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Daily Business Report-Nov. 17, 2015

Daily Business Report-Nov. 17, 2015

Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits founder Jack White.

Giant Beverage Conglomerate to Buy

Ballast Point Brewing for $1 Billion

San Diego’s Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits, a company formed in 1996 by a group of home brewers that today boasts more than 40 different styles of beer, will be sold to giant beverage conglomerate Constellation Brands of New York for $1 billion.

Constellation Brands is a top international producer and marketer of beer, wine and spirits with operations in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy. It is the No. 3 beer company in the U.S. with imported brands that include Corona Extra, Corona Light, Modelo Especial, Negra Modelo and Pacifico. Constellation is also a world leader in premium wine, including Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Rex Goliath, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino and Jackson-Triggs. The company’s premium spirits brands include SVEDKA Vodka and Black Velvet Canadian Whisky.

Ballast Point Beer

Ballast Point Beer

Ballast Point will continue to operate as a stand-alone company with its existing management team and employees running the day-to-day operations.

The company is one of the most successful and respected craft beer companies in the country. Ballast Point said it will continue to build on its successful expansion across the U.S., and will now have access to Constellation’s strong financial position and willingness to invest in growth.

“We started this business nearly 20 years ago with a vision to produce great beer that consumers love and to do it the right way,” said Jack White, founder of Ballast Point. “To achieve that vision, we needed to find the right partner. The team at Constellation shares our values, entrepreneurial spirit and passion for beer, and has a proven track record of helping successful premium brands reach the next level of growth and scale.”

“Along with imports, craft beer is a key driver of growth and premiumization within the beer industry, with craft doubling its share of the U.S. beer market in the last five years,” said Rob Sands, CEO of Constellation Brands. “Ballast Point has certainly been a key driver of that growth. Their business philosophy and entrepreneurial spirit perfectly align with our culture and we look forward to strengthening our position in the high-end beer segment with what is arguably the most premium major brand in the entire craft beer business.”

Ballast Point is on pace to sell nearly 4 million cases in calendar 2015, which would represent growth of more than 100 percent versus calendar 2014. Net sales for calendar 2015 are expected to approximate $115 million. Volume and net sales growth from calendar 2012 to calendar 2014 averaged over 80 percent. Ballast Point employs more than 500 employees, produces beer in four facilities in the San Diego area, and sells its beer in over 30 states.





Adventures by the Book to Hold

Nov. 22 Benefit for Paris Victims

Adventures by the Book, a a San Diego-based literary event planning and travel company, will host a Nov. 22 benefit to provide humanitarian relief for the victims and survivors of last week’s terrorist attacks in Paris.

The goal is to raise $5,000 for the French Red Cross. The benefit will be at 6 p.m. at The Cheese Store of San Diego, 1980 Kettner Blvd. Donations will be collected.

Several silent auction items will be offered: dinner with Susan Vreeland, author of “Lisette’s List”; Jennifer Coburn, author of “We’ll Always Have Paris”; Michelle Gable, author of “A Paris Apartment”; and Laurel Corona, author of “Finding Emilie.”

“Everyone involved is volunteering their time and donating their services and goods,” said Susan McBeth, founder of Adventures by the Book.

“I just returned from Paris a week ago, and after the attacks on Friday night, I received numerous texts from family and friends saying how relieved they were that I was no longer there,” said Coburn. “I knew they meant well, but it was the exact opposite of how I felt. I wanted to be back in Paris helping however I could.”

McBeth, who also recently returned from Paris where she led an Adventures by the Book literary travel event with Susan Vreeland, felt similarly at a loss as to what she could do to support the city she had grown to love. In sharing their sadness, Coburn and McBeth decided to host a fundraiser to benefit the French Red Cross.

To make a donation to the San Diego Je Suis Paris effort, mail checks to:

Adventures by the Book, P.O. Box 421472, San Diego, CA 92142.


Rendering of new hospital to be built by Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

Rendering of new hospital to be built by Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center.

Sharp Chula Vista Announces Plans

To Build $239 Million New Hospital

Rendering of patient room

Rendering of patient room

Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center announced plans Monday to build a new $239 million, 170,000-square-foot hospital, adding 138 private patient rooms, six state-of-the-art operating rooms, and advanced health care technology, programs and services to meet the needs of South County.

The hospital is being funded through a combination of philanthropic donations to Sharp HealthCare Foundation, bonds, cash reserves and the Medi-Cal Hospital Fee Program. The Ocean View Tower at Sharp Chula Vista is Sharp HealthCare’s largest single investment to date.

Sharp Chula Vista selected Hensel Phelps, AVRP Studios and Smith Group JJR as the design-build team to lead the expansion project. Groundbreaking is expected in late 2016 with a grand opening anticipated in fall 2019.

“As an organization, Sharp HealthCare is committed to the future of South County by providing the best place for patients to receive care, the best place for physicians to practice medicine and the best place for employees to work in Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center,” said Mike Murphy, president and chief executive officer of Sharp HealthCare.


Ron and Mary Alice Brady’s $2 Million

Gift To Help Fund Heart and Vascular Center

Ron and Mary Alice Brady

Ron and Mary Alice Brady

Thanks to a $2 million pledge from East County philanthropists Ron and Mary Alice Brady, the Grossmont Hospital Foundation has met its $10 million capital campaign goal, which will go toward the hospital’s new 74,000-square-foot Heart and Vascular Center slated to open in 2017.

The money will be used to equip the center with the most advanced cardiovascular technology on the market. Some of the features are four hybrid operating rooms, four cardiac catheterization labs, a multi-purpose image-guided operating/procedural room, pharmacy and clinical laboratory.

“The community has once again responded very generously in support of our hospital,” said Beth Morgante, Grossmont Hospital Foundation executive director. “I think they understand how their philanthropic investment can make the difference between a good medical facility and an exceptional one.”


Women’s Numbers Up Slightly

Among Private S.D. Law Firms

The annual equality survey conducted by the Lawyers Club of San Diego shows an increase this year in the number of women attorneys and women partners at private law firms after a dip last year.

The public sector continues to lead in gender equality over the private sector, with more women and women of color overall and more women in top-level and leadership positions.

Of the 25 private firms included in the 2015 Equality Survey, women comprise 38 percent of attorneys, an incremental increase over 2014. Women hold 27 percent of firm partnership positions in 2015 — up from 2013 and 2014 — but only 22 percent of equity partner/shareholder positions. Women of color hold a mere 2 percent of partnership and equity partner positions and only 6 percent of attorney positions overall.

Only firms with 10 or more attorneys in San Diego County were included in the survey, and larger law firms generally reported fewer percentages of women attorneys and women equity partners.

Women and attorneys of color were better represented in the public sector than in the private sector, as in past years. Ten public agencies responded to the survey. At these agencies, 55 percent of the total attorneys were women, and 14 percent were women of color. These numbers were down from 2014, with 59 percent women attorneys and 15 percent women of color employed by public agencies. Women hold 56 percent of leadership and management positions in public agencies in 2015, while women of color hold 22 percent of such positions.

Lawyers Club’s Equality and Action Committee will present the detailed results of the Equality Survey at a luncheon on Thursday, Nov. 19, at the U.S. Grant Hotel.

County Bar Association

Elects New Officers

Heather Riley

Heather Riley

Loren Freestone

Loren Freestone

Heather Riley, partner with Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis LLP, will serve as president of the San Diego County Bar Association for 2016. Loren Freestone, partner at Higgs, Fletcher & Mack LLP, has been elected to the position of president‐elect, and will serve as president in 2017.

The 2016 SDCBA Board of Directors will take part in an installation ceremony on Dec. 4 at Stepping Up to the Bar, the association’s annual holiday reception.

Riley’s practice involves a variety of land use and environmental matters, with a particular emphasis on writ litigation. She has extensive experience with the California Environmental Quality Act, and has defended numerous private clients and public entities in land use and environmental actions in both state and federal courts.

Attorneys Stephanie Chow, Srinivas Hanumadass, Jan Maiden, Anna Romanskaya, and Johanna Schiavoni have been elected to serve three‐year terms on the Board. Dan Bacal, Jodi Cleesattle, Andy Cook, Roger Haerr, Lizzette Herrera Castellanos, Lilys McCoy, Rick Layon, Dino Paraskevopoulos and Kristin Rizzo will continue their service in 2016. Jason Evans, chair of the association’s Forum for Emerging Lawyers, will also serve a one‐year term on the board.


Authors of the new paper included, from left, James Voss, Raiees Andrabi, Dennis Burton, Bryan Briney and Chi-Hui Liang.

Authors of the new paper included, from left, James Voss, Raiees Andrabi, Dennis Burton, Bryan Briney and Chi-Hui Liang.

Scripps Research Institute Scientists

Reveal New Weapons Against HIV

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have new weapons in the fight against HIV.

Their new study, published as the cover article of the November issue of Immunity, describes four prototype antibodies that target a specific weak spot on the virus. Guided by these antibodies, the researchers then mimicked the molecular structure of a protein on HIV when designing their own potential HIV vaccine candidate.

“This study is an example of how we can learn from natural infection and translate that information into vaccine development,” said TSRI Research Associate Raiees Andrabi. “This is an important advance in the field of antibody-based HIV vaccine development.”

The findings build on the success of several recent TSRI studies showing that, with prompting, the immune system can develop antibodies to neutralize many strains of HIV.

In the new study, the researchers carried out a series of experiments involving virus modifications, protein and antibody engineering. They found that four antibodies targeted a single spot on HIV’s surface called the V2 apex. This was significant because the V2 apex could be recognized by these antibodies on about 90 percent of known HIV strains — and even related strains that infect other species. A vaccine targeting this region could protect against many forms of the virus.

Supporters and Critics Speak Out

On Proposed Water Rate Hike

City News Service

The question of whether to raise the city of San Diego’s water rates by nearly 17 percent next year is scheduled to go before the City Council today, and both sides of the issue spoke out Monday in separate news conferences.

The city’s Public Utilities Department has suggested increasing rates to customers by 9.8 percent beginning in January, and an additional 6.9 percent next July 1. More increases would be set in future years.

The hikes would cover a combination of lower revenues as customers reduce consumption amid the drought, and higher expenses. Councilwoman Sherri Lightner said the planned increase means far more than paying a little more for water.

“The future of our water supply and water infrastructure depends on this rate increase, not to mention our quality of life,” Lightner said. “In reality, San Diego’s water rates are still lower than most local water agencies, and will remain so even after this rate increase.”

She said most of the hikes simply pass along the greater costs for imported water charged by the San Diego County Water Authority and Metropolitan Water District. Those costs have doubled over the past decade, she said.

Supporters of the increase said the money will help pay for necessary water infrastructure projects, such as replacing San Diego’s aging water mains and building a system that will convert recycled water into drinking water.

They said not approving the increases would delay the projects, force the city to spend $2 billion to upgrade the Point Loma Wastewater Treatment plant, and require Public Utilities to spend down its reserve accounts — which would catch the eyes of credit rating agencies, making capital projects costlier.

In their own news conference, detractors expressed opposition to the way the increases were being implemented.

Councilman David Alvarez said the hikes are unfair and don’t offer incentives to cut back on consumption.

“Many San Diegans have followed the lead and have been very diligent in making sure that they conserve as much water as they possibly can over the last several months,” Alvarez said.

“The water use has been reduced, and how are we going to say thank you to them? Well, the proposal here is to increase their water rates by 40 percent over the next five years,” Alvarez said.

He said it’s wrong that those who conserve will pay the same rates as those who waste water.

A residential customer whose monthly bill is now around $36 would see it rise to just over $39, according to a city report. Customers now paying $71 would see their bills go above $77.

Renowned Surgeon Named to

Presidential Chair in Urology

Dr. Christopher J. Kane

Dr. Christopher J. Kane

Dr. Christopher J. Kane, a specialist in prostate cancer and an expert in robotic and other minimally invasive procedures for urologic surgery at UC San Diego, has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Joseph D. Schmidt, MD Presidential Chair in Urology in the School of Medicine.

The $3.3 million endowed faculty chair was created in honor of Dr. Joseph Schmidt, professor emeritus who served UC San Diego from 1976 through his recent retirement in August 2015. Schmidt is revered for his excellent patient care and for training 60 urology residents in his time at UC San Diego. He served as chief of the Division of Urology at UC San Diego for 30 years.

A professor of surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine and chair of the Department of Urology at UC San Diego Health, Kane is internationally recognized for his patient care and research in prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma and minimally invasive surgical treatment of urologic diseases and disorders.

Kane has authored more than 270 peer-reviewed research articles with a focus on prostate cancer risk factors and outcomes, prostate cancer surgery and minimally invasive surgery for prostate and kidney cancer. He performs more than 200 robotic cancer surgeries per year.

Personnel Announcements

J. Walcher Promotes 2 Staffers

Jenna Brossman

Jenna Brossman

Ashley Weaver

Ashley Weaver

J. Walcher Communications has promoted Jenna Brossman to senior account executive and Ashley Weaver to assistant account executive.

Brossman joined the agency in 2013, and supports client goals through integrated marketing communications, local and national media relations, stakeholder outreach and social media. Her clients include nonprofits, real estate developers, shopping centers, tech companies and national associations.

Weaver rejoined the agency in March 2015, after previously working as an intern in 2013. In her role, she provides public relations support to the firm’s roster of clients through strategic media relations, community outreach, social media marketing and more.

San Diego Bike Coalition Names

Education Programs Manager

Michelle Luellen

Michelle Luellen

The San Diego Bike Coalition, an organization that advocates for the rights of  people who ride bicycles, has named  Michelle Luellen as its new education programs manager. Luellen will oversee and implement the Coalition’s education projects, including beginner courses and kid-focused community rides to teach safety and traffic skills as well as neighborhood rides in each of San Diego County’s 18 cities.

Prior to joining the Bike Coalition, Luellen worked with Circulate San Diego as a project coordinator focusing on strategic collaborations and planning efforts specifically with Walk+Bike Carlsbad and Walk This Way Pedestrian Safety Training. She has more than ten years of education experience.

Luellen has earned certification as a League Cycling Instructor certified to teach League of American Bicyclists curriculum.

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Voice Your Opinion

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?

You can email Probolsky Research directly with your ideas: