Daily Business Report-Jan. 20, 2015
Rancho Bernardo Solar
Company Cutting 100 Jobs
A French electronics firm that opened a solar energy plant in Rancho Bernardo to great local fanfare 3 years ago announced Monday it is eliminating around 100 jobs at the facility.
Soitec, which makes semiconductor materials for the energy and electronics industries, made the announcement when it released its third- quarter financial results.
The Paris-based company said it wants to refocus to its core electronics business, which will require “significant restructuring measures.” More cost-cutting is expected in the future, according to the firm.
Soitec began building the 176,000-square-foot Rancho Bernardo plant to produce concentrator photovoltaic modules for the U.S. renewable energy market in December 2011 and was expected to employ 450 people there.
Gov. Jerry Brown, then-Mayor Jerry Sanders, other elected officials and business leaders attended a dedication ceremony for the facility. Sanders, now CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said then that the plant would build on San Diego’s growing reputation “as one of the world’s leading clean-technology clusters.”
However, contracts for solar systems have since taken a nosedive, the online news publication Voice of San Diego reported last month.
— City News Service
Oceanside Commerce Center Sold
For $7.5 Million to SR Commercial
OCEANSIDE –SR Commercial has acquired the Oceanside Commerce Center, a five- building, multi-tenant industrial park encompassing over 70,000 square feet, for $7.5 million. The property, which was acquired as part of a 1031 exchange, will be held as a long-term cash flow asset by SR Commercial, according to Adam Robinson, a principal at SR Commercial. The seller was Bob Voit.
The property was 85 percent occupied at the time of purchase, and SR Commercial plans to implement interior and exterior enhancements in order to justify gradual rent increases, according to Robinson.
The property is located at 4747, 4749, 4751 Oceanside Blvd., and 1818, 1820 Peacock Blvd. in Oceanside. Voit Real Estate Services was the broker.
Qualcomm Co-Founder to be Inducted
Into Connect Entrepreneur Hall of Fame
Connect the startup acceleration program in San Diego, has selected Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Andrew Viterbi for its highest honor — induction into the Connect Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Viterbi is being honored for his extensive contributions to Wi-Fi, 3G cellular and digital-satellite communications, speech recognition, DNA analysis and engineering education locally and globally.
An award luncheon honoring Viterbi will be held on March 19 in La Jolla, CA.
In 1985, Viterbi co-founded Qualcomm Inc. (with Irwin Jacobs, Harvey White, Adelia Coffman, Andrew Cohen, Klein Gilhousen, and Franklin Antonio). He served as chief technical officer until 1996 and vice chairman until 2000. Under his leadership, Qualcomm received international recognition for innovative technology in the areas of digital wireless communications based on Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technologies.
Viterbi’s most prominent research contribution is the Viterbi algorithm, one of the most important mathematical concepts of the 20th century, a means of separating information from background noise. The Viterbi Algorithm is used in most mobile phones and digital satellite receivers, as well as in the fields of magnetic recording, voice recognition and DNA sequence analysis.
Viterbi is the 13th inductee into the Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. Past inductees are Irwin Jacobs, Walter Zable, Ivor Royston, William Rastetter, J. Robert Beyster, Neal Blue, Linden Blue, Peter Preuss, Gene Ray, Howard “Ted” Greene, Ron Taylor and Peter Farrell.
Former USC Hospital CEO
Joins Sharp Grossmont Hospital
Scott Evans, former CEO of USC Hospital, has been named senior vice president and chief executive officer of Sharp Grossmont Hospital in La Mesa. He assumes his new post on Feb. 16.
Evans leaves the CEO positions he held at Keck Hospital of USC and USC Norris Cancer Hospital. In addition to these leadership positions, he has held various roles at USC over the past 16 years, including chief operating officer (2007-2012) and director of pharmacy (2004-2007). Combined, the two hospitals have a total of 471 beds, 3,000 employees, 1,000 physicians and an annual net revenue of $800 million.
While at Keck USC and Norris Cancer Hospitals, Evans grew top line revenue by more than 50 percent over five years, led multiple construction projects and opened four major ambulatory centers. He also revitalized and re-engaged the employee workforce through an organization-wide cultural redesign, and initiated a department-specific and balanced scorecard that measured quality and financial performance, and achieved an “A” safety rating from The Leapfrog Group
Evans succeeds the late Michele Tarbet, who died after a short illness in July 2014. Tarbet had served as the hospital’s CEO since 1996.
Meals-on-Wheels Raises Funds to Create
Urban Garden at HQ Building in Old Town
With the help of thousands of dollars in grants and donations, Meals-on-Wheels Greater San Diego Inc. has launched a “Fresh Initiative” to install new landscaping at its Old Town headquarters and turn it into an urban garden.
The new landscape plan includes planting fruit trees, herbs and spice plants that are drought tolerant, indigenous to San Diego and low maintenance. The production of the garden will also help reduce the overall cost of meal preparation, particularly in the area of herbs and spices that are often used as substitutes for sodium for healthier, heart-friendly meals.
Meals-on-Wheels plans on partnering with youth programs such as Jeanne’s Garden Program for Children, as well as local gardening clubs throughout the area. “This will not only help to maintain the garden, but will provide education to children and adults about the concepts of sustainable gardening, composting, beneficial insects, and native San Diego plants,” the organization said in a release.
Funding for the initiative was raised from The Birdwell Family Foundation at Private Asset Management Inc. via a $100,000 matching challenge grant. An additional $100,500 was raised by mid-December to match the Birdwell funds. Donors include Vi & Dan McKinney and The Hervey Family Non-Endowment Fund of the San Diego Foundation for $25,000 each.
A Neighborhood Reinvestment Program grant from county Supervisor Ron Robert’s District 4 awarded $20,000 for the initiative and SDG&E granted $10,000.
The additional monies were donated by various individuals and board of trustee members.
Anyone interested in helping the urban garden grow through volunteering time, talent and/or treasures should call (619) 278-4041 or visit the website www.mealsonwheels.org for more information.
City Council to Set Cost of Permits
For Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Annual operating permits for legal medical marijuana facilities in San Diego would cost nearly $1,100 under a proposal to be considered Tuesday by the City Council.
A fee schedule is among a list of amendments to an ordinance passed by council members last year, setting the terms under which dispensaries will conduct their business. The operating regulations differ from land use restrictions, which determine the allowable locations for pot shops.
Among other things, the City Council wants the annual permit fee to equal the cost of inspections and other expenses needed to regulate the dispensaries. The city’s projected costs include the use of police officers and fire personnel, zoning investigators, planners and City Treasury employees.
Prospective owners of the medical marijuana facilities are currently going through a costly and time consuming process to acquire another type of permit — a conditional use permit — which will allow them to open.
— City News Service
Patrick Hayes and Emily Bingham
Join Red Door Interactive
and Emily Bingham have joined Red Door Interactive, a San Diego advertising agency. Hayes was tapped as project manager, Bingham as community manager specialist.
Hayes previously was with Quicken Loans where he was the Internet marketing specialist and strategic digital visionary for “Opportunity Detroit.” Prior to that position, he was the marketing coordinator for Little Caesars Fundraising Program. He co-founded Envolve Clothing, an environmentally friendly clothing store.
Bingham previously was the marketing and social media coordinator for Miami City Ballet. She created content for the ballet’s blog and email marking campaigns, and managed its numerous social media platforms. Bingham also served as a grants writer for Miami City Ballet where she handled copywriting for online/direct mail fundraising and education/outreach materials. She was the program coordinator for the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council.
Andrea Kaplan Russell Named Kirby Noonan Partner
San Diego law firm Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge has named Andrea Kaplan Russell as partner. Previously an associate at the firm, Russell has represented defendants and plaintiffs in practice areas that include civil, tort and business litigation, professional and product liability.
While in law school, Russell received the Academic Achievement Award in Legal Writing, Research and Contracts, and served as a judicial extern to the Honorable Louisa S. Porter of the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California. She also interned for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division.
Russell is chair of the Civil Litigation Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and juris doctorate from the University of San Diego.