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Daily Business Report-Sept. 22, 2015

Daily Business Report-Sept. 22, 2015

General Atomics’ Predator B-MQ-9 Reaper UAV

 General Atomics to Open Training Academy

For Remotely Piloted Aircraft in North Dakota

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. announced plans today to open a Remorely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) Training Academy in Grand Forks, N.D. with flight crew training to start early next year.

The San Diego-based company expects to welcome its first Foreign Military Sales customers shortly afterwards.

General Atomics has signed a 10-year lease on a facility and will break ground soon.

“The mission of the GA-ASI Training Academy is to increase the overall capacity for flight crew training on our aircraft systems,” said Linden P. Blue, CEO. “The Training Academy will complement our customers’ organic training capabilities and fill the growing need across our RPA enterprise to address the pilot shortage.”

Working with leading industry training experts, academia, and local North Dakota industry, the Training Academy in Grand Forks will provide state-of-the-art flight instruction to aircrews operating GA-ASI aircraft. In addition to providing increased capacity to train the company’s own aircrews, the Training Academy also will train Foreign Military Sales customers who are seeking to grow their aircrew numbers to meet current operational demand.

Operating year-round, the academy will offer multiple courses per year using U.S. government-approved curricula, with the potential of training up to 60 flight crews per year.

“We selected North Dakota as the site for our new Training Academy because it offered an unequaled opportunity to support both our U. S. Air Force customer and international customers,” said Frank W. Pace, president of aircraft systems for General Atomics.

Over the last two decades, GA-ASI has trained hundreds of company and customer aircrews at its Gray Butte and El Mirage Flight Operations Facilities near Palmdale, Calif. Opening the North Dakota Training Academy will provide an additional resource to meet growing worldwide demand for RPA training operations, as well airspace integration testing.

GA-ASI will operate from a five-and-a-half acre location within the Grand Sky complex which is co-located on Grand Forks Air Force Base (AFB). The Grand Forks AFB presently serves as the base of operations for U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection Predator B aircraft and MQ-1 Predator A aircraft operated by the North Dakota Air National Guard.

General Atomics said it is working closely with the FAA, the Air Force, and the Northern Plains Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site to ensure smooth integration into the airspace over North Dakota.


The DC fast charger in the foreground with the RWE chargers behind.

The DC fast charger in the foreground with the RWE chargers behind.

 UC San Diego Tests New Form of

Electric Vehicle Communications

Thanks to research funding from the California Energy Commission, the next generation of electric vehicle charging stations have been commissioned at UC San Diego and are being used to test a new form of data communication between electric vehicles, charging stations and the power grid.

The pilot project brings together charging stations supplied by RWE — Germany’s second largest utility — and smart electric drive coupes from Daimler with UC San Diego as the demonstration site. The RWE charging stations are the only charging stations in the world currently certified for the global standard to be implemented in 2017 by the International Standards Organization (ISO) known as ISO 15118.

The new standard addresses the “vehicle to grid” communication interface, paving the way toward one coherent system that better integrates electric vehicles with the power grid. As part of the pilot project, Daimler is offering affordable leases on smart electric drive coupes that have been built to be fully compatible with ISO 15118. The leases will be offered to interested UC San Diego students, faculty and staff who will be part of consumer driving, charging and behavior studies.

“With this new standard, the charging stations recognize when electricity is available and use it for charging,” said Norbert Verweyen, managing director of RWE. “If the energy is needed elsewhere, the charging process is interrupted.”

The process is known as “intelligent” or “smart” charging — the car, the charging station and the grid are able to communicate with each other in real time to determine grid capacity and customer needs, something that had not been possible before.

Genomics Pioneer Leads DNA

Research at  Rady Children’s Hospital

City News Service

Stephen Kingsmore

Stephen Kingsmore

Rady Children’s Hospital announced Monday that genomics pioneer Stephen Kingsmore will be the first president and CEO of its Pediatric Genomics and Systems Medicine Institute.

Kingsmore, who was with Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, created a process by which doctors are able to decode and interpret a newborn baby’s genome in two days, a genetic test named one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of 2012 by Time Magazine.

The process rapidly screens the DNA of babies for about 4,500 diseases known to be linked to single-gene mutations.

He also helped design a software system for neonatologists to look for disease in specific regions of the genome based on a newborn’s symptoms. The software then guides doctors to where they should interpret results.

“Dr. Kingsmore’s impressive record of achievement and his stellar reputation as a world leader in pediatric genomics will serve him well as he endeavors to bring the institute’s vision to life — to fundamentally change and improve healthcare for children in San Diego and around the world,” said David Hale, the institute’s board chairman.

Kingsmore will start his new job next Monday at the institute, which brings scientists and physicians together to share research and translate discoveries into prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cures for childhood diseases.

Jack in the Box Announces

$200 Million Stock Buyback

Jack in the Box Inc. announced that its board of directors has authorized an additional $200 million stock buyback program starting in fiscal year 2016 and expiring in November 2017.

During fiscal year 2015, the company repurchased 3,743,000 shares at an average price of $84.71 per share, for an aggregate cost of $317.1 million, including $65.5 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015. This completed a $100 million stock buyback program authorized by the company’s board in May 2015.

Lenny Comma, chairman and chief executive officer, said, “Over the last five years, we have demonstrated our commitment to returning our growing free cash flow to shareholders through the purchase of $1 billion in stock and the initiation of a dividend in 2014. The additional authorization coupled with the 50 percent increase in our dividend announced in May underscores the confidence both the management team and our Board of Directors have in our business model and growth plans.”


American Society of Interior Designers

Present ‘Kitchens, Baths and More Tour’

Kitchen in a La Jolla home, designed by Alison Green of Jackson Design & Remodeling.

Kitchen in a La Jolla home, designed by Alison Green of Jackson Design & Remodeling.

The American Society of Interior Designers’ “Kitchens, Baths and More Tour,” Oct. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature 11 homes in coastal San Diego County with newly remodeled spaces. The homes showcase a broad range of tastes, lifestyles, and personal preferences and demonstrate the effectiveness of interior design to meet specific objectives.

Homes on the tour range from a historic 1920s home in Mission Hills to a 1950s ranch house in the heavily wooded area of Point Loma to a bayside condo built in the 1970s. The homes on the tour are located from Point Loma to Oceanside, with several enjoying panoramic ocean views.

“This tour shows how designers can create beautiful interiors while working within the budgets, lifestyles, and tastes of homeowners,” said Kelly Smiar-Gallegos, ASID, co-chair of the event.

“The participating designers represent a broad swatch of the top design talent in San Diego County,” said Natalia Trepchina-Worden, incoming president of the San Diego chapter.  “There is a mix of accomplished design professionals with extensive experience and young designers who bring a Gen X awareness and verve.”

Information and tickets, priced at $25, are available at  Information is available at (858) 566-3345.


Cal State San Marcos campaign event.

Cal State San Marcos campaign event.

Cal State San Marcos Launches

$50 Million Fundraising Campaign

 Cal State San Marcos announced the launch of its first comprehensive fundraising campaign — Forward Together: The Campaign for California State University San Marcos — an ambitious effort to raise $50 million to support students, community engagement initiatives, research and other programs.

CSUSM President Karen Haynes officially kicked off the campaign during an on-campus event on Sunday.

“Donor support is already making a real difference at our university,” said Haynes. “Today, it’s time to take our efforts to the next level through our first major philanthropic campaign. No other university in the CSU system, and likely in the nation, has attempted a comprehensive fund raising campaign at our age. Our goal is audaciously bold, but it befits our audaciously bold aspirations.”

Since CSUSM began the campaign’s quiet phase to prioritize needs and establish fund raising goals, donors have contributed more than $26 million, bringing the campaign nearly halfway to its goal.

Philanthropist Darlene Shiley provided the lead gift to Forward Together with a donation of $3 million, supporting the CSU Institute for Palliative Care, launched at Cal State San Marcos in 2012.

Philanthropist Betty Peabody

Is Rotary Club’s ‘Mrs. San Diego’

Betty Peabody

Betty Peabody

The San Diego Rotary Club will present the 2015 “Mrs. San Diego” to renowned philanthropist Betty Peabody at its Thursday luncheon program.

The event will kick off at 12:30 p.m. that day at the Liberty Station Conference Center, 2600 Laning Road, San Diego.

“Betty is one of the most dedicated, hard working community servants around,” said Peter Duncan, Rotary president. “She undertakes all of her endeavors with a strong and unwavering commitment to the cause regardless of the obstacles that stand in between. At the same time, though, Betty engages those around her with unmatched grace and poise. She is one of San Diego’s finest treasures and most deserving of this award.”

For nearly half a century, Peabody has donated thousands of volunteer hours on behalf of a wide range of organizations in San Diego, including Balboa Park, Caridad Internacionale, county Crime Stoppers, Scripps Mercy Hospital, medical causes and youth tennis. She is the founder of the Balboa Park Millennium Society, now called the Friends of Balboa Park, helping to raise more than $4 million and undertake 250 projects in the jewel of San Diego. Betty and her late husband, Dr. Homer Peabody, secured the first $1 million gift from George E. Barnes to create the Barnes Tennis Center. She has long been active in the Wednesday Club, Thursday Club, cofounded Point Loma Acts Now (PLAN) and was a Salvation Army “Woman of Dedication.”

Her late husband also received this award in 1997. This marks the first time a couple was independently named to the coveted list.


Personnel Announcements

Adam Gordon Joins Seltzer Caplan Law Firm

Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon

Adam Gordon has joined the San Diego-based law firm of Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek as an associate.

A trial lawyer, Gordon joins the firm’s litigation department. His practice focuses on business litigation and white collar criminal defense/Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations.

Gordon previously worked as a senior associate at Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, where his areas of practice included complex business litigation, copyright infringement, breach of contract, wage and hour litigation and corporate alter ego litigation. Gordon also worked as a Deputy District Attorney for the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office.

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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?

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