Coliseum Head Plans Greater Role for Venue

Just a short while after the opening of the XFL season recently, Lisa Specht kicked off her term as president of the nine-member Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission. Specht assumes the one-year position from the incumbent, L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

"I've always been involved in community activities," said Specht, who was most recently the commission's vice president and is also a partner at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. "I think this is the next step."

The politically connected attorney also serves as a member of the city's Recreation and Parks Commission.

Specht said her top priority as Coliseum Commission president is to renegotiate the Coliseum's land lease with the state. While the lease isn't up for another three years, Specht said the current terms are "hideously expensive for us." The lease payments would take away so much revenue that it would no longer be cost-effective to make long-overdue structural improvements to the nearby Sports Arena, which the commission also operates, she said.

Specht added that she wants to increase the communication between all of the stakeholders in Exposition Park, where the Coliseum is located, in hopes that the entire park will capitalize from the increased exposure that the park is receiving.

"The XFL demographics are similar to the WWF (18-35-year-old men) who come with girlfriends or wives, so we think we're getting into a younger market," said Specht. "We're trying to see how we can market each other, so when people come, they stay the whole day and do two or three things, for instance (visit) the California Science Center, the African American Museum or the Natural History Museum."

But first, she said, the commission must deal with rowdy fans.

"We had some instances of rowdiness and had to evict some people at our first game," she said. "We have put a zero-tolerance policy in place and will even revoke season tickets of offenders, if necessary."

Conor Dougherty, Howard Fine

Accounting & Consulting

Robert Moore has been named regional vice president of business development for the Los Angeles operations of M Squared Inc., a San Francisco-based consulting firm. He will be responsible for managing all aspects of the company's presence in Southern California, with specific focus on leading the Southern California business development team. Prior to joining the company, Moore was sales director for the Xerox Channels Group.

Advertising & P.R.

Stephen Chavez has been promoted to vice president at Valencia, Perez & Echeveste Public Relations in Pasadena. He oversees several national and regional accounts, including McDonald's, Washington Mutual and the UCLA Center for Public Health Policy Research. Most recently, Chavez was an account director.

Debra A. Miller has been named senior communication consultant at Sinickas Communications Inc., a communications firm in South Pasadena. She will be focusing on internal and external client communications, from the strategic planning phase through implementation, project management, communications research and planning, as well as measurement evaluation. Miller previously owned her own public relations firm in Washington, D.C.

Lisa Weil has been promoted to senior vice president and director of crisis communications in the Los Angeles office of Edelman Public Relations. She will be responsible for crisis management litigation support matters and large public affairs matters. Prior to her promotion, Weil was a vice president.

Architecture

Charles Prawdzik has been named principal within the mission critical facilities group at Einhorn Yaffee Prescott, an architecture and engineering firm in Los Angeles. He specializes in the design and construction management of telecommunications, Internet co-location, and computer data facilities. Prawdzik was a senior associate prior to his promotion.

Banking & Finance

Adam Duncan has been named director of the California wealth planning center and senior wealth planning strategist for California at the newly opened Wells Fargo California wealth-planning center in Beverly Hills. He will be responsible for providing wealth planning for high-net-worth clients, including estate, financial, insurance and retirement planning. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Duncan practiced law for 10 years, specializing in estate planning for high-net-worth clients.

Grace Sanchez-Hagen has joined Scudder Private Investment Counsel in Los Angeles as vice president and sales consultant. She will focus on extending the group's customized asset management services to additional mid-market foundations and endowments. Hagen was most recently executive director of the development department of World Vision U.S.A. Inc. in Los Angeles.

Entertainment

Hope J. Boonshaft has been promoted to executive vice president, external affairs, at Sony Pictures Entertainment in Culver City. She will oversee the company's worldwide government relations and public policy activities, as well as supervise SPE's community affairs and corporate philanthropy. Boonshaft was previously senior vice president, external affairs.

David Codikow has been named president and COO of Immortal Entertainment Group. In his new role, Codikow will oversee and develop the various IEG divisions: Immortal Records, Immortal Films, Immortal Television, Sidewinder Music, Immortal Management and Immortal Properties. He was most recently a partner in the firm Codikow, Carroll, Guido & Groffman LLP. IEG also announced that Kevin Lyman has been named to the post of president, Immortal Properties. He will be responsible for building and producing lifestyle events, primarily with music components that Immortal will own or co-own. Lyman previously owned 4 Fini Inc., a full-service music and entertainment company.

Health Care

Susan Solomon has been named vice president for corporate communications and marketing at Memorial Health Services, a five-hospital system in Los Angeles and Orange counties, with Long Beach Memorial Medical Center as its flagship. Prior to her promotion, she served as the system's director of marketing and public relations.

Hospitality

Daryl E. Ansel has been named chief financial officer at Grill Concepts Inc., which operates Daily Grill restaurants in Southern California. He is based in Los Angeles and is responsible for all the financial affairs of the company. Ansel was previously food and beverage director for Universal Studios.

Adam Leavitt has been promoted to senior vice president, marketing at Crystal Cruises in Los Angeles. He is responsible for establishing tactical promotions in conjunction with the sales department, as well as overseeing development of the cruise line's advertising, collateral, direct-response promotions, loyalty programs and Web site and e-commerce initiatives. Leavitt was most recently vice president, marketing.

Law

Karim Elaagouby has joined the Hecker Law Group as a senior scientist. He will be involved in the preparation of patent application and infringement studies, patent validity studies and litigation technology analysis. Most recently, Elaagouby was a lead information analyst at Idealab.

Melissa Force has been named partner in the Los Angeles office of Carroll, Burdick & McDonough. She is a litigator with a wide-ranging product liability practice.

Amy B. Hafey and Leila Nourani have been elected to the partnership at Foley & Lardner's Los Angeles office. Hafey is a member of the health law department and advises clients on Medicare reimbursement issues. Nourani is a member of the firm's litigation department and focuses her practice on general civil and commercial litigation, including professional malpractice, product liability, franchise and employment law.

Steven W. Spector and Steven M. Ruskin have been elected partners in the Los Angeles office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP. Spector is a partner in the business and finance group, concentrating on emerging growth and public companies, investment banks, private equity funds and investors in various industries, including the Internet, biotechnology, telecommunications education and financial services. Ruskin is a partner in the firm's business and finance practice group, where his practice concentrates on mergers and acquisitions, securities law and corporate finance.

New Media

Nancy Fareed and Don Murphy joined Experiant, an Internet consulting firm in Culver City, as directors of marketing. Both are responsible for directing online marketing efforts for clients and partners. Also new to Experiant are Joss Rogers and Scott Sichler. Rogers is a user-experience architect, and is responsible for coordinating the multi-disciplinary efforts of the design, editorial and engineering teams. Sichler is a product manager responsible for managing the development of large-scale solutions for Experiant's clients.

Gail Froelicher has assumed the role of senior vice president of sales at Archive Inc.; a Culver City-based company that manages transactional information. She will be responsible for directing Archive's sales and customer-acquisition initiatives. Froelicher most recently worked for Fourthchannel Inc., a startup e-business infrastructure and service provider. Also new to Archive is Tarun Batra, who has been named vice president of strategic alliances. He will be responsible for managing and fostering the growth of Archive's sales and customer-acquisition initiatives.

Keith Marriott has been named chief financial officer at Emap USA, a marketing solutions and brand development company in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for all finance and information technology functions within the company. Most recently, Marriott was the international finance director at Emap USA.

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