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Daily Business Report-Jan. 8, 2015

Daily Business Report-Jan. 8, 2015

 Cannabis Career Institute to Hold

Carlsbad Seminar on Cannabis Industry

Interested in the cannabis industry? The Las Vegas-based Cannabis Career Institute will hold a Jan. 11 business seminar on the industry at the Homewood Suites in Carlsbad. The all-day class will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The address is 2223 Palomar Airport Road.

The institute offers training courses that address a range of topics from — legal requirements and regulations to basic grow techniques. The class will be led by CEO Robert Calkin, who will be joined by a variety of marijuana specialists, each of whom will be lecturing on areas of their own cannabis-related expertise.

“CCI Seminar interest from cannabis-minded businessmen and women all over the country has been tremendous,” said Calkin.  “As the cannabis legalization movement continues to envelope the nation, more and more people are seeing the exciting and potentially lucrative business opportunities available.  Helping people understand the industry and preparing them to pursue their goals is what we do.”

As the first state to legalize medical marijuana, California could also be next in line to join the ranks of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia to legalize the plant for recreational purposes, according to Calkin. Should that happen — quite possibly in 2016 — it’s expected that the demand for qualified growers, budtenders and related services will be enormous, said Calkin.

Salaries in the technology industry are expected to continue to rise.

Salaries in the technology industry are expected to continue to rise.

Six High-Paying Careers for 2015

Salaries in the technology and creative fields are expected to continue their upward trend in 2015, according to the 2015 Salary Guides from staffing specialists Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group. Companies are making larger investments in digital initiatives, turning to big data for decision making, and using innovative interactive advertising campaigns to attract new customers. The result: high-paying career opportunities for professionals with expertise in these hot areas.

“Businesses are investing more dollars in mobile and big data initiatives, and they need skilled technology and creative professionals to support these efforts,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology and The Creative Group.

The following six potentially high-paying jobs are expected to see the most substantial increases in average starting salary in 2015, according to the Robert Half Salary Guides:

Mobile applications developer: Experienced mobile applications developers can expect to see the largest increase (10.2 percent) in starting compensation of any tech position listed in the Salary Guide, earning between $107,500 and $161,500, on average.

Big data engineer: Big data engineers can anticipate a 9.3 percent boost in starting pay in 2015, with average salaries ranging from $119,250 to $168,250.

Wireless network engineer: Wireless network engineers can expect a 9.1 percent bump in base compensation this year, with average starting salaries between $99,000 and $137,500.

User experience (UX) director: Experienced UX directors can anticipate average starting salaries between $110,500 and $178,000, up 6.8 percent from 2014.

• Interactive creative director: Skilled interactive creative directors can expect average starting salaries to increase 5.7 percent in 2015, to the range of $100,500 to $180,250.

• Web designer (5+ years of experience): Web designers with five or more years of experience can expect to earn between $80,000 and $112,500, on average, a gain of 4.8 percent over last year.

San Diego to be Part of Campaign

Focus for Minimum Wage Increase

San Diego is one of seven cities chosen by the AFL-CIO as places to focus a campaign to raise the minimum wage, the labor organization announced Wednesday.

Organized labor has been pushing for a national $15 an hour minimum wage

Organized labor has been pushing for a national $15 an hour minimum wage

The announcement about the group’s 2015 Raising Wages Campaign came at the end of a national summit on the issue in Washington, D.C. The campaign will also focus on Atlanta; Columbus, Ohio; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; St. Louis and Washington, D.C.

Last year, the City Council voted to raise San Diego’s minimum wage incrementally to $11.50 an hour, above the current state hourly standard of $9. But opponents in the business community collected enough petition signatures to force the issue to a public vote.

The wage hike is suspended until a vote can be held, likely next year.

“I appreciate the AFL-CIO joining my efforts to help more San Diegans make ends meet,” said Councilman Todd Gloria, the chief proponent of San Diego’s proposed pay hike. “Together we will make sure that voters understand the importance of passing a higher minimum wage for our city in June 2016.”

An AFL-CIO statement said its campaign will “bring important energy, ideas and resources to critical battles.”

Labor groups also plan to meet in Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina — the first four presidential primary states — to push for minimum wage increases.

Organized labor has been pushing for a national $15 an hour minimum wage, a figure that was adopted in San Francisco and Seattle.

Business leaders say such an increase would force them to increase prices of their products and services to customers, and either lay off employees or reduce their hours. In the San Diego debate — affecting just one city — business owners said higher wages would leave them at a competitive disadvantage with firms outside city limits.

— Reported by City News Service

Local Businesses Can Learn How to Get Work

At the Airport at a Jan. 28 Special Event

San Diego International Airport will host a special Opportunity Awareness event  on Jan. 28 to discuss business ventures with the airport, rental car companies and the Rental Car Center’s third-party operator.

The event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the McMillin Companies Event Center in Liberty Station.

Small and local businesses can learn about:

• Business opportunities at the Rental Car Center.

• Industry outlook and opportunities on airport capital improvement projects.

• Bonding and contract financing assistance.

• Certification as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Airport Concessions Disadvantaged Business Enterprise.

“The airport has made a strong commitment to supporting small and local businesses on all construction projects at the airport,” said Thella F. Bowens, president/CEO of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. “Tangible examples of that commitment include hosting events like these that create awareness of contracting opportunities for small and local businesses that are so vital to our region.”

A large percentage of the work on the Rental Car Center, scheduled to open January 2016, has already been awarded to local and small businesses. To date, more than $155 million in Rental Car Center contracts have been awarded to local businesses with $60 million to small businesses. The project is expected to generate approximately 4,600 total jobs during its construction.

For more information about the opportunity awareness and networking event and to register, visit:

General Atomics Awarded $43.3 Million Contract

The Department of Defense awarded nine new defense contracts Tuesday, worth $116.5 million in total — the largest going to General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. The San Diego-based defense contractor was awarded a $43.3 million contract to supply the U.S. Air Force with field retrofit kits for work on MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicles by July 5, 2017.

U.S. News Ranks University of San Diego’s

Online Graduate Business Program 9th in Nation

University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration’s supply chain management program has been ranked ninth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The program was ranked 14th last year.

“We’re pleased that our high-quality supply chain management program has been recognized again this year by U.S. News,” said David Pyke, SBA dean. “It underscores our commitment to provide students with the experience they need to pursue graduate education in a vibrant, flexible and rigorous environment, and it demonstrates that SBA consistently produces leaders who possess the skills and attributes most valued by businesses throughout the world.”

SBA’s supply chain management program is also ranked 23rd in the nation by Gartner Research for best graduate supply chain management programs, and is the only program on the West Coast to be included in the Gartner ranking. SBA offers graduate business programs in global leadership, real estate, executive leaeadership, taxation and accountancy.

U.S. News assessed 118 programs using methodology around student engagement, admissions selectivity, peer reputation, faculty credentials and training and student services and technology.

San Diego Recruiting Firm Rebrands

And Launches Newly Designed Website

San Diego recruiting firm Caron & Stanley announced the rebranding and launch of its new website — The updated website has been designed to make it easy for client companies and job seekers to seek talent and find career opportunities, the company said. It includes information about its services, values and processes.

Last year Caron & Stanley marked its 30th anniversary. “Our goal is to continue to establish long-term relationships with our clients and candidates,” said Seann Dailey-Richardson, president.

“In addition to relocating our offices at the start of 2014 and our new online presence we have updated our technology to provide more robust recruiting solutions for our clients and candidates,” said Diane Lyons, CEO.

San Diego-Area Schools to Receive

State Grants for Improved Internet

Schools in San Diego, Julian, Lemon Grove and Vista are among more than 200 campuses statewide that will share nearly $27 million in grants to improve broadband Internet access, the California Department of Education announced Wednesday.

“These state grants provide the critical last step needed to connect an additional 63,000 students to the state education network that will give them access to technology, which will prepare them for college and careers, and let them take the new computer-based California assessments,” said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public instruction.

The local schools to receive the broadband grants are:

• America’s Finest Charter and KIPP Adelante Preparatory Academy in the San Diego Unified School District.

• Harbor Springs Charter and Julian Junior High in the Julian Union School District.

• Monterey Heights Elementary, Mount Vernon Elementary, San Altos Elementary, San Miguel Elementary and Vista La Mesa Academy in the Lemon Grove School District.

• Belle Mente Montessori Academy in the Vista Unified School District.

— Reported by Times of San Diego


Personnel Moves

Dawn Anderson Joins AMN Healthcare Services

Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson

Dawn Anderson has joined AMN Healthcare Services Inc. as vice president of client and corporate marketing. She will lead the development and execution of marketing and communications strategies that drive brand awareness, thought leadership, new business opportunities and lead generation.

Prior to joining AMN, Anderson was senior vice president and industry marketing leader for CareCredit, a GE Capital company that provides health care consumer financing.  Previously, she was vice president for MedImpact Healthcare Systems. She also spent many years at PacifiCare Health Systems/Secure Horizons (now United Healthcare), where she was the director of product development for women’s health solutions, engagement director and manager of Internet business.


Procopio Selects New Team Leader

Richard Campbell

Richard Campbell

The Procopio law firm has elected Richard Campbell as the new leader of the firm’s Intellectual Property Team. In addition to his responsibilities as team leader, Richard focuses his practice on patent related matters, technology licensing, developing intellectual property strategies and related trademark and trade secret matters. Richard has assisted numerous clients, which include start-ups and established corporations, in developing successful patent portfolios. He has worked with companies having a wide range of technologies, including communications, software, electronics, computer networks, lasers, optics, semiconductors, medical devices and bioinformatics.

Prior to his legal career, Richard worked as an engineer for Raytheon Corporation in the Missile Systems division.


Deborah Dixon Joins Gomez Trial Attorneys

Deborah Dixon

Deborah Dixon

Trial attorney Deborah Dixon has been hired by Gomez Trial Attorneys and will focus on the litigation of complex matters, including class actions. Dixon has seven years of litigation experience. She was a partner at Wingert Grebing Brubaker & Juskie, where she was elevated to partner after only five years of practice. She litigated hundreds of complex cases and completed several trials and arbitrations.

Dixon is the vice president of programming for Lawyers Club of San Diego and has served as a director on Lawyers Club’s board for the past two years.  She has served on the Fund For Justice, the charitable arm of Lawyers Club, for over five years, where she works with a committee to select grant recipients for local charities



KGTV to Get New News Director

Tiffani Lupenski, news director at KATU-TV, the ABC affiliate in Portland, Ore., has been named the next news director at KGTV in San Diego. She begins her new position on March 9.

Lupenski was with the Portland station since 3012.  She previously was its assistant news director.  Before that, she was executive producer at KCPQ in Seattle.  Prior career stops include serving as executive producer at KUSA-TV in Denver, following stints as the station’s late news producer as well as writer/producer earlier on.  She also served as a copy editor/producer at CNN Headline News in Atlanta.


The snake was 'rescued' by the county's Animal Services Department.

The snake was ‘rescued’ by the county’s Animal Services Department.

Downtown PR Firm Can’t Handle

The Slithery Visitor in its Bathroom

It may sound like a bad nightmare that a snake could slither out of your toilet, but that was the report that sent County Animal Services to a Downtown San Diego office building Tuesday.

The 5-foot, 6-inch Colombian rainbow boa was retrieved from the bathroom of the public relations firm Verticle PR + Marketing. How it got there is still a mystery, said county Animal Services Deputy Director Dan DeSousa.

“Our building, which is the Old San Diego City Hall, was built in 1886 so we are accustomed to the old pipes and stubborn plumbing,” said Holly Wells, co-founder of Vertical PR + Marketing. “But we were definitely not prepared for this!”

It all started when Stephanie Lacsa, co-founder of the firm, noticed that the toilet water level was higher than usual in their private in-office restroom. Thinking quickly, she grabbed a toilet plunger and within a few moments of plunging, she noticed something emerging from the toilet bowl. “I thought my eyes were deceiving me,” Lacsa said. “But as soon I saw the flicker of its tongue, I definitely knew that it was in fact a large snake heading straight towards me.”

Lacsa, who has a self-admitted aversion to snakes, stated “I ran out of the bathroom screaming louder than I’d like to admit and taped the door shut until Animal Control arrived to wrangle the snake. The animal control officer said that she had never witnessed anything like this in her career. She referred to the incident as ‘The Stuff of Urban Legends’ and I would have to agree. This is every person’s worst nightmare!”

The snake, which was found on the floor, was retrieved and transported to the Gaines Street animal care facility to be examined.

DeSousa said he was uncertain if a snake could survive in a sewage system.

The snake was in the process of shedding and slightly underweight. While being examined, the snake bit its handler.

If no owner comes forward by Friday, the snake will be transferred to a reptile group that has experience with that type of snake.

“The snake scared the living daylights out of us, but we truly hope he gets the care he needs and can be placed in a good home,” said Wells. “And I also hope that the new owners of that home know to keep their toilet seat lids down.”

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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: