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Daily Business Report — Feb. 2, 2010

ConVis and San Diego East Visitors Bureau Are Merging

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau (ConVis) and San Diego East Visitors Bureau announced a collaborative merger agreement that they say will create a more efficient, effective organization for marketing San Diego County as a destination for leisure and business travel. Under the deal, ConVis will retain all current San Diego East Visitors Bureau staff. With the combined resources of both organizations, a new strategic marketing plan will be developed for East County to bolster tourism to the region and benefit the entire San Diego economy, according to the agencies. SDEVB’s $300,000 annual budget will be managed and matched by ConVis to support the East County strategic marketing plan.

“This new merger pools our resources and I’m confident the result will bring more visitors to San Diego and more visitor dollars into our economy,” said Joe Terzi, president and CEO of ConVis. Eric Lund, former president and CEO of the San Diego East Visitors Bureau, said the merger will enhance the visitor experience and increase the efficiency in marketing the destination.

Lund has been appointed vice president of membership and community relations at ConVis. He will be responsible for ConVis’ community relations, membership and visitor center operations throughout the San Diego region. He has been at the helm of SDEVB for 12 years and in the industry for 35 years.

Under the agreement, ConVis will operate the California Welcome Center located at the Viejas Outlet Shopping Center in Alpine. Jeannette Perez, former SDEVB assistant director, was appointed California Welcome Center manager at ConVis and will direct its operations. Visitor center hours at the Welcome Center will remain the same, open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, and may be extended until 8 p.m. in peak travel seasons.

The agreement between ConVis and SDEVB is effective for an initial period of 29 months with extensions intended at two-year intervals thereafter. SDEVB member organizations will retain their current membership and be transitioned into the improved member benefits offered through the merger as ConVis members.

Bob Nelson Chairs Convention Center Corp. for 2010

Bob Nelson

Public relations and advertising executive Bob Nelson is the new chair of the San Diego Convention Center Corp. board of directors. Attorney Alexis Gutierrez, a partner in the law firm of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, is the incoming vice chair. The incoming secretary/treasurer is Nikki Clay, founder of The Clay Co. Nelson, founder of BNA Communications, also is chair of San Diego’s Citizens Revenue Review and Economic Competitiveness Commission and is secretary/treasurer of San Diego Theatres Inc., operator of the San Diego Civic Theatre and the Balboa Theatre. He joined the Convention Center Corporation board in 2006. Gutierrez also serves as the 2010 chairman of the San Diego/Imperial Counties chapter of the American Red Cross. He has been on the SDCCC board since 2007. Clay, a SDCCC board member since 2008, also serves on the board of the Downtown San Diego Partnership and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Zachary Pannier Heads Green Building Council’s S.D. Chapter

Zachary Pannier of DPR Construction has been appointed president of the U.S. Green Building Council’s San Diego chapter. For the past two years, he served as secretary on the local chapter’s board of directors. Pannier oversees the 600-member nonprofit organization and serves as the chapter’s spokesperson. He is a LEED-accredited professional (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), has worked at DPR since 2002 and currently serves as the project manager of the Scripps Research Institute, one of the country’s largest private, nonprofit biomedical science research organizations. He is part of a group of DPR staff members who serve on the company’s national sustainability leadership team. DPR San Diego has built LEED-certified projects in San Diego, including the tenant improvements for the Intuit campus, and is currently working on the UCSD Sulpizio Family Cardiovascular Center and Palomar Pomerado PMC West hospital projects.

Padres Hire Special Assitant and a Professional Scout

The San Diego Padres have hired Pat Murphy as special assistant to baseball operations and Jeff Pickler as a professional scout.  Executive Vice President/General Manager Jed Hoyer announced the moves. Murphy, 51, comes to the Padres after having served as head coach at Arizona State University since the 1995 season.  During his tenure at ASU, he was named College Coach of the Year by Baseball America in 1998 and Pac-10 Coach of the Year on four occasions. He led the Sun Devils to four College World Series appearances and four Pac-10 championships. Pickler, 34, joins the Padres ending a one-year stint as an assistant coach for the University of Arizona. Prior to his work with U of A, he spent two years serving as an advance scout for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Air Force Orders Cubic Test Set for KC-135 Power Units

Cubic Defense Applications Inc., the defense systems business unit of  Cubic Corp., will supply equipment for testing the power units that quick-start the engines of KC-135 Stratotanker refueling planes under a new contract with the U.S. Air Force. Cubic’s San Diego manufacturing facility will produce 30 new KC-135 APU Testers for Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. The compact, toolbox-sized test sets will be used for testing and troubleshooting the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) located in the tail of the aircraft. The APU generates the electricity that fires up the KC-135’s engines. The test sets will be used on APUs on USAF aircraft in the U.S. and abroad. Delivery is scheduled for mid 2010.

General Atomics Receives Air Force Contract

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in won a $3,099,300 federal contract from the U.S. Air Force Materiel Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, for communication, detection and coherent radiation equipment.

Jerome’s Holds Grand Opening for Murrieta Store

Jerome’s Furniture will hold grand opening festivities on Feb. 13 at its new store in the Village Walk shopping center in Murrieta. The showroom will be about 40,000 square feet and will encompass the company’s most popular departments including Kidz to Teens; Leather; Dining; Jerome’s Dream Shop (mattresses); living room; baby; entertainment; and home office. The store will employ 35 to 40 employees. Cheyney Stivalet is the office manager. Brad Williams and Steve Avoyer of Flocke & Avoyer Commercial Real Estate and Doug Arthur of SENTRE Partners represented Jerome’s in the lease transaction.

Oceanside to Get a New Fresh & Easy and Walgreens

Construction will begin in March on a new Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market and a Walgreens Drug store in Oceanside. The Fresh & Easy store will be at the former Armstrong Garden Center site in Del Oro Marketplace. Fresh & Easy signed a 15-year lease valued in excess of $5.5 million for a 13,885-square-foot store at that location, 4131 Oceanside Blvd. Walgreens will open a 14,319-square-foot store at the former Unocal 76 gas station site at 4181 Oceanside Blvd. Completion of both projects is scheduled for late summer. In the Fresh & Easy lease, Reg Kobzi of CB Richard Ellis represented the lessor, College/Oceanside Southwest LLC. Ron Pepper of Retail Insite represented Fresh & Easy. The Fresh & Easy Market and Walgreens Drug leases bring the approximately 101,000 square foot shopping center to 90 percent leased. Other tenants include Dollar Tree Stores, Aaron’s Rents, McDonald’s, Shakey’s Pizza & Grill, Sylvan Learning Center, Chase Bank, Panda Express, Juice it Up!, Cold Stone and Select Staffing.

CleanTECH San Diego Showcase to Examine Wind Power

CleanTECH Sam Diego will host the CleanTECH San Diego Showcase, “Wind Power: Leading the Renewables Renaissance,” on Feb. 10 — an examination of how investments in wind power projects and related technoligies are leading all renewable investments in the economy. Keynote speaker Jim McDermott, managing partner of US Renewables Group, will join representatives from EnXco and Helix Wind for a panel discussion at from 4 to 7 p.m. at the La Jolla Marriott, 4240 La Jolla Village Drive.  “As research and other spending in this sector grow, we expect the revenue of the wind industry will emerge into a huge economic engine for the nation,” said Lisa Bicker, president of CleanTECH San Diego, a nonprofit organization that wants to position San Diego as a world leader in the clean technology industry. She noted that there are 24 wind companies in the county, making the area a prime area to generate public awareness.  Showcase is sponsored by Latham & Watkins and BDO Seidman. Supporting sponsors are the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., CONNECT and PCG Asset Management. For more information, visit cleantechsandiego.org/events.

Desalination Project Allocated $530 Million in Private Activity Bonds

The California Debt Limitation Allocation Committee voted unanimously to allocate $530 million in “Private Activity Bonds” to Poseidon Resources’ Carlsbad Desalination Project in Carlsbad. The committee is responsible for administering and allocating the state’s annual allocation of federal tax-exempt “Private Activity Bonds” or PABS for the financing of certain private development projects that benefit the public. Poseidon said the allocation should lower the project’s debt service costs, which in turn would allow Poseidon’s public water agency customers to purchase water at a lower rate. Peter MacLaggan, Poseidon’s senior vice president, called the committee’s action a major milestone in the financing of the desalination project. “The allocation of Private Activity Bonds clears the way for Poseidon to close project financing and move forward with full-scale construction of the plant,” said MacLaggan.

(Editor’s Note: An item in the Jan. 29 Daily Business Report erroneously referred to the Private Activity Bonds as federal bonds.)

Business Datebook

Feb. 2

BROWNBAG LUNCH: Bring a lunch and listen to Terry Hall, general manager of Seaport Village, discuss the past, present and future of Seaport Village and the Old Police Headquarters. Noon to 1 p.m., Downtown Information Center, 193 Horton Plaza (above CVS Pharmacy). Sponsored by the Centre City Development Corp. Free. Open to the public.

Feb. 3

ANNUAL DINNER: The 139th annual dinner of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, 5-8 p.m., Town and Country Resort & Convention Center, 500 Hotel Circle North, Grand Exhibit Hall. $150 individual registration. Highlights include induction of the 2010 chairman of the board, Tom Wornham of Wells Fargo, and the board of directors, and presentations of the Spirit of San Diego, Courageous Leadership and Regional Unity awards. For more information, call Katie at (619) 544-1370.

Feb. 4

FORUM: San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders will discuss past, present and future city government reforms that will shape the region in NAIOP San Diego’s fourth annual Breakfast with the Mayor program. (Rescheduled from Jan. 19). Marriott San Diego/Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego. Registration at 7:30 a.m., program runs from 8 to 9:15 a.m. $40 for members, $60 for nonmembers. Attendees may pay online at naiopsd.org. NAOP San Diego is a chapter of the Real Estate Development Association. For more information, call Karen Burgess at (858) 509-4110.

EXECUTIVE BRIEFING: Corey Rosen, executive director and founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, is the featured presenter at a program sponsored by the Beyster Institute at UCSD’s Rady School of Management. 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. Free. Registration required; visit rady.ucsd.edu/beyster/events.

Feb. 5

MEET THE LEADERS: Vista Chamber of Commerce host reception and dinner featuring talks by Congressman Darrell Issa, Assemblyman Martin Garrick and county Supervisor Bill Horn. 6:30 to 9:15 p.m., Shadowridge Country Club, 1980 Gateway Drive, Vista. Tickets are $125 per person. Contact the Vista Chamber of Commerce at (760) 726-1122.

Feb. 10

PANEL: The San Diego Press Club presents a panel talk on “WriterPalooza: 50 Tips in 50 Minutesw to Boost Your Writing Business,” aimed at professional and aspiring writers and editors. 6 p.m. at KGTV/10, 4600 Air Way, San Diego. Panelists: Dennis Morgigno, Channel 4 San Diego; Kimberly Edwards, formerly of KGTV/10; Lee Swanson, former broadcaster; and Jan Rieger, McLane Rieger Communications. Free for Press Club members, $10 for nonmembers. RSVP to: sdpressclub@cox.net.

SHOWCASE: CleanTECH San Diego and the US Renewables Group present the CleanTECH Showcase, which explores opportunities in the wind-power industry. Keynote presentation by Jim McDermott, managing partner, US Renewables. Registration 4 p.m., keynote 6 p.m., panel 6:40 p.m. La Jolla Marriott. $10 for students, $30 for CleanTECH members, $45 for others. RSVP at: http://ctsd.eventbrite.com.

Feb. 16

CELEBRATION: The Asian Business Association of San Diego holds its 16th annual Lunar New Year Celebration featuring Lucky Lion Dancers, a casino night with prizes and Chinese cuisine. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., dinner from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m., no-host bar, Fat City Steakhouse/China Camp Restaurant, 2137 Pacific Coast Highway, San Diego. Cost: before Feb. 16, $30 to ABA members, $35 for nonmembers; at the door, $40 members and nonmembers. Register online at abasd.org. For more information, call (858) 277-2822.

Feb. 18

ROUNDTABLE: Hal Varian, chief economist at Google, will speak on “Predicting the Present with Google Trends” at the Economics Roundtable, 7:30 a.m., UCSD Faculty Club. Admission is $50 per person, includes continental breakfast and parking. For more information and registration, call (858) 822-0510.

Feb. 24

DIGITAL FORUM: A forum on social media marketing will feature social media strategist and coach Jason Baer, who will lead a panel discussion on the topic. Sponsored by LEAD San Diego and Bailey Gardiner. 7:30 a.m., continential breakfast and networking; 8 a.m., presentation by Baer; 8:45 a.m., panel discussion. USD’s Joan B. Kroc Theatre, San Diego. $20 general admission, $15 for LEAD San Diego members. For more information, call (619) 280-5323.

Feb. 25

MARKET SNAPSHOT: NAIOP San Diego will host its next Market Snapshot series on the retail industry. 7:30 a.m., Marriott San Diego/Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real. Panelists: Colton Sudberry, Sudberry Properties; Bill Gerrity, Gerrity Group New York; Rick Kuhle, Vestar Phoenix; Don Moser, Retail Insite; John Visconsi, Kimco Realty. Moderator, Pete Bethea, Cushman & Wakefield. $40 for members, $75 for nonmembers. To register, visit naiopsd.org/events-registration. For questions, call Karen Burgess at (858) 509-4110.

Feb. 27

WORKSHOP: The San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers sponsors a “Day with Designers,” a public workshop to provide information on practical interior design basics and how to select an interior designer, among other tips. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Art Institute, 7650 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Advanced tickets available for $35 by visiting ASIDSanDiego.org. Tickets at the door are $45. For more information, call (858) 646-9896.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan magazine and the North Park News. (619) 906-4104.

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: info@probolskyresearch.com