Stories for March 2012
Friday, March 30
Great American Group Inc., a valuation and appraisal services firm in Woodland Hills, returned to profitability last year, reversing an $11 million loss from 2010. The company reported a profit of $602,000 on a 50 percent increase in revenue.
Wells Fargo & Co. opened a new retail banking store using recycled materials and energy efficient equipment, its second LEED certified store in the San Fernando Valley.
California State University, Northridge MBA students took top honors in a national competition that tested how well they could tailor what they learned in the classroom to the demands of small business.
Wednesday, March 28
Surgeons at Valley Presbyterian Hospital recently performed the hospital’s first single-port laparoscopic appendectomy.
The board of directors of data storage and power supply manufacturer Qualstar Corp. has begun searching for a new chief executive after CEO William Gervais said he would retire in June.
Cydcor, a Westlake Village-based provider of outsourced sales services, announced its partnership with Sunrun, a San Francisco home solar company.
Tuesday, March 27
Van Nuys-based TWC Aviation has been chosen by Sino Jet to operate that company’s U.S. VIP charter aircraft under a new agreement with the Chinese aviation company.
Trim manufacturer, Talon International Inc., reported improved earnings in the fourth quarter thanks to new brand launches in the past year.
Princess Cruises of Santa Clarita is entering the Japanese market in response to what its parent company said was a growing interest in cruising in Japan.
Woodland Hills franchise Attorney Barry Kurtz has opened a second office in Santa Barbara.
Silverado Senior Living Inc. and Securitas Security Services USA Inc. have signed leases totaling more than 6,600 square feet in Burbank, according to a brokerage firm involved in the deal.
Monday, March 26
Telesis Community Credit Union has been placed under the conservatorship of the National Credit Union Administration due to its declining financial condition, the California Department of Financial Institutions announced.
Princess Cruises of Santa Clarita has named Brian O’Connor vice presidents of North American sales. He will serve the same function for Cunard Line, a sister company of Princess.
Westlake Village-based LTC Properties Inc. has acquired a skilled nursing facility for $18.6 million, the company announced Monday.
Friday, March 23
A manager for an H&R Block office in the San Fernando Valley was arrested by IRS agents in connection with a scheme to file tax returns and fraudulently receive refunds.
JMPR Public Relations announced that it has been appointed agency of record for Omix-Ada Inc., the manufacturer of Jeep parts and accessories.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s Cancer Services program won an Outstanding Achievement award from The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons.
Thursday, March 22
A planned runway repair project at Van Nuys Airport is in the hands of competing sets of engineers who are working out the best option to fix the runway with the minimum amount of disruption to air operations.
Glendale Adventist Medical Center made its intent to acquire or merge with Verdugo Hills Hospital public today in a series of newspaper advertisements and a letter to employees and the Glendale community.
The California State University Board of Trustees today announced the appointment of Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D., as the new president of California State University Northridge.
Wednesday, March 21
Semtech Corp. completed its acquisition of Gennum Corp., a move that will create instant opportunity for Semtech in the video and data communication markets.
California Lutheran University has been honored for its service learning and civic engagement by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the U.S. Department of Education.
Encino-based NAI Capital Inc. has added nine new brokers in Southern California during the first three months of the year, including two individuals in the greater Valley area.
Poms & Associates, one of the largest insurance brokerages in the San Fernando Valley with 120 employees, is acquiring Encino-based Stone, Harris & Stone from Brown & Brown, a brokerage in Daytona, Fla.
On Assignment Inc., a Calabasas-based staffing agency, on March 20 announced plans to buy Apex Systems Inc. of Richmond, Va., in a deal valued at $600 million.
Tuesday, March 20
Advertising design firm Newman Grace Inc. in Woodland Hills has started a new online business and legal publication, Southern California Professional Magazine.
IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. completed its previously announced acquisition of Inpatient Clinical Solutions, Inc., an acute care practice headquartered in Coral Springs, Fla.
Monday, March 19
Calabasas-based Ixia announced Monday that its chief executive will be stepping down in May.
The Transportation Committee of the California State Assembly approved a resolution March 19 urging Congress to pass a pending bill to address helicopter noise in Los Angeles County.
Simi Valley Hospital's home health program was awarded a three-year certification from the California Department of Public Health.
Style: Bio Jouvance program moving into new space in May, prepares for higher enrollment.
Beauty: Glendale skin care company expands beauty school
Homes: Carolyn Lawrence is voice of cartoon character and local real estate agent.
Voice actor partners with realtor in helping clients flip properties
AUTOS: ECOtality installing chargers at area businesses with $100 million federal grant.
San Francisco company installs electric car chargers throughout the Valley
Lessons: Valley institutions adding space, online courses and interest-based tracks.
List Story: Valley private schools make moves to remain competitive. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY'S LARGEST PRIVATE and PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOLS lists for download (pdf)
FROM THE NEWSROOM
COMMENTARY by SFVBJ Editor, Jaclyn Giovis
VICA LOCAL UPDATE
Catching the local business issues that fall through the cracks
Vote: Consumer advocates and insurance companies both have valid points about cost.
Insurance rate battle to be placed before voters
Greater Valley business events
Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
TECH: State Sen. Alex Padilla aims to set rules for testing and operating driverless vehicles.
Automotive: State lawmakers prepare for driverless cars
Services: Child and Family Guidance Center will use money for fund development efforts.
GIVING: IHOP breaks fundraising record with National Pancake Day event
Sales: Developer changes business model to fill units with professional service tenants.
Developer begins first commercial condo conversion
Brothers revamp Dazadi.com and guide the company to new heights as the ‘Home of Awesome’
ENTREPRENEUR: Dazadi.com is an online sporting goods retailer
Kenneth Nielsen looks back at his presidency at Woodbury University.
Kenneth Nielsen, outgoing president of Woodbury University
Medical: SmartCare plan cuts costs with stronger ties between payer and provider.
Insurance: Health Net announces new tailored program for Los Angeles
ELECTRONICS: Valencia firm will add capabilities in aerospace and medical products.
Manufacture: Stellar Microelectronics acquired by Singapore company
TRAVEL: Industry sailing past black eye from the Costa Concordia sinking in January.
Tourism : Local cruise companies upbeat about bookings on new ships
Budget: Valley centers look to salvage their programs, including aviation curriculum.
Adult education programs prepare to close following budget cuts
MEDIA: Video and podcast production facility to serve both amateurs and professional.
Production company revamps Burbank building to house new business
RETAIL: Developer Scott Ehrlich offering an eclectic mix for customers of newest project.
Agoura Hills gets a hip, new retailer that mixes sweets, apparel and shoes
HEALTH: Emergency room expansion plans move forward in face of Remboldt resignation.
CEO of Simi Valley Hospital retires amid expansion plans
UPSCALE: Luxury apartments and new stores to reinvigorate Sherman Oaks corridor.
New developments aim to revitalize ‘sleepy’ area in Sherman Oaks
Businesspeople to visit island nation to get glimpse of daily life.
The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce plans trip to Cuba.
CULTURE: Nonprofit fights to save Alex Theatre
The fate of the historic Alex Theatre is uncertain after redevelopment agencies shutter
PROJECTS: Antelope Valley preps for future.
New projects make the Antelope Valley a health care hot spot
MOVE: Firm’s relocation may fuel leasing activity at vacant complex.
Label manufacturer, Precision Dynamics, to move to Valencia
Space pioneer for sale by owner, questions loom
Aerospace: Pratt &Whitney Rocketdyne placed on selling block by parent.
Waste: Reducing trash in landfills, producing natural gas goals of Ecolution facility.
Lancaster signs deal for high-tech waste conversion facility
Stratolaunch Lands at Mojave Air & Space Port
Construction begins on hangar and fabrication building for Stratolaunch Systems.
Northridge manufacturer responds to consumer requests for Omega-3 without animal source.
Nature Made launches vegetarian alternative to fish-oil vitamins
‘There’s A Star’ will air in June on ‘Shushybye Baby’ cable show created by Steve Syatt.
Valley businessman pens last song recorded by the late Davy Jones.
North Hollywood lighting designer hits road with Springsteen.
Local lighting designer signs on for Bruce Springsteen’s latest tour
Friday, March 16
Anthem Blue Cross patients of two San Fernando Valley hospitals may have to switch hospitals or cough up higher out-of-network fees after the two sides terminated their contract earlier this month.
Thursday, March 15
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has reaffirmed the accreditation of California State University, Northridge, and extended its accreditation for 10 years, the maximum allowed.
Dole Food Company reported an improvement in earnings due to cost reduction plans that have been implemented over the past two years.
Rocket engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne will be sold, officials with its parent company United Technologies said in a call on March 15 with financial analysts.
Wednesday, March 14
This month, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Total Woman Gym and Day Spa is hosting a series of events at 11 of its locations including the grand opening of its new Studio City location on March 22.
Calabasas-based Kythera Biopharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed a new chief commercial officer.
Moorpark manufacturer Special Devices Inc. has been acquired by Daicel Corp., a Japanese company serving the automotive market.
Tuesday, March 13
Shareholders of The Walt Disney Co. voted to approve all the company’s directors, even those opposed by two shareholder advisory services.
Stellar Microelectronics in Valencia has been acquired by Flextronics, a manufacturer serving the aerospace and defense, automotive and consumer electronics industries.
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne tested its launch abort engine it is developing for a spacecraft to take humans to the International Space Station.
A 21-unit North Hollywood apartment complex has sold for $1.95 million to a private investor, according to a brokerage firm involved in the deal.
Monday, March 12
Precision Dynamics Corp.-St. John has signed a seven year lease for about 44,000 square feet at the LNR Entrada Gateway Center in Santa Clarita and plans to move its headquarters into the building early this summer.
IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. will provide hospitalist services to four Methodist Healthcare System hospitals in San Antonio under a new agreement.
The state’s four largest insurance companies joined forces with doctor and hospital groups yesterday to launch an organization to fight tighter regulation of health insurance rates.
The Palmdale Chamber of Commerce’s monthly magazine Vantage has been awarded first place by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E).
AeroVironment Inc. received an $11.1 million contract to provide logistics support for its unmanned Raven aircraft for the U.S. military.
Friday, March 9
Vascular surgeon Dr. Larisse K. Lee has joined the team of vascular surgical specialists at Valley Presbyterian Hospital.
Net income dropped by 35 percent in the fourth quarter for broadcasting company Salem Communications when compared to the same period from a year ago.
Carnival Corp., the Miami-based owner of Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises, reported a $139 million net loss for its first quarter, due largely to a write down associated with the loss of the Costa Concordia, a ship that ran aground near the Italian coastline earlier this year, killing 32.
Lee & Associates-LA North/Ventura Inc. has appointed Stephanie Skrbin to principal.
Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent (LAUSD) John Deasy made his call for a $298 parcel tax official yesterday.
Thursday, March 8
ReachLocal Inc., the marketing company that helps small and medium-sized businesses with their online marketing, announced it hired digital product veteran Kris Barton as its chief product officer.
Prescriptive Music, a Woodland Hills-based music branding firm, announced a 40 percent growth in sales over the past year, marking three consecutive years of growth.
Semiconductor manufacturer Semtech Corp. acquired a French company serving the industrial and consumer markets.
The city of Santa Clarita launched a $200,000 advertising campaign aimed at tourists in Phoenix and San Diego.
Wednesday, March 7
In the face of continued neighborhood opposition to its residential project, New Urban West Inc. plans to sell the former General Motors training facility in Burbank’s Rancho neighborhood to a local school.
Semtech Corp. met revenue expectations in the fourth quarter despite a soft market and seasonal trends.
IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc. continued its expansion with the acquisition of Asana Integrated Medical Group (AIMG) of Agoura Hills.
IHOP, the Glendale-based family restaurant chain, shattered its fundraising record this year, generating more than $3 million through its annual National Pancake Day event.
Tuesday, March 6
Health Net of California Inc., a subsidiary of Woodland Hills-based Health Net Inc., introduced a new managed care plan in Southern California with closely aligned provider partners and incentives for consumers to stay healthy.
Aviation business owners at Van Nuys Airport cautioned Los Angeles World Airports on March 5 that a planned runway reconstruction project scheduled for next year could harm business, which is already struggling from the recession.
T.J. Maxx, the national off-price retailer, is opening a new store in Sherman Oaks on March 25.
The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce announced it will be visiting Cuba in October.
Studio entertainment has been the lifeblood of The Walt Disney Co. dating back to the late 1920s
Monday, March 5
Attorney Robin M. McConnell has been named partner at the Woodland Hills law firm Stone, Rosenblatt & Cha, the firm said Monday.
Even as the newest Disney ship prepares to make its maiden voyage later this month, cruisers are getting more skittish about setting sail, according to a new poll.
Northridge Fashion Center announced it will be adding two new restaurants and an outdoor amphitheater to the shopping center this year.
Dining: Glendale company to open up to 95 restaurants, build awareness with ad campaigns.
Restaurant: DineEquity makes plans to expand franchise and boost business
Food: New offerings emphasize fruits, yogurt, gardens.
Dole Food Company keeps it fresh with innovative new products
Sunshine Canyon puts in temporary flare to burn off methane gas.
Republic Services Inc. invests in a solution to fix a foul-smelling landfill
HOUSING: Developer replacing carwash, fast food restaurant with luxury apartment complex.
Camden USA to build 200-apartment complex in Glendale
TECH: With turmoil behind him, Gardner strategizes on how to grow semiconductor firm.
CEO of Vitesse Semiconductor extends employment contract
FROM THE NEWSROOM
Editorial Column by SFVBJ Editor, Jaclyn Giovis
PAY: Chief executives of Valley public companies benefit from pay for performance packages.
LIST STORY: Board leaders speak out on executive compensation. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY'S HIGHEST PAID CEOs and the 2012 PUBLIC COMPANIES PROFITABILITY INDEX lists for download (pdf)
Photographs of recent business-related events in the valleys, including parties, awards dinners, benefits and other celebrations.
Stock activity for 50 selected greater San Fernando Valley-based public companies.
Golden Oak Ranch Key to Growth
Santa Clarita property presents golden opportunity for Disney
Since the debut of its first licensed product in 1929 — a Mickey Mouse writing tablet — Disney has become one of the most sought-after licensors for manufacturers worldwide.
Walt Disney Co.’s gaming division has long struggled to make a profit as it pumps out games for consoles, websites, social networks and smartphones.
How much of a presence does Parks and Resorts have in the San Fernando Valley region?
What is the future of broadcast television, and how is ABC Studios preparing for it?
Special Report Preview: The Walt Disney Co. has long reigned the largest public company in the San Fernando Valley
ENERGY: Camarillo company gets drilling rights in Germany, Spain and Poland.
BNK Petroleum is looking to strike it rich in Poland’s shale gas market
APPAREL: Zipper, fastener manufacturer diversifies client base with smaller companies.
Talon International Inc. expands sales force and clients
Play: Agoura Hills publisher focused on core games to calm uncertainty of investors.
Games: THQ struggles as sales and stock price decline
Bob Spivak of Grill Concepts feasts on culinary opportunity, skirt steak.
PROFILE: Bob Spivak, founder and CEO of Grill Concepts.
Change: Chatsworth firm challenged by shareholders as executives come and go.
MRV Communications Inc. — the Chatsworth technology firm that has been embroiled in a fight with dissident shareholders — has begun to explore “strategic alternatives” for the company.
Studio: Joint venture will require new local executives and talent, CEO Katzenberg says.
MEDIA: DreamWorks to hire Glendale workers for Chinese studio venture
Build: Orders, closings, sale price all up in fourth quarter for Westlake Village company.
Ryland Homes rebounds amid restructuring efforts
Restaurant chain responds to changing eating habits as diners go for healthier meals.
Applebee’s extends contract with Weight Watchers for healthy menu items
Calabasas company building mobile scrap loading machine.
National Technical Systems to build mobile loading machine
AeroVironment Inc. has ideas to improve its Hummingbird-sized craft.
AeroVironment Inc. searches for investors for Hummingbird aircraft
BIOTECH: Biosimilars could bring firm success or headaches.
Amgen enters new drug market
INSURANCE: Managed care for the poor may unlock billions.
Care: Health Net sees promise in serving state’s elderly poor
REAL ESTATE: Glendale lures company from Los Angeles.
Vulcan Materials moves West Coast headquarters to Glendale from Los Angeles, bringing 90 jobs.
JOBS: More than 450 lose work as five companies reduce workers.
More than 450 workers are affected by layoffs at local public companies
Diverse: Public companies touch on many industry sectors, including health care, aerospace.
LIST STORY: We analyze the top public companies that made our list. Includes SFVBJ's 2012 VALLEY'S LARGEST PUBLIC COMPANIES list for download (pdf)
Media: Worldwide TV marketing staff moves from three separate offices to one.
Warner Bros. inks lease for Burbank office building
Online: Woodland Hills firm shuts down DealOn.com, rethinks its approach.
ReachLocal returns to the drawing board after daily deal model closes
Friday, March 2
Anthony, a Sylmar-based manufacturer of glass doors and related products serving the commercial refrigeration market, announced it has acquired a majority of Big Service’s, Inc.’s assets.
Northridge-based Pharmavite LLC, announced David I. Solomon as its new chief financial officer and executive vice president.
NoHo 14—a high rise 180-unit apartment complex in the North Hollywood Arts District—has sold for nearly $74 million.
Thursday, March 1
A subsidiary of Teledyne Technologies Inc. won a 2011 George M. Low Award for its technical and managerial contributions to NASA.
Alabama-based Vulcan Materials Co. is moving its Western headquarters to Glendale from Los Angeles, a relocation that will bring about 90 jobs into the city, the firm told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment signed a multi-year deal with Redbox to provide DVDs and Blu-ray discs for rental at Redbox locations.
The Santa Clarita Signal named Randy Morton this week as the new publisher of the daily newspaper.