People On The Move - San Fernando Valley Business Journal

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Monday, September 16, 2019

Yale Management Services, Inc. reached their 40th anniversary in August, with a celebration scheduled for Oct. 13 — the day co-founder, Frances Kaufman would have turned 90. Her son and company president, Richard Kaufman, presides over the company’s 150 employees, 5,000 managed units and limited partnerships, including a recent large-scale acquisition.

Theresa Edy-Kiene has been appointed new CEO of Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles (GSGLA), the largest girl-serving nonprofit in Southern California. Ms. Edy-Kiene comes to GSGLA from Fuller Seminary as the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Change Management in the President’s Office as well as the Executive Director for the Thrive Center for Human Development. Prior to that, she co-founded and led two national consumer food brands and was a successful television executive for Lifetime Television, Warner Bros., and Fox.

Beginning her new role on Sept. 16, Ms. Edy-Kiene will provide direction and vision for the development and achievement of the organization’s mission to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. A Girl Scout alumna, she succeeds Lise Luttgens, who retired on Sept. 6 after 11 years of leadership.

GSGLA is the fourth largest of 112 regional Girl Scout councils with nearly 72,000 members, solid retention rates, the most successful Girl Scout Cookie Program in the nation, and innovative leadership programs for girls in LA and beyond. Ms. Edy-Kiene joins the nonprofit as it enters the last year of a three-year strategic plan to reach more girls in underserved LA communities; deliver high-impact programs in entrepreneurship, STE(A)M, life skills, and outdoor; and invest in girls through philanthropic partnerships.

Executive Account Manager, Alexander Paulus transferred to LA from Carbon Lighthouse’s headquarters in San Francisco in July. He is instrumental in client success, partnering with commercial real estate owners to drive net operating income and reduce energy consumption. Paulus’s entire career has been dedicated to cleantech and sustainability.

Andres Torres, Data Acquisition Engineer at Carbon Lighthouse, transferred to LA from Carbon Lighthouse’s headquarters in San Francisco in April. He is a mechanical engineer, bringing 3 years of experience in the oil and gas and aerospace industries. He devises data collection strategies critical for enabling clean energy service in buildings.

A former Naval Officer, John Shaw joins Carbon Lighthouse as a Senior Data Acquisition Engineer. He will be the lead engineer heading up the technical team for the Los Angeles office. Shaw brings more than three years of engineering experience from SpaceX and five years from the U.S. Navy.

Monday, August 30, 2019

Miwako Reynolds was promoted to managing director of audit services at Crowe, a public accounting, consulting and technology firm. She’ll focus on audited financial statements, developing and managing client relationships, and the strategic growth planning of the firm.

Mike Amerio, managing partner of Lucas Horsfall, announced three promotions at the firm. Lucas Horsfall, with 76 employees, is ranked by Los Angeles Business Journal as the 27th largest CPA firm in Los Angeles County. The firm specializes in medium-sized, privately-owned companies.

Ninelly Shabani, CPA, has been promoted to an audit manager at Lucas Horsfall. She is a graduate of U.S.C. with a B.S. in accounting and a resident of Glendale. Of Armenian heritage she was born in Iran.

Krista Richardson, CPA, MBA has been named manager of Client Accounting Services, specializing in the complete back office accounting function through the level of Financial Controller to mid-sized private companies She formerly worked in the entertainment industry as a feature film accountant for Universal Studios, Disney, and 20th Century Fox.

Kenneth Woerner, CPA, has been promoted to a tax manager in Lucas Horsfall. A graduate of U.C.L.A., with a master of science in taxation from Golden Gate University, he is a resident of Azusa. He has been with Lucas Horsfall since 2013.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Murali Hariharan, PE, GE, has been appointed senior tunnel engineer for HNTB’s national tunnel practice. He continues working on the Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor Project in L.A. as lead engineer for construction support services and has undertaken geotechnical tasks on XpressWest High Speed Rail project from Victorville, CA, to Las Vegas, NV, being provided at an accelerated schedule. He is based in HNTB’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters.

Hariharan has more than 18 years of structural and geotechnical engineering experience in the design of tunnels, shafts, deep excavation support, slope stability and underground structures in a wide range of geotechnical conditions. He joined HNTB in 2014 and has also worked on California High Speed Rail Project Segment CP4 in Bakersfield, CA, and the San Juan Capistrano Passing Siding Project in Orange County, CA, among others.

Previously, Hariharan worked on tunnel projects for Metrolink/Southern California Regional Rail Authority, California Department of Transportation, Ottawa Light Rail Transit, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, and San Diego County Water Authority. He also has been project engineer for tunnel projects in New York City, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Melbourne, Australia.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Bijan Keshavarzi has joined City National Bank as a senior vice president and regional banking manager. Based in the bank’s Encino office, he is responsible for the delivery of City National’s tailored financial solutions to business owners, professionals and their families in the Northern Los Angeles region, which includes offices in Burbank, Camarillo, Chatsworth, Oxnard, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Sun Valley, Universal City, Valencia, Westlake Village and Woodland Hills.

FloQast has appointed Jill Cooper as vice president, sales. Cooper has more than 25 years of experience in leading global sales teams and driving significant revenue growth. She will help drive FloQast’s growing sales organization as it expands its leadership in close management software for accounting and finance teams.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Wilmington Trust has appointed Jeffrey R. Felix as vice president and senior private banker. Based in the company’s Los Angeles office, he is charged with meeting the financial needs of clients throughout the Western United States by helping them obtain the right sources of funding for significant purchases, including real estate, yachts, aircraft, artwork, and other collections; business expenses; annual gifting; and the payment of taxes. Felix also has expertise in strategic asset allocation and personal trust administration. He joins Wilmington Trust’s growing team of wealth advisors in Los Angeles, which includes president of the Western Region Brian Oard, as well as Tracy Nickl, Julie Weiss, Melissa Graf and Victoria Flores-Manrique.

Wilmington Trust has experienced 12 percent year-over-year loan growth while its Los Angeles team has grown by double digits. The firm deploys the power of the M&T Bank balance sheet and a credit culture that delivers a suite of lending solutions, including structured and securities-based lending for high-net worth and ultra-high-net worth clients.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Felix was a senior private banker at East West Bank. Previously, he was a private banker at Wells Fargo and Union Bank, where he provided his clients with advice and customized solutions to meet their residential, real estate, and personal asset-backed lending needs.

Felix received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies from the California State University, Northridge. Wilmington Trust’s Los Angeles office is located at 10250 Constellation Blvd., Suite 2800. Felix can be contacted at (310) 300-3072.

City National Bank has hired Jasleen Patel as senior vice president and commercial banking manager of its commercial banking team in the San Fernando Valley. Patel provides middle-market clients and real estate investors in the San Fernando Valley with portfolio management expertise, cash management and the bank’s full suite of custom financial solutions.

Monday, June 10, 2019

CommonSpirit Health has appointed Julie Sprengel, President for Dignity Health Southern California, to lead the new Southwest Division of CommonSpirit Health. The Southwest division includes both Southern California and Nevada and is comprised of nine acute care hospitals and four micro-hospitals.

“We are thrilled that Julie has accepted this expanded role,” states Marvin O’Quinn, president and chief operating officer for CommonSpirit Health. “Her leadership and vision has transformed our Southern California hospitals. I am confident that she will bring the same passion and vision to our hospitals and health care facilities in Nevada.”

With nearly 20 years of progressive health care experience, Julie has successfully led a largescale strategic planning process for the Southern California market, with a focus on safety, quality and patient experience. She expanded the focus on the future state of health care, including the migration to population health and wellness, which benefits the underserved in particular. Her leadership will support our efforts to expand services beyond hospital walls and into patient’s homes and their communities via new innovative care models.

Julie is known across Dignity Health as an innovator whose leadership and collaborative style is both respected and admired. “It’s an honor to have been chosen to lead this division,” shared Sprengel. “I’m looking forward to working with our teams to continue to expand access to affordable high quality care for the families who live, work and visit our communities.”

Julie holds a nursing degree from the Los Angeles County/University of Southern California School of Nursing, a bachelor’s degree in management and a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Eric Mandell

Eric Mandell, a 25-year veteran of commercial real estate financing, has joined nonprofit CDC Small Business Finance as a senior commercial loan officer to provide SBA financing to small businesses in Los Angeles North and Ventura County.

Prior to joining CDC, Mandell worked for American Business Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, extending more than $500 million in funding to help Ventura County and San Fernando Valley small business entrepreneurs. “Eric has strong relationships within the business community which will translate well into helping more small businesses gain access to SBA-504 financing for purchasing office or industrial buildings as well as large equipment,” said Michael Owen, chief credit officer for CDC.

Mandell’s current community involvement includes serving on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County; he will begin serving as board president in June. CDC Small Business Finance is the nation’s leader in SBA 504 loans – fixed-rate, owner-occupied commercial real estate financing that enables small businesses to expand and create new jobs. SBA-504 loans require only a 10 percent down-payment by the small business owner. The current SBA-504 rate for a 20-year loan is under 4.2%. An award-winning nonprofit and advocate for entrepreneurs, CDC Small Business Finance has provided more than $18 billion in funding to 11,000 borrowers over the last four decades.

For more information, contact Mandell at 805.300.0528 or, or visit Mandell’s office is located in Westlake at 2945 Townsgate Rd., Suite 200.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced the promotion of Redonna Carpenter-Woods to Market Executive for Business Banking, leading a 10-person team serving mid-sized companies with annual revenues of $5 million to $50 million that are located in the San Fernando Valley, Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and Ventura. She will work from offices in Thousand Oaks and Encino.

Carpenter-Woods is responsible for delivering the full capabilities of the bank, including treasury, credit, investment banking, risk management, international and wealth management, to current and prospective clients, helping them meet their financial goals.

She joined Bank of America Merrill Lynch in 2011 as a member of the Small Business Banking team and transitioned to Business Banking the following year. She will graduate Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS) at the University of Washington, earning a Master’s Degree in Banking in August, 2019. Carpenter-Woods has also taken an active leadership role with the bank’s employee networks, including its Black Executive Leadership Team and LEAD for Women (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development). She has also been honored with a Trusted Advisor Award by the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.

Fiber connection specialist Julie Lopez joined Cogent Communications as a NAM providing businesses with Tier 1 internet and Ethernet services for North America.

Secure fiber connection gives you the same up and down speed 24/7 with our Dedicated Internet Access connectivity that your business deserves without objectives of cost constraints, cloud connection latency.

Julie can be reached at 818-470-7916 or

Monday, May 13, 2019

Green Hasson Janks is excited to announce the expansion of its service offerings with the addition of Todd Sigler who joined the Firm as a principal to further develop new and existing segments in the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice. Sigler is an accountant who brings with him over 15 years of experience in royalty audit services with an emphasis in internal investigations and litigation support. As a leader in the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice, he provides services in various industries including gaming, high technology, health sciences, and consumer products, among others.

In his role as a principal, Sigler will focus on expanding GHJ’s Royalty and Licensing Practice into new areas, such as gaming, life sciences, and manufacturing.

Prior to joining GHJ, Sigler worked for RSM as a director in their litigation support and forensic accounting practice. His experience includes leading royalty audit engagements and internal investigations. He started his career in consulting at Deloitte in their financial advisory services practice.

Sigler’s appointment as principal is an example of GHJ’s commitment to drive the momentum generated in existing segments within the Royalty and Licensing Practice.

Green Hasson Janks (GHJ) is pleased to announce the expansion of its service offerings with the addition of Brian Watson, who joined the Firm as a principal to grow the Firm’s Royalty and Licensing Practice. Watson is an accountant who brings with him 10 years of experience in contract advisory services with an emphasis in software asset management, royalties and license compliance. His experience includes building and managing global license compliance and asset management programs resulting in millions of dollars in revenue recovery and cost savings for his clients. He has a deep understanding of business process and a technical information systems background specific to technology, IT management and data analytics.

In his role as a principal, Watson will focus on expanding GHJ’s Royalty and Licensing service in the high-technology space to allow the Firm to better serve our clients in the future.

Prior to joining GHJ, Watson worked for a Big Four firm as a director in their major projects and contract advisory practice. While there, he managed and helped grow multiple software publishers’ license compliance programs.

Watson’s appointment as principal is a strategic move in GHJ’s plan to expand the Firm’s Contract Compliance and Forensics Practice beyond the entertainment industry. Watson’s expertise and commitment makes him a true asset to expanding the Firm’s service offerings.

Monday, April 29, 2019

May 21, 2019
7:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Torrance Cultural Arts Center
Toyota Meeting Hall
3330 Civic Center Dr., Torrance, CA 90503
Buffet Breakfast & parking included
Register at:

Please join us for our 3rd annual Owner’s Roundtable, a half-day, value-packed workshop designed for business owners who want to maximize the value of their businesses and exit on their terms.
Owners will walk away with:
• Personalized business score & marketability report;
• Self-identified action items to immediately begin improving your business value; and
• Invaluable connections with like-minded professionals and business experts

“If you are not ready to sell your business, you are not ready to grow it.”Chris Snider, CEO and President, Exit Planning Institute

Monday, March 18, 2019

Thomas Jenkins, PE, joined HNTB Corporation as a national transit/rail consultant. He will focus on advancing HNTB’s growth in the transit industry while providing strategic advice to the firm’s transit team and clients in Southern California and nationwide. Jenkins has more than five decades of extensive experience in highway and transit planning, engineering, financing and project management. He specializes in delivering complex, multimodal and multidisciplinary infrastructure projects.

Previously, Jenkins was principal professional associate and project manager for another consulting firm where he served as project team leader on Public-Private Partnership Consulting Services for Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. He also served as project manager of the project management consultant team on the 11-mile Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project for the San Diego Association of Governments.

Earlier in his career, he served as the first executive director of the Orange County Transportation Commission (now Orange County Transportation Authority) and was the staff director of planning and engineering for the then newly formed Orange County Transit District.

Robeks Fresh Juices and Smoothies, welcomes Mitch Baker as Vice President of Marketing. With a variety of marketing experience across many industries, Baker plans to take Robeks to the next level with his knowledge and expertise. Baker is also no stranger to Robeks; he led the Robeks marketing department in mid-2000’s.

In his role, Baker will lead the marketing team and its various support agencies in its continued brand enhancement with a focus on local store marketing initiatives. According to his vision, the partnership with the franchisee community is key for Robeks’ continued success.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Responding to ongoing growth and a robust U.S. transportation market, HNTB Corporation announced a new national leadership structure.

John Friel, PE leads the Western Region, which includes the firm’s Northwest and West Divisions. He has served in many significant roles of responsibility in his 25 years with HNTB. During the last five years, he successfully led the firm’s Design Build unit, coordinating with offices and project teams throughout the firm, establishing strong relationships with contractor clients, and developing firmwide processes while successfully delivering over $9 billion in constructed design build and public-private partnerships. Other named presidents include Michael Inabinet, PE, Central Region; James Thomson, PE, Northwest Division; and Keith Hinkebein, PE, Design Build.

As a leading engineering consultant to departments of transportation, transit agencies, airports and tolling authorities, and other public- and privatesector owners, HNTB is advancing on a strong growth trajectory. The firm currently is No. 16 on “The Top 500 Design Firms” list as ranked by revenue in Engineering News-Record, up three spots from last year.

Monday, February 18, 2019

CohnReznick LLP, one of the top U.S. advisory, assurance, and tax firms, has announced two new partners at the Firm’s Los Angeles office.

Mohamed Ghattas, CPA, has been with CohnReznick since 2013, most recently serving as a Tax Director before his election to the partnership effective February 1, 2019. Ghattas is a key member of the specialized industry teams for the Firm’s Commercial Real Estate, Retail and Consumer Product, and Cannabis Practices. He has more than 12 years of experience of diversified public accounting experience serving companies in a variety of industries. Ghattas was also named among Los Angeles Business Journal’s 2018 list of “Most Influential Minority CPAs.”

Darin James, CPA, joined the Firm on January 28, 2019 from RubinBrown LLP, where he led the firm’s subchapter C tax practice. James specializes in commercial tax and works across a range of industries. He has served as a subject matter expert for ASC 740 (Accounting for Income Taxes) and technical consultations in the areas of subchapter C, mergers and acquisitions, and partnership and subchapter K taxation issues.

“Darin is an important addition to help drive our growth. Along with Mohamed and the rest of our tax department, we look forward to driving value and success for our firm and our clients,” said Scott Sachs, CPA, Managing Partner – Los Angeles Offices.

Public works general contractor, AMG & Associates, Inc. (AMG), was awarded the construction project of Santa Maria’s $41M newest elementary school in Enos Ranch by the Santa Maria- Bonita School District Wednesday evening January 30, 2019 at the district’s board of education meeting. This will be AMG’s second job with the district since 2015.

Enos Ranch’s long-awaited project had been in discussions for many years until voters passed Measure T in 2014, a $45M bond measure that eventually turned the conceptual discussions into planning. Construction will consist of three new buildings, totaling approximately 67,700 square feet, 26 classrooms, and will hold up to 900 kindergarten through sixth grade students. In addition to a large multipurpose building, space will be devoted to Therapeutic Learning and Special Education. Two softball fields, a soccer field, and four basketball courts will also be included in the scope of work. Construction is expected to begin in roughly 30 days and complete in late summer of 2020.

In addition to this project, AMG was also recently awarded two separate projects from the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Community College District: Cuesta College North County Campus R&B Schultz Early Childhood Education Building and the Cuesta College SLO Campus Data Center Project. Construction of the $10.9M Childhood Education Building began in January of 2019 and is slated for completion in May 2020. Construction will consist of a new 10,935 square foot singlestory classroom and daycare facility, including all associated underground utilities, earthwork, parking, site work, and landscape.

The $5.6M SLO Campus Data Center will consist of a new Data Center Building and all associated underground utilities, earthwork and site work. Construction began in the fall of 2018, and is expected to complete in the fall of 2019.

These awards put AMG’s total backlog to around $100M—an achievement that reflects the 104% three-year average growth that earned AMG the #3152 spot on Inc. 5000’s 2017 Fastest Growing Private Companies in America, which was AMG’s sixth time on the list. Only 4% of the tens of thousands of companies who have applied for recognition realize such an accomplishment.

To learn more about AMG, visit:

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ryan Gedney, NCARB, AIA, has joined HNTB Corporation as national design director of architecture and vice president, overseeing the firm’s architecture and interior design work in several offices across the country and spanning a variety of market sectors, including sports, aviation and transit/rail.

Over the past 20 years, Gedney has played a lead design role on large projects, both domestically and internationally, with a focus on innovative master planning of sports and entertainment districts. This includes work on Rogers Place Arena in Edmonton for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, State Farm Arena Renovation in Atlanta for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Little Caesars Arena in Detroit for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings and NBA’s Detroit Pistons, Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta for the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons; and Avaya Stadium for the MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes.

Union Bank today announced that Una Fox has joined as Head of Business Data and Insights. Fox will be responsible for leading the overall data driven philosophy for both Union Bank and PurePoint® Financial and for working with the product, marketing, and business line teams to help enable them to push the business forward.

She and her team will work to strengthen the bank’s analytical approach and deliver impactful, actionable business insights for the bank. Fox is based in the Union Bank office in Woodland Hills, California, and reports to Pierre P. Habis, Head of Consumer Banking.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Charles, Blank & Karp is merging with Lucas Horsfall, it was announced today by the two managing partners, Mike Amerio and Jim Karp, respectively. The combined firm will be known as Lucas Horsfall.

Charles, Blank and Karp traces back to a firm founded in Beverly Hills by Max Seiff in the 1920s and operating over the generations under a sequence of names reflecting its succeeding partners. The firm has operated out of the San Fernando Valley for many years.

Jim Karp, managing partner of Charles, Blank and Karp said that the merger with the larger Lucas Horsfall firm will give his clients deeper in-house resources and experience. “Over the years we helped launch and enlarge a number of businesses only to pass along their care to much larger CPA firms. We now have the resources to serve larger companies,” he said. “With Lucas Horsfall we also have the kind of in-house specialties that only larger accounting firms offer, such as expertise in international taxation.”

Amerio said, “Our merger with Charles, Blank & Karp is significant because it adds to our growing geographical reach. Charles, Blank and Karp’s generations of relationships with successful businesses and families in Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley fits hand-in-glove with the personal relationships that have been our strength in the Pasadena and San Gabriel Valley areas where our home office is located.”