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Daily Business Report — Nov. 20, 2009

SDSU Athletic Director Resigns

SDSU Athletic Director Jeff Schemmel resigned Thursday after an investigation disclosed that he sought university reimbursement for expenses he incurred while on a trip that involved an extramarital affair with an Alabama woman. “It is my sad duty to announce that Jeff Schemmel has resigned as athletic director effective today,” said SDSU President Stephen Weber. Schemmel, who is paid more than $250,000 a year, is to receive $136,000 from a settlement agreement, according to Weber. “I have accepted his resignation,” said Weber. “Jeff and I agree that this is in the best interest of our athletic program and San Diego State. I want to thank Jeff for his service to the university and for his willingness to do the right thing under these difficult circumstances. I believe our athletic program is headed in the right direction for which Jeff deserves considerable credit. This includes some great hires, several conference championships and increases in the graduation rates of our student athletes.” Earlier this year, Schemmel’s contract was renewed through 2013.

Weber said a national search will begin immediately to find a successor to Schemmel and that he hopes a new athletic director will be found by March 1 of next year.

Cuyamaca College Gets a New President

Stuart J. Savin, CEO of the Lancaster campus of Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania, has been appointed president of Cuyamaca College. Savin, named to the post by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District governing board, will assume the job on April 12 next year. Savin was recommended by Chancellor Cindy L. Miles. “He brings a diverse background that will fit well with the forward-moving, innovative college that is Cuyamaca,” Miles said. “Dr. Savin worked 10 years in business and industry before discovering his passion for community colleges and making a difference in students’ lives. He brings more than 10 years of senior administrative experience in community colleges, as well as proven expertise in finance, technology, assessment, accreditation, facilities, fundraising, campus development and community partnerships.”

Savin’s three-year contract includes an annual salary of $185,000.

At the Lancaster campus, Savin oversees a $24 million budget and is responsible for directing the overall operation of the campus, the largest of the four regional campuses of HACC. Lancaster enrolls 7,000 students per year, with more than 400 full- and part-time employees.

Prior to working in education, Savin was employed in various technical and management roles in business and industry. His final two years in the private sector were as a technical training specialist for Automotive Control Corp., a subsidiary of Echlin Inc., a leading manufacturer of automotive replacement parts.

His earlier career and transition as a technical education instructor and administrator have made Savin a strong proponent of community college partnerships with off-campus sectors. “In all my positions I’ve worked closely with regional consortiums to develop and maintain partnerships with community, business and industry,” he wrote in his application letter to the presidential search committee.

Ranch Investment Consulting Group Opens

The Ranch Investment Consulting Group, a new branch of the national brokerage firm Wells Fargo Advisors, is now open for business in Rancho Santa Fe. The office is at 6110 El Tordo, Suite 200. The phone is (877) 671-7013 or visit The new executive team is comprised of Rainey Hanley, Bob Gilbert, Van Schroeder and Gregory M. Hansen. The company helps clients who have more than $2 million in corporate, family and individual assets held with Wells Fargo Advisors, which currently has $610 million in assets under its management.

Military Writer’s Society Symposium

Fourteen authors from the San Diego chapter of the Military Writer’s Society of America will gather at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center, 2115 Park Blvd., for a Symposium, Book Fair and Book Signing on Dec. 2 from 6 to 8 p.m. This free event allows attendees to meet the writers, purchase books that can be personally signed and take part in the authors’ special sales just in time for holiday gift shopping. Topics include fiction and non-fiction and deal with WWII, Vietnam, the Cold War, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other non-military subjects like true crime, historical fiction, self-help and pop culture. Featured writers include Gail Chatfield; Jeff Edwards; Virg Erwin; Eldonna Lewis Fernandez; David Jones; David Lucero; Emilio Marrero; Carl Nelson; Sheryl Roush; Tom Ruck; Mike Sager; Amy Goodpaster Strebe; Don Westenhaver; and Marc Yablonka.

Patricia Smith — Local Hero

Patricia Smith, owner of the Art Expressions Gallery and founder of ArtsBusXpress, has received a Local Hero award from Bank of America.  The awards showcase local heroes who champion causes vital to the well-being of their communities. Local Hero Awards are part of Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative and include a $5,000 contribution to the recognized nonprofit organization chosen by each recipient. Smith’s $5,000 donation will be presented to ArtsBusXpress, a nonprofit she established to give local San Diego County students bus transportation to arts- and culture-related events. Sine 2002 the organization has served 195 schools, providing transportation to more than 135,000 children to more than 175 arts and science venues.

ArtsBusXpress was the result of Smith’s passion for the arts, which was sparked during a junior high school field trip she took to the San Diego Museum of Art. “For many children a school fieldtrip will not only be their first venture out of an economically or culturally depressed neighborhood, it will their only opportunity to hear an opera or symphony, see a ballet or live theatre, explore a museum or discover sculpture and paintings in an art gallery,” said Smith.

A long-time University City community activist, Smith was instrumental in establishing Stanley Park in University City, a park that serves as the cultural hub of the whole community, and University High School.

Mike Smith Named President of Islands Restaurant

Mike Smith has been named president of Islands Restaurant in Carlsbad, from his previous position as vice president of operations.  “Mike has been an integral part of our Islands team for over two decades,” said Islands founder and CEO Tony DeGrazier. “We know Mike’s leadership and vision and are very excited to have him step-up and play an even more significant roll in the next chapter of Islands.” Smith started his career at Islands 22 years ago. Previously, he was employed at the Upstairs Place, a restaurant on his home island of Catalina where he wore many hats as bus boy, host, cook and eventually assistant manager. After graduating from Loyola Marymount in 1987, with a degree in finance, Smith accepted a job as host and began his training at Islands in West L.A. He has held positions as assistant manager, general manager, regional manager and vice president of operations.

Ringing in the Holidays

The Port of San Diego, Seaport Village and SDG&E will join forces to ring in the holiday season on Nov. 28. It begins at 1 p.m. with a blast of cannon fire announcing the arrival of a special guest. Santa Claus, minus his traditional fur-trimmed red suit, will debark a pirate ship and head for shore. Donned in swim trunks, he’ll arrive in Seaport Village to kick off an afternoon filled with holiday music and live entertainment. SDG&E will be hosting a free holiday light exchange during the event. Attendees are encouraged to bring in old holiday lights in exchange for energy-efficient LED holiday lights. Up to three strands per guest may be exchanged. LED holiday lights save about 90 percent in energy costs and last longer than conventional lights.

The festivities will also include kids craft tables, strolling entertainers and music. Staff from the Birch Aquarium will be on hand to assist children in making holiday ornaments out of recycled materials. The ornaments will be used to decorate a holiday tree donated by the Port of San Diego. The tree is a locally grown Monterey Pine, which is native to the California coast.

LED lights will also be illuminating the holiday tree. At 5:15 p.m., Board of Port Commissioners Vice Chair RobertDukieValderrama will flip the official switch to light it up.

Santa will be back on December 19 and 20 to have a special breakfast at the Harbor House Restaurant.

The Daily Business Report

The Daily Business Report is a product of REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. Our offices 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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