Los Angeles Business Journal

Monday, August 25, 2014

H. Jacob Lager has joined the law firm Freeman Freeman & Smiley LLP’s Los Angeles office as partner in its Business Transactions and Tax; Tax Planning, Advice and Controversy, and Estate Planning practices. Lager’s practice is concentrated in domestic tax, international taxation, and trust and estate matters.

Shuster Financial Group, LLC, a leading provider of Financial Services, has named Teri Hutchison as Executive Director, Retirement Services of their Pasadena headquarters. Teri brings over 20 years’ experience in the Retirement Planning industry specializing in public, private and tax exempt consulting services. Teri has held similar positions at TIAA CREF, Pensionmark Retirement Group, Gallagher Benefit Services and MassMutual Financial Services.


Duane King has joined Grandpoint Bank as Senior Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager in the Bank’s Brentwood office. An accomplished Southern California commercial banker, King will be developing new client relationships and providing a broad range of commercial banking services. Grandpoint operates seven banking offices in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Eric Grodan, a veteran in wealth transfer and foundation planning, has joined Abbot Downing as relationship manager. Grodan will work with a team of Abbot Downing professionals in Los Angeles and the Western Region who provide planning and family dynamics services, asset management, private banking, and trust, fiduciary and administrative services to individuals, families, foundations and endowments. Abbot Downing, with $37.9 billion in client assets and a 40-year history of serving ultra-high-net-worth clients, is a Wells Fargo business.


Shahram Vahdat, PE, joined HNTB Corporation as group transportation director and vice president as the firm expands its transportation infrastructure and construction management practice. Vahdat will lead highway planning and design projects in California using his expertise in roadway and interchange design and arterial access improvements. With more than 30 years’ experience serving the infrastructure construction industry, Vahdat has provided leadership for numerous infrastructure projects in Pasadena, Irwindale, Vernon and Los Angeles. He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Construction Management Association of America.

Two veteran public affairs and public relations professionals, Tracey Chavira and Dan Loeterman, are joining the industry leading Cerrell Associates team as public affairs managers. Chavira, who brings more than 17 years of government and political experience, joins the firm’s local government practice. Loeterman, who has worked for numerous elected officials in a variety of capacities, is a part of the firm’s media relations, crisis communications and campaigns practice. Cerrell is one of the country’s leading independent public affairs and public relations firms.


LA MARATHON LLC has named nationally renowned sports executive Mark Scoggins as Vice President of Business Development, a new position reporting to Chief Executive Tracey Russell. Scoggins has held executive positions with the Los Angeles Lakers, the National Basketball Retired Players Association and with Magic Johnson Enterprises. “Mark’s extensive experience with industry leading sports properties will prove to be invaluable as we enter a phase of expansion and growth” said Tracey Russell.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ryan McDaniel recently joined Vistamar School in El Segundo as the Director of Development. With a lifetime of experience in independent schools on the east coast and a B.A. in Public Relations from Hofstra University, he served in the same role for the past four years at The Wesley School in North Hollywood, after having spent three years as the Director of Admissions at Chatsworth Hills Academy.

AC Martin announces new leadership changes. Robert ‘Bob’ Newsom, FAIA has joined the firm as President, bringing over 40 years of experience and leadership to the firm. He has been involved with an extensive body of work, spanning several markets and building types across the nation. As President, Bob Newsom will be responsible for leading the firm in major projects, pursuing new business opportunities, interfacing with current and future clients, and representing AC Martin in the greater community. Ken Lewis, AIA, LEED AP will now serve as Chief Operating Officer for the firm, and will be responsible for managing the firm’s operations and resources. He will continue to serve as the AC Martin’s Sustainability Leader, providing guidance on all projects, and overseeing sustainable practices in the firm’s business operations.


Jean Lee has been promoted to Principal within RBZ’s Business Management department. Lee has 21 years of experience providing business management and accounting services to the entertainment industry, high-net-worth individuals, and company executives. Lee’s expertise is focused on assisting clients with the long-term preservation and growth of their net worth through day-to-day financial and business management services.

HNTB Corporation tapped David Tiberi, PE, PMP, CCM, as regional construction leader and vice president for its expanding West Division transportation infrastructure practice. He will oversee the construction of public works and infrastructure projects and maintain strong relationships with the California Department of Transportation, the L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, San Bernardino Associated Governments, and the Orange County Transportation Authority. Tiberi has nearly three decades of industry experience providing planning, engineering, construction and program management for California infrastructure projects.


Howard Reback, a veteran within the office facilities and real estate industry has formed Reback Realty Services. His new company provides real estate brokerage and consulting services to select clients as he will continue to represent tenants in the leasing and purchase of office space as well as buyers of investment properties. Howard is currently active within professional and non-profit organizations which include membership chair of CCIM LA Chapter and board of directors of Step Up On Second.

1st Century Bank N.A., a premium service business bank focused on the needs of entrepreneurs, businesses and professionals in the West Los Angeles community, warmly welcomes Neil McTiernan as Vice President, Relationship Manager. Neil brings in to the company over 10 years of banking expertise and successful track record, previously serving as Manufacturer’s Bank’s Business Development Officer. In his new position at 1st Century Bank, Neil, a native of the West Side, will be focused on catering to the commercial banking needs of middle-market companies, and developing creative banking solutions for high net worth individuals.

Monday, August 11, 2014


Peter Nyquist joins Greenberg Glusker as a Partner in its Environmental Group. Nyquist represents clients in matters involving state and federal Superfund; investigation, remedial or corrective action requirements at contaminated sites; and litigation of cost recovery, toxic tort and citizen suits. He serves as the 2014-2015 Chair of the L.A. County Bar Association’s Environmental Section. Nyquist and Greenberg Glusker’s team of environmental attorneys are recognized as leading environmental lawyers by Chambers USA.

Wolcott Architecture Interiors has appointed Jennifer Mathews Eshenbaugh as the new Director of Operations, Administration and Human Resources. Jen has a BA from UC Irvine and career experience in for and non-profit. She brings to Wolcott expertise in management, operations, human resources and strategic planning.


Harley Ellis Devereaux welcomes David Chung as Healthcare Design Studio Leader for its Los Angeles office. Chung brings 20 years of experience within the design and construction industry, with a focus on medical care facilities under OSHPD jurisdiction. Chung’s extensive experience includes hospitals, medical towers, health clinics, and imaging centers.

Sergio Salas has been promoted to Principal in RBZ’s growing tax practice. Salas began his career at RBZ in 2005. He has 15 years of tax and consulting experience specializing in corporate, individual, and partnership taxation. Salas’ industry expertise includes working within the real estate and high-net-worth marketplace.

CIRE Commercial Real Estate Inc., Broker, Eric Friedland, has opened a new office in Woodland Hills, CA. CIRE specializes in assisting Retailers, Schools, Service businesses, Car Dealerships and any others in need of Commercial Space in the all of the trade areas of Northern and Southern California. CIRE also represents Landlords in procuring new Tenants as well as consulting services regarding lease/landlord/tenant issues. Eric Friedland has been in the business over 20 years and brings to CIRE both knowledge and tenacity to assist retailers and users of Commercial space in navigating everything from location sourcing, lease negotiation, and ancillary issues that arise in opening a new location. For Real Estate Assistance, please call Eric at 818 398 0354. www.cirecre.com

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lynell Chun has been promoted to Principal at RBZ. Lynell has over 20 years of tax and consulting experience serving the family wealth industry. Her expertise includes working with high-net-worth individuals, family office groups, trusts and estates, S and C corporations, partnerships and other pass through entities. From 2011 through 2013, Lynell has been recognized as Five Star Professional Wealth Manager by Los Angeles Magazine.

Harley Ellis Devereaux welcomes Patsy Shigetomi, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP as Corporate Commercial Design Studio Leader for its Los Angeles office. Shigetomi brings 20 years of leading interior architecture design teams for major education, institutional, commercial and hospitality projects in Los Angeles and on projects across the country.


Hall & Foreman, Inc. (HFI), a civil engineering, land planning, and surveying firm, announces two promotions. Deering Volkmann-Viola, P.E., Project Manager/Associate is named Project Director/Associate. As a key player in HFI’s successful infill and multi-family housing business, she will provide project oversight and team leadership.
Chris Jones, P.L.S., Survey and Mapping Manager, is appointed to Associate. He is instrumental to the growth of the firm’s survey and mapping business. As Associate, he will assist the management team with strategic planning.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mark Hutchison joins Nigro Karlin Segal Feldstein & Bolno as Partner in the Tax practice. Mr. Hutchison will focus on broadening tax services for clients in the entertainment industry as well as high net worth individuals. Mr. Hutchison was formerly a partner at Rothstein Kass, and prior to that, at KPMG.

Bel Air Investment Advisors LLC, a leading investment advisory firm to high net worth individuals, families, trusts and foundations, announced today the addition of Aaron Jett as Vice President to its Manager Research group. Aaron will provide investment research and advisory services to Bel Air’s clients.


Enterprise financial software company BlackLine Systems has expanded its executive management team, hiring Alain Avakian as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). Mr. Avakian joins BlackLine with 25 years of extensive experience scaling technology organizations for dynamic, fast-growing Internet and e-commerce companies as they’ve grown to the point of public offerings and/or acquisition. As CTO, Mr. Avakian will be responsible for the technology direction of BlackLine’s flagship Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)- based account reconciliation and financial close suite as the company seeks to capitalize on the growing worldwide demand for solutions that drive greater efficiency, financial governance and risk management across the spectrum of financial operations.

Torrey Pines Bank is announcing it has hired Catherine “Cathy” Coler as Vice President, Relationship Manager at the bank’s Beverly Hills office. She will focus on business development for closely held businesses and professionals in the Beverly Hills and West L.A. area. Prior to joining Torrey Pines Bank, Ms. Coler held high level positions with other successful Los Angeles area banks. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from University of California, Los Angeles.


Lawrence A. Hurst, LCSW, BCD joins the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles as Director of Social Services. The council is a Catholic charity serving the disadvantaged of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Hurst was last with the L.A. County Department of Mental Health in Skid Row as district chief for eight mental health programs consisting of over 200 staff and serving over 10,000 persons annually. For more information: www.svdpla.org.

Tammy Saetia has been promoted to Partner in RBZ’s highly respected Law Firm Services Group. Tammy began her career as a new RBZ staff member in 1997. In 2007, she left RBZ to become the CFO of a large, Southern California-based law firm. Saetia returned to RBZ in 2012 as a Principal. With 17 years of experience serving law firms, Saetia brings a depth of expertise that makes her an indispensable asset to RBZ’s leadership team.


Luther Burbank Savings is pleased to announce that Jason Pendergist has been named Chief Lending Officer. Mr. Pendergist’s responsibilities will include the leadership and oversight of all commercial and consumer lending functions within Luther Burbank Savings.
Mr. Pendergist brings a broad range of management experience with more than 12 years of expertise in commercial and multifamily lending. Prior to joining Luther Burbank Savings he served as Managing Director and Head of the Eastern Region for the Commercial Term Lending business at JPMorgan Chase.
“We are delighted to have Jason join the Luther Burbank Savings senior management team” said John Biggs, Luther Burbank Savings’ President and Chief Executive Officer. “His industry experience and lending expertise will be a tremendous asset to our organization as we continue to expand our Commercial, Multifamily and Single Family Real Estate businesses.”
Luther Burbank Savings is an FDIC insured privately held, California based savings association with over 3.6 billion in assets and 10 locations. Luther Burbank Savings offers a variety of consumer and wholesale banking services focusing on retail deposits and originating single and multifamily mortgage loans. For more information, please visit www.lutherburbanksavings.com.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Laurus Corporation, a private real estate investment and development firm, has named Douglas S. Kiel as Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Kiel brings more than 25 years of financial, accounting and operations management experience in both public and private companies. He was previously Chief Operating and Finance Officer of Makar Properties.

Christopher Roe, veteran of the AEC industry and real estate development arena, joins Gilbane Building Company to lead business development in the greater LA and OC markets. His professional expertise spans the Aviation, Transportation, K-12, Higher Education, Civic, Hospitality, Corporate/Commercial and Healthcare markets. Chris graduated from the University of Washington.


Tammy Saetia has been promoted to Partner in RBZ’s highly respected Law Firm Services Group. Tammy began her career as a new RBZ staff member in 1997. In 2007, she left RBZ to become the CFO of a large, Southern California-based law firm. Saetia returned to RBZ in 2012 as a Principal. With 17 years of experience serving law firms, Saetia brings a depth of expertise that makes her an indispensable asset to RBZ’s leadership team.

McGladrey LLP, a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services, is pleased to announce that Art Brown has joined the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office as an assurance services partner with a focus on serving clients in the alternative investment industry. Art brings over 12 years of experience providing assurance and advisory services to investment advisers, hedge funds and private equity firms ranging from startup entities to multi-billion-dollar international firms. www.mcgladrey.com.


Kay Milford, a Director with CBIZ MHM, LLC has been appointed to the Board and two committees of Fit 4 The Cause. Fit 4 The Cause is a non-profit organization raising funds for health related causes through group fitness programs and wellness education throughout the Conejo Valley. Kay specializes in providing tax and business consulting services to high net worth individuals and companies in the real estate, manufacturing, entertainment, financial and legal services industries.

Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services appointed two new directors to its Board: Christopher H. Harrer, Senior Director and Adjunct Professor at the USC Marshall School of Business; and Michael L. Wolper, co-founder and executive director of the Center for Mindful Education and co-founder of Operation Mindful Warrior. Both are committed to Didi Hirsch’s mission of erasing the stigma of mental illness. Didi Hirsch provides mental health and substance use services to children and adults in 11 locations throughout LA and Orange Counties and operates a 24/7 suicide prevention Crisis Line.


AT&T has appointed Lupita Sanchez Cornejo as the new Director of AT&T External Affairs for the greater Los Angeles area. Sanchez Cornejo has 14 years of experience with AT&T and will head the greater Los Angeles area team and work with policymakers on AT&T’s new technology deployment and infrastructure investment.

Monday, July 14, 2014

City National Bank has hired seasoned technology and venture capital banker Billy O’Grady in Los Angeles. O’Grady, who will head up the Southern California Technology and Venture Capital Group will be responsible for providing the growing number of technology companies and entrepreneurs in Southern California with a wide array of credit, banking and investment solutions. In the past 12 months, City National has helped about 75 companies grow with various products and services.

Kelley Drye & Warren LLP has promoted Hajir Ardebili to special counsel in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Mr. Ardebili has extensive trial experience in a range of practice areas, including complex business cases, entertainment litigation, intellectual property matters, real estate disputes and First Amendment litigation.


Nathan Raizman has joined Grandpoint Bank as Vice President and Relationship Manager at the Farmers Market office on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Raizman is responsible for addressing the commercial banking needs of small and mid-sized businesses. He was previously Vice President at First Foundation Bank in West Los Angeles.

Alyssa Scholz, IIDA, joins HGA Architects and Engineers as Principal, Associate Vice President and Director of Interior Design in California. With more than 20 years of experience, Scholz will build the firm’s interior design services in healthcare, higher education and public/corporate practice groups.


Alex Kazerani and James Segil, EdgeCast Networks co-founders, received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2014 Greater Los Angeles award in the technology category. Kazerani and Segil were recognized as visionary leaders for building a next-generation content delivery network that provides the fastest, smartest content delivery for the rapidly changing demands of consumers who want instant access and flawless Web experiences. In late December 2013, Verizon acquired EdgeCast Networks, in the industry’s largest private CDN acquisition.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Torrey Pines Bank is announcing the hiring of Anthony Miu as Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Loan Officer, and Emily Zhao as Vice President, Loan Officer. The new executives will be responsible for building customer relationships in Los Angeles and Orange County by providing personalized service to address local businesses’ specific needs. Prior to joining Torrey Pines Bank, they each have had responsibilities for managing loan portfolios over $100 million.
“We look forward to further expanding our team with the addition of Anthony and Emily, who share our dedication to helping local business owners and professionals,” said Regional President for Torrey Pines Bank, Paul Donaldson.

MVC is a boutique creative agency in Los Angeles founded by Creative Director Jason Pires and Art Director Marioly Molina. MVC specializes in creating emotionally compelling brand experiences to connect and unite clients with their audiences.
MVC has been recognized for their excellence in advertising and integrated branding with eleven international awards in the first half of 2014. MVC received seven Horizon Interactive Awards and four Summit Creative Awards for branding, advertising, and website design projects.


McGladrey LLP, a leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services, is pleased to announce that Ralph Berry has joined the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office as a portfolio business development executive with focus on the consumer and industrial products, food, beverage, and distribution industries. Ralph brings significant experience in the professional services industry and will focus on middle-market business development throughout the firm’s western region, which includes ten offices in California, Washington, Nevada and Arizona. www.mcgladrey.com.

Monday, June 30, 2014

The Arthritis Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of new members to the Pacific Region Board of Directors: Diana Bianchini, Owner of Di Moda Public Relations; Sanjay Chabra, DO, St. Jude Heritage Medical Group; Daniel Hurley, Director, PwC; and Susan Steen, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Services, Warner Bros. The Arthritis Foundation supports research, advocacy and educational programs to address the needs of nearly 53 million adults with arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability.

Community Bank, FDIC insured bank serving Southern California for nearly 70 years, welcomes Mike Helmuth as senior vice president, regional manager. Mike will be responsible for Commerce, South Bay, Santa Fe Springs and Huntington Beach business centers. Mike’s background includes senior positions with American Security Bank and Citizens Business Bank.


Community Bank, a family-owned, FDIC insured bank serving Southern California for nearly 70 years, welcomes Jeff Boyer as senior vice president and regional manager.
In this role, Jeff will be responsible for growing the commercial client base in the Bank’s northern region. He will oversee the Bank’s business centers in Burbank, Santa Clarita, Warner Center, Glendale, Pasadena and Ventura.
Jeff’s prior experience includes senior management positions with Grandpoint Bank and Citizens Business Bank.