Daily Business Report-April 23, 2014
San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria appears at a recent press conference to promote raising the minimum wage in San Diego. (File photo).
Details on Minimum Wage Measure
For San Diego To be Outlined
Details on a proposed ballot measure aimed at raising the minimum wage in San Diego are scheduled to be released today by City Council President Todd Gloria and other proponents, City News Service reports. Also attending a noon press conference are Councilwoman Sherri Lightner and Peter Brownell, research director of the Center on Policy Initiatives.
Advocates want to present an initiative to voter in November that would provide a “meaningful” increase in the minimum wage for all people working in San Diego by:
• Tying pay rates to a cost-of-living index that would be updated annually.
• Allowing a phase-in period that gives more time for small businesses and nonprofits to raise pay; and giving five days of earned sick leave for all employees, regardless of industry or business type.
The minimum wage in California is $8 per hour. The state plans an increase to $9 an hour in July and $10 an hour in two years.
The Center on Policy Initiatives estimates that a single person living on a stripped-down budget nees to make a $13.09 hourly wage to live in San Diego. Around 300,000 households in the region have incomes too low to meet basic expenses, according to the CPI.
Some interest groups have called for an even higher minimum wage. While Gloria has yet to specify an amount, he has cautioned supporters that a ballot measure needs to be crafted so that it has a chance to succeed with voters.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer and Councilman Mark Kersey have called for an independent study on the potential impact of a minimum wage increase. Business groups say they want to see the proposed amount before they take a stand on the issue.
New Chair Named for Department
of Psychology at UC San Diego
Igor Grant, an internationally recognized neuropsychiatrist, has been named the new chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. Grant’s research interests have ranged from the neurobiology of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse, psychobiology of stress, to the therapeutic potential of medicinal cannabis.
Grant, who had been executive vice-chair, succeeds Lewis Judd, who is stepping down after 36 years in the position – the longest serving department chair in the history of the university.
Grant takes the reins of a psychiatry department that has consistently ranked among the top 10 in the nation. Over the years, Grant has held a variety of leadership positions. He is currently director of the HIV Neurobehavioral Research Program, comprised of scientists from multiple disciplines. Over the past decade he was ranked among the top 10 clinical investigators in the nation in terms of funding from the National Institutes of Health.
He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Psychology at San Diego State University.
Arianna Huffington Featured at Luncheon
Arianna Huffington, chair, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group and the author of 14 books, will be a guest of the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce at a May 21 luncheon at the Sony Corp., 16535 Esprillo, in San Diego. The event is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Huffington launched The Huffington Post in May 2005, a news and blog site. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and in 2013 she was named to the Forbes Most Powerful Women list.
Each guest will receive an autographed copy of Huffington’s latest book, “Thrive.”
The luncheon cost is $59 for chamber members and $89 for nonmembers. To order tickets, call (858) 487-1767.
Urban Corps of San Diego County Gets $25,000 Grant
The Walmart Foundation has given a $25,000 grant to Urban Corps of San Diego County to assist with youth job training services. Urban Corps is a certified local conservation corps and charter school providing young adults with green job training, education and community service experience, while protecting San Diego’s natural resources. The grant — which was given to the nonprofit through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program — will fund the organization’s YouthBuild program, a model of the YouthBuild USA Affiliated Network.
Carnitas’ Snack Shack Makes Best Food List
Now you know why there’s always a line at Carnitas’ Snack Shack in North Park. The restaurant has made the “Best Food in San Diego” list by the local Zagat guide. See the list…
Make it in America Conference
ESCONDIDO — Congressman Scott Peters and the office of County Supervisor Dave Roberts present the “Make it in America” conference on Wednesday, Nov. 19, to Saturday, Nov. 22, at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. “Make it in America” is a three and a half day conference bringing together innovators and investors from six Asian countries to seek opportunities with biotech, pharmaceutical, high tech and other industry leaders in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, and Riverside counties. Some of the goals of the event are to create new jobs, finance innovation, form strategic partnerships, and bolster the economy.
New Real Estate Investment Firm Launched
For investors looking to diversify their portfolios with real estate but who lack the equity or experience to do so, a new company has formed to meet their needs. Perry Commercial RE Investments was founded by San Diego commercial real estate veterans Bradford Perry, Linville Martin and several others with extensive backgrounds in local real estate.
“Many individuals are interested in diversifying their portofolio by investing in commercial real estate but are without the opportunity to do so unless they invest in REITs,” said Perry. “Perry Commercial RE Investments was formed to allow those investors to join a group of like-minded individuals who are looking for opportunities in San Diego that produce consistent investment returns from stable operations.”
Focusing on multi-family properties such as apartment complexes, the firm uses a group investment strategy by assemblying a group of investors and then identifing, analyzing, and acquiring properties that deliver acceptable returns for the investors.
Unlike a REIT, Perry Commercial RE Investments will allow investors to study, understand and elect to participate in each investment with direct access to the investment team and property operators who will handle the day-to-day operations. “Our investors will have the opportunity to see, touch, and feel the property before they choose to invest in it which is one significant advantage that the group investment strategy provides them — something that REITs do not offer,” said Perry.
Perry and Martin have been active in the commercial real estate market in San Diego for many years. Martin began his career over 30 years ago and Perry has more than 23 years of experience.
GroundMetrics Raises $2.73 Million
GroundMetrics Inc., a San Diego-based electromagnetic survey company, said it has raised $2.73 million in a Series B financing round from new investors Cowboy Technology Angels, an oil industry angel group based in Oklahoma. Other key investors participated in the round including the Tech Coast Angels, Crescent Ridge Partners, ACE Fund, Harvard Business School Alumni Association, and Peter Landin, former managing director and CEO/Americas for Barclays Global Investors.
SKLZ Hires VP of Marketing
CARLSBAD — Sports equipment company SKLZ has hired Laura Wolf Stein as vice president of marketing. The company also announced that Brian Farber has been named soccer product manager and Chuck Rodrigues has been named director of sales for the mass/club channel.
Wolf Stein, a former Division I volleyball player at Princeton University, comes from Sony Electronics where she served in key roles for consumer marketing, most recently leading the entire marketing mix for Sony’s television and sound categories including the execution of key sports marketing campaigns.
Brian Farber is a professional soccer player for the San Diego Sockers and a member of the U.S. national indoor soccer team. Rodrigues, an avid runner and New York Marathon finisher, joins SKLZ from Timex where he spent the past nine years in sales account managemen.
UC San Diego Faculty Members Elected
To The Academy of Arts and Sciences
Two UC San Diego faculty members have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies. Christopher K. Glass, a professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular medicine, and Clifford P. Kubiak, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry, join the 2014 class of academy members.
This year’s election of Glass and Kubiak brings UC San Diego’s current membership in the academy to 112. The two professors will be inducted into the academy at a ceremony on Oct. 11 at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Glass joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine faculty in 1989. His laboratory investigates the mechanisms regulating the development and function of the macrophage, a cell that plays key roles in immunity and inflammatory diseases, and the roles of transcription factors (proteins) that bind DNA sequences at both gene-specific and genome-wide scales.
Kubiak holds the Harold C. Urey Endowed Chair in Chemistry. His research laboratory is focused on the catalysis of the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide and the photochemical “splitting” of carbon dioxide.
Attorney David Casey Jr. Appointed
To International Lawyers Group
David S. Casey Jr., senior partner with San Diego-based CaseyGerry, has been appointed to the board of directors of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group of trial lawyers representing both sides of the bar: prosecutors and defense lawyers in criminal cases, and plaintiffs’ and defense counsel in civil litigation.
Casey has been a fellow of the Academy — which limits membership to 500 fellows from the United States — since 1999. Fellowship is by invitation only and follows a vetting process that includes inquiries of both judges and other trial lawyers of high standing.
Casey has spent more than 35 years practicing law in San Diego. He is past president of the American Association of Trial Lawyers (now known as the American Association for Justice), and has received more than 60 professional awards throughout his career, including a perpetual award in his honor, the “David S. Casey, Jr. Consumer Advocate Award” from the Consumer Attorneys of San Diego.