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Daily Business Report — Aug. 6, 2012

Six San Diego State Alumni Are on Team
That Landed Rover ‘Curiosity’ on Mars

Six San Diego State alumni are part of the Mars Science Laboratory team that landed the Mars Rover “Curiosity” on the planet on Sunday. NASA reported that the one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a two-year investigation. The SDSU alumni team members are: Jordan P. Evans, engineering development and operations manager; Mark Ryne, spacecraft navigator; Joey Brown, entry, descent and landing engineer; Brandon Florow, mechanical systems engineer; Bonnie Theberge, group supervisor for the MSL Testbed Team; and Dave Herman, MRO Engineer.

“Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars — or if the planet can sustain life in the future,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

San Diego Unified Reaches Deal
With Principals and Vice Principals

Principals and vice principals have reached an employment contract agreement with the San Diego Unified School District similar to a deal for teachers and police officers, the district announced Friday. The two-year deal includes unpaid days off, with the actual number to be determined by state funding levels. It also defers previously promised raises. However, if Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax hike is passed by voters in November, administrators at the top of the salary scale would receive a 1 percent pay increase, according to the district. The deal also prohibits layoffs for the upcoming school year. Board of Education President John Lee Evans said the deal will save the district $4.5 million and help to achieve a balanced budget for the 2012-13 school year. The district and teachers reached an agreement about six weeks ago that canceled layoffs for nearly 1,500 instructors. —City News Service

Burn Institute Launches National Search
for Leader Following Jim Floros Resignation

Jim Floros, executive director of the Burn Institute for the past 20 years, has resigned and a national search for his replacement has been launched. Bonita-Sunnyside Fire Chief Scott Walker will head the organization on an interim basis. Floros first came to the Burn Institute in 1992 following his work at the world headquarters of Project Concern International. During his tenure at the institute, fundraising increased from $200,000 a year to nearly $1.5 million a year upon his departure. In 2008 Floros was awarded the National Burn Prevention Award from the American Burn Association and the Maltese Award from the San Diego County Fire Chiefs’ Association.

Chicano Federation Names Interim Executive Director

The Chicano Federation of San Diego County announced the hiring of its former leader, Ray Uzeta, as interim CEO/executive director effective Aug.1. Uzeta returns to the organization he led for 19 years prior to his retirement in June 2010.  His professional career spans more than 36 years in the nonprofit sector. Uzeta will oversee the Chicano Federation’s $14 million dollar budget and programs. Vic Salazar, a former Chicano Federation board chairman who has served as interim CEO since January, will be retained as a community relations and fundraising consultant.

Qualcomm Hires Chief Marketing Officer

Anand Chandrasekher has joined Qualcomm Inc. as chief marketing officer, overseeing global marketing and external communications. Chandrasekher previously was senior vice president, general manager for the Ultra Mobility Group at Intel Corp. During his nearly 25-year tenure at Intel, he held a variety of leadership roles including head of Intel’s worldwide sales and marketing group.

Renovation Completed at Hotel La Jolla

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced the completion of a $4 million renovation of Hotel La Jolla. The property has 110 guest rooms. It is owned by Wesport Capital Partners and Cove Equity Group LLC.

Small Business Workshops

• Aug. 7 – Financing Your Business – 9 a.m. to noon at SCORE Entrepreneur Center (550 West C St., No. 550, San Diego 92101; pre-paid registration $29, $39 at the door).

• Aug. 8 – Import / Export – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

• Aug. 9 – Build Your Business Through Search Engine Optimization – 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).

• Aug. 10 – Start-Up Essentials – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at National University – Kearny Mesa (9388 Lightwave Ave., San Diego 92123; pre-paid registration $69, $79 at the door).

For more information, call SCORE San Diego at (619) 557-7272.

The Daily Business Report is produced by SD METRO. Contact: Manny Cruz (619) 287-1865.

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