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Daily Business Report — June 3, 2010

ASID Presents Design Excellence Awards

James Walters' Best of Show Entry

James P. Walters of JP Walters Design Associates has won “Best of Show” and top honors in the Residential Remodel category in the 24th annual Design Excellence Awards sponsored by the San Diego chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Walters’ winning entry was his design of a San Diego urban townhome that features a nature-inspired, organic design scheme.

Kellie McCormick and Kate Lindberg of Bast/Wright Interiors won two Design Excellence Awards for Kitchen Design and Bathroom Design for their work on the same La Jolla home. The sleek contemporary kitchen marries functionality with elegance. The bath creates a soothing spa atmosphere and showcases a freestanding sculptural tub that enjoys a stunning ocean view.

Robin Wilson Carrier of Robin Wilson Interior Design was the winner in the Single Space Residential category for a combination dining room and wine cellar nestled into the hillside adjacent to a 1920s La Jolla home.

Aimee Altevers earned top honors in the Commercial category for her remodel of the Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach that included timeless elegance, traditional Americana, and classic detailing.

Anne Kellett of Kellett Interior Design has celebrated in the Specialty Design category for her redesign of the main cat habitat at the San Diego Humane Society. Despite an array of design restrictions, she created a fun and whimsical “cataquarium” space what mimics an underwater environment and encourages adoptions.

Judy Hallberg was awarded first place in the Product Design category for her “Client Preferences Toolkit,” a way for designers to quickly understand a client’s sense of style and color preferences. The kit, marketed to interior designers, includes a unique collection of items that represent major design elements, assorted fabrics, a handbook, and a three-hour interactive seminar.

Sonic Solutions to Acquire DivX Inc. of San Diego

Sonic Solutions of Novato has signed an agreement to acquire San Diego-based DivX Inc. , a digital media company. Sonic is to acquire all the outstanding shares of DivX and merge the company’s San Diego operations into its own. The acquisition is expected to close in September. Sonic officials said the acquisition of DivX is expected to advance Sonic’s mission to deliver technology that makes it easy and convenient for retailers, online services, Hollywood studios and manufacturers of CE and mobile devices to distribute premium digital video content over the Internet. DivX is expected to enable Sonic to deepen and broaden the technology it offers for Internet-based video delivery and expand its relationships with leading retailers and consumer electronics manufacturers. DivX stockholders would receive a combination of cash and stock equal to $3.75 in cash and 0.514 shares of Sonic common stock for each share of DivX they hold.

June 9 Forum on Receivership

The San Diego Receivers Forum will present “Procedural Aspects of Selling Property Through Receivership” on June 9 at the Courtyard San Diego Mission Valley/Hotel Circle, 595 Hotel Circle South, in San Diego. Registration, networking and breakfast start at 7:30 a.m; the program runs 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. A panel will discuss key factors to maximize recovery during the sales process, including preemptive planning, court requirements, case law and timing. Panelists include Everett G. Barry Jr., senior partner, Mulvaney, Kahan & Barry LLP; Jon D. Fleming, principal, Legacy Realty Capital Inc.; Craig B. Goodwin, assistant vice president, First American Title Insurance Co., Homebuilder Services Division; and Kelley McLaren, manager, receiver services, Trigild. The moderator will be Gordon Gerson of Gerson Law Firm. Discount tickets, available through June 4, are $45 for members, $30 for government employees, and $55 for nonmembers.  Tickets purchased at the event are $10 more in each category. Register at sdreceivers.org. Information (949) 497-3673, Ext. 620.

Perkins Coie Opens San Diego Office

The law firm of Perkins Coie has opened an office in San Diego, staffed by four new partners. Partner Thane Bauz joined the firm from Paul Hastings and partners John Schnurer, Brian Wacter and Bing Ai have joined from Fish & Richardson. Bauz and Schnurer will work in the patent litigation group and Ai and Wacter will join the patent prosecution group. It is the firm’s fourth office in California, which now has more than 100 attorneys in the state. Bob Giles is the firm’s managing partner.

Richard Murdock Joins Grubb & Ellis Co.

Richard Murdock has joined Grubb & Ellis Co. as senior vice president of investment services. Murdock brings the number of professionals who have joined the company’s San Diego office to 16 since its opening in late March. A 33-year commercial real estate veteran, Murdock will focus on assisting clients with their acquisitions and disposition needs as well as the sale and leasing of office and industrial properties. He was previously at Commercial Realty Advisers Inc. (CRA). Grubb & Ellis acquired the principals of CRA in March to serve as the foundation from which to build its own brokerage office. Murdock was a senior vice president of GVA IP Commercial Real Estate before joining CRA in 2007 and has held positions with DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services and Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services.  He began his career in 1977 with Property Development Inc.

A Course for Wine Lovers

For $295 (or $325 after June 30), wine lovers can enroll in an “Exploring Wine” course offered by San Diego State’s College of Extended Studies. Classes will be on Tuesdays between July 6 and Aug. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. The course is part of the Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine program. Topics covered include history, grape varietals, viticulture, language and labeling, and tastings. Instructor Lisa Redwine, certified sommelier from Court of Master Sommeliers, is the manager and wine director of The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla. For more information, call (619) 594-6924 or visit neverstoplearning.net.

San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting Proposals

Two public meetings will be held on June 9 to give the public the chance to see what the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge could look like if it was bathed in artistic lighting. Three artist-led teams will present lighting concept proposals from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Coronado Community Center Nautilus Room, 1845 Strand Way, and from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Port of San Diego Administration Building, 3165 Pacific Highway, San Diego. The three teams — selected based on their aesthetic vision, expertise in large-scale lighting projects and commitment to energy conservation — are the Bideau Co. of Ballan-Mire, France; the Peter Fink team of London; and Ned Kahn/Patrick McInerney Associates/ARUP of California.

The preliminary cost estimate of the project is between $4 million and $5 million, which may be obtained through private sources, grants and fundraising. Once funding is secured, a feasibility study on the project will be conducted.

At the meetings on June 9, the three finalist teams will each present their proposals in a video presentation. Following the presentations, the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments. Videos of the three proposals can be viewed on the Port of San Diego Website, portofsandiego.org. The San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge Lighting project is a partnership between the Port of San Diego and Caltrans.

Comerica Bank Provides Small Business Loan Booster Funds

Comerica Bank has announced a $100,000 investment in the San Diego Bankers Small Business Community Development Corp. to provide borrowers with loans in low-to-moderate-income neighborhoods. A check presentation is set for 2 p.m. on Friday at the Comerica Bank Mission Valley banking center at 2307 Fenton Parkway. “It is rewarding to participate with Bankers Small Business CDC in this innovative program intended to provide gap financing for small businesses in  San Diego County that may not be able to qualify for a standard bank loan,” said Bill Becker, vice president of public affairs for Comerica Bank. “Comerica Bank’s dollars will be used to provide additional capital to small businesses that need more than the SBA Microloan maximum of $35,000 or Community Express Loan maximum of $50,000.” Bankers Small Business CDC plans to provide loans ranging from $15,000 to $25,000 at below-market interest rates to businesses located in low- to moderate-income areas and to women- and minority-owned businesses.

NewSchool of Architecture and Design Launches Degree Program

The NewSchool of Architecture and Design has launched a four-year Bachelor of Science in Construction Management degree program aimed at preparing well-rounded professionals to manage the various aspects of the construction industry. The new initiative was announced at the program’s first industry networking event co-sponsored by the San Diego office of Cumming, a corporate partner. For information on the program, call George Welch at (619) 684-8826.

Cricket Communications Donates Office Furniture and Equipment

Cricket Communications Inc. has donated thousands of pieces of office furniture and equipment from its offices to schools and nonprofit organization in the San Diego area. Schools and organizations benefiting from the gifts include Hilltop Drive Elementary, Heritage Elementary, Harborside Elementary and the office of the Chula Vista Elementary School District; San Diego Furniture Bank, which provides new and used furnishings for victims of natural disasters and families in need; St. Madeline Sophie Center, which helps adults with developmental disabilities; The San Diego Food Bank, which supplies food and resources to over 300 local nonprofits; UCSD Medical Center Bannister Family House, which provides a home away from home for families of patients undergoing long-term care at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla; and Motivated Women in Business, which supports the successful growth of female entrepreneurs through small business training; and San Diego Fire Rescue Foundation , which helps provide the unmet equipment and training needs of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. Cricket is a wholly owned subsidiary of Leap Wireless International Inc.

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