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Daily Business Report-Sept. 24, 2014

Daily Business Report-Sept. 24, 2014

The new Veterans Center at California State University San Marcos.

Cal State San Marcos Officially

Opens New Veterans Center

California State University San Marcos formally opened the university’s new Veterans Center on Tuesday. Students, faculty and staff were joined by community residents at the grand opening. About 11 percent of the university’s students are veterans, service members, reservists, or spouses or other dependents, and that number is expected to grow as more military personnel retire or discharge and move into the civilian world, school officials said. The percentage is the highest in the state university system.

The Veterans Center was donated by a group of approximately 60 interdisciplinary students at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., who built the structure, formally known as EcoHabit, for the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. After the competition, the students opted to donate EcoHabit to CSUSM in support of the university’s significant veteran population.

The center replaces a smaller facility that opened in Craven Hall in 2008, and will offer military-affiliated students a kitchen, lounge, event space and a conference room. The students will also receive assistance in navigating the admissions process, accessing their GI benefits, registering for courses, accessing campus resources and getting involved in leadership and social activities.

“The thing that struck me about the donation of this center is that it was built as a home,” said Chancellor Timothy White. “This Veterans Center is a home. It is a home for all those who know what it is to serve and sacrifice. It is a home for those husbands and wives, sons and daughters who waited for the safe return of their beloved service member. And it is a home for those who know profound loss and bear the scars of war.”


San Diego's defense industry bolsters the local economy.

San Diego’s defense industry bolsters the local economy.

Report: Defense Industry Contributes

$38.7 Billion to San Diego Economy

Defense-related activities and spending generated an estimated $38.7 billion of gross regional product in San Diego County in the fiscal year that ended June 30, the San Diego Military Advisory Council reported Tuesday. In its sixth annual report on the local economic impact of military activities, the group called SDMAC said the total represents 20 percent of the region’s total GRP. The total includes $25.2 billion in direct defense spending, according to the report.

The figures are slightly higher than last year. However, the authors said their latest report includes additional money not accounted for in previous editions, including education and health care benefits.

“The combination of San Diego’s military community and defense cluster remains San Diego’s most important economic driver,” said Jamie Moraga, president of SDMAC. “In fact, new data in the study reinforces even more that San Diego’s military community and defense cluster is vital to our region’s economy.

Among other figures in the report:

• The military sector is responsible for about 317,000 jobs in the region after accounting for all of the ripple effects of defense spending, or around 22 percent of all of the jobs existing in the county.

• The wide range of jobs created by defense spending include engineering, food services, information technology, cyber security, construction, shipbuilding, health care, real estate and retailing.

• The direct spending linked to the 56 ships home-ported in San Diego

is around $2.8 billion.

• The two aircraft carriers based in Coronado each add about $500

million to the economy.

• The two Navy hospitals in San Diego employ about 8,000 individuals and bring nearly $1 billion of defense dollars directly into the region.

The report was compiled by the Fermanian Business and Economic Institute at Point Loma Nazarene University.

— City News Service

Pre-Recession Retail Operations Within Sight

After five years, San Diego has fully recovered from the past recession, according to most economic indicators, though retail operations have another year before fundamentals reflect previous high watermarks, according to Marcus & Millichap’s third quarter review.

Payrolls reached an all-time high in the first half of 2014, and tourism traffic is breaking records every year, according to the report.

“Thus far in 2014, visitor traffic is up nearly 4 percent compared with the same period in 2013. Even more encouraging, spending from tourists has jumped more than 10 percent, indicative of a much healthier national economy,” the report said. “Tourism supports 20 percent of the jobs in the county and is a good barometer for the health of the retail market. Retail sales, meanwhile, are up nearly 5 percent over the past year and 33 percent above the recessionary trough, both well above the national average.” “Although these important benchmarks have been met, retail occupancy and rents remain below prior peaks, particularly in suburban areas,” the report said. “A dearth of small businesses entering the market is the main culprit, though an equity-creating housing market and low interest rates on SBA loans will support leasing at in-line dark space in the coming quarters as more residents are willing to assume the risk of ownership.”

Marcus & Millichap said the retail investment outlook remains bright, though the market is bifurcated in the current interest rate climate. Single-tenant and prime multi-tenant properties are capturing prices above pre-recession levels.

SDEA Holds Wage and Hour Roundtable

The San Diego Employers Association will present a Sept. 26 roundtable event on little-known wage and hour rules “that could lead to liability you didn’t even know you had.” It will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the SDEA Training Facility, 4180 Ruffin Road, Suite 295, San Diego. The event is designed to educate employers on an array of topics regarding wage and hour in order to avoid costly fines for mistakes.  This roundtable will address those little idiosyncrasies that can lead to big liabilities and fines for employer and even supervisors and managers. Discussions will be led by Lonny Zilberman.

The cost is $35 for SDEA members, $45 for nonmembers.To register, visit, email or call  (858) 505-0024.

Home Builders Take Home Multiple Icon Awards

Arterro Plan 4

Arterro Plan 4

Lucent at Civita

Lucent at Civita

Davidson Communities’ Arterro at La Costa in Carlsbad has been honored as San Diego’s “Project of the Year” for detached housing by the Building Industry Association of San Diego County at its annual Icon awards for excellence in the homebuilding industry. The home builder was honored for highest achievement in the categories of Best Project-Detached; Best Architectural Design for Arterro Plan 4; Best Interior Design for Arterro Plan 3; and Best Landscape Design. Davidson’s team includes R. Douglas Mansfield, Design Line Interiors, Hunsaker & Associates and SJA Inc.

Shea Homes also was honored at the Icon awards. Shea’s Lucent at Civita was named San Diego’s “Project of the Year” for innovative floor plans and fresh urban architecture. Designer Woodley Architecture Group shared an Icon award for Best Architectural Design for multi-family residences. Ernesto Neri, who guided the Lucent project, was honored at San Diego’s “2014 Superintendent of the Year.”

Timothy Hutter Named ‘Rookie of the Year’

Timothy Hutter

Timothy Hutter

Timothy Hutter, a litigation attorney with the Allen Matkins law firm in San Diego, has won the 2014 “Rookie of the Year” Award from the Building Industry Association of San Diego — the first attorney to get the honor. Hutter received the award at the association’s annual Icon Awards.

Hutter has been active in the BIA since he began working at Allen Matkins in 2009. He sits on the BIA of San Diego’s board of directors for its Y-Gen group and has helped organize the BIA’s mentor program for a number of years.

Hutter is a member of Allen Matkins’ Litigation Department in which his practice focuses primarily on business and real estate disputes, including contract, construction, joint venture, land use and landlord/tenant litigation.


Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Unveils a New Identity

OLP's new logo

OLP’s new logo

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace (OLP) has introduced a new brand identity that captures the essence of the school and its dedication to “excellence tempered by gentleness, peace and joy.” For San Diego’s Catholic college preparatory girls’ high school, the brand visually speaks to the school’s preeminent academics, historic significance, founding principles and remarkable graduates, said Lauren Lek, head of school.

The school’s new logo, a customized fleur de lis, links the brand identity to St. Joseph, the patron saint of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet and the academy. Elements of the logo were inspired by the school’s architecture and textures with a Beaux-Artes influence.

“OLP follows in the footsteps of many brilliant and dedicated educators who foster an academic culture of excellence supported by a strong faith tradition, service to others and a plethora of co-curricular learning opportunities,” said Lek. “We now have a brand identity to match our vision of helping generations of young leaders become all of which woman is capable.”

“We are committed to challenging our students to become academic, social and spiritual leaders,” said Lek. “In that, we follow a mission to engender a collaborative 21st Century worldview in the tradition of the Gospels.”

School leaders believe this new look will help OLP continue to attract the best and brightest young women in the community to attend. This belief includes preparing young women for higher education, for them to become agents of change and to allow them to compete on a global scale.

The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is located at 4860 Oregon St. For more, visit

SDSU Exceeds $500 Million Fundraising

Goal — Sets Sights on $750 Million

San Diego State University has exceeded the $500 million goal set in 2007 for its first comprehensive fundraising campaign, and announced an extension of the campaign to raise $750 million. Last night, university leaders formally thanked SDSU alumni and friends for the 131,000 gifts received, including $106 million to finance scholarships and $320 million to support faculty and academic programs.

Through August 2014, The Campaign for SDSU raised $515,791,863, including 94 gifts of $1 million or more and $49 million from current and former faculty and staff. Sixty percent of those who supported the campaign were first-time donors.

“The Campaign for SDSU has been extraordinarily successful and  we are deeply grateful to our generous donors, as well as all of the members of the university community who contributed to the campaign’s achievements,” said SDSU President Elliot Hirshman.

No Party Preference Voters Surge in California

More than 23 percent of California voters have registered without a party preference, according to voter registration figures released Tuesday. That’s an all time high for the state and an increase of more than 640,000 people compared to September 2010.

In San Diego County, 27 percent of voters are registered without a party preference, while in Imperial County 24 percent of voters are registered without a party preference.

There are nearly 18 million people registered to vote in California. The Democratic Party still dominates, being claimed by more than 43 percent of voters. The Republican Party comes in just above the no-party-preference voters with 28 percent.

In San Diego County 1.5 million people are registered to vote. In Imperial County there are 58,201 registered voters. In San Diego County nearly 35 percent of voters are registered as Democrats and 33 percent are registered as Republicans. In Imperial County 49 percent of voters are registered as Democrats and 22 percent are registered as Republicans.

Voters registered with several minor parties as well. Among them the American Independent party garners about 3 percent of voters. The Green and Libertarians parties each got about .6 percent of voters.

— KPBS and Capital Public Radio

Personnel Moves

Higgs Fletcher & Mack Hires an Associate

Gerissa Conforti

Gerissa Conforti

Gerissa S. Conforti has joined the law firm of Hicks Fletcher & Mack as an associate. Conforti will play a role in advising and counseling clients on family-related legal issues.

Conforti comes to Higgs from the Law Office of Michael Stephen Berg where she was an associate attorney. Prior to that, she worked for the Law Office of Kurt David Hermansen. Other experience includes working at the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office in its Writs and Appeals Unit. Conforti graduated from California Western School of Law in 2009 where she won the Academic Achievement Award in Sexuality and Law and was selected as the Commencement Ceremony Student Speaker. Conforti obtained her LLM in Trial Advocacy in 2011 from Cal Western and earned her bachelor’s degree  from the University of California, Riverside.

EdgeWave Hires Cyber Operations Director

EdgeWave, a San Diego-based cyber security firm, announced the appointment of Ret. Navy Intelligence Officer Tom Chapman as director of its Cyber Operations Group (COG). Chapman, who has more than 20 years of cyber security and military experience, will lead cyber threat identification and mitigation operations across all EdgeWave teams and technologies.

Before joining EdgeWave, Chapman established and directed the Task Force 1030 Cyber Analysis Cell supporting the U.S. Navy Fleet Command where his team was responsible for protecting 400,000 personnel, 300 ships and 4,000 aircraft from cyber attacks. Previously, Chapman supported combat operations in Afghanistan as the senior intelligence officer aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Ashford University’s Online Graduates

To Meet Face-to-Face at Commencement

Graduate Lucia Bartoli

Graduate Lucia Bartoli

Thousands of Ashford University’s online students who earned their degrees together will meet face-to-face for the first time, don time-honored caps and gowns, and march to “Pomp and Circumstance” in the university’s first local commencement ceremonies being held Oct. 5 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Last November, Ashford University became a San Diego-based university though its (WASC) Senior College and University Commission accreditation.

“Ashford’s first graduation is a milestone in the university’s evolution,” said Richard Pattenaude, president and CEO. “We’re excited to host our graduates and their guests in our hometown.”

More than 450 graduates in Ashford’s fall 2014 graduating class live in San Diego, including Fallbrook resident and 70-year-old grandmother Lucia Bartoli. In the past two years, Bartoli has earned two bachelor’s degrees and a master’s in organizational management. After participating in the San Diego ceremony, she plans to continue her studies with a master’s in forensic psychology. “Don’t ever, ever give up your goals, your dreams, your desire to learn,” she said. Her daughter, four grandchildren along with John Consoli, one of her professors, will be attending the ceremony.

Graduate Larry Cunningham

Graduate Larry Cunningham

Military graduates comprise nearly 25 percent of the fall 2014 graduating class. One of these is 36-year-old Larry Cunningham, an army warrant officer stationed at Fort Irwin, Calif.  Cunningham began taking classes online in 2010 while deployed in Iraq, studying in two different countries and two states. The first in his family to graduate college, he credits Ashford’s online platform for empowering him to earn a bachelor’s degree in organizational management.

“I’m looking most forward to meeting classmates, instructors and advisers in person for the first time, and walking across the stage to receive my degree,” said Cunningham.

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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?

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