Daily Business Report-Nov. 7, 2013
San Diego Port Commissioners Report on Port Activities
The cargo business at the Port of San Diego has expanded four years in a row, fed by imports of automobiles and bananas, according to Marshall Merrifield, a port commissioner. Around 383,000 vehicles were shipped into San Diego in the last fiscal year, with an increase of more than 20 percent expected this year, Merrifield said. Dole is also increasing it’s fruit imports, he said.
Merrifield and port commissioners Bob Nelson and Rafael Castellanos appeared before the San Diego City Council’s Rules and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday to give reports on the port’s activities.
Merrifield also reported that the cruise industry brought 220,000 passengers to San Diego in the last cruise season, with about the same number expected this year. The annual economic impact of cruise travelers on the region is around $100 million, he said. Port officials are already working with cruise companies for the 2015 season, and a large increase of passengers is possible then, he said.
The project that has repurposed the old police headquarters near Seaport Village into a mall with 30 upscale shops and restaurants is just about complete, Nelson said. The Headquarters at Seaport District is scheduled to open in 10 days, and includes The Cheesecake Factory, Geppetto’s Toys, Venissimo Cheese and Eddie V’s steakhouse.
Construction is due to begin in the spring on a pair of new hotels on the block around Broadway, Pacific Highway and N. Harbor Drive. Work is scheduled to take 20 months, according to Castellanos. He also said planning is also underway for a renovation of the Marriott Marquis & Marina hotel and an expansion of the Hilton San Diego Bayfront hotel.
Nelson said the first phase of a project to transform the city’s bayfront into a more park-like setting should be mostly finished next May. The block of West Broadway between Pacific Highway and N. Harbor Drive that has been closed for construction is due to reopen this week, he said.
Castellanos said dredging of contaminated sediment in San Diego Bay began Sept. 30 adjacent to the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard, and should take about two years. The project is in response to an order from the San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board. (From a City News Service report)
Todd Gloria Named One of Nation’s
‘Most Promising Young Leaders’
San Diego Interim Mayor Todd Gloria has been awarded a fellowship as one of the nation’s most promising young leaders in American government. Gloria was one of 24 elected officials who were selected by The Aspen Institute as the newest members of its Rodel fellowship program for the nation’s most promising young political leaders.
The fellowship selects officials who have won recognition for their commitment to effective and principled bipartisan governance. “These are men and women who have forged records of excellence at all levels of American government,” said former Congressman Mickey Edwards, the program’s director. “All of them have been nominated for the fellowship by their peers and by political observers and community leaders who have singled them out as the best of the best of our emerging political leadership.”
Gloria, serving his second term on the San Diego City Council representing District 3, became interim mayor on Aug. 30 following the resignation of Bob Filner in a sexual harassment scandal. Gloria declined to run as a candidate in the Nov. 19 special mayoral election.
The Aspen Institute said its fellows have gone on to be serve as governors, members of Congress, high-ranking local and state officials, and members of the president’s cabinet. Gloria is said to be interested in the congressional seat currently held by Susan Davis (D-San Diego) after she leaves office.
HoverCam Awarded Digital Imaging Technology Patent
San Diego-based Pathway Innovations and Technologies Inc., the designer and manufacturer of HoverCam brand document cameras and scanners, said it has been awarded a U.S. patent covering key imaging and scanning technologies that will have an impact on the document camera and scanning markets. The HoverCam is the first device to redefine scanning technology and camera technology into one unit, according to Craig Justice, vice president of sales at Pathway Innovations. The device can scan, record video and be used in video conferencing, live presentations and training.
The patent is relevant to a class of products called document cameras and top down USB scanners, which are popular devices found in school classrooms and corporate training rooms.
DOE Awards California Center for Sustainable Energy
$1.3 Million to Help Reduce Rooftop Solar Costs
The U.S. Department of Energy has selected the California Center for Sustainable Energy(CCSE) to lead a $1.3 million project aimed at streamlining and standardizing solar energy installations for residential and small commercial uses throughout California. Funding for the two-year project comes from the DOE’s SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II, the second round of a nationwide program to spur solar power deployment by making it easier, faster and cheaper to finance and install solar photovoltaic energy systems.
The San Diego-based CCSE will be working on the project in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and Optony Inc., a solar services company based in Santa Clara, Calif. They are one of eight teams nationwide assisting in this effort to accelerate solar power deployment and to make solar energy costs competitive with other forms of energy by 2020.
The team will engage with municipalities, utilities, financial institutions, contractors and other solar industry stakeholders in major metropolitan areas of California to reduce the nonhardware or “soft” costs of solar installations. Soft costs, such as permitting, grid connection, installation, design and maintenance, currently account for up to 60 percent of the total installed cost of rooftop PV systems, according the DOE.
CDC Small Business Finance Named
Top Lender to Veteran-Owned Businesses
CDC Small Business Finance has been awarded the nation’s top SBA lender providing financing to veteran-owned small businesses through the SBA Real Estate Advantage (SBA-504) Loan Program. The recognition came from the National Association of Development Companies and SBA Associate Administrator Ann Marie Mehlum, chief of the agency’s Office of Capital Access, for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2013.
CDC Small Business Finance, headquartered in San Diego, provided $77.6 million in low-interest loans that helped veterans purchase or construct a commercial building for their businesses.
The VetLoan Advantage program features rebates and fee waivers associated with SBA-504 loans (for commercial real estate purchases), Community Advantage loans (for working capital, equipment purchases and other needs), and SBA Microloans.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no military experience to be entrepreneurs, and often times face challenges in raising capital or getting a conventional loan.
Covario Inc. Names New Leadership Team
Covario Inc. announced that Russ Mann has been elected chairman of the board and that three executives — Mike Gullaksen, Jeff Johnson and Claire Long — will serve as the operating heads of the global search and content marketing firm. For the last three years, Gullaksen and Johnson have been serving as co-managing directors of the firm’s search and content marketing agency. They will now lead the company as co-chief executive officers together with Long, who joined Covario in 2012 as chief financial and operating officer. Mann was previously CEO of the company.
Inspiration Awards Honor Five Balboa Park Volunteers
Five volunteers with the Friends of Balboa Park organization were honored with 2013 Inspiration Awards for making significant contributions to Balboa Park. The honorees are Harold Doerr, Spreckels Organ Society; Andrea Fleming, San Diego Civic Youth Ballet; Dick Murphy, San Diego Automotive Museum; Stella Vasilakis, Retire Senior Volunteer Patrol; and Ruth Voorhies, Japanese Friendship Garden. The awards were presented Oct. 29 at the Balboa Park Club. The organization also honored the Gildred Family with the Friends’ Millennium Award in recognition of 78 years of leadership, stewardship and volunteer activity in Balboa Park.
Formex Names Senior Director of Business Development
Formex LLC, a San Diego pharmaceutical company, has named Yvonne Verburgt as a senior director of business development. Verburgt has more than 12 years of experience in business development and sales at contract development and manufacturing organizations. Prior to joining Formex, she was senior director of business development for Pyramid Laboratories, and vice president of business development and marketing for Irvine Pharmaceutical Services.
Navy Medical Center Begins High-Tech Lung Cancer Screenings
Naval Medical Center San Diego has started offering cutting-edge lung cancer screenings as a way to catch the deadly disease in its early stages. “There’s new scientific evidence that has been published which shows there’s great value in high-risk patients screening for lung cancer with a low dose CT (computed tomography) scan,” said Gilbert Boswell, cardiothoracic radiologist at the medical center. “When it’s at its earliest stage, we can do something and dramatically improve survival.”
The low dose CT scan allows doctors to see malignant nodules growing in the lungs much earlier than they would be able to with a traditional x-ray. A government health panel recently recommended low dose CT screenings for smokers, and those who used to smoke, who are between the ages of 55 and 80.
The medical center’s lung cancer screening program also involves teaching patients who smoke about the importance of quitting the deadly habit. Qualifying patients must be between the ages of 55 and 79, be an active or
former smoker, and discuss their desire to be screened with their primary care manager.
Admiral to Speak at Stockdale Symposium
Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, will speak at the 17th annual James Bond Stockdale Leadership and Ethics Symposium at the University of San Diego today. A reception will be held in the patio of Camino Hall at 4 p.m. followed by the admiral’s talk at 5 p.m. Harris will speak on “Teamwork Is a Key Guiding Principle” with an emphasize on effective partnering between diverse individuals and organizations. The event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. Email email@example.com or call (619) 260-2284.
Climate Action Plan Updated
Interim Mayor Todd Gloria on Wednesday unveiled the first draft of an updated Climate Action Plan, a document designed to help San Diego mitigate its impacts on the environment in the decades ahead. The plan suggests, among other things, establishing a manageable framework for homeowners and businesses to make their properties more energy-efficient; taking steps to reduce the amount of trash sent to the landfill; and making the city even more bike-friendly. The plan sets specific targets and goals to be reached by 2020 and 2035. “This plan will help San Diego reduce its carbon footprint while also helping us maintain our quality of life,” said Gloria.
“The Climate Action Plan is a critical document to measure our success in achieving a sustainable city,” said Nicole Capretz, director of environmental policy. “For the first time, the city will have quantifiable data to assess how well we are doing in reducing climate pollution and reaching our goals. We are striving to make San Diego a national leader in healthy, livable neighborhoods powered by clean energy.”