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Daily Business Report-Sept. 23, 2009

Alan Bersin to get top U.S. Customs post

Alan Bersin, former superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District currently serving as an assistant secretary with the Department of Homeland Security, is to be nominated as U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner by President Obama. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano applauded the president’s intent to nominate Bersin to the post, saying, ““Under Alan’s leadership over the past several months, we have forged new international and domestic partnerships along our borders to strengthen security.” Since joining DHS in mid-April, Bersin has led efforts to implement Obama’s Southwest Border Initiative. As CBP Commissioner, he will lead DHS efforts to secure America’s borders while overseeing the enforcement of immigration, customs and drug laws. He will manage more than 57,000 CBP employees working to secure U.S. land and maritime borders.

Before joining the Obama administration, Bersin was board chairman of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, appointed in December 2006. He served from 2005-2006 as California’s Secretary of Education, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and previously oversaw the nation’s eighth largest urban school district from 1998-2005 as superintendent of public education in San Diego. Bersin also served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California from 1993 to 1998.

SGIS gets government contract worth $450 million

SGIS, a national government contracting firm, has been awarded a scientific, engineering and technical assistance contract by the Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Forces Strategic Command, with a contract ceiling of $450 million over a period of five years. Under the contract, SGIS will provide scientific, engineering and technical assistance support for Space, Missile Defense, Global Strike, Information Operations, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance and Homeland Security.

Clean tech companies growing in San Diego

CleanTECH San Diego, a nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating San Diego’s leadership in the clean tech sector, says the number of clean tech companies in the region has grown to more than 625, a significant increase during the past two years. New company formations and relocations are evidence of San Diego’s role as a national leader in attracting and retaining clean tech businesses during a period of significant economic challenges, the organization says. CleanTECH San Diego recently updated its database of the region’s clean tech companies to include solar and wind energy installers, energy-efficiency consultants, LEED-certified builders, green building architects, sustainability consultants and designers and energy auditors, among others. “As a coalescing agent for green technologies in San Diego, we have developed a comprehensive one-stop-shop for clean tech companies of all sizes,” says Lisa Bicker, president of CleanTECH San Diego. “We aim to continually increase and improve our database as well as ensure that San Diego clean tech companies are well-represented and visible throughout the world.” Several of the newer companies in the CleanTECH San Diego database are part of the quest to make algae biofuel a multi-billion dollar industry. CleanTECH San Diego is the local sponsor of the third annual Algae Biomass Summit, a national meeting in San Diego Oct. 7-9.

Linda Vista redevelopment proposals sought

The Redevelopment Agency of the city of San Diego has issued a request for qualifications and proposals calling for the redevelopment of two parcels owned by the agency in Linda Vista. The agency is seeking a development team to design and carry out the re-development of a 1.6-acre site that is located in the heart of Linda Vista, northeasterly of the intersection of Linda Vista Road and Comstock Street. The agency envisions a project that is woven into the neighborhood and maximizes the potential of the site. The site currently houses a skate rink and several small retailers, and the existing structure is considered to be potentially historically significant. The site also consists of a secondary adjacent corner parcel that is vacant. The redevelopment opportunity calls for the redevelopment and rehabilitation of the existing structure in a manner that respects notable architectural features and calls attention to the significance of this site and the Linda Vista community at large in the history of the region while ensuring the long term viability of the new project.  Responses to the request for proposals are due to the Redevelopment Agency by 5 p.m. on Oct. 30. For more information, visit the agency’s Website at

Cypress Insurance signs $2.4 million lease in Mission Valley

Cypress Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, has signed a 60-month lease for 20,855 square feet in Rio Vista Plaza III, a four-story, 80,058-square-foot office building in Mission Valley. The lease with Rio Vista Tower III, LLC is valued at $2.4 million. The lessor was represented by Tony Russell and Richard Gonor of Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial. The lessee was represented by Darin Bosch and Bill Bacon of CB Richard Ellis.

C-3 to honor San Diegans for environmental work

Citizens Coordinate for Century 3 will host its annual awards ceremony from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 8 at the Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center at 1 Father Juniperro Serra Trail in San Diego. The awards honor San Diegans who make a difference in the natural and built environment and their implementation of C-3 goals, policies and objectives. Guest speaker will be Larry Herzog, professor of city planning at SDSU. As part of the ceremony, C-3 will discuss its new 2010 initiative, “Sustainable Paradise,” which builds upon C-3’s planning document “Toward Permanent Paradise.”

The Revelle Award, which was initiated in 1983 to honor Roger and Ellen Revelle, will be presented to Lael Montgomery, founder of an educational nonprofit group called “The Heart of Valley Center,” which received an Environmental Enhancement Mitigation Grant for $290,000 to build heritage trails and install landscaping along Valley Center Road.

Nico Calavita and Diane Coombs will receive the C-3 Champion Award for their many years of service to C-3. Louise Torio and Sue Reynolds will be presented Special Recognition Awards for their long-term accomplishments. Phyllis McGrath will receive a C-3 Special award. Cost for the program is $40. Cost at the door is $50 for all. For reservations, call (619) 232-7196.

Knight & Carver YachtCenter wins recognition

Knight & Carver YachtCenter in National City has been awarded “Best Refit/Reconfiguration 2009” by Showboats International as part of the luxury yacht magazine’s annual salute to worldwide excellence in megayacht repair. Knight & Carver’s refit of M/Y Helios, a 194-foot  Oceanco, was completed in 2008. The extensive six-month refit was performed in 2008 at Knight & Carver’s marine repair facility in National City. The project was conducted in cooperation with HF Interiors, a Swedish-based interior fabrication firm that specializes in cruise ship projects.

San Diego Sports Arena unveils plans for Club 3500

The San Diego Sports Arena unveiled plans for the new 6,500-square-foot Club 3500 that will debut in early October. The exclusive club is part of a $2.5 million renovation to the 43-year old facility that includes new seats to the lower level, LCD televisions, new restrooms and an upgraded concourse design and arena entrances. “Our new Club 3500 and San Diego Sports Arena improvements will once again establish the San Diego Sports Arena as the best entertainment venue in San Diego,” says Ernie Hahn, Sports Arena general manager. “We’re extremely proud and excited about Club 3500, which will be the signature piece of the San Diego Sports Arena that is part night club, part sports bar and the signature to our new VIP experience for shows and special events. In addition, the new lower level seats, entrances, renovated restrooms, and concourse upgrades with all new LCD TV’s will enhance the arena experience for our guests.” Club 3500 will have a membership component and can be rented for special events, and will offer everything from carving stations to bottle service in a 6,500-square-foot state-of-the-art club.

Club 3500 is designed by MKA Inc. Architecture’s lead architects Dan Martorana and Chris Babin. The general contractor on the project is Dave Gash from Gold Coast Renovations, who constructed several signature San Diego projects, including Tower 23 and Moondoggies.

How to contact us

The offices of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News are in Cabrillo Plaza, 3990 Old Town Ave., Suite A-201, in Old Town. To reach editorial, call (619) 906-4104. For advertising, dial (619) 906-4105. The fax is (619) 906-4106. Send editorial material via e-mail to For advertising, send to

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