Watch out Disney.

After helping DIC Entertainment Corp. break off from Walt Disney Co., Brad Brooks hopes to make DIC the world's largest producer of independent children's programming.

Recently named president of Burbank-based DIC, Brooks wants to expand the company, which already has the second largest catalog of American animation in the world.

It's a process that's already underway.

Among its properties are "Madeline," "Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?" and "Sailor Moon." This season, the company expects to run more than 20 shows on domestic television. New projects include "Super Duper Sumos," "Liberty's Kids" and "MaryKate & Ashley," an animated series based on the twin girls who gained fame on the television series "Full House."

Brooks came to DIC from investment banker Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette in February 2000 to assist in the company's buyout from Disney. Once in place he went on to help restructure the company, bringing in new management and establishing a home-video division.

"I didn't feel (DIC) was being properly exploited when it was part of Disney," Brooks said. "We've really overhauled the company, from an operations point of view."

DIC is in the process of acquiring bankrupt Golden Books Family Entertainment Inc. in a deal valued at $170 million and has signed an exclusive animation distribution deal with Lions Gate Home Entertainment. Both deals were struck last month.

"We really tend to gravitate toward properties that have embedded brand value in them," Brooks said.

Claudia Peschiutta

Banking & Finance

Lawrence R. Johnson has joined Hanking Investment Banking in Los Angeles as managing director. Johnson has experience in investment banking with an emphasis in the areas of manufacturing and consumer products and in the technology, aerospace and telecommunications industries. He previously served as a managing director of the corporate finance practice at Deloitte & Touche.

Mitsugu Serizawa has been appointed senior vice president and manager of the planning office of Manufacturers Bank in Los Angeles. He will be in charge of strategic planning for the bank, which includes determining the optimal customer mix, ongoing evaluation of the bank's target markets and the types of products offered. Serizawa was most recently senior vice president and assistant general manager at Sakura Bank.

Russell T. Sun has been named to head the new downtown Los Angeles commercial banking center for East West Bancorp Inc. He will seek to expand the presence of East West Bank in the local business community with a range of products including trade finance and commercial lending as well as its cash management and commercial deposit services. Sun is a regional vice president and joined East West in January as a result of the acquisition of Prime Bank.

Entertainment

Stacey Ivers has joined Sony Pictures Entertainment as vice president, corporate communications. She is responsible for facilitating corporate activities as well as selected public relations and media relations strategies and activities. Ivers joined SPE from International Creative Management.

Robert Levin has been appointed president, worldwide theatrical marketing and distribution at MGM Distribution Co., a unit of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. He will be responsible for enhancing MGM and United Artists' marketing and distribution operations. Levin most recently served as president of Creative Domain, an integrated entertainment marketing company.

Ed Neppl has been appointed vice president, controller for the Universal Studios Recreation Group in Universal City. He will be responsible for all financial reporting, general accounting, financial analysis, financial organization development, acquisition/new ventures integration and financial systems implementation and maintenance for all of Universal's theme park properties. Prior to joining Universal Studios, Neppl served as vice president of finance for Pallotta Team Works, an event production company.

Spencer Neumann has been promoted to executive vice president, ABC Television Network. He is based in Los Angeles and will be involved in a broad range of policy, programming, administrative and operational issues. Previously, Neumann was executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Walt Disney Internet Group.

Cory O'Connor has been named chief marketing and communications officer for the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. He will be responsible for heading a new marketing and communications unit that brings together marketing, public relations, special events, publications, editorial and photography staffs. O'Connor was most recently senior vice president of strategic marketing for Oinks.com, an Internet-based provider of commercial finance solutions.

Jeannie Rothman has been named manager of development at Gurin Co., a production firm in Studio City. She is responsible for managing the firm's development slate including light entertainment, music and variety specials, game shows and reality programming. Rothman most recently worked at Santa Monica Studios in the development department.

Health Care

James Saunders has been named dental director at PMI Dental Health Plan, the dental HMO affiliate of Delta Dental Plan of California. Based in Cerritos, he will be responsible for overseeing the company's quality management policies and procedures. Prior to joining PMI, Saunders served as dental director for PacifiCare Dental where he was responsible for the development, operation and integrity of the company's quality assurance program.

High Tech

Roxanne S. Austin has been elected corporate executive vice president of Hughes Electronics Corp. in El Segundo. In addition to her management committee responsibilities, Austin oversees all companywide financial activities, including treasury, mergers and acquisitions, risk management, investor relations, financial accounting and reporting, tax planning and compliance, business planning, financial management information services, internal audit and investment management of employee benefit plans. She has been with Hughes since 1993 and has served as the company's treasurer, chief accounting officer and controller.

Edward P. Boykin has been named president and chief operating officer at Computer Sciences Corp. in El Segundo. He will be responsible for CSC's line organizations in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Boykin has been with CSC since 1966, most recently serving as president of the company's financial services group.

Law

Thomas Hill has been named managing partner of the Los Angeles office of Thelen Reid & Priest. In addition to being appointed office managing partner, Hill was elected to the firm's 12-member partnership counsel, which functions as a board of directors for the firm. He has been with the firm since 1996 and has a labor and employment practice.

Glenn Kubota has joined the intellectual property group of Morrison & Foerster in Los Angeles. Kubota's practice focuses on U.S. and foreign patent applications related to electronics and computer technologies including telecommunications systems as well as prosecuting U.S. and foreign trademark applications. He was an associate at Foley & Lardner before joining the firm.

Tony Skogen has been appointed managing shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Littler Mendelson, a labor and employment law firm that represents employers/managers in employment related disputes. He handles cases that cover every aspect of traditional labor law and employment law matters. Skogen sits on the executive committee of the labor and employment law section of the state bar.

New Media

Jeffrey Bloch has joined El Segundo-based iSuppli Corp., a provider of procurement and supply chain management services for the electronic components industry, as vice president, electronic manufacturing services (EMS) segment. Bloch will be responsible for defining and developing tools and methodology for working with EMS customers for a variety of different iSuppli services. Prior to joining the company, Bloch served as chief procurement officer for Viasystems.

Sam L. Gallucci has been appointed executive vice president and chief marketing officer at TheBrain Technologies Corp., a provider of visual information environments in Santa Monica. He will oversee the development and execution of the company's sales, marketing, customer service and business development strategies. Gallucci was most recently executive vice president and general manager of the customer relations management division at PeopleSoft.

Professional Services

Dan J. Gangelhoff has been hired as a regional sales manager for litigation support services in the Los Angeles office of Merrill Corp., a communications and document services provider based in St. Paul, Minn. He will be responsible for client development and account management on the West Coast, focusing on litigation support services. Gangelhoff joined the company after serving in a similar position at Quorum.

Real Estate

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Jan Curtis has joined Matt Construction, a pre-construction and general construction services company in Santa Fe Springs, as director of business development. She is responsible for new business development, identifying growth areas for the company and planning and implementing strategic business plans. Prior to joining Matt Construction, Curtis was director of business development at Haworth, Swinterton & Walberg Builders and McCormick Construction Co.

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