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Daily Business Report-June 2, 2014

Daily Business Report-June 2, 2014

 Yeast from San Diego-based White Labs.

First Human Genomes, Now Beer

In San Diego, first we figured out a way to affordably sequence the human genome. Now, we’re doing it again, this time with beer. San Diego-based White Labs — a yeast distributor — has teamed up with a Belgian laboratory to map out the first genetic family tree for brewing yeasts and the beers they make.  The New York Times has the full story. Click here…

Troels Prahl, White Labs head of research and development

Troels Prahl, White Labs head of research and development

Troels Prahl, the head of research and development at White Labs, works in the San Diego office. He holds a degree in biotechnology from University of Copenhagen, Denmark specializing in fermentation science. Passionate to improve product and process quality within the beer brewing industry, he has dedicated more than the last decade of his working life to brewing and fermentation science, focusing on its application in the commercial beer brewing industry in Europe, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

In addition to consulting under his own business Ferm, based in Copenhagen, Prahl has worked closely with White Labs on yeast research and development project management since 2007. In recent years, he has presented at major technical conferences and taught technical classes with renowned brewing science schools, such as Siebel Institute, Chicago and the Scandinavian School of Brewing in Copenhagen. Prahl was also recognized as an award-winning head brewer during his time at London’s Camden Town Brewery from 2010-2011.

An early version (2008) of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan

An early version (2008) of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan

Developer Sought for Long-Awaited

Chula Vista Bayfront Destination Hotel

The Port of San Diego this month will issue a “Request for Qualifications” seeking a developer for a convention destination resort hotel as part of the 535-acre Chula Vista Bayfront project, a development that has been years in the planning process. The Port said the project “is one of the last great waterfront development opportunities in California and is creating a legacy destination for the public.”

The convention-oriented hotel fronting on San Diego Bay will be the centerpiece of the Chula Vista Bayfront. “With an improving U.S. economy and predicted increases in business and leisure travel, Chula Vista’s unique location on San Diego Bay is sure to attract strong interest from the development community,” said Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox. “Chula Vista and the Port have cleared the way to create a shovel-ready project on prime bayfront property.”

A Port report said the Chula Vista Bayfront project also will provide more than 200 acres of parks and other open space areas, including a public park, walking trails, interpretive signage and shoreline promenades. “Marina improvements will create an active commercial harbor with retail shops, restaurants and public space at the water’s edge. In addition to development on Port lands, complementary mixed use residential is planned on adjacent private lands by Pacifica Companies,” according to the Port report.

A recently prepared report, Tourism Economics for the San Diego Tourism Authority, estimates that San Diego’s overnight visitor volume will increase 1.8 percent annually on average during the next four years. According to the report, while annual hotel room demand is expected to increase more than 2 percent each year for the next four years, supply is estimated to increase at a lesser pace.

Jones Lang LaSalle is the lead adviser to the Port on the project.

Biotech Leaders to Converge in San Diego

Many of the world’s premier biotech leaders will converge in San Diego when BIO 2014 rolls into town on June 23-26. The conference at the San Diego Convention Center  is expected to bring together more than 15,000 people from 65 countries. Local boosters of BIO 2014 said the conference is San Diego’s prime-time chance to show off its considerable biotech heft, from basic research to commercializing products. This year’s event will feature keynotes by Sir Richard Branson and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Branson is scheduled to speak June 24 and Clinton is scheduled for June 25.

San Diego Receives National Manufacturing Designation

San Diego was selected as one of the first 12 communities to participate in the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP), a federal initiative aimed at attracting regional global manufacturing and supply chain investments. Joining forces with many partners across the region, San Diego is included in the Southern California designation, which was led by a team out of the University of Southern California Center for Economic Development. With a strong concentration of aerospace and defense companies, the Southern California collaborative will focus on strategies to incubate the workforce, improve capital access and R&D, and look to trade and international development.

As home to the world’s largest concentration of military personnel and with more than 80 percent of the state’s aerospace workers, the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership of Southern California Manufacturing Community will concentrate on further transforming the aerospace and defense industry.

Water Authority Sues Metropolitan Water District Again

The San Diego County Water Authority on Friday filed its third legal challenge against rates set by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, alleging that MWD’s rates for 2015 and 2016 aren’t based on the costs of providing the services. If allowed to stand, MWD’s rates for those two years alone would overcharge San Diego County ratepayers by $92 million; over 45 years, the total overcharges by MWD could exceed $2 billion, according to the agency.

The latest lawsuit follows a victory for the Water Authority in the first phase of litigation in two similar lawsuits challenging MWD’s rates. On April 24, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Curtis E. A. Karnow issued a final statement of decision that said MWD violated cost-of-service requirements in California’s Constitution, statutes and common law when setting rates for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The Water Authority’s board voted unanimously on April 24 to authorize another lawsuit against MWD over rates it adopted on April 8 for 2015 and 2016 using the same illegal methodology it used the prior four years.

Manpower San Diego Exec to Speak at Luncheon

Phil Blair

Phil Blair

Phil Blair of Manpower San Diego joins The Pacific Center for Workforce Innovation Lunch series on June 10, to be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, 404 Euclid Ave., San Diego. Blair and partner Mel Katz have built Manpower San Diego into the largest Manpower franchise in the U.S., with annual revenues exceeding $125 million. At this luncheon, Blair will discuss his recent book, “Job Won!”, explaining what impresses human resources managers and what turns them off to a potential candidate

For information and registration, call (858) 210-0055.

PCL Construction Honored with Design-Build Awards

Green Build at Lindbergh Field

Green Build at Lindbergh Field

Student Union at Cal State San Marcos

Student Union at Cal State San Marcos

PCL Construction has won two Design-Build Institute of America awards at the Western Pacific Region Design Build Awards program in Newport Beach. It received the Merit Award for the student union at Cal State San Marcos and the Distinction Award for the Green Build terminal expansion at Lindbergh Field.

Built by PCL, the University Student Union at CSUSM is a four-story, 89,000-square-foot building thatcost $43.9 million. It features new dining, an open-air amphitheater, a student activity center, a rooftop garden and patio, and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom.

The Green Build at the airport was completed by a joint venture of PCL Construction Services, Turner Construction Co. and Flatiron Construction Corp. The $470 million project includes a three-story, 460,000-square-foot expansion of Terminal 2 with 10 new gates, twice as many security lanes, expanded concessions, and 1,500,000 square feet of new taxiway and jet parking.

Chamber Appoints Communications Manager

Alison Phillips

Alison Phillips

Alison Phillips has joined the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce as communications manager. Phillips previously was communications and special events manager for the San Diego County Bar Association, where she worked since 2008. In her role at the chamber, Phillips will serve as the primary media contact and support the chamber’s overall communications efforts and strategic plan which includes a greater emphasis on public policy and communications.

Previous staff announcements include Melissa Bonney Ratcliff as vice president of marketing and events and Alisa Reinhardt and Laura Shingles as policy analysts.

Sequenom Sells Bioscience Business for $31.8 Million

Sequenom Inc., a life sciences company, has completed the sale of its Bioscience business to Agena Bioscience, a portfolio company of Telegraph Hill Partners, for $31.8 million. The facility lease for its Bioscience location in San Diego was also assumed by Agena Bioscience. All of the current Bioscience employees will be offered employment by Agena Bioscience.

“We are pleased to sell the business to Agena Bioscience and Telegraph Hill Partners as they plan to invest in the growth of the Bioscience business to achieve its full potential,” said Harry F. Hixson Jr., chairman and CEO of Sequenom. “This sale strengthens our balance sheet, and will enable us to focus exclusively on our Sequenom Laboratories business as we work toward achieving profitability.”

Bioscience will continue to manufacture and sell the MassARRAY System, a proprietary mass spectrometry-based genetic analysis instrument and associated products.

S.D. Employers Association Seeks

Participants in 2014 Salary Survey

The San Diego Employers Association is inviting San Diegans to participate in its 2014 Wage & Salary Survey. The survey will provide salary information on positions in a multitude of industries including government, education, health, engineering, research and development, restaurants, human resources, biotechnology, manufacturing, retail, finance and insurance, among others.

The deadline to participate is Friday, June 20. Participants will receive a free copy of the 2014 survey when it comes out in July (it will retail for $450-$650.)

To participate, click here…

Remembering A Good Friend

Michael O’Riordan, a great free spirit

By Bob Page, chairman & CEO, SD METRO

I recently lost a good buddy.

Michael O’Riordan.

One day we were having lunch at Baci and a few days later I’m watching his son Andrew carry Michael’ ashes into  Our Lady of the Rosary Church for his memorial service.

Life. Here one moment and gone the next.

Michael O'Riordan

Michael O’Riordan

Michael was a great free spirit. I don’t think he  ever thought about it this way but Sinatra’s “I Did It My Way” would pretty much describe how he lived and the choices he made.

He could make a fortune selling life insurance and spend it all the next day.   This might not be a choice for many but wealth one day and not much  the next wasn’t going to determine how Michael  chose to live.

Michael lived a supremely confident life. He passed on college to become a ski instructor in Killington, Vt. He said if he thought he could have made any “good money” at it, he would have stayed forever.

But San Diego beckoned and the call of the West was too strong to pass up. First up, a bartending stint at La Valencia’s Whaling Bar in La Jolla. Somebody told him he’d make a great insurance salesman. How fortuitous.

He mastered it quickly. After a few years apprenticing at Prudential, he opened his own firm, Michael O’Riordan & Associates, in Solana Beach.

Michael was now on a roll. As the annuities rolled in, life couldn’t have been better. A house here, one there,  an investment on Hawaii’s Big Island, a few cars, a motorcycle or two and the good life was under way. He achieved it all through skill, determination and perseverance. There was no free ride. He had earned every penny.

His greatest love was reserved for Andrew and Andrew’s sister, Katelyn.  While Andrew’s classmates at Princeton headed off to Wall Street, Andrew headed off to see the world with Michael’s blessing.

As Andrew bused his way around Latin America or taught English in Taipei, Michael would call and say, “you gotta” read Andrew’s email, which he had just sent over. There was never any doubt about Michael’s pride in Andrew.   It’s safe to say that Andrew had picked up some of his Dad’s free spirit.

Katelyn was his princess. Pretty and smart. And like Andrew, a very gifted writer. I’ve never known a brother and sister whose commands of the English language is nearly without peer.

Today, Andrew is married and teaching English at Maui Prep.  Katelyn is a young account executive at Gable PR in San Diego. I’m sure Michael is  looking down from his current perch with a huge smile, as proud as any father could be.

Oh yes, there were a few other loves in his life.  His mother to be sure, as classy as any lady I’ve known.

And, as a son of Fall River, Mass., there was one other love: the Boston Red Sox! Michael’s office was adorned with a photograph of Fenway Park.  There were other bits of New England sports memorabilia  in his office but that Fenway Park picture was front and center.

Michael was born Feb. 13, 1955, in a British Army Hospital in Munster, Germany.

He is also survived by his brothers, Brian and Sean, his sister, Karen,  his wife, Carmen and Holly O’Riordan, Andrew and Katelyn’s mother. He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Eoghan O’Riordan, and a brother, Steve.

Michael lived a purposeful life which ended all too soon at 59.


Summer Pops

Summer Pops

Ashford University Summer Pops 2014

The Ashford University Summer Pops is San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor summer concert series. The concerts are performed on a stage constructed each year at Embarcadero Marina Park South on San Diego Bay, right behind the San Diego Convention Center. Seating options include cabaret tables, grandstand seating (fold-down chairs) and general admission lawn seating.

Summer Pops is 10 weeks of concerts from just before July 4 through

Labor Day, all featuring the San Diego Symphony and some of today’s

hottest pop acts. This year’s Summer Pops performers include Boz Scaggs,

Nathan Pacheco, Ozomatli, Burt Bacharach. There also will betributes to the Beatles, ABBA and Ray Charles, as well as a new concert/screening of Disney’s classic “Fantasia.” Our Principal Summer Pops conductor is Matthew Garbutt.

Ashford University Summer Pops concerts begin, unless otherwise noted, at

7:30 p.m., with gates opening at 6 p.m. Subscription concerts are on Friday and Saturday nights, with some occasional Sunday nights, and special concerts are on Thursdays and Sundays.

Click here to subscribe online…


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Voice Your Opinion

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: