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Monday, May 16, 2022

NEWSMAKERS – Public Relations Firm Boosts Political, Institutional Clout


Public Relations Firm Boosts Political, Institutional Clout

In naming Alan Arkatov president and chief executive of its Southern California region, a new position, Burson-Marsteller has added some power to its political clout.

Arkatov, campaign director for Mayor James Hahn’s successful run for city attorney, later served as senior adviser to Mickey Kantor, who was managing Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign.

In addition to running the 50-person local office for the public relations giant, Arkatov will serve as the leader of its national educational and West Coast public affairs groups.

The pairing of education and communications, he said, go hand in hand.

“To me, it’s all about communications,” said Arkatov, 42, a Cheviot Hills resident. “If you can’t communicate what’s happening, there’s no point in doing what you’re doing.”

The son of two musical parents, Arkatov attended the University of Southern California as a music major playing the violin. But after two years, the lure of a business education took him to the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and political science.

After the Clinton campaign, he founded OnlineLearning.net, which he sold to Sylvan Learning Systems in 2001. “With OnlineLearning.net, it was a given you had to have high quality education, but we had to communicate how to reach people with it,” Arkatov said. “Understanding people and communications is what set us apart.”

He is president of eEducation Group, a non-profit formed to help primary and secondary schools maximize their electronic learning opportunities, and a member of the California Postsecondary Education Commission.

Arkatov is married and has two sons.

Janna Braun

Advertising & Public Relations

IW Group Inc., an Asian marketing firm, has named Jimmy Lee vice president and group director. Lee, who has been with the firm for four years, most recently as management supervisor, will lead the company’s Los Angeles public relations operations.


Northrop Grumman Corp.’s board elected Chief Executive and President Ronald D. Sugar to the additional role of chairman. Prior to joining Northrop Grumman in 2001, Sugar served as president, chief operating officer and a director of Litton Industries, a company acquired by Northrop Grumman in April 2001.

Aerospace Corp. has named Donald R. Walker senior vice president of its systems planning and engineering segment effective Jan. 1, 2004, and Dr. Wanda M. Austin was appointed senior vice president of its national systems group effective April 1, 2004.


Tarrant Apparel Group named Barry Aved president. Aved has been a director of the company since 1996. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Lerner New York.


American Business Bank has named Wes Schaefer vice chairman and Leon Blankstein and Robin Paterson as executive vice presidents. All three are American Business Bank co-founders.

Robert Brown has been hired by U.S. Bank as regional manager for U.S. Bank in-stores, California, where he will oversee 118 in-store locations.


Warner/Chappell Music Inc., the music and print music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, has named Dale Bobo senior vice president, Nashville. Bobo joined Chappell/Intersong 20 years ago and most recently headed its artists & repertoire department.

Lisa Klein Fitzpatrick has been promoted to senior vice president of business and legal affairs at MGM Worldwide Television Distribution. Prior to joining MGM, Fitzpatrick was vice president of business and legal affairs at Telemundo Network Group LLC.

Interactive entertainment network eUniverse has hired Thomas J. Flahie as chief financial officer. Previously, Flahie was senior vice president of finance and administration at Balance Bar.

Activision Inc. has hired Tim Riley as worldwide executive of music and Brandon Young as music supervisor and licensing coordinator. Prior to joining Activision, Riley was a founding partner of Westies Music in Venice, and Young worked with MTV placing music for TV shows including “Sorority Life & Fraternity Life.”

Walt Disney Co.’s board elected Aylwin Lewis, who is president and chief multibranding and operating officer of Yum Brands Inc., as a new independent director. Lewis joined the KFC unit of Yum Brands in 1990.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has hired journalist David Bloom as vice president of corporate communications. Previously, Bloom was a staff reporter at Variety, writing about the entertainment industry and politics.


USBX Advisory Services LLC, an investment banking advisor in Santa Monica, has named Jay Beaghan managing director and head of the technology practice group. Most recently, Beaghan was a senior investment banker with Robertson Stephens.

Rosenthal & Rosenthal Inc., a privately held lending company, has hired Harry Friedman as senior vice president and will work at the newly opened Woodland Hills branch. Friedman previously was vice president of originations for GE Capital Services in Los Angeles.


City Council President Alex Padilla has named Deputy Mayor Felipe Fuentes as his chief of staff. As deputy mayor, Fuentes was liaison to the departments of neighborhood empowerment, planning, building & safety and animal services.

Health Care

Dr. Ellsworth R. Grant has been named medical director for The Elizabeth Center for Cancer Detection. Grant has a private practice in hematology and oncology in Los Angeles.


Kor Hotel Group has named Joy Marrs director of e-commerce, where she will develop and oversee online sales and marketing for Avalon Hotel, Maison 140, Viceroy and Estrella Resort & Spa. Previously, Marrs led online strategy at Cimarron Group.


Curt Dombek, a partner at Bryan Cave LLP in Santa Monica, has been appointed leader of the firm’s international trade practice.


Yates & Associates appointed Robert Mendez to head its newly created transportation division in its Glendale Office.


Pappas Telecasting Cos., a privately held, commercial television broadcast group, named Peter Chrisanthopoulos president and chief operating officer. Prior to joining Pappas Chrisanthopoulos was president of national broadcast & programming of MindShare.

CurtCo Robb Media LLC, owner of Robb Report magazine, has named James N. Dimonekas to the newly created position of vice president and associate publisher for the monthly luxury lifestyle publication. Dimonekas was most recently vice president and publisher of Playboy magazine.

Vodka Magazine, a new national urban living and cocktails magazine, has made Paula E. Wright senior account manager of the Western Region. Previously, Wright handled sales and partnership development for the Los Angeles Film Festival and the Independent Spirit Awards for IFP/West.

Real Estate

George Ramirez has been appointed senior vice president and division manager for Financial Title Co.’s new L.A. County residential division in Pasadena. Ramirez is also the author and presenter of the seminar series “Surviving the Comet.”

Equity Office Properties, a publicly held office building owner and manager, has promoted Brendan McCracken to managing director-leasing, Los Angeles for its Southern California region. McCracken joined EOP in 2000 and was most recently managing director, leasing for the Los Angeles & #173;Central portfolio.


Smart & Final Inc. has hired Etienne Snollaerts as president and chief operating officer. As a member of Casino Guichard-Perrachon’s (Groupe Casino) executive committee, Snollaerts has been responsible for overseeing Groupe Casino’s North American investments, including its 60 percent ownership interest in Smart & Final.


Hairmax International Corp., which operates a chain of family hair salons, has elected David Dadon to its board.


The Software Council of Southern California has appointed Leland D. Shaeffer executive director. Shaeffer is a former marketing and business development executive for software vendors.

Storactive Inc., a developer of data protection and storage software, has appointed Gilbert Wai chief operating officer. Wai was previously vice president of engineering at Virage.

Troika Networks, the Westlake Village-based network storage services firm, has named Doug Rainbolt president and chief executive.


Mail2World Inc., the Los Angeles-based global messaging and collaborations provider, has promoted William M. Gast from director to vice president of sales and marketing. Gast is a nine-year veteran of the telecommunications industry.


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Newsmakers entries must be mailed on company letterhead to:

Los Angeles Business Journal


5700 Wilshire Blvd., #170

Los Angeles 90036

Only appointments of corporate

officers and their equivalents who work in Los Angeles County will be considered. Announcements of award recipients, civic appointments or appointments of outside directors will not be considered.

Submissions are evaluated on the basis of company size and prominence of

position. Due to space limitations, only a portion of the Newsmakers briefs meeting these criteria is published.

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