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Wednesday, Jul 6, 2022

LABJ Insider: A Fitting Way to Wrap Things Up

The four stories that appear on the cover of the Business Journal this week — our final regular issue of 2020 — seem like a fitting way to wrap things up for this challenging year.

There’s an inspiring tale, something we can all use a bit more of these days, in James Cutchin’s look at serial entrepreneur Anthony Zhang. Just 25 years old, Zhang has already launched and sold multiple companies and worked with the likes of Mark Cuban and Peter Thiel. And he’s done it despite being paralyzed from the neck down after a tragic accident four years ago.


There’s also a story of success in Hannah Madans’ report on Rexford Industrial Realty. The Southern California-focused company has ridden this year’s surge in the industrial real estate market to new heights and made more than $1 billion worth of acquisitions in 2020.


Innovation, another hallmark of smart L.A. businesses this year, is represented in Howard Fine’s story about local startups that have learned quickly from the pandemic. These businesses are using their newfound knowledge to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the burgeoning field of teledentistry.


And finally, there are tales of adaptability — a key requirement in an unprecedented year — in Mediha DiMartino’s look at holiday parties. For 2020, of course, in-person soirees are so passé, which means companies are finding other ways to bring their teams together. We think you’ll find something to identify with in the many approaches these businesses are employing.


And, of course, don’t miss our Year in Review package, which starts on page 17. You may want to forget all about 2020, but trust us, it’s worth a quick look back to see how L.A. businesses have absorbed all the hits and still found ways to forge ahead.


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Local schools Whittier College and Mount St. Mary’s University received early holiday presents last week from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, the former wife of Jeff Bezos.


Scott, who has a net worth estimated at nearly $61 billion, gifted Mount St. Mary’s with a $15 million donation and gave Whittier College a $12 million donation.


The awards are part of more than $4 billion that Scott has given away in the past four months to 384 schools and nonprofits.


Scott’s award is the largest gift received from a single donor by Whittier College, and it comes with no strings attached, meaning the school can use the funds as it sees fit.

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