RBZ LLP, a Los Angeles-based accounting and tax consulting firm, has named Yunna Barats partner in the real estate practice group. Barats was previously a principal with the group.

Gursey Schneider & Co. LLP, a Century City-based accounting firm, has promoted Nazfar B. Afshar to partner and Marie Ambrosino to principal. Afshar was previously a manager in the tax and accounting department and Ambrosino was a director in the business management department.


Superior Industries International Inc., a Van Nuys-based supplier of aluminum road wheels and related components for the automotive industry, has named Ken Stakas senior vice president of manufacturing. Stakas was previously vice president of operations for Amcast Automotive.

Banking & Finance

Dimensional Fund Advisors, an investment management firm based in Santa Monica, has hired Darla M. Hastings as chief marketing officer. Hastings was recently senior vice president of customer experience at Benchmark Assisted Living.

B. Riley & Co., a financial and investment banking firm headquartered in Los Angeles, announced the following appointments at its Los Angeles office: Aaron Solganick was hired as senior vice president in the corporate finance group; John Alexander was hired as sales trader in the institutional sales department; Howard Zhou and Kent Do were named as associates in the research department; and Nolan Gaudreau was named a research associate in the research department. Solganick was recently vice president with KPMG corporate finance; Alexander was formerly a sales trader with MDB Capital Group LLC in Santa Monica; Zhou was a senior financial analyst at Belkin Corp.; Do was recently a structured finance analyst with Wilshire Associates in Santa Monica; and Gaudreau was chief architect at Who Is Around in San Francisco.

Monika Rye has joined City National Bank's Encino office as vice president and manager and Mirna Batarseh was promoted to manager at its Glendale banking office. Rye had recently served as vice president and manager of the bank's Glendale office and Batarseh was a financial sales officer and financial sales manager.

Robert Feyder was named president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals, a national organization that focuses on public disclosure under securities laws that affect corporate authority. Feyder is currently partner with Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Gates.


Morrow-Meadows Corp., an electrical contractor based in the City of Industry, has appointed Joe Babcock to vice president of preconstruction and Mark Freedman as vice president of corporate marketing. Babcock was previously preconstruction specialist with the company and Freedman was director of corporate marketing.

Health Care

Rational Therapeutics, a cancer research treatment center based in Long Beach, has appointed Robert M. "Spike" Irwin as chief executive. Irwin had recently served as president and chief executive of Outsourcing Services Inc.


Curtis L. Harrington has been appointed to the Taxation Law Advisory Commission, an advisory board of the California Board of Legal Specialization. Harrington is partner with Harrington & Harrington in Long Beach.

Christensen Glaser Fink Jacobs Weil & Shapiro LLP, a Century City-based law firm, has named Jay Handlin, Amman Khan and Jacqui Sudeck as partners. Handlin was of counsel; Khan was senior associate; and Sudeck was an associate.

Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP has hired Becky S. Walker as partner, effective Feb. 20. Walker is currently chief of the criminal appeals section in the U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of California in Los Angeles.

E. Barry Haldeman has joined the Los Angeles office of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro LLP as of counsel. Haldeman was previously partner in the entertainment practice at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman Machtinger & Kinsella.

Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold LLP has promoted Kevin Costello to partner at its Los Angeles firm. Costello was an associate.


Carat Fusion, a digital and direct-response marketing agency, has promoted Paul Santello to executive vice president and regional managing director of the West. Michael Soh was named general manager of the agency's Los Angeles office. Santello was recently senior vice president and managing director of the company's Los Angeles office and Soh was vice president of integrated media.


AvatarLabs, an entertainment graphics and online design studio based in Tarzana, has appointed Paul Berry III as senior designer. Berry was previously art director for Music Connection Magazine.

DirecTV, a satellite television provider based in El Segundo, has appointed John O'Neill as vice president of sports sales and marketing and Heather Curatolo as vice president of direct response. O'Neill had recently served as manager of media and marketing partnerships and senior account executive at Fox Sports Net and Curatolo was vice president of direct response and paid programming advertising sales at Court TV.


The Space Foundation, a national non-profit organization that supports civil, commercial and national security space endeavors, has elected Elon Musk to its board. Musk is currently chairman and chief executive of the Space Exploration Technologies Corp. in El Segundo.

Tom Vander Ark has been named president of the X Prize Foundation, a Santa Monica-based institute for innovations that benefit humanity. Ark was formerly executive director of education for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Valley Economic Development Center has named Bill Furrell manager of its Downtown Capital Access Center and Shantelice White manager of the organization's Historic Downtown Retail Project. Furrell was previously credit manager for the firm's lending division; White was development manager.

Real Estate

The Los Angeles chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women, a national organization that provides professional services and networking opportunities for women in real estate, has elected the following members to its board: Dani Evanson as president; Kim Kearney as president-elect; Allison Lynch and Gina Guarino as vice president of programs; Janet Doud as vice president of membership services; Candice Gilliatt as vice president of communications; Constance Couvillon as chief financial officer; Sophia Lopez as national delegate; and Trudi Lesser as general counsel. Evanson is portfolio manager at Lexington Commercial Holdings Inc.; Kearney is appraiser, consultant and broker at K3 Investments; Lynch is vice president of Watt Commercial Properties; Guarino is senior leasing agent at Douglas Emmett & Co.; Doud is a vice president at Orexco; Gilliatt is director of business development at Pace Compumetrics/Pace Design; Couvillon is a consultant at MTI Consulting Group; Lopez is a loan consultant with Venture West Funding; Lesser is general counsel at Shumaker Steckbauer Weinhart LLP.

Jade Takahashi

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