Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, March 23, 2015

Peverley Hukill, Ph.D., business consultant, has been named chairwoman of the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) Board of Trustees. OIC is a world leader in pediatric orthopaedic care, research and education, with locations in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Westwood.


Teresa R. Tracy has joined Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP’s Los Angeles office as partner in its Labor and Employment practice. She assists employers to comply with federal and state employment laws, and represents them in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, and class action cases, and union issues.

Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, a leading investment advisory firm for high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations, announced today the addition of Andrew Dunbar as its General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Andrew will provide legal advisory and compliance expertise for the firm.

Monday, March 16, 2015


John Baackes joins L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, as chief executive officer on March 23. Baackes, with over 30 years of health care experience, was previously president of Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans where he oversaw the Medicare Advantage business unit.

Congratulations to Nick Mosaquites as a newly appointed senior vice president at City National Bank. Nick serves as a senior private client advisor with City National Bank’s Private Client Services team. Based in the Beverly Hills office, he serves as a trusted advisor to high-net-worth individuals, providing financial planning and investment strategies to preserve, manage and transfer wealth.


Regent Properties proudly announces the appointment of Frank E Igo as Vice President of Land Development. In joining Regent, Frank bring more than 35 years of residential, commercial, hospitality and land development experience to the position. Frank has an extensive background working with many of the nation’s largest homebuilders and developers. Frank is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts and the GM Training Program of the Hyatt Corporation.

NAI Capital has officially named Mr. Timothy P. Foutz as Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Foutz was an Executive Vice President with NAI Capital specializing in industrial and commercial marketing. As CEO, Mr. Foutz will oversee NAI Capital’s 14 SoCal offices with a workforce of over 300 in the greater L.A. basin and will be based in the San Fer-nando Valley headquarters.


Sutton, Pakfar & Courtney LLP welcomes new partner Andrew Shiner to its real estate department. Mr. Shiner was formerly a partner in the DLA Piper and Seyfarth Shaw law firms. He represents financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds and private equity investors, in the purchase, sale, development, finance, joint venture, workout and restructuring of all types of real property.

Kevin Garrett joins CBIZ as business unit president of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc., for Southern California. Garrett has more than 25 years of experience in the employee benefits consulting and brokerage field. At CBIZ, Garrett will be responsible for driving revenue growth through his own benefits-consulting production and by leading benefits consultants and client services team members in the Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego offices of CBIZ’s Employee Benefits practice.

Maria A. Thieman, CFP®, CTFA has joined First Republic Trust Company as a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer located in our Century City office. Ms. Thieman comes to us with over 25 years of wealth management and trust experience, most recently as Manager of the Los Angeles Trust Department with Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. She can be contacted at mthieman@firstrepublic.com or (310) 407-1317.

Monday, March 9, 2015

CO Architects, a leading national architecture firm specializing in healthcare, education, and research facility design, strengthens its team by naming three new principals and one associate principal. Keeping with CO Architects’ successful business practice, all are promotions from within the firm. Fabian Kremkus, AIA, LEED GA, has been promoted to Design Principal and Jonathan Kanda, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, has been elevated to Principal. Jill Capanna, Assoc. AIA, Marketing Director, has been named the first non-architect Principal at CO Architects and Kevin McCausland, Assoc. AIA, has been promoted to Associate Principal.

Northern Trust is pleased to announce the addition of Kyle Neal as a Vice President, Senior Personal Trust Relationship Manager to our Wealth Advisory Services team in the Century City office. With 20 years of experience as an estate planner, Kyle will collaborate with clients, their advisors and wealth planning partners on estate planning, wealth transfer techniques and the administration of private and testamentary trusts.


Laura Jean Bracken has been promoted to the new position of President, COO at Palisades MediaGroup, an independent, full-service ad agency with offices in Santa Monica and San Francisco. “Over the past five years, Laura has played a central role in expanding our client roster from 80% film studios to a 50/50 split between entertainment and other industries,” said Roger Schaffner, CEO. “We look forward to the next phase of growth.”

Michael R. Morris is the new Managing Principal of Valensi Rose, PLC. Michael is a tax and entertainment attorney with more than 25 years at the firm. He previously spent five years as Managing Principal and the firm is looking forward to once again operating under his leadership and vision. Valensi Rose serves clients in a variety of practice areas including tax planning ; trust and estate planning; civil litigation; family law; debtor-creditor rights; corporate law ; and entertainment law.


Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck expanded its Litigation Department with the addition of transnational and entertainment litigator Lee Crawford Boyd as a shareholder in its Los Angeles office. Boyd’s experience in intellectual property, employment and entertainment litigation strengthens the firm’s existing practices while broadening the services it offers to its clients.

Los Angeles-based litigation law firm Bird Marella is proud to announce the elevation of Ariel A. Neuman to Principal. A former Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Neuman joined the firm in 2014 and served as Of Counsel. He focuses on white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.


Los Angeles-based litigation law firm Bird Marella proudly welcomes Hernán D. Vera, who recently joined as Principal. Mr. Vera is the former President and CEO of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. He will focus his practice on complex civil litigation and class action defense.

Kaveh Amirdelfan, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C, has joined HGA Architects and Engineers as Associate Vice President and Principal in the firm’s Los Angeles office. With more than 20 years of industry expertise, Amirdelfan will collaborate on client relations and new business development for the firm’s arts, community and higher education practice groups.

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.”