Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mark Hutchison joins Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno as Partner in the Tax practice. Mr. Hutchison will focus on broadening tax services for clients in the entertainment industry as well as high net worth individuals. Mr. Hutchison was formerly a partner at Rothstein Kass, and prior to that, at KPMG.

Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, a leading investment advisory firm to high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations, announced today the addition of Aaron Jett as Vice President to its Manager Research group. Aaron will provide investment research and advisory services to Bel Air’s clients.


Enterprise financial software company BlackLine Systems has expanded its executive management team, hiring Alain Avakian as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Mr. Avakian joins BlackLine with 25 years of extensive experience scaling technology organizations for dynamic, fast-growing Internet and e-commerce companies as they’ve grown to the point of public offerings and/or acquisition. As CTO, Mr. Avakian will be responsible for the technology direction of BlackLine’s flagship Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)- based account reconciliation and financial close suite as the company seeks to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for solutions that drive greater efficiency, financial governance and risk management across the spectrum of financial operations.

Torrey Pines Bank is announcing it has hired Catherine “Cathy” Coler as Vice President, Relationship Manager at the bank’s Beverly Hills office. She will focus on business development for closely held businesses and professionals in the Beverly Hills and West L.A. area. Prior to joining Torrey Pines Bank, Ms. Coler held high level positions with other successful Los Angeles area banks. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles.


Lawrence A. Hurst, LCSW, BCD joins the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles as Director of Social Services. The council is a Catholic charity serving the disadvantaged of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Hurst was last with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health in Skid Row as district chief for eight mental health programs consisting of over 200 staff and serving over 10,000 persons annually. For more information: www.svdpla.org.

Tammy Saetia has been promoted to Partner in RBZ’s highly respected Law Firm Services Group. Tammy began her career as a new RBZ staff member in 1997. In 2007, she left RBZ to become the CFO of a large, Southern California-based law firm. Saetia returned to RBZ in 2012 as a Principal. With 17 years of experience serving law firms, Saetia brings a depth of expertise that makes her an indispensable asset to RBZ’s leadership team.


Luther Burbank Savings is pleased to announce that Jason Pendergist has been named Chief Lending Officer. Mr. Pendergist’s responsibilities will include the leadership and oversight of all commercial and consumer lending functions within Luther Burbank Savings.
Mr. Pendergist brings a broad range of management experience with more than 12 years of expertise in commercial and multifamily lending. Prior to joining Luther Burbank Savings he served as Managing Director and Head of the Eastern Region for the Commercial Term Lending business at JPMorgan Chase.
“We are delighted to have Jason join the Luther Burbank Savings senior management team” said John Biggs, Luther Burbank Savings’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “His industry experience and lending expertise will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we continue to expand our Commercial, Multifamily and Single Family Real Estate businesses.”
Luther Burbank Savings is an FDIC insured privately held, California based savings association with over 3.6 billion in assets and 10 locations. Luther Burbank Savings offers a variety of consumer and wholesale banking services focusing on retail deposits and originating single and multifamily mortgage loans. For more information, please visit www.lutherburbanksavings.com.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Laurus Corporation, a private real estate investment and development firm, has named Douglas S. Kiel as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Kiel brings more than 25 years of financial, accounting and operations management experience in both public and private companies. He was previously Chief Operating and Finance Officer of Makar Properties.

Christopher Roe, veteran of the AEC industry and real estate development arena, joins Gilbane Building Company to lead business development in the greater LA and OC markets. His professional expertise spans the Aviation, Transportation, K-12, Higher Education, Civic, Hospitality, Corporate/Commercial and Healthcare markets. Chris graduated from the University of Washington.


Tammy Saetia has been promoted to Partner in RBZ’s highly respected Law Firm Services Group. Tammy began her career as a new RBZ staff member in 1997. In 2007, she left RBZ to become the CFO of a large, Southern California-based law firm. Saetia returned to RBZ in 2012 as a Principal. With 17 years of experience serving law firms, Saetia brings a depth of expertise that makes her an indispensable asset to RBZ’s leadership team.

McGladrey LLP, a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services, is pleased to announce that Art Brown has joined the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office as an assurance services partner with a focus on serving clients in the alternative investment industry. Art brings over 12 years of experience providing assurance and advisory services to investment advisers, hedge funds and private equity firms ranging from startup entities to multi-billion-dollar international firms. www.mcgladrey.com.


Kay Milford, a Director with CBIZ MHM, LLC has been appointed to the Board and two committees of Fit 4 The Cause. Fit 4 The Cause is a non-profit organization raising funds for health related causes through group fitness programs and wellness education throughout the Conejo Valley. Kay specializes in providing tax and business consulting services to high net worth individuals and companies in the real estate, manufacturing, entertainment, financial and legal services industries.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services appointed two new directors to its Board: Christopher H. Harrer, Senior Director and Adjunct Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business; and Michael L. Wolper, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Mindful Education and co-founder of Operation Mindful Warrior. Both are committed to Didi Hirsch’s mission of erasing the stigma of mental illness. Didi Hirsch provides mental health and substance use services to children and adults in 11 locations throughout LA and Orange Counties and operates a 24/7 suicide prevention Crisis Line.


AT&T has appointed Lupita Sanchez Cornejo as the new Director of AT&T External Affairs for the greater Los Angeles area. Sanchez Cornejo has 14 years of experience with AT&T and will head the greater Los Angeles area team and work with policymakers on AT&T’s new technology deployment and infrastructure investment.

Monday, July 14, 2014

City National Bank has hired seasoned technology and venture capital banker Billy O’Grady in Los Angeles. O’Grady, who will head up the Southern California Technology and Venture Capital Group will be responsible for providing the growing number of technology companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California with a wide array of credit, banking and investment solutions. In the past 12 months, City National has helped about 75 companies grow with various products and services.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has promoted Hajir Ardebili to special counsel in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Ardebili has extensive trial experience in a range of practice areas, including complex business cases, entertainment litigation, intellectual property matters, real estate disputes and First Amendment litigation.


Nathan Raizman has joined Grandpoint Bank as Vice President and Relationship Manager at the Farmers Market office on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Raizman is responsible for addressing the commercial banking needs of small and mid-sized businesses. He was previously Vice President at First Foundation Bank in West Los Angeles.

Alyssa Scholz, IIDA, joins HGA Architects and Engineers as Principal, Associate Vice President and Director of Interior Design in California. With more than 20 years of experience, Scholz will build the firm’s interior design services in healthcare, higher education and public/corporate practice groups.


Alex Kazerani and James Segil, EdgeCast Networks co-founders, received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Greater Los Angeles award in the technology category. Kazerani and Segil were recognized as visionary leaders for building a next-generation content delivery network that provides the fastest, smartest content delivery for the rapidly changing demands of consumers who want instant access and flawless Web experiences. In late December 2013, Verizon acquired EdgeCast Networks, in the industry’s largest private CDN acquisition.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Torrey Pines Bank is announcing the hiring of Anthony Miu as Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer, and Emily Zhao as Vice President, Loan Officer. The new executives will be responsible for building customer relationships in Los Angeles and Orange County by providing personalized service to address local businesses’ specific needs. Prior to joining Torrey Pines Bank, they each have had responsibilities for managing loan portfolios over $100 million.
“We look forward to further expanding our team with the addition of Anthony and Emily, who share our dedication to helping local business owners and professionals,” said Regional President for Torrey Pines Bank, Paul Donaldson.

MVC is a boutique creative agency in Los Angeles founded by Creative Director Jason Pires and Art Director Marioly Molina. MVC specializes in creating emotionally compelling brand experiences to connect and unite clients with their audiences.
MVC has been recognized for their excellence in advertising and integrated branding with eleven international awards in the first half of 2014. MVC received seven Horizon Interactive Awards and four Summit Creative Awards for branding, advertising, and website design projects.


McGladrey LLP, a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services, is pleased to announce that Ralph Berry has joined the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office as a portfolio business development executive with focus on the consumer and industrial products, food, beverage, and distribution industries. Ralph brings significant experience in the professional services industry and will focus on middle-market business development throughout the firm’s western region, which includes ten offices in California, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. www.mcgladrey.com.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Arthritis Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to the Pacific Region Board of Directors: Diana Bianchini, Owner of Di Moda Public Relations; Sanjay Chabra, DO, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group; Daniel Hurley, Director, PwC; and Susan Steen, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Services, Warner Bros. The Arthritis Foundation supports research, advocacy and educational programs to address the needs of nearly 53 million adults with arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.

Community Bank, FDIC insured bank serving Southern California for nearly 70 years, welcomes Mike Helmuth as senior vice president, regional manager. Mike will be responsible for Commerce, South Bay, Santa Fe Springs and Huntington Beach business centers. Mike’s background includes senior positions with American Security Bank and Citizens Business Bank.


Community Bank, a family-owned, FDIC insured bank serving Southern California for nearly 70 years, welcomes Jeff Boyer as senior vice president and regional manager.
In this role, Jeff will be responsible for growing the commercial client base in the Bank’s northern region. He will oversee the Bank’s business centers in Burbank, Santa Clarita, Warner Center, Glendale, Pasadena and Ventura.
Jeff’s prior experience includes senior management positions with Grandpoint Bank and Citizens Business Bank.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Community Bank, a family-owned, FDIC insured bank serving Southern California for nearly 70 years, promoted Alan Buckle to executive vice president and head of business banking.
In his new role, Alan will oversee the business banking team and is responsible for growing the Bank’s customer base with new commercial relationships.
Alan joined Community Bank in 2009 as first vice president and business center manager. In 2010 Alan was promoted to senior vice president, regional manager.

Led by President Bill Witte, Related California celebrated their 25th Anniversary in California with many partners and colleagues, including Nelson Rising, former Mayor and Assembly Leader Willie L. Brown, Jr., The Related Companies’ Stephen Ross, Mayor Eric Garcetti, Eli Broad and former State Treasurer Phil Angelides and reflecting on the next 25 years in California: challenges and opportunities, lessons from the past and indicators of success.


Homeowners Financial Group (HFG), an award-winning mortgage company, is proud to welcome David Begg to its Westlake Village Branch. During his 20 year career, Begg has established himself as one of Southern California’s most trusted licensed mortgage professionals. For more information about Begg and HFG, please go to www.homeownersfg.com.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Topa Management Company announces the addition of 3 real estate professionals to its property management team. Senior Property Manager, Heather Riley, is responsible for 1 million sq. ft. of commercial office space in West Los Angeles. Property Manager, Dawn Pardinas, is responsible for 450,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial office space in Westlake and Senior Property Manager, Belinda Head, is responsible for 600,000 sq. ft. of commercial office space in Ventura County. Collectively, all 3 professionals bring an extensive and successful track record in managing multiple properties and portfolios, along with experience in identifying and executing on value-add strategies.

Gensler has appointed a collaborative leadership team of John Adams, Barbara Bouza and Michael White as co-managing directors of the LA office.
The trio is responsible for award-winning design projects, contributing to Gensler’s ranking as the No1 architecture and interior design firm in LA. They will report to Gensler’s regional managing principal Rob Jernigan and Co-CEO Andy Cohen.


The Bay Foundation promotes Tom Ford, its Director of Marine Programs, to Executive Director. As science-based advocates for the Santa Monica Bay and L.A. watershed, TBF collaborates with a broad group of stakeholders—government, community, industry and academia—to form “the nexus of science, policy and project implementation,” states Ford. Projects include cleaning L.A. waterways, and restoring natural habitats. www.santamonicabay.org

Monday, June 9, 2014

West Themis Law, PC, a fast growing law firm practicing business litigation, corporate transactions, employment, personal injury, and real estate recently expanded to one of the top penthouse floors at the prestigious world-class building at 1000 Wilshire Blvd. West Themis Law, PC was founded by top business litigation attorney, Sally S. Chan, Esq., an attorney selected by SuperLawyers as a Rising Star for 2013 and 2014 to be within the ranks of the top 2.5% of Rising Star attorneys. This law firm grew to the top ranks with the representation of top local businesses and extensive business clients from Asia. West Themis Law, PC continues to grow by expanding into the areas of business immigration and franchise law. West Themis Law, PC is also pleased to announce Sinny B. Thai, Esq. as Partner.

Since re-establishing in January 2014, the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles has responded to 1,200,000 consumer inquiries and processed 22,000 complaints while fostering ethics and trust in local commerce. Steve McFarland is President and CEO of the BBB-LA, with offices in downtown Los Angeles. Contact 213-631-3600 or www.bbb.org.


Full service Brand Response ad agency Hawthorne Direct names Trista Torrez-Laing Senior Vice President of Marketing & New Business Development. She will seek to drive new agency revenue through innovative leadership initiatives, and will spearhead agency marketing activities. Earlier, Torrez-Laing was a Consultant to d2 Music, and had been Senior VP, Director of Marketing, for KSL Media.

Partner, a California-based engineering/environmental consulting and design firm, has tapped industry veteran Sandy MacLean as Technical Director of Construction Services to lead its expanding west coast construction risk management practice. The acquisition of MacLean’s real-estate/construction consulting firm (MacLean Assessment & Consulting, Inc.) will further bolster Partner’s capabilities in this space.


Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services – one of Los Angeles County’s largest private provider of children’s mental-health services – has appointed Robert Lewis to its Board of Directors. Robert currently serves as president and chief executive officer of NEX-Impact, a management consulting group that assists nonprofit organizations and social investors.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Lincoln Property Company has expanded its team, hiring Jeff Bhathal and Ian Gilbert, both formerly with Newmark Knight Frank where they focused on tenant representation, global corporate services and business development. Their track record, quality relationships, and detailed knowledge of the LA market will allow them to take advantage of the versatility LPC’s platform offers.

Phelps, an integrated marketing communications agency, welcomes Shaun Jacobs as marketing data analyst. Shaun is responsible for marketing data and industry trends for Public Storage, Panasonic, Monrovia, LAWA and Hong Kong Tourism clients. Jacobs graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in telecommunication, and has previously worked with Nissan, Nixon, Energizer, Eveready and Jimmy Dean.


BlackLine Systems CEO and Founder Therese Tucker was honored with the ‘2014 Deal of the Year’ Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG LA) following the 2013 announcement that the company was partnering with Silver Lake Sumeru, the mid-market arm of technology-focused global private equity leader Silver Lake. Each year, ACG LA honors “exceptional companies” in the Los Angeles region.