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Daily Business Report — Sept. 5, 2012

McKenna Long & Aldridge
To Hold Political Law Luncheon

McKenna Long & Aldridge will hold a political law luncheon on Thursday (Sept. 6) to offer information on a variety of topic including lobbying, elections and political law. It will be staged at the Doubletree Del Mar, 11915 El Camino Real, San Diego. Registration is at 11:30 a.m. Speakers will include Stefan Passantino, head of McKenna Long & Aldridge’s political law team; Dennis Stryker, general counsel for Rick Engineering Co., and moderator Bill Earley, expert in a variety of labor and employment law issues. There is no admission charge.

Solar Canopies to be Installed at Zoo
Parking Lot to Charge Electric Vehicles

Smart City San Diego and the San Diego Zoo will install a solar photovoltaic canopy in the zoo parking lot this fall that will charge electric vehicles. One of the first of its kind in the region, the project will harness energy from the sun to directly charge plug-in electric vehicles, store solar power for future use and provide renewable energy to the surrounding community. The project will incorporate 10 solar canopies producing 90 kilowatts of electricity, as well as 5 EV charging stations. The excess solar energy that is generated will be put onto the electric grid to benefit the surrounding community. The project will be owned and managed by SDG&E’s Sustainable Communities Program.

BOMA Workshop and Luncheon to Honor
Security Chief Killed at the World Trade Center

The San Diego Building Owners and Managers Association will sponsor a Sept. 11 workshop and luncheon in honor of Rick Rescorla, a security chief at the World Trade Center who died on 9/11 while directing the evacuation of the south tower. The workshop will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., followed by the lunch at the La Jolla Marriott Hotel at 4240 La Jolla Village Drive. The workshop discussion, led by a panel of experts from the San Diego Police Department and other emergency preparedness agencies, will focus on decision making and best practices in handling emergency situations. A clinical psychologist will also be on hand to answer questions and guide the discussion.

Leasing Activity Up and Retail Absorption
Holds Steady in Downtown San Diego

Leasing activity is up and retail absorption has held steady in Downtown San Diego as the economy recovers, according to a report by the Cushman & Wakefield Urban Property Group. The mid-year vacancy rate of 10.6 percent is down from the 11.4 percent reported at mid-year 2011. Year-to-date positive net absorption of 36,626 square feet is an improvement compared to 25,795 square feet the same time a year ago and negative 46,212 square feet in 2010. Investors are also showing their confidence in the stabilized market as retail investment activity was very strong in the first half 2012, the report said. The Urban Property Group’s semi-annual report shows that overall, there is 507,595 square feet of vacant ground floor commercial space Downtown, with a total 4.9 million square feet of inventory.

UnitedHealthcare Donates More
Than $70,000 to Fisher House

UnitedHealthcare has donated more than $70,000 to Fisher House Naval Medical Center of San Diego to assist the families of wounded U.S. military members. The donation will help fund the Fisher House “Sponsor A Family” program. Fisher House provides a range of services and support to the families of wounded U.S. military. The donation supports one year’s worth of lodging and support costs for all families staying at the Naval Medical Center Fisher Houses.

Norman AS to Establish HQ in San Diego

Security company Norman AS announced the opening of a San Diego office that will become its U.S. headquarters. It will house the company’s sales, marketing, product management and R&D personnel. Darin Anderson, North American general manager, and Einar Oftedal, vice president, will relocate to the San Diego office from the firm’s other location in Fairfax, Va.

SD Sport Innovators Launches
New Free Mentoring Program

SD Sport Innovators announed the launch of Springboard 2.0, the organization’s free mentoring program for sports-related companies. Applications will be accepted until Oct. 2. Bill Walton, executive chairman, announced the launch. The program pairs qualified entrepreneurs with industry veterans for hands-on mentoring to help fine tune business plans, create compelling commercialization strategies and prepare for capital funding opportunities. “Once a company is accepted into the program, we match them with an Entrepreneurs-in-Residence who spearhead the mentoring team,” said Lisa Freedman, executive director. “In addition, they’re paired with domain experts to meet their specific needs and provide advice on various topics including business model, marketing plan, financing and projections, intellectual property, valuation, and more.”

Applicants must be based in Southern California and fall into one of four categories:

• Sports-related products and services.

• Sports apparel brands and sports related lifestyle apparel brands.

• Sports-related technology, software and Web 3.0.

• Sports-related advanced materials.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have a cadre of mentors who volunteer their time to assist Southern California’s early stage companies, and we encourage those in the sports industry to submit their application to gain valuable insight and have the best chance when presenting to investors,” said Freedman.

To submit an application, visit


Paul Downey

Paul Downey, CEO and president of Senior Community Centers, has been appointed to the California Commission on Aging by Assembly Speaker John Pérez for a three-year term. The agency is the principal advisory agency to the governor, Legislature and other governmental bodies on programs and issues affecting older individuals. Downey was recently re-elected president of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Service Programs, an organization based in Washington, D.C. Downey is a national authority on issues affecting the elderly.

Christopher Reid

Christopher Reid, a software executive and global sales leader, has joined Rio SEO as senior vice president, serving as its first fully dedicated operating head since the new brand launched as a social media software unit of the Covario search marketing agency in April. Reid will lead the sales, account services and product development teams. He was previously vice president of sales for Media Inc. and for five years was senior vice president of the merged Visual Sciences and WebSideStory analytics provider. Reid holds a bachelor of science degree from Oregon State University.

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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: