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Daily Business Report — April 8, 2010

40 Under 40 Nominations

Nominations are now open for San Diego Metropolitan Magazine’s 11th annual 40 Under 40 awards. The nomination period ends May 31. The honorees will be feted at our annual luncheon on Sept. 9 at the San Diego Convention Center and profiled in the September issue of the magazine. Visit for a nomination form.

U.S. Bank to Keep the Wyland Whale Mural Afloat Downtown

Former San Diego National Bank Building

U.S. Bank says it will purchase from the FDIC the Downtown building that formerly housed the headquarters of San Diego National Bank and will preserve the Wyland whale mural on the side of the building as an important tie to the community. U.S. Bank acquired San Diego National Bank on Oct. 30, 2009, though the building at 1420 Kettner Blvd. was not a part of the FDIC-assisted transaction at that time.

“This is wonderful news for the community, and especially the employees and customers who have come to U.S. Bank from San Diego National Bank,” said Robert Horsman, regional chairman for U.S. Bank in San Diego and former president and CEO of San Diego National Bank. “This building has a special place in many hearts, and the decision to make this location a cornerstone of U.S. Bank’s operations in San Diego demonstrates a true blending of cultures as we move forward and create new successes together.”

U.S. Bank plans to increase utilization of the building’s space as some of its lines of business grow and plan to relocate there. U.S. Bank currently occupies about 81,000 square feet. New U.S. Bank signage will appear on the building at the time that the San Diego National Bank conversion takes place.

The Wyland whale mural dates back to 1981, the same year San Diego National Bank went into business. That year, Wyland, an internationally known environmental artist, began painting “Whaling Walls” to create awareness — not only for the whales, but also for the endangered oceans in which they live. Wyland’s goal was to paint 100 Whaling Walls around the world. The mural he painted Downtown in 1994 was his 64th, and depicts five gray whales migrating down the coast of California on their way to Mexico. The mural is visible from the I-5 and from the planes that fly in and out of San Diego International Airport.

Rents Going Up in San Diego County

Rents are inching upwards in San Diego County, thanks to a better employment outlook, according to the Casden Real Estate Economics Forecast from the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. By comparison, rents are declining up to 3,5 percent in Los Angeles and Orange counties and staying flat in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.

“Overall, Southern California will not see sustained increases in rents until the greater economic health of the region improves, but renters in San Diego may experience the kind of slight increase that comes when jobs return and housing is still too costly for renters to become buyers,” said Tracey Seslen, co-author of this year’s Casden Multifamily Market Forecast. The future health of the Southern California multifamily market continues to be shaped by jobs, housing prices, the “shadow” market of rental homes and condos, and new construction, Seslen said.

“Housing is more affordable across the region, but low consumer confidence is keeping many first-time buyers on the fence and move-up buyers that lost equity are staying put. That opens the door for an increase in rents,” said Seslen.

San Diego will outperform the other Southern California markets in rental and vacancy rates as a steady stream of defense contracts and strong growth in the biotech industry buoy the region’s economy, according to the forecast.

Predator Unmanned Aircraft Log More Than 1 Million Flight Hours

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. says that its Predator series of unmanned aircraft have flown more than 1 million flight hours — an industry milestone. The flight hours represent just under 80,000 total missions with more than 85 percent of the missions flown in combat. Combat missions flown over the past weekend pushed the aircraft over the 1 million flight hours mark. “The achievement of this historic milestone is a testament to the success enjoyed by Predator-series unmanned aircraft systems — clearly one of the game changers and life savers of the day,” said J. Neal Blue, chairman and CEO of the company.

The identification of the specific aircraft and customer that achieved the milestone will not be known until mid-May. Predator-series unmanned aircraft are in constant daily operations supporting the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, NASA, the Italian Air Force, the U.K.’s Royal Air Force and other customers. Over 400 aircraft have been produced since the first Predator UAS took flight in 1994, including Predator A, I-GNAT(r) ER/Sky Warrior(r) Alpha, Predator B/MQ-9 Reaper, Sky Warrior and Predator C Avenger(r), among others.

Predator-series flight hours have seen tremendous growth in recent years, with annual totals increasing from 80,000 hours in 2006, to 130,000 hours in 2007, 235,000 hours in 2008, and 295,000 hours in 2009.

University Avenue Space Leased for Charter School

Health Sciences High and Middle School has leased 31,301 square feet of office and classroom space at 3910 University Ave. in San Diego, from BR Workforce LLC. The property, leased for 60 months at $3.55 million, will be used for a charter school. The lessee was represented by Jason Smithson of NAI San Diego. Marc Frederick of Colliers International represented the lessor.

‘Meet the Elected Officials’ Luncheon Scheduled for May 7

Brian Bilbray

Darrell Issa

Mark Wyland

The San Diego North Economic Development Council will hold its “Meet the Elected Officials” luncheon on May 7 to give business and community representatives the opportunity to question elected office holders. It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Sheraton Carlsbad Resort & Spa, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, in Carlsbad. Elected officials will include Congressmen Brian Bilbray and Darrell Issa, state Sen. Mark Wyland, Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, county Supervisor Bill Horn and San Marcos Mayor Jim Desmond. The third annual “Meet the Elected Officials” event will feature a polling system that can track audience’s responses against elected officials’ statements in real-time. Sponsors include AT&T, BioFilm Inc., California State University San Marcos, NRG West, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and Tri-City Medical Center. Tickets are $55 per person for members and $70 for nonmembers. To register for the event, contact Stephanie Jungersen at (760) 598-9311 or e-mail her at:

Jaye Connolly Named President of A-Life Medical Inc.

Jaye Connolly

A-Life Medical Inc., a provider of computer-assisted coding products and services to the health care industry, has named Jaye Connolly as president. She replaces Tom Bang, who had been president since November 2006. Connolly had served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for A-Life Medical for more than five years. Connolly has served in management roles at six publicly traded corporations. Before joining A-Life, she served as vice president of business development/mergers and acquisitions at InSight Health Corp. and director of internal audit at Laboratory Corp. of America.

A-Life Medical also added two new senior sales professionals who will represent its wholly owned subsidiary, A-Life Hospital, in the marketplace.

Lorri Luciano has been named senior hospital product specialist while Robert Thomas was appointed to senior sales representative. Both will be based in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Parkinson’s 5K Walk and Run to be Held April 17

Last year's Parkinson 5K Walk and Run

The annual Parkinson’s 5K Walk and Fun Run will be held April 17 from 9 a.m. to noon at Liberty Station in Point Loma. The event is sponsored by the Parkinson’s Disease Association of San Diego. Last year’s event raised more than $177,887, an increase of $150,000 from the previous year. Half of the proceeds from the walk will stay in San Diego to support programs and services for local families. The balance goes to the American Parkinson Disease Association to be used exclusively for funding to support promising medical research seeking more effective treatments and a cure for the disease. Moew information is available at the association’s Website ( or by calling  (877) 737-7576.

San Diego Executives Featured at April 21 Panel Program

Higgs Fletcher & Mack and The Monger Company will sponsor an April 21 panel discussion — “Sharpen Your Competitive Edge in 2010” — featuring four San Diego executives. Panelists are Rob Lankford, president of Lankford & Associates; Larry Clemens, senior vice president of the San Diego Housing Commission; Tim Konold, partner with Higgs Fletcher & Mack; and Guy Asaro, president of McMillin Homes. They will discuss how they adapted their organizations to survive in today’s economy.

The program, which includes a lunch, will be held at the Hard Rock Hotel at 207 Fifth Ave. in Downtown San Diego. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. and the lunch and program is at noon. Cost is $40. To reserve, e-mail to Reservations must be pre-paid by April 19. For information, call (619) 544-7000.

Smart Meters to be Explained at April 22 event

San Diego Gas & Electric’s smart meter installations program and its benefits will be explained at an April 22 program sponsored by the San Diego Regional EDC and CleanTECH San Diego. It will be held from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at the University Club, 750 B St., in Downtown San Diego. Speakers will include Chris Baker, senior vice president of shared services and chief information officer for SDG&E; Barry Matsumori, vice president of wireless connectivity for Qualcomm Inc.; and Vankat Shastri, CEO of PCN Technology Inc. Admission is $20 for EDC and CleanTECH members and $30 for nonmembers. To register, visit For more information, contact Emily Norman, EDC events manager, at or call at (619) 615-2969.

Business Datebook

April 9

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

CONGRESSIONAL LUNCHEON: San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce to host its annual Congressional Luncheon, presented by BAE Systems, at the Holiday Inn on the Bay, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, in Downtown San Diego. Registration at 11 a.m., luncheon and program noon to 1 p.m. Confirmed representatives include Congresswoman Susan Davis and Congressmen Bob Filner, Duncan D. Hunter and Darrell Issa. Moderator, Dennis Morgigno of Channel 4 San Diego.

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

April 14

CONFERENCE: San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts tri-national conference to discuss competitiveness, innovation and clean energy. Principals include U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Canada Minister of Industry Tony Clement and Mexico Secretary of Economy Gerardo Ruiz Mateos. Invited participants: Gov. Schwarzanegger and Baja California Gov. Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders and Tijuana Mayor Jorge Ramos will participate. 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., main theater, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, 5998 Alcala Park, on the campus of University of san Diego. Conference and luncheon cost, $35 ($20 for students). To reserve, call (619) 296-0605, Ext. 234, or visit

April 17

FREE WORKSHOP: Entrepreneurial Excellence Workshop sponsored by the Universiy of Phoenix Kearny Mesa Learning Center, 3870/3890 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego. 9 a.m. to noon. Topics include outllook for small business in San Diego, business opportunities, legal issues for small businesses, search engine marketing, among others. Sports psychologist Casey Cooper to talk on “Home Run Leadership Styles.” To sign up, contact Gray Miller at (858) 650-4612.

April 20

PRESENTATION: Juval Aviv, president and CEO of Interfor Inc., will discuss some of the major financial fraud cases he has investigated during 30 years in the corporate investigations field, including personal anecdotes. Sponsor: Association for Corporate Growth (ACG) San Diego. 7 a.m. registration, 9 a.m. program, Doubletree Hotel Hazard Center, 7450 Hazard Center Drive, SanDiego. Free for ACG members, $50 for nonmembers. Make reservations at

April 21

LUNCHEON: Joon Han, founder and strategy specialist with Better San Diego, to speak on “Getting Ahead by Giving Back” at the luncheon meeting of the National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Sheraton La Jolla, 3299 Holiday Court, La Jolla. Early bird pricing for members and guests available through April 15. For more information and online registration, visit

April 29

PROGRAM: The World Trade Center presents “Standards, Connections, Pathways and Problem Solving — the DNA of Lean,” featuring Samuel Obara of Honsha demonstrating why so many companies fail when trying to implement lean strategies. 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., World Trade Center conference room, Downtown. $35 for members, $45 for nonmembers. Walk-ins, $55. For information, call (619) 615-0868, Ext. 111. To register, visit

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.

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