NEWSMAKERS


BANKING & FINANCE

Mercanti Group, a Minneapolis-based boutique financial advisory firm, has hired Todd Bomberg to lead the firm's clean tech practice group in the firm's West L.A. office. Bomberg was previously senior vice president in mergers and acquisitions at Moelis & Co., an investment bank in Culver City.

Baroda Ventures LLC, a Beverly Hills venture capital firm with a focus on the technology sector, has named Peter Lee partner. Previously, Lee was an investor at private equity firm Prism Ventures.

EDUCATION

Betsy Berger has been named director of advancement at New Community Jewish High School in West Hills. Berger was previously assistant director of development for the American Society for Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on Miracle Mile.

Caltech in Pasadena has appointed Kevin W. Sharer to its board. Sharer is chief executive officer atThousand Oaks biotech company Amgen Inc.

ENERGY

Chevron Corp., headquartered in San Ramon, has named Frank Semancik general manager in its El Segundo refinery. Semancik was previously manager of Chevron's Salt Lake City refinery.

ENTERTAINMENT

Reveille, Universal City TV production company, has named Robin Ashbrook vice president of creative affairs, Chad Bennett vice president of brand development and production, and Kelia Tardiff manager of creative affairs. Previously, Ashbrook served as creative director of entertainment with Reveille sister company ShineTV, a London-based production company. Bennett was a director and Tardiff an assistant at Reveille.

Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. in West Hollywood as named Jane Kleinberger executive vice president of college athletics at its Ticketmaster subsidiary. Kleinberger was previously chairman of Paciolan, a venue ticketing software company.

HOSPITALITY

Vagabond Franchise System Inc., an L.A. hotel franchise, has promoted Les Biggins to president and Charles Valentino to vice president. Biggins previously served as chief financial officer of the company. Valentino was director of franchise services.

LAW

Erik L. Jackson has joined the downtown L.A. office of Cozen O'Connor, a Philadelphia-basedfirm, as member of the commercial litigation department. Jackson was previously partner with the downtown L.A. office of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP.

Zack Shine has joined Juris Law Group, a Beverly Hills law firm, as associate. Shine was previously member of Greene Broillet & Wheeler LLP, a Santa Monica law firm.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, a Chicago-based law firm, has named Jason J. Kim and Clint D. Robison capital partners in its West L.A. office. Kim and Robison were previously partners with the firm.

MEDIA

TheWrap, a Santa Monica-headquartered entertainment and media news organization, has named Josef Adalian TV editor. Adalian was previously editor at TVWeek.com, a TV industry news Web site in Los Angeles.

La Opinion, a Spanish-language daily newspaper in Los Angeles, has hired Steve Bentz as senior vice president of ad sales. Previously, Bentz was vice president of advertising at the Los Angeles Times.

NON-PROFIT

Keith Ellis has been appointed chairman of United States Veterans Initiative, a downtown L.A. organization dedicated to providing services and housing to homeless and at-risk veterans. Ellis is senior vice president and manager of corporate banking for California Bank in downtown Los Angeles.

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, a non-profit medical, social services and advocacy organization based in Hollywood, has elected Alex Cambert, Jane Costello and Tim Hanlon to its board. Cambert is a television producer; Costello is executive director of corporate programs at Amgen, a Thousand Oaks biotech company; and Hanlon is a senior vice president at Wells Fargo Bank.

REAL ESTATE

BentleyForbes, a real estate investment firm, has appointed Ahsan Aijaz senior director of investments in its Century City office. Aijaz most recently served as vice president of investment banking with Butler Wick & Co. Inc., an investment firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

Carlton Group, a real estate investment bank, has hired Farzin Emrani, Shlomi Ronen and Steven Yazdani as managing directors in its Century City office. Previously, Ronen served as senior vice president at George Smith Partners, a Century City real estate investment banking firm. Emrani and Yazdani were vice presidents with George Smith Partners.

TECHNOLOGY

Symark International, an Agoura Hills-based information security company, has hired Saurabh Bhatnagar as vice president of product management. Bhatnagar was previously senior product manager at Websense, a San Diego-based security software company.

American Data Co., a Century City technology consulting firm, has hired Joe Garrow as director of business development. Garrow was previously account executive for Siebel Systems, a Redwood City software company.

Donn Rappaport has been named chief executive of Zumbox, a Westlake Village company that offers online mail boxes. Rappaport was previously chairman of Direct Marketing Association, a New York-based global trade association for the direct-marketing business.

Rubicon Project, a West L.A.-based online advertising technology company, has named Jay Stevens vice president and general manager of international operations. Stevens was previously a senior vice president at MySpace.

KUDOS

The Los Angeles Chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators has honored Linda Livingstone, dean and professor of management at Pepperdine University's Graziadio School of Business and Management, with the group's Success Award. The association gives the award annually to a business leader in the Los Angeles area for outstanding and effective contributions to organizational communications.

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