Capstone Turbine Getting Overseas Push.

After years buying from Capstone Turbine Corp., Mory Houshmand figured he would like working for them.

As the new vice president of sales and business development for Asia, South America and Africa, Houshmand is in charge of creating business for the company's energy- and heat-producing turbine products in developing countries.

He joins the company at a time when it could use the boost from overseas sales.

A high-flyer during the California energy crisis, Capstone has since seen revenues tumble along with its stock price. Despite explosive sales and growth from domestic sources during the power crunch, the company has recorded a loss in each quarter of last year. Capstone stock was trading in the $5 range last week, down from its 52-week high of $47.37.

Into this steps Houshmand, who most recently served as managing director of Williams Distributed Power Systems, a distribution subsidiary of Williams Cos., a Tulsa, Okla. energy concern.

"My plan is to sign as many distributors as possible," said Houshmand. "Developing countries represent one of the largest markets for microturbines. There is a tremendous need for power, but they need power quick." He said countries in Africa and Asia, particularly China, represent the ideal market for Capstone's products, which generate electricity and heat on-site.

Born in Iran, Houshmand was educated at the University of Mississippi, where he received his BS in mechanical and civil engineering. In 1985 he received his MBA from Westminster College and began working in business development for Northwest Pipelines, where he had been designing and building gas processing plants and pipelines. That company was acquired by Williams in 1987, and in 1995 he moved to Tulsa where he ultimately assumed his most recent position.

Houshmand said he's having trouble getting used to California real estate prices, but expects to buy a house soon, after which he will be joined by his wife.

Conor Dougherty


Accounting & Consulting

Daniel W. Coyle has joined Buck Consultants in Los Angeles as health and welfare consultant. He joins the company from William M. Mercer Inc., where he served as a senior consultant and project manager.

Advertising & P.R.

Drew Jacobson has been named account executive in the new media division of Autonomy, an entertainment industry consultant. He was previously art director for TVArt and creative director for Insync Media. Pei Pei Chung has been hired at Autonomy to manage and supervise the activities of Autonomy Music, a new division that will specialize in audio and sound design. The division's initial clients include the Disney Channel, NBC, Discovery Channel, Fox Movie Channel and BET. Chung was formerly a freelance composer/arranger.

Sara Jones has joined the Los Angeles office of APCO Worldwide, a public affairs and strategic communications firm, as vice president. She previously served in a variety of senior roles with GCI Group's public affairs practice.

Banking & Finance

Alliance Bank in Culver City has a new senior vice president and director of marketing & communications. Monique Johnson will be responsible for management of all marketing initiatives, along with internal and external communications. She will also assist in the development of new products and services as well as strategic planning. Johnson spent the last six years with Imperial Bank as a marketing manager.

Norio Kanai has joined Manufacturers Bank as vice president and business development officer for the South Bay region. He will develop new relationships with middle-market and Japanese-owned businesses in his target region, which spans from El Segundo to Cypress. He will also provide sales support to the commercial banking group located at Manufacturers' Torrance regional office. Kanai was most recently a sales representative and life insurance agent at Pacific Guardian Life Company.


The Hollywood Entertainment Museum has a new director of marketing. Richard Ayson will be responsible for focusing on the venue's name awareness and image, in addition to building a comprehensive advertising and promotional program. Prior to joining the museum, Ayson was director of sales and marketing for the Athenaeum Hotel London.

Alan Bergman has been upped to senior vice president and chief financial officer of Walt Disney Studios. Bergman, who has been with Disney since 1996, most recently as vice president in charge of the operations planning group of Walt Disney Co., will now be responsible for the financial, strategic and operational aspects of the studio.

Rob Maresca has joined V Global Media, an interactive entertainment provider in Los Angeles, as chief marketing officer. He'll be creating and implementing strategic marketing and business initiatives, as well as directing its branding efforts. Most recently, Maresca served as executive vice president of strategy and planning at Pittard Sullivan.

Paul Yanover has returned to the Disney fold. The recently appointed senior vice president and general manager of the newly formed Buena Vista Game Entertainment Studio worked for Disney for eight years before leaving to co-found Ceiva Logic Inc. in 1999. With his return he will oversee business, creative, product development and strategic planning for the newly created entity.

Health Care

Janice Hopkins has been appointed associate vice president of marketing and community outreach at Molina Healthcare in Long Beach. She is responsible for all marketing, advertising and public relations activities for Molina's Medi-Cal and Healthy Families Program products. Hopkins previously served as director of corporate marketing for PacifiCare's Secure Horizons.

Dick LaBrecque has been appointed national sales officer for Health Net Inc. in Los Angeles. He is based in the company's corporate office in Woodland Hills and will provide counsel on sales strategies, products, services and distribution channels. LaBrecque served as vice president of sales and marketing for Health Net of the Northeast.


The Los Angeles office of Wickwire Gavin LLP has a new partner. Thomas J. Casamassima's practice focuses on complex litigation and trial practice in the fields of construction, surety and fidelity, product liability, environmental and toxic torts, insurance coverage and commercial litigation.


Eli Nunley has been appointed director of leasing for home furnishings at the L.A. Mart in Los Angeles. He will direct overall leasing efforts of the permanent home furnishings showrooms in the L.A. Mart. Prior to joining the L.A. Mart, Nunley served as president of the Emissary Group Inc., a commercial real estate consulting firm in Dallas.

Bandai America Inc.'s new vice president of sales and marketing is Michael Riley. He will oversee new property acquisition for the manufacturer of children's toys, including licensing agreements, research and design, and the development of relationships with entertainment companies. Riley joined Bandai from the consumer products division of Sony Pictures Entertainment where he was vice president of strategic marketing, film and television.

New Media

Jeffrey Dumbrell has been promoted executive director of sales development at B3 Corp., a provider of e-commerce infrastructure to the financial industry. He will manage the new business activities of B3's sales team as well as work with existing clients to broaden services. Dumbrell joined the company in January as senior account manager.


Debra Valentine-Gray has been hired as director of resource development-chairman's circle at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles. She will also manage a portfolio consisting of United Way's top 16 corporate contributors, as well as oversee training programs for campaign volunteers. Valentine-Gray joined United Way from United Airlines, where she served as the L.A. metro community services coordinator. Also new to the United Way is Harry Fulmore, who becomes director of resource development. He will oversee corporate fundraising in the insurance, banking, manufacturing and wholesale, aerospace, retail, real estate and media industries. Fulmore most recently served as the senior community director at the March of Dimes.

Optimist Youth Homes & Family Services has tapped Gayle Wayne as manager of development. The Highland Park-based agency is involved in the treatment and education of at-risk youth. Wayne will be responsible for grant research and writing, corporate giving and developing fund raising strategies. Prior to joining OYH & FS;, Wayne worked at the City of Glendale's Project Achieve, a multi-faceted homeless program.

Real Estate

William V. Courtney and Bradford W. Howe have been elected shareholders at Lowe Enterprises in Los Angeles, a real estate management and investment firm. Courtney is senior vice president of human relations, responsible for the management of all human resources functions and joined the firm in 1995. Howe is senior vice president and raises equity capital for the company's development projects, managing investor relations and finance activity. He joined the company in 1999 after serving as the director of finance and capital markets for Equity International Properties. Tim Bolton has been named senior vice president, construction at Lowe. He is responsible for due diligence oversight for pension fund investments in addition to assisting Lowe's regional offices with construction and capital projects as well as leading pre-construction efforts on some of the company's resort development projects. Bolton joined Lowe in 1997 as vice president, construction.

Chicago Title's two new vice president and branch managers are Irene Meltzer and Joann A. Black. Meltzer is responsible for the company's Sherman Oaks office and Black is overseeing the Torrance branch. Meltzer joined Chicago Title after five years with Lawyers Title, most recently in Pasadena. Black previously worked for Metropolitan Escrow in Santa Monica.


Maggie Kealey has joined Altour International, a provider of business and leisure travel services in Los Angeles, as executive vice president of Altour Entertainment, a division involved in the travel needs of the entertainment, music, film and fashion industries. She will oversee the division's day-to-day operations. Before joining Altour, Kealey owned her own agency specializing in entertainment travel services.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.