. is one of four early-stage ophthalmology companies presenting at OCTANe’s Ophthalmology Technology Summit at Fashion Island Hotel on June 28.

‘Virtual Shopping Mall’ App HelpJess Launches

Connects International Shoppers to US Stores

HelpJess, a virtual shopping app that’s been in testing mode for about a year, is launching.

Newport Beach’s Realm Closes on 2nd LA Site

36-Story Bixel Tower Will Hold 422 Units

An Orange County development group has closed on its second high-rise residential tower site in downtown Los Angeles.

Melia Homes Pushes Into Multifamily

Development, Buys Alongside Homebuilding

Melia Homes is the latest mid-sized builder here looking to diversify its revenue streams by upping its multifamily investment and development in Orange County.

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Spireon Gets New President for Auto Group

Brian Skutta Last Worked for TrueCar

Connected vehicle tracking and intelligence company Spireon Inc. has a new chief for its realigned automotive segment.

Okapi Hits Home Run With CrowdStrike Bet

Local VC Aims to Invest In 8 to 10 Companies Annually

Marc Averitt, the managing director of Laguna Beach-based Okapi Venture Capital LLC, says his firm plans to invest in eight to 10 companies a year indefinitely, with a majority of them in Southern California.

Alteryx Conference Brings ‘Cult’ of Users

Company Wants Customers To ‘Unleash’ Inner AI

Alteryx Inc., the maker of data analytics software, finished its annual user conference with one analyst noting the Irvine-based company has a “cult-like” following while saying the stock price could be worth far more than today’s value.

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Orange County United Way hosted its 16th Annual Women’s Philanthropy Fund Breakfast on May 16 at Hotel Irvine, raising more than $500,000.

Xponential Fitness Goes International

RETAIL: 50+ Saudi Arabia Studios

Irvine-based Xponential Fitness LLC is leaping into international markets after inking a deal this month to open more than 50 boutique fitness studios in Saudi Arabia over the next three years.

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Irvine Device Maker TherOx Acquired

HEALTHCARE: Received FDA nod for product in April

TherOx Inc., an Irvine-based medical device maker in business for more than 20 years and with more than $150 million invested in it over its history, has been acquired, two months after the company received long-awaited Food and Drug Administration pre-market approval for a product designed as an alternative to traditional heart attack treatments.

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Initial Returns

Business looks good for OC’s cadre of accountancies and management consulting firms, which report strong levels of hiring over the past year—one of many stories you’ll find in this week’s Special Report starting on page 23.

Friday, June 21

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was flat in midday trading to 2,953.62.

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OC Unemployment Falls to 2.4%

Orange County’s unadjusted jobless rate fell to 2.4% in May from a revised 2.6% in April and below the year-ago estimate of 2.5%, according to the state Employment Development Department.

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From Big to Bigger: Private Cos. Grow 7.3%

ECONOMY: $102B of sales for largest operators

The large are getting larger—sometimes much larger—in this year’s snapshot of the biggest private companies in Orange County.

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Sheniece Smith

Business Journal GC of the Year … CHOC admin asst, 2008, through paralegal, law studies, working FT … passed bar, 2012 … current roles: 2017 … helped create webbased contract library, archive database, medical-legal clinics … boards: Veterans Legal Institute, Black Chamber of Commerce (see Bobby McDonald) … first job: elementary school tutor at 14 … first car: 1996 Chevy Lumina, bought at 16 with money earned from bowling alley job … bucket list: ‘win a World Series of Poker’ tournament

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Thursday, June 20

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,947.19.

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Zotye to Irvine; CUV in 2 Years

AUTOMOTIVE: Selling China brand in U.S.

Irvine has added another notable carmaker to its ranks.

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Chris Underwood

Third-largest food firm, OC … $3.3B annual revenue, up 9% … 3K employees, 17% OC … supplies wine, spirits to grocery stores, restaurants … family firm founded 1888 … Chris, 5th-gen leadership,‘family, integrity, quality … distinctive red trucks … backs conservation, Sonoma fires rebuild work, food donations—‘fill the trucks with peanut butter’—and veterans —‘remember everyone deployed’—RED

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Wednesday, June 19

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading to 2,915.61.

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China-U.S. Dispute Could Cost 43,000 California Jobs, Chapman Says

California could lose 43,000 jobs this year alone because of the U.S. trade war with China, the latest economic forecast from Chapman University estimates.

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Boot Barn, Stance, Parcel Pending Among EY Notables

Five CEOs nabbed entrepreneur of the year awards from Ernst & Young Tuesday night at Monarch Beach Resort in Dana Point.

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Tile Giant Navigates Tariff Troubles

TRADE: China factory switch; excess inventory

Bedrosians Tile & Stone got its start in 1948 by providing tile to contractors and builders in Central California.

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Eric Spangenberg

Five years at school named for Paul Merage (see entry) … new M.S. Business Analytics data, marketing, operations … exec ed programs doubled during tenure … partnerships with Korean, Swiss, China schools … known for work on effects of smell in retail environments … author, co-author, 50+ articles, chapters, marketing, consumer psychology

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Tuesday, June 18

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 1.1% in midday trading at 2,920.57

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Equity Office Sales Push: Echoes of 2007 in OC?

REAL ESTATE: Santa Ana tower sales total $137M

Equity Office Management LLC is on a sales push in Orange County, again.

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Rob Arnott

Smart-beta research, investing … AUM $197B to June 2018, up 10% year-overyear … advises on some PIMCO funds (see Daniel Ivascyn, Emmanuel Roman) … website’s newsfeed/blog/webinars lean from puckish—‘buy high, sell low with index funds!’—to relational wisdom— ‘authenticity, curiosity, collaboration, responsibility’ … strategy co-led with Chris Brightman … launched 2002

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Monday, June 17

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,893.28.

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Lincoln Property’s Shared-Space Strategy: Diversification

COWORKING: Makes first OC deal with WeWork

The local office of Dallas-based landlord Lincoln Property Co., which has quickly built one of Orange County’s largest office portfolios outside Irvine Co. the past few years, is embracing the coworking revolution.

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Shiva Sattar

5 years in role ‘hiring and leading a team of private banking relationship’ staff … oversees OC, SD … previously private banking with Union Bank, Wells Fargo, Wachovia … 25+ years in industry … bachelor’s, UCI; MBA, USC; additional certification in executive management, banking, personal financial planning … describes self as ‘enthusiastic, forward-looking, poised’

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Two Emerald Bay Sales Bring in Nearly $37.9M

Winery Owner Bower Sells Rebuilt Laguna Beach Site

Laguna Beach’s gated Emerald Bay community has seen its share of big-dollar deals the past two months.

Resortigo on the Go: New HQ in Spectrum

6-Person Company Leases 4,600 SF at The Quad

High-end vacation rental management firm Resortigo is taking a trip to one of the newer office complexes in the Irvine Spectrum.

Software, Consulting Firm Ntersol Keeps Growing

Aims for $6M+ Revenue This Year

Ntersol, an Irvine-based consulting and software development firm, moved to new headquarters a month ago after it outgrew its cramped office space.

Hooray Agency Tapped For Pebble Beach Refresh

Branding, Logo For Famed Golf Course

While the U.S. Open Championship at Pebble Beach celebrated its 119th year at last week’s tournament, it also marked the debut of a new branding and merchandising logo, thanks to Irvine-based firm Hooray Agency, formerly known as HyperDisk Marketing.

NB Investment Firm Buys Veritone Story

Banta Asset Management of Newport Beach has boosted its leading stake in Veritone while praising the Steelberg brothers.

A Love for Plastic Surgery

Niccole Aims to Make People Feel Fabulous

Dr. Michael Niccole is happiest when he does a surgery to improve a person’s looks.

It Takes Two, For Marketing Company Expansion

Twin Sisters Take Over Data Analytics Firm

Don Vivrette launched his market research firm MacKenzie Corp. 34 years ago, after spending years as an independent data analyst helping corporations leverage data to grow revenue and customers.

Pacifica Hotels’ Next Gen Has National Growth Plans

Aliso Viejo Hospitality Company Looks to Double Portfolio

When Matt Marquis joined his father’s company, Santa Barbara-based Invest West Financial Corp., two decades ago, Dale Marquis realized that his eldest child may have started a trend.

Moms OC’s CEO To CalOptima Board

Pimentel Runs OC’s No. 59 Nonprofit

Chief Executive Pamela Pimentel at Moms Orange County was named to the advisory board of CalOptima, a public health insurance program for low-income individuals.

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UCI Study Shows Promise in MS Battle

Stem Cells Used For Nanotech Treatment

UCI researchers said they successfully used a nanotechnology treatment derived from bone marrow stem cells to reverse multiple sclerosis symptoms in mice.

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Evolus Says Europe Seeking More Data

Decision Delayed For Europe’s Version of Jeuveau

Newport Beach-based Evolus Inc. (Nasdaq: EOLS) said the European Commission is taking longer than expected to reach a decision on marketing approval for Nuceiva, its European version of the competitor to Allergan’s Botox.

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Veritone CEO Aims for 100% Annual Sales Growth

TECHNOLOGY: Steelberg sees AI finally taking off

Veritone Inc. pitches its artificial intelligence technology, which is geared for marketing, public safety and other applications, as a game-changing way for customers to save both time and money.

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Strand at Headlands Sees $14M Sale

Dana Point Home Listed for $15.9M

Tucked inside the exclusive Dana Point community of The Strand at Headlands is an 8,339-square-foot home that recently sold for $14 million.

Iteris Senses Good Trends on Horizon

Reports New Software, Increased Bookings

Santa Ana-based Iteris Inc. last week celebrated a good fourth-quarter earnings and a new software product that the maker of sensors and other devices for the transportation and agriculture industries said was 20 years in the making.

Brandywine’s Record Year Defies National Trends

Irvine Builder Doubled Revenue in 2018

Homebuilders faced a tale of two markets in 2018: strong demand in the first half of the year downgrading to a slowdown in latter months, challenging Orange County homebuilders both public and private.

Huawei Ban Catches Skyworks by Surprise

Company Relied on Chinese Firm for 12% of Revenue

The U.S. ban on Chinese company Huawei Technologies Co. spells trouble for semiconductor company Skyworks Solutions Inc. (Nasdaq: SWKS) in Irvine.

Nasdaq May Push Out ShiftPixy

Shares on Decline Since IPO; Revenue Up

Just when ShiftPixy Inc. started to show significant revenue growth, the provider of restaurant workers is in danger of being kicked off the Nasdaq.

Youth Group Takes Wraps Off New Look

Rebranding Emphasizes Big And Little Connections

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Orange County and the Inland Empire unveiled a fresh look this month.

Keeping Grandparents Connected

TECHNOLOGY: Tablet keeps elderly in cyber-loop

GrandPad Inc., which markets computer tablets for seniors, has taken the goal of “know your customer” to a new level.

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Hurley Works With ‘Rugged’ Line of Clothes

Partners With Michigan’s Carhartt on Collection

Who says you can’t mix work and play? Certainly not Costa Mesa-based Hurley International.


An Executive’s Guide: Summer Reading and Viewing

It’s that time of year again for recommending books and movies for summer reading and viewing.

MadaLuxe Lists Seal Beach Headquarters

Luxe Goods Co. Paid $10M In 2007; Leaseback Sought

Luxury goods distributor MadaLuxe Group is selling its headquarters in Seal Beach in a leaseback deal.

Car Condos Planned For Karma’s Old HQ

Costa Mesa Site Near JWA Will Get 32 Luxe Units

The former Costa Mesa headquarters of luxury electric carmaker Karma Automotive has traded hands again, with the new buyer planning to build an automotive-focused facility at the industrial building near John Wayne Airport.

Rental Firm Tricon American Goes Big

New Tustin HQ Along Red Hill Avenue Four Times Previous Size

As Tricon American Homes, a spinoff of Canada-based Tricon Capital Group that rents out single-family homes, has quickly grown operations in Orange County, it has struggled to find a home of its own.


Trade Talk

China looms large in this edition, in particular the fallout of the ongoing trade spat between the U.S. and China on a variety of area industries, from semiconductors for smartphones (page 12) to cars (this page) to tile and stone distributors (page 1).

Real Estate Deals

Sales of offices, industrial buildings, retail space and apartments

Sares Regis Group purchased a distribution building from Sandy and Michael Davis for $12.8 million, or $208 per square foot.

No IPO, No Problem for Gang of Four

Privacy Has Its Privileges, Including Rising Sales

Four of Orange County’s largest private companies weren’t expecting to stay private as of a few years ago and one of them didn’t expect to be OC-based, either.

OCBJ Calendar

June 17-28, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Car Culture Takes Plenty of Parking by Private Cos.

Wilson: Up to $2.2B in Down Year for Dealers; AAA Up

Wilson Automotive Group in Orange was the only one of six area auto dealership groups to report a sales increase on this week’s list of OC’s biggest private companies.

Tide’s In: $18.8M Sale For Crystal Cove Estate

12,826-SF Mansion Trades For About $1,460/PSF

A recently built mansion near the top of Newport Coast’s Crystal Cove community has traded hands for $18.8 million, records indicate.

EvoNexus Grad Evasyst Gets Finnish Interest

App, Launched in March, Helps Gamers Connect

Evasyst, an Irvine-based maker of a gaming app designed to help users connect to friends’ live games, and discover new parties, groups, and people to play with, was chosen to join Helsinki-based gambling company Veikkaus’ Innovation Challenge Week.

Friday, June 14

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 declined 0.3% in midday trading to 2,884.

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Roth Scores TD With NFL QB Rodgers

FINANCE: Raises $50M for venture capital fund

Byron Roth’s new venture co-founded with Green Bay Packers superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers has closed its initial investment fund after raising $50 million.

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Nicole Suydam

Business Journal’s Women in Business 2018 … appointed 2018, replacing Frank Talarico, Jr. … previously CEO Second Harvest Food Bank; boosted revenue, volunteers 50%, OC’s fifth-largest nonprofit; Goodwill, No. 1 … grew up Santa Maria … first-gen college student: Vanguard U … early work in Republican politics: held party post, Burbank

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Thursday, June 13

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 is up 0.4% to 2,890.27 in midday trading.

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Spectrum Buildings Hit Higher Gear

DEVELOPMENT: Irvine Co.’s Latest: Luxe Offices, Higher Rents

Irvine Co. is bringing some Silicon Valley chic to its latest office park in the Irvine Spectrum.

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Stephen Milner

Founded 1981 by Richard Squar … formerly AKA Squar, Milner, Reehl & Williamson LLP … has bought several firms a year … recent add DZH Phillips, San Francisco, 2018 … employment up 18% to 425+ … one of largest Calif. firms … 2008 meltdown ‘provided big opportunity’ to prove company and self … clients include: Genius Brands, Reven Housing REIT, La Jolla Pharmaceutical

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Wednesday, June 12

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.2% in midday trading to 2,879.32.

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Change in Tactics

5.11 Co-Founder, CEO Gets Company Back on Track

It’s been 10 months since Francisco Morales stepped in as chief executive of 5.11 Tactical, the Irvine-based manufacturer of apparel and gear for military and law enforcement officials.

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William A. Witte

Founded Related Cos. Calif. division 1989 … multifamily, mixed-use development; high end and affordable … former San Francisco Deputy Mayor for Housing … roots for Golden State Warriors … charity, community: CASA OC; Friendship Shelter, Laguna; USC Lusk Center … U Penn grad school, design … first car: used ’68 VW Bug … first job: moving co.

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Tuesday, June 11

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.1% in midday trading at 2,887.48

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Primoris Buys AV Land; Offices Expected

CONSTRUCTION: Site could hold 90,000 SF

Construction and infrastructure company Primoris Services Corp. (Nasdaq: PRIM) has bought a 7-acre site in Aliso Viejo. Real estate watchers expect the nearly $1 billion-valued firm to build a new regional facility there.

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Bill Taormina

Second-gen Anaheim family … first fortune, trash hauling, begun by Bill’s dad, Cosmo, late 1950s … sold to Republic Industries for $250M, 1997 … added residential, comm RE, incl. historic restorations … housing-for-homeless work with Illumination Foundation, Dan Young (see entry) … Katella HS grad … Anaheim Union schools foundation, police chief’s advisory board

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Monday, June 10

Midday Stock Roundup

Major U.S. indexes rose Monday after President Donald Trump suspended plans for tariffs on Mexico.

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Boost Mobile Could Fetch Up to $4.5B in Sale

TECHNOLOGY: Sprint may need to sell for T-Mobile deal

Irvine-based Boost Mobile is reportedly on the sales block, and the provider of prepaid phone and internet services could fetch anywhere from $1.8 billion to $4.5 billion as parent Sprint Corp. looks to close on a much larger deal of its own with T-Mobile US Inc.

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Robin Follman-Otta

Precision manufacturing: defense, energy … family business; strategic planning, client relations … TEDx Chapman, ‘The Singing CEO’ … sang Puccini’s ‘O mio babbino caro’—‘O My Dear Daddy’ … ‘soprano, which means I sing high … dramatic soprano, which means I sing loud’ … 2016 Business Journal’s Women in Business honoree … ‘in opera you have to be brave … one little voice, trying to be heard’

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Brookhollow Lists Santa Ana Complex

Bought Pacific Center in ’15

Costa Mesa-based Brookhollow Group is looking to sell its Pacific Center office complex in Santa Ana for more than double what it paid for the property in 2015.

Women-Owned Businesses Wanted For OCBJ’s Annual List

List Will Be Centerpiece Of July 8 Edition

The Business Journal wants to hear from local businesses that are women-owned.

CalAmp’s Board Adds Two; Alexy to Depart

Taps Sierra Wireless’ Ex-CEO, Silicon Valley Software Expert

CalAmp Corp. added two new directors—Jason Cohenour and Scott Arnold—with plenty of tech experience.

More Microsemi Ties for Lantronix

Goren Joins Networking Company as Legal VP

David Goren, a member of the management team that pushed Microsemi Corp.’s revenue up to $2 billion prior to its sale last year, and a confidant of that company’s former chief executive, has rejoined former colleague Paul Pickle, in a senior role at Irvine-based networking products maker Lantronix Inc. (Nasdaq: LTRX).

PIMCO Eyes Deals Across the Pond

$76M for Troubled Retail Assets in UK

Pacific Investment Management Co.’s planned $1 billion initial public offering for a new real estate investment trust has been postponed for nearly a month without word on a potential reboot, but the Newport Beach investment giant is still keeping a close eye on real estate opportunities.

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Green Street Advisors Sold

Deal Will Support Growth At NB Firm, CEO Says

Newport Beach real estate data and analytics firm Green Street Advisors LLC is being sold to a New York private equity firm on undisclosed terms.

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GSA Nod for Cryotherapy Co.

Will Treat Military; Fitness Uses Too

Newport Beach-based cryotherapy chamber manufacturing firm Cryo Innovations has been awarded a government contract through the General Services Administration to provide its product to veterans and military personnel.

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BizHaus Opens in Costa Mesa

14,000-SF Spot Near Lab and Camp Malls

Coworking company BizHaus is opening its first OC location in Costa Mesa on June 15th.

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UCI’s Esports Team Gets National Coverage

ESPN2 Showing 4-Part Documentary

University of California-Irvine’s varsity esports team is getting star treatment.

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Galaxy’s Edge Focus: Site-Specific Merchandise

Lines Longer For Shops Than Ride

Disneyland Resort opened its long-awaited Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction a little more than a week ago and in addition to the eateries and snacks, guests can expect a plethora of merchandise to help bring the experience home.

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Applied Innovation Showcases Advances, Entrepreneurs

Event Follows New Beall Family Donation

Elliot Botvinick, Ph.D., a University of California-Irvine professor who is involved in two startups, took home the prize of Entrepreneurial Leader of the Year at UCI’s Applied Innovation’s second annual award ceremony on May 29.

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Cryoport’s Hot on Acquisitions

$20.5M Cash Buy of Cryogene

Cryoport Inc. (Nasdaq: CYRX), a provider of cold-chain logistics services for the biopharmaceutical industry, is a hot stock.

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Susan G. Komen Orange County held its annual Pink Tie Ball on May 11 at City National Grove of Anaheim.

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SteelWave’s Two Buys Include Tricon’s New Home

REAL ESTATE: Next-door deals in Tustin; $49M

SteelWave LLC, the Foster City-based real estate investor currently heading the development of The Press creative office project in Costa Mesa, has added a pair of large buildings in Tustin—including one of the city’s recently rebuilt creative office properties—to its area portfolio.

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Brandman Expands Walmart Partnership

EDUCATION: IT and computing degrees; $1/day

Brandman University will be expanding its degree offerings to Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) employees—a year after it was named by the retail giant as one of three universities employees could attend largely on Walmart’s dime.

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Samueli Family’s Latest Gift: $100M to UCLA

EDUCATION: Largest gift to namesake school

Henry and Susan Samueli last week continued their commitment to funding the region’s next generation of engineers and innovators.

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Good Music

While this issue’s Commercial Development Special Report (starting page 21) highlights the area’s batch of just-built and under-construction projects, there’s still plenty of news coming from a handful of OC buildings just a bit older.


OC Can Learn From Austin’s Venture Capital

Orange County has a big problem—if not the biggest—we are not creating enough high-paying jobs to enable more people to afford our soaring housing costs.

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Real Estate Deals

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

Julieanne and Thien Phan purchased an apartment building from Wallace Rodecker for $1.8 million, or $456,250 per unit.

OCBJ Calendar

June 10-19, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

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Construction Firms Report 6% Jump

Steady Growth Expected to Continue

Revenues for Orange County’s largest commercial construction companies reached a new post-recession high last year.

Commercial Development Activity Ticks Up

4.2M SF in Past Year; Retail Still a Question

Office projects continued to drive commercial development in Orange County last year, and not just in the county’s largest office market.

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Demand for Apartment Development Remains Strong

Over 5,000 Units Underway in OC

If there’s an end in sight to Orange County’s apartment construction boom, no one told the developers.

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Avid Aims for Rebound After CEO Departure

New Analyst Sets $5 Price Target

Tustin-based Avid Bioservices Inc. (Nasdaq: CDMO), a pharmaceutical contract manufacturer that’s seen its share of change the past year, might be returning to the light as its stock gains traction, and the attention of a new analyst.

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Family-Owned Firms Feted

Five companies were honored at the Business Journal’s 20th annual Family-Owned Business Awards luncheon on Tuesday, June 4, at Hotel Irvine.

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Friday, June 7

Midday Stock Roundup

U.S. employment was reported to have slowed down last month following the Labor Department’s jobs report Friday, leading Wall Street to optimism about potential interest rate cuts from the Federal Reserve.

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The Happiest Place on Batuu, and Anaheim

TOURISM: D’Amaro’s job: maintaining legacy

Inside Oga’s Cantina at the brand new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction, Disneyland Resort President Josh D’Amaro is relaxed.

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Susan B. Parks

Appointed 2017 … founded OC United Way’s Women’s Philanthropy Fund, raised $36M … co-founder, CEO, iCount Wellness … former board member, Komen OC, Girl Scouts OC, UCI Paul Merage School … first job: ‘waitress—loved those tips’ … would meet Julia Child, ‘maybe I’d finally learn to cook!’ … first car: ‘baby blue Monte Carlo’

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Thursday, June 6

Midday Stock Report

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,833.79 in midday trading.

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Staar Surgical Has Eyes on 20% Growth

HEALTHCARE: Hiring for new Lake Forest HQ

It has been more than 30 years since ophthalmic device maker Staar Surgical Co. (Nasdaq: STAA) developed its first implantable lens to treat vision issues.

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Rick Warren

40 years … began, 40 people, 1980; weekly attendance, main Lake Forest campus: 22K … 15K+ domestic, international campuses, incl. Hong Kong, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Manila; livestreamed … AIDS summit … 2002 author ‘Purpose Driven Life’; 30M+ copies … PEACE program: Promote reconciliation, Equip leaders, Assist poor, Care for sick, Educate next gen … bachelor’s, Cal Baptist; master’s, Southwestern Baptist; doctorate, Fuller Seminary

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Wednesday, June 5

Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was up 0.7% in midday trading to 2,822.45.

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$54M South Coast Metro Office Sale Tops for Year

REAL ESTATE: Ocean West, Angelo Gordon buy

A nine-story office in the South Coast Metro area of Santa Ana has sold for $54 million, in the highest-priced investment sale in Orange County reported to date.

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Ray Lawler

Leads OC … CRE investor … OC work includes ex-Washington Mutual site, now Intersect office campus … adding industrial, apartments to OC Mix … first job: cavern tour guide … first car: 1970s Gremlin hatchback ‘with multi-colored panels and a glass pack’ … ex-USMC pilot backs veterans charities, coaches his kids’ sports … roots for NBA’s Warriors; ‘yes, I am a bandwagon fan’

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Tuesday, June 4

Five Family-Owned Firms Feted

Five businesses were honored at the Business Journal’s 20th annual Family-Owned Business Awards luncheon on Tuesday at Hotel Irvine.

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Midday Stock Roundup

Major U.S. indexes rose after Federal Reserve officials hinted they may lower interest rates.

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Samuelis Give $100M+ to UCLA

Henry and Susan Samueli have given more than $100 million to their namesake school of engineering—the school’s biggest donation ever—at University of California-Los Angeles.

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Acorns Keeps On Growing

Fintech Nears Unicorn Status

Acorns Advisers LLC is growing much faster than a typical oak tree.

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Rick Reiff

Godfather, OCBJ editors; mentor, reporters … Pulitzer-winning journalist, Akron, 1987 … OC Press Club 2018 lifetime honoree … 15-year host, PBS local-baseball, smart-talk show … loquacious libertarian … loves ‘writing, traveling, wife,’ Mary Ann Brown (see entry) … Chicago native, Medill grad … White Sox, Indians fan … ‘baseball, baseball, baseball’ … first car: 1961 Chevy Impala … bucket list: Augusta … first job: ‘What else? Paperboy’

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Monday, June 3

May Auto Sales Mixed

Monthly sales among OC’s largest automakers were mixed last month while three of the four automakers reported an increase for the year.

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$60M of Irvine Office Sales for Wells Fargo

FINANCE: TGS billionaire a buyer, records indicate

Wells Fargo & Co. has sold two offices it owned in the Irvine Spectrum for about $60 million combined, the latest sign of local retrenchment for Orange County’s second-largest commercial bank by employee count and local deposits.

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C. Frederick 'Fred' Taylor

The T in TGS … partners, David Gelbaum, Andrew Shechtel … under-the-radar quant hedge fund … 30 years ... employs math, physics, data researchers—investing similar to Ed Thorp (see entry) … rare perfect score, Glassdoor … collective $13B to charity … personal giving: human rights, education, Africa; Tarbut V’Torah Day School, Irvine … marathoner … Business Journal OC’s Wealthiest

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Midday Stock Roundup

The S&P 500 was down 0.5% in midday trading to 2,738.75.

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Kilroy Was Here: Its Last OC Office Goes on the Block

Seeking Nearly $125M for 12-Story Tower Near JWA

Kilroy Realty Corp. (NYSE: KRC) is cashing out on Orange County.

RIAs Find Their Models Paying Off

Wealth Managers Report Boom; Duran Sells to Goldman Sachs

It turns out being a money manager can be a profitable investment itself.

OCBJ Calendar

June 3-11, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Check’s Mates in Omaha

How Check Capital Checks on Berkshire Bet

Steven Check, founder of Check Capital Management Inc., a Costa Mesa registered investment adviser with $1.4 billion assets under management, for the 24th straight year attended Berkshire Hathaway’s famous annual meeting in Omaha, Neb., last month. Check and Jeremy Saltzberg, senior investment officer, spoke about Berkshire, their biggest holding. Their edited responses:

Broker-Dealers Down Slightly Amid Changes

Merrill Lynch Climbs To No. 1; Wells Fargo Slips

Orange County’s largest broker-dealers trimmed their staffs slightly over the past year amid uncertainties in the financial outlook and changes in the industry.

Pelican Hill Next Door: $20M

Records Link Home To Newport Beach Lawyer

Sitting on half an acre of manicured grounds in Newport Coast is a 10,749-square-foot Pelican Crest home with an asking price of $19.8 million.

Record Prices for Lido Isle Homes

$9.6M on Waterfront; $5.5M for Inland Home

Two homes recently traded hands in separate transactions on Lido Isle.

Why Listen to a Young Financial Adviser?

Elders Counsel Clients, Find Partners, Consider Futures

Veteran money counselors are aging apace with the baby boomers they serve, a sometimes troubling fact for those approaching retirement. They want to be sure their financial advisers will be there when they need them the most.

Veritone Adds a Director

Takata Has Other OC Board Ties

Veritone Inc., the Costa Mesa firm that’s trying to start a new way to measure advertisements through artificial intelligence, has appointed Rick Taketa, 47, to its board of directors.

UST CEO Pillai Retiring

CFO to Top Spot At Aliso Viejo IT Provider

Sajan Pillai, who built UST Global Inc. into a company with a $1 billion-plus valuation, said late last month he will retire.

Building An RIA Practice

The Real Work Starts After Sign-Up

When I arrived in Orange County in 2013 with Creative Planning Inc., we had no office and no staff.

OCC Athletics Project Starts

90,000-SF Athletic Complex Underway, $36M

Orange Coast College has started another new development at its 160-acre campus in Costa Mesa—home to Orange County’s third-largest college by student count.

Pendulum Taps RiverRock for Liberty Station

Paid $160M For San Diego Retail

Two local real estate firms are partnering up to run the main retail portion of San Diego’s mixed-use Liberty Station development in Point Loma.

CRE Lending Trend Lines

Higher Prices, Low Rates, Emerging Debt Funds

With all of the media discussion and corporate conversation of when to expect the next recession, it’s natural to wonder if and when a correction in real estate values will come—and with it less capital for commercial real estate lending.

OC’s Financial World

Global Reach, International Size

If the county were a country, OC’s annual GDP of nearly $250 billion would put it in the low 40s of rankings by the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and United Nations—nestled among the likes of Finland or Egypt, depending on who counts.

Sleep Apnea Device Maker Fresca Links to App Firm

Fresca Aims to Bring To Market in 2020

Doctors will tell you that looking at your smartphone before going to bed is a bad move if you want a good night’s sleep.

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REVIEW: Acorns

A Nice Start; A Few Hiccups

My initial impression of Acorns was it made a lot of sense—no pun, intended—since in other places I’d personally experienced small investments turn into large portfolios.

Alorica Hires CMO

Second C-Suite Hire from Verizon

Longtime marketing and technology veteran Colson Hillier was named chief marketing officer at Irvine-based customer service provider Alorica Inc.

OCTA Adds Third ‘T’ to Taco Tuesday

Free Wahoo’s Grub For Bus, Metrolink Users

Go ahead and order another margarita this Taco Tuesday.

Office Style File: Acorns

Designed to Help Fintech Write Next Chapter

Nas’ hip hop album Illmatic, perched on a shelf at Noah Kerner’s office, is the only nod to Acorns Grow Inc. chief executive’s former life as a DJ on the “Today” show and MTV with Jennifer Lopez.

AR Glasses Pass Trial

Eyedaptic Tied to UCI Herbert Institute

Ophthalmology software startup Eyedaptic Inc. in Laguna Beach said it has completed a successful clinical trial for its augmented reality glasses, which are designed to improve quality of life for those suffering from macular degeneration—nearly 150 million people worldwide.

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Three Strong Summer Menus Debut in Laguna

Pair Artistry, Performances; New Fusion and Innovation

Fabled “May Gray” and “June Gloom” notwithstanding summer is soon upon us—and with it the annual slew of art festivals in Laguna Beach.

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Volunteering App Launches

Connects Students With Opportunities, Tracks Work

Irvine-based VolunteerCrowd has launched its main app, which helps connect students with volunteering opportunities.

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CBio Speeds Up Land Remediation

CellPhoresis Brings Lab Testing Straight to Site

Upstart cell research and biotech firm CBio recently launched its first product, cellPhoresis.

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Women-Owned Businesses Wanted For OCBJ’s Annual List

List Will Be Centerpiece of July 8 Edition

The Business Journal wants to hear from local businesses that are women-owned.

The Business Journal Adds 2 Reporters

Costelloe, Corbett Covering Tech, Healthcare

Kevin Costelloe and Alexa Corbett have joined the Orange County Business Journal as reporters.

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Tilly’s Feels Results of May Gray

APPAREL: Shares on downswing after Q1 report

Tilly’s Inc. (NYSE: TLYS) is feeling California’s recent record-breaking cold front.

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Trace3 Sales Surge Post-Midwest Merger

TECHNOLOGY: $1.2B sales beats prior projection

A blockbuster merger with a Midwest competitor last summer has gone faster and better than expected, according to Irvine-based IT services provider and consulting firm Trace3 Inc.

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Rentals, Retail Proposed for Ricoh Santa Ana Site

HOUSING: Arrimus proposes 1,150 Units

A nearly 15-acre industrial campus along Red Hill Avenue in Santa Ana, long used by Ricoh Electronics Inc., is being eyed for a large apartment project by its new owners.

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Summer Travel

A new report from brokerage JLL shows that Orange County has added nearly 245,000 people to its population since 2010.

Real Estate Deals

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

Gary and Sandra Hill purchased a manufacturing building from SSMS Investments LLC for $3.8 million, or $305 per square foot.

VC Firms Boost OC Investment 5% After 2017 Drop

14 Firms, 65 Deals, $54.5 Million Invested

Venture capital firms based in Orange County boosted 2018 local investments, led by Adventus Ventures and CerraCap Ventures.