Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, March 30, 2015

David Burrus has joined Turner Construction as Aviation Project Executive for the Southwest Business Unit. In this leadership role, his work will primarily focus on the LAX Midfield Satellite Concourse project. David has dedicated his career to building some of the most notable projects in transportation infrastructure including the LAX Tom Bradley International Terminal project and the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). He was recently named one of ENR’s annual Top 25 Newsmakers.

Congratulations to Michael R. Lawson who has been elected to New York Life’s Agents Advisory Council (AAC), a prominent group of 24 New York Life agents elected by its 12,000 peers to work with senior management to develop and implement ideas that will benefit families and businesses in their local communities.


Deborah Varon has joined international architecture and engineering firm LEO A DALY as Director of Business Development for the firm’s Los Angeles office. In this role, she will work with practice leaders to pursue new strategic opportunities in the education, aviation, healthcare, civic, hospitality, and science & technology markets.
Deborah brings over 15 years of experience in the A/E industry, and a proven record of driving growth, cultivating strategic alliances, and building successful client relationships.

Peyman Salehi has joined City National Bank as senior vice president and manager of the Beverly Hills private client services team. Salehi leads a team of more than two dozen professionals and is looking to expand his team. Salehi and his team provide customized credit, investment management, wealth planning and trust services to high-net-worth families, select nonprofits and professional services firms.


Paul Craig, chief administrative officer for USC Health and interim chief executive officer of USC Verdugo Hills Hospital, has accepted to chair the American Heart Association’s Los Angeles Heart Walk in 2016. The annual 5K walk engages the community in raising awareness and funds to fight heart disease and stroke, the nation’s leading killers. For information, visit www.heartwalkla.org.

Robert D. Counter, AIA, has joined international architecture and engineering firm LEO A DALY as Director of Healthcare for the firm’s Los Angeles office. He will serve as chief strategist and decision-maker for the firm’s growing healthcare-design practice, which was recently ranked 6th by Modern Healthcare. Robert brings over 30 years of experience as a healthcare-practice and team leader, with recent projects completed for Cedars-Sinai, Kaiser Permanente, VA and Olive View-UCLA Medical Center.


Miller Kaplan Arase LLP, one of the top 100 accounting firms in the US, proudly announced the promotions of 3 new partners:
Alexandra (Alex) Chernyak, CPA focuses primarily on employee benefit plans and labor organizations. She works on many of the firm’s more complex 401(k) plans and larger labor unions, as well as financial and regulatory needs of our clients.
Justine Grant Ruffalo, CPA serves businesses, estates, trusts and high net worth individuals in the entertainment industry, including the areas of music, film, television and licensing. She also has extensive experience in royalty and contract compliance, film and television tax credits, probate court and tour accounting.
Stephen M. Ozen, CPA specializes in the food and beverage, and manufacturing industries. His experience includes audit, tax and strategic planning. Stephen also deals with matters relating to setting up businesses in the United States and implementing internal control systems. MillerKaplan.com

Monday, March 23, 2015

Peverley Hukill, Ph.D., business consultant, has been named chairwoman of the Orthopaedic Institute for Children (OIC) Board of Trustees. OIC is a world leader in pediatric orthopaedic care, research and education, with locations in downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Westwood.


Teresa R. Tracy has joined Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP’s Los Angeles office as partner in its Labor and Employment practice. She assists employers to comply with federal and state employment laws, and represents them in wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, and class action cases, and union issues.

Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, a leading investment advisory firm for high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations, announced today the addition of Andrew Dunbar as its General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Andrew will provide legal advisory and compliance expertise for the firm.

Monday, March 16, 2015


John Baackes joins L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, as chief executive officer on March 23. Baackes, with over 30 years of health care experience, was previously president of Philadelphia-based AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans where he oversaw the Medicare Advantage business unit.

Congratulations to Nick Mosaquites as a newly appointed senior vice president at City National Bank. Nick serves as a senior private client advisor with City National Bank’s Private Client Services team. Based in the Beverly Hills office, he serves as a trusted advisor to high-net-worth individuals, providing financial planning and investment strategies to preserve, manage and transfer wealth.


Regent Properties proudly announces the appointment of Frank E Igo as Vice President of Land Development. In joining Regent, Frank bring more than 35 years of residential, commercial, hospitality and land development experience to the position. Frank has an extensive background working with many of the nation’s largest homebuilders and developers. Frank is a graduate of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts and the GM Training Program of the Hyatt Corporation.

NAI Capital has officially named Mr. Timothy P. Foutz as Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Foutz was an Executive Vice President with NAI Capital specializing in industrial and commercial marketing. As CEO, Mr. Foutz will oversee NAI Capital’s 14 SoCal offices with a workforce of over 300 in the greater L.A. basin and will be based in the San Fer-nando Valley headquarters.


Sutton, Pakfar & Courtney LLP welcomes new partner Andrew Shiner to its real estate department. Mr. Shiner was formerly a partner in the DLA Piper and Seyfarth Shaw law firms. He represents financial institutions, insurance companies, pension funds and private equity investors, in the purchase, sale, development, finance, joint venture, workout and restructuring of all types of real property.

Kevin Garrett joins CBIZ as business unit president of CBIZ Benefits & Insurance Services, Inc., for Southern California. Garrett has more than 25 years of experience in the employee benefits consulting and brokerage field. At CBIZ, Garrett will be responsible for driving revenue growth through his own benefits-consulting production and by leading benefits consultants and client services team members in the Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego offices of CBIZ’s Employee Benefits practice.

Maria A. Thieman, CFP®, CTFA has joined First Republic Trust Company as a Vice President and Senior Trust Officer located in our Century City office. Ms. Thieman comes to us with over 25 years of wealth management and trust experience, most recently as Manager of the Los Angeles Trust Department with Bank of the West’s Wealth Management Group. She can be contacted at mthieman@firstrepublic.com or (310) 407-1317.

Monday, March 9, 2015

CO Architects, a leading national architecture firm specializing in healthcare, education, and research facility design, strengthens its team by naming three new principals and one associate principal. Keeping with CO Architects’ successful business practice, all are promotions from within the firm. Fabian Kremkus, AIA, LEED GA, has been promoted to Design Principal and Jonathan Kanda, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, has been elevated to Principal. Jill Capanna, Assoc. AIA, Marketing Director, has been named the first non-architect Principal at CO Architects and Kevin McCausland, Assoc. AIA, has been promoted to Associate Principal.

Northern Trust is pleased to announce the addition of Kyle Neal as a Vice President, Senior Personal Trust Relationship Manager to our Wealth Advisory Services team in the Century City office. With 20 years of experience as an estate planner, Kyle will collaborate with clients, their advisors and wealth planning partners on estate planning, wealth transfer techniques and the administration of private and testamentary trusts.


Laura Jean Bracken has been promoted to the new position of President, COO at Palisades MediaGroup, an independent, full-service ad agency with offices in Santa Monica and San Francisco. “Over the past five years, Laura has played a central role in expanding our client roster from 80% film studios to a 50/50 split between entertainment and other industries,” said Roger Schaffner, CEO. “We look forward to the next phase of growth.”

Michael R. Morris is the new Managing Principal of Valensi Rose, PLC. Michael is a tax and entertainment attorney with more than 25 years at the firm. He previously spent five years as Managing Principal and the firm is looking forward to once again operating under his leadership and vision. Valensi Rose serves clients in a variety of practice areas including tax planning ; trust and estate planning; civil litigation; family law; debtor-creditor rights; corporate law ; and entertainment law.


Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck expanded its Litigation Department with the addition of transnational and entertainment litigator Lee Crawford Boyd as a shareholder in its Los Angeles office. Boyd’s experience in intellectual property, employment and entertainment litigation strengthens the firm’s existing practices while broadening the services it offers to its clients.

Los Angeles-based litigation law firm Bird Marella is proud to announce the elevation of Ariel A. Neuman to Principal. A former Assistant United States Attorney, Mr. Neuman joined the firm in 2014 and served as Of Counsel. He focuses on white collar criminal defense and complex civil litigation.


Los Angeles-based litigation law firm Bird Marella proudly welcomes Hernán D. Vera, who recently joined as Principal. Mr. Vera is the former President and CEO of Public Counsel, the nation’s largest pro bono law firm. He will focus his practice on complex civil litigation and class action defense.

Kaveh Amirdelfan, AIA, LEED-AP BD+C, has joined HGA Architects and Engineers as Associate Vice President and Principal in the firm’s Los Angeles office. With more than 20 years of industry expertise, Amirdelfan will collaborate on client relations and new business development for the firm’s arts, community and higher education practice groups.

Monday, March 2, 2015


Johnson Fain recognizes the following individuals for their considerable accomplishments, leadership and commitment to the progressive values of the firm. David Alpaugh was promoted to Principal; Kersu Dalal and Jed Donaldson, AIA, LEED AP were promoted to Associate Principal; and Steve Chung, LEED AP was promoted to Senior Associate. Johnson Fain, an architecture, urban design + planning and interior design firm is well-known for the design of a wide range of projects both locally and abroad.

BlackLine, the leading provider of finance controls and automation software, continues its investment in new executive talent with the hiring of Mark Partin as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Mr. Partin is a seasoned executive with extensive experience overseeing finance organizations for high-growth companies, most recently serving as CFO at Fiberlink Communications, which was sold to IBM. “Mark brings terrific skills to our finance and accounting team from his experience at several growing companies where he was instrumental in providing the finance vision, strategy and leadership to help the organizations get to the next level,” Therese Tucker, CEO, BlackLine, said. Former CFO Charles Best will remain with the company as Chief Accounting Officer.


Leading business and financial advisory firm Conway MacKenzie has announced the addition of experienced economic and litigation consultant Jim Bergman as Managing Director and head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation Group. Bergman has worked on many high-profile intellectual property cases and bankruptcies, including the Tribune and LA Dodgers proceedings.