We are happy to announce our client, HUB International Insurance Services Inc., has named VP of employee benefits!


Published by the Ventura County Star.

HUB International Insurance Services Inc. names VP of employee benefits


HUB International Insurance Services Inc. announced that Jason Herbison has been named vice president of employee benefits, bringing his 18 years of industry experience to the HUB teams in Westlake Village and Oxnard.

Herbison previously worked for LISI as a regional sales manager on the Central Coast. In his 12-year tenure with LISI, he was responsible for new sales, client retention and relationship management. Herbison’s duties consisted of training agents and brokers in employee benefits. Prior to working at LISI, Herbison held positions as an account executive for both Health Net and Blue Shield of California.

Herbison has established a reputation as an expert on the Affordable Care Act, consumer-directed health care, self-funding and other aspects of the employee benefits industry, according to HUB.

With offices throughout the United States and Canada, Chicago-based HUB International Insurance Services Inc. is a full-service agency offering homeowners, auto, property and liability business insurance as well as employee benefits and life and health.



Congratulations to our client, World Business Academy, for being chosen for the cover story of Voice Magazine!

Published by Voice Magazine

The World Business Academy: Taking Responsibility for the Whole

When it comes to “thinking globally” and “acting locally,” Rinaldo Brutoco, founder of the World Business Academy, has been working for 30 years to lead a global and local conversation about corporate and business responsibility towards “the whole” of society—particularly the environment.

“During the Thomas Fire and after the mudslide, thousands of people were left without power for days when the electrical grid system was damaged,” noted Brutoco. “Relying on Southern California Edison’s outdated and vulnerable grid leaves the region vulnerable to outages during extreme weather events.”

Their first goal is to close the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant. The Safe Energy Project has been working in coalition to demobilize the last nuclear power reactor in California, owned and operated by Pacific Gas and Electric, located in San Luis Obispo County.

Next up, to replace nuclear and fossil fuels, the Academy is proposing SBR3: The Santa Barbara Microgrid. “We must produce energy locally and use it efficiently. Southern Santa Barbara County is at grave risk of extended blackout because of our antiquated energy system,” explained Brutoco. “SBR3 stands for Santa Barbara Reliable, Resilient, and 100 percent Renewable—to get there we need to develop a microgrid that can operate even in cases of emergency to keep the lights on.”

WBA cover.png

Taking the plan statewide is the third prong of the plan. “Applying the promise of distributed energy production and use to the entire state of California, we can quickly and efficiently shift away from centralized energy production and toward a future where all communities make use of their rooftops and degraded land to create energy.” The Academy calls it The Clean Energy Moonshot. It’s a roadmap to achieve 100% renewable energy in California in ten years.

The Academy is no stranger to challenging the status quo for the betterment of the environment. In ongoing litigation against the State Lands Commission, the Academy is leading the effort to obtain PG&E’s consent to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by 2025 with a 100 percent green energy replacement, and establish the first-ever environmental review of the plant. The case seeks to protect the California Environmental Quality Act at a time when the Federal government is backing off all environmental enforcement. The Academy’s commitment to social and environmental justice also lead it and its allies to obtain the closure of the Ellwood Peaker Plant in Goleta by the California Public Utilities Commission and the rejection of the Puente Peaker plant in Oxnard by the Energy Commission.

The Academy, with its international reputation as a leading think tank, has been bringing technical and legal know-how to the local effort to create a clean energy future in Tri-County communities. The SBR3 program – Santa Barbara Reliable, Resilient, Renewable – is the Academy’s four-year-old initiative to update the community’s power infrastructure with a modern grid that reflects the environmental values of our region and is able to provide us energy when we need it most, especially in light of recent events.

February 20th at the Belmond El Encanto, the Academy, along with County Supervisor Das Williams, representatives from the Montecito Planning Commission, the Santa Barbara County Division of Energy & Sustainability, and the Clean Coalition highlighted the need to put resiliency at the center of Montecito rebuilding efforts. Special focus was given to a proposed renewable community microgrid for Montecito to provide energy stability and resiliency in the face of the increasingly unstable climate.

“Facilitating the conversation between local government, key stakeholders, local nonprofits, and community members about the future of our local energy, the Academy hopes to create a better, more resilient local grid and a community more prepared for the challenges that climate change will pose,” concluded Brutoco. “California’s regulatory agencies are finally realizing that a clean energy future begins now, not tomorrow, so now is the time to act.”

The World Business Academy is a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit devoted to elevating the consciousness of people in the business community and encouraging business leaders to use their power and influence to take greater responsibility for the communities and the environment their work touches, has advocated for projects based on this perspective that address critical issues such as climate change. The group has been an outspoken advocate for mediating the effects of the change and for sustainable energy use.



We are excited to share our client, American Riviera Bank, is expanding!


Published by Noozhawk.

American Riviera Bank Opens Branch in Paso Robles

Company did a complete renovation on the building

 New American Riviera Bank branch, 1601 Spring St., Paso Robles. (American Riviera Bank)

New American Riviera Bank branch, 1601 Spring St., Paso Robles. (American Riviera Bank)

American Riviera Bank's new full-service branch in Paso Robles opened for business on Feb. 26, furthering the bank’s commitment to serving customers in San Luis Obispo County.

The new branch, at 1601 Spring St., is American Riviera Bank’s first full-service bank branch in San Luis Obispo County.

The bank building was vacant when American Riviera Bank bought it in the fall. American Riviera fully renovated the property’s interior and exterior.

The new branch occupies 4,957 square feet, features a parking lot for customers, a drive-up teller and an ATM.

In addition to serving customers with personal accounts, the new branch offers business, commercial real estate, agricultural, residential mortgage, construction, and Small Business Administration loans with an experienced loan team.

American Riviera Bank had been operating from a loan production office headed by Neil Amarante, SVP/regional credit manager with Ann Hansen, vice president/commercial and ag banking officer; Paul Tognazzini, community relationship officer; Tyler Flesner, AVP/senior credit analyst; Emily Brush, credit assistant; and Nancy Enholm, residential loan processor.

The loan production team has moved to the new branch, joining Heidi Cummings, vice president/branch manager and her staff: Kirsten Goodwin, Michelle Brewster and Cindy Brennan.

American Riviera Bank expects to open more branches between Goleta and Paso Robles, offering customers expanded banking options and providing local employment opportunities.

Branches in Santa Barbara County are at 1033 Anacapa St., Santa Barbara, 525 San Ysidro Road, Montecito; 5880 Calle Real, Goleta. Visit



We are proud to announce our client, NV Earth, is expanding its product line nationally!


Published by Total Landscape Care.

NV Earth products introduce ISO hydraulic

Dynamics Green Products, a Southern California-based company, is preparing to launch the newest addition to its NV Earth line of high-performance, bio-based outdoor power equipment lubricants. The company says these new fluids can completely replace conventional petroleum in over 200 million pieces of equipment in North America.

“The human population consumes almost 4 billion gallons of crude per day; it’s absolutely staggering when you think about it,” said Dynamic Green Products founder Scott Porter. “Petroleum contaminants are spread into the air, water and food supplies every second of every day, which negatively impacts the health of all human beings and our planet’s ecosystem. We can do better, but it all starts with you, with me, with us making better choices.”

Made from renewable content that’s biodegradable, the company says NV Earth ISO Hydraulic fluid is compatible with mineral oil and is able to outperform conventional lubricants. The company says it has surpassed the most stringent OEM (original equipment manufacturer) standards, vane pump tests, dielectric safety requirements and the ASTM D943 turbine oil test for superior oxidation stability in the presence of water.

For those working for golf courses, municipalities, tree services, utility companies, forestry services, mining and construction companies, Dynamics Green Products says this lubricant is the responsible choice.

NV EARTH outdoor power equipment lubricants now include:

 Photo: NV Earth

Photo: NV Earth

  • ISO 32/46/68 Hydraulic bio-based oil: The company says this is a full synthetic, biodegradable and oxidatively stable with outstanding shear prevention with long interval drains. To fit all geographic applications, the company says it has a high VI, over 240C flash point and low pour point of -45C, and it complies with the EPA’s VGP (vessel general permit) and exceeds corrosion, foam, emulsion and elastomer compatibility requirements of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization).
  • Bar and chain bio-based oil: The company says this is certified as nontoxic and is biodegradable, water-safe and produces no VOCs (volatile organic compounds) at high temperatures. It’s a proprietary blend of American-grown seed oils and performance additives that the company says deliver incredible lubricity, superior tack and lower bar temps.
  • 2-Cycle Engine bio-based oil: The company says this reduces emissions and carbon buildup and is a high-performance synthetic formulation using renewable content. The company adds that it will prevent sludge, abate smell and smoke and maximize throttle response.
  • 4-Cycle 10W-30 and 10W-40 bio-based oil: The company says this oil is made for larger equipment and is a full synthetic engine oil that extends drain intervals beyond OEM recommendations. According to the company, advanced metal protection is delivered through proprietary CLEAN BASE technology and high-temperature stability with enhanced anti-wear additives.

“It’s the biggest no-brainer option that every state and city should implement considering the immediate impact on safety and environment,” Porter said. “There’s no change in operating procedure, no changes to equipment and there’s no training required. Simply stop buying petroleum and use bio-based, then recycle and repeat! Why not?”




We are excited to share that our client, Channel Islands Aviation, has added another jet to their fleet!


Published by Noozhawk.

CI Jets Adds Falcon 7X Business Jet to Charter Fleet

CI Jets has announces the addition of a new luxury business jet, the 7X Falcon, to its fleet based at Camarillo Airport. The plane flies in and out of Santa Barbara Airport.

 New 7X Falcon business jet has seating for 14 passengers. (CI Jets)

New 7X Falcon business jet has seating for 14 passengers. (CI Jets)

The Falcon 7X is the first heavy jet for CI Jets and is the only jet of its kind available for charter in the Southwestern United States, said Sarah Oberman Bartush, chief marketing officer and director of Business Development for CI Jets.

Starting immediately, CI Jets clients can take the Falcon 7X anywhere in the Americas, Canada and the Caribbean, with worldwide service coming in 2018, Bartush said.

Today, some 270 Falcon 7X aircraft are in service in 41 countries C1 Jets said. The plane is the most advanced large business jet in the skies with a flight range of 5,950 nautical miles, C1 Jets reports.

“The addition of this jet means CI Jets can provide service to clients looking to fly long distances non-stop, such as from here to New York City or Florida," Bartush said. "Once we launch worldwide service, clients will be able to go non-stop to Europe and many other international cities.”

The jet’s interior features a plush executive suite with three spacious lounge areas, 28 large windows, seating for 14 passengers, two beds, two restrooms, WiFi and international WiFi, Bartush said.

"Passengers enjoy a comfortable cabin pressure, climate controls that keep the temperature constant within one degree, humidified and refreshed air, and a quiet ride," C1 Jets said. A cabin attendant accompanies the flight.

The demand for aircraft charter flights is rising worldwide, with more businesses and individual travelers seeking to avoid the inconvenience of commercial airline travel, long waits and hassles dealing with airport security, C1 said.

"Flying by private jet charter is fast, convenient and flexible and passengers have more privacy. There are no lost suitcases or long lines," C1 said.

CI Jets serves communities from Malibu to Santa Barbara to Los Angeles, and routinely serves other airports such as Santa Barbara, Van Nuys and Santa Monica airports. CI Jets’ parent company, Channel Islands Aviation, was established in 1976 to fly private charter aircraft to the Channel Islands.

CI Jets said it also offers aircraft-management services such as crew selection; training and maintenance tracking; recruitment and hiring of crews; trip support and concierge services; flight planning; scheduling and cost control; regulatory compliance management; and financial services.




We are proud to announce our client, Lowthorp Richards, has named a new managing partner!


Published by the Ventura County Star.

Lowthorp Richards names Cristian Arrieta managing partner

OXNARD - The law office of Lowthorp, Richards, McMillan, Miller & Templeman announces that partner Cristian R. Arrieta has been named managing partner of the firm.


Arrieta takes the reins from Patrick T. Loughman, who served as managing partner for nearly a decade. Loughman will continue on as a partner with Lowthorp Richards.

Based in Oxnard for more than a century, Lowthorp Richards specializes in business, estate, family and injury law. The firm maintains the highest possible legal rating in the national attorney directory of Martindale-Hubbell.

Arrieta’s areas of expertise include trusts and estates, business and property law. A cum laude graduate of CSU Northridge with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, he received his juris doctor from the California Western School of Law and was admitted to the State Bar of California in 2005.

Arrieta lives with his family live in Newbury Park and is active in his community, serving as a volunteer member of Women’s Economic Ventures as well as Senior Concerns in Thousand Oaks. Other philanthropic activities include his serving as past chairman of SCORE and past president of the Camarillo Breakfast Rotary Club. Arrieta was born and raised in Southern California. He also has lived in Lima, Peru, and is fluent in Spanish.



The national publicity continues for our client, Textured Coatings of America!


Published by the Paint Dealer.


Good for the Goose


Good for the Goose Over a half a century ago, a large airplane hangar in West Los Angeles housed the notorious Spruce Goose aircraft, Howard Hughes’ massive wooden flying boat that was airborne for only one short flight. Now, that historic hangar is being refurbished and protected using products by TEX•COTE®, a nationwide manufacturer of infrared heat reflective architectural coatings. The former Spruce Goose hangar, built by aircraft innovator Hughes in 1945 in Playa Vista, California, is being renovated for use as office space. The project’s architects were looking for an infrared heat reflective coating and a dark color that will last on the building and not fade, as well as provide energy savings. They chose Tex•Cote’s Reflect-Tec®, which will be applied to over 160,000 square feet of this historic metal building in a dark, rich color called Black Bean. Reflect-Tec is a field-applied Kynar resin system using infrared technology. It will be used to coat all the exterior metal surfaces including many of the original galvanized steel and aluminum surfaces from the 1940s. The Hughes H-4 Hercules, nicknamed the Spruce Goose, is now on public display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.



We are excited to share that our client, Textured Coatings of America, coats another historic site!

coatings world.jpg

Published by Coatings World

TEX•COTE Product Coats Former Historic Hangar of Famed 'Spruce Goose' Howard Hughes Aircraft


Over a half a century ago, a large airplane hangar in West Los Angeles housed the notorious Spruce Goose aircraft, Howard Hughes’ massive wooden flying boat that was airborne for only one short flight. Now, that historic hangar is being refurbished and protected using products by TEX•COTE, a leading nationwide manufacturer of Infrared heat reflective architectural coatings.
The former Spruce Goose hangar that was built by aircraft innovator Howard Hughes in 1945 in Playa Vista, Calif., is being renovated for use as office space. The project’s architects were looking for an infrared heat reflective coating and a dark color that will last on the building and not fade, and provide energy savings. They chose TEX•COTE, which will be coating over 160,000 square feet of this historic metal building with its REFLECT-TEC® product in a dark, rich color called Black Bean. TEX•COTE, makes this black bean color over 320 percent more reflective than all of its competition in the same identical visual color. For this 160,000-square-foot project, it is being coated with REFLECT-TEC. Reflect-Tec is a field applied Kynar PVDF resin system using Infrared technology to coat all the exterior metal surfaces including many of the original galvanized steel and aluminum surfaces from the 1940s. 
The Hughes Aircraft hangar that housed the Spruce Goose has been preserved as a historic structure in the up-and-coming neighborhood known today as Playa Vista. Located between Culver City and Marina Del Ray, the Playa Vista neighborhood was once the property of Hughes Aircraft and Howard Hughes, an eccentric billionaire aviation innovator, and is now home to many creative and technology companies.
The Hughes H-4 Hercules, nicknamed the Spruce Goose, was a prototype airlift flying boat that was supposed to be used during World War II but was not done in time. It made only one short flight, with Hughes as the pilot, in 1947 before the government-supported project was mothballed. The plane is now on public display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.
TEX•COTE, also called Textured Coatings of America, Inc. was founded in 1961 in Los Angeles.



Congratulations to our client, Mitchell D. Rosenberg, for being named to New York Life Chairman's Cabinet.


By the Ventura County Star

Thousand Oaks agent named to New York Life Chairman’s Cabinet

Mitchell D. Rosenberg, of Thousand Oaks, has been named a member of the 2017 Chairman’s Cabinet of New York Life Insurance Co.


Members of the elite Chairman’s Cabinet are the top 50 highest-producing agents among New York Life’s elite sales force of more than 12,000 licensed agents, according to a news release from the company. Rosenberg has been a New York Life agent since 1986, and is associated with New York Life’s San Fernando Valley general office in Woodland Hills.

Rosenberg conducts business under MDR Insurance & Financial Services in Thousand Oaks, which is not owned or operated by New York Life Insurance Co. or its affiliates. He received his Chartered Life Underwriter, Chartered Financial Consultant and Master of Science in Financial Services Degree designations from the American College, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, and his Certified Financial Planner designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver. Rosenberg earned his Certified Public Accountant credentials working for Price Waterhouse & Company. 

He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California at Berkeley Haas School of Business.



Read "Marketing Tips for Attorneys" in Santa Barbara Lawyer by Jennifer Goddard Combs.

   November 2017 • Issue 542

  November 2017 • Issue 542

By The Santa Barbara Lawyer

Marketing Tips for Attorneys

Lawyers, like virtually all business professionals, must market their services to the public at large and to their peers. Keeping your name and work out there are vital to maintaining relevance and procuring new clients. Here are six things attorneys can do to promote themselves:

 Jennifer Goddard Combs

Jennifer Goddard Combs

1. Write and issue press releases regularly. Press releases can announce awards you receive; new hires joining the firm; promotions; seminars at which you’re speaking or presenting; big court wins and interesting cases; and appointments of lawyers to boards or event chairs, to name just a few things. There’s always something to promote.

2. Speak publicly. Take the time to speak on interesting topics to service clubs such as Rotary and Kiwanis and on local news radio programs. Speaking engagement topics can cover any subject that is interesting or that the attorney is passionate about, such as a current event, a fascinating topic from history, or a personal hobby.

3. Attend your local county Bar Association and other industry-related events. Lawyers tend to refer cases to people they know and trust. Be seen and be social among your peers. If they don’t see you or hear from you, they won’t think of you when it comes time to referring business.

4. Establish yourself to the media as an expert on legal topics. This way, when a newsworthy U.S. Supreme Court ruling comes down and the local paper is seeking an “expert” attorney in the community for analysis, for instance, you are the go-to source. Do this by contacting news editors in advance and forming relationships with them. Similarly, opinion pieces can be written for the Los Angeles Daily Journal or other media; once published, they can be reprinted as a marketing tool and linked on your social media sites to further expand your reach.

5. Blog. Write a regular blog for your firm’s website that also can be used on social media. This helps keep your website fresh and interesting, and helps keep you relatable. And, if you don’t have a website, create one, and add a blog section as soon as possible. Then keep material on this link current. For blog material, look to your own expertise and to news and legal trade magazines for topics you can write about that are timely.

6. Create and send an email newsletter or quarterly e-blast. Keep your name and your firm’s news top of mind, with a regular digital newsletter. No need to reinvent the wheel for this; use material from your recent press releases and blog if still timely. If you’re keeping up on those, there should be plenty of content to repurpose into an email newsletter. Create a newsletter emailing list that may include current clients, past clients, peers, Bar Association leaders, local elected officials, city managers, local media and others in the legal community whom you wish to reach. And keep expanding the list over time.

Finally, if you’re stumped on how to do any of these things and lack media know-how, hire a local professional to help you. Save your expertise for the courtroom. Publicity is the gift that keeps on giving as long as you keep on sharing it!



We are proud to announce our client, Rinaldo S. Brutoco, has been awarded U.N. Peace Prize locally.

 Published in Noozhawk. 

Published in Noozhawk. 

Rinaldo S. Brutoco Wins Local U.N. Peace Prize

The United Nations Association (UNA) of Santa Barbara & Tri Counties has awarded its inaugural 2017 Santa Barbara Peace Prize to environmental leader Rinaldo S. Brutoco, founding president of the World Business Academy.

 Renaldo S. Brutoco

Renaldo S. Brutoco

Started in 1947, the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara & Tri Counties is the oldest chapter in the nation.

The UNA has engaged locally with important global topics, such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster, youth in peril, climate change, and educating the community about human trafficking and the plight of refugees internationally.

To celebrate its 70th year, the UNA decided to honor contributions made by local people working toward a more peaceful world.

UNA created the Santa Barbara Peace Prize for nominees who live locally and have achieved measurable progress in creating peace in the world, advancing the cause of human rights internationally, and/or advancing the progress of developing nations.

UNA of Santa Barbara will honor Brutoco, of Santa Barbara, with its first Santa Barbara Peace Prize on United Nations Day, Tuesday, Oct. 24, at a 5:30 p.m. dinner at Moby Dick Restaurant on Stearns Wharf. Tickets may be purchased at

“In this first year of the Santa Barbara UNA Peace Prize, the United Nations Association of Santa Barbara received excellent nominations that were very impressive in terms of the breadth and scale of accomplishments worldwide by people in our community," said Barbara Gaughen-Muller, president.

"Google Rinaldo S. Brutoco, and you’ll be stunned by what he’s accomplished,” she said.

Brutoco is the founding president of the World Business Academy, a Santa Barbara-based think tank, now in its 30th year.

World Business Academy addresses climate change and advocates for sustainable energy use and other timely environmental issues by working to elevate the consciousness of people in the business community and urge them to use their power and influence to take responsibility for the environment.

Jerry Brown, director of the academy’s Beyond Nuclear Energy Initiative, nominated Brutoco, calling him a visionary leader who inspires cooperation for the common good.

Among his accomplishments, Brutoco has served on the board of directors of nonprofits including: the Gorbachev Foundation, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, State of the World Forum, Omega Point Institute and National Peace Academy.

Brutoco is also co-author of Profiles in Power: The Anti-Nuclear Movement and the Dawn of the Solar Age (1997) and Freedom from Mid-East Oil (2007).

Brutoco played a key role in helping establish and grow the National Peace Academy, which is an affiliate of the George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

Brutoco also serves on the Permanent Drafting Committee for the Geneva-based group that is developing A Global Bill of Rights (, appointed in 2017. He was the founding chairman of Unstoppable, a nonprofit humanitarian organization that has built schools and provided clean drinking water for some 10,000 African children and their parents.

Brutoco’s other accomplishments, awards and honors:

Recipient, Congressional Commendation, 2010, for humanitarian service and outstanding contribution to the culture of peace.

Recipient, Ellis Island Medal, 2017, for lifetime achievements as an immigrant himself to the U.S.

Recipient, Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions, Earth Charter Award, 2008, for his “commitment to ecological integrity.”

Co-founder, JUST Capital. JUST Capital annually surveys the American people to find out what they value most when it comes to corporate behavior and then ranks the 1,000 largest publicly-traded corporations based on the priorities Americans share.

President and/or board member, Chopra Foundation, 2013-present.



We are happy to announce that our client, Textured Coatings of America, Inc., is published again in another national magazine!

coatings world logo.jpg

Published by Coatings World

Florida Drawbridge Built with TEX•COTE Products Withstands Hurricane Irma’s Wrath


The 17th Street Causeway Bridge in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – coated with products developed by in-state-based TEX•COTE – withstood the intense winds and rain brought on by Hurricane Irma despite the damage the massive hurricane caused to scores of other structures statewide.
Hurricane wind speeds reached 85 mph and sustained for 8-10 hours in Fort Lauderdale where the 17th Street Causeway Bridge is located, but the hurricane did not damage the TEX•COTE coatings on the bridge, said Jay A. Haines, president and CEO of Textured Coatings of America, Inc.
TEX•COTE is a 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. 
The drawbridge was built in March of 2001 using TEX•COTE XL-70 W BRIDGE COTE and opened in 2002. The bridge was recoated in 2014 using TEX•COTE 300 BRIDGE COTE. 
The bridge stands 65 feet above the Intracoastal Waterway and has a protected walkway.




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


Published by Paint & Coatings Industry.

TEX•COTE Products Help Protect Popular Drawbridge from Hurricane Irma

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL - The 17th Street Causeway Bridge in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, coated with products developed by Florida-based TEX•COTE®, withstood the intense winds and rain brought on by Hurricane Irma, despite the damage the massive hurricane caused to scores of other structures statewide.

Hurricane wind speeds reached 85 mph and sustained for 8-10 hours in Fort Lauderdale where the 17th Street Causeway Bridge is located, but the hurricane did not damage the TEX•COTE coatings on the bridge, said Jay A. Haines, President and CEO of Textured Coatings of America Inc., a 56-year-old company also called TEX•COTE.


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 buildings, landmarks, control towers, bridges and homes worldwide. Among them is the scenic 17thStreet Causeway Bridge. The drawbridge was originally built in March of 2001 using TEX•COTE XL-70 W BRIDGE COTE®, and it opened in 2002. The bridge was recoated in 2014 using TEX•COTE 300 BRIDGE COTE.

This bridge is significant because Fort Lauderdale is often called the “Venice of America” due to its many canals, some of which converge to the 17th Street Bridge. The bridge stands 65 feet above the Intracoastal Waterway and has a protected walkway, offering walkers amazing views of the water, city and yachts.



Congrats to our client, Laurie Leighty at American Riveria Bank, for winning the Innovative Banker Award.


Published by Noozhawk.

American Riviera Bank’s Laurie Leighty Wins Innovative Banker Award

American Riviera Bank's executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Laurie Leighty, is the recipient of the 2017 Nation Meyer Innovative Banker Award, the bank has announced.

 Laurie Leighty

Laurie Leighty

The award is given by DCI, the developer of the iCore360® core banking software and related technologies for community banks nationwide.

DCI is privately owned by a group of bank clients and established the annual award in 2014 to honor its founder, Nation Meyer, and his legacy of innovation and vision in banking.

The award recognizes a banker each year for contributions to improving his/her bank, community, the DCI family of banks, and the banking industry.

Leighty’s banking career spans 37 years, during which time she has established a record of helping banks succeed.

She was a member of the original team that opened American Riviera Bank in 2006, when the bank’s commitment to technology and providing service from experienced, knowledgeable bankers was established.

Leighty has helped the bank grow in the years since to nearly a half-billion-dollar bank with multiple branches.
DCI said Leighty has helped DCI improve iCore360® solutions over the years as an active user group leader and pilot test bank leader. She has been a valuable contributor to DCI’s banking HR exchange group and has been an advocate of DCI, helping DCI reach prospective new clients.

Leighty, a UCSB graduate who lives in Santa Barbara, also helps a number of nonprofits in Santa Barbara.

DCI called Leighty a “tireless influence in community agencies, schools and nonprofits, including the Santa Barbara Athletic Roundtable, Franklin Elementary School, The Center for Successful Aging and Women’s Executive Network.”

“Laurie truly exemplifies the spirit of this award to recognize those who notably improve the world around them in their work as a banker, as a DCI client, and as a citizen," DCI said.

"And this is even further exemplified by the nominations submitted by seven of her coworkers, which is the most nominations anyone has received for this award yet,” DCI said in announcing the award.

American Riviera Bank employee Nancy Estby, one of the seven who nominated Leighty, wrote in her nomination:

“Laurie is a great mind, an innovator and she makes our bank better. She serves our community and serves on many boards and foundations. She shows kindness in her daily life, in and away from work.”

For more about the bank, visit



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


Published by Santa Barbara Family & Life Magazine.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Celebrates 15 Years


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 or 805-563-4740.



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



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


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."



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 For more information, contact the academy at 892-4600.



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


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, or visit their website:


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


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

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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.


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

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



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 Visit