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Daily Business Report-Jan. 23, 2015

Daily Business Report-Jan. 23, 2015

The House of Germany will get company when nine new international cottages are added to Balboa Park.

9 More International Cottages

To be Installed in Balboa Park

The city of San Diego Planning Commission gave initial approval Thursday to a proposal to build international cottages for nine additional countries in Balboa Park.

The commissioners voted 5-0 to begin the process of amending planning documents for Balboa Park as a whole and, more specifically, its Central Mesa area. Charles Daniels, a park planner for the city, said it could take as long as one year for the cottages plan to get through all of the regulatory hurdles and construction to begin.

House of Pacific Relations, 2009

House of Pacific Relations, 2009

The park currently has 19 cottages for various countries in a village area south of the Spreckels Organ Pavilion. Three more would be built in a grassy area near the pavilion, and the other six would be placed in an unused spot at the opposite end of the cottages.

The expansion of the cottage area is “long, long, long overdue,” commission Chairman Tim Golba said.

One of the countries that would receive a cottage is Mexico, which would culminate a 20-year dream, said Enrique Morones, a founder of the House of Mexico. He said that in the 1990s, he was looking for a place at the park to hold a celebration for Mexican Independence Day and it had to be held in the House of Sweden.

“The houses that are there today are San Diego’s yesteryear,” Morones said. “The nine houses that want to have houses today are San Diego today. We are who San Diego is today, the communities of color, the diversity that you see with the houses that are being considered.”

He subsequently founded the House of Mexico, which — with several other countries — shared display space in the Hall of Nations. That building, however, is undergoing a long-term renovation.

Besides Mexico, the nations on the list for new cottages are Colombia, India, Lebanon, Palestine, Panama, Peru, the Philippines and Turkey.

Commissioner Susan Peerson said the new countries that will have cottages will be great for “bringing in diversity and cultures, and an exchange of information and an exchange of knowledge, and just getting to know other people and hearing their history.”

— City News Service

San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport

San Diego International Airport Served

Record 18.7 Million Passengers in 2014

San Diego International Airport served a record 18.7 million passengers in 2014, the highest total since 2007, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority reported today. The airport also set new records for total passenger boarding and international passengers.

Last year’s total of 18,756,997 passengers exceeded the previous record of 18,326,734 set in 2007 by 2.3 percent, the agency said. For the year, passenger totals in 2014 increased by 5.9 percent over 2013.

The airport also served 672,972 international passengers in 2014, a 7.2 percent increase over 2013, and the third consecutive year the airport had a record-breaking increase in this category.

The airport also set a record for total enplanements, or departing passengers, in 2014 with 9,383,793; a 2.3 percent increase over the previous record set in 2007.

“By virtually any passenger metric, San Diego International Airport has seen exceptionally strong and steady growth in recent years,” said Thella F. Bowens, president/CEO of the Airport Authority. “Our goal has always been to offer more and better air travel options, and to make flying in and out of San Diego as convenient as possible. These numbers show that our efforts are bearing fruit.”

Bowens attributed the increases to a number of factors, including:

• Increase in the number of nonstop flights.

• New routes and destinations.

• Enhancements of airport and airline capacity.

• Steady improvement in the economy.

Former Homeland Security Secretary

To Talk on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge

Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, will speak on cybersecurity and cybercrime at the opening session of a Corporate Directors Forum conference Jan. 25-27 at the University of San Diego.

“Directors Forum 2015: Directors, Management & Shareholders in Dialogue” provides a forum for three constituencies who seldom share the stage — directors, shareholders and management — to express their divergent and sometimes contentious perspectives.

Ridge is chairman of Ridge Insurance Solutions Company, a partner of Ridge-Schmidt Cyber and former governor of Pennsylvania. “There are businesses that understand that breaches will occur, and they’re working to manage the risk. And then there are companies that still bury their heads in the sand,” said Ridge. “We must build cyber-resilient organizations.  Businesses must proactively manage cyber risk and prepare to quickly fix the inevitable attack or breach.”

The Directors Forum conference is open to the public, and general ticket prices are $2,195. For more information, call (858) 455-7930.

Pacific Commerce Bank Merger

With Vibra Bank Approved

Pacific Commerce Bank, which is based in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles, and Vibra Bank of Chula Vista announced that their proposed merger has been approved by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Pacific Commerce has three branches — three in Los Angeles County and one in San Diego County — and Vibra has one, in Chula Vista. After the merger, the new institution will have assets of about $350 million, bank executives said.

The deal, announced in late October, is expected to close in the second quarter, pending approval from the state Department of Business Oversight and shareholders of both banks.

Pacific Commerce reportedly paid about 120 percent of Vibra’s book value. As of Dec. 31, Vibra had $140 million in assets, $125.2 million in deposits and $89.1 million in loans.

Established in 2002, Pacific Commerce Bank initially focused on Japanese- American businesses, then started expanding it reach in 2006.

— City News Service

Program Launched to Provide Female

Sex-Workers With Alternative Business Opportunities

Two San Diego organizations and UC San Diego are teaming up to provide alternative business opportunities for female sex-workers in Tijuana. Women’s Empowerment International and Via International are involved in the effort with UC San Diego.

San Diego’s Women’s Empowerment International will provide funds to Via International, who will, in turn, provide microloans to Tijuana female sex- workers so they can start businesses and lessen or eliminate their financial reliance on sex trade. A research team from UC San Diego’s Center on Gender Equity and Health will evaluate the program to determine its effectiveness.

The community mobilization effort, called ESTIMA, (“valuing myself”), is aimed to improve the health and well-being of this economically vulnerable population of women. There are no other organizations with similar projects in Tijuana.

ESTIMA is being implemented by Via International in two phases and will provide business loans to a total of 120 women sex workers. Participants will participate in training, elect leaders, take out loans and start businesses of their own choosing.

The project requires $54,000 in total loan funding for 120 women. Women’s Empowerment International is committed to funding Phase I — $27,000 in loans for the first 60 women and may also may fund the $27,000 in loans needed for the second 15-month phase.

Robert Gleason Appointed to Board of L.A. Branch

Of Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Robert Gleason

Robert Gleason

Robert H. Gleason, president and CEO of Evans Hotels, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Los Angeles branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. He was appointed to a three-year term ending Dec. 31, 2017.

Gleason was appointed president and CEO of Evans Hotels in 2014. Prior to his appointment, he spent the previous 15 years as the CFO and general counsel of Evans Hotels. He serves as the board chair of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, and is a trustee of the Francis Parker School.

Gleason is an executive committee member of the Princeton University Alumni Council and co-chair of the Committee on LGBT Alumni Affairs at Princeton. He holds a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law, and an A.B. in Economics from Princeton University.

The Los Angeles branch board of directors provides economic perspective on the region to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s board of directors.


Richard Somerville, research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, unveils an updated version of the ‘Doomsday Clock’ during a press conference held by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Richard Somerville, research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, unveils an updated version of the ‘Doomsday Clock’ during a press conference held by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Atomic Scientists, Scripps Prof

Move ‘Doomsday Clock’ Forward

Warning that “the probability of global catastrophe is very high,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — including a San Diego scientist — on Thursday moved the minute hand of their historic Doomsday Clock forward two minutes.

Doomsday Clock

Doomsday Clock

The shift, the first in three years, sets the time at three minutes to midnight. The scientists cited “unchecked climate change” and global nuclear weapons modernization as reasons for the change. As recently as 1991 the clock was at 17 minutes before midnight.

Richard Somerville, a research professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, warned that “efforts at reducing global emissions of heat-trapping gases have so far been entirely insufficient to prevent unacceptable climate disruption.

“Unless much greater emissions reductions occur very soon, the countries of the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the end of this century to profoundly transform the Earth’s climate, ” Somerville said.

The scientists also noted that nuclear disarmament programs appear to have “ground to a halt” amid weapons modernization.

“Since the end of the Cold War, there has been cautious optimism about the ability of nuclear weapon states to keep the nuclear arms race in check and to walk back slowly from the precipice of nuclear destruction,” said Sharon Squassoni, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “That optimism has essentially evaporated in the face of two trends: sweeping nuclear weapons modernization programs and a disarmament machinery that has ground to a halt.”

Somerville and Squassoni are both members of the science and security board of the Chicago-based publication.

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists subsequently created the Doomsday Clock in 1947.

— Times of San Diego

SDSU Gets $200,000 Grant to

Prevent, Respond to Sexual Assault

Programs to prevent and respond to campus sexual assaults are set to expand at San Diego State University and UC San Diego, the schools announced Thursday.

SDSU announced that a $200,000 state grant will fund a full-time sexual assault victims advocate on campus, to be trained and hired through the Center for Community Solutions, which operates a rape crisis center in San Diego

The money will also allow SDSU to dedicate a part-time police officer to sexual assault prevention, training and investigation.

“This grant provides SDSU with additional resources allowing us to fund additional positions focused on sexual violence prevention and it provides resources so that SDSU can implement cutting edge programs and activities,” said Jessica Rentto, associate vice president for business and financial affairs, and the Title IX coordinator for SDSU.

UCSD officials said their Sexual Assault and Violence Prevention Resource Center will expand its services to provide crisis intervention and advocacy to faculty and staff — in addition to students. The center’s name was changed to CARE: Advocacy Office for Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and Misconduct. CARE serves as the primary point of contact for victims and survivors who need advocacy, support services and/or assistance with reporting options, according to UCSD.

— City News Service

Hill Construction Company's award-winning 'Clean Living' home

Hill Construction Company’s award-winning ‘Clean Living’ home

Two Custom La Jolla Homes by Hill Construction

Honored for Design Excellence at Las Vegas Show

San Diego-based Hill Construction Company received top honors for design and building excellence at the International Builders’ Show “Best in American Living Awards” presented at the annual awards ceremony in Las Vegas on Jan. 21.

The 'Marine Lair' home by Hill Construction Company

The ‘Marine Lair’ home by Hill Construction Company

Company president Ryan Hill accepted the awards for two La Jolla homes: “Marine Lair,” a 3,200-square-foot custom project designed and built for the “Gen Y bachelor” and “Clean Living,” a 2,700-square-foot LEED Platinum home built and created with an eco-conscious family in mind. The homes tied for Platinum recognition — the highest level — in the category of One-of-a-kind Custom or Spec Home up to 4,000 square feet.

“It’s a great way to kick off the celebration of our 40th year in business in San Diego,” said Hill.

Marine Lair, with architecture and interiors by Matrix Design Studio, is considered an engineering marvel, the four stories inspired to resemble a land ship, fully maximizing views while adhering to strict coastal height limitations and tight lot considerations. It is built on a 2,600-square-foot lot, utilizing wide flange steel beams and cast-in-place concrete to support a root-top infinity-edge pool. Special consideration was given to the bachelor resident’s love of sports cars, with a two-stage hydraulic driveway providing access to a subterranean laser-guided turntable garage.

“Clean Living,” the second Platinum winner, also plays to the sea breezes and utilizes environmentally preferred and recycled materials in its construction — including a wood bridge constructed from 100-year-old redwood from a Temecula water tank.


Personnel Moves

Callan Capital Adds Portfolio Associate

Kaitlin Coryell

Kaitlin Coryell

Kaitlin C. Coryell has joined Callan Capital as a portfolio associate, working

with clients and advisers by assisting with portfolio reviews and reporting, financial planning, and compliance regulations.

Coryell previously worked at Ameriprise Financial, where she assisted nine financial advisers and their clientele. She also worked as the logistics manager and financial operations ssistant for Continental Food Sales.

Coryell earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Kaitlin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with an Honors concentration in Financial Services from Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga.

San Diego Foundation Names CFO

James Howell

James Howell

The San Diego Foundation has named James Howell vice president and chief financial officer. His responsibilities include oversight of the accounting, finance, and information technology roles at the foundation.

Howell has more than 25 years of experience across finance, accounting, information technology, and strategic planning disciplines. Prior to joining the foundation, he was the chief investment officer and director of research at Canterbury Consulting.

From 2007 to 2012, Howell was the chief investment officer and director of finance at The Scripps Research Institute, responsible for investments, treasury, risk management, and associated audit and control activities. He currently serves on the investment advisory committee of Loma Linda University and the Alliance Healthcare Foundation finance committee.


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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: