Pete Weitzner

Contributing Editor

Email: Weitzner@OCBJ.com
Phone: 949-833-8373 Extension: 216

Recent Stories

18th Annual OC’s Wealthiest

Our registry in 2018 has a raised floor of $500 million and seven new entrants. Find out who moved into the neighborhood.

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Argyroses Join Baldwin on Cutthroat Mission

PHILANTHROPY: Saving the native fish is personal

Al Baldwin and George Argyros share much in common.

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Flush VC Funds Found Companies in Q2

Record $673M in 23 Deals Reverses Trend

Venture capital came to Orange County in the second quarter.

Young and Heart

Enjoy our annual Best Places to Work issue—lists and features on top two in small, medium and large groups.

Shopping for Bargains

Wrote last week of the paltry IPO numbers this year … two skinny debuts … and VC funding since 2016, save Dallas-Ft. Worth, weakest of 11 Metro regions …

Manifest Maui

How OC developers are finding great success in the South Maui resort community of Wailea—with more projects on the way.

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Scorecard: 2018 IPOs In Orange County: 2

FINANCE: No follow-up yet to last year’s robust market

Orange County companies matched their first-quarter initial public offering performance when Irvine-based bioprosthetics maker Hancock Jaffe Laboratories Inc. went public in May, netting a modest $8.6 million. It’s since lost about a third of its value.

Perspicacity; Garth-Ted Latest

Cylance Inc. $120M raise led by Blackstone tops in awhile here, boosts Stuart McClure’s cyber security firm well beyond unicorn status…and boosts OC growth-stagers, which enter 3Q 2018 with but 2 IPOs on the year, Evolus and Hancock Jaffe.

Luckey Strikes

He’s back—really. Oculus VR prodigy Palmer Luckey inks the biggest OC lease of 2018 to house his new venture, Anduril Industries Inc.

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OC Execs Flex Their Optimism in Q3 Survey

ECONOMY: Sales hopes, hiring plans pop CSUF index to record levels

Orange County executives expect the regional expansion to keep going in the third quarter. In fact, they pushed the optimism needle into the red.

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‘57 Desoto’

Paul Musco gave up his table at Il Barone Tuesday. To Jim Jalet.

Not From the Government, Here to Help You

You’ve likely seen or heard their ads. Santa Ana’s Optima Tax Relief is a leading company in the business of settling debts with the IRS. They practice what they promote too -- $100M annual sales, zero debt.

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Still Relevant

Small Business Administrator Linda McMahon in town visiting customers and SBA District HQ 48 of 68, 18 mos. into the job.

Larry Thomas, Message Man for All Seasons

Irvine Co. Exec’s Passing Hits Hard and Wide

Larry Thomas died on the morning of June 12. He was 70.

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Bring Your “A” Speech

It was late 2007, unusually muggy summer night at Shady Canyon Country Club. The crowd was mostly execs, mostly in suits. The guest of honor’s boss, Irvine Co. Chairman Donald Bren, sat front row.

The Story of “LT”

Larry Thomas spent a lifetime as a master storyteller. Family and friends share their stories about “LT” after his passing at age 70.

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Ventura Bound?

It’s referred to as the Ventura Laboratory. Late ’70s to ’90s, residents of major Ventura County cities elected officials, passed laws to effect smart growth—SOAR initiatives, “save open space and agricultural resources.”

The Rebranding and Restructuring of CalAmp

The Irvine satellite company was floundering, then it got into new business lines with a fresh look. Now it’s a telematics power and the best may be to come for CalAmp.

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Hard to Do

Rumored Allergan break-up more like a broken Snapstreak … remember Snap? Two-unit spinout could fetch $5B to $6B but will take awhile … activist investor David Tepper not known for patience.

New Shooter, Biggest Deal; Joe Knows Wealth

The hits keep coming for owners of OC commercial real estate, biggest sale to date, first-time OC shopper Boston-based Rockpoint spending $150M+ for five buildings at the Summit Office Campus in Aliso Viejo.

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Allergan Seeks to Shed Two

In response to its lagging stock, Allergan Plc (NYSE: AGN) will seek buyers for both its women’s health and infectious disease units. CEO Brett Saunders confirmed the unanimous board decision in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

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Tinker to Evers, Stoecker to Niccol

BIG stories this week, grist for the mill … FivePoint-City of Hope alliance, $200M centerpiece of Great Park Neighborhoods medical campus; Newport Beach serial entrepreneur Alan True, shifting seamlessly from China-based furniture importer to U.S. food-biz disruptor; OC-borne fintechs Acorns and SAY drawing love and lead investment from BlackRock and Steve Cohen’s Point72; and the “Did I read that right?” story, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Taco Bell-poached boss Brian Niccol getting out of Denver, escaping New York, moving HQ and as many as 250 top-level jobs to Newport Beach … low-cost, low-reg, low-tax OC.

Walker and Hope, Niccol and Chipotle, Choose OC

A look at Annette Walker’s decision to leave the nation’s No. 2 hospital chain to run Hope’s first OC cancer center at Great Park Neighborhoods.

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Acorns Still Grow Here

World’s largest investment manager BlackRock Inc. just took an “anchor stake” in Irvine-based fintech Acorns, micro-investing app with 3.3 million customers robo-investing their change on every purchase—often into Black Rock managed ETFs.

Size Doesn’t Matter in Corporate Civic Engagement

Just Ask 2017 Honoree Teacher Created Materials

Last year, for the first time in a local market, the Business Journal presented the 2017 Civic 50 Orange County in partnership with OneOC, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium and large Orange County companies.

The Vizio Picture

Technology editor Chris Casacchia reports on Vizio, just over one year since the $2 billion sale to China’s LeEco fell apart.

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Record Price for New Anaheim Industrial Site

REAL ESTATE: Fund manager gets Rosendin’s new SoCal HQ

The sale of a fully leased new industrial building in Anaheim has apparently set a new high-water price point for large Orange County warehouse and distribution properties.

Magic The Toastmaster

Bob Olson isn’t running for office in his hometown of Newport Beach, but good luck finding someone more popular in the city these days.

Say Yes at the Door

At the Business Journal’s 24th annual Women of the Year Awards, keynote speaker Julie Hill urged women starting careers to “say yes at the door.”

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‘If That Person Calls, Do You Pick Up the Phone?’

Looking for A Trademark in ’93

In late 1992, early 1993 Business Journal Publisher Richard Reisman and Editor Rick Reiff had been on the job just over two years, “learning fast but a lot to learn,” Reiff recalled.

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Magic Morning in Irvine

Seventeen years ago Orange County United Way President Sue Parks cofounded The Women’s Philanthropy Fund within the nonprofit.

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OC Insider

Nifty Fifty

25th OC 50 … most influential businesspeople starts at the start: Our cover has newcomers like Natalia Ostensen Olenicoff, Olen Properties, Steve Jones, boss of Allied Universal. We also start at the start of OC 50 with Editor at Large Rick Reiff talking about the genesis, the tough calls—just as this year—and a list that’s mirrored the growth and depth of the OC ecosystem. (OC 50 stories, page 1, inside Special Report).

Nifty Fifty

25th edition of the OC 50, most influential business leaders, includes a number of first-timers and a look back, at how this special issue began.

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Judge Denies Motions to Dismiss Mazzo Case

Judge Andrew Guilford ruled on Tuesday that the government can proceed with a third trial against health-care executive Jim Mazzo on insider trading charges.

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Judge to Rule Tuesday on Mazzo: Dismissal or Third Trial

Lawyers came to Judge Andrew Guilford’s courtroom on Monday with two motions and three arguments to prevent a third trial against Jim Mazzo for breaking insider trading rules.

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Opportunity

Took students to New York every January.

Happens in Vegas

Santa-Ana based ESports Arena expands to Las Vegas, with some local partners. Plus, Boeing shops a Surf City tower and how CSUF’s new boss is bringing the real economy to the Ivory Tower.

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Exporting Arts County

PSO, Carl St. Clair Make it To Carnegie Hall

Orange County’s Pacific Symphony played Carnegie Hall Saturday night (barring the unforeseen—The Business Journal goes to press Friday afternoon). It is as it seems. “A big deal. Always been at the apex,” said symphony President John Forsythe during the intermission of a “practice concert” at Segerstrom Concert Hall on April 14. “And to be invited and part of this series. And finishing it off there Saturday night. Very proud.”

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Ten Bagger

Any job should get a little old after say, 25 years, even for those at the top of their game.

Venture Banker

Byron Roth has run Roth Capital in Newport since 1992. The 30th Roth Capital Conference in Dana Point had 550 presenters, 4,700 attendees and Big & Rich.

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Perspective

Edwards Lifesciences and high-flying unicorn Rocket Labs share a passion in this week’s paper: OC’s “talent pool.”

Manufacturers Post 36th Quarter of Modest Growth

MANUFACTURING: Labor shortage, price spikes loom

For the 36th straight quarter, Orange County manufacturers plan to expand output—as measured by Chapman University’s quarterly survey of purchasing managers.

Cool Rockets

Surf City’s Rocket Lab is about to take off, aiming to scale space with frequent trips and payloads of thousands of small satellites. Some smart money is betting on this unicorn.

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Optimism Stays Near Peak In Survey of OC Execs

Hiring Plans Goose Index Amid New Concerns

In looking to the second quarter, Orange County executives kept up the optimism. That’s according to California State University-Fullerton’s Orange County Business Expectations Survey, whose composite index held near its all-time high, dipping slightly quarter-over-quarter from 95.2 to 94.4.

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The Distinguished Businessman

Congressman Ed Royce, (R-Fullerton), took a victory lap last week before an OC Forum lunch crowd in Irvine … 36 years in office, 10 Sacto, 26 D.C. “When I was 40, putting term limits on committee chairs seemed like a good idea,” Royce joked.

Edwards Pumped Up OC Publics

We look at the collective performance of OC’s largest public cos. in the trailing twelve months, which was led by the largest—after another year of healthy returns at Edwards Lifesciences Corp.

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Scorecard: Local Q1 Initial Public Offerings: 1

Slow Start, But OC ‘Set up for Strong Year’

The first quarter was OK for initial public offering activity, nationally and in the West—just not here.

Focus OC Warns of Future Without a Middle

ECONOMY: Deep, well- funded study a call to action

It wasn’t “please pass the cyanide,” but the report was largely sobering.

A Nod to Eric Church

Rsing tide of recovery hasn’t lifted all boats—2.9% growth and half of all industries undergoing disruption can reduce the boost.

Building a Brand And A Moat in Electric Bikes

RETAIL: Don DiCostanzo powers Pedego on the 4 Ps

Tom Bock had just sold his company when he heard about Pedego electric bikes. “My friend had a bad experience with service, went to see Don, and he got him squared away.