May 18, 2024

Daily Business Report: Aug. 1, 2023, San Diego Metro Magazine

By Kylie Capuano |

The Mid-Coast Corridor construction project, responsible for extending the Blue Line Trolley to UTC and expanding transportation capacity in San Diego, was named the best construction project in the country for 2022. As a result, the project’s contractor, Mid-Coast Transit Constructors, received the overall top prize in the coveted Construction Risk Partners Build America awards.

Senior vice president of the Associated General Contractors of America, Tom Brown, presented the construction team with the award at a ceremony in the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel on July 26.

“You can point to many reasons why this project is the best in the country,” said Brown. “It’s hard to imagine something more complicated than extending a transit line across the many hills and valleys around here. The side work affected countless homes and businesses, not to mention integrated with UC San Diego.”

The $1.49 billion project also won a Build America award for the best new highway and transportation project valued at $20 million or more and a merit award in the Marvin M. Black Partnering Excellence category.

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San Diego County residents Sara Kirby and Francisco Sanchez have been appointed to serve as judges on the San Diego Superior Court by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Sara Kirby has served as a commissioner at the San Diego County Superior Court since 2022, where she was a staff attorney from 2012 to 2022.

She was an associate at the Law Offices of Sandra Morris from 2009 to 2012 and at Moore, Lewis, Schulman & Moore APC from 2005 to 2009. Kirby fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Kenneth So.

Kirby is registered without party preference.

Francisco Sanchez has been a sole practitioner since 2003.

He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California from 2001 to 2003 and at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Arizona from 1999 to 2001.

Sanchez served as an Attorney in the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Arizona from 1997 to 1999. He fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Browder Willis. Sanchez is a Democrat.

Holman, a global automotive services organization, wants to eliminate the uneasy feeling that many car shoppers get when entering an auto dealership. It’s all about getting them comfortably relaxed in an intimate environment.

Their answer is the Porsche Studio San Diego, a state-of-the-art auto dealership that has just opened in Fashion Valley Mall in Mission Valley.

“The way consumers shop for their next vehicle has changed dramatically and their expectations of the dealership experience now more closely aligns with that of a typical retail transaction; fast, convenient, and personalized,” said Gene Welsh, president of retal automotive for Holman.

At Porsche Studio San Diego, sand Welsh, customers can expect a premium, luxury car buying and immersive brand experience with access to Porsche’s entire vehicle lineup as well as a wide range of lifestyle products and merchandise including a unique collection of Porsche Design apparel, luggage, eyewear, and accessories.

Guests can unwind at the beverage bar and enjoy regional gourmet snacks along with locally roasted coffee and espresso. During their visit, customers will work with one representative from start to finish – from shopping through delivery – to provide an efficient and personal experience. Additionally, if a customer begins the car-buying process online, the Fashion Valley location can support the continuation of their digital journey offline with onsite test-drives.

By Kristen Hwang | CalMatters

Ashley Hooks always planned to retire at Lakewood Regional Medical Center, where she has been a nurse for 12 years. But now, Hooks said, staffing issues are so bad and burnout so severe that she’s rethinking how she wants to spend the rest of her career.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the number of nurses at the hospital dropped from just below 500 to 330 according to her union’s roster, said Hooks, who is 53.

“It wasn’t even this difficult during the height of the COVID pandemic,” she said.

Hooks’ stress reflects pressure many California nurses are under because of steep understaffing that she and others say is driving many professionals out of the industry.

According to the Hospital Association of Southern California, nursing vacancy rates among local hospitals exceed 30 percent. Prior to the pandemic the average vacancy rate was 6 percent.

Now the Legislature is looking at several ideas to address the nursing shortage by bringing more early-career nurses into the field. But so far, the groups with most to gain — or lose — are at odds over how to solve the staffing problems afflicting California’s health care workforce.

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One year after the Knauss School of Business at the University of San Diego announced a revamped MBA curriculum emphasizing social impact and emerging business trends, it has received official STEM designation for three of its MBA concentrations: business analytics, finance and supply chain management.

“The STEM designation for our MBA speaks to the quality of our curriculum, our responsiveness to emerging trends, as well as the experience and skills that our graduates offer to employers,” said Wenli Xiao, department chair of interdisciplinary programs and associate professor of operations and supply chain management.

With this announcement, the Knauss School of Business now offers three STEM-designated graduate programs — the Full-Time MBA, the Master of Science in Business Analytics, and the Master of Science in Finance.

Illumina Inc. , a global leader in DNA sequencing and array-based technologies, and Pillar Biosciences Inc., the pioneers of Decision Medicine, announced a strategic partnership to make Pillar’s suite of oncology assays commercially available globally as part of the Illumina portfolio of oncology products. The agreement will result in an unprecedented offering of complementary next-generation sequencing solutions that will enhance the efficiency, accuracy, and cost-effectiveness of oncology testing through advanced sequencing techniques, improving patient access to personalized cancer treatment options.

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Support for early career researchers is about to get a major boost, thanks to a new fellowship fund established by leaders at La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) and Japan-based global pharmaceutical corporation, Kyowa Kirin Inc. The fellowship fund has been named in honor of LJI Professor Michael Croft, who has worked closely with Kyowa Kirin scientists through the years. The new Michael Croft Fellowship in Immunology Fund recognizes Croft’s commitment to training and mentoring the next generation of immunologists. Kyowa Kirin will provide $65,000 to the fund each year, over the next five years.

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SAN DIEGO — Karen Deschaine has joined the corporate department of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a partner in the San Diego office.

Deschaine has an established corporate practice focused on representing life sciences clients, particularly biotechnology and therapeutics companies.

Her addition reflects Wilson Sonsini’s successful and ongoing efforts to expand its corporate life sciences practice.

San Diego Metro Magazine named her to its list of “Women Who Impact San Diego” in 2014 and its top “40 Under 40” in 2011.

SAN DIEGO – The portable induction cooktop loaner program that provides San Diego County residents with a free 3-week opportunity to try out an electric alternative to their gas stoves has received a boost from San Diego Community Power. This new grant from the Community Clean Energy Innovation Program supports the San Diego Green Building Council’s Electric Home Cooktop Program (EHCP) with funding for additional, free induction cooktop kits for residents to try in their own homes. Read more

SAN DIEGO — Synergy Orthopedic Specialists, an independent physician-owned medical practice in San Diego, continues its growth in San Diego and Riverside Counties by merging Thomas W. Harris, M.D.’s worker’s compensation medical practice. Additionally, the group welcomes two new exceptional physicians, Pascual Dutton, M.D., and Scot Youngblood, M.D., further bolstering their team of experts. Dutton has specialized expertise in sports medicine, total joint replacement, and minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures for the knee, hip, shoulder, and elbow. Youngblood is a seasoned orthopedic professional with over 25 years of experience.

SAN DIEGO — Ivy Fertility, an innovator in advanced reproductive technology, in-vitro fertilization, and third-party reproduction, announced it will expand its partnership with TMRW Life Sciences, a fertility technology company. Ivy Fertility’s San Diego Fertility Center was one of the first clinics in the United States to adopt TMRW’s platform. With this expanded partnership, TMRW’s on-site and off-site specimen management platform will be available for full adoption at all of Ivy Fertility’s 13 clinics across the United States.

SAN DIEGO — MicroVention Inc., a global neurovascular company and wholly owned subsidiary of Terumo Corporation, is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the company’s FRED X Flow Diverter. In close collaboration with physician partners across the United States, over 1,000 patients have been successfully treated with the FRED X device. The firm was at the Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery meetin in San Diego this week.

SAN DIEGO — Manscaped, a men’s grooming company, announced its launch in Boots, the United Kingdom and Ireland’s leading health and beauty retailer. As MANSCAPED’s first brick-and-mortar retailer in the UK and its third in Ireland, Boots is stocking the brand’s premium grooming tools and formulations in 270 locations across the country plus 26 stores throughout Ireland, as well as on and The company was founded by Paul Tran in 2016.

SAN DIEGO — Boundless Bio, a clinical stage, next-generation precision oncology company developing innovative therapeutics directed against extrachromosomal DNA for patients with oncogene amplified cancers, announced the appointment of Jami Rubin as chief financial officer. Rubin brings more than 30 years of leadership experience in the biopharma industry as a top financial executive, equity analyst, investment banker, board member, and venture partner. Rubin was most recently chief financial officer of EQRx, where she led the organization through a go public process that raised $1.35 billion.

Five San Diego County parks will be closed in August due to expected high temperatures, county officials said. The closures are undertaken each year and provide Department of Parks and Recreation staff an opportunity to conduct maintenance, including trail restoration. The work is generally performed in the early morning or evening hours. El Capitan Preserve in Lakeside, Hellhole Canyon Preserve in Valley Center and Mt. Gower County Preserve in Ramona will be closed Aug. 1-31. In addition, Agua Caliente and Vallecito County parks near Anza Borrego are closed all summer and will reopen Labor Day weekend.

SAN DIEGO — An Aug. 15 special primary election will be held in the Fourth Supervisorial District to fill the supervisor seat vacated by Nathan Fletcher. Only those who live in the district can vote in the election. Fletcher resigned after being accused of assaulting and harassing a transit agency employee. He denies the charges.

After years of community effort, the City of San Diego has finally agreed to expedite plans to construct a new pocket park for Cañon Street in Point Loma. “The three-quarter acre Point Loma pocket park is funded, the selected contractor, Dick Miller Construction, Inc., has signed the contract, and everything after nine-plus years is in expedited mode,” said Don Sevrens, who’s spearheaded the park-improvement project. “Expedited means the process has been cut from the typical 18 months down to 12 months, nine for construction and three for plans getting established.”

The Climate Registry has recognized Helix Water District as a Water-Energy Leader Gold organization after the district reduced its electric use by 15 percet and greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent. The Climate Registry made the announcement this month after the University of San Diego’s Energy Policy Initiative Center confirmed the district’s 2019 and 2021 total greenhouse gas emissions are 40 percent lower than those in 2009. EPIC’s findings were verified by a third party. Helix achieved these reductions through a comprehensive lighting retrofit program, new lighting management system and an upgrade to the HVAC system at the district’s R.M. Levy Water Treatment Plant.

Mid-Coast Corridor constructionproject named best in the U.S.Sara Kirby and Francisco Sanchezappointed to San Diego Superior Court benchNewly opened Porsche Studio San Diegooffers car shoppers a ‘retail’ environmentCalifornia needs thousands of nurses,but leaders can’t agree on how to fill jobsKnauss School of Business MBAreceives STEM designationIllumina and Pillar Biosciences partnerto improve access to cancer treatment optionsLa Jolla Institute and Kyowa Kirinlaunch immunology fellowship programKaren Deschaine joins law officesof Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & RosatiSan Diego Community Power grantsupports electric home cooktop programSan Diego independent orthopedicmedical group expands its presenceIvy Fertility expands partnershipwith TMRW Life SciencesMicroVention celebrates one-yearanniversary of FRED X Flow DiverterManscaped launches in Boots storesin the United Kingdom and IrelandJami Rubin appointed chieffinancial officer for Boundless BioFive San Diego County parks to beclosed in August because of the heatAug. 15 special election slatedfor Fourth Supervisorial DistrictCañon Street pocket park to finally become realityHelix Water District named a WaterEnergy Leader Gold organization