Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, May 2, 2016

Laurus Corporation, a U.S.-based real estate investment and development firm, has appointed Simran Bindra as Director of Corporate Affairs and General Counsel. Mr. Bindra has over 15 years of experience representing hospitality, office and retail owners and developers in all aspects of the real estate life cycle, experience which will be vital to support the rapid, continued growth of Laurus as well as its affiliate real estate private equity firm, Ethika Investments.


David Wall, JD, CPA, CFE has joined Vicenti, Lloyd & Stutzman LLP, one of California’s Top 50 CPA firms, as a Director in Forensic Services. Wall has over 25 years of experience in all phases of litigation. He will serve clients in Financial Investigations, Litigation Support and Expert Witness services.

HNTB Corporation has tapped transportation expert Maureen “Mo” Hayes as government relations and business development leader for the West Division. Hayes brings more than 24 years of experience in managing public policy and business development for complex infrastructure programs and projects throughout California and the western United States. She is responsible for coordinating interactions with government officials and key stakeholders to achieve the firm’s strategic goals in the West. Her client experience includes the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority and the Metro Exposition Line Light Rail; Oakland Airport; California High Speed Rail Authority; and Orange County Transportation Authority, among others.


Easter Seals Southern California Adds Four New Members to its Board of Directors
Michael Murtaugh – Senior Partner, Murtaugh Meyer Nelson & Treglia LLP
Mark Bertrand – Vice President, Space & Defense, Boeing Capital Corporation
David Wolf – Executive Vice President, American Business Bank
David Ritblatt – CEO and Co-Founder, delibrainy LLC.
To learn more about the exceptional services Easter Seals provides to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have an equal opportunity to live, learn, work and play in their communities visit EasterSeals.com/SouthernCal.

Monday, April 25, 2016

E. Allan Spulecki joins Los Angeles-based Meléndrez, a landscape architecture and urban design studio, as Associate Principal to direct and oversee design across the studio. As both a licensed architect and landscape architect, Allan brings 21 years of hands-on experience directing all phases of complex landscape, urban design and planning projects that span varied typology, scale, and program. Previously, Allan served as the Director of the landscape studio at 3north and as Associate at OLIN.


Kelly Wu has joined Cathay Bank as Executive Vice President, Corporate Banking Division. Kelly brings more than 24 years of financial services experience and has provided financing solutions totaling more than $2 billion in senior and subordinated debt transactions involving leverage recapitalizations, cross-border financing, acquisition financing, special situations, bridge financing, and working capital refinancing.

Barlow Respiratory Hospital has announced the appointment of Sandra Harlan, CPA, as Senior Director of Finance.
Harlan is a seasoned leader in finance with over twenty years’ experience. Prior to her appointment at Barlow Respiratory Hospital, she held the position of CFO at a rehabilitation and long term acute care hospital in the Dallas, Texas area. She has previously held various financial leadership positions in acute care hospitals and health systems.
At Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Harlan will be responsible for day-to-day leadership of Finance. She will also be responsible for departments that include Information Technology (IT), Materials Management/Purchasing and Health Information Management (HIM).

Monday, April 18, 2016


Berbay Marketing & Public Relations, a firm specializing in the professional services industry, announces Megan Braverman’s promotion to Principal. Megan’s drive over the past seven years, coupled with her ability to surpass client’s goals, makes her a recognizable force in the marketing and PR industry. Berbay implements strategic marketing programs that increase visibility and enhance credibility to fuel revenue growth. For more information, visit Berbay’s website at www.berbay.com.

Marcus Shingles has joined XPRIZE as chief executive officer after leading Deloitte Consulting’s Innovation Group. He brings 20 years of experience in industry, management consulting, and as a successful entrepreneur. XPRIZE Founder Peter H. Diamandis, M.D., who previously held the CEO title, remains as executive chairman of the board.


James D. Hicken has joined Community Bank as Senior Vice President and Business Center Manager. Community Bank serves the business community providing a full range of cash management and lending products with emphasis in providing a personal relationship for clients and excellent customer service. With more than 38 years of experience, he brings a broad range of commercial lending and community banking experience to his clientele. Hicken is based in the Burbank office of Community Bank.

Community Bank is pleased to announce the promotion of Alan Buckle to President, Chief Banking Officer. In this new role, he will consolidate all sales functions within the Bank to enhance coordination between the groups. In addition to his current responsibilities which include the 17 Business Banking Centers, C.H. Cook, Specialty Deposits, International Banking and Treasury Management Operations, Buckle will also oversee the Real Estate Group and Small Business Administration (SBA) Group.


PRO-TEK Vaults, an LAC Group Company, hired Tim Knapp as vice president, Client Engagement. PRO-TEK provides archival media services and storage for major studios, universities, corporations and private collectors. Previously, Knapp was president of Reflex Technologies, a motion picture archiving firm. Knapp also held management positions for Kodak and Technicolor.

Christopher J. Carter appointed as Technical Director of Wolcott Architecture Interiors. On the Wolcott team since 2013, Chris has been responsible for developing and implementing standards and quality assurance for Wolcott’s documentation product and will continue to do so across the firm in his new role. Chris’ career has spanned 25 years with work in the US, Canada, and abroad with projects in commercial, civic, and retail.


Champion Technology Company, Inc., creator of DarkLight™, the next-generation cybersecurity automation and orchestration software, is proud to announce that Jess A. Richter has joined as Chief Revenue Officer. He was brought on to build global sales, marketing and customer success teams needed to keep up with the growth and adoption of Champion’s patented technology. Richter brings more than 20 years of sales leadership, alliance partnering and front line sales experience in the enterprise technology and consulting industries. www.darklightcyber.com

Jocelyn Topolski and Michael Funderberg have been promoted to leadership positions within their areas of expertise and have been appointed as members of Bernards’ Management Team. Jocelyn Topolski has been promoted to Executive Director of Project Development. Mike Funderberg has been promoted to Executive Director of Bernards Healthcare Group.

Monday, April 11, 2016


Clark & Trevithick is pleased to announce the promotion of Stephen E. Hyam to shareholder. Prior to being elected a shareholder, he was an associate in the firm’s litigation department representing clients across a broad spectrum of industries with matters that are headed toward or are in litigation. Stephen exemplifies Clark & Trevithick’s core values and his work ethic and strong performance augments our ability to provide the highest level of service.

Leo A Daly has promoted Nicos Katsellis to VP, Director of Operations. He is recognized as an award-winning sustainability champion/senior project manager in federal, healthcare, higher education, and civic projects. Mr. Katsellis led the Leo A Daly team in receiving a 2016 national AIA Award for the B209 Homeless Housing.


Citizens Business Bank is proud to welcome Pamela P. Gaspar as Vice President, Center Manager of the Lancaster Business Financial Center. Ms. Gaspar has over 30 years of banking experience with an extensive background in banking including: business banking, consumer banking, and branch management. Prior to her current position, she served as Vice President at Popular Community Bank, Assistant Vice President at Union Bank, and in the Entertainment Department for City National Bank. Ms. Gaspar has a passion for community involvement and currently serves as Chairwoman of the Antelope Valley College Scholarship Foundation, and Director on the Boards of the Antelope Valley College Foundation and Antelope Valley Hospital Foundation. Ms. Gaspar graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Watterson College.

John Wheeling has joined City National Bank as a senior vice president and regional manager with the bank’s Commercial Banking Services division. Responsible for the Inland Empire and Greater San Gabriel Valley, John and his team of experienced bankers provide their clients with advice to help grow and expand their small and mid-sized businesses while coordinating the delivery of a full complement of banking, credit and treasury management products. John brings more than 20 years of financial services experience and expertise to City National Bank. www.cnb.com


The Exceptional Children’s Foundation (ECF) welcomes Mr. Russell Ching, Esq. as a new Board Member. Mr. Ching’s practice is devoted to protecting the educational rights of special needs children. He graduated from the University of Hawaii and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Laverne. Mr. Ching is also the Board Secretary for the Los Angeles affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation and a Board Member for The Adult Skills Center (TASC). For more visit www.ECF.net.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Tatum, a leading professional services firm, is pleased to announce that Amabelle Johnson has joined its Los Angeles Office practice as Client Service Partner. With more than 16 years of business development experience in the Southern California market, Amabelle will be responsible for developing and expanding key relationships.


Jerry Diaz comes to Polaris Property Management as Regional Maintenance Manager. He will be responsible for overseeing and supervising all unit upgrades and maintenance in the Los Angeles apartment portfolio. Mr. Diaz comes to Polaris from The Olsen Company where he served as their Assistant Construction Manager.

Jonathan Bloch has joined Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck as a shareholder in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Bloch brings an unparalleled depth of experience to corporations, investors and entrepreneurs in business and real estate transactions, representing developers and sponsors with respect to all aspects of EB-5 development projects.


Nick Friend has been appointed Senior Loan Officer at Century Housing and is based in Century’s new offices in Northern California. Friend is responsible for originating affordable housing loans throughout California, with a focus on Northern California. Friend holds degrees in urban studies and business from Yale and Columbia.

Noelle J. Hirneise joins MWest Holdings as Operations Associate she will assist the property team with the implementation and execution of strategies, programs, policies, and initiatives for all properties. She was previously at The Bendel Group as a contract attorney and DHGH as a Real Estate Analyst.

Monday, March 28, 2016


Robert Ezra joined Freeman Freeman & Smiley as partner to head the Fashion Law practice. He represents clients in the fashion industry, specializing in litigation, contractual claims, partnership disputes, unfair competition, IP, copyright and trademark enforcement, business torts and licensing, labor and employment compliance, factoring and financing, and overseas manufacturing.

VVA SWEETT has promoted Robert Udo to Managing Director for their California office. Robert has over thirty years of experience and has worked for award winning architectural, construction, and real estate brokerage firms.
Robert is best known for his thoughtful and meticulous nature in managing many types of challenging projects.


Brighton Keck joins MWest Holdings LLC as Asset Manager. Mr. Keck will be responsible for preparing investor reports, analyzing financial performance and enhancing cash flow. A Los Angeles local with 12 years of experience in finance and commercial real estate, he joins MWest Holdings LLC from PFK Partners and Morgan Stanley.

Jessica Martin joins MWest Holdings LLC and its property management division Polaris Property Management as Marketing Manager. She will direct the new marketing strategies for both companies as they continue to grow and focus on innovative residential market expansion strategies. Mrs. Martin previously worked as Vice President of Operations at Ranksharks and Marketing Coordinator at John L. Scott.


Psomas has announced the appointment of Andrew Nickerson as Principal of the Firm. Nickerson has 20 years of experience providing civil engineering design of transportation infrastructure and residential, commercial, and institutional (correctional, justice, medical) facilities. Nickerson’s expertise ranges from project management, environmental impact reports, and grading, to utility design, hydrology studies and road design.

Monday, March 21, 2016

ZEESMAN, a leading branding, marketing and design firm, welcomed Sunny Lee as creative director. Lee brings extensive experience in reinvigorating and developing brands, always delivering inspired solutions that connect people in meaningful ways. Her work spans a wide range of industries including technology, entertainment, cultural institutions, healthcare and nonprofit.


VVA SWEETT has promoted Robert Udo to Managing Director for their California office. Robert has over thirty years of experience and has worked for award winning architectural, construction, and real estate brokerage firms.
Robert is best known for his thoughtful and meticulous nature in managing many types of challenging projects.

The Teknion Los Angeles team welcomes our newest member Tony Smith as District Manager. Tony has been with Teknion for 11 years in the San Francisco market and relocated to focus on Los Angeles. Teknion will be opening a new showroom at 725 S Figueroa Street in DTLA in June.


Pryor Cashman LLP is pleased to welcome entertainment industry veteran Adam R. Mehr as a partner in its LA office. Known for handling innovative deals, Mehr works with a wide-range of clients from start-up companies, independent financiers and producers to major motion picture studios. Before joining Pryor Cashman, Mehr spent time at Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP, and also served as EVP of Business Affairs and General Counsel for Gold Circle Entertainment.

Griffin Club Los Angeles welcomes John Myers as Membership Director and Jennifer Schassler as Camp Director. In this role, Myers will work with existing, new and prospective members and oversee programming. Schassler joins as a seasonal hire and will continue as the Head Physical Education Teacher at Marymount High School.

Monday, March 14, 2016


Congratulations to Breanna Lyda, CPA who was recently promoted to Senior Manager in the audit department at Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C., Los Angeles office. Breanna joined the firm in 2004 after graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Her technical expertise includes audits, reviews and compilations of financial statements for private entities as well as audits of employee benefit plans and HUD compliance audits.

BDO USA, a leading accounting and consulting organization, is proud to announce the expanded role of Issy Kotton, audit partner, who has been tapped to lead the firm’s manufacturing and distribution practice in Los Angeles. The growing L.A. office also welcomes Stephen Ehrenberg who recently joined as a tax partner.


Barbara Bouza joined the Board of Directors of Imagine LA, a nonprofit organization that helps families break the cycle of poverty and homelessness with its innovative volunteer driven mentorship program. Barbara is Co-Managing Director of Gensler’s Los Angeles office. Barbara recently became an AIA Fellow and is one of the nation’s prominent African American architects and a leader for diversity in the design, real estate and construction industries. Barbara will bring her unique expertise in strategic planning and corporate engagement to help fulfill Imagine LA’s mission to empower families to transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

El Segundo hires Joseph Lillio as Finance Director. Lillio brings over 17 years of finance experience to his new role in the vibrant, South Bay hub for business that was recently named LA County’s Most Business-Friendly City. Lillio’s extensive knowledge and expertise add to El Segundo’s longstanding commitment to financial responsibility and economic development.


Josh Hamilton has joined Century Housing as the VP of Lending after more than 15 years in affordable housing finance. Josh was previously with PNC Real Estate, originating over $300 million in loans through FNMA, FHLMC and FHA. In his new role, Josh will be responsible for originations throughout California.

Angela Barrie joined Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. as Area President for the Los Angeles Benefit Services Division in the fall of 2015. In this role she leads the overall operations for the firm’s employee benefit and human resource consulting services. She welcomes the following leaders to the team who have a key role in the Southern California region. Monica Hirning, Consulting Actuary, leads the technical consulting group and provides strategic guidance to clients and prospects on plan design. Jennifer Giampaolo, Retirement Consultant, works with clients and prospects in evaluating their existing and future retirement plan strategies. Rosa White, Marketing Manager, directs the marketing initiatives for all of Southern California offices under the Benefit Services Division.