The Dronefather’s Next Flight

AEROSPACE: Karem turns to peacetime aerial taxisAircraft legend Abe Karem, renowned for his drone work that’s transformed warfare, said he is sure the technology in his electric-powered air taxi “Butterfly” will be a success, potentially revolutionizing the way people scoot around major cities in peacetime.

Monster Beverage Duo To Buy Law Firm’s HQ

REAL ESTATE: Knobbe Martens will stay on as tenant in tower

Knobbe Martens, Orange County’s largest law firm by local attorney count, is selling the 14-story office tower that holds its Irvine headquarters to the two top executives of Corona-based Monster Beverage Corp., the Business Journal has learned.

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CBD Focus for Ex-LifeLock CEO

RETAIL: $10M+ raised; $50M ad budget

Todd Davis, co-founder and former chairman and chief executive of Tempe, Ariz.-based identity protection firm LifeLock Inc., has set his sights on a new industry: CBD.

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Alignment Aims To Be $1 Billion Company

HEALTHCARE: AI platform; 91% growth in 2 years

Alignment Healthcare, which began in 2013, is well on its way to becoming a billion-dollar business.

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Flying High

PacLife Sells Stake in Aircraft Leasing Co. for $3B

Aviation Capital Group gets little attention as the relatively quiet affiliate of the giant insurance company Pacific Life Insurance Co.

If You Rebuild It, They Will Come Back

30-Year-Old Restoration Contractor Makes It New

When you visit the newly redesigned, renovated, redone, and more than lightly refreshed Anaheim headquarters of American Technologies Inc., ask to use the restroom.

Passco’s Next Push: Senior Housing

32% Jump for Rental Buyer; $800M 2019 Buys Planned

Record demand is driving record numbers at Passco Cos.

Cooking Up Healthy, Deliverable Food

Sibling Owners Lean In On Ready-to-Eat Meals

Sister-and-brother owned, ready-to-eat food-maker and deliverer Fresh n’ Lean in Anaheim is bringing some of the best sales growth of any area food company.

Juicing In Stores Next At Nékter Juice Bar

148-Door Chain Refines Its Multiple Experiences

Opening doors is the way to scale; continuing to iterate on the in-store experience builds brands.

New Heights For Climbing Gym

More Locations on The Way; Pushing $8M

Sender One Climbing, an indoor rock climbing gym—where, full disclosure, I coached youth climbers for nearly three years prior to joining the Business Journal—is scaling new heights.

Fast Grower Lists Show 48% Sales Rise

No Industry Dominates; Irvine Attracts Most

From electric bikes to dental technologies to customized sandwiches, Orange County’s eclectic mix of private companies continue to thrive.

Coloring Bikes Red, White, Blue; 9,997 Other Hues

Electric Models Made In Orange County, USA

Electric Bike Co. in Newport Beach has an update on Henry Ford’s dictum, “Any color you want, as long as it’s black.”

New Deals Broaden Manna Kadar’s Beauty Reach

Urban Outfitters, Ulta Among New Retailers Added to Roster

Before Manna Kadar’s beauty business became a multi-brand portfolio, retail buyers were being greeted at Island Tan, passing tanning beds before getting to the 100-square-foot showroom of Manna Kadar Cosmetics.

An Insider’s View Of Cypress:

Mayor Stacy Berry

What makes your city special to businesses and residents?

Ingram, Microsoft Ink HoloLens 2 Deal

Irvine Heads Distribution Of Mixed Reality Headset

Ingram Micro Inc. sees more opportunities to work with Microsoft following a global distribution deal for the software giant’s HoloLens 2, said Eric Hembree, an executive of the Irvine-based company.

Clean Energy on Growth Push After Latest Deals

$2B Valuation Possible, Newport Beach Exec Says

When Clean Energy Fuels Corp. of Newport Beach looks to the future, it thinks big, very big.

Lantronix Showcases IoT at Summit

Ingram Micro Hosts Event in Spectrum

Computer networking products maker  Lantronix Inc. showcased its latest devices to link various products to the internet for business purposes at a tech summit in Irvine this month.

TRI Pointe Eyes More M&A Deals

VP McMillen to Target New, Existing Markets

Mergers and acquisitions are set to be a big part of Irvine-based TRI Pointe Group Inc.’s (NYSE: TPH) growth plan going forward.

Costa Mesa Marriott Sells for $38M

Second Summer Sale For Host Hotels

Host Hotels & Resorts has sold its second local hotel of the summer.

William Lyon Homes Expanding in Arizona

$40M Community To Hold 662 Homes

William Lyon Homes (NYSE: WLH) is preparing to close on 163 acres in Arizona, to build what local reports peg as a $40 million master-planned community.

Vans Marketing Blitz Continues to Ramp Up

Events Aid Growth As $5B Target Remains

No one ever hit the $1 billion mark on cruise control.

Tilly’s Exec To Step Down

Anker-Morris Leaving At End of Month

Irvine-based retailer Tilly’s Inc. is set to lose longtime Chief Merchandising Officer Debbie Anker-Morris, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

El Pollo Loco, Del Taco Double Down on Delivery

Postmates Partnerships Expand Service Options

Restaurant operators continue to play the convenience card in the race for consumer wallet share.


SimRated, a simulation-based e-learning tool, has developed software that allows students and other healthcare practitioner users to learn and practice a variety of medical procedures.

OCBJ Calendar

Sept. 16-25; Oct. 5, 2019

This week's business and other event listings.

Real Estate Deals

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

New Pacific Realty Corp. purchased a research and development building from the Oddo Family Trust for $16.5 million, or $281 per square foot.


Leases in the Air

Laguna Beach residents and the area’s LGBTQ community likely remember the multiyear “Save the Boom” campaign of local activist Fred Karger, which attempted to save and then resurrect the city’s iconic Boom Boom Room, a gay bar that closed in 2007.

Local SAP Team Focus on AI, Machine Learning

TECHNOLOGY: Company creating ties to UCI

The new offices of SAP SE in Newport Beach combine a trendy interior with a relaxing view to the scenic harbor front outside—just the mix to spur more innovation for the Germany-based enterprise application software giant, company officials believe.

World Gym Moves HQ to Costa Mesa

FITNESS: Expanding new studio concept

Add another storied gym chain to Orange County’s collection of fitness businesses that call the area home.

Rivian’s Latest Cash Infusion a Boost for Irvine Ops

AUTOMOTIVE: Cox joins Amazon, Ford as backers

Cox Automotive Inc.’s $350 million investment in Michigan-based automaker Rivian Automotive LLC is expected to bolster the electric vehicle maker’s retail and customer service programs—and hiring in its growing Irvine operations hub—as its market launch looms.

Study Rejects Link Between Screen Time, Mental Health

EDUCATION: UCI research cites positive teen impact

Good news for Orange County’s contingent of gaming software companies, esports firms and smartphone app makers, not to mention concerned parents: there is “little evidence” to support the popular notion that tech time creates mental health problems for teenagers glued to their smartphones, a new report says.

The Business Journal Adds 2 Reporters

The Orange County Business Journal has added a pair of reporters to its growing staff, Kari Hamanaka and Jessie Yount.


The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s 12th Annual Pipeline to a Cure took place on July 13 at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.

A Sun Worshiper, Illuminated

Trophy Home Architect Jeannette Explains His Art

Brion Jeannette loves the sun.

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A Harbor Hit

Craig Atkins has the high and low ends of OC’s housing market covered.

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WeWork Latest: Full Office Near JWA

COWORKING: 3 floors now, 2 more later

WeWork has struck a huge deal to occupy the bulk of a five-story office near John Wayne Airport, its latest notable lease in Irvine this year.

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Casual Expansion for Wahoo’s on Menu

RESTAURANTS: Chain plots next phase of growth

Part of the challenge in diversifying Orange County’s food scene is people like Wahoo’s Fish Taco co-founder Ed Lee.

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Double the Money For Happy Money

FINANCE: Fintech raises $70 million

Scott Saunders is on a mission “to transform sad money” at Happy Money.

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