Daily Business Report-Oct. 16, 2015
UC San Diego Named Among Nation’s
Most Ethnically Diverse Colleges
The University of California, San Diego has been named the 11th most ethnically diverse college in the nation, according to a new report.
Best College Reviews, a ranking service for American colleges and universities, recently released a list of the top 50 ethnically diverse schools. Statistics and definitions of race/ethnicity for the list were gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics, Diverse Issues in Higher Education and school websites.
According to the report, UC San Diego looks at diversity as an opportunity for education. Among the criteria for inclusion on the list was a requirement that at least three races are represented by more than 12 percent at the school. It also considered factors including the number of scholarships, clubs, organizations and associations available for ethnic groups.
UC San Diego was praised for having strong support programs and centers such as the Black Resource Center, Cross-Cultural Center and Raza Resource Centro.
Best College Reviews also lauded UC San Diego for its various academic programs that focus on ethnic diversity, such as its majors and minors that include Ethnic, African, Middle-East, Judaic Studies and Chicano/Latino Arts and Humanities, to name a few. In addition, Thurgood Marshall College, one of the six undergraduate colleges within UC San Diego, requires “Dimensions of Culture-Diversity, Justice and Imagination,” a writing sequence that examines American society as part of the general education requirements.
San Diego County Jobless Rate Drops to 4.6 Percent
Region Gains 46,900 Jobs Over the Year
The unemployment rate in the San Diego County was 4.6 percent in September, down from a revised 5.1 percent in August and below the year-ago estimate of 6.1 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported today.
California’s unadjusted unemployment rate for the same period was 5.5 percent, and the nation’s was 4.9 percent.
Between August and September:
Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,391,300 to 1,393,800, a gain of 2,500 jobs. Agricultural employment remained unchanged over the month.
• Government recorded a month-over increase of 4,100 jobs. An employment gain in local government (up 4,300 jobs) was offset by a decline in federal government and state government (down 100 jobs each).
• Educational and health services gained 2,300 jobs with more than half of the increase in health care and social assistance. Other gains were reported in construction (up 800 jobs), manufacturing (up 400 jobs), and other services (up 200 jobs).
• Leisure and hospitality recorded the largest month-over seasonal decline, down 1,600 jobs. Three other sectors also reported job losses: trade, transportation and utilities, (down 1,500 jobs), financial activities and professional and business services (down 1,000 jobs each).
Between September 2014 and September 2015:
Total nonfarm employment increased by 46,900 jobs, or 3.5 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 400 jobs, or 3.7 percent.
• Professional and business services posted the greatest year-over gain, adding 10,700 jobs. Professional, scientific, and technical services (up 9,600) accounted for almost 90 percent of the job growth in this sector.
• Eight other sectors also added jobs over the year. The most notable job growth came from leisure and hospitality (up 10,100 jobs) with over 80 percent of the growth in accommodation and food services.
• Two sectors recorded year-over job losses: mining and logging and other services (down 100 jobs each).
WD-40’s Worldwide Profit Grows
Despite the Strong U.S. Dollar
Times of San Diego
The San Diego-based WD-40 Company on Thursday reported 2 percent higher net income despite a 1 percent decline in sales for its fiscal year ended Aug. 31.
The maker of lubrication products earned $44.8 million, or $3.04 per share, on revenue of $378 million, compared to $43.7 million, or $2.87 per share, on sales of $383 million in the prior year.
In the fourth fiscal quarter, the company earned $11.7 million, or 80 cents per share, compared to $11.5 million, or 77 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenues declined to $92.0 million from $97.6 million.
The company said that because 40 percent of its sales are in foreign currencies, the strong U.S. dollar reduced reported revenue by $16 million over the entire fiscal year.
“Fiscal year 2015 was a year of solid operating performance that was obscured by the impacts of political events, economic instability, a strong U.S. dollar and a particularly weak euro against the pound sterling,” said Garry Ridge, WD-40’s president and chief executive officer.
“Despite the challenged macroeconomic environment we made solid progress against our strategic initiatives and in local currencies delivered growth in all but a few of our markets around the world. We are very excited that we launched our newest product, WD-40 EZ-REACH, in the U.S. during our fourth quarter and initial point of sale results have been encouraging,” he added.
The results were released following the close of financial markets in New York, but the company’s stock fell nearly 4 percent to $90 per share in after-hours trading.
EdgeWave Introduces Next Generation
Firewall With Human Intelligence
EdgeWave Inc., a San Diego-based cyber security firm, announced the launch of the industry’s first Next Generation Firewall with Human Intelligence.
By integrating EdgeWave’s EPIC iGuard web content security service with the EdgeWave EPIC Next Generation Firewall, organizations of all sizes can now benefit from cyber defense that combines expert human analysis with machine intelligence to stay ahead of constantly evolving web-based attacks, according to the company.
“There is no replacement for human intelligence in the fight against terrorism, whether on the kinetic battlefield or in the cyber domain,” said Mike Walls, managing director at EdgeWave.
Before joining EdgeWave, Walls was responsible for U.S. Navy cyber operational readiness, ensuring the security of over 300 ships, 4,000 aircraft and 400,000 servicemen — the world’s largest intranet.
“The trend is definitely shifting to the point where we are seeing that the majority of cyber attacks are precisely targeted, extremely advanced, and constantly evolving,” said Walls. “The operational experience and critical deductive reasoning of expert cyber security analysts is absolutely essential to identify and stop these changing threats and protect businesses from data breaches. Quite simply, it takes a human to stop a human.”
EPIC iGuard combines expert human analysis with machine intelligence to identify and block web-based attacks and the malicious websites they originate from. It takes the deductive ability of a human defender to recognize the sophisticated and evolving infiltration techniques that today’s hackers use. The EPIC Analysts behind iGuard are an experienced group of multi-lingual web security experts who analyze websites to identify attack vectors used by sophisticated hackers to attack business and steal valuable data. With EPIC iGuard’s combination of advanced technology and human analysis, web based threats like botnets, spyware, and malware are quickly and accurately identified and blocked.
City’s Code Enforcement Division Slow
To Respond to High-Priority Complaints
City News Service
The city of San Diego’s Code Enforcement Division is slow in responding to high-priority complaints and unable to effectively track its performance, according to a report released Thursday by the City Auditor’s Office.
It takes the division nearly 12 days on average to respond to Priority 1 and 2 calls, even though the goals are two and five business days, respectively, auditors found. The standard is met in 29 percent of the Priority 1 cases and 59 percent of the time for Priority 2.
Priority 1 calls include imminent health and safety hazards — such as uninhabitable living conditions — unstable structures and signs, or leaking sewage. Priority 2 complaints involve issues such as abandoned properties, disabled access problems and building, electrical, plumbing and mechanical violations.
The report stated that the slow responses are due not to a lack of resources, but “a lack of appropriate prioritization.”
“CED’s average response times for high-priority and low-priority cases are nearly identical, which indicates that investigators are not responding to high-priority violations with any greater urgency that lower-priority violations,” the auditors wrote. “Furthermore, delays in the intake process slow the response to many complaints, regardless of priority.”
The auditor said an improved tracking system, and additional guidance, training and oversight are required to correct the situation.
The report included a dozen recommendations, including assigning a priority of each case and assigning an inspection date based on the priority, reminding investigators of inspection time frames, revising case intake procedures, updating the division’s performance metrics and making sure division leaders are involved in configuring a new project tracking system purchased by the city.
USD to Present Fifth Annual
Women in Real Estate Conference
Gina Champion-Cain, chairman of the board of American National Investments, will give the keynote presentation at the fifth annual Women in Real Estate Conference on the University of San Diego campus.
The conference is sponsored by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate in the School of Business Administration at USD.
The conference is a gathering of real estate and financial services professionals, addressing tomorrow’s important real estate issues.
Following Champion-Cain’s address, a panel of real estate executives will address the topic, “Strategy and Leadership in an Increasingly Dynamic Real Estate Market.”
The panel, moderated by Vicky Carlson, president and CEO of LEAD San Diego, will include: Barbara Cambon, real estate adviser; Karen MacLeod, principal manager, real estate at Sharp HealthCare; and Vicki Mullins, executive vice president and CFO of Newland Communities.
Registration for the event, including breakfast, is $50 for an individual or $500 for 10 reserved seats. Additional information is available on the Burnham-Moores Center’s website.
Biogazelle, Isis Pharmaceuticals
Collaborate on RNA Technology
Biogazelle announced a research collaboration with Isis Pharmaceuticals to identify and validate novel drug targets.
The collaboration is aimed at treatments for colon, liver, and lung cancer. Isis will provide Biogazelle with access to its antisense platform for the large-scale validation of therapeutic long non-coding RNA targets from Biogazelle’s target identification pipeline.
Financial and other details of the deal were not disclosed.
Antisense drugs are small DNA- or RNA-like compounds that degrade complementary RNA targets inside a cell. In recent years, antisense drugs have been developed to treat diseases by targeting disease-associated protein-coding mRNA targets, Biogazelle said.
LncRNA represents a new class of RNAs that do not code for proteins, and evidence suggests they play an important role in cancer development and progression, the Ghent, Belgium-based company added.
“This collaboration broadens the application of our technology to this promising new area and provides us with a knowledgeable partner that has the diagnostic expertise and experience to quickly advance from screening to target validation,” C. Frank Bennett, senior vice president of research at Isis Pharmaceuticals, said in a statement.
Taxpayers Group Says College
Bond Could Drive Up Costs
City News Service
The San Diego County Taxpayers Association voiced opposition Thursday to a proposal by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District to adopt a deal for a $398 million construction bond that the association says could drive up costs.
The taxpayer group contends that approval of a Project Labor Agreement would break the terms of their endorsement of Proposition V, which gained 58.2 percent of the votes during the November 2012 general election.
By calling attention to the proposal, the SDCTA hopes to turn out East County voters to district governing board meetings scheduled for Tuesday — a workshop on PLAs at 4 p.m. and a regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., when the proposal will be considered. Both meetings are at the Grossmont College Griffin Gate student center.
“The GCCCD sought out our endorsement because they knew it carries enormous weight with voters as they evaluate a bond measure,” said Theresa Andrews, SDCTA’s interim president and CEO. “We granted our support precisely because of their promise to bid the taxpayer-funded projects fairly, which we believe results in lower costs for the public.”
A resolution passed by the GCCCD board in August 2012 said the district would “promote fair and open competition for all district construction projects so that all contractors and workers, whether union or non-union, are treated equally in the bidding and awarding of district construction contracts.”
Honor Foundation Receives $2 Million
Grant from The Navy SEAL Foundation
The San Diego-based Honor Foundation has received a $2 million grant from The Navy SEAL Foundation — the largest that it’s ever made — to expand education for U.S. Special Operations Forces transitioning from the military to the civilian workforce.
The grant will enable The Honor Foundation to expand its services to the East Coast and open a campus in Virginia Beach. It will also allow the organization to bring on top-level executive leaders who will further develop curriculum and job placement programs.
“The grant from our founding partner, the Navy SEAL Foundation, will also fund technology upgrades that will help slowly scale our core program to a force of 65,000 Special Operators,” said Philip Dana, former global talent acquisition director for Intuit, now the vice president, chief of people operations of The Honor Foundation. “Our graduates find their next mission in high-level positions at leading businesses like J.P. Morgan, AirBnB, GM, KPMG, PWC and many others. The Honor Foundation will have nearly 700 graduates by 2018.”
Regen BioPharma Names President
Regen BioPharma Inc. announced the appointment of Harry Lander as its new president. Lander will work with the company’s Chairman & CEO David Koos to advance Regen BioPharma’s small molecule and immuno-oncological therapeutics.
Lander received a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry and a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry from State University at Stony Brook in 1987, a doctorate in biochemistry from Cornell University Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1992 and an MBA in finance from the New York University Stern School of Business in 2001.
Lander has experience as both a researcher and administrator, having served in these positions at Cornell University as well as the Sidra Medical and Research Center in Qatar.
Lander will also be involved in establishing non-dilutive financial collaborations to further the Regen’s growth.
Southwest Strategies Hires 2 Account Executives
Southwest Strategies has hired two new employees — Senior Account Executive Robert Iezza and Account Executive Dariel Walker — to support the firm’s client portfolio.
Robert Iezza is a seasoned public relations and strategic communications professional with experience in marketing communications, public outreach, coalition building and campaign management. His expertise includes managing high-profile proactive and reactive campaigns and developing targeted communication strategies.
Before joining Southwest Strategies, Iezza worked as an associate at Englander Knabe & Allen, a Los Angeles County strategic communications firm.
Dariel Walker has experience in public relations, government communications and transportation public outreach. Most recently, Walker worked for SANDAG, where she coordinated a diverse range of communications for a variety of regional highway, transit and bike projects. Public Information Office. Prior to her work with SANDAG, Walker interned at i.d.e.a., an integrated marketing agency, where she supported the team with media relations and event coordination for the firm’s clients.