Daily Business Report-June 4, 2015
The seal of the National University System
National University Launches
$30 Million Sanford Collaborative
San Diego-based National University on Tuesday announced the launch of the $30 million Sanford Education Collaborative, a nine-school youth-teaching partnership.
The goal of the collaborative is to bring two programs — Sanford Harmony, which strengthens social and emotional development in the youngest students, and Sanford Inspire, which helps teachers create better classroom experiences — to 2,000 schools.
“In order to be successful adults, young people need to learn at an early age how to communicate, collaborate and get along with each other,” said philanthropist and entrepreneur T. Denny Sanford of the Sanford Harmony program. “This not only benefits them, but our society at large.”
Other colleges involved in the collaborative are the City University of Seattle, Long Island University, Nova Southeastern University in Florida, the University of South Dakota, South Dakota State University, the University of Central Florida, the University of Maine and Touro College of New York.
Universities were chosen because of their demonstrated effective clinical preparation, regional representation and institutional diversity, organizers of the collaborative said.
The two programs are expected to serve up to 50,000 teachers and reach more than 650,000 pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade students by the fifth year of operation.
Michael Cunningham, president of National University and chancellor of the National University System, said the participating universities “have demonstrated their excellence in teacher preparation and we are excited to be collaborating with them in our shared mission of helping children build the foundation for a healthier and stronger society.”
New York University’s Center for Research on Higher Education Outcomes, though not a collaborative member, will provide independent research assessment for Sanford Inspire.
— City News Service
Blocks Wearables Collaborates With
Qualcomm for Modular Smartwatch
Blocks Wearables, a UK-based hardware startup that is developing a modular smartwatch, has confirmed that a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset will power the device. The company suggests that the main idea is to develop a smartwatch that is customizable, which will allow users to select the individual components that make up the band of the smartwatch for customizing its functionality.
The wearables market has been growing in the last few years, and many companies already have their products on the market. Google also released Android Wear, an operating system designed specifically for wearables such as smartwatches, in March 2014.
Many smartwatches, such as the LG G Watch, Motorola Moto 360, Samsung Gear Live and more run on Android Wear, but the Blocks Wearables smartwatch will run on a modified version of Android Lollipop.
The customizable feature will allow users to opt for a heart rate monitor, add additional battery capacity, include a SIM card and more to the smartwatch. The core module, which is the watch face, will be a circular touchscreen unit. The individual modules can be attached to each other for creating a smartwatch’s band.
Blocks Wearables is also entering into a partnership with Tateossian, a luxury menswear jewelry brand in the UK, so that it can offer further customizable designs to enhance the feel and look of individual modules.
Report: 27 Percent of San Diego-Area Tech
Executives Plan to Expand Their IT Teams
Twenty-seven percent of San Diego-area technology executives recently surveyed expect to expand their information technology teams in the second half of 2015, according to the just-released Robert Half Technology IT Hiring Forecast and Local Trend Report. This compares to 22 percent nationally.
The report said 63 percent of San Diego technology executives plan to hire only for open IT roles, 10 percent plan to put hiring plans on hold, and none expects to reduce their IT staff in the last six months of the year.
“In San Diego, the demand for IT professionals is especially strong in the health care and lending industries,” said John Asdell, San Diego metro market manager for Robert Half Technology. “The health care sector seeks technology professionals who specialize in data management and analytics, in particular. We’re also seeing high demand for network engineers and administrators with experience in security, as well as senior system engineers with a strong background in virtualization, web development and business intelligence development”
Recruiting still remains a challenge, as 66 percent of CIOs said it’s somewhat or very challenging to find skilled IT professionals today, according to the report.
Discovery Center to Give Prospective Buyers
Virtual Look at Zephyr’s High-Rise for the Rich
Zephyr will open its Discovery Center Saturday to give people affluent enough to afford them a virtual look at the condos and townhomes that will be part of a 60-unit, 14-story residential project on Sixth Avenue in the Bankers Hill neighborhood above Downtown.
Prospective buyers will be able to view a scale model of The Park, as it is called, explore views in all directions from each level of the development and take virtual tours of select units. The Discover Center , located at 3104 4th Ave., will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“The Park will cater to the high-end buyer who’s used to the best of everything,” said Brad Termini, Zephyr’s co-CEO. “Concierge service, designer name brands, a yoga studio — everything owners could want is included.”
Prices will start at $1.4 million.
The building, which will have two retail spaces, is being designed by world-renowned architecture firm Dialog.
Residents will have exclusive access to two guest suites for visiting family and friends. “The suites are a unique feature,” said Termini. “Owners will be able to offer family and friends their own, high-end quarters — separate, but in the same building.”
Common area amenities will include an exclusive private pool with spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga studio, clubroom and terrace with fire pits. The multi-story parking garage will have two side-by-side parking spaces per unit and private resident storage.
The building also will sport four penthouses.
Construction Begins on New
Hoehn Motors Dealership
Construction has begun on a new Hoehn Motors Audi dealership at 5425 Paseo Del Norte in Carlsbad. Ware Malcomb is providing architecture and interior design work for the project, which is expected to be finished in January 2016.
The 54,688-square-foot full service auto dealership, which is being built from the ground up, will include a high-end showroom, sales offices, public lounge seating areas, retail boutique, interior car delivery room, public Quattro Cafe, mezzanine executive level with offices and a conference room, 28 vehicle service and wash bays, parking deck above the offices and showroom, and a complete parts department.
This is one of four projects Ware Malcomb has worked on for Hoehn Motors Inc. in Southern California. The general contractor for the project is Turner Construction.
Diverse Coalition Signs Agreement Supporting
SDG&E Electric Vehicle Charging Program
San Diego Gas & Electric and a variety of organizations have signed a settlement agreement to support the utility’s program to install electric vehicle charging stations at up to 550 sites throughout the utility’s service territory and offer special rates to encourage charging at optimum times for the grid.
The groups that are party to the agreement represent environmental, environmental justice, electric vehicle service providers, automakers and labor.
The utility company said the pilot program — called the Electric Vehicle Grid-Integration project — is a key step in meeting Gov. Jerry Brown’s goal of having 1.5 million zero emission vehicles on California roads by 2025.
The agreement calls for SDG&E to install charging infrastructure at up to 550 business and multi-family locations throughout its service territory, with 10 chargers at each location for a total of 5,500 separate chargers. Building owners and managers would have a choice of grid-integrated rate options and equipment, promoting competition and market growth in the industry. SDG&E would install at least 10 percent of the chargers in economically disadvantaged communities to expand access to clean EVs in these underserved areas.
Reuben H. Fleet Science Center Joins
Effort to Promote STEM Conference
The Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is collaborating with U.S. News & World Report to promote the fourth annual U.S. News STEM Solutions event in San Diego June 29 through July 1.
The organizations intend to address the challenge facing America today: the shortage of American workers to fill the nearly 3 million jobs requifing skills in science, technology, engineering and math.
The national U.S. News STEM Solutions conference unites 1,500 of the brightest minds in industry, education and government — business leaders, scientists, technology experts, nonprofit organizers, policymakers and educators — to work together toward establishing a self-sustaining STEM workforce for the future. This year, the content is particularly focused on illuminating a path towards new, self-sustaining ways to teach, inspire and hire a workforce that includes women, minorities, disadvantaged youth, veterans and all of tomorrow’s aspiring STEM professionals.
U.S. News said the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is ideally positioned to bring attention to the STEM pipeline challenge and help address the shortage of skilled workers to fill U.S. STEM jobs. The mission of the Fleet Science Center is to further the public understanding and enjoyment of science.
Councilman Alvarez Asks for $1 Million
More for San Diego Arts Programs
Councilman David Alvarez called Wednesday on Mayor Kevin Faulconer to add $1 million to support San Diego’s arts and culture programs in his budget proposal, which will be considered for adoption by the City Council next week.
So far, the mayor has committed $11.1 million in hotel room tax revenue to support arts programs in his spending plan for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins July 1, according to Alvarez.
However, the City Council three years ago committed to a funding blueprint that would have led to a much higher spending level this year. “While it might not be possible to get to the goal of funding fully the blueprint in 2016, I believe that we can make a significant increase,” Alvarez said.
Ginger Shulick Porcella, executive director of the San Diego Art Institute, said the arts and culture budget should be $6 million higher by now.
The city funds the Commission on Arts and Culture, which funnels the money to organizations citywide.
— City News Service
Transparency Improving on School Bond
Fund Expenditures, Says Taxpayers Foundation
The San Diego Taxpayers Education Foundation released its annual School Bond Transparency Scorecard, which rates how well school districts and their Independent Citizen Oversight Committees provide information to taxpayers on school bond fund spending.
San Diego Community College District, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, Sweetwater Union High School District and San Marcos Unified School District set the curve this year; all scored 24/25 on availability and easy accessibility of key information about their bond programs.
Those faring worst on transparency were Julian Union High School District, Lemon Grove School District, Lakeside Union School District and Dehesa School District, which scored 2/25.
The foundation began providing annual transparency ratings in 2013, after the passage in 2012 of numerous facilities bond measures in school districts throughout the county.
“Taxpayers deserve to know how the dollars from voter-approved bond programs are being spent, and this report aims to hold districts and ICOCs accountable for providing that information,” said Theresa Andrews, Executive Director of Public Policy for the government-watchdog organization. “Since we introduced the transparency standards two years ago, many districts have made the effort to increase the availability of information to the public.”
The foundation found some districts exceeded the transparency standards the group set. The San Diego Community College District set a particularly high bar for transparency with its detailed, easy-to-follow budgetary breakdown of each project receiving bond monies, according to foundation policy staff who worked on the project. San Dieguito Union High School District also stood out, earning an A grade with 23 out of 25 in its first reporting year after its bond sale.
Northrop Grumman Promotes Mick Jaggers
Northrop Grumman has appointed Mick Jaggers vice president and program manager of Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system programs. Jaggers reports to Janis Pamiljans, vice president and general manager of the unmanned systems division.
Global Hawk UAS programs are based in San Diego, with production facilities in Palmdale and Moss Point, Miss. Current domestic and international Global Hawk UAS programs include systems for the U.S. Air Force, NASA and Germany (EURO HAWK).
Prior to his current assignment, Jaggers held positions of increasing responsibility within the Aerospace Systems sector across a number of unmanned programs.
Before joining Northrop Grumman in 2004, Jaggers spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and flew the F-15E Strike Eagle in various United States and overseas locations. His last military assignment was as the F-15E division commander for Operational Test and Evaluation at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.
Former CIA Clandestine Service Official Joins Board of Diomics
Stephen B. Slick, former CIA clandestine service senior official, has joined the board of directors of Diomics, a San Diego-based life sciences company.
Slick is currently director of the Intelligence Studies Project and Clinical Professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Slick served 28 years as a member of the CIA’s clandestine service, including five assignments abroad. “Beyond his distinguished career where he worked with several government agencies, he brings a fresh perspective on forensics,” said John H. Steel, Diomics CEO.
Slick’s overseas tours included service from 2009 to 2013 as the chief of station and director of national intelligence’s representative in a Middle Eastern capital. Between 2005 and 2009, he served as a special assistant to the president and the senior director for Intelligence Programs and Reform in the National Security Council. He is a former senior CIA operations officer and previously the director for Intelligence Programs at the NSC.
Diomics is focused on life sciences, specifically diagnostics, forensics, integrated DNA analysis, and genetic solutions.
President of Regulus Therapeutics Resigns
Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a La Jolla a biopharmaceutical company, announced that Kleanthis G. Xanthopoulos has resigned as president and chief executive officer and as a member of its board of directors to pursue investment opportunities in the biotechnology industry.
Paul Grint, M.D., who previously served as chief medical officer of Regulus, has been appointed president and CEO and as a member of the board.
Neil W. Gibson, who has served as chief scientific officer, will continue through June 30 to assist Grint in assembling a new leadership team.
Junior Achievement Team to Compete
In National Student Leadership Summit
A student team from Junior Achievement of San Diego has been selected as one of 15 finalist teams to compete at the Junior Achievement National Student Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. The students will travel to the nation’s capital for the three-day event, June 22-24, to compete with teen entrepreneurs from across the United States.
The San Diego students represent Canyon Crest Academy High in Carmel Valley and founded CCA Today, a school app to inform students of activities and events on school campus. The teen company is a part of the JA Company Program, in which high school students start and run a real business enterprise under the guidance of a volunteer from the local business community. The teens devise a product designed to fill an unmet consumer need, produce and market their product or service, and recruit investors for their company.
CCA Today’s product, which is available to all smart phones, serves as a recreational, school campus application designed to enlighten students with information about events, schedules, and news. The teen company hopes the new technology will encourage students to feel a part of their school and possibly improve their high school experience.
“We are so excited to compete on a national level and look forward to introducing our team and winning product at the National Student Leadership Summit in June,” said Rachel Gomans, president and CEO at CCA Today and senior at Canyon Crest Academy. “We’d like to thank Junior Achievement for providing us with the skills we need, not only to manage our existing company, but to understand business as a whole and apply the knowledge we’ve gained throughout our careers.”
‘A Fair to Remember’ Opens Friday in Del Mar
The San Diego County Fair opens at 4 p.m. Friday at the Del Mar Fairgrounds with the Balboa Park Centennial theme of “A Fair to Remember.”
The O’Brien Gate Opening Ceremony is at 3:30 p.m. as the fair kicks off with a flag-raising ceremony followed by music, celebrity guests and surprises.
Cost of the fair Friday and Saturday is $4. Discount tickets are available at participating Albertson’s and Vons stores, with a $10 minimum purchase.
Highlights on opening day:
• The Theme Exhibit and experience the 1915 Panama-California Exhibition held in Balboa Park.
• The Paul Ecke Jr. Flower and Garden Show will be “A Walk in the Park,” presented by Think Blue.
• The First Annual Southern California Regional Oxford Sheep Show (June 5 & 6).
• KC and the Sunshine Band performs at the Toyota Summer Concert Series on the Heineken Grandstand Stage at 7:30 p.m.
• Rattz (Tribute to Ratt) performs and the Coors Light Rock On Stage at 9 p.m.
About the fair
The fair will run for 25 days — through Sunday, July 5, and will be closed on Mondays and the first two Tuesdays.
The San Diego County Fair is the largest annual event in San Diego County and one of the top 10 fairs in the United States and Canada, drawing more than 1.4 million visitors annually.
Admission is $15 for adults; $8 for ages 6-12, and 62 and older; free for ages 5 and younger.
Get the Best Pass Ever season pass for $25 at the Fairgrounds Box Office and online at Best Pass Ever. at
The Fair Tripper ticket includes round-trip transportation using the North County Transit District’s Coaster, Sprinter and Breeze plus fair admission for only $16.
Late night trains north and south go every day of the Fair.
— Times of San Diego