Pacific Coast Business Times Proudly serving Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties2015-08-29T00:16:07Z Staff Report <![CDATA[40 Under 40: Class of 2015]]> 2015-08-28T22:56:55Z 2015-08-28T22:46:11Z  


The Pacific Coast Business Times would like to congratulate the 40 Under 40 Class of 2015. These 40 young men and women, all under the age of 40, are apart of a new generation of dynamic leaders who are reshaping the leadership ranks and the economy of the Tri-Counties.



40 Under 40: The Class of 2015

Kaila Anderson,Economic Vitality Corporation
Erin Antrim,Boys & Girls Club of Oxnard/PH
Amy Bailey Jurewicz,Ventura Family YMCA
Dusty Baker,Keller Williams
Shawn Bhardwaj,Aspire
Laura Booras,Riverbench Vineyard and Winery
Natalie Bradely,Ventura County Credit Union
Ryan Caldwell,Wacker Wealth Parners
Kyle Christensen,Invoca
John Clay Jr. ,Crowell Weedon
Chris Collier,Rincon Strategies
Nathanial Curran,Channel Islands Surfboards
Jason Diani,Diani Companies
Heather Donley,Assisted Home Health & Hospice
Robert Forouzandeh,Reicker, Phau, Pyle & McRoy
Stacey Gumley,Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf
Seth Harvey,Community West Bank
Jesse Hawkins,United Way Ventura County
Kinsey Hensley,Jensen Design
David Jay,
Paul Johnson,Northern Trust
Kiah Jordan,ImpactHub Santa Barbara
Victoria Juarez,Girls Inc. of Carpinteria
Ron Justin,GroupGets
Angela Lopez,LightGabler
Neal Maguire,Ferguson Case Orr Paterson
Arron Marshall,Santa Barbara Zoo
Scott Martin,RRM Design Group
Leticia Martinez,Morgan Stanely/SB Group
Marshall Miller,Thornhill Cos.
Sarah Oberman Bartush,Channel Islands Aviation
Chris Parker,Radius
Jenna Rogers,Mission Wealth
Ben Scott,Montecito Bank & Trust
Danielle Sharaga,Cancer Center of SB
Patsy Stadelman Price,Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck
Mike Testa,Costal Vineyard Care
Lando Torgerson,Meathead Movers
David Wellik,Citizens Business Bank
Brad Whetten,Wells Fargo
Philip Joens <![CDATA[Thousand Oaks scores by landing Easton Baseball/Softball]]> 2015-08-27T22:18:02Z 2015-08-28T16:00:45Z Easton Softball/Baseball, well known for making bats, is moving its headquarters to Thousand Oaks.

Easton Baseball/Softball, known for making bats, is moving its headquarters to Thousand Oaks.

Thousand Oaks has hit a home run.

Easton Baseball/Softball, a Van Nuys-based sporting goods company, announced Aug. 19 that it will move its global headquarters to Thousand Oaks when the lease on its current building expires in 2016.

Easton will move into a new 90,000-square-foot headquarters at 3500 Willow Lane. It will also have a 15,000-square-foot indoor training facility where athletes will train and help Easton develop new products.

For Easton, the move represents a new start. For Thousand Oaks, it means 100 jobs.

“Easton baseball and softball (sales) are at an all-time high, and we plan on continuing to grow as a brand,” said Todd Harman, executive vice president of Easton Baseball/Softball. “Our current building just isn’t big enough for that, so we needed to move to bigger space.”

Thousand Oaks is known for churning out high quality youth, high school and college baseball and softball players, according to Harman, who also said the company was attracted to the area because it could easily work with those players.

With the move to Thousand Oaks, Easton hopes to end a decade of corporate turmoil and get a fresh start in a new place.

Founded in 1922 as an archery company by Doug Easton, the company started making baseball equipment in the 1960s. Easton’s son, Jim Easton, expanded the company into hockey and cycling equipment before selling it for $400 million in 2006.

After the sale, Easton was owned by Scotts Valley-based Easton-Bell Sports. Easton-Bell Sports sold the baseball and softball division to Exeter N.H.-based Performance Sports Group in February of 2014 for $330 million. Performance Sports Group is best known for its Bauer Hockey line of products.

During its third quarter 2015 earnings report on April 13, Performance Sports Group said its baseball and softball divisions had $153.5 million in sales during the previous nine months, most of which was attributable to Easton. Performance said its acquisition of Easton Baseball/Softball makes its overall business less seasonal.

Thousand Oaks is welcoming Easton with open arms.

“We are thrilled to welcome Easton, one of the most iconic and innovative baseball and softball brands in the nation to our city,” said Thousand Oaks Mayor Al Adam in a news release.

Easton is iconic. For decades, Easton baseball bats have been as much a part of Little League Baseball as sunflower seeds and bubble gum. Easton is the official equipment sponsor of the Little League World Series.

In the 1990s, Easton created two-piece baseball and softball bats that have become popular among Little League, high school and college players because they flex more than one-piece bats.

Thousand Oaks City Manager Scott Mitnick is proud that the city attracted Easton.

Mitnick said one thing separates businesses that come to Thousand Oaks from those that relocate to other cities: they come to Thousand Oaks because they want to.

“The city council has been pretty adamant against providing corporate welfare,” Mitnick said. “A lot of cities will underwrite the cost of the land, they will waive fees, they will use property taxes or sales taxes to pay back loans or they will just outright give them money.”

Easton’s move comes amid a somewhat tumultuous time for Thousand Oaks’ business community.

Ventura County’s biggest employer, Amgen, announced in July of 2014 it would eliminate up to 2,900 workers and reduce its global workforce by 15 percent. At the time, Amgen had about 6,000 employees at its Thousand Oaks headquarters. In October, Chief Executive Robert Bradway announced plans for an additional 5 percent cut to Amgen’s global workforce, or about 1,000 additional layoffs.

In April though, Chinese pharmaceutical company Bocom Pharmaceutical paid $9.89 million for a building in Newbury Park.

Mitnick said that will soften the blow of the Amgen layoffs.

“I wish I could say they all wanted to be in Thousand Oaks because it’s the best place on the planet, but I know that’s not the case,” Mitnick said.

Haider Alawami, economic development manager for Thousand Oaks, said regional business strength is almost as important as a city’s own business strength. Only when companies decide to move to another part of the country does Alawami get concerned.

“We’ll work together with the cities of Westlake Village and Agoura Hills,” Alawami said. “But how we look at is that they are still in the same region, so that’s a positive for us because they’re still here.”

The building Easton Baseball/Softball will move into was built in 1987.

Mike Tingus, chairman of commercial real estate brokerage Lee and Associates, said the building Easton is moving into was almost used to store RVs before Easton bought it.

“It has a huge 3,500 pound elevator, so it was an easy conversion we were going to do for some outdoor RV storage,” Tingus said.

The building was originally built for Agoura Hills-based electronic parts company Teradyne. It was then used by White Plains, N.Y.-based aerospace, energy and transportation company ITT Corp.

Because of a renovation during the building’s history, it has 111,703 square feet of space, adding a second floor to a part of the building.

Tingus said Easton plans to take out the renovated area and reduce square footage to about 90,000 square feet.

Easton officials hope to move into the new building sometime in the spring.

Tony Biasotti <![CDATA[Rush’s vision for CSUCI can be realized]]> 2015-08-27T22:43:30Z 2015-08-28T15:45:24Z


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Henry Dubroff <![CDATA[Straight talk from China would calm stock market turbulence]]> 2015-08-27T22:28:16Z 2015-08-28T15:30:40Z What a difference a week makes.

A mid-August meltdown in the Chinese stock market suddenly went global, putting major U.S. averages in meltdown mode.

Federal Reserve Bank of New York President Bill Dudley put it bluntly on Aug. 26, suggesting at a news conference that the case for raising interest rates in September is now weaker, thanks in part to the stock market tumble.

And the fact that Dudley would actually make such a statement is part of the reason why markets are in a state of upheaval. China, the world’s second largest economy with GDP approaching
$10 trillion, is way too opaque for its size.

In Shanghai and Beijing, the official line is that GDP will grow at 6.5 percent this year. But many experts doubt the credibility of a government that has spent years learning how to manage results to precisely match projected numbers.

On a conference call on Aug. 25, Wells Fargo economist Mark Vitner said he thinks that China is in a recession or barely registering growth.

Los Angeles-based Capital Group said before the recent meltdown in the Shanghai stock market that it believed growth in China was 3 percent to 4 percent.

Those are not the kind of numbers that could possibly justify the current price-to-earnings ratio for Chinese stocks, still in the range of 60 versus 18 for a tumble-adjusted U.S. stock market. That suggests much more weakness for China’s economy and its stock market, perhaps years of adjustment ahead.

Here are five things to watch as the next chapter in the global markets unfolds:

• The Federal Reserve could have a green light to raise interest rates, but deflation is the key. Remembering the 1937 collapse after it prematurely raised interest rates, the Fed has been reluctant to be the cause of a stock market meltdown. The stock market tumble gives the Fed pretty good cover to raise rates, but there is a real risk of deflation with China as the trigger.

• Any move by China to come clean on what’s really happening with its economy would be a relief. That means fessing up to actual GDP numbers. It also means much better disclosure about bad loans on the books of its banks, particularly as they relate to over-construction of airports, office buildings and housing developments. If there is a big debt bubble that’s about to burst, then China could face its own lost decade.

• Consumers will have a lot to say about what happens going forward to the U.S. economy and stock market. It is not likely that the problems in emerging markets or lower stock prices will derail the Christmas shopping season this year. It’s more likely that people from Syracuse to Stockton will take the dividend from lower oil and gas prices and spend the money.

• California and Europe are the new best neighborhoods on the block. Yes, we have a drought problem.  And a housing problem. And a problem with too much regulation. Europe has a Greek problem, a refugee nightmare, a crisis in Ukraine and large exporters like VW are vulnerable to weakness in China. But, California’s recovery, led by tech, has real momentum. And Europe has, as always, a way of muddling through.

• Finally, a personal note. Over the past 25 years I’ve achieved a roughly 10 percent annual return on my personal portfolio. I never borrow money to buy stocks or bonds. I own mainly low-cost instruments like index funds. I am never a seller.  I always remember that you haven’t lost a thing if you haven’t sold.

• Reach Editor Dubroff at

Alex Kacik <![CDATA[Shipping containers get new lives in Tri-Counties]]> 2015-08-27T22:44:18Z 2015-08-28T15:15:38Z


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Philip Joens <![CDATA[Ventura features food on wheels to help fund nonprofit]]> 2015-08-27T22:42:34Z 2015-08-28T15:00:21Z


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Alex Kacik <![CDATA[Buellton hotel project secures funding to begin construction]]> 2015-08-29T00:16:07Z 2015-08-28T14:44:52Z A Buellton hotel project recently secured $14 million to start construction.

The Los Angeles-based real estate investment company Lowe Enterprises Investors gave a $13.99 million construction loan to Ocean Park Hotels, a hotel construction company in Monterey, to fund building a Hampton Inn and Suites at 600 McMurray Road.

The three-story, 99-unit property that will feature a contemporary ranch design is planned to be completed in the summer of 2016.

“The recent recession has left many lenders reluctant to make construction loans, yet the strength of the hospitality market makes these loans attractive to investment clients who understand the product type,” LEI Co-CEO Bleecker Seaman said in a statement. “The lodging market in Buellton and the surrounding area has experienced strong growth over the past decade, in part due to the increasing popularity of the local wine region as well as the nearby Danish-themed community of Solvang. The Chumash Casino Resort also attracts visitors to the area and is in the process of a major expansion.”

Cara Leonard, senior vice president of Lowe Enterprises Investors, led the transaction for LEI. Steve Bram of George Smith Partners represented the borrower.

The Buellton project is one of many hotels planned or in construction throughout the Tri-Counties. The La Entrada project is a 114-room luxury hotel, nine vacation units and 21,557 square feet of retail space. LA developer Michael Rosenfeld bought the rundown Hotel California for $7.95 million in 2011. A construction loan for the $185 million Miramar project in Montecito was also secured and the Parker family is planning a second waterfront hotel next to the Doubletree Resort on Cabrillo Boulevard.

The 150-room Hilton Garden Inn is under construction in Goleta.

The 439,000-square-foot Entrada de Paso Robles on Highway 46 East, which includes a 280-room resort and 80 bungalows, is moving forward. The 127-room Oxford Suites at 4th and Pine streets and the Marriott Residence Inn, which will offer 128 rooms on South Vine Street, are also being developed in Paso.

Irvine-based Brighton Management is trying to develop the long-vacant and dilapidated Casa Sirena Hotel in Oxnard.

Chumash ink deal with Brown

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a gaming compact between the state and the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians on Aug. 26.

The compact outlines the sharing of gaming revenue with local jurisdictions for infrastructure improvements and fire, law enforcement, public transit, education, tourism and other services. It provides incentives for investments in renewable energy or water conservation projects, non-gaming-related economic development and healthcare facilities.

“The new compact allows us to continue on our path of economic self-sufficiency,” tribal chairman Vincent Armenta said in a statement. “Our economic development initiatives have brought vital services to our tribe, from health care and education to cultural and environmental programs.”

But the tribe said it needs to negotiate an enforceable inter-governmental agreement before gaming-related projects are started.

Real estate market rebounds

The Santa Barbara commercial real estate market rebounded after a slow 2015 first quarter, according to Radius Commercial Real Estate and Investments second quarter report.

There were 23 sales in the second quarter, up from the 16-sale average, driven by good interest rates and a low supply.

The REI retail complex, listed at $21.95 million at 318 State St., sold within 3 to 4 percent of its asking price to an out-of-town buyer in April. Radius did not disclose final terms.

The Sandman Inn located at 3714 State St. also sold in April for $22.5 million and is slated for a condo development. Finally, the former CKE building (Carl’s Junior headquarters) located at 6303 Carpinteria Ave. sold in June for $25 million after 24 months on the market.

Proposed apartment complex

The Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review will hold a meeting at 3 p.m. Aug. 31 regarding a proposed apartment building at 715 Bond Ave.

The proposal includes razing an existing one-story single-family residence and carport located on a 5,000-square-foot parcel to make way for a new 6,032-square-foot, four-story, seven-unit apartment building.

The building would include a seven-car carport and the units would average 826 square feet.

It would be developed under the Average Unit Size Density Incentive Program, which allows up to 63 units per acre.

• Contact Alex Kacik at