Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, March 2, 2015

Johnson Fain recognizes the following individuals for their considerable accomplishments, leadership and commitment to the progressive values of the firm. David Alpaugh was promoted to Principal; Kersu Dalal and Jed Donaldson, AIA, LEED AP were promoted to Associate Principal; and Steve Chung, LEED AP was promoted to Senior Associate. Johnson Fain, an architecture, urban design + planning and interior design firm is well-known for the design of a wide range of projects both locally and abroad.


BlackLine, the leading provider of finance controls and automation software, continues its investment in new executive talent with the hiring of Mark Partin as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Partin is a seasoned executive with extensive experience overseeing finance organizations for high-growth companies, most recently serving as CFO at Fiberlink Communications, which was sold to IBM. “Mark brings terrific skills to our finance and accounting team from his experience at several growing companies where he was instrumental in providing the finance vision, strategy and leadership to help the organizations get to the next level,” Therese Tucker, CEO, BlackLine, said. Former CFO Charles Best will remain with the company as Chief Accounting Officer.


Leading business and financial advisory firm Conway MacKenzie has announced the addition of experienced economic and litigation consultant Jim Bergman as Managing Director and head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. Bergman has worked on many high-profile intellectual property cases and bankruptcies, including the Tribune and LA Dodgers proceedings.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Servicon Systems Inc., a leading provider of sustainable maintenance services for aerospace, military, commercial, public and institutional facilities, has named former President Laurie Sewell as President and Chief Executive Officer. As part of the leadership reorganization, Servicon’s founder, Richard Mahdesian, will become Chairman Emeritus and son Michael Mahdesian, Chairman. “We are very pleased and extremely confident that Laurie will make an outstanding CEO for Servicon,” said Michael Mahdesian. “For several years, she has demonstrated strong leadership qualities, shown great pride in our company’s work and dedicated her unfailing energy to Servicon’s continuing improvement and growth,” he added.”


Geoffrey L. Berman, a senior vice president with Development Specialists, Inc. has been named to lead the company’s new mediation group. Berman is a certified mediator who works from DSI’s Los Angeles office. He handles commercial litigation cases as well as those in the bankruptcy arena. Contact: gberman@dsi.biz.”

Stacey Wong has been promoted to the position of Director of Sales for Servicon Systems Inc., following her eight years of responsibility for handling all aspects of Servicon’s strategic accounts. Wong joined Servicon in 2007, working on strategic account growth and developing the company’s sales processes, including customizing and managing client relations. She now assumes responsibility for growing company sales, CRM, and expanding Servicon’s presence in existing and new markets throughout the region. ”


BSC Management, an internationally recognized association management and meeting planning company, announced that Sallie Matthews has taken over the BSC helm as President & CEO. Matthews has spent more than 20 years at BSC where she oversees a vast array of services for medical organizations. She has operated conferences, regional meetings and training courses for tens of thousands of physicians in the US and abroad. Matthews also serves as Executive Director for BSC’s largest client, the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). www.bscmanage.com ”

Warren Ramsey has joined Luther Burbank Savings, a privately held bank with nearly $4 billion in assets, as Major Loan Officer - Income Property Lending, to service the Southern California market by providing competitive rates and great service. Warren leverages 10 years of experience in multifamily lending to determine a strategy for his clients and then presents an array of products to meet their objectives. Warren previously worked in the Commercial Term Lending group at Chase.”


AvatarLabs, an Encino-based full service digital creative agency, has expanded its team with Jason Steinberg joining as director of client services. Steinberg brings more than fifteen years’ digital experience as an integrated marketer. At AvatarLabs he oversees client production and provides strategic leadership and oversight of all campaigns, with a primary focus on exceeding client goals.”

Monday, February 16, 2015

HKS rewards outstanding performance with the promotion of the following individuals in their Los Angeles office. Michele MacCracken, AlA, LEED AP and Mike Rogers, AIA, were promoted to principal; Rick Gunter, AlA, LEED AP, and Jim Montemayor, AIA, LEED AP, were promoted to associate principal; Alfredo Rodriguez was promoted to vice president; and Rasha Habiby, RA, was promoted to associate. HKS, Inc. is a leading architectural design firm ranked among the top five architectural engineering firms. ”


Congratulations to Kimberly Sugiyama, CPA of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. Kimberly has been promoted to Senior Manager in the Los Angeles office. She has over 12 years of diverse public accounting experience, including audit and review of financial statements, internal controls, and tax compliance. Kimberly has expertise in International Financial Reporting Standards and has her IFRS certification through the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. She also holds a Master of Science in Accountancy from San Diego State University.”

Greg Hulsizer joined HNTB Corporation as vice president and toll market practice leader in the West Division. He brings more than 30 years of executive and board-level experience in leading high-profile public- and private-sector organizations and will focus on toll client service, strategic planning, recruiting and growing the toll practice. In addition to concentrating on operations in the west, he will provide counsel for toll services that HNTB provides nationwide, including program management, managed lanes, public-private partnerships and the emerging area of road usage charges as a potential replacement of the gas tax. Hulsizer is well-known in the industry as the chief executive responsible for leading the construction, start-up and operations of California’s two innovative public-private partnership toll facilities – the SR91 Express Lanes in Orange County and the SR125 South Bay Expressway in San Diego. Hulsizer was a founding member of the California Toll Operators Committee and advised the California governor’s and legislative analyst’s office on tolling issues. ”


HUB International welcomes Bobbi Curry and Robyn Welch to its Entertainment Industry Solutions practice. Curry focuses on commercial risks including live event production and music and touring entertainers. Welch focuses on personal insurance and risk services for high profile individuals. www.hubentertainment.com”

Harley Ellis Devereaux has promoted Petrina Gooch, Corporate Human Resource Leader, to Principal. Petrina joined the firm in 2008 and has a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Pepperdine and Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Biola University. She is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. ”


Partner Engineering and Science, Inc. has purchased ForeSite Advisory Services, LLC and retained Marc Bourdages as Technical Director of Partner’s Investment Advisory Group. Bourdages will provide acquisition and facilities services catering to institutional and private equity real estate investors. With 30 years of experience in architecture, design and construction, he has provided due diligence consulting on $6 billion of commercial real estate transactions nationwide and oversaw approximately $20 million in capital and tenant improvements annually. ”

Monday, February 9, 2015

Citizens Business Bank is pleased to announce that Paul Donaldson has joined the Bank as Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking Center Manager of the Los Angeles Commercial Banking Center. Mr. Donaldson has a proven track record as a successful commercial banker and manager in Downtown Los Angeles and surrounding markets. He started his banking career as a corporate lender for Bank of America, and later managed First Interstate’s flagship office, a 26-office region for California Bank & Trust, and launched a commercial banking division in Los Angeles for Western Alliance Bank, headquartered in Arizona. Mr. Donaldson graduated from Brigham Young University in 1983 with a Master of Business Administration Degree.”




NSBN LLP, CPAs & Business Consultants in Beverly Hills, announces three new Managers. Joyce Fang, CPA, provides accounting, tax and estate planning services for closely-held businesses, private foundations and trusts. Kalina I. Grayson, CPA, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor®, provides accounting and tax planning services for closely-held businesses, trusts and nonprofits. Randal S. Nachenberg, CPA, provides tax planning and accounting services for residential, commercial and industrial real estate clients. ”

After nearly two decades of serving as an in-house sales and marketing executive for law firms, Jonathan Fitzgarrald recently launched Equinox Strategy Partners, a consultancy focused on business/client development coaching and training for service professional in legal, accounting, insurance and financial services. Prior to Equinox Strategy Partners, Jonathan was Chief Marketing Officer at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP.”

Monday, February 2, 2015


Shuster Financial Group, LLC, a leading provider of Insurance and Financial Services, has named Ken Lowman as Executive Director, Employee Benefits. Ken has over 27 years of experience in the Employee Benefits industry, consulting in public, private and tax exempt organizations. Ken has held similar positions at AON Hewitt, Mercer Health & Benefits, Lockton Insurance and J&H Marsh & Mclennan.”

Grant Thornton LLP is continuing the expansion of its Forensic and Valuation Services practice. Ron Durkin joins as managing director to lead forensics, investigative and dispute services. Previously, Durkin was a principal at CliftonLarsonAllen LLP and has over 30 years of combined experience in public accounting and with the FBI.”


Topa Management Company is pleased to announce the promotion of Darren S. Bell to Senior Vice President, Leasing, responsible for the leasing and marketing of Topa’s 2.5 million sf southern California commercial real estate portfolio. Darren brings a broad background in commercial real estate leasing, development, investment, and management resulting in the negotiation and consummation of over 1,500 commercial lease transactions throughout his 25-year career. Since joining Topa in 2002, Darren has been responsible for the execution of over $750 million in lease transactions representing over 3 million sf..”

Dewberry, a nationally recognized professional services firm, has hired Robert Davis as regional manager in the energy solutions group in the firm’s Costa Mesa office. Davis is responsible for energy solutions project management throughout California in the areas of demand response, micro grid program development, utility management, and implementation services.”


Adam Beck has been promoted to Vice President of Clune Construction Company. Adam will continue to supervise major projects in Southern California and support the overall field operations. Clune Construction is a nationwide General Contractor with offices in downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, South Florida and Washington DC. Clune Construction specializes in interior construction projects as well as heavy renovations including mission critical projects. ”

Joshua Horning, PE, LEED BD+C has been promoted to Project Manager at Fuscoe Engineering’s downtown Los Angeles office. He is a detailed professional engineer with extensive construction administration experience and a can-do attitude. Since joining Fuscoe, Josh has worked on noteworthy assignments, including City of Santa Monica’s Colorado Esplanade project and multiple downtown Los Angeles infill developments. He is currently managing retail projects and overseeing design of a multi-site residential redevelopment. Tel 213.988.8802 / www.fuscoe.com ”


Peter Aarons, HNTB West Division aviation director and associate vice president, has been appointed co-chair of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation Infrastructure Committee. Bringing more than 25 years of industry experience, he will help lead efforts to ensure that critical infrastructure in LA County and across Southern California is adequately maintained, financed and funded to support strong economic growth. Aarons was also named to the Airports Council International–N.A. Business Information Technology Committee which is tasked with identifying technologies that enhance airport efficiency and reduce costs. He joins a distinguished group of aviation professionals who advocate policies and provide services that strengthen the ability of airports to serve their passengers, customers and communities. With more than a century of service, HNTB professionals nationwide deliver a full range of infrastructure-related services. ”

Monday, January 26, 2015

Julie Caruso has joined Clune Construction as Director of Business Development for the Los Angeles office and will be responsible for building and managing relationships within the industry. Prior to joining Clune, Julie has been involved in Business Development for over ten years, responsible for leading growth within related industries. Julie is an active member of the International Interior Designers Association and American Institute of Architects. Clune Construction is a nationwide General Contractor with offices in downtown Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, South Florida and Washington DC. Clune Construction specializes in interior construction projects as well as heavy renovations including mission critical projects. ”


The Arthritis Foundation has appointed Dennis M.P. Ehling, Esq., as chair of the Pacific Region Board of Directors. Ehling is a partner at Blank Rome LLP, Los Angeles.
Region Board member Diana Bianchini, owner of Di Moda Public Relations, was also named to Board Chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s Los Angeles Advisory Board. ”

The Cooperative of American Physicians, Inc. (CAP) named Sarah Pacini as its new chief executive officer. Pacini is a dynamic health care leader with extensive experience in law, patient safety, insurance, claims and risk management, and medical professional liability. She will focus on enhancing CAP’s core businesses, Mutual Protection Trust (MPT) and the CAPAssurance Risk Purchasing Group, which provide access to superior medical professional liability protection, patient safety education, and risk management services. www.capphysicians.com ”


Regent Properties announces that Daniel Gryczman has been named a partner and President of Regent Land Development Partners. Gryczman brings two decades of experience to the position with an extensive background acquiring and developing a wide range of projects. Prior to Regent, Gryczman was a multifamily housing development executive and a land use attorney with a national firm. Regent, founded in 1989, is a diversified development company with over $750 million of assets under management. ”

Harley Ellis Devereaux has promoted Studio Leader Jeremy Hsu to Principal in its 100-person Los Angeles office. Jeremy is a respected project director with over 25 years of domestic and international experience with large mixed-use developments of unique complexity. He currently leads HED’s project teams on Greenland USA’s Metropolis Phase II condominium towers of 40 and 56 stories, and the $650-million, 15-acre 2,700-bed Village at USC mixed-use student housing/retail development.”

Monday, January 19, 2015


Todd Cozolino has joined Spire Consulting Group, a construction engineering consulting firm, as an Associate Principal in its Los Angeles office. In this role, he will lead Spire’s Capital Advisory, Project and Construction Management, Project Controls and Dispute Resolution Practice in Southern California. Cozolino was formerly with URS Corporation.

1st Century Bank warmly welcomes Ben Saulson as Business Development Officer to the bank’s Business Banking Group. Ben brings to the company three years of successful banking expertise as Preferred Banker at First Republic Bank. In his new position at 1st Century Bank, Ben will be focused on the needs of closely-held businesses and legal and medical professionals in the West Los Angeles community.


Payne & Fears LLP is proud to announce the promotion of Scott O. Luskin to partner in its Los Angeles office. Scott is a member of the firm’s business litigation group, focusing on complex commercial matters, trade secrets, healthcare, and asbestos. Scott also has extensive experience in employment and insurance coverage litigation.

Steve Franklin, CPA/CFF, CFE shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. and Director of CBIZ MHM, LLC received accreditation as a Charted Global Management Accountant (CGMA). Management accountants are trusted to guide critical business decisions and drive strong business performance. Their skills encompass a mix of operations, management and strategy. Steve provides accounting and tax services to numerous forms of business entities and high net worth individuals, as well as economic damage analyses in connection with litigation matters.

Asher Epstein

NSBN LLP, CPAs & Business Consultants, held its 22nd Annual Charity Golf Tournament benefiting Concern Foundation for Cancer Research. The net proceeds from the tournament funded cancer researchers at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), and the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. NSBN’s annual golf tournaments have raised over $750,000 for charities. Photo: NSBN Partner and Golf Tournament Chairman Steve Asher, CPA, presents check to Dr. Anat Epstein at CHLA.

Old Republic National Title Insurance Company is pleased to announce that Selina Parelskin has joined the company as Vice President, National Commercial Title Services. Jim Ryan, Senior Vice President of National Commercial Marketing stated, “We are proud to welcome such an experienced and capable professional to spearhead our national commercial marketing efforts in Southern California.”

Monday, January 12, 2015


Tom Conroy has joined Austin Commercial as Regional Manager of the company’s California operations and will be based in the Los Angeles office. Conroy brings to Austin more than 25 years of solid construction experience. This includes extensive prior experience with large general contractors throughout California in areas such as healthcare, corporate office/campus, higher education, convention centers and research facilities, retail and assisted living facilities. Additionally, his experience includes preconstruction, design-build services, and lean construction principles. Conroy has in-depth knowledge about the California market through extensive interaction with multiple healthcare systems, higher education clients and numerous other entities. Conroy is a graduate from Purdue University with a B.S. in Construction Management. He is also LEAN Enterprise Certified from San Diego State University, and is affiliated with the Lean Construction Institute (LCI), Design Build Institute of America (DBIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council. Austin Commercial is one of the largest builders in the United States and most recently completed the $1.3 billion construction of the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, which is the largest project to have ever been awarded the prestigious Cal OSHA Sharp Award for safety excellence. Founded in 1918, Austin Commercial is 100 percent employee owned and made up of 6,000 employee owners.

Regent Properties is proud to announce the promotion of Matthew Benbassat to Executive Vice President. Matthew has been a partner at Regent Properties for the past 3 years and has been with Regent for 6 years as the Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Management. Matthew is also a member of the State Bar of California. Regent, founded in 1989, is a diversified real estate development company with over $750 million of assets under management.


National technology consulting firm The Sextant Group recently hired David Davis CTS-D, CTS-I in Los Angeles. David has 24 years of technology experience with an extensive focus on consulting, design, project management and commissioning of audiovisual and information technology systems. A Certified Technology Specialist in Design and Installation (CTS-D, CTS-I) by InfoComm International, his project experience spans a variety of markets including education, corporate, government and private sectors. David’s presence strengthens The Sextant Group’s rapid West Coast expansion. Contact David at 213-412-4870, ext. 294 or DDavis@TheSextantGroup.com.

National technology consulting firm The Sextant Group recently hired Stalin Vera INCE, LEED Green Assoc. in Los Angeles. An accomplished acoustician, Stalin has extensive experience providing architectural acoustics, environmental acoustics, field measurements, HVAC noise mitigation and 3D modeling, sustainable design, and building services noise and vibration control. His projects span a variety of markets including educational, corporate, healthcare, and government. Stalin’s coordination skills support the West Coast team with a thorough understanding of acoustics and its proper design implementation. Contact Stalin at 213-412-4870, ext. 297 or SVera@TheSextantGroup.com.

Monday, January 5, 2015


Ryan McLean has been named the new CEO of Psomas, one of the top-ranked engineering firms in the nation. Previously, as Corporate Director of Survey and Mapping, McLean built the Survey Group into the largest survey operation in the Western U.S. McLean took the reins from Blake Murillo, who will continue as Chairman of the Board.

Steve Franklin, CPA/CFF and Coral Hansen CPA/CFF, Shareholders of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. and Directors at CBIZ MHM, LLC presented a seminar entitled, “Accounting for Lawyers” at the 2015 MCLE Seminar hosted by Lurie, Zepeda, Schmalz, Hogan & Martin. Steve and Coral have substantial expertise in forensic accounting and economic damage analyses conducted in connection with litigation matters. Steve is based in our Los Angeles office and Coral is based in our Oxnard office.

Coral Hansen, CPA/CFF, Shareholder of Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. and Director at CBIZ MHM, LLC presented information about the field of forensic accounting to accounting students at Cal State LA in November. Coral has substantial expertise in forensic accounting and economic damage analyses conducted in connection with litigation matters.


Nick Pyzow, Business Development Manager at CBIZ MHM, LLC presented “How to Stand Out, Not Stick Out” at a personal development seminar for the CalCPA Young Professionals group on December 11, 2014. Nick shared his tried and true techniques for putting your best foot forward in business. Nick has over 17 years’ experience specializing in business development.

The national independent technology consulting firm The Sextant Group promoted Timothy R. Waters CTS to Principal Consultant in Los Angeles. Tim has been with The Sextant Group since 2010 and has worked in the audiovisual industry in Los Angeles for nearly twenty years. In his new role, Tim will continue to offer thought leadership in leading-edge audiovisual and unified communications for high-profile clients from Google to the National Music Centre of Canada and for college campuses from UCLA to the University of Calgary. Waters holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Principia College and is a member of InfoComm International, Synergetic Audio Concepts (SynAudCon), and the Interactive Multimedia Collaborative Communications Alliance (IMCCA). Contact Tim at twaters@thesextantgroup.com or 805.334.0309.