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Daily Business Report — March 25, 2010

World Trade Center Launches Int’l Relations Office

The World Trade Center San Diego has launched the International Relations Office, whose mission will be to draw international delegations to the region to stimulate business, create jobs and grow the regional economy. The IRO offers a comprehensive approach to hosting international delegations and dignitaries, according to Bella Heule, president and CEO of the WTC. “We want their visit to San Diego to be so impressive and productive that they will want to come back again and again for business and pleasure,” said Heule. “This is a great way for San Diego to set itself apart in this highly competitive environment.”

The IRO was created to coordinate the international protocol needs for the San Diego region. Formed as an inter-agency clearinghouse, the IRO streamlines processes among regional organizations and businesses to create a world-class experience for visitors and a positive image of doing business in our region, according to Heule.

“The International Relations Office will welcome visitors from around the world with a great first impression of San Diego,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders at a news conference announcing the IRO. “We’ll rely on them to help convey the importance of international trade to our region.” Added William Bold, senior vice president of government affairs for Qualcomm Inc.: “This effort will provide additional opportunities for San Diego to showcase the achievements and innovations of our diverse industries and research institutions to important international audiences.”

The IRO is jointly sponsored by San Diego International Airport, Qualcomm, Gen-Probe, California Center for Sustainable Energy and San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp./Cali Baja Bi-National Mega-Region.

San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation Appoints Director

Wendy Robinson has been appointed executive director of the San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation. Robinson has been involved in corporate and nonprofit management and in event planning. She has been acting chair for the Children’s Heart Institute Fund for the last three years and also chairs the Mended Little Hearts’ San Diego chapter. She has managed a variety of fundraising events and family medical conferences for organizations including CHIfund, the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition and the Myotonic Dystrophy Foundation.

Castle Access Inc. Names V.P. of Business Development

Matt Stamper has been appointed vice president of business development for Castle Access Inc. in San Diego. Stamper, who has 17 years of experience in designing and delivering IT services and systems to companies, previously was vice president of development for CFO Strategies. He spent almost 10 years with AT&T’s Enterprise Hosting and Global Services Division. Stamper is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and holds a Certified Information Systems Auditor credential.  Stamper is a member of the Information Systems Audit and Control Association and holds a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) credential.

CPA Catherine Smith Merges With Cobb, Stees & Co.

CatherineCassieA. Preciso Smith, CPA has merged her firm with San Diego-based accounting and consulting firm Cobb, Stees & Co. LLP.

Smith specializes in providing a range of accounting services to mid-market businesses in San Diego. “The professionals at Cobb, Stees & Co. understand that accounting is more than just tax preparation. Each of them is dedicated to working with clients throughout the year and helping them to plan and achieve their goals. This mentality matches our culture perfectly and I’m excited to join forces with such a dynamic team,” said Smith. She is a graduate of California State University San Bernardino, earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Professional activities include membership in the AICPA and California Society of CPAs. She also participates in the Renaissance Executive Forum and Strategic Coach programs.

Advertising Fund Benefit Party is Tonight

The San Diego Advertising Fund for Emergencies (SAFE), a nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to local advertising professionals and their families facing a life crisis emergency, will host its annual benefit party and fundraiser tonight from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront Hotel’s Odysea Liquid Adventure lounge, 1 Park Blvd., in Downtown San Diego. The event is open to the public. Admission is $50 per person. To RSVP, visit aboutsafe.org or phone the SAFE office at (858) 567-9838. The fund-raiser will feature food, specialty cocktails and a silent auction. The New Car Dealers Association of San Diego, a coalition of local car dealers, is the title sponsor for the ninth consecutive year.

YMCA Good Friday Breakfast is April 2

The Downtown YMCA will host more than 300 community members at the YMCA of San Diego County’s 49th annual Good Friday Breakfast on April 2. The celebration will be held from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Doubletree Hotel, 7450 Hazard Center Drive. This year’s guest speakers are San Diego Chargers Jacques Cesaire and retired news anchor Carol LeBeau. The Good Friday Breakfast will cost $17 for adults and $10 for children under 12. Table sponsorships to help offset the cost of this goodwill event are also available. For more information or to make a reservation, contact Karen Flitcraft at the San Diego Downtown YMCA at (619) 232-7451 or visit downtown.ymca.org.

Business Programs

April 2

COFFEE WITH CCDC: Staff of the Centre City Development Corp. hosts “Coffee with CCDC,” an informal session to discuss upcoming projects and new developments Downtown. Topics include parks, open space and recreation opportunities, waterfront revitalization, affordable housing, business attraction programs. 8 a.m., Downtown Information Center, 193 Horton Plaza, above CVC Pharmacy.

SEMINAR: National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego continues its monthly seminar series. Angie Swartz of Square Martini Media will present “Using LinkedIn as a Marketing Tool.” Noon to 1 p.m., Brandman University, 7460 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. NAWBO San Diego members free, nonmembers $25. Box lunches provided. Online reservations at nawbo-sd.org.

April 13

PANEL PROGRAM: The cost and legal ramifications of the proposed California High Speed Rail system will be discussed at a program sponsored by the Urban Land Institute San Diego/Tijuana. 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the University Club, 750 B St., in Downtown San Diego. Panelists: John Chalker, member of the California Transit Commission; Steve DeBaum, partner with Best Best & Krieger; and Job Nelson, director of intergovernmental relations for the San Diego Mayor’s Office. Moderator: Jose Martinez, regional program manager for the California High Speed Rail Authority. $40 for ULI members, $50 for nonmembers. To register, call (800) 321-5011 or visit ulisd.org.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of San Diego Metropolitan Magazine, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman. (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