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Daily Business Report-March 22, 2017

Daily Business Report-March 22, 2017

Lars Christopher Herman has led his company to win and complete more than 80 general construction and design-build projects ranging in value from $3,000 to nearly $24 million. (Photos courtesy of the SBA)

Escondido Construction Company

Owner Named California

Small Business Person of the Year

Lars Christopher Herman, an Escondido construction company owner who has developed an expertise in the renovation and repair of sensitive research laboratories and military medical treatment facilities, has been named Small Business Person of the Year for California.

Herman works with an employee of his construction company.

Herman works with an employee of his construction company.

Herman is president/owner of Herman Construction Group Inc., a company he formed in 2009 after resigning his commission with the Civil Engineer Corps. His award was announced by Linda McMahon, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

As California Small Business Person of the Year, Herman has been invited to attend ceremonies in Washington, D.C. April 30-May 1 where he and other state and territory winners — 54 in all — will be honored.

“These small business owners define entrepreneurial spirit and best represent the 28 million small businesses that are the backbone and economic engine for today’s economy,” said McMahon. “I look forward to welcoming the winners to Washington next month when they are officially honored for their achievements.”

According to the SBA award citation, Herman has led the company to win and complete more than 80 general construction and design-build projects ranging in value from $3,000 to nearly $24 million involving multi-disciplinary scopes of work. Many of the projects were performed simultaneously, at geographically dispersed locations throughout the United States.

Herman has worked with several government agencies, including the Army, Navy, Veterans Administration, and the state of California, as well as private and commercial clients.
”Amidst dwindling government budgets and a highly competitive market, Herman Construction not only survived the Great Recession but grew exponentially by penetrating niche markets that were underserved by small business prime contractors,” the SBA citation reads. “Herman has proven to be an industry expert in the renovation, repair, and upgrading active research facilities, laboratories, VA hospitals, and military medical treatment facilities. This highly specialized niche of performing construction within occupied medical spaces is exceedingly complicated, largely due to requirements for negative air pressure and strict infection control plans.”

By using SBA programs, Herman’s company has experienced double-digit growth in 2013-2015 and continuing into 2016. During the years 2013-2015, his company was awarded more than $80 million in projects set-aside for small business concerns. The company won an additional $51 million in 2016 in set-aside projects.

Beyond the for-profit projects, Herman Construction has funded a complete electrical overhaul of an orphanage in Mexico consisting of nine buildings on a 2.5-acre compound and continues to provide operational funds and clothing to the orphanage.


City Council to Decide if California

Theatre Should be Demolished

The San Diego City Council on April 4 will wade into the controversy surrounding Sloan Capital Partners’ proposed demolition of the California Theatre and the construction of a 40-story residential tower in its place on C Street Downtown.

The Save Our Heritage Organisation (SOHO), the primary opponent of the development, claims it violates the California Environmental Quality Act.

The city Planning Department has approved the development plans while the city’s Historical Resources Board has voted to oppose. The Civic San Diego Board of Directors and the Downtown San Diego Partnership have weighed in with votes of approval.

The developer is calling the project “The Overture,” claiming “it will turn an unused and unsafe space into a new community gathering space aimed at encouraging and enabling public interaction in a thriving, dynamic urban environment.” The Overture website claims the project “will be the epicenter of the revitalization of C Street.”

The City Council meeting is scheduled fo 2 p.m. in the City Administration Building, 202 C St.


HR Expert Paul Falcone to Address

San Diego Employers Association

The San Diego Employers Association will present HR expert and bestselling author Paul Falcone speaking April 7 on the topic, “What You Wish Your Frontline Managers Knew About Effective Leadership and What To Do About It.” It will be from 9 to 10 a.m. at the San Diego Employers Association’s training facility in Kearney Mesa.

Falcone’s presentation is based on the key themes presented in his new book, “75 Ways for Managers to Hire, Develop, and Keep Great Employees.”  The event will address strategic approaches to leading employees effectively throughout the employment lifecycle.

The cost to attend is $45 for SDEA members and $55 for nonmembers.  To learn more and to register, visit or call (858) 505-0024.


The project transformed an abandoned Target building in an existing neighborhood into an attractive community amenity that serves as a gateway into the city.

The project transformed an abandoned Target building in an existing neighborhood into an attractive community amenity that serves as a gateway into the city.

Chula Vista’s Gateway Marketplace

$9.25 Million Remodeling Completed

Remodeling of Gateway Marketplace at Fourth Avenue and C Street in Chula Vista has been completed.

Brixton Capital is the developer of the $9.25 million remodeling project, with Vice President of Leasing Eric Li providing oversight for the firm. SCA Architecture, a San Diego-based architectural firm, designed the project.

Situated on an 8.8-acre lot, the project transformed an abandoned Target building in an existing neighborhood into an attractive community amenity that serves as a gateway into the city. The former Target store was divided into three tenant spaces. Quick-serve grocery store and restaurant spaces were added to the center as well.

Contemporary architecture and a modern color scheme were used to update the center’s look. The existing site was enhanced with new landscaping, lighting, pedestrian walkways and a new gateway plaza, flanked by the new retail stores and restaurant buildings.

New tenants of the center include Party City, Smart & Final, Hobby Lobby and grocer Aldi. AT&T, Little Caesar’s Pizza, Pho Hung Cali, iNails & Spa and other tenants are slated to open this year.

Scott Cairns served as principal-in-charge for SCA Architecture, with Norman Barrett as project designer and Dennis Seguban serving as project manager.

SCA Architecture was formerly known as Smith Consulting Architects.


DARPA Selects General Atomics,

Dynetics for Gremlins Drone Program

In an effort to develop reusable drones that can be launched and later recovered in midair, DARPA (The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has awarded Phase 2 contracts of its Gremlins program to two teams; one led by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems of San Diego and the other led by Dynetics Inc.

The goal of the Gremlins program, which is named after the good-luck charms of British pilots during World War II, is to develop drones that can be launched in groups from different types of military aircraft, while they are out of range of adversary defenses. The groups of drones would be launched from military aircraft such as small fixed-wing unmanned aircraft, bombers and fighters. Once the drones complete their mission, a C-130 transport aircraft would recover them in the air and take them home, where ground crews would work on them so that they’d be ready for use in the next 24 hours.


Miramar College’s Jane Ly and Jeremy Mazur were named to the All-California Academic Team.

Miramar College’s Jane Ly and Jeremy Mazur were named to the All-California Academic Team.

Six Community College Students Named

to Honor Society’s All-Cal Academic Team

Six students from San Diego City, Mesa, and Miramar colleges have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) All-California Academic Team based on their grades, intellectual excellence, leadership abilities, and service to community. They will be recognized at a special awards luncheon Thursday, March 23 in Sacramento.

Among the six local students is Abdisalan Bulhan, a 20-year-old City College student who immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya when he was 12 years old.

“It is my dream to start an organization that provides resources for immigrants in the U.S.,” said Bulhan, who plans to transfer to San Diego State University this fall. “As an immigrant, I understand the importance of being knowledgeable about programs that can help immigrants. I am confident that I can achieve all of my educational endeavors. With a strong sense of humility, I am ready to serve as a leader for individuals in my community and beyond.”

PTK is an international honor society for two-year colleges, and each California community college can nominate two students to the All-California Academic Team based on a student’s cumulative GPA, academic rigor, awards and honors, leadership, and community service.

The students from the San Diego Community College District on the 2017 All-California Academic Team are:

1st Team:

Restileon Asuncion, San Diego Mesa College

Victoria Green, San Diego Mesa College

Jane Ly, San Diego Miramar College

2nd Team:

Abdisalan Bulhan, San Diego City College

3rd Team:

Saghar Alavi, San Diego City College

Jeremy Mazur, San Diego Miramar College


Personnel Announcements

Margaret Warner Joins Crow PR

Margaret Warner

Margaret Warner

Crow PR, a San Diego-based public relations firm, announced the addition of Margaret Warner as senior account executive. In her new role, Warner will be responsible for developing, executing and measuring strategic public relations campaigns as well as mentoring the junior staff.

Prior to joining Crowe PR, Warner spent nearly five years at Weber Shandwick Atlanta where she worked with global, national and local clients that spanned the consumer, B2B, travel and tourism, social impact and government industries. There, she successfully led large-scale public relations programs on behalf of clients such as the U.S. Army, Bank of America and The Coca-Cola Company.

Warner graduated from The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of Georgia with a degree in journalism.

Warner will be based in the company’s East Village headquarters, located at 406 9th Ave., Suite 304, San Diego.


Aaron Jilka, Wes Smith and Catherine Brolaski

Aaron Jilka, Wes Smith and Catherine Brolaski

BNBuilders Adds 3 to San Diego Staff

BNBuilders has added Aaron Jilka, Wes Smith and Catherine Brolaski to its Southern California office based in San Diego.

Aaron Jilka joins BNBuilders’ San Diego office as a project superintendent. He has nearly 20 years of experience in construction, and has helped manage projects totaling nearly $500,000. His experience includes various types of projects including health care, biopharmaceutical labs, manufacturing, retail, office, and others make him an invaluable asset to the BNBuilders team.

Wes Smith, superintendent, comes to BNBuilders with over 30 years in the commercial concrete industry. He has experience in virtually every aspect of concrete form work and layout, and is well versed in how to use the latest concrete layout technology for maximum efficiency.

Catherine Brolaski is BNBuilders’ newest senior IT technician. She has more than 10 years of experience in the IT field, and is a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. With a more than 100 percent increase in the staff size in the last year, she will be a critical team member.

BNBuilders’ staff size increased from 66 to 133 employees in the last 12 months.


Kent MacDiarmid Joins Presidio Residential Capital

Kent MacDiarmid

Kent MacDiarmid

Kent MacDiarmid, a real estate veteran with almost 30 years of experience managing, planning and developing communities in the Sacramento area, has joined Presidio Residential Capital in San Diego as an asset manager consultant.

MacDiarmid will work part-time for Presidio while continuing as principal and president of The MacDiarmid Company, a consulting firm for real estate development he founded in 1993. Through his company, MacDiarmid has played a key role in planning and developing some of the region’s largest communities, including Placer Vineyards in Placer County and Metro Air Park in Sacramento County.

Before he founded The MacDiarmid Company, MacDiarmid was vice president of community development for Coker-Ewing Company in Roseville, Calif., where he was responsible for all aspects of land development including acquisition, project management, entitlements, planning, engineering and infrastructure construction.


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