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Daily Business Report — May 4, 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 http://sandiegometro.com/40under40/ for a nomination form.

General Atomics Introduces Sea Avenger AUV for Carriers

Sea Avenger

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems on Monday introduced the Sea Avenger, an unmanned aircraft designed for deployment on U.S. aircraft carriers. The Sea Avenger is a derivative of the company’s Predator C Avenger. The company said the aircraft fulfills the Navy’s need for an unmanned, carrier-launched airborne surveillance and strike system.

Like Predator C Avenger, Sea Avenger presents a low-risk, high technology ready procurement option, the company said.

General Atomics said it designed specific features into its Predator C Avenger to facilitate subsequent development of an aircraft uniquely suitable for carrier operations that would also integrate seamlessly into the carrier air wing. “These include a highly fuel-efficient engine and inlet design, retractable electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor, internal weapons bay, and folding wings. The aircraft’s structure was also designed with the flexibility to accommodate carrier suitable landing gear, tail hook, drag devices and other provisions for carrier operations.

“Sea Avenger is an affordable and transformational technology that will provide commanders with enhanced situational awareness and time-sensitive strike,” noted J. Neal Blue, chairman and CEO of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems.

The Sea Avenger has a 44-foot long fuselage and 66-foot wingspan and can operate up to 50,000 feet.

Saks Fifth Avenue to Close in Fashion Valley

The Saks Fifth Avenue store in Fashion Valley is closing. “The planned closing of our San Diego store is consistent with our strategy of focusing our resources on our most productive stores,” said Steve Sadov, chairman and CEO of Saks Inc. He said the store will close by July 17 and that the 70 employees will either be offered transfer opportunities or will receive “appropriate severance packages.” In March, the company announced the planned July closing of its Portland, Ore., Saks Fifth Avenue store. Saks Inc. currently operates 53 Saks Fifth Avenue stores, 55 Saks Off 5th stores, and saks.com.

AquaStar Pool Products Hires National Accounts Manager

AquaStar Pool Products Inc. has appointed Bill Vincent as national accounts manager and will assume leadership for the introduction of several new products. Vincent has more than 26 years of experience in sales team leadership, new product development and strategic market positioning. He has held sales management and leadership positions with several nationwide pool companies, including PoolCorp, Inc., National Pool Tile, Pentair Water, Inc., and Sta-Rite Industries.

Marketing Veteran Joins Search Optics Inc.

Meg Davis, a marketing veteran, has joined Search Optics Inc. as vice president of marketing at its corporate offices in San Diego. Davis has more than 15 years of experience developing marketing programs for automotive and technology organizations. Previously, she was director of product marketing at DefenseWeb Technologies  and has held marketing and product management leadership positions at QAD, Websense and Qualcomm Inc. She held several positions at PACCAR Inc.

Petco Foundation Donates $1 Million for Animal Welfare Programs

The Petco Foundation has awarded a $1 million grant to the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA to benefit lifesaving animal welfare programs, pet adoption services and animal rescue services. The grant is to be funded over five years. The services will be at the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s three campuses at Gaines Street and Sherman Street in San Diego and in North County at San Luis Rey Road in Oceanside. The Petco Foundation made a million-dollar grant to the Humane Society in 2004. The San Diego Humane Society will recognize Petco and the Petco Foundation as a lead sponsor of the Humane Society’s major annual events, including the Telethon, Walk for Animals and black-tie Fur Ball. The Dog Park at the Humane Society’s North Campus in Oceanside will be named “Petco Foundation Dog Park” following renovation and upgrades to the park.

Violent Crime and Property Crime Declined Last Year

Violent crime and property crime dropped in the San Diego region last year — both at 25-year lows — according to the San Diego Association of Government’s annual crime bulletin. “Compared to 25 years earlier, the San Diego region is a safer place to live in terms of both violent and property crime, despite the economic downturn,” said Cynthia Burke, SANDAG director of criminal justice research.

The report, “Twenty-Five Years of Crime in the San Diego Region: 1985 through 2009,” details crimes for all 18 cities and the unincorporated area of the county. There were 4.03 violent crimes per 1,000 residents in the county during 2009, a 2 percent decrease from the year before and less than half the 25-year high of 9.76 reached in 1992. (Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.)

Homicides in particular saw a large decrease. In 2009, there were a total of 75 homicides, which was the lowest number in the past 25 years, the third consecutive decrease, and a 17 percent drop from 2008 (during which there were 90). Looking back over the last 25 years, the number of homicides in the San Diego region peaked at 278 in 1991.

With the sixth consecutive annual decrease, the property crime rate also hit its lowest point in the past 25 years, at 21.97 incidents per 1,000 residents despite speculation that it might increase with the recent downturn in economic conditions. Property crimes hit a 25-year high in 1988, with 67.26 incidents per 1,000 residents. (Property crimes include burglary, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft.)

Datebook

May 6

NETWORKING MIXER: Sponsored by the San Diego Better Business Bureau. 4 to 6 p.m., the Paradise Grille, 2690 Via de la Valle, in the Flower Hill Promenade retail center, San Diego. Public is invited. Admission is $10 per person. For information, visit sandiego.bbb.org or call Andrea McNelis at the BBB at (858) 637-6199.

May 7

WORKSHOP ON HEALTH CARE: The Asian Business Association of San Diego presents a workshop on “The Impact of Health Care Reform on San Diego’s Business Community,” 11:30 a.m., Sheraton Mission Valley, 1433 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego 92108. Includes lunch. Speakers: Ruben Garcia, district director, U.S. Small Business Administration; Kamal Muilenburg, director of San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage; Lambert Hsu, principal of BenefitPro Insurance Services. ABA members $20, nonmembers $30. At the door, $35. RSVP to (858) 277-2822, Ext. 102.

May 10

SEMINAR: San Diego Tech Coast Angels presents a full-day seminar on angel investing to the San Diego community. Seminar was developed by the Kauffman Foundation. Presenter is John May, chair emeritus of the Angel Capital Association. Topics: how angel funding fits in; angel portfolio strategy; due diligence; structuring the deal; valuation; the post-investment relationship. 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., offices of Mintz Levin, 3580 Carmel Mountain Road, Suite 300, San Diego 92130. Free to SDTCA members, $250 to members of any TCA network or CONNECT, $350 general registration. To register, visit techcoastangeles.com. For more information, call Laura Parsons at (858) 964-1302.

May 11

SEMINAR: Sales strategies and techniques for real estate professionals will be presented by motivational sales strategist Jeff Shore in a seminar hosted by the Building Industry Association of San Diego’s Sales & Marketing Council. Breakfast meeting, 8:30 to 10:30 a.m., Mission Valley Doubletree Hotel, 7450 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego. Tickets $55 for BIA members, $85 for nonmembers. Register before May 10 by calling (858) 450-1221, Ext. 101, or visit BIASanDiego.org.

May 12

SMART GROWTH AWARDS: The San Diego/Tijuana district council of the Urban Land Institute presents its 2010 Smarth Growth Awards to honor pioneers, entrepreneurs, trendsetters and fans of sustainable development in the region. 6 to 8 p.m., McMillin Event Center, 2875 Dewey Road, San Diego 92106. San Diego Architectural Foundation will also presents its Community Vision Award for 2010. $45 for members and nonmembers, $25 for Young Leader members and $15 for student members. To purchase tickets, visit ulisd.org/events/221.

May 13

GREEN PROGRAM: The Green Chamber of Commerce sponsors presentations by John Stein, CEO of Kirei USA, and Remy Meraz, area sales manager of ClearEdge Power, on “Marketing Green — Lessons from the Trenches.” 7:30 to 9 a.m., Sheraton Carlsbad, 5480 Grand Pacific Drive, Carlsbad. Speakers will discuss their experiences marketing green versus conventional products. Admission $10 if registered by May 12, $15 at the event. For more information, visit greenchambersd.com/events.

May 14

SEMINAR: The National Association of Women Business Owners San Diego hosts a talk by Joon Han, founder of Better San Diego, speaking on “Get Ahead by Giving Back.” Noon to 1 p.m., Brandman University, 7460 Mission Valley Road, San Diego. Han will share strategies to help entrepreneurs accelerate their businesses. NAWBO members free, $25 for nonmembers. Box lunches to be provided. Online registration and more information available at nawbo-sd.org.

May 19

WORKSHOP: San Diego Press Club sponsors “Life After Journalism,” a program presented by Joe Ames, former editor of the Orange County Register. Ames spent 30 years as a reporter and editor in radio, TV and newspapers and will discuss career options after journalism. 6 to 8 p.m., KGTV Studio, 4600 Air Way, San Diego. Free to Press Club members, $10 for nonmembers. To reserve, call Terry Williams, executive director, at (619) 231-4340 or visit sdpressclub.org.

May 20

CLEANTECH PANEL: CONNECT presents a panel talk on “Cleantech & Renewable Energy Financing: From the Public to the Private and Beyond,” 9 to 11 a.m., AMN Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, No. 100, San Diego 92130. Panelists will discuss federal and state programs and incentives for the renewable and cleantech industry as well as the private marketplace. Panelists: Nick Leibham, of counsel, Dirk Michels, partner, Sue Hodges, administrative partner and Greg Brucia, senior associate, all of K&L Gates LLP; and Andrew McAllister, program director, California Center for Sustainable Energy. Cost is $45 for CONNECT members, $65 for nonmembers. For more information, call Bethany Kraynack at (858) 964-1312. Register at connect.org.

June 15

PRESENTATION: Michael Bergthold of Odyssey Strategic Advisory Services and J. Barrett Marum of San Diego Sheppard Mullin will cover legal issues faced by buyers and sellers of distressed businesses or assets; cover Section 363 bankruptcy purchases and sales; and buying and selling out-of-state and federal receiverships in a program sponsored by the Association for Corporate Growth San Diego. Doubletree Hotel Hazard Center, 7450 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego 92108. 7 a.m. registration. 7:40 to 9 a.m., breakfast and program. Free for ACG members, $50 for nonmembers. Make reservations at acteva.com/go/acgsd or acgsd@acgsd.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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