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Daily Business Report — Jan. 24, 2011

San Diego Architectural Firms Merge

After competing against each other for the past two decades, Graham Downes Architecture and Architectural Concepts Inc. (ACI) have decided to merge under the Graham Downes name. “After 18 years of private practice as Architectural Concepts, it was time to evolve,” said Margit Whitlock of ACI. “Graham has this incredible talent and drive that is motivating. We have immense experience between us; there is truly nothing our collective companies have not engaged in within the design industry.” Said Downes: “Margit is well-educated and very savvy business operator. She is also a highly respected design professional, particularly in her specialized niche. Her professional involvement will immediately bring greater diversity to the studio’s experience and capacity for new ventures, increasing our uniqueness and furthering the effective value we can extend to all clients. Among recent design hotel commissions for Graham Downes Architecture are the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego and The Padre Hotel in Bakersfield. The firm is also designed Tower 23 Hotel in San Diego. Whitlock’s ACI was the architectural designer of Cibola Vista Resort & Spa in Peoria, Ariz., the Island Empress in Pensacola Beach, Fla., and The Bond in Las Vegas.

Airport Authority Workshop Set for Tuesday

The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority will launch the public involvement process to update the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP) for San Diego International Airport with a public workshop Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel at Liberty Station, 2592 Laning Road, San Diego. The workshop will provide an opportunity for the public to learn more about compatibility plans and their purpose, the process for updating the plan and how the public can provide input. Compatibility plans guide local agencies and property owners regarding the types of new land uses that are appropriate in close proximity to airports. An ALUCP Steering Committee will be convened to work closely with the Airport Authority staff and consultants to review technical information. The committee will be open to the public. More information is available on the ALUCP section of the Airport Authority’s Website:

Interluxe Group Opens HQ in La Jolla

Interluxe Group, a marketing agency specializing in luxury goods, has established its headquarters in La Jolla. “We specifically chose La Jolla for our international headquarters due to the lifestyle, luxury-focused market place it offers,” said Emma Gwyther, president and founder of the firm. The firm also has offices in the UK. Gwyther has more than 10 years of agency experience in a variety of fields, including automotive, travel and financial services business sectors. Previously, she was a consultant for Volkswagen. Interluxe is currently working as agency of record for Thermal Motorsports Track & Club.

Jessie Knight Co-Chairs Southern California Leadership Council

Jessie Knight, chairman and CEO of San Diego Gas & Electric, has been named co-chair of the Southern California Leadership Council (SCLC), a business support group he helped found in 2005. Knight began his new role last week alongside former Gov. Gray Davis. The SCLC is a business-led-and-sponsored public policy partnership for the Southern California region. The council serves as a voice for the region’s business community and like-minded individuals to focus and combine their efforts to help enable public sector officials, policy makers and other civic leaders to address and solve public policy issues critical to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life.

Lisa Redwine to Teach Wine Program

Lisa Redwine, an advanced sommelier, the second-highest distinction possible by the Court of Sommeliers, will teach the Exploring Wine course in the Professional Certificate in the Business of Wine Program through SDSU’s College of Extended Studies on Tuesdays — Feb. 15 to March 15 from 6 to 9 p.m. Redwine, only the second woman in San Diego County to become an advanced sommelier, was recently promoted to food and beverage manager for The Marine Room and The Shores Restaurant in La Jolla. The course offers an extensive overview of the role and influence of wine in history and today’s culture. Students must be 21 years of age to register for this program.  Fee for the course is $295 or $325 after Feb. 8. For more, call (619) 594-6924.

Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego has scheduled January workshops to help small business owners and those interested in starting a small business. Fees range from $29 to $109. For more information, call (619) 557-7272. To register for a workshop online, visit

• Jan. 25 – Introduction to Starting Your Own Business – 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Jan. 26 – Business Plan 201: How to Write a Winning Business Plan – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $99, $109 at the door).

• Jan. 26 – Good Governance for Nonprofits: Effective Board Performance – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation – Liberty Station (2508 Historic Decatur Road, #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

• Jan. 27 – Internet Marketing 302: Develop a Winning E-mail Marketing Success Strategy – 9 a.m. to noon at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Jan. 27 – Financial Statements: What They Mean, How to Use Them – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Jan. 28 – Marketing and Contracting with State and Local Governments – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Jan. 31 – Intellectual Property: Promise and Practicalities – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News, Kensington News and the West Coast Craftsman. (619) 906-4104.

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