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Daily Business Report — Sept. 9, 2011

Major Overhaul Planned for Westfield UTC

Westfield UTC rendering

A $180 million revitalization of Westfield UTC is to begin this fall and will include the addition of a new dining terrace, new shops, full-service restaurants and San Diego’s first ArcLight Cinemas, a 14-screen, 1,800-seat theater complex. The Phase I plans are designed to meet LEED Gold certification standards for environmental sustainability. “This is not simply a refresh of Westfield UTC, but a total transformation and renewal,” said Tom Tierney, senior vice president of Westfield San Diego.

ArcLight Cinemas will be the only theater in San Diego to operate with no commercials, all-reserved seating and no late seating after a movie has begun. Signature amenities include “black box” auditoriums, extra-wide seats with double armrests, stadium seating, digital projection and full service concession areas. The dining terrace will include several new dining choices and will feature all new finishes, furnishings and restrooms. The shopping center will be updated with new exterior flooring, soft seating, lighting and landscaping. More than 70 existing store facades will be updated and a new children’s play area, family lounge and renovation of Palm Plaza are part of the plans. The project is expected to create 2,400 new jobs including 1,000 construction jobs and create an estimated overall economic impact of more than $175 million.

SDSU to Offer Master’s Degree Program in Information Systems

The College of Business Administration at San Diego State University will offer the Master of Science in Information Systems degree beginning in the fall semester. While the college also offers an MBA program with a specialization in information systems, the master’s degree program is appropriate for students considering a business career that could lead to the position of chief information officer or chief technology officer in a corporation, nonprofit or government agency. The SDSU program was modeled on a curriculum jointly published by the Association for Computing Machinery and the Association of Information Systems. With this program, SDSU now offers 77 master’s degrees to go along with its 19 doctoral degree programs and 85 bachelor’s degrees. Interested students may apply immediately and, if accepted, may begin their studies as early as the spring 2012 semester.

Chairmen’s RoundTable Chair Suffers Fatal Heart Attack

The Chairmen’s RoundTable  has appointed Jeff Campbell as interim chairperson following the death of Dave Cox, who suffered a fatal heart attack last Saturday. Mr. Cox, 63, had served as head of the organization since January. A member of the Chairmen’s RoundTable since 2006, he was co-founder, president and CEO of MedUnite, an Internet-based health care transaction processing company that linked leading insurers to hospitals and physicians groups to provide real time service authorizations, claims processing and electronic payments. He grew the company into a $20 million, 100 million transactions per year business when it was sold in 2003. Prior to that, Mr. Cox served as executive vice president and member of the board of directors of Science Application International Corp. Funeral services for Mr. Cox are scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at The Village Community Presbyterian Church, 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe. All are invited to attend.

BioMed Realty Trust CEO to Speak at USD

Alan Gold, co-founder, chairman and CEO of BioMed Realty Trust Inc., is the guest speaker at the Sept. 28 lecture series sponsored by the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. The program will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. on USD’s campus. The event is open to the public for a $35 fee, which includes breakfast. To reserve a seat, register online at For questions, contact Diane Gustafson at (619) 260-2379.

Affordable Housing Conference Set for Oct. 13

The San Diego Housing Federation will hold its 20th annual Affordable Housing and Community Development Conference Oct. 13 in a full day of workshops, a general session and networking opportunities. It begins with a continental breakfast at 8:15 a.m. at the Marina Village and Conference Center on Mission Bay and ends with a closing reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Three workshop sessions are scheduled throughout the day in six tracks. The conference general session will challenge participants to consider factors that contribute to the cost of producing affordable homes. David Smith of Recap Real Estate Advisors will moderate a mock trial where industry leaders respond to charges related to those factors. For more information, contact Doris Payne-Camp at (619) 293-3721.

Environmental Science Associates Appoints Director

Christina Schaefer

Environmental Science Associates has selected Christina Schaefer as director of biological resources and land management for its San Diego office. A biologist and landscape ecologist, Schaefer has expertise in resources management and conservation planning, restoration ecology, mitigation policy, and endangered species consultation. She recently completed several habitat management plans that included managed grazing, management endowment calculations and vernal pool restoration. She has provided expert testimony in biological mitigation cases and is currently providing scientific advice on the city of San Diego’s Vernal Pool Habitat Conservation Plan. Schaefer holds a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the School of Renewable Natural Resources at the University of Arizona in Tuscon and a master’s degree in landscape stewardship/landscape ecology from the University of Munich Weihenstaphan, Freising in Germany.

Chair Selected for Autism Fundraiser

Steven Gorup

Steven Gorup of Hughes Marino has been selected as chair of this year’s seventh annual San Diego Walk Now for Autism Speaks, which will be held Saturday at Point Loma Ingram Plaza, 2640 Historic Decatur Road, at Liberty Station. Hughes Marino is a silver-level sponsor of the event. Three years ago Steven decided to get involved with Autism Speaks thanks to his sister Eileen, who received her master’s degree in special education and has taught with children with moderate to severe autism for the past five years.  Having served on the committee for the past two years, this year Steven is acting as the walk chair and is hoping to improve on last year’s numbers.  The 2010 walk hosted 3,000 people and raised $107,000.

Media Director Selected for Advanced Marketing Strategies

Mark Stevens

Mark Stevens has been named the new media director for Advanced Marketing Strategies in San Diego. Stevens was senior media planner for Saatchi & Saatchi in New York and was the marketing manager and buyer for InSynergy Consulting Group, Southwest Autosports and Titan Realty. He also worked at Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer in New York. Stevens earned a bachelor’s degree from New Paltz State University of New York.

McBrayer Re-Appoined to State Post

Sandra McBrayer, 50, of San Diego, has been re-appointed to the Corrections Standards Authority by Gov. Brown. She has served on the Authority since 2008. McBrayer is currently the chair of the State Advisory Committee on Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention. She has been the chief executive officer of the Children’s Initiative since 1996. The position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. McBrayer is a Democrat.

Money, Money Money

In a spoof of its own TV commercials, San Diego County Credit Union surprised and entertained local beachgoers on Labor Day weekend by staging fictitious mega-bankers who marched on the sand and boardwalk in the Pacific Beach, Mission Beach and Del Mar areas holding picket signs and chanting “money, money” in support of high bank fees. Beachgoers were invited to enter a sweepstakes to win up to $1,000 by posting a photo or video with the fictional bankers to the credit union’s Facebook page. A YouTube video of the special promotion can be viewed at

Small Business Workshops

SCORE San Diego continues its series of small business workshops. For more information, call (619) 557-7272 or visit

• Sept. 12 ­ Financial Statements: What They Mean, How to Use Them ­ 9:30 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Sept. 13 ­ Internet Marketing 302: Develop a Winning Email Marketing Success Strategy ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

• Sept. 14 ­ Introduction to Starting Your Own Business ­ 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at National University in Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Avenue, San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Sept. 16 ­ Women’s Networking Breakfast and Exhibits ­ 8 to 11 a.m. at Morgan Run Resort & Club in Rancho Santa Fe (5690 Cancha de Golf, Rancho Santa Fe 92091; Attendees: $30 pre-paid registration by Sep. 13, $40 thereafter; Exhibitors: $80 pre-paid registration by Sep. 13, $90 thereafter).

• Sept. 16 ­ Managing Grants and Contracts for Nonprofits ­ 9 to 11:30 a.m. at The San Diego Foundation in Point Loma (2508 Historic Decatur Rd., #200, San Diego 92106; pre-paid registration $39, $49 at the door).

• Sept. 19 ­ Business Basics 101 ­ 9 a.m. to noon at National University in Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad 92011; no charge ­ please pre-register).

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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