Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, August 29, 2016

Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP Expands its Real Estate Practice.
Beverly Hills-based law firm Ervin Cohen & Jessup bolsters its real estate capabilities with the addition of Albert Valencia and Elizabeth Dryden. The firm represents clients in the negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, forming joint ventures and syndications, structured finance and asset management across all asset classes.


International design firm, Selbert Perkins Design, is pleased to announce the promotion of Cheri Devlin to Principal. During her 22 years in the industry, Cheri has led design projects worldwide. Cheri is currently leading signage and wayfinding projects for Wilshire Grand, Union Station and the cities of Santa Monica and West Hollywood.

SRR Welcomes Michael Krakovsky
Michael Krakovsky has joined SRR in Los Angeles as Managing Director and Head of the Special Situations Practice in the Investment Banking Group. Mr. Krakovsky brings more than two decades of experience advising middle market debtors and creditors on a wide range of special situations including numerous in-court and out-of-court restructuring transactions. A veteran of Houlihan Lokey Inc., Mr. Krakovsky has worked with distressed companies across a variety of industries as both an investment banker and principal investor. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.


Diemlan “Lannie” Tonnu has been appointed Chief Financial Officer for Orthopaedic Institute for Children. For the past 25 years, Tonnu was senior VP and CFO at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. OIC is focused solely on musculoskeletal conditions in children and receives 60,000 patient visits each year. ortho-institute.org.

SRR Welcomes Keith Sipes
Keith Sipes has joined SRR in Los Angeles as Managing Director and Head of the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice in the Investment Banking Group. A veteran of CRT Capital Group, Mr. Sipes’ experience spans a wide range of TMT sectors including broadcasting, cable, digital media & internet, ecommerce, entertainment, information services, media technology, and video gaming. Mr. Sipes provides strategic advisory and corporate financial services, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and equity and debt financing for both public and private companies. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016


Carsten Hoffmann joins SRR
Carsten Hoffmann, a highly regarded valuation expert and former partner at FMV Opinions, has been appointed as co-head and Managing Director of the Trust & Estate Valuation Services practice at Stout Risius Ross, Inc. (SRR). Mr. Hoffmann has more than two decades of valuation expertise and is a recognized expert on a broad range of complex valuation issues related to estate and gift tax, income tax, litigation support and dispute resolution – including the quantification of discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability pertaining to business and real property interests. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.

HDR Welcomes Kevin Spady to the Firm
As a vice president and healthcare principal in the Los Angeles architecture studio, Kevin is responsible for expanding HDR’s healthcare practice in Southern California. Kevin’s eclectic portfolio includes healthcare, science and technology, and higher education projects, as well as laboratory planning and programming. While he enjoys participating in organizations such as the AIA and DBIA, Kevin is most proud of the leadership roles he has had throughout his 39-year career, especially when he has been able to mentor staff and help with staff development. “I work hard to make sure that our teams are performing at their highest levels, developing their best skills, and applying themselves for successful outcomes,” he says.


Deborah Wylie, AIA joins Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) as Higher Education Studio Leader where she will collaborate on all aspects of the LA office’s studio. A leader in higher education capital programs, her unique expertise includes new campus planning, design and construction; project and operations management; and disaster recovery.

1st Century Bank welcomes George Sacco as a Regional Manager and Senior Vice President. George will lead and grow the bank’s Beverly Hills Team and Operations. George has extensive experience in Middle Market Banking, Private Banking, and in the Payments Industry. Recently, George received his Executive M.B.A. from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, with a focus in Strategic Management. Aside from Banking, he is deeply devoted to the L.A. Community through his two Advisory Board positions, one with Orthopaedic Institute for Children and one with Inner-City Arts.


Tripp Mahan assumes the role of Vice President of Global Festivals & Production at Beautycon Media. One of his first accomplishments was securing a Los Angeles venue to allow for an audience of 15K. Tripp will also be working to expand festivals into more US and European cities.

Lorna Mouton Riff, CPA, CFF has joined CBIZ MHM, LLC & Mayer Hoffman McCann, an independent CPA firm as director of Forensic and Financial Services. Together, CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. are ranked as the 10th largest accounting provider in the country. Lorna’s expertise is in family law for high net worth individuals and brings over thirty years of experience with her.


Environmental Contracting Corporation is pleased to announce that Kristen Mays has joined as Business Development Manager, replacing Hilary Lukenbaugh who is retiring. She will direct marketing and business development efforts for the premier tenant improvement contractor. Kristen brings over 10 years A/E/C marketing and business development experience to her position. ECC was established over 30 years ago with the mission of making a difference through leadership and innovative ideas. www.eccla.com

Joey M. Behrstock has rejoined Parq Advisors Life Insurance and Estate Planning, a division of HUB International, as a life insurance specialist serving individuals, business owners and ultra-affluent families. A former CPA, Joey is on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors and the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles Board of Directors as well.

Monday, August 15, 2016


Steve Smith has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie. He helms the LA office, responsible for its growth and prominence while overseeing landmarks like California Plaza and Columbia Square. Recently he received the Special ACE Spotlight Award for mentoring high school students in Architecture, Construction and Engineering.

Rashmi Mehta, promoted to Senior Vice President at Hathaway Dinwiddie, specializes in design-build that requires intense pre-construction planning and management. During 12 years with HD, he has directed many large UC Irvine projects including Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and Paul Merage School of Business Unit 2.


Southern California General Contractor, Snyder Langston, has hired Scott Feest, a 30-year professional in the building industry, as Project Executive to grow its Los Angeles market portfolio. A well-respected construction industry veteran, Scott cited the firm’s culture and quality of work as leading reasons for the move.

Rick Cridland, named Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie, is a project director for large complicated developments like the 1.2 million square foot USC Village, the 600,000 square foot Capital Group Orange County Campus and the 820,000 square foot Cedars-Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion. He has 30 years with the company.


Michael Rodgers, CPA, MBT, has been named a tax principal of Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Rodgers works primarily out of the firm’s Ontario office. He earned a B.S. in accounting from Loyola Marymount University and a Masters of Taxation from U.S.C. Lucas Horsfall is one of the largest accounting firms in Southern California.

Seth Mitchell secured more than $2 million in settlements and judgments in personal injury cases during his first year at The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth, a civil litigation firm. Mitchell also provided critical assistance in the firm’s procurement of more than $15 million on various injury cases for clients.


John Cowles IV has been named Senior Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie. Among the construction industry’s most respected preconstruction managers, he teaches at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. In 26 years at Hathaway Dinwiddie, he has been responsible for shaping the skyline of Irvine, building the city’s tallest high rises.

Arthur Kozinski, a three-decade veteran at Hathaway Dinwiddie, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. He is recognized for delivering challenging projects on time and on budget including Getty Center, Campus at Playa Vista, USC Village and 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City.


Veteran construction industry executive Randy Grosskopf has joined Wilshire Construction as COO. Grosskopf has three decades of experience in commercial real estate, institutional and heavy industrial construction projects for both public and private sector clients. Wilshire is a full-service builder offering preconstruction consulting, general contracting, and construction management services. www.wilshireconstructionlp.com

Aaron Marx joined HNTB Corporation as project manager, Positive Train Control systems and serves as a technical resource for the firm working with public- and private-sector clients across the U.S. With more than 15 years of experience providing design, PTC and signaling solutions, he has worked on national high-profile projects and brings a background in managing qualification and system integration testing; directing defect diagnosis, resolution and closeout; overseeing overall system performance; and grade crossing design.
Marx’s experience includes projects with many rail transit agencies and freight railroads including: Eagle P3/RTD in Denver, Genesee & Wyoming short-line railroad, BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad.
In California, HNTB is currently involved in some of the most high-profile transit programs, including the Los Angeles Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and the Bay Area Rapid Transit Warm Springs Extension in San Francisco.

Monday, August 8, 2016

SulmeyerKupetz, a premier business, financial restructuring and litigation firm, has announced that David Goodrich has been named as Member. Mr. Goodrich has extensive experience representing trustees, financial companies, distressed businesses, creditors, and commercial litigants in bankruptcy law, finance and lender law, and more. Contact Mr. Goodrich at DGoodrich@sulmeyerlaw.com or (213) 626-2311.


Mark Hagander, CPA, has been named an audit principal of Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Hagander, a University of Redlands graduate, parlayed his college baseball experience into coaching baseball in Germany. He is a Burbank resident. Lucas Horsfall, with Pasadena and Ontario offices, has a special emphasis in the manufacturing, construction and insurance brokerage fields.

Valley Community Healthcare welcomed new board members Richard A. Gatti, MD, a renowned molecular biologist at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Melissa Fulmer, Managing Director, ETONIEN executive recruitment firm, and Mark J. Phillips, JD, a partner with the Law Offices of Goldfarb, Sturman and Averbach, Encino.
Says Board Chair, Marilyn Amis, MD Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, “These 3 incredible people are the beginning of a Board revitalization that will fully support our wonderful mission and take us into the future.”

Monday, August 1, 2016


Melanie S. Joo joins The Scali Law Firm. Melanie, who joins the firm as a Partner, represents automotive industry companies on a variety of federal and multi-state regulatory matters. She frequently serves as outside general counsel for national automotive dealerships, leading all work on compliance, transactions, advertising, and government investigations.

Katja Schaper, CPA, has been named an audit principal at Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Fluent in English and German, Schaper earned a B.B.A. from Grand Canyon University in accounting after studies in economics in Germany. She joined the firm in 2008. Lucas Horsfall is a 55-person, 85-year-old firm with offices in Pasadena and Ontario.


Ryan Parry has joined Grandpoint Bank as Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager in the Bank’s Farmers Market office. An accomplished commercial banker, Parry will be building and expanding client relationships and providing a broad range of commercial banking services. Grandpoint operates seven banking offices in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Roger Yang has joined KPMG as an Audit partner, and will be aligned with the Building, Construction & Real Estate practice. In addition, Yang will assume the role of Pacific Southwest Building, Engineering & Construction Leader. Yang has more than 24 years of experience working with global FORTUNE 500 companies, specifically with companies in the engineering, construction, homebuilding and real estate sectors. www.kpmg.com/us

Van den Bosch

Customer experience Santa Monica-based agency RED Interactive Agency has promoted Derek van den Bosch to COO, and hired Taro Ramberg to VP, Client Services. Van den Bosch has helped to strengthen strategic and delivery capabilities.

Ramberg brings 19+ years of experience dedicated to digital thought leadership and driving client engagement.

Monday, July 25, 2016

HNTB Corporation continues expansion
Art Hadnett, HNTB West Division president, announced the firm is preparing to meet the growing infrastructure needs in the region by tapping key industry talent in top leadership positions and opening a new office in the Inland Empire. Plans are in place to add more than 60 new positions by the end of 2017 including: architecture and engineering, administrative support, firm wide and regional management, and information technology. Key hires included:
Kevin Haboian, chief business development officer
Maureen “Mo” Hayes, government relations and business development leader
Dennis Henderson, senior project director of transit planning
Dan Louis, SoCal project management and construction management director, tunnel practice
Laura Mohr, SoCal rail and transit group director
Andres Ocon, SoCal office leader and vice president
Khalil Saba, PE, Inland Empire Group Director and vice president
John Trautmann, RA, AIA LEED AP, transit architecture studio leader
Ian Choudri, national rail and transit business development director


Michael Mackiewicz and Casey Winters have joined the KPMG Deal Advisory’s Financial Due Diligence practice. Mackiewicz joins the firm as a partner and Winters has joined the firm as a managing director, and both will focus on assisting private equity clients in the acquisition and disposition of companies. www.kpmg.com/us

The Board of Directors of the Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF.net) is pleased to announce a three-year contract extension for President and CEO, Scott Bowling, who has been serving in this role for 17 years. Under Bowling’s leadership, ECF’s operating budget increased from $9.6m to $26m, and its capacity grew from serving 900 to 3,700 clients and family members annually at 15 service sites across Los Angeles County. Today ECF is the only organization of its kind in California to offer a continuum of lifespan services for children and adults with developmental disabilities and other special needs. The Board looks forward to the strength and stability that Bowling’s continued leadership will bring to the upcoming opening of a new ECF service site in the City of Inglewood and its launch of enhanced programs that will extend the ECF’s reach in the community.

Monday, July 18, 2016


City National Bank has hired Brandon Hovard as a senior vice president and business development officer with the bank’s commercial banking services division. Based in the Long Beach area, Hovard provides an array of financial products and services to the business community in the region. For more information go to: www.cnb.com

The American Heart Association has elected Union Bank Managing Director Pierre Habis as Chairman of the Western States Affiliate Board of Directors, serving for two years, starting July 2016. A volunteer since 2010, Habis has held various positions within the affiliate board, including director-at-large and treasurer. Under his leadership, Union Bank has raised over $7 million in support of the association’s lifesaving mission. He also leads efforts to promote health and wellness among bank employees, customers and their families.


Vanir welcomes Randy Britt, LEED AP, as the Chief Sustainability Officer to develop and implement Sustainability projects throughout the company. Randy brings more than 35 years of experience in Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Water Use Optimization, and Sustainable Design and Construction.
Randy comes to Vanir after holding positions as Director of Sustainability for Parsons and LAUSD, as well as the VP of Engineering and Energy Management for Robinsons-May. Randy holds a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Illinois State University with Post-Graduate work in Education.
Randy is a LEED Accredited Professional and Board Member Emeritus of USGBC-LA. He is currently Chair of the CMAA Sustainability Committee, sits on the Steering Committee for USGBC-LA’s Resilience Initiative, and serves as a mentor for USGBC’s National Center for Green Schools program. Randy is also Co-chair of the Host Committee for USGBC’s Greenbuild event to be held at the LA Convention Center in October of 2016.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the bank of the world’s most innovative companies and their investors, has hired Navid Shahrestani, Vice President, and Ashley Fairon, Vice President and Relationship Manager, to support its growing Santa Monica office. Shahrestani joins SVB from Wells Fargo and Fairon came from MUFG Union Bank.


Darryl Gross has been promoted to Partner at gish SEIDEN, CPA’s and Advisors, located in Warner Center. Darryl’s promotion from Manager blazes a path for other Millennials as he is one of the youngest Partners in the firm’s 74 year history. Darryl will continue to manage a wide variety of small and mid-size entrepreneurial businesses as well as successful individual clients guiding them with his Business Advisory, Financial Accounting, Tax Preparation and Planning experience. Darryl leads the firms Marketing Committee and is responsible for the development of the “818 Group”, a networking group for professionals with up to 7 years of experience.

Monday, July 4, 2016

The Klabin Company announces that Tyler Rollema has joined the firm as senior associate in its Los Angeles office. Rollema comes to The Klabin Company after gaining four years of experience with Coldwell Banker Commercial where he served as an associate. Tyler can be contacted at 310.329.9000. www.klabin.com


Easter Seals Southern California congratulates Paula Pompa-Craven, Psy.D, Chief Clinical Officer (CCO)/V.P. of Autism Services for being named Pepperdine University’s 2016 Distinguished Alumna for Psychology during the Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) 2016 commencement ceremony. Dr. Pompa-Craven has been with Easter Seals since 1995 and currently supervises an Autism Therapy Services staff of 1,100, which provides weekly ABA, speech, physical and occupational therapy for individuals diagnosed on the autism spectrum and their families.