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Daily Business Report — May 24, 2010

40 Under 40 Nominations

Nominations are still 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.

San Diego County Employment in April:

Up 2,200 Jobs Over the Month, but Down 22,700 Over the Year

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 10.4 percent in April, down from a revised 11.0 percent in March, and above the year-ago estimate of 8.8 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 12.3 percent for California and 9.5 percent for the nation during the same period.

Between March 2010 and April 2010, total nonfarm employment increased by 1,600 to reach 1,213,500 jobs. Agricultural employment gained 600 jobs, or 6.5 percent.

• Six of 11 nonfarm industries added jobs over the month. Government gained 900 jobs, while employment in construction and professional and business services increased by 500 jobs each. Other services (up 200) and financial activities (up 100) also added jobs. Mining and logging remained unchanged over the same period.

• The most significant employment gain came from leisure and hospitality (up 1,100 jobs). Accommodation and food services (up 800) accounted for more than two-thirds of the job growth in this sector, primarily from food services and drinking places (up 500). Arts, entertainment and recreation added 300 jobs.

• Trade, transportation, and utilities reported the greatest month-over decline, down 900 jobs. Retail trade (down 600) contributed to most of the job loss in this industry. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities receded by 200 jobs, while wholesale trade contracted by 100 jobs.

Between April 2009 and April 2010, total nonfarm employment decreased by 22,000 jobs, or 1.8 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 700 jobs, or 6.6 percent.

• Ten of 11 nonfarm industries reported year-over employment declines, including construction (down 4,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (down 3,900), and government (down 3,400) to name a few.

• Manufacturing recorded the most significant year-over decrease, down 5,800 jobs. Durable goods (down 4,900) accounted for more than 80 percent of the job loss in this sector. Nondurable goods declined by 900 jobs.

• Educational and health services posted the only year-over gain, adding 4,000 jobs. Health care and social assistance (up 2,700) contributed to more than two-thirds of the job growth in this industry, primarily from ambulatory health care services (up 1,500). Educational services added 1,300 jobs.

Douglas Wilson Cos. Return Thomas Hebrank to the Firm

Thomas Hebrank

Thomas C. Hebrank has returned to Douglas Wilson Cos. in a new position as senior managing director of the firm’s forensic and litigation support division. Hebrank returned to the firm after serving in a full-time capacity from 2002-2008 and most recently as an outside consultant handling specialized assignments. “This isn’t a new platform for us, we’ve been untangling troubled businesses, complex real estate ventures and Ponzi schemes for years,” said Chairman and CEO Douglas Wilson.  “But as the economy begins to move into a recovery mode and partnerships and operating entities change formation, we think the time is right to devote more resources to this side of our business.” Hebrank serves as a director on the San Diego Receivers Forum and is a past director on the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum. He was president of the San Diego City Employee’s Retirement System during a tumultuous time in the city’s history, assisting in reforming and turning around an organization that had become the symbol of San Diego’s financial crisis.

Vista Commission Purchases Hacienda Drive Building

The Community Development Commission of the city of Vista has purchased the 32,045-square-foot building at 1715 Hacienda Drive in Vista for $5.6 million, which will be leased for use as a new BMW auto dealership. The building is adjacent to Costco and North County House of Motorcycles. The seller, the Marc J. Paskin 2003 Trust, was represented by Kirk Allison and Vic Gausepohl of Colliers International. The city represented itself.

J Public Relations Promotes Jennifer Roche and Jessica Smith

Jennifer Roche

Jessica Smith

J Public Relations has promoted Jennifer Roche from senior publicist to account supervisor and Jessica Smith from junior publicist to publicist at its San Diego headquarters. Roche’s role within the agency will expand to include enhanced strategic leadership and management functions. She joined JPR after moving from New York where she held positions at Alison Brod Public Relations and DKC. Smith will play an expanded role in account strategy and management, assisting with a host of the agency’s hospitality and lifestyle accounts. She began her career at JPR as an intern and has been with the agency for two years.

Ronald Lennert Elected Director of Scripps Ranch Theatre

Ronald Jon Lennert has been elected director of the Scripps Ranch Theatre, the top elected position in the 31-year-old organization. Lennert is a former board associate and member of the board of directors. He succeeds Jim Caputo, who is currently directing “Not Now, Darling,” the theater’s next production. Lennert will serve along with an executive team of Jill Drexler, artistic director, and Allan Salkin, producing director. Lennert has held positions with IBM and the Grossmont Union High School District. He was born and raised in Los Angeles, but moved to San Diego in 1966. He is a graduate of San Diego State with a degree in speech communication.

Hitchens Named Associate at Geosyntec Consultants

Brian Hitchens

Atlanta-based Geosyntec Consultants has appointed Brian Hitchens as an associate. Hitchens, who joined the company in 2000, is based in the firm’s San Diego office. He specializes in applied in situ remedial technologies, sediment remediation, and bioremediation, as well as data management and visualization.  Among Hitchens’ assignments early in his career at Geosyntec were projects for the county of San Diego, including post-fire erosion control assessments. Currently, he is project manager for one of the company’s largest site characterization and remediation projects for private sector clients. Hitchens earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and his master’s degree in structural geology from the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Expansion of Rady School of Management Under Way

Ground was broken Friday for the expansion of the Rady School of Management at UCSD, thanks to a challenge gift from Ernest Rady leading to a $5 million gift from Wells Fargo Bank. The building will be named Wells Fargo Hall while its 295-seat auditorium will be named in recognition of Betty and Dr. J. Robert Beyster. The new construction will include a five-story structure that connects with Otterson Hall on four levels. The building will hold a classroom for 185 students, two-tiered classrooms for 75 students each, 45 faculty offices, space for the Rady School Ph.D. program, three flat classrooms holding 30 to 50 students and 18 team study rooms holding five to 10 students each for undergraduate and MBA use. Multi-purpose conference rooms and room for the expansion of the center for executive development and student services center also will be added.

The new building was designed by Ellerbe Becket of San Francisco and HMC Architects of San Diego. Occupancy is planned for the summer of 2012.

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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