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Ambassador of the Month Archive

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...
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...
Survey: US Businesses Added a Solid 179,000 Jobs Last Month

Friday, December 07, 2018

U.S. businesses hired new workers at a solid pace in November, adding 179,000 jobs, according to a private survey. The report comes as other data also suggest the U.S. economy remains healthy, even as the financial markets have gyrated over concerns about a trade conflict with China and slowing global growth. Payroll processor ADP said that last month’s job gains slowed from October’s strong showing of 225,000. Still, November’s hiring is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Job gains were strong in health care, which added 37,000 jobs, and in hotels and restaurants, which gained 26,000. Professional and technical services, which...
More People Are Going Abroad but They Are Spending Less Money on Their Travels, Reveals Ongoing Worldwide Study of Travel Shopping Behavior

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Recent travel trends underline a significant worldwide spending downturn that could have serious implications for the travel retail industry, says Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Horizon Consumer Science. The 2018 Global Traveler Report reveals that despite record numbers of air travelers, up from 415 million in 2012 to a projected 808 million this year, the size of the travel retail market is slowly shrinking. Global travel retail spending has dropped by $15 billion from $397 billion in 2016 to a projected $382 billion this year. About The 2018 Global Traveler Report: More than 31,000 traveling consumers from 38 countries have been surveyed...
#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...
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...
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,...
Swearing-in Ceremony Set for Irvine

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Donald P. Wagner will be sworn in for a second, two-year term as the City of Irvine’s Mayor, and newly elected Councilmembers Farrah N. Khan and Anthony Kuo also will be sworn in, each to a four-year term. They join sitting Mayor Pro Tem Christina Shea and Councilmember Melissa Fox. The swearing-in ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. Tuesday, December 11, in the newly renovated Council Chamber. Mayor Wagner won re-election to a second term in November; Khan, a former Community Services Commissioner, and Kuo, most recently a Planning Commissioner, were elected to open seats. The swearing-in ceremony will be followed by...
Thomas Lotts Named October 2018 Ambassador of the Month

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Thomas Lotts, The Lotts Agency, New York Life, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month for October 2018. The mission of the Ambassadors Committee is to actively promote and represent the Greater Irvine Chamber in the business community. This dynamic group takes the lead in welcoming new members to the Chamber and help existing members remain active and involved.  Lotts has delivered more than 20 plaques to new member companies, and attended more than 25 ribbon cuttings and business celebrations during his year serving on the Ambassadors Committee. He has also become highly involved in other aspects of the Chamber.  Since becoming...
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...
TUSD Celebrates Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code, December 3-9

Monday, December 03, 2018

Tustin Unified School District is celebrating Computer Science Education Week and Hour of Code, December 3-9. The Hour of Code began as a one-hour coding challenge to give students a fun first introduction to computer science and has become a global learning effort, celebration, and awareness event.  HourofCode.com offers hundreds of one-hour activities in over 48 languages for grades kindergarten through 12. Activities require no experience and can be run on browsers, tablets, and smartphones – some don’t require any computer at all. Tustin Unified has participated in the Hour of Code for the last five years and has excited and...
US, Mexico, Canada Sign New Trade Agreement

Monday, December 03, 2018

On November 30, President Donald J. Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). President Trump called the new USMCA the “most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country.” At the signing, at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, President Trump personally thanked outgoing Mexican President Peña Nieto, who then concluded the ceremony celebrating the close relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, saying, “We’re ready to begin a new chapter in our shared history.” Next Steps Now that the agreement has been signed, the next steps per...
Linda DiMario to Serve as Panelist at Executive Next Practices Workshop

Friday, November 30, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, will serve as a panelist at the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. at UCI Applied Innovation, 5141 California Ave, Irvine. DiMario will discuss strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders. Other panelists include Feyzi Fathel, CEO, Corent Tech, Shawn Dougherty, COO and founder, mophie/EXOIO, Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer, director, external relations, UCI Applied Innovation, and Debbie Nix, vice president, HR and Risk Management, Covenant Care. “I look forward to sharing the stage with these experts and...
Tammi Nieto Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Team

Friday, November 30, 2018

Tammi Nieto has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Operations Coordinator. Her primary areas of responsibility include guest services, general office administration, and departmental support. “I began employment with the Greater Irvine Chamber as a short-term employee. When offered to fill the position permanently and continue to work with such a professional, positive team, I immediately embraced the opportunity,” said Nieto. “I am thrilled to continue to provide superior customer service, and contribute to the strengthening of the businesses in the City of Irvine.” Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Nieto worked in educational institutions for 12 years performing project...
Irvine Transitions to a Two-Year Budget

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Irvine City Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Nov. 27 to enhance long-term financial planning by transitioning from an annual budget cycle to a two-year budget cycle. The two-year budget cycle, beginning fiscal year 2019-20, will be developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan. A two-year budget promotes transparency, brings increased accountability to government spending, greater stability, and allows for long-term strategic planning. The process provides for enhanced long-term planning and sets spending levels for a two-year period. The creation of the City’s two-year budget will begin with the Finance Commission reviewing the initial baseline budget in...
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...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Sandra Crouch Nominated for OC Business Journal’s CFO of the Year Award

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sandra Crouch, CPA, the controller for the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been nominated by colleagues for the Orange County Business Journal’s 2018 Chief Financial Officer of the Year Award in the category of controller. “I’m humbled and grateful to work with a professional staff and leadership that recognizes the value of the foundational work necessary to make an enterprise successful,” Crouch said. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2014, Crouch has handled financial affairs for the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce including the organization’s Business and Economic Development, Destination Irvine, Greater Irvine Education Foundation, and Prosperity Political Action Committee. She has been...
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.
IRS Reminds Eligible Employees to Plan Now for Health FSAs in 2019

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service is reminding eligible employees that now is the time to begin planning to take full advantage of their employer’s health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) during 2019. FSAs allow employees to use tax-free dollars to pay medical expenses not covered by other health plans. Eligible employees need to decide how much to contribute through payroll deductions before the plan year begins, so many employers are offering their employees the option to sign up now for participation during the 2019 plan year. Employees who want to contribute to an FSA must make that choice for 2019, even if they contributed...
Easterseals Kicks Off Year-long 100th Anniversary Celebration with Float in 2019 Rose Parade Presented by Honda

Monday, November 26, 2018

For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities or other special needs and their families. Throughout all life’s moments – from the extraordinary to the ordinary and everything in between – Easterseals helps individuals reach for their full potential. In fact, Easterseals Southern California (ESSC), a Leaders Circle sponsor of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, now has over 2,500 employees serving over 10,000 clients daily. In honor of its upcoming 100th anniversary, Easterseals will kick off a year-long celebration on January 1, 2019, with its first-ever float in the 2019 Rose Parade® presented by...
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...
Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel to Discuss the City’s New Drone Program

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel will address business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting on Thursday, Dec. 6, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m. Chief Hamel will discuss Irvine’s new drone program, which has been implemented to help with search and rescue, fire monitoring, and acquiring access to miles of inaccessible terrain. As the FBI’s #1-ranked Safest Large City in America since 2005, Irvine’s Police Department maintains a stellar reputation that helps to protect Irvine’s residents, business and visitors. A 25-year law enforcement veteran who has been with Irvine Police Department (IPD) since 1995, Chief Hamel is the first Irvine...
Cal Chamber - Led Coalition Continues to Seek Changes to Confusing Regulations

Monday, November 19, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce continues to seek technical changes to state regulations proposed to implement the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and the statewide ban-the-box law, which both went into effect on January 1. These laws amend the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). In September, a CalChamber-led coalition sent a letter urging the Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) to clarify the overly broad and confusing regulations because they make it difficult for employers to comply. The council has since revised its regulations and the coalition submitted additional comments because the draft regulations still are confusing for employers. Regulating Criminal...
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...
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...
UK Life Science Executives Visit the Cove @ UCI to Explore US Expansion in Irvine

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

As part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Life Science Showcase event, life science company executives from throughout the U.K. made their way to UC Irvine. In collaboration with UCI Applied Innovation, the Greater Irvine Chamber hosted 10 executives from U.K.-owned life science companies to position Southern California and UCI as a strong global brand for innovation and entrepreneurship. Applied Innovation worked closely with the Chamber to promote industry cluster growth in the region. U.K. life science company executives join the Greater Irvine Chamber and UCI Applied Innovation executives for a lunchtime presentation at the Cove @ UCI. Photo: Michelle Mar “When you study the facts, every indicator reveals...
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....
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...
Strong Jobs Growth in October Powers US Economy Forward

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA) praised the latest monthly jobs report, which shows that the U.S. economy continues to grow strongly and create jobs. However, a September trade deficit running 21 percent worse than a year ago means urgent action is required on the trade front. The monthly jobs summary reported 250,000 new jobs in October, including 32,000 new manufacturing jobs. So far this year, U.S. manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs, the best record since 1995. Unemployment remains at a historically low level of 3.7 percent, while 3.1 percent growth in average hourly earnings has finally broken through the 3 percent threshold.  Unfortunately, the latest federal data also reveals serious...
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,...
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...
Destination Irvine Recognized as Finalist in 2018 Stella Awards

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Destination Irvine was recognized as a finalist in the 2018 Stella Awards in the Best CVB/DMO Far West category. The Stella Awards are Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings comprehensive awards program, which recognizes organizations from around the globe that consistently deliver quality service and innovation to meeting and event professionals. Eligible organizations include hotels, convention centers, conference centers, destination  marketing organization (DMOs)/convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs), destination marketing companies (DMCs), airlines, and cruise lines in 18 categories in six regions in the United States and worldwide. Finalists in each category are determined by meeting planners during an open voting period online,...
Help Make this Holiday Special by Donating to Toy Drive Benefitting Boys & Girls Club OC

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Council is hosting a holiday toy drive to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Orange County. A collection bin is located in the lobby of the Greater Irvine Chamber office at 36 Executive Park, Suite 100 in Irvine. Donations of new, unwrapped gifts are encouraged through Dec. 12. Drop off hours are Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Toys collected will be delivered to children ages 6 - 12 on Dec. 15 at the Boys & Girls Club Winter Wonderland event in Santa Ana. The...
Irvine City Manager John Russo Speaks to a Full House at Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Irvine City Manager John Russo remarked on the master-planned city to a packed room of business and community leaders during the Nov. 1 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. “This is a city that was built on a vision. This is a city that believes in a vision... It’s a city marked by ambition,” Russo said as he cited the brilliance of the Irvine Master Plan set in place more than 50 years ago. Additionally, he gave an overview and examples of what he sees as the five essential values for good governance: transparency, responsiveness, accountability, fiscal prudence, and decisiveness. As a...
Square Root Designs Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Square Root Designs has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a Gold-level sponsor. The professionals at Square Root customize each project to their clients’ vision – from classic to contemporary, understated to over-the-moon. Square Root has been contracted by international and local celebrities, philanthropists, politicians, athletes, and artists, with event production in Japan, Miami, Nevada, Utah, and New York. The companies work has been covered by shows on Bravo, VH1, HGTV, the Style channel, and many more. Square Root floral designs for The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel have been established as the stapled look for the Ritz-Carlton brand throughout the...
Edwards Bets Big On Investments

Monday, November 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Orange County’s largest public company with a nearly $30 billion market value, is also one of its fastest-growing public companies, both in sales and stock growth. The Irvine-based medical device giant, which employs over 4,600 in OC, had two-year sales growth of 29 percent for the period ended June 30, with $3.5 billion in sales. The percentage gain was fourth-best on this week’s Business Journal ranking of the fastest-growing large businesses. More is in store, according to Chief Executive Michael Mussallem, who’s led Edwards since it became an independent company when spun out of...
IRS: 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits Increase

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2018-83. Highlights of Changes for 2019 The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000. The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), which last increased in 2013, is increased from $5,500 to $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to...
Irvine Valley College Ranked #3 for Best Online College in California

Monday, November 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member Irvine Valley College was ranked third on the 2018-2019 list of Best Online Colleges in California created by the Community for Accredited Online Schools. The ranking for 2-year colleges was created using data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and considered factors such as quality, affordability, flexibility, and program. “Irvine Valley College is committed to ensuring our students can pursue their educational goals as efficiently as possible,” said President Glenn Roquemore. “Offering a wide variety of online, hybrid and on-campus classes ensures that students have the flexibility to complete their education in...
Long-term Financial Planning and Transparency in Irvine

Monday, November 05, 2018

This month, the Irvine City Council will consider a significant change to how Irvine prepares and approves its budget. The City’s first-ever two-year budget, developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan, will be before the City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting. A first review will be before the Finance Commission at its Nov. 5 meeting. The Commission also is expected to provide input to planned Community Budget Workshop locations scheduled for early in 2019. Click here for the Nov.5 Staff Report. City Council approval of a two-year budget cycle would build on the recent Irvine Sunshine Ordinance, which...
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...
Coded in OC Adds to its Roster of Tech Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Coded in OC, a nonprofit initiative designed to highlight technology companies while growing and retaining a strong technical workforce in Orange County, has recently added four new members to its roster of tech companies: Parapxl, Bold Array, Arcules, and adQuadrant. These companies are featured on the Coded in OC website. Joining the initiative along with community partners Greater Irvine Chamber and Irvine Valley College, is fellow Chamber member UCI Applied Innovation, which is supporting the project with resources ranging from physical space at The Cove and mindshare, to amplifying Coded in OC messaging to their constituency.  Two Greater Irvine Chamber members that are part of...
Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Member WNDE Expands Advisory Services with Cybersecurity Offering

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The regional accounting and advisory firm of White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE), a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle, has announced that the firm has expanded their advisory practice to include cybersecurity consulting services through a strategic alliance with DarkHound Security (DHS). Combining over 30 years of experience, the certified technical professionals and network security engineers from DHS will work alongside WNDE CPAs with AICPA cybersecurity certifications and IT audit experience, to help clients minimize cybersecurity risks and ensure compliance with IT audits. Together, they will offer a comprehensive set of cybersecurity assessment, implementation and monitoring services, including:  Assessing...
Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Delegation of UK Life Science Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

As part of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) initiative, the Greater Irvine Chamber last week hosted a three-day Irvine Lifescience Showcase for executives from 10 U.K. life science companies seeking expansion to the United States. The executives are from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries. The visiting executives joined more than 800 conference attendees at OCTANe’s Oct. 29-30 Medical Technology Innovation Forum (MTIF), which is focused on high-growth medical technology innovation and investment. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, who...
Join the Effort to Promote Supply Chain Resilience in California

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Institute of Applied Research at California State University San Bernardino is partnering with the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) in an effort to map California’s Defense Supply Chain for the purpose of identifying the communities, businesses, and workers that may be affected by changes in defense spending. California-based employers that do business with the U.S. Department of Defense are invited to take the survey and help improve the resilience of the defense supply chain. Participate in the survey now! For more information contact Dr. Barbara Sirotnik, director, Institute of Applied Research, at (909) 537-5729.
OC Tech Funding Tops $100M in 3Q

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orange County tech funding is growing. According to research from JLL, there was $106 million in total tech funding in the third quarter. It was the second consecutive quarter when tech funding surpassed $100 million and the fourth consecutive year when tech funding has surpassed $500 million. Venture capital and private equity has made up a bulk of the tech funding in the market, and a majority of the capital has gone to IT and software companies. Source: Globe St. Related article: Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine
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....
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...
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...
US GDP Grows Above-Forecast 3.5 Percent on Consumers, Inventories

Friday, October 26, 2018

The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter as consumers opened their wallets, businesses restocked inventories and governments boosted spending, marking the strongest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2014. The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product compared with the 3.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 4.2 percent advance in the prior three months, according to a report from the Commerce Department. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, unexpectedly accelerated to a 4 percent increase -- the best since 2014 -- while the 0.8 percent gain...
CalChamber Issues Vote Record on Major Business Bills 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce has released a report of California legislators’ floor votes for the second year of the 2017-18 legislative session, focusing on priority bills for the state’s business community. This is the 44th vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators. To help readers assess legislators’ vote records, the charts group bills into 12 areas: agriculture, food and natural resources; corporate governance; education; energy; health care costs, housing and land use; immigration; industrial safety...
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...
Three-day Lifescience Showcase to Highlight Irvine’s Assets to UK Delegation

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber on Oct. 28 is welcoming 10 life science companies from the U.K. seeking expansion to Orange County, and especially Irvine. Executives from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries will attend OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum, tour some of Irvine’s leading med-tech and innovation companies, and meet with leading hospitals, clinicians, healthcare executives and scientists. The three-day Lifescience Showcase will feature partners including Edwards Lifesciences, Hoag Hospital, The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation, and UCI Medical Center, MemorialCare, and OCTANe among...
401(k) Rule Change Would Ease Small Companies’ Path to Joint Plans

Monday, October 22, 2018

A new Labor Department rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer 401(k) plans, part of an effort to close a retirement-plan coverage gap that affects millions of employees. The proposed regulation would allow companies to band together to offer 401(k) plans sponsored by entities including business associations. Such arrangements, often called multiple-employer plans, are allowed now for employers with an affiliation or connection, such as companies with a common owner or members of the same industry trade association. The regulation—which the department said could go into effect as soon as early 2019 after a period for comments and possible...
Destination Irvine's AnaLaura Becerra Promotes City to Medical Technology Stakeholders

Monday, October 22, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, director of corporate sales, Destination Irvine, developed professional relationships with more than 35 stakeholders from the medical and technology sectors during one-on-one meetings at the Oct. 14 - 15 Connect Medical | Connect Tech conference in Las Vegas. Becerra provided information on Irvine hotels and amenities to life-science companies with an interest in booking meetings in Irvine, including Syneos Health, Stratpharma, Siemens Healthineers, Solara Medical Supplies, Philips, and JTB USA, which has a strong presence in the Japanese market. She also connected with third-party planning organizations, Pinnacle Management, Russell Harris, TW Metals, Honeywell, RedHorse Corp., and Meetings Made Easy, on...
Irvine City Manager John Russo to Address Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, October 22, 2018

Irvine City Manager John Russo will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, Nov. 1, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Having served as a city councilmember, city attorney, and city manager, Russo will discuss how his experience at three California cities gives him a unique perspective as he leads Irvine in implementing the vision and direction of its city council. Russo has 23 years of results-oriented public service gained through leadership positions in Oakland, Alameda, and Riverside. The Brooklyn native graduated with honors in economics and political science from Yale University, and earned his law...
Irvine Public Schools Foundation Honors Irvine Alumni and Raises over $770,000 at 2018 Spirit of Excellence Gala

Monday, October 22, 2018

On Oct. 13, Greater Irvine Chamber member Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) hosted its 9th Annual Spirit of Excellence Gala at KIA Motors America. With over 300 guests in attendance, including a mix of civic and business leaders as well as individual community members, the event raised more than $770,000. Funds raised will help fund critical programs and classroom support for Irvine Unified School District (IUSD). The evening also celebrated the accomplishments of three individuals whose education in Irvine set the stage for their future success. Honorees each received the Spirit of Excellence Award in their respective fields, in recognition of...
MacKenzie Corporation Makes Atlas-Explorer Available For Public Licensing Game-Changing Data Visualization & Analytics Tool Will Upgrade Sales & Marketing Processes

Monday, October 22, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member MacKenzie Corporation, a full-service data analytics and market research company, announced that its game-changing data visualization tool Atlas-Explorer is available for public licensing. After years of privatized use, this powerful yet easy-to-use program can be customized for your brand, your industry, and your unique corporate structure. The program synthesizes various sources of data into one location, converting the flood of data into a consumable, visually dynamic format that provides the information needed to understand your market and maximize your sales efficiency. According to MacKenzie Corp leadership, the Atlas Explorer program has far exceeded their already lofty internal...
California's Tax Revenues Beat Expectations by $1 Billion Over the Summer Months

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Californians paid some $1 billion in taxes above official projections during the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, in what could be a major boost to the government’s bottom line once Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office in January. A monthly report issued by the state Department of Finance attributed most of the unexpected revenue — $990 million — from personal income taxes paid between July 1 and Sept. 30. Sales taxes were slightly below expectations written into the budget crafted by Brown and state lawmakers in June, while corporation tax revenues were slightly above forecasts. The new tax windfall comes...
Enhancing Government Transparency in Irvine

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Irvine City Council will consider approval of an Irvine Sunshine Ordinance that would expand review time of nearly all upcoming agenda items to 12 days – which is four times longer than California law requires. The proposed ordinance will be heard during the City Council meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. An ordinance requires a second reading, which would be Nov. 13. “The 12-day window allows every community member the time they need to review agenda items thoroughly,” said City Manager John Russo. California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, requires an agenda be posted a mere 72...
MemorialCare Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Thursday, October 18, 2018

MemorialCare has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a silver-level sponsor. “MemorialCare is proud to join the Greater Irvine Chamber at the Leaders Circle level. We look forward to a very productive and exciting year ahead,” said Chris Arias, Director of Business Development. MemorialCare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system that includes Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center, and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; Seaside Health Plan; and convenient outpatient health centers, imaging centers, breast centers, surgical centers, and dialysis centers....
Destination Irvine Showcases Great Park as SoCal Go-To Sports Facility

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, Destination Irvine, met with representatives from 40 sporting event planning and hosting organizations during the Oct. 1-4 TEAMS (Travel, Events, and Management in Sports) conference in Louisville, KY. Lucey was joined by City of Irvine staff members Chris Alfaro and Collum McLaughlin, and hoteliers Brittany Valverde of Hilton Irvine and Jeremy Yujuico of Doubletree Irvine. Together, they strengthened relationships with sports organizations such as USA Field Hockey, USL Soccer, and USA Rugby and provided updates on the newly completed sport facilities at the Orange County Great Park. The sports facilities, which opened last year, include a...
Emerging Business Leaders Holiday Party to Benefit Nonprofit Partners

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Council will host its annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 5. As part of the council’s initiative to help support local nonprofits that are members of the Greater Irvine Chamber, the party will feature a silent auction in which all proceeds will be donated to the organization’s nonprofit partners. “We are lucky enough to partner with nonprofits and feature them at our bimonthly mixers, but as we strategically planned for 2018, we wanted to gather all our nonprofit partners in one place and celebrate the great work they do by giving back to them,” said...
Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine Sweep 2018 MarCom Awards

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine have received top awards in the MarCom 2018 Competition for marketing and communication materials. The Greater Irvine Chamber received a Platinum Award for its Irvine Master Plan video, a Gold Award for its Irvine – Uniquely Qualified video, and an Honorable Mention for its Irvine UK Foreign Direct Investment video. Destination Irvine received a Platinum Award the organization’s website destinationirvine.com along with two Gold Awards, one for the 2018-2019 Official Irvine Visitors Guide and one for the video Irvine, CA. - Where Tech Meets Trek. “This prestigious recognition is a validation of all the great work being done at the...
Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Students for Fourth Installment of Award-Winning Career Edge Program

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in collaboration with Google, Irvine Valley College, Webster University, Irvine, and professionals from the business community, on Oct. 6 hosted 33 students from Orange County colleges and universities for the Effective Business Communication Career Edge workshop instructed by Dr. Roopa Mathur, chair and professor, School of Business Sciences at IVC. Helping guide students as they learned business writing, presentation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills during the session were volunteer mentors Brian Andersen, Telecomprehensive Solutions; Julie Cho, Cho Law Firm;  Dr. Cathleen Greiner, Rancho Santiago Community College District; Carlos Oregon, Thinkbox Technology Group; Pepper Russell, Greater Irvine Chamber;...
Greater Irvine Chamber Women of Influence Committee Initiates Outreach Aimed at Empowering Women

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Members of the Greater Irvine Chamber Women of Influence Committee have expanded their objective to assist in the planning of the annual event, to include community outreach aimed at empowering women and supporting local nonprofit organizations. “Launching this outreach initiative has allowed our committee members to meet with women within our community who are making a difference and inspiring each other to grow, both professionally and personally,” said Danni Remington Smithson, regional manager, Pacific Western Bank, and Women of Influence Committee chair. As part of the committee’s initiative, its members recently participated in the Huntington Beach Walk to End Alzheimer’s, hosted by...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Presents California Women’s Leadership Association Women to Watch in 2019 Award

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As a 2018 California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) Community Heroes award recipient, Jessica Welch, IOM, vice president of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, presented this year’s awards during the CWLA’s Women to Watch in 2019 luncheon. Women to Watch in 2019, who were formally recognized during the Oct. 11 luncheon, are Peggy Grande, Hon. Virginia Vaughn, and Laura Meier, for being active on the frontline of issues in their communities. “As a past recipient, it is an honor twice over to present this award to professional women who are making a difference in their communities,” Welch said. Welch was nominated in 2017 by her peers...
Greater Irvine Prosperity Political Action Committee Endorses Midterm Election Candidates

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Greater Irvine Prosperity Political Action Committee trustees met on Oct. 11 to create a list of endorsed candidates for the upcoming Nov. 6 midterm elections. The following candidates have demonstrated a pro-business agenda, and have received endorsement by the group:   Governor: John Cox Secretary of State: Mark Meuser U.S. House of Representatives (CA-45): Mimi Walters* U.S. House of Representatives (CA-49): Diane Harkey U.S. House of Representatives (CA-39): Young Kim CA State Senate 34th District: Janet Nguyen* CA State Assembly 55th District: Phillip Chen* CA State Assembly 68th District: Stephen Choi* CA State Assembly 72nd District: Tyler Diep CA State Assembly 73rd District: Bill Brough* CA State Assembly 74th District: Matthew Harper* *denotes...
Launch Pad - 10 Legal Considerations for Marketing and Selling Products in Canada

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Despite the talk of trade disputes and the apparent political divide between Canada and the United States the two countries continue to be closely connected in many ways, including with respect to consumers and consumer products.  Building your brand and product in the United States in many cases means that you have also built a reputation among Canadians due to the frequent travel of Canadians to the United States and the American media presence in Canada. This creates an ideal opportunity for many companies to launch their products and brands in Canada. While there are many similarities between the countries with...
California Receives Federal Grant for Global Trade Expansion Program

Friday, October 12, 2018

California has received a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to help California small businesses boost trade and exports abroad. The grant was allocated to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). “California is the 5th largest economy in the world and this announcement bolsters the state’s efforts to help more small businesses become international exporters,” said GO-Biz Director Panorea Avdis. “Small businesses can use these funds to connect with international customers, market products globally, and identify new business opportunities. These resources empower companies to scale-up operations,...
Irvine Honored with Information Technology Award

Friday, October 12, 2018

The City of Irvine has been awarded for its “exemplary Information Technology (IT) practices” by MISAC, the Municipal Information Systems Association of California. MISAC announced the Technology Achievement awards for 2018 this month. Public agencies are recognized for best practices in IT standards and the use of technology for: budget, strategic planning, operations, customer satisfaction, Internet solutions, and security. “My colleagues on the City Council and I take great pride in Irvine being a leader of innovation in California,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “Technology advancement enables us to provide exceptional services to the public. I am proud of our staff’s diligence in...
Pay Gap a Priority for Women in the Workplace

Friday, October 12, 2018

In a recent all-female survey, 42 percent of respondents cited the pay gap as the most important issue they face. Female professionals share several challenges in today’s workplace, such as career advancement, re-entering the workforce and sexual harassment, to name a few. But according to a recent Korn Ferry survey, 40 percent of women professionals said they’ve missed a promotion or an opportunity simply because they’re female. What’s more, the most important issue facing women in the American workplace is the pay gap, with 42 percent of respondents selecting that over gender discrimination (26 percent), glass ceiling (25 percent) and sexual harassment...
US Consumer Prices Up Slight 0.1 Percent in September

Friday, October 12, 2018

Consumer prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent in September as energy prices retreated after a big gain in August. The Labor Department said that the September gain in its closely watched consumer price index followed a 0.2 percent rise in August. It was the smallest monthly gain since June. Inflation has been on a slight rise this year after a prolonged stretch when prices kept falling below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. For the 12 months ending in September, consumer prices were up 2.3 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food costs, rose 0.1 percent in...
TN Visas Remain Under NAFTA Replacement

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Despite rumors that the TN visa category would be eliminated when the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was replaced, the new US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) appears to preserve the status quo. Consensus over the replacement trade agreement was announced on the evening of Sept. 30. Notably, the text of USMCA’s Chapter 16 – granting temporary entry for certain Canadian and Mexican business professionals and the right to engage in business activities at the professional level – remains essentially unchanged from the original NAFTA text. While all three countries are required to ratify the agreement, U.S. employers seeking to continue to hire...
US Producer Prices Increase for First Time in Three Months

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

U.S. producer prices rose for the first time in three months amid a surge in gauges reflecting airfares and rail-transportation costs, a Labor Department report showed in Washington. Highlights of Producer Prices (September) Producer-price index rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.) after a 0.1 percent drop in prior month; up 2.6 percent y/y (est. 2.7 percent) after 2.8 percent gain Excluding food and energy, core gauge rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.); up 2.5 percent y/y (matching est.) after 2.3 percent PPI excluding food, energy and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, rose 0.4 percent...
CalChamber Stops All 29 Job Killer Bills

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

On his final day to act on legislation, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed the last surviving California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill. AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) would have banned arbitration agreements beneficial to employees, employers and the courts. “We are grateful to the Governor for vetoing this bill and recognizing that, had it become law, AB 3080 would have been preempted by federal law,” said CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg. “The Governor’s veto saved California employers from a significant amount of unnecessary litigation.” In his Sept. 30 veto message, the Governor stated: “Since this bill plainly violates federal...
Chamber VP Shows it’s Possible to Juggle Work, Life, and School Thanks to Brandman MyPath™

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Getting a college degree wasn’t part of Jessica Welch’s game plan when she was growing up in Washington state. Jessica Welch, vice president of operations at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, is able to do work on her Brandman MyPath™ competencies during her lunch hour or at home. The degree program's flexibility has made all the difference, she said. Her family, both for economic and religious reasons, didn’t make it a priority. When she graduated from high school and moved to Southern California 16 years ago, a booming economy and a good job in the mortgage industry didn’t require one either. Marriage,...
Charles Antis Delivers Powerful Message on Corporate Social Responsibility

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

In front of a sell-out crowd at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Oct. 4 Legends & Leaders event at the Hilton Irvine, keynote speaker Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, told of touchpoints that led to his commitment to corporate social responsibility. From experiences such making a house call early in his career where he encountered a family in a dire situation but without the means to resolve it, Antis was inspired to adopt a purpose before profit approach to business. As the central tenet to his corporate philanthropy, he shared that the purpose before profit philosophy ensures...
Greater Irvine Chamber Enters Strategic Alliance with Executive Next Practices Institute

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is partnering with the Executive Next Practices Institute (ENP) to sponsor ENP’s forums and thought leadership events, which are attended by C-suite and senior executives from leading Orange County companies. “We are delighted to form an alliance with the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, bringing value to the members of both of our groups, which represent the upper echelon of business owners, entrepreneurs and executives in Orange County,” said Scott Hamilton, CEO, Executive Next Practices. “This was a natural alliance for the Chamber to make for a number of reasons. Executive Next Practices offers very high quality programs...
Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with Vincit California for Coded in OC Initiative

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is partnering with software development and design company Vincit California as they launch Coded in OC, a website that highlights Orange County software development companies, which are helping to fuel the local economy. The recently launched site promotes several prominent companies that produce their software in Orange County. Companies that register are vetted before receiving a Coded in OC insignia to place on their website showing their commitment to growing the local economy and workforce. “The importance of Coded in OC is to grow the local economy by encouraging companies to invest in local talent, grow and retain the local workforce,...
Trade Report: California Exports Rise Despite Tariff Wars

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

California’s merchandise export trade maintained a growth trajectory in August despite a fall-off in farm exports, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics newly released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $15.18 billion for the month, a nominal 3.3 percent gain over the $14.69 billion recorded one year earlier. Although exports of manufactured goods were up 4.6 percent to $9.99 billion from $9.55 billion in August 2017, exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) dropped by 6.3 percent to $1.54 billion from $1.64 billion. The value of re-exported goods rose by...
A Look at the Bills That Did and Did Not Make California Law This Year

Friday, October 05, 2018

California’s Legislature revved into high gear when it came to writing laws in 2018, sending the most bills to the governor’s desk in more than a decade. In all, Gov. Jerry Brown weighed in on 1,217 pieces of legislation passed by the state Senate and Assembly. He signed 1,016 into law, and most will take effect on Jan. 1. Some of the new laws are momentous, others minuscule. Taken together, they are a grab bag of limitations and expectations on the personal and professional lives of Californians. Few residents will agree with all of them; some might not pass legal muster. And...
Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse Raises Funds for Alzheimer’s Orange County

Friday, October 05, 2018

Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse hosted a grand opening event at the new location in Irvine to celebrate the expansion of their brand to the west coast, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting local nonprofit organization, Alzheimer's Orange County. The Davio's team successfully raised over $16,000 for the charity. Guests of the event were among the first to experience the restaurant, from its signature dishes, refreshing cocktails and Davio's wine, as well as the incredible hospitality provided by the team.                  Photo: Community leaders gathered in front of Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse for the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony.
Governor Signs New Employment Laws for 2019

Friday, October 05, 2018

Governor Jerry Brown signed several key employment law bills that businesses need to be aware of for the coming year. With a few strokes of his pen on Sept. 30, the last day to sign or veto bills, Governor Jerry Brown altered the landscape for California employers in a number of significant ways. Here are some of the new laws taking effect in January 2019 that employers should anticipate: Assembly Bills Lactation Accommodation (AB 1976): Under current state law an employer must provide a location other than a toilet stall for an employee to express breast milk. The location must also be private...
Irvine Schools Will Turn Orange in Support of Irvine Public Schools Foundation

Friday, October 05, 2018

On Thursday, Oct. 18, the 40 schools in Irvine will come together to Turn Irvine Orange in support of Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), and educational excellence in Irvine on IPSF Giving Day. Students, parents, teachers, and community members are invited to wear orange to school, work and in the community, and post photos on their social media to celebrate this day of raising awareness for the causes that they care about. “For us, IPSF Giving Day is more than a day to donate to our Educational Excellence Fund, it gives us an opportunity to bring the community together to recognize...
US Weekly Jobless Claims Near 49-Year Low; Factory Orders Surge

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth. The labor market, which is viewed as being near or at full employment, is steadily boosting wage growth, which could help to support consumer spending as the stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. “The momentum in the labor market remains strong and we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped...
Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber won three Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The Chamber received a Silver Award for its Business Outreach Rally in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More, a Silver Award for its Global Microsite in the Special Purpose Website category, and a Bronze Award for its Career Edge program in the Human Capital category. The awards were formally presented to Linda DiMario, executive vice president, and Pepper Russell, research and support services manager, Greater Irvine Chamber, during the Oct. 2 IEDC Annual Conference, in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m...
Linda DiMario Recognized for Business Excellence and Leadership in Orange County

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, received an Excellence in Business award from the British American Business Council of Orange County (BABC), and the Leadership in the Success of Orange County award from OCTANe. “Receiving these awards is such an honor,” said DiMario. “The partnership that we have built with both organizations is essential to the economic development work of the Chamber, particularly our work to help U.K. companies expand here, and our mission to enhance the vitality of the innovation and life science sectors in Irvine.” Formally presented during the Sept. 26 British American Business Awards event, the Business...
Department of Homeland Security Representative Addresses Greater Irvine Chamber International Development Committee

Monday, October 01, 2018

Among its high-profile and critical functions, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) monitors trade security. During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s September International Development Committee (IDC) meeting, a representative from the Southern California DHS office provided insights on the ways in which the organization protects trade in Orange County. Discussed were the resources that the Department of Homeland Security offers to businesses with international trade relations, including providing information on trade, finance and transportation activity, trade policy, and other economic security decisions. “It was reassuring to know that the Department of Homeland Security not only protects the U.S. against terrorism, but it also...
Here Are the Key Differences Between NAFTA and the US, Canada, and Mexico's New Trade Pact

Monday, October 01, 2018

The U.S. and Canada on Sunday sealed the deal on a new trade agreement that, along with an earlier U.S.-Mexico agreement, opens to door to a rewrite of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The new deal, dubbed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, is expected to be signed by the leaders of the three member countries — U.S. President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto — in Nov. The deal must also be approved by each country's legislature before it can come into force. While Peter Navarro, the director of the White House National Trade Council, said...
Irvine Spectrum Center Named Best Shopping and Dining Destination in Orange County

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Irvine Spectrum Center has been named the Best Shopping and Dining Destination in the county by the Orange County Register. Irvine Spectrum is not one to rest on its laurels as a go-to spot for shopping, dining and entertainment since it opened in 1995. A $200-million redesign for 2018 emphasizes its community vibe with expanded lawns, more outdoor seating and shaded areas, refurbished and new fountains and updated landscaping. Thirty new tenants join more than 150 stores, restaurants and entertainment venues. Along with more than 1,500 more parking spaces, Irvine Spectrum Center is bringing enhanced interactive technology to all of its...
Southern California Edison Remains Committed to Wildfire Prevention and Response

Monday, October 01, 2018

In response to the growing risk of wildfires in Southern California, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Edison (SCE) is taking action to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and is committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues.  Senate Bill 901 (SB 901) was signed recently into law. While this legislation is a step forward, SCE believes that more work still needs to be done to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and remains committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues. SCE...
The FCC’s 5G Plan Deserves 5 Stars

Monday, October 01, 2018

This week, 5G will be front and center as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will take up a plan to eliminate regulatory barriers for deployment and the White House will hold a summit to address spectrum, infrastructure, and technical standards. While it will require many different forms of communications technologies such as satellite and cable to bridge the digital divide, 5G promises to revolutionize how people and devices connect. It is critical that our leaders promote policies that encourage the deployment of cutting-edge communications equipment. What is 5G and why does it matter? 5G is what its name implies – it is...
What Will Irvine Look Like in 20 Years?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Emile Haddad of Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member FivePoint is experimenting with something that at first glance appears antithetical to the Southern California lifestyle—a home without a garage. And a homeowner who’s not a car owner. “These will be the first single-family homes with no garages,” Haddad said. “We all love our cars, but the minds of the next generation won’t love them as much as we do.” It’s a proof-of-concept project that will entail 50 to 60 homes. A timeframe for opening hasn't been set, he said. A builder hasn't been chosen for the homes, which are being designed by...
Irvine is Safest City for 13th Year

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Irvine is the Safest City of its size in the nation, according to FBI data. The information released shows that Irvine has the lowest rate of violent crime per capita of any city in the nation with a population of 250,000 or more. This is the 13th consecutive year Irvine has earned the Safest City designation. This year, Irvine also had the lowest rate of total Part 1 crime for a city of its size. The FBI’s Annual Uniform Crime Report measures Part 1 crime, which includes murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft and arson.  “The men and women of...
Public Hearings Set for Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp Rehabilitation Project

Thursday, September 27, 2018

The City of Irvine invites the community to provide feedback on proposed plans for the rehabilitation of Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp during Community Services Commission meetings scheduled for: Wednesday, Oct. 3, 5:30 p.m., at Las Lomas Community Center; and Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5:30 p.m., at Irvine City Hall. The public hearings will provide members of the public an opportunity to review a City-initiated park design modification request for rehabilitation of the Cattle Camp event site. The proposed modification includes site layout revisions, accessibility improvements, replacement of portable buildings, addition of permanent restroom facilities, and landscaping improvements. The project focuses on refreshing the...
Business Outreach Rally Volunteers Needed

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host its ninth Business Outreach Rally on Thursday, Oct. 25. Chamber member volunteers participate in the award-winning program to outreach to local businesses, conducting primary research on their most pressing needs. The volunteers will set out with a goal of discovering the challenges businesses face and will provide copies of the Chamber’s Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through the Chamber and its partner organizations. The Chamber is seeking volunteers for two, or both, shifts: 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Breakfast and coffee will be provided.   12:30 – 4:00 p.m. Lunch will be provided.   Volunteers will receive...
Greater Irvine Chamber Legislative Policy Handbook Approved by Board of Directors

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee has recently published its 2018-2019 Legislative Policy Handbook, which reflects the interests of the local business community. The handbook serves as the policy platform for the Chamber and is used as a guide by the organization to remain consistent in its advocacy functions.  Ranging from consumer privacy to workforce preparedness, the handbook provides policy objectives, positions, and backgrounds on issues that are important to the Chamber and its members. The Government Affairs Committee updated the handbook, outlining details of the Chamber’s position on issues.  The Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors approved the...
Starr's Perspective on the Success of Irvine's Balanced Master Plan

Monday, September 24, 2018

By Bryan Starr, President & CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, as published in the October 2018 issue of Irvine Standard. As an Irvine resident, I have always been pleased to learn of the many distinctions our city receives for being a great place to live and do business. Now, as the President and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber, directing the organization’s mission to promote Irvine, I am keenly aware of the reason we have emerged as one of America’s great cities: it’s our balanced Master Plan. Many cities may have ample housing but few jobs. Some have plenty of jobs but few parks...
Delivering LA and Southern California to the Global Market - How Does Your Business Plan Fit?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Southern California has a huge business presence globally. It is one of the most vibrant business environments in the world. Los Angeles is the third largest municipal economy in the world. Tokyo is the largest and New York is second. LAX is the 4th busiest airport in the world and the Port of LA ranks as the busiest port in the western hemisphere. This growth of SoCal’s economy brings with it opportunities for businesses from around the world to participate in the building of infrastructure and providing services throughout SoCal. It is an opportunity to gain market share in this...
Economic Advisory Council: U.S Economic Expansion Continues, But Growth Surge May Be Temporary

Friday, September 21, 2018

Far from losing steam, the U.S. economy has been on a solid upswing lately. But as always, a deeper look at the data suggests that there are issues to keep an eye on, according to a recent report by the California Chamber of Commerce Economic Advisory Council. The United States is currently in the midst of the second longest expansion in the nation’s history at 111 months and counting. In July of next year, we will officially be in the midst of the longest expansion on record. Below are some of the highlights from the economic report. Read the full report. A Deeper Look Consider...
Governor Signs CalChamber-Supported Bill Protecting Businesses from Lawsuits

Friday, September 21, 2018

A California Chamber of Commerce-supported bill related to food and consumer product packaging was signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. CalChamber supports AB 2632 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) because it protects consumer product and food manufacturers from lawsuits by clarifying package labeling requirements regarding the amount of product and packaging. Specifically, AB 2632 would ensure that consumer product and food manufacturers cannot be deemed to have violated California’s “slack fill” law when the product’s exterior packaging contains information that clearly communicates the amount and size of the product contained in the packaging. Slack fill is the difference between the actual capacity of a container and the volume...
Irvine Voted Best OC City in Which to Live

Friday, September 21, 2018

The City of Irvine has been voted “Best City to Live in” for the third consecutive year by Orange County Register readers. Irvine’s commitment to safety, its unparalleled parks and open space, and quality of education helped it maintain its status as the best place to live in Orange County. Register readers select the best categories, so this is particularly important in that so many community members took the time to choose Irvine as No. 1. “The Register confirms what we already know here in Irvine. This is the best place to live in Orange County! Our public safety, our schools, our...
Just Who Is An Independent Contractor?

Friday, September 21, 2018

A sweeping new California Supreme Court ruling restricting who is an independent contractor is shaking up an exceptionally diverse range of industries. The ruling, issued in April, affects an estimated 2 million independent contractors working in healthcare, beauty salons, gig economy jobs like Uber and Lyft, journalism, music, real estate, education, financial planning, agriculture, construction, technology, insurance, transportation and more. The decision is praised by the California Labor Federation as offering workers protections like minimum wage, unemployment, workers’ compensation and disability insurance. But some independent contractors say they like their freedom and have no interest in being employees. “The interesting rub on this...
New Proposition 65 Rules Include Supply Chain Liability

Friday, September 21, 2018

Minimizing liability is quintessential for any prudent business. Liability could mean costly lawsuits, the loss of valuable business opportunities or relationships, large monetary penalties, serious financial or reputational damage, or even product recalls. Under Proposition 65, liability for businesses can be all of the above. For decades, companies selling products, food or beverages in California or that manufacture, supply or distribute products sold in California have wrestled with the requirements of Prop. 65. In 2017 alone, nearly 700 cases were settled with defendants paying more than $25 million in plaintiffs’ attorney’s fees and penalties—not including defense counsel fees, business interruption and other...
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...
British American Business Council OC to Honor Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The British American Business Council in Orange County (BABC OC) will formally honor the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, and Chamber Leaders Circle members Edwards Lifesciences and The Irvine Company during the BABC OC 2018 Innovation Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Sept. 26. The Greater Irvine Chamber is being recognized for its partnership with the British American Business Council, in support of its foreign direct investment initiatives. Together, the organizations collaborate to promote the vitality and diversity of Irvine’s life science sector to companies in the U.K. Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, will participate in a panel discussion during the...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Whit Peterson Participates in National Discussion on Business Advocacy

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Whit Peterson, director of government affairs, Greater Irvine Chamber, joined Chamber professionals from across the nation to meet with U.S. Chamber of Commerce staff at the 2018 Chamber Federation Advocacy and Growth Conference in New Orleans, on Sept. 12 – 14. “Having access to U.S. Chamber staff is valuable for bringing local issues to the national conversation and to learn of the work being carried out on the national level that addresses business-related issues,” Peterson said. “Tapping into their expertise as well as making contacts with other chamber professionals from around the country is important as we work toward a shared vision.” Co-hosted...
Is Canada ‘Ripping Us Off’? Or Is It the Best US Trade Partner?

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The $4 trillion in goods exchanged last year between the two nations was about evenly divided between imports and exports. With President Trump’s repeated vows to punish Canada with auto tariffs, you might think that the border was a southbound one-way street, running wholly against the U.S. auto industry. On a recent campaign trip, Trump said Canada was "ripping us off" and threatened a tariff on cars from Canada that "would be the ruination of the country." It would be a massive escalation of the trade hostilities that began this year with U.S. tariffs on washers, solar cells, aluminum and steel. But the...
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...
Orange County Great Park Reaches a Development Milestone as One of California’s Largest Public Sports Parks as it Debuts its Championship Stadiums and Fields

Monday, September 17, 2018

More than 1,000 residents, baseball and softball families, elected officials, and community leaders gathered to celebrate the completion of all stadiums and fields at the Orange County Great Park Sports Park on Sept. 16.  The completion of the 194-acre Sports Park is a major step in the public-private effort to develop the entire 688-acre Great Park into a metropolitan park rivaling the best in the nation. The Sports Park, built and funded by FivePoint's joint venture, is twice the size of Disneyland. FivePoint had committed to build the Sports Park in five years. It was completed ahead of schedule in just four...
Updated Family and Medical Leave Act Forms Are Now Available

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Federal Department of Labor (DOL) has released updated forms for managing leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employers must use the current FMLA forms, which are also available on the federal Department of Labor website. As we previously reported, the DOL has to submit forms to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review every three years. The DOL submitted the FMLA forms to the OMB in April, and requested a three-year extension of the current forms, without any changes to the substance of the forms. The OMB did not approve the new forms before the June...
#ShopIrvine Initiative Promotes the City's Retail Centers

Friday, September 14, 2018

One component of the Irvine Master Plan is the city’s retail centers. The Irvine Spectrum Center, Woodbridge Center, and Diamond Jamboree offer diverse shopping and dining experiences to visitors and residents alike. These Irvine destinations continue to evolve, providing shoppers with eclectic options that remain at the pinnacle of style, relevance, and ambiance. Timing of the #ShopIrvine initiative couldn’t be better. Recently completed renovations at two of Irvine’s most popular and picturesque shopping centers – Irvine Spectrum Center and Woodbridge Village Center – are primed to add significant value to shopping and dining in Irvine. Irvine Spectrum Center, which draws more than...
Campaign to Attract United Kingdom Life Science Companies to Irvine Yields Results

Friday, September 14, 2018

Irvine is home to one of the most robust life science sectors in America, a sector where British-owned life science companies are a strong presence. Because the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber is to enhance Irvine’s economic vitality, we looked to expand the life science sector by launching an aggressive foreign direct investment initiative to recruit U.K. life science companies for expansion to Irvine. The Chamber conducted thorough research into the market to effectively position Irvine/Orange County in a competitive field. We learned that while California is a very strong global brand, most U.K. companies still thought of Boston first...
Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Its Newest Board Members

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber recently welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors. They are Orange County entrepreneurs and executives that will support the Chamber’s mission and serve in a fiduciary role. Vivian Atkinson, Owner, Express Employment Professionals As the long-term owner of an Irvine-based staffing and recruiting company, Vivian Atkinson has a vested interest in helping local employers grow and supporting the reputation of Irvine as a great place to do business. Prior to settling in Irvine, she worked in commercial real estate for Colliers International and McDonalds Restaurants of Canada. Born and raised in Shanghai, and having become both...
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...
Next-Generation Connectivity Comes to Irvine

Friday, September 14, 2018

Irvine’s planners have designed this city so it can adapt to the future. One area where you see that happening is technology. Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Google Fiber and Southern California Edison are quickly deploying their fiber-optic networks using underground conduit installed over the past few decades. “Irvine Company had the foresight to install a vast network of conduit,” said Erin Schultz, head of the Google Fiber operations in Orange County. “This infrastructure, coupled with their understanding of the importance of access to high-speed internet, has paved the way for a strong partnership with Google Fiber.” Google Fiber offers Irvine residents...
The New Mall Experience

Friday, September 14, 2018

A row of old kitchen equipment is all that remains of the Red Robin restaurant that left the Irvine Spectrum Center in June. Now, the air conditioning cools powerful computers, high-tech headsets and dozens of high-definition screens. The traditional shopping mall menu of burgers and brews has made way for “Terminator Salvation: Fight for the Future,” a virtual reality attraction based on the “Terminator” film franchise. And since the late-August opening, it has attracted visitors who said they hadn’t been to a mall in months. “I brought my brother up from San Diego to play and it was so realistic,” said Karen...
California Approves Goal for 100 Percent Carbon-Free Electricity by 2045

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ahead of a summit meant to galvanize regional action on climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that would put California on the path to eliminating fossil fuels from its energy sector. Senate Bill 100 speeds up the state’s timeline for moving to renewable energy sources like solar and wind, and requires that all retail electricity be carbon-free by 2045. California is the second state to adopt such a goal, after Hawaii. “It’s not going to be easy. It will not be immediate. But it must be done,” Brown said at a signing ceremony in Sacramento. “California is committed to doing whatever is...
US Policy Expert: Trade Talks to Open Markets Work Better than Tariff Wars to Boost Economy, Jobs

Thursday, September 13, 2018

In an era where “trade is invading every zone,” increased tariffs on imports are the wrong way to generate prosperity for U.S. businesses, a trade policy expert told a California Chamber of Commerce gathering last week. John Murphy, senior vice president of international policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, emphasized that the rest of the world is moving forward in areas where the United States has stepped back from trade talks. If the United States doesn’t get back to working on opening markets to American goods and services, “we’re going to be on the outside looking in,” Murphy said at the...
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Introduces a New Tool to Deliver Access to Global Steel Trade Statistics

Thursday, September 13, 2018

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced the release of the new interactive Global Steel Trade Monitor. The monitor, developed by the Department of Commerce’s Enforcement and Compliance unit within the International Trade Administration, provides extensive and timely steel trade data for the top 20 global steel importing countries and top 20 global steel exporting countries.  “Timely detailed data in user friendly formats are essential both for enforcement and for policy determinations,” said Secretary Ross. “This interactive Global Steel Trade Monitor will strengthen U.S. companies’ and the U.S. government’s ability to track trade flows to better understand the relevant trends in...
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...
Irvine Residents Learn About Irvine City Council Candidates

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted the 2018 Irvine City Council Candidates Forum at the Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center on Sept. 5. The event provided residents the opportunity to meet and hear from the candidates running for Irvine City Council. Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner welcomed those in attendance, stressing the importance of the forum and the role it plays in keeping Irvine residents informed.   Nine of the 12 city council candidates who participated in the forum were Kev Abazajian, Farrah Khan, Anthony Kuo, Frank McGill, Lauren Johnson-Norris, Carrie O’Malley, John Park, Liqing “Lee” Sun, and Jaci Woods. Jerry Amante, the...
Irvine Ranked Best Place in California to Raise a Family

Monday, September 10, 2018

Whether you are currently expecting or already have children, deciding where to raise your family is an important decision. In an effort to help you choose the perfect city to call "home," a new report by WalletHub ranked the best and worst places to raise a family. The experts at the personal finance website compared the family-friendliness of more than 180 cities across the country based on 46 key metrics. The data set ranges from the cost of housing to the quality of schools. Irvine in Orange County came in as the second-best place in the U.S. and the top place in California to...
New 280,000 Square-Foot Ice Arena in Irvine Will Have Four Practice Rinks for Ducks, Figure Skaters

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mounds of dirt sit in the space that will be used by thousands of kids on ice skates. The ground-level concession stand and skate shop have exposed beams but will soon be bustling with families. And the expansive upstairs lobby is where countless parents will watch their children. The Great Park Ice skating facility is a construction site, but it’s not difficult to envision that it might someday help produce the next locally trained NHL player or Olympic figure skater. “I don’t think it’s that far off,” said Art Trottier, vice president of the Ducks’ RINKS program that has grown hockey at the...
UCI Ranked Highest-ever 7th Among Public Universities by U.S. News & World Report

Monday, September 10, 2018

U.S. News & World Report has rated Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member University of California, Irvine the seventh-best public university in the country in its 2019 Best Colleges evaluation, released today. UCI also placed 33rd among all American universities – public and private – marking its highest-ever performance in both categories since the magazine began reviewing colleges in 1983. The rankings are derived from 16 measures of academic excellence, weighted by relevance to high-quality education. “We are delighted that UCI has once again been recognized as one of the premier universities in the nation,” said Chancellor Howard Gillman. “This year’s rankings...
Bruce Tromberg to Lead the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

Friday, September 07, 2018

Bruce Tromberg, Ph.D., director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Clinic and professor of biomedical engineering and surgery at the University of California, Irvine, has been chosen by the National Institutes of Health to head the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Headquartered in Maryland, NIBIB was formed in 2000 to spur the invention and implementation of new technologies to research, diagnose and treat human diseases. It’s one of 27 institutes and centers under the NIH, an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Tromberg will take on the role of NIBIB’s second director in early...
Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine

Friday, September 07, 2018

A majority of Orange County’s tech startups are located either in the Airport Area or Irvine Spectrum submarkets. Airport Area startups have raised $195.2 million compared to the $152.2 million raised by their Irvine Spectrum counterparts. Collectively, the two account for 91 percent of startup funding in Orange County. Tech and startup companies alike are drawn to these two submarkets because of the high concentration of millennials, strong retail and lifestyle amenities, and the depth of available labor. Orange County startups have greatly contributed to the technology sector, emerging as a significant driver for the local economy and driving growth for the...
US Wage Gains Pick Up to 2.9 Percent While Payrolls Rise 201,000

Friday, September 07, 2018

American wages unexpectedly climbed in August by the most since the recession ended in 2009 and hiring rose by more than forecast, keeping the Federal Reserve on track to lift interest rates this month and making another hike in December more likely. Average hourly earnings for private workers increased 2.9 percent from a year earlier, a Labor Department report showed Friday, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey and the median projection for 2.7 percent. Nonfarm payrolls rose 201,000 from the prior month, topping the median forecast for 190,000 jobs. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.9 percent, still near the...
TCA’s New Payment Method: Simple and Sticky

Thursday, September 06, 2018

For those of us who never dedicated windshield space to the toll roads transponder and are still chasing the 4-inch plastic box all over the dashboard—relief is on the way. Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Transportation Corridor Agencies, operators of state routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, are replacing the hard-case transponder with adhesive 6C tags. The Band-Aid-sized stickers, which will be available on July 1, are cheaper to make, store and mail. TCA says the switch will save toll-road operators about $3 million a year, and that it’ll pass on the savings to 1.3 million account holders by eliminating...
Economic Vitality Council Meeting Identifies Solutions for 21st Century Workforce Development Challenges

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Economic Vitality Council Meeting held in August provided business and community leaders an opportunity to explore 21st-century solutions to common obstacles in business development. The biannual meeting brought together the Business and Workforce Development Committee and International Development Committee members and community partners to tackle a variety of issues. One of the topics discussed was how the Chamber can help Irvine businesses attract and retain talent. As an alternative to traditional job fairs, the group discussed career education programs including coaching junior high and high school teachers and counselors with information on career opportunities in the life science and technology...
Former US Secretary, Dept. of Homeland Security Slated as Keynote for World Affairs Council of Orange County Cybersecurity Event

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

The World Affairs Council of Orange County presents Exploding Data: Reclaiming Our Cyber Security in the Digital Age with keynote speaker Michael Chertoff, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush, on Thursday, Sept. 13, at Hotel Irvine at 6:45 p.m. Chertoff was the second ever Director of Homeland Security. Chertoff’s unique background leading up to that strategic appointment, combined with his government service and private sector work since then, give him comprehensive expertise in cyber technology and how it can impact and even control us.   Chertoff has developed proposals for how we can protect ourselves in...
John Wayne Ride-Share Growth Prompts Fee Revamp

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

John Wayne Airport will raise fees paid by ride-share companies, limousines and shuttles starting Sept. 1 to be comparable with other airports and profit from fast-growing firms, including Lyft Co. and Uber Technologies Inc. Transportation companies here currently pay $2.25 per pickup of passengers and nothing to drop them off. Beginning Sept. 1, the fee applies to both pick-ups and drop-offs. Then on March 1, each fee rises to $3. Transportation fees haven’t changed at JWA since 2002, and rates were the lowest of six airports, including those in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Ontario, Burbank, and San Diego, which already charge $3 to...
Karen Maldonado Named Member of the Month for July 2018

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Karen Maldonado, business development manager, IES Communications, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Month for July 2018. Since joining the Chamber in 2016, Maldonado has become actively involved in a number of the organization’s committees and events. She is currently a member of the Tuesday Leads Group, and has participated in two Business Outreach Rallies to survey Irvine businesses. She has attended the Business Outlook Breakfast and is involved with the Economic Vitality Council. “Through involvement in Greater Irvine Chamber, I have grown my network, learned from others, and helped others grow. The commitment of the members to...
Orange County Soccer Club Enters World of eSports

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Orange County Soccer Club makes United Soccer League and U.S. professional soccer history, establishing the club's first eSports team. This digital extension of the club’s on-field squad launches with the creation of a FIFA 11v11 team, which will compete in the Virtual Pro Gaming league. As the world’s favorite sport, it translates well from the field to the eSports world. For more details, visit orangecountysoccer.com/esports.
Small Business Awards Program in 68th Assembly District Begins in September

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Each month Assemblyman Steven S. Choi will recognize a small business in the 68th Assembly District as the Small Business of the Month to help promote and salute local entrepreneurs who contribute to their community.    To qualify for recognition, nominees must have fewer than 100 employees and be located within the 68th Assembly District, which includes Irvine, Tustin, Orange, Lake Forest, Villa Park, and Anaheim. Nominations are due to Assemblyman Choi’s office on or before the last Friday of each month and will be recognized the following month. For more information and to nominate a business, contact Jose Martinez, senior field representative, Office...
US Second-Quarter GDP Growth Raised to 4.2 Percent

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

U.S. economic growth was a bit stronger than initially thought in the second quarter, notching its best performance in nearly four years and putting the economy on track to hit the Trump administration’s goal of 3 percent annual growth. Gross domestic product increased at a 4.2 percent annualized rate, the Commerce Department said in its second estimate of GDP growth for the April-June quarter. That was slightly up from the 4.1 percent pace of expansion reported in July and was the fastest rate since the third quarter of 2014. The economy grew at a 2.2 percent pace in the January-March period. The...
USA Water Polo Picks Irvine for its National Headquarters

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

A proposed plan to build a world-class aquatics facility that would serve as the national headquarters for USA Water Polo at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine was presented to the Irvine City Council during the Aug. 28 council meeting. The site would also provide the opportunity for Irvine to serve as a venue for the 2028 Olympic Games and the preceding Olympic trials. At present, Irvine hosts at more than five well-attended water polo events, generating $2 million annually in direct spending. The economic impact for Irvine hotels and businesses is approximately $160,000 annually in transient occupancy tax for...
Dave Lucey Honored as 2018 Connect Sports Game Changer

Monday, August 27, 2018

Destination Irvine’s Dave Lucey, director of sports sales, was honored as a 2018 Game Changer at Connect Sports, an industry conference held in Salt Lake City, Aug. 23-25. “This is a well-deserved recognition of Dave. He’s one of the Chamber’s super stars and has brought more than double the amount in bookings for Irvine hotels since he arrived at Destination Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Dave has effectively put Irvine on the map as a sports tournament destination.” During the event, Connect Sports formally presented awards to 21 of the sports tourism industry’s “sharpest minds – the people who...
Irvine Featured in Smart Meetings’ ‘The Real Cities of Orange County’

Friday, August 24, 2018

Irvine was recently highlighted as a top option in Orange County for meetings in the meeting-industry publication, Smart Meetings. The article features several cities in the county that offer attractive options for meetings groups. Here’s what they had to say about Irvine: Why we love it: Irvine almost always appears on lists of best places to live, work and do business. It’s one of America’s largest and most successful master-planned urban communities. That plan emphasized responsible growth and preserving the natural environment. Today, there are more than 100 global corporations there. There are also more than 16,000 acres of preserved natural habitats, and...
Irvine is a Globally Positioned City for Globally-minded Companies

Friday, August 24, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, was recently featured in a Global Trade Magazine Podcast. DiMario, who leads Economic Development initiatives at the Chamber including business attraction, discussed ways for companies to find success in the global marketplace, how a major piece of that puzzle is location, and how Irvine, as a master-planned community, works for globally-minded companies. “Those that created the city did so with a long-term vision. This is sustainable and responsible growth and development,” DiMario said. On foreign direct investment, she said, “Irvine, California is a very smart solution to United States expansion plans.” Listen to the podcast here.
Edwards Grows HQ After $36 Million Land Buy Next Door

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp. has proposed a major expansion of its Irvine headquarters, paving the way for Orange County’s largest public company to add hundreds of jobs to its local operations. The medical device maker, whose market valuation is $28.7 billion, recently filed plans with the city to build two office and laboratory buildings, an employee amenities facility, and a parking structure on 7.6 acres next to its current headquarters on Red Hill Avenue. The buildings would total about 471,450 square feet and be built in three phases over a period of years, city records indicate. Office, lab,...
Irvine Spectrum Center Unveils $200 Million Expansion That Converted One Mega Store into 30 Smaller Shops

Thursday, August 16, 2018

A tarp-covered fence at the Irvine Spectrum Center separates established merchants from their new neighbors, who bustle about readying for their imminent grand opening. Printed across the temporary divider, a message beckons: “Experience the Expansion.” Visitors will be able to do just that when the curtain comes down Aug. 18, revealing the Spectrum’s $200 million renovation. Among the dozens of just-unveiled shops and eateries will be Stance, a San Clemente-based sock couturier launched in 2009.  “We’re receiving inventory, training staff and putting the finishing touches on the interior,” co-founder John Wilson said. “We can’t wait to turn on the lights, open the door and welcome...
Good Sportsmanship: Irvine Ups Old-School ‘Gaming’

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Destination Irvine and area hotels are courting more sports-related meetings and events as facilities at the city’s Great Park continue to open. Many amenities are community-based, including basketball courts and playgrounds near Great Park Neighborhood homes. But the “hundred acre wood” of offerings—in June, Great Park Sports Complex topped 101 acres of fields and facilities—goes beyond kid-friendly to include a newly opened championship soccer stadium and four sheets of ice under construction that will be suitable for NHL or Olympic-level hockey. “Irvine was a decent sports area prior to the Great Park, now it’s a hot spot,” said Dave Lucey, director of...
US Economy to Grow at 3.1 Percent in 2018, CBO Says

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The U.S. economy is projected to grow by 3.1 percent this year, as more government spending and tax cuts help propel an expansion, the Congressional Budget Office said. But the robust run of growth may stall as early as next year, with the U.S. economy expected to slow down in 2019 and during the following decade once temporary government policies expire, according to the nonpartisan CBO’s report. Economic growth will slow to 2.4 percent in 2019 and to 1.7 percent in 2020, staying at about that level over the next decade, the CBO projected. If the CBO’s numbers prove correct, U.S. economic growth...
Congresswoman Mimi Walters Receives Spirit of Enterprise Award from the US Chamber of Commerce

Monday, August 13, 2018

For her continued support of the business community, Congresswoman Mimi Walters (R-CA 45th District) was presented with the Spirit of Enterprise Award by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the Greater Irvine Chamber. Chamber members had the opportunity to meet and hear from Congresswoman Walters during the Aug. 8 event, which was hosted by the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Global Innovation Policy Center. She discussed topics such as free trade and economic growth, and provided updates on a number of initiatives in which she is currently involved. “I am committed to promoting free trade, which supports...
How Irvine, California’s Masterful City Plan Helps It Grow and Thrive

Monday, August 13, 2018

In the early 1980s, the City of Irvine consisted of a bustling university, commercial and industrial parks, thousands of acres of strawberry and tomato fields, and about 30,000 residents scattered in neighborhoods. Then new business started to move in. A new magazine, Entrepreneur, set up shop near John Wayne International Airport. Broadcom and Western Digital came to town and transformed the business landscape forever. Finally, the Irvine Co., landholder of the former 150,000-acre Irvine Ranch, worked with city officials to create a city around the university that also set aside 60,000 acres for open space. Today, Irvine is one of the most vibrant life...
Irvine Master Plan Highlighted on Fox News’ Talk Business 360

Monday, August 13, 2018

Reaching viewers nationwide, the Irvine Master Plan video was featured on Talk Business 360, a Fox News program. The video aired late July and was also shared on the program’s social media channels. The Irvine Master Plan was created to guide the city’s carefully-phased, long-term growth more than 50 years ago. Today, the Master Plan remains committed to the principle of balance between development and the preservation of natural open space, parks, and trails. The benefits of this approach are everywhere you look: Irvine is emerging as one of America’s great cities – a livable, safe, clean, beautiful, balanced community. Full of innovation, Irvine...
Bryan Starr Selected for Elite US Chamber of Commerce Committee of CEOs

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been selected for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 (CCC100). Members of the CCC100 are hand-selected to represent and communicate the perspectives and needs of chambers from state, metro, and local communities throughout the nation. Key responsibilities include attending annual meetings of the CCC100 to discuss trending and emerging issues that impact chambers, advising the U.S. Chamber of programs and services that may be helpful, serving as a sounding board, and providing input for policy-related issues and the usefulness of existing U.S. Chamber programs and services. “It’s an honor to...
Irvine Councilmember Melissa Fox Discusses Affordable Housing

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Business and community leaders had the opportunity to hear Irvine Councilmember Melissa Fox discuss affordable housing and several other topics during the Aug. 2 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Fox pointed out that the city, in partnership with the Irvine Community Land Trust and other nonprofits, has developed Parc Derian, an affordable housing complex project adding to the city’s total affordable unit count of 4,400 units. She said the new units are in keeping with the exceptional standards for which Irvine is known. On the Orange County Great Park, Fox said the final leg of its three-phase expansion will add four ice rinks...
Pepper Russell Promoted to Research and Support Services Manager, Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Pepper Russell has been promoted to Research and Support Services Manager for the Greater Irvine Chamber. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2015, Russell has served in a support role for Economic Development, previously as Executive Assistant for Economic Development & Tourism. “I’m proud to be a part of the professional economic development staff at the Greater Irvine Chamber,” she said. “I’m looking forward to contributing in my new role to help ensure the business community in the greater Irvine area continues to thrive.” Russell’s area of responsibility includes collecting, organizing, and evaluating data and research from a variety of resources on...
Why Irvine?

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Sometimes the address says it all. By Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. As featured in the August issue of NAWRB Magazine: When people are looking to start or move a business to Irvine, it always starts with answering the question: Why Irvine? 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 or better place to start or locate a business than Irvine, California. And that all began with the stunningly forward thinking vision that transformed 93,000 acres into...
Marianna Marysheva Hired as Irvine Assistant City Manager

Friday, August 03, 2018

Longtime municipal executive Marianna Marysheva has joined the City of Irvine as Assistant City Manager. Marysheva began work on July 27; she was hired by new City Manager John Russo. “Irvine is fortunate to be able to retain Ms. Marysheva,” said Russo. “She has a great deal of experience in many areas of city governance, but she is exceptionally skilled in municipal finance. Her commitment to fiscal discipline is backed up by very strong problem-solving skills, and she is adept at finding long-term solutions in the face of competing priorities.” Using her experience managing diverse municipal government operations and services, Marysheva will oversee...
US Economy Tops 4 Percent GDP Growth in Second Quarter

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released the second quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers. The Bureau found that the real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter of 2018.  U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued the following statement on the announcement:  “Today’s release of the United States’ GDP growth of 4.1 percent for the second quarter shows that President Trump’s economic plan is working. President Trump is keeping his pledge to restore our economy. His vision is revitalizing communities across the country and letting American families keep more of...
Dinh Ta Promoted to Greater Irvine Chamber Director of Business Development

Monday, July 30, 2018

Dinh Ta has been promoted to the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Director of Business Development. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2017, Ta has far surpassed membership goals, breaking all-time Chamber records set for enrollment, as well as a goal for new memberships in the 2017-2018 fiscal year, set by the Chamber’s Leadership. “It’s an honor to be part of a strong organization that is continually growing and evolving,” said Ta. “What I’m most excited for is furthering connections between members and helping them to succeed.” Prior to becoming part of the Chamber staff, Ta was a Chamber member and was named Member of the...
Greater Irvine Chamber Named a Best Place to Work by Orange County Business Journal

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber has been named one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Orange County by the Orange County Business Journal. Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group conducted the research on behalf of the Journal, grouping companies by the size of their staffs: large, with 250 or more on the payroll; medium, with 50 to 249 workers; and small, with 15 to 49 employees. “The Board of Directors congratulates the professional staff at the Greater Irvine Chamber for being named a 2018 Best Place to Work by the Orange County Business Journal,” said Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of external...
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...
Irvine Organizations, Individuals Recognized with Annual Business of the Year Awards at Celebrate Irvine

Friday, June 22, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce formally recognized organizations and individuals in Irvine for community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship during Celebrate Irvine, hosted in partnership with the City of Irvine, on June 20 at Hotel Irvine. Awards were given in five categories: Business of the Year - Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. Antis Roofing & Waterproofing is a respected leader in community philanthropy. In 2017 Antis received the 2017 US Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Citizen Award. Entrepreneur of the Year - Vincit California. In addition to a successful expansion from Finland to Irvine, Vincit, a digital design...
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...
California Now World's 5th-Largest Economy, Surpassing UK

Saturday, May 05, 2018

California's economy has surpassed that of the United Kingdom to become the world's fifth largest, according to new federal data made public Friday. California's gross domestic product rose by $127 billion from 2016 to 2017, surpassing $2.7 trillion, according to the data. Meanwhile, the UK's economic output slightly shrank over that time when measured in U.S. dollars, due in part to exchange rate fluctuations. The data demonstrate the sheer immensity of California's economy, a state that is home to nearly 40 million people, a thriving technology sector in Silicon Valley, the world's entertainment capital in Hollywood and the nation's salad bowl in the...
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.
OCTANe Announces 2017 Results and Strategy: Building the SoCal of Tomorrow

Monday, March 19, 2018

For Orange County and the entire Southern California region, 2017 was a pivotal year for innovation. The region has some of the nation’s best engineering talent, top-ranked universities, and a community of investors and innovators. With that in mind, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member OCTANe has been creating collaborative and strategic relationships with many organizations and creating the SoCal of tomorrow. The OCTANe 2017 Impact Report gives an overview of the region’s tech growth engine for the year as well as a forecast through 2025.   “The year 2018 will begin a new growth period for OCTANe as we execute...
Greater Irvine Chamber Earns Top Communications Award from Western Association of Chamber Executives

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce was awarded first place in overall Chamber Communications Programs for the entire Western United States, the highest honor of Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) in that category. The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff at the W.A.C.E. annual conference, held this year in Henderson, Nevada, Feb. 7-9. “We have put a great deal of emphasis on our strategic communications efforts this year, communicating the great work of our organization. As a testament to our effectiveness in raising our profile, the Greater Irvine Chamber has been honored with a major award...
Greater Irvine Chamber's Career Edge Named Outstanding Program of the Year

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge was named the 2017 Outstanding Program of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff on Feb. 8 at the W.A.C.E. Annual Conference held this year in Henderson, Nevada. “In addition to the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from students, educators, and the business community, recognition from our colleagues across the Chamber industry is further indication of the value of the Career Edge program and the Chamber’s role to ensure a highly-skilled, 21st-century workforce that our employers seek,” said Linda DiMario, executive...
Bloomberg News: Linda DiMario weighs in on Amazon HQ2 Process and the Economic Development Game

Friday, February 02, 2018

In a Jan. 30 article, Bloomberg News reported what Greater Irvine Chamber executive vice president Linda DiMario had to say about the Amazon HQ2 process and economic development: Economic development professionals are torn as to whether the campaign by cities and metro regions to win Amazon’s second headquarters will change the way the game is played. “Some people thought it was the most inefficient RFP process they’ve ever seen, but I saw it as quite brilliant, and I think it’s going to be good for other businesses,” said Linda H. DiMario, executive vice president of economic development and tourism for the Greater Irvine...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Lends Expertise to Texas City in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Monday, January 22, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, traveled to Aransas Pas, Texas last week under the auspices of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to lend a hand to the City and its business community in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. With a focus on the Downtown core, DiMario met with City Manager Gary Edwards, Mayor Ram Gomez, City Council members Carrie Scruggs, Vickie Abrego and Billy Ellis, city management, the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce, Destination Downtown, UNITY, the Library Board, business owners, property owners and San Patricio Economic Development Council discussing how to...
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...
Tracy Yannotti Promoted to Greater Irvine Chamber Finance Administrator

Tuesday, October 23, 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 entertainment...
What Will Irvine Look Like in 20 Years?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Emile Haddad is experimenting with something that at first glance appears antithetical to the Southern California lifestyle—a home without a garage. And a homeowner who’s not a car owner. “These will be the first single-family homes with no garages,” Haddad said. “We all love our cars, but the minds of the next generation won’t love them as much as we do.” It’s a proof-of-concept project that will entail 50 to 60 homes. A timeframe for opening hasn't been set, he said. A builder hasn't been chosen for the homes, which are being designed by Haddad’s Five Point Holdings LLC. Haddad foresees a new generation...
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