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Daily Business Report — March 21, 2012


Nominations are being sought for San Diego’s Most Trusted Brands — companies, organizations or institutions that have earned the trust and loyalty of their constituencies by adhering to high standards of professionalism, integrity and accountability. SD METRO will publish the results in April. Send your nominations to: Rebeca Page ( or Manny Cruz (

ConVis to Assume More Control Over Convention Center

City News Service — The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau will take over the booking of trade shows at the Convention Center that are at least 18 months away, following approval of the proposal Tuesday by both the City Council and Convention Center board of directors. The action gives hotel owners, who are well represented on ConVis,  more control over Convention Center management. Joe Terzi, ConVis president and chief executive officer, said the center is very well run, but sales could improve. “The booking patterns have been stagnating in the past couple of years,” Terzi told council members. The City Council approved the plan on a 7-1 vote, with David Alvarez dissenting. The plan was strongly opposed by area organized labor leaders. Lorena Gonzalez, head of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, called it a “blatant quid pro quo” for hoteliers who will, via increased room taxes, provide the bulk of funding for the Convention Center’s financing. Hotels are well represented on the ConVis board. Steve Cushman, a former center director who was a consultant for Mayor Jerry Sanders on the plan, said the plan to shift marketing to ConVis arose from council opposition to putting more hoteliers on the Convention Center board.

Council Acts to Streamline City Improvement Projects

The City Council moved Tuesday to streamline the approval and contracting processes for capital improvement projects. “Public improvements will now occur at a faster pace and with a more effective use of city resources,” said Councilman Todd Gloria. “While we have made the capital improvements process more efficient today, we will not sacrifice quality, transparency or equal opportunity.” The changes could cut three to 12 months off the life cycle of each project, according to the council’s budget and finance committee, which Gloria chairs.

Loma Media to Help Plan Balboa Park Centennial Celebration

The nonprofit organization charged with planning the 2015 Balboa Park centennial celebration has selected a prominent San Diego communications and marketing agency to help shape the celebration. Balboa Park Celebration Inc., the official event organizer, chose Loma Media for the work, a firm that has worked for a number of San Diego companies and organizations, among them General Atomics, Qualcomm Inc., SRI International, Callaway Golf, San Diego State UC San Diego and Junior Achievement. Loma Media’s first task will be the creation of a “Community Outreach Plan.” “Subsequent goals,” the groups said, “are to develop and implement an integrated outreach program, and streamline communication with Balboa Park institutions and stakeholders, Celebration volunteers, corporate sponsors, government entities and community groups.” John DeBello, Loma Media principal and creative director, said the goal of his firm’s relationship with the event organizer is to refine and communicate a strategic vision that will define a world-class event. “The 1915 Panama-California Exposition put an ambitious San Diego on the map and transformed Balboa Park into what we see today,” said DeBello. “A century later, all of us in ‘America’s Finest City’ have a wonderful opportunity to shape our future as we celebrate our past.”

Volunteer Lawyers Raise Money With Humor

The San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program, an organization that provides free legal services to clients, will hold its sixth annual LAF-Off (Lawyers are Funny) event on Thursday at the House of Blues in Downtown San Diego.  LAF-Off features five lawyers and three law students doing funny stand-up comedy routines that are judged by three attorney “judges.” Neal Svalstad, general counsel for Hitachi Home Electronics America Inc., last year’s LAF-Off winner, will be back to defend his title. Also returning is Dan Lawton as emcee, a former contestant and LAF-Off judge. City National Bank is LAF-Off’s Presenting Sponsor, with additional support from Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch, Cohelan, Khoury & Singer, Jones Day, and Cooley LLP, among other sponsors. A reception is at 5 p.m. Comedy competition is at 6 p.m. General admission is $60. Registration can be made at

Day at the Docks April 15 Opens Sportfishing Season

The Port of San Diego’s 33rd annual Day at the Docks, which marks the beginning of the sportfishing season, will be held April 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the waterfront at Sportfishing Landings at Harbor Drive and Scott Street in Point Loma. Admission and parking are free. Parking is on Shelter Island with free, frequent shuttles to and from the festival. More than 200 exhibits, staffed by experts in their respective fields, will display fishing tackle, marine art, clothing, accessories, services, and more. There will be raffles of thousands of dollars of fishing equipment donated by sponsors and exhibitors plus live entertainment. There will also be a casting competition, a  Captains’ Dunk Tank, plus kids fishing and art contests. The event is produced by the San Diego Sportfishing Council.

Small Business Workshops

Helping startup and established small businesses throughout San Diego and Imperial counties prosper, SCORE San Diego continues its series of low-cost workshops. Workshop fees range from $29 to $109, depending on the program. For more information, call (619) 557-7272.

Upcoming Workshops:

March 22 – Marketing & Contracting with Government Agencies & Major Primes – 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).

March 22 – Business Basics 101 – 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C. St., #550, San Diego 92101; No charge – please pre-register).

March 23 – Hiring and Managing Employees – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., #550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

March 26 – Leasing Strategies – 9 a.m. to noon at National University – Carlsbad (705 Palomar Airport Rd., Carlsbad 92011; pre-paid registration $49, $59 at the door).

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. 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: