Imagine taking on Ebola. Think about that for a moment. Think of the challenges. After all, if you’re trying to create a treatment for Ebola, you’ve got to tinker with Ebola. It’s not a pleasant thing to tinker with.
Or, imagine launching a satellite that provides state-of-the-art wireless and broadband services. To do that, you’ve got to be someone special, perhaps someone in the Satellite Hall of Fame. (Yes, there is such a thing.)
Or, how about running a juice company that suddenly gets a lot of juice — about $150 million in venture capital? That will pay for lots of cucumbers, carrots and kale.
And how does one celebrate getting a cool billion for a beer company? With a pint of IPA? Or an amber ale? Or a Lamborghini?
The people doing the above are San Diegans whom we consider to be among the region’s Most Influential Business Leaders because they’ve reached new heights during the past year. To do so, they did the amazing, the daring, the bold.
We sought out those who made positive contributions, ones that make our region a better and more viable place to live, as well as influencing other businesses and our communities. They do things that are cool, inspirational and — this is vital for our economy and work force — profitable.
Some run or work for New Age companies with peculiar names, such as iboss and ViaSat. Others hold key positions in traditional fields, such as real estate and banking. We looked for influential leaders in a host of fields, from defense to development, from life sciences to retail.
They have many things in common, including smarts, discipline, innovative spirits and optimism.
They are also — of course — influential.
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Larry Zeitlin & Kevin Whaley (pictured)
President & CEO, Mapp Biopharmaceutical
In September, the Federal Drug Admin-istration gave the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp fast-track status, which quickens what normally is a long approval process.
Larry Zeitlin called that move a milestone.
He and Kevin Whaley run the small firm that created the drug, one that’s shown promise in treating the deadly virus. The company suddenly rose from obscurity in 2014 when two American health workers who were infected with Ebola while working in West Africa were given the drug. They both survived.
One, Kent Brantley was said to have been near death but quickly recovered after receiving ZMapp. According to a CNN report, a doctor called the recovery miraculous.
Since then, huge interest has erupted over the drug’s potential. Explaining the drug is, well, complicated. Here’s how the Frontiers of Biology @ NYU blog described the drug’s evolution:
“By 2011, researchers engineered plants to produce an anti-Ebola virus monoclonal antibodies resulting in a glycosylation profile with greater homogeneity, in hopes to find preventative solutions to the Ebola virus infection. In 2013, a cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies manufactured in Nicotiana benthamiana was tested, which proved 100 percent effective when administered within 24 hours in non-human primates.”
In the journal Science Translational Medicine, the two scientists co-authored an article on the importance of battling Ebola, noting the speed of global travel today and explaining that the disease is designated as a “bioterrorism threat” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Imagine if bad guys figured out a way to use this …
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Rich Heyman has been on a roll. Actually, that statement doesn’t do his achievements justice, but, to be frank, we’re not sure what would. He was founding CEO of two life science companies, Seragon and Aragon Pharmaceuticals.
In 2013, Aragon was sold to Johnson & Johnson for $1 billion. One year later, Seragon was purchased by Genentech for $1.7 billion.
You see our problem …
“He is representative of what life sciences in San Diego is all about,” Jay Lichter, a life sciences partner with San Diego-based Avalon Ventures, told Xconomy, a life sciences website. “He’s a fantastic scientist and a great CEO, and he’s scrappy in the way that life sciences in San Diego is scrappy. He sticks to hard science and creates value with as little money as possible.”
Aragon developed a prostate cancer drug; Seragon developed treatments for breast cancer.
Heyman recently helped found Metacrine, another San Diego life sciences start-up. Its focus is on treatments for diabetes and liver diseases.
In August, it raised $36 million in venture capital. Will Heyman, who chairs Metacrine’s board of directors, go three for three?
“There is great potential in the advancement of therapeutics arising from research on endocrine signaling pathways that govern metabolic homeostasis, and Metacrine is poised to make an impact in advancing some novel therapies in this area,” Heyman said when the company got that influx of cash.
These success stories are what keep biotech humming in San Diego.
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Executive Vice President,Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
This was once said about IBM and the U.S., but it applies locally: “What’s good for Qualcomm is good for San Diego.”
The wireless giant is one of but two Fortune 500 companies in San Diego. It has worldwide reach.
That’s why it was unsettling last year when Qualcomm announced it was shedding 4,000 workers — more than 1,000 in San Diego — as part of a “strategic realignment plan.”
And, that’s why Matt Grob has a lot on his shoulders. To remain viable, companies need to innovate. His job is tooversee that.
Grob, oversees R&D activities across the company and the development of next-generation wireless technologies.
“We are still investing in cutting edge technology and taking some risks,” he told the website Mobile World Live, saying that Qualcomm is focused on “advancements in wireless, licenced and unlicenced bands, machine learning, computer vision and security.”
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General Manager,BAE Systems Ship Repair
We’re still a Navy town. And, arguably, we’re becoming even more so, with the Navy expected to increase the number of ships in San Diego from 60 to nearly 80 in coming years.
That will require additional maritime infrastructure, and BAE is responding by building a new dry dock, one of the largest in the nation. Bob Koerber has called it a “major investment” for the shipyard.
The shipyard also announced last year that it was hiring an additional 500 workers to meet rising demand caused by the so-called Pacific Pivot of warships to San Diego.
Koerber was named general manager last August, having more than 25 years of experience at the yard. General mangers of shipyards typically don’t get as much press as GMs of baseball and football teams, but running a shipyard is a wee bit more important.
After all, the Navy ships being repaired have quite the vital mission in ferrying troops and policing the world’s oceans.
Koerber, a graduate of the Naval Academy, noted that the Navy influx and his shipyard help the local economy, as well. In an interview with Marinelink.com, he was asked how he would characterize the shipyard’s effect on San Diego’s economy:
“Bottom line — Vital,” he said. “We have approximately 2,000 BAE employees, plus another 4,000 subcontractors, vendors and Navy personnel coming through our gates every morning to work on those ships, roughly 5,000 to 6,000 people per day coming in this facility.”
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Peter Martini (pictured) & Paul Martini
President and Co-founder& CEO and Co-founder, iboss
Increasingly, bad guys happen to be smart guys. They have the brains to hack computers and get sensitive information or wreak havoc upon networks.
That’s why it good to have even smarter guys on our side, such as Peter and Paul Martini, twin brothers who founded the cybersecurity firm, iboss.
Now 12 years old, the company has seen rapid growth and recently moved into a new $14 million headquarters. However, its biggest splash came recently when Goldman Sachs invested $35 million in the company. That marked the first outside investment taken by the firm.
According to a Forbes story, the company’s “signature feature is its data anomaly detection, which specifically looks for hackers stealing sensitive information by detecting suspicious data transfers.”
“The analogy the company uses is one of an alarm system for your jewelry box, rather than your house, to better protect what’s most precious.”
iboss, which has 150 employees, is racking up patents — more than 80 so far. Its customers include the U.S. Department of the Interior, Xerox, Sears and NutraSweet.
Even some of the nation’s largest firms — who employ a lot of smart people —have been hacked, so this area of expertise is greatly needed. They’ve got, well, job security.
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Not just anybody gets into the Satellite Hall of Fame. The Society of Satellite Professionals International awards the honor to recognize “the invaluable contributions of the visionaries who have transformed life on planet Earth for the better through satellite technology.”
Mark Dankberg was so honored in 2015.
He’s no stranger to accolades. In 2013, he was honored with the Innovator Award at the Arthur C. Clarke Awards in Washington, D.C. Like several others on the list, he had humble beginnings, starting the company from a spare bedroom in his home. Original capital was a whopping $25,000. It now does approximately $1.4 billion in revenue.
His work likely affects you if you fly JetBlue and select United and Virgin America flights. His firm launched a satellite in 2011 that …
Well, here’s how the firm’s website explains it: “ViaSat-1, the highest capacity satellite in the world, is the first step in our development of high-capacity satellite systems. With 140 Gbps total throughput capacity, the satellite is serving the accelerating growth in bandwidth demand for multimedia Internet access over the next decade. In late 2013, the technology began delivering the fastest Wi-Fi in the sky to airline passengers aboard JetBlue Airways.”
ViaSat also delivers satellite Internet to nearly 700,000 residential customers across the U.S. and provides U.S. government and international military forces with satellite and security technologies.
ViaSat plans to launch a new-generation satellite late this year. It’s spending around $500 million on that venture.
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David Malmuth (pictured) & Peter Garcia
I.D.E.A. Partners principals
The I.D.E.A. District sounded quite promising when it was announced several years ago. The plan called for a complex, innovative web of development, including housing, office space and retail, over 35 blocks in East Village. Arts would be a major focus. So would creating a sense of community. It generated much talk.
But nothing had been built.
Then, late last year, things changed. Ground was broken for IDEA1, a $90 million, six-story building that will include apartments, lofts and penthouses. It will also feature retail, dining and office space.
David Malmuth and Peter Garcia are the developers behind the project, which is meant to attract young, bright people to downtown.
“IDEA1 is the first step to establishing the District’s vision of becoming San Diego’s design + technology innovation hub,” according to the I.D.E.A. website.
“San Diego is competing in the most important race of the 21st century: the race for talent. IDEA1 will attract the best and the brightest in the world by offering them what they want: an urban, walkable community rich in amenities.”
Malmuth previously worked on the Hollywood & Highland Center, which includes the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre). It re-energized Hollywood. He also helped initiate the successful Paseo Colorado outdoor mall in Pasadena.
Garcia has served as a builder, developer and engineer for many public and private projects throughout the United States and around the world.
I.D.E.A. could be their most ambitious project yet.
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Founder, Chelsea Investment Corp.
Jim Schmid can add another award to his shelf. It’s a significant one: Builder of the Year, which is awarded by the Building Industry Association (BIA) of San Diego County.
Making the honor all that more compelling is that his firm, Chelsea Investment Corp., focuses on affordable housing projects. Such a firm has never won the award before.
The firm racked up another honor, Best Affordable Project 2015, in the BIA Icon Awards. That was for its Alpha Square, a $46 million project in East Village that will house low-income and formerly homeless people.
It won that same award in 2013 for Estrella del Mercado, its apartment project in Barrio Logan.
In 2014, Chelsea won Housing Project of the Year — Special Needs for its Vista Terrace project.
In 2010, Affordable Housing Finance Magazine ranked Chelsea 13th among the top developers in the country…
You get the idea.
Why does Schmid do this? Here’s what the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce reported when one of his projects, the Mariposa Apartments, opened:
“Chelsea Investment is proud to be part of the movement to bring affordable housing to lower-income families who cannot afford decent housing. For some families, this is the first opportunity to live with dignity and pride in their surroundings. It’s gratifying to see their excitement and realize that they’re part of this beautiful community.”
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R. Michael Murphy
President, Murphy Development Co.
R. Michael Murphy has always been bullish on Otay Mesa. Indeed, his first venture there dates back nearly three decades.
And he’s still building near the border.
Late last year, his firm broke ground on a new building in Siempre Viva Business Park. It’s something of a milestone because it’s the first speculative project to go up since 2007.
Remember 2007? We all know what came next. It was not a pretty time for any part of the real estate sector.
It’s been nine long years since the recession hit, and Murphy believes the time is ripe to take the leap. After all, the industrial vacancy rate in Otay Mesa was below 10 percent when he broke ground.
It had risen as high as 23 percent at one point.
In 2014, his firm began grading Brown Field Technology Park (BFTP), a $300 million project that will boast more than 2 million square feet of corporate industrial, technology and office space. It is the firm’s fourth Otay Mesa development.
“BFTP offers potential tenants state-of-the-art architectural design, exceptional landscaping, large setbacks and LEED-inspired energy efficiency, coupled with San Diego’s lowest occupancy costs,” Murphy said at the time.
He has cited many reasons for building in Otay Mesa, including freeway access, improvements coming to Brown Field and the new pedestrian walkway between Otay Mesa and Tijuana International Airport called Cross Border Xpress.
However, his firm isn’t just focused on Otay Mesa. Two years ago, it purchased the corporate headquarters site owned by Intel in Scripps Ranch. The firm plans to turn that 31-acre site into Scripps Ranch Technology Park.
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Vice President of Kilroy Realty Corp.
Judging from our leaders, compromise doesn’t appear to be exactly in vogue these days. Reaching across the aisle? Offering up an olive branch? Finding common ground?
That’s why it was surprising to see Carmel Valley residents and Kilroy Realty reach a compromise on One Paseo, a controversial development that many residents thought was way too large for the community. The owner of a neighboring shopping center, which had funded the opposition, also attacked it.
We thought all the parties had gone to the mattresses for sure …
The development, even though approved by the City Council, saw so much backlash that a signature drive threatened to put it on the June 2016 ballot. Once again, a City Council action appeared to be going to the voters.
And then something strange happened. There came talk of a compromise.
Jamas Gwilliam, at a public meeting, stood up and said these words, according to the Del Mar Times: “This project is your project. If we all work together from here on in on communication, recognizing that some compromises will have to be made along the way, we can end up with a project that’s good for the entire community.”
And hell did not freeze over. The two sides worked on a scaled-down version, which the City Council is expected to approve early this year.
If all goes well it could inspire others to consider alternatives other than all-out war.
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CEO and Co-founder Suja Juice
Only in SoCal …
An eclectic couple — including, of course, a surfer — began making their own juices because they were bummed that they couldn’t find good quality products on the grocers’ shelves.
The surfer had experience in making his own blends. He teamed up with another juice aficionado, and they started creating innovative concoctions. They started selling them. People loved them. They couldn’t keep up with the demand.
Enter Jeff Church, a Harvard Business School grad, who was introduced to the pair by a local restaurant owner who had fallen hard and fast for the juices. Church helped turn the business into, well, a business.
In a Forbes’ article, Church noted how primitive the business first was: “They were literally taking the product into people’s homes and putting it into their refrigerators for them. It was probably breaking a ton of laws.”
So, Church helped with manufacturing, branding and distribution. Today, it’s the fastest growing organic beverage company. In January 2015, Forbes placed it second on its list of America’s Most Promising Companies. In August, Coca-Cola paid $90 million for a 30 percent share. Things go better with Coke, no?
“We decided we needed a partner to help us with distribution and greater leverage from a cost standpoint,” Church told The Wall Street Journal.
Other beverage concerns are taking notice.
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Jack White (pictured) & Jim Buechler
Founder & President and CEO, Ballast Point Brewing & Spirits
Making craft beer is said to be an art. Meet Jack White, San Diego’s Picasso.
His craft brewery was recently purchased for $1 billion by Constellation Brands Inc., which owns popular Mexican beers such as Corona and Modela, as well as a host of other products. The news pretty much shocked the local craft beer industry, because no other craft brewery had come close to fetching that kind of a number.
By comparison, the Padres were sold for $800 million three years ago. Yes, a Major League Baseball team was cheaper.
And a number of industry observers thought the earlier purchase of St. Archer Brewing Co. by MillerCoors for a reported $35 million was a big deal. How quaint, no?
It was quite the achievement for White, who started the company about 20 years ago from his home brewery supply store in Linda Vista. It saw growth over the years, but that growth exploded with the hiring of Jim Buechler as president.
Of late, the growth was particularly impressive, with revenue growing to $48.9 million in 2014 — from $26.4 million the year before.
The sale will not change the management picture at Ballast Point. It will continue to be locally run. It will also help further cement San Diego’s reputation as a craft beer leader.
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President and CEO, American National Investments
It’s hard enough to be successful in one particular business field. Gina Champion-Cain happens to succeed in several of them. She’s the force behind a number of highly touted restaurants. She’s also the owner of a vacation home business. And she runs a clothing line.
Um, there’s more. She’s a partner in the Front Porch, a gourmet food and specialty products store, which has two locations. And she’s behind Swell Coffee, which has two cafes and supplies artisan in-house roasted coffees to her restaurants.
And … She’s also the developer who helped bring House of Blues to the Gaslamp Quarter.
Her restaurants include The Patio on Lamont in Pacific Beach and The Patio on Goldfinch in Mission Hills, both of which have been lauded for their food and ambiance. Indeed, The Patio on Goldfinch won an Orchid for interior design in last year’s annual architectural contest, Orchids & Onions.
She continues to expand, as well. This past year, her firm opened The Patio in Left Field at Petco Park, which offers home-run-hitting fare, such as “truly unique duck and bacon sausage served with crispy onions and a blackberry ancho sauce.”
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Vice President and Area Managing Director, Destination Hotels
Mike Slosser has quite the challenge, and that’s to bring the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in Mission Valley out of the Stone Age.
The complex is 62 years old and desperately in need of a makeover. It’s getting one — to the tune of $80 million. Given that kind of investment, industry observers are eager to see what Slosser will pull off.
He’s been in this position before, having been behind the $27 million makeover of L’Auberge Del Mar in Del Mar.
Town and County’s owner, Atlas Hotels, entered into a joint agreement last year with AECOM Capital and Lowe Enterprises to own and operate the resort. It has become part of Lowe’s Destination Hotels collection.
The complex is huge, having the largest convention space outside of downtown. It boasts 935 rooms. However, as part of the makeover, the number of rooms will shrink to fewer than 700.
Slosser has said he is planning a vast overhaul to bring the resort up to speed. That includes a new lobby, fitness center, meeting space and a water attraction. San Diego’s hospitality industry, particularly in downtown, has seen an influx of more modern and trendy hotels.
Town and County’s location, near the intersection of state Route 163 and Interstate 8, gives it much appeal when it comes to access. It also has ample room to accommodate a new vision.
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President, Bartell Hotels
Richard Bartell has plenty of places to spend a night. With the purchase last year of the Hilton San Diego Airport/Harbor Island for $37.7 million, his hotel empire in San Diego now rises to eight.
“The San Diego Airport Hilton is a great fit within our portfolio of waterfront hotels,” he said at the time of the purchase. “This hotel is representative of the iconic San Diego experience and an important step in expanding our footprint in the region.”
Bartell Hotels has a pretty sweet portfolio, what with the Sheraton La Jolla Hotel, The Dana on Mission Bay and Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn & Suites among the properties it owns.
Many are in key, attractive, high-end locations. Most of San Diego’s larger hotels are owned by out-of-town interests, so Bartell has considerable clout, given his local presence.
He continues to upgrade his properties, as well. He plans to spend $5 million on his recent acquisition. In 2012, the company spent $13 million to expand the Holiday Inn San Diego Bayside.
In 2010, with the recession still hurting the local hotel industry, Bartell spent $6 million on improvements. He told the San Diego Union-Tribune at the time:
“We’ve been around for 34 years, and we’re going to be around for another 35 years, so we felt we needed to renovate during good times and bad times, and so we went ahead with aggressive renovation at several of our hotels.”
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President and CEO,Welk Resort Group
Ask a millennial who Lawrence Welk was, and our bet is you will get a blank stare. The former bandleader, who died in 1992, was best known for his long-running “The Lawrence Welk Show,” which featured the playing of old-time classic hits.
So one might think of Welk Resorts, started by Welk, as something destined to die on the vine.
And one would be mistaken.
Welk Resort Group runs a host of timeshare resorts — including the original one in Escondido — that are thriving. It has a lot to do with Jonathan Fredricks, Welk’s grandson, who’s been president since 1999. (His role was expanded to CEO last year.)
The Welk portfolio includes resorts in Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, Branson, Mo., and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. It’s also adding ones in Hawaii and Colorado.
Yes, it’s a growth industry.
According to Business Wire, Welk Resorts is doing a host of improvements to its facilities, including “a multi-million-dollar fitness center expansion, sport court upgrade and Downtown Village refurbishment” at its Escondido location.
“Business is booming at Welk Resorts. Our timeshare sales were up 40 percent in 2014. We are up another 30 percent in 2015, and our guest and owner service and net promoter scores are the highest in the company’s history,” Fredricks said.
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President and CEO, CONNECT
Innovation isn’t automatic. It’s a process. It takes time, money and expertise. Most start-ups don’t have all the tools and components to grow on their own.
CONNECT is a leading technology and life sciences accelerator. Many credit its formation in 1985 for San Diego’s biotech surge. And it had what many believed to be its best leader in Duane Roth, who died following a bike accident in 2013.
Stepping into his shoes was not easy. Greg McKee was tapped to do so.
McKee, like Roth, has a long history in the life sciences field. However, CONNECT works to foster all types of innovative start-ups. Under McKee, CONNECT has helped 200 start-ups through the nonprofit’s Springboard program.
It’s a key organization. San Diego’s economy needs such innovative firms because they help breed similar companies. They create high-paying jobs and help fuel the tax base. And McKee is the influence behind this effort.
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Incoming president, San Diego County Bar Association & Partner, Allen Matkins
Thanks to the San Diego Chargers, we all know what the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, is. In most cases, you need to do a CEQA study to get big projects, such as a football stadium, approved. So it was in the news. A lot.
Heather Riley is an expert on that very complicated statute. She’s also an expert on land-use issues and helped secure land entitlements for the mega-development One Paseo. No easy task, that one.
Last year, she made partner with Allen Matkins, and this year she takes over as president of the San Diego County Bar Association.
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CEO, Silvergate Bank
Running a bank is never easy. You’re not playing with Monopoly money, after all. It’s real cabbage.
Now, imagine taking over a bank right after the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
That’s the position Alan Lane found himself in when he took the reins of Silvergate Bank in 2008.
It wasn’t just the recession that he faced. In December 2006, Silvergate was hit with a cease-and-desist order from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., requiring it to make a host of changes, including in management, to increase liquidity. So Lane had his work cut out for him … to say the least.
However, Lane came in with optimism: “While the current banking environment is challenging, I believe Silvergate will emerge as one of the few strong local, independent banks with the ability to serve the needs of the San Diego business community,” he said.
Sure, such talk is expected when someone first comes on board. However, Lane has delivered, thanks in part to Silvergate’s position at the time. Because it feared a bubble, the bank wasn’t aggressive in handing out loans prior to the recession. Therefore, it wasn’t saddled with as much bad paper as many other banks when that bubble burst.
So Lane took advantage of that. The bank’s assets have soared since Lane took over. It has opened new branches and nearly tripled its number of employees, and profits continue to grow.
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Co-founder and CEO,
Say a homeowner has a bad water heater. If he buys a new one, there’s a good chance he will bargain shop and buy the least expensive one — even if it’s not the most energy-efficient one.
Now, say that person had the chance to buy an energy-efficient one, thanks to a government loan, and the repayment was tied to his property tax bill. Here’s what happens:
Energy is saved. The home value is increased. There’s no cash out-of-pocket.
And, if the homeowner sells the house, the new owner is responsible for the repayment.
That’s the model that Renovate America has embraced, allowing it to help homeowners become more energy efficient by helping the U.S. government distribute monies via the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing program.
Renovate America helps facilitate that through its lending mechanism called the Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program. It partners with local governments and businesses to provide the PACE financing.
J.P. McNeill founded the company from his garage in 2009.
“I’ve invested my time to build a business that can have an impact on the world, because I believe it’s the best strategy for life and business,” he said.
Late last year, Renovate America surpassed $1 billion in loans. It has also helped the nation become more energy efficient. Water conservation projects can be eligible, which is big for San Diego and California.
It’s poised for more growth. Last October, the company raised $90 million in growth equity.
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Founder and President,
Sullivan Solar Power
At 27, Daniel Sullivan saw the light. And, like several of the people on this list, he went about making a dream come true. He started his own solar power company.
It was the birth of his son that inspired him. It was like a light bulb going off. He was concerned about how we are using our energy. A master electrician, he knew there was a better way, which was via sun power.
In June of last year, the company turned 10. In that time, it has grown to employ 160 people and has installed more than 18 million watts of solar power.
“Daniel Sullivan has refused to let anything get in the way of accomplishing his purpose of changing the way this world generates electricity,” Erica Johnson, director of community development at Sullivan Solar Power, told Cleantech magazine.
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Southwest Region Market Lead, Cushman & Wakefield
Consolidation is the name of the game. Beer companies are doing it. Hotels chains are doing it. And real estate firms are doing it.
In real estate, one of the bigger such moves came last year when DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield merged, becoming the world’s second largest commercial real estate services firm, trailing only CBRE.
Those charged with making the transition as seamless as possible have quite the job. In San Diego, it fell to Daniel Broderick, who was DTZ’s regional managing principal in San Diego. He has had to integrate nine offices and 300 employees while keeping the business flowing.
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Chairman of the Board and
Partner, Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty
Forget location, location, location. Think people, people, people.
Steve Games, with co-founders Brian Arrington and Nyda Jones-Church, are outstanding ones, in that they’ve managed to make Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty a powerhouse in the local real estate scene.
The firm’s marketing efforts are sophisticated, innovative and far-reaching. For instance, earlier last year, the firm sent a team to a Sotheby’s event in Hong Kong, where they networked with other Sotheby’s reps and, more importantly Asian investors. In growing numbers, they are looking to the U.S. to buy real estate, particularly luxury offerings.
“The ability to offer our agents and their clients the opportunity to expose their listings to Sotheby’s exclusive clientele provides us with a valuable point of difference in the global real estate market,” Games said on the firm’s blog. “These international relationships and marketing opportunities are something that no other real estate brokerage in San Diego is able to provide.”
Such actions are why Sotheby’s is considered the fastest growing real estate company in the region, with a sales force now numbering more than 500 in 17 offices. Revenue increased an eye-popping 299 percent from 2012 to 2014.
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John P. Case
President & CEO,Realty Income Corp.
Cal Ripken Jr. had a streak. Joe DiMaggio had a streak. And Realty Income Corp. has a streak. It has now delivered 545 consecutive monthly common stock dividends.
It’s even trademarked the name, The Monthly Dividend Company®, to note how it delivers on a monthly, not quarterly, basis.
John P. Case heads the company, a real estate investment trust. It owns more than 4,400 commercial real estate properties throughout the U.S.
It boasts some other heady numbers too, such as paying out more than $3.6 billion since 1969, and 72 consecutive quarterly increases.
Case has the company well-positioned, which is actually a bit of an understatement. In a recent interview with REIT.com, he said the firm had raised, year-to-date, $1.2 billion in equity.
“Our balance sheet has really never been in better shape than it is today,” he said.
And it remains aggressive. “We continue to see a lot of momentum in the acquisitions area. We have sourced to date about $24 billion in investment opportunities, so there is still really good acquisition opportunity flow, and we see that going into 2016,” Case said.