When news surfaced last week that Brendan Huffman was stepping down as president of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association at the end of the year, he expected to use the intervening months to look for his next opportunity.

But within 24 hours of the announcement he got what he termed "a ton" of inquiries.

"I thought I would make some calls and figure out exactly what I wanted to do. Well, I haven't made a single call and I've already got interviews lined up. It's been amazing," he said. "I've got many opportunities to consider."

Huffman said he was stepping down from the VICA post because after more than two years he felt it was time to do something different.

One thing Huffman said he is not planning is a long vacation. "That's hard to do with the family right now, especially with the kids in school." Of course, school is an especially serious topic in his household. His wife, Tamar Galatzan, is a member of the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education.

Huge Carbon Footprint

Real estate broker to the stars (and under-the-radar big shots) Stephen Shapiro has a listing for a mega house on Carbon Beach in Malibu. The asking price: $65 million.

The owner isn't a celebrity, but a low profile mogul named Bill Chadwick, co-founder of the Westside real estate investment firm Chadwick Saylor & Co. and president of the Coliseum Commission.

The 10,500-square-foot Cape Cod style house has 150 feet of beach frontage, a home theater, wine cellar and six bedrooms. Over the years Chadwick has built two other homes on exclusive Carbon Beach and sold them, "much to his wife's chagrin," Shapiro joked. "It's almost like a hobby."

Carbon Beach neighbors are said to include David Geffen, Haim Saban, Larry Ellison and Jamie and Frank McCourt, among others. "It's referred to as 'billionaire's beach,' " Shapiro said.

Shapiro, chairman of Westside Estate Agency, also lives in Malibu, but not on Carbon Beach. "I can't afford Carbon Beach. Most people can't."

Big Loser

Michael Gee lost 39 pounds in four months and doesn't plan to gain it back anytime soon. Gee and 19 other employees in the Century City office of law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, were so inspired by reality television show "The Biggest Loser" that the group decided to launch their own version.

After the holiday season, Gee teamed up with colleague Laura Scornavacca, who lost 15 pounds. The winning pair lost the most weight, a combined 54 pounds, out of the group of lawyers and staff who competed. But losing weight wasn't an easy task for Gee, who developed an exercise routine that included hiking and going to the gym.

"I was getting frustrated at the end, because I was eating well and exercising and only losing one pound in the last weeks," Gee said. Still the couple ended up as the biggest losers and Gee and Scornavacca each won $750 in prize money.

Staff reporters Alexa Hyland and Howard Fine contributed to this column. Daniel Miller can be reached at dmiller@labusinessjournal.com.

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