Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Led a Number Of Memorable Stunts
Marisa Thalberg is gone as Taco Bell Corp.’s global chief brand officer, but we certainly remember some of her more notable marketing achievements.
96% Discount For 2-Month Promo
A local sporting club has turned to Groupon to boost its membership ranks.
Chavez Oversaw Buick Account
Garage Team Mazda, an in-house advertising agency for Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations, hired Steve Chavez as its chief creative officer.
Newport Beach Tennis Club is seeking members via a massive discount.
Burger Chain Names Innocean for Creative
Shortly after hiring Jack in the Box’s Chief Marketing Officer Iwona Alter, Habit Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: HABT) in Irvine has hired its first agency of record.
Being Sold For Nearly $2B
J.D. Power and Associates in Costa Mesa will trade hands again, three years after it was sold to China-backed XIO Group for $1.1 billion.
Set for Japan As Olympics Qualifier
Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. signed on as the presenting sponsor for the International Surfing Association’s 2019 ISA World Surfing Games, which will be held in Miyazaki, Japan, Sept. 7 to 15 and serves as a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Costa Mesa-based Vans Inc. is the presenting sponsor for the International Surf Association’s 2019 Word Surfing Games next month in Japan.
Marisa Thalberg resigned as Taco Bell’s chief brand officer, with her duties handed to Senior Vice President of Marketing Melissa Friebe and Tracee Larocca, senior vice president of advertising and brand engagement.
SPORTS: Moshayedi, Madden, Bissell and other OC execs see parallels in sailing, business endeavors
More than a dozen sailing teams from local yacht clubs and several prominent Orange County-based business executives are heading to Hawaii this week.
An Office With a View, Yoga, Kitchen
Zillow Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ZG) has about 380 employees in Orange County and not a single office at its three-floor, 63,000-square-foot space off Michelson Drive in Irvine.
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.
FOOD: Local fare sold to 200,000 music fans
Aside from sunglasses and a bandana, Erin Whitcomb’s packing list for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival this month included a 26-foot refrigerated truck, a soda station and 15 ice cream carts.
APPAREL: Execs Keep Stake in Operating Biz
Think of Volcom’s new investor as an in-house ad agency, eager to propel the Costa Mesa-based skate brand to what they assert will be “new heights.”
Execs enjoy soccer’s competition and camaraderie—and learn key business lessons
You don’t need much to play soccer—a ball, a flat patch of land and anything to serve as goal posts.
A Monday morning at Experian PLC, the consumer credit reporting company with its Northern American headquarters in Costa Mesa, feels a lot like a Casual Friday at other companies—jeans and button-down shirts appear to be the attire du jour.
OC’s Heli- and Cat-Skiing Enthusiasts Share Their Stories
For some Orange County executives, life’s too short for waiting in lift lines and dodging inexperienced daredevils on skis and snowboards.
Climbing Bug Attracts OC’s Elite
Daniele Struppa walked into Jim Doti’s office in 2006, and saw a photo of him standing atop a mountain peak, next to a makeshift cross fashioned out of spare poles, climbing gear and tape.
Entrepreneur’s ‘Shark Wheel’ Aims to Spin Circles Around Competition
Commuting is a hassle for most people. For David Patrick, gridlock provided his biggest aha moment.
Kaiser Aluminum Corp. in Foothill Ranch bought Columbia, N.J.-based 3D metal printer Imperial Machine & Tool Co. on undisclosed terms.
TECHNOLOGY: distributor is ‘predictor of marketplace’
Rand Technology Inc., an Irvine-based company that has no recurring revenue, notched a 160% two-year growth rate for the period ended June 30. Founder and Chief Executive Andrea Klein, who views the lack of predictability as a challenge rather than a problem, has figured out a way to bring more stability to Rand’s bottom line and boost its revenue amid fears of looming trade war.
MARKETING: Adds frequency discounts, interstate portability
For those of us who never dedicated windshield space to the toll roads transponder and are still chasing the 4-inch plastic box all over the dashboard—relief is on the way.
RETAIL: Local, lifestyle are themes of $200M redo
More than a dozen new stores and eateries sprouted in the north section of the Irvine Shopping Center that not too long ago housed Macy’s department store. New tenants are national and local favorites—Sephora, 85°C Bakery Cafe, Stance, Afters Ice Cream—that complement the rest of the 150 shops at the outdoor center.
INNOVATION: Came to UCI in 2014 and ‘moved very quickly’
Firms with connections to the University of California-Irvine have raised more than $18.9 billion over the past 10 years, according to Richard Sudek, an angel investor and executive director of the school’s Applied Innovation center.
Dirty Cookie Scales Milk Shots Famed Chef Created
Shahira Marei jumped from managing projects at Boeing to serving cookie-enveloped milk shots. The career switch was rather drastic, but it was her ties to the aerospace giant that made her Dirty Cookie business a possibility.
OC Execs Share Their Fish Stories and Passion
Most anglers consider fishing an escape, an antidote to our plugged-in lifestyles. For several Orange County executives, it’s also a great way to entertain clients—the sport provides ample opportunity for uninterrupted conversation and reeling in the catch can be a team effort.
Matt Cook Brought Business Chops to Small Apparel Company; Brand Influencers Were Already There
There are a lot of easier ways to make money than starting an apparel brand, according to Ethika Inc. Chief Executive Matt Cook, who joined the underwear manufacturer in 2012, little more than a decade after its founding.
Divers Hone Skills, Make Pals Like POTUS
Most executives associate the term parachute with a golden one they can count on if they part ways with the company they’re running.
MEDIA: Two web series are also in works
Nitro Circus has pulled yet another stunt. The actions-sports entertainment company signed a deal with Facebook to broadcast 28 events on the social media giant’s Facebook Watch video app.
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.
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.
Got Lift With Letter Sent to Paris Boutique
Most cosmetics startups consider landing on Sephora shelves as a benchmark of success. For Laguna Beach-based Ilia Beauty Inc., the nod came from Colette, an influential Parisian boutique frequented by Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and other fashion gurus.
Moonlighting Gigs Build Client Bases, Help Charities
Orange County is the birthplace of a number of national headliners—No Doubt, Cold War Kids, Sublime, The Offspring and Social Distortion.
Eight Days of Flicks Include New Theater
Several Orange County companies are taking lead roles in producing the upcoming Newport Beach Film Festival.
AUTOMOTIVE: Gets traffic from nearby dealers
Karma Automotive LLC’s landing in Newport Beach was a good one—so good it’s in the process of doubling its presence there.
Spots Point Up Frequency Of Online Data Thefts
Experian PLC’s latest round of TV commercials continues its spotlight on the proliferation of personal-data theft and its credit-monitoring service, which uses proprietary technology to peruse content posted on parts of the internet not indexed by conventional search engines.
Manufacturers Say High-End Cluster Lifts All Kitchens
The Costa Mesa theater district, home to Segerstrom Center for the Arts and South Coast Repertory, has added another showroom to its repertoire—the Fisher & Paykel Experience Center, where a reference to a high note is more about a 36-inch stove’s British thermal unit output than about a vocal range.
MARKETING: Onex down to 65% of Emerald Expositions
Onex Corp. is further reducing its stake in Emerald Expositions Events Inc., less than a year after the San Juan Capistrano-based trade show operator completed its initial public offering and started trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
OC Operator Helped Keep One Speech Short
Did you recognize the Jet Ski Jimmy Kimmel offered for the shortest acceptance speech at the 90th Academy Awards?
Clinics in Observance Of International Celebration
Vans Inc. in Costa Mesa has scheduled more than 100 skateboarding clinics in Brooklyn, Chicago, London, St. Petersburg, Shanghai, Bangalore, São Paulo, Mexico City, and other major cities to “inspire a new wave of women’s skateboarding progression.”
Most of us, at least as children, “have looked at the birds and thought that they might be having more fun,” said flight instructor Michael Church, who’s helped a number of Orange County-based executives follow through with the fascination by getting a license to operate their own set of wings.
RETAIL: Puts second HQ in Newport Beach; $100M in 2018?
Orange County’s where the party’s at, just ask the folks at Drunk Elephant Holdings LLC.
Competitors Wore Its Goggles on the Slopes
Oakley Inc. wasn’t a sponsor of the PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, but its oval-shaped logo got plenty of airtime. Nearly a dozen athletes won medals while wearing Oakley’s Harmony Fade goggles, including Chloe Kim, who won gold in the snowboard halfpipe, skier Mikaela Shiffrin, first in giant slalom, and snowboarder Red Gerard, who won in slopestyle
MARKETING: Sees opps where rivals fear to tread
Think of Super Toy Box as a digital ad shop that picks up technology-heavy assignments traditional advertising agencies tend to shy away from.
Insurer Started in Sac, Moved to NB in 1972
Pacific Life in Newport Beach plans to celebrate its 150th birthday all year long.
RESTAURANTS: Former Starbucks VP joins elevated vet
Taco Bell Corp.’s January shuffle in the top ranks was apparently a sign of things to come.
RETAIL: Not just PJ’s, now ‘bed to brunch’
P.J. Salvage hired Simon Cohen as president in November, the first shift in top management at the Irvine-based apparel manufacturer since Peter Burke bought it out of bankruptcy in 1997.
Partners With BitAuto Holdings on Digital Projects
J.D. Power in Costa Mesa formed a partnership with China-based automotive website BitAuto Holdings Ltd. to “build the most efficient automotive big data center and artificial intelligence platforms serving China’s automotive industry.”
Various Tacks to Get Vast Audience’s Attention
Several Orange County-based companies were part of the enormous marketing push around Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4.