Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, September 26, 2016

Acceleration Business City (ABC) has named international award-winning publicist and strategist Nicholas E. Adams to its board of directors. Adams, president of PR and ad agency NINICO Communications, brings media relations, strategic planning and marketing communications expertise to the ABC board and one of the world’s top 25 business accelerators.


Jan Berger joins international broker and risk management firm Integro Insurance Brokers as Los Angeles operations leader and head of the Southern California Entertainment practice. He was chief risk officer of Live Nation Entertainment, Inc. His experience also includes technology, engineering services, natural resources and food retailing sectors. Jan is a graduate of Hamilton College, Cornell University (M.S.), and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (MBA). www.integrogroup.com

HDR’s Los Angeles Architecture Studio Welcomes Susan Suhar
As an interior design director, Susan Suhar, IIDA, LEED AP, RID, is an accomplished design professional with 20 years of experience in healthcare and workplace interiors. Fueled by a passion for research and trends in design, she is excited by how people experience interior environments: “The integration of technology, new materials and concepts in functional efficiency while designing interiors—it’s all continually evolving at a rapid pace,” she says. Among her valuable skills is listening to her clients and delivering innovative design solutions for their projects. She approaches her role as both a design leader and mentor with a collaborative spirit and creative concepts. Susan is involved with the IIDA, and she volunteers for Designs for Dignity and City of Hope.

Monday, September 19, 2016

RBC Wealth Management-U.S., one of the nation’s largest full-service securities firms, named Michael Melton director of its Southern California complex. In his new role, Melton will oversee 10 branches and more than 80 financial advisors, working to strengthen the strategic partnership of RBC and City National Bank.

Immigration attorney Yesenia Acosta with The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth, a civil litigation firm, received the Building Bridges Congressional Leadership Award. Presented by Congresswoman Judy Chu of the 27th Congressional District, the award recognizes Ms. Acosta’s focus on strengthening collaboration between organizations and nonprofits in the San Gabriel Valley.


Simone Collins and Brien Kelley join Sklar Kirsh LLP. Collins is a corporate attorney who focuses her practice on mergers and acquisitions and private equity, representing public and private companies from a broad array of industries. Kelley is a real estate transactional attorney whose experience includes matters involving all primary real estate asset classes. Earlier this year, the firm added corporate Partner Scott Ehrlich and real estate Partner Owen Gross.

Monday, September 12, 2016

MATT Construction has promoted Hakim Khalil to SVP of Estimating after over 10 years with MATT. Hakim leads a staff dedicated to best-in-class preconstruction services. He is widely acknowledged across the A/E/C industry for his impeccable track record of recommending efficient building systems and producing stable GMP budgets.


MATT Construction has promoted Kathy Fairbanks to Vice President of Talent & Organizational Development. A strategic leader, Kathy is the force behind developing MATT Construction’s human capital. Prior to MATT, Kathy worked for over 20 years at Jacobs Engineering, a Fortune 500 company.

Kaufman Legal Group Elevates Stacey Shin and Joseph Guardarrama to Shareholder. Shin and Guardarrama are key to expanding the firm’s practice and solidifying the future of the firm, which offers a full spectrum of legal services connected to the political process at the federal, state and local levels. Their promotion reflects the firm’s total confidence in them as senior professionals working with and delivering tremendous value to the firm’s clients.


MATT Construction has promoted Dafna Zilafro to VP of Marketing. Since 2011, Dafna has codified MATT’s brand and developed the company’s digital marketing strategy. She is responsible for translating MATT’s operational experience into actionable commercial insights. Dafna has 20+ years of branding and communications experience in A/E/C and tech corporations.

MATT Construction has promoted Randal Wallace to Vice President. Randall has devoted his 38+ years in the industry to constructing life-enhancing structures. At MATT Construction, Randal oversees the company’s largest and most complex tech campus work. His masterful ability to bring diverse stakeholders together reflects his commitment to collaborative leadership.


Nancy Tseng has joined West Monroe Partners’ Los Angeles office to lead the Mergers & Acquisitions consulting practice in Southern California. Nancy brings extensive experience partnering with executives during large-scale transitions to set strategic vision, establish new businesses, and transform operations for profitable growth. www.westmonroepartners.com

Henderson Engineers is excited to announce the promotion of Mike Haramia, LEED AP BD+C, to West Coast Sports Practice Leader. Mike has been a prominent figure on Henderson’s sports team since 2004. While Mike is relocating to Los Angeles from Kansas City, he’s no stranger to Southern California – he’s the project manager for both the Los Angeles NFL Entertainment District and the Sacramento Kings Golden 1 Center. For more information, visit www.hei-eng.com.

van Dissel

MATT Construction has promoted Faron van Dissel to Vice President after over 11 years with the company. Since joining MATT, Faron has overseen some of its most complex, high-end, campus-based projects, including extensive work at Harvard-Westlake Middle School and a recent LEED Platinum-rated science facility at Pomona College.

Further strengthening its research enterprise, LA BioMed announced today the appointment of a new chief scientific officer to its leadership team, Joaquín (Quim) Madrenas, MD, PhD. Dr. Madrenas brings decades of experience as a researcher, physician, educator and administrator to one of the nation’s leading nonprofit independent research institutes.


Owen P. Gross joins Sklar Kirsh LLP’s Real Estate Group
Gross has over 20 years of complex, real estate transactional experience handling all types of properties for lenders, borrowers, buyers, sellers, developer partners, equity partners, government agencies, tenants and landlords.

Loyola Marymount University President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D., announced the creation of a new Marketing and Communications unit and appointed John Kiralla as its vice president Sept. 1.
Kiralla, an LMU alumnus, has worked in marketing, digital strategy and communications for 20 years. He served as the executive director for marketing and communications for the past year and prior to that was executive director of digital, new media and design at LMU. Under Kiralla’s leadership, he and his teams have been recognized by the Webbys, CASE, W3, AMA, SPD, UCDA, Graphis and other international awarding bodies for their work on websites, publications and mobile apps. Kiralla has also consulted and worked for Apple, Collegis Eduprise, and Sungard Education.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Stefano Vranca, CFE, FCPA, CICA, has joined Marcum LLP as Advisory principal-in-charge in the California Region. A member of the Firm’s national Forensics Practice group, he will be based in Los Angeles and will also spend time in the Irvine office. Mr. Vranca specializes in fraud investigations, forensic accounting, intellectual property valuation, royalties and participations audits, and lost profits and commercial damage analysis.

University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business professor and entrepreneur Christopher J. Harrer is the new Chair of Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services’ Board of Directors; East West Bank Lead Director Rudolph I. Estrada is the new Executive Vice Chair. Dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental illness, Didi Hirsch provides mental health, substance use and suicide prevention services to more than 90,000 children and adults each year. Its Suicide Prevention Center, the nation’s first, helps people who have attempted, thought about or lost loved ones to suicide.


Adam Yorkshire joins MGO CPAs & Advisors. Yorkshire, who has a focus on issues pertaining to music clientele, concert touring, merchandising and royalties, will lead a team of Music and Entertainment-industry professionals who offer clients tax, assurance, advisory, and business management services.

CO Architects has promoted Jennifer Knudsen, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, to Principal. Jennifer’s design and management expertise in digital design and collaboration has contributed to several innovative, large-scale institutional projects. Other promotions include Jennifer Swedell, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, and Raymond Yang, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, to Associate Principal. www.coarchitects.com

Monday, August 29, 2016


Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP Expands its Real Estate Practice.
Beverly Hills-based law firm Ervin Cohen & Jessup bolsters its real estate capabilities with the addition of Albert Valencia and Elizabeth Dryden. The firm represents clients in the negotiation of purchase and sale agreements, forming joint ventures and syndications, structured finance and asset management across all asset classes.

International design firm, Selbert Perkins Design, is pleased to announce the promotion of Cheri Devlin to Principal. During her 22 years in the industry, Cheri has led design projects worldwide. Cheri is currently leading signage and wayfinding projects for Wilshire Grand, Union Station and the cities of Santa Monica and West Hollywood.


SRR Welcomes Michael Krakovsky
Michael Krakovsky has joined SRR in Los Angeles as Managing Director and Head of the Special Situations Practice in the Investment Banking Group. Mr. Krakovsky brings more than two decades of experience advising middle market debtors and creditors on a wide range of special situations including numerous in-court and out-of-court restructuring transactions. A veteran of Houlihan Lokey Inc., Mr. Krakovsky has worked with distressed companies across a variety of industries as both an investment banker and principal investor. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.

Diemlan “Lannie” Tonnu has been appointed Chief Financial Officer for Orthopaedic Institute for Children. For the past 25 years, Tonnu was senior VP and CFO at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. OIC is focused solely on musculoskeletal conditions in children and receives 60,000 patient visits each year. ortho-institute.org.


SRR Welcomes Keith Sipes
Keith Sipes has joined SRR in Los Angeles as Managing Director and Head of the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice in the Investment Banking Group. A veteran of CRT Capital Group, Mr. Sipes’ experience spans a wide range of TMT sectors including broadcasting, cable, digital media & internet, ecommerce, entertainment, information services, media technology, and video gaming. Mr. Sipes provides strategic advisory and corporate financial services, including mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, and equity and debt financing for both public and private companies. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Carsten Hoffmann joins SRR
Carsten Hoffmann, a highly regarded valuation expert and former partner at FMV Opinions, has been appointed as co-head and Managing Director of the Trust & Estate Valuation Services practice at Stout Risius Ross, Inc. (SRR). Mr. Hoffmann has more than two decades of valuation expertise and is a recognized expert on a broad range of complex valuation issues related to estate and gift tax, income tax, litigation support and dispute resolution – including the quantification of discounts for lack of control and lack of marketability pertaining to business and real property interests. For more information, visit www.SRR.com.


HDR Welcomes Kevin Spady to the Firm
As a vice president and healthcare principal in the Los Angeles architecture studio, Kevin is responsible for expanding HDR’s healthcare practice in Southern California. Kevin’s eclectic portfolio includes healthcare, science and technology, and higher education projects, as well as laboratory planning and programming. While he enjoys participating in organizations such as the AIA and DBIA, Kevin is most proud of the leadership roles he has had throughout his 39-year career, especially when he has been able to mentor staff and help with staff development. “I work hard to make sure that our teams are performing at their highest levels, developing their best skills, and applying themselves for successful outcomes,” he says.

Deborah Wylie, AIA joins Harley Ellis Devereaux (HED) as Higher Education Studio Leader where she will collaborate on all aspects of the LA office’s studio. A leader in higher education capital programs, her unique expertise includes new campus planning, design and construction; project and operations management; and disaster recovery.


1st Century Bank welcomes George Sacco as a Regional Manager and Senior Vice President. George will lead and grow the bank’s Beverly Hills Team and Operations. George has extensive experience in Middle Market Banking, Private Banking, and in the Payments Industry. Recently, George received his Executive M.B.A. from Pepperdine’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, with a focus in Strategic Management. Aside from Banking, he is deeply devoted to the L.A. Community through his two Advisory Board positions, one with Orthopaedic Institute for Children and one with Inner-City Arts.

Tripp Mahan assumes the role of Vice President of Global Festivals & Production at Beautycon Media. One of his first accomplishments was securing a Los Angeles venue to allow for an audience of 15K. Tripp will also be working to expand festivals into more US and European cities.


Lorna Mouton Riff, CPA, CFF has joined CBIZ MHM, LLC & Mayer Hoffman McCann, an independent CPA firm as director of Forensic and Financial Services. Together, CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. are ranked as the 10th largest accounting provider in the country. Lorna’s expertise is in family law for high net worth individuals and brings over thirty years of experience with her.

Environmental Contracting Corporation is pleased to announce that Kristen Mays has joined as Business Development Manager, replacing Hilary Lukenbaugh who is retiring. She will direct marketing and business development efforts for the premier tenant improvement contractor. Kristen brings over 10 years A/E/C marketing and business development experience to her position. ECC was established over 30 years ago with the mission of making a difference through leadership and innovative ideas. www.eccla.com


Joey M. Behrstock has rejoined Parq Advisors Life Insurance and Estate Planning, a division of HUB International, as a life insurance specialist serving individuals, business owners and ultra-affluent families. A former CPA, Joey is on the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Board of Governors and the Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters Los Angeles Board of Directors as well.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Steve Smith has been promoted to Executive Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie. He helms the LA office, responsible for its growth and prominence while overseeing landmarks like California Plaza and Columbia Square. Recently he received the Special ACE Spotlight Award for mentoring high school students in Architecture, Construction and Engineering.


Rashmi Mehta, promoted to Senior Vice President at Hathaway Dinwiddie, specializes in design-build that requires intense pre-construction planning and management. During 12 years with HD, he has directed many large UC Irvine projects including Sue & Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center and Paul Merage School of Business Unit 2.

Southern California General Contractor, Snyder Langston, has hired Scott Feest, a 30-year professional in the building industry, as Project Executive to grow its Los Angeles market portfolio. A well-respected construction industry veteran, Scott cited the firm’s culture and quality of work as leading reasons for the move.


Rick Cridland, named Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie, is a project director for large complicated developments like the 1.2 million square foot USC Village, the 600,000 square foot Capital Group Orange County Campus and the 820,000 square foot Cedars-Sinai Advanced Health Sciences Pavilion. He has 30 years with the company.

Michael Rodgers, CPA, MBT, has been named a tax principal of Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Rodgers works primarily out of the firm’s Ontario office. He earned a B.S. in accounting from Loyola Marymount University and a Masters of Taxation from U.S.C. Lucas Horsfall is one of the largest accounting firms in Southern California.


Seth Mitchell secured more than $2 million in settlements and judgments in personal injury cases during his first year at The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth, a civil litigation firm. Mitchell also provided critical assistance in the firm’s procurement of more than $15 million on various injury cases for clients.

John Cowles IV has been named Senior Vice President of Hathaway Dinwiddie. Among the construction industry’s most respected preconstruction managers, he teaches at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering. In 26 years at Hathaway Dinwiddie, he has been responsible for shaping the skyline of Irvine, building the city’s tallest high rises.


Arthur Kozinski, a three-decade veteran at Hathaway Dinwiddie, has been promoted to Senior Vice President. He is recognized for delivering challenging projects on time and on budget including Getty Center, Campus at Playa Vista, USC Village and 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City.

Veteran construction industry executive Randy Grosskopf has joined Wilshire Construction as COO. Grosskopf has three decades of experience in commercial real estate, institutional and heavy industrial construction projects for both public and private sector clients. Wilshire is a full-service builder offering preconstruction consulting, general contracting, and construction management services. www.wilshireconstructionlp.com

Aaron Marx joined HNTB Corporation as project manager, Positive Train Control systems and serves as a technical resource for the firm working with public- and private-sector clients across the U.S. With more than 15 years of experience providing design, PTC and signaling solutions, he has worked on national high-profile projects and brings a background in managing qualification and system integration testing; directing defect diagnosis, resolution and closeout; overseeing overall system performance; and grade crossing design.
Marx’s experience includes projects with many rail transit agencies and freight railroads including: Eagle P3/RTD in Denver, Genesee & Wyoming short-line railroad, BNSF Railway Company and Union Pacific Railroad.
In California, HNTB is currently involved in some of the most high-profile transit programs, including the Los Angeles Metro Crenshaw/LAX Transit Corridor and the Bay Area Rapid Transit Warm Springs Extension in San Francisco.

Monday, August 8, 2016

SulmeyerKupetz, a premier business, financial restructuring and litigation firm, has announced that David Goodrich has been named as Member. Mr. Goodrich has extensive experience representing trustees, financial companies, distressed businesses, creditors, and commercial litigants in bankruptcy law, finance and lender law, and more. Contact Mr. Goodrich at DGoodrich@sulmeyerlaw.com or (213) 626-2311.


Mark Hagander, CPA, has been named an audit principal of Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Hagander, a University of Redlands graduate, parlayed his college baseball experience into coaching baseball in Germany. He is a Burbank resident. Lucas Horsfall, with Pasadena and Ontario offices, has a special emphasis in the manufacturing, construction and insurance brokerage fields.

Valley Community Healthcare welcomed new board members Richard A. Gatti, MD, a renowned molecular biologist at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, Melissa Fulmer, Managing Director, ETONIEN executive recruitment firm, and Mark J. Phillips, JD, a partner with the Law Offices of Goldfarb, Sturman and Averbach, Encino.
Says Board Chair, Marilyn Amis, MD Kaiser Permanente Medical Group, “These 3 incredible people are the beginning of a Board revitalization that will fully support our wonderful mission and take us into the future.”

Monday, August 1, 2016


Melanie S. Joo joins The Scali Law Firm. Melanie, who joins the firm as a Partner, represents automotive industry companies on a variety of federal and multi-state regulatory matters. She frequently serves as outside general counsel for national automotive dealerships, leading all work on compliance, transactions, advertising, and government investigations.

Katja Schaper, CPA, has been named an audit principal at Lucas Horsfall Accountants and Advisors, said Mike Amerio, managing partner. Fluent in English and German, Schaper earned a B.B.A. from Grand Canyon University in accounting after studies in economics in Germany. She joined the firm in 2008. Lucas Horsfall is a 55-person, 85-year-old firm with offices in Pasadena and Ontario.


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

Roger Yang has joined KPMG as an Audit partner, and will be aligned with the Building, Construction & Real Estate practice. In addition, Yang will assume the role of Pacific Southwest Building, Engineering & Construction Leader. Yang has more than 24 years of experience working with global FORTUNE 500 companies, specifically with companies in the engineering, construction, homebuilding and real estate sectors. www.kpmg.com/us

Van den Bosch

Customer experience Santa Monica-based agency RED Interactive Agency has promoted Derek van den Bosch to COO, and hired Taro Ramberg to VP, Client Services. Van den Bosch has helped to strengthen strategic and delivery capabilities.

Ramberg brings 19+ years of experience dedicated to digital thought leadership and driving client engagement.