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Ambassador of the Month Archive

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Applied Innovation Doubling Cove Footprint at UCI Park

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The Cove, the University of California-Irvine’s tech facility and office space that is home to the school’s Applied Innovation business and entrepreneur incubator program, is gearing up to expand its presence in Orange County’s startup scene. UCI Applied Innovation this month told the Business Journal that it had put the finishing touches on a new lease that will nearly double the Cove’s square footage at UCI Research Park, a 36-building business park next to the university that’s run by Newport Beach-based Irvine Co. Applied Innovation currently occupies about 46,000 square feet of space at UCI Research Park; its new home will run...
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Assembly Committee to Hold Hearing on Privacy Act

Thursday, February 21, 2019

California Chamber of Commerce Policy Advocate Sarah Boot will address the Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee at an informational hearing to discuss the rights, protections and obligations established by the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). California Consumer Privacy Act The CCPA is a sweeping privacy law that applies to businesses of all sizes across almost every industry. It was rushed through the legislative process in the summer of 2018 without the benefit of input from numerous crucial stakeholders. As a result, the law is deeply flawed. Many of the CCPA’s provisions are simply unworkable in practice or will result in numerous...
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Federal Tax Changes Could Be Why California’s Budget Is More Than $2 Billion Below Projections

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s hopes for a record-setting tax revenue windfall this year could depend on whether California’s wealthiest residents are simply waiting until the last moment to pay up — a reaction to the 2017 federal tax changes championed by President Trump. State financial experts reported fiscal year-to-date revenues are more than $2.3 billion below the expectations set by Newsom’s first spending plan. But they believe the money is simply delayed, not missing.  “We don’t think it reflects any underlying weakness in the economy,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the California Department of Finance. Instead, what state economists are now projecting is...
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Global Green to Expand Biogas Generation & Food Recovery Initiative for a Second Year - Seeking Two New Southern California Partner Cities

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Non-profit Global Green announced it will select two Southern California cities as new partners in the second year of its Expanding Biogas Generation & Food Recovery Initiative, which increases access to and the effectiveness of food waste recycling programs and demonstrates food-waste-to-biogas scenarios for participating cities. The initiative uses an Eco-Ambassador resident outreach model, which recruits motivated apartment dwellers to take ownership over their building’s waste diversion and serve as a community resource in order to expand participating cities’ food waste recycling programs. Global Green will also select two additional cities to model food-waste-to-biogas scenarios. Cities will be chosen based on...
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Destination Irvine’s Leading Role in Hotel Partners’ Success

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Wendy Haase, senior director of Destination Irvine, and colleagues AnaLaura Beccera, director of corporate sales, and Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, recently presented details to Irvine hotel directors and sales managers on Destination Irvine’s central role in promoting the city as a preferred overnight destination in Southern California for meeting groups, sports organizations, and business and leisure travelers. The presentation provided insight on how the hoteliers can leverage their partnership with the organization’s sales team and utilize Destination Irvine resources when booking business at their properties, including meeting planner incentives and marketing materials like the annual Irvine Visitors Guide. “This was...
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IPSF Awards Over $200,000 in Innovative Grants to Irvine Teachers

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Each year, Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) offers teachers and staff in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) the opportunity to apply for funds through the Innovative Grants Program to implement new and creative approaches to teaching and counseling. The purpose of this grant program is to support innovation in schools by awarding funds to launch new curriculum and improve the educational experiences of students. The program in total will award 25 projects and over $200,000 in grant monies this year to support innovative teaching methods in schools. IPSF, a Greater Irvine Chamber education partner, this year awarded eight mega grants, up to...
Irvine is an Active Person's Dream, Says Seattle Refined

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Irvine’s preserved natural lands, miles of hiking and biking trails, and its world-class sports complex at the Orange County Great Park make the city an ideal destination for an active traveler, according to Seattle Refined. The online news publication highlighted popular outdoor activities within the city including the top-rated Quail Hill trail, and Bommer Canyon trail. While laying on a beach all day is definitely relaxing, perhaps you're the type of vacationer who likes to break a sweat during their PTO. Active vacations are becoming more and more popular, and if you're looking to shake up your routine in 2019, a...
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iShuttle Gets Commuters the ‘Last Mile’ to Work

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

A cooperative agreement between the City of Irvine and Orange County Transportation Authority has resulted in an expansion of the weekday commuter iShuttle routes from two convenient train stations. “My commitment to reducing traffic is helped each workday with the longtime success of the iShuttle from our two stations,” said Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “Hundreds of Irvine workers arrive daily from other cities and hop aboard for the ‘last mile’ ride to their destination. Some Irvine residents, of course, also are taking the iShuttle to the stations, to work elsewhere. These two new routes will make the daily trips to...
Irvine: The City of Health

Monday, February 18, 2019

By Bryan Starr, President and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce As published in the Feb. 18 issue of the Orange County Business Journal. Irvine is an impressive community in many ways as the result of the visionary Irvine Master Plan established more than a half-century ago. A major factor in the city’s exceptional quality of life today is convenient access to some of the finest healthcare institutions in the world. Patients accessing healthcare in Irvine, from routine maintenance to advanced disease treatment, receive top care delivered by some of the world’s most expert practitioners using the latest science and technology. Greater Irvine...
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Los Olivos Community Park Set to Open in March

Thursday, February 14, 2019

The public is invited to the grand opening of Los Olivos Community Park. The dedication event will take place Saturday, March 2, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. The event will showcase the new 12.5-acre park, which features lighted baseball and soccer fields, a lighted basketball court, four tennis courts, and a musical-themed playground inspired by the former Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre. In addition, the 6,700-square-foot community center will feature a large multipurpose room, warming kitchen, and patio area. The dedication event will feature: Self-guided tours of the facility; On-site tennis pro to answer questions about tennis programming; And entertainment by Concerts for Charities Club, which...
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UC Irvine Most Popular UC Campus Among California High School Students Applying to College

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member University California, Irvine  has become the top choice in the UC system for California high school students. The university announced recently that the 70,540 soon-to-be graduates who applied to the campus for the upcoming fall semester were the most among the nine campuses in the University of California system. “We have very robust outreach efforts,” campus spokesman Tom Vasich said. That includes helping high school students realize they have the potential to attend college and helping them navigate the application process. The university has partnerships with high schools and community colleges in Santa Ana, Anaheim, Compton, and...
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Irvine Unified Students to Present Ethics Forum Projects to Greater Irvine Chamber Committee

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Eight teams from a total of 28 students from Irvine High School will present their final Ethics Forum projects to business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Business and Workforce Development Committee meeting, on Tuesday, March 19, 4 - 6 p.m. Chamber members and guests are invited to attend the meeting, which will be held at the Chamber, located at 36 Executive Park, Suite 100. The presentations serve as the final piece of the semester-long Ethics Forum program, created for students by the Business and Workforce Development Committee in partnership with Irvine Unified School District and Webster University, Irvine...
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Meet the Speakers at the Women of Influence Champagne Reception

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

This year’s Women of Influence event, on Friday, March 8, will feature a champagne reception from 2:15 to 3 p.m., immediately following the program, providing the opportunity for professional women to connect and meet keynote speaker Gina Osborn, president of G-Girl Productions and former FBI Special Agent; and opening speaker Marisa Wayne, owner of GritCycle and founding member of the John Wayne Cancer Foundation. Attendees will also have a chance to win a luxury giveaway basket valued at more than $300 during the reception. New this year, the program will include the presentation of the 2019 Greater Irvine Chamber Woman of...
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Electronic Filing Doesn’t Relieve Employers of Hard Copy Requirements

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The recent requirement to submit Form 300A data electronically doesn’t relieve employers of the responsibility to post the hard copy Form 300A each year. Each establishment (place of business) must post the Form 300A from February 1 to April 30 in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees normally are posted. This requirement, in addition to all others listed in Section 14300.32 of the California Code of Regulations, remains in effect. Unfortunately, this fact was not included as a note in the electronic filing regulation to ensure that the electronic filing requirement was not perceived to be the new norm, bypassing the requirement for the hard copy. Providing Form 300A Copy Employees...
2019 John Colvin Memorial Scholarship Application Period Open

Monday, February 11, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, in coordination with the Colvin family, established the John Colvin Memorial Scholarship in honor of John Greg Colvin. Colvin was a long time-resident of Orange County, active Chamber member and chair of the Business Attraction & Retention Committee. He died in 2014 while training for an Ironman Triathlon. This year, the Chamber will award two scholarships of $2,500 each to two students who have been accepted to or are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program at a university or college with a campus in Irvine. This scholarship does not go directly to the school,...
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City of Irvine, Business Community Band Together for Educational Excellence

Monday, February 11, 2019

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) has released its 2019 list of Top 100 Companies Supporting Education Excellence. Heading the list is the City of Irvine. Also included is the Greater Irvine Chamber and several of its Leaders Circle sponsors, Allergan; Cox Automotive; Cox Communications; FivePoint; Google; Google Fiber; Hoag Hospital; Hoag Orthopedic Institute; Kaiser Permanente; Kia Motors America; University of California, Irvine; UPS, Waste Management; and Wells Fargo. All 100 supporting organizations were formally recognized during a VIP reception at the Resort at Pelican Hill in February. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations, Jessica Welch, and Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner. Steve Churm, , FivePoint,...
Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Industry's Top Honors

Monday, February 11, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr has been named the 2019 Executive of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). Starr was selected from CEOs throughout the Western United States and was formally recognized during the 2019 W.A.C.E. Conference in Anaheim in front of more than 500 attendees. Starr was honored for leading the Greater Irvine Chamber to achievements in membership attainment goals, economic development, staff empowerment, thought leadership, and positioning the organization as a leader in advancing economic vitality in greater Irvine. Greater Irvine Chamber Vice President of Operations Jessica Welch, IOM, received the 2019...
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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation

Monday, February 11, 2019

Last fall, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. signed SB 1300 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), a comprehensive bill that makes several changes in the law for litigating sexual harassment claims. SB 1300 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment. The bill also amends FEHA to specify that an employer may be responsible for the acts of nonemployees for all forms of harassment, rather than the responsibility being limited to sexual harassment, as it was before SB 1300 took effect. Further, the bill prohibits...
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Workers Waiting ‘On Call’ Must Be Paid, Court Rules

Monday, February 11, 2019

Employees who are required to stay “on call” before the start of a possible work shift — phoning their employer two hours before the shift to learn whether they’re needed — are entitled to be paid for that two-hour period regardless of whether they’re called in to work, a state appeals court ruled. In a 2-1 decision with potentially broad impact, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles said on-call employees are protected by a 1943 California Industrial Welfare Commission wage order, still in effect, that entitles employees to “reporting time pay” as soon as they are required to report...
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Community Partnerships Strengthen Future OC Workforce

Friday, February 08, 2019

Nearly 300 students from Orange County high schools and community colleges visited Irvine-based technology and life science companies for the second annual Irvine Career Discovery Day on Feb. 5, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber along with nonprofit partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation, Orange County United Way, and Vital Link. “Irvine Career Discovery Day is part of the Chamber’s workforce development initiative. The event provides an opportunity for students to see first-hand the exciting 21st-century career paths available to them here in Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Preparing our future workforce is key to fulfilling the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The career exploration...
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A Robust Job Gain in January Shows US Economy’s Durability

Monday, February 04, 2019

U.S. employers shrugged off last month’s partial shutdown of the government and engaged in a burst of hiring in January, adding 304,000 jobs, the most in nearly a year. The healthy gain the government reported illustrated the job market’s resilience nearly a decade into the economic expansion. The U.S. has now added jobs for 100 straight months, the longest such period on record. The unemployment rate did rise in January to 4 percent from 3.9 percent, the Labor Department said, but mostly for a technical reason: The number of people counted as temporarily unemployed jumped 175,000, with most of that increase consisting...
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California to Thrash Out Gig Worker Status in Upcoming Bills

Monday, February 04, 2019

Gig worker or employee? California will wrestle with that question this year with efforts under way in Sacramento to either codify or limit a groundbreaking state Supreme Court decision issued in April. The ruling, in a suit brought by delivery drivers at Dynamex, made it harder for businesses to classify workers as independent contractors. It implemented a formula, called the ABC test, that says workers are employees if companies control what they do, if their tasks are central to a company’s core business, and if they don’t run independent businesses doing that work. The ruling could upend scores of industries that rely on...
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City of Hope Brings its World-Class Cancer Care Network to Orange County

Monday, February 04, 2019

In one of the most ambitious initiatives in its 106-year history, City of Hope is expanding its world-class cancer care network to Orange County, beginning with the purchase of a 12,500-square-foot facility in Newport Beach. The new 1601 Avocado Ave. facility is the official start to City of Hope extending its personalized, compassionate, and technologically-advanced care to the county. The Newport Beach site is projected to open in late 2019 and will house lifesaving medical services, such as breast and other medical oncology, and convenient access to subspecialists. This expansion will be the first spoke of the main health campus planned to...
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Class Action Settlement Doesn’t Prevent 2nd Lawsuit

Monday, February 04, 2019

An employee who was a member of a wage-and-hour class action settlement with her employer, is able to pursue a subsequent lawsuit against her employer for a claim that was not alleged in the first case, said the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a recent opinion. The employer settled in federal court a wage-and-hour class action lawsuit that claimed the employer failed to pay wages and overtime, provide meal and rest breaks, provide accurate wage statements and reimburse business expenses. Second Lawsuit After the first case was settled, one of the class members filed a Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) case in...
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CPA Pushes for Trade-Competitive Tax Policies

Monday, February 04, 2019

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) is asking Congress to improve the federal tax system to promote U.S. trade competitiveness. In a letter to both the Senate Finance and House Ways & Means Committees, CPA pressed for consideration of both a destination-based Sales Factor Apportionment tax system (SFA) and a Strategic Goods and Services Tax (GST). “The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act represented an important step forward and is supported by many of our members,” said Brian O’Shaughnessy, CPA’s Vice Chairman. “However, Congress now has the opportunity to dramatically improve the international trade competitiveness of U.S.-based companies and workers. Our...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City During International Media Marketplace

Monday, February 04, 2019

Wendy Haase, director of tourism marketing, Destination Irvine, shared Irvine story ideas with travel journalists and influencers during the 3rd Annual TravMedia International Media Marketplace (IMM) in New York City on Jan. 24. IMM is the travel and tourism industry’s leading event for the media to meet travel and tourism brands. Destination Irvine had 24 pre-scheduled appointments with top travel journalists, editors and influencers to discuss the destinations’ latest news, events and developments. For more information about Irvine as a destination, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Destination Irvine Promotes City’s Sports Assets at America’s Most Unique Sports Trade Show

Monday, February 04, 2019

Dave Lucey, director of sports sales for Destination Irvine, in January met with more than 20 organizations, including USA Volleyball, USA Rugby, and International Slow-pitch Softball, during one-on-one appointments and networking opportunities at the third annual Sports Express trade show held in Honolulu, Hawaii. Unlike other sports industry conferences, the week-long Sports Express trade show is centered on maximizing attendees’ interactions with the industry’s most active sports planners. Lucey works to promote Irvine’s sports facilities, including those at the Orange County Great Park, to attract major sports tournaments and events worldwide. During the first six months of the 2018-2019 fiscal year, he...
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EEO-1 Filing Delayed and Extended

Monday, February 04, 2019

The EEO-1 submission deadline has been extended to May 31, 2019. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has delayed the “opening day” of the 2018 EEO-1 Survey to early March 2019 and moved the due date to May 31, 2019. The recent government shutdown caused this postponement. The EEO-1 is an annual survey that requires all private employers with 100 or more employees and federal contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a federal contract, subcontract or purchase order amounting to $50,000 or more to file the EEO-1 report. Details and instructions for the 2018 EEO-1 filers, including the exact date...
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Form 300A: Don’t Forget to Post Through April

Monday, February 04, 2019

Businesses need remember to post the Form 300A summary of job-related injuries and illnesses from 2018 at their place of business from February 1 through April 30. Employers are required to post only the summary (Form 300A) — not the log (Form 300). The summary must list the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred in the previous year and were logged on the Form 300. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses in the previous year still must post the summary with zeros on the “total” line. A company executive must certify all establishment summaries. The summary must be displayed in a common area...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Members Recognized in Forbes’ America’s Best Employers for Diversity

Monday, February 04, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Kaiser Permanente, Google, and University of California, Irvine, have been recognized as some of America’s Best Employers for Diversity in 2019 by Forbes. Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to create its second annual ranking of America’s best employers for diversity. The list was compiled by surveying 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. Respondents were first asked to rate their organizations on criteria such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability, and sexual orientation equality, as well as that of general diversity. These responses were...
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Irvine Valley College Hosts 32nd Annual Astounding Inventions Competition

Monday, February 04, 2019

More than 2,000 students participated in the Irvine Valley College 32nd Annual Astounding Inventions student competition presented by Cox Communications and sponsored by Knobbe Martens. Students from both the Irvine and Tustin Unified School Districts competed for prizes in this elaborate science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) competition that fosters student entrepreneurship and creative thinking. Students had the option of submitting a traditional poster or creating a video to describe their project. In addition to the invention competition, Edwards Lifesciences hosted the Innovation Village Center with hands-on STEAM activities that were free and open to all. During fall 2018, nearly 4,000 students...
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Irvine Wins 2018 California Park & Recreation Society’s Award of Excellence in Marketing

Monday, February 04, 2019

The City of Irvine was selected as the 2018 California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) Marketing and Communications Award of Excellence recipient for the “Your Irvine” marketing campaign. The city competed for the award against government agencies serving populations of 250,000 or more. “This award is due to the hard work of a lot of good people in the city dedicated to making life easier and better for our citizens and for everyone who uses our world-class parks,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. The CPRS award reflects Irvine’s commitment to strategically and efficiently implement a new online registration and reservations software system...
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Irvine’s Quail Hill Rated No. 1 Hiking Trail in Orange County

Monday, February 04, 2019

With 12,000 acres of preserved natural habitats and wildlands, there are abundant open-space recreation options in Irvine. As a testament, the city has earned a top spot in VacationIdea Magazine’s list of the “25 Best Hiking Trails in Orange County.” The online travel magazine recently rated Irvine’s Quail Hill Loop Trail the number one hiking trail in the entire county. The Quail Hill Loop Trail trailhead is located at one end of Sand Canyon Road. The moderately difficult 9-mile dirt trail goes up Quail Hill through a scenic wilderness area and quickly gains 1,702 feet in elevation. The view from the...
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OC World Trade Week 2019 Presents Export Experts in the Program’s Panel Discussion

Monday, February 04, 2019

Leading Orange County exporters Billy Grenham of Taco Bell, Harvinder Mudahar of Technologent, and Michael Delaney of Worldwide Environmental Products, Inc., will share their experiences in international trade during the Export Success Panel at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. The Export Success Panel is a perennial favorite, offering attendees insights into the challenges and opportunities for business expansion through exporting. Billy Grenham leads international marketing for Taco Bell out of the Global Headquarters in Irvine. He is...
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Career Edge Workshop Helps College Students Hone Employer Sought Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills

Sunday, February 03, 2019

Two dozen students from Orange County colleges and universities attended the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Feb. 2 Career Edge workshop, Practical Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, instructed by Dr. Brian Dozer, director of Webster University, Irvine Metro Campus. Dr. Dozer, who serves as co-chair of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, introduced the group to ethics, ethical issues, and how personal ethical considerations can change the way one makes important decisions.  “Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills in the 21st century. Dr. Brian Dozer is just the right person to coach attendees in these vital areas of expertise,”...
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City of Hope Joins Greater Irvine Chamber as Platinum-Level Leaders Circle Sponsor

Friday, February 01, 2019

City of Hope has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Platinum Sponsor. “City of Hope Orange County is proud to join the Greater Irvine Chamber. We look forward to a collaborative year ahead,” said Annette Walker, president, City of Hope Orange County. “Our organizations are committed to passionately advocating for the interests of the Orange County community. The Chamber is focused on improving the community’s economic health, and City of Hope Orange County strives to improve cancer health—it’s a partnership that goes hand in hand.” City of Hope is an independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and...
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Taco Bell HQ Renews Lease In Irvine, Staying True to SoCal Roots

Friday, February 01, 2019

Taco Bell, America’s #1 Mexican restaurant, will remain headquartered in Southern California until 2030. The global brand has agreed to an 11-year lease extension for its Restaurant Support Center at the 1 Glen Bell Way location in Irvine. Taco Bell has spent all of its nearly 57 years of business in Southern California and moved into its current building in 2010. The lease agreement with property owners LBA Realty was facilitated by Cushman & Wakefield’s Irvine office.   “As a brand with Southern California in our DNA, we’re excited to remain in Irvine and continue to grow where we have deep roots,”...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Executive Leadership Present State of the Chamber to Irvine City Council

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber executive team made a presentation on the State of the Chamber to the Irvine City Council and members of the public during the Jan. 22 Irvine City Council meeting. The presentation provided insight into recent accomplishments and current initiatives as they relate to the Chamber’s mission to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. “[Chamber executives] are here to talk about the [Greater Irvine] Chamber and Irvine’s economic vitality,” Irvine Mayor Don Wagner said. “And, there is no better partner than the Chamber of Commerce.” Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Chamber, and Linda DiMario, executive vice...
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Irvine Tops List in Financial Health

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Irvine is the financially healthiest big city in America, according to a new study by a nonprofit dedicated to financial transparency in the public sector. “Irvine is a community that was master-planned for success from its inception more than 50 years ago. Its founders planned the city to ensure sustainable fiscal strength long into the future,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO,Greater Irvine Chamber. “It comes as no surprise that Irvine has been recognized for its financial health.”  California’s other big cities fall firmly in the middle, with Southern California burgs healthier than many of their Northern California counterparts, says Chicago-based watchdog group Truth in Accounting. The...
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OC Students to Explore Career Paths at Irvine-based Tech and Life Science Companies

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Nearly 300 students from Orange County high schools and community colleges are set to visit Irvine-based technology and life science companies for the second annual Irvine Career Discovery Day on Feb. 5, hosted by the Greater Irvine Chamber along with nonprofit partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation, United Way Orange County, and Vital Link. “This is an opportunity for students to see first-hand the exciting 21st century career paths available to them here in Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Irvine Career Discovery Day is part of our workforce development initiative. The Chamber’s mission is to advance the economic...
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Thought Leaders Deliver Insights at Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation Forum

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Thought leaders from the Greater Irvine Chamber and UCI Applied Innovation as well as others from healthcare and technology sectors in Orange County discussed strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders during the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Jan. 24, at UCI Applied Innovation. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is engaged in supporting the innovation ecosystem in impactful ways – research, activities, programs, and most importantly, collaboration with partners to advance our rate of innovation. We are proud to contribute to an ecosystem that fuels amazing levels of life science...
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With Nearly Half a Million Dollars in Closed Business, Kim Am Earns Rainmaker Award for Final Quarter in 2018

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With $408,385 in closed business, Kim Am has earned the Greater Irvine Chamber’s title of Rainmaker for the last quarter in 2018. Her performance in the Thursday Morning Leads Group contributed to the group’s total of $446,536, putting it in the top spot among all the Leads Groups for total closed sales during the period. Am, vice president and director of sales-payments for Commercial Bank of California, has participated in the Thursday Morning Leads Group since joining the Chamber in November 2018. “Whether it’s showing up to network, continuing to serve others, or continuing to seek opportunities to learn and grow as a person, putting...
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Global Managing Director of Experian Decision Analytics, Steve Wagner, to Deliver OC World Trade Week Keynote Address

Monday, January 28, 2019

Steve Wagner, global managing director of Experian Decision Analytics, will deliver the keynote address at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. Wagner was appointed global managing director of Experian Decision Analytics in 2018 and serves as the global business leader for Experian’s analytics, fraud, identity, and decision software businesses. He also serves on the Global Operating Committee of Experian, PLC and as chairman of the Experian social innovation fund, focused on improving the lives of...
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NLRB Empowers Companies to Treat More Workers as Independent Contractors

Monday, January 28, 2019

The National Labor Relations Board made it easier for companies to treat their workers as independent contractors excluded from federal labor protections, overturning an Obama-era precedent. By a 3-1 party-line vote, Republican board members sided against shuttle van drivers for SuperShuttle, who were seeking to unionize at Dallas-Fort Worth airport. The NLRB ruled that they were independent contractors, not employees, and therefore weren’t protected by a New Deal-era law enshrining workers’ right to organize. The board overruled a 2014 case, FedEx Home Delivery, in which a Democratic majority on the NLRB had established a standard making it easier for workers to be...
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US Treasury Set to Borrow $1 Trillion for a Second Year to Finance the Deficit

Monday, January 28, 2019

The U.S. Treasury Department is set to maintain elevated sales of long-term debt to finance the government’s widening budget deficit, with new issuance projected to top $1 trillion for a second-straight year. Many strategists at primary-dealer firms predict that the Jan. 30 quarterly refunding announcement will see the Treasury maintain note and bond sales at the record high levels they have boosted them to in recent months. The total amount of 3-, 10- and 30-year securities to be offered at next week’s refunding auctions is seen by most at $84 billion. While that’s $1 billion more than the total for these maturities three months...
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Breaking Down the H-1B Visa Process

Friday, January 25, 2019

H-1B visa season officially opens on April 1, 2019, but employers seeking these high-demand visas have much work to do to be prepared when the day comes — because believe it or not, they’re typically claimed within a week.  The H-1B program allows companies in the U.S. to temporarily hire foreign workers in occupations that require highly specialized knowledge — workers who have a bachelor’s degree or higher in their specific specialty, or its equivalent, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Stated simply, the H-1B visa — commonly known as a U.S. work visa — allows American employers to...
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Updated Human Trafficking Notices Released

Friday, January 25, 2019

The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) recently released updated human trafficking notices for employers. California law requires some businesses to post a human trafficking notice near the public entrance or another conspicuous location where the public and employees may view the notice. The notice provides hotline and text numbers for the public and victims of human trafficking to seek help or report unlawful activity. The notice must be at least 8.5 x 11 inches in size, written in a 16-point font and must be in English, Spanish and one other language that is the most widely spoken language in the county where the business...
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HR Boot Camp Seminars for 2019 Start Next Month

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Are there any exceptions to California’s meal and rest break rules? How does the New Parent Leave Act interact with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act/California Family Rights Act? These are just a few of the daunting questions you likely face if you’re new to handling human resources in California. When managing the complexities of your compliance with California employment laws, you’re certainly not alone. Join your peers at one of CalChamber’s upcoming HR Boot Camp seminars throughout Northern and Southern California. From hiring through termination, our compliance experts explain core fundamentals of the employment life cycle, in addition to discussing employer requirements, policies...
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Orange County Great Park Development to Speed Up In 2019

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Progress at the Orange County Great Park was slow for nearly a decade after its most visible feature – the big orange balloon – debuted, but after picking up in 2017, development there is expected to snowball in the next several years. This year at Irvine’s 688-acre sports and recreation mecca, new features are opening, including one of the largest public ice facilities in the country and a 40-acre natural area with trees, walking paths and a dog park. Residents will also get a glimpse of things to come, with the city expected to sign agreements to bring a children’s museum, water...
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SoCalGas Names New COO and New President

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member SoCalGas recently announced several executive leadership changes as part of an ongoing effort to align Sempra Energy’s management teams with strategic priorities and strengthen its leadership with a balance of deep operational and energy policy experience. The new executive leadership will help steward SoCalGas into California’s clean energy future while continuing to provide safe and reliable gas service to the company’s 21 million customers across Central and Southern California.  In December 2018, Bret Lane, formerly SoCalGas’ president and chief operating officer, was named chief executive officer. During his 36 years at SoCalGas, Lane has demonstrated exceptional leadership...
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Former FBI Special Agent Gina Osborn to Deliver 2019 Women of Influence Keynote

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Gina Osborn, a former FBI Special Agent and current president of G-Girl Productions, will deliver a keynote address to more than 500 expected attendees at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence luncheon on Friday, March 8. Osborn is a screenwriter for G-Girl Productions, her entertainment production and content development company. Much of her work is inspired by her 28-year career in law enforcement. She began her career in 1986 by enlisting in the U.S. Army as a Counterintelligence Special Agent where she served six years during the Cold War working the highest profile espionage cases in the European Theater.   In...
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Irvine City Management Addresses Packed House at January Economic Vitality Council Meeting

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Irvine’s city management team provided an update on its plans for the upcoming year to a packed house during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s January Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting. “Irvine is a city of tremendous ambition. It was born of ambition. Irvine has a great past and an even greater future ahead of it,” Irvine City Manager John Russo said to more than 60 business and community leaders that attended the meeting. Among other topics, Russo discussed plans and progress at the Orange County Great Park. Maryanna Marisheva, assistant city manager, provided details of Irvine’s newly approved two-year budget. Pete Carmichael, director of...
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$10,000 Grant Awarded to Emerging Hispanic-Serving Institution in Orange County

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Edison International recently recognized the Latina Leadership Conference at Concordia University Irvine for its outreach to students in underserved communities with a $10,000 grant. The grant, part of Edison’s commitment to cultivate access to higher education in underserved communities, supports the free half-day Conference for first-generation high school and community college girls and parents to learn how to navigate the road to college. The award marks the first time that the Conference—only in its third year—is recognized with a grant award. With nearly a quarter of its undergraduate student population identifying as Hispanic or Latino, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Concordia...
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Chamber Life Science and Technology Delegation Returning to UK

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of City of Irvine officials, business leaders, and life science and technology experts returning to the U.K. The delegates are set to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Irvine/Orange County in Southern California specifically. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with, and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when considering expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission, planned for Feb. 11-15,...
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Destination Irvine Recognizes Hotel Employee as part of the Spirit of Hospitality Award

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Maria Sanchez, housekeeping supervisor, Embassy Suites, is the second quarter recipient of Destination Irvine’s hospitality employee recognition program. Maria was nominated by Ken Beck, director of sales, Embassy Suites, because she was awarded the hotel’s 2018 Associate of the Year and she is the hotel's MVP in the housekeeping department.  Maria is always willing to go above and beyond, helping with all associates, while, personally handling the hotel’s VIP requests. The Spirit of Hospitality Award recognizes back of house and front of house hospitality professionals who deliver exceptional experiences daily. Winners in this category are those who exhibit exemplary behavior in...
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Destination Irvine Showcases the City at Taste of OC Media Event

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Wendy Haase, senior director, Destination Irvine, promoted the destination to more than 20 Seattle-based travel writers, bloggers, and influencers during the Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) “Taste of OC” Event. The event featured a four-course meal along with a signature cocktail and dessert that represented restaurants from six of the seven Orange County destinations attending. The OCVA represents Orange County as one of the world’s premier travel destinations by providing brand marketing stewardship and information dissemination, collective industry advocacy, and educational opportunities. Destination Irvine participates in several of the OCVA’s initiatives including past media events in Houston and Dallas, Chinese tour operator...
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From Travel to IPOs, How Shutdown is Upsetting US Economy

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Delta Air Lines can’t get eight new aircraft in the air. Roughly a million government employees and contractors aren’t being paid. Some Americans who are trying to start small businesses face delays in obtaining the required tax identification number from the IRS. As the partial government shutdown moves through its fourth week with no end in sight, the economic blow is being felt not only by federal workers but also by business people, households and travelers across the country. And while the hit to the overall economy so far remains slight, economist foresee real damage if the shutdown drags into February...
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Irvine Unified Has Added More Than 1,100 Teachers in Eight Years

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber education partner Irvine Unified School District has hired 1,156 teachers since 2011. That amounts to an astonishing 67 percent of IUSD’s teaching staff. While many Orange County districts are seeing a decline in enrollment, Irvine has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, driven by new residential development in the city. But newer educators continue to share and promote IUSD’s core values, Superintendent Terry Walker said during Irvine’s State of the District presentation on Jan. 18.  “They are passionate, compassionate, flexible and adaptable, student-centered, reflective, collaborative, relationship-centered and courageous,” Walker said. IUSD’s second annual State of the District was held in the performing...
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Leaders Circle Member WNDE Announces New Partner

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE), a regional accounting and advisory firm, has announced the promotion of Joshua Basile, CPA to partner. A member of the firm since 2004, Basile provides tax advisory, tax preparation and review, and estate planning services to a variety of businesses and individuals. He also performs attestation services for governmental entities. Basile primarily serves in the firm’s Carlsbad office where he is heavily involved in the recruiting and training programs. “Josh has proven himself to be an instrumental member of our team,” said Paul Treinen, CPA, Managing Partner of White Nelson...
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Major Free Trade Agreements Pending

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

As the new year begins, a number of international trade agreements are pending between the United States and major trading partners. Trade agreements can ensure that the United States may continue to gain access to world markets, which will result in an improved economy and additional employment of Americans. U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement First is the 2018 negotiated U.S.-Mexico-Canada Free Trade Agreement, with the objectives to eliminate barriers to trade, promote conditions of fair competition, increase investment opportunities, provide adequate protection of intellectual property rights, establish effective procedures for implementing and applying the agreements and resolving disputes, and to further trilateral, regional and multilateral cooperation. The...
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SB 1300 Expands FEHA Litigation, But Employers and Lawyers Beware

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 1300 (Jackson) on Sept. 30, 2018 as Chapter 955. Among other provisions, this comprehensive bill makes a number of statutory changes for litigating sexual harassment claims and prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign a release of claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in exchange for a raise or as a condition of employment. Effective Jan.1, 2019, the bill amends Sections 12940 and 12965 of and adds Sections 12923, 12950.2 and 12964.5 to the Government Code. This article first examines the statutory changes made by SB 1300 and then reviews the legislative intent...
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Forbes Magazine Ranks UCI Seventh Among the Most Diverse Workplaces in the Country

Friday, January 18, 2019

Forbes has named UCI one of the best employers for diversity in the nation. The magazine rated the campus No. 7 overall – the second-highest ranking for both a California employer and an educational institute. UCI is Orange County’s second-largest employer, with 16,400 faculty and staff working on campus and at the UCI Medical Center and affiliate clinics. Its diversity model infuses richness and nurtures strength in the workplace, focusing on respect for all human differences, including age, culture, ethnicity, race, country of origin, linguistics, gender, socioeconomic status, education, religion, sexual orientation and ability/disability. From active diversity talent acquisition outreach to employee development emphasizing...
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2019 Will ‘Be a Good Year,’ Economist Says

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

“It’s going to be a good year. Things are wonderful. You’re going to have a great 2019,” said expert economist and Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook keynote Chris Thornberg of Beacon Economics. In his economic forecast presented to more than 600 business and community leaders, Thornberg, who predicted the housing market crash in 2007, expressed overall optimism regarding economic growth in the year ahead. He attributed his positive outlook to rising wages, low unemployment, and increased consumer spending. Also confident moving into the new year was opening speaker Chris Schwarz of the UCI Paul Merage School of Business, who broke down recent...
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City’s Budget Presentation Wins National Award

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The City of Irvine has been awarded the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). The award represents the highest form of recognition in government budgeting for a municipal entity. “The City of Irvine being recognized with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award, is a testament of the deliberate strategy set forth by the Irvine Master Plan more than half a century ago and the diligence of the Irvine city management team,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Chamber’s Board of Directors and professional staff congratulates the Irvine...
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February Career Edge Workshop to Offer College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, and the business community, will host students from Orange County colleges and universities for the Feb. 2 Career Edge workshop, Practical Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, to be instructed by Dr. Brian Dozer, director of Webster University, Irvine Metro Campus. “Critical thinking and problem solving are essential skills in the 21st century. Dr. Brian Dozer is just the right person to coach attendees in these vital areas of expertise,” Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber said. Courses are designed to inspire, inform, and empower students...
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Meet the Individuals Leading the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors For Four Decades

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Over the past four decades, the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors has been chaired by 38 of Orange County’s most accomplished business leaders. They have held fiduciary responsibilities for the Chamber and have been committed to supporting the Chamber’s mission of advancing the economic vitality of greater Irvine. As the Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary in 2019, the Board is now led by Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation. “The diverse group of business leaders that have served over the past 40 years and continue to serve today on the Greater Irvine...
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Rose Hills Renews as Bronze-level Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Sponsor

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A Greater Irvine Chamber member since 2010, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary has renewed as Bronze-level Leaders Circle sponsor. Since 1914, Rose Hills has been a place to remember. Rose Hills is North America’s largest memorial park, with two full-service mortuaries and five planning centers that serve the world. The year 2019 marks the opening of Hua Yuan at Rose Hills. Hua Yuan ceremonial center provides intentionally designed product and services that meet cultural traditions. Rose Hills is proud to be a member of the Dignity Memorial® network of funeral, cremation, and cemetery service providers. With more than 1,800 network providers across...
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South Korean Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A trade delegation of business leaders and tech experts from Gumi, South Korea, along with City of Gumi representatives and Mayor Dr. Se Yong Jang visited the Greater Irvine Chamber to learn more about Irvine’s strong tech sector and to deepen partnerships with tech companies based in Irvine. Facilitating a soft landing for potential foreign direct investors, the Chamber provided delegates a presentation on resources available through the Chamber. As part of their trip, the delegates met with Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr and Executive Vice President Linda DiMario, as well as Irvine city leaders including Mayor Donald...
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California Bill Would Require Businesses to Offer E-Receipts

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

California would become the first state to require businesses to offer electronic receipts unless customers ask for paper copies under legislation proposed on Tuesday. Many businesses and consumers already are moving toward e-receipts, said Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco. But he said a law is needed because many consumers don’t realize most paper receipts are coated with chemicals prohibited in baby bottles, can’t be recycled and can contaminate other recycled paper because of the chemicals known as Bisphenol-A (BPA) and Bisphenol-S (BPS). His bill would require all businesses to provide proof of purchase receipts electronically starting in 2022 unless a customer...
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Tourism Industry Jobs Form Big Piece of California’s Economic Foundation

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

By Terry MacRae, 2018 chair of the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, commissioner on the Visit California Board of Directors, chief executive officer, president and founder of Hornblower Cruises & Events. Vacations to California’s natural wonders, cultural riches and exciting city attractions fuel stable employment and the world’s fifth largest economy. Regardless of where travelers go and what they do in California, vacations are more than memories—they also spur one of California’s strongest economic pillars. In fact, tourism drove $132 billion in travel-related spending in 2017, generating $11 billion in state and local tax revenues. Running a cruises and events company...
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New Year, New Labor Laws to Know

Monday, January 14, 2019

The beginning of the new year is a good time for business owners to take a few moments to familiarize themselves with the new employment laws that they will need to know in 2019. Employment law counsel for the California Chamber of Commerce analyzed the significant bills signed into law last year and prepared a white paper summarizing the legislation’s effects on California employers. Read the latest information on: • An increase in the minimum wage as well as the minimum salary for exempt employees; • A new mandate to train nearly every California employee about sexual harassment prevention that applies even to smaller employers; •...
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Newsom Elevates Labor Commissioner Su to Head State Agency; Picks Business Founder/Forward Thinker as Chief Economic Adviser

Monday, January 14, 2019

The team Governor Gavin Newsom has selected to lead key efforts in his administration includes individuals with many years of experience in both governing and advising policymakers. Two appointments of particular interest to employers are: • Julie Su, state Labor Commissioner in the Brown administration, as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA); and • Lenny Mendonca, longtime advocate for rethinking government operations as co-chairman of the nonprofit organization California Forward, as chief economic and business adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). As labor commissioner and chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement...
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Free 2018 Tax-Preparation Services Available in Irvine

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

The City of Irvine, in partnership with Orange County United Way, is offering free tax preparation services to taxpayers who earned less than $60,000 in 2018. Qualifying taxpayers who live, work, or attend school in Irvine can receive help filing their taxes from IRS-trained and certified volunteers, who will also assist eligible taxpayers in applying for tax credits, including the state and federal Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC). Free tax-preparation services are available at Cypress Community Park, 255 Visions in Irvine, from February 5 to April 11. An appointment is required; no walk-ins will be accepted. Call Orange County United Way...
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Marisa Wayne Announced as Opening Speaker at Women of Influence 2019

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Join more than 500 expected attendees at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence event on Friday, March 8 where they will hear from opening speaker Marisa Wayne, fitness entrepreneur and co-founder of boutique fitness studio, GritCycle. Wayne drew inspiration from her father, beloved legendary actor John Wayne, for his role in the 1969 movie True Grit, when creating GritCycle. The indoor cycling classes take place in the “Saddle Room” and riders are inspired by the definition of “grit” strategically placed throughout the studios as, “passion and perseverance to achieve one’s goals.”  With three studios in Orange County and their...
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Brandman University Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Gold-Level Sponsor

Monday, January 07, 2019

Brandman University, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber since 1998, has joined the Chamber’s Leaders Circle as a gold-level sponsor. “Brandman University couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber. We both help companies recruit and retain highly skilled employees. The Chamber’s recent five-star rating, and our honors for innovation and leadership highlight our organizations’ commitment to excellence. And we both strive to be of service to grow and improve our thriving community. We are thrilled to partner with the Chamber and fellow members,” said Shelly Neal, vice chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, Brandman University. Brandman University is...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Members Among Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2019

Monday, January 07, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Google and Kaiser Permanente as well as Chamber member Smile Brands, Inc. were ranked in the top 100 best places to work in a recent Glassdoor survey. Google is one of three companies that have made the list every year since its inception in 2009. The Glassdoor survey breaks down its lists using company size: 50 Best Places to Work (honoring employers with 1,000 or more employees) and 50 Best Small & Medium Companies to Work  (honoring employers with fewer than 1,000 employees). Glassdoor’s 100 Best Places to Work in 2019 list features winning employers hiring across a range of...
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Irvine Ranked Among Top Ten Safest Cities Worldwide

Monday, January 07, 2019

“Irvine has held the status of the Safest City of its size in America by the FBI for 13 consecutive years. It is no surprise to learn that our city is now ranked among the top ten safest cities in the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This accomplishment is in large part the result of a visionary Irvine Master Plan set forth more than a half a century ago, excellent city management, a world-class police department, and engaged residents and business leaders that take pride in their community.” According to a recent statistical analysis by CEOWORLD...
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280,000-Square-Foot Ice Skating Facility Opens at OC Great Park

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Whether you’re practicing triple salchows or tying your laces for the first time, the new Great Park Ice facility is open for public skating sessions as of Wednesday, Jan. 2. The long anticipated 280,000-square-foot rink – part of the Anaheim Ducks RINKS network – has been under construction since February 2017. Though two of the four ice sheets, a restaurant and Ducks team store aren’t quite finished, the public is invited to check out the facility and take a whirl on the two completed ice sheets, said Art Trottier, vice president of the Anaheim Ducks RINKS, which runs ice facilities in Anaheim and four...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Marks its 40th Year Supporting the Visionary Irvine Master Plan

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A Message from Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr Originally published in the Jan. 3, 2019 issue of the Orange County Register|Irvine World News. As the Greater Irvine Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, the organization’s professional staff and Board of Directors continues its work to support the Irvine Master Plan and to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. Through its numerous programs and events, the Greater Irvine Chamber convenes thousands of business leaders every year to build long-lasting professional relationships. The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Irvine’s highly-ranked schools and 15 colleges and universities on programs that help ensure a...
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Pacific Western Bank Returns as Women of Influence Title Sponsor

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Pacific Western Bank is returning as the title sponsor for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2019 Women of Influence event. Pacific Western Bank, ranked the #1 best bank in America for 2017 by Forbes, is focused on the needs of the business community. With over $25 billion in assets, Pacific Western Bank’s local focus and national reach is achieved through the concerted efforts of a family of companies, which includes CapitalSource and Square 1 Bank. Pacific Western Bank has a proven track record of delivering a level of service, expertise, and speed of execution for any company, regardless of size, scope, industry or...
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Strength of Master Plan Highlighted in Business Facilities Magazine

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

The strength of Irvine’s Master Plan was recently featured in an online article from Business Facilities Magazine, a leading full-service media brand specializing in the site selection marketplace. Mentioned in the feature are the many reasons Irvine is poised for economic growth and success, including its highly-ranked educational institutions, its growing innovation ecosystem, and livable neighborhood centers. Read the full article below. Irvine, CA: The Smart Choice Why Irvine, CA? Sometimes the address says it all. Everyone knows that there are certainly less expensive places to start or locate a business—any city in North Dakota or Alabama for starters—but there isn’t a smarter...
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State-Run Retirement Savings Plan Gets OK; Mandatory Enrollment Coming in 2020

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

California employers that don’t already offer a workplace retirement savings vehicle will be required to either begin offering one via the private market or provide their employees access to CalSavers, a state-run retirement savings plan, as early as June 2020. The CalSavers pilot program is open for employers to enroll; however, mandatory enrollment and contributions do not go into effect until 2020. Employers need not register until then, or later for smaller employers. Emergency regulations governing the CalSavers program were recently approved by the Office of Administrative Law. CalSavers is the result of 2016 legislation enacting the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SCRSP) for...
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United Kingdom Life Science Companies Experience Firsthand the Reason Irvine's Strong Innovation Ecosystem is Capturing the World's Attention

Monday, December 17, 2018

Not taking a second seat to Boston, the Bay Area, or anywhere else for that matter, the Greater Irvine Chamber has strategically targeted U.K. companies for expansion into Irvine’s strong life science and innovation ecosystem. From research conducted by the Chamber’s economic development team, the U.K. life science sector was identified to have the greatest potential globally for expansion to the U.S.—more specifically, to Irvine. The Chamber engaged its foreign direct investment initiative (FDI), sending a Chamber delegation twice to the U.K. to convene with executives who have expressed readiness to expand their companies into the U.S. As a follow-up to...
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Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council provided a written testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission on Dec. 10, on negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. As stated in the testimony, the organizations aimed to “emphasize the importance of any potential U.S.-Japan trade agreement to set high-standards and rules in the Indo-Pacific while noting that others in the region are rapidly pursuing and finalizing agreements that have similar potential and far-reaching implications for American business interests.” The potential agreements include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership that will enter into force Dec. 30, 2018, and...
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US Companies Can Grow Their Business in Southeast Asia Thanks to New Agreements with Singapore

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Commercial Service team in Singapore has developed several new agreements with Singapore leaders that will help U.S. companies grow their business in the Indo-Pacific, particularly in the region known as ASEAN—the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. With a combined population of 647 million people, a burgeoning middle class, and a young and growing population, the ASEAN region presents tremendous commercial opportunities for U.S. companies. On Sept. 13, Under Secretary for International Trade Gil Kaplan signed Statements of Intent on behalf of the International Trade Administration (ITA) with the Singapore Business Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Singapore Manufacturing...
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Irvine CubeSat STEM Program Successfully Launches First Two High School Student-built CubeSat in the West Coast

Friday, December 07, 2018

On Nov. 10 and Dec. 3, 2018, the students, instructors, and supporters of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program celebrated the final milestones in the student’s journey to assemble, test and launch the Irvine01 and Irvine02 nanosatellites into orbit. The successful launches makes it the first high school program in the West Coast to launch operational, all high school student-built CubeSat’s into orbit. The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is a collaboration between Greater Irvine Chamber education partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), Irvine Unified School District and Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) to train and inspire the next generation of STEM...
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#ShopIrvine and Discover New and Familiar Favorites

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

With the holiday season in full swing, shopping and dining activity is, too. The #ShopIrvine initiative reminds Irvine residents that their sales tax dollars support programs that benefit all of the city’s citizens. “As a resident of Irvine, it makes sense to shop and dine here because tax dollars generated go toward our many fine services such as education, infrastructure, parks and open spaces, and police, which help to keep Irvine’s status as the safest big city in America,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. It’s not just the holiday season that makes the timing of the #ShopIrvine initiative...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Primary Research Reveals Business Needs

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Conducting primary research on behalf of the Greater Irvine Chamber, 35 Chamber member volunteers visited more than 210 Irvine businesses during the October Business Outreach Rally. The volunteers conducted a survey to identify challenges that Irvine businesses face, and provided copies of the Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. Out of the businesses surveyed, a majority felt that they either well exceeded or met their business performance goals. More than half of the businesses surveyed export and/or import products or services. The top two challenges that the surveyed businesses...
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Kate Klimow Announced as 2019 Business Outlook Master of Ceremonies

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 10th annual 2019 Business Outlook Breakfast to be held on Thursday, Jan. 10.  The economic-forecast event is one of the largest of its kind in Orange County, drawing hundreds of professionals, executives, and community leaders from throughout the region. Klimow has experience working in both public and private sectors throughout her career. Her varied experience in government relations and public affairs includes working for the Arizona Department of Commerce, Parsons Corporation, Walt Disney Imagineering, Disneyland Resort,...
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Labor Pushes to Protect California Ruling That Redefines Who Is an Employee

Monday, December 03, 2018

Seeking to protect a legal victory they believe is the most important for California workers in a generation, organized labor and its allies will launch efforts to bolster a recent state court decision on independent contractors. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego, will introduce legislation to add to state law a stricter “ABC test” for defining employees. The test, adopted unanimously by the California Supreme Court this spring, threw nearly three decades of legal precedent up in the air and generated intense pushback from the business community. The bill would strengthen rules that make it harder for employers to classify workers as contractors and...
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2019 Women of Influence Event Set for March 8

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s sixth annual Women of Influence event is set for Friday, March 8, 2019, 11:30 a.m. – 2:15 p.m., at the Marriott Irvine, 18000 Von Karman Ave. Each year the program draws hundreds of attendees and features keynotes delivered by prominent professional women who share details of their journeys as they find their way through challenges and discovery to achieve success. Watch for more details as they develop and register now to secure your seat at the 2019 Women of Influence event. Tickets for the 2019 Women of Influence luncheon event are $90 for Greater Irvine Chamber members, and $115...
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City of Irvine Has Released Interactive Web-based Development Map

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The City of Irvine has released a new electronic, interactive, web-based map to track development proposals in an effort to enhance transparency and aid citizens in understanding projects that may affect the community. The map features an overview of major developments approved in the last five years, including those under construction and recently completed. The map will be regularly updated as new proposals are submitted for review and as major projects start construction. City of Irvine staff has placed this valuable information on the City’s website. For more information, call 949-724-6450, or visit cityofirvine.org/transparency.
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Important California Labor Law Changes for 2019

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

With the new year around the corner, now is the time to prepare for new labor laws that will impact California businesses in 2019. Among those includes a new law, signed in 2016, which raises the minimum wage incrementally, boosting it on Jan. 1 to $11 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees, and $12 per hour for businesses staffing more than 26 employees. “I think a lot of companies are already paying more than minimum wage,” said Karen Alary, managing partner of The Personnel Perspective, an HR consulting firm in Santa Rosa. “Because our unemployment rate is so low and qualified workers...
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Save-The-Date: Orange County World Trade Week 2019 Slated for May 16

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host the fifth annual Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 16, 2019, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. The OCWTW 2019 program will feature a keynote address by a representative from Experian Decision Analytics, an Export Success Panel discussion, and an International Resource EXPO. Returning are Founding and Presenting Sponsor UPS, and Champion Sponsor HSBC. OCWTW brings together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export...
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Renae Brown Named September 2018 Member of the Month

Friday, November 16, 2018

For her high-level of engagement, Renae Brown, project manager for 2010 Office Furniture, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber September 2018 Member of the Month. Shortly after joining the Chamber upon the recommendation of Sophia Rose, a Chamber member and former business development manager for 2010 Office Furniture, Brown volunteered for the April 2018 Business Outreach Rally, conducting research on behalf of the Chamber and providing area businesses with copies of the Chamber’s Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. At the first opportunity, she also became a part the...
A Strong U.S. Economy Will Boost Global Growth in 2019

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By Peter Coy, Bloomberg Business Judging by recent headlines, the global economy is on a wild roller coaster that’s going mostly downhill. There are Brexit, trade wars, Italy’s fight with the European Union, renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, a Chinese debt bomb, jittery stock markets, intermittent capital flight from developing nations, and more. The data tell a calmer and happier story. According to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy is on track to grow a healthy 3.7 percent in 2018. That’s exactly how fast it grew in 2017. The IMF’s forecast for 2019? Again, 3.7 percent. It’s a plateau, all right, but a high plateau—call it the Altiplano of...
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US Chamber Awards Greater Irvine Chamber the Nation's Highest Accreditation

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The United States Chamber of Commerce has awarded the Greater Irvine Chamber with 5-Star Accreditation for its sound policies, effective organizational procedures, and positive impact on the community. “Receiving the highest honor in the chamber industry is a testament to our tremendous Board of Directors, dedicated volunteers, and exceptional professional staff,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “I’m extremely proud of our collective accomplishment as we continue our efforts to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine.” The Greater Irvine Chamber is one of seven chambers in California to hold this distinction, and one of 120 in the nation....
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Cox Automotive Renews as Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Sponsor

Monday, November 12, 2018

Cox Automotive has renewed its partnership with the Greater Irvine Chamber as a Silver-level Leaders Circle sponsor. With more than 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents, Cox Automotive strives to understand client needs by pairing its insights and research with business goals – delivering inspired results to bridge the gap between consumers, manufacturers, dealers and lenders at every stage of the automotive experience. The organization focuses on continually improving its products to create faster vehicle transactions, enabling consumers to have a seamless online-to-offline experience. Leaders Circle members of the Greater Irvine Chamber are among the most influential companies and organizations in Irvine...
OC Business Journal Directory of Influence Features Greater Irvine Chamber Member Executives

Thursday, November 08, 2018

More than 50 executives from Greater Irvine Chamber member companies have been featured in Orange County Business Journal’s third annual OC 500 Directory of Influence. The directory features an impressive list of influential business and community leaders from a variety of Orange County companies, ranging from nonprofits to large corporations. Congratulations to the following professionals for this prestigious accomplishment: Barry S. Arbuckle, President, Chief Executive, MemorialCare Health System Paul Bay, President, Americas, Ingram Micro Steve Bilt, Chief Executive, Smile Brands Gary Brahm, Chancellor, Chief Executive, Brandman University Donald Bren, Chairman, Irvine Co. Richard Cabrera, Executive Vice President, Umpqua Bank Bill Carpou, President, Chief Executive, OCTANe Steve Case, EVP, Office Properties,...
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Tracy Yannotti Promoted to Greater Irvine Chamber Finance Administrator

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Tracy Yannotti has been promoted to Finance Administrator for the Greater Irvine Chamber. Over the past year since joining the Chamber staff, Yannotti has been instrumental in implementing and fine-tuning the organization’s invoicing and accounts receivable processes and procedures. “I am grateful for the opportunity to take on this new role at the Chamber and to continue to providing a high level of customer service for our members,” Yannotti said. Yannotti has more than 20 years of experience in office administration, specializing in billing and accounts receivable. She has spent the majority of her career working for high-profile business litigation, corporate, and...
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New Health Reimbursement Arrangements Provide Relief to Employers

Monday, November 05, 2018

A new regulation jointly published on Oct. 29, by Health and Human Services, Labor, and IRS, related to Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), is designed provide some relief to small businesses by allowing small employers to give their employees funds to pay for health care coverage selected by the employees.  During recent Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables, many small entities expressed complaints about their inability to obtain reasonably priced health insurance for their employees. The new HRAs are an effort to provide relief to those business owners and their employees. HRAs were originally penalized under the Patient Protection and Affordable...
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Hoag Orthopedic Institute Renews as Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Sponsor

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Hoag Orthopedic Institute has renewed its investment in the Greater Irvine Chamber as a silver-level sponsor. “Hoag Orthopedic Institute is proud to renew our membership with Greater Irvine Chamber at the Leaders Circle level. As a member since our doors opened in 2010, it’s a privilege to continue connecting with our fellow Irvine organizations in support of the Irvine community,” Hoag Orthopedic Institute Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Mitzner said. Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI) was developed through a unique partnership between Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian and a select group of Orange County-based orthopedic physicians with many years of experience providing excellent care to orthopedic patients....
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Jessica Welch, IOM Appointed to Western Association of Chamber Executives Board of Directors

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Jessica Welch, IOM, vice president of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, has been appointed to serve on the Board of Directors of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.), the premier organization for education and professional development for chamber executives and staff. “It’s an honor to be selected for the W.A.C.E. Board of Directors,” Welch said. “This appointment will provide me with opportunities to share at a higher level what we are accomplishing at the Greater Irvine Chamber to advance economic vitality in our region, providing direction for other chambers as they strive to succeed in the communities they serve.” Welch has been...
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Destination Irvine Recognizes Hotel Employee as Part of the New Spirit of Irvine Hospitality Award Program

Monday, October 29, 2018

Sobha Mendis, guest services representative for the Irvine Marriott, is the first recipient of Destination Irvine’s hospitality employee recognition program. Mendis was nominated by Kandee Anderson, general manager, Irvine Marriott, because she received the JW Marriott Award of Excellence in 2017 and she is consistently recognized by guests for her outstanding service and personalized connections. The Spirit of Hospitality Award recognizes back-of-house and front-of-house hospitality professionals who deliver exceptional experiences daily. Winners in this category are those who exhibit exemplary behavior in workplace knowledge, customer service, problem-solving, relationship building, and creating a warm welcome for visitors. The award recognizes individuals who...
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Greater Irvine Chamber to Recognize Emerging Professionals at Inaugural 40 Under 40 Event

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber announces its inaugural 40 Under 40 event that will celebrate and recognize 40 emerging Orange County professionals under the age of 40. The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, 6 – 8 p.m. “Orange County and especially Irvine are home to some of the most highly-educated, innovative, and entrepreneurial young professionals in the world. Having the privilege to carry forward the recognition of this unparalleled talent is an honor,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Chamber is thrilled to shine the spotlight on the current and...
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Award-Winning Career Edge Program Offers College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, Irvine, and the business community, will host students from Orange County colleges and universities for its fourth series of Career Edge workshops. Students that participate in Career Edge will have an advantage during their job search and will bring distinctive and marketable soft skills to the jobs they land, greatly increasing their success rate and on-the-job performance. Qualified business professionals are needed to volunteer as mentors to help guide students through the award-winning Career Edge program as they learn business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. For more...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Promoted to Vice President of Operations

Monday, September 17, 2018

Jessica Welch, IOM, has been promoted to Vice President of Operations at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. The promotion follows more than a decade of service at the Greater Irvine Chamber, most recently as Senior Director of Operations and previously as Director of Programs and Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. “Jessica has dedicated 11 years of her career in service to this organization. In that time, she has risen through the ranks achieving a key spot on the Chamber’s executive management team. She continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership and professionalism earning her the respect of her colleagues, the...
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Irvine’s Tech Strength Attracts Bay Area Companies

Friday, September 14, 2018

As envisioned by the Irvine Master Plan, the city was built around a major university – what is now the University of California, Irvine (UCI) – to ensure area employers would always have a readily available workforce skilled in the latest technology. Irvine-based companies recognize this as a distinctive asset. And, executives at Bay Area tech firms are noticing. One such firm diving into Irvine’s high-tech talent pool is Vincit, a digital design and app development agency. Vincit California has successfully expanded from Finland to Irvine’s Spectrum Business Center – by way of Silicon Valley. After starting its U.S. venture in the...
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AnaLaura Becerra Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Staff

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, CMP, CTA, has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Director of Corporate Sales for Destination Irvine. In this role, Becerra promotes Irvine as a corporate meeting, convention and event destination to meeting and event planners in the local, regional, state, and targeted national meetings markets to generate group hotel room nights through overnight stays. “I’m looking forward to working with hotels and other venues to showcase Irvine to visitors and to attract corporate, government, and association groups to the city for their meetings and overnight stays,” Becerra said. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Becerra was a national...
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Brian Andersen Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Brian Andersen, founder and CEO of Telecomprehensive Solutions, a telecommunications and technology consulting company, has been named the 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year. Since joining the Chamber in 2013, Andersen has been actively involved in the Chamber, joining a number of committees, and attending various events. He currently serves as co-chair of the Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, working to educate, inform, retain, grow, and expand existing businesses in Irvine. He is also involved in the Chamber’s Economic Vitality Council where he collaborates with other members, finding ways to energize the start-up eco-system, improve business retention, and cultivate a collaborative...
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Highly-Regarded Economist Chris Thornberg Announced as Keynote Speaker for Greater Irvine Chamber, UCI Paul Merage Business Outlook Event

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber and the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business present well-known and highly-regarded economist, author, and public speaker Chris Thornberg, Ph.D., as the keynote speaker for the 10th Annual Business Outlook Breakfast to be held Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. The annual economic-forecast event is one of the largest of its kind in Orange County, drawing hundreds of professionals, executives, and community leaders from throughout the region. Thornberg, the founding partner of Beacon Economics, is an expert in economic and revenue forecasting, regional economics, economic policy, and labor and real estate markets. He is the director of...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Receives the Nation's Highest Honor in Exporting & International Trade

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on May 21, presented Greater Irvine Chamber with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. The President’s “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. “The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has demonstrated a sustained commitment to export expansion. The “E” Awards Committee was very impressed with the Chamber’s creation of an International Development Committee. The Chamber’s development of a series of trade opportunities between companies and organizations in Orange County, California and potential buyers and officials...
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Studio+ Hires Jose Valentin as Senior Project Manager

Friday, April 06, 2018

Jose Valentin has joined integrated services design firm Studio+ as a Senior Project Manager in their Irvine, CA office. As a Senior Project Manager, Valentin will oversee many aspects of the design and construction process including site preparation, plans, construction contracts for general contractors, and direction of building completion.
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Joe Alvarez - Member of the Month, March 2017

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Joe Alvarez joined the Greater Irvine Chamber in 2015, upon the reccommendation of fellow Chamber member, Jeffrey Redeker of Capital Bank. As a technology consultant for Omni IT Solutions – a leading provider of IT support and security, network design and consulting, voice over internet protocol, cloud, and managed services to small and medium size business – Alvarez’s primary reason for joining the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce was to join a Leads Group. “Immediately, I identified that being a part of the Chamber was definitely something that I wanted for Omni IT Solutions and myself,” Alvarez recalled. “Being exposed to the...
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