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Daily Business Report-March 14, 2017

Daily Business Report-March 14, 2017

Fabián López, Cuenca regional coordinator, Nature and Culture International (NCI), surveys the tropical forest under a towering ficus tree.

Del Mar Nonprofit Helps Establish Giant

Conservation Area in Amazon Rainforest

A Del Mar nonprofit has helped Ecuador establish a 6.3-million-acre conservation preserve in the Amazon Rainforest that is considered by scientists to be one of the most biodiverse area on Earth.

The Pastaza Ecological Sustainable Use Area — which is about the size of Maryland — was established on Feb. 24 after three years of collaboration by provincial and local governments in Ecuador and Del Mar’s Nature and Cultural International (NCI), which was founded by Ivan Gayler, one of the developers of Del Mar Plaza. When he sold Del Mar Plaza, Gayler turned to conservation.

Scientists have documented that this area of the Ecuadorian Amazon holds world records for a wide array of plant and animal groups, from amphibians to trees to insects. A single hectare (2.47 acres) in the region may contain more tree species than are native to the continental United States and Canada combined, according to a 2010 Texas State University study. Another study shows that amphibians, birds, mammals and vascular plants all reach near maximum diversity in this region, and the threatened giant otter can be found here along with jaguars and tapirs.

The area is also very culturally diverse, and the establishment of the Pastaza Sustainable Use Area will protect the lands of several indigenous nationalities that reside in the area including the Shuar, Achuar, Kichwa, Zápara, Andoa, Shiwiar and Waorani.

The process to declare the Pastaza Sustainable Use Area began three years ago and included extensive consultation processes with municipal governments, indigenous nations and communities residing in the area. NCI served as a technical adviser to the Pastaza government, working in concert with stakeholders to develop baseline data, define reserve boundaries, and provide information needed for establishment of the area. Watershed reserves for three of Pastaza’s largest towns have been incorporated into the core conservation zone of the Pastaza Area.

“The creation of the Pastaza Sustainable Use Area is a visionary declaration and a true gift to the Earth,” said Byron Swift, president of NCI. “NCI is proud to be a part of this process, and we look forward to working with the provincial and municipal governments and indigenous nations to protect this area for generations to come.”

Over the last 20 years, NCI has helped local governments and communities protect 13 million acres and designate an additional 6.4 million acres as UN Biosphere Reserves, according to the nonprofit.


California Democrats Unveil Sweeping

Financial Aid Plan to Help Students Avoid Debt

Seizing on growing concerns over college affordability, California lawmakers proposed what would be the most generous college aid plan in the nation Monday, covering not just tuition but also living expenses that have led to spiraling student debt.

The plan would supplement California’s existing aid programs with the aim of eradicating the need for student loans for nearly 400,000 students in the Cal State and University of California systems. It also would boost grants to community college students and give those attending them full time a tuition-free first year. Los Angeles Times


Tristan Higgins: Breaking Barriers

Tristan Higgins

Tristan Higgins

Tristan Higgins  has been working on breaking through barriers her whole life and about six years ago began writing a blog about that journey. On opening day of San Diego Women’s Week on March 20, she will share her journey and how she overcame adversity to get where she is today. Tristan will empower and inspire women to lead change within their own lives and organizations based on biases and different cultures.

Tristan co-founded Sony’s LGBT employee resource group, has organized Sony’s participation in the San Diego Pride Parade and Festival, and spearheaded Sony’s participation in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index.

The opening day event will be from noon to 7 p.m. at Wyland Center Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar.


Cal State San Marcos Hosts

Latina Leaders Speaker Series

California State University San Marcos will host “Latina Leaders,” the second edition of its Women Breaking Boundaries speaker series, on Monday, March 27.

Panelist: San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott

Panelist: San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott

Panelist: Alessandra Lezama, CEO, Abacus Next

Panelist: Alessandra Lezama, CEO, Abacus Next

The distinguished speaker series is held once each semester, featuring successful women leaders in nontraditional fields.

“We encourage students, faculty, staff and community members to attend and hear the stories of our panelists,” said Sarah Villarreal, chair of the speaker series steering committee. “It’s a valuable opportunity to gain insights into the challenges and triumphs women experience along their career paths as successful women in nontraditional fields.”

The panelists for the “Latina Leaders” event include:

  • Ana De Santiago, Deputy District Attorney, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office
  • Mara Elliott, City Attorney, city of San Diego
  • Catherine Garcia, News Anchor, NBC 7 News
  • Alessandra Lezama, CEO, Abacus Next

The event will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom on campus. It is free for CSUSM students, staff, faculty and alumni; $10 for community members (parking included). Information: Contact Christine Lee at (760) 750-8752.


Sugarman created the Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature.

Sugarman created the Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature.

Samuel Sugarman Wins 4-H Youth

In Action Award for Agriculture

Samuel Sugarman, 18, of Encinitas, has been selected as winner of the 2017 4-H Youth in Action Award for Agriculture and will receive a $5,000 scholarship besides serving as a 4-H spokesperson for agriculture.

The announcement as made by the National 4-H Council.

Sugarman created the Farm Tour Program to connect youth in his community with animals and nature. Over the past five years, Sugarman led hundreds of farm tours, educating youth about sustainable agriculture, where food comes from, and respect for animals and the earth.

“As a teen leader, I hosted lots of project meetings at my farm and saw how beneficial it was for urban children to interact with the animals,” Sugarman said. “When children grow up disconnected from their food, from animals and from the earth, they miss opportunities to develop qualities of stewardship, compassion, patience, and gratitude.”

Sugarman will be officially recognized as the 2017 4-H Youth in Action Pillar Winner for Agriculture at the National 4-H Council Legacy Awards in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, March 21.


Personnel Announcements

 Jason Jones, left, and Luke Ellingwood

Jason Jones, left, and Luke Ellingwood

Wimmer Yamada and Caughey Promotes Jason Jones, Luke Ellingwood

Landscape architecture firm Wimmer Yamada and Caughey has named Jason Jones as its new associate principal, and Luke Ellingwood as associate at the company.

Jones has been with the firm since 2002 and currently is licensed as a Professional Landscape Architect in California and Arizona. In his new position, Jones will continue to manage the design studio at WYAC, aid in business development and project procurement, mentor and support staff, and foster the culture and values of the business.

Ellingwood has been with the firm since 2006. He is licensed as a Professional Landscape Architect in California and is an ACE (Architecture Construction Engineering) volunteer mentor for local high-school students.


Melissa Lofing Joins Cushman & Wakefield

Melissa Lofing

Melissa Lofing

has joined Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate services firm, as managing director in its San Diego office.

Lofing will focus on providing valuation and advisory services pertaining to U.S. GAAP and IFRS financial reporting requirements at Cushman & Wakefield. She brings more than 20 years of experience preparing valuations of tangible and intangible assets for financial reporting and tax reporting purposes.

With expertise across a range of asset types, she has developed specializations in portfolio valuations, hotel valuation, large planned developments, and acquisition and vendor due diligence.

For nearly 15 years, Lofing worked with KPMG LLP, most recently as a managing director. While at KPMG, she managed valuation teams in San Francisco, Chicago and San Diego, and completed a three-year rotation in Sydney, Australia.



Albert Jones appears as Ira Aldridge in Lolita Chakrabarti’s ‘Red Velvet,’ running March 25-April 30 at The Old Globe. (Photo by Jim Cox)

Albert Jones appears as Ira Aldridge in Lolita Chakrabarti’s ‘Red Velvet,’ running March 25-April 30 at The Old Globe. (Photo by Jim Cox)

‘Red Velvet’ Opens March 30 at the Old Globe

“Red Velvet,” a drama that transports audiences to the turbulent backstage world of London’s Theatre Royal in the early 1800s, opens March 30 at the Old Globe Theatre.


Edmund Kean, the greatest actor of his generation, can’t go on tonight as Othello, and his company is in disarray. A young American actor named Ira Aldridge arrives to step into the role — but no black man has ever played Othello on the English stage. His groundbreaking performance upends stage tradition and changes the lives of everyone involved. Lolita Chakrabarti’s multi-award-winning play uncovers the fascinating true story of a pivotal figure in theater history. Stafford Arima returns to The Old Globe with a stunningly theatrical production of a play that the London Telegraph called “informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking.”

The Old Globe Box Office is at (619) 234-5623.


 Diamond Formation

Blue Angels in Flight

Blue Angels in Flight

The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, takes off in diamond formation over onlookers at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California. The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform more than 60 demonstrations across the U.S. in 2017. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ian Cotter)


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