NEWSMAKERS

Firm Looks Inward as it Broadens Base

As new investments by the telecommunication industry dwindled over the last couple years, so did a once reliable revenue stream for Tishman Construction Corp.

In naming James M. Ostrom executive vice president of West Coast operations, the New York-based firm is looking to shore up business by turning to another sector: non-profits.

"It has been both by choice and happenstance," said Ostrom of the company's efforts to "backfill" with educational and institutional work after business from the telecom industry tapered off.

Ostrom said the firm took on more projects from non-profits after completing a development for the Kayne-ERAS Center for "at risk" children in Culver City. In the last five years, the company has provided management or construction services for Cal State Dominguez Hills, the Center for Early Education in West Hollywood and Sinai Temple Akiba Academy in West Los Angeles.

While telecom work still contributes to the local revenue stream Tishman has $250 million in construction and management services under contract in California the L.A. focus is largely non-profit.

"My priorities are continuing to provide project and construction management services to public and private sectors," he said.

Ostrom is currently overseeing a $3.5 million office facility for the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica. The project, scheduled to break ground in May, could be the first "green" building to earn a "platinum" rating, the highest grade awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council for environmentally sensitive projects.

Founded in 1898, the firm was the contractor for the World Trade Center in New York. Ostrom, who has been with Tishman for 17 years, holds a bachelor's degree in construction management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. He lives in Westlake Village with his wife and four sons.

Jeremiah Marquez


Advertising and P.R.

Jill Green has been appointed new interim president of Craig Murray Productions/West, a motion picture marketing company based in West Los Angeles. The company also promoted Roshone Harmon to vice president of administration, Greg Hollander to corporate vice president of creative development, and Dave Yerxa to vice president and creative director.



Architecture

Valley Crest, a national landscape and site engineering company, has appointed Christina Briggs vice president of national business development. Her responsibilities will include developing new sources of business.



Widom Wein Cohen O'Leary Terasawa Architects & Interiors has appointed as senior associates Jeff Grodsky, Chris Sahlin, Stan Shipley, Dennis Tanida, Larry Taniguchi and Dean Vlahos. The firm has named as associates Sam Hanna, Douglas Keys, Miguel Maio, Avivah Rapoport and Holly Swanson.



Business Associations

Marlee Miller has been named senior vice president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. She will oversee the chamber's membership, communications, human resources and administration. Prior to joining the chamber, Miller was chief executive of the Sacramento Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.



Entertainment

Ticketmaster has named Cathy Felling executive vice president of the western region. She will oversee the company's operations in nine Western states and help develop strategic alliances and business ventures. Felling most recently was the general manager for operations in the Rocky Mountain region.



Jody Gerson has been promoted to executive vice president at EMI Music Publishing. In her new position, Gerson will oversee West Coast operations. Gerson, who most recently served as a senior vice president, has signed Enrique Iglesias, Alicia Keys and Jermaine Dupri, among others.



Mashawn Nix has been appointed director of unscripted and reality programming and development for Tribune Entertainment Co. Nix will be responsible for overseeing development and production of the company's reality programming. Prior to joining the company, Nix was a supervising producer on the television series "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus," produced by Columbia TriStar Television and Merv Griffin Productions.

Fox Sports International has promoted David Sternberg to senior vice president of network operations and business development, and general manager of the Fox Sports World and Fox Sports World Espanol U.S. networks. He will also assume day-to-day management of Fox Cable Networks Group's interests in the new Fox Pan American Sports Venture.



Charlie Taylor has joined the Los Angeles Avengers arena football team as director of marketing. He previously worked at Palace Sports & Entertainment. The organization also announced that Lou Rosenberg is director of ticket sales.



Education

Ulrich Neumann has been appointed director of the University of Southern California School of Engineering's Integrated Media Systems Center. Neumann has been at USC for eight years and helped shape the proposal for the IMSC. The center has an $11 million annual budget and is the National Science Foundation's only engineering research center for multimedia and Internet research.



Financial Services

Malaga Bank SSB promoted Debbie Richardson to executive vice president and director of retail banking. In addition to her current responsibilities of marketing and advertising, she will oversee strategic planning, corporate identity and new business development.



Houlihan Lokey Howard & Zukin Inc., an international investment bank headquartered in Los Angeles, promoted Scott Kolbrenner to vice president. His responsibilities will include providing banking services to engineering and construction companies.



Government

Gov. Gray Davis appointed John G. Morris chairman of the California State World Trade Commission. He also serves as the president of John G. Morris Inc., which has interests in real estate, venture capital, equities and fixed income investments.



Michael Thompson has been elected the new chief administrative officer of Culver City by the City Council. Thompson previously served as the city's fire chief.

Health Care

Beth Karlan has been tapped to head the new Women's Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Karlan also serves as director of the hospital's division of gynecologic oncology and is a professor at the UCLA School of Medicine.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. has promoted Alice Rosenblatt to executive vice president, actuarial and integration planning and implementation. Her responsibilities include leading merger integration activities and managing all actuarial functions for the company nationwide.



Law

Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP has admitted four associates to the partnership. The new partners are Elizabeth A. Carroll, Stephen Masterson, Jennifer Sklenar and Susan Page White.



Philip J. Graves has joined the Santa Monica office of Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif LLP as a partner. He will represent technology companies and other clients involved in patent litigation, copyright litigation and other types of intellectual property disputes. He was previously with Thomas Walton & Graves LLP.



Thomas Wingard has joined the firm of Weston Benshoof Rochefort Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP as a partner. Formerly a partner at Zevnik Horton LLP, Wingard will provide expertise in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and other finance issues.



Non-Profit

AbilityFirst, a social service organization helping people with physical and developmental disabilities, has appointed Sharon Collins director of development. Her responsibilities will include building an endowment and a corps of volunteers. Prior to joining the organization, Collins served as executive vice president of the Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation in Glendale.



Real Estate

James Orloff and Patrick Hepner have joined the Encino office of NAI Capital Commercial as senior vice presidents specializing in corporate real estate management. Orloff will help manage domestic and international real estate portfolios for outside firms. He previously served as manager of corporate real estate for Litton Industries Inc. Hepner will provide management services to mid-size industrial and manufacturing firms. He previously served as director of real estate, environmental affairs and construction at Litton Industries Inc.



Colliers Seeley International Inc. has appointed Robert M. Fitzgerald as senior vice president of its downtown Los Angeles office. He joins the firm after serving as associate director at Cushman & Wakefield Commercial Group. The firm also appointed Tony Phu as vice president of its Diamond Bar office. He will focus on leasing and selling industrial property. Prior to joining the company, he was with Cushman & Wakefield's Industrial/Technology Services Group.



C. Edward Simpson III has been promoted to senior director at Cushman Wakefield, a global real estate services firm. Simpson specializes in corporate representation for such firms as Ernst & Young LLP, CitiGroup and California Bank and Trust.



Retail

Aaron Bros. Art & Framing has appointed Garry E. Adams vice president and director of real estate and construction. In his new position, Adams will oversee the company's chain of 143 stores in eight states, including 96 in California. Prior to joining the company, he served as national director of real estate for Kinko's Inc.

Charles J. Pilliter has been promoted to the newly created position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of Unified Western Grocers Inc. In his new role, Pilliter will be responsible for the company's sales and marketing functions, distribution and logistics, manufacturing, specialty products, international sales and business development.

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