The Valley Economic Alliance Newsletter August-September 2016 Highlights

The Valley Economic Alliance Newsletter August-September 2016 Highlights

The Valley Economic Alliance installs new Board Members at Annual Meeting

24 new Valley leaders were unanimously elected to the Board of Governors of The Valley Economic Alliance (TVEA) at their Annual Meeting on August 25th. The Board of Governors’ business leaders represent a wide sector of the business arena; from government to real estate, from health care to hospitality, and from manufacturing to entertainment. The meeting was hosted by Valley Presbyterian Hospital in the Jean and David W. Fleming Health Education Center.

The newly appointed Board of Directors members include: Paula Bahamon, Vice President of Bank of America; James Bozajian, Mayor of City of Calabasas; Paula Devine, Mayor of City of Glendale; Robert Gonzales, Mayor of City of San Fernando; Kim Guard, Owner of Express Employment Professionals; Dr. David Steele-Figueredo, President of Woodbury University; Jess Talamantes, Mayor of City of Burbank; Gina Uzunyan, Chairman of Southland Regional Association of Realtors; and Katherine Whitman, Co-Chairman of Valley International Trade Association.

The newly appointed Board of Governors members include: Melene Alfonso, VP Advertising/General Manager of Daily News; Dr. Ronald Belczyk, Reconstructive Foot & Ankle Surgery; Damon Cianci, Lead Planner of Kaiser Permanente; Eugene Cohen, Partner of Kucher & Cohen, LLP; Barry Cohn, President & CEO of Really Great Employee Benefits; Jeff Edelstein, Owner of SOS Survival Products; Gus Ghusayni, Senior Vice President of Community Bank; Paul Hara, Project Manager of CB&I; Mark Levinson, Law Offices of Mark Levinson; David LoPresti, Senior Business Development Expert of Goodwill Southern California; Ramella Markarian, VP, Business Development of Glendale Adventist Medical Center; Albert Mata, Center Manager of Biomat USA; Keith McPherson, Founder of A Cool Nerd; Heath Patton, Business Marketing Expert of The Merchant Source; and Sharon Renshall, President of At A Glance Décor.

Five city region representatives presented their “State of the City” reports for the upcoming fiscal year at the meeting. Speakers included Glendale Councilmember Laura Friedman, San Fernando Mayor Robert Gonzales, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Business Development Specialist Frank Aguirre, Burbank Community Development Director Patrick Prescott, and Calabasas Mayor James Bozajian.

Remembering Jerry Feldman
December 26, 1940 – September 4, 2016

It deeply saddens us to inform you about the passing of Jerry Feldman; Economic Alliance board member and Founder and CEO of Callsource.

For the past 25 years, Jerry provided vision to the company and believed passionately in their mission to enhance performance, accomplishments and results for individuals and organizations in work and in life.

Jerry’s greatest passion was supporting veterans. He oversaw his non-profit organization, which helped veterans gain employment with his company and many of the companies subcontractors. Jerry also co-chaired TVEA’s Honor a Hero-Hire a Vet Job and Resource Fair. This signature event continues to be the largest veteran job fair in the country.

Jerry leaves 3 successful and talented children, and 9 grandchildren.

End of Summer Bash Open House
Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wear your best Hawaiian outfit and join TVEA on Wednesday, September 21st to celebrate, eat, drink, network, and learn with businesses TVEA has assisted and partnered with to help grow and save jobs in the region.

DONATION DRIVE! Please bring any new or used dog related items to donate to Animal Hope and Wellness Foundation; a Valley based organization rescuing dogs from the dog meat trade throughout Asia. The Foundation rescues them, provides full rehabilitation services, and finds them loving homes and families.

E-mail Patricia at to RSVP.

Valley Hackathon II
Friday, September 23, 2016

Valley Hackathon II is weeks away! Set for Friday, September 23rd at California State University, Northridge’s (CSUN) Grand Salon from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Valley Hackathon II is a technology focused competition, where teams of high school and college students will come together to develop concepts and usable solutions to a challenge regarding an issue that our community is facing.

Teams will create mobile applications and websites, and present their final ideas to a panel of industry experts and elected officials. Judges will select first, second and third place winning teams. Winning teams will receive prizes sponsored by CSUN, DWP Information Architects, and V Moda.

The judging panel includes City of Los Angeles Councilmember Mitchell Englander; Benita Trujillo, Senior Field Deputy with Supervisor Sheila Kuehl; Adam Velardo, Infrastructure Technology Manager with Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas); Raj Dhillon, District Representative with Senator Robert Hertzberg; Joan Samuels, Director of MCS Career Group; and representatives from City of Los Angeles and City of Calabasas.

Participating schools include CSUN, Glendale Community College, Burbank High School, John Burroughs High School, Providence High School, Fullerton College, Granada Hills Charter High School, Palomar College, Chaffey College, Arcadia High School, Crafton Hills Community College, and more.

Students will also have the chance to network with apprenticeship sponsors at the event, who are offering internship opportunities to applicable candidates. Recruitment representatives from City of Los Angeles, Office of Congressman Tony Cardenas, Office of Senator Robert Hertzberg, LA Promise Fund, and OpenTech will be attending.

Other event sponsors include SoCalGas, Senator Robert Hertzberg, and City of Calabasas.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please contact Angela at to register.

Pay It Forward

A growing economy is one that you put more into than you take out.

TVEA launched it’s new Pay it Forward campaign; a strategy that promotes a resilient economy and reminder to help others out. TVEA Board members are committed to providing support, advice and expertise to new accelerator program businesses. These businesses will gain access to a network of mentors in the San Fernando Valley.

After they complete the start up accelerator phase, they will also join the Pay it Forward campaign and mentor new businesses in the program.

In the News
Valley Biz Seen

TVEA’s recent Annual Board of Governor’s meeting was featured in the San Fernando Valley Business Journal’s Valley Biz Seen Section.

Out and About

Senator Bob Hertzberg recognized and celebrated the efforts that were put into transportation solutions for CSUN, and presented resolutions to TVEA, California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and CSUN student body.

Kenny Broderick, TVEA Business Assistance Consultant, participated in the 2016 StartUp Business Expo Tour on September 1st, with a resource table.

The event was hosted by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration, at The Suites in Woodland Hills.

Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes was installed as President of the League of California Cities, Los Angeles County Division, following a special dinner on August 4th at Castaway Restaurant.

At the “State of the County” Breakfast with Supervisor Michael Antonovich on August 31st at Porter Valley Country Club in Northridge, hosted by the United Chambers of Commerce.

Keith McPherson with 2016 Valley of the Stars Gala honoree Dana Pump, at the pre-gala celebration of the 16th Annual Harold and Carole Pump Foundation Gala at the W Hotel in Hollywood.

The event benefits the Harold Pump Department of Radiation Oncology, the Carole Pump Women’s Center and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Cancer Center at Northridge Hospital Medical Center.

At Fuse FX‘s ribbon cutting celebration of their new office’s in Sherman Oaks on August 31st.

Fuse FX is a visual effects studio that provides visual effects services for film, television, commercials, games, and special venues.

AllTemp Refrigerant Replacement Program

Businesses assisted by TVEA will now be introduced to an energy efficient, eco-friendly and cost saving incentive program with AllTemp and offered a free audit of any current system, in partnership with Alliance investors The Merchant Source.

AllTemp is a universal refrigerant that is the affordable alternative for ozone-depleting HCFC’s, including the highly regulated R-22 (Freon), and even high pressure refrigerants like R410-A. It is designed to work in almost any cooling system, as a refrigerant replacement. The products have a lower global warming potential, as well as the ability to reduce the carbon footprint for a lower Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI). AllTemp refrigerant replacement products have the added advantage of providing significant energy savings, while improving equipment performance for years to come.

AllTemp offers superior performance, efficiency attributes, environmental attributes and cost savings. Benefits include;

  • Energy savings exceeding 25%
  • Lowest retrofit costs with no oil changes, line set changes, valves or seats.
  • Resistant to escaping into the atmosphere. Lowest Global Warming Potential and reduced system leakage.
  • Runs at much lower pressures than traditional refrigerants, resulting in less wear and tear on equipment and leakage.

TVEA will use AllTemp as a resource for cost containment and energy conservation referral when meeting with businesses. TVEA will conduct an initial energy assessment to determine usage and prepare a comprehensive report of each business’ use of energy and water. This audit will review one year worth of energy and water consumption. After three months, a post energy and water saving assessment will be conducted.

For more information, contact Kenny Broderick, Business Assistance Consultant, at

VITA Global Networking Breakfast – Duty Drawback
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Click here for more information

Success Story!
Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe wins Culinary Challenge Champion

TVEA’s business assistance team assisted Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe & Grill in Valley Glen with leasing and relocating needs, financing, and employee training. Things have been moving upward ever since, with a second location added and top honors won at a culinary challenge.

Lusy Gradzhyan, owner and chef of Lusy’s Mediterranean Cafe & Grill in Valley Glen, was one of three chefs to be chosen as a finalist from more than one hundred entries received from restaurant professionals throughout the West Coast. She was named champion at a live, on-stage competition held in front of an audience of trade industry professionals, chefs and restaurant owners at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

They faced off before a panel of industry-prominent judges including Cal-A-Vie Resort’s executive chef Curtis Cooke, executive chef Dana Dare of Los Angeles’ Lawry’s Prime Rib, and Executive Chef Berbard Guilla from Marine Room Restaurant in San Diego.

Gradzhyan was named the Western Food Expo Rapid Fire Champion, received a $1,000 cash prize, and was honored in front of conference attendees and industry peers.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Live2Lead is a half-day, leader development experience happening on October 7th from 8:00am-12:00pm at Cal State University Northridge’s Northridge Center. This event is designed to equip attendees with new perspectives, practical tools and key takeaways. Attendees will learn from world-class leadership experts, be prepared to implement a new action plan, and start leading with renewed passion and commitment.

Visit to register and use discount code VIPTEA at checkout for a discounted ticket of $99.

In the News
New Aircraft Complex takes off at Van Nuys Airport

Long Beach based Aeroplex/Aerolease Group, an aviation property development, management and consulting firm, is building a $7.5 million hangar, office, shop and private terminal complex on three acres at the Van Nuys Airport. The project will feature more than 120,000 square feet of space.

This is the second phase of a project dating back six years. The first phase, a 106,000 sqaure foot aircraft complex was completed in 2008.

Construction began last month and the new complex will include:

  • hangar space for a full range of business aircraft, turbo-props and executive jets.
  • shop, office and terminal space with conference, kitchen and lounge facilities.
  • a private and gated secure parking lot for 45 vehicles.

Kenn Phillips, President and CEO of The Valley Economic Alliance, said that this is a nice win for the local economy, especially since travelers can now clear customs at the Van Nuys Airport. “This is outstanding news. You will see all the work that is now going on at the airport and this is only going to help international travel,” he said. “They now have well over 2000,000 takeoffs and landings at Van Nuys.”

Read Full

Source: Los Angeles Daily News

Honor a Hero-Hire a Vet Job & Resource Fair
Thursday, November 10, 2016

The most anticipated veteran job fair of the year! The Honor a Hero-Hire a Vet Job and Resource Fair is on Thursday, November 10th, from 9am-1pm, at the Warner Center Marriott Hotel in Woodland Hills.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. Employer exhibit opportunities are also available for businesses with job openings. Early bird registration is $299 until October 14th. After this date, the registration fee is $349.

Please contact Erica at for more information or to register.

TVEA Board Members Nominated for San Fernando Award in Volunteerism

A city councilman gives $300,000 from his pension to charity. A former teacher turns a failing school into the nation’s first independent charter school. Others rolled up their sleeves to help San Fernando Valley children, women and disabled adults.

For nearly six decades, the Fernando Awards Foundation has honored the Valley’s top philanthropist or community volunteer.

This year, it nominated 13 civic leaders for its prestigious Fernando Award, which will be conferred at a black-tie gala September 24th at the Globe Theater at Universal Studios Hollywood.

“I feel that we are moving in the direction of diversity, in terms of the type of people being nominated,” said foundation President David S. Honda, a recipient of the 2009 Fernando Award. “I’m excited that the nominees come from the northeast San Fernando Valley to the southwest.

Each year, the Fernando Award honors a Valley-area resident for a lifetime of civic, philanthropic and volunteer work in what’s long been dubbed the Academy Award of Volunteerism. Finalists are judged on their volunteerism and support of charitable, cultural, religious groups and service organizations.

Last fall, the Fernando Award was presented to civic leader, family attorney and TVEA Board Member Mark L. Levinson.

This year’s Fernando Award theme is “Volunteerism is the price you pay for rent on this earth.” The 2016 Fernando Award nominees are:

  • Kevin Dobson, actor and TVEA Board Member
  • Brad Rosenheim, land-use consultant and TVEA Board Member
  • Dale Surowitz, CEO of Providence Tarzana Medical Center and TVEA Board Member
  • Mike Quiroga, owner of Mike’s Roofing and Building and TVEA Board Member 
  • Yvonne Chan, founder of the Vaughn Learning Center
  • Paul Davis, insurance agent
  • Dennis DeYoung, owner Financial West Group
  • Jeri Dye Lynch, president of Pinecrest Schools
  • Horace Heidt, president of Horace Heidt Agency
  • Johnny Higginson, co-founder of the Shadow Hills Riding Club
  • Judith Hirshberg, civic activist
  • Carole V. Scherzer, co-owner of Scherzer International
  • Dennis Zine, former Los Angeles councilman


Source: LA Daily News


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