People: Newsmakers

Mall's New Security Chief Urges Customer Service

When MaryBeth Bartlett, a born and bread Midwesterner, was offered a chance to become head of security at the Beverly Center, all she had to do was pack.

"In the middle of winter in Michigan it's not tough to make a decision to come out to the West Coast," said Bartlett, who took over as the Beverly Center's director of security a month ago.

While she is responsible for the mall's security operations, including an undisclosed number of security officers, Bartlett said she has no immediate post-Sept. 11 changes in mind. The mall already has started its overhaul of old practices.

"Right now I'm getting used to how things have been run, determining where I'm going to change things and where things will stay the same," she said. "But it won't appear as if much is different."

Before heading West, Bartlett was security director at Great Lakes Crossing, a retail and entertainment center in Lansing, Mich. Great Lakes is owned and operated by Taubman Centers Inc., as is the Beverly Center.

Bartlett said mallgoers are largely more tolerant of stepped-up security than air travelers, who have lots to grumble about. Still, she is trying to keep an eye on not affecting customer service. "First and foremost, it's going to be about customer training," she said.

In addition to redefining security patrol parameters for the sake of better visibility, Bartlett said she is encouraging security staff to increase the amount of communication they have with consumers.

Bartlett, a Michigan native, received her criminal justice degree from Michigan State in 1990. To help out with college fees, she began working at Meridian Mall in Okemos, Mich. Upon graduation, Meridian hired her as its security director. Bartlett worked in that position until 1998, when she took her first Taubman job at Great Lakes Crossing.

She is single and lives in Los Angeles.

Conor Dougherty

Advertising & P.R.

Ligature has named Steve Schwartz director of sales and marketing. He previously served as president of Legend Lithograph and regional sales manager for ImageX Inc.

J.D. Power and Associates, a marketing and information services firm in Agoura Hills, named David Sunker chief information officer. He will be responsible for identifying areas where technology can improve profitability, products and services. Previously, Sunker was vice president and chief information officer for Danone Waters of North America.


Earth Tech, a Long Beach provider of water management and transportation, engineering and environmental services, has selected Rob Costello as president of its global transportation division. The division provides transit, airport, road and rail services to clients from offices worldwide.


Michael Bobenko has been named to head the Entertainment Industry Development Corp.'s new facilities and production services division. Based in Los Angeles, he is charged with online services geared towards providing producers with low cost options to shoot in Los Angeles. The EIDC has also appointed Darryl Seif vice president and general manager. Seif fills the void created by Bobenko's promotion.

CF Entertainment in Beverly Hills, which produces, distributes and sells advertising time for television programs, has named Alex Kopacz as its new vice president of Midwestern sales and marketing. He previously was program and operations director for WINK-TV, a CBS affiliate in Fort Meyers, Fla.

Financial Services

Neuberger Berman LLP has announced that Marvin Demoff will join the firm as a managing director and head of the private asset management group in Los Angeles. Demoff is currently of counsel at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP, where he's worked since 1986.

Health Care

George Lewis has joined Glendale Adventist Medical Center as its new general vice president. He will be responsible for oversight of cardiac and diagnostic services, patient access services and residency programs. Most recently, Lewis worked in Northern California where he was chief operating officer of California Specialty Hospital.

Sheryl Vacca was recently named president of the Health Care Compliance Association. HCCA is a forum where health care professionals promote and exchange information about compliance programs. Vacca is a director in the national health care regulatory practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP in Los Angeles.


John Bulla has been named operating partner of the new Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in El Segundo. He will be responsible for supervising Fleming's staff and overseeing day-to-day operations. Bulla joined Fleming's management in 2001 and has helped oversee the development of restaurants in Dallas, Chandler, Ariz., and Rancho Mirage. Fleming's has also named Tom Capler as chef partner at the El Segundo restaurant.


Elizabeth A. Carroll, Stephen Masterson, Jennifer Sklenar and Susan Page White have been admitted to the partnership at Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP in Los Angeles. Carroll was formerly an associate in the commercial trial group, Masterson practices in the insurance and recovery practice, Sklenar is in the firm's intellectual property practice and focused on patent litigation involving biotechnology, and Page White, another member of the commercial trial group, specializes in insurance coverage and entertainment law.

Yukevich & Sonnett in Los Angeles has promoted Todd Cavanaugh to partner. Cavanaugh previously served as a products liability senior associate.

Jay Cooper has joined Greenberg Traurig LLP to head the firm's Los Angeles entertainment practice. He was formerly a senior partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

Elizabeth M. Lascheid and Kayhan M. Fatemi have become partners in the Los Angeles office of Wickwire Gavin LLP. Lascheid's practice includes the representation of business owners, contractors and public entities. Fatemi practices real estate law.


Mercury Media, a media buying organization in Santa Monica, has named Cindy Krumplitsch and Dana Newbold account executives. Krumplitsch joins the company from PaxTV, where she was an associate account executive of short form, national sales. Newbold was previously at Fox Family Worldwide where she was product development and sales manager in licensing and merchandising for Saban Consumer products.


Jakks Pacific Inc., a Malibu-based toy company, has named Michael Bianco chief merchandising officer. He will oversee the company's product development and marketing activities. Bianco joined Jakks in 1999 and most recently served as executive vice president in charge of planning and product development.

New Media

Lynn Forbes has been named director of, the Web component of Scripps Networks' lifestyle network Fine Living, which is scheduled for launch in March. She is responsible for the overall direction of Fine Living's Web service. Forbes most recently served as vice president, product for IsaySo Corp.


Sheldon Baker has been named chairman of the Glendale Memorial Health Foundation. Baker is a senior partner at Baker, Olson, LeCroy & Danielian in Glendale, and served as mayor of the City of Glendale from 1996-1997, in addition to serving two consecutive four-year terms on the Glendale City Council. The Glendale Memorial Health Foundation raises funds for the Glendale Memorial Hospital through fundraising events and the implementation of long-range business plans.

Professional Services

John O'Connell has become a partner with Cassidy Employee Benefit Services, an employee benefit consulting firm in Pasadena. Prior to joining the firm, O'Connell served with Johnson & Higgins as a vice president.

David A. Silberg, John Suciu and Joel Rakow have joined Tatum CIO Partners LLP in Los Angeles. Tatum CIO is a national firm offering chief information officer services.


Christopher A. Wilson has been appointed general counsel of Mobile Storage Group, a La Crescenta-based company that brings storage units to customers. He will be responsible for all legal aspects of the company's corporate matters, including acquisitions, debt financing, equity financing, litigation, real estate and other matters. Wilson was most recently an associate in the corporate department of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in Los Angeles.


Bahram Nour-Omid has joined RiverOne Inc., a Westlake Village provider of supply chain software for the electronics manufacturing industry, as chairman. Most recently, Nour-Omid was founder and chief executive of StudioXchange Inc., a developer of procurement software for the film and production industries.

Activision Inc., a Santa Monica-based developer, publisher and distributor of video games, has named Lori Plager as senior director of brand development and licensing. She will be responsible for securing licensing agreements and developing partnerships that will add to the company's license portfolio. Plager most recently served as director of entertainment and licensing acquisitions at Mattel Inc.


The Automobile Club of Southern California has named Diana Meinhold vice president of travel products and services. She was the Auto Club's group manager for travel products before her promotion.

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