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Wednesday, Feb 8, 2023

NEWSMAKERS

NEWSMAKERS

Start-Up Lands Industry Vet as President

Even though it was available to him, Ashok Dhawan never used the corporate jet when he worked as division president at Lucent Technologies.

So now that he’s at a much smaller company, the adjustment isn’t all that difficult, he laughed. Dhawan, the new president and chief executive of high-speed electronic components firm Inphi Corp., hasn’t always been in the high-end corporate world.

“In ’96 three of us started a company and we worked in a building that had no heating,” he said. Dhawan has spent 25 years in the networking technology field and has held engineering and marketing positions at companies such as Raycom Corp., which were eventually purchased by larger firms.

Founded in 2000, Westlake Village-based Inphi employs 40 people who develop high-speed telecommunications and data circuits. Dhawan said he would help Inphi shift its focus from technology to customers.

“They have been doing a lot of good work, but the company has been focused on technology and it has to be developed into more of a business,” he said. “We have the technology, but nobody knows about us.”

He said he would help the company develop partnerships so it can expand its reach. “We’re a component supplier, so we have relationships with companies that do end-user systems, and we need to help them design the best systems possible.”

Inphi, a privately held company controlled by three venture capital firms, is trying to carve out a bigger portion of the market, he said.

“There are very few companies that offer what we do as far as our specific product line, so we don’t have that much competition,” he said.

But the market which includes telecommunications, data communications and instrumentation systems industries is tight, Dhawan said.

“We think that as growth comes back, especially in telecommunications, we can be a strong player,” he said.

Dhawan lives in Westlake Village with his wife Shirani. They have two children.

Koula Gianulias

Architecture

The Los Angeles office of architects HKS Inc. has appointed Ward Thompson as a vice president and Lila Tsuda-Grant, who rejoined the company, as vice president and director of interior architecture.

Banking

Jeff Glowacki has been promoted to west coast sales manager for Comerica Private Bank. He will oversee investment management and trust sales for California from his office in Beverly Hills. He has been vice president of wealth management and business development focusing on high-net-worth individuals.

Entertainment

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has promoted John Hertenstein to senior vice president-feature estimating, MGM Pictures. He will continue to oversee all feature production estimating and accounting. Hertenstein has worked for MGM for more than 21 years in various accounting positions.

GVFX, a visual effects firm, has named Mickey McGovern executive producer and John Gelwicks head of business development in the firm’s Santa Monica office. McGovern will be responsible for managing day-to-day operations and Gelwicks will oversee all business development activities. McGovern is formerly with Millfilm Ltd., a visual effects company in London. Gelwicks worked for Sony Pictures Studios in its operations and post-production services.

Financial

Michael Peters has joined Barrington Associates in Los Angeles as senior vice president where he will focus on developing the investment bank’s consumer products group. He was previously head of the Western U.S. Exclusive Sales Group of Credit Suisse First Boston/Donald Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.

Hospitality

Wolfgang Puck Worldwide Inc. has named Barb Westfield senior vice president of consumer marketing. Westfield will develop, review and approve product specifications, pricing, packaging and marketing materials for all packaged food and consumer products bearing the Wolfgang Puck brand. She joins the Beverly Hills-based firm from Salton, a maker of small appliances, where she headed product development and marketing.

Insurance

William S. McCarter has been hired as senior vice president, client engagement executive for ePolicy Solutions Inc. in Torrance. He will manage all technology projects for clients at ePolicy, which is a Web-based insurance consulting firm. McCarter was formerly senior vice president and chief information officer for Allianz of North America.

Colleen Britz and Douglas Thomson have been promoted to managing directors in the Los Angeles office of Marsh, a risk and insurance services firm. Britz is the western region client development leader in the risk consulting division. Thomson is a client executive managing risk issues for several Fortune 500 clients.

Richard Vergari has been named vice president of Dodge, Warren & Peters Insurance Services Inc. Vergari, based in the Torrance office, will work in the financial planning segment of the firm and will advise clients on services including life insurance, financial planning and wealth preservation. Prior to joining the company, he was an account executive with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance.

Law

International law firm Bryan Cave LLP in Santa Monica announced the addition of four new associates. Melissa A. Bonfaglio, Kaye E. Chaffee, and Michael Zara have joined the commercial litigation practice, and Sydney E. Roberts will serve the firm’s labor and employment practice.

The Los Angeles office of Holland & Knight LLP, a commercial law firm, has named Bruce S. Ross executive partner. Ross will continue as practice area leader of the office’s trusts and estates group and as co-chair of the firm’s national trust and estate litigation group. Geraldine A. Wyle has been named partner, and will continue to practice in the areas of trust, estate and conservatorship litigation.

Manufacturing

Three new directors have joined the board of Ameron International Corp. David Davenport is a research fellow at the Hoover Institution and past president of Pepperdine University. Thomas L. Lee is the retired chairman and chief executive of Newhall Land and Farming Co. Dennis Poulsen is the chairman and chief executive of Rose Hills Co. in Whittier. Pasadena-based Ameron is a manufacturer of water transmission lines, high-performance coatings and finishes and other products for the chemical, industrial, energy and infrastructure markets.

Marketing & Communications

Allison & Partners, a marketing promotions and public relations agency, announced the addition of two executives to their Los Angeles office. Jennifer Handshew had joined as a senior account executive, and Gerald Opp will serve the agency as an account coordinator.

Jennifer M. Gonzalez has been named account supervisor for Suarez/Frommer & Associates, a Latino-focused communications agency based in Pasadena. Gonzalez previously served as senior editor at Ask Jeeves Inc.

Music

Alice Smith has been named head of new business development, west coast, for Stephen Arnold Music, a television music production company. Smith will be responsible for the company’s strategic marketing operations and seeking new clients from the broadcast and film industry in Hollywood. She previously served as director of new media and entertainment with SabreMark Inc.

Real Estate

Studley Inc. has announced the promotion of David R. Gordon to executive managing director in its Los Angeles office. Gordon began his brokerage career at Studley in 1984 when he joined the firm as an intern and for the last nine years has focused exclusively on tenant representation.

Rick Berry has joined Insignia/ESG as regional director of human resources for the western region, based in the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office. Berry had been corporate director of human resources for Wirestone LLC.

Technology

Tekelec has announced that Lori Craven, its vice president and general manager for network systems had taken over its global marketing and sales functions. Craven joined Calabasas-based Tekelec in January from Lucent Technologies, where she was vice president, mobility solutions development.

Los Angeles-based Octave Software Inc. announced the appointment of Peter Solvik to its board. Solvik, former senior vice president and chief information officer at Cisco Systems, is a managing director at Sigma Partners.

Tourism

The Pasadena Convention and Visitors Bureau has promoted Todd Voelker to national sales manager, Midwest market. He will market Pasadena’s meeting facilities to corporations and associations throughout the Midwest region. Voelker joined the bureau as a local sales manager in 1997.

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