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Daily Business Report — Sept. 22, 2011

Men Who Impact San Diego

SD METRO identified 20 “Women Who Rock” in our June publication. Now it’s the men’s turn. Send us your nomination for a man — no age requirement — who you believe has made San Diego a better place to live or to do business, or who has made significant contributions to his industry or community. Nominees can be in the private or public sector, own or work for a for-profit firm or a nonprofit. Of course you can nominate more than one person, but each one must be submitted individually. You’ll find a nomination form on our Website ( Deadline is Oct. 3. You’ll see the results in mid-October.

Procopio Cory Awards Native American Law Internship

Trinidad Contreras, a 2010 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Law, is the first recipient of the Native American Law Internship offered by the law firm of Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch in San Diego. The 10-week internship provides an opportunity for a Native American law student or law student emphasizing Native American law to gain hands-on experience with everyday legal issues facing the Native American community. Contreras’ undergraduate degree is from UC Berkeley in Native American Studies and molecular and cellular biology.  Prior to law school, Contreras obtained a master’s degree at the University of Arizona American Indian Studies Graduate Program with a concentration in federal Indian law and policy. He previously completed legal externships with the Pascua Yaqui National Public Defender’s Office in Tucson, Ariz., the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice in Washington, D.C. and the U.S. Federal District Court, District of Arizona, Tucson. Contreras is an enrolled member of the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel and is a descendent of the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

Contreras began his internship with Procopio’s Native American Practice Group on Aug. 22. The firm’s Native American Practice Group counsels tribes and tribal-affiliated clients on a range of legal matters.

Justin Weber Named Administrator of St. Paul’s Villa

St. Paul’s Senior Homes & Services has promoted Justin Weber to administrator of St. Paul’s Villa, a 124-bed assisted living/memory care center near Balboa Park. Weber has led the admissions and marketing efforts of St. Paul’s since 2007 and managed the senior day program over the past six months. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University and earned his Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly certification in 2009.

The Gourmet Experience

The Gourmet Experience, a cooking showcase, will be staged Oct. 8-9 at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. It will feature more than 250 exhibitors displaying appliances, culinary solutions, travel and home products and speciality foods. Attendees will be able to test new products for the kitchen, get culinary instruction from San Diego-area chefs, taste wines and spirits, domestic olive oils and cheeses, among other treats. Single day passes are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Weekend passes are $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, call (619) 312-1212, or visit

John Gomez Named a Top Attorney in California

John H. Gomez, founder and trial attorney at The Gomez Law Firm, has been named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in California by The Daily Journal.  A University of San Diego graduate, Gomez attended Yale Law School. He is Lawyer USA’s 2010 National Lawyer of the Year; seven-time recipient of the “Outstanding Trial Lawyer” Award from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego; 2010 and 2006 “Trial Lawyer of the Year,”also by Consumer Attorneys of San Diego. Gomez represents the surviving family members of California Highway Patrol Officer Mark Saylor in the run-away Lexus case in Santee in 2010 and also obtained the jury verdict against Kristin Rossum and San Diego County in the “American Beauty Murder.”  Gomez is president-elect of Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.

Casey Gerry Partners to be Honored




Frederick Schenk, Gayle M. Blatt and Robert J. Francavilla, partners in the Casey Gerry law firm, will be honored as “Outstanding Trial Lawyers” by the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego during  a special “Evening with the Trial Stars” dinner at the U.S. Grant Hotel in Downtown San Diego on Sept. 30 at 5 p.m. David S. Casey Jr., whose father, David Casey Sr., founded the law firm in 1960, said the attorneys will be honored for their efforts on two separate cases:

Frederick Schenk, for Church v. Marshall’s Department Store. Schenk obtained more than $300,000 for his client, Silvia Church, following injuries she suffered after a serious fall at the Marshalls Department Store in Chula Vista.

Robert J. Francavilla & Gayle M. Blatt, for Finley v. Club One, Inc. Francavilla and Blatt obtained $1.8 million for their client, David Finley, after he fell and suffered serious injuries while playing basketball at Club One, a fitness facility in Carmel Mountain Ranch.

Carl Vonderau Joins First Foundation Bank

Carl Vonderau has joined First Foundation Bank (FFB) as a vice president, private banker, in its San Diego office. Vonderau will be responsible for generating bank and investment deposits out of the company’s new San Diego office. FFB is wholly owned subsidiary of First Foundation Inc., a financial firm founded in 1990. Vonderau has over 30 years of experience, most recently with San Diego Private Bank.

John Dempsey Heads new Irving Group Divison


Construction industry veteran John Dempsey has joined The Irving Group as president of its new construction management division. Dempsey has nearly 30 years experience in the construction industry and has worked with Irving for 20 years on both professional and charitable endeavors.  Previously, Dempsey was president of Lusardi Construction Co. He began his career with Lusardi as an estimator and earned his way to project manager, senior project manager, vice president and executive vice president. He spent the last eight years as president of Lusardi. Dempsey graduated from the University of California, Davis in 1983 with a degree in economics.

Brad Weston Joins Petco as Executive Vice President

Brad Weston, a retail executive with experience in specialty merchandising, will join Petco as the company’s new executive vice president and chief merchandising officer. Prior to joining Petco, Weston was senior vice president, chief merchandising officer for Dick’s Sporting Goods and Golf Galaxy. Previously, he was senior vice president, general merchandise manager for May Merchandising Co. in St. Louis and Robinsons-May in Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Berkeley.

Kris Kennon Directs Marketing for Precision Litho

Kris Kennon, a recent graduate of San Diego State University’s School of Business, has been hired to head Precision Litho’s marketing efforts. Kennon is a graduate of SDSU’s Integrated Marketing Communications program. SDSU was the first university in the nation to offer the specific degree. Kennon also will oversee the development and implementation of Precision’s marketing support services and campaigns.

Ramona Library Receives LEED Certification

The 21,000-square-foot Ramona Library, built by C.W. Driver, has been granted LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The second-largest library in San Diego County opened in the spring and is four-times larger than the original library it replaced. Located at 1275 Main St., the library was developed in a design-build method between local companies C.W. Driver, Ferguson, Pape Baldwin Architects and Manuel Oncina Architects. C.W. Driver installed a 5,000-foot photovoltaic system on the roof that produces 20 percent of the energy the library needs. The library’s energy consumption and production are digitally displayed inside the building for patrons to follow.

The Daily Business Report is produced by REP Publishing Inc., publisher of SD METRO, the North Park News and the West Coast Craftsman. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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Voice Your Opinion

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: