Mediha DiMartino

Contributing Writer

Mediha DiMartino covers media, marketing, auto dealers, government, nonprofits and education. She can be reached at

Phone: 949-813-7384

Recent Stories’s New Logo, Slogan Tell Whole Story

Branding Changes Follow Parent Co.’s Recent Sale

Irvine-based real estate marketplace, whose parent company, Ten-X, agreed this month to be acquired by Thomas H. Lee Partners LLP for about $1 billion, unveiled a new logo, a “Beyond The Bid” slogan, and an “updated design aesthetic that reaffirms its commitment to provide buyers and sellers with optimal disposition strategies for faster executions.”

J.D. Power Taps Strategist for ‘Digital Transformation’

New Position at Consumer Survey, Data Provider

J.D. Power and Associates in Costa Mesa hired Bernardo Rodriguez as chief digital officer, a new position. Rodriguez will be in charge of “advancing J.D. Power’s digital transformation,” which includes new-product development, branding, marketing and mergers and acquisitions. He will report to Chief Executive Finbarr O’Neill.

Genesis to Leave Hyundai Nest and Set Itself Apart

AUTOMOTIVE: Luxury brand establishes exclusive identity

Genesis’ winged logo was perhaps a sign of things to come. The luxury brand Hyundai Motor Co. launched in November 2015 is about to fly the coop.

Tease photo

Fashion Island at 50

‘You had to dream a lot’ in ’67

Every pair of shoes Tom Gazsi wore until he reached high school, his parents bought at Dick Marowitz’s Newport Children’s Bootery at Fashion Island—“Adidas, saddle shoes, dress shoes, everything!”

Tease photo

OC’s PR Shops Grew in Past Year

Social Media, Digital Storytelling in Toolset

The role of public relations professionals is changing—even the president is tweeting daily, bypassing the media.

Tease photo

Mining for New Business

RETAIL: Newport’s Lugano went retail in ’05, east in ’17

Aspen’s the new spot to get Lugano Diamonds’ designs. The Newport Beach-based luxury jeweler opened its third salon in the Residences at The Little Nell, a mixed-use complex a stone’s throw from the ski slopes.

Tease photo

Chain Plugs Into Xbox Love With Sweepstakes

Taco Bell Corp. in Irvine, in collaboration with Microsoft Corp., is giving away an Xbox One X gaming console to consumers who text a code found on its Steak Quesarito $5 box. A winner will be notified every 10 minutes from Aug. 31 to Oct. 4.

Tease photo

ASICS Stumbles in Q2

ASICS America Corp.’s sales in June quarter declined 8.9% to $231.2 million, according to figures provided by its parent, Japan-based ASICS Corp.

Tease photo

Hyundai Hopes Spots Make Viewers Sweet on Sonata

Show 2018 Model Makes Modern Life a Tad Better

Hyundai Motor America Inc. is channeling Neil Diamond in its latest TV ad for the 2018 Sonata.

Tease photo

Stance Tests New Markets, Sales Models

APPAREL: Seeks higher margins, VCs still believe

Stance Inc.’s bricks-and-mortar portfolio has expanded to six—all carefully curated locations.

Tease photo

Site of Ex-Vans HQ Now Primary Color’s

RETAIL: Printer consolidating operations to improve efficiencies

Primary Color Systems Corp. plans to move its operations to Cypress—to the office and warehouse complex that Vans Inc. called home for a decade before moving to Costa Mesa this summer.

Tease photo

Emerald Posts Mixed Q2

Shares of Emerald Expositions Events Inc. are down 4% to $21 and a market value of about $1.52 billion after the San Juan Capistrano-based trade show operator posted revenue for the June quarter below Wall Street expectations.

Tease photo

Callaway Buys Surf City Sportswear Maker

TravisMathew LLC in Huntington Beach was sold to Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf Co. in a $125.5 million cash-and-debt deal expected to close in the third quarter.

Tease photo

American Vanguard Beats, Shares Pop

Shares of American Vanguard Corp. rose about 16% over the last two trading sessions to more than $20 apiece and a $613 million market cap after the company’s second-quarter profits exceeded Wall Street forecasts.

Tease photo

Boot Barn Up in Q1

Shares of Boot Barn Holdings Inc. rose about 17% to $9 and a $242 million market cap during Wednesday trading, after the company reported revenue and profits for the June quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

Tease photo

OC Automakers Beat National Pace

Three out of four largest Orange County-based automakers beat the national sales pace for new vehicles in July, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Tease photo

Brandman U. Seeks to Set Self Apart With Arty Ads

Highlight Emphasis On Helping Mature Students

Brandman University in Irvine launched a “Your Partner is Here” campaign designed to help it stand out in the higher education marketing crowd.

Apparel Brand Posts Mixed Results

Costa Mesa-based Volcom Inc. posted $123.2 million in revenue for the first half of 2017, a 4.4% decrease compared to the same period last year, according to Kering, its Paris-based parent.

Tease photo

Vans Up in Q2

Vans, the largest and fastest-growing brand for parent VF Corp., posted a 9% uptick in revenue in its second quarter, which ended July 1.

Tease photo

Best Places to Work Give Employees More Than Pay

100 That Came Out on Top Offer Perks, Extra Dough

Looking for a job with an unlimited number of vacation days? Check in with DKN Hotels in Irvine.

Brands Try to Swim Away From Pack

Biannual Tradeshow Showcases New Moves

Local swimwear makers’ approach to growth varied as much as the designs they presented at Swim Collective, a biannual trade show held last week at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa.

Tease photo

Kaiser Beats the Street

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. reported revenue and earnings for the June quarter that beat Wall Street expectations.

Tease photo

Too Faced Cosmetics Marks Anniversary Makeup-Free

20th Birthday Bash Ushers In Big Global Brand Plans

Too Faced Cosmetics LLC plans to mark its 20th anniversary with a fresh face. It partnered with the New York-based Wilhelmina International Inc. agency on a search for the brand’s next spokesperson, who will be “the face” of its 20th Birthday Campaign.

Mazda Dealerships Redo Mirrors New HQ Office

Incorporates ‘Subtle Japanese Influences’

Mazda North American Operations, in the midst of a “Retail Evolution,” has chosen a different agency to help it implement a new dealership design concept.

Meet Orbee’s David Kim, Car Dealers’ Digital Ally

AUTOS: Bot detection tech, digital marketing optimized

In the market for a new vehicle? Talk to Daniel Kim.

Jannard Product Opens Firm to Consumers

TECHNOLOGY: Device brings 3-D, VR sans awkward aids

Jim Jannard, founder of Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co., has figured out a way to allow viewing of 3-D and virtual reality content without the need for a pesky headset or glasses.

Jannard Unveils ‘Mind-Numbing’ Product

Irvine-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Co. is now making Hydrogen One, a smartphone that “seamlessly switches between traditional 2D content, holographic multi-view content, 3D content and interactive games,” founder Jim Jannard posted on the company’s online users forum this morning.

Tease photo

Advantage Buys in Netherlands

Advantage Smollan Ltd. in London—a holding company Irvine-based Advantage Solutions Inc. set up in 2015 with Smollan Group in Johannesburg—plans to acquire Netherlands-based Hamilton Bright Group B.V. on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

OC Automakers Trail National Pace

The four largest Orange County-based automakers trailed the national sales pace for new vehicles in June, according to New Jersey-based market researcher Autodata Corp.

Tease photo

Kia Finally Lands Sales Exec

Kia Motors America Inc. in Irvine hired Bill Peffer as its new vice president of sales, a position Michael Sprague held until he was promoted to chief operating officer in 2015.

Tease photo

Largest Women-Owned Firms Made Gains in 2016

10-Year Trend in OC Keeps Pace With U.S.

Revenue generated by Orange County’s largest women-owned businesses grew about 35% since the recession and is on par with the national growth for the same time period.

Mortgage Lender’s New Campaign Promotes Perks

Ads Talk Up Interest Rate Guarantee, Free Insurance

LoanDepot LLC is in the midst of a “multimillion-dollar” branding campaign called “We believe in you,” featuring 30- and 60-second TV spots airing daily on broadcast and cable networks nationwide, including ESPN, CNBC, E!, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN and Direct Sports.

Conversion Business Model: The Trend is Their Friend

MARKETING: No guesswork, process leads to e-commerce sales

There’s a chance that the face cream you just bought online was developed by a local ad shop.

Boardriders Gets Ex-Oakley Exec

Huntington Beach-based Boardriders Inc., which owns the Quiksilver, Roxy and DC Shoes brands, named Nate Smith president of its Americas region.

Tease photo

Gallegos Hires Ex-Mazda Ad Exec

Harvey Marco, a former chief creative officer of Mazda North American Operations’ advertising agency of record, Garage Team Mazda in Costa Mesa, joined Gallegos United in Huntington Beach as chief creative officer and co-president.

Tease photo

Tustin Aerospace Co. Buys Competitor

Elite Aerospace Group in Tustin acquired Halo Industries Inc. on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

Sister, Brother Believe in Bricks-and-Mortar Retail

Handle Hobie Brand Stores, Including Furniture Venture

Growing up, Laurie Alter’s older brother Mark Christy wanted to keep “her and her hamsters and her dolls” as far away as possible—he said he was “desperately trying to be cool,” and having a Ford Pinto as his ride didn’t help, either.

Kawasaki Gets in Ring With Wrestler for Campaign

Steve Austin to Get Word Out on Off-Road Wheels

Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. in Foothill Ranch partnered with pro wrestler Steve Austin on a new advertising campaign to promote its Mule Pro-FXR off-road utility vehicle.

Tustin Aerospace Co. Buys Competitor

Elite Aerospace Group in Tustin acquired Halo Industries Inc. on undisclosed terms.

Tease photo

Volcom Shifts PR Lens To Wider Audience In Fresh Growth Effort

APPAREL: New ads, ambassadors pan out beyond its traditional core

Volcom LLC is giving you permission to ditch the daily grind and pursue your true passion, whatever that may be. Heck, it’ll even foot the bill for about a dozen winners of its #ThisFirst social media contest.

Tease photo

Wilson Automotive Group Diversifying, Not Panicking

Other States Pick Up Slack for Business Journal’s No. 11

David Wilson is keeping things in perspective when it comes to cooling U.S. auto sales.

Food Maker Closes Distribution Center

Michigan-based Kellogg Co. is closing its distribution center in La Palma and eliminating 280 jobs there, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification the cereal and snack giant filed with the state.

Chicken Chain Goes Crazy for Foodie LA Dodger

Adrián González Will Lob El Pollo Loco Props

El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. is turning to influencer marketing in its latest Loco Summer Fun advertising campaign.

Kellogg Leaving La Palma

Michigan-based Kellogg Co. is shuttering its distribution center in La Palma and cutting 280 jobs there, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification the cereal and snack giant filed with the state Employment Development Department.

Tease photo

Karma’s First Reveros Hit the Road Smoothly

AUTOMOTIVE: Production slow now for exclusive clientele

Krishnan Menon had unique plans for the launch of Karma Automotive LLC and its $130,000 hybrid sports car, Revero—he envisioned it as the world’s first invite-only auto brand. Works Its Way Into New Wardrobe Corners

APPAREL: Garden Grove E-Tailer Adding Shirts, Suits wants to be a one-stop shop for the modern man—at least from the waist up.

Stance, New Balance Partnership Crosses Country

Companies’ Home Turfs Inspire Shoe, Sock ‘Kits’

Stance Inc. is collaborating with New Balance Athletics Inc. on a series of shoes and socks kits, the first of which pays homage to the companies’ hometowns—San Clemente and Boston.

Going Once … on the Auction Block

A piece of prime local real estate—albeit a virtual one—is up for grabs.

Tease photo

Milk Promotor’s Campaign Spills Across California

Sings Dairy’s Praises, To Give Away Refrigerators

The California Milk Processor Board in San Clemente launched the “California Thrives on Milk” campaign, designed to “help guide consumers to more healthful choices this summer” via educational events in Los Angeles, Fresno and Bakersfield.

Boot Barn Misses on Q4

Shares of Boot Barn Holdings Inc. were down 15% to $6.30 during Friday morning trading after the company reported revenue and adjusted profits for the April quarter that missed the Wall Street expectations.

Tease photo