Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, November 23, 2015

The LA84 Foundation, the leading funder of youth sports programs in Southern California, has named Renata Simril as its next president and chief executive officer. A seasoned executive, Ms. Simril brings more than two decades of leadership experience in government, professional sports, management, and civic engagement, most recently serving as an executive at the LA Times and the Dodgers. A native Angeleno, Ms. Simril possesses deep ties to the City. She will assume the leadership role on January 4, 2016.

AvatarLabs, the Encino-based, full-service digital creative agency, is proud to announce a slate of leadership team promotions. Five key team members have been promoted from within to continue building on the company’s highly successful and award-winning legacy including, Anette Hughes to VP, Creative Director; Henrik Markarian to VP, Technology; Michelle Naden to VP, Marketing and Partnerships; Laura Primack to VP, Culture & Creative Services; and Jason Steinberg to VP, Client Services. www.avatarlabs.com

Monday, November 16, 2015

Barlow Respiratory Hospital in Los Angeles, California, has a new CEO.
Amit Mohan, FACHE, FACMPE, was identified through a nationwide search and is an experienced leader with eighteen years of clinical and leadership expertise in healthcare.
“Amit brings a proven track record in healthcare leadership with a deep understanding of post-acute services and multi-site operations. His dedicated focus on creating value by building strong physician and team member relationships, building an environment for high quality patient care and continuous process improvement will greatly benefit our hospital as well as the community,” said Michael Berger, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Barlow Respiratory Hospital. “The Board looks forward to working with Amit as he leads our hospital through this rapidly changing healthcare environment.”


Citizens Business Bank is proud to announce the promotion of Ted Dondanville to Executive Vice President, Senior Lender. Mr. Dondanville joined Citizens Business Bank in 1998 as a Vice President and has served in a variety of management positions with the bank including Business Financial Center Manager, Regional Manager, Commercial Banking Group Manager and Senior Lender.

Joseph Serruya promoted to Principal, Ian Denny joins as Chief Financial Officer
P+R Architects, a full-service international architecture firm, is pleased to announce the promotion of a dedicated individual, Joseph Serruya and the appointment of a new CFO, Ian Denny. Joseph has contributed over 15 years of service to P+R, leading a number of significant projects, and establishing viable workplace culture. It is with pride that we recognize him for his loyal service to the company. Most recently serving at Deltek as the Director of Data Services, Ian will focus on creating efficiency, leveraging technology to create transparency and providing inspired leadership to teams in the front office and the back office.


Kamus + Keller Interiors | Architecture, a leading commercial design firm, is proud to announce the promotion of Kristen Mays to Client Engagement. An MBA with over 10 years’ experience and a passion for the AEC industry, Kristen’s focus will be on business development and strengthening client relationships within the DTLA area, extending throughout KKIA’s Southern California territories. www.kkaia.com

Yulia Terentyeva joins Sklar Kirsh LLP’s Corporate and Real Estate Groups. Prior to joining the firm, Terentyeva worked at a mid-size business law firm in Moscow, where she practiced transactional corporate law and business litigation. She completed a J.D. equivalent program at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) and later attended Los Angeles’ Loyola Law School, completing the LL.M. program.


Kargo announced the addition of 15-year digital veteran Chris Pinel to lead and expand West Coast operations and sales. Mr. Pinel has held key roles at agencies such as Carat, Crispin Porter + Bogusky and OMD, overseeing multi-million dollar digital partnerships of notable brands such as Burger King, Kia, Hyundai, Nissan, and Visa. This rich digital foundation has enabled Chris to excel as a senior sales leader with disruptive technology companies like Amazon and most recently Pandora. www.kargo.com

Monday, November 9, 2015

RSM US LLP’s Los Angeles office is pleased to announce the promotion of Craig Wickwire to partner in the firm’s tax practice. Craig oversees and co-leads the tax services provided to private equity groups and their portfolio companies in Southern California. He has extensive tax consulting and compliance experience serving various alternative investment funds, their related management companies and managing directors. Craig has 14 years of experience and has been with the firm since 2004. www.rsmus.com.


Christina K. Degerman joins Sklar Kirsh LLP’s Real Estate Group. Degerman handles acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, syndications, equity investments, secured financings, and debt workouts and restructurings for all real estate asset classes. She also advises clients on related corporate matters. Prior to her legal practice, Degerman was a business consultant for the global advisory firm KPMG.

C. Quincy Ewell joins Sklar Kirsh LLP’s Corporate Group. Quincy represents public, private and early-stage companies. He regularly advises business owners, executives and investors on a range of corporate and business matters, spanning from entity formation and mid-market mergers and acquisitions to joint ventures and general business counseling. Quincy relocated from Washington D.C. to join Sklar Kirsh.


Jay Rey-Hipolito joins real estate company MWest Holdings as their new Director of Property Management. Equipped with an abundance of industry experience, Jay will help lead the company’s national expansion and initiatives to expand its portfolio of classic, core-plus and value-add properties that showcase fine or historic architecture.

Nixon Peabody’s national health care practice has been named “Law Firm of the Year in Health Care Law” by U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News/Best Lawyers selected Nixon Peabody as the top health care law firm in its 2016 survey. Only one U.S. law firm achieves this top distinction each year. In addition to the firm’s national practice recognition, Best Lawyers also awarded partner Jill Gordon the only 2016 Health Care Law “Lawyer of the Year” recognition in Los Angeles.

Viktor Bullain has been promoted to Regional Lean Manager of Turner Construction Company’s Southwest division. Viktor brings more than 17 years of experience in the construction industry to his new role, wherein he will manage the implementation of Lean practices on jobsites throughout the Southwest. Viktor has been an invaluable part of Turner’s team for five years, leading the execution of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC) techniques on major projects throughout Los Angeles.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Barlow Respiratory Hospital announces two new board members on their Group (governing) Board. Earl E. Gales, Jr. Principal-in-Charge of Jenkins/Gales & Martinez, Inc and Daniel Weinstein, Managing Partner of College Town International assumed their posts at the annual meeting of the Board of Directors in September 2015. They take on leadership responsibilities including financial oversight and management of the organization. The Group Board of Directors is made up of distinguished leaders who also serve on the Board of Directors of Barlow Respiratory Hospital, Barlow Respiratory Research Center or Barlow Foundation.

Torrey Pines Bank has announced it has hired Lisa Alberti as Vice President, Real Estate Loan Office in the downtown L.A. office and Dennis Trazo as Vice President, Senior Loan Officer at the Beverly Hills location. Both have extensive business banking experience and will be responsible for the company’s growth in the L.A. market by providing a wide a range of customized treasury management, lines of credit and lending solutions to help local owners with their specific financial needs.


Roger Sherman, AIA, has joined Gensler as Senior Project Director of Planning & Urban Design where he will serve as a thought and design leader for Gensler’s Southwest region. Sherman brings an ideas-driven, scenario-based approach to solving new problems in urban development.

RSM US LLP’s Los Angeles office is pleased to announce the promotion of Nick Avakian to partner in the firm’s tax practice. Nick is also the leader of the firm’s West region federal tax credits, incentives and methods practice. He serves both public and private companies, as well private-equity owned and venture-capital funded organizations. Industries covered include apparel, aerospace and defense, architecture and engineering, food and beverage, software and pharmaceutical. Nick has been with RSM since 2005. www.rsmus.com.

Monday, October 26, 2015


James W. Salin has joined Community Bank as First Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager. Community Bank serves the business community providing a full range of cash management and lending products with particular emphasis in providing a personal relationship for clients and excellent customer service. With more than 35 years of experience, he brings a broad range of lending and operational experience to his clientele. Salin is based in the Burbank office of Community Bank.

Jon Meeks has joined Grandpoint Bank as Vice President and Relationship Manager in the Bank’s Farmers Market office. An accomplished Southern California commercial banker, Meeks will be building and expanding client relationships and providing a broad range of commercial banking services. Grandpoint operates six banking offices in Los Angeles and Orange counties.


Boston Private, a leading provider of fully integrated wealth management, trust and private banking services, announces the addition of Adam Bakhash and Iram Parvez to its Beverly Hills office. Both Bakhash and Parvez join Boston Private as vice presidents on the private banking and specialty lending team.
This comes on the heels of Boston Private’s announcement of its new Beverly Hills office opening in August, the firm’s 34th location nationally and its first on the West Coast to offer fully integrated wealth management services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Boston Private Wealth LLC.

Monday, October 19, 2015

McKissack & McKissack expands leadership team, hires Khary Knowles to Lead Operations in California and the West as Director of Operations to oversee the day-to-day west coast operations, including managing and administering all work related to design and construction management. Knowles brings a breadth and depth of expertise in architecture and construction management with a specialized focus on educational institutions providing programming, financing and advocacy expertise.


McKissack & McKissack expands leadership team for West Coast Operations and continues to grow its West Coast Operations with the addition of Jacob Tsui as Los Angeles Area Manager. Tsui brings over 20 years of experience in Design, Program and Construction Management with a strong emphasis on Higher Education, K-12, and Renewable Energy Sustainable Measures.

Shawmut Design and Construction, a $1.2 billion national construction management firm, hired Christopher Hennessy as Director of Business Development in its Los Angeles office. With a decade of hospitality industry experience, he will work closely with Shawmut’s executives to grow the firm’s already impressive hospitality portfolio in Los Angeles and serve clients throughout the region. Most recently, Hennessy served as Director of Key Account Sales for Regal Wine Company, the largest wine distributor in the California.

Monday, October 12, 2015


Mrunal Patel has been named a partner in the Los Angeles office of accounting and business consulting firm Moss Adams. Patel has practiced public accounting since 2000 and specializes in tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, IRS examinations and accounting methods for clients in manufacturing, consumer products and distribution.

Washburn Bradley
Tracy Washburn Bradley has joined Fortis Advisors, a leading professional shareholder representative firm that manages the post-closing process on behalf of selling shareholders in private M&A transactions. Fortis has been engaged by the country’s leading venture and PE funds in hundreds of deals involving billions of dollars in value.
Based in Fortis’ Los Angeles office, she assumes the role of Senior Director and is responsible for business development and overseeing client relationships within law firms, corporations, venture capital firms, private equity firms, and intermediaries.
Prior to joining Fortis, Tracy was a senior technical sales specialist within the Escrow Services team at JP Morgan Chase, where she led the business development initiative across the Western US focused on sourcing escrow and paying agent services within mergers & acquisitions, private equity, restructuring, and litigation related matters.


Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., whose career in higher education spans more than two decades as a professor, scholar, dean and vice president, was installed as the 16th president of Loyola Marymount University on Tuesday, Oct. 6, before a crowd of 2,000.
The inauguration celebration was attended by students, faculty, university leaders and local dignitaries, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a keynote speaker. Snyder discussed the university’s place in a changing society. “As we contemplate our wildly changing world, as we address that world today, and as our global imagination illuminates pathways into our future, we must accept change, embrace change, imagine, then inspire change,” he said. Snyder, who succeeds President David W. Burcham, is the former Vice President for Academic Affairs at Loyola University Maryland.
He was also Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University and Dean of Science at Georgetown University, where he began his academic career.

Leading Venture Capital Attorneys Frank Grant and Ryan Azlein Join Stradling
The duo adds tremendous bench strength to Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth’s expanding Santa Monica team
Santa Monica, California – Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth, P.C. (“Stradling”) announced today that venture capital attorneys, Frank Grant, and Ryan Azlein, join the Firm as shareholders and will lead the expansion of its Venture Capital, Start-Ups and Emerging Companies practice groups. They will be based out of Stradling’s Santa Monica office.
Prior to joining Stradling, Mr. Grant spent 10 years in Silicon Valley and 8 years in the LA market, most recently as Senior Counsel at Perkins Coie, where he advised early stage companies, entrepreneurs and investors. He’s also held corporate development and senior counsel positions at Nortel Networks and Kennedy Commercial.
Mr. Grant brings both legal and business acumen to his client’s issues, having earned his JD and MBA from Stanford University. He’s earned his sterling reputation in the west coast business community by providing strategic growth solutions to complex problems in high volatility markets. He assists start-up companies in raising capital from angel investors and venture capital firms while delivering exclusive relationships and solutions for his investor and emerging growth clients. He provides expert counsel for a variety of fast-moving industry sectors, including blockchain technologies (Bitcoin and other digital currencies), entertainment technology and digital media.
Mr. Azlein has practiced in the LA market for over 15 years, most recently as Partner with Stubbs Alderton & Markiles and director of its Preccelerator Program. An active advisor to the Southern California emerging company and venture capital community, he is a regular speaker on venture capital and entrepreneurship. Mr. Azlein will also spend time in Stradling’s Santa Barbara office.
A native of California, Mr. Azlein earned his undergraduate degree with honors from University of San Diego and his JD from University of California at Berkeley. He serves as outside general counsel to several venture-backed and early stage growth companies in the mobile, software, digital media, Internet, medical device and technology industries. He’s also served as lead counsel in several notable public and private company transactions and M&A deals, and advises top-tier venture capital, angel investors and family offices in completing hundreds of millions of dollars in venture and private equity transactions.
“We are very pleased to have both Ryan and Frank join Stradling in Santa Monica and help continue the extraordinary growth trajectory we have experienced across all practice areas since opening this office in the fall of 2011. They are both highly respected in the growing venture capital and emerging company community of Southern California, and will provide the cornerstones upon which we will continue to expand the practice group,” adds David Smith, Managing Shareholder of Stradling’s Santa Monica office and member of the Firm’s Executive Committee.
As one of the west coast’s leading business law firms with more than 125 attorneys practicing in 9 offices including Santa Monica, Newport Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Reno, Denver and Sacramento, Mr. Azlein and Mr. Grant’s venture capital practices are natural complements to the Stradling platform.
The Firm’s clients include emerging and high growth public and private companies as well as private equity funds and venture capital groups and their respective portfolio companies. Widely recognized for its expertise, responsiveness and outstanding client service, Stradling’s size, structure, and culture allow it to provide the highest quality representation while maintaining the responsiveness and relationships commonly associated with smaller firms.

Monday, October 5, 2015

UniHealth Foundation has elected Bradley C. Call as its Chairman and CEO. He succeeds David R. Carpenter, who led the establishment of the Foundation in 1998 and who will remain a board member and Chairman Emeritus.
UniHealth Foundation is an independent, private health care Foundation and a leader in healthcare philanthropy. It provides support to hospitals and nonprofit healthcare organizations including partner hospitals, community clinics, respite care providers, social service agencies and supportive housing providers.
Mr. Call has been involved with the Foundation since its inception, most recently as Vice Chairman.

CPA Firm NSBN LLP Ranked #7 of The Best Places to Work in Los Angeles, According to the Los Angeles Business Journal
NSBN LLP, CPAs and Business Consultants in Beverly Hills, was ranked #7 of The Best Places to Work in LA for 2015 by the Los Angeles Business Journal, in the medium-sized company category. NSBN is a full service firm with 20 partners and 85 staff, and rated among the Top 200 CPA Firms nationwide, the Best Firms to Work For nationwide, the Top 10 Best Firms Nationwide for Equality Leadership for Women and the Top 25 CPA Firms in LA County.
“Our employees are our strongest asset,” said Ken Miles, CPA, Managing Partner. “We’ve established a fun environment where everyone loves to come to work, and it is because of all the wonderful staff at NSBN that we received this prestigious award again this year.”

CalCPA Los Angeles Chapter Named NSBN Partner Tayiika Dennis as President
Tayiika M. Dennis, CPA, of NSBN LLP, Beverly Hills, was elected president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA) for 2015 – 16.
Tayiika Dennis is a Partner at NSBN, a full service CPA firm, and provides audit and tax services to nonprofit organizations. She was given the 2014 Women to Watch Award from CalCPA.


Erler & Kalinowski, Inc. welcomes Dr. Andrew Sheldon to our team. Dr. Sheldon is a senior project manager and supervising environmental engineer specializing in hazardous substance site mitigation, human health risk assessment, and water/wastewater engineering. Prior to joining EKI, he served as the Environmental Programs Manager at City of Malibu and was an environmental consultant for URS. He is based in EKI’s newly relocated Southern California office, 12424 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 740, Los Angeles.