Anyone else hear that Michael Milken and his family’s foundation plan to establish a museum in Washington, D.C., giving it some prime space in the old Riggs National Bank building near the White House? Word has it that the institution would focus on teachers – although the concept could grow … Anyone hear that the Milken Foundation-backed museum might put California cuisine front-and-center for visitors who get hungry for something more than Atlantic Seaboard fare? That’s just a guess, based on an exchange between Milken and Wolfgang Puck at the Business Journal’s recent Icons event. Both were honored in our 2018 class of influential business leaders in L.A. at the Montage last month. …Turn to page 5 for some takes from Howard Fine’s Q&A with Maria Salinas, the first woman to fill the chief executive’s post for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Salinas counts experience as a founding board member for downtown-based ProAmerica Bank, which managed to grow to more than $200 million in assets by getting out of its single office and into the marketplace to reach Latino-American business owners, an underserved niche at the time. That experience could come in handy as she aims to put the downtown-based chamber in better touch with various commercial hubs, with an eye on communities of business from Silicon Beach to South L.A., and Pico-Union to the Palisades …. The emphasis Salinas plans to put on geographic diversity is matched in ethnic terms by Shwanika Narayan’s front-page report on minority-owned businesses, and our annual list of the 100 largest based in L.A. County, which is ranked by annual revenue and starts on page 11. The group combined for $18.7 billion last year, by the way, a hike of 6.4 percent over 2016, outpacing the overall market as measured by our most recent lists of largest privately held and publicly traded companies here … There’s also diversity in the vocabulary of diversity – and bear in mind that the owners of the companies on our Minority-Owned Businesses List get the chance to self-identify in terms of ethnicity. That explains some imperfections and overlaps in terms of categorization, with some folks identifying themselves as Hispanic-American, for instance, with others using more specific terms such as Mexican-American or Cuban-American. It’s the same with Asian-American, which is used alongside more specific ethnic references such as Chinese-American or Korean-American. Imperfect, indeed, but the vibrance of the various ethnic segments of our community of business nevertheless shines through … Then there’s generational diversity, a highlight of this week’s Special Report on “20 In Their 20s,” starting on page 18. The sketches of young entrepreneurs point up plenty of potential – and also lead back to geographic diversity. Several of the entries cover entrepreneurs who have set up shop in Santa Monica or Venice or Mid-Wilshire — all spots where we’ve come to expect startups to sprout. Keep looking though, and you’ll find others off the beaten path, with operations in Boyle Heights, Carthay, Downey, East Los Angeles, Exposition Park, Gardena, Inglewood and West Adams … Last week I focused on the diversity of opportunities in Los Angeles, where many remain interested in doing business with China – a stance that runs counter to the headlines and tweets about trade coming out of Washington, D.C. I even included a picture of a banner touting the Peoples Republic of China as a sponsor of the recent L.A. Times Foodbowl Night Market in Grand Park. That beat will go on at the 38th Annual Lotus Festival, which is set for Echo Park Lake in July, with the People’s Republic of China the featured country. City officials say there’s no sponsorship involved for the designation. … Sullivan Says: The wine is worthy of consideration, to be sure, but someone should give Rupert Murdoch a prize for the vibrant California poppies that make for delightful accents on the hillsides of his Moraga Bel Air vineyard.
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