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Daily Business Report — Aug. 7, 2012

Qualcomm Co-Founder and Family Donate
$1 Million for Stem Cell Research Project

Qualcomm co-founder Andrew Viterbi and his wife and family have donated $1 million to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute to fund a new Neuroscience Research Initiative that would seek the underlying causes of disease through the use of stem cells. According to John Reed, Sanford-Burnham CEO, the  two-year initiative will employ “disease in a dish” technology, in which stem cells are used to generate large collections of a particular cell type in the laboratory—certain types of brain cells, in this case. Sanford-Burnham researchers will then use these cell-based models to better understand the underlying causes of disease. Reed will lead the research along with Donald Bren, chief executive chair, and Evan Snyder, director of the institute’s stem cells and regenerative biology program.

Better Business Bureau Gives Consumers
Much More Information on Complaints
Filed Against San Diego Area Businesses

The San Diego Better Business Bureau has decided to give the public much more detailed information on complaints filed against San Diego area businesses than it provided in the past. Now available to the public through the BBB website are details of complaints filed about a business by consumers. The reviews include the consumer complaint and the business’ initial response to the complaint, as well as any subsequent correspondence between the consumer, business and the BBB. The expanded content includes both BBB accredited and non-accredited businesses. Previously, BBB reports did not disclose details about a complaint and only the type of complaint was reported, along with basic information on whether or not the reportable complaint was ultimately resolved

“Consumers who are checking on a business before a purchasing decision is made will now be able to read for themselves the verbatim details about a complaint and how the concerned business responded to that complaint,” said Cheryl Bilbrey, BBB president and CEO. “It’s inevitable that any successful business will encounter complaints. The only way a business can avoid complaints is to not be in business. So, now, consumers have access to not only detailed information on the types of complaints against a company, but also the company has a stronger voice themselves in the complaint process. Consumers can eadily observe a company’s response to customer issues.”

 The website is

Grand Opening Set Today For 2 Office
Buildings at the County Operations Center

A grand opening was scheduled today for two office buildings at the County Operations Center in Kearny Mesa. The buildings will put more than 2,000 employees in 19 departments together in one locale. County officials said the new four-story, steel-frame buildings add 300,000 square feet of office space to the 47-acre site. A 15,000-square-foot conference center and café topped by a garden roof is also opening today in the latest phase of the development project for the County Operations Center. The overall cost to date is $294 million, which is $20 million under the original budget, officials said. Part of the new campus opened in October 2010 and includes two similar office buildings, a central plant, utility infrastructure and a parking structure. Today’s grand opening ceremony is at 1 p.m. at 5520 Overland Ave.

Tenant Improvements Completed at Swinerton Builders

Tenant improvements have been completed on the Swinerton Builders corporate offices in San Diego. ID Studios provided the design, furniture and fixtures for the project, which covered 24,000 square feet of space. The new regional offices include 18-foot open beam ceilings, a new entry tower and a new entertainment/break room, a prominent boardroom canopy, branding wall, and BIM room.

Charles Black Takes on Yet Another Role

Real estate executive and lawyer Charles Black has joined Gafcon Inc. to launch and lead the firm’s new public-private partnership services as managing director. Black will advise clients on project financing, entitlement and permitting. He also will conduct community engagement, construction- and project-management and building commissioning, among other services. Black’s industry portfolio includes leading the development and construction of Petco Park and development of the surrounding 26-block ballpark district, along with project management of the city’s Civic Center Redevelopment Project.  Black was project manager for the Port District’s Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan and the city of Escondido’s negotiator for its proposed minor league ballpark. He currently is managing the development of the San Diego Convention Center Phase III expansion.

Small Business Workshops

• 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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