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Daily Business Report — April 15, 2011

March Jobless Rate Up

The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 10.2 percent in March, up from a revised 10.1 percent in February and below the year-ago estimate of 10.8 percent, according to the state Employment Development Department. The state’s unadjusted jobless rate for the same period was 12.3 percent. The national jobless rate was 9.2 percent.

Between February 2011 and March 2011:

Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,222,900 to 1,233,200, a gain of 10,300 jobs. Agricultural employment gained 400 jobs, or 4.3 percent.

• Leisure and hospitality reported the greatest month-over gain, adding 3,100 jobs. Accommodation and food services (up 2,500) accounted for more than 80 percent of the job growth in this sector, primarily from food service and drinking places (up 1,900). Arts, entertainment, and recreation increased by 600 jobs.

• Eight other nonfarm industries also added jobs, but the most significant gains came from professional and business services (up 2,200), educational and health services (up 1,700), and government (1,500).

• Manufacturing (down 400 jobs) was the only industry sector to record month-over job losses, all from durable goods.

Between March 2010 and March 2011:

Total nonfarm employment increased by 24,700 jobs, or 2.0 percent. Agricultural employment gained 200 jobs, or 2.1 percent.

• Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over gain, adding 12,900 jobs. Administrative and support and waste services (up 6,500 jobs) contributed to roughly half of the employment growth in this sector, followed by professional, scientific, and technical services (up 5,900). Management of companies and enterprises increased by 500 jobs.

• Four other nonfarm industries also added jobs over the year, including educational and health services (up 4,900); leisure and hospitality (up 4,800); trade, transportation, and utilities (up 3,200); and government (up 1,600).

• Five other sectors reported year-over job losses, but the most notable came from construction (down 1,000).

Steve Wells Joins The Irving Group

Steve Wells

Steve Wells has joined The Irving Group as vice president. He was previously with CB Richard Ellis, where he specialized in representing the space needs of local private and public companies. During his tenure with the company, he received numerous recognitions for his real estate knowledge and performance. These included Rookie of The Year, which acknowledged his outstanding transaction volume. He also was honored with the “Most Valuable Participant Award,” a national recognition voted upon by his CB Richard Ellis peers for exceptional achievement during an intensive, company-sponsored real estate seminar and training program in Chicago. Wells is a member of the board of directors of the Downtown San Diego Rotary Club, and a member of the NAIOP (National Association of Industrial & Office Properties) San Diego chapter. He also sits on the membership committee for the local chapter of TechAmerica San Diego, an organization that serves as the leading voice for the U.S. technology industry and is the driving force behind productivity growth and jobs creation. Wells is graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Workshop on Succession Planning May 12

Home Bank of California will sponsor a private financial workshop for small business owners on May 12 on the topic of Succession Planning: Does the family want it, can they afford it and do they deserve it? Speaker will be attorney Thomas A. Henry Jr. The workshop will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Home Bank of California, 875 Garnet Ave., San Diego. The hosts will provide hors d’oeuvres and deserts. To make reservations, call Angela Davies at (858) 5881 or e-mail her at: adavies@homebankof california.com.

Cary Calkin Heads Asset Services for Voit Real Estate Services

Cary Calkin

Banking industry veteran Cary Calkin has been hired by Voit Real Estate Services as its director of asset services for San Diego and the firm’s other regions. Prior to joining Voit, Calkin was vice president and manager at US Bank. In that role, he focused on property sales in California, Nevada and Colorado as well as managing receivership and trustee activity on court-appointed positions. In his new role, Calkin will be responsible for Voit’s asset services team, specifically targeting lenders such as banks, insurance companies, special servicers and public-sector entities. Earlier in his career, Calkin founded Sacramento Pacific Partners, a lending and development company that specialized in providing equity for development and construction projects throughout Northern California. He has also served as senior vice president and manager for Comerica Bank, where he built the Northern California region and worked with more than 50 various development firms.

Encore Capital Group Names Vice Presidents

Encore Capital Group Inc. announced the hiring of Steve Gonabe as senior vice president, human resources and Brian Enneking as vice president, consumer marketing. Gonabe spent 34 years at HSBC North America where he led HR management programs for the company’s 50,000 employees. Enneking has more than 15 years of financial services and marketing experience. He was previously senior vice president for business development at Genesis Financial Solutions Inc.

Pablo Becker and Isaac Modiano Join Vibra Bank

Chula Vista-based Vibra Bank has appointed Pablo Becker as senior vice president and Isaac Modiano as first vice president.  The pair will serve as customer relationship managers for the bank. Becker and Modiano joined Vibra Bank after 12 years heading up the private banking team at the Chula Vista office of Banco Popular, which they opened in 1999. Prior to his position at Banco Popular, Modiano held the position of personal banking manager with Wells Fargo, and was previously active in the mortgage lending business.  He earned a MBA with an emphasis in finance from Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico. Becker’s previous experience includes positions with Wells Fargo, Coutts & Co. and Bank of America.  He holds a master’s degree in economics from Universidad Autonoma de Mexico.

Union-Tribune Acquires DiscoverSD.com

The San Diego Union Tribune, which boasts that its Daily Deal is the largest among newspapers nationwide, has moved to strengthen its position by acquiring DiscoverSD.com and its Insider Hook Up program. Both the Daily Deal and Insider Hook Up programs offer deals that are 50 to 90 percent off prices at local restaurants, spas and events, according to U-T officials.“Our Daily Deal is already one of the most successful programs of its type by any local media company,” said Mike Hodges, general manager of SignOn San Diego and vice president for the U-T. “This move solidifies this position and offers more opportunities for our advertisers to reach a younger demographic, which DiscoverSD.com has done a phenomenal job of attracting through a combination of engaging lifestyle content, social media and search engine optimization.” DiscoverSD.com will continue to operate with its existing team, and maintain its branding and Website. Nadav Wilf, co-founder and president of DiscoverSD.com, said the move is the next step in the rapid evolution of San Diego media, offering benefits to readers and advertisers alike.  Ed Moss, the U-T’s president and publisher, said the acquisition is part of an overall company strategy to grow audience and revenue.

SDG&E Sings Three More Solar Contracts

San Diego Gas & Electric and subsidiaries of Soitec Solar Development, LLC, a renewable energy company managed by Soitec (Euronext Paris), announced the signing of three contracts with a combined capacity of 30 megawatts of solar energy. The electricity will be generated at three solar power plant sites in San Diego County that will use Soitec Concentrix technology. The concentrator photovoltaic modules will be manufactured in a new Soitec factory to be built in the San Diego area. “Including these three new contracts, SDG&E has signed nine renewable contracts over the past year for more than 1,100 megawatts of green energy, with nearly 520 megawatts from solar power, including a contract for up to 150 megawatts that also uses Concentrix technology,” said James P. Avery, SDG&E’s senior vice president of power supply. “Combined with another local solar contract we signed last year, these latest solar projects will increase the total amount of solar power generated in San Diego County by about 60 percent.” These three projects will produce enough renewable solar energy to serve more than 11,200 households a year.

No Top Party Schools in San Diego

San Diego State, UCSD and University of San Diego were not included in Playboy magazine’s 2011 list of Top 10 Party Schools. However, San Diego State’s Alpha Phi chapter was named the “Hottest Sorority.”


SCORE San Diego Small Business Workshops

• April 16 – Business Plan 201: How to Write a Winning Business Plan – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $99, $109 at the door).

• April 19 – Internet Marketing 304 – Cost-Effective Internet Marketing Tools – 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• April 20 – Buying and Selling a Business – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• April 26 – Introduction to Starting Your Own Business – 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• April 26 – Financial Statements – What They Mean, How to Use Them – 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• April 27 – Financing Your Business – 9:30 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92009; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• April 27 – Good Governance for Nonprofits: Effective Board Performance – 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation in Liberty Station (2508 Historic Decatur Road, #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

• April 29 – Business Basics 101 – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; No Charge – Please Pre-Register).

• April 29 – Tax Considerations for Small Business – 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92009; 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. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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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