Miguel Figueroa has joined Grant Thornton LLP as senior manager in assurance at the firm's Los Angeles office. Figueroa was formerly senior manager at KPMG.


Randy Kochevar has joined Ad2 Inc., an El Segundo-based interactive advertising agency, as senior team member in business development. Kochevar was the science communications manager at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Saatchi & Saatchi LA has hired Tara Stephens as design communications director. Stephens was recently client managing director for Landor Associates in Irvine.

Lagrant Communications, a Los Angeles-based integrated communications company, has appointed Minerva Finkley as creative director. Finkley was previously chief copywriter with the agency.

Colby & Partners in Santa Monica has hired Collin Griffin as associate media director. Previously, Griffin was vice president of media at Aviatech.

Banking & Finance

Indymac Bank has made the following executive changes to its corporate headquarters in Pasadena: Ajit S. Kumar was promoted to vice president of technology and architecture; Dale A. Lazerson was promoted to first vice president, corporate real estate; Jim Scanlan was named vice president, information technology; and Vidwat Thakar was promoted to vice president, information technology and technical solution design. Kumar was technical architect; Lazerson was previously vice president; Scanlan served as senior vice president of business information at GMAC Mortgage; and Thakar was a manager.

Mellon 1st Business Bank has named David R. Misch chairman and chief executive. Misch was formerly national director of private banking operations with the company.


Matt Construction, a Santa Fe Springs-based contractor, has promoted Jan Curtis to vice president of business development and Roger Fricke to vice president of preconstruction and estimating. The company also hired Victor Watson as vice president of the Central Valley office and Hakim Khalil as chief estimator. Curtis was director of business development; Frick was chief estimator; Watson was senior vice president of preconstruction at Gordon & Williams; and Khalil was project manager with Clark Construction Group.

Philip Friedl has been hired as vice president of operations at Culver City-based Dreyfuss Construction. Friedl was recently vice president at W.E. O'Neil Construction Co. in Los Angeles.

SCS, an engineering and construction company specializing in waste management and environmental service, has hired Vicki Strickler as staff engineer at its Long Beach office. Strickler had served as project engineer with Kennedy/Jenks Consultants in Irvine.


Keith Hinkle has been named vice president for advancement and public affairs at Pepperdine University. Hinkle was associate vice chancellor for estate and gift planning for the school.


The U.S. Securities and Exchange has named Zoe-Vonna Palmrose deputy chief accountant for professional practice. Palmrose is a professor at the USC Leventhal School of Accounting and USC Marshall School of Business.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has appointed Robert L. Andrade as interim general manager of El Pueblo Historic Monument. Andrade was recently a chief administrative analyst for the city.


Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP has named Mark D. Litvack and Charulata B. Pagar as partner at the firm's Los Angeles office. Litvack was previously vice president and director of worldwide anti-piracy legal affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America. Pagar was an attorney in the advertising division with the Federal Trade Commission.

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP has added Camilo Echavarria as of counsel in the media and entertainment practice of the firm's Los Angeles office. Echavarria was previously litigation counsel for NBC Universal.


Structural Graphics, a Connecticut-based marketing firm, has hired Debi Leibovitz as director of Western sales in its Santa Monica office. Leibovitz was previously director of advertising and promotions at American Park Network Magazine.


AvatarLabs, a motion graphics and editorial design studio, has hired Susan Lambert as a consultant. Lambert was formerly an executive with Walt Disney Co.

Writers Guild of America West has appointed David J. Young as executive director. Young was previously the guild's interim executive director.

GoTV Networks, a Sherman Oaks-based mobile television company, has hired Chris Greenleaf as vice president of comedy and entertainment and Erika Lewis as vice president of development. Greenleaf was recently president and chief executive of Arcadia Pictures; Lewis was vice president of development for the Tom Lynch Co.

Delbert A. Whetter has been promoted to chief operating officer at Venice-based Exodus Film Group. Whetter was previously senior vice president of business affairs.

The Independent Film & Television Alliance has extended the contracts of Jean M. Prewitt as president and chief executive and Jonathan Wolf as executive vice president of IFTA and managing director of the American Film Market.

ReelzChannel, a network featuring news and shows about movies, has named Patricia LaVigne senior vice president of creative services and marketing and Bob Reichblum executive producer of Dailies, the channel's movie news program. LaVigne was formerly chief executive of Jupiter Creative. Reichblum has served as vice president of Prime Time and Weekend Programming at CNBC.

David Harner has joined the Institute for the Development of Enhanced Perceptual Awareness, a Venice-based production company, as top commercial director. Harner was recently senior vice president and creative director at Leo Burnett Advertising Agency.


Vista Del Mar Child & Family Services has elected Joel R. Mogy as chairman. Mogy is president and founder of Joel R. Mogy Investment Counsel in Beverly Hills.

Valley Economic Development Center's Women's Business Center has established an advisory board of 11 members. The members are: Wayne Adelstein of the North Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce; Michele Chavez of Prudential Financial; Liz Florio of Economic Alliance; Yelena Gazal of Gazal Consulting Bookkeeping; Cynthia Ibarra of the Valley Economic Development Center; Raja Amy Marhaba of MarTec Construction; Beth Orenstein of Hair Incorporations; Debra Sakacs of Executives and Business Owners of the San Fernando Valley; Nancy Hoffman Vanyek of the MidValley Chamber of Commerce; Kathleen Sterling of the Valley News Group; and Jave Tripp of JNK Services.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation has appointed Scott Zagarino as managing director of sports marketing. Zagarino was previously founder of CS Sports Marketing.

Health Net Inc. has appointed Vicki B. Escarra to serve on its board. Escarra is president and chief executive of America's Second Harvest.

Shelter Partnership, an organization that provides resources to Los Angeles County homeless agencies, has elected the following members to its board: Ann Marie Hickambottom, senior vice president of community services at Century Housing; Michael S. Manigault, senior vice president and market manager of community development at Bank of America; Mark A. Mozilo, president of VIP/affinity lending at Indymac Bank; and John A. Weissenback, partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

The Valley Economic Development Center has named Sergio Gascon director of its business center. Gascon was recently manager of the agency's capital access center.

Public Relations

Rogers & Cowan, an entertainment public relations and marketing agency, has promoted Heather Krug to senior vice president. Krug was vice president with the company.

Vickie Fite has been promoted to managing director of Manning Selvage & Lee's Los Angeles office. Fite was recently deputy managing director.

Berk Communications Inc. has hired Rachel Krupa as assistant vice president at the firm's Los Angeles office. Previously, Krupa was senior account executive at Lizzie Grubman PR.

Real Estate

Michael Escalante has joined Griffin Capital, a real estate investment company based in Los Angeles, as chief investment officer. Escalante was previously executive vice president of capital transactions and portfolio management at Trizec Properties.

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