The USC Lusk Center for Real Estate has named the following board members: Brandon Birtcher, John Condas, J. Michael Fried, David Gensler, John Hagestad, Dean Pentikis, Robert Schulman, Michael Szot, Luke Lucas, Reon Roski, Frank Jansen, Marc Renard, Andrew Ratner, John Cushman and Tom Malkasian. Birtcher is president of Birtcher Commercial Development; Condas is partner at Nossaman Guthner Knox & Elliot; Fried is chief executive of Phoenix Realty Group; Gensler is executive director of Gensler; Hagestad is managing director at Sares Regis Group; Pentikis is partner with Apollo Real Estate Advisors; Schulman is chairman of Montecito Cos.; Szot is vice chairman of construction with the Willis Risk and Insurance Services of Los Angeles; Lucas is senior manager of development at T-Mobile; Roski is an attorney with Christensen Glaser Fink Jacobs Weil & Shapiro; Jansen is senior vice president of the Chicago Title Co.; Renard is executive director, Ratner is executive managing director and Cushman is chairman of the board of Cushman & Wakefield; and Malkasian is Southern California area manager at Bank of the West.


LATV, a bilingual music and entertainment network distributed via digital multicast, has appointed Howard Bolter as president and chief operative officer. Bolter was previously executive vice president and Wobo Media.

Avatar Labs, a motion graphic and design studio based in Tarzana, has appointed Marlene Toyama as senior producer. Toyama was formerly account supervisor at Tribal DDB.

CenterStaging Corp., a Burbank-based provider of rehearsal and production services for the entertainment industry, has promoted Paul Schmidman to president and elected Johnny Caswell as chairman and Roger Paglia as vice chairman of the board. Schmidiman continues his role as chief operating officer; Caswell is founder and Paglia is chief executive of the company.


Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has made the following appointments: Mary Ann Greene of Culver City to Baldwin Hills Conservancy Governing board. Olga Gallardo of Los Angeles was named assistant deputy director for corporate communications of the California State Lottery and Erin Sasse of Rancho Cucamonga to assistant deputy director of legislative affairs and outreach at the lottery. Heather Peters of Redondo Beach was named deputy secretary of business regulation for the Business Transportation and Housing Agency. Greene is the retired senior director for the Los Angeles County Probation Department. Gallardo, Peters and Sasse were all with Californians for Schwarzenegger 2006; Gallardo was deputy press secretary, Peters was regional political director and Sasse was regional political director for the Inland Empire, San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Health Care

Xencor Inc., a developer of protein and antibody therapeutics based in Monrovia, has appointed Jade R. Brown to vice president of business development. He was recently chief business officer at Cell Therapeutics Inc.


Shutters on the Beach, a hotel in Santa Monica, has appointed Brian Butterworth as resident manager. Butterworth had served as executive assistant manager at Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows on the Kohala Coast in Hawaii.


Sullivan Curtis Monroe Insurance Services LLC, a privately held agency, has appointed David Bloodgood as vice president of the executive sales program at its Pasadena office. Bloodgood was previously business products manager with Sentry Insurance.

National Planning Corp., a Santa Monica-based broker-dealer holding company and affiliate of Jackson National Life Insurance has promoted Sean Haley to first vice president and chief compliance officer, Bryan Jacobsen to vice president of compliance and Austin Moon to vice president of recruiting. Haley was previously vice president of compliance, Jacobsen was assistant vice president and Moon was assistant vice president of recruiting.


Dickstein Shapiro LLP has hired Tom Ara as senior associate at its Los Angeles office. Ara was an attorney with Lor Bissell & Brook LLP.

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP has hired Randolph C. Visser as partner in the firm's construction, environment, real estate and land use litigation group. Gregory P. Barbee was promoted to partner. Visser was recently partner with Morgan Lewis; Barbee was an associate.


HL Group, a New York City-based communications and strategic planning agency, has named Karine Joret president of its new Los Angeles office. Joret was recently senior vice president of worldwide communications and live events for Warner Bros. consumer products.


Mark Essa has been promoted to vice president at Businesswire, a commercial news distributor. Essa was Los Angeles regional manager.

Ripple, an El Segundo-based developer, distributor and programmer of digital entertainment news and content, has made the following appointments: Joe Hasenzahl to vice president of operations; Adam Korman to vice president of design and user experience; Matthew New to vice president of products; Jason Seldon to vice president of finance and administration; and Ron Vaisbort to vice president of corporate alliances. Kerry W. Coin and Amin Vahdat were named to the company's board. Previously, Hasenzahl was director of retail systems at BCBG Max Azria; Korman was senior interaction designer at Yahoo Music; New was senior product manager with Yahoo; Seldon was director of international finance at Walt Disney Co.; Vaisbort was media and entertainment alliances director at Intel; Coin is currently principal and co-founder of the Kerma Group LLC; and Vahdat is an associate professor of computer science and engineering at UC San Diego.

YFly, a Santa Monica-based entertainment social network, has promoted Christine Chua to director of operations and member services. Chua was operations manager.

Starz Media LLC, a programming production and distribution company, has appointed Jonathan Taylor as vice president of public relations at its Burbank office. Taylor had served as senior vice president of the Lippin Group.

Fox Networks Group has appointed Jack Kennedy as senior vice president of corporate development and Sarah Harden as senior vice president of business development, Fox Cable Networks. Kennedy was previously an independent management consultant; Harden was vice president of strategic development at Ascent Media Group.


Michael A. Geibelson has been elected president of the board of the Disability Rights Legal Center, a downtown agency that promotes the rights of people with disabilities. Geibelson is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.

Chrysalis, an organization that helps economically disadvantaged individuals find employment, has elected Robert Hart as chairman of the board. Hart is president and chief executive of KW Multifamily Management Group.

The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship has named Phyllis Rawley executive director of its Los Angeles office. Rawley was previously executive director of the El Paso Empowerment Zone Co.

LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau, has promoted Dan Mishell to director of research. Mishell was manager of research.

Public Relations

Rhoda Weiss has been elected chairwoman and chief executive of the Public Relations Society of America, an organization of communication professionals. Weiss is currently president of Santa Monica-based Rhoda Weiss & Associates.

Real Estate

Vintage Real Estate, a real estate developer and financier headquartered in Los Angeles, has appointed Brenton Watson as president, Keith Laird as senior vice president and Oscar Parra as vice president. All are former employees of Westfield. Watson was vice president; Laird was executive vice president of leasing; and Parra was director of management, accounting and finance.

Ridge Property Trust, a Chicago-based real estate investment trust, has appointed Angela Siuta as executive vice president and director of asset management at its Long Beach office. Siuta was recently chief operating officer at Decron Properties.

Kennedy Wilson Multifamily Management, a Beverly Hills-based real estate services and investment firm, has appointed John Thomas as managing director of acquisitions. Thomas was previously vice president of acquisitions at EJM Development Co.

Jade Takahashi

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