Daily Business Report-May 14, 2015
Though based in Carlsbad, ViaSat has additional operations across the United States and worldwide.
Carlsbad’s ViaSat to Receive Duane Roth
Renaissance Award for Innovations
ViaSat, the Carlsbad company best known for providing the world’s highest capacity satellite, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Duane Roth Renaissance Award by the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
The company will be honored June 4 at the 50th annual dinner of the organization.
“This award celebrates the memory of a beloved community leader who tirelessly championed our innovation eco-system and reframed how we view our region’s economic diversity,” the organization said in announcing the award. “This award is presented to an organization for creating outstanding inventions, innovations or breakthroughs that have changed and improved the world around us.”
Duane Roth, a leading life science figure in San Diego County, was CEO of Connect, an organization that promotes technology entrepreneurship. He died in July 2013 in a bicycling accident.
Though based in Carlsbad, ViaSat has additional operations across the United States and worldwide. The communications company is a provider of high-speed satellite broadband services and secure networking systems covering military and commercial markets. ViaSat is ranked on the SpaceNews Top 50 space companies and is also included on the Defense News list of Top 100 defense companies.
ViaSat owns and operates Exede Internet, a satellite internet provider for over 657,000 households. ViaSat launched its satellite, ViaSat-1, in 2011, and its second satellite, ViaSat-2, will launch in 2016.
The company employs more than 3,300 professional and support personnel. The largest department is engineering, with many holding graduate degrees in electrical engineering or computer science. Annual revenues hit a record $1.35 billion during the most recently reported fiscal year (ended April 4, 2014).
Grand Jury Says Security Costs Excesive at Waterfront Park
Costs for security are excessive at the county’s year-old Waterfront Park in Downtown and should be reviewed by an independent security expert, the county grand jury reported Wednesday.
Security at the park outside the County Administration Center cost $2.3 million in the year since it opened in May 2014, the grand jury said. A team of a dozen sheriff’s deputies is needed to ensure that at least two uniformed officers are on patrol round-the-clock, according to the panel.
The grand jury said more security staff is brought on during operating hours. Additional security personnel work inside the county building.
“In a review of the incident logs and research of other parks, the grand jury found that incidents at the park appeared to be no different from those recorded elsewhere in the county and at parks in other parts of the country with less security,” the report said. “None of the parks investigated nor any of the other county parks had sworn officers assigned full time.”
The grand jury said that those charged with managing the Waterfront Park were asked to create a security program that would allow families to visit the park with assurances as to their safety.
However, there was no evidence that county officials investigated the level of security used at other cities with similar public facilities when developing the security plan for the Waterfront Park, the panel found.
County spokesman Mike Workman told City News Service the budget would be reduced for the fiscal year that begins July 1, and that the grand jury has been advised.
“This is an urban park in an urban setting,” Workman said. “Security is needed to protect the patrons of the park as well as the park itself. We are confident that the San Diego County sheriff is well qualified to determine the level of security needed.”
The grand jury said in its report that it heard from a senior county official who said the costs would be reviewed in time for the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but was told by a second county official that such a review wouldn’t take place until fall.
While Workman said the new figure for security costs at the park was not available, the county’s proposed 2015-16 budget for the Sheriff’s Department says 11 staff positions are being added for security at the park and the County Administration Center — an addition that will be offset by a reduction of three community service officer positions. However, the document also says that changing park security from temporary to permanent assignments is one of several elements leading to $3.3 million reduction in salary adjustments.
The Board of Supervisors has until Aug. 11 to provide a response to the grand jury.
— City News Service
Nonprofit Foundation Seeks Public Comment on
Proposed LGBT Cultural & Performing Arts Center
The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation wants to turn the University Heights building housing Diversionary Theatre and Lamda Archives into the LGBT Cultural and Performing Arts Center, and will gauge public sentiment on the issue at three upcoming meetings.
The three organizations envision transforming the building at 4545 Park Blvd. into a venue offering a variety of entertainment and educational programs.
“The venue needs capital upgrades,” said John Brown, executive director of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation. He said the foundation, Diversionary Theatre, Lambda Archives and community members are working on a task force to determine the viability for financial support from the community to revitalize the building. “It is also imperative to have dialogue and feedback from the public through these meetings so we can share our vision and also hear directly from our neighbors, patrons and supporters,” said Brown.
The meetings will be held on May 27 at 11 a.m., June 2 at 7 p.m. and June 7 at 4 p.m. at Diversionary Theatre.
The building at 4545 Park Blvd. has already been a center for LGBT arts and culture for more than two decades. Originally constructed in 1987 and home primarily to medical offices, the building was owned by Dr. Fritz Klein. Lambda Archives became a tenant in 1992 and soon after Diversionary Theatre moved into the building in 1994. The San Diego Human Dignity Foundation purchased the building for $1.2 million in early 2015 from Diversionary Theatre.
Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District
Communications Office Wins State, National Awards
The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District office responsible for informing people of what’s going on at its East County colleges is continuing its winning streak of state and national awards.
The college district’s communications office won a first-place and two second-place awards at the annual conference of the statewide Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO) held in San Diego.
The college district won a top award in the news release category for a piece about a Cuyamaca College student’s humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Two additional awards in the same category were received April 23 for stories highlighting a Cuyamaca College employee selected for a Fulbright Scholarship and a college administrator’s forum on African-American women in college leadership.
In March, the district’s communications office won a national Bronze Paragon Award from the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) for its 2013-14 annual report.
CCPRO and NCMPR are professional development and service organizations for community college public relations professionals. At the San Diego CCPRO conference, the district’s Communications and Public Information Director, Anne Krueger, was elected vice president of the organization for PR professionals within the California Community College system, the largest higher education system in the country.
NTC Foundation Names
New General Manager
The NTC Foundation has named Lisa Johnson as the new general manager overseeing the NTC Arts & Culture District in Liberty Station, Point Loma.
Johnson replaces Sandy Perlatti, who retired after 38 years with The Corky McMillin Companies and two years as general manager of the foundation.
A San Diego native, Johnson previously was executive manager of the South Bay Family YMCA.
Immediate goals of the new general manager is to ensure financial sustainability of the foundation and the completion of the third phase renovations and leasing at the 28-acre campus at the former Naval Training Center.
Johnson worked with The Corky McMillin Companies for five years when they moved their offices to Liberty Station from their headquarters in National City. “I had the opportunity to experience and contribute to the development of the project from the master developer perspective,” she said. “Having grown up in San Diego and understanding the impact of the U.S. Navy and its history in our community, I have a passion for preserving that history. I also have a deep understanding of and passion for philanthropy and the power it has to transform communities in a positive way.”
Water Authority Board to Consider
The San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting at 1:30 p.m. today at the agency’s headquarters in Kearny Mesa to consider staff recommendations for enhanced drought-response measures.
The proposals include limiting irrigation of ornamental landscapes with potable water to no more than two days a week across the region and increasing spending on conservation and outreach programs by $1 million.
Water agencies across San Diego County have adopted mandatory water-use restrictions, and they are considering additional actions to comply with state mandates. Local water agencies are responsible for determining the specific measures necessary to meet state conservation targets and avoid financial penalties.
The Water Authority also noted that a storm expected to hit San Diego County today and Friday offers a big opportunity to conserve large volumes of water by turning off irrigation systems before the rain hits and leaving them off for as long as possible. The predicted showers and cool temperatures follow a storm last week that provided much-needed rain across the region — an unusual weather pattern for May.
By state law, it’s illegal to irrigate landscapes during measurable rainfall and for 48 hours afterward. As a practical matter, irrigation systems can be left off for much longer after a significant rain event.
California Life Sciences Association Launched
The San Diego-based California Life Sciences Association was officially launched Wednesday as the leading voice for California’s life sciences sector. CLSA is now the largest state and regional life sciences advocacy group in the country, with more than 750 members.
CLSA, the result of a merger with BayBio, serves over 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors, and service providers. It has offices in San Diego, South San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as in Washington, D.C.
Launching later this month is the California Life Sciences Institute (CLSI), a nonprofit dedicated to supporting the foundations of life sciences innovation. Its mission is to maintain California’s leadership in life sciences innovation through support of entrepreneurship, education and career development.
Flip Flops Retailer Sues Skechers U.S.A.
For Using its ‘Yoga Pants for Your Feet’ Slogan
Fish & Richardson, a San Diego law firm, has filed a lawsuit against Skechers U.S.A., Inc. and Skechers U.S.A. Inc. II on behalf of client TerriKelly LLC over the use of the slogan “Yoga Pants for Your Feet.” The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition by Skechers, an international shoe company.
TerriKelly LLC, owned and singlehandedly run by entrepreneur Terri Kelly, sells flip flops and owns the federal trademark registration to the slogan “Yoga Pants for Your Feet,” which she began using about a year before Skechers began using the same slogan.
Kelly came up with the slogan as the perfect way to convey to consumers the comfort and minimalist design of her flip flops and began using the slogan in January 2014. Kelly, who is based in Palm Desert, uses the slogan on her company’s website, through social media and in other forms of advertising and marketing.
Skechers began using the slogan as early as January 2015 to market its Stretch-Fit Glider shoe. Kelly only recently learned of a commercial being shown on television and online promoting the shoe. Skechers’ commercial features celebrity and Dancing with the Stars Season 7 winner Brooke Burke-Charvet and prominently uses TerriKelly’s “Yoga Pants for Your Feet” mark to promote its new shoe in the commercial. In addition to the television and YouTube ad, Skechers also uses the slogan online and in social media posts.
Legal counsel for TerriKelly issued a cease and desist letter to Skechers in March 2015 but the company continues to use the slogan.
“It’s unfortunate that a large company like Skechers would choose to market its product in such an illegal manner — and continue to do so even after being informed of TerriKelly’s rights,” said Lisa Martens, a trademark attorney with Fish & Richardson. “The use of TerriKelly’s federally registered slogan ‘Yoga Pants for Your Feet’ is a clear violation of trademark law.”
Planning Department Making
Progress With Community Plans
As many as seven community plans — which deal with zoning, design and density guidelines in specific San Diego neighborhoods — could come before the City Council for adoption over the next year or so, Planning Department officials said Wednesday.
Because San Diego is so spread out, and so diverse in population and geography, the city not only has a general plan for land use issues but also around 50 community plans. City officials and neighborhood advocates have complained for years that the community plans have become obsolete.
In a presentation before the City Council’s Smart Growth and Land Use Committee, Nancy Bragado of the Planning Department said her staff has more resources now to help them finish the documents.
Bragado said updates to 10 community plans are in the works and seven are close to completion, in Grantville, Southeast San Diego, Encanto, San Ysidro, Uptown, North Park and Golden Hill. The Grantville document should go before the City Council this month, and the rest by the end of the upcoming fiscal year, according to her presentation.
— City News Service
Sundt Construction Promotes 3 Team Members
Sundt Construction Inc. has promoted three of its Southern California team members. Jared Mettee, Dominic Daughtrey and Spencer Draper are now project managers, each overseeing the planning, coordinating and directing of services for various Southern California-area projects.
Mettee, a 15-year industry veteran and Sundt employee-owner since 2005, has been an estimator and field superintendent for the company. Mettee is assigned to the San Diego International Airport — Rental Car Center joint venture project with Austin Commercial.
Daughtrey, most recently a senior project engineer with Sundt, has more than 10 years of experience overseeing all phases of construction. Daughtrey will continue serving the California State University — Channel Islands West Hall project in Camarillo.
Draper has nearly a decade of work experience in the construction industry. Draper earned a bachelor’s degree in construction management from California Polytechnic State University — San Luis Obispo. He is assigned to the San Diego Community College District — City College C Building renovation in San Diego.