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Destination Irvine Generates Nearly $12 Million in Hotel Revenue

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Destination Irvine has generated nearly $12 million in hotel revenue year-to-date for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, with four months still to go. The total revenue generated is a combination of direct group sales and marketing campaigns conducted by the Greater Irvine Chamber’s destination marketing organization. Direct group sales efforts have brought in more than $5 million in revenue, and filled more than 22,800 room nights for meetings groups, sports events, leisure visitors, and business travelers. Destination Irvine this year launched several marketing campaigns, a CBS social influencer and digital campaign, Orange County joint marketing Expedia campaigns, and for the first time, an...
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Irvine Mayor Don Wagner Wins Orange County Supervisor Seat in Special Election

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Irvine Mayor Don Wagner won a special election on March 12, filling a vacant seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “I’m declaring victory and thanking the voters of the 3rd Supervisorial District for their trust,” Wagner said. “I ran for it and I wanted it because they do good, important work on the Board of Supervisors, and I’m very much looking forward to doing some of that work to solve the county’s problems.” Wagner will represent the inland Orange County 3rd District seat for 21 months. He likely will take office either March 26 or April 9. He also will be...
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Irvine Ranks as One of the Happiest Places to Live in America

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Abundant parks and open spaces; family-oriented, multicultural connected villages; and world-class educational institutions are features that contribute to Irvine’s unparalleled quality of life, landing the city in the No. 2 spot on Wallethub’s list of happiest cities to live in the United States. WalletHub compared 182 of the nation's largest cities and evaluated them on three main categories: emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment. California swept the ranking, totaling 14 cities in the top 50. A master-planned community, Irvine’s beautifully manicured office parks are surrounded by more than 16,000 acres of parks, sports fields, and dedicated open...
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Multitude of Irish-US/California Trade, Investment Ties in Spotlight

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The strong trade and investment links between Ireland and the United States, as well as California, were celebrated last week at a California Chamber of Commerce breakfast held in conjunction with CalChamber Board events. The CalChamber Council for International Trade meeting, sponsored by Frontier Communications, was one of several gatherings in the week leading up to St. Patrick’s Day featuring the release of the US-Ireland Business 2019 report by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Ireland. Speaking at the March 15 breakfast were the Honorable Simon Harris, Irish minister for health and former minister of state; Carin Bryans, vice president of AmCham...
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UK Fieldfisher Law Experts Detail Implications of Brexit for Irvine/US Medical Device Manufacturers and Distributors

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Deal. No deal. EU extension or second referendum. The one word everyone agrees upon when describing Brexit and its implications for the U.K. and every company that does business in the country is: uncertainty. Although the March 29 deadline is looming, negotiations with the EU for a delay and Parliament debate continues. Fieldfisher, the European law firm specializing in lifesciences and technology law visited the Greater Irvine Chamber on March 19. Alison Dennis, Partner with the London Office, met with the Chamber and its foreign direct investment delegation in 2017, just months after the Brexit vote. Knowing that Irvine has a...
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HSBC Returns to OC World Trade Week as the 2019 Presenting Sponsor

Monday, March 18, 2019

HSBC is the presenting sponsor for the fifth-annual Greater Irvine Chamber Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast and Forum, to be held on Thursday, May 16, 7:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave. A continued sponsor of the program, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organizations, serving more than 39 million customers through four global businesses. The bank’s network covers 66 countries and territories in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, North America, and Latin America. HSBC has been connecting Americans to global opportunities since 1865. The OCWTW 2019 program...
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Leads Groups Training Ensures Best Outcomes for Business Development

Monday, March 18, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups provide members with the opportunity to expand their network of trusted professionals through structured, non-competitive meetings to exchange referrals and leads, which have a proven track record for increasing business development for participants. Leads Groups members closed nearly $20 million in sales during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, and have reached nearly $8 million in closed business so far for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. In addition to increasing business development for participants, Leads Groups contribute to the economic development of greater Irvine. “Our Leads Group members support the growth of Irvine’s local economy in a unique way,” said Bryan Starr,...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Offers Fifth Annual John Colvin Memorial Scholarship

Friday, March 15, 2019

For the fifth year, the Greater Irvine Chamber will award John Colvin Memorial Scholarships, of $2,500 each, to two students who have been accepted to or are currently enrolled in a four-year degree program at a university or college in Irvine. Eligible students must have a 3.0 GPA or higher, a demonstrated commitment to a fitness lifestyle, and an objective of contributing to the health and economic vitality of Irvine and California in the future. The Chamber established the scholarship, in coordination with the Colvin family, in honor of John Greg Colvin, a long time-resident of Orange County, active Chamber member, and past...
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California Still a Top Exporting State

Thursday, March 14, 2019

The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2018 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2018, California exported $178.4 billion to 230 foreign economies, up from $172 billion in 2017. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan, and South Korea. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2.5 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports...
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Chinese Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

A trade delegation of more than 20 business leaders and government officials from the Chinese province of Shaanxi in March visited the Greater Irvine Chamber to learn about services available through the Chamber, and how the organization operates as a business association. The Chamber’s economic development team presented on Irvine’s strengths as a master-planned community; the city is an economic powerhouse, with its strong life-science and technology sectors, and robust innovation eco-system. As part of their visit, the delegates met with Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. Driving forward economic development in the region, the Greater Irvine Chamber regularly hosts international delegations...
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Irvine Again Recognized for Safety

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Irvine has once again been recognized for its safety. In its fifth-annual Safest Cities report, SafeWise, ranked Irvine as the second safest city–of any size–throughout California, following only Danville with a population of 45,000. The news follows a report released in September 2018 by the FBI which ranked Irvine the safest city of its size in the nation for the 13th consecutive year. The information released showed 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. Click here to view the full list.
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Irvine Councilmember Anthony Kuo Speaks at Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo provided updates on Orange County Great Park progress and traffic improvements to business and community leaders at the March 7 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting. Councilmember Kuo pointed out how tax revenue collected from shopping and dining in Irvine goes back into the city’s general fund, financing public works, community development, and public safety. Referencing the city’s ample parks, retail shopping centers, and world-class schools, Councilmember Kuo highlighted the exemplary quality of life that Irvine residents enjoy. Councilmember Kuo was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018, bringing nearly eight years of experience as a planning commissioner,...
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Jessica Welch Appointed to Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy Steering Committee

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jessica Welch, IOM, vice president of operations for the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been appointed to the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) Academy Steering Committee. As part of her service, she will provide direction on curriculum and will serve as a class advisor. “W.A.C.E. Academy provides chamber professionals with insights that help them succeed in their career and lead their organizations to better serve their members and communities,” Welch said. “The breadth of knowledge that Academy faculty and volunteers share with colleagues is impressive and demonstrates the strength and collaborative nature of the chamber industry. It’s an honor to be...
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Susan DeGrassi Named 2019 Woman of Influence

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

For exemplary professionalism and commitment to providing leadership within her community, Susan DeGrassi, director of cause, Antis Roofing and Waterproofing, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber 2019 Woman of Influence. DeGrassi was formally recognized with the inaugural award in front of a sell-out crowd at the sixth-annual Women of Influence event on March 8. “I truly appreciate the recognition by the Greater Irvine Chamber as this year’s Woman of Influence. I value the many mentors I’ve had during my career, and that I’ve played a part in using my gifts and resources to help guide and serve others. It is amazing...
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Volunteer Facilitators Sought for Greater Irvine Chamber Career Edge Workshop for College Students

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Business professionals interested in community service are invited to help facilitate students from Orange County colleges and universities as they participate in the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge workshop, Successful Business Etiquette and Workplace Behaviors, on Saturday, April 6, at the Greater Irvine Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Ste. 100,  8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. “Facilitators from the Irvine business community play an important role in engaging students in the Chamber’s Career Edge program. Facilitators can draw from their professional experience to help inspire and guide students to develop soft-skills, which are highly sought by employers,” said Linda DiMario, vice president, Greater...
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California Employers: Beware More Stringent Criminal Background Check Requirements

Monday, March 11, 2019

A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling has made already strict background check requirements even more stringent. The court held that the disclosure required under the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) can consist only of the FRCA disclosure; it can’t contain any additional information, including the disclosure required under California’s Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act (ICRAA) (Gilberg v. California Check Cashing Stores, LLC,913 F.3d 1169 (9th. Cir. 2019)). The FCRA requires that prior to obtaining an applicant’s consumer report, an employer must provide the applicant with a disclosure of its intention to do so and obtain the applicant’s consent. The disclosure...
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New Required Poster for California Employers Starting April 1

Monday, March 11, 2019

Last week, the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) approved the Fair Employment and Housing Council’s (FEHC) changes to the Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA Leave) and Pregnancy Disability notice (now called Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave), adding information about the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA). California employers covered by the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) and the NPLA are required to post this new notice starting April 1, 2019. The NPLA is a narrowly tailored California leave law that took effect last year. Both the CFRA and NPLA provide 12 weeks of unpaid, job protected leave to bond with a newborn...
US Adds Just 20K Jobs; Unemployment Dips to 3.8 Percent

Monday, March 11, 2019

Hiring tumbled in February, with U.S. employers adding just 20,000 jobs, the smallest monthly gain in nearly a year and a half. The slowdown in hiring, though, might have been depressed by harsh winter weather and the partial shutdown of the government. Last month’s weak gain came after employers had added a blockbuster 311,000 jobs in January, the most in nearly a year. And over the past three months, job growth has averaged a solid 186,000, enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Despite the tepid pace of hiring in February, the government’s monthly jobs report included several positive signs that...
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Advocacy Releases “Small Business GDP, 1998–2014”

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the U.S. economy: they create two-thirds of net new jobs and drive U.S. innovation and competitiveness. A new report shows that they account for 44 percent of U.S. economic activity. This is a significant contribution, however this overall share has declined gradually. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is the market value of the goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States. Across the 16 years from 1998 to 2014, the small business share of GDP has fallen from 48.0 percent to 43.5 percent. Over the same period, the amount of...
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Survey: US Businesses Added a Solid 183,000 Jobs Last Month

Thursday, March 07, 2019

are continuing to hire even as economic growth is likely slowing. Payroll processor ADP said that last month’s job gains were down from the 300,000 added in January, a figure that was revised up sharply from 213,000. It was also below last year’s average monthly gain of about 235,000. Hiring occurred across all major industries tracked by ADP, including professional and business services, which includes high-paying fields such as accounting and engineering, which gained 49,000 jobs. Education and health care added 37,000. Construction gained 25,000 jobs and manufacturing 17,000. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics, a forecasting firm that compiles the ADP...
Trade Policies and Tax Reform Are Working For Small Businesses

Thursday, March 07, 2019

During the State of the Union, President Trump highlighted the bold changes to trade policies and tax reform that he is making in order to fight for American workers and businesses that will expand prosperity. This reform is working. Based out of Chino, Thin Metal Sales had been experiencing a decline in sales due to the high availability of imported, low-cost steel. Jonathan Mulvihill knows his company inside and out since he began working summers at Thin Metal Sales at the age of 12. The company was founded by his uncle in 1976 and acquired by his father in 1983; in 2017...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador Training Program Graduates Three New Members

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Three Greater Irvine Chamber members have recently graduated from the Chamber’s Ambassador Training Program. Christina Kim, Claire Na, and Amina Rafiqzada completed the four-month program with the guidance of an Ambassador mentor, and have joined the Ambassadors Committee. “Ambassadors play an important role in engaging and acquainting newer Chamber members to the benefits of their membership,” said Vivian Atkinson, chair, Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador Committee. “Ambassadors benefit from formal training; it sets a foundation for success by laying out clear expectations and helping Ambassadors in training to further develop their leadership skills, which they can apply in the business community on...
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Successful Greater Irvine Chamber-Led Delegation to UK Showing FDI Progress

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber in February led a delegation focused on foreign direct investment and composed of Irvine city officials, executives, and lifescience and technology experts to London, where they formally interviewed company executives from those industry sectors who are considering expansion to the U.S. “Two previous missions and a lot of groundwork and follow-up has enhanced the reputation of Irvine in the U.K. so that company executives were eager to meet with us and discuss expansion opportunities,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “Our foreign direct investment work is gaining measureable traction and progress among U.K. lifescience companies...
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Irvine is Home to Most California Distinguished Schools in Orange County

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Irvine Unified is home to the most California Distinguished Schools per district in all of Orange County. Irvine High, Rancho San Joaquin Middle, Sierra Vista Middle, and Woodbridge High each received the distinction. “Distinguished School award winners represent examples of not just excellent teaching, learning, and collaboration, but also highly successful school climate efforts ranging from real-time conflict resolution to positive behavior intervention,” a statement from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond said. The California Distinguished Schools program recognizes outstanding education programs and practices. Schools are awarded for achieving exceptional student performance for two consecutive school years or closing the achievement...
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US Chamber’s Small Business Awards Submissions Open

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with MetLife, is accepting nominations and submissions for the Dream Big Awards, which recognize the very best in American small business. The awards program honors the achievements of small businesses and highlights their contributions to America’s economic growth. The Dream Big Award winners will be formally recognized at the annual Small Business Summit, Oct. 16 – 17, in Washington D.C. at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Awards nominations and submissions will be accepted in the following categories: Dream Big Small Business of the Year Emerging Business Achievement Award Green/Sustainable Business Achievement Award Minority-Owned Business Achievement Award Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award Woman-Owned...
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OCTA Seeks Volunteers to Serve on Public Committees

Monday, March 04, 2019

Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is looking for new committee members for two public committees. The committees are the Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) and the Taxpayer Oversight Committee (TOC). These committees help advise OCTA on a wide range of policies, procedures, and actions. OCTA strongly encourages residents and community leaders to get involved and help improve the quality of life for all Orange County residents. The Citizens Advisory Committee actively participates in helping examine traffic solutions, providing input to OCTA’s transportation studies and communicating with their constituencies. Committee members also participate in roundtable discussions and hear special presentations on various transportation...
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CalChamber Continues Fight for Worker Opportunities

Friday, March 01, 2019

Legislative intervention is needed to provide clarity to employers and prevent loss of opportunities for millions of individuals following last year’s court decision upending the test for determining who is an independent contractor, the California Chamber of Commerce testified last week. Speaking at an informational hearing of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on February 26, CalChamber Executive Vice President Jennifer Barrera outlined the challenges employers face in the sudden change from the independent contractor test in use for nearly 30 years. Barrera explains that legislation clarifying employer obligations is needed to prevent loss of opportunities for millions of individuals following last...
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CalChamber Joins in Launching Coalition Supporting U.S.-Mexico-Canada Pact

Friday, March 01, 2019

The California Chamber of Commerce has joined more than 200 companies and associations in launching the USMCA Coalition, which will advocate congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The coalition includes a diverse group of businesses, farmers and ranchers, manufacturers, service providers, and technology companies in support of the USMCA. To join the coalition, click here. Over the coming weeks and months, the USMCA Coalition will make the case for expeditious passage of the agreement to members of Congress, and will work to educate employers and members of Congress about the benefits of the new deal. The effort will harness the advocacy strength of a broad...
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California's Lieutenant Governor to Focus on Foreign Trade

Friday, March 01, 2019

California's lieutenant governor has a new role promoting the state as an international trading partner. Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis will head a committee tasked with reopening trade offices in foreign countries and promoting the state's trade interests, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced. The new committee is the latest example of California seeking more influence on the global stage during the Trump presidency. California already has a trade office in China, opened under former Gov. Jerry Brown, and Newsom wants to reopen a trade office in Mexico. Kounalakis, a Democrat and former ambassador to Hungary under former President Barack Obama, said she's excited to...
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Irvine’s Balanced Checkbook

Friday, March 01, 2019

By Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, as seen in the March issue of Irvine Standard. You probably know Irvine has been ranked No. 1 in public safety for 13 consecutive years. But you might not know why. One reason is another No. 1 ranking Irvine just received: Tops in California in fiscal strength — beating every other large city from San Francisco to San Jose to San Diego. How did the city become so fiscally strong? Think of the well-maintained shopping centers you visit, and the strength of your home value. Retail and property taxes fund two-thirds of the city’s budget. Now think...
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March 12 Special Election for 3rd District Supervisor

Friday, March 01, 2019

A Special Election will be held on March 12 for the purpose of electing a County of Orange 3rd District Supervisor to fill a vacancy left by the November 2018 General Municipal Election. The Registrar of Voters will host a mobile “pop-up” election booth for early voting on Monday, March 11, 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. at the Irvine Civic Center. The “pop-up” Early Voting Service Center is open to all Orange County residents who reside in District 3. Services include: In-person Early Voting Secure Ballot Drop-Off, including Vote-By-Mail Ballots Replacement Ballots Full-Service Voter Assistance Same Day Conditional Voter Registration On Tuesday, March 12, Election Day, the Irvine Civic...
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California is No. 1 in Medical Device Industry

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Despite complaints about the high costs of doing business, California is unrivaled when it comes to the size of its medical device industry — not to mention the range of innovations. From medtech employment to patent numbers to the amount of venture capital investment, California is well ahead of other states. It accounted for nearly a fourth of the U.S. medical device industry’s revenue in 2017, according to IBISWorld. Top 10 Medical Device States California Minnesota Massachusetts Florida Indiana Pennsylvania New York Texas Illinois New Jersey The Golden State’s medical device industry is actually made up of a number of major hubs running down the length of the state: Orange County Orange County exported more than...
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Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner Delivers State of the City Address

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner on Feb. 26 delivered his State of the City Address, providing an opportunity for constituents to hear updates on the city’s traffic improvements, homelessness, two-year budget, and continued development of the 688 acres at the Orange County Great Park. Highlighting continued financial support of Irvine’s public schools, the city’s reputation as one of the nation’s safest communities, and its vibrant business community, Mayor Wagner told a capacity crowd at the Irvine Civic Center, “People want to make Irvine their home because of our quality of life.” “Mayor Wagner, the City Council, and the city’s management team have proven...
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Irvine's Culinary Diversity Headlines OC Restaurant Week

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

This year, more than two dozen Irvine restaurants are participating in the 11th annual Orange County Restaurant Week, March 3 – 9, offering food lovers unique dining experiences from a diverse range of cuisines. Participating Irvine Restaurants: Agora Churrascaria Andrei's Restaurant Angelina's Pizzeria Napoletana Bistango Cha Cha's Latin Kitchen CUCINA enoteca Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse Del Frisco's Grille EATS Kitchen & Bar EMC Seafood & Raw Bar Eureka! Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen Il Fornaio Kabuki Japanese Restaurant Paul Martin's American Grill Puesto - Los Olivos Puesto - Park Place Ruth's Chris Steak House Square One Pizza Taco Rosa TAPS Fish House & Brewery Texas de Brazil The Melting Pot Twenty Eight Yard House During the weeklong event, 125 of some of the best restaurants in Orange County will offer...
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Irvine’s Travel Attractions Featured in Houston Family Magazine

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

As featured in Houston Family Magazine, a publication highlighting events, articles, and information for Houston kids and their families. When you think of Southern California, more famously known as Orange County, Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort and Buena Park’s Knott’s Berry Farm may come to mind. However, there is so much more to see and do whether you are interested in oceanfront parks, surfing, shopping or trying out some thriller amusement park rides.  Irvine encompasses 66 square miles and features some of the best outdoor recreation, family activities, shopping, dining, sports facilities and meeting venues in California. If you would prefer to stay in...
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Study: EU Single Largest Foreign Investor in US

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The European Union, currently a 28-nation bloc, is the single largest foreign investor in the United States, with $2.37 trillion in foreign direct investment, according to a recent study by the EU Delegation to the U.S. The U.S. and the EU enjoy a balanced trade relationship to the benefit of both: $528 billion in U.S. exports of goods and services to the EU in 2017 and a commensurate $629 billion in EU exports of goods and services to the U.S., the study found. This trade and investment relationship generates nearly 7 million jobs for U.S. workers. An online interactive data tool lets users explore...
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2019 Woman of Influence Award Nominees Announced

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

An impressive group of women have been nominated for the Greater Irvine Chamber’s inaugural Woman of Influence Award. Each of the nominees has demonstrated exemplary professionalism, held a leadership role in her community, and has served as a mentor or a source of inspiration for other professional women. The nominees are: Susan DeGrassi, Director of Cause, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Dr. Gwen Finestone, MFT and President of California Southern University Anne Grey, Executive Director, Alzheimer’s Association Kate Klimow, Chief Administrative Officer and Director of External Relations, UCI Applied Innovation Christine Lambino-Cunliffe, Partner, Bobo Strategy, Inc Sharon Frisbie Macdonald, Owner/Operator, McDonalds/Frisbie Management Inc. Susan Parks, CEO, Orange County United...
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Irvine Councilmember Anthony Kuo to Address Government Affairs Committee

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Newly-elected Irvine City Councilmember Anthony Kuo will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs committee meeting on Thursday, March 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Kuo was elected to the Irvine City Council in 2018, bringing nearly eight years of experience as a planning commissioner for the city, including four consecutive terms as chairman. During that time, he also served on the city’s Task Force on Housing Needs for the Developmentally Disabled and the Ad Hoc Committee on Veterans Affordable Housing. He is a graduate of the Irvine Community Police Academy. In addition to representing the City of Irvine on...
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Irvine Valley College Welcomes World-Renowned "The Courage to Remember" Holocaust Exhibit

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

A world-renowned educational Holocaust exhibit, “The Courage to Remember”, will be on display at Irvine Valley College’s Performing Arts Center from March 12-14. Produced by the Simon Wiesenthal Center Museum of Tolerance, and presented by the Foundation for California, the exhibit is free of charge and open to the public. Patrons can tour the exhibit from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. during the three-day period. A reception and ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on March 11, beginning at 6 p.m., to commemorate the opening.  In the past 20 years, “The Courage to Remember” exhibit has displayed in over 16 countries...
Canada-California Trade

Friday, February 22, 2019

Consul generals for Canada and Mexico are joining California Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Allan Zaremberg for a panel on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. The new trade arrangement came from a year of negotiations after Trump disregarded the former North American Free Trade Agreement as the “worst deal ever made.” Amid the settling in to a new agreement, Canada wants to send a clear message: We love you California. As San Francisco’s Consul General of Canada Rana Sarkar told The Sacramento Bee, “Canadians often fly under the radar, but we are significant partners with the state of California.” According to Global Affairs Canada, California...
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China to Propose $30 Billion More U.S. Agriculture Purchases

Friday, February 22, 2019

China is proposing that it could buy an additional $30 billion a year of U.S. agricultural products including soybeans, corn and wheat as part of a possible trade deal being negotiated by the two countries, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The offer to buy the extra farm produce would be part of the memoranda of understanding under discussion by U.S. and Chinese negotiators in Washington, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the plans are confidential. The purchases would be on top of pre-trade war levels and continue for the period covered by the memoranda, they said. U.S. Agriculture...
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NAFTA 2.0 Creates Freer, Fairer Economic Growth

Friday, February 22, 2019

The United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) underscores a renewed understating among the USMCA parties on the importance of our mutual trading relationships, everyone agreed yesterday at an international luncheon at the California Chamber of Commerce to celebrate Canada Day in Sacramento. With the support of the Consulates General of Canada of San Francisco and Los Angeles and the Consulate General of Mexico in Sacramento, experts convened at the CalChamber for a thorough update and discussion on the agreement with more than 100 attendees. The Honorable Zaib Shaikh, the new Consul General of Canada in Los Angeles set the tone for the discussion saying...
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Applied Innovation Doubling Cove Footprint at UCI Park

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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

Monday, February 18, 2019

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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

Thursday, February 14, 2019

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

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

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

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

Friday, February 08, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Monday, February 04, 2019

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

Sunday, February 03, 2019

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

Friday, February 01, 2019

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

Friday, February 01, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

With $408,385 in closed business, Kim Am has earned the Greater Irvine Chamber’s title of Rainmaker for the last quarter in 2018. Her performance in the Thursday Morning Leads Group contributed to the group’s total of $446,536, putting it in the top spot among all the Leads Groups for total closed sales during the period. Am, vice president and director of sales-payments for Commercial Bank of California, has participated in the Thursday Morning Leads Group since joining the Chamber in November 2018. “Whether it’s showing up to network, continuing to serve others, or continuing to seek opportunities to learn and grow as a person, putting...
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Call for Nominations: Inaugural 2019 Woman of Influence Award

Monday, January 28, 2019

For the first time, the Greater Irvine Chamber will present the Greater Irvine Chamber Woman of Influence Award as part of its Women of Influence event, set for Friday, March 8. The recognition will be awarded to a nominee with demonstrated exemplary professionalism, commitment to providing leadership within their community, and who serves as a mentor or a source of inspiration for other professional women. Nominee must meet the following criteria: Be employed by an active organization located or operating in Orange County. Have a proven track record of professionalism and integrity. Provides leadership, serving her community or industry. Is known to motivate other women within...
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Global Managing Director of Experian Decision Analytics, Steve Wagner, to Deliver OC World Trade Week Keynote Address

Monday, January 28, 2019

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

Monday, January 28, 2019

Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner will provide an annual update to a gathering of business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Each year, Mayor Wagner addresses the Government Affairs Committee to provide insight on city plans for the upcoming year. This year, Mayor Wagner will discuss the recent election of two new Irvine City Council members, the newly elected officials at the state and federal levels, and the open seat on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Mayor Wagner has served the City of Irvine since 2016, and was recently...
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NLRB Empowers Companies to Treat More Workers as Independent Contractors

Monday, January 28, 2019

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

Monday, January 28, 2019

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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

Thursday, January 24, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

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

Friday, January 18, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Leaders Circle member Brandman University to welcome community and business leaders to the university’s open house on Thursday, Jan. 31, 5 – 8 p.m.  The open house will feature an expert panel discussion on “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” moderated by Jalin Johnson, Ed.D., Brandman University’s 2017 Faculty Member of Year. A Q&A session with the expert panelists will follow. Attendees will also have the opportunity to explore Brandman University educational programs and scholarships. The Brandman University Irvine Campus is located at 16355 Laguna Canyon Road, Irvine. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP here.
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City’s Budget Presentation Wins National Award

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

The team Governor Gavin Newsom has selected to lead key efforts in his administration includes individuals with many years of experience in both governing and advising policymakers. Two appointments of particular interest to employers are: • Julie Su, state Labor Commissioner in the Brown administration, as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA); and • Lenny Mendonca, longtime advocate for rethinking government operations as co-chairman of the nonprofit organization California Forward, as chief economic and business adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). As labor commissioner and chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement...
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Portola Springs Community Park Opens to the Public on January 26

Monday, January 14, 2019

The community is invited to the grand opening of Portola Springs Community Park, 4 - 6 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26. Join City of Irvine officials for the dedication of the City’s newest community center, which features more than 14,000 square feet including a multipurpose room, expansive patio area, two classrooms, and a Native American Wing. The 32-acre community park features a nature-themed playground, native garden, two lighted softball fields, two lighted soccer fields, one warm-up field, one sand volleyball court, six lighted pickleball courts, three lighted tennis courts, and a concession building. The dedication event will feature: Self-guided tours of the facility Cultural...
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Free 2018 Tax-Preparation Services Available in Irvine

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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

Monday, January 07, 2019

Brandman University, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber since 1998, has joined the Chamber’s Leaders Circle as a gold-level sponsor. “Brandman University couldn’t be more aligned with the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber. We both help companies recruit and retain highly skilled employees. The Chamber’s recent five-star rating, and our honors for innovation and leadership highlight our organizations’ commitment to excellence. And we both strive to be of service to grow and improve our thriving community. We are thrilled to partner with the Chamber and fellow members,” said Shelly Neal, vice chancellor of Strategic Initiatives, Brandman University. Brandman University is...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassadors of the Month for Final Quarter of 2018

Monday, January 07, 2019

For their high level of engagement representing the Greater Irvine Chamber as Ambassadors, the following individuals were selected as Ambassadors of the Month during the fourth quarter of 2018: November - Johnny Tai, Mueller Prost CPAs & Business Advisors December - Lorie Eber, Lorie Eber Wellness Coaching 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.  In addition regularly attending Chamber networking and signature events, Johnny Tai, business development, Mueller Prost, has become...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle Members Among Glassdoor Best Places to Work in 2019

Monday, January 07, 2019

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

Monday, January 07, 2019

“Irvine has held the status of the Safest City of its size in America by the FBI for 13 consecutive years. It is no surprise to learn that our city is now ranked among the top ten safest cities in the world,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This accomplishment is in large part the result of a visionary Irvine Master Plan set forth more than a half a century ago, excellent city management, a world-class police department, and engaged residents and business leaders that take pride in their community.” According to a recent statistical analysis by CEOWORLD...
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US Payrolls Rise 312,000, Wages Accelerate in Jobs Blowout

Friday, January 04, 2019

U.S. employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated and labor-force participation jumped, reflecting a robust job market that nevertheless faces mounting risks in 2019. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 312,000 in December, easily topping all forecasts, after an upwardly revised 176,000 gain the prior month, a Labor Department report showed. Average hourly earnings rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier, more than projected and matching the fastest pace since 2009. Meanwhile, the jobless rate rose from a five-decade low to 3.9 percent, reflecting more people actively seeking work. The dollar surged, U.S. stock futures remained higher and Treasuries...
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Senate Leader Announces Committee Assignments for the 2019-2020 Legislative Session

Thursday, January 03, 2019

California Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins (D-San Diego), has announced the Senate’s leadership positions and committee assignments for the 2019-2020 legislative session, which reconvenes on January 7. Designated committee chairs and vice chairs will be formally adopted by the Senate when it reconvenes. Senate Leadership Positions Senator Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys), Senate Majority Leader. Senator Mike McGuire (D-Healdsburg), Assistant Majority Leader. Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley), Majority Whip. Senator Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles) and Senator Scott D. Wiener (D-San Francisco), Assistant Majority Whips. Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino), Democratic Caucus Chair.   Standing Committees Agriculture Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton), Chair. Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), Vice Chair. Appropriations Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D-La...
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Why Slowing Economies Could Prod US and China to Reach Deal

Thursday, January 03, 2019

The Trump administration and China are facing growing pressure to blink in their six-month stare-down over trade because of jittery markets and portents of economic weakness. The import taxes the two sides have imposed on hundreds of billions of each other’s goods — and the threat of more to come — have heightened anxiety on each side of the Pacific. The longer their trade war lasts, the longer companies and consumers will feel the pain of higher-priced imports and exports. Their conflict is occurring against the backdrop of a slowdown in China and an expected U.S. slump that a prolonged trade war...
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280,000-Square-Foot Ice Skating Facility Opens at OC Great Park

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

California voters are feeling better about the economy, but are still anxious about the cost of living, according to the recently released 2018 CalChamber Poll. Nearly two-thirds of voters say that more new jobs have been created where they live, up steadily from just 43 percent in 2015. Job increases have been noticed in every region of the state, including inland California. In addition to more new jobs overall, voters statewide say that most of the jobs being created lead to higher pay, as opposed to being dead-end jobs. A majority of residents in every region of the state, except the Inland...
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Data Showing Balanced Growth Contrasts with Public Pessimism on State of Economy

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Chris Thornberg, founding partner of Beacon Economics, will be the keynote speaker for the Greater Irvine Chamber's Jan. 10, 2019 Business Outlook event. In an article for CalChamber, Thornberg addresses the impact of President Trump’s actions in the months ahead on economic outcomes in 2020: The 2018 midterm election is finally behind us, and proved to be just as dramatic as would befit today’s hyper-charged political environment. Moreover, the final results pretty much assure that the drama coming out of Washington, D.C. will not lessen over the next two years of the Trump administration. Indeed, without even taking a breath, it feels as if...
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Irvine City Management to Detail 2019 Plans at January Economic Vitality Council Meeting

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s January Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting will include a special opportunity for business and community leaders to meet with Irvine’s city management team as they provide an update on their plans for the upcoming year.  “We are very excited to have the Irvine city management team visit the Chamber and share their vision and progress in-person with all our hard-working chamber and committee members. It’s a valuable opportunity for all those working to support the economic health of Irvine to listen, learn and collaborate further" said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. Irvine City Manager John Russo will...
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State-Run Retirement Savings Plan Gets OK; Mandatory Enrollment Coming in 2020

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

California employers that don’t already offer a workplace retirement savings vehicle will be required to either begin offering one via the private market or provide their employees access to CalSavers, a state-run retirement savings plan, as early as June 2020. The CalSavers pilot program is open for employers to enroll; however, mandatory enrollment and contributions do not go into effect until 2020. Employers need not register until then, or later for smaller employers. Emergency regulations governing the CalSavers program were recently approved by the Office of Administrative Law. CalSavers is the result of 2016 legislation enacting the Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (SCRSP) for...
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CalChamber White Paper Recaps New Laws for 2019

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce has released the list of new employment laws scheduled to take effect in 2019 and later that will affect daily operations and policies of California employers. Three of the new 2019 laws are featured in the latest edition of the CalChamber Capitol News Report. The video provides details about expansion of sexual harassment prevention training requirements and the need to provide lactation accommodations in the workplace, as well as providing information about a mandate requiring that women be placed on corporate boards. Sexual Harassment Training In the video, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank discusses new...
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Southern California Office Markets Offer Diverse Choices for Expanding Businesses

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Arlyn Stoik, Principal, Avison Young After more than 24 years in commercial real estate, Avison Young has never been more excited by the multiple, diverse options for expanding businesses in Southern California. Many of us have heard about Southern California’s booming economy. When we focus on commercial real estate, however, we get a much clearer picture of the industries, properties, regional markets, and undiscovered opportunities that underlie the region’s prosperity and promise. It is a region ideally suited to a broad range of users with a diversity of real estate needs. Commercial real estate touches every industry and all of our...
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The Taxation of US Corporations in Canada and the impact of the Canada-US Tax Treaty on Corporate Residency Status

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Todd Trowbridge, Partner Corporate Tax, Trowbridge   A frequent question that often arises in our discussions with U.S. companies who want to expand into Canada is how our country goes about taxing foreign corporations.    Residency Status   The process typically begins with determining whether the particular corporation is considered to be resident in Canada for tax purposes.  A corporation may be considered resident in Canada without being a Canadian corporation. A corporation that is resident in Canada for tax purposes is subject to tax in Canada on its worldwide income.    Since residency is not specifically defined in the Income Tax Act (ITA), tax residency is...
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2018 Validates Strength of Master Plan

Monday, December 17, 2018

Looking back on 2018, it’s clear that Irvine’s Master Plan has created a city built to succeed. This year’s accomplishments touch almost every aspect of life — schools, safety, family, jobs and open space. “This didn’t happen by chance,” says Bryan Starr, president of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “Irvine was master planned to succeed.” As the city prepares for its 47th birthday on Dec. 28, one thing is clear: Irvine is hitting its stride. Photo courtesy of Ryan Lilyengren.             HERE’S THE YEAR IN REVIEW: In January, Irvine was named the most fiscally sound city in America by The Fiscal Times. In April, about 300 people gathered...
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7 Companies That Do Everything Well

Monday, December 17, 2018

There are companies that do one thing well. There are companies that do a few things well. Then there are the companies that do everything well. This year, seven companies stand apart for scoring well beyond most of the pack in every one of the five categories that go into the Management Top 250, a ranking compiled by the Drucker Institute of the most effectively run major U.S. companies. Those seven companies: Apple Inc., Intel Corp., Accenture PLC, Procter & Gamble Co., 3M Co., Nike Inc., and Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp. As a group they aren’t the seven...
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Irvine Poised for Continued Economic Stability, However, Control Your Enthusiasm for the US

Monday, December 17, 2018

By Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. As we are about to kick off the new year, the Greater Irvine Chamber has every reason to be grateful for the current state of the city and optimistic about its future. While trends affecting other regions and the nation as a whole may indicate volatility, the City of Irvine remains far ahead of the curve on the issue of economic health because of the diversification of its commercial portfolio. This did not just happen by chance, it was a deliberate strategy set forth by the Irvine Master Plan more than half...
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United Kingdom Life Science Companies Experience Firsthand the Reason Irvine's Strong Innovation Ecosystem is Capturing the World's Attention

Monday, December 17, 2018

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

Global shopper spending has fallen by $15 billion in two years, with the Chinese now accounting for 40 percent of purchasing in travel retail. The convenience factor and speed of the shopping experience means airport shops can’t compete with downtown outlets in categories attracting typically higher spends, according to Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Horizon Consumer Science. Responding to a question on the rise of liberalized tax and duty free regimes specifically in places like Hainan, China, Horizon founder Dr. Ian L. Cesa told TRBusiness: “[Airports] have decent prices, but they are not considered the best prices – outlet malls win...
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Irvine Has the Best Broadband in the US

Friday, December 14, 2018

Analysis of more than 115M Internet speed tests reveals that Irvine, California, has the best broadband in the country, with an average download speed of 124Mbps and an upload speed of 52Mbps. Unsurprisingly, that was on Google Fiber, as were most of the top 10 cities, shown below. Speed test company Ookla said that it calculated the rankings by using a weighted average of upload and download speeds. When analyzing fastest ISPs, Ookla considers top providers (all ISPs with 3 percent or more of total test samples in the market for the period). The company then determines the fastest provider using Speed Score which...
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Coded in OC Partner Vincit California Acquires Devise Interactive

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Irvine-based software design and development company, and Coded in OC founding partner Vincit California has recently acquired Devise Interactive, an award-winning brand-focused, engineering studio. Devise Interactive was founded in 2013, and has designed prominent digital solutions for many notable clients, including Tapatio Hot Sauce, Creamistry, and Dacik Fit Foods. “Orange County is a well-known hub for many leading food and restaurant brands. With Devise Interactive we have even stronger expertise to serve these industries,” said Ville Houttu, CEO, Vincit California. "I welcome our new employees to the wonderful group of Vincitizens, and look forward to working with them and their fabulous...
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Courtney Nakagawa Named Member of the Month for September 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Courtney Nakagawa, sales and event manager for Morton’s the Steakhouse, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber October 2018 Member of the Month for her involvement in various Chamber events and committees. In her six months as a Chamber member, Nakagawa has regularly attended Evening Business Exchanges and Emerging Business Leaders After Hours Mixers, as well as signature Chamber events such as Celebrate Irvine. Nakagawa joined the Monday Leads Group soon after becoming a Chamber member, and quickly was asked to serve as the membership chair of the group. She also serves on the Women of Influence Committee where she assists with...
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Destination Irvine Promotes Irvine to Nearly 200 Chinese Tour Operators

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Destination Irvine’s senior director Wendy Haase and director of corporate sales AnaLaura Becerra attended on Dec. 5 the Orange County Visitors Association and Disneyland Resort Tour Operator Trade Show at Disney California Adventure where they promoted the destination to nearly 200 Los Angeles and Southern California-based Chinese tour operators. The trade show included networking and a presentation by Destination Irvine, highlighting Irvine’s many attractions including the 118-foot-high helium Great Park Balloon, and world-class shopping destination, Irvine Spectrum. According to Visit California, by the end of the decade, China is projected to surpass Canada in arrivals, bolstering its already-lofty position as California's top...
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Emerging Business Leaders Spread Holiday Cheer to Nonprofits

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Nearly 200 guests were in the holiday and giving spirit at the annual Greater Irvine Chamber Holiday Party. The Dec. 5 event, hosted by the Emerging Business Leaders Council at AV Club, Irvine, raised more than $3,500 to benefit several Orange County nonprofit organizations. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is committed to supporting our nonprofit community partners. This event provided us with an opportunity to raise awareness as well as funds for these philanthropic organizations,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber.  All funds collected through monetary donations to the individual charities and silent auction purchases, for such items as a...
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Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel Presents New Drone Program

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel presented an overview of the Irvine Police Department’s new drone program to a room of business and community leaders during the Dec. 6 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Joining Chief Hamel was Lieutenant Bill Bingham who relayed the details of the program, and the various situations in which the drones will be deployed such as search and rescue missions, high-risk operations, and fire monitoring. The presentation from Chief Hamel and Lieutenant Bingham is part of the department’s commitment to remain transparent and inform Irvine constituents of the steps being taken to protect Irvine’s residents, business, and...
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Swearing-in Ceremony Held for Irvine City Council

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Donald P. Wagner was sworn in for a second term as the City of Irvine’s Mayor, and newly elected Councilmembers Farrah N. Khan and Anthony Kuo were sworn in to office on Dec. 11 in front of a capacity audience during the City Council meeting at the recently renovated Council Chamber. "The Greater Irvine Chamber is enthusiastic about our new city leadership. We look forward to continuing our partnership with the city as we work to enhance the economic vitality of Irvine," said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. Mayor Wagner was sworn in for a two-year term, while Councilmembers...
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Next Steps for North American Trade

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

After more than a year of negotiations, with plenty of ups and downs along the way, President Donald Trump, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and now former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on November 30. This agreement – a follow-on to NAFTA – will modernize the trade partnership that has formed the basis of North American relations for a quarter of a century.  After carefully assessing the new deal and its impact on our members, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind the USMCA, which is critical to maintaining strong economic growth in...
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Statement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S.-Japan Business Council provided a written testimony to the U.S. International Trade Commission on Dec. 10, on negotiating objectives for a U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. As stated in the testimony, the organizations aimed to “emphasize the importance of any potential U.S.-Japan trade agreement to set high-standards and rules in the Indo-Pacific while noting that others in the region are rapidly pursuing and finalizing agreements that have similar potential and far-reaching implications for American business interests.” The potential agreements include the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership that will enter into force Dec. 30, 2018, and...
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UK Trade with Canada Up 14 Percent since New Free Trade Agreement Introduced

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

New statistics released in December reveal that British businesses are already benefiting from the ability to trade freely with Canada without paying any duties at Canadian customs. UK exports of goods to Canada have increased by 13.7 percent to £6.15 billion in the last 12 months since a new free trade agreement was introduced. The growth in exports coincides with the provisional implementation of the EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in September 2017. It is a significant increase when compared to the 5 years prior to the agreement being introduced, which saw annual trade increase by an average of just 3.9...
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US Companies Can Grow Their Business in Southeast Asia Thanks to New Agreements with Singapore

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

Friday, December 07, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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

Monday, December 03, 2018

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

As part of the Greater Irvine Chamber’s annual Holiday Party on Wednesday, Dec. 5, at AV Club Irvine, a silent auction will be held in benefit of the following Chamber member nonprofit organizations:   Alzheimer’s Association Families Forward Habitat For Humanity of Orange County Irvine 2/11 Marine Adoption Make-A-Wish Orange County & Inland Empire Olive Crest Ronald McDonald House Orange County Tilly’s Life Center United Way Orange County Items up for auction include a suite at an Anaheim Ducks game, tickets to a Live Nation-hosted concert, a stay at the Fashion Island Hotel, and other valuable items. Additionally, guests will have the opportunity to make monetary donations to these participating...
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City of Irvine Has Released Interactive Web-based Development Map

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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

Monday, November 19, 2018

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

Friday, November 16, 2018

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

Monday, November 12, 2018

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

Thursday, November 08, 2018

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

Monday, November 05, 2018

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

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

Monday, October 29, 2018

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber announces its inaugural 40 Under 40 event that will celebrate and recognize 40 emerging Orange County professionals under the age of 40. The event will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019 at the Marriott Irvine Spectrum, 6 – 8 p.m. “Orange County and especially Irvine are home to some of the most highly-educated, innovative, and entrepreneurial young professionals in the world. Having the privilege to carry forward the recognition of this unparalleled talent is an honor,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber. “The Chamber is thrilled to shine the spotlight on the current and...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Honor Nation’s Troops at Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday, November 11

Monday, October 22, 2018

Veterans Day is a time to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and commitment to serve and sacrifice for the common good. In honor of our veterans and in support of their families, the City of Irvine is hosting a special Veterans Day Ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 11, 11 a.m. -12:30 p.m. in the formal garden area at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park. The ceremony will pay tribute to our nation’s troops — past and present — and honor local veterans, veterans groups, and military organizations. The public is invited to attend this free event. In...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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....
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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;...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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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...
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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...
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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,...
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Susan Kenny Named Greater Irvine Chamber August 2018 Member of the Month

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Susan Kenny, development director, Ronald McDonald House Orange County (RMHOC) has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber August 2018 Member of the Month. An active Chamber member since 2015, Kenny serves on the Women of Influence Committee, and is involved in the Monday Leads Group where she served as chair for two years. Kenny has engaged in a number of Chamber signature events, including Celebrate Irvine, Women of Influence, and Legends & Leaders. She is also a regular attendee of networking events such as the Evening Business Exchange, Networkers Luncheon, and the Emerging Business Leaders After Hours Mixer. “The Greater Irvine Chamber has provided...
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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...
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Let Your Voice be Heard – Register to Vote and Early Voting

Friday, October 05, 2018

In an ongoing effort to promote voter registration and participation, the City of Irvine encourages all eligible residents who are not registered to vote to do so by Oct. 22.  By registering to vote, qualified voters can participate in the Nov. 6 General Municipal Election. Registration can be completed online at ocvote.com or by mail. Voter Registration forms are available online at ocvote.com, the Irvine Civic Center, in local libraries and City of Irvine community centers.  The Irvine Civic Center will also serve as an Early Voting Service Center, beginning Saturday, Oct. 27 through Monday, Nov. 5. All registered Orange County...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee Recommended Positions on Nov. 6 General Election Ballot Measures

Monday, October 01, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee has provided a list of the measures that will appear on the Nov. 6 General Election ballot with their accompanying recommended positions on each. The committee offers their position recommendations with the interest of local businesses in mind.   Support: Proposition 1 – Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for housing-related programs, loans, grants, and project and housing loans for veterans. Proposition 3 – Authorizes bonds to fund projects for water supply and quality, watershed, fish, wildlife, water conveyance, and groundwater sustainability and storage. Proposition 5 - Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Overview of November Ballot Measures

Friday, September 21, 2018

Following are brief summaries of the measures that will appear on the November 6 General Election ballot. When the California Chamber of Commerce has taken a position, the reasons for that position are summarized. The CalChamber encourages employers to share this information with their employees. Businesses are within their rights to do so—just remember: no paycheck stuffers, no coercion, no rewarding or punishing employees (or threatening to do so) for their political activities or beliefs. Proposition 1 CalChamber Position: Support Authorizes Bonds to Fund Specified Housing Assistance Programs. Legislative Statute. Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for existing affordable housing programs for low-income residents, veterans,...
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Sarah Hashimi Named Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month, August 2018

Friday, September 21, 2018

Sarah Hashimi SPHR has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month for August 2018. For her active participation in the Chamber since January, 2017, Hashimi was a logical choice for the recognition. During her time as a member, Hashimi  has become an Ambassador and attended various Chamber events including Business Outlook and Celebrate Irvine. As a volunteer for the Business Outreach Rally in both 2017 and 2018, she helped to conduct primary research on the needs of local businesses and provide them with copies of the Business Outreach Resource Guide, which features information about support resources offered through...
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Award-Winning Career Edge Program Offers College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

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

Friday, September 14, 2018

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

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

Friday, September 07, 2018

This month, San Diego-based Rush Cycle—a state of the art, indoor cycling studio—is making its official debut in Irvine. Located in the newly remodeled Woodbridge Village Center, Rush Cycle offers not only rhythm-based rides featuring dim lights, fun music, and highly trained fitness instructors, but also amazing views of the North Lake Park.
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Employer Liability for Sexual Harassment – WG Offers Training Sessions

Thursday, September 06, 2018

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), employer liability for sexual harassment has been a controversial issue in the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an employer is always liable for a hostile work environment created by a supervisor when the discrimination is a tangible employment action (significant change in employment status such as hiring, firing, failing to promote or a change in benefits). In a hostile environment case with no tangible job action, “the employer is only presumed liable for a supervisor's harassment. The employer may have an affirmative defense against such a claim, and avoid...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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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.
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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...
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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...
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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...
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State Supreme Court Ruling Protects Employers, Preserves Workers’ Comp Exclusivity

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The California State Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of employers finding that an employee’s tort claims against a doctor who reviewed workers’ compensation cases is preempted by the workers’ compensation law. In December 2016, the California Chamber of Commerce filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case of King v. CompPartners, Inc. (S232197), arguing that the appellate court erred by ruling that utilization review doctors—who look at records to decide whether a worker’s treatment was appropriate, but do not examine the patient personally—have established a physician-patient relationship and therefore owe a duty of care to the injured workers. CalChamber had urged the state high...
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US, Mexico Reach Preliminary Trade Update Agreement

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

According to President Trump and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as of August 27, the United States and Mexico have reached a preliminary agreement in principle, subject to finalization and implementation, to update the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement with modern provisions representing a 21st century, high-standard agreement. According to the USTR, the updated agreement will support mutually beneficial trade leading to freer markets, fairer trade, and robust economic growth in North America. The California Chamber of Commerce looks forward to learning more details of this agreement, and to a completed trilateral free trade agreement including Canada that allows...
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‘Ban-the-Box,’ Baby Bonding Regulations Moving Forward

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

California’s Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) is currently considering amendments to the state Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to address two fairly recent laws — the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) and the statewide ban-the-box law — both of which became effective on January 1, 2018. Baby Bonding Integration The draft regulations integrate the NPLA — which requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child — into the existing California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The CFRA also provides for baby-bonding leave, but applies to employers...
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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...
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How Richard Sudek is Growing the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Monday, August 27, 2018

Firms with connections to the University of California, Irvine have raised more than $18.9 billion over the past 10 years, according to Richard Sudek, an angel investor and executive director of the school’s Applied Innovation center. Nearly 40 percent of the capital the companies raised came in the past couple of years, a timeline that coincides with Sudek’s tenure at the center. “There’s an upward trend that shows that UCI, and what we’re doing at Applied Innovation, is really accelerating the startup activity here in Orange County and generally for UCI alums,” he said, adding that he’s particularly proud “that about...
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UCI Paul Merage Professor Chris Schwarz Announced as Opening Speaker for Greater Irvine Chamber Business Outlook Event

Monday, August 27, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber and the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business present Chris Schwarz, associate professor of finance and faculty director of the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business as the opening speaker for the 10th Annual Business Outlook Breakfast on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. Schwarz’s research on the investment fund industry has been published in many leading academic and practitioner financial journals, cited in the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, and New York Times, and included in testimony before the U.S. Congress House Financial Services Committee. Prior to arriving at UCI, Schwarz received a Ph.D. from...
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17th Annual Irvine Global Village Festival Moves to Orange County Great Park

Friday, August 24, 2018

Travel the world at the 17th annual Irvine Global Village Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. This all-day event, now at the Orange County Great Park, features more than 100 performances representing cultures from around the world, international cuisine, kids’ crafts and activities, cultural and religious exhibits, and an international marketplace.  Festival admission and on-site parking are free. A variety of sample-sized servings of food will be available for purchase, with prices ranging from $2 to $5; bringing cash is encouraged. Orange County Great Park is at 8000 Great Park Blvd. in Irvine. For more information on the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Hosts Demystifying Business in Japan Panel

Friday, August 24, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with the U.S. Commercial Service, hosted on Aug. 22 a panel discussion on Demystifying Business in Japan. The panel, moderated by Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, featured several expert panelists who shared their experiences and successes navigating the Japanese market. Panelists included Michael Delaney, chief development officer, Worldwide Environmental Products, Pat Cassidy, commercial officer, U.S. Department of Commerce, and Mohammad Sadjapour, CEO, Militus Cyber Solutions. Each of the panelists shared their extensive and practical experience working with a U.S. company entering the Japanese market. They suggested specific strategies to improve the likelihood of success...
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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...
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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.
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California Adds Nearly 47,000 Jobs in July; Unemployment Remains At a Record Low

Thursday, August 23, 2018

California payrolls grew by 46,700 jobs in July, a significant gain that came as the unemployment rate held at a record low of 4.2 percent, according to data released by the state’s Employment Development Department. But as usual, there was little sign of rising wages for workers.  The positive job growth comes as a relief: June’s initial report, which said employers added only 800 jobs to payrolls that month, raised concerns the Golden State’s economic engine was pausing after a remarkable run. But June’s gains were revised upward to 21,500, and July’s job growth came in at more than twice that level. “It...
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California Justices Uphold Employee Background Check Law

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The California Supreme Court has upheld a state law that requires employers to obtain workers' permission before hiring a company to check their backgrounds. The court in a unanimous ruling rejected an argument that the law was unconstitutionally confusing because it overlapped with another law that doesn't require employee consent. The justices said employers could follow both laws. The ruling came in the case of a bus driver who filed a lawsuit alleging her employer, First Student, Inc., did not obtain her written consent for a background check as required. An email to an attorney for First Student and a call to the company...
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Jobless Claims Fall for Third Week in Tight US Labor Market

Thursday, August 23, 2018

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits fell for a third week and remain near the lowest in almost five decades, indicating a tight job market, Labor Department figures showed. Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week Ended Aug. 18) Jobless claims decreased by 2k to 210k (est. 215k); lowest since 208k on July 14, which was fewest since 1969 Continuing claims fell by 2k to 1.727m in week ended Aug. 11 (data reported with one-week lag) Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 213,750, lowest in three months Key Takeaways While applications can be volatile from week to week, the trend reinforces...
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US, New Zealand Conclude Talks for Trade and Investment Framework Agreement

Thursday, August 23, 2018

The United States and New Zealand concluded two days of meetings on July 20 under the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), noting the strong and growing trade relationship between the two countries and discussing a full range of bilateral issues. U.S.-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Members of the U.S. Congress have requested negotiations for a free trade agreement with New Zealand for years. New Zealand and the United States have been strong partners and good friends for more than a century. Political ties are close, business links are strong, and cultural links are many and varied. In the aftermath of September 11, New Zealand...
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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,...
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Executive Leadership Changes at City of Irvine

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Longtime public works employee and city engineer Mark Steuer has joined the City of Irvine as Public Works Director, and Kaitlyn Nguyen also has been hired as Economic Development Manager. “Kaitlyn Nguyen and Mark Steuer are dynamic and innovative public executives who will bring new ideas and energy into an already excellent City organization,” said Irvine City Manager John Russo. Steuer becomes part of the City’s executive management team which includes the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Deputy City Manager, the Director of Public Affairs and Communications, and the department directors of Community Development, Community Services, Public Safety, Transportation, City Clerk,...
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Shanghai Delegation Visits Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A delegation of 22 Shanghai government executives met with Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber on August 13. The delegation traveled to Irvine to gain insights on the city and its assets that foster business growth. The meeting highlighted Irvine’s strengths as a master-planned community; the city is an economic powerhouse, with strong life science and technology sectors, and a robust innovative eco-system. It also provided an opportunity for the executives to learn about the Irvine Master Plan, the Chamber’s role in Irvine’s growth and business resources available through the Chamber. “Delegations visiting from China are always fascinated by the...
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CalChamber Issues 2018 Midyear Employment Law White Paper

Monday, August 20, 2018

The year is more than halfway through, and yet again, California employers have been busy paying attention to plenty of new employment law developments. Employers need to make sure they are in compliance with new regulations, court rulings, local ordinances and more. Midyear White Paper Luckily, California Chamber of Commerce employment law experts highlight the significant developments so far this year in CalChamber’s free 2018 Midyear Employment Law Update white paper. This white paper includes information on: • New employment classification tests for independent contractors and interns; • A new ruling on off-the-clock work; • Private Attorneys General Act claims; • New discrimination regulations on national origins; • Using salary history...
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Chilling with Recycled Water: IRWD, UCI Save 80 Million Gallons of Drinking Water a Year

Monday, August 20, 2018

Irvine Ranch Water District and the University of California, Irvine, have dedicated UCI’s renovated Central Plant — retrofitted to use recycled water for cooling campus buildings. The most significant conservation accomplishment in UCI’s 50-year collaboration with IRWD, the Central Plant conversion will save more than 80 million gallons of drinking water annually – roughly what 3,300 households use in a year. For more than half a century, IRWD has been a national leader in the production and use of recycled water. IRWD worked with UCI on the planning, design and construction of the project, engineered to meet IRWD and UCI standards. “IRWD continues...
California Legislature's #MeToo Bills Draw Opposition from Business Groups

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Less than a year after the Me Too and “We Said Enough” movements reverberated around California’s Capitol, a pack of bills that seek to address sexual harassment in the workplace is drawing pushback from business groups that fear a sharp increase in lawsuits. Among them: efforts to ban nondisclosure and limit nondisparagement agreements, end forced arbitration, make harassers personally liable, and extend the statute of limitations to file a claim with the state. “As employers, you want to protect your workforce and the employees that you have working for you,” said Jennifer Barrera with the California Chamber of Commerce. But she said...
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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...
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Pay Data Disclosure Bill Amended to Remove Job Killer Status

Thursday, August 16, 2018

As a result of recent amendments, a California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bill dealing with pay data disclosure has been removed from the job killer list. SB 1284 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) was amended on August 8 to help rectify the public shaming aspect of the bill and therefore remove the job killer tag. CalChamber remains opposed to SB 1284 because of the administrative burden it still places on employers by requiring them to turn over pay data information that could give the false impression of pay disparity where none may exist. Creates False Impression of Wage Discrimination SB 1284 requires employers to collect pay data in...
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These Are the Highest-Paying Jobs in the US Right Now

Thursday, August 16, 2018

More than half of the 25 highest-paying jobs this year were in the technology sector, shows a new report.  For the fourth consecutive year, the technology sector boasted the highest-paying jobs in the U.S., according to an annual report from Glassdoor. Thirteen of the 25 highest-paying jobs this year were in tech, up from 11 in 2017, according to the report. Within the industry, enterprise architects, software development managers, software engineering managers and software architects received the highest pay, with the lowest average base salary well over $100,000. The report gathered salary data from millions of employees, examined job titles that received a minimum of 100 salary reports over...
US Housing Starts Rebounded in July on Single-Family Gain

Thursday, August 16, 2018

U.S. new-home construction rose less than forecast in July amid a rebound in groundbreaking for single- and multi-family houses, indicating the industry was trying to regain its footing at the start of the second half. HIGHLIGHTS OF HOUSING STARTS (JULY) Residential starts increased 0.9 percent to a 1.17m annualized rate (est. 1.26m) after a downwardly-revised 1.16m pace in prior month, government figures showed Thursday Multifamily home starts rose 0.7 percent; single-family climbed 0.9 percent Permits, a proxy for future construction of all types of homes, rose 1.5 percent to 1.31m rate (matching est.) after 1.29m pace  Key Takeaways A strong labor market, lower taxes and improved...
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US Retail Sales Rise More Than Forecast in Broad-Based Advance

Thursday, August 16, 2018

U.S. retail sales rose by more than forecast in July as Americans snapped up clothes and headed to restaurants, extending solid consumer-spending gains to the start of the third quarter. The value of overall sales advanced 0.5 percent from June, whose gain was revised down to 0.2 percent, Commerce Department figures showed. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 0.1 percent gain. Excluding purchases of autos and gasoline, sales climbed 0.6 percent, topping the median estimate for a 0.4 percent rise. The data suggest consumer spending is continuing to drive the economy early in the quarter. Tax cuts...
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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...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Staff Develop Professional Skills at Industry Academy

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber’s events manager Kaitlynn Irvine and office administrator Tracy Yannotti recently attended their first year of the Western Association of Chamber Executives Academy (W.A.C.E.). The three-year program consists annual of three days of workshops focused on chamber management. Irvine and Yannotti had the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices with chamber professionals from throughout the Western United States. “Attending my first year of Academy provided me with many insights that I am eager to incorporate into my work,” said Irvine. “I was proud to see collateral from the Greater Irvine Chamber being used as a model for other organizations from...
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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...
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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...
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Extension of Candidate Filing Period for the 2018 General Municipal Election

Monday, August 13, 2018

New deadline is Wednesday, Aug. 15 The filing period for non-incumbents for the office of Councilmember in the City of Irvine has been extended, the City Clerk announced today. Interested residents must file nomination papers for the General Municipal Election by the new deadline, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018, during normal business hours (7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.). The filing period was extended beyond the initial Aug. 10, 2018, deadline because one or more incumbents failed to file nomination papers. The filing period for incumbents is now closed. Any Irvine resident age 18 or older who is registered to vote, eligible to take the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber President, CEO Bryan Starr Moderates OC Forum Housing Outlook Event

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bryan Starr, president and CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber, moderated the Aug. 9 OC Forum annual Housing Outlook luncheon. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from industry leaders on trends and current challenges that Orange County is facing. Two-hundred guests gathered at the Pacific Club for the sold-out event, where they heard from Paul Johnson, senior vice president, Rancho Mission Viejo; Larry Webb, CEO, The New Home Company; and Steve PonTell, president, National CORE; on housing topics, which continue to be a part of Orange County economic and policy discussions. “Irvine is at the forefront of housing issues,” Starr said. “The grand opening...
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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...
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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...
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New Projections Show Future of Work in California

Monday, August 13, 2018

California will add two million jobs in the next decade, with the fastest job growth coming in sectors that require college degrees, according to new projections from the California Employment Development Department. The number of jobs that require at least an associate degree will grow by 810,000, or 12 percent, by 2026. By comparison, jobs that do not require a degree will grow by 1.1 million, or 9 percent. One major exception to that trend will be personal care aides — workers who take care of the elderly so they do not have to leave their homes. As baby boomers age, California...
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FivePoint Celebrates Grand Opening of Luxaira in Great Park Neighborhood

Friday, August 10, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member FivePoint recently celebrated the grand opening of Luxaira, a new 157-unit affordable housing community located in the Parasol Park community at Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine. More than 100 city leaders and elected officials gathered for the celebration. Luxaira is the second affordable senior community in the Great Park Neighborhoods developed in collaboration by the public-private partnership between FivePoint, Riverside Charitable Corporation and Related California. The first was Solaira in 2015. Luxaira is the fourth affordable community to open within the Great Park Neighborhoods—each developed by FivePoint and Related—totaling more than 500 units. The apartments are...
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US Treasury Proposes Tax Rules on Pass-Through Businesses

Friday, August 10, 2018

The U.S. Treasury proposed tax regulations for a new 20 percent income tax deduction for owners of businesses organized as pass-through entities, including rules to prevent the measure from becoming a tax loophole for wealthy Americans. The regulations are intended to provide everything pass-through owners need to comply with the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. tax code that President Donald Trump signed into law in December. About 30 million U.S. businesses, including many small “Mom and Pop” firms, are organized as pass-through entities, according to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation think tank. Rather than operating like...
California Unions Win Another Pension Lawsuit. Will Their Streak Continue?

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The state Supreme Court recently struck down one of the biggest efforts yet to force California public employees into 401(k) plans, giving unions another win in their effort to protect defined benefit retirement plans from elected leaders who want to rein in pension costs. The court sought to write a narrow decision, finding that former San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders failed to meet with unions while he campaigned heavily for a 2012 ballot measure that promised to put most new city employees in a 401(k)-style plan instead of a pension fund.  It was the second significant pension lawsuit that favored unions this year. In...
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EDD Updates Required Poster, Pamphlet — Prior Versions OK Until January

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Employers don’t need to replace their EDD poster just yet. Recently, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) updated a required California workplace poster — EDD Notice to Employees (DE 1857A). The revised notice is dated May 2018 but was published in July 2018. The EDD informed the California Chamber of Commerce that, while maintaining updated publications is always encouraged, employers can continue to use the previous version of DE 1857A until Jan. 1, 2019, at which time all employers must post the updated version. In other words, it is not mandatory to replace this poster until next year. The EDD recognizes that employers generally replace required notices...
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New Regulations for Businesses to Post Chemicals Warning Take Effect August 30

Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Beginning Aug. 30, new Proposition 65 regulations will take effect that significantly overhaul longstanding warning regulations and depart from the rules that businesses have relied on for decades. Accordingly, it is imperative that businesses operating or selling in California reassess and potentially overhaul their long-established Proposition 65 compliance programs before the effective date. Failure to comply could subject businesses to potential liability, including penalties of up to $2,500 per day, per violation, as well as injunctive relief (for example, a court order requiring a product to be reformulated to remove the listed chemical), and attorney fees. This story highlights the most important changes and explains how...
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2018 Irvine City Council Candidates Forum Set for September 5

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber will host the 2018 Irvine City Council Candidates Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 5, 4 – 8 p.m., at Irvine Valley College Performing Arts Center, providing residents of Irvine the opportunity to meet and hear the candidates running for City Council and Mayor speak about their goals and vision for the city. For an up-to-date list of candidates, visit cityofirvine.org/government/city-clerk/municipal-election-information. The event is free and open to the public, however, registration is required on or before Sept. 3. A reception will be held at 4 p.m., with the program immediately following at 5 p.m. Parking is free and light refreshments will...
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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...
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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...
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Lorie Eber Named Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Year for Second Consecutive Year

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Lorie Eber, owner and principal of Lorie Eber Wellness Coaching, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Ambassador of the Year. This is the second consecutive year in which she has earned the title. Upon joining the Chamber in 2014, Eber soon realized the value of being an engaged member. In 2015, she became an Ambassador for the Chamber, serving as a team leader for two years before becoming chair for the 2017-18 term. She also joined the Monday Leads Group and served as its chair from 2016-17, following her role as vice chair from 2015-16. “Working with people in a committee setting is a...
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Orange County Soccer Club Supports Alzheimer’s Association

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

The Alzheimer’s Association had the honor of being the non-profit beneficiary from the Orange County Soccer Club’s (OCSC) game on Saturday Aug. 4, in which they played against the Swope Park Rangers. For the first time in the team’s history, all players wore special purple laces to bring awareness to the Alzheimer’s Association. “We hope this prominent activation with our players and technical staff will give greater attention to the Alzheimer Association’s cause,” says OCSC Sr. Director of Marketing, Austin Hurwitz. OCSC will also be hosting a walk team during the Walk to #EndALZ on Sept. 29 at the Orange County Great Park. “We...
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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...
Scott Schultz Named Chairman of the Board, Leadership Tomorrow

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Scott Schultz of RH Morris Insurance and Financial Services has been elected Chairman of the board for Leadership Tomorrow. Leadership Tomorrow, through its programs, expands knowledge, empowers citizens and promotes community involvement. For one full business day a month, for nine months, class members participate in a workshop focused on one aspect of the local community within Orange County that is common to all communities. Shultz became involved with the organization when he went through the program in 2014-2015. As Chairman, it is his responsibility, along with the board of directors, to plan and implement each of the nine full day programs that Leadership...
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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...
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Applications Available for California Competes Tax Credit

Friday, August 03, 2018

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) has announced the second application period is open for businesses interested in applying for the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC). Applications must be submitted by Aug. 20. The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses who want to locate, or grow in California. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by a statutorily created “California Competes Tax Credit Committee,” consisting of the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Director of GO-Biz, and one appointee each by the Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Committee...
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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...
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COX Charities to Award $55,000 in Grants to Orange County and Palos Verdes Nonprofit Organization

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Cox Charities will award a total of $55,000 in grants to Orange County and Palos Verdes nonprofit organizations to support initiatives that focus on youth, education, conservation, and the military. Applications are currently being accepted online at www.coxcharitiesca.org and must be submitted by Aug. 31, 2018. Cox Charities, the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications funded by employee donations that are matched by the company, will consider requests up to $5,000. To apply for a Cox Charities nonprofit grant, organizations must meet the following qualifications: Be a 501(c)3 non-profit organization; Be located or provide services in a Cox service area in Orange County and Palos...
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New Study Advises Policymakers to Consider Renewable Natural Gas for Low-Carbon Buildings Strategy

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has joined businesses, affordable housing advocates, scholars, and local government leaders to announce the results of a new study it commissioned by Navigant Consulting, Inc. that advises policymakers to consider renewable natural gas for California’s low carbon building strategy as a pathway for California to achieve its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals. The analysis forecasts that replacing just 16 percent of the traditional natural gas supply with renewable gas (RNG) captured from sources like dairies, wastewater treatment plants, and landfills, can achieve GHG reductions equivalent to converting 100 percent...
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SBA Tops $50 Million in Disaster Assistance Loans

Thursday, August 02, 2018

Director Tanya N. Garfield of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Disaster Field Operations Center-West announced today that SBA has approved more than $50 million in federal disaster loans for California businesses and residents impacted by the wildfires, flooding, mudflows, and debris flows directly related to the wildfires in Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties that began Dec. 4, 2017. According to Garfield, SBA has approved $9,922,900 for businesses and $40,133,800 for residents to help rebuild and recover from this disaster. Garfield said, “Although the deadline to apply for property damage loans has expired, small businesses and most private nonprofit organizations...
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...
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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...
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Irvine Mirrors California in High-Ranking, Growing Industries

Monday, July 30, 2018

Business Facilities Magazine has released its 14th Annual Rankings Report, placing California as a leader in many fast-growing industries. California ranked number one nationally in the following categories: Bioscience Research and Development Bioscience Strength Foreign Direct Investment Projects Cybersecurity Jobs Leaders Manufacturing Employment Installed Solar Power Capacity   Solar Power Employment Chemicals Manufacturing Semiconductors Food Processing California ranked in the top 10 nationally in the following categories: Aerospace Leaders (#2) Plastics Manufacturing (#2) Textile Mills (#4) Foreign Direct Investment (Capital Investment) (#5) Foreign Trade Zones Activity (Exports) (#5) The expansion among California’s emerging sectors is mirrored in Irvine’s economy. The city is home to more than 900 tech companies, a growing number of which are cybersecurity companies. The...
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OC Business Journal’s Best Places to Work Include Greater Irvine Chamber Member Companies

Monday, July 30, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal released its 2018 list of Best Places to Work in Orange County. The list includes the top firms based on employees’ views on workplace conditions. Pennsylvania-based Best Companies Group conducted the research on behalf of the Journal, grouping companies by the size of their staff: large, with 250 or more on the payroll; medium, with 50 to 249 workers; and small, with 15 to 49 employees. The Greater Irvine Chamber congratulates all of the OC businesses that made the grade, particularly Chamber member businesses, which demonstrate good corporate citizenship and go above and beyond to provide...
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Professional Athletes Help Raise Over $50,000 For Local Students

Monday, July 30, 2018

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) on July 22 teamed up with the Angels Baseball Foundation to host the 6th Annual Aces & Athletes Poker Tournament and charity casino night at the Exclusive Don Julio Club at Angel Stadium. During a memorable evening of poker, dinner and cocktails that featured current and former professional athletes, the foundations raised over $50,000 to help fund scholarships and crucial programs for students in need. “It’s incredibly humbling each year to see heavy hitters from the world of sports and philanthropy come together in support of educational enrichment,” said Neda Eaton, president and CEO, IPSF. “The...
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Thomas Lotts Named June 2018 Ambassador of the Month

Monday, July 30, 2018

Thomas Lotts, Lotts Agency Private Client Insurance Services, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month for June 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.  In his seven months serving on the Ambassadors Committee, Lotts has delivered 12 plaques to new member companies, and attended approximately 20 ribbon cuttings and business celebrations. He has also become highly involved in other aspects of the Chamber.  Since becoming a member...
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Irvine Company Named 2018 Business Philanthropist of the Year at Celebrate Irvine

Friday, July 27, 2018

The Irvine Company has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Business Philanthropist of the Year. "This award is especially gratifying for all of us at Irvine Company because it validates our dedication and heartfelt support of local non-profits, including Irvine schools and universities, and our commitment to open space preservation," said Robin Leftwich, vice president, Irvine Company. The company’s long history of involvement and philanthropy includes: Financial gifts of more than $220 million to city schools and universities, including $45 million committed over a 20-year period to help protect and support the Irvine Unified School District’s art, music and science programs, benefiting...
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Irvine Leads County in Property Value Increase

Friday, July 27, 2018

Irvine property values have soared in the past year, leading all other Orange County cities in percent increase at 9.43 percent, according to the Office of the Assessor’s preliminary assessments for 2018-2019. “The robust increase shows the continued strength of our master-planned city,” said Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “People want to live here because they want what we offer – the nation’s leading public safety; world-class public schools; vigorous conservative fiscal management; an unparalleled park system; robust job opportunities; and a renewed commitment to the Master Plan that protects our quality of life.” The 2018-2019 Preliminary Assessment Roll, required by state...
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Positive Fiscal Outlook for California, According To Credit Ratings Agency

Friday, July 27, 2018

California’s growing economy and billions in budget reserves has earned the state a better outlook from one of the key credit ratings agencies. This sets up the future possibility for California to receive lower interest rates on its debt.  The ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service revised its outlook about the state’s ability to pay back taxpayer-funded bonds from stable to positive, suggesting it could raise the state’s credit rating in a year or two.  “Economically, we’re looking at job growth, GDP growth that’s outpacing many parts of the U.S.,” said Matt Butler, the agency’s lead analyst for California. “Financially we’re looking at very strong revenue...
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UCI Awarded $5 Million NSF Grant to Boost Low-Income Engineering Enrollment

Friday, July 27, 2018

Aiming to increase the number of low-income engineering students specializing in advanced manufacturing, University of California, Irvine has won a $5 million National Science Foundation grant that will provide scholarships to nearly 200 community college transfers. “We’re excited to launch the UC Irvine Pathways to Engineering Collaborative, which will train, mentor and tutor dozens of talented men and women as they study engineering at Irvine Valley College and UCI,” said project leader Lorenzo Valdevit, associate professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering. Under the program, each participating undergraduate will receive up to $10,000 annually over five years. In addition, researchers from UCI’s School of...
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Leader Circle Member WNDE Named Among the Top Accounting Firms in the US

Thursday, July 26, 2018

National magazine INSIDE Public Accounting (IPA) has named Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE) #149 on its IPA 200 list of the country’s top accounting firms. The IPA 200 survey is highly regarded as one of the most thorough, complete and accurate sets of rankings and trends in the public accounting profession. This is the 5th straight year that WNDE has been mentioned on this list. “I am grateful for the hard work and professionalism of our WNDE team, which has allowed us to be named as one of the top 150 accounting firms in the...
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Vincit California Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Entrepreneur of the Year

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Vincit California has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year. “I am grateful to the Chamber for creating such an open environment for new businesses to launch from,” says Ville Houttu, CEO of Vincit California. “The award belongs to my diligent and fun-loving team, as well as to our wonderful clients and partners making all this possible.” In addition to a successful expansion from Finland to Irvine, Vincit, a digital design and development agency, supports local schools and programs for junior developers including Orange County Code School, UCI Continuing Education Web Development, and Learning Fuze. Vincit was selected three...
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Waiting Time Penalties: Ignorance of the Law Won't Get You Off the Hook

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Employers in California can be penalized if they fail to timely pay an employee who quits or is terminated. These penalties are referred to as “waiting time” penalties. Labor Code section 203 states that if an employer “willfully” fails to pay all wages due to an employee at the time of termination (or within 72 hours if the employee quits without notice), the employer owes that employee one day’s pay for every day that the final paycheck is late, up to 30 days. These waiting time penalties apply not only when an entire final paycheck is late, but also when the...
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More than 400,000 California Entrepreneurs Use Bizfile in First Year

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Since its release last year, more than 400,000 entrepreneurs throughout the state have utilized bizfile, California’s online business filing and search services, according to government data released this month. The California Secretary of State (SOS) created the online portal in an effort to bring the process of filing business documents into the digital age. The agency's goal was to ensure that customers would no longer have to drive to an office and wait in line to search for business records or file financial statements. Rather, customers could simply go online, and at the click of their mouse, file or search for...
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State Approves $2.7 Billion for Water Storage Projects

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A state commission approved $2.7 billion in funding for a variety of water storage projects across California, but the money doesn’t guarantee that any of them will be built. The California Water Commission action was part of a complicated new process designed to depoliticize awards of state water bond funding by judging projects according to stringent guidelines that some of the biggest projects had trouble meeting. High-profile projects such as the Temperance Flat dam proposal on the upper San Joaquin River lost out, winning a fraction of what backers wanted and throwing the project’s future into doubt. Proponents of another big dam project, the Sites...
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Antis Roofing CEO Charles Antis to Deliver Keynote on Corporate Social Responsibility at Greater Irvine Chamber Legends & Leaders Event

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s second annual Legends & Leaders event on Thursday, Oct. 4, will feature keynote speaker Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, the Chamber’s 2018 Business of the Year. Antis will discuss his innovative “Give to Grow” approach to Corporate Social Responsibility. As the central tenet to his corporate philanthropy, Antis will share how the “Give to Grow” philosophy ensures that the company, its employees, and the entire community thrive together. Antis is a community-minded business leader and roofing industry expert. Currently, he serves on the Board of the National Roofing Contractors Association, is a member of...
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Both Employers and Employees Get Benefits Under the Workflex in the 21st Century Act

Monday, July 23, 2018

There’s a new entry in the paid-leave debate, and it supports a trend already occurring in the modern workplace: Employers are increasingly embracing workplace flexibility by offering more options for their employees regarding when, where, and how work is done. This approach is one that both workers and employers can embrace. The Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) is an innovative, national approach to increasing the availability of paid leave and flexible work options for families that also helps employers navigate a patchwork of conflicting regulations. The Workflex bill, introduced by Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), stands apart from previous national proposals by relying...
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Businesses and Consumers Reel From Trade Measures

Monday, July 23, 2018

The evidence is stacking up and the word is spreading: Tariffs are a major financial strain on American consumers and businesses alike. The Trump administration has imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on imports from around the world, provoking retaliatory actions from other nations and boomeranging back to hit the American economy. A new analysis and online interactive map by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce show the state-by-state impact of this brewing trade war on American businesses, farmers, and consumers – and it isn’t pretty. As of last week, approximately $75 billion worth of U.S. exports are now subject to retaliatory tariffs, making American-made goods...
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Dave Lucey Earns Director of Sports Sales Role for Destination Irvine

Monday, July 23, 2018

Dave Lucey has been promoted to Director of Sports Sales for Destination Irvine. Lucey’s priority is to promote Irvine's sports facilities, including the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex, as a preferred destination for large-scale sporting events to state, regional, and national markets, bringing millions of dollars in economic impact to Irvine annually. “We are very impressed with Dave’s sports industry knowledge and the depth of his network within the sports industry,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “We are so fortunate that he is putting that experience and reputation to work for Irvine.” Lucey was previously Sales Manager for the...
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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...
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Irvine Councilmember Melissa Fox to Address Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, July 23, 2018

Irvine Councilmember Melissa Fox will provide an update on council activity to business and community leaders at the Greater Irvine Chamber during a Chamber members-only Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, Aug. 2. Fox has been actively involved in advocating for the Irvine community throughout her career. Prior to being elected in 2016 to a four-year term on the Irvine City Council, she served on the Irvine Community Services Commission for four years. She also serves many local and regional organizations including the Orange County Fire Authority, Community Energy Partnership, Library Advisory Board of Orange County Library System, the Green Ribbon Environmental...
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Irvine Police Department’s Ray Chips to Provide Active Shooter Response Training at the Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, July 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Emerging Business Leaders Advisory Council is hosting an Active Shooter Response Training Luncheon on Friday, August 3, 11:30 a.m.  – 1 p.m. Ray Chips, program specialist for the Irvine Police Department, will provide information on the most up-to-date tactics on how to handle an active shooter situation, as outlined by the Department of Homeland Security. Chips’ career has been centered on ensuring community safety. Prior to his current position, he served as a Public Safety Assistant for the Irvine Police Department, specializing in crime prevention and emergency management. He was also the Director of Safe Schools for the Anaheim...
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Irvine Ranked Fourth Nationally for Quality of Life in Business Facilities Magazine

Monday, July 23, 2018

In its 14th Annual Rankings Report, Business Facilities Magazine ranked Irvine as one of the top 10 metropolitan cities within the nation in its Quality of Life category. Irvine is one of the nation's largest and most successful master-planned urban communities, encompassing 66 square miles and featuring some of the best outdoor recreation, family activities, shopping, dining, sports facilities and meeting venues across the nation. Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years. For more information on Irvine’s assets, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Port of Long Beach Sees Busiest Month Ever

Monday, July 23, 2018

ONE Competence arrived at the Port of Long Beach on July 3, 2018. Container cargo volumes reached record heights at the Port of Long Beach last month, surging past the previous mark and distinguishing June 2018 as the Port’s best month ever. Trade increased 14.2 percent in June, compared to the same month in 2017. The Port’s terminals moved 752,188 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs), 4.4 percent higher than the previous “best month” record set in July 2017. Through June, the Port has handled nearly 4 million TEUs. The figure is 14.5 percent above the pace set by 2017, the Port’s busiest year...
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The Historic Tariff Increase in One Chart

Monday, July 23, 2018

The U.S. economy has been performing particularly well since President Trump took office. The administration’s policies, most notably regulatory reform and tax reform, deserve considerable credit for this improvement. However, the recent actions on tariffs – and the responses by our trading partners – threaten these gains. Major exporters stand to lose from coast to coast. A recent U.S. Chamber analysis found that in California about $5.6 billion in exports are at risk due to the already implemented retaliatory tariffs, including more than $1.4 billion in exports of electric vehicles, harming one of America’s nascent growth industries. In Washington State, more than $6.2 billion of exports are threatened...
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Irvine Public Schools Foundation Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Nonprofit of the Year

Friday, July 20, 2018

Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Nonprofit of the Year. With a mission to enrich the educational experience of each child in every school, IPSF provides programs, raises funds, and unites the Irvine community in support of educational excellence. “Irvine Public Schools Foundation is honored to be selected as the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Nonprofit of the Year. We are so proud of the work that we do in pursuit of our mission, and are grateful for the generous contributions of parents, corporate partners, and community members who make our work possible,” said Neda Eaton, president...
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Orange County Soccer Club’s Ray Ferrari Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Young Professional of the Year

Friday, July 20, 2018

Ray Ferrari of Orange County Soccer Club has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Young Professional of the Year. "When I first took this job, I didn't know anyone in Orange County and was starting my book of business from scratch. Through the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, I have been able to grow my network and make connections with countless professionals, many of which have become friends and mentors,” Ferrari said. “I am extremely grateful for all the opportunities the Chamber presents, and am humbled to accept this award." In addition to his official Orange County Soccer Club duties, he...
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California Consumer Privacy Act Could Cost Businesses that Experience Data Breaches

Thursday, July 19, 2018

On June 28, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 into law, considered by many to be one of the toughest data privacy laws in the U.S. Overview of CCPA The CCPA protects Californians’ rights to have access to and to delete the data companies collect about them. It also allows them to opt out of their data being sold.  It is clearly a response to a ballot initiative that was due to be voted on this November. Although not everyone is pleased with the new law, the ballot initiative has now been withdrawn. However, the State of...
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University of California Proposes First Tuition Decrease in Almost 20 Years

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Students at the University of California are set to receive a small, but significant, break on their expenses next year. UC’s governing board will vote on a 2018-19 budget plan that proposes a tuition decrease of $60 — the first time in nearly two decades that fees would drop from one year to the next. Academic charges, including tuition and student services fees, would total $12,570 annually. The decrease comes from the elimination of a $60 tuition surcharge that the university imposed in fall 2007, and extended in 2013, to pay for nearly $100 million in damages from two class-action lawsuits related to...
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Why a Regional Power Grid Brings Energy Security

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Reliable energy infrastructure is a hallmark of a modern world, and affordable power is vital for economic development and social cohesion. Ensuring that electricity is both affordable and reliable are ultimately the responsibility of our state government leaders when they set the ground rules for how electricity is generated and how it is transmitted around the grid. California’s world-leading greenhouse gas reduction efforts have curbed the state’s carbon footprint, but have also resulted in more expensive electricity and greater challenges to utilities to maintain service reliability, issues of great concern to California businesses. Just as the Legislature has led the way...
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Brian Andersen Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Horizon Consumer Science has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a silver-level sponsor. “As a member of the Leaders Circle at the Greater Irvine Chamber, Horizon Consumer Science has been able to connect with like-minded executives, make mutually beneficial relationships and gain understanding on how its services can positively impact the needs of the local business community,” said Dr. Ian Cesa, president and CEO, Horizon Consumer Science. “We want to engage the business community and help them ask the right research and business questions, and get them the right answers to help their businesses and the community thrive.  Membership at this level offers...
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Kaitlynn Irvine Promoted to Greater Irvine Chamber Events Manager

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Kaitlynn Irvine has recently been promoted to Events Manager for the Greater Irvine Chamber. Since joining the Chamber professional staff in 2017 as Events Coordinator, Irvine has successfully planned and executed Chamber signature events with an extremely high production value. In all, she has managed a calendar of more than 400 annual Chamber events. As Events Manager, her duties include managing and developing client and supplier relationships as well as operational and administrative functions to ensure specific projects delivered efficiently. “Since joining the Chamber team, I have had the opportunity to incorporate fresh ideas that further facilitate business relationships for our members,” said Irvine. “I am...
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The University of California leads in US patents

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The University of California was granted more U.S. patents last year than any other university in the world. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted 524 utility patents to UC in 2017, according to a report by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO). Coming in second was the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with 306. The University of California has led the pack since 2012, when NAI/IPO first began assessing the top 100 global universities to be granted U.S. utility patents. A utility patent, sometimes known as a patent for invention, is granted for the creation...
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US Chamber Fights Trade Tariffs

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The United States is sinking deeper into a costly trade war. You have seen the stories, and your company may already be feeling the effects.  The U.S. Chamber has been fighting against these counterproductive policies from the beginning, and its most powerful and persuasive tool has proven to be your voice. The administration pays close attention to the impact the tariffs are having on businesses like yours.  The tariffs imposed by the U.S. on our trading partners have prompted approximately $75 billion worth of retaliatory tariffs on American products. Now the administration is preparing or considering hundreds of billions of dollars in...
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Christopher Wade Earns Rainmaker Award for Second Quarter in 2018

Monday, July 16, 2018

With $2.3 million in closed sales, Christopher Wade has earned the Greater Irvine Chamber’s title of Rainmaker for the second quarter in 2018. Wade, strategic development manager for eMerchant, has participated in the Wednesday Morning Leads Group since joining the Chamber in March 2018. When asked about the value of the Leads group, Wade said, “It provides members with the tools and capabilities to provide a limitless bound of service to those in need. Understanding the value of commerce is twofold, as we succeed by helping others succeed.” Wade specializes in merchant services, financial capital, and website development, currently offering his expertise to eMerchant, a...
Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups Garner Nearly $20 Million in Closed Business, 2017-2018 FYE

Monday, July 16, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups members closed just shy of $20 million in sales during the 2017-2018 fiscal year – $19,729,150, to be exact. Leads Groups directly contribute to the economic development of the Irvine area by increasing the business and profits of Greater Irvine Chamber member businesses and organizations through structured, non-competitive, relational networking, and the exchange of referrals and leads. Each Leads Group is comprised of 25-30 individuals that meet twice a month in non-competing industries to share selling techniques and insights into presentation skills, recruiting, strategic partnerships, referral exchange, professional relationships and more. “Our Leads Group members support the growth of...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Members Nominated for OC Business Journal’s Innovator of the Year Awards

Monday, July 16, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal recently announced the nominees for its fourth annual Innovator of the Year Awards. Representatives from Greater Irvine Chamber member organizations that have been nominated are: Janie Best, WHW Michael Dennin, UCI Dan Gil, Allergan Scott Hamilton, Nextworks Strategy Ville Houttu, Vincit California David Jackson, Fairmont Schools Dalip Jaggi, Devise Interactive Dawn Reese, The Wooden Floor The program recognizes and celebrates Orange County innovators who are creating game-changing ideas, processes, products, services, and business models. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on Sept. 20, at the Hotel Irvine. For information on how to become a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber and to receive the Orange County...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Earns Professional Distinction from U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Monday, July 16, 2018

Jessica Welch, director of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, this month completed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM), the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. This earns Welch a professional distinction – indicated by the designatory letters “IOM” – which is highly respected throughout the chamber and association industries. “Through the U.S. Chamber’s Institute program, I’ve had the privilege of building relationships with nonprofit professionals from across the country,” said Welch. “The program delivers top-notch instruction to elevate professional standards, as well as valuable resources for today’s chamber of commerce executives.” The program educates nonprofit management...
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OCTANe Focuses on What’s Next in Ophthalmics at Ophthalmology Technology Summit

Monday, July 16, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, OCTANe, announced the continued growth of its signature event, Ophthalmology Technology Summit (OTS). The conference was attended by industry leaders, investors and physicians who came to learn about current and future ophthalmology trends as well as to see the latest ophthalmic innovations originating from the Southern California ophthalmic hub. OTS 2018 saw significant growth this year with over 400 attendees – a 35 percent increase in attendance year-over-year. The purpose of OTS is to create a local forum where leading ophthalmology experts and entrepreneurs can come together to discuss ground-breaking technologies and new business opportunities...
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Highly-Regarded Economist Chris Thornberg Announced as Keynote Speaker for Greater Irvine Chamber, UCI Paul Merage Business Outlook Event

Monday, July 16, 2018

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member DCI Engineers, a civil and structural consulting engineering firm, announces the following promotion in their Irvine office.  Maggie Clavijo, PE, SE, has been promoted to Associate Principal. She has provided efficient structural designs and exemplary customer service with DCI for more than 10 years. Maggie has overseen a diverse collection of projects, including commercial, institutional, military, mixed-use, and residential, utilizing a wide range of building materials, including wood, reinforced and pre-stressed concrete, steel and masonry. DCI Engineers is a nationally accredited and recognized civil and structural engineering firm. Founded in 1988, DCI Engineers employs more than 320 engineering,...
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Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land Launch National Cox Conserves Heroes Awards

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Public encouraged to nominate local conservation heroes through July 31. Cox Enterprises and The Trust for Public Land today opened the nomination process for the Cox Conserves Heroes program. The program serves to honor environmental volunteers who create, preserve or enhance shared outdoor spaces in their local communities. Celebrating its 10th year, the nomination process is open in eight select Cox markets: Atlanta, Arizona, California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington. Once a winner from each market has been chosen, these winning individuals will be the candidates to win the national competition that the public will vote on in October. In California, the...
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ESSC Hosts Sip and Savor Summer Fundraiser Eat, Drink & Laugh While Supporting Diversity August 18th, 2018

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) which assists more than 10,000 people with disabilities in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Imperial, Kern, San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura counties – is hosting its inaugural Sip and Savor summer fundraiser Saturday, August 18, at its new headquarters located at 1063 McGaw Avenue, Irvine, CA. As champions for ability, ESSC's programs – including autism therapy, adult day services, child development services, living options, employment services and the Bob Hope Veterans Support Program – make it possible for children and adults to reach their full potential at school, at home, at work and at play. With all proceeds benefitting...
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Antis Roofing and Waterproofing Named Greater Irvine Chamber Business of the Year

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Antis Roofing & Waterproofing has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Business of the Year. “Thank you Susan Kenny and all of the Ronald McDonald House team for nominating us for the Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Business of the Year, and for inspiring the roofing industry to adopt all Ronald McDonald Houses across the US.  Thank you Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce.  We are lifting our community and the world is watching!” said Charles Antis, founder & CEO, Antis Roofing & Waterproofing. “Being a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber has provided us with opportunities to help our business thrive.” The...
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California Dreaming: Real Benefits for Canada

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Canadian companies that may have cast their dreams of California aside because the state is too far and too competitive ought to go try out—especially since it has recently become the world’s fifth largest economy and is brimming with opportunities.   The state’s economy is so large that the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS) treats the northern part of the state and the southern part as two separate markets, explains Krista Eisan, a trade commissioner based in Los Angeles who covers the clean technologies sector.   Southern California is well-known as the entertainment capital of the world with a multitude of roles for Canadians...
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Irvine City Council Names John Russo as New City Manager

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Irvine City Council has chosen John A. Russo as its new City Manager, approving him at its July 10 meeting. His first day of work will be Monday, July 16. “As a City Council, we went through a lengthy recruitment process with a great result,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “John Russo is the City Manager we need to help move us forward on many fronts – some naturally occurring, some still to develop, and nearly all with unique challenges that face a robust city such as Irvine. Among our priority goals, this City Council will turn to him to...
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UCI’s Kate Klimow Elected Chair of Greater Irvine Board of Directors

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer and director of External Relations at UCI Applied Innovation, has been elected chair of the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors. She was sworn in during the 2018-2019 Board installation on June 27. “It’s an honor to chair the Greater Irvine Chamber Board of Directors,” Klimow said. “I’m looking forward to leading this highly-accomplished group of professionals that stewards the Chamber as it ensures the future economic vitality of Irvine.” Klimow has served the Greater Irvine Chamber in several capacities since 2012, including on the organization’s Board Executive Committee and as chair of the Government Affairs Committee...
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Wendy Haase Promoted to Senior Director of Destination Irvine

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Wendy Haase has been promoted to Senior Director for Destination Irvine. In this new role, Haase becomes the de facto executive director of this high-performing destination sales and marketing division of the Greater Irvine Chamber. She will oversee and manage the corporate sports and association sales team and initiatives, as well as all meeting and leisure marketing strategies. She previously served as Director of Tourism Marketing for the organization. “Wendy has earned this opportunity to lead Irvine’s destination marketing organization,” said Linda DiMario, Greater Irvine Chamber’s executive vice president. “She has continually demonstrated a great commitment to raising the profile of Irvine as a...
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Destination Irvine Wins 2018 Videographer Award

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Destination Irvine received an Award of Distinction in the 2018 Videographer Awards for the organization’s “Irvine, CA – Where Tech Meets Trek!” outdoor video. The Videographer Award is one of the most coveted awards in the video industry. Since 1994, the Awards identify and recognize the video artisans who excel in the scope of their own environment. Winners range anywhere from network news operations, to local cable access, to large companies, or freelancers. More than 1,450 entries from throughout the United States and dozens of other countries were submitted in the 2018 competition. The Award of Distinction was awarded to those projects that exceeded...
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Destination Irvine Publishes Official Guide to Irvine

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Destination Irvine has published the 2018-2019 Irvine Visitors Guide. The guide is a visitor resource for where to stay, play, eat and meet in the center of Orange County. Irvine Visitors Guides are distributed throughout the 21 Irvine hotels, Irvine Station, John Wayne and Ontario Airports, in several California Welcome Centers including Buena Park and San Francisco, and at University of California, Irvine. The Guide is also sent to those who request online and utilized at tradeshows and media marketplaces. The Irvine Visitors Guide has been recognized annually with a Gold Award from Marcom Awards, an international creative competition that recognizes...
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Renewable Natural Gas Produced in California by CR&R Flows into SoCalGas Pipelines for First Time

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and waste management company CR&R Environmental (CR&R) announced they are now injecting renewable natural gas produced at CR&R’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California, into SoCalGas pipelines. This is the first renewable natural gas produced within California to be introduced into SoCalGas’ pipeline system. Renewable natural gas is a carbon-negative fuel produced from waste that can be used in trucks and buses, to generate electricity, fuel heating systems in home and businesses, and for cooking. The renewable natural gas from CR&R’s digestion facility is used to fuel about 400...
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U.S. Chamber Analysis: $5.6 Billion in California Exports Target in Trade Retaliation

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an analysis showing the state-by-state impact of retaliatory tariffs from China, the European Union, Mexico, and Canada, which have been imposed in response to new U.S. tariffs on imported goods. The California Chamber of Commerce is concerned over the impact that U.S.-imposed tariffs could have on international trade and the state’s economy. Raising tariffs will have adverse consequences and fails to consider the impact on our allies and trading partners. The analysis was compiled using data on state exports from the U.S. Department of Commerce and data on U.S. exports subject to foreign tariffs from the official government...
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Chambers Urge Limit of Trump's Power Over Tariffs

Monday, July 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is among 274 chambers of commerce in the United States, 52 at the national level and 222 at the regional level, that supported in a letter the legislation introduced by Senator Bob Corker to limit the power of President Donald Trump to impose tariffs for national security purposes. “On behalf of the undersigned business and agricultural organizations, we are writing to support the legislation (S. 3013) of Senator Corker and a bipartisan group of senators to require the President to present to Congress any proposal to increase tariffs in the interest of the national security under Section...
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Irvine Global Village Festival Seeking Volunteers

Monday, July 02, 2018

Support the City’s largest and most attended cultural event by volunteering Sept. 21-23. The Irvine Global Village Festival is seeking volunteers to assist in all areas of the City’s largest and most attended cultural event. The festival is Saturday, Sept. 22, at its new location, the Orange County Great Park. Volunteer shifts are available 7 a.m.-8 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21, through Sunday, Sept. 23. Volunteer opportunities include event set-up and break-down, parking control, guest and vendor assistance, entertainment and demonstration coordination, and exhibits and children’s activities. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old and can work as many shifts as...
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Online Sales Tax Ruling Could Bring 'Hundreds of Millions of Dollars' to California

Monday, July 02, 2018

California had a plan in the works to acquire more tax money from online retailers months before the Supreme Court handed down a ruling that gave states permission to do so. Last fall, more than 2,500 online retailers with out-of-state addresses received letters from California's Department of Tax and Fee Administration informing them that they appeared to owe sales tax here. It marked an escalation of the state's efforts to collect sales tax from online retailers — and their customers — since the state in 2012 struck a deal that compelled e-commerce behemoth Amazon to begin collecting sales taxes in California. Nic...
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Jerry Brown Approves $201 Billion California Budget, Says It Fulfills His Fiscal Pledge

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a  $201 billion state budget that he said fulfilled a pledge to bring California government out of the abyss it faced in the recession when he took office eight years ago. "This budget is a milestone," Brown said when he signed the budget at a Los Angeles press conference. "I think people in California can be proud that we’re making progress. We’re working together." The state faced a $27 billion deficit when Brown took office for his second run leading California as governor in 2011, leading to sharp cuts in services. His last budget, by contrast, projects a $9 billion surplus for the coming...
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SBDC Launches at the Cove @ UCI Applied Innovation

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, UC Irvine celebrated the grand opening of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UCI Applied Innovation  at the Cove @ UCI on June 20. UCI Applied Innovation, in partnership with the SBDC and the Chamber, provides small businesses and start-ups with supplemental resources to help develop their professional networks and grow their business. UCI Applied Innovation brings campus-based discoveries together with Orange County’s vibrant business community to support job creation and economic growth. The opening of the SBDC at UCI Applied Innovation facilitates these goals by providing no-cost confidential consulting in business development, funding, and...
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Semi-Annual Economic Vitality Council Meeting to Examine Irvine Economy

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is hosting the semi-annual Economic Vitality Council (EVC) meeting on Tuesday July 17, 4 – 6 p.m. with a reception to follow. The meeting will draw together members of the Business & Workforce Development Committee and the International Development Committee to celebrate the impressive work product and outcomes from this previous fiscal year and how they influence on Irvine’s economy. When it comes to doing business, there are a few problems, some challenges, and myriad opportunities. The EVC welcomes business representatives to contribute their expertise and ideas on how the chamber and its members can better serve the domestic and...
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The Transportation Corridor Agencies Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Transportation Corridor Agencies has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a bronze-level sponsor. The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) were created to enhance mobility in Orange County and Southern California by developing and operating publicly-owned toll roads as part of the regional transportation system. The 51-mile toll road network, comprised of State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261, make up over 20 percent of Orange County’s highway system. With more than 300,000 daily customers, The Toll Roads are the fastest, easiest and most predictable way to get to and through Orange County and are a popular alternative to adjacent...
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Carol Schroeder Wold Recognized for Distinguished Career Serving Irvine

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Every community could use a Carol Schroeder Wold. Luckily for the residents and business community of Irvine, she chose to work in their city as it grew into one of the most diverse, well-educated, safest, and most economically vibrant communities in America. “Carol’s contributions to our community are deeply woven into the fabric of Irvine,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “She has literally built many of the institutions and organizations that support the continued vitality of our community.”     One of those organizations is the Greater Irvine Chamber itself. Wold was its first executive director,...
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Chapman Says OC Jobs to Grow Faster Than US

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Jobs in Orange County, led by the construction industry, are projected to grow at a “significantly higher” rate than nationwide, according to Chapman University’s latest semiannual economic forecast. The county’s jobs growth should rise 2.4 percent this year, similar to 2.3 percent statewide and outpacing 1.5 percent nationwide, according to the 40th economic forecast by Chapman’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. “We will add 38,000 jobs this year in Orange County,” economist Jim Doti told an audience of about 1,000 at the Musco Center for the Arts at the university’s Orange campus. The forecast predicts OC housing will appreciate 7 percent...
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School of Business at Concordia University Irvine Appoints New Professors

Monday, June 25, 2018

Experts in cybersecurity and accounting added to faculty The School of Business at Concordia University Irvine has named new professors to its full-time faculty. Professor Kim Chatani of Irvine and Professor Michael Kinnen of Riverside will begin teaching courses this fall in the business school of the Christian liberal arts university.    Professor Kim Chatani will teach graduate and undergraduate-level courses including accounting, finance, governance and risk management, international finance, and financial statements analysis. Prior to joining Concordia University Irvine as an adjunct professor in 2015, Chatani’s corporate background included partner and director roles at national firms such as Arthur Anderson LLP...
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Supreme Court Rules that Internet Businesses Must Collect All State and Local Sales Taxes

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Supreme Court ended a dispute as old as the internet, ruling that all online sales are subject to the same state and local sales taxes that are collected on purchases at brick-and-mortar retailers. The decision will inject billions of dollars into state coffers, but also increase prices for many online shoppers. By a 5-4 vote, the justices overturned past rulings that had shielded internet sellers from collecting taxes from customers in states where they had no stores, warehouses or other physical presence. Instead, the justices — addressing an issue that Congress has for years failed to resolve — brought internet commerce into...
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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...
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Orange County Great Park’s Next Phase Now Open

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Another 48 acres of amenities are now open at the Orange County Great Park’s Sports Complex. Opened to the community on June 15 were six new synthetic soccer/lacrosse fields, a natural turf flex field that can accommodate four additional soccer fields, four basketball courts; and a restroom and parking lots. The additions complement the 53 acres that opened in August 2017 as part of the developing Sports Complex that enhances the Great Park’s 1,300 acres. The 48 acres are part of 130 acres of playfields and trails that will open this year. Next up are the Great Park Trails that are 1-mile-long from Irvine...
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California Counties See Higher Turnout under New Vote Model

Monday, June 18, 2018

Election officials in five California counties that mailed ballots to every voter for this month’s primary said the new model appears to have boosted turnout. Counties were still counting ballots from the June 5 primary, so turnout numbers were preliminary. But the tally done so far in the counties using the new model — Sacramento, Nevada, San Mateo, Madera and Napa — shows turnout on track to exceed or meet voter numbers in the last midterm primary. In Sacramento County, the largest of the five, turnout among registered voters was on pace to surpass 40 percent, up from just below 30 percent...
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California Lawmakers Craft New Ways to Stash Away Budget Cash

Monday, June 18, 2018

The state budget that Gov. Jerry Brown will sign by month’s end will total close to a record $200 billion, but it’s not spending that is shaping much of the perception about the proposal. It’s savings or, more precisely, a heightened focus on cash reserves. California will continue its push toward the largest rainy-day fund in its history. The plan on Brown’s desk also creates two new reserve accounts, one of which lawmakers admitted last week is still a work in progress — even though it’s slated to receive a $2.6 billion deposit in October. “I’m a little reserved about creating a whole...
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Eight Trends to Know About OC's 19-Year Low Unemployment Rate

Monday, June 18, 2018

Orange County bosses added 17,300 workers in the 12 months ended in May as unemployment remained at 2.6 percent. Here are eight trends to know about the Orange County job market in May from the state Employment Development Department’s monthly jobs report: Last month’s data compared with a year ago and the average of the previous five years… 1. Unemployment rate: 2.6 percent, flat compared to the previous month; 3.2 percent a year ago; and a 5.32 percent 5-year average. 2. Number of jobless: 41,100 compared to 51,600 a year ago — down 10,500 or -20.3 percent — vs. the 83,923 5-year average. 3. Jobs: 1.63 million...
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Irvine High School Students Are Ready to Launch First Cubesat into Space on June 22 with Rocket Lab

Monday, June 18, 2018

Irvine CubeSat STEM Program to attempt the first successful launch of a high school student-built CubeSat in California and the West Coast. WHAT: Over 150 students from six Irvine high schools have joined forces as part of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program to attempt the first successful launch of a high school-built CubeSat in California and on the West Coast. One final phase remains for IRVINE01: the launch. The students packed up the completed CubeSat at the launch integrator, Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc., a worldwide leader in nanosatellites, and it has been transported to New Zealand as part of US...
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Orange County Transportation Authority Awards More than $40 Million for Road Projects

Friday, June 15, 2018

Orange County Transportation Authority has awarded funding for transportation projects across Orange County. The agency is allocating more than $40 million this year to 11 improvement projects and six projects to synchronize signals to keep traffic flowing during rush hours. The money comes from the half-cent sales tax collected in Orange County for transportation projects. Cities will contribute money toward the projects as well. There is also $6.8 million coming from the state in addition to the $8.9 million from the OCTA for the signal synchronization projects, Irvine projects include: Main Street in Irvine: $1.2 million OCTA; $1.9 million state Culver Drive/Bonita Canyon/Ford Drive from Jamboree Road...
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Irvine Co. Names Resorts President

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leader’s Circle member, Irvine Co. has named Scott Hermes its resorts division president. Hermes will oversee three hotels—Resort at Pelican Hill, Fashion Island Hotel, and Hotel Irvine—Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine and the Tom Fazio courses at Pelican Hill, and California Recreation Company, which runs Irvine Co.’s marinas in OC and Northern California. He was most recently general manager at the 450-room Westin San Diego in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter. Prior to that he worked 15 years in the Starwood hotel system in New York, the Bay Area and San Diego. Hermes worked during the dot com boom in...
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Johnny Tai Named Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Month, May 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Since joining the Chamber in 2016, Johnny Tai has been involved in the Chamber’s Business & Workforce Development and International Development committees, volunteered for more than one Business Outreach Rally, has been active at many networking events, and has served as an Ambassador. Currently, Tai represents Greater Irvine Chamber member, Meuller Prost CPA’s and Business Advisors. Tai has nearly three decades of risk management experience from different industries including financial, entertainment, insurance, industrial manufacturing, commercial airplane, and aerospace. He built a career for 14 years working on the Space Shuttle Program at The Boeing Company/Rockwell International. Tai serves in a volunteer capacity as co-program chair...
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Traffic Relief in the Works for Irvine

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reviewing some of the causes and proposed plans to mitigate traffic in the city, Irvine Director of Transportation, Mark Linsenmayer, provided an analysis of Irvine’s transportation system to a group of business and civic leaders during the June 7 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Various transportation projects are currently underway to reduce traffic buildup, mainly caused by the influx of workers, which doubles Irvine’s Monday-Friday daytime population to more than 500,000 people. Linsenmayer emphasized the need for upcoming projects to alleviate traffic along major city corridors such as Jamboree, one of Irvine’s most densely used roadways, carrying about 70,000 drivers...
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California Take Note: Take the Reins on Luring International Companies to the Golden State

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

California may want to keep its sights set on companies that are looking to bypass the federal government and work directly with states to avoid limitations of pending trade policies. The Associated Press recently reported a case study on the success of a Japanese company that carved its own path toward development in the U.S. Takashi Suzuki, president of Sakae Casting Co. , which manufactures aluminum parts used for cooling batteries and semiconductors, first went to Silicon Valley looking for opportunities. But that was where everyone went, making for tough competition. In Idaho, he was welcomed by politicians, officials and the University of Idaho. Suzuki hopes...
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Easterseals SoCal Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Easterseals Southern California recently joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as the newest bronze-level sponsor. For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for individuals with developmental disabilities or other special needs and their families. The services provided by Easterseals Southern California (ESSC) make profound and positive differences in people's lives every day, helping them address life’s challenges and achieve personal goals so that they can live, learn, work and play in our communities. With 2,300 employees, 60+ service sites and hundreds of community partnership locations, ESSC assists more than 10,000 people, providing adult/senior day services, autism therapy,...
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Trade Report: State Exports Continue Growth Trajectory Despite Policy Turmoil

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

California’s merchandise export trade largely shrugged off the current turmoil over trade policies and kept growing in April, 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 $14.98 billion for the month, a nominal 6.5 percent gain over the $14.07 billion recorded one year earlier. The state’s exports of manufactured goods in April were up 5.9 percent to $9.66 billion from $9.12 billion in April 2017. Exports of non-manufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) surged 13.6 percent to $1.92 billion from $1.69 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, grew by 4.3...
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Irvine Captivates Travel and Lifestyle Blogger

Monday, June 11, 2018

Travel and lifestyle blogger Yoli Ouiya applauds Irvine in a recent post on her blog, Yoli’s Green Living. In the feature, Ouiya gave details on her stay in the city, describing the experience as, “the perfect mix of practicality and pleasure.” The blogger chronicled her stay at Hotel Irvine, showing appreciation for the amenities offered such as the delivery of exercise equipment to her room. “The staff at Hotel Irvine was super accommodating and always willing to improve our experience,” said Ouiya. Ouiya also enjoyed a variety of activities, including dining at Hotel Irvine’s Eats Kitchen and Bar, hiking though Bommer Canyon,...
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Greater Irvine Chamber's Linda DiMario Gains Insight on Future of Tech in OC at OCTANe Technology Innovation Forum

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, OCTANe, recently hosted the 2018 Technology Innovation Forum conference, the largest of its kind in Southern California focusing on high-growth technology innovation and investment. Attended by hundreds of entrepreneurs, industry executives, strategic partners, qualified investors, and academicians, the conference featured more than 55 speakers, 60 sponsors, and 80 companies in the Innovation Showcase. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of Economic Development, Greater Irvine Chamber, attended the June 1 conference, gaining valuable insights from executives and experts on trends within the tech industry, and the future of the tech workforce in Orange County. Among those experts...
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Greater Irvine Chamber, SBA Host Roundtable Discussion Surrounding Trade and Export Poilicy

Thursday, June 07, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) hosted a roundtable discussion on June 5, led by Bryan O’Byrne, SBA’s Chief of International Affairs and Trade Policy. The team welcomed 35 representatives from a wide cross section of local businesses, International American Chambers, and consulates. During the roundtable, O’Byrne discussed the latest updates on trade policy topics and the SBA’s role in providing representation of small business in the negotiation of trade agreements. He also touched on reducing, and attempting to eliminate barriers that disproportionately impact business growth. Attendees had an opportunity to provide direct feedback on what changes would...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Announces 2018 Business of the Year Nominees

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has announced the nominees for its Business of the Year Awards. Nominees will be recognized for community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship in the categories of Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year. The recipients of the awards will be announced at Celebrate Irvine, the Chamber’s annual business awards luncheon, hosted in partnership with the City of Irvine, on Wednesday, June 20, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd. Award Nominees: Business of...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch and Members Dan Han, Kathy Lamm, Sophia Rose Graduate from Leadership Tomorrow Program

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Jessica Welch, senior director of operations for the Greater Irvine Chamber, graduated from one of Orange County’s most prestigious programs, Leadership Tomorrow, on May 22 at the Bahia Yacht Club. “I am grateful for the opportunities our thriving region provides,” Welch said. “The Leadership Tomorrow program has provided me with deep insights into the needs of our business community and has allowed me to broaden my professional network and make connections that present me with opportunities to give back to the community in meaningful ways.” Also among several community leaders who graduated in the program’s Class of 2018 were Greater Irvine Chamber...
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Irvine June 5 Election Results

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Irvine voters headed to the polls yesterday to vote in the Primary Elections. Voters approved Greater Irvine Chamber-supported Measure C, a taxpayer protection measure will require a two-thirds vote of the Irvine City Council to impose new taxes or raise existing taxes in the city. Similar protections have been approved by other charter cities in Orange County including Newport Beach, Anaheim, and Huntington Beach. The protections enforced through Measure C ensure that our essential services such as police, fire, and infrastructure updates remain properly funded and help maintain the vision and mission of the Irvine Master Plan. Chamber supported Measure D, an amendment...
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OCBJ, OneOC to Recognize Corporate Civic Engagement

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

By Pete Weitzner, Orange County Business Journal Last year, for the first time in a local market, the Orange County Business Journal presented the 2017 Civic 50 Orange County in partnership with OneOC, recognizing the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large Orange County companies. OneOC is taking entries for the second annual Civic 50 now through June 29. Research proves community-minded companies do well by doing good. The companies get a measurable business lift in consumer preferences, company reputation, and employee attraction and retention. Community engagement isn’t just for large companies; small and medium-size businesses feel increased expectations to be more strategic...
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U.S. Labor Market Shows Strong Gains in May

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Another month of strong hiring drove the nation’s unemployment rate down to 3.8 percent — tantalizingly close to the level last seen in 1969, when Detroit still dominated the auto industry and the Vietnam War was raging. Employers added 233,000 jobs in May, up from 159,000 in April, the Labor Department reported June 1. And unemployment fell to an 18-year low. The report shows that the nearly 9-year-old economic expansion — the second-longest on record — remains on track and may even be gaining steam. Employers appear to be shrugging off recent concerns about global trade disputes. “The May jobs report revealed impressive...
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Brian Maravandi Named Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month, April 2018

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Since joining the Greater Irvine Chamber in November 2017, Brian Maravandi has become active in several areas of the Chamber, including serving as a Chamber Ambassador. Rising quickly through the ranks of the Ambassador Committee, he now serves on its leadership team. This high-level of engagement has earned him the title of Ambassador of the Month for April 2018. He joined the Wednesday-noon Leads Group as it is the group with the highest number of professionals from technical sectors, which he said was the best match for him. He now serves on the leadership team for the Leads Group. As part...
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Destination Irvine Joins Hundreds of Travel and Tourism Industry Representatives for 36th Annual CalTravel Summit

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The CalTravel Summit, on May 29-June 1 in San Diego, brought together the entire travel and tourism industry in the state for three days of timely, issue-driven content, expert insights, interactive workshops, motivation, and one-of-a-kind networking opportunities. Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine took part in the summit as part of a larger strategy to keep the award-winning organization a top-performing DMO (destination marketing organization). The theme of this year's summit was "Voices Carry" and topics included the state of the homeless crisis in California communities; the forecast of the top economic trends and signals that will drive California’s...
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Irvine Accounting Firm WNDE Hires Four New Employees

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE) has hired four new staff members: Tram Hoang, Connor Kirby, Padmini Mosley and Chau (Jennie) Tran. Tram Hoang is a tax senior.  She earned a B.S. in finance, hospitality management at California State University, Long Beach and worked previously at Hall & Company CPAs. Connor Kirby is an audit senior.  He earned a B.A. in business administration with a concentration in Accounting from California State University, Fullerton. He was an assurance intern with WNDE, and an experienced associate at PwC. Padmini Mosley is a payroll and benefits administrator. She previously worked...
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Small Business Optimism Keeps Going Up

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

How high can small business optimism go? That’s the question that comes from the latest MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. The index hit 68.7 in Q2, up 2.4 points from Q1 – another record high – driven by confidence in local economies. Forty-eight percent felt good about their local economies. That’s tied for the highest level in the history of the Index. Small businesses in the West were the most confident (55%) in their local economies followed by the Midwest (50%). As for the national economy, small businesses’ confidence fell eight percentage points to 47% but continues to be strong. To put...
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US Advisor Says President May Seek Separate Trade Deals with Canada, Mexico

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump may seek separate talks with Canada and Mexico in a bid to get individual trade deals with the two countries, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on June 5.  “He is very seriously contemplating kind of a shift in the NAFTA negotiations. His preference now, and he asked me to convey this, is to actually negotiate with Mexico and Canada separately,” Kudlow said in an interview with Fox News. “He may be moving quickly toward these bilateral discussions instead of as a whole.” The United States, Canada and Mexico have been in months of negotiations to rework the...
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China Says in Principle Door is Open to Trade Talks with US

Monday, June 04, 2018

China’s door to talks is open in principle, the country’s Foreign Ministry said on June 4, a day after Beijing warned that any trade and business deals reached with Washington would be void if the United States implemented tariffs. The United States and China have threatened tit-for-tat tariffs on goods worth up to $150 billion each, as U.S. President Donald Trump has pushed Beijing to open its economy further and address the United States’ large trade deficit with China. The two countries ended their latest round of negotiations on June 3, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and his delegation leaving Beijing...
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Job Killer Update: Five Bills Pass to Second House

Monday, June 04, 2018

The deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced was June 1. Only five job killer bills subject to the first house deadline have passed to the second house. A bill dealing with wage statement penalties was stopped on the Assembly Floor. Job Killers in Second House Moving on to the second house are the following CalChamber-opposed job killer bills: AB 2384 (Arambula; D-Kingsburg) Increases Health Care Premiums —Increases health care premiums by mandating medication-assisted treatment for substance disorders and by eliminating all quality control and cost containment mechanisms. To Senate. AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Ban on Settlement Agreements and Arbitration Agreements —...
CMTC Forms “California’s Manufacturing Network” to Support Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers Throughout California

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC) is leading an initiative to establish “California’s Manufacturing Network.” The Network is a collaborative of manufacturing-focused partners designed to expand CMTC’s ability to serve small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) statewide. California’s Manufacturing Network delivers the capacity to provide a broad range of services from improvements on the production floor to the discovery of new products and markets. The Network measures its performance from financial impacts realized and satisfaction ratings reported via client surveys conducted by a third party. “California’s Manufacturing Network will be the 'Go-To' organization to support small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout California. The Network...
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Destination Irvine Promotes City at Travel Industry’s Premier International Marketplace

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Destination Irvine’s Wendy Haase, director of tourism marketing, and Demea Metcalf, director of sales, represented the organization at the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW, May 20-23 in Denver, where they promoted Irvine during the travel industry’s premier international marketplace. Haase promoted Irvine as a destination to dozens of travel media from around the world and attended a media luncheon with Denver-area journalists hosted by Visit California. Metcalf, along with Evelyn Shimada, business travel sales manager for Hotel Irvine, met with 40 international and domestic buyers from more than a dozen different countries during pre-scheduled appointments.  IPW is attended by 1,300 international and domestic...
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Destination Irvine Sales Manager Dave Lucey Named Finalist for Connect Sports Game Changers Awards

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Dave Lucey, sales manager for Destination Irvine, was nominated by one of his peers and selected for this year’s Game Changers awards by Connect Sports magazine. This is the third year Connect Sports has conducted the recognition program for professionals in the sports tourism industry. The awards honor the industry’s sharpest minds—the people who have elevated sports tourism through innovation and precise execution. Winners will be featured in the fall print magazine and honored at Connect Sports 2018, August 23-25, in Salt Lake City. For information about sport venue opportunities in Irvine, contact Dave Lucey.
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During Capitol Summit Governor Jerry Brown Says Californian’s Ingenuity Generated $2.7 Trillion, Earning the State’s Status as the Fifth Largest Economy in the World

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

A highlight of the May 23-24 California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) annual Capitol Summit was the 93rd Sacramento Host Breakfast, a segment during which the Governor typically addresses the state of California and speaks about the future and vision for the state. As Governor Brown is winding down his time of service as Governor, his speech was more reflective of his time in office than it was about the future of the state.  “Even 40 years ago there were a lot of people [talking about] California’s regulations, the taxes, the employment, [and] the anti-business climate. There’s always an element of truth to all...
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Five CalChamber-Supported Job Creators Move to Senate and Assembly Floors

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Five California Chamber of Commerce-supported job creator bills have advanced to the Senate and Assembly floors following the May 25 deadline to pass the appropriations committees. The following job creator bills that are awaiting action this week by the full Senate or Assembly: AB 1734 (Calderon; D-Whittier) Extension of Film Tax Credits —  Extends California’s current tax credit for motion picture and television productions, which has a sunset date of July 1, 2020, for an additional five years, continuing the success of this tax credit, which has brought more film and television production jobs to this state and has increased business to California. Assembly...
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Irvine Highlighted as Haven for Groups in Meetings Today Magazine

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Irvine was highlighted in Meetings Today magazine feature article, Healthy Spaces, which covers Orange County locations that offer travelers opportunities to sustain healthy lifestyles while on business trips. Irvine’s expansive 12,000 acres of preserved natural land was described as a place for meeting groups to take a deserved break from work and enjoy nature’s beauty, either on the hiking trails or bike paths. “Irvine’s founders truly thought ahead and master-planned the area’s growth,” said Demea Metcalf, director of sales for Destination Irvine. “Irvine’s biggest pastime is taking advantage of the outdoors. Sunshine is the best remedy to maintain your group’s well-being.” Also highlighted, are...
You Can’t Fight City Hall and Their Local Ordinances

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

From the Bay Area to San Diego, California cities and counties are enacting their own employment ordinances. These local ordinances regulate wages, paid sick leave and other employment matters. Keep in mind that local and statewide requirements can vary significantly, even between municipalities. All of which creates a greater compliance challenge if you have employees working in multiple cities with local ordinances. Join our employment law experts online on June 14 for a local look at: Minimum wage, paid sick leave and criminal background checks; Other labor-related ordinances, including San Francisco’s new lactation accommodation and salary history ban ordinances; Interaction between state and local laws; Compliance...
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International Forum: California Continues to Blaze Trail in Trade

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

U.S. and California politics and trade priorities, global connections and the importance of exports were the topics discussed by an international trade expert, a veteran political columnist, and an economist at the recent international forum presented by the California Chamber of Commerce. The May 23 forum, moderated by Susanne T. Stirling, CalChamber vice president of international affairs, brought together nearly 200 attendees, including representatives of the business community, CalChamber Board members, representatives of the California consular corps and foreign economic partners, plus representatives of state, local and federal governments. U.S. Trade Issues The Honorable Dale Tasharski, acting deputy director general of the U.S....
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Student Leaders Awarded Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Wall Scholarship from Greater Irvine Chamber

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce provides scholarships to students  enrolled at Irvine Valley College (IVC) in remembrance of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Wall, a former chairman of the Irvine Valley College Foundation and the Chamber. Trustees from the Lt. Col. Thomas U. Wall Scholarship Committee attended the 2018 Irvine Valley College Scholarship Awards Ceremony on May 16 to award this year’s scholarship recipients: Julio Bustos, Pat Mallawong, Brittany Phillips, and Jacob Rich. “In early life it was rare to get a pat on the back. Your investment in my success truly means a lot,” said Phillips, addressing the scholarship committee members....
Irvine Roundtable Discussion

Friday, May 25, 2018

Join the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Greater Irvine Chamber as we convene a roundtable discussion led by Bryan O’Byrne, SBA’s Chief of International Affairs and Trade Policy, on Tuesday, June 5, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. at the Greater Irvine Chamber, 36 Executive Park, Suite 100. This discussion provides the latest updates on trade policy topics and enables you to provide direct feedback to a senior representative on what changes would be beneficial to your business as you seek to start or grow your export opportunities. In this capacity, O’Byrne helps ensure U.S. small businesses are afforded expanded export market opportunities through negotiated...
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Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers in Employment Arbitration Agreements

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that class action waivers contained in employment arbitration agreements are enforceable under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) (Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, Nos. 16-285, 16-300, 16-307 (May 21, 2018)). Background In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the validity and enforceability of individual arbitration agreements for consumers (AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 563 U.S. 333 (2011)), which led to some employers adopting arbitration agreements with class action waivers. In 2012, however, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements...
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Destination Irvine Nominated for Meeting Industry’s Stella Award for Excellence

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Destination Irvine is a nominee for the meeting industry’s Second Annual Stella Awards, which recognizes destination marketing organizations (DMO)/convention and visitor bureaus (CVB) and destination management companies that consistently deliver quality service and innovation to meeting and events professionals. Honors are awarded in 18 categories celebrating overall excellence, superb food and beverage, professionalism of staff, technology innovations, and other critical aspects of the meetings and event experience. Finalists in each category are determined by industry professionals during an open voting period, while winners will be selected by an expert panel of judges overseen by the editors of Northstar Meetings Group's leading brands, Meetings & Conventions and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber's Whit Peterson Travels to Sacramento for CalChamber Capitol Summit

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Gathering information about election year and state policy issues, Greater Irvine Chamber Director of Government Affairs, Whit Peterson, is taking part in the California Chamber of Commerce annual summit for business and local chamber of commerce leaders from throughout the state, on May 23-24. The Host Breakfast held on May 24 includes speakers Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Terry MacRae, 2018 CalChamber Chair and CEO of Hornblower Cruises & Events. The Capitol Summit features political insiders and CalChamber policy advocates. Opening the program will be CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg, who will give a straight talk about priority business issues. Zaremberg will also moderate “Capitol Scoop: Today’s...
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Irvine Director of Transportation Mark Linsenmayer to Provide Update for Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Irvine Director of Transportation Mark Linsenmayer will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, June 7, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Linsenmayer will discuss opportunities to improve mobility in Irvine. Appointed as Irvine's Director of Transportation, in June 2017, to address transportation needs, Linsenmayer manages all aspects of transportation, including traffic management and transit planning, and serves as the staff liaison to the newly created Transportation Commission.  In his previous role as Deputy Executive Officer of Countywide Planning for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Linsenmayer was responsible for programming and oversight of several transportation initiatives....
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Orange County Unemployment Hits 2.6 Percent, a 19-Year Low

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Employers in Orange County added 29,400 jobs in the 12 months ending in April as the unemployment rate hit 2.6 percent, a 19-year low. Here are 12 trends to know from the state Employment Development Department’s monthly jobs report for O.C. … 1. Total jobs: 1.64 million were employed in April vs. 1.61 million a year ago and an average of 1.55 million the last five years. Employers in Orange County added 11,100 workers vs. March. 2. Job growth: Up 1.83 percent in last year vs. 1.95 percent growth in the previous 12 months; and 2.26 percent annually in the last five years. 3. Unemployment rate: 2.6 percent in...
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Southern California’s Foreign-Owned Businesses Jump Above 10,000, Employ 428,000

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Southern California is home to 10,378 foreign-owned businesses that employ 427,954 workers and generate nearly $27 billion in annual wages, according to a report from World Trade Center Los Angeles. The study, compiled in partnership with Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy and sponsored by American Airlines, says those employees represent 5.4 percent of the region’s total workforce. “The biggest thing this report shows is that international trade is creating jobs,” said Stephen Cheung, president of the trade center, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. “We might see some fluctuation up and down, but the fact that this region is able to attract more than...
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Irvine Valley College Holds 33rd Annual Commencement Ceremony on May 24th

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Irvine Valley College (IVC) held its 33rd annual Commencement Ceremony at 5 pm Thursday May 24, outdoors at the Live Oak Terraces next to the Performing Arts Center. Commencement Speaker: Tyrone Howard, PhD, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion and Professor, UCLA Student Speaker: Glayol Kashani, who was born to Iranian immigrants in Chicago, Illinois in the summer of 1999. Her parents moved to California to give her a better opportunity for education. She was bullied in elementary and high school due to her differences, but used this hurt to fuel her dreams. Glayol began attending Irvine Valley College at age 16. Many...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Receives the Nation's Highest Honor in Exporting & International Trade

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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

Monday, May 21, 2018

The key to California’s long-term economic growth can be found in the classroom. Job growth in California has been robust since the last recession. But recently that growth has slowed because of the lack of employable workers. The projected shortage of skilled workers in the state through 2030 is more than a million graduates with bachelor’s degrees as well as hundreds of thousands of workers with two-year associate’s degrees and certificates. Only 39 percent of the state’s workers are trained to the “middle-skill” level, according to an analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. Filling that talent pipeline will be a challenge unless we...
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Orange County World Trade Week Draws Record Crowd with Senior Federal Official and Global CEO as Headlining Speakers

Monday, May 21, 2018

Breaking records and new ground, the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum exceeded expectations with 550 attendees, Consul Generals and consulate representatives from 17 countries, and professionals from Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and the business community. Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Sarah Kemp, addressing the sold-out May 17 crowd, reminded and praised the trade climate in Southern California. “Orange County and LA counties together account for 40 percent of California trade,” she said. “Orange County educational institutions are creating trade experts...
Supreme Court Rules Employers Can Ban Class Action Lawsuits in Arbitration

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Supreme Court, dealing a potential blow to the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, ruled that employers can require as a condition of employment that workers waive their rights to participate in class action lawsuits. In a 5-4 ruling on a trio of cases penned by Justice Neil Gorsuch, the court’s Republican majority sided with businesses whose employment contracts include mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent class action lawsuits. Instead, workers who take to the courts against an employer must do so as individuals. None of the cases at issue concerned sexual harassment — and sexual harassment claims, though often impeded by mandatory...
Trump Pulls Back from Brink of Trade War with China

Monday, May 21, 2018

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed his administration’s temporary truce with China on trade, even as his Treasury secretary and China struck a note of caution on the latest agreement. After high-level talks in Washington last week, Beijing has agreed to “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China. “On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time,” Trump tweeted. Farmers, he promises, will come out on top. “Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce,” he tweeted. Both sides, however, have said there are no guarantees trade tensions are...
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Irvine Public Schools Foundation Raises Over $68,000 at 8th Annual Tee it Up for Education Golf Tournament

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), a nonprofit organization focused on enriching the educational experience of each child in every school, hosted 110 golfers at its 2018 Tee It Up for Education Golf Tournament on May 14 at Strawberry Farms Golf Course in Irvine. Civic, business, and education leaders throughout Orange County came together to golf and help IPSF raise over $68,000 to support public education initiatives in Irvine, including an emphasis on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) programming. “We are deeply grateful to our sponsors and community leaders for helping us to raise...
State Senator Renewing Push for Business-to-Business Service Tax

Thursday, May 17, 2018

After testing the waters for the last three years, state Sen. Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) is making his strongest push yet to pass legislation that would impose a tax on services provided to businesses. Hertzberg says Senate Bill 993 would better align the state’s tax code with the shift toward a more service-based economy. By 2022, the bill would create a new 3 percent tax on services — such as legal representation, accounting, design work and consulting — delivered to businesses in California. Hertzberg estimates that the new tax would bring in about $14 billion per year. To offset the tax increase, the bill includes a...
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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Rise; Unemployment Rolls Smallest in 45 Years

Thursday, May 17, 2018

New applications for U.S. jobless benefits increased more than expected last week, but the number of Americans on unemployment fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to diminishing labor market slack. Other data showed an acceleration in mid-Atlantic factory activity this month, with manufacturers saying they were boosting employment and asking for higher prices for their products. The combination of a tightening labor market and firming inflation bolsters expectations the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates next month. “The U.S. labor market is headed toward becoming the tightest in recent memory,” said Kathryn Asher, an economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Initial...
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Irvine Animal Care Center Waives Adoption Fees for Veterans Memorial Day Weekend

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Animals for Armed Forces Foundation will cover adoptions fees for veterans May 25-27. In honor of Memorial Day, Irvine Animal Care Center is waiving adoption fees for veterans Friday, May 25, through Sunday, May 27. The program is made possible through the Animals for Armed Forces Foundation, which is covering adoption fees for the veterans. The adoption discount applies to active duty, reserve and veterans of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and National Guard, and their immediate family members. The discount does not apply to licensing or puppy wellness fees. In order to qualify for the discount, the...
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Annual National Infrastructure Week Focuses on Economic Impact

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 14 kicked off the 6th Annual National Infrastructure Week in the U.S.  Each year events are held across the country to emphasize the need to invest in our nation’s infrastructure. The event was held at Union Station in Los Angeles kicked off Infrastructure Week on the west coast.  The keynote speaker for this year’s National Infrastructure Week was Los Angeles Mayor, Eric Garcetti. During his address, Garcetti displayed optimism in regard to the future of our infrastructure, citing that the residents of California have taken initiative in creating change. California residents voted for to approve transportation ballot Measure M, as well...
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Californians Could Vote on as Many as Five Housing Measures in November

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s embrace last week of a $2-billion bond to fund homeless housing could make for an even busier ballot in November. Should lawmakers agree to put the bond before voters, Californians could see as many as five housing measures on the November ballot. In addition to the homeless housing plan, backers of initiatives to expand rent control, increase Proposition 13 benefits for homeowners and finance the cleanup of lead paint in homes all say they’ve collected enough signatures to ensure their proposals can make the ballot. Lawmakers have already agreed to put a $4-billion bond to subsidize new developments for low-income residents and provide home loans for veterans before voters in...
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Destination Irvine Takes Two Platinum Awards in Hermes Creative Awards

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Destination Irvine received two Platinum Awards from Hermes Creative Awards for the organization’s website destinationirvine.com and its social influencer digital marketing campaign with Entercom. Destination Irvine launched a redesign of its website in October 2017. The social influencer digital marketing campaign included banner ads, targeted emails, and a sweepstakes, and ran for six weeks beginning January 10, 2018, and garnered 10.4 million impressions. Hermes Creative Awards is an international awards competition for creative professionals involved in concept, writing and design of traditional and emerging media; and recognizes outstanding work in the industry while promoting the philanthropic nature of marketing and communication professionals. Over 6,000...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Member SendGrid Opens New Irvine Spectrum Center Office

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member SendGrid, Inc., a leading digital communication platform that drives engagement and growth, celebrated the opening of its new Orange County office at 400 Spectrum Center Dr. in Irvine, with a ribbon cutting ceremony hosted by the Chamber. The new space nearly triples the footprint of the previous Orange County office, and is located at the heart of the region’s rapidly growing technology center. The new office, which has over 22,000 square feet of office space, is designed to hold more than two times the current employee base of 60 in Orange County to accommodate SendGrid’s plans for future growth....
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Public Hearings Provide Irvine, Tustin Residents an Opportunity to Learn and Provide Input on Proposed I-5 Improvement Projects

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The public is invited to attend the public hearings to learn more about the proposed I-5 Irvine & Tustin Improvements Project and submit comments. Hosted by the Orange County Transportation Authority, a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber, and California Transportation Department, the open-house hearings are planned for Thursday, May 24 at Tustin High School between 5:30 and 8 p.m., and Wednesday, May 30 at Lakeview Senior Center between 5:30 and 8 p.m. In order to decrease congestion on the freeways and allow for a future steady flow of traffic, the transportation organizations have joined forces to introduce renovations which will...
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Recently Renovated Irvine Hotels Showcased in California Meetings + Events Magazine

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The spring issue of California Meetings + Events magazine feature article, Meetings on the Fly, highlights the draw of updated guest suites, and event spaces offered by local hotels including the Embassy Suites by Hilton Irvine Orange County Airport, and the Wyndham Irvine – Orange County Airport. Newly renovated Irvine hotels have been featured as more than a quiet resting place for business travelers arriving at John Wayne Airport. Airport-adjacent gatherings save time and money without having to compromise on quality, style, and amenities. In addition to modernized amenities, California Meetings + Events shares that traveling professionals are offered opportunities to...
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State Economy Draws Strength from Trade

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

As the Trump administration and the 115th Congress now are into their second year, the California Chamber of Commerce continues to communicate its international trade priorities and support for working together to secure a national free-trade agenda. The designation of May as World Trade Month each year provides an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of global trade—the regular attacks notwithstanding—and the economic advances that international commerce makes possible. Promoting Trade a Priority California’s economy is more diversified than ever, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods and services by California-based companies, to exports and imports through...
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How California Regained Title of World’s 5th Largest Economy

Friday, May 11, 2018

California has regained its lofty perch as the world’s fifth-largest economy. Last year’s ranking — using the gross domestic product yardstick — is another example of the state’s revival from the financial pain inflicted by the Great Recession. By this math, California’s economy has rebounded from its post-recession standing low set in 2012 when it ranked as just the tenth-largest economy on the planet. This isn’t just about a mythical scorecard showing the huge scope of the state’s economy. The turnabout in the business climate — by no means perfect, but a reversal that stunned doubters — has created job opportunities, boosted...
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Anna Spitz Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Professional Staff

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Anna Spitz has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce professional team as Communications Coordinator. She will help develop and deliver relevant content about important Chamber affairs. Spitz recently earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton, with an emphasis in public relations. She will draw upon her skills in content development, social marketing, and copywriting for her new position. Previously a small-business employee, Spitz understands the importance of building meaningful relationships in order to foster sustainable growth. “I look forward to applying what I know in a way that will help advance the chamber’s mission and to help its...
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Nominations for Business Excellence Awards Accepted Through May 30

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Nominations for Greater Irvine Chamber business excellence awards are being accepted through May 30 in the categories of Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Self-nominations are also being accepted. Nomination forms for businesses and individuals in Irvine can be downloaded from the Business Awards page. Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes businesses and individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. Join the City of Irvine and the Greater Irvine Chamber for...
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OC STEAM Fest Raises Over $113,000 for Irvine Schools

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) hosted more than 5,000 community members at its OC STEAM Fest, presented by EON Reality, at the Orange County Great Park on April 28. More than 50 booth sponsors provided children of all ages with fun, hands-on activities in an interactive atmosphere to spark their interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM). This year’s activities included activities by Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle members Cox Communications, UCI, and Waste Management. In addition, the crowd enjoyed live entertainment from IPSF’s Afterschool Enrichment Musical Program, Air Liquide’s Shape of Water demonstration, and...
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Tourism Saves OC Taxpayers $825 per Household

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

As a part of National Tourism Week, the 10th Annual Orange County Tourism Conference took place on May 7 at the Waterfront Beach Resort in Huntington Beach. The conference recognized the contribution of travel and tourism to the local, regional, and national economies, and provided OC tourism industry leaders with insights, which they can draw upon for showcasing the region as a destination in the future. “Centrally located, with world-class outdoor recreation space and dining and shopping experiences, Irvine plays a plays an important role in destination travel, with millions of dollars in economic impact for the city,” said Bryan Starr, president...
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State Controller Betty Yee Provides Fiscal Overview of California and Orange County

Monday, May 07, 2018

Covering a wide range of issues that affect the state’s fiscal health, California State Controller Betty Yee addressed a group of business and community leaders during the May 3 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. She chairs the Franchise Tax Board, and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards, which have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. ...
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U.S. Department of Commerce’s Sarah Kemp to Speak at OC World Trade Week

Monday, May 07, 2018

Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum, to be held Thursday, May 17, 7:00 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott, 18000 Von Karman Ave., will include an address by Sarah Kemp, Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade, U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration. In this role, Kemp oversees the daily operations of the International Trade Administration (ITA), which has an annual budget of $483 million with approximately 2,100 trade and investment professionals – based in more than 100 U.S. cities and 70 markets around the world. As Commercial Counselor, Kemp serves as a key adviser...
Voting Season Begins Today; Key Dates to Remember

Monday, May 07, 2018

Today is the first day to vote by mail in California’s primary election. CalChamber Positions Proposition 68 Authorizes Bonds Funding Parks, Natural Resources Protection, Climate Adaptation, Water Quality and Supply, and Flood Protection. Authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds for: parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection. Placed on Ballot by: Legislature. CalChamber Position: Support Reasons for Position The CalChamber Board voted to support the measure because it will provide funds for: groundwater cleanups that improve water quality; flood protection and repair; clean drinking water projects; and parks in urban and disadvantaged communities. More Information: www.yes68ca.com Proposition 69 Requires that Certain New Transportation Revenues Be...
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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...
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Irvine Inspired Showcases the City as Orange County’s Economic Engine

Friday, May 04, 2018

As recently promoted in the Orange County Register, Irvine is a vibrant center of technology, education, employment, and fiscal fitness. “Irvine was master-planned to be an economic powerhouse,” said Bryan Starr, president and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. It’s part of the long-term vision of the city. All of that planning is coming to fruition.” Irvine has evolved into a contemporary, multifaceted city that has more than 17,000 companies, employing some 250,000 people, resulting in a jobs-to-population ratio of 94.8 percent, the best ratio of all American cities of its size or larger. From global companies locating their U.S. headquarters...
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Let Your Voice be Heard – Register to Vote

Friday, May 04, 2018

In an ongoing effort to promote voter registration and participation, the City of Irvine encourages all eligible residents who are not registered to vote to do so by May 21.  By registering to vote, qualified voters can participate in the June 5 Special Municipal Election that has been consolidated with the Statewide Direct Primary. Registration can be completed online at ocvote.com or by mail. Voter Registration forms are available online at ocvote.com, the Irvine Civic Center, in local libraries, and City of Irvine community centers.  The Irvine Civic Center will also serve as an Early Voting Service Center, beginning Saturday, May...
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City of Irvine Pays Tribute to Nation’s Fallen with Memorial Day Events

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

The City of Irvine is hosting two Memorial Day events to pay tribute to America’s fallen: the Northwood Memorial Candle Lighting Ceremony on Sunday, May 27, and the annual Memorial Day Celebration at Colonel Bill Barber Marine Corps Memorial Park on Monday, May 28. The community is invited to these events to pay their respects and honor those who have given their lives while defending our nation. Northwood Memorial Candle Lighting Ceremony On Sunday, May 27, at 4 p.m., a special candle lighting ceremony will be held at the Northwood Gratitude and Honor Memorial at Northwood Community Park. The ceremony, held in...
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Forbes Ranks UCI 4th in Nation for ‘Best Value’

Monday, April 30, 2018

When it comes to getting the best value for your tuition dollar, University of California, Irvine now ranks fourth in the nation, according to Forbes magazine. The new listing puts UCI, a Leaders Circle member of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, in the company of Harvard University, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and other elite institutions. The Forbes 2018 Best Value College survey rated 300 schools on their ability to deliver the best bang for the tuition buck based on tuition costs, school quality, post-grad earnings, student debt and graduation success. UCLA, UC Berkeley, and Brigham Young University led the list, with UCI outpacing Harvard, the...
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Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Outstanding Business Awards Nominations Deadline Extended to May 30

Monday, April 30, 2018

The nomination period for Greater Irvine Chamber business excellence awards has been extended to May 30, 2018 in the categories of Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nomination forms for businesses and individuals in Irvine can be downloaded from the Business Awards page. Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes businesses and individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. Join the City of Irvine and the Greater Irvine...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Supports Two June Ballot Measures

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce supports two measures that will appear on the June ballot in Irvine. Measures C and D create a fiscal lockbox for the taxpayers of Irvine, ensuring the economic vitality of the city. These protections ensure that our essential services such as police, fire, and infrastructure updates remain properly funded and help maintain the vision and mission of the Irvine Master Plan. The first of the two initiatives is Measure C, a taxpayer protection measure will require a two-thirds vote of the city council to impose new taxes or raise existing taxes in the city. This protection...
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Popular OC World Trade Week Export Success Story Panel to Include Global Pharmaceutical, MedTech and Technology Companies

Monday, April 30, 2018

Executives from NeoMedix Corporation, Toshiba America Business Solutions Inc., and TS Pharm Inc. will compose the Export Story Panel during the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum on Thursday, May 17, 2018, 7 - 11 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott. The executives will share details of their company experience exporting their products around the globe. Dr. Soheila Mirhashemi, CEO & president of Tustin-based NeoMedix Corporation, maker of Trabectome®, a micro-surgical management tool for adult and infant glaucoma, will discuss the company’s export experience in Saudi Arabia and Ukraine, countries with which the Greater Irvine Chamber has supported NeoMedix by providing Certificate of Origin documentation. NeoMedix markets...
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State Controller Betty Yee to Address Business, Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, April 30, 2018

California State Controller Betty Yee will address business and community leaders during the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting on Thursday, May 3, 8 – 9:30 a.m. Yee will discuss topics including infrastructure, housing, workforce development, and the state’s business climate. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member. Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Yee chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement...
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TUSD Celebrates “California Day of the Teacher”

Friday, April 27, 2018

Schools throughout the Tustin Unified School District will be celebrating California’s 36th annual “Day of the Teacher” on Wednesday, May 9.  California education organizations and school districts have recognized the second Wednesday in May as the “Day of the Teacher” in honor of the role of teachers in society. “This day has been set aside for students, parents and the community to recognize and appreciate the valuable contributions teachers make to society,” TUSD Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin said.  “Teachers have the important task of helping today’s students become tomorrow’s leaders.” Many Tustin Unified schools will be holding programs, luncheons and other activities to...
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CalChamber-Supported Regulatory Reform Bills Pass Committee

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Three California Chamber of Commerce-supported regulatory reform bills passed the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review Committee yesterday with bipartisan support. AB 2087 (Waldron; R-Escondido) enhances California’s ability to deliver services by improving and updating our state’s information technology systems to take advantage of modern technologies. AB 2671 (Fong; R-Bakersfield) promotes greater accountability, transparency, improved efficiency and modernization of regulations by requiring agencies to review and update their regulations, as well as to submit major regulations to the Legislature for review, which paves the way to effective and least burdensome regulations. AB 2971 (Calderon; D-Whittier) will save taxpayer dollars, streamline government operations, improve public services, and reduce duplication and waste...
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OCTANe And California Life Sciences Association Announce New Accelerator Program

Thursday, April 26, 2018

 OCTANe, Orange County’s life sciences and technology accelerator and California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the trade association representing California’s life sciences industry, today announced the Life Sciences Growth Accelerator Program – a unique dual membership program designed to address the specific growth challenges of emerging life sciences companies. In today’s competitive environment, emerging life sciences companies face unique challenges – the need to attract key talent, make connections with funding and industry experts, and conserve capital while working to bring innovative products and treatments to market. “California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) and OCTANe are thrilled to create a program that strengthens emerging Southern California...
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Ophthalmology Technology Summit 2018 Poised to Foster New Breakthroughs and Valuable Collaborations

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

OCTANe, Orange County’s technology and life sciences accelerator organization and a Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, announced on April 25 that it has partnered with the CEDARS/ASPENS Society to enhance offerings related to ophthalmic surgery for its annual Ophthalmology Technology Summit (OTS). OTS 2018 will be held June 29 at the Fashion Island Hotel in Newport Beach, bringing together a high-powered lineup of leading ophthalmology technologists, researchers, clinicians and entrepreneurs in Orange County’s technology-rich epicenter for ophthalmology. The not-for-profit CEDARS/ASPENS Society is comprised of two merged groups, the Cornea, External Disease, and Refractive Society (CEDARS) and the American Society of Progressive...
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Rent Control Measure on its Way to California Ballot

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

California voters this year will likely decide whether cities across the state should have more power to enact stronger rent control. Rent control proponents behind a proposed November ballot initiative that would allow cities and counties to pass strong rent control laws say they now have enough signatures to qualify the measure. "People understand that rents are out of control, that's why I think you're seeing this initiative move forward," said Damien Goodmon, director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation's "Housing is a Human Right" campaign. Funded primarily by the foundation and backed by labor and tenants' rights groups across California, the initiative seeks to repeal a...
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Destination Irvine Garners Travel Blogs Featuring the City

Monday, April 23, 2018

In conclusion of a recent social influencer campaign with Travel Mindset, Destination Irvine hosted Jade Broadus, a blogger for Vagabond 3, a travel blog for adventure lovers. Under the direction of Destination Irvine, Travel Mindset coordinated Broadus’ Irvine itinerary.  Read the blog: Get Outside: Discover the Great Outdoors in Irvine. Read the blog: Irvine Girlfriend Getaway. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit Destination Irvine.com.
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Destination Irvine’s Wendy Haase Shares Her View at DMO Mojo on New Ways to See Irvine and its Visitors

Monday, April 23, 2018

Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine was invited to attend her fourth DMO Mojo. This year, held April 19-21 in Bermuda, Haase was asked to be on the panel “A New View: New Ways to See Our Destinations and Our Visitors,” where she shared her experience on working with social influencers and the organization’s successful digital campaign with Entercom. DMO Mojo is MMGY Global's annual think tank and premier conference for destination marketers. Approximately 30 destination marketers are invited annually. For more information on Irvine as a destination visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Emerging Business Leaders’ April Mixer Connects Young OC Professionals

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Emerging Business Leaders Advisory Council (EBL) collaborated with the Center Club Orange County’s C39, a committee of young executives, and NAVIGATE, a young professional’s group from the Newport Beach Chamber, presenting a networking event at the Center Club on April 12 called “The Social.” The April Social brought together 60+ professionals from throughout Orange County. “Events such as The Social provide professionals who are early in their career with an opportunity to connect and expand their network and circle of influence, with the goal of helping them to advance in their careers,” said Ryan Strzalka, EBLAC chair. The mission...
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Jessica Yip Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Professional Staff

Monday, April 23, 2018

Jessica Yip has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber as Manager, Business and International Development. She will be helping manage a wide variety of robust economic development programs, activities and events developed by the Greater Irvine Chamber to impact, sustain, and grow Irvine’s economic vitality. She brings to the Economic Development team four years of experience in workforce development. As an account manager at Vital Link, a business-to-education facilitator serving Orange County schools, Yip was focused on fostering strong industry partnerships for her organization and developing career education opportunities for young students looking to explore different vocational paths. As the lead for...
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OC World Trade Week Exporter of the Year Nominees Announced

Monday, April 23, 2018

The 2018 Exporter of the Year nominees have been named by the Greater Irvine Chamber. Ampronix, Inc., Grandma Lucy's, Home Franchise Concepts, and Nutrawise Health & Beauty Corporation will be featured during the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum through promotional videos and recognition from the podium. Nominated businesses have showcased successful export strategies representing best practices in business growth and increasing their sphere of influence. Nominations are under review by members of the District Export Council and Women in Trade Orange County. The 2018 Exporter of the Year to be announced during the OC World Trade Week event,...
Protect Harassment Victims, Employers From Defamation Suits

Monday, April 23, 2018

In 2016, 554 Californians filed sexual harassment complaints with the state civil rights agency, and many other employees have complained directly to employers without involving a state agency. But in none of these cases was an employer free to warn another employer that a prospective employee was found to be a sexual harasser, lest they be subject to a costly lawsuit for defamation. Worse, even the victim may be subject to allegations of defamation or emotional distress for merely making those charges — first, harassment at work, then harassment in the legal system. Outrageous as it may seem, harassers are attempting to wriggle...
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Sweeping EU Trade Deal with Mexico Seen as Signal to US

Monday, April 23, 2018

The European Union says a sweeping new trade deal with Mexico is a signal to the rest of the world — including the Trump administration. EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malstrom said Monday that the preliminary deal, agreed on Saturday and to be finalized this year, is a "powerful signal to the whole world." She said it shows that "with increasing protectionism in certain parts of the world, many of us do believe good trade agreements can be made ... to the benefit of consumers and companies." The deal comes as Trump's America-first policies have thrown U.S.-Mexico trade into uncertainty and stalled efforts for...
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The CDC Small Business Finance Wins SBA’s 2018 Jody C. Raskind Lender Award

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Certified Development Company (CDC) Small Business Finance, a California-based SBA 504 CDC Lender, Community Advantage Lender and Microloan Intermediary, has been selected as this year’s Jody C. Raskind Award recipient.  This recognition is presented annually by the U.S. Small Business Administration to a mission-focused lender that has distinguished itself in helping small businesses start, grow and expand. The award will be presented by SBA Administrator Linda McMahon to CDC Small Business Finance President and Chief Executive Officer Kurt Chilcott on April 29, during the inaugural event of National Small Business Week at the U.S. Institute of Peace, in Washington, D.C. CDC...
Irvine Small Business – Big Opportunity luncheon

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Are your business records and data secure? Can you maintain operations if something unexpected happens? Get a jump start on your business "to do" list and tackle big questions on small business success at this free luncheon. For National Small Business Week, Travelers Institute, Small Business California, and the U.S. Small Business Administration Orange County / Inland Empire District Office bring together small business owners and decision-makers with industry leaders and advocates to examine the latest trends in cybersecurity, accessing capital and business continuity planning for the year ahead. Make the most of lunch. Don't miss it! When Monday, April 30, 2018 11:30 a.m. Registration &...
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SBA Deputy National Ombudsman to Host Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable in Indio

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Small business owners, representatives of local economic development organizations, trade groups and community leaders are invited to join the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Deputy National Ombudsman Natalie Duncan in Indio on Tuesday, May 1 at 9 a.m. to discuss federal regulatory issues impacting Inland Empire small businesses. This regulatory fairness roundtable is an opportunity for the small business community to learn how the SBA’s Office of the National Ombudsman can help entrepreneurs save time and money in resolving difficult federal regulatory compliance and enforcement issues. Business owners will also have an opportunity to provide real-time input on regulatory enforcement fairness issues affecting...
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South Orange County Community College District Dedicates First Building at the Advanced Technology and Education Park

Thursday, April 19, 2018

On April 18, the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) dedicated the first building at the Advanced Technology and Education Park (ATEP) in Tustin. Over 200 people came together to mark the grand opening for the new Integrated Design, Engineering and Automation (IDEA) Building. Following the ceremony, guests interacted with exhibits from community partners and programs within the School of IDEA.   The IDEA building will house career technical education programs for Irvine Valley College (IVC) at the ATEP site, which is currently under development and comprises 62 acres at the former Marine Corps Air Station at the Tustin Legacy.  ATEP will...
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U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County / Inland Empire District Office to Honor 2018 Small Business Week Award Recipients

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Two regional and eight district awards honoring small businesses and champions will be presented during May 11th ceremony in Anaheim  The U.S. Small Business Administration, Orange County / Inland Empire District Office is pleased to announce the following individuals, businesses and organizations will be honored as recipients in the Agency’s annual Small Business Week awards program: Small Business Person of the Year – Kristopher Plourde, President/ Operations and Sales,  N-Effect/AV; Irvine Small Business Person of the Year Runner-up – Judy Ann Greenspon, Founder/CEO, NPI Services, Inc.; Costa Mesa 8(a) Business Development Graduate of the Year – Dennis Yum, President, ACCU Construction, Inc.; Santa Ana Region...
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California Expects $14 Billion in Tax Payments This Month

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed state budget is built on what taxpayers might find an audacious assumption: almost $14 billion in tax payments in the month of April, an average of $83 million collected per hour on every business day of the month. Most of that money will come from the taxes Californians pay in advance of Tuesday night’s filing deadline for income tax returns. If history is any guide, the rate of payment could quadruple by week’s end. While tax rules have shifted some of the payment schedules to other months, April remains a vitally important month to the fiscal health of state government. The state...
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Civic 50 Draws Community-Minded Orange County Business Leaders to its 2018 Kick-off Event

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Now in its second year, the annual Civic 50 kick-off event was held on April 16 at the Center Club Orange County, drawing nearly 100 business leaders. Civic 50, presented by the Orange County Business Journal (OCBJ), in partnership with OneOC, annually recognizes the 50 most community-minded small, medium, and large Orange County companies. Jessica Welch, senior director of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, joined Daniel McQuaid, president & CEO of OneOC and Civic 50 Board member, and Kim Sherman, president & CEO of ECHO Media Group and 2017 Civic 50 honoree, for the kick-off event. “The Greater Irvine Chamber is proud to support Orange County’s business community and take part in...
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Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Participates on Panel During Orange County Leadership Academy

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific American participation in the political process, presented the Orange County Leadership Academy at Cal State Fullerton, Irvine Campus on April 6 – 7. Attendees included current and former elected officials, those aspiring to elected positions and those engaged in public policy. Featured speakers included Congressman Allan Lowenthal, 47th Congressional District, Congressman Lou Corea, 46th Congressional District, Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, 65th Assembly District, and mayors and council members from Santa Ana, Garden Grove and Alhambra. Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber took part in an...
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Proposed “No-Growth” Measure for Irvine Fails to Make it to November Ballot

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A proposed ballot measure intended to stop of development in Irvine has failed to garner enough support to be put on the November 2018 ballot. The group behind the initiative declined to submit the signatures they have collected, indicating that they failed to meet the requisite number of qualified signatures for ballot qualification. The measure, if placed on the ballot and passed by the electorate, would have required a city-wide vote for virtually all new development projects proposed in the city, directly contradicting the carefully-crafted Master Plan the city uses to guide its land use. This poorly written initiative was fraught with unintended...
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GO-Biz Committee Approves $76 Million in Tax Credits for 63 Companies Adding 6,100 Jobs in California

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Today, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced that the California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) committee approved $76 million in tax credits for 63 companies projected to create 6,166 jobs and make $490 million worth of new capital equipment investments across California. View the complete list of approved companies and award amounts.   “The California Competes Tax Credit encourages companies from around the world to locate, expand and add good paying jobs in California,” said Panorea Avdis, GO-Biz Director and Chair of the California Competes Tax Credit Committee. “In the last four years, hundreds of companies have made commitments...
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Irvine’s OCTANe and Small Cap Nation Partner to Sustain Innovation Ecosystem

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

OCTANe, a Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member and Orange County’s technology and life sciences accelerator organization, has announced a strategic partnership with Small Cap Nation (SCN), a financial media content distribution platform that specializes in developing and delivering breaking, on-demand news and information focusing specifically on the domestic and international small cap sector. “We are very excited to announce our strategic partnership with Small Cap Nation,” said Bill Carpou, CEO of OCTANe, “This partnership will open an important source of capital for our LaunchPad companies and those associated with OCTANe’s Growth Services platform that are raising capital. It also further...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups Surpass Record in Closed Sales with Over $6 Million Posted in Q1 2018

Monday, April 09, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leads Groups have surpassed total closed sales figures in any quarter previously recorded by the groups. Total closed sales earned by all five Leads Groups for the first quarter in 2018 is $6,349,241. Each quarter, the Chamber recognizes the member recording the highest in closed sales dollars for the period with its Rainmaker Award. Scott Schultz, of RH Morris Financial Group, has been named the Rainmaker for Q1 2018. “The Leads Group has given me the opportunity to get to know my fellow chamber members on a deeper level and develop better relationships that help me understand who they...
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Irvine Showcased as an Affordable Winter Destination for Canadian Travelers

Friday, April 06, 2018

In March, Rishi Modi, CEO and founder of Next Departure Inc., visited Irvine to showcase the city as an affordable winter destination for Canadian travelers on his blog, “Next Departure.” Making the trip with his wife, Farah, Modi’s interest was influenced by affordable flights to Southern California and Canadians’ search for an alternative to Florida as a sunny travel destination. The couple sought specifically to experience Irvine’s outdoor recreation. Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners to coordinate a fun-filled itinerary for the bloggers. Read about the bloggers’ Irvine experience here: nextdeparture.ca/irvine
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Nominate an Outstanding Small Business Leader

Friday, April 06, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. The award recognizes small business owners who have done an exceptional job with their local, state and national advocacy efforts on behalf of small businesses. “Telling the business story is an important part of every advocacy program,” said Dave Kilby, CalChamber executive vice president, corporate affairs. “We look forward to receiving many nominations so that the CalChamber can recognize outstanding spokespersons from around the state.” Application The application should include information regarding how the nominee has significantly contributed as an outstanding advocate for small business in...
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Studio+ Hires Jose Valentin as Senior Project Manager

Friday, April 06, 2018

Jose Valentin has joined integrated services design firm Studio+ as a Senior Project Manager in their Irvine, CA office. As a Senior Project Manager, Valentin will oversee many aspects of the design and construction process including site preparation, plans, construction contracts for general contractors, and direction of building completion.
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U.S. Added 103,000 Jobs in March; Here’s What It Means

Friday, April 06, 2018

The Labor Department released its official hiring and unemployment figures for March on Friday morning, providing the latest snapshot of the American economy.  103,000 jobs were added last month. Wall Street economists had expected an increase of about 185,000, according to Bloomberg.  The unemployment rate was 4.1 percent for the sixth straight month.  Average earnings rose by 8 cents an hour and are up 2.7 percent over the past year.  The Labor Department revised its estimate of February’s job growth upward, but January’s figure was revised sharply downward. The net result was a loss of 50,000 jobs relative to prior estimates. The Takeaway February’s report was a barnburner: Companies...
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Hoag Medical Group Pediatrics Open House in Irvine

Thursday, April 05, 2018

The community is invited to celebrate the opening of Hoag Medical Group’s newest state-of-the-art pediatrics office in Irvine, on Saturday, April 21, 8 – 11 a.m. Hoag Medical Group Pediatrics, Irvine, is located at 16100 Sand Canyon Avenue, Suite 245, next to Hoag Hospital Irvine – a Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member, this office is home to established pediatricians who have been serving Irvine families and the surrounding communities for many years. The open house event will feature meet-and-greets with the pediatricians, as well as complimentary activities for the whole family including tours, face painting, drills from Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle...
Small Biz Week

Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber partners U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE Association will host a free, 3-Day Virtual Conference during National Small Business Week. The conference will take place Tuesday, May 1 – Thursday, May 3 between 12:30 pm ET - 6:30 pm ET each day. Registration is free to the public. A schedule of live events will be sent to registrants via email. Participate in this free, online conference to listen to practiced advice on current business strategies, meet other business owners, and chat with industry experts! The Virtual Conference offers all the best parts of an in-person conference, but without...
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Business Leaders Encouraged to Tell Their Stories to State Lawmakers During the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Inaugural Sacramento Advocacy Trip this May

Monday, April 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce invites Irvine area business leaders to join its inaugural Advocacy Trip to Sacramento, which is a part of the Chamber’s strategic commitment to further the voice of Irvine and Orange County business to state legislators. By making the visit along with Chamber representatives, business leaders have the opportunity to tell their own stories to state lawmakers and gain insights into the governing process. In conjunction with the California Chamber of Commerce (also known as CalChamber), the Greater Irvine Chamber and participating business leaders will spend May 23-24 receiving policy and election briefings and speaking with...
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Chapman's Rinker Health Science Campus earns WaterStar Certification

Monday, April 02, 2018

The Rinker Health Science Campus, ideally located in the Irvine Spectrum technological hub to provide cutting-edge health-science education, recently earned WaterStar Certification for installing water-efficient plumbing fixtures throughout campus buildings and making drought-friendly landscape changes.
China Raises Tariffs on U.S. Pork and Fruit in Trade Dispute

Monday, April 02, 2018

China raised import duties on pork, fruit and other products from the United States on Monday in an escalating tariff dispute with U.S. President Trump that companies worry might depress global commerce. The Chinese Finance Ministry said the charges were in response to a U.S. tariff hike on steel and aluminum that took effect March 23. But a bigger dispute looms over Trump's approval of possible higher duties on nearly $50 billion of Chinese goods in a dispute over technology policy. Forecasters say the immediate economic impact should be limited, but investors worry the global recovery might be set back if other...
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Record Number of Consul Generals, Top-Tier Foreign Trade Representatives to Take Part in the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast & Forum

Monday, April 02, 2018

To date, a record 14 countries are confirmed to send Consul Generals or top-tier trade representatives to the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum, to be held on Thursday, May 17, 7 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott located at 18000 Von Karman Ave. “The response we have received from Consul Generals and top tier trade consuls who have committed to attend our OCWTW Breakfast & Forum clearly demonstrates the growing prestige of this annual trade event,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce. “We are ready to welcome a record-setting number of...
StartUp OC Investor Showcase Continues to Connect New Tech, Healthcare Businesses to VC Opportunities

Monday, April 02, 2018

Now in its second year, StartUp OC Investor Showcase, a collaboration between UCI Applied Innovation, OCTANe, and the Greater Irvine Chamber, was designed to introduce our young Irvine/Orange County companies to the venture capital they need to grow their business. Ten (10) venture capital firms attended to review and learn more about the selected the companies. “Raising the profile of our innovative new technology and life science companies and helping them identify new rounds of funding strengthens and enhances the value of our eco-system in Irvine/Orange County,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber and its Economic...
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City of Hope coming to Great Park Neighborhoods

Friday, March 30, 2018

City of Hope, a world-renowned independent cancer research and treatment center, and Five Point Holdings, LLC (NYSE: FPH), the largest owner and developer of mixed-use, master-planned communities in coastal California, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding formalizing a collaboration to build a $200 million, best-in-class, cancer center in Irvine. The cancer center, part of FivePoint’s Great Park Neighborhoods project on the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, will be equipped with leading-edge technologies and dedicated oncology specialists to provide innovative, high quality care to Orange County and beyond. The center will be developed on property donated to City of Hope by the FivePoint...
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Jeannine Arrington Named January 2018 Ambassador of the Month

Friday, March 30, 2018

Jeannine Arrington, an independent associate for LegalShield and IDShield, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassador of the Month for January 2018. “I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved with the Greater Irvine Chamber Ambassadors Committee as I continue to grow as a person and make a positive impact on others,” Arrington said. “Joining the Chamber is one of the best things I have ever done to grow both personally and professionally.” Since becoming a member in 2017, Arrington has been active in Chamber activities, including serving on the Workforce Development Committee; Ambassadors Committee, volunteering for the award-winning Business Outreach...
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OCTANe and California Life Sciences Association Announce New Accelerator Program

Friday, March 30, 2018

OCTANe, Orange County’s life sciences and technology accelerator and California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), the nation’s largest statewide public policy and business solutions organization representing California’s leading life sciences innovators, announced the Life Sciences Growth Accelerator Program - a unique dual membership program designed to address the specific growth challenges of emerging life sciences companies. In today’s competitive environment, emerging life sciences companies face unique challenges – the need to attract key talent, make connections with funding and industry experts, and conserve capital while working to bring innovative products and treatments to market. “CLSA and OCTANe are thrilled to create a program...
U.S. Annual Inflation Posts Strongest Increase in Nearly a Year

Friday, March 30, 2018

Prices rose in February and annual inflation edged closer to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target, a sign of strengthening U.S. inflation pressures that could encourage the Fed to continue lifting interest rates this year. The Commerce Department said Thursday that its personal-consumption expenditures price index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose 0.2% in February from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis. Excluding the often-volatile categories of food and energy, prices also increased 0.2% last month from January. The overall index increased 1.8% in February from a year earlier compared with 1.7% annual price growth in the three preceding months. The February increase...
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U.S. Jobless Claims Decline to Lowest Level Since January 1973

Friday, March 30, 2018

U.S. filings for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to the lowest level since January 1973, further evidence that the labor market remains tight, Labor Department figures showed Thursday. Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended March 24) Jobless claims decreased by 12k to 215k (est. 230k) Continuing claims rose by 35k to 1.87m in week ended March 17 (data reported with one-week lag)  Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, fell to 224,500 from the prior week's 225,000 Key Takeaways Claims at the lowest level in 45 years underscore a persistent shortage of qualified workers that has made employers reluctant to...
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United States, South Korea Reach Agreement on Amendments to Free Trade Agreement

Friday, March 30, 2018

The United States and South Korea this week announced reaching an agreement in principle on the general terms of amendments and modifications to the United States-Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS FTA). “This represents important progress in improving U.S.-Korea trade and economic relations, based on their strong and enduring security relationship,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer. According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), the nations have also agreed on terms for a country exemption for the Republic of Korea from tariffs imposed on steel imports. Negotiators are finalizing the terms of the KORUS FTA, which are subject...
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CalChamber to Offer Live Webinar on Hiring

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Recruiting, interviewing and hiring new employees involves significant legal risks if not handled properly. In fact, California has stricter protections for job applicants than do federal laws—even more so since January 1, 2018. To help California employers navigate this process, the California Chamber of Commerce is hosting a live webinar, “Hiring Steps You Don’t Want to Regret,” on Thursday, March 29. “California employers should be aware of recent changes to their hiring practices in 2018,” says Erika Frank, webinar co-presenter and CalChamber executive vice president of legal affairs. “For example, asking about an applicant’s prior salary is a thing of the...
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California Consumer Confidence Index Back at Record High

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: Orange County Register  California shoppers continue to see through various bits of economic and political turmoil to push one measure of statewide consumer optimism to a new record high. The March reading of the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index shows California’s benchmark rising to a new high, breaking the previous peak set in December. The data show California shopper’s confidence in current conditions sits just below a record set in December while their outlook for the financial future hit a new high in March. California confidence, by this yardstick, has grown at an annualized rate of 9 percent in the 14 months since...
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City Seeking Public Input on Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp Renovation

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The City of Irvine invites the community to share input on the renovation of Bommer Canyon Cattle Camp at a public workshop Wednesday, April 25, 6-7:30 p.m., at Las Lomas Community Center. The Bommer Canyon Community Park Rehabilitation Project focuses on refreshing the former Cattle Camp, originally built in 1967. The 15-acre rustic site is a popular setting for parties, company picnics, weddings, family reunions and campouts. The public workshop seeks to gather community input on desired features and ideas for the renovated site. Input gathered will be used to enhance a draft park design for City review this summer. For those...
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High Court Decisions Leave Employers with Uncertainty

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Labor Law Standards Subject to Interpretation California employers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual following a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The state high court’s March 5 ruling in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California dealt mainly with how an employer must calculate overtime compensation for an employee who earns both an hourly rate and a flat sum nondiscretionary bonus. In its analysis, the Supreme Court also provided lengthy discussion on whether the DLSE’s manual was binding authority on the courts. The Supreme Court concluded that the DLSE Enforcement Manual is a...
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Tickets on Sale for the 2018 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship at the OC Great Park

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will hold their 2018 and 2019 NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship in Irvine, in the new 2,500-seat Championship Stadium at the Orange County Great Park Sports Complex. Tickets are now on sale for the 2018 Championship, at http://www.gsacsports.org/NAIA_MSOC_18. Irvine winning the bid to host the Championship was a true community effort; the support of the City of Irvine, its new Orange County Great Park Sports Complex, along with the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce hotel partners made it possible for the Destination Irvine sales team to secure this event for Irvine. The potential economic impact the...
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U.S. Seeks China Trade Moves on Autos, Financials, Chips

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Source: CalChamber Top Trump administration officials are asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors in negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese goods and a potential trade war. A person familiar with the discussions said these were among the asks from Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer as they pursue talks with Beijing. The Wall Street Journal first reported the demands from U.S. officials, saying they came in a letter sent to Beijing last week. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro...
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Aluminum and Steel Duty Update

Monday, March 26, 2018

Source: Pisani & Roll LLP With the March 23 effective date for additional 10 percent duties on aluminum and 25 percent duties on steel now having passed, U.S. Customs & Border Protection ("CBP") is monitoring and enforcing the new duties.  There also have been several key developments with regard to these duties. First, the list of countries whose aluminum and steel products are not subject to additional duties has expanded.  The initial proclamations exempted only Canadian and Mexican aluminum and steel.  While not indefinite, the original proclamations did not have an explicit "expiration" date for these two countries exemptions.  Rather, the proclamations stated...
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Federal Trade Program Saving Businesses Millions Back in Force

Monday, March 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by the President on March 23, averting a government shutdown, includes language renewing a federal trade program that saves U.S. companies millions of dollars. The language renewing the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in February. The bill will renew GSP through December 31, 2020. The renewal of GSP will refund tariffs paid from January 1, 2018 through the reinstatement date. The bill also will change the annual review announcement date from July 1 to November 1, update some dates related to “competitive need limit” (CNL) reviews,...
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Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel to Share Details of the City’s Public Safety Record with Business and Community Leaders

Monday, March 26, 2018

Irvine Police Chief Mike Hamel will join the Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee to discuss public safety in Irvine. 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. Join us Thursday, April 5, 8:00 - 9:30 a.m., at the Greater Irvine Chamber to meet Chief Hamel and find out how his service to the community preserves Irvine’s public safety record. A 22-year law enforcement veteran who has been with Irvine Police Department (IPD) since 1995, Chief Hamel is the first Irvine Police Chief to rise...
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New Ambassadors Break a Greater Irvine Chamber Record

Monday, March 26, 2018

A record five Greater Irvine Chamber members became Ambassadors this month, far surpassing any other single month since the program was fully established several years ago. Joining the Ambassador’s group in March are Tanya Brown, Tanya Brown Enterprises; John Forbes, Forbes Bookkeeping Service; Michelle Goodson, Brenda Williams Coaching; Brian Maravandi, alfaLINQ Business Solutions; and Tarana Nabizada, Tarana Nabizada - doTerra Essential Oils. Ambassador training is, at a minimum, a three-month process, including attendance at Ambassador meetings and at least three different Chamber committee meetings; as well as assist at select business celebrations, new-member plaque deliveries, and Chamber events. Typically, five to six new Ambassadors complete...
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Organizations Serving Trade/Exporting Sponsor 2018 OC World Trade Week

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sponsors enable the Greater Irvine Chamber to bring together Orange County’s International-American chambers and business associations, public sector and private trade organizations, and members of business community for the 4th annual Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum (OCWTW), to grow awareness of the impact of international trade and export in Orange County.  Along with Founding & Presenting Sponsor UPS, 2018 OCWTW is supported by Champion Sponsor HSBC Bank; Advocate Sponsor the Consulate General of Canada and District Export Council of Southern California; Supporter Sponsors Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Global Registrations, Google Fiber, Horizon Consumer Research, and JD.com; and port sponsors Port of Long...
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Brian Dozer Named Member of the Month for March 2018

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Brian Dozer, director of Webster University – Irvine, has been named as the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Member of the Month for March 2018. Since joining the Chamber in 2015, Dozer has been highly involved with the Chamber, including holding leadership roles on committees. He currently serves as co-chair of the Chamber’s Business & Workforce Development Committee, and in 2016-2017 he served as co-chair of the Economic & Workforce Development Committee. Furthering his commitment to the workforce of tomorrow, he has served as a volunteer mentor for the award-winning Career Edge soft-skills program for area college students, and a facilitator for Financial Forum,...
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Lisa Thomas Named August 2017 Member of the Month

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Lisa Thomas, director of business development at Taylor Digital, has been named the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Member of the Month for August 2017. Thomas has been actively involved in the Chamber since joining in February 2016, serving on its Board of Directors and is a member of the group’s Executive Committee. She also serves on committees for Business Outlook Breakfast, marketing and communications, and the Irvine Chamber Education Foundation, which oversees the Lt. Col. Thomas U. Wall Scholarship. Thomas lends her expertise and time as a mentor in the Emerging Business Leaders Mentorship Program and is engaged in the Chamber’s Leads Groups...
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Orange County Unemployment Falls to 3.1 Percent

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.1 percent in February, compared with a revised 3.2 percent in January but well below the 3.8 percent reported a year earlier, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. The state’s unemployment rate was 4.5 percent while the U.S.’s was 4.4 percent. The most recent February numbers for the county, state and the U.S. are not seasonally adjusted. Nonfarm OC employment increased 6,300 jobs month-over-month to 1.63 million.  Eight of 11 sectors reported increases. The biggest was a 4,500 increase in government workers, mostly local education workers returning to work after the holidays. Higher education and...
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2017 Trade Figures Show California Maintains Position as Top Exporting State

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2017 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2017, California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods...
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Duration of Written Meal Period Waivers Depends on Your Needs

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber We have employees working 6-hour shifts who want to waive their meal period and employees who want to waive their second meal period after 10 hours. How often do we have to renew the written waiver? Pursuant to the California Labor Code, both the 6- and 10-hour waiver allow an employer and employee to mutually waive the required meal period. Although other types of meal waivers must be in writing, a written waiver is not required in these instances. Meal period rules and regulations are found in both the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) orders and in the California Labor Code, Section...
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High Court Decisions Leave Employers with Uncertainty

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source: CalChamber California employers are once again left with uncertainty regarding the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) Enforcement Policies and Interpretations Manual following a California Supreme Court ruling earlier this month. The state high court’s March 5 ruling in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California dealt mainly with how an employer must calculate overtime compensation for an employee who earns both an hourly rate and a flat sum nondiscretionary bonus. In its analysis, the Supreme Court also provided lengthy discussion on whether the DLSE’s manual was binding authority on the courts. The Supreme Court concluded that the DLSE Enforcement Manual is a void underground regulation and not...
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State of Judiciary Address Highlights Civil Justice Reforms

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source:CalChamber The funding boost proposed in the state budget plan for the coming year will help the judicial branch continue reforms to provide access and fairness to court users, California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye told lawmakers in her State of the Judiciary address on March 20. After years of funding cuts, the 2018–2019 state budget proposed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. grants the state’s judiciary an additional $150 million for critical trial court operations and commits to funding construction for 10 new courthouse projects in the next two years. Funding Civil Justice Due to limited resources in past years, the judicial branch...
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Tariff on Chinese Imports Clouds Trade/Investment Gathering

Friday, March 23, 2018

Source:CalChamber As President Donald R. Trump’s intention of imposing tariffs on $50 billion of exports from China loomed like a cloud, the Chinese Consul General, Ambassador Luo Linquan, hosted a reception and dinner for approximately 30 business leaders at his residence on Wednesday, March 21. The event focused on foreign direct investment into China, as well as China’s outward foreign direct investment, but the President’s pending actions were the dominant topic. The Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, which also has responsibility for Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, covers 35% of U.S. trade with China. Attending the March 21 dinner...
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Tustin Unified Announces Three Administrative Moves

Friday, March 23, 2018

The Tustin Unified School District has announced three administrative moves, which will begin July 1, for the 2018-19 school year. Will Neddersen, principal of Red Hill Elementary School, has been appointed Adult Education Coordinator.  He replaces Virginia Burrows, who has elected to return to the classroom as an adult education teacher.             Neddersen has served as principal of Red Hill School for the past eight years.  He has worked in education for 21 years – all in TUSD.  Prior to Red Hill, he was principal of Marjorie Veeh Elementary School for three years.  Neddersen has also been an assistant principal at Hewes...
Irvine Standard: A New Communication Forum Celebrating the World’s Best Master-Planned City

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Irvine Standard, a new communication forum, including a monthly newspaper and e-edition, website, and social media channels, celebrates the people, places, and events that make Irvine the world’s best master-planned city. Shared through these channels are stories and photos that highlight the way the city’s unique promises add value to residents’ lives. In the April issue of Irvine Standard, read a Q&A with Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr as he discusses the Master Plan as the foundation for Irvine’s economic strength. Visit IrvineStandard.com, watch for a copy of the newspaper in your mailbox, and follow on Instagram and Facebook! @irvinestandard...
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White House Announces 25 Percent Duties on Certain Chinese Origin Products

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The White House and US Trade Representative (USTR) announced on March 22 that additional duties of 25 percent will be assessed in the near future on certain Chinese origin goods. The additional duties will be charged under the authority of Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows for imposition of additional duties and other trade remedies in order to enforce trade agreements, resolve trade disputes, and open foreign markets to U.S. goods and services. It is the main authority under which the United States may impose trade sanctions on foreign countries that violate trade agreements or engage in unfair...
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Jackson Tidus Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jackson Tidus, A Law Corporation, has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as the newest silver-level sponsor. The highly accomplished attorneys at Jackson Tidus bring extensive legal and real-world business experience and knowledge to address challenges and goals unique to each of their clients. Areas of practice include real estate, land use development, subdivisions, mergers and acquisitions, labor and employment, tax and estate planning, mortgage guaranty insurance, insurance, intellectual property, business and corporate, environmental, and litigation. The firm and its attorneys support more than 100 community organizations and provide pro bono services to area nonprofit organizations. Jackson Tidus, an equal-opportunity and...
Six Wins as KORUS Turns Six

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

As we reach the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement’s sixth anniversary of entry into force today, it is useful to once again take stock of this important agreement – commonly known as KORUS. The U.S. Chamber and its U.S.-Korea Business Council have long maintained the view that KORUS has delivered on its goal of spurring trade, economic growth, and job creation for both economies.  Not everything with regard to KORUS is perfect. There are important areas where Korea has not met its commitments, and the U.S. Chamber is a leading voice urging both governments to resolve them. But these shortcomings should not...
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Celebrate Irvine 2018 Set for June 20

Monday, March 19, 2018

Celebrate Irvine, the Greater Irvine Chamber’s annual luncheon, will recognize outstanding achievements in Irvine's business and nonprofit community along with the success of Irvine's Master Plan. The event will be held Wednesday, June 20, 11:30 – 1 p.m., at the Hotel Irvine, 17900 Jamboree Rd. Nominations are being accepted, now through April 30, 2018, for businesses or individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service and charitable contributions and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship. The award categories are Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Philanthropist of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Young Professional of the Year. The program...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Represents Diverse Business Community

Monday, March 19, 2018

With more than 70 languages spoken by residents, Irvine is rich in cultural diversity. That diversity is also well reflected in the business community. The Greater Irvine Chamber, which represents the interests of nearly 1,000 member and partner businesses, serving nearly 100,000 employees, is proud to provide a network for such diverse business professionals. Dinh Ta, new business manager for the Chamber, has produced videos for social media in more than 10 languages spoken by Chamber members, promoting the Chamber’s 7 to 30 events each month that provide members with the opportunity to meet face-to-face with one another. Languages represented through videos to-date include:  Arabic Chinese  Dutch Farsi German Hindi Korean Russian Spanish Swedish To learn about...
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Jessica Welch Elected as Chair of Western Association of Chamber Executives Emerging Leaders Council

Monday, March 19, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch has been elected to serve as Chair of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) Emerging Leaders Council. Her term is effective immediately. Council members will provide feedback and ideas to the W.A.C.E. president and board of directors, which in-turn result in innovative programming for the annual conference. The group also participates in identifying fundraising opportunities for scholarships. “Leading this group of exceptional young professionals who work diligently in the chamber industry is an honor,” Welch said. “Our hope is we can help the W.A.C.E. board encourage a forward-thinking model for chambers and associations throughout the nation,...
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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...
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EU Calls for Industry Input on U.S. Tariff Retaliation List

Friday, March 16, 2018

The European Commission called for industry views on Friday on a list of U.S. products it will subject to import tariffs, the first step towards measures to counter planned U.S. taxes on European steel and aluminum. The European Union wants to be exempted from U.S. duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum that U.S. President Donald Trump approved last week. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom meet next week to discuss the issue. The European Commission, which coordinates trade policy for the 28 EU members, has said that, if the EU is not...
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Job Openings in U.S. Rose to Record in January, Above Forecast

Friday, March 16, 2018

U.S. job openings rebounded to the highest on record in January, reflecting a solid job market at the start of the year, Labor Department data showed Friday. Highlights of Job Openings (January) Number of positions waiting to be filled increased by 645,000 to 6.31m (est. 5.92m) from a downwardly revised 5.67m in Dec. (prev 5.81m): Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey or JOLTS Private hiring rose to 5.24m from 5.17m 3.27m Americans quit their jobs, down from 3.34m in Dec.; quits rate eased to 2.2% from 2.3% Key Takeaways The surge in January job postings may help explain February’s addition of 313,000 workers to employers’ payrolls, the biggest gain since...
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Crucial Irvine Wildlife Corridor Begins to Take Shape Within Orange County Great Park Fulfilling a Long-Held Dream

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A crucial wildlife corridor connecting the Cleveland National Forest with Orange County’s coastal habitat begins taking shape as Heritage Fields El Toro, LLC (a partnership of FivePoint Holdings, LLC) and Laguna Greenbelt, Inc. unveiled a nearly 2.5-mile ribbon of native vegetation that soon will host, among others, grey fox, bobcat, coyote, Gnatcatchers and other native species. The Irvine Wildlife Corridor is being developed on city land in the Orange County Great Park and is important to preserve the long-term biodiversity of native species and protect the heritage of coastal California. The March 13 unveiling follows decades of dedicated work by environmental groups to...
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Irvine to Participate in National Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation April 1-30

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mayor Donald P. Wagner is joining other mayors across the country in asking residents to make a commitment to conserve water and protect this vital resource by taking part in the 7th annual Wyland Mayor’s Challenge for Water Conservation.  “This annual challenge to conserve water, sponsored by the Wyland Foundation here in Irvine, reminds us of our precious resource,” said Mayor Wagner. “I am hopeful that what is a short-term challenge for our residents becomes a long-term practice of conservation.” Last year, residents from over 4,100 cities in all 50 U.S. states pledged to reduce their annual consumption of freshwater by 1.9...
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U.S. Commerce Report: California Maintains Position as Top Exporting State

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Source: CalChamber The U.S. Department of Commerce now has 2017 trade statistics available through the International Trade Administration’s (ITA) “Trade Stats Express.” In 2017, California exported $171.9 billion to 229 foreign economies. California’s top export markets are Mexico, Canada, China, Japan and Hong Kong. California is one of the 10 largest economies in the world with a gross state product of more than $2 trillion. International trade and investment are major parts of the state’s economic engine that broadly benefit businesses, communities, consumers and state government. California’s economy is diverse, and the state’s prosperity is tied to exports and imports of both goods...
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California Partners and British Healthcare Association Forge Deeper U.S. Relations

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) has partnered with Southern California’s leading business accelerator OCTANe and the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce in a strategic three-way collaboration, to provide trade support for HealthTech companies.  The partnership will see UK companies connect with one of the US’s most diversified technology communities in Irvine and the wider Orange County area, to develop their market entry and growth strategies. ABHI CEO Peter Ellingworth said,“This particular district of Southern California is a real Health Technology hub and we are actively exploring opportunities for British businesses in the area. By creating these sustainable two-way trading bridges,...
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California’s Economy Will Continue to Outshine Most of the U.S.

Monday, March 12, 2018

The California economy has been going gangbusters over the past few years and should continue to march along nicely over the next two years. As one of the most populous states in the country, California contributes slightly more than 14 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product – far more than any state. And that should continue with the state’s economy predicted to grow 2.7 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, according to the recent “Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook for 2018/2019,” released on Feb. 21 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The LAEDC report outlined a good-news scenario...
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Hoag Takes on PGA Tournament Sponsorship

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal has reported that Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian has assumed the title sponsorship of Orange County’s only PGA Tour event, renaming it the Hoag Classic. The Journal article notes that senior circuit showcase had been known as the Toshiba Classic for more than two decades. Longtime OC executive and philanthropist Paul Folino was named chairman, replacing Ira Garbutt, who filled the post for 10 years in a run that will likely never be matched. Hoag Charity Sports, a unit of the Hoag Hospital Foundation, will continue to produce the tournament. Proceeds, which typically...
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Irvine Career Discovery Day Provides Students with Glimpse into 21st-Century Job Options

Monday, March 12, 2018

Irvine Career Discovery Day, a workforce development program created through a collaboration with the Greater Irvine Chamber, Vital Link, Google, and Irvine Valley College, was aimed at introducing students to a scope of 21st-century jobs and helping them explore career options, while building a better talent pipeline for Irvine/Orange County companies in need of that talent. Sponsored by the Greater Irvine Chamber Career Readiness Task Force, Irvine Career Discovery Day launched on March 1. Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr welcomed students from University High School, Valley High School, and Irvine Valley College to Google and Blizzard Entertainment. Overall, more than 200 students, from...
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Irvine Featured in The Via Blog

Monday, March 12, 2018

Irvine is included in The Via Blog spring round-up "4 Places for a Beachside Spring Break."  The round-up features Orange County and highlights The Great Park as one of the handful of attractions to visit in the entire region.  The Great Park is also featured in the slideshow. Via magazine is the AAA publication for Northern California – like Westways is for Southern California. The blog post is a result of Destination Irvine coordinating a media visit for Megan McCrea, senior editor of Via, last December.   https://www.destinationirvine.com/articles/post/4-places-for-a-beachside-spring-break/
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OC World Trade Week Partners Include International-American Chambers, Trade Organizations

Monday, March 12, 2018

The 2018 Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Breakfast & Forum is supported by an impressive list of Orange County International-American chambers and trade organizations as partners for the fourth annual event on Thursday, May 17 at the Irvine Marriott. “These groups are part of a powerful coalition of organizations that understand and appreciate the value of trade across the globe and implications for our economy and the global economy,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “This combined strength allows us to encourage businesses to export to increase their market share, and helps them learn what they need...
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Port of Long Beach Launches Data-Sharing Project with GE Transportation to Improve Cargo Flow Efficiencies Amid Record Volumes

Monday, March 12, 2018

(NYSE:GE) and the Port of Long Beach are collaborating to improve cargo flow at the busiest port complex in North America. As cargo volumes and the complexity of port operations increase, the Port of Long Beach is launching a pilot with GE Transportation to increase visibility, enhance real-time decision-making and optimize cargo movement through the Port. Building on the success of its pilot with the Port of Los Angeles, where the solution is helping to increase visibility of incoming cargo from two days to two weeks, GE Transportation will implement the Port Optimizer™ solution at marine terminals, including Total Terminals International and Long...
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Third Career Edge Workshop to Offer College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Monday, March 12, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with Irvine Valley College and Webster University, Irvine, will host students from area colleges and universities for its third Career Edge workshop on Saturday, April 7, 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The course, Successful Business Etiquette & Workplace Behaviors, a component of the three-part Career Edge workshop series, will be taught by Julie Hallsted, Certified Paralegal and Advanced Certified Paralegal currently managing legal support services for Island Restaurants. The workshop will cover how to adapt and leverage the workplace environment; explore basic business practices, etiquette, and professional attitudes; and characteristics that will define a new employee and...
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TILLYS 2018 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Monday, March 12, 2018

TILLYS 2018 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament- Benefiting Tilly's Life Center, will be held on Monday, April 23rd.   The following opportunities are available for businesses to be involved: 1.  Register as a golf team  (sign up on our website at the link below) 2.  Attend our cocktail party & auction  (sign up on our website at the link below) 3.  Become a sponsor  (sign up on our website at the link below) 4.  Donate an item for our silent auction  (complete donor form on the link below) 5.  Become a volunteer for our event  (contact Jennifer at the phone/email below) This event sells out every year to people...
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Women of Influence Event Inspires 300+ Professionals to Be Bold

Monday, March 12, 2018

Inspiration is a sweet thing. Keynote speaker Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sugarfina, and other entrepreneurial executives shared their stories of inspiration and passion that led them to make bold business moves, during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s March 8 Women of Influence event at the Irvine Marriott. O’Neill told the professional women and men in attendance how she started the luxury candy boutique for grown-ups after being inspired by the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie,  she and her now husband Josh Resnick saw while on a third date. She also shared the top ten strategies for success that she...
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Destination Irvine’s Demea Metcalf Elected to Meeting Professionals International Orange County Board of Directors

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Demea Metcalf, CMP, MS, MA, a Certified Meeting Professional and Director of Sales for Destination Irvine, has been elected to the Meeting Professionals International Orange County (MPIOC) board of directors for 2018-2019. “With her expertise and position in the marketplace, Demea will be a great leader to serve on the board,” said Brian Gilman, president-elect, MPIOC. As director of member retention for MPIOC, Metcalf will help advance the organization’s growth and influence within the industry. “I am honored to be serving on the MPIOC board of directors during the next year as it will be an exciting time for me to build new relationships and enhance existing ones as...
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Irvine Accounting Firm WNDE Names Six New Partners

Friday, March 09, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE) has named six new partners: Jill Cohen, Michael Glaab, Erin Johnson, Jennifer Pugh, Kassie Radermacher and Christina Wenk. Jill Cohen is an audit and assurance partner who first came to WNDE as an intern in 1993.  She has spent most of her career with WNDE, but also spent two years as a controller in private industry. She provides financial reporting and consulting services for privately-held companies in a variety of industries including manufacturing and distribution, restaurant and retail industries, construction, investment trusts, medical groups and non-profit organizations.  Michael Glaab is...
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Aluminum and Steel Import Duties to Increase March 23

Thursday, March 08, 2018

The White House on March 8 formally issued two presidential proclamations that will raise the duties on steel and aluminum. A copy of the presidential proclamations may on steel may be found here and aluminum here. In the case of steel, "steel articles" from all countries other than Canada and Mexico are subject to the additional 25 percent duty effective March 23, 2018 (i.e., with respect to goods entered, or withdrawn from warehouse for consumption, on or after 12:01 a.m. eastern daylight time on March 23, 2018). The proclamation defines "steel articles" using 6 digit Harmonized Tariff Schedule (HTS) subheadings, specifically: 7206.10 through 7216.50, 7216.99 through 7301.10,...
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California Chamber of Commerce and Ontario Chamber of Commerce Join Forces in Support of NAFTA

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) encourage California state leaders, and in particular the California Congressional Delegation, and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne in actively supporting the renewal of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) during the current renegotiation process. Trade between California and Ontario is extremely strong with an upward trajectory over the past five years. California and Ontario are key trade partners with billions of dollars at stake in sectors such as autos, medications, coins, fruits, motor vehicle parts and computers and computer peripherals. “The CalChamber is working with the Ontario Chamber...
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California Supreme Court Issues Worker Friendly Overtime Ruling

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber Overtime pay in California is based on the employee’s “regular rate of pay,” which is not always an employee’s normal hourly wage and must include almost all forms of pay that the employee receives. But how do you calculate the regular rate of pay when an employee receives both an hourly wage and a flat sum bonus – such as an extra $15 for working a weekend shift? Yesterday, the California Supreme Court ruled that an employer must calculate the regular rate of pay by dividing the employee’s total compensation by the number of nonovertime hours an employee worked during the pay period, rather...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with MAPLE for Québec, Canada June 13-15 Trade Mission

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Join MAPLE - The Canadian-U.S. Business Council of Southern California as they lead a cross-sector business delegation to Montréal and Québec City. With a population of over 8 million and a GDP of over $300 billion, Québec is a key Canadian region for Southern California businesses to explore for export, trade, and bilateral investment opportunities. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, will be among the delegates for this special cross-sector, three-day visit to Québec's business and government capitals. The delegation will include private briefings with economic development agencies representing Montréal and Québec City, the U.S. Department of...
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Seventh Round of NAFTA Negotiations Concludes

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber The seventh round of negotiations have concluded in Mexico City, Mexico, and the negotiators report closing three additional chapters of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Although the trilateral meeting didn’t close as many chapters as negotiators had hoped, they closed chapters on: Good Regulatory Practices, Administration and Publication, and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures. Negotiators also completed work on sectoral annexes related to chemicals and proprietary food formulas and said they are making substantial progress on Telecommunications and Technical Barriers to Trade. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reports that the three nations agreed to include a chapter on energy. “These chapters are important and...
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Survey: US businesses hire 235,000 new workers in February

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Source: CalChamber-APNEWS U.S. companies added a healthy 235,000 jobs last month, led by solid gains in construction, hotels, restaurants, education and health care, according to a private survey. The report Wednesday on February hiring from payroll processor ADP comes after businesses added 244,000 people in January and 249,000 in December. Those gains should be enough to reduce the unemployment rate, currently a low 4.1 percent, over time. With unemployment already so low, strong hiring should force employers to offer much higher pay to find the workers they need. Target, one of the world’s biggest retailers, raised its minimum starting pay for workers for the second...
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Columbus Tustin Middle School Holds Climate Change Summit

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Columbus Tustin Middle School’s Science Department is sponsoring its first Climate Change Summit on Thursday, March 8 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the school’s Activity Center, 17952 Beneta Way, Tustin. Over 200 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students from the Columbus Tustin Magnet program are participating in the event, according to science/STEAM Magnet teacher Jacque Cunningham George. “Our students began the school year studying climate and weather.  Their capstone projects addressed current natural disasters around the world and human impact connected to these disasters,” Cunningham George said.   “As research scientists, our students have gathered information on various topics and are in the process...
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Irvine Emerging as a Destination Ready to Host Major Sporting Events

Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Destination Irvine along with the City of Irvine are working together to promote the city as a destination for professional and amateur sporting events, tournaments, and qualifiers. The efforts are paying off as trade publications, like Sports Destination Management, feature Irvine as an “emerging  destination.” Read the article here.
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Call for Nominations: Orange County Exporter of the Year

Monday, March 05, 2018

Each year, the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum takes the opportunity to showcase a business that has expanded its markets through successful export strategies. The Greater Irvine Chamber, in partnership with the District Export Council and Women in Trade is seeking nominations for the 2018 Exporter of the Year Award.  Eligible entrants may be small, medium, or large companies in Orange County, which have made the decision to expand their markets and grow their sales by exporting. The Chamber is looking to share interesting and compelling stories and novel strategies leading to success in exporting. “We want to recognize...
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City Magazine Q&A Profile Features Greater Irvine President & CEO Bryan Starr

Monday, March 05, 2018

In the Spring 2018 issue of Inside Irvine, a magazine of the City of Irvine, Greater Irvine President and CEO Bryan Starr provided insights into the role the business community and the Chamber plays in the overall success of Irvine. He also addressed why bringing and retaining jobs to Irvine is important. “Irvine has been master-planned to be an economic powerhouse. Ours is a world-class city that easily stacks up to any other city in America in terms of what it has to offer its residents and businesses,” Starr told Inside Irvine. CLICK HERE to read the full interview online.
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IRS, FBI Warn Employers to Beware of W-2 Phishing Scam

Monday, March 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently warned payroll and human resources professionals of a dangerous Form W-2 phishing scam that victimized hundreds of organizations and thousands of employees during the last two tax seasons—and this season is no different. The scam goes like this: Cybercriminals identify your company’s chief operating officer or other high-level executives, pose as the executive and send emails to payroll personnel. In these emails, the fraudsters request copies of employee Forms W-2 or ask for a list of all employees and Social Security numbers (SSNs). Using a technique called...
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Irvine’s Business Community, a Key Component to the Irvine Master Plan

Monday, March 05, 2018

The job of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce is to promote business and tourism, and we couldn’t be prouder of the dynamic destination that Irvine has become for both. The city’s prosperity is no accident: The Master Plan creates a balanced and financially self-sustaining community. Irvine is steadily rising to the top of the best places in America to live, work, and play. Now more than ever, we are optimistic and excited about what’s next for Irvine. We see a young, vibrant city full of innovation poised to flourish over the next 50 years, thanks to a balanced and forward-looking Master...
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Top 10 Airports, Seaports and Border Crossings for U.S. Trade in 2017 Include Three that Serve Orange County

Monday, March 05, 2018

In a recent article, Forbes reported that five of the nation's top 10 gateways for U.S. trade are centered around just three cities: New York City, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Three of those gateways serve Orange County, which is included in the Los Angeles metropolitan statistical area. Out of the three gateways that serve Orange County, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are sponsors of the Orange County World Trade Week Breakfast and Forum. Forbes ranked the top 10 U.S. gateways for trade, based on the dollar value of that trade. Here’s how our region’s ports ranked: #1 - Port of...
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Women of Influence Event Provides Opportunity for Professionals to Pay it Forward through Working Wardrobes

Monday, March 05, 2018

As hundreds of professional women gather to hear inspirational stories from some of the business world’s boldest CEOs during the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event this Thursday, March 8, they will also have the opportunity to share their good fortune with others. Working Wardrobes will be on hand to accept new or gently-used accessories that can be used to help women (and men) who are overcoming obstacles and pursuing reentry into the workforce. “This is an excellent opportunity to pay if forward and provide a ‘second career’ for any unused business-appropriate accessories,” said Working Wardrobes founder and CEO Jerri Rosen....
California’s Economy Will Continue to Outshine Most of the U.S.

Friday, March 02, 2018

The California economy has been going gangbusters over the past few years and should continue to march along nicely over the next two years. As one of the most populous states in the country, California contributes slightly more than 14 percent to the nation’s gross domestic product – far more than any state. And that should continue with the state’s economy predicted to grow 2.7 percent this year and 2.6 percent next year, according to the recent Economic Forecast & Industry Outlook for 2018/2019, released on Feb. 21 by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. The LAEDC report outlined a good-news scenario for...
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Greater Irvine Chamber-Supported Measures Succeed at Irvine City Council, will be Included in June Ballot

Friday, March 02, 2018

During the Feb. 27 city council meeting, Irvine Mayor Don Wagner proposed two ballot initiatives to be voted upon by the voting public in Irvine on June 5.   The first of the two initiatives is a taxpayer protection measure to require a two-thirds vote of the city council to impose new taxes or raise existing taxes in the city. This protection was originally approved by California voters in 1986 as Proposition 62. However, it was later ruled in court that this law only applied to general law cities. As a charter city, Irvine was not subject to the protection and any proposed...
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Destination Irvine Takes Part in CalTravel Rally Day

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Wendy Haase, director of Tourism Marketing, Destination Irvine, along with more than 80 fellow tourism representatives from across California visited the State capitol in Sacramento on February 28 for the Second Annual CalTravel Rally Day.  Advocacy is the core mission of CalTravel and Rally Day is an opportunity to cultivate influence and educate state legislators on issues that affect travel and tourism businesses. Following the meetings there was a networking reception for participants, legislators, and staff. Rally Day was held in conjunction with the CalTravel winter board meeting. Haase has served on the CalTravel board of directors since 2015. Photo: Lance Levitt,...
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Nominations are Open for AD68 2018 Small Business of the Year

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Each year, members of the California State Assembly select a small business in their district that has significantly contributed to the district as the Small Business of the Year.  Nominations are being accepted now through March 16 for the 2018 Small Business of the Year award for the 68th Assembly District. Nominees must be located in the 68th Assembly District, which includes portions of Irvine and Anaheim, and all of Tustin, Orange, Lake Forest, and Villa Park. To confirm the candidate is located in the district, visit findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov.  In addition, the nominee must be a first-time recipient, must have fewer than 100...
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Nominations Open for OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards

Thursday, March 01, 2018

OCTANe High Tech Innovation Awards (HTA) seek to celebrate and recognize those individuals and companies who make Orange County a center of technology innovation excellence in industry and in education. In its 25th year, The High Tech Innovation Awards has recognized more than 300 innovators and over 85 companies. Nominations are open through April 15. For more information and to nominate a company, visit OCTANeHTA.com/nominate. HTA AWARD CATEGORIES • Outstanding Private Technology Company • Outstanding Public Technology Company • Best Public Company CEO • Best Private Company CEO • Outstanding Emerging Technology Company • Best Technology Innovation in Software • Best Technology Innovation in a Consumer Product • Outstanding Innovation in...
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Tustin Unified School District’s 2018 Teachers of the Year

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tustin Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Gregory Franklin announced the 2018 TUSD Teachers of the Year today at W.R. Nelson Elementary School and Tustin High School.   TUSD Board of Education members Jonathan Abelove, Lynn Davis and James Laird, District administrators and members of the Tustin Public Schools Foundation also participated in the "surprise" visits.  Elementary Teacher of the Year Grades TK-5 Carrie Murillo Fourth Grade Teacher W.R. Nelson Elementary School   Secondary Teacher of the Year Grades 6-12 Joanna Vandal AVID Teacher (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Tustin High School Murillo and Vandal will represent the Tustin Unified School District in the Orange County Teachers of the Year Program. These two teachers and all school...
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DOL, Ninth Circuit Adopt New Test for Unpaid Interns

Monday, February 26, 2018

Employers with unpaid interns are familiar with the potential perils: Misclassify someone as an unpaid intern when the individual should be a paid employee, and you could face a whole host of issues. For years, a six-part test adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and followed by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) helped California employers determine whether an individual could be treated as an unpaid intern. But that test is on its way out the door. The DOL has announced that it’s abandoning the six-part test in favor of a new “primary beneficiary” test — a position...
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Guidance for Employers on Immigration Enforcement Actions

Monday, February 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber Earlier this week, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Labor Commissioner Julie Su issued two documents for California employers dealing with California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450). Attorney General Becerra issued an advisory providing an overview of and guidance on the privacy prescriptions under AB 450. Commissioner Su also issued joint guidance on frequently asked questions to help employers and workers understand and comply with the new state law. Under AB 450, all employers, regardless of size, must limit U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents’ access to both the worksite and employee records, and must follow new notice obligations. This law applies to all California employers...
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Irvine Mayor Don Wagner to Deliver State of the City Address Tomorrow, Feb. 27

Monday, February 26, 2018

The public is invited to attend as Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner delivers his second State of the City Address on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at the Irvine Civic Center. The event begins with a reception at 5 p.m., followed by the Mayor’s address at 6 p.m. The address will highlight accomplishments of the past year, as well as look to what’s ahead in 2018.  No RSVP is necessary to attend. The Civic Center is located at 1 Civic Center Drive.  For more information, call (949) 724-6077 for more information. Download the invitation. 
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IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker to Address Business and Community Leaders at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, February 26, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs Committee will host Irvine Unified School District Superintendent Terry Walker on Thursday, March 1, as he provides an update on the state of the school district, how Measure E is working, and other activities in the district. The meeting is open to all Chamber members. No RSVP is necessary. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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Orange County’s Professional Soccer Team Season Opener March 17

Monday, February 26, 2018

Mark your calendar! Get your fan gear ready! Orange County’s only professional soccer team will be opening their season on Saturday, March 17, at 7 p.m.  The team will be facing off against the Phoenix Rising in the Championship Soccer Stadium at the Great Park in Irvine. For the opening game, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Orange County Soccer Club (OCSC) has extended the invitation to the Chamber and its members to experience the all-inclusive VIP patio during the game. The Patio overlooks the whole field and indulges guests with complimentary food and drinks.   "The Greater Irvine Chamber has been an...
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State Offers Resources for Workplace Emergency Planning

Monday, February 26, 2018

Source: CalChamber The 2017 California wildfire season consisted of 9,133 fires that burned more than 1.3 million acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It’s considered the most destructive on record — and in January, the recently-charred land caused severe mudslides during a deadly storm that shut down about 30 miles of Highway 101 between Northern and Southern California. To help workplaces prepare for such unexpected occurrences, the California Department of Public Health’s Occupational Health Branch (OHB) has provided a list of resources. The Cal/OSHA Emergency Action Plan standard sets minimum standards for workplace preparations and offers guidance for elements that...
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Texas Travel Show Features Irvine in Orange County Episode

Monday, February 26, 2018

Check out the Irvine segment that aired this past weekend on YOLOTX a weekly travel show about entertainment, food, and things to do across the U.S. that airs throughout the state of Texas. Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners Diamond Jamboree, Pedego Electric Bike Irvine, the Orange County Great Park and the Irvine Spectrum Center to promote Irvine's diverse culinary offerings, vast bike trails, sports tourism, shopping, and entertainment. For more information on Irvine as a destination, visit DestinationIrvine.com.
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Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, Retired MSgt., USAF Serves on Women of Influence Speaker Lineup

Friday, February 23, 2018

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, retired MSgt., United States Air Force, will address hundreds of professional women at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event on Thursday, March 8, 11:30 – 2:30 p.m. at the Irvine Marriott. The award-winning speaker enlivens every speaking engagement with activities, and says, “You remember it because you’re experiencing the information rather than passively listening to it.” As CEO of Dynamic Vision International Inc., Fernandez offers leadership, negotiation, and communication training to corporate clients and small business owners internationally. Her business is built on a 23-year career as a contract specialist in the Air Force, where she negotiated hundreds of millions...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Recognized as Top Performing Catalyst, Convener, and Champion for Business Community

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The core initiatives of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce are focused on promoting local economic growth, advocating for the business community with federal, state and local government, and promoting the city as a dynamic business and tourism destination, and providing professional development, networking opportunities, and support services for professionals interested in advancing their careers and growing their businesses. In a recent publication of the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.), the Greater Irvine Chamber was recognized for being a Catalyst for business growth, Convener of leaders and influencers, and Champion for the business community. These characteristics were found by W.A.C.E....
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IPSF Awards $160,000+ in Innovative Grants to Irvine Teachers

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Each year, Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s (IPSF) offers teachers and staff in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) the opportunity to apply for funds through the Innovative Grants Program to implement new and creative approaches to teaching and counseling. The purpose of this grant program is to support innovation in schools by awarding funds to implement new curriculum and improve the educational experiences of students. The program in total will award 19 projects and over $160,000 in grant monies this year to support innovative teaching methods in schools. This year, IPSF awarded eight (8) mega grants, up to $20,000 each, to provide...
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Call for Nominations: Greater Irvine Chamber 2018 Outstanding Business Awards

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Each year, the Greater Irvine Chamber recognizes businesses and individuals in Irvine that have demonstrated the principles of community service, volunteerism, and the best traditions of good corporate citizenship.  Nominations for businesses and individuals in Irvine are being accepted now through April 30, 2018 in the categories of Business of the Year, Nonprofit of the Year, Business Philanthropist of the Year, Young Professional of the Year, and Entrepreneur of the Year. Self-nominations are also accepted. Nominations forms can be downloaded from our Business Awards page. Join the City of Irvine and the Greater Irvine Chamber for Celebrate Irvine luncheon on Thursday, June...
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Connect 2 Met: Contracting Opportunities in the Water Industry

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is hosting Connect 2 Met, a free event covering contracting opportunities in the water industry.  Connect 2 Met is where entrepreneurs can learn how to contract with government agencies as well as meet our respective buyers and learn about contracting opportunities that range from as little as $500 all the way up to the millions of dollars. Connect 2 Met will be held Thursday, March 8, 9 - 11:30 a.m., at the Fullerton Community Center, 340 E. Commonwealth Ave., in Fullerton. Register Here.      
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Greater Irvine Chamber FDI Delegation Makes Meaningful Impact During Its Two-City Visit in U.K.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

A delegation led by the Greater Irvine Chamber, the first ever economic development delegation to visit the New United States Embassy in London, traveled across the pond on a two-city foreign direct investment (FDI) mission in the U.K., Feb. 12-16. The goal of the mission was to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science industry strength and to identify, connect with, and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. The delegation collaborated with two of the U.K.’s most prestigious associations in the life sciences field: One Nucleus and the Association of...
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Local Business and Community Leaders to Serve as “Principals for a Day”

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Local business owners and community leaders will serve as “Principals for a Day” in schools throughout the Tustin Unified School District on Tuesday, April 17.  The event is part of the 29th annual TUSD Educational Partnership Week (April 16-20). “Principals for a Day” is a hands-on opportunity for local business and community leaders to learn about the issues, challenges and accomplishments in public education as they take on the role of school administrators. Each participant will share the role of school principal and perform various daily duties, such as visiting classrooms, meeting with students and teachers, attending staff meetings, reviewing budgets and...
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OCBJ Lists Top Foreign-Owned Companies in Orange County

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Orange County Business Journal recently published its list of 40 foreign-owned businesses in Orange County. Nine of these are Greater Irvine Chamber members: B. Braun Medical Inc. (Germany) – Leaders Circle member Toshiba (Tokyo) Thales Avionics Inc. (France) Alcon Research Ltd. (Switzerland) Meggit PLC (United Kingdom) Mazda North American Operations (Japan) – Leaders Circle member Kia Motors America Inc. (South Korea) Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. (Japan) Canon U.S.A. (Toyko) For more information about joining these global companies as a member of the Greater Irvine Chamber, contact Dinh Ta. (949) 502-4119.
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Orange County World Trade Week Welcomes Back UPS as Founding & Presenting Sponsor in 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber welcomes back UPS as the Founding & Presenting Sponsor for the 2018 Orange County World Trade Week (OCWTW) Forum and Breakfast. UPS has held the title sponsor role since the inaugural event in 2015, which drew nearly 250 attendees. Over 500 are expected to attend the 2018 event held Thursday, May 17, 7 – 11:00 a.m., at the Irvine Marriott. “We are very proud to have UPS back as our Presenting Sponsor this year. As a leader in global logistics, UPS is a perfect match for this event,” said Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber. “UPS brings...
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Women of Influence Serves up Inspiration, Champagne Reception and Sugarfina Luxury Candy Tasting Experience

Monday, February 19, 2018

Indulge your mind. Indulge your (epicurean) senses. Join hundreds of professional women gathering at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence for a Champagne reception and Sugarfina tasting experience, following a presentation of inspirational stories by some of the boldest entrepreneurs you’ll ever meet. Keynote speaker Rosie O’Neill, co-founder and chief creative officer of Sugarfina, a luxury candy boutique; Eldonna Lewis Fernandez, retired MSgt., United States Air Force, CEO of Dynamic Vision International, Inc.; and Cassandra Miller CEO of ridesharing company See Jane Go, will discuss details of their journeys that allowed them to “be bold” in their careers. Following up on...
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IPSF to Present $2 Million to IUSD, Announce New Funding Area

Thursday, February 15, 2018

On Tuesday, February 13, Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF) presented a $2 million check to Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) at their Board of Education meeting representing the foundation’s 2018-2019 school year funding commitment.
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OC Restaurant Week Celebrates a Decade of Dining Out March 4-10

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Orange County Restaurant Week is celebrating 10 years of fantastic dining for an entire week. Experience great food and prices that will delight your palate and your wallet. This treasured culinary event features special three-course menus, many with a cocktail or signature item at no additional charge, from more than 150 of some of the best restaurants throughout Orange County. Now is your chance to discover new restaurants and appreciate all of your favorites. Destination Irvine is a proud partner of OC Restaurant Week. Visit destinationirvine.com/restaurantweek for information on participating Irvine restaurants.
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Trade Report: California Exports Finish Strong in 2017

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Source: CalChamber California’s merchandise export trade soared in December, according to a Beacon Economics analysis of U.S. trade statistics released February 6 by the U.S. Census Bureau. Foreign shipments by California businesses totaled $15.32 billion for the month, a 9.1% gain over the $14.04 billion recorded in December 2016. The state’s exports of manufactured goods in December rose 5.6% to $9.56 billion from $9.05 billion one year earlier. Exports of nonmanufactured goods (chiefly agricultural products and raw materials) jumped by 32.4% to $2.25 billion from $1.70 billion. Re-exports, meanwhile, rose by 6.7% to $3.51 billion from $3.29 billion. California accounted for 11.3% of the nation’s overall...
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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...
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See Jane Go CEO Cassandra Miller Part of Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence Bold Speaker Lineup

Monday, February 12, 2018

Cassandra Miller, CEO of See Jane Go, a uniquely feminine ride-hail service that offers a safer more comfortable ride and flexible income earning opportunities for women, will be among a lineup of dynamic speakers who will address hundreds of professional women (and men) at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Women of Influence on Thursday, March 8, at the Irvine Marriott. Miller is a serial entrepreneur who has spent her career building, developing, and growing service businesses. Her unique skill set is best described as a Business Architect. She sees the vision for an organization and translates the company vision to an...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Supports Habitat for Humanity Orange County

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber has made a $5,000 contribution to Habitat for Humanity Orange County earmarked for projects in the region. Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr also presented a ceremonial check on Feb. 7 to Habitat president & CEO Sharon Ellis and vice president of Fund Development Chris Baiocchi. The Greater Irvine Chamber is dedicated to economic and community development in the region and supports other organizations that work toward the same objective. To learn more about the Greater Irvine Chamber and how to become involved, visit GreaterIrvineChamber.com.
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Prestigious U.K. Life Sciences Association Announces to its Constituents Arrival of Irvine FDI Delegation

Sunday, February 11, 2018

One Nucleus, one of the U.K.’s most prestigious associations in the life sciences field has announced in its news the arrival of the Irvine foreign direct investment (FDI) delegation, encouraging the association’s members to engage in the thought leaders panel “Building the Health Technology Eco-System between the U.K. and Irvine/OC.” Panelists include executives from University of Cambridge, Biotechspert/University of Cambridge, and Bill Carpou of OCTANe in Irvine and Steven Small, professor of Neurology, UC Irvine and chief scientific officer of the Medical Innovation Institute. The goal of the Chamber led FDI mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County life science industry...
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WNDE Hires 15: 4 Junior Staff and 11 Interns

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP has welcomed 15 new team members: four junior staff and 11 interns.  New full-time staff members include audit juniors Hannah Larsen, Mike Mejia, Dayanara Ramos and Dan Vo.  Audit interns include Nishil Akbari, Lucas Alfonso, Ruth Dettmering, Theo Drivas, Lucas Pellizzon and Evan Robertson.  Tax interns include Dylan Bell, Alex Diaz, Jason Heim, Spencer Ogata and Kaylee Wan. Collectively this talented group of new team members comes to WNDE from California State Universities at Fullerton, Long Beach and Monterey Bay, Chapman University and the University of Southern California. “We’re delighted to welcome...
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Destination Irvine Showcases the City's Assets to Texans

Friday, February 09, 2018

Destination Irvine, in a collaborative effort with Travel Costa Mesa and Visit Buena Park, hosted yoloTX, a weekly travel show about entertainment, food and things to do across the U.S. that airs in all four major metropolitan areas in Texas. The premise behind the joint destination effort was to showcase Orange County beyond the well-known attractions and beaches to one of the area's main visitors markets.  Destination Irvine worked with tourism partners Diamond Jamboree, Pedego Electric Bike Irvine, the Orange County Great Park and the Irvine Spectrum Center to promote Irvine's diverse culinary offerings, vast bike trails, sports tourism, shopping and...
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Greater Irvine Chamber FDI Delegation Wheels Up to London!

Friday, February 09, 2018

A delegation led by the Greater Irvine Chamber is headed to London – the first stop on its two-city foreign direct investment (FDI) mission in the U.K., Feb. 12-16. Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr and executive vice president Linda DiMario are traveling to London and Cambridge with Irvine Mayor Don Wagner and executives from California State University Fullerton, Global Affairs; Edwards Lifesciences; Horizon Research and British American Business Council; Jones Lang LaSalle; OCTANe; Thinkbox Technologies; University of California, Irvine (UCI) Applied Innovation; and UCI Medical Center. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science...
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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...
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Irvine Public Schools Foundation’s 5th Annual Top 100 Reception Honors Companies that Helped Raise $3 Million for Irvine Schools

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber partner member Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), a leading educational nonprofit organization focused on enriching the educational experience of each child in every school, hosted its 5th annual Top 100 Reception on Feb. 6 at the Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach. The list of Top 100 companies were honored for their commitment to excellence in education by supporting IPSF’s mission. Greater Irvine Chamber is among these socially responsible organizations are investing in Orange County's future by ensuring local youth have access to educational resources that will enhance their academic and future success. “We are proud to...
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Labor Commissioner Releases Notice to Employee for Form I-9 Inspections

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Source: CalChamber California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides California workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job. This law applies to all California employers and was effective January 1, 2018. One of the requirements of this new law is that employers must provide notice to all current employees when a federal immigration agency intends to inspect the employer’s Forms I-9 or other employment records. Required Notice to Employees If an employer receives a Notice of Inspection from a federal immigration agency, the employer must post a required notice to employees in the workplace within 72 hours of receiving the Notice of Inspection. The Labor Commissioner...
Students Learn Workplace Soft Skills during Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Workshop

Thursday, February 08, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted about two dozen students from area colleges during its Spring 2018 Career Edge workshop, Be the Most Effective New Employee!, as part of the Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving component of the overall soft skills workshop series. The Feb. 3 course was taught by Dr. Aaron Shaffer, organizational development expert working with organizations to identify, assess, coach, develop, and retain key talent. Shaffer has held senior leadership roles at MFlex, Motorola (a Google company), ITT Industries, and Network Appliance, and currently teaches at Webster University and UC Irvine. As adjunct faculty, Shaffer teaches MBA and...
Eureka FEST 2018: Celebrating influencers, entrepreneurs and investors

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Here we grow again! Eureka FEST; now in its fourth year, is the startup festival and conference known for highlighting those making waves within the startup, business and tech industries, is taking place on April 28 at the Eureka Building in Irvine. Eureka FEST is the annual highlight of Orange County’s booming tech and startup scene for their continued support of the growth and success of the innovation and entrepreneurship communities. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, they’ve found a way to enhance the programming and overall Eureka FEST experience. With Cox Business as a new title sponsor, Eureka is proud...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Financial Literacy Program Visits Rancho San Joaquin Middle School Students

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Over the last seven years the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce has helped more than 1,800 students from several Irvine middle schools to learn the value of financial investments through its Financial Forum program. This year, the program, offered through the Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, recently visited 90 students at Rancho San Joaquin Middle School (RSJMS) in Irvine. The students were familiarized with concepts and practices such as compound and simple interest and the significance of how they differ, various types of securities, diversification, and the importance of researching companies during the investment selection process. The students were also...
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Portola High School Receives Best of the Best K-12 Education Award

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

The Irvine Unified School District has received two prestigious design and construction awards for Portola High School from Engineering News-Record (ENR).  This state-of-the-art education facility, which opened in August 2016, was honored with the Best of the Best K-12 Education Award in California and in the nation. According to ENR, “This announcement comes as the culmination of a nearly year-long effort put forth by dozens of industry judges and the ENR editorial team to identify the pinnacle of design and construction achievement in the entire U.S. among projects completed between May 2016 and May 2017. “Portola is our first high school built in accordance with IUSD’s...
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A Decade After Recession, A Jump in U.S. States With Wage Gains

Monday, February 05, 2018

Source: CalChamber The kind of pay raises for which American workers have waited years are now here for a broadening swath of the country, according to a Reuters analysis of state-by-state data that suggests falling unemployment has finally begun boosting wages. Average pay rose by more than 3 percent in at least half of U.S. states last year, up sharply from previous years. The data also shows a jump in 2017 in the number of states where the jobless rate zeroed in on record lows, 10 years after the financial crisis knocked the economy into a historic recession. The state-level data could signal...
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Irvine Mayor Donald P. Wagner Addresses a Packed Room at Greater Irvine Chamber

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s yearly Mayoral Update hosted Feb. 1, featured Irvine Mayor Donald Wagner. During the meeting Mayor provided an update from City Hall to a packed room of business and community leaders from Orange County. Mayor Wagner discussed an affordable housing project on the University of California, Irvine campus, and provided status updates on the Great Park Veterans Cemetery land swap, which will be an upcoming ballot item for the public to vote on, and the prospect of USA Water Polo program calling the Great Park home. Mayor Wagner also said the city is considering the potential to include...
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Students Hone Soft Skills during Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge Soft Skills Workshop

Monday, February 05, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber hosted about two dozen students from area colleges during its Spring 2018 Career Edge workshop Be the Most Effective New Employee!, as part of the Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving component of the overall soft skills workshop series. The Feb. 3 course was taught by Dr. Aaron Shaffer, organizational development expert working with organizations to identify, assess, coach, develop, and retain key talent. Shaffer has held senior leadership roles at MFlex, Motorola (a Google company), ITT Industries, and Network Appliance, and currently teaches at Webster University and UC, Irvine. As adjunct faculty, Shaffer teaches MBA and...
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The Power and Influence of the Greater Irvine Chamber Membership Continues to Expand

Monday, February 05, 2018

With more than 800 member businesses, the Greater Irvine Chamber remains one of the largest chambers of commerce in Southern California, and the power and influence of its membership continues to expand at record pace. Dinh Ta, business development manager for the Chamber, has introduced 31 businesses as new members in that many days during January 2018. Ta first surpassed a membership record in May 2017, with 28 new members, followed by 30 new members in November. The previous monthly average was 17 new members each month. Ta has exceeded other all-time new records in membership, including bringing on six new...
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Greater Irvine Chamber Life Science Delegation Returning to the U.K.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of business and life science experts returning to the U.K. to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Southern California. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science industry strength and identify, connect with and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission planned for February 12-16 follows the successful inaugural mission conducted in February 2017, during which the delegation met...
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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...
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Credit Union of Southern California debuts new branch in Irvine

Friday, February 02, 2018

On January 25, 2018, Credit Union of Southern California (CU SoCal), with assistance from the Irvine Chamber of Commerce, held a ribbon cutting ceremony to unveil a full-service branch to its Members and the public. The branch, formerly Pacific Community Credit Union (PCCU), was rebranded from the result of a merger that finalized on December 1, 2017. The location, which is close to shops and restaurants, is located on Von Karman Avenue between Michelson and DuPont Drive. Danielle Spellman, Membership Services Manager of the Irvine Chamber of Commerce formally welcomed CU SoCal to the Irvine community and presented CU SoCal President/CEO,...
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Wage Growth Picked Up As U.S.Added 200,000 Jobs in January

Friday, February 02, 2018

The U.S. economy added 200,000 jobs in January, and wages grew at the fastest pace in eight years. The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the lowest since 2000, the Labor Department said Friday. Wages were up 2.9% compared with a year earlier, the best pace since June 2009. Wage growth has been the last major measure to make meaningful progress since the end of the Great Recession. The Federal Reserve would like wages to grow even faster -- 3% or more -- but Friday's report was a welcome sign for workers after years of stagnant pay. Economists say it's time to take note of...
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David Feldberg Earns Rainmaker Award for Third, Fourth Quarters in 2017

Thursday, February 01, 2018

With $1,750,000 in closed sales, David Feldberg has earned the title of Rainmaker for the fourth quarter in 2017. He also led in closed sales for the third quarter, earning him the title for two consecutive quarters. David Feldberg, principal broker and owner of the Coastal Real Estate Group, has participated in the Wednesday Noon Leads Group since joining the Greater Irvine Chamber in 2017.  When asked about the Chamber and Leads Group format he said it has been an amazing experience.  “I have made more great connections in my first year then I could have hoped for. I referred and closed some great business...
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Irvine Child Care Project Seeks Licensed Nonprofit Child Care Providers

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Irvine Child Care Project, a joint power authority between the City of Irvine and Irvine Unified School District, is requesting proposals from licensed nonprofit child care providers interested in operating a child care program at Cadence Park School beginning Aug. 23, 2018. The selected provider will operate a program providing child care services for children from kindergarten through sixth grade, utilizing leased space from the Irvine Child Care Project. The program would serve between 80 and 135 children daily (anticipated maximum licensed capacity of 120). Applications will be available beginning Monday, Feb. 5, at the Child Resource Center, located inside Heritage...
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Women of Influence Favorite Kim Shepherd Returns as Master of Ceremonies

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Following up on her high-energy panel participation at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Women of Influence event last year, Kim Shepherd will return to the 2018 event as Master of Ceremonies. Sure to once again engage hundreds of professional women at the 2018 Women of Influence on Thursday, March 8, at the Irvine Marriott, Shepherd knows a thing or two about engagement. Unconventional and witty, she is a highly sought-after speaker, author, and as chairwoman of Decision Toolbox, a provider of recruitment solutions, and its parent company, Engage2Excel, she leads the companies’ growth strategy, primarily through developing partnerships and alliances. She is also...
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NAFTA Negotiations Make Real Headway

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Source: CalChamber The sixth round of negotiations on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) made real headway, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. The latest round of discussions between the United States, Canada and Mexico concluded yesterday in Montreal, Canada. In his closing statement, Lighthizer discussed the bilateral relationship between the United States and Canada, saying he believes there is some misunderstanding that the U.S. is somehow being unfair in these negotiations. “This is not the case,” Lighthizer said. Agreements are essentially grants of preferential treatment to other countries in exchange for an approximately equal grant of preferential treatment in their economy, Lighthizer explained,...
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Tilly's Life Center, Laura's House Announce First Annual Festival of the Hearts

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member Tilly’s Life Center (TLC) and Laura’s House have announced their first annual Festival of the Hearts event taking place at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, Saturday, Feb. 24, 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Organized by teens, the conference is geared toward both teens and parents and will focus on healthy relationships, cyber safety, positive thinking and affirmations, safe dating, social media and bullying, media literacy, substance abuse and warning signs. The event will also feature social activities such as therapeutic group yoga, art therapy and self-defense. In addition, the event will include lunch sponsored by El Pollo Loco...
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Assemblyman Choi Presents a Resolution Naming Zov’s Bistro and Bakery as the 68th Assembly District Small Business of the Year

Monday, January 29, 2018

Assembly Member Steven S. Choi, Ph.D., has named Zov’s Bistro and Bakery as the 2017 68th Assembly District Small Business of the Year. The honor of this Assembly Concurrent Resolution coincides with the family owned business’s 30th Anniversary Celebration. The Resolution presentation will be broadcasted on Facebook Live. “Zov’s has been a productive business member in our community for years,” stated Assemblyman Choi. Chef Zov Karamardian founded Zov’s Bistro and Bakery in 1987, with strong support of her husband, Gary, and her children, Armen and Taleene. Since that time, the restaurant has been a culinary institution in the area, and has grown to...
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Business Outlook Highlights Irvine’s Strengths, Greater Irvine Chamber Activities

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s 2018 Business Outlook on Feb.24, drew nearly 700 business and community leaders.  Keynote speaker Spencer Rascoff CEO of Zillow Group, one of the country’s most successful CEO’s, discussed what Zillow is doing to ensure the housing market is inclusive, supporting the future success of local economies throughout the nation. Greater Irvine Chamber president and CEO Bryan Starr highlighted an extensive catalog of attributes that make Irvine an economic powerhouse. The 2018 Business Outlook was presented by the Greater Irvine Chamber in partnership with University of California, Irvine and presenting sponsor Farmers and Merchants Bank. CLICK HERE to download Business...
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Governor: State Will Persist in Leading Way for Nation

Monday, January 29, 2018

Source: CalChamber The need for perseverance was a recurring theme this week when Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered his 16th and final report on the state of the state. He brought up the concept in discussing some of the major pending infrastructure projects, including the California WaterFix, transportation system maintenance and the high-speed rail system. The Governor opened his remarks with a recap of bipartisan efforts in recent years that led to passage of pension and workers’ compensation reform, the water bond, rainy day fund and the cap-and-trade program. These efforts, he said, show that “some American governments can get things done...
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Irvine Accounting Firm WNDE Welcomes New Partner

Monday, January 29, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP (WNDE) recently welcomed Thomas Liu as a new tax partner. Liu comes to WNDE from Irvine accounting firm Hall & Company. Liu has 18 years of experience in public accounting, primarily in the taxation area.  His specialty is flow-through entities such as S corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies, as well as tax planning for high-net-worth individuals. He is also experienced in the trust, gift, and estate taxation areas. Liu earned his Bachelor of Science in business economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and has a Master of Science...