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Daily Business Report-April 5, 2016

Daily Business Report-April 5, 2016

Judy Gradwohl leaves the Smithsonian Institution after 30 years to become president and CEO of the San Diego Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum Chooses

Smithsonian Veteran as New CEO

The San Diego Natural History Museum has selected a 30-year veteran of the Smithsonian Institution and a native Californian to become its new president and CEO.

Judy Gradwohl, the MacMillan asssociate director for education and public engagement at the National Museum of American History — the Smithsonian’s third largest museum — will assume the job on July 1, the start of the museum’s fiscal year.

Gradwohl will replace Michael “Mick” Hager, who will retire June 30 after 25 years at the helm of the museum.

“TheNAT is a gem — it has superb staff and collections and is the best possible visitor center for the natural world in San Diego County and Baja,” said Gradwohl. “This role is a perfect fit, as it brings together my work in field biology, environmental conservation, digital outreach, education, and museum management at the Smithsonian.”

Gradwohl has held various leadership positions within the Smithsonian Institution. In 1985, she started at the National Zoo focusing on animal behavioral research, education, and exhibits, and then went on to establish the Smithsonian’s Office of Environmental Awareness where she curated large traveling exhibitions and raised major funding toward operations and projects.

Gradwohl developed the Smithsonian’s first exhibition website, after which she joined the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian’s third largest museum. There, she supervised the development of the museum’s web presence and, in 2004, became part of the senior leadership team, assuming her most recent role.

A native Californian, Gradwohl spent much of her youth connecting with the natural world by hiking and camping throughout the state. It sparked a passion for the environment and prompted her to pursue a Zoology degree at UC Berkeley. During her undergraduate studies she was awarded a fellowship to conduct research on tropical forest birds at the Smithsonian’s Tropical Research Institute in Panama, which solidified her interest in ornithology, and formed the basis of her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In addition to having developed innovative programming at several museums within the Smithsonian Institution, Gradwohl is a published author and exhibition curator.

“Judy cares deeply about scientific research, education, and the environment,” said Virginia Crockett, chair of the search committee and past board chair. “We are delighted that Judy will assume leadership of theNAT and believe her unique combination of leadership ability, curatorial background, and public engagement skills is central the board’s vision of a sustainable future for the museum.”


Gov. Jerry Brown signs $15 minimum wage law in Los Angeles. (Courtesy SEIU California)

Gov. Jerry Brown signs $15 minimum wage law in Los Angeles. (Courtesy SEIU California)

Gov. Brown Signs Historic

$15 Minimum Wage Law

By City News Service

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Monday that will raise the state’s minimum wage  to $15 an hour by 2022, bringing praise from a San Diego City Council member and criticism from a regional business leader.

Brown, during a ceremony in Los Angeles, said the passage of SB 3 doesn’t mark the end of the struggle for livable wages, but it’s a big step in the right direction.

“It’s about people,” Brown said. “It’s about creating a little tiny balance in a system that every day becomes more unbalanced.”

The state Assembly and Senate both approved the legislation Thursday, despite opposition from Republicans and business leaders.

Under the legislation, California’s $10-an-hour minimum wage will increase to $10.50 in January 2017, then to $11 on Jan. 1, 2018. The minimum wage will then go up by a dollar in each of the following years until it reaches $15 in 2022, after which it will continue to rise each year by up to 3.5 percent to account for inflation.

Businesses with 25 or fewer employees get an extra year to raise their wage, so that workers will be paid $15 by 2023.

The plan also gives the governor the ability to temporarily halt the raises if there is a forecasted budget deficit of more than 1 percent of annual revenue, or due to poor economic conditions such as declines in jobs and retail sales.

Government workers who provide in-home health services will receive an additional three paid sick days under the plan.

The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce criticized the law, saying it will cause some businesses to close. “It’s unrealistic to think that this dramatic legislation won’t cause businesses, particularly small businesses, to consider cutting their employees’ hours or letting them go. Some may even have to close their doors,” said Jerry Sanders, president and CEO of the chamber and a former San Diego mayor.

— Times of San Diego contributed to this story


New UC San Diego Center to Focus

On Heart Health Among Latinas

Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have launched a new four-year, $3.7 million multidisciplinary research center to investigate the relationship between sedentary behavior and cardiovascular risk factors in Latinas, who have a disproportionately higher chance of developing heart disease than the general population.

The study is part of a new Strategically Focused Research Network created and funded by the American Heart Association. Aside from UC San Diego School of Medicine, four other centers will investigate specific areas of heart disease and stroke in women.

“Compared to other groups, Latino women have a high risk for developing diabetes, which is a strong risk factor for cardiovascular disease, such as heart disease and/or stroke,” said Matthew Allison, professor in the Division of Preventive Medicine at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the new center. “Previous research has demonstrated that higher levels of sedentary behavior — for example, sitting time — is significantly associated with higher levels of diabetes and that Latino women spend about 12 hours per day sitting; a level that is higher than Latino men and other groups.


The event, officially titled the San Diego Cannabis Conference & Expo, is slated for Aug. 6-7 at the convention center.

The event, officially titled the San Diego Cannabis Conference & Expo, is slated for Aug. 6-7 at the convention center.

Marijuana Convention and Expo

Slated for San Diego Convention Center

The sponsors of a marijuana conference and expo coming to the San Diego Convention Center in August are promoting it as a vacation treat.

“Make the Marijuana Expo the highlight of your summer vacation,” reads the convention announcement. “San Diego provides a perfect waterfront venue for individuals from across the country who want to combine their summer vacations with cannabis business and education opportunities.”

The event, officially titled the San Diego Cannabis Conference & Expo, is slated for Aug. 6-7 at the convention center. It is sponsored by LEAF Brand Inc. and WEEDMAPS, the service that maps out local marijuana dispensaries.

“This is a groundbreaking event where Californians can learn more about opportunities in the industry, the laws affecting them and how the cannabis industry is evolving in their state. Lets Educate A Future California,” said said LEAF Brand Inc. CEO Rory Mendoza. “This is the first time a large scale cannabis conference has taken place in the city and town officials have welcomed us with open arms.”

Tickets to the convention are $100 per day and go on sale on April 20. For information: (602) 718-9355.

The convention will include business-to-business networking forums, industry experts, educational workshops and more than 150 floor exhibitors who will present the latest developments in cannabis goods and services, according to the sponsors.


FAA Expands Web-Based

Registration System for Drones

The Federal Aviation Administration has expanded the use of an online registration system to owners of small unmanned aerial systems that use UAS for public, commercial and other operations other than as model aircraft.

The FAA launched the web-based system in December and initially required owners of model drones to register using the online tool

“Registration is an important tool to help us educate aircraft owners and safely integrate this exciting new technology into the same airspace as other aircraft operations,” FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said.

In addition to the registration process, the FAA will also require drone owners that operate small UAS for non-model uses to secure a public authorization certificate or a 333 exemption.

Owners will pay a registration fee of $5 and get a certificate with a validity period of three years for each registered UAS.


  NBC 7 control room

NBC 7 control room

NBC 7 Begins Broadcasting

From New Kearny Mesa Station

By Rick Griffin

KNSD-TV/NBC 7 San Diego aired its first newscast Sunday from its new studios in Kearny Mesa at 9680 Granite Ridge Drive. Sales and administrative personnel have been at the new location off Aero Drive near Interstate 15 since Feb. 29, but the news department didn’t relocate until the end of March.

The station began broadcasting in 1965 from Kearny Mesa. In 2001, the station moved Downtown to 225 Broadway. In 2015, NBC 7 purchased the two-story, 52,347-square-foot building, previously occupied by a technical school, for $9.64 million, according to Colliers International. The new venue has more than 300 TVs on the premises.


Human Longevity Completes

$220M Series B Financing

Human Longevity Inc., the genomics-based, technology-driven company, announced today that the company has completed an offering of Series B Preferred Stock, raising in excess of $220 million. The San Diego-based company previously raised $80 million in its Series A offering which closed in Summer 2014.

“The closing of our Series B offering was completed with excellent results for HLI, despite especially challenging external financial markets. This is a tribute to the strength of our science, technology and team. We continue to build our business, develop life changing products and hire world class scientific, clinical and technical leaders to help us meet our goal of revolutionizing health care,” said J. Craig Venter,  co-founder and CEO.

“HLI is using the proceeds from this round to fund the growth and expansion of the company and our growing line of products.”


Personnel Announcements

Sangsoo Bae Joins Sundt Construction

Sangsoo Bae

Sangsoo Bae

Sundt Construction Inc. has hired Sangsoo Bae as a senior virtual construction engineer in its San Diego office.

Bae establishes site logistics and material take-off during pre-construction, develops project Building Information Modeling execution plans as they relate to procedures, operations and procurement, is responsible for virtual coordination in the construction phase and researches, tests and integrates new technologies related to BIM into business workflow.

Bae has been in the construction industry in San Diego for 16 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in construction management from Colorado State University.


Zephyr’s The Park Adds Sales Manager

Ingrid Siikov

Ingrid Siikov

Zephyr’s The Park has added luxury real estate specialist Ingrid Siikov as its community sales manager. 

A real estate professional, Siikov’s experience spans commercial retail leasing to sales of coastal single family homes.

Siikov attended college in Toronto, and her first project upon arriving in San Diego in 1985 was as director of retail leasing at the luxury high-rise condominium Meridian in Downtown as director of retail leasing.

She joins the team at Zephyr’s The Park that includes Agustin Gomez, sales counselor at the development.

The Park’s Discovery Center is located at 3104 4th Ave.

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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: