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Daily Business Report-Sept. 8, 2015

Daily Business Report-Sept. 8, 2015

A scene from award-winning film ‘Wake.’

SDSU Student Filmmaker

Wins Prized Kodak Award

San Diego State University’s Television, Film and New Media program

has produced another award winner.

Senior film student Ben Brahem Ziryab received the prestigious 2015 Kodak Student Cinematography Scholarship Award of Merit for his film “Wake.”

The prize netted Ziryab a $1,000 scholarship, a $3,000 Kodak Motion Picture product grant and the satisfaction of beating out students from 54 other film schools throughout the world.

Ziryab joins the long list of award-winning SDSU filmmakers, including Kathleen Kennedy, ’79, co-founder of Amblin Entertainment with Stephen Spielberg and Frank Marshall and currently president of Lucasfilm; and Destin Cretton, ’11, winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s top prize for short film in 2009.

“I was really happy to win this award for myself and our film program here at SDSU,” Ziryab said. “Even though we are not a huge film school, we have an emphasis on storytelling, and that’s what made my film stand out.”

Ziryab who has been making movies since the age of 9, began filming “Wake” in August 2014. It’s a romantic, science-fiction short film that takes place in a dream-like state and includes no dialogue.

“It was challenging because I had to make the film seem fluid as if it were a dream,” Brahem said. “Also without dialogue, I had to communicate all emotions through images, sound and music.”

While this was no easy task, Ziryab wanted to create a story that would appeal to a larger audience — a film that everyone could relate to.

“I wanted ‘Wake’ to be a short film that anyone in the world could watch and understand,” Ziryab said. “Everyone has dreams and the way we experience dreams is universal, regardless of language.”


The Activity Business Center

The Activity Business Center

Lincoln Property Company Acquires

Activity Business Center for $19.15 Million

The Activity Business Center, a five-building, nine-acre office park located a block away from Miramar Road in San Diego has been acquired by Lincoln Property Company for $19.15 million.

The property has a total of 160,943 square feet. The buildings are at 9235, 9245 and 9265 Activity Road and 9520 and 9530 Padgett St. Tenants include Quest Diagnostics, NRG Home Solar, H&R Block, Group Delta Consultants, Harmonium, Computer Processing Unlimited. The property was 83 percent leased at the time of the sale.

The seller was BSREP Socal Activity LLC, an affiliate of Brookfield Property Company, represented in the transaction by DTZ.

Lincoln intends to complete an exterior remodel of the property, including painting, enhanced signage, landscaping and parking improvements, as well interior renovations.


Artificial Grass

Artificial Grass

New Law Ends ‘Turf’ War

Between Homeowners and HOAs

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation sponsored by the San Diego County Water Authority that prohibits common interest developments (typically governed by homeowners associations, or HOAs) from banning artificial turf. Assembly Bill 349, carried by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego, takes effect immediately and will enhance outdoor water conservation opportunities statewide.

“Californians are making great strides to reduce their water use and hit aggressive benchmarks for conservation, and this new common sense law will give homeowners one more way to save as this drought continues,” Gonzalez said. “The grass may be fake, but the amount of water a homeowner can save by installing it is very real.”

The new law is important because irrigation accounts for more than half of a typical home’s water use in California, and more than a quarter of the state’s housing stock is in common interest developments.

Earlier legislation supported by the Water Authority prevented common interest developments from prohibiting low water-use plants as a group or as replacement for turf grass. In addition, Water Authority-supported legislation prevents HOAs — except those that use recycled water for landscape irrigation — from imposing a fine or assessment on members for reducing or eliminating landscape irrigation when the governor or local government officials have declared an emergency due to drought.

Officials to Unveil Monument Made of

Remnants of Chula Vista Power Plant

Remnants of the old South Bay Power Plant, which operated for more than 50 years in Chula Vista before it was decommissioned and imploded, have been used in a 25-foot high memorial monument that will be unveiled at a Sept. 10 dedication.

The main component of the monument, titled “Powering the Arts,” is partially comprised of artifacts salvaged from the debris field of the demolished power plant. The artifacts were mounted on a stainless steel framework and embellished by two colored stainless steel ribbons designed by the artist, Michael Leaf. The monument also includes a custom park bench created from one of the former plant’s turbine rotors.

The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. at Chula Vista Bayfront Park, 980 Marina Way in Chula Vista. Officials will include Mayor Mary Salas, Port Commissioners Dan Malcolm and Ann Moore, and former Mayor Cheryl Cox, along with Leaf.

Cal State San Marcos Offers

Info Session on MBA Program

Cal State San Marcos will hold a free information session on Sept. 17 for its Specialized Accelerated MBA Program (SAMBA).

The session will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in Markstein Hall 430. The university is acceping applications for fall

The Specialized Accelerated MBA Program will provide participants with the skills they need to be successful in the business world and will prepare them for entrance into some of the finest companies in the region and abroad. The unique “stackable” program consists of 36-48 units in three phases: the Foundation, the Core, and the Specialization in Business Intelligence or International Business, which also presents three entry and exit points into and out of the program.

Upon satisfactory completion of each phase of the program, students will receive a certificate, and upon completion of the final project/culminating experience, an MBA.

This MBA is for individuals with 0-3 years of work experience and will benefit recent business and non-business major graduates and international students. The program will start in Fall 2015 and can be completed in 12-15 months. Attend the information session for program details.

ACADIA Submits New Drug Application

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. has submitted a New Drug Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeking approval for NUPLAZID for the treatment of psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease.

The company said NUPLAZID has demonstrated significant efficacy in Parkinson’s disease psychosis and has the potential to avoid many of the debilitating side effects of existing antipsychotics, none of which are approved for use in patients.

“NUPLAZID holds promise for patients with Parkinson’s disease psychosis who currently have no FDA-approved treatment options,” said Steve Davis, ACADIA’s CEO. “Psychosis is the leading cause for Parkinson’s patients moving from their homes to nursing homes or other institutions and leads to an increased risk of mortality, a diminished quality of life and significant caregiver burden. If approved, NUPLAZID would represent a new and distinctly different pharmacological approach to treating psychosis and would be the first drug approved in the United States for psychosis associated with Parkinson’s disease.”

Hyundai Hope on Wheels Awards $250,000 Grant

To Rady Children’s Hospital for Cancer Research

Hyundai Hope on Wheels today will award Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego a $250,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to fund childhood cancer research led by Dr. Catriona Jamieson. The newly named Hyundai Scholar, Jamieson will use the funds for pediatric cancer research.

The grant will be officially awarded during a Hope On Wheels Handprint Ceremony at Rady Children’s at 10 a.m. At the ceremony, Hope On Wheels will commemorate San Diego-area children affected by cancer by capturing their handprints on a white Hyundai Tucson.

The event is part of a Hope On Wheels campaign to honor National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The campaign will generate $10.5 million to support 45 pediatric cancer research projects at Children’s Oncology Group (COG) member institutions across the country. In its 17th year in the fight, Hope On Wheels is expected to surpass $100 million in funding pediatric cancer research.

Personnel Announcements

County Pension Fund Hires Veteran CEO David Wescoe

Times of San Diego

David Wescoe

David Wescoe

The San Diego County Employees Retirement Association has permanently hired pension veteran David Wescoe  as chief executive officer of the $10.6 billion public retirement fund.

Wescoe has served as interim CEO since April, when long-time CEO Brian White resigned, and earlier helped turn around the city’s scandal-plagued pension pension fund.

Wescoe is currently president of Efficient Market Advisors, an independent investment advisory firm, and was previously chief executive for the Motion Picture Industry Pension and Health Plans.

Acadia Names President and CEO

 Steve Davis

Steve Davis

ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. has appointed Steve Davis as president and chief executive officer. Davis has been serving as ACADIA’s interim CEO since March 2015.

Davis has more than 20 years of executive-level experience in the pharmaceutical industry and more than 20 years of experience on the boards of directors of publicly held biopharmaceutical companies. He joined ACADIA in July 2014 as executive vice president, chief financial officer and chief business officer.

Previously, Davis was executive vice president and chief operating officer at Heron Therapeutics Inc., executive vice president and chief operating officer at Ardea Biosciences and numerous executive roles at Neurogen Corp.

Josh Gaffen Promoted at Gafcon

Josh Gaffen

Josh Gaffen

Gafcon, a program and construction management firm, announced the promotion of Josh Gaffen to vice president of client development. In this new role, he will spearhead all client acquisition and engagement initiatives for the firm.

Gaffen has held various roles in operations, business development, information technology, client engagement, strategic partnerships and program/project management throughout his career. He has been with Gafcon since 2007 and has managed the company’s involvement in high- profile projects at the Los Angeles Community College District, Los Angeles Unified School District and San Diego Unified School District.

Gaffen’s work experience began as a technology consultant on document management and reporting systems for construction, education, health care and biotech applications.



John Gowdy put finishing touches for his sand sculpture about Caitlyn Jenner. Photo by Chris Stone

John Gowdy put finishing touches for his sand sculpture about Caitlyn Jenner. Photo by Chris Stone

‘Bruce Jender’ a Fan Favorite at

Sand Sculpting Challenge

Times of San Diego

It’s not an immortal work of art. But Caitlyn Jenner’s transgender journey is a fan favorite at the U.S. Sand Sculpting Challenge that ended Monday.

Italy-based John Gowdy took 30 hours over 3 1/2 days to create the ephemeral piece titled “Bruce Jender, Call Me Caitlyn” on the B Street Pier Downtown.

Why Jenner?

“Two reasons,” Gowdy said Sunday. “One is that there was an Olympic theme for us to adhere to and second, I like to sculpt current events. The transgender of Bruce Jenner is in the news.”

Gowdy, 58, had no contact with the former decathlon great, but he’s performed for a different kind of celebrity royalty. A retired Atlantic City firefighter, he performed his “Flying Colors” painting routing for Queen Elizabeth II on her Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

He’s done many topical sand sculptures in the past, he said, and this is his fourth year competing in San Diego.“I won first place People’s Choice last year with Lifeguard Rescue,” he said.

Gowdy also sculpts in stone, having attended the Marble Institute

in Colorado for five years.

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