Comment

Proud to announce that our client, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, is celebrating 15 years!

SBFL-logo.jpg

Published by Santa Barbara Family & Life Magazine.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Celebrates 15 Years

MG_2826-1-860x280.jpg

For the Chapman family of Ojai, 2002 was a year of trials.

The youngest of the family’s three children, Colby, then 9 years old, was battling leukemia. His mom, Tracy, had quit her job in the health care industry to live with him at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles as he endured treatments for nearly half the year.

At 9 years old, Colby Chapman battled leukemia with the support of his family and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation. Photo contributed

At 9 years old, Colby Chapman battled leukemia with the support of his family and the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
Photo contributed

Money was extremely tight. As the year wore on, Tracy, a single mom, worried not just about her young son’s health, but also about meeting her family’s basic needs.

For Nikki Katz, 2002 was also a watershed year. Her dear friend’s godson had been diagnosed with pediatric cancer.

“It was devastating, and I felt helpless,” Katz said in a recent interview, “and I wanted to help.”

With that simple motivation, Katz founded Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering families that have a child, up to 21 years old, with cancer by providing them financial, emotional and educational support programs.

Katz was in the process of getting the foundation’s 501(c)3 nonprofit designation when, at a coffee shop one day in Ojai, she saw a cash jar at the counter seeking help for young Colby and his family, who were well loved in their tight-knit community.

That timely encounter led to Colby’s family becoming the very first recipient of help from the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, which has gone on to help hundreds of children with cancer and their families in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

The thousands of dollars the foundation provided to Colby and his family in 2002 allowed them to pay numerous bills and have a Christmas celebration.

Today, Colby Chapman is a strapping 24-year-old working as a warehouse administrator in Carpinteria and living in Ojai with his fiancée, Katie, and their baby girl, Veda.

His memories of the long months spent lying in a hospital bed, battling a disease he wasn’t old enough to fully comprehend, have now faded. What Colby most remembers from back then is the love of Katz and everyone at Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, and their genuine desire to help him and his family.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Founder Nikki Katz with Colby Chapman and his fiancé Katie and their baby girl Veda. Photo contributed

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Founder Nikki Katz with Colby Chapman and his fiancé Katie and their baby girl Veda.
Photo contributed

“It’s definitely shaped who I am today,” Colby said.

“Not only did I feel better about getting better and not weird about having a disease, but it made me feel like I was part of a community. Even still, I still feel like a part of the community … I’ve never lost that, and I’ll be grateful forever,” he said.

His mom Tracy can also look back now on that trying time with a sense of gratitude.

“Even after he was no longer sick, Nikki always kept Colby involved in the foundation’s events. It made it like a game for him,” Tracy said. “July marks the anniversary of his diagnosis, so that’s always a sentimental month for us, but honestly, we also remember the laughter and the fun of that time.”

In the 15 years since Nikki Katz founded Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, it has provided more than $1.7 million in financial assistance. Over the years, thousands of community members have come together to help through the organization. This year, the foundation is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a Gold Ribbon Luncheon in October.

“The foundation is way bigger than I ever thought it would be. I never thought in my wildest dreams it would get this big. I’m very proud of what it’s become in its first 15 years,” Katz said.

For more information about the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, including ways to get involved, contact Executive Director Lindsey Leonard at lindsey@teddybearcancerfoundation.org or 805-563-4740.

Comment

Comment

Proud to announce that our clients, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and American Riviera Bank, are working together to support TCBF's Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign.

Published by Noozhawk.

Published by Noozhawk.

Buying Teddy Bear at Bank Puts Deposit in Fund for Kids

The soft teddy bears that are greeting customers this month at American Riviera Bank are on display and for sale through September in honor of Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s (TCBF) 15-year anniversary.

The plush toys are available at teller stations in the bank’s Santa Barbara branches for a suggested donation of $15 each. All proceeds will go to the nonprofit TCBF, which helps families with children battling cancer. Over the years, TBCF has donated $1.85 million to families in need.

Helping to kick off off the teddy bear program are: Michelle Martinich, left, Rich Schuette, Robert Mislang, and seated, Sheela Hunt, left, Dave Edelman, Adriana Mezic. (American Riviera Bank)

Helping to kick off off the teddy bear program are: Michelle Martinich, left, Rich Schuette, Robert Mislang, and seated, Sheela Hunt, left, Dave Edelman, Adriana Mezic. (American Riviera Bank)

The teddy bear sale supports TBCF’s Annual Gold Ribbon Campaign fundraising effort, which takes place every September, in conjunction with National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Executives of the bank and TBCF got together recently to kick off the joint effort.

“As a Santa Barbara-based community bank, American Riviera Bank is proud to support the mission of TBCF to empower families living in our area that have a child with cancer,” said Robert Mislang, bank vice president/regional manager.

“TBCF does this through their programs that touch on financial, emotional and educational support. Thank you TBCF for your work,” he said.

The teddy bear sale continues through Sept. 29 during regular banking hours at American Riviera Bank’s three Santa Barbara offices: 1033 Anacapa St. downtown, 525 San Ysidro Road in Montecito, and 5880 Calle Real in Goleta.

TBCF is dedicated to empowering families in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties that have a child (up to age 21) with cancer, by providing them with help in multiple areas, including emotional, educational and financial.

For more information on Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, including volunteering, making a donation, or attending the Gold Ribbon Luncheon on Oct. 5 at Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore Santa Barbara, call 563-4740 or email lindsey@teddybearcancerfoundation.org.

Comment

Comment

Excited to announce Dr. Deepak Chopra will be speaking on September 17th in Santa Barbara, sponsored by our client, World Business Academy!

logo.gif

Published by Santa Barbara News-Press.

Mind Your Health: Dr. Deepak Chopra to speak in Santa Barbara about his positive approach to medicine

As chaos surrounds you, stay calm.

Your health depends on it.

That's the word from Dr. Deepak Chopra, a New York Times best-selling author who contends negative attitudes weaken the partnership between the mind and body.

"When you experience stress, your body's inflamed. Your immune system is compromised. Stress is the No. 1 epidemic of our civilization," the 69-year-old La Jolla endocrinologist and internist told the News-Press by phone from a hotel in New York City, where he was visiting.

"You have to learn to quiet your mind through practices like meditation, self-reflection, mindfulness, being comfortable with your body and knowing what's happening in your mental space and web of relationships," the New Delhi native said. He practices integrative medicine, which combines lifestyle changes with conventional treatments.

Dr. Chopra will share his expertise Sept. 17 during World Business Academy programming in Santa Barbara.

He will be interviewed on stage in the morning at the New Vic and will receive the World Business Academy Award during its evening gala at the Belmond El Encanto.

"I feel honored," said Dr. Chopra, founder of the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in Carlsbad and the Chopra Foundation, a nonprofit promoting health and world peace. He's also a professor of medicine at the University of San Diego.

"I've been familiar with the World Business Academy for almost 25 years as a fellow and supporter," Dr. Chopra said.

Dr. Chopra praised the Santa Barbara-based academy for its work on behalf of renewable energy and efforts supporting the 2024 and 2025 closures of California's last two nuclear reactors at the Diablo Canyon facility in Avila Beach.

Dr. Chopra said his work for the World Business Academy includes writing essays about the nature of consciousness. There's a global angle.

"How do you know there is a planet? Because you experience it," Dr. Chopra said. "You, as a biological organism, cannot be separated from the planet."

"My main goal in life is to give people a deeper understanding of consciousness and how human constructs create everything we call reality," he said.

"Stress is the No. 1 epidemic of our civilization," says Dr. Deepak Chopra, a New York Times best-selling author who combines traditional medicine with meditation and other lifestyle changes.

"Stress is the No. 1 epidemic of our civilization," says Dr. Deepak Chopra, a New York Times best-selling author who combines traditional medicine with meditation and other lifestyle changes.

That goal led to his prolific writing career, which started in 1989 with "Quantum Healing: Exploring the Frontiers of Mind/Body Medicine" (Bantam Books).

It was the first of his 86 books.

"I'm neurotic, I guess. I'm compulsive about writing," said Dr. Chopra, who updated "Quantum Healing" in 2015.

Dr. Chopra said his latest book is always his favorite. For now, that's "You Are the Universe" (Harmony, $26), which he co-wrote with Menas C. Kafatos. After its release in February, the book immediately became a New York Times best seller.

"The book is challenging everything that scientists are telling us today," Dr. Chopra said. "Science is based on observing reality independently and says reality is independent of consciousness. But what we call reality is an exercise in consciousness.

"If there were no sentient beings, there were be no reality," he said. "The book is an extension of everything I've been writing for 30 years."

Before he became an author, Dr. Chopra focused on a conventional medical career. He earned his medical degree at All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi in 1969.

He treated rural villagers in India before he and his new wife, Rita, moved to the U.S. in 1970. He worked at Plainfield, N.J., and Boston hospitals before becoming chief of staff in the 1980s at New England Memorial Hospital (now Boston Regional Medical Center) in Stoneham, Mass.

He turned to transcendental meditation to help him quit drinking and smoking and unwind in healthier ways.

In 1985, he met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the TM (transcendental meditation) movement and spiritual adviser to The Beatles, and left traditional medicine to become Maharishi's corporate officer. At the same time, he operated a clinic emphasizing Ayurvedic (holistic) medicine in Lancaster, Mass.

In 1993, he left Maharishi and became executive director of the Sharp Institute for Human Potential and Mind Body Medicine in San Diego County.

Three years later, he departed the institute and opened the Chopra Center for Wellbeing in 1996.

Dr. Chopra said well-being boils down to one thing: self-awareness.

"If you nonjudgmentally observe yourself and your reaction to the world, you'll change your behavior. You don't have to think positive thoughts. Just be a witness of your own mind and body," he said. "The more self-aware you are, the less reactive you'll be."

Self-awareness includes gratitude. Dr. Chopra said a Columbia University journal published his center's study, which found people's blood pressure fell when they reflected on what made them thankful.

In fact, gratitude decreases inflammatory markers, said Dr. Chopra, who advises people to be thankful, even if it's simply for being alive. He said you don't need a more specific reason to be happy.

"Happiness for a reason is a problem because reasons come and go."

email: dmason@newspress.com

IF YOU GO

Dr. Deepak Chopra, integrative medicine expert and author, will appear during several World Business Academy presentations Sept. 17 in Santa Barbara.

Dr. Chopra will be at a meet-and-greet during a continental breakfast at 10 a.m. at the New Vic, 33 W. Victoria St.

He will be interviewed at 11 a.m. on the New Vic stage by Rinaldo Brutoco, the academy's founding president. Dr. Chopra will answer the audience's questions afterward.

The academy will honor him at its Awards Gala and Dinner, which begins with a cocktail party at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 at Belmond El Encanto, 800 Alvarado Place.

Tickets cost $50 for Dr. Chopra's 11 a.m. talk, $100 for the breakfast and talk, and $300 for the evening gala. VIP seats at the gala cost $1,000.

To purchase, go to https://worldbusiness.org/gala2017. For more information, contact the academy at 892-4600.

Comment

Comment

Congratulations to our client, Sasha Ablitt, for being chosen for "Woman-Owned Business" by the Spirit of Small Business Awards!

SSBA.jpg

Published by Spirit of Small Business awards in Pacific Coast Business Times.

Entrepreneur wouldn't leave the family business hanging

By Chris Officer

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering from UCLA, earning her MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, and then traveling the world as an international businesswoman, the last thing Sasha Ablitt expected was to go back to work for her family business.

But on the other hand, who could blame her, considering dry cleaning is in her family's DNA. Ablitt comes from a family that has more than 100 years in the laundry service. Her grandfather and grandmother, Neil and Alberta Ablitt, met each other while working at a laundromat owned by Alberta's father. 

The two married and eventually moved to Santa Barbara to open their own dry cleaning service in 1949. Torn on whether to purchase St. Paul Dry Cleaners or Enterprise Laundry Co., Neil opted for the dry cleaners, since the in-home washer and dryer industry was starting to become prominent during that time.

The Ablitts eventually sold the business in the late 60s, before Sash'as father purchased the dry cleaners back in 1984 and reimagined it as Ablitt's Fine Cleaners & Launderers. 

Sasha Ablitt, owner of Ablitt's Fine Cleaners & Launderers, took over the family dry cleaning business in 2003 after her father was planning on retiring from the industry.

Sasha Ablitt, owner of Ablitt's Fine Cleaners & Launderers, took over the family dry cleaning business in 2003 after her father was planning on retiring from the industry.

Sasha said she was busy traveling the world before eventually coming back home to the family business in 2003. At the time, she was expecting a baby and wanted to be grounded and close to family. She caught wind about her father retiring from the business and wanted to take over the reins. Although Sasha admits she was stepping into uncharted territory.

"I never had to be anybody's boss," she said. "I came here and had to be everything."

Now 14 years later, Sasha Ablitt is owner and operator of hat she claims is the largest dry cleaning service in Santa Barbara County.

Ablitt's operates out of its original 14,000-square-foot building that was built in 1934 specifically as a dry cleaner. It has about 12,000 customers in its database and took in about $3 million in revenue in 2016.

Ablitt's hangs its hat on its pickup and delivery dry cleaning service. At no extra cost, one of Ablitt's concierges will pick up and drop off your dry cleaning. Sasha says her vans have about 80 delivery stops a day, and it makes up around 60 to 70 percent of her business. She also adds that Ablitt's delivery-based service is not only beneficial for customer's convenience, it does its small part saving on gas emissions.

"It's best for our customers, and best for the environment, too," Sasha said.

Ablitt's alsois extremely green-friendly with its dry cleaning methods. As perchloroethylene, or perc, an environmentally harmful solvent being phased out, Sasha said she uses a green earth, plant-based solvent at her business.

 Ablitt has also stepped up her business technology-wise, implementing several 21st-century tricks to improve customer service. She started an automated email system that electronically checks bills and balances and sends out alerts when customer's clothes are ready. Ablitt even heat-seals a small, barely noticeable barcode on garments to keep track of items and the history of its cleaning service. "We don't lose anything," Sasha said. 

With 40 employees, Sasha says the business' success lies within its staff, five of which have been with the company for more than 20 years. Their loyalty is a testament to Sasha's commitment to her employees. 

She said employees are the heart of her small business, and regularly rewards them with employee luncheons the last Thursday of each month. She even hires an outsourced massage therapist every week to give employees massages at work. 

But more importantly, Sasha said, is that she's constantly challenging her employees on top of new and evolving things with training. The over-the-counter customer service employees learn some of the same tricks the back-of-the-house employees learn and vice-versa. And Sasha says keeping her employees engaged is what separates Ablitt's Fine Cleaners & Launderers from its competition.

"Dry cleaning is all the same in the eyes of the customers. What sets us apart is our employees," Sasha said. "I think that's why my employees love it here so much. They are always learning."

Call Ablitt's Fine Cleaners and Launderers at (805) 963-6677, email at sales@ablitts.com, or visit their website: https://ablitts.com/.

Comment

Proud to announce that our client, John Ambrecht, will be delivering an educational talk at STEP World Wide in Los Angeles!

Comment

Proud to announce that our client, John Ambrecht, will be delivering an educational talk at STEP World Wide in Los Angeles!

Noozhawk Logo.gif

Published by Noozhawk.

Local Attorney to Discuss Business Estate Planning

John W. Ambrecht, a Santa Barbara attorney specializing in estate planning and estate tax law, will discuss Understanding the Impact of Family Dynamics on Business Succession: How Do You Start and Where Do You Go? at an upcoming educational talk in Los Angeles.

081817-john-225.jpg

Those interested in hearing Ambrecht’s presentation can attend the luncheon or listen via dial-in audio. The luncheon will be 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, at 1840 Century Park East, Ste. 1900. Register online at www.regonline.com/stepla-2017-08.

The talk will focus on the fact that only 35 percent of family businesses successfully pass from the first to the second generation, and, of those, only 15 percent transition to the third generation. Challenges in business succession among families will be addressed.

Also speaking at the event will be Randy Jaffe, a consultant with the Owner Managed Business Institute. Jaffe is a guest faculty member at Harvard Business School who has worked in the family business succession field for 34 years.
 
Hosting the event is the Los Angeles branch of STEP World Wide, a London-based international organization of lawyers and advisors helping families plan their assets across generations.

Ambrecht joined STEP World Wide to share his knowledge with others, including clients. Ambrecht also established the first U.S. Business Families Special Interest Group.
 
To learn more, call Ambrecht, 965-1329 or visit www.taxlawsb.com.

Comment

Comment

We nominated our client, Lawyer Terri Hilliard, and she was chosen as Attorney of the Year/Trail Blazer Award!

Published by San Fernando Valley Business Journal. 

Attorney Terri Hilliard Receives Attorney of the Year/Trail Blazer Award

Terri Hilliard has been honored as a recipient of the special “Trail Blazer Award” from the San Fernando Valley Business Journal in the Journal’s annual 2017 Trusted Advisors program.

Each year, the Woodland Hills-based publication selects an award winner from among hundreds of nominees in four categories: Trail Blazer, Innovation Leadership, Client Services and Community Service. The Trail Blazer Award goes to a nominee who started a new enterprise and/or has moved their industry or profession forward. Award recipients were honored at a dinner held Aug. 9 at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City that was attended by hundreds of professionals. The annual event recognizes the positive impacts of attorneys, accountants, bankers, wealth managers and insurance professionals in the San Fernando, Conejo, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys.

Hilliard is the principal of Terri Hilliard, P.C., with offices in Westlake Village and Santa Barbara. Her practice centers on advanced estate and business succession planning, asset protection, special needs trusts, and family protection planning for seniors. Hilliard is also a court-approved mediator who helps families, seniors, individuals and businesses resolve disputes.

Hilliard earned her law degree from Loyola Law School in 1989, following a successful career as an investment advisor. She is a member of all California State and Federal Courts, the California State Bar, Southern California Mediation Association, Eldercare Mediators, and the Ventura County Bar Association, Estates section and Wealth Counsel. Hilliard is accredited with the Veterans Administration and skilled in Medi-Cal Planning.

Hilliard’s Trusted Advisor nomination noted that senior citizens and people with special needs are among the community’s most vulnerable people. Hilliard is dedicated to giving the special help and assistance they need to prevent abuse and fraud. She also has donated her time for many years to the senior and special needs communities. Hilliard develops creative solutions to help seniors and their families find programs and resources so elders can stay in their homes longer and avoid nursing homes or care homes. She helps with veterans benefits or Medi-Cal benefits and financial assistance, and helps families avoid court intervention.  

Hilliard is a skilled public speaker and has served as a panel moderator on a wide variety of subjects, including caring for seniors; Medi-Cal, long-term care, deed transfers upon death, divorce and estate planning; elder abuse and scams; purposeful estate planning; transition planning and conservatorships for special needs young adults; estate and financial planning; aging; strategies for health and wealth; planned giving; business succession planning; and politics and the special needs community.

Hilliard is actively involved in the community and gives her time to several organizations. She is a member of, and serves as Foundation Chair, of the Moorpark Morning Rotary (she also is a Paul Harris community service award recipient). She is a member of the Conejo Valley Estate Planning Counsel; a member of Provisors and on the Executive Board for its Attorney Affinity Group, Westlake Village; a member of the Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel; and she serves as vice president, board member and a member of the Scholarship Committee for Pause4Kids, which supports special needs individuals, elders and their caregivers in her community. Hilliard is a longtime board member of Senior Concerns of the Conejo. She created and founded the Pro Bono Panel of Attorneys program called “Legal Concerns” at Senior Concerns, where Hilliard lends her expertise in eldercare, estate planning, mediation, and planned giving. She also serves as the co-chair of the Planned Giving Committee for Senior Concerns. In addition, Hilliard is a founding committee member of the Alzheimer’s Women’s Initiative (AWI), Ventura County chapter, and she has been a member of the Senior Estate Planning Institute since 2012.

Earlier this year, Hilliard donated her time and legal skills to help the creators of a new non-profit called Conejo Valley Village, a virtual village for seniors and others to barter and receive volunteer help in the Conejo Valley.

Call Terri Hilliard at (805) 201-2552 or email thilliard@terrihilliard.com. Visit http://terrihilliard.com.

Comment

Comment

Our client, Channel Islands Aviation, was on the front page of Business Briefs in the Ventura County Star!

Published by Ventura County Star on July 30, 2017.

Channel Islands Aviation Announces Memorial Scholarship

Winner for 2017

 (CAMARILLO, Calif.) – Twelve-year-old Robert Logan of Ventura has been selected as this year’s winner of the Khrystyna Gavryushenko Memorial Scholarship offered by Channel Islands Aviation. The scholarship benefits a local child or teen interested in a career in aviation.

Logan attends the Ventura Charter School of Global Education. He will attend Channel Islands Aviation’s Youth Aviation Academy, said Sarah Oberman Bartush, manager of the aviation school and chief marketing officer for Channel Islands Aviation.

“I love aviation because I can be what I want to be with no boundaries!” Robert said.

His mother, Amy Maguire, said, “When Robert talks about flying, he lights up and is driven to succeed. It has changed his life!”

The Youth Aviation Academy is open to kids between the ages of 12 through 16 and is held at Channel Islands Aviation, located at the Camarillo Airport. The program includes ground instruction, a pilot logbook, a t-shirt, flight simulator lesson, and lunch on the last day of the program. There is an optional $99 flight lesson.

This is the second consecutive year that Channel Islands Aviation is offering the memorial scholarship that honors Khrystyna Gavryushenko, an alumna of the Channel Islands Aviation’s Youth Aviation Academy and Flight School.

Channel Islands Aviation provides private and professional flight training, aircraft sales and rentals, charter flights, FBO services and more. For more information about the Khrystyna Gavryushenko Memorial Scholarship and Channel Islands Aviation’s Youth Aviation Academy, call (805) 987-1301 or visit www.ciaflightschool.com.

 

Comment

Comment

Congratulations to our client, American Riviera Bank, for welcoming a new board member!

Published by Noozhawk on July 22, 2017.

Charles Slosser Joins American Riviera Bank Board

American Riviera Bank has announced that Charles Slosser, a Santa Barbara resident with a successful background in philanthropy, has been elected to serve on the bank’s Board of Directors.

Slosser is a consultant to various philanthropic organizations.

He serves on the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Investment Committee, Visiting Nurse and Hospice investment committee, Brander Family Foundation, PlanitNow, Foundation Roundtable, and the philanthropy committee for Reiter Affiliated Companies.

He formerly was a board member of the Hutton-Parker Foundation.
 
“We are thrilled to welcome Chuck to our board. He has helped many local organizations and will be a tremendous asset to American Riviera Bank,” said Lawrence Koppelman, American Riviera Bank Board chairman.

After earning a Ph.D. in history from UCLA, Slosser worked as a teacher then served as assistant vice president for university relations at Pepperdine University.

He and his wife moved to Santa Barbara in 1981 and Slosser became director of corporate and foundation relations at UCSB.

In 1985, Slosser was appointed director of development for the Museum of Natural History, where he helped to organize and implement a $7 million capital campaign.

In 1991, he became president/CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, a position he held for 18 years before he retired to consult. During his tenure, the Santa Barbara Foundation’s assets rose from $30 million to $300 million.

Comment

Comment

Proud to announce that our client, American Riviera Bank, plans to open a new loan production office in Paso Robles!

Published by Pacific Coast Business Times on July 14, 2017

American Riviera Bank Sets Sights on Paso Robles

American Riviera Bank is making a jump into the San Luis Obispo County market, opening a loan production office in Paso Robles with additional branches planned to fill in the territory north of its Santa Barbara base.

The Paso Robles office will open next month, and it will be located at 205 Oak Hill Road in The Highlands Shopping Center. It will offer a suite of real estate, agriculture, residential mortgage, construction and SBA-guaranteed loans.

American Riviera, one of four remaining independent community banks based in the Tri-Counties, said the office will be replaced by a full-service branch by early 2018 and that it “expects to open more branches between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles in the future.”

This is the second time in less than a year that an area bank targeted SLO County for expansion, after the region’s largest bank, Heritage Oaks, was acquired by Orange County-based Pacific Premier. Earlier, Community West Bank, based in Goleta, opened a branch in San Luis Obispo near the fast-growing regional airport.

To staff its Paso Robles office, American Riviera has hired a team of former Heritage Oaks employees with Neil Amarante to serve as senior vice president and regional credit manager. Ann Cochrane will be vice president for commercial and ag banking and Paul Tognazzini will serve as community relationship officer.

“In the last five years, San Luis Obispo County lost all of its community banks to mergers,” said Jeff DeVine, American Riviera’s president and CEO. In the region, the four remaining independent banks include Montecito Bank & Trust, the largest, followed by Community West, based in Goleta, American Riviera and Community Bank of Santa Maria.

In a phone interview, Cochrane said the bank expected lending to be a mix of commercial and ag loans plus some owner-occupied residential financings.

“Homes on a few acres don’t fit into a box for single family home financings” from larger institutions, she said. She also said she expects some interest in SBA-guaranteed loans, where 20-year fixed rate financing is an attractive option.

American Riviera had assets of $467 million as of March 31 and currently operates branches in Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta.

Net income jumped to $956,000 or 22 cents per share in the first quarter from $142,000 or four cents a year earlier. Its shares, traded on the OTC market, closed unchanged on July 11 at $16.95.

Comment

Comment

Congratulations to our client, Kelly Marsh, for being named Vice President of California for Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.!

Published by Noozhawk on July 1, 2017.

Kelly Marsh and Team Now at Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc.

Kelly Marsh, a top-ranking loan officer, has been named vice president at California for Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc. Marsh’s entire 13-member team is moving with her to Cornerstone Home Lending, Inc., which has an office in Santa Barbara.

Marsh previously served as branch manager of Broadview Mortgage in Santa Barbara, where she was a loan originator. A Santa Barbara native, Marsh headed the local branch of Broadview Mortgage since 2008.

Established in 1988 and headquartered in Houston, Texas, Cornerstone Home Lending is a national company with 29 years of industry experience and offers numerous loan products nationwide, as well as in-house processing, underwriting and funding.

Cornerstone is licensed to lend in 40 states and has some 100 branch offices throughout the U.S. Its Santa Barbara branch is at 1828 State St.

“This move offers a great opportunity for me, my team and all our clients. We look forward to providing exemplary service with Cornerstone Home Lending,” Marsh said.

Earlier this year, Marsh received certificates of recognition from the offices of State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and the city of Santa Barbara in honor of her 20-year anniversary as a licensed loan originator and for helping thousands of families buy homes.

Mortgage Executive Magazineranked Marsh last year in the top 1 percent of all loan officers nationwide. Marsh was ranked as the No. 1 top loan originator in Santa Barbara County for 2015,.

She is listed in Mortgage Professional America Magazine 2016 as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in the Mortgage Industry.

For more, visit www.TheKellyMarshTeam.com, or contact Marsh at 563-1100 or email kmarsh@houseloan.com.

Comment

Comment

Congratulations to our client, Arlington Financial, on becoming a fiduciary and Registered Investment Advisor!

Published by Noozhawk on June 29, 2017. 

Arlington Financial Advisors Now a Fiduciary

Arlington Financial Advisors in Santa Barbara has announced the company has become a fiduciary and Registered Investment Advisor. Arlington Financial Advisors has partnered with Charles Schwab to custodian their clients’ assets.

Arlington Financial Advisors, is a family guide and mentor for professionals and business owners, monitoring and managing risk so its clients can focus on work and family. As educators, the advisors work to help clients make informed, confident decisions.
 
Arlington Financial Advisors is an independent firm offering strategic financial planning, estate and tax planning, private money management and insurance consulting. Its services include:
 
• Personalized advice across the spectrum of financial matters, from retirement planning to intergenerational issues to business asset-purchase decisions.

• Net worth-based financial planning that encompasses a client’s complete financial picture, including major life transitions, concentrated real estate exposure, or other complex challenges.

• A disciplined service model featuring thorough preparations for every meeting and a structured program addressing four key topics throughout the year: net-worth planning, estate planning, investments and taxes.

• Quarterly personal finance education sessions for the newly widowed, newly divorced, retired, business owners, multi-generational families, college students and other professionals.

 

Arlington Financial Advisors is at 100 E. De La Guerra St. For information, call 699-7300, email info@arlingtonfa.com or visit www.arlingtonfinancialadvisors.com.

Comment

Comment

Congratulations to our client, Textured Coatings of America, Inc., for being featured in another national magazine!

Published by Coatings World on June 21, 2017.

New Dresbach Bridge in Minnesota Features Textured Coating by TEX∙COTE

A new bridge crossing the Mississippi River between Wisconsin and Minnesota features a special textured coating product by Florida-based TEX∙COTE, the manufacturer of specialty textured coatings for building applications.

One of the most technologically advanced coatings manufacturers in the world, Textured Coatings of America, Inc., a 56-year-old company also called TEX∙COTE, is a leading manufacturer of highway and bridge coatings and offers a complete line of decorative and protective high-build architectural coatings for commercial, industrial, transportation and residential uses.

TEX∙COTE products have been used on many prestigious buildings, landmarks, control towers, bridges and homes worldwide.

TEX∙COTE products were used for the new I-90 Mississippi River Bridge, which consists of a pair of bridges over the Mississippi River that connect the area of La Crosse, Wisconsin to Winona County, Minnesota. The new bridges opened to traffic in October 2016, replacing a previous plate girder bridge built in 1967 that was deemed not as safe for traffic, with more narrow shoulders that lead to lane closures when disabled cars needed to get over to the side or during routine maintenance.

The cost for the new set of bridges was $185.5 million. They were designed to last 100 years, improve safety for drivers, and improve traffic flow. The new bridges were ordered by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

The TEX∙COTE product used for the Dresbach Bridge Project was XL 70 Bridge Cote with Silane. In all, thousands of gallons were sold to the painting contractor, Rainbow Inc., and Courtland, LLC., a TEX∙COTE distributor, for this specific project. The general contractor was Ames Construction, Inc.

Since TEX∙COTE founding in 1961, the company’s ongoing research and development efforts have led to many industry advancements and the development of "green" products with low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). TEX∙COTE’s patented Coolwall IR System has been proven to reduce energy usage and its manufacturing process incorporates post-consumer recycled content. 

Comment

Comment

Our client, World Business Academy, Father's Day event appears in Noozhawk!

Published by Noozhawk on June 8, 2017.

Father’s Day Talks Focus on True Masculinity

Rinaldo Brutoco, a business leader and social visionary, will share his thoughts and insights on the vital role of authentic masculinity in men and women, and how it’s a key ingredient to balanced success in life.

Brutoco’s talk, Authentic Masculinity: A Fatherhood Story, will highlight the 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. Sunday celebration services on Father’s Day, June 18, at Unity of Santa Barbara, 227 E. Arrellaga St.

Founded in 1958, Unity of Santa Barbara is an inclusive spiritual community that works to inspire people to realize and express their divine nature.

The father of four, Brutoco is founding president of the World Business Academy, a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit think tank and action incubator that explores the role of business in relation to critical moral, environmental and social issues of our time.

Brutoco is an entrepreneur, executive, author and futurist who has published articles and books on critical social issues. He has been a regular keynote speaker at conferences and guest lecturer at business schools for over 25 years.

During his Father’s Day talks, Brutoco will tackle the age-old concepts of masculinity as muscularity.

He’ll reflect on how authentic masculinity can be so important at a time when a more retrograde “muscularity” approach to being a man is so prevalent in our national politics.
 
“It all began with that muscular, white-bearded man at the top of the Sistine Chapel, and we’ve been working out our patriarchy in the western world ever since. It is evolving,” Brutoco said.

"Today, in its highest form, masculinity, like fatherhood, is not about how strong a man is. It’s how strong he is internally. And this goes for women, too," he said.

"As parents and as people, we all possess those qualities of the masculine and the feminine. The most interesting people in the world embrace both.” he said.
 
“Authentic masculinity is not in how hard a man or a woman pushes, but in how smart that person is in what he or she chooses to push,” Brutoco said.

— Jennifer Goddard for Unity of Santa Barbara.

Comment

Comment

Our client, Textured Coatings of America, appears in the national magazine Paint & Coatings Industry!

static1.squarespace.png

Published by Paint & Coatings Industry on June 4, 2017.

New Bridge Crossing the Mississippi River Features Textured Coating by TEX∙COTE

PANAMA CITY, FL - A new bridge crossing the Mississippi River between Wisconsin and Minnesota features a special textured coating product by Florida-based TEX∙COTE®, the manufacturer of specialty textured coatings for building applications.

Textured Coatings of America Inc., a 56-year-old company also called TEX∙COTE, is a leading manufacturer of highway and bridge coatings and offers a complete line of decorative and protective high-build architectural coatings for commercial, industrial, transportation and residential uses.

TEX∙COTE products were used for the new I-90 Mississippi River Bridge, which consists of a pair of bridges over the Mississippi River that connect the area of La Crosse, Wisconsin, to Winona County, Minnesota. The new bridges opened to traffic in October 2016, replacing a previous plate girder bridge built in 1967 that was deemed not as safe for traffic. They were designed to last 100 years, improve safety for drivers and improve traffic flow. The Minnesota Department of Transportation ordered the new bridges.

The TEX∙COTE product used for the Dresbach Bridge Project was XL 70®Bridge Cote® with Silane. In all, thousands of gallons were sold to the painting contractor, Rainbow Inc., and Courtland LLC, a TEX∙COTE distributor, for this specific project. The general contractor was Ames Construction Inc.

Since TEX∙COTE founding in 1961, the company’s ongoing research and development efforts have led to many industry advancements and the development of "green" products with low VOCs. TEX∙COTE’s patented Coolwall® IR System has been proven to reduce energy usage, and its manufacturing process incorporates post-consumer recycled content.

Comment

Comment

Our client, Probate Services Inc., has appeared in the Ventura County Star announcing their new office in Camarillo!

Published by Ventura County Star on June 3, 2017.

Probate Services Inc. moves to new offices

Probate Services Inc., which specializes in conservatorships, guardianships, trust administration and probate administration, announces that the business has expanded and moved to new offices at 232 Village Commons Blvd., No. 11, in Camarillo.

Services include trust administration including living trusts, special needs trusts and charitable remainder trusts; trust protector services; estate administration; professional conservator services; guardianships for people and estates; custodian services for minors’ assets; court accountings; Social Security and Veterans Affairs representative payee services; Medicare and insurance billing; and care management.

Angelique Friend, president and owner of Probate Services Inc., has worked for various corporations as an internal auditor, managing fraud prevention, balancing budgets and supervising assets. Friend is a member of the Ventura County Bar Association, is certified with the Center for Guardianship and is licensed through the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau.

Friend holds a bachelor’s degree in business from California Lutheran University and a master’s degree with an emphasis in financial planning.

For more information, visit http://www.caprobateservice.com or call 604-1998.

Comment

Comment

Our client, World Business Academy, is written about in this week's Pacific Coast Business Times!

Published by Pacific Coast Business Times on May 26, 2017. 

Quixotic lawsuit targets Diablo Canyon closure

A showdown in a Los Angeles courtroom this summer will put to test an agreement between the state agencies and PG&E on the closure of the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant.

The World Business Academy, a nonprofit organization that says it has been advocating for more than three decades for the public and environment, alleged that the California State Lands Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. have turned a “blind eye” to dangers from increased rates of cancer and infant mortality around the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant, and ignored the need for an Environmental Impact Report.

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant near San Luis Obispo County’s Avila Beach is the last operating nuclear plant on the West Coast. (Photo courtesy of PG&E )

Diablo Canyon Nuclear Plant near San Luis Obispo County’s Avila Beach is the last operating nuclear plant on the West Coast. (Photo courtesy of PG&E )

The academy filed court papers May 22 in Los Angeles County Superior Court leading up to July 11 hearing date, when PG&E and the State Lands Commission will ask that the suit be thrown out.

The nonprofit is suing the State Lands Commission and PG&E, demanding that the state order an environmental impact report to investigate possible environmental and health dangers that would result from the nuclear plant’s continued operation.

Although the plant has agreed to close down by 2025, the academy wants the plant to shut down when the original land lease permits expire in 2019.

In a statement, PG&E spokesman Blair Jones said Diablo Canyon “is a safe, clean and reliable energy resource for PG&E’s customers. We are strongly committed to operating all of our assets at PG&E in an environmentally responsible manner and Diablo Canyon’s operations have a minimal impact on marine life.”

PG&E in November 2016 agreed to pay up to $147.5 million to seven San Luis Obispo County cities, the county and the school district to offset some of the negative impacts from the eventual closure of Diablo Canyon. PG&E announced plans in June to close its power plant by 2025, leaving the area without one of its most prominent employers and source of property tax revenue and high-paying jobs.

The academy’s lawsuit was filed Aug. 2, 2016, after the June 28, 2016, decision by the State Lands Commission to extend tidewater leases allowing Diablo Canyon to continue operating through 2025.

The academy alleges that the commission did not have the legal authority to exempt Diablo Canyon from an EIR and that substantial harm to people in adjacent communities and the marine ecosystem will occur in the eight years leading up to Diablo Canyon’s proposed closure in 2025 as the aging plant reactors become even more brittle.

The academy wants the court to order the commission to void the lease extension and immediately commence preparing an EIR, as CEQA requires.

According to the court documents, the existence of any “unusual circumstances” automatically requires an environmental review under CEQA, and the Diablo Canyon plant is replete with numerous “unusual circumstances,” which should trigger a CEQA review.

PG&E spokesman Jones said the lease extension was “developed by PG&E, labor and leading environmental groups.” He added that “all parties to the agreement believe it is the most appropriate and responsible path forward in achieving the state’s clean energy vision and reducing GHG-emissions, while at the same time providing for a successful transition for our employees and the local community.”

Academy attorney J. Kirk Boyd wrote in new pre-trial papers filed May 22 that: “A 2014 scientific report and 2016 published peer-reviewed study show that there is an increase in infant mortality and cancer around the Diablo plant, yet the Joint Opposition Trial Brief, filed herein by Respondent, State Lands Commission and PG&E on June 24 asks this court to turn a blind eye to the requirements of CEQA.”

“Meanwhile, the SLC and PG&E ask this court to look away from this concern for eight years by granting an exemption from the applicability of CEQA for PG&E’s requested Lease Extension. Eight years is a long time to cross one’s fingers and hope that nothing happens while hundreds of thousands of lives are at risk,” the court papers say.

According to last year’s agreement, a $75 million Essential Services Mitigation Fund will be distributed to the county in nine equal annual installments through 2025. The county will divvy up the funds to impacted local agencies.

PG&E will also create a $10 million Economic Development Fund. The Coalition of Cities — including Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Morro Bay, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo — will receive $5.76 million, the county will receive $3.84 million and the remaining $400,000 will be allocated for regional economic development activities. The county will share a portion of the $3.84 million with the city of Grover Beach as well.

The third part of the agreement includes payments between $37.5 million and $62.5 million over the course of 15 to 25 years in continued funding for offsite community and local emergency preparedness and planning efforts until all spent fuel is in dry-cask storage and the two nuclear reactors are fully decommissioned.

The Diablo Canyon plant provides about 1,500 jobs, with an average salary of more than $100,000.

Comment