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Daily Business Report-March 10, 2015

Daily Business Report-March 10, 2015

Capt. Niloofar Rahman’s tour of San Diego is being coordinated by the San Diego Diplomacy Council

Afghanistan’s First Female Pilot Visits

San Diego For Five-Day Tour

Afghanistan’s first female fixed-wing pilot visits San Diego this week as part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

Capt. Niloofar Rahmani is one of the 10 honorees selected for the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award.

After being recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama in Washington,  D.C., Rahmani is in San Diego for a five-day tour coordinated by the San Diego Diplomacy Council. Her VIP visit will include a back-seat ride with the Blue Angels, recognition at an International Women’s Day event at the San Diego Women’s Museum, meetings with Marine aviators at Miramar Air Station, and lunch with the CEO of the Girl Scouts of USA. She will also meet with San Diego community leaders and Girl Scout members.

Rahmani was 18 years old when she heard an announcement in the media about the recruitment of young women into the Afghan Air Force, including the opportunity for pilot training. Soon after, she enlisted in officer training and within two years graduated from flight school and completed her first solo flight.

She continued to expand her skills and graduated from advanced flight training to become qualified to fly a C-208 military cargo aircraft. Despite threats of violence, Rahmani remains committed to flying and an inclusive future for Afghanistan’s women and girls.

The Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award annually recognizes women around the globe who have demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for peace, justice, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment, often at great personal risk. Since the inception of the award in 2007, the Department of State has honored 86 women from more than 50 different countries.

Rendering of the Ouchi Courtyard

Rendering of the Ouchi Courtyard

Civic San Diego Gets Funding

For its 7,900th Housing Unit

Civic San Diego, the organization that replaced Centre City Development Corp., announced that the City Council has approved funding and a land lease agreement for it to create its 7,900th housing unit in San Diego neighborhoods — the Ouchi Courtyards Apartments on Imperial Avenue in Encanto.

The development includes 44 affordable two- and three-bedroom apartments and 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

Jordan Penn, part of the development team for Ouchi Courtyards, said Councilwoman Myrtle Cole devoted “tireless efforts” to bring new development into her 4th District.

Reese Jarrett, president and CEO of Civic San Diego, said the organization this year will help to deliver 650 affordable housing units, despite the enactment of AB 26 in 2011, the state legislation that erased redevelopment agencies like the Centre City Development Corp.

Village View, the largest of the City Heights Ten properties (30 units).

Village View, the largest of the City Heights Ten properties (30 units).

Partners Complete Major Renovations at

132 Affordable Homes in City Heights

City Heights CDC and Wakeland Housing and Development Corp. have completed an eight-month project to renovate a total of 132 affordable homes at 10 properties scattered throughout City Heights. The major rehabilitation project “was the best way to ensure that these homes would be properly maintained as quality affordable housing for families and individuals in City Heights for many decades to come,” said City Heights CDC Executive Director Kenneth Grimes.

Elected officials, residents and representatives from City Heights CDC and Wakeland will gather March 13 to celebrate the completion of the renovation project.

Now known as the City Heights Ten, the project included rehabilitation of homes at each property, exterior improvements and the creation of a completely remodeled community room/computer lab at the largest of the 10 properties that greatly increases the partnership’s capacity to serve the residents’ needs. The City Heights Ten properties were acquired by City Heights CDC in the 1990s.

To complete the project, the two partners had to coordinate eight months of rehabilitation construction at 10 fully-occupied properties, which included temporarily relocating working families, seniors and residents with special needs in a way that impacted their daily lives as little as possible.

“My experience with the rehab construction has been awesome,” said City Heights Ten resident Tranisha Dangerfield. “I’m really enjoying the improvements, but the biggest benefit of living here is that this is a clean, nice, stable place for families to call home.”

Since completion, residents from all properties have enjoyed updated amenities in their homes plus social events and enrichment programs at the new community room.

The grand opening will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. March 13 at the new Copley-Price YMCA in City Heights, 4300 El Cajon Blvd.

Home Sales Increase in February

Sales of previously owned homes increased in February after a particularly slow January, according to new housing statistics from the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors.

Single-family homes sales rose 7 percent in February, while condominiums and townhomes saw an 11 percent jump over last month. For the year, total sales are down about 6 percent from 2014.

Median prices continue to demonstrate the stabilization of the market, with both detached and attached home prices rising slightly in February. Single-family homes hit the mark at $500,000, while condos and townhomes reached the $335,000 mark.

Active listings on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) have not budged much, at just under 6,000, resulting in a housing stock of about 2.5 months. (Five to six months is considered a healthy inventory level.) In February, the average number of days that homes remained on the market stood at 52, unchanged from last month.

In February, the ZIP codes in San Diego County with the most single-family sales were:

91977 (Spring Valley) with 40

92128 (Rancho Bernardo) with 37

92026 (Escondido) with 37

92027 (Escondido) with 36

92056 (Oceanside) with 36

The most expensive listing sold in the county in February was a five bedroom, five-bath, 6,700-square-foot home in La Jolla that sold for just over $9 million.

Joanne Pastula with fifth grade students from Otay Elementary at the Kaiser Shop in the McGrath Family JA BizTown.

Joanne Pastula with fifth grade students from Otay Elementary at the Kaiser Shop in the McGrath Family JA BizTown.

Joanne Pastula Leaving Large Legacy

As Head of Junior Achievement

Joanne Pastula

Joanne Pastula

Junior Achievement of San Diego County will say goodbye later this year to Joanne Pastula, its president and CEO who led the organization through 16 years of tremendous growth and the establishment of two signature programs for teens and young adults.

Although she will be retiring, Pastula will remain with the national nonprofit to ensure a smooth transition for her successor and a successful opening of the new Mission Fed JA Finance Park this fall.

Under Pastula’s leadership, JA of San Diego grew from a small staff and small budget to today’s financially strong operation.  Under her leadership, the organization’s annual budget grew from $300,000 to almost $2 million, while overall student participation jumped from 15,000 students to 53,000 that will be reached this year. She also presided at the creation of a home for Junior Achievement offices, located at the Capdevilla Gillespie Center for Junior Achievement in Mission Valley.

The signature programs that Pastula can claim as part of her legacy:

• The McGrath Family JA Biztown — Each year, nearly 15,000 students from elementary schools throughout San Diego County act as adults for the day and become JA BizTown “citizens.” After four weeks of project-based lessons and activities, students visit JA BizTown for the learning experience of their lives. They work in one of 21 San Diego businesses, make financial decisions, pay taxes and donate to charity. There is currently a waitlist of schools eager to participate in the program.

• Mission Fed  JA Finance Park — The park, scheduled to open its doors this fall, is a hands-on, interactive learning center for San Diego teens and young adults.  The technology-based, personal budgeting simulation enables teens to build the foundation for making smart, lifelong personal finance decisions.

Havas Acquires Formula PR

San Diego’s largest public relations agency, Formula PR, was recently acquired by global communications leader Havas. Now a subsidiary of Havas Creative Group, Formula PR is now Havas Formula.

Havas Formula will expand its service offering beyond PR, social media, and activation to include advertising, creative, and digital services. With additional offices in Los Angeles and New York.

Formula PR bills itself as an integrated communications agency, handling multiple forms of non-traditional advertising, though its mainly known for PR and experiential campaigns. It was founded in 1992 by Michael Olguin as a boutique PR shop but has expanded to 100 employees with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and New York.

Department of Defense Awards

Neumedicines $2.5 Million Contract

The Department of Defense, Defense Medical Research and Development Program has awarded Connect Springboard graduate Neumedicines Inc. $2.5 million for a phase IIa clinical trial to assess the safety of HemaMax. HemaMax is a prophylactic immunotherapy drug used in surgical wounds to help avoid infections, different from how antibiotics operate.

University of San Diego Launches

Master’s of Science in Finance Degree

In response to growing demand, the  University of San Diego’s School of Business Administration (SBA) has launched a new Master’s of Science in Finance (MSF) degree that will enroll its first class in August.

“Our new master’s degree was developed in response to a marketplace need for more finance professionals with analytical skills and quantitative backgrounds,” said Marko Svetina, associate professor of finance and program director. “This program will add great value to those seeking careers in financial management, investment banking and investment management.”

In the 10-month program, students will study coursework grounded in the Chartered Financial Analyst curriculum.

Svetina said SBA faculty are experts in finance, economics and real estate. They intend to provide students with training in applied finance in an accelerated format that also meets the industry-leading requirements of the CFA curriculum.

Applications are now being accepted. Obtain more information and apply on the MSF website at or by contacting

Scripps Hosts Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference

Experts from across the country will gather in San Diego March 13 and 14 for the 10th annual Brain Injury Rehabilitation Conference hosted by The Rehabilitation Center at Scripps Health.

A renowned faculty of specialists will present the latest in research and outcomes from a variety of medical perspectives. Topics include state-of-the-art diagnostic techniques, interventions, and management for medical and physical rehabilitation, as well as cognitive, emotional and social problems common to brain injury patients.

The public is invited to purchase tickets to the keynote sessions and book signings with Bob Woodruff and Trisha Meili for a registration fee of $35 per person, per event. The event will take place at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road, San Diego.

Keynote and book signing with Bob Woodruff, 
On March 13 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. ,Woodruff will describe the effects of brain injury and the rehabilitation process on family and social dynamics through a compelling story of resiliency and strength.

On March 14 at 8:15 a.m. Trisha Meili, known to the world as the Central Park Jogger, will share her views on the capacity of the human body and spirit to heal.

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