Deirdre Newman

Staff Reporter

Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 271

Recent Stories

UCI’s Claire Trevor School Makes a Business of Dance

EDUCATION: UCI trains for performing, management

Dance is less of a profession and more of a passion that draws artists early in life—and often down the road they’re encouraged to give up the passion for more practical endeavors.

Downtown Santa Ana: Millennial Mecca

Apartments Next For Popular Corridor

One of the biggest property owners in the core of downtown Santa Ana intends to parlay the popularity of its East End district and 4th Street Market food hall into a residential play to attract more millennials, especially entrepreneurs.

Irvine Incubator, Chief Exec With International Reach

The Hungry Lab Craves a Wider Impact

An Irvine incubator wants to know why most startups fail, and it’s put no boundaries on finding the answer.

UCI Gets $7.8M Grant for Brain Study

University of California-Irvine has been awarded a $7.8 million federal grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development to explore the link between family income and early brain development.

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In-House By Nature

Ursula Guzman Prefers Counseling Aspect of the Law

Attorney Ursula Guzman was attracted to in-house work because she prefers being proactive instead of litigating a conflict that’s already arisen.

Consigliore as Merch Made Its Move

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

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

VC Firm Makes $2 Million Investment in E-Commerce

Okapi Hopes TrackStreet’s AI Proves Smart Buy

Laguna Beach-based Okapi Venture Capital is the lead investor in a $2 million seed round investment in TrackStreet, a startup that created an e-commerce monitoring platform that gives brands and manufacturers visibility and control over how and where their products are sold online.

Device Maker Raises $2.9M

Irvine-based Modulated Imaging Inc. said today it closed a Series A funding round of about $2.9 million.

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Buck’s Art Stops for Good at UCI

The University of California-Irvine announced today that it’s received a collection of California art from the trust of Gerald Buck, a Newport Beach developer.

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Healthcare Incentive Platform Launches Nationally

Carepoynt Addresses Gamut of Healthcare

A company that created a rewards program as an incentive for people to take care of their health launched nationally.

Family Business Prepped Agent for ‘Real Estate Wars’

Kacey Taormina Was Born ‘Competitive and Intense’

Kacey Taormina has real estate in her blood.

García Leaves Her Mark

CSUF President Boosted Fundraising, Stature

When California State University-Fullerton President Mildred García heads to Washington, D.C., to be the next president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, one of her biggest legacies will be the increased level of fundraising at CSUF.

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Ubiquity Evicted

Ubiquity Inc. has been evicted from its Irvine headquarters at 9801 Research Drive.

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CSUF's Garcia Going to Washington

California State University Chancellor Timothy White said today that California State University-Fullerton President Mildred García will be the next president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

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Law Firm in Trump U. Case Buys Practice

San Diego-based consumer advocacy law firm Haeggquist & Eck said it’s bought the Cooper Law Firm in Irvine, an employee and consumer class action firm.

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Grandpad Gets a Lyft as It Moves to Scale

Tablet for Seniors Will Feature Ride-Share App

An Orange-based company that created a tablet for seniors is partnering with a ride-share service. GrandPad Inc. partnered with San Francisco-based Lyft so the latter can provide rides for seniors.

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Arbonne Boss Feted by Old Firm

Irvine-based Arbonne International LLC said today that Chief Executive Kay Zanotti has been awarded the 2017 Procter and Gamble Company Alumni Awards’ McElroy Award, recognizing her “significant contributions to the art and science of satisfying the consumer.”

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CSUF Expands Incubator Presence into Irvine

STARTUPS: ‘Deep gene pool’ cited as key motivator

When a London-based startup that developed an all-in-one tool for communication, collaboration and employee engagement was looking to move its North American headquarters from Toronto to Southern California, it chose a new incubator in Irvine.

Biotech Company’s First US Presence in Irvine

Novoheart Puts Down Roots at The Cove

A Hong Kong-based stem-cell biotech company that’s tackling heart disease opened a flagship U.S. location at The Cove.

Gillman Will Co-Chair Advisory Board for New UC Center

University of California-Irvine Chancellor Howard Gillman has been named co-chair of an advisory board for a new University of California center dedicated to free speech issues.

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Record Grant for Vanguard

Vanguard University in Costa Mesa has been awarded a five-year, $3.75 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Developing Hispanic-serving institutions program.

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OCC Foundation Gets $1.8M

The Orange Coast College Foundation said it received a gift of $1.8 million, the largest donation in its 32-year history.

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New Website Launched

Southern California News Group launched as the “go-to digital Spanish-language news source” for Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Los Angeles counties.

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J&J Verdict Overturned

A Newport Beach attorney had his $417 million verdict against New Brunswick, NJ-based Johnson & Johnson overturned.

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Healthcare Startup Receives Federal Grant

Syntr Treats Diabetic Foot Ulcers

A startup created by University of California-Irvine alumni who created a device to treat diabetic foot ulcers with stem cells received a grant for $300,000.

UCI Bolsters Jewish Studies

University of California-Irvine said today it will create a Center for Jewish Studies that will bring together faculty, students, visiting scholars and members of the public interested in exploring Judaism.

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Women Value GC Work for Quality Focus, Flexibility

Management Prospects Part of In-House Appeal

While there’s no empirical data to chart a rise in female general counsels in Orange County, several local GCs say they’ve seen an increase over the past 15 years or so.

Software Siblings Help App Developers Max Out

Hitsfu Uses AI for Product Features, Ad Campaigns

A Mission Viejo-based company that helps app developers understand user behavior recently launched.

Sibling Startups a Thing In OC’s Ecosystem

Unique Synergies Provide ‘Competitive Advantage”

Siblings tend to know each other’s nuances and have each other’s back.


The Business Journal’s Deirdre Newman asked Orange County-based general counsels in industries ranging from manufacturing and technology to finance and legal, how they go about choosing outside attorneys to do legal work.

Braille Institute Breaks Ground on New Center

The Braille Institute broke ground today on a $10 million center that’s expected to open next fall at 527 N. Dale Ave. in Anaheim.

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Boss of Saddleback, Irvine JCs to Retire

The South Orange County Community College District said Debra Fitzsimons, interim chancellor, will retire on December 30.

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Tech Vet Elevated at Ubiquity

Irvine-based Ubiquity, Inc. said Robert Fernander has been appointed chairman of its board of directors.

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Chapman: Engineering School to Be Business Boon

Commitment Over Beer Helped Make It Happen

Chapman University alumnus Dale Fowler and his wife, Sarah Ann, were hosting Chapman President Daniele Struppa and his wife, Lisa Sparks, dean of the university’s School of Communication, at Lismore Castle in southern Ireland in July 2016. While sitting in the ancient rooms in the shadow of portraits of esteemed scientists, such as Robert Boyle, the couples shared a pint of Guinness as they talked about Chapman’s future.

Concordia Classroom Configuration Addresses Trend

Ed Classes’ Flex Seating Mirrors Real World

Walk into one particular School of Education classroom at Concordia University Irvine, and this is what you’ll see: individual student seats that have six wheels on a wide, round base, a type of seating that allows them to swivel and be arranged in various configurations. It’s key in what’s known as an active-learning classroom.

Total SoCal MBA Enrollees Down Slightly

Competition for Students Results in Fewer Applications

Southern California schools with MBA programs showed a slight decrease in the number of Southern California enrollees, down about 2% from a year ago, based on the Business Journal’s annual survey. The number of enrollees dropped from 12,418 in September 2016 to 12,171 last month. It was a smaller drop than that reflected on last year’s list, when there was an approximate 6% change from September 2015 to September 2016.

Old Product, New Platforms for Trading Cards

DraftCard Makes Sharable Cards for Student Athletes

A new app enables student-athletes to create online trading cards, like baseball trading cards that can be shared through social media. Newport Beach-based DraftCard Inc. was founded by Chris Burget, Kristin Currey and Bob Peterson.

It Takes a Village To Grow a Company

12-Year-Old Skateboard Innovator Got Lots of Support

A few years ago, 12-year-old Carson Kropfl and his parents met one of the executive producers of the entrepreneur pitch show “Shark Tank” in an elevator in Mammoth.

Program to Help Grads Help Firms Lead on Innovation

UCI Retools MBA Courses To Answer Disruption Trend

Disruptive innovation has been called the most influential business idea of the early 21st century.

Concordia President Retires

Concordia University Irvine President Kurt Krueger will step down on June 30 at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

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San Clemente ‘Kid’ Nets Big Catch on Shark Tank

The 12-year-old creator of a skateboard that fits into school lockers and backpacks received a $65,000 investment from Sir Richard Branson for a 20% stake in a company he created with his parents on the season premiere of “Shark Tank,” last night.

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$21M Gift Signals Chapman Now Makes Grade

EDUCATION: Keck puts imprimatur on university

The Keck name comes with a lot of prestige. There’s the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, the Keck Institute of Space Studies at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and the Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, part of the Claremont Consortium undergraduate and graduate schools in Claremont.

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HR Platform Ramps Up With AI-Based Recruiter Deal

ProSky to Use Job Board Network to Reach 25M

An Irvine company that developed a human resources platform for hiring and managing employees has partnered with a tech recruiting firm that uses artificial intelligence.

$20 million gift to Chapman

Chapman University said a $20 million gift from the Los Angeles-based W. M. Keck Foundation will name a future science building at its main campus in Orange as the Keck Center for Science and Engineering.

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Evolution of Samuelis’ Record Gift to UCI

$200M to Propel Integrative-Health Approach

When Henry and Susan Samueli first started their foundation in Corona del Mar in 1998, integrative health was one of the two areas of focus.

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Fix in a Creative Package

Parcel Pending Puts Power in Apartment Residents’ Hands

The simple act of asking Irvine Co. property managers a common question—What is your biggest problem?

Adroit at Tracking Inventory, Big-Name Investors

Aliso Viejo Co. Serves Retailers, Their Customers

An Aliso Viejo-based company that created an inventory tracking tool for retail stores closed a $2 million seed round.

Hyundai Connects With AutoGravity App

Hyundai Capital America, with operations in Newport Beach and Irvine, joined the AutoGravity car shopping and financing platform.

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Samuelis Give UCI $200M for Health

The University of California-Irvine received a $200 million gift from Henry and Susan Samueli, Chancellor Howard Gillman calling it one of the largest donations made to a public university.

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Former Broadcom Duo Looks to Cash in on 5G

Sibling Team Launches Co.; Solid Funding Backs Them

Siblings Maryam Rofougaran and Reza Rofougaran are back with another startup.