Page 1




including: Los Angeles’ construction boom, the LAX expansion, Oceanwide Plaza, Banc of California Stadium, the new home of the Los Angeles Rams, Bruce Makowsky builds America’s Most Expensive — $250M — Home

Beny Alagem, René Gross Kaerskov, Jaime Lee, Douglas Merrill

by Jeff Stibel


Mexico’s hideaway offers worldclass golf, resorts, residences, and private beach clubs

The region’s newest developments, renovations, and additions


VISIONARY OF THE YEAR THERESE TUCKER The youngest of four sisters, Tucker left her childhood Illinois farm, built a successful career, retired, then used a passion for programming to reemerge, founding BlackLine – the $1.5B company she took public in October 2016

INNOVATION TAKES SPACE. We’ll help you find it...

Hughes Marino

Hughes Marino ...And negotiate it. And build it out. And save you money while protecting your interests every step of the way. Guaranteed. Hughes Marino represents the best and brightest companies in Los Angeles in their transactions for commercial space, delivering better buildings at lower cost with more flexible and favorable terms. We only represent tenants and buyers – never landlords – which means we never have a conflict of interest. With a fierce commitment to protecting our clients, backed by a 100% guarantee on our service and results, we’re proud to be one of the region’s most trusted names in commercial real estate. Downtown: 213.689.3211 West LA: 310.277.3211



TH AMERICA’S CUP. THE 35 JOY to the world

BE THERE WITH BURGESS. CHARTER THE BRAND NEW Presented by Louis Vuitton, the 2017 America’s Cup SUPERYACHT THE MALDIVES will be a monthJOY longIN celebration of exhilarating race action in Bermuda from 26 May – 27 June. THIS WINTER.

Some of the finest superyachts will gather to offer guests an unforgettable charter on the sidelines of the 35th America’s Cup. The Burgess charter team This provide brand new (70m) Feadship can full 229.7ft details of our special America’s Cup will be island hopping in the Ocean program for both private andIndian corporate charters. and Thailand this winter. From exploring turquoise-hued lagoons and enjoying the yacht’s well equipped toy chest to relaxing on deck as the sun comes down, JOY offers the ultimate charter experience.






GRACE E FOR CHARTER* LOA: 239.5ft (73m)

Burgess MARIE FOR SALE & CHARTER* LOA: 180ft (54.9m)


+1 212 223 0410


+1 305 672 0150


+1 310 424 5112


+44 20 7766 4300






Ten Thousand is a celebration of the quintessential Los Angeles lifestyle – one where indoor and outdoor are seamlessly intertwined. Residences feature panoramic views spanning from downtown Los Angeles to the Pacific Ocean. Over 75,000 square feet of amenities and hospitality-style services combine to create an unprecedented residential experience.

Ten Thousand Santa Monica

Ten Thousand Santa Monica

Crescent HeightsÂŽ is a service mark used by a group of limited liability companies and partnerships. Ten Thousand is being developed by SM 10000 Property LLC, which is a separate, single-purpose entity that is solely responsible for its operation, obligations, and liabilities. Photography may not represent amenities and conditions, as they are artist renderings. Amenities, features, and concierge services are subject to change without notice. Certain services and amenities may have fees associated with them. We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of Equal Housing Opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.



Features Spring 2017 — Vol 9. No. 2 Real Estate & Finance



54 René Gross Kaerskov is co-CEO of the 52-year old hospitality design firm HBA where he manages more than 1,400 employees in 26 offices around the world and 34 recently completed or underway projects in LA

50 Warren Buffett: A Profile in Failure by Jeff Stibel, Partner, Bryant Stibel, Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet

72 Douglas Merrill built on his experience as CIO and Chief Engineering Officer at Google, founding ZestFinance where he uses big data to help lenders provide credit to previously underserved demographics


74 56 70 TOC- Features

Jaime Lee The second-generation real estate mogul is elevating her family company, Jamison – the city’s largest landlord – while currently overseeing two dozen active projects

Therese Tucker From farming in Illinois to ringing the opening bell on Wall Street, she fused passion with entrepreneurship and confidence with kindness as she built her $1.5B company – BlackLine


Beny Alagem The owner of the Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria opens up about the community he is building on nine acres at the entrance to Beverly HIlls

THE YACHT-MASTER II The ultimate skippers’ watch, steeped in yachting competition and performance, featuring an innovative regatta chronograph with a unique programmable countdown. It doesn’t just tell time. It tells history.




oyster perpetual and yacht-master are ® trademarks.



DESIRABLES 24 Home Automation Keep your home clean and connected 26 Home Office Enhance your space and productivity


28 Style Eric Jennings of Saks reveals spring trends and the items for your closet to stay in stride 30 Air New aircraft debuts from Bombardier, Cessna, and Embraer 32 Land The case for collecting cars versus distressed real estate; Bentley and Ferrari debut two of their fastest models ever

TOC - Departments 36 Water The modern European marina, adapting to changing yacht ownership trends, now offers luxury amenities 38 Buying Time Six of the finest debuts from S.I.H.H. 2017, Switzerland’s annual watch convention 30 Air

59 Breaking Ground


48 Of Note Reporting on Los Angeles’ residential real estate in 2016, Downtown’s construction boom, and LA’s most photographed locales

59 Breaking Ground New developments and updates on those nearly complete

52 Innovative Office A behind-the-scenes look at the creative workspace of BlackLine plus a CSQ&A with the project’s consultant, CBRE’s Matthew Heyn

66 LA Rams Football Complex & Scott Hunter, HKS

16 Masthead 18 Editor’s Note 20 Contributors 130 The Network 136 Issue Index 137 Business Directory

38 Buying Time


64 Banc of California Stadium & Jonathan Emmett, Gensler

68 924 Bel Air Road, America’s Most Expensive Home & developer Bruce Makowsky

82 114

Our roster of experts tackles real estate, capital raises, health care, public relations, and personal wellness




82 Market Update Delta’s $1.9B LAX expansion, Four Seasons broadens their global offerings, and La Quinta’s renovations to the nearly 100-year-old resort

96 KNOW THY TEAM James Harwood, MBA, SPHR Total HR Management 98 WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING (TO RAISE CAPITAL) Jim Freedman & Jonathan Zucker Intrepid Investment Bankers 100 SPRINGING INTO WELLNESS Carol A. Polevoi, LMFT, CBS, CPC Counseling Resource Center 102 THE BOOMER IMPACT ON THE U.S. BOTTOM LINE Danone Simpson Montage Insurance Solutions

84 New York Minute Little Owl celebrates a decade in The Village, The Beekman opens downtown, and Chef Tom Colicchio expands his empire

86 Punta Mita, Mexico Less than a three hour flight to the private 1,500 acre enclave combining a St. Regis, Four Seasons, two Jack Nicklaus designed golf courses, over a dozen private residential communities, and the beach clubs to match

TOC - C & T

122 Fine Dining 114 Exhibits & Performances Explore spring’s newest exhibits at LACMA, The Broad, The Getty, and Hauser Wirth & Schimmel 118 Lifestyle Report Leadership from Baltaire, Karma Automotive, and TravelStore discuss the importance of a physical retail presence to their business 120 Proprietor’s Profile Terry Heller founded one of LA’s fastest growing culinary concepts, Plan Check Kitchen & Bar, and is now launching a second brand and expanding internationally

104 MY COMPANY NEEDS FUNDING. WHAT DO I DO? William Mark Levinson Fox Rothschild LLP

122 Fine Dining The burgeoning Los Angeles food scene is showing no signs of slowing thanks to newcomers Catch, Here’s Looking at You, Manuela, and Nerano


124 Happy Hour & Business Lunch Our picks for can’t-miss spots for mid-day meetings or end-of-daydrinks




126 Required Reading New releases from Tim Ferriss and Michael Lewis plus a storied look back at President Reagan’s post-presidency, as told by his executive assistant


On the Cover Therese Tucker Photo Neil G. Phillips


Publisher & Editorial Director David L. Wurth

CONTENT Managing Editor Matthew Seukunian Editor-at-Large Jason Dean Art Director Dima Kuzmichev Senior Editors Allison Dean Elyse Glickman Contributing Editors Ryan Byers Brittany Fuisz Bryan McKrell Tony Principe Contributing Writers Allana Baroni Ruth Hackman Eric Jennings Hannah Levy Jeff Stibel Whitney Vendt Photographers Albert Evangelista Zach Lipp Neil G. Phillips Vanessa Schram Ben Steinberger Graphic Designer Ashle Imbriale Illustrator Maxim Zudilkin


C-Suite Advisors Jim Freedman James Harwood Shay Hughes William Mark Levinson Stacy D. Phillips Carol A. Polevoi Scott M. Sachs Mike Schaffer Danone Simpson Jonathan Zucker



Account Managers Colleen Faggiano Dorie Leo


Manager, Sales & Marketing Dana Santulli-Muhlgay Manager, Business Development Brent Ludlow


Special Thanks Bruce Beck Carlo Caccavale Summer Osterman Steven Upchurch

C-SUITE MEDIA ADVISORY BOARD Larry Braun Diana Derycz-Kessler Jim Freedman Paul Kessler Steve Lehman Robin Richards James Segil Irv Zuckerman

Marketing Administrator Chris Coronel

OPERATIONS Manager, Operations & Finance Tiffany Weatherman

Advisory Editorial Events Reprints Subscriptions

Operations Consultant 1100 Media Accountant Stan Arutti Legal Scott Barlow Steven C. Sereboff Distribution Right-Way Distribution Interns Ali Angle Alison Drury Andrew Rahal

CSQ / C-Suite Quarterly is published four times per year by C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. It is mailed to C-level executives, business owners, and ultra high-net-worth residential communities as well as distributed at upscale locations throughout Los Angeles and Ventura counties by C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. PO Box 8696 Calabasas, CA 91372 818/225.8168 All rights reserved. CSQ, C-Suite Advisory, and C-Suite Quarterly are registered trademarks of C-SUITE MEDIA, INC. No articles, illustrations, photographs or any other editorial matter or advertisements herein may be reproduced without permission of copyright owner. C-Suite Quarterly and C-Suite Media, Inc. does not take responsibility for the claims provided herein. Printed in the U.S.A.

City National is the bank built on client referrals. Top Ranked in Client Referrals.*

Gina McAllister

Owner, Fortitude Financial Management Referred Dustin to City National

Dustin Coney

Owner, Mr. Coney’s Barbershop

City National Bank

Call (866) 483-1951 to learn more.

*Based on interviews conducted by Greenwich Associates in 2015 with more than 2200 executives at small and mid-sized businesses in California with sales of $1-500 million. CNB results are compared to leading competitors on the following question: How likely are you to recommend [bank] to a friend or colleague? Š2017 CITY NATIONAL BANK. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Editor’s Note

Only a few issues away from our 10-year anniversary in publishing, this spring we break ground once again on our Real Estate & Finance segment. We explore those Visionary individuals, projects, and organizations furthering, and in some cases reshaping, the landscape of the region and world. It’s no coincidence as well that we chose this edition to reveal our new groundbreaking redesign of the magazine; hope you enjoy. The concept of creating and building things from scratch, is paramount to the Visionaries and the projects featured in this edition. These individuals often look into the future to assess needs and wants of a market years down the line and begin building for that vision. Jaime Lee, and Jamison Realty, are doing just that (p. 56). As a second-generation leader at the company known to be the largest landlord in the region (18 million sq. ft.). Meanwhile, former Google CIO Douglas Merrill is disrupting the traditional financial lending model (p. 72), bringing capital to a historically underserved market. Beny Alagem (p. 70) owns nine acres in Beverly Hills including the Beverly Hilton and the Waldorf Astoria. This former Packard Bell CEO has a passion for building community including plans for two residential towers breaking ground at the end of this year. We’ve all been hearing about Bruce Makowsky, and in four years he has finished the most expensive home ever for sale, at $250 million (p. 68). Congratulations to our long-time friend and 2017 Visionary of the Year in Real Estate and Finance, Therese Tucker. Barriers never existed for her, even as a small-town Illinois farm girl. She found a passion for computer programming, which underscored the success of her now $1.5-billion-dollar financial technology company, BlackLine (p. 74). So much more to enjoy this edition! Cheers to the designers, developers, and creative thinkers behind our content this quarter!

Editor’s Note

David Wurth


CSQ.COM Read more articles on the new and improved Extended CSQ&As with Jonathan Emmett, Scott Hunter, and Bruce Makowsky Market Updates from Dallas and Chicago Corporate Retreats in Mexico Full archives of C-Suite Advisory content

With Visionary of the Year in Real Estate & Finance Therese Tucker

Clay Lacy Aviation

The perfect time to own a jet. The perfect partner to manage it. This is the best time in years to own a private jet. Choose Clay Lacy to manage it for you. No one can match our 50 years of experience lowering operating costs, maximizing safety, delivering unparalleled service and value. 800.423.2904 |

WO RL D ’S MOST EX P ER IEN CED OPERATO R O F PRI VATE J ETS © 2017 Clay Lacy Aviation All rights reserved.


JASON DEAN is a business and entertainment writer and editorial consultant based in Michigan. From 2011 to 2016, he served as managing editor for C-Suite Quarterly. Prior to that, he held senior editorial positions at SAGE Publications, Human Factors & Ergonomics Society, and h Magazine. His interests include photography, architecture, playing guitar, singing, composing music, cooking, tennis, competing in endurance races, and fishing on the Great Lakes.

ELYSE GLICKMAN’S career has covered the globe – traveling to over 40 countries on assignment – and a world of topics including executive profiles, business travel, gastronomy, interior design, entertainment, and fashion. In addition to her long-time association with C-Suite Quarterly as a writer since 2009 and now Senior Editor, she contributes to Intermezzo, SIP, Taste & Travel, The Jewish Journal, In the Mix, The Tasting Panel, SOMM, Bar Business, and The Real Deal. The Chicago native is based in Los Angeles, and enjoys photography, hiking, museum hopping, and bartending in her spare time.

Bring on the SaaS, p. 74

Interview with René Gross Kaerskov, p. 54


ERIC JENNINGS is responsible for forecasting and communicating seasonal menswear, home, and beauty trends for Saks Fifth Avenue. As the voice for up-and-coming fashion styles, Jennings attends fashion shows in London, New York, Paris, Milan, and Asia in order to scout the latest looks and runway trends. He is also responsible for developing the Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Collection and other private brands. He has over 20 years of experience in the retail industry, having held positions at Hugo Boss, Giorgio Armani, Nordstrom, and Hickey Freeman. Jennings currently resides in New York City, where he is an active member of Fashion Group International and the CFDA.

TONY PRINCIPE is a principal and president of Westcord Commercial Real Estate Services. A 29-year veteran and top producer specializing in office properties for Westcord, Tony has handled in excess of 7 million square feet of property, and recorded over 3,000 sales and lease transactions totaling in excess of $3B. Tony oversees the day-to-day operations of Westcord and coordinates the regular development of up-to-date statistical data on market conditions in the Conejo Valley and Eastern Ventura Counties. Tony is also co-managing partner of T.R. Funding, LLC with his father, Rick Principe. Tony lives in Thousand Oaks with his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, Jeremy and Andrew.

JEFF STIBEL is a partner of Bryant Stibel and the Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet (NYSE: DNB). He is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, Breakpoint and Wired for Thought. Stibel was previously President & CEO of The Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corporation and, Inc. (NASDAQ: WWWW). He currently sits on the boards of a number of private and public companies, as well as academic boards for Tufts University, Brown University, and the University of Southern California. Stibel was the recipient of a Brain and Behavior Fellowship while studying for a PhD at Brown University and received an honorary Doctorate from Pepperdine University.

Spring Style Sensibilities, p. 28

Shifting Gears on Investment Options, p. 34

Warren Buffett: A Profile In Failure, p. 50



Become a Vistage founding member.

Vistage Are you looking to make better decisions and achieve better results for your company, employees, career, and personal life? Whether you are new to your role or a seasoned executive, Vistage is looking for leaders who seek to grow, discover fresh ideas and share their knowledge with others. Become part of our founding member program to experience for yourself the power of a Vistage group. Shape your group’s character and quickly develop a connection with the other founding CEOs in non-competing industries. Immediately start your monthly, personal one-on-one executive coaching sessions with a seasoned LA Vistage Chair.

Inquire today.

Visit, call 858.509.5861 or email

Let’s build together.

Wells Fargo Private Bank W E L L S FA R G O P R I VAT E B A N K Wealth Planning Investments Private Banking Trust Services Insurance

Whether you’re interested in building a real estate portfolio, purchasing an apartment complex, discovering the value of existing holdings, or running the day-to-day operations of your property, the specialists at Wells Fargo Private Bank are here for you. We’ll work together to integrate your financial and physical real estate assets into your overall wealth plan. To start a new kind of conversation, contact your local Wells Fargo Private Bank office: Wells Fargo Wealth Management 15760 Ventura Blvd., Suite 1250 Encino, CA 91436 818-380-6660

Wells Fargo Wealth Management 2829 Townsgate Rd., Suite 215 Westlake Village, CA 91361 805-777-8375 Wells Fargo Private Bank provides products and services through Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., the banking affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, and its various affiliates and subsidiaries. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors. Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company. Trust services available through banking and trust affiliates in addition to non-affiliated companies of Wells Fargo & Company. Insurance products are available through insurance subsidiaries of Wells Fargo & Company and underwritten by non-affiliated Insurance Companies. Not available in all states. © 2017 Wells Fargo Bank N.A. Member FDIC. NMLSR ID 399801 ECG-4033701

24 Home Automation 26 Home Office 28 Style 30 Air 32 Land 36 Water 38 Buying Time


Part 1

Desirables - Cover Page The new Bentley Continental Supersports (p.32) is the fastest Bentley model ever produced. Utilizing the most powerful W12 engine Bentley has ever produced, it tops out at 209 mph and goes from 0 to 60 in a mere 3.4 seconds.




Keeping Up With the Jetsons

Modernize your home with whole-home automation control systems and gadgets you never knew you needed

NEATO ROBOTICS Botvac Connected Vacuum Born out of Stanford University’s annual Entrepreneur’s Challenge, the idea behind Neato Robotics is simple – robots can perform household chores as intelligently as humans. Neato’s top of the line model is the Botvac Connected, an automated vacuum that addresses every if, and, or but you could drum up. Neato’s patented laser-guided technology scans and maps your rooms in order to plan and methodically clean. You can schedule daily cleaning or just push one button for instant whole-home cleaning that Neato does on command before returning to its charge base, when it knows it needs to to refuel and then return to where it was to finish the job.

Desirables - Home Automation

$699 |

ROBOMOW RS630 Lawnmower

Allowing you to customize profiles for the babysitter or housekeeper, Savant provides access and security at the touch of a button from anywhere in the world while allowing you to do simple tasks such as setting alarms, locking doors, and closing shades. Pro also offers a “lived-in” setting to use when you’re not home. Via Savant’s TrueControl App you can also speak to people at your gate, door, or guesthouse using patented intercom technology.

Freely scratch your obsessed with the outdoors itch via the RS630 by Robomow. Fully charged in under two hours and capable of mowing for an hour (up to 3/4 of an acre, the RS630 boasts top-of-the-range features and specifications that result in consistent quality. Fully automatic, this heavy duty – yet lightweight – mowing machine is fully equipped with everything required to keep your lawn crisp and clean.

Inquire |

$2,499 |

SAVANT Savant Pro Home Automation System A whole-home luxury home automation system, Savant Pro is what Hanna-Barbera really had in mind. Setting the standard for home automation since 2005, Savant’s Pro offers the convenience of controlling lighting, climate, entertainment, and security from an app while also having the flexibility to handle pools, home theatres, and more. One of Savant Pro’s best characteristics is intuition – tapping “cocktail hour” when entertaining outside streams a playlist to your patio and fades up your pool lights as the sun sets.



The Resort at Pelican Hill


Fashion Meets Function


Furnishings and accessories to refresh your home office

1. HERMAN MILLER Mirra 2 Chair A decade after the release of the Mirra 1 – of which 1.5 million were sold across America – Herman Miller’s Studio 7.5 team is back with the Mirra 2, capitalizing on mobility and agility to reflect the modern sentiments of work – even in the comfort of your own home. Inquire |

2. MINOTTI Thinking Chair Minotti’s Blake-Soft-Tecnico Thinking Chair is the perfectly padded piece for your office. Plopping down to read, write, or just think, Minotti’s hand-crafted frame and design optimize comfort. Inquire |


3. CARTIER Roadster Pen You now conduct more business than ever virtually, but the necessity and elegance of a worldclass pen is timeless. Finished in 18K solid gold, the Cartier Roadster is the perfect choice to ink those important contracts.

Desirables - Home Office $720 | 5


4. ARMANI Club Ocean Lacquer Cabinet This finishing piece for your home office affords sophisticated luxury and spontaneity. The cabinet offers storage for glasses, pullout space for the preparation of cocktails, and three bronze lacquered drawers – for utensils, an ice bucket, and bottles (of course). Able to open from both sides, the cabinet is fully operational against a wall or in the center of the room. Inquire |




5. KNOLL Florence Knoll Executive Desk Florence Knoll defined the look of mid century-modern corporate interiors. She felt that an executive’s desk should facilitate communication, and designed her Executive Desk in 1961 as a desk and table to promote collaboration. This modern model draws inspiration from the predecessor. $10,418 |


Take Your Business Travel to the Next Level


Spring Style Sensibilities

STEP INTO SPRING Raf Simons Adidas Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills $400

Gucci New Ace Embroidered Low-Top Sneakers Gucci, Beverly Hills $720



CSQ’s style expert, Eric Jennings of Saks Fifth Avenue, returns home after a few weeks in Europe for the annual men’s shows with his takeaways for what the season has in store By Eric Jennings, VP & Fashion Director, Menswear, Home & Beauty

Desirables - Style

Takeaways from 2017’s European Men’s Shows

Spring 2017 yielded fun, eclectic, and in some cases, handsomely understated clothes for “real men.” My big takeaway from the season’s runways was that for every bold trend, there was an equally relevant, subtle trend to complete the desired look. For spring, when figuring out how to dress on trend without looking like you’re trying too hard, balance is key. For example, the bold stripes trend had such a powerful impact on the runways. Looking at the shows, one might think that you should dress in a colorful striped shirt with a variegated striped jacket and micro striped pant. However, in reality, bold stripes look best when paired back to another predominant trend of the season: tailored neutrals. The runways were filled with softly tailored suits, jackets, and trousers in beige, cream, off-white, tan, ecru, and pale blue. Combining the two trends – bold stripes and tailored neutrals – creates a strong statement without looking over the top. Rainbow bright is a term I like to use to sum up the multitude of retro rainbow motifs, harkening back to the free spirit of the ’70s, which were splattered all over the runways. It’s a colorful, quirky trend that popped up on shirts, collars, patches, shoes, and accessories. While donning a rainbow look puts a smile on your face, choosing a coordinating shoe can be a bit tricky. This brings me to my next key trend, and a personal favorite: the cool, white sneaker. The sneaker is the perfect shoe to wear with everything from casual suits to sporty joggers to bold stripes and rainbow brights. If you feel like making a bold statement on top, the cool, white sneaker will tone down and balance the look. end


Saint Laurent Camouflage Patch Backpack Saint Laurent, Beverly Hills $1,190

Brunello Cucinelli Suede Safari Jacket Barneys New York, The Grove $5,545

Strellson Mayden Rhomb Printer Blazer Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills $548

A.P.C. Striped Cotton Tee Nordstrom, Santa Monica Place $130

Paul Smith Striped Knit Pullover Paul Smith, Melrose Avenue $450

Desirables - Style

Left: From Paul & Shark’s Mens Spring 2017 Collection, a nylon jacket, cotton polo shirt, and stretch garment dyed cotton bermudas Paul & Shark, Beverly Hills, Inquire




Wheels Up!

Three new private aircraft that will help you, and your business, make the most out of your time in the air

Cessna Citation Longitude Cessna’s newest offering boasts a longer range, a greater payload, and a higher cruise speed all at one of the industry’s lowest total ownership costs. Offering large jet comfort and midsize efficiency, plus the quietest interior cabin in its class, the resulting product is the ideal super midsize business jet. The Longitude is powered by two Honeywell turbofan engines, allowing pilots complete-touch screen navigation and communication systems via the Garmin G5000 Flight Deck and industry-leading LinxUs on-board diagnostics.

Desirables Air - New Private Aviation Options


1. The Citation Longitude is powered by two Honeywell HTF7700L turbofan engines

Max Range 3,500 NM Max Passengers 12 Max Cruise Speed 548 mph Max Operating Altitude 45,000 ft. Max Speed 0.84 Mach Length 73 ft. 2 in. Wingspan 68 ft. 11 in.

2. Also able to house a couch, this standard seating allows for maximized meetings 3. The Legacy 500 is operational at up to 45,000 feet

2 30


4. Interiors are customizable 5. The Global 7000 is the only business jet to offer four living spaces 6. The Global 7000 Master Suite 7. The Global 7000 gets passengers from Los Angeles to Sydney

Embraer Legacy 500 Brought to life from scratch (Embraer is part of the Clean Sheet Club, designing from a blank canvas) after seven years of design, the Legacy 500 makes up for its stature with state-of-theart touch points on board and on the ground via their 73 service centers around the world. On board, the Legacy 500’s wet galley is the largest in class and offers passengers the refinement they are used to on the ground.

Passengers will experience bestin-class furnishings and comfort in the spacious cabin and pilots will have access to superior avionics via Rockwell Collins Pro Line Fusion system.

Max Range 3,125 NM Max Passengers 12 Max Cruise Speed 536 mph Max Operating Altitude 45,000 ft. Max Speed 0.83 Mach Length 68 ft. 1 in. Wingspan 66 ft. 5 in.



Bombardier Global 7000 Built for business but capable of being your home in the skies, the Global 7000 is the industry’s only business jet with four dedicated living spaces and a separate dedicated crew rest area. Passengers can stream HD content, catch the big game, and access the Internet via Ka-band – aviation’s fastest Internet connectivity. Offering the finest in luxury for both business and pleasure, the Global 7000 also provides state-of-the-art connectivity in the cockpit via Bombardier’s fly-by-wire system. Despite the industry-leading engine, interiors, and avionics, what is likely most impressive about the Global 7000 is her range of 7,400 nautical miles which connects you from New York to Mumbai and Sydney to San Francisco.

Desirables Air - New Private Aviation Options 5

Max Range 7,400 NM Max Passengers 17 Max Cruise Speed 593 mph Max Operating Altitude 51,000 ft. Max Speed 0.925 Mach Length 111 ft. 2 in. Wingspan 104 ft.


7 31

BENTLEY CONTINENTAL SUPERSPORTS One of the highest performing Bentleys to date, the Supersports has been retrofitted from front to back and top to bottom, so much so that even the carbon brakes can withstand temperature of up to 1,000ºC – the same as lava. Top Speed 209 mph 0-60 3.4 secs Engine 6.0 liter, twin-turbocharged W12 Transmission Max Power 700 hp at 5,900 rpm Inquire for pricing Bentley Beverly Hills

Desirables Land - New Autos LAND

New Kids on the Lot

FERRARI 812 SUPERFAST Debuting at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show, the Ferrari 812 Superfast is the most powerful and fastest Ferrari in the company’s illustrious history.



With the release of new models, Bentley and Ferrari – the latter now valued north of $6B – continue to assert their dominance in the world of luxury and exotic autos

Top Speed 211 mph 0-60 2.9 secs Engine 6.5 liter, V12 Transmission Max Power 788 hp at 8,500 rpm Inquire for pricing Ferrari Westlake Village

Breathe. Relax. Have an Adventure And take your 5-star hotel with you. Imagine the possibilities. Whether you choose to stay at a five-star, luxury motorcoach resort or wander off the beaten path, you can still revel in the refinements of home and not lose contact with the office (unless you want to lose contact, of course). Marathon Coach Oregon | 800-234-9991 Marathon Coach Texas | 800-448-8881 Marathon Coach Florida | 800-437-8295

Marathon Coach

No Special License | Drive Yourself or We can Help You Secure a Driver

When considering alternative investments, don’t overlook the growing market and increasing value for collector cars By Tony Principe


Shifting Gears on Investment Options

There is a segment of investing in real estate where buyers look for “value added” or “upside” to a property in an effort to increase the potential for profitability. This generally involves a buyer finding a property that consists of outdated design and finishes, is in disrepair or is underdeveloped on its parcel of land. The owner of the property will need to update these deficiencies to today’s standards, enabling the property to be leased or sold at full market value and ultimately making a profit for the owner. It is essential the property has “good bones” such as abundant parking, bountiful windows, high ceilings, and the proverbial “location, location, location.” The same strategy can be used in the collector car market. Some collectors are looking for original condition vehicles that have been mostly untouched since purchased when new. Other collectors are looking for them to be fully sorted and restored. Vehicles in both of these conditions have a proven track record of commanding the highest values in the marketplace. An abundance of old collector cars in various stages of disrepair are available for sale in the marketplace,

but how do you know what to purchase and to what extent the restoration process and project should be undertaken? When selecting a collector car to purchase for either a light refresher or a full restoration, consider the follow three parameters: 1. Select a manufacturer that has a broad following worldwide. Typically European makes and models attract a more diverse subset of buyers from around the world whereas American models are generally limited to U.S. collectors only. 2. Find a vehicle that has “good bones.” This includes but is not limited to the vehicle having original components, such as the engine and transmission. Possessing original core components dramatically affects the value of the car for the better.

Desirables Land - Principe Op-Ed

Left page: A consistent $1M seller at auctions, the 300 SL is the spiritual predecessor of the modern-day MercedesBenz SLS AMG Right page: Sold for $21.78M in August 2016, this 1955 Jaguar D-Type – number XKD 501 – won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956



3. Make sure the vehicle is structurally sound. One of the biggest issues that affects older cars is rust and fillers. Sometimes difficult to find initially, these can lead to tremendous and unexpected increases in restoration costs.

Photo: Patrick Ernzen, courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

Desirables Land - Principe Op-Ed



Once you decide on the vehicle you will purchase, it’s important to also decide on a brand expert who can thoroughly inspect it for any issues prior to the final purchase. The abundance of experts in the Los Angeles and surrounding areas can give you a full assessment of the restoration process and estimated cost. Once you have a clear understanding of what you are buying and the estimated cost to get the car into the desired condition, you will need to determine whether the base price of the vehicle and restoration cost are above or below the fair market value of other restored examples on the market. If you feel there is upside or added value, then this may be the car for you. One of the other elements that tends to bring greater value to a collector car is its story. Some of the most valuable collector vehicles in the world have significant history or stories that distinguish them from the others in their

class. Whether the vehicle has a decorated track record on the race track, an appearance in an iconic film or television show, or was once owned by someone famous, history is always on your side in the collector car space. Although the car you are purchasing may not have as significant of a story, knowing the origin of the vehicle, past owners, collecting copies of service records, and a window sticker can enhance its value. Additional items to collect include original or period correct tool kits, owners manual, and an original sales brochure from the manufacturer. With all this said, it’s important that you buy vehicles you are truly passionate about and can enjoy. It is sometimes difficult to time the markets, so you may be holding the car until the next cycle. Fortunately when you have a strong vehicle with a story and good bones, it will maintain its long-term value. end


One Ocean, located in the Barceloneta district of Barcelona, opened in 2014 and among other amenities offers dining, a private gym, spa, and lounge for ship crews


The Modern Marina

European marinas are complementing dock space with perks like concierge services, spas, retail, and dining to entice the modern yacht owner By Elyse Glickman

Desirables Water - The Evolution of the Modern Marina When an owner puts a lot of time and care into customizing his yacht, the vehicle ends up being far more than a sport vessel or status symbol. It’s a second or vacation home that captures his love for the world’s waterways and global travel. However, some owners have made their floating castles available for lease or charter, transforming what’s essentially a lifestyle purchase into an asset that can more than pay off the initial investment. Although St. Tropez and Monte Carlo have been favorite ports for yacht owners for generations, lesser known but equally sophisticated locations represent the future of this lifestyle and investment trend. Porto Montenegro in the UNESCO-protected Bay of Kotor in Montenegro ( marina) and Porto Novi ( both feature prime space and optimum maintenance of superyachts. There’s also a wealth of historic and natural attributes that include monasteries, river canyons, wildlife reserves and glacial lakes, and luxury waterfront homes for rent and sale. Some marinas are outfitted with helipads, making transport to one’s superyacht and local attractions easier than ever. With a growing number of superyachts and superyacht owners, these developers are earnestly competing to attract vessel owners. 36


While desirable locations such as Montenegro and Barcelona, Spain have much to offer these well-traveled, high-worth individuals, developers are also factoring in perks such as concierge services, top-notch spa facilities, high-end restaurants, luxury retail opportunities, and proximity to championship golf. One Ocean Port Vell ( in Barcelona serves not only as a gateway to one of Europe’s most glamorous and culturally rich cities, but also as a front-row seat to important world sporting and business events including the Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix 2017 and the Mobile World Conference. While owning a stake in marina real estate offers a wealth of vacation opportunities for owners, their ability to lease or charter their craft to others will simultaneously help them earn a healthy return on the original investment. “The option to charter a yacht at the marina is providing the ultimate alternative luxury accommodation in circumstances where hotels are overbooked and at overinflated prices,” says Summer Osterman of Burgess Yachts. “Even some of the best hotels can’t even compete with the level of luxury and convenience that a stay on a yacht in the marina provides.” end


Singapore Yacht Show April 6—9 Palma Superyacht Show, Palma de Mallorca, Spain April 28—May 2 Spanish Formula 1 Grand Prix, Barcelona, Spain May 12—May 14 World Superyacht Awards, Florence, Italy May 13 Cannes Film Festival, Cannes, France May 17—May 28 America’s Cup, Bermuda May 26—June 27


At 2017’s Geneva watch convention, S.I.H.H., thirty of the world’s finest timepiece brands showcased their newest creations. Presenting our editor’s selection of six timepieces with especially unique designs, engineering, and functionality By Bryan McKrell


$98,000 Westime Beverly Hills


(Right) The Aquapod is the eighth creation released from the concept laboratory that is MB&F, but its design was so complicated and difficult that the HM 08 ended up being released before this model was complete. The design is modeled after the radical symmetry of a jellyfish. Instead of the movement being constructed as thin as possible on a horizontal plane, the movement is assembled and designed vertically providing the large bubble configuration of the piece. Concentric timing discs rotate around the central movement with a flying tourbillon sitting at the top regulating the time. A large platinum rotor mirrors the tentacles of the jellyfish, providing the movement with its self-winding capabilities. Few watches could provide a better conversation piece inside the boardroom, or at the architect’s office.


Desirables Buying Time

The new world timer combined with a flying tourbillon function again represents the strength of JLC manufacturing. Both complications blend effortlessly together, displaying all 24 time zones at once with superb accuracy. The blue guilloche dial displays the Earth’s continents rotating in concert with the tourbillon cage. A new fast set interchangeable band system allows the wearer to switch from rubber to metal to leather depending on what the current activity necessitates. With just 100 examples being produced, this technological marvel will only adorn the wrists of those who are truly seeking a mechanical masterpiece.

Taking the brand’s most iconic design and reinterpreting it in 2017 has created a visual masterpiece for G.P. With three horizontal bridges crossing the watch face, one’s eye is drawn both to this unique design element and a mixture of blacks, grays, and polished titanium, accented by ruby colored jewels and bevel edged screws. The automatic movement outfitted with a micro rotor, visible through the exhibition back, reveals a level of finish reserved for the finest watch movements. By removing the tourbillon complication, the price point has brought this hallmark of design within reach for a much larger audience.

$145,000 Polacheck’s Jewelers Calabasas

$24,000 Feldmar Watch Company




Desirables Buying Time



The smallest watch ever produced by the brand still measures a significant 42 mm and houses a movement comprised of 342 parts. Accompanying the highly adorned mechanical structures is the use of raised spheres to display the date in one of the most distinctive applications found in watchmaking. Adding to the exceptional design is an unusual functionality – a new “memo” complication that provides the wearer with a daily reminder of any specific task. Claret’s use of color and aesthetics provides a visually stunning piece that few could ignore. The display of the different aspects of the movement is sure to keep the wearer visually engaged and always reminded of the highly engineered work of art adorning his wrist. $68,000 Westime Los Angeles

Desirables Buying Time URWERK UR-T8

The original Toric was the first watch ever designed by Michel Parmigiani. Each subsequent re-design has focused on enhancing the subtle elegance of the piece. The outer ring of the case is inspired by the columns of Ancient Greece, which frames a simple yet aesthetically powerful display. Two javelin hands float over a watch face whose surface is treated with a mixture of salt and silver powder to create a unique visual texture. A rotating date display is expressed through a semi-circle opening located at 6 o’clock containing a contrasting background color. The watch, much like the brand, is a pure expression of class and sophistication, and is appropriate in almost any setting.

In honor of their 20th anniversary, the engineers at Urwerk have taken the classic Reverso case design of JLC, but modified it to be 100% Urwerk. With the case reversed, the watch looks more like a black titanium bracelet with a textured pattern highlighted by contrasting screws. Once open, the floating concentric discs display the time both digitally and analogically, something quite unique to the brand. With its commanding rectangular case, this unique timepiece stands out in almost any setting. A limited number of only sixty watches will be manufactured insuring that the UR-8 will be a rare sight indeed.

$18,500 David Orgell Beverly Hills

$100,000 Westime Malibu







Hilton & Hyland





Meridith Baer Home Meridith Baer Home is the premiere home staging company in the nation.

Featuring beautiful materials, elegant furniture, and the keen eye of an expert designer, we create alluring spaces that make houses feel luxurious and desirable. Our homes frequently sell faster and for higher prices than unstaged homes. We install more than 140 properties per month and many of those sell in less than 30 days. MBH has been featured on ABC, NBC, CBS, Bravo, CNBC, and The Discovery Channel. We’ve been written about in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2013 HGTV premiered Staged to Perfection, a docuseries following Meridith and our team of designers staging multimillion-dollar homes, bringing the company to international attention. Widely regarded as best in the industry, Houzz has named MBH Best of Design every year from 2014 through 2017. We’ve also received their Customer Service, Houzz Recommended, and Influencer awards. At MBH, we maintain over 300,000 square feet of warehouse space nationwide overflowing with furniture, artwork, rugs, lighting, plants, and accessories. We also design and manufacture our own signature line. Our 39,000-square-foot factory in Vernon, CA hosts a crew of carpenters, upholsterers, seamstresses, painters, and experts in antique restoration. We use the furnishings they produce in almost every home we stage. Does your property for sale have unusually sized or shaped spaces? We can make elegant pieces to fit any room.

Meredith Baer Home




Almost 20 years later, MBH is a thriving firm with nearly 200 employees. Los Angeles Business Journal has named us one of their fastest growing private companies three years running. We’ve expanded far beyond Southern California, now serving luxury real estate markets nationwide.




MBH was founded in 1998 when Meridith furnished a friend’s house that had been sitting on the market, empty for over a year. Just days after staging, the home sold to a Hollywood studio executive for $500,000 over its asking price. When word got out, other brokers asked Meridith to stage their properties, and a business was born.




We install more than 140 properties per month and many of those sell in less than 30 days.

With offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, the Hamptons, and Miami, we offer staging, luxury furniture leasing, and private interior design. Your space has a story. Meridith Baer Home brings that story to life.


MERIDITH BAER HOME For more information, email


Meredith Baer Home


LUXURY HOME STAGING AND INTERIOR DESIGN To find out how you can have us stage your home beautifully, please contact us: 310.204.5353 home@

JAY BELSON INTERVIEWS L.A. ARCHITECT RUSSELL SHUBIN As one of the top architectural firms in L.A., what kind of projects do you and your Partners Robin Donaldson and Mark Hershman gravitate toward? We have always been very intentional about our process. Rather than having a preconceived idea or signature style, we are committed to a collaborative investigative design process that results in a fresh, bespoke solution. Whether it is a residential or commercial project, we move from the macro to the micro: the clarity of the idea informs the clarity of the form, which in turn, informs the clarity of details, and how and where one material connects or joins with another. The continuity between the architecture, the interiors, and the landscape is also very important to making a memorable place. What are your clients requesting? What concerns them? We consistently hear that our clients want to make the most of their site, and they want their home to stand the test of time, to have a “sense of permanence” and “significance”. They are often concerned that a contemporary home can seem “too cold” – like a museum and not a home. The design of our homes are always particular to their site. We do our best to leverage all view aspects of the site and how the movement of the sun may enhance a particular view shed. Any unusual design details you’ve been asked to create? We have clients that are drawn to a sense of permanence which was historically signified by stone. Working with resin-based composite with shell aggregate on the facade, we can push this material beyond limitations of what stone is capable of to create structural dynamics that appear to be going against physics such as cantilevers or a sense of a hovering mass.

Jay Belson Luxury Development

What is the best way for Clients to communicate what they want in their project? We usually begin our dialogue by asking them to share images and talk about places that inspire them. Understanding intentions promotes collaboration and can only result in a more satisfying outcome. To that end, we say form follows intention. Favorite L.A. splurge restaurant: Nobu in Malibu, or Republique Favorite L.A. casual restaurant: Chez Jays Movie with best architecture: Toss up between Blade Runner and Wings of Desire If you could live on any street in L.A: Latimer Road in Rustic Canyon - access to the park Trends in architecture you don’t think will last: Neutered plaster spec homes Trends that are here to stay: Indoor/outdoor “courtyard” living…which is the evolution of environmental awareness, photovoltaic panels trend has gone mainstream, and becoming more eco-conscious to include double-layered facades and cisterns for water recapture, and hopefully will continue to evolve. Our future depends on it.

Russell Shubin, co-founded Shubin & Donaldson Architects in 1991. Recognized with dozens of AIA design awards, the firm has offices in Culver City, Santa Barbara and Irvine. To view his award-winning designs, visit

Jay Belson, Top L.A. Broker/Developer is pleased to announce his partnership with COMPASS Real Estate. “It’s high-touch meets high-tech. Partnering with the incredible group at Compass allows my team to reach all the way around the world.” says Belson.








Jay Belson Luxury Development RENDERING







CSQ Alumni Community of Visionaries in Real Estate & Finance

Andy Cohen Co-CEO, Gensler Clarence Daniels President & CEO, CMS Inc. Deborah Ale Flint Executive Director, LAWA Tom Gilmore, CEO Gilmore and Associates LLC Lewis C. Horne, President of Southern California and Hawaii, CBRE Rob Jernigan, Co-Managing Principal, Southwest, Gensler

Visionaries of the Year

John Kilroy, President, CEO, & Director, Kilroy Realty Corp. Michael Koss Founder, Koss REsource

Real Estate & Finance - Congratulations to Visionary Alumni in Real Estate & Finance Damian Langere Founding Partner, Gelt Inc.

SCOTT MINERD Founding Managing Partner & Global CIO Guggenheim Partners


RUSSELL GOLDSMITH Chairman & CEO City National Bank


Gina Marie Lindsey Former Executive Director, LAWA Richard Meier Managing Partner, Richard Meier & Partners Architects LLP Mark Rosenthal, President & CEO, Raleigh Enterprises

Jon Scardino Founder & Principal, JHS LLC Sandy Sigal, President & CEO NewMark Merrill

RICK CARUSO Founder & CEO Caruso

THOMAS BARRACK, JR. Founder, Chairman, & CEO Colony Capital


Shivani Siroya Founder & CEO, Tala Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet; Founding Partner, Bryant Stibel


Keith Wasserman Founding Partner, Gelt Inc. Nadine Watt, President Watt Companies Mark Weinstein President, MJW Investments

TOM GORES Founder, Chairman, & CEO Platinum Equity LLC Owner, Detroit Pistons




Zaya Younan Founder, Chairman, & CEO Younan Properties Richard Ziman, Chairman Rexford Industrial Realty, Inc.

OPINION 50 Warren Buffett: A Profile in Failure by Jeff Stibel PICTORIAL 52 Innovative Office LIST 48 Los Angeles Home Sales 59 Breaking Ground CSQ&As 64 Jonathan Emmett, Gensler 66 Scott Hunter, HKS 68 Bruce Makowsky, 924 Bel Air Road VISIONARIES 54 René Gross Kaerskov, HBA 56 Jaime Lee, Jamison Services 70 Beny Alagem, The Beverly Hilton & Waldorf Astoria 72 Douglas Merrill, ZestFinance VISIONARY OF THE YEAR 74 Therese Tucker, BlackLine

Real Estate & Finance

Part 2

Real Estate & Finance - Cover Page 2017 Visionary of the Year Therese Tucker, BlackLine (p. 74)




Briefings, Updates, & Analysis



residential units came online across 11 projects

According to an end of year report from the Downtown Business Improvement District, the real estate boom in Los Angeles’ urban center has never been stronger. Can’t miss numbers from their report can be seen in red.

3,968 residential units broke ground 2016 RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE RECAP

48 new projects were proposed in 2016, 23 of which were proposed in q4 These 48 projects represent: 15,000 residential units 2M sq. ft. of office space 1M sq. ft. of retail space Nearly 2,000 hotel rooms


# Sold







Sale Price


900,000 attendance throughout The Broad’s first year, nearly three times initial projections

% Increase

Property Name

Address Buyer Price

Citigroup Center

444 S. Flower St. Coretrust Capital Partners, LLC $100M

Los Angeles Times

Multiple Properties Omni Group $105M

Real Estate & Finance - Of Note







Sale Price


Avg Days on Mkt







increase in weekday ridership on the Expo Line with ridership doubling since the Santa Monica extension opened

Source: The Agency

915 Wilshire

915 Wilshire Blvd. Lincoln Property Co. $128.5M

The Garland Center

1200 W. 7th St. H.I.G. Realty Partners $204M

400 S. Hope St.

400 S. Hope St. vGLL Real Estate Partners, Inc. $314M

Source: Downtown Business Improvement District

According to The Agency’s 2016 Year in Review Report, high-end single-family home prices increased yearover-year for the fifth consecutive year. 3,844 homes sold for more than $1M in 2016, a 4.7% increase from 2015. For all single-family home sales over $1M, the average total price was $2.7M and $905 per square foot. Highlights of their report can be seen below.



Sq. Ft.

PPSF ($)


N. Carolwood





The Playboy Mansion










Beverly Park





Stradella Road





Beverly Hills Estate





Bloomingdale Estate





Williams Lane





Bellagio Road





Sweetwater Mesa







Source: The Agency



When we turned the page to 2017, mobile photo-sharing app Instagram released their annual list of “Most Instagrammed Cities in the World” and Los Angeles found itself ranked 6th – behind New York City, London, Moscow, Sao Paulo, and Paris. On the global list of most Instagrammed locales, the Santa Monica Pier came in 8th. While most of the Los Angeles locales are primarily frequented by tourists, a few of the top 10 are often enjoyed by locals. Here are the ten most popular locations – based on geotags – across Los Angeles.

MOST INSTAGRAMMED LA LOCALES Santa Monica Pier (2) Universal Studios Hollywood LAX Hollywood Walk of Fame Dodger Stadium Staples Center Downtown Los Angeles LACMA (1) Hollywood The Broad (3)



Real Estate & Finance - Of Note




Warren Buffett: A Profile in Failure

Sizing up the obstacles overcome by the world’s third-richest man prior to his ascendancy at Berkshire Hathaway By Jeff Stibel

Introducing the first of a multi-part series of “Profiles in Failure.” Written by Dun & Bradstreet Vice Chairman & Bryant Stibel Co-Founder Jeff Stibel, each profile will examine the failures overcome by some of humanity’s most successful icons. First up, the Oracle of Omaha – Warren Buffett. When you think of Warren Buffett, chances are “successful” and “rich” come to mind. Look no further than Wikipedia, which highlights Buffett as being “widely considered the most successful investor of the 20th century.” (While Wikipedia may not always be a beacon of truth, it is certainly accurate in this case.) Buffett is known for his wisdom and patience and people actually make annual pilgrimages to Omaha to hear him speak. What many



people don’t know is that his purchase of Berkshire Hathaway – his crowning achievement as the company is now worth more than $300B – was an epic failure forcing Buffett to completely transform the company to make it profitable. Buffett’s involvement in Berkshire Hathaway started in 1962 as an investment similar to his other purchases. Analysts calculated the stock was worth $19.46 a share, but it could be bought for a mere $7.50, so Buffett bought some “cheap” stock, planning to sell it back to the company when the price rose. After a time, Berkshire Hathaway’s President – Seabury Stanton – got wind of Buffett’s stock accumulation and called him to his Massachusetts office for a meeting. He asked at what price Buffett would be willing to sell, and Buf-

Illustration: Maxim Zudilkin

Real Estate & Finance - Jeff Stibel Op Ed on Warren Buffett

JEFF STIBEL Vice Chairman, Dun & Bradstreet, Partner, Bryant Stibel Jeff Stibel is the author of Wired for Thought: How the Brain Is Shaping the Internet and Breakpoint: Why the Web Will Implode, Search Will Be Obsolete, and Everything You Need to Know About Technology Is in Your Brain.

fett said he’d sell for $11.50 a share if there was a tender offer. Shortly thereafter, Stanton issued a tender offer of $11.37 per share. The young Buffett was livid; he felt that Stanton was trying to pull one over on him. Instead of renegotiating or holding his stock until a better offer came around, he started looking for even more stock to buy, vowing to buy a controlling interest in the company just so he could fire Seabury Stanton. Berkshire Hathaway in the 1960s was nothing like the powerful conglomerate it is today. It was a lowly textile company that imported raw cotton and turned it into cloth. Before air conditioning was invented, the company addressed an important need, as mills had to be located far away from heat and humidity. But by the 1960s air conditioning was commonplace, labor was cheap, and labor and raw materials were even cheaper overseas. By the time Buffett started buying stock, New England textile mills were in dire straits, including Berkshire Hathaway. Yet Buffett was determined to own the company, driven by his disdain of Seabury Stanton. He convinced others to sell him their stock until he had collected enough to control the Board. Seabury, seeing the writing on the wall, resigned, and Buffett was elected Chairman of the Board and hired Seabury’s replacement. Despite new management, the textile mill continued to disintegrate. Buffett first poured money into Berkshire Hathaway and then tried to sell it, but no one would buy it.

also gave him enough confidence and persistence to move beyond that failure. More impressively, he succeeded by completely giving up on the original business model. Buffett went back to the drawing board and reimagined Berkshire Hathaway, not as a textile company but as an investment company. He diversified its holdings, acquiring companies in different industries to keep Berkshire Hathaway alive. Though it is doubtful that he would consider doing something like that again, the Buffett of today has enough wisdom to know that sometimes admitting defeat is the best path: “Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” Aged With Humility

Over time, Buffett’s arrogance has all but disappeared. This is all the more surprising given his enormous success: he is the third wealthiest person in the world. He turned Berkshire Hathaway into one of the world’s largest holding companies with ownership in businesses such as Coca-Cola, Apple, and Goldman Sachs. This kind of success would inflate the egos of many people, but for Buffett, the experience was a humbling transformation. Buffett practices humility and surrounds himself and his family with constant reinforcement of those principles. Most people are surprised to learn how a man worth nearly $70B raised his children:

Real Estate & Finance - Jeff Stibel Op Ed on Warren Buffett Hard Lessons Learned


Arrogance, more than anything else, led Buffett down this path. He was young and full of hubris that clouded his thinking. He felt Berkshire Hathaway was undervalued when it was not, that its CEO was incompetent when he was not, and that he himself would do a better job leading the company than the very managers who understood the business best. As a result, Berkshire Hathaway was an immediate disaster for Buffett. In his biography, The Snowball, he put it this way:

You walk down the street and you see a cigar butt, and it’s kind of soggy and disgusting and repels you, but it’s free…and there may be one puff left in it. Berkshire didn’t have any more puffs. So all you had was a soggy cigar butt in your mouth. That was Berkshire Hathaway in 1965. I had a lot of money tied up in the cigar butt….I would have been better off if I’d never heard of Berkshire Hathaway.

Our kids had a very normal growing-up. I mean, they’ve only and I’ve only lived in one primary house that I’ve owned in my life, and I bought that in 1958. So they did not see us moving into progressively fancier houses; they did not ride in private planes. They went to school on the bus. Every member of the Buffett family in Omaha has gone to a public school. They went to the same school that their mother had gone to. They went to the same high school that she’d gone to. We were living in an area where, in today’s dollars, our neighbors were making maybe $75,000 a year, or something of the sort. So they never really thought that we were economically different. Buffett made a series of poor decisions which forced him to fight his way through a hard lesson learned. He remained persistent throughout, and rather than giving up and allowing Berkshire Hathaway to fail, he morphed the business and himself into one of the greatest success stories in history. END

For better or worse, Buffett was stuck and his business was finished. Where most people would have given up, however, Buffett kept Berkshire Hathaway alive, saved it from bankruptcy, and helped nurse the company back to life. His arrogance resulted in failure, but it


A photographic examination of what makes one of the Los Angeles economy’s shining stars – BlackLine – so successful


Real Estate & Finance - [Pictorial] Innovative Office - BlackLine


Industry SaaS Specialty Financial Controls & Automation Location Woodland Hills Completion January 2016 Duration 1 year Developer CBRE Group, Inc. Contractor Sierra Pacific Constructions Architect DLR Group Sq. Ft. 67,000 Floors 3



Photos: Courtesy of BlackLine


CSQ&A Matthew Heyn Senior VP, CBRE

To accommodate their rapid expansion, financial technology standout BlackLine felt the need to provide their nearly 400 employees a dynamic new home that reflected the company’s familial and open culture. After analyzing three sites and meeting with executives, business unit leaders and the full staff, BlackLine determined it would be best to stay local, building their new home in the San Fernando Valley. Expanding from one floor to three was the first step in a process that transformed the firm’s space into one of the city’s most innovative. CSQ talked with CBRE’s Matthew Heyn, who oversaw the BlackLine job, for some further insight into how he and his team brought the space to life.

Real Estate & Finance - [Pictorial] Innovative Office - BlackLine How did CBRE come to be involved in the BlackLine project? Matthew Heyn I was recommended to BlackLine by a friend years ago when they had only about 25 employees and 5,000 square feet of office space in Calabasas and have been working with them ever since. What early challenges did you foresee on this project? MH Managing cost while creating an environment and culture that was focused on attracting and retaining talent. Walk us through the approach you took with the employees, the physical space, and project as a whole. MH We immediately engaged CBRE’s workplace strategy group to conduct focus groups and interviews of key employees and executives. This allowed senior management to get a feel for what the employees wanted, and we created a roadmap for what success would be for the project. We worked in stride with BlackLine through every step of the process of interviewing architects, project managers, contractors, site selection and so on to ensure the execution of the project stayed in line with the goals.




Residence Pacific Palisades Family Wife, two kids Business Over A Drink The Lobster


René Gross Kaerskov oversees 1,500 employees working on projects in 50 countries from 26 global offices and still finds time to run marathons on each continent and make his children breakfast in the morning


By Elyse Glickman

Travel The North Pole Passions Space travel, marathons, mountain climbing Garage Audi Wrist Bering Greatest Lesson Don’t Hesitate

HBA Founded 1965 HQ Los Angeles Global Offices 26 Employees 1,500 Employees in LA 120 2016 Revenue $125M

Notable LA Properties Beverly Hills Hotel, Beverly Hilton, Beverly Rodeo Hotel (Luxe)

When some marathon runners are asked about why they train and compete, they point to an adrenaline rush during the race. For René Gross Kaerskov, the rush comes from completing a race and the hunt to find his next challenge. As co-CEO for Santa Monica-based Hirsch Bedner Associates, one of the world’s top hospitality design firms, there will always be challenges arising throughout its 26 offices completing global high-profile projects in nearly 50 countries without compromising the excellence of the final product. One of Kaerskov’s objectives is to keep his associates around the globe prepared for any unexpected obstacles that may arise, even with the best-laid plans. The perfect metaphor for his management style is the mindset that got him into running marathons. “I don’t like to run,” Kaerskov confides. “However, when I ran a marathon in Singapore I spontaneously signed up for, I realized I could finish it even in high humidity. I then realized I could challenge myself and run one on every continent. To top that off, I figured I could do one on the ‘Eighth Continent’—the North Pole, and later, another on the South Pole, where everything is all about the weather. “We were told that we had to evacuate if we were to make it home in time for Christmas,” he recalls. “A Russian cargo plane was coming for us in 15 hours, so I told the organizer that I would run to the one-mile mark and back again 15 times. This gives me bragging rights to say I am the only person who ran a race with a Russian cargo plane alone in the South Pole – and won.” Although Kaerskov says he did not have concrete career ambitions early in life, he revealed he always had an entrepreneurial streak. He sold leftover stock from his parents’ clothing stores to housewives in the local weekend market. Later, he saw a business opportunity arise among his wrestling teammates. “On long bus trips to and from the meets, I quickly realized that if I bought a sufficient amount of soda and candy before the trip, I could sell a lot of it to the guys on the way back,” he recalls. In 1990, Kaerskov’s entrée into the business world was both inauspicious and life changing. The 24-year-old accepted an accounting job at the London offices of Hirsch



Photos & Renderings: Courtesy of HBA

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Rene Gross Kaerskov

1. An interior rendering of HBA’s work on the recently-opened Hotel Indigo in Downtown Los Angeles 2. One of HBA’s more recent projects is the Four Seasons Abu Dhabi whose rooftop pool boasts a view of the local skyline 1

Bedner Associates (HBA) so he could make enough for rent and evening trips to his local pub. A year later, when the UK economy entered a downturn and the Gulf War started, he was offered a choice by his bosses – be laid off or accept a job in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Going that distance proved to be a fantastic move for Kaerskov. He climbed from accountant to controller, then CFO, and ultimately his current position in 2010 with coCEO Ian Carr. He not only became enthralled with the world of high-end travel and cutting-edge interior design but also wholly committed to shaping HBA’s financial strategy and profitability. “It’s important to realize that if your company is not making a profit, you can’t hire the best people, and if you can’t hire these people, you can’t provide your clients with the best services and products,” he says. “Success for a firm like ours is about having the next generation of architects and designers ready for a constantly changing market. In the role of coach, I need to push my staff ahead. In some respects, it’s like being a conductor of a big orchestra while you compose the music as we go.” And like a memorable piece of classical music, Kaerskov’s career has many compelling movements with notes of drama and intrigue. These moments included opening offices in New Delhi, Shanghai, the Philippines, and Indonesia, which all took place against a backdrop of political events and cultural differences. Under his direction, the global firm prevailed by implementing a local approach to the way they do business in all of these places. “With our emphasis on having a global flair, we understand the importance of maintaining a sense of place,” he explains. “In Indonesia, clients do not want to hire an American firm to interpret what is an Indonesian aesthetic, style, or art. We hire local managers, designers, and staff and require them to help us make it the best office in our industry in that location.” While Kaerskov is proud of the fact that HBA has created 1,100 jobs worldwide in the past six or seven years, and doubled the number of employees in the U.S., he maintains the company can apply what has made it a leader in hospitality design to propel growth in a variety of directions. In addition to their bottom line growth and the bolstering of the employee roster, Kaerskov is particularly proud of the

work being done here at home by HBA. “We have more projects going in Los Angeles than we did in our Beijing office leading up to the 2008 Olympics. With 34 properties recently finished or in the works (such as the Hotel Indigo in Downtown LA), we look at Los Angeles and its Dubai-like skyline as a very positive thing for us and the city.” Speaking again to their international impact, Kaerskov notes that HBA “places a great value on listening to the clients,” which he says has afforded HBA experience in their industry that other firms simply do not have. “We have designed more restaurants than many restaurant designers, and designed more lobbies and meeting rooms than most corporate designers. We need to take that quality and expertise, and push deeper into corporate design, restaurant, retirement living (a trend that’s surfacing in America).” He also believes in the power of two – two people with complementary skills – to ensure

the leadership in the branch offices is balanced. “It’s good to have another person to bounce ideas off or argue your point with,” he says, explaining his constant give-and-take with Carr. “Two guys are smarter than one guy … Ian is from the design side while I am from the business side, which makes our leadership stronger.” The lessons HBA has taught Kaerskov over his quarter century at the firm have impacted and influenced him outside of the office. In hospitality design, especially in many of the highend resorts and hotels HBA put its stamp on, attention to small details can make a big difference. Kaerskov knows, from his influences at HBA, to pay attention to the details at home like he does in the office. “I make it a point to wake up my kids, and make them breakfast,” Kaerskov explains, noting he makes his kids eggs – two different ways – each morning. “It’s not far from the idea of relating to individual clients, and operating in different cultures the right way.” end

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Rene Gross Kaerskov





JAIME LEE CEO, JAMISON REALTY Rising real estate powerplayer Jaime Lee is driving her family business, LA’s largest landlord, and their two dozen new projects, into the future By Whitney Vendt

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Jaime Lee It’s no secret that housing in Los Angeles is in crisis. The Southern California Association of Governments estimates it would take a minimum of 600,000 additional units to meet the current need. The University of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate reports that rental rates shot up 5% last year, way above the national average, and are projected to continue to rise. It’s not an easy problem to solve, and certainly not something for which any one individual or company can provide a quick fix. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some significant players actively working to address the demand. Meet 32-year-old Jaime Lee, CEO of Jamison Realty, Inc. Lee represents one of the biggest under-the-radar realty companies in Los Angeles. Founded 20 years ago by her father, Dr. David Lee, Jamison currently owns, man-

Age 32 Education B.A., USC (‘06); J.D., USC (‘09) Residence Hancock Park Family Husband Matt; daughter Nora and a son on the way


Organizations USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association Scholarship Program, USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, LA City’s Employee Retirement System, Anderson Munger YMCA, Southern California Public Radio, Town Hall LA


Passions Volunteering, travel, being outdoors Garage My mommy car, a BMW X5 Wrist Patek Philippe Twenty-4 Before Bed Headspace Before Work Breakfast with my daughter Travel Somewhere new

THE JAMISON COMPANIES Founded Approx. 1995 HQ Mid-Wilshire Employees 200 Core Competency Commercial real estate investment,management, leasing, and multi-family development

Mission Transform and revitalize our community through real estate Portfolio 18 million-plus sq. ft. Current LA Projects 24

Photo: Zach Lipp



ages, and leases about 18 million square feet of office, mixed-use, and multi-family properties in Los Angeles. They have more than 20 projects in the pipeline right now, a third of which are Adaptive Reuse Ordinance (ARO) conversions, with the remaining projects ground-up construction totaling about 6,700 units, primarily through mid-Wilshire and Downtown. That’s roughly a quarter of the 23,000 units permitted in Los Angeles last year. Jamison has not always been such an influential player, but has been around long enough to experience both booms and busts. From the mid-nineties through the early 2000s, growth was so rapid that it prompted Lee’s father to switch careers and found the company. “My father was trained as a medical doctor,” Lee tells CSQ. “He practiced internal medicine for about 25 years in the Valley and around the time I was in high school, he transitioned to real estate, which had been a side business of his.” Lee was about 15 at the time, and it was then that she knew she would one day go into the family business. Originally from Encino, she is the oldest of four children – the only girl – and has taken





her role as responsible leader to heart. “It was my job to have good grades and not get into trouble. I’ve noticed a lot of first children don’t always have that innate sense of ‘I need to go out into the world and start something completely new.’ Our strength comes from working within the system.” A child of Korean immigrants, Lee saw her parents’ dedicated work ethic and emulated it in school. She skipped her senior year at Harvard-Westlake to begin classes at USC. After considering going to college on the East Coast, she ultimately chose to continue at USC, completing both her undergrad and law degree there by the age of 24. She began working full time before she even graduated, managing the two-million square foot California Market Center downtown for Jamison. From there she moved into leasing and became the regional manager of all of Jamison’s assets downtown. This led to her current corporate role as CEO of the leasing and brokerage arm of the company. “It’s definitely a family business,” she confirms. “Two of my brothers work with me. Garrett leads our residential development

company, and Phil runs all the commercial property management.” Their father, Dr. Lee, remains at the top as CEO of the Jamison companies. Lee’s third brother is the entrepreneur of the family and recently opened an art gallery wine bar in Koreatown. Reviving the Neighborhood

The Lee children work together, supporting the business with their various talents and bringing fresh energy to the table. “We’re bringing more technology, customer service, and public relations into the business,” Lee explains. “We’ve updated the website, branding, and the spaces themselves, too.” This is particularly important, considering that much of their space is in the surging market downtown and in the mid-Wilshire/Koreatown corridor. Until recently, both those areas were not desirable, particularly in the wake of the 1992 riots. But Koreatown’s prime location as a bridge between Downtown and the Westside is attractive to urban millennials who prioritize living close to work. The area is second only to Manhattan in terms of population density and is arguably one of the most di57

verse neighborhoods in America, between its foreign-born population of Asians and Latinos and its home-grown American demographics. Likewise, its residents span the income spectrum from low-income families to wealthy up-and-coming business talent. The younger demographic is especially important to privately owned companies like Jamison, which are able to adjust quickly to marketplace changes. “There’s a trend toward urbanization and creative office, which allows us to take on new types of tenants and speak to a millennial mindset,” Lee explains. “Nimbleness – that ability to adapt – is crucial, especially in Los Angeles. We can make adjustments on a dayto-day basis.” Lee’s current initiatives are to spearhead capital improvements in their buildings, renovate lobbies and common areas, and refresh restrooms. Having graduated from school directly in the midst of the uncertainty of the 2008 economic downturn and global financial crisis, Lee knows firsthand the importance of positioning the company to be prepared for any future downturn. “Even though we’re experiencing rapid growth, we want to position our assets to weather any storm,” she says. Lee’s early entrance into her field gave her a head start but

also meant she has spent a good portion of her life working “like a freight train” to prove herself in the company. “In the beginning, I felt an innate need to work harder than everyone else, having come into the business as a family member at a young age. It was important that people could see that I was there for a reason beyond just being part of the family. I also hoped that this early commitment would get me farther ahead in my career before I needed more flexibility in the future.” Call of Double Duty

Balancing this rigor with family and personal passions isn’t easy. Lee took time off after her daughter’s birth to bond with her before returning to work. She moved her family closer to the office to minimize the commute. And she’s kept up with her civic and philanthropic passions as well: She is Commissioner and Board President for the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System, a board member of Town Hall Los Angeles, and a board member for the California Speech-Language Pathology, Audiology, and Hearing Aid Dispensers Board. She also remains heavily involved in alumni volunteer boards at USC and Harvard-Westlake and will become the next President of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors this May. “These organizations

are important to me, so it’s all about prioritization.” With so much on her plate, it might seem overwhelming, but Lee is energized by the work she does. “I love leasing and that’s why I gravitated toward it. You meet different people every day, and you have no idea what’s going to happen. Every deal starts the same, then as the negotiation progresses, you see different elements of personality, motivation, or leverage come through and these factors are what make every deal unique.” But it doesn’t stop there for her. “Real estate is very tangible. You see how the deal terms get translated onto a paper lease and then the paper plan turns into a full build-out. You see it as a drawing for months, and suddenly it’s a reality.” To Lee, success is more than the thrill of the deal or the satisfaction of a build-out. Success is an ongoing project, not something distilled into a single point in time. “I succeed most when my team feels like their voices are heard. I focus on developing strong teams where everyone contributes and feels good about what the mission is and where we’re going together. But to say ‘I’m successful’ is too much of a period at the end of a sentence, and I want to leave that open-ended, because I’ve got a long way to go and there’s a lot more that I want to do.” end

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile I FOCUS ON DEVELOPING STRONG TEAMS WHERE EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES AND FEELS GOOD ABOUT WHAT THE MISSIONLee IS Jaime AND WHERE WE’RE GOING TOGETHER. 1. Lee atop one of Jamison’s office buildings in Downtown LA 2. Circa – a $500M project – is adjacent to STAPLES Center and L.A. Live

4. 3060 W. Olympic Blvd – set to finish in fall 2017 – is a seven story, 240,000+ sq. ft. 226-unit project 5. Lee and her younger brothers (L to R) Brian, Phillip, Garrett 5 58


Photo: Courtesy of Jaime Lee

3. Circa’s 1.6M sq. ft. will include two 35-story towers housing 648 residential units


A list of notable real estate projects that represent the ever growing skyline of cranes across the Southland The Los Angeles skyline is in perpetual motion. At the end of 2016, consulting firm Rider Levett Bucknall noted that Los Angeles had the third most cranes in the sky – 29 – of U.S. cities behind Seattle (62) and Chicago (56). Rider Levett Bucknall also noted that figure was as high as 40 earlier in 2016. Focusing on Downtown, the LA Times in January reported that since 2010, 42 developments of at least 50,000 square feet had been built with another 37 currently under construction. These figures mean that by the end of the decade, the Downtown construction boom will surpass that of the 1980s when 64 projects were completed – including the U.S. Bank Tower in 1989. In Los Angeles’ history, only The Roaring ’20s saw more growth when 155 projects – including the Biltmore Hotel and City Hall – were constructed. Unlike the ’20s or ’80s, the geographic diversity of construction along with the diversity in project types has never been seen before in the city’s rich history. What follows is a sampling of notable – by way of cost, size, or partners involved – real estate endeavors underway, a handful of projects recently finished, and a trio of CSQ&As with regional business leaders at the helm of some of the city’s most ambitious projects.

Real Estate & Finance - [List] CEOs Seeking Office Space


In This Section 60 Under Construction 63 Open for Business 64 Banc of California Stadium 66 Los Angeles Rams NFL Complex 68 924 Bel Air Road Legend SCOPE



Arts & Culture


New Development


Mixed Use







Century City



CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL Scheduled Completion 2018 Cost $2.5B Size 394 hotel rooms, 63 condominiums, 93,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and twin 46-story towers housing 300 condominiums Architects Gensler, Marmol Radziner, Pei Cobb Freed Partners, Rios Clementi Hale Studios Developers Next Century Associates, Woodbridge Capital Partners Did You Know The hotel’s opening charity gala in 1966 was hosted by Bob Hope and attended by Ronald and Nancy Reagan as well as Walt and Lillian Disney

Scheduled Completion Q4 2017 Cost $950M+ Size 4,700 new parking spaces, 422,000 sq. ft. of retai Interiors & Design Kelly Wearstler, Westfield Design Studio Developer Westfield Notable Openings Macy’s, Bloomingdales, a three-story, 149,000-square-foot Nordstrom and the first West Coast Eataly Did You Know The project is expected to generate 10,000 new retail and construction jobs, generating $1.4B in economic output

Real Estate & Finance - [List] Breaking Beverly Hills Boyle HeightsGround Culver City Westfield Century City

Century Plaza

BEVERLY CENTER Scheduled Completion Q4 2018 Cost $500M Size 886,000 sq. ft. Architect Massimiliano Fuksas Developer Taubman Centers Did You Know The eighth floor will be transformed into THE STREET by Michael Mina – a sampling of more than a dozen rotating chefs offering shoppers a carousel of culinary choices



SEARS LANDMARK BUILDING Cost Undisclosed Size 1.8 million sq. ft. Architect Omgivning Developer Izek Shomof When Finished The building will house approximately 1,000 live/work units, 80,000 sq. ft. of retail/restaurant, and 240,000 sq. ft. of office space Did You Know The adaptive reuse project is refurbishing a landmark that was built in 1927

IVY STATION Sears Landmark Building

Scheduled Completion 2019 Cost Undisclosed Size A 5.2 acre lot that will house 500,000 sq. ft. of retail, creative office space, luxury residences, and a boutique hotel as well as 1,500 parking spaces including 300 just for Metro riders Architects Cuningham Group, EYRC Architects, Killefer Flammang Architects, Melendrez Developers AECOM, Lowe Enterprises Did You Know Construction will allocate 2,900 sq. ft. of space as a hub for the Culver City Bus, which has been servicing Westside communities for more than 85 years

Hollywood THE ACADEMY Scheduled Completion Q4 2018 Cost $300M Size 545,000 sq. ft. Architect Shimoda Design Group Developer Kilroy Realty Did You Know The project will consist of high-rise and low-rise buildings featuring 250 apartments, 235,000 sq. ft. of office space, and 37,000 sq. ft. of retail

Ivy Station

BROADWAY TRADE CENTER Cost $164.5M Size 1.1 million sq. ft. Architect Omgivning Developer Broadbridge LA LLC Did You Know When Omgivning finish their adaptive reuse project, the 108-year-old complex, it will house retail, a market collective creative offices, and a hotel in addition to an 110,000 sq. ft. rooftop comprised of a public park, two pools, and seven restaurants and bars

Real Estate & Finance - [List] Breaking Downtown Ground Los Angeles CIRCA Scheduled Completion 2018 Cost $500M Size 2 million sq. ft. Architect Harley Ellis Devereaux Contractor Wilshire Construction Developer Jamison, as well as Falcon California Investments, Hankey Investment Co., Highlands Capital Did You Know Across the street from STAPLES Center and L.A. Live, Circa is comprised of two twin 35-story residential towers that will house nearly 650 apartments resting above 48,000 sq. ft. of retail space


Oceanwide Plaza

OCEANWIDE PLAZA Scheduled Completion Q1 2019 Cost $1B Size 1.5 million sq. ft. housing, 153,000 sq. ft. of retail space, 504 luxury condominiums, and an 184-room Park Hyatt hotel Architect Callison RTKL Developers Kennedy Wilson, Oceanwide Real Estate Group Did You Know Wrapping around the project’s retail component, 100 feet above the ground, will be a 35,000 sq. ft. LED display

PARAMOUNT STUDIOS Scheduled Completion Phases would open over a 25-year time period Cost $700M Size 1.4 million sq. ft. Did You Know Of the six major film studios, Paramount is the only one headquartered in Hollywood itself



West Hollywood



Scheduled Completion Operational by 2019, complete by 2020 Cost $1.6B Size 750,000 sq. ft. Architects Corgan, Gensler Economic Impact Construction is expected to create 6,000 jobs, producing more than $300M in direct wages – $195M of which will go to small business Did You Know The Midfield project is one piece of a $14B modernization plan for LAX which includes upgrades to all of the airport’s terminals, a consolidated rental car facility, and ground transportation improvements linking to the Metro Rail network

Edition Hotel

Scheduled Completion Q3 2018 Cost $260M Size Built on 1.37 acres, the 13-story tower will include 148 hotel rooms and 20 condominiums Architect John Pawson Developer Witkoff Group Did You Know The project is a collaboration between the Witkoff Group, Marriott International, and renowned boutique hotel designer Ian Schrager

Real Estate & Finance - [List] Breaking Ground Santa Monica Koreatown Woodland Hills 3060 W. OLYMPIC BLVD Scheduled Completion Q4 2017 Cost Undisclosed Size 240,000 sq. ft. Architect KTGY Architects Contractor Wilshire Construction Developer Jamison Did You Know Housing 226 units and more than 17,000 sq. ft. of retail space, this seven-story ground-up construction is the first of its size along Koreatown’s Southern edge



Promenade 2035

SANTA MONICA PROPER HOTEL Scheduled Completion Winter 2018-2019 Cost Undisclosed Size 271 hotel rooms, 7,000 sq. ft. of retail space, and 8,000 sq. ft. of event and meeting space Architect Howard Laks Architects Developer Kor Group Did You Know Santa Monica Proper – developed in partnership with landowner Alex Gorby and the Merchant Banking Division of Goldman Sachs – will renovate the existing Santa Monica Processional Building, originally built in 1928

PROMENADE 2035 Scheduled Completion Construction is not slated to begin until 2020 and the project will open in phases Cost $1.5B Developer Westfield Corporation When Finished The 35-acre project will include 1,400 “luxury villas,” 244,000 square feet of retail, 150,000 square feet of creative office space, two hotels, and 15,000-seat entertainment venue Economic Impact Will result in 12,500 jobs and $2B in annual economic output during construction and 7,900 jobs and $1.6B in annual economic output upon completion

OPEN FOR BUSINESS OUE SKYSPACE LA Cost Undisclosed Size 42,700 sq. ft. Architect Gensler Contractor Hathaway Dinwiddie Developer OUE Did You Know Located atop the US Bank Tower in Downtown Los Angeles, the most thrilling aspect of OUE Skyspace LA is a 45-foot outdoor slide connecting the 70th floor to the east observation terrace

Waldorf Astoria

Ten Thousand Santa Monica

WREN Cost Undisclosed Size 362 luxury apartments Architect Togawa Smith Martin Construction Tishman Construction Developers Mack Urban with AECOM and Capri Capital Partners Did You Know Wren is part of a $750M, six-acre project that – when completed in 2024 – will house three high-rise and three low-rise towers offering 1,900 residential units in a fully cohesive living space

Real Estate & Finance - [List] Breaking Ground Downtown Beverly Hills Century City Los Angeles

WALDORF ASTORIA Cost $200M Size 12 stories, 170 rooms Architects Gensler, Perkins + Will Interiors Pierre-Yves Rochon Developer Beny Alagem Did You Know Waldorf rooms will offer guests floor-to-ceiling windows, private terraces, DVR access, bluetooth-enables speakers in bathrooms, and a CrestronTM smart home system that controls your entire room


TEN THOUSAND SANTA MONICA Cost Crescent Heights purchase the land for $59M; project’s cost is undisclosed Size 40 stories, 283 units, 75,000 sq. ft. of amenities Architect Handel Architects Interiors Shamir Shah Design Developer Crescent Heights Did You Know Among the amenities offered to residents, Ten Thousand Santa Monica boasts a 75-foot indoor lap pool and a 2,000 sq. ft. dog run

HOTEL INDIGO Cost Undisclosed Size 18-story tower housing 350 rooms Architect Gensler Interiors Hirsch Bedner Associates Developer Greenland USA Did You Know The guestrooms were inspired by the movie stars and directors of the 1920s with a focus on Anna May Wong, considered the first Chinese American movie star



A New Stadium for a New Kind of Los Angeles Football By Allana Baroni

Growing up in England, sports and design were Jonathan Emmett’s two passions, but he never imagined he’d become the designer of the first ever soccer stadium in the United States (Columbus Crew, circa 1999). An LA resident for nearly a quarter century, Emmett talked with CSQ about his role in the Banc of California (home to the Los Angeles Football Club, also known as LAFC) Stadium project currently underway in Exposition Park. Describe your background and your path to sports architecture. Jonathan Emmett I was a small child when I decided I wanted to be an architect. It was my dream. My father was a quantity surveyor in Yorkshire, England so I grew up on building sites. My other passion is sports, and while in high school, my father was involved in the renovation of our local football stadium. Through my father’s relationships, I interned at a Kansas City design firm commissioned to work on a project in England. As crazy as it sounds, I wound up in Missouri working on a project in England! During the course of these experiences, I found my calling – sports architecture.

Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Jonathan Emmet What is your overall role in the LAFC project? JE I am a design principal at Gensler, overseeing all design work within the sports practice. Specifically, that entails identifying the LAFC vision, scope, and aspirations of the project, then leading our design talent to deliver on that vision.

What aspects of the stadium are most exciting to you? JE It’s an LA hometown project which, to me, is rare in the global field of sports architecture! Plus, soccer is a great passion of mine.








I grew up watching and playing soccer my whole life in England; I find it very exciting to be involved with a new team that is creating their own identity while we – at the same time – are building a world-class soccer stadium. Supporting the club season after season will certainly be a source of great pride and excitement for me. What should soon-to-be LAFC fans be most excited about? JE The owners have done a phenomenal job of reaching out to the community and engaging people who are supporters of the club. They want to create an incredible, intense, and intimate game day atmosphere with the goal of getting fans as close to the action as possible. The stadium bowl seats 22,000 people and, at 34°, is the steepest in Major League Soccer. The seating design puts the closest fan to the field only 12 feet away from the touchline, and the roof canopy over the seating bowl intensifies the atmosphere and keeps the sound in. The diversity of experiences – hospitality spaces, seating, and amenities – will excite fans and Angelenos who have become far more discerning in how they spend their time and money. Little things – like Metro access, electric car accommodations, access to Downtown Los Angeles and the Figueroa Street expansion bike path – all come together to support the vision of access to the stadium for the entire region. END

Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Jonathan Emmet BANC OF CALIFORNIA STADIUM HOME TO THE LA FOOTBALL CLB BY THE NUMBERS

1. Built with an evolving city in mind, the grounds will have 440 bicycle parking spaces and an integrated bike path with the My Figueroa Project 2. Banc of California Stadium is the first open-air stadium built in LA since Dodger Stadium in 1962


3. Boasting a gameday experience in a league of its own, fans will be seated at the steepest angle in the MLS – 34º – with the closest seats just 12 feet from the touchline

$350M Private investment in the stadium and district open on non-gamedays, 365-days a year 22,000 Capacity 86,000 sq. ft. of Bermuda grass 125,000 sq. ft. of walkways and plazas

140,000 sq. ft. of improved public open spaces 190,000 sq. ft. of roofing to minimize glare and reflect heat 5 Million Pounds of steel used 1,800 New full-time permanent jobs



Building a new home for the NFL in Inglewood By Allana Baroni

Los Angeles native Scott Hunter has lived and worked around the world, but in 2006 he made his way back to LA. He is now helping steward the 298-acre sports and entertainment district in Inglewood that will be home to the Los Angeles Rams’ $2.6B City of Champions stadium. Hunter described his passion for architecture, and Los Angeles, to CSQ: “It sounds like a cliché, but there is something magical about Los Angeles, about the vision of life you can have here and still feel connected to a global center of creativity.” What keeps you inspired as an architect? Scott Hunter I’ve been an architect for over 25 years. It’s my dream profession and it allows me to meet a diverse group of people who want to make a mark on the world. Architecture blends many things that I’m passionate about and also captures the essence of how we live together as a society by blending culture, art, and science.

Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Scott Hunter Describe a few projects in your portfolio. SH I run the LA office of HKS where I consider myself the conductor of a symphony of talent. Our projects include a wide array of mixed-use spaces such as the USC Cancer Center, a large U.S. Navy Hospital at Camp Pendleton which was part of the American Recovery Act, the Westfield UTC lifestyle center in La Jolla, the West Coast launch of Ian Schrager’s Edition Hotel brand, and hotels currently in design for Santa Monica, Hermosa Beach, and downtown Los Angeles. What aspects of the new NFL Rams project excite you the most? SH I’m incredibly excited by the opportunity to help create something that has never been done before – the most innovative sta-







dium in the world. I’m inspired by the challenge and complexity of designing a space, in a responsible way, that is worthy of LA – the world’s greatest center of creativity and most sophisticated fan market. How was HKS selected for the stadium project, and how many people are involved in the design? SH The decision is rooted in the firm’s long history working with the NFL. We designed the Lucas Oil stadium in Indianapolis, the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium, and most recently the Minnesota Vikings’ venue. We have a reputation for being the best designers in the world in this space. There are hundreds of architects and engineers working to create an incredibly memorable, fully integrated, multi-purpose entertainment district where people will want to go even when there is no NFL game. END

Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Scott Hunter


1. Opening for the 2019 NFL season, the stadium is the confirmed host venue of Super Bowl LV in 2021 2. The grounds surrounding the stadium will capitalize on the region’s weather and culture

3. HKS’ Sports & Entertainment portfolio includes Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, AT&T Stadium in Dallas, and U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis

3 million sq. ft. Overall size of venue

70,000 Capacity for NFL games

298 acres Size of land that will be home to the new stadium along with the NFL’s entertainment and business district

80,000 Capacity for large events like the Super Bowl, Final Four, and collegiate bowl games



$2.66B Cost of the project

*Courtesy of LA Times, USA Today,; current as of Feb 11, 2017



How many people were involved in the actual building of the home? Bruce Makowsky I was fortunate to have a world-class team of more than 300 people assist with the project. How long did it take to build the house? BM From start to finish it took more than four years. During the process, what was the biggest challenge and obstacle you and your team faced? BM We built the home in real time as opposed to drawing up plans and building based on those plans. As a result we were modifying thorughout the process and if we didn’t feel a room was the right proportion or a floor was easy to navigate, we had to fix it right then and there. On a small scale this may not seem like a challenge but when navigating 50,000 square feet it certainly becomes one. From a broader perspective, we identified eight distinct ingredients – from evolutionary technology to stunning location and views – and brought them all together. There was no room for error, so I think that was another significant challenge in just making sure that every single move we made was the right one.

With America’s most expensive home, offered at $250M, complete, CSQ spoke with the home’s developer and sole investor about the challenges the project presented and the uniqueness of the home

1. A view from afar reveals the true complexity of the design, weaving together four visible floors as well as the indoor and outdoor spaces 2. The home’s office, located on the top level, offers some of the best views 3. The view on approach to the home’s main entrance which sends guests below the helicopter level 4. The home’s movie theatre pays homage to James Bond

Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Bruce Makowsky Given the process of designing the home during the build, what difficulties arose as result? BM There were plenty, of course! One of the biggest challenges conceptualizing a home of this magnitude as we went along was our inability to see the entirety of the plan as a tradional builder would. As we designed the shell and then began building the house to spec, making changes along the way, challenges arose in adhering to the rules of the city, ensuring we built to earthquake standards, and so on. Ultimately we were able to fulfill our vision while meeting civic standards. END

5. Located in the home’s lower level, the $30M car collection is included in the sticker price








Real Estate & Finance - Breaking Ground - CSQ&A + Project Profile - Bruce Makowsky 5

924 BEL AIR ROAD BY THE NUMBERS $250M Market value 12 Bedrooms 21 Bathrooms 17,000 Sq. ft. of entertainment space

$30M Value of cars in the home’s auto gallery 7 Full-time staff 40 Seats in 4K Dolby Atmos Theater

38,000 Sq. ft. of home 3





Beny Alagem’s Beverly Hilton and Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills are changing the laws of luxury in one of the most iconic corners of Los Angeles By Hannah Levy

Photo: Ben Steinberger

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Beny Alagem





Age 64 Education Cal Poly Pomona Residence Bel Air Family Wife; two sons and one daughter Garage Tesla Wrist Rolex Travel New York City

Opened 1955 Renovated 2005 Employees 702 Rooms 570 rooms & 101 suites WALDORF ASTORIA Opened 2017 Employees 400 Rooms 170

Beverly Hilton

Much like that of the man who owned the Beverly Hilton before him, the story of Beny Alagem’s entrepreneurial journey is a winding one – and at each juncture, the same singular theme emerges. “The most important part is the creation,” Alagem says, peering across the conference table in the Beverly Hilton at the team he has assembled. “What do you create?” Alagem’s answer to the question has changed over the years, from semiconductors to luxury developments, but the drive to innovate has remained. Where did that drive originate? We asked Alagem how those who knew him best might answer that question. “My mother never used the word ‘entrepreneurial,’” Alagem says. It wasn’t in her vocabulary – at least, not in English. Alagem was raised in the Israeli city of Jaffa, an ancient port town on the coast. After completing mandatory military service in the Israeli Defense Forces, he moved to California to study business and marketing at Cal Poly Pomona.

Waldorf Astoria

Climbing the Ladder

Packard Bell was Alagem’s first experience in the role of executive. After purchasing the name in 1986, Alagem and his business partners leveraged the iconic radio brand to manufacture and sell semiconductors at the enterprise level. Here Alagem’s marketing savvy paid off. By shifting focus to a broader base of consumers, Packard Bell became an innovative force in the PC revolution and other tech companies took note. “You can create a certain thing which will last for generations,” Alagem explains of his time in the industry. “Then the next person can come and take the base of what you created and create some more.” It’s irrefutably a techie mindset, but one that Alagem has translated seamlessly into the world of luxury hospitality. When he bought the Beverly Hilton from Hollywood magnate Merv Griffin in 2003, Alagem invested in the hardware upfront. While taking pains to maintain the iconic character of the hotel, Alagem invested $90M to bring the then 50-year old hotel into the 21st century. At the beginning of the process, Alagem promised employees that despite changes, their jobs were safe. This promise was made easier by the loyalty of the hotel’s guests, even in the midst of renovation – and to his credit, it’s a promise he kept. “The Beverly Hilton is such a loved place, with so many hundreds of thousands of guests who frequent this hotel every year,” explains Alagem. “It’s because of the human side of it. We have people here who have worked all their lives – 40 years, 45 years – and so it is like a family.” People are the most important element in any of Alagem’s endeavors. “No matter how talented you think you are, you have to have a great team with you,” he says. When it came to renovating the Beverly Hilton, Alagem depended greatly on advice from Merv Griffin, and as the scale of the project expanded, so did his team. In renovating the exterior of the hotel, Alagem partnered closely with Gensler, an architecture firm with deep Los Angeles roots. When Alagem proposed a new project to revitalize the remaining parcel of his nineacre holding, he turned to Gensler. “I had no question in my mind that we wanted them to help us think about the concept and bring

it to reality,” Alagem explains. That concept is a joint hotel and residential building project of unparalleled scale that’s set to first come to life in June 2017 when this second hotel – the Waldorf Astoria – opens its doors. In addition to the Beverly Hilton and Waldorf, Alagem will be completing his vision by, as he describes it, building a community. In the literal sense, he is building a pair of residential towers that will house condominiums and provide owners access to the amenities of his two hotels. A New Vertical

As for the soon-to-be-opened Waldorf Astoria, the hotel is a 12-story, 170-room homage to Los Angeles luxury and glamour. Pierre-Yves Rochon, Perkins+Will, and Gensler worked closely with Alagem to build a structure that mirrors and enhances the character of the Beverly Hilton, which Alagem noted was important to him as his parcel of land – sitting at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. at the entrance to Beverly Hills – is passed by an estimated 150-200,000 cars daily. To run the Waldorf Astoria – what Alagem refers to as the “software” of the hotel – he searched the world. Luc Delafosse joined the Waldorf Astoria team as Executive Managing Director over a year ago, and comes with more than three decades of experience working for luxury hospitality brands around the world, most recently in Paris at the Hôtel de Crillon. In October, Delafosse was joined by Vanessa Williams, the Waldorf Astoria’s Director of Sales and Marketing, who spent decades leading strategy for luxury hotels across the U.S. and Asia. Most recently, Michelin-rated chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten joined the Astoria team in a relatively unprecedented manner. While Chef Vongerichten’s flagship restaurant at the Waldorf will be his first West of New York City, he and his team are running the dining program throughout the hotel. From room service to catering for all events, the Waldorf menu will be a Jean-Georges menu. Together, Alagem and his team are guiding the vision behind what might arguably be called the most iconic nine-acre swath of land in all of Los Angeles, building a future worthy of its tremendous history. end

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Beny Alagem Executive Managing Director Luc Delafosse on the 3 Traits of a Great Owner 1. Balance vision with a sense of humility. You have to see the end goal but keep yourself open to hearing other opinions as you move toward that vision. 2. Everything we do is in service of our guests and without realizing that, you cannot be successful. In this industry, you will be of service to others day in and day out. 3. Great leaders build respect. That means setting expectations and creating a sense of teamwork to get you where you need to go.




Age 46 Education B.S., Tulsa; Masters, Ph.D., Princeton Residence Los Angeles Family Wife, 3 children: one daughter, twin boys Passions Motorcycles, tattoos, ‘80s music Garage 10 tons of China and silverware from when we were young and threw


Douglas Merrill, former CIO and VP of engineering at Google, is changing public access to money with fintech startup ZestFinance, which underwrites loans for those with little or no credit history By Allana Baroni


parties, buried beneath 19 tons of sand toys and toddler bicycle helmets, which are much more relevant to our current life situation Wrist A tattoo! Before Bed Rooibos tea and economics books Before Work Email, breakfast, email, drop kids off at school, email Travel South Africa

ZESTFINANCE Founded 2009 HQ Los Angeles Employees 79 Industry Financial technology Corporate Mission Make fair and transparent credit available to people everywhere Funding $62M in equity

Awards & Honors #13 Best Workplaces for Technology, Fortune (2017) #37 Best Workplaces for Women, Fortune (2016) Fintech 50, Forbes (2016) #192 Inc. 5000 (2016) 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies, LABJ (2016)

As new technologies brought sweeping changes to the financial industry over the past few years, Douglas Merrill saw that a substantial slice of the pie was left on the table, untouched. So he devised a recipe that incorporated the raw numbers. “People were interested in using technology to change consumer credit, and banks were talking about it, but nothing was happening,” explains Merrill. He decided to apply the approach taken at Google; focus on infrastructure, and recognize that search is a math problem. According to Merrill, credit is also a math problem, one that can be eased by identifying and utilizing more data points. “The current credit system isn’t working because it’s limited by too little data. If even one piece of data is missing, it can drop a borrower from prime to subprime.” Enter ZestFinance, a provider of tools to banks and other financial institutions who want to offer fair and transparent credit to people underserved by the credit market. “There are many Americans who either can’t access credit, or only have access to expensive and abusive loans,” says Merrill. He can relate to feeling ostracized. Growing up in a small Arkansas town, Merrill describes his primary childhood experience as “trying to be safe.” He is dyslexic, and was deaf from age 3 to 6 due to a treatable auditory nerve infection, which caused him to relearn to speak. Together, these two hurdles would form Merrill’s way of thinking about life. He wore his hair long and straggly and spoke with a Canadian accent picked up from his voice coach, things that were not helpful living in a minuscule town in Arkansas.

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary Profile Douglas Merrill

“It always made me try to build a different way for myself, a way that played to my strengths rather than my weaknesses,” he explains. His feeling of ostracization forced him to think a lot, even as a child, about what he is good at and what he is not good at. Being a high school student in a small town made the list of things he decided he was not good at, so Merrill graduated from high school at 16 and college at 19. Merrill’s parents were very supportive of education, but while they expected him to earn an advanced degree, the timing and 72


Photo: Courtesy of ZestFinance

A Quick Study

speed of his education was a concern. Sending their 16-year-old son off to college at the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, was made easier because his mother’s oldest friend worked there. At age 22, Merrill earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University. He describes his experience as, “always playing the game by a different set of rules, and following the beat of a different drummer.” He illustrates this process by recalling his approach to math: “Instead of answering the equations in class, I would write stories about how the numbers worked together and how the numbers worked apart. I would nev-

er write a traditional math answer, because for me, telling stories is much more interesting.” With a propensity toward creating things, Merrill began making artificial intelligence machines, smart machines, while at Princeton. “We didn’t have much computational power or storage, because storage was very expensive so they were weak AI machines, but still, I did it because it was fun.” Merrill’s extremely popular 1992 master thesis at Princeton, Effective Tutoring Techniques: A Comparison of Human Tutors and Intelligent Tutoring Systems, concerned the comparison of the guidance and support of human tutors with that provided by intelligent tutoring systems. Before leaving academia, Merrill and his co-author, who was at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, solved the issue presented through their article and became friends. Soon after Princeton, that relationship was the path to Merrill working for RAND for four years, where he met Stephen Drezner, his first professional mentor. “I always try to find smart interesting people to learn from,” explains Merrill, reflecting that these relationships are part of a lesson the universe is trying to teach him. “Sometimes seemingly random relationships are valuable.” Merrill is also a fan of executive coaching. “Olympic athletes have coaches, why shouldn’t executives have coaches?” His professional coach is Ed Batista, a professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business whom Merrill credits with both teaching skill and the expertise to notice and tick off themes that Merrill otherwise wouldn’t have noticed. “If you don’t notice an issue, there is no way to repair, or focus on it. [Executive coaching] is a very valuable tool.”

sion that Larry had. I think that’s an experience unlikely to be topped in my life.” Merrill’s Google experience inculcated two main themes that continue today: the importance of a strong culture that maps the right messaging, and that reinforcing relationships is an important coaching tool. He defines company culture as those actions which the CEO and executives model every day, and the importance of that conduct being incentivized. “Some companies define cultural value as one thing, but incent on something else. In those situations people learn that the end result is what matters.” But, Merrill says, how you get there matters a great deal: “We pay very careful attention to the way we do things. We talk a lot about our culture, hold people accountable, and also commend appropriate action.” Merrill learned the importance of reinforcing relationships from an encounter with Google’s then-CEO, Eric Schmidt. It was during the IPO period when Merrill had made a serious, expensive mistake for which he thought he’d be fired in front of the entire board of directors. Instead, Eric modeled a significant lesson when he pulled Merrill aside and, with his hand on his shoulder, said, “Douglas, I just need you to know that I love you, and don’t ever [expletive] do this again!” This combination of affirming the relationship without hiding the serious nature of the issue left a lasting impression on Merrill – the message being: Our relationship is intact, you just messed up. Merrill has carried his Schmidt lesson with him to ZestFinance, where relationships are very important to him, and has built the company with people he values. He encourages employees to be fully integrated with their family schedule, provides for six months or more maternity leave, supports attendance at school and community functions during the workday, and refuses to answer an email or phone call from anyone on vacation. When asked his definition of success, Merrill explains that professionally, it’s about hiring good people and putting them in a culture where they can succeed, where radical diversity and radical communication give rise to beautiful problem-solving. Merrill’s definition of personal success revolves around his family – he pronounces the morning a success when he manages to coax hugs out of his young children before heading into Zest! end


The Google Years

Merrill counts his best job working for someone else as his time as Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Engineering at Google, where he worked for six years from 1992-1998. Merrill discusses his experience at the tech giant as being highlighted by Google Founder Larry Page’s vision for a completely different kind of IPO that had never been done before. “Nobody could figure it out, and I came in and figured it out, Merrill continues, “I got to deal with everything – bankers, regulators, buyers – and also figure out this vi-


Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker



Words by Jason Dean Photo by Neil G. Phillips

From a farm in Illinois to the first female founder and CEO of a venture-backed LA public company: How Therese Tucker used a passion for computer programming to launch and grow BlackLine into a $1.5B* Southern California success story

Bring on the SaaS

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker

Therese Tucker CSQ SPRING 2017


There was never any question in Therese Tucker’s mind that she would one day attain the entrepreneurial success she is now enjoying with BlackLine, the cloud accounting automation software company she founded in 2001. She is a little surprised, however, that “one day” took so long to arrive. Speaking with CSQ in early January, little more than two months after an IPO placed BlackLine’s market cap at $1.5B, Tucker’s self-assuredness comes naturally. Her reference to the “ridiculous amount of confidence” it takes to be an entrepreneur is neither abrasive nor smug. Then again, when you grow up on a farm in rural Illinois as one of four daughters—and no sons—you understand early on that there is no job that a woman isn’t fit to do. “On a farm, everybody works,” recalls Tucker of her upbringing. “We changed snow tires, we drove tractors, we fixed plows. We did all of the things that sons would have done.” On her way to becoming the first female founder and CEO in Los Angeles to take a VCbacked startup public, Tucker invested her life savings, took out a second mortgage on her house, liquidated her 401K, and maxed out all her credit cards. She is especially mindful of those who floated payroll loans when customer checks did not arrive in time to fulfill payroll obligations, or mentors (such as Greg Pond, former CEO of financial software company ADS and Tom Unterman, partner at Rustic Canyon Partners) who helped support the company’s continued operation through challenging periods. “Without all the help I’ve received, nothing would be here,” Tucker acknowledges.

In her sophomore year, Tucker noticed that a computer science programming course in Apple Basic was being offered. “It was after my chemistry class, right next door,” she recalls. “I took it out of laziness.” Her passion was instantly ignited. “I absolutely fell in love with programming,” says Tucker, marveling at its complex simplicity. “To this day, it’s the most amazing thing. You get the opportunity to write a list of instructions and then the computer does what you tell it to do. That’s programming.” She transferred to the University of Illinois, known to have one of the top computer science programs in the country. Though she graduated with a degree in computer science and math, Tucker was not a dedicated student, acknowledging she did just enough to get by. Tucker’s underwhelming academic record didn’t exactly dim her expectations of landing an ace programming job with a top employer of her choice. After visiting her sister in California, she decided she was going to come work for a company based on the West Coast that would happily cover her moving expenses. She received multiple job offers, ultimately accepting a position with Hughes Aircraft. Her job involved fault detection firmware for surface ship sonar, but Tucker soon felt the tug of bigger aspirations. She decided she wanted to be the next Bill Gates. “I quit my job, and without a dollar, without [practical knowledge of running a business], I started doing independent programming for different people,” she says. “It’s interesting, because if you have no money and you’ve quoted a fixed bid on programming something, you get to be a really good programmer when you don’t have any food.” As she continued to ramp up her abilities as a programmer, Tucker realized she was not nearly as efficient on the business side of her enterprise. In the meantime, she met her husbandto-be, moved to Southern California, and became pregnant with her first child. Starting a family hastened the need for Tucker to take a real job, preferably one that offered insurance. She was hired in 1989 by ADS, a financial software company with about 60 employees. After verbally accepting the offer over the phone,

Tucker went into the office and informed her potential employer of her pregnancy. “It was a hard thing to do, because I really wanted that job,” she says. Appreciative of her honesty, the company honored its original offer. Tucker would remain at the company for more than 12 years, gleaning insight along the way that would prove invaluable to her future entrepreneurial pursuits. Tucker gained expertise in the art of commerce at ADS, learning the inner workings of a small, successful business operation. In 1997, the company was acquired by Sungard Treasury Systems, and Tucker was tasked with performing due diligence on acquisitions. “It was an amazing learning experience,” she says of the acquisition process. “How do you acquire another company?” she asks. “You don’t use osmosis; you have to go through it a few times.” Finding Equilibrium

As her career progressed, Tucker saw her duties shifting increasingly from doing (programming, logistics) to talking (meeting people, managing relationships). She was promoted to CTO, and while her efforts were being rewarded, there was no semblance of a manageable work-life balance. It all came to a head one morning while she was getting her daughter ready for school. Tucker was rushing around the house, absorbed in the proficiency of her multitasking prowess when the first-grader looked up at her and said, “Mom, I’m just so stressed!” Her daughter’s words were a sobering epiphany for Tucker. She didn’t need to work; she could essentially retire and live comfortably on her savings. “I turned in my resignation that day,” she says. Dissuaded by her children from being the cookie-baking, carpooling parent volunteer that she knew she could be, Tucker instead “did a lot of yoga, got in great shape, and started getting really bored.” Retirement at 40 was not working out for her. In the midst of her boredom, Tucker noticed that her wealth manager’s tax planning software was not very good. “I said, ‘I can write something better than anything you’ve got.’” At that point, she sat down and wrote the

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker Tasting the Apple

As Tucker’s parents saw it, getting a respectable job as a secretary or stenographer, and finding a husband were the appropriate steps for their youngest daughter to graduate from life on the farm. Therese felt differently. She wanted to go to college. So off she went, to Illinois Wesleyan University, a small liberal arts college, where she became a business and French major.




Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker

THERESE TUCKER Founder & CEO, BlackLine Age 55 Residence West Hills Education B.S., University of Illinois Family Husband Brian; two adult children


Awards & Honors [2015] Stevie’s American Business Awards ‘Maverick of the Year’ [2017] #15 on Fortune’s ‘Best Workplaces in Technology for Small and Medium-Sized Companies [2010-2017] Deloitte Fast 500 List

Mentors Greg Pond, Tom Unterman Garage Too much junk! We live in the first house we ever bought Wrist Coach watch, a gift from my husband Before Bed Read my iPad, pet cats

Before Work Lift weights at the gym Travel Cambria for the ocean, Paris for romance, Florence for culture Lesson Learned When someone asks you to keep something confidential, do so no matter what

BLACKLINE BL (NASDAQ) Founded 2001 HQ Woodland Hills Global Offices 12 Employees 600+ Market Cap* $1.57B (as of 03/22/17) 2015 Revenue $83.6M

Clients > 1,700 in 130+ countries Notable Clients AAA, Bluecross Blueshield, Dun & Bradstreet, Ebay, Nasdaq, Kimberly-Clark, Under Armour


software that became the origin of BlackLine. It was June 2001 when Tucker incorporated what is now BlackLine. To wit, Tucker offers a rhetorical couplet: “Are you in the black? Are you above the line?” As the company found its footing, at the request of a client (First National Bank of Nebraska) in 2004, the focus shifted from wealth management software to physical accounting software to automate the complex account reconciliation process. But the future was in the cloud. In 2005, Michael Baker Corporation, a small firm based in Irvine, Calif., approached BlackLine looking for a hosted accounting solution, as they lacked the IT resources for a dedicated, in-house department. By the end of 2007, BlackLine had begun a full-scale transition from physical software to on-demand, hosted, subscription-based software (or SaaS; software as a service). “SaaS software was easier to contract for, because it’s typically a smaller amount upfront,” Tucker explains. “It’s easier to implement because we don’t have to wait for [customers] to order equipment [and] there’s no danger of them screwing up their OS. We control that.” She offers additional reasons the shift to SaaS was a sound business decision. “It’s easier to support, easier to do upgrades, easier to roll out new functionality,” she enumerates.

one of, if not the first companies to do so. In comparison, the decision in late 2007 to focus on the cloud was a genuine risk. Tucker knew that older, large traditional companies would be resistant to the cloud due to perceived security risks. But she figured change was inevitable and some would be quicker than others to embrace it. In retrospect, BlackLine’s timing for this fundamental transition couldn’t have been more prescient. When the recession kicked in a few months later, capital budgets dried up. With a smaller upfront cost, SaaS became more attractive to companies suddenly constrained by shifting financial realities. Customers could try it, and if it worked for them, they could expand in other areas of the business. Organizations benefitted by avoiding the sizable upfront costs of an internal system in favor of a cloud-based service and BlackLine benefitted by having an ongoing flow of monthly subscriber revenue for a service as opposed to a one-time purchase of a product. In other words, Tucker emphasizes, “We make software, not shelfware.” As it happened, the economic downturn was a boon for BlackLine. “The recession was a huge help in growing our business over the long term,” says Tucker. As the technology has evolved and the business seeks to keep pace with the rest of the world, an increasing number of large corporations who once said they would never go into the cloud have become receptive to SaaS. “This is where the future is,” affirms Tucker. Tucker’s affirmation has been corroborated – a 2016 Cisco white paper noted that “in 2020, 74% of total cloud workloads will be SaaS workloads, up from 65% in 2015.”

Renewed Vitality

In 2012, having built the company to sustainable success, Tucker found herself starting to feel a bit tuckered out. “I was considering selling it off and retiring again,” she confides. “I started a process, then decided along the way that I didn’t like the strategic buyers that came to the table. I thought they’d ruin the company.” Her excitement began to build as she mulled it over. “There [was] still so much room for growth in our market,” says Tucker. Rather than selling, Tucker looked into taking on an equity partner “to see where it would go.” Silver Lake Sumeru, the mid-market, tech-focused fund of global VC giant Silver Lake, ultimately won her over. “I liked the people, they fit our culture; but on top of that, they did more due diligence than anybody else. They seemed like they would be good partners.” In August 2013, the firm invested in BlackLine, valuing the company at more than $200M. ICONIQ Capital also came on board as an investor at that time. Tucker’s instincts about Silver Lake Sumeru were right on, but she was not expecting such an immediate impact. “We scaled business up to offices in 10 or 11 countries very quickly,” she says. We also hired a whole C-suite [of company leadership],” she recalls, telling her investor: “Let me let them get things in place to scale for the long term and then we can discuss where to take this next.” On October 28, 2016, BL (BlackLine) was offered on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. “We were at Nasdaq, ringing the bell,” Tucker recalls. The stock climbed steadily throughout the day, closing at $23.70, more than 40% above the $17 at which it was priced the night before.

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker Fork in the Road

Eventually, the company needed to choose a path. “We finally got to a fork in the road, and we couldn’t focus on both [hosted and non-hosted software] anymore.” BlackLine made the bold decision to shift to account reconciliation software in 2004, becoming

Left: Therese and her BlackLine team onsite working with Habitat for Humanity, one of the company’s charitable passions Previous page: Tucker ringing the Nasdaq Opening Bell on October 28, 2016



“I’m so glad it’s over,” she says of the IPO process. “It’s a massive distraction from the business. It’s a ton of work [and] the day of the IPO is the culmination of all that work. I compare it to a wedding. It’s a great day, but it’s one day only.” Going public did not alter BlackLine’s corporate philosophy: Accountability to shareholders was considered equivalent to the accountability owed to employees when BlackLine was a private entity. The same rules applied. “We’ve always been accountable to employees and previous investors,” Tucker says. Raising the Bottom Line

Several years ago, Tucker accompanied her daughter to distribute food for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles. Genuinely touched, Tucker made regular trips back with her daughter and gained a sense of appreciation for lending her assistance to humanitarian causes. In 2014, Tucker was invited to join the California Community Foundation (CCF) Board of Directors. The organization has been entrusted with more than 1,600 funds, with nearly $1.5B in assets. “I’m super proud of that organization,” she says. “They do amazing things with many different charities, [such as] helping them apply for grants, getting sustainable, coordinating, pushing money out—all in the name of improving the quality of life for all of the residents of LA.” Her husband, Brian, is also an advocate for the homeless and sits on the board of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), a charity based in downtown LA.

Tied into BlackLine’s corporate philosophy, Tucker says, is the desire to hire genuinely good people. “Typically, nice people have giving hearts,” she explains. Employee participation in various fundraising drives and events is a regular occurrence, whether it’s picking up trash for a beautification project or volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. Today, Tucker carries the torch for female tech entrepreneurs everywhere, embracing her role model status. She speaks regularly at women’s events and LA-area schools, promoting female involvement in the tech and finance sectors. “There are very few women in computer science,” she says, “and having more women in the financial world is important for girls growing up.” Now that her children are grown up, balancing life and career is much less of a strain to maintain. She can travel when she needs to, which usually means business-related trips to Australia, Singapore, Europe, and various U.S. destinations. Being a woman never felt like a disadvantage to Tucker; quite the contrary. In tech, science, and finance, a female candidate continues to stand out prominently in a pool of predominantly male candidates. She hopes one day the glass ceiling will be shattered and the stereotype will fall by the wayside as more women discover the wealth of opportunities in these fields. It comes down to whether you’re setting limitations or expectations for yourself. “People think when you’re starting a company, you’re insane. Until it does well,” she says. “Then you’re brilliant. The reality is, I failed over and over and over and over until I didn’t.” end

Real Estate & Finance - Visionary of the Year - Therese Tucker

On the Board: BlackLine

TOM UNTERMAN Founding Partner, Rustic Canyon Partners & Board Member, BlackLine


Over a five-decade career that spans law, media, and venture capital, Tom Unterman has earned a reputation as a legal and financial wizard, trusted advisor, and a keen evaluator of talent. Although his VC, Rustic Canyon Partners, never invested in BlackLine, Unterman was impressed with Therese Tucker on multiple levels. “Therese is a highly moral person, [with a] very well-developed set of values [that] makes it easy for her to make decisions,” says Unterman, adding that when the two met to discuss her business, “I loved the idea [of the forward-thinking focus on SaaS].” By that time, however, Tucker’s success was outpacing

her need for capital, and a deal never materialized. Tucker asked Unterman to lunch from time to time, gleaning knowledge from their conversations. “There were a couple instances where I think I gave her good advice,” he says. She eventually asked him to join BlackLine’s Board of Directors, where his perspective on her entrepreneurial drive and personal values further deepened.

user conferences when she had relatively few users. But they’d all come.” The day before one user conference, Unterman recalls, Tucker was building a house for Habitat for Humanity, a charity she supports. “That, I think, showed her customers that here was something different than ‘I’m here to extract the maximum amount of dollars from you.’ It’s entirely consistent with who Therese is.”

“One of the things that impressed me so much was the way customers really identified with her, and the company,” says Unterman. “She did some things that bigger companies did, [but] at a very early stage. She had



82 Market Update 84 New York Minute 86 Golf Getaway 90 Mita Tech Talks


Part 3

Destinations - Cover Page

One of Punta Mita’s (p.86) world-class resorts, the St. Regis



Market Update

All the news fit to print for in-the-know business travelers By Elyse Glickman

Miami, China, London, Vietnam Four Seasons new openings

The new Four Seasons Hotel at The Surf Club endeavors to transform the Miami Beach spa experience. Fusing Latin American ambiance with a lineup of European-trained aestheticians and experts in acupuncture, aromatherapy, and neuromuscular massage, the spa also features a Middle Eastern “Traditional Hammam service,” oceanfront meditation areas, and serenity lawns for yoga and Pilates classes. Four Seasons Hotel Tianjin, opened in January in the Central Business District, is outfitted with 259 rooms, including 44 suites. The property houses two ballrooms, eight function rooms, a VIP Room, a spacious outdoor balcony, five restaurant venues, and over a dozen private dining rooms.

Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai, Hoi An and Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square both opened their doors in January 2017. Guests of Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai will find refreshed villas, an enhanced beach program and lagoon spa, a new beach bar, and a new Vietnamese cooking academy. With just 100 guest rooms and 41 private residences, the intimate Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square has a warm, masculine feel. Maritime-inspired details grace the elegant architecture and interiors of what previously served as the Port of London Authority headquarters, including conferences spaces that will accommodate up to 200.

Destinations - Market Update

Coachella Valley La Quinta Resort & Club Few California desert hotel properties have the history of La Quinta Resort & Club. In the 1920s, Walter H. Morgan purchased 1,400 acres from and brought his vision to life. In the end, a quaint group of casitas and a dining room rose from the ground, and Morgan called the cluster La Quinta. After a recent multi-million dollar renovation, the resort is home to 620 casitas



LAX Delta’s expansion and suites as well as 98 villas, a 23,000 sq. ft. spa, 41 swimming pools, 53 hot spas, 23 tennis courts, and Morgan’s in the Desert – a 2014, 2015, and 2016 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence recipient. The resort also offers guests five world-class golf options including The Stadium Course at PGA West.

Delta’s $1.9B LAX expansion is slated to open at Terminals 2 and 3 in May 2017. Aimed to ease connections between Delta and its partners, the new hub will be home to gates for Delta and partner airlines including Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, and WestJet. The airline is also upping the ante with its re-imagined private lounge, Delta ONE™ at LAX,

where elite passengers arrive at an exclusive entrance, quickly check luggage, and relax in a private lounge before heading to expedited security. The long-awaited, much improved Delta Sky Club will also be opening its doors.

Luxe Hotels Distinctive destinations. Impeccable style. DISCOVER Luxe Collection by L.E. Hotels… an exclusive collection of distinctive hotels located in prime destinations around the globe. The Collection’s iconic California hotels epitomize the uniqueness of this rich state — from San Francisco’s sweeping Golden Gate Bridge and high-powered Silicon Valley to glamorous Rodeo Drive in the heart of Beverly Hills. Each hotel in Luxe Collection has achieved the highest quality of service and is highly ranked amongst its competitors, making them a preferred choice of the discerning, well-traveled globetrotter. +1 866 589 3411





GDS Code: LE











New York Minute

In a city constantly evolving, indulge in these choice offerings – a neighborhood staple celebrating 10 years and two of the city’s hottest new names





Greenwich Village

Downtown Manhattan

Little Owl has been a fixture on the corner of Bedford and Grove for a decade. The menu rotates seasonally and often features fresh fish caught by Chef Joey Campanaro. The dining room only seats 32 (28 at tables and 4 at the Chef’s Table – the bar) so if you cannot grab a seat feel free to try sister restaurants Market Table and The Clam. Open for lunch, dinner, and brunch on weekends, Little Owl provides the variety you need on a business or leisure trip to Manhattan.

Destinations - New York Minute


Downtown Manhattan

Brought to life in the heart of Manhattan’s oldest and most dynamic neighborhood, The Beekman Hotel is on the site of the former Chapel Street Theatre, where Shakespeare’s Hamlet made its New York debut in 1761. Envisioned by award-winning designer Martin Brudnizki, the Beekman brings guests to the intersection of old world glam-



our and modern luxury in Brudnizki’s singular aesthetic vision. A Thompson Hotel property, The Beekman offers five basic room types as well as five tiers of suite offerings. In addition the hotel can accommodate events for as few as 18 and as many as 225.

New York City Culinary icon Tom Colicchio (a five-time James Beard Award winner) continues to expand his Crafted Hospitality empire, this time in partnership with The Beekman Hotel. The dining room houses rich leathers, jewel-toned furnishings, and antiques, which accompany Colicchio’s menu brilliantly. Fowler & Wells pays homage to the cultural and culinary history of Lower Manhattan. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, you won’t want to miss this meal whether staying at The Beekman or in the neighborhood. We suggest you try the Diver Scallops in the evening and Vanilla Pancakes in the morning.

Koss Resource

The Punta Mita, Mexico, peninsula features Nicklaus-designed golf, world-class hospitality via the St. Regis and Four Seasons, and over a dozen residential communities three hours from Los Angeles By Ryan Byers

Jack NicklausDesigned Punta Mita Golf Courses PACIFICO Built 1999 Holes 18 Par 72 Yards 7,014 BAHIA Built 2009 Holes 18 Par 72 Yards 7,030

Paradise Found GOLF GETAWAY

Top: The St. Regis offers a family pool, adult pool, and the infinity edge Beach Club Pool



Bottom: Among its many amenities, the Four Seasons offers private cabanas on Manzanilla Beach

Right: Pacifico Course’s “Tail of the Whale,” an optional, par-three 19th hole measuring 199 yards, features the only natural island green in the world

Photos: Courtesy of Punta Mita Resort

Destinations Golf Getaway - St. Regis & Four Seasons Does the winter-to-spring transition have you longing for a perfect beach getaway complete with five-star resorts, fine dining, and worldclass golf along with surf, spas, and an endless variety of beach and sea activities? All of this and more can be found in Punta Mita, Mexico, a three-hour flight from Los Angeles. Punta Mita, 30 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, is situated on a private and gate-guarded 1,500-acre peninsula on the southwest point of Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, surrounded by white sand beaches and picturesque ocean views. Beyond the area’s natural beauty, Punta Mita is home to a pair of exclusive beachfront resorts – The St. Regis and Four Seasons. As one would expect with such prestigious hotel brands, both properties offer top-tier service, amenities, and luxury. St. Regis Punta Mita, the brand’s first property in Latin America, features 120 exquisitely-appointed guest rooms and suites, three world-class restaurants, three infinity pools with private cabana service, a state-of-the-art fitness center, tennis courts, and the renowned 10,000-square-foot, Remède Spa. The setting is intimate, comfortable, and contemporary, while the presence of a personal butler service adds to the all-out luxury experience. Upon arrival, a butler greets the guest and familiarizes him with the property, personalizing his suite room to a desired comfort level prior to his unpacking. Day and night butlers are always just a text away, serving as personal assistants attending to every need for the entirety of your stay.

Destinations Golf Getaway - St. Regis & Four Seasons



The Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita is recognized as one of the world’s finest resorts by both Conde Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure. This luxurious destination, just down the coast, is nestled above magnificent white-sand beaches and features 139 guest rooms and 38 suites with a laid-back, comfortable feel. All guest rooms take full advantage of the Mexican Riviera surroundings — most rooms offer sprawling ocean views while some suites come complete with their own private pools. The resort has distinctive dining options, ranging from margarita and taco snack staples to the refined beachfront Bahia Grill, with a menu highlighting fresh seafood caught just off the resort’s property. In addition to noteworthy culinary options, the resort is home to private white-sand beaches, an award-winning spa, and a plethora of beach, sea, and outdoor activities. Teeing Off After everything is situated and unpacked at either resort, it is time to hit the links. Punta Mita Club de Golf features two 18-hole championship Jack Nicklaus-designed golf courses that (based on my experience as a lifelong golfer) have the most scenic layouts in Mexico. The Pacifico and Bahia courses, meanwhile, are part of a private membership club which welcomes St. Regis and Four Seasons guests as well as residents of private villas and homes on the Punta Mita Peninsula. Thanks to the opening of the courses, Punta Mita quick-

ly transformed from a luxury destination with golf to a world-class golfing destination. The Pacifico golf course sprawls across 200 acres of lush, rolling fairways with breathtaking views everywhere you look. The 7,014-yard, par-72 course has eight holes directly bordering the Pacific Ocean and Banderas Bay, which could easily be a distraction in the midst of your round. The signature par-3 3rd hole, named “The Tail of the Whale,” features a oneof-a-kind island green sitting in the middle of the ocean. The tee box is set on the mainland almost 200 yards away, offering a great challenge with an even greater view. When commenting on the first of his two Punta Mita courses, Jack Nicklaus noted that the “Pacifico Course provides all of the challenge and exhilaration that players expect at a world-class resort, with the sheer magic of ocean views, varied landscapes, and a unique environment.” The Bahia Course, formally opened for play in November 2009, was added to the Punta Mita peninsula after Pacifico. The par72 course stretches out 7,030 yards and is adorned with lush Bermuda fairway; immense tropical landscaping cradles the 18 holes weaving through Punta Mita’s beautiful residential communities. A sure-fire favorite hole on Bahia is the unforgettable 462-yard, par-4, 15th hole, with its seemingly endless views of Banderas Bay and the Puerto Vallarta skyline. With an undulated fairway and a challenging green that is well guarded by bunkers, this lengthy hole offers a unique challenge.

1. Four Seasons’ seaside Nuna Pool 2. Isla Marietas’ hidden beach – located just off the Punta Mita shore 3. Rooms at the St. Regis offer guests either an ocean or garden view 4. The Pacifico Course gets you up close and personal with the Pacific Ocean


Destinations Golf Getaway - St. Regis & Four Seasons Capital City Mexico City (“#1 place to travel in 2016” by the New York Times) 2015 GDP $1.064T 2016 GDP Per Capita $18,900 Population 123,000,000 (12th)

History Archaeological discoveries identified cultures having lived in and around Punta Mita, dating back to 300 BC Membership Punta Mita has two membership tiers, “Resident” and “Premier,” which afford you access to golf courses, tennis and fitness centers, and beach clubs Getting There Punta Mita is 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta, a three-hour flight from LAX (nonstop offerings via Alaska, American, Delta, and more)




Photos: Courtesy of Punta Mita Resort



Destinations Golf Getaway - St. Regis & Four Seasons 3

Making Punta Mita Home With so much to offer, Punta Mita is an ideal destination for property ownership. DINE, the owner and developer of Punta Mita, is Mexico’s premier real estate developer with commercial, residential, and master-planned communities throughout Mexico. DINE has flourished, bringing the 1,500 acre peninsula to life thanks to a wide variety of properties spread out among the breathtaking white-sand beaches, golf courses, and tropical mountains. The Punta Mita master plan includes 14 individual communities appointed with condos, villas, and homesites for custom built estates. The many housing options ensure there will be something for every type of prospective property owner.




Property ownership and membership provides access to exclusive golf, tennis, gym, dining, beaches, and water sport activities. Additionally, there is a residential concierge service that handles airport pickup and drop off, car rental, grocery shopping, restaurant reservations, catering, babysitting, tee times, and evening entertainment. The property management service team focuses on protecting, maintaining, and preserving each home with the highest level of attention to detail. In addition to what’s already built, the Punta Mita slate continues to grow, with the Kupuri Beach Club as the newest development to open. This magnificent beach club offers members and guests an additional location to gather and enjoy the gorgeous views of Litibu Bay.


5. Lagos del Mar’s 32 residences are situated between the 8th and 9th holes of the Pacifico course 6. Las Terrazas – a 27 unit boutique condominium property – offers residents views of the Pacifico course’s 14th hole and the Pacific OCean

PUNTA MITA TALKS TECH For the fifth time since November 2012, tech leaders gathered on the Punta Mita peninsula for MITA TechTalks — a three-day conference on the challenges and opportunities that occur in cross-border tech alliances and innovation. On the occasion of CSQ’s visit to Punta Mita, we talked with Lynne Bairstow, Managing Partner at MITA Ventures, about the state of Mexican tech and its impact on the nation’s economy


C-Suite Quarterly What was the biggest throughline from these TechTalks? Lynne Bairstow We need to tell a better story about Mexico. Outside of our community, there is little awareness of the tremendous growth in both the quantity and quality of innovative tech companies in Mexico. As reported by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2016, Mexico is the country that ranks highest in growth of new startups between 2012 and 2016. Additionally, during the first six months of 2016, Mexico led the Latin America region in number of VC deals – 47 transactions compared to 11 in the same timeframe in 2015 – for the first time since data has been collected in 2008.

Destinations Golf Getaway - Punta Mita + Mita Tech Talks 6

PUNTA MITA RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES El Encanto Four Seasons Private Villas Kapuri Estates and Homesites La Punta Estates Lagos Del Mar Las Marietas Las Palmas Las Terrazas Las Serenata Pacifico Estates Porta Fortuna Signature Estates Hacienda De Mita Ranchos Estates



The exclusive Four Seasons Private Villas have been one of the most exciting and well-received residential projects in Punta Mita. Spacious and luxurious, the villas are situated on a premier hillside location overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Bay of Banderas. Each four- or five-bedroom villa features sweeping Pacific Ocean views, a spacious covered terrace, a private infinity pool, and access to the refined services and amenities of the Four Seasons Resort, Punta Mita. Set alongside the 18th hole of the Jack Nicklaus Signature Bahia Course are 42 stunning private residences offering sprawling ocean and golf course views. These contemporary Mexican-style condominium homes are comprised of seven residences per building, with two per level. Each building has its own separate facilities including a swimming pool, a fitness center, and a barbecue area. In addition to these two premier residential communities in Punta Mita, there are another dozen – each offering uniqueness and variety with regard to size, style, and comfort. end

CSQ What was the tenor of the room when discussing the benefits of Mexico as a growing tech ecosystem? LB As diplomatic relations between the US and Mexico continue to generate uncertainty economically, opportunities for change and growth present themselves. A strong and prosperous tech ecosystem – consisting of entrepreneurs, investors, corporations, and policy makers – can create a new and important contribution to Mexico’s GDP. Quite simply, there is a newfound belief that technology and innovation can create greater economic independence for Mexico and advance important cultural change.

Lynne Bairstow Managing Partner, Mita Ventures

our experience brings you in, our people bring you back. Since 1942, our accountants have counseled medium- and small-sized businesses with the best in accounting, tax and financial advisory. Today, we focus on the same goals: meeting our clients’ needs and exceeding their expectations.

gish Seiden

Audits/Reviews/Compilations • Tax and Accounting Management Advisory • Financial Consulting • Specialty Services

Accounting for the past, planning for the future. 21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 850, Woodland Hills, California, 91367 818.854.6100 |

The C-Suite Advisory is the most sought after community of thought leaders and best in class trusted advisors to the C-Suite, business owner, and entrepreneur. Comprised of the best of the best in eight industries, and multiple fields, these tenured C-Suite Advisors have been engaged to share their insights and experiences on topics helpful to both business and life.



SCOTT M. SACHS, CPA Regional Managing Partner — West Region & Executive Board Member CohnReznick LLP, Los Angeles, CA CONSULTING

C-Suite Advisory - Table of Contents 96 KNOW THY TEAM


C-Suite Advisory For more information on becoming a C-Suite Advisor, e-mail



Founder & President Total HR Management La Crescenta, CA FINANCE


JIM FREEDMAN & JONATHAN ZUCKER JF: Chairman & Managing Director JZ: Head of the Capital Markets Group Intrepid Investment Bankers Los Angeles, CA







Owner Counseling Resource Center Agoura Hills, CA

Certified Family Law Specialist & Partner Blank Rome LLP Los Angeles, CA



C-Suite Advisory - Table of Contents






Founder & CEO Montage Insurance Solutions Woodland Hills, CA

Co-founder & CEO Echo-Factory Pasadena, CA







Partner Fox Rothschild LLP Los Angeles, CA

COO & Owner Hughes Marino Los Angeles, CA





Despite some forecasts claiming the bubble would burst, 2016 proved to be another strong year for U.S. commercial real estate markets. Despite sensing a bit of a slowdown in several key sectors, we at CohnReznick have reason for continued optimism in 2017. President Trump’s vow to change regulations and tax structures would certainly impact commercial real estate. And while we should anticipate both uncertainty and volatility this year, new growth opportunities should also be on the horizon. Here are some of the key trends and observations shaping commercial real estate in 2017.


1. Confidence Will Drive Strategic Planning

Regional Managing Partner — West Region Executive Board Member CohnReznick LLP Los Angeles, CA

Property values are approaching 2008 levels. But this time it’s not a false bubble. The market is not overleveraged and the fundamentals are stronger. A feeling of renewed confidence is driving how investors are approaching their strategic planning for 2017. The anticipated lifting of regulatory barriers and the lowering of tax rates should trigger commercial real estate growth in sectors ranging from hospitality to industrial. Interest rates will likely rise, but the industry as a whole seems well-positioned to absorb any adverse impact.

C-Suite Advisory - Scott Sachs Mr. Sachs’ career includes significant experience in both initial and secondary public offerings, debt and equity financing, and acquisition and divestiture analysis. He is actively involved in such organizations as the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, the Los Angeles Jewish Home, the Girl Scout Council, The Entrepreneurship Institute, and Junior Achievement. Mr. Sachs is also a member of the Ernst & Young LLP Alumni Association of Southern California board of directors. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, Mr. Sachs is a member of Certified Public Accountants and the California Society of Public Accountants.

Phone 818/205.2609 Email Website Location 1900 Avenue of the Stars 28th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90067




2. The Evolution of REITs

Various REITs have begun reshaping to be more laser focused on a specific geography or segment in the market. While there is some hesitation with development activities, we’re seeing publicly-traded REITs partner with best-in-class developers—who are taking a substantial amount of the development risk— and these REITs are getting in early, and at a lower price point. We anticipate growing activity among non-traded REITs, the crowdfunded or socalled e-REITs, which are structuring lower fees, building in liquidity mechanisms, and attracting a new class of non-accredited investors. 3. Multifaceted Multifamily

While demand for multifamily housing has showed signs of slowing in 2017, there will still be opportunities for developers in many markets. These opportunities will be driven by multiple demographic groups, particularly the large millennial and boomer generations, and the increasing need for both student and sen-


ior housing. The challenge for developers will be in addressing the increasingly sophisticated expectations of this residential market sector. 4. The Retail–Logistics Link

Advanced warehouse and distribution facilities will have expanding commercial real estate needs nationwide, addressing the growing logistical demands of a retail economy shifting to e-commerce. But as developers and investors look to smooth the “last mile” in the delivery chain, they likely will be turning their attention to building and strategically placing micro-distribution centers. These may find homes in repurposed big-box store spaces.

continues to settle from both Brexit and the U.S. presidential election. Uncertainty also swirls around the status of government regulations, critical tax policies, and other key issues for the new administration and the new Congress. With additional issues such as looming debt maturities, and opportunities for recapitalizations and distressed purchases as a result of these maturities, 2017 promises to be a news-making year in commercial real estate. end

5. Urban Density Dynamics

We expect to see urban densification continue to trend upward in 2017, especially in the development of high-density and mixed-use centers such as Oceanwide Plaza in Los Angeles. These centers offer luxurious living, retail, work, and entertainment spaces that also come with parks and other common areas. Suburban communities with good mass-transit connections will try to mirror this urban rebirth, offering a live–work–play mix of residences, retail, and lifestyle amenities on a walkable scale.

C-Suite Advisory - Scott Sachs

6. Global Volatility and Foreign Investors

Historically, the U.S. commercial real estate market has been seen as a safe harbor in volatile times, and Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA) reform has opened new sources of foreign investment. In 2017, we see foreign investors looking beyond Class A properties in top-tier cities to find value in rising urban areas nationwide. There may be a perception by some that U.S. prices have gotten too high and Beijing is already planning to tighten rules on investment capital leaving the country. 7. Headwinds, Tailwinds … and Crosswinds

From China’s slowing economy to rising interest rates, commercial real estate will face headwinds during 2017. But there are tailwinds, too - propelling surging sectors from student housing to logistics spaces - with millennials and baby boomers fueling new development in rising urban areas. Commercial real estate could be buffeted by hard-to-gauge crosswinds, too, as the dust


Montage Insurance Solutions.indd 1

2/27/17 1:3

JAMES HARWOOD, MBA, SPHR Founder & President Total HR Management La Crescenta, CA




important, you will hit your goals, grow your company, and in doing so, have integrity.


Why Can’t I Just Manage Everybody the Same Way?

The short answer is you can, but you have probably already tried that and realized it doesn’t work. Just as you don’t treat a 2-, 5-, or 10-year-old child the same way, we shouldn’t be treating (managing) Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers or Millennials the same way either. The same objectives perhaps, the same workload, but the path - their path - may look very different from generation to generation. Knowing how to leverage the strengths and weaknesses (think Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats [SWOT] analysis) of each valued employee and what he or she brings to the table is key to recruiting, training, and retaining the right people. Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, Generation Y aka Millennials

C-Suite Advisory - James Harwood

James Harwood has more than 20 years of experience as an HR executive and consultant working with such Fortune 500 companies as Intel Corporation and Tektronix, Inc., as well as multiple non-profit corporations and small businesses. In addition to overseeing HR administration departments including payroll, benefits, workers compensation etc., Mr. Harwood has an extensive background in Human Resources Management, employment law, and organizational development. He enjoys helping organizations enhance overall employee satisfaction and worker productivity and consults on leadership practices, management development, employee satisfaction, and performance management. Mr. Harwood is the Founder and President of Total HR Management, a company providing strategic and administrative HR management solutions with an exclusive focus on the small business market. Total HR Management provides a variety of HR services on an outsourced basis.

Phone 818/248.0049 Email Website Location 2626 Foothill Blvd. Suite 220 La Crescenta, CA 91214



In our previous article, we spoke about the importance of having an innovative corporate culture and the value of having a strategy. Continuing with this theme, it is important to point out some crucial elements in today’s world of employment. Not only are there different styles, modes of thought, and personalities, there’s an entirely different approach to work from one generation to the next. There are also distinct talents and weaknesses that every company needs to identify and work with to stay on track. I studied psychology in my college years. During my internship, it became very apparent that successful therapists did something very different than not-so-successful ones. The results-oriented therapist tended to meet patients where they actually were in their life (disorders, problems, beliefs, attitudes) rather than force a process that may or may not work. Knowing how someone experiences their world, their subjective perception (or how they distort, delete, and generalize information—also called perceptual bias) leaves us many clues as to how best embrace, coach, and leverage an individual’s skills. When we effectively manage our team this way (while always staying aligned with our company values and objectives, of course), our team feels a sense of contribution, recognition, and appreciation for who they are. Equally, if not more

Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen-Xers, Millennials—what does all this mean? More important, how can we figure out what makes each distinct generation tick? How do we identify, embrace, and leverage each respective generation to align with our company’s mission, goals, and values? Believe it or not, with each generation come belief systems, traditions, values, and work ethics. As business owners, we have all experienced this, either intuitively or wittingly. The Millennial or young Gen-Xer who seems to not have the same work ethic as our Baby Boomers, or the Baby Boomer who seems to be a bit slower to adopt and accept new technologies, processes or systems. So where does this leave us? What can we do to embrace our team, differentiate the talents of each employee, and leverage these behavioral types for the benefit of the entire team and the company’s success? The SWOT Analysis

Imagine for a moment having each manager or team leader (as a team) evaluate the behavioral and skills sets of each and every employee while sitting in a group, with a white board evaluating their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. More important, imagine that the employee who’s being evaluated feels open, secure, and supported by the entire team. Once your employee knows this



is not a shaming session but rather a way to identify and leverage their strengths, isolate and strengthen their weaknesses, focus and capitalize on missed opportunities, and spot their threats to then eliminate them, the employee will know they are working for a company that wants to ensure their individual success, both personally and professionally. This is, quite frankly, an eye-opening experience for anyone who has participated in this activity. Saying this, the follow-up by the team leaders and co-workers is even more important. It does little or no good at all to identify these qualities and leave them on the shelf to collect dust. Business moves quickly, things change, and we all have to be engaged and prepared every single day.

Putting It Together

If your best client needs a phone call relationship, needs to be walked through things every time and wants connection (to be understood on a personal need level), the Baby Boomer employee may be your best solution. Why? Because they grew up without computers, used telephones, wrote letters, and communicated face-to-face. If you want someone who is spontaneous, creative, and technology-oriented, the Millennial is most likely your key employee. If your need falls between strong work ethic, solid communication, and relationships (a balance), the Gen-Xer is your perfect fit! Now, the Traditionalist is an entirely different kind of person who, most likely, has a solid foundation in believing in God, country,

and traditional values - values that any generation can have, of course, but are less typical. In closing, there are no rules per se, but there are consistent and measurable similarities within each generation. Knowing this can help enhance employee performance and make your company more successful. end

C-Suite Advisory - James Harwood










Chairman & Managing Director

Head of the Capital Markets Group

C-Suite Advisory - Jim Freedman & JonaWHAT than Zucker TO EXPECT Intrepid Investment Bankers Los Angeles, CA

Jim Freedman is a Founding Partner and Chairman of Intrepid Investment Bankers, a specialty investment bank that provides M&A, capital raising and strategic advisory services to middle-market companies across various industry sectors. He has more than 35 years of investment banking and corporate finance experience and is an expert on the financial aspects of corporate strategy. Jonathan Zucker is the Head of the Capital Markets Group at Intrepid. His transactional record includes capital raises for companies across a diverse set of industries, including digital media, SaaS, consumer electronics, nutritional supplements, apparel, and household products.

Phone 310/478.9000 Email Website Location 11755 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 2200 Los Angeles, CA 90025




It’s no surprise that our business owner clients often refer to their companies as their “baby.” It makes perfect sense since the companies they built are an expression of them, their ideas, their hard work, and countless years of perseverance. And just like parents know, their baby can’t stay small forever. So when the opportunity presents itself to accelerate growth – through new product development, geographic market expansion or an acquisition – they want to ensure expansion, but need additional financing. Raising capital can be much like bringing a baby into the world. But while it may not feel as instinctive to the entrepreneur as nursing does to a new mother, proper planning and education can go a long way in making the experience less stressful and the outcome more predictable. The good news for entrepreneurs today is that the capital markets are as vibrant as ever. Last year, institutional investors poured capital into the U.S. economy at a robust rate: $69.1B in venture capital investment,1 $400B in private equity capital,2 and 167 private debt funds having deployed part of their $88.5B of capital on hand.3 The flow of capital is expected to increase this year as the Trump Administration is keen to loosen regulatory restrictions on commercial banks. However, what the headlines do not reveal is the exceedingly high level of selectivity and stringent diligence that lenders and equity investors perform. To



make their companies institutionally backable, business owners must take important steps, such as instituting robust financial systems and controls, producing timely and accurate financial reporting, building a strong management bench, and executing sound business models. Our team recently worked with the owner of a leading performance marketing company, who founded his firm just four short years ago with the goal of becoming the dominant endto-end solutions provider for brands looking to scale through a direct-to-consumer model. The company needed financing to grow its proprietary eCommerce platform and the business owner didn’t know what to expect. Knowing that a relatively young company in a rapidly-evolving industry would be heavily scrutinized by institutional capital sources, we encouraged the owner to have his financial statements audited and to strengthen the team with the addition of a seasoned CFO. Additionally, we produced marketing materials, financial models, and a management presentation that would bring the company the credibility required to close an institutional investment. Ultimately, the company secured very favorable growth financing from a partner who shares the owner’s vision for creating a new paradigm for eCommerce.

order, owners may feel ready to approach investors directly in search for capital; however, they can benefit by consulting an investment banker well before the need to transact in order to understand what attributes will attract the greatest investor interest. A banker can provide valuable insight into positioning the company, market valuations, the range of institutional capital that is available, and the expected cost of capital. A valuation generally takes the following into consideration: i) how much the company is worth today; ii) how much it could be worth in the future if certain growth initiatives are achieved; and iii) how long it might take to implement these initiatives and the risk in pursuing them. Focus on Your Highest and Best Use

When you are ready to tap the capital markets, focus your time on what will bring you the greatest value: run your business, not the capital raising process. A banker will take the time to understand your company’s vision and capital needs and communicate that to a deep network of capital providers that will compete to win your business. The access to long-standing relationships that a banker has with a variety of providers – ranging from private equity sponsors, growth equity investors, and family offices to institutional debt funds, commercial finance companies, banks, and non-traditional capital sources – are essential to finding the right capital solution for your strategic plan. Our relationships with leading providers were vital when one of the largest providers of repair and maintenance services to major shipping companies needed advice on how to finance a management buyout. We helped position this unique company by conveying the essential role it serves in the ecosystem and were able to get lenders comfortable funding the transaction. A banker can help you stay focused on running your daily business and add value through all phases of the capital raise. A banker will work with you to determine the desired capital structure and compile a list of the most relevant investors; draft an information memorandum and help you develop supporting data such as a financial forecast model; conduct a competitive, structured marketing process to secure initial proposals, organize management presentations, and manage the due

diligence process for the final bidders; and, most importantly, negotiate final deal terms and the business aspects of the definitive documents with the ultimate suitor. Avoid Post Funding Blues

Entrepreneurs must understand that there will be some changes after the closing. A company may face some new restrictions and requirements. There will likely be quarterly financial reporting requirements, the new investor may take a board seat, and owners will likely be unable to distribute profits without limitations as they may have done in the past. If the entrepreneur picks the right investor, the benefits should greatly outweigh the risks and disruptions. The right capital source can bring value in many ways, including access to a valuable network, board level advice, and a discipline that can serve the company well in scaling the business without destroying its entrepreneurial energy and significantly increasing its enterprise value. end

C-Suite Advisory - Jim Freedman & Jonathan Zucker Get Your Business in Shape to Draw Investor Interest

A challenge area we see, especially with lower middle-market companies, is in the CFO function. Our clients are consistently strong at developing and delivering products or services, but often neglect building a finance department beyond the controller level. When owners embark on a capital raise, the need for an experienced CFO becomes readily apparent. If a company is not ready to commit the time and resources to hire a top-notch CFO, it may use firms that provide temporary CFOs. Depending on its size, a company may be well served to have its outside CPA firm prepare either reviewed or audited financial statements. Companies often try to save money by not preparing audited financials only to find out that the enhanced scrutiny of financial audits raises the credibility of reported results, helping them in the diligence process with institutional debt and equity providers. Once a company’s financial house is in


KPMG Pitchbook 3 Preqin 1






Are you being present, mindful, and paying attention to your mental and physical health? Most of my clients come to me feeling depressed, anxious, and lacking energy to the point that they are challenged both mentally and physically. Would you be willing to listen if I told you that you might be able to control or prevent all of the above by paying attention to what you put in, on, and around you? Our society promotes instant gratification and quick fixes but this may not be the smartest or most productive way to accomplish one’s goals. It’s like taking pills to relieve pain and discomfort which only deals with the symptoms rather than being mindful and listening to our bodies and addressing the source of the problem. In my mid 30s I was too busy concentrating on reaching for my goals instead of paying attention to good nutrition, stress management, and proper rest. I only became proactive after I was in significant pain and almost bed ridden. I was living with a handful of issues: Aspartame poisoning from all the diet drinks that kept me moving; Fibromyalgia from the foods, chemicals, and environmental toxins in my life; Chronic Fatigue from the stress I held in my body. I was frustrated and depressed, desperately going from doctor to doctor taking whatever medication was prescribed and still not feeling well. Finally, I stopped to think about my grandmother who came to this country in her late 20s from a farm in Hungary. She birthed nine children, had a healthy life without medications or physical ailments, and passed away at the ripe age of 99. It occurred to me that her eating fresh whole foods, using products with minimal toxins, and taking that one-day of rest might have contributed to her healthy longevitiy. My own health only got better when I decided to take responsibility for my own wellness and pay attention to what I put in, on, and around my body. You don’t have to get sick like I did before paying attention to your wellness. There is enough help and information available to ensure you take care of yourself in a positive and productive way. What would you do as a businessperson if your product or business were not up to par? You would, most likely, do research and take the time and effort needed to resolve the problem. Take on the challenge

CAROL A. POLEVOI, LMFT, CBS, CPC Owner / Clinical Director Counseling Resource Center Agoura Hills, CA

C-Suite Advisory - Carol Polevoi Carol A. Polevoi has been a mental health specialist for over three decades. She spent more than two of them as owner and clinical director of the Counseling Resource Center in Agoura Hills, where she worked with individuals, families, couples, groups, and businesses. Ms. Polevoi is a licensed psychotherapist, certified as an Integrative Body Psychotherapist (IBP) and teacher, biofeedback specialist, and professional coach. She specializes in mind/body therapy, stress management, wellness and professional coaching, relationships and trauma. Prior to her current practice, Ms. Polevoi spent fifteen years in corporate lending as a manager and trainer, and five years in education as a teacher and counselor. Ms. Polevoi provides support and innovative therapeutic interventions to help clients relieve physical and psychological pain as well as resolving troublesome patterns of behavior.

Phone 818/889.3905 Email Website Location 5923 Kanan Road Agoura Hills, CA 90301






and make your body and mind as important as your business and discover just how much more productive and successful you can be. Here are some guidelines to help you on your journey toward wellness.

such as fragrances, aluminum, mineral oil, sulfates, parabens, polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol, isopropyl alcohol, and talc

Go back to basics and choose the following:

7. High electromagnetic fields (EMFs) like power lines and small electronics such as computers, cell phones, electric clocks, and electric blankets

1. Whole foods in their natural state or organic options as much as possible; this will help you avoid toxins, chemicals, preservatives, hormones, pesticides, food colorings, and MSG 2. Fresh fruits and raw vegetables that are full of natural enzymes for easy digestion and absorption of nutrients 3. Natural sugars and sweeteners

6. Toothpaste with warning labels on it that state “call poison control if swallowed.”

7. Upholstered furniture and bedding containing PFC’s flame retardant 8. Wood varnish containing phthalates 9. Carpets and particleboard furniture containing formaldehyde 11. Plastic wrap and plastic bottles outgas plasticizers (phthalates) that leach into the food

C-Suite Advisory - Carol Polevoi 4. Products for your hair and body with the most purity and smallest amount of chemicals 5. BPA-free containers and cans 6. Filtered water for drinking and bathing 7. A good night’s sleep (consistently!) Choose to avoid:

1. Packaged and canned foods 2. Foods genetically modified or engineered 3. High fructose corn syrup and diet sugars such as Aspartame (also known as NutraSweet and Equal). Both are known to be the most toxic sugar substitutes 4. Microwaving foods (radiating) and killing the nutrition and enzymes that are needed for digestion 5. Products for your hair, body, and skin – your largest organ – which absorbs whatever you put on it. Pay attention to the ingredients in shampoos, deodorants, sunscreens, cosmetics, skincare, and body care products that have carcinogenic ingredients


12. Silver dental fillings that contain mercury which leaches into the body I have included the above as I feel it is important for you to be aware of some of the chemicals and ingredients in the products you use daily and what is in your environment that is toxic for your wellbeing. Some of the above products even have alternative uses such as extending shelf life, dissolving car grease and oil, and can be classified as pesticides and antifreeze for industrial use. Studies are showing that these ingredients may permanently damage cells, tissues and organs and body systems and therefore are creating disease. Statistics show that we are living longer so choose to be proactive and strive to achieve a healthy mind and body. Start small and make a point of changing something every day that will lead to a healthier you. Spring into wellness by being conscious with what you put in, on and around your body. end

References & Resources:





For years, many have been predicting the federal budget would collapse under the aging boomers and we are here. The U.S. national debt is currently at $19,941,672 trillion, and President Trump is beginning where Obama left off, doubling from the Bush era that ended in just under $10 Trillion in debt in March 2008. The US Federal Budget deficit was just under $300 billion in 2008, it has almost doubled to just under $600 billion today. While U.S. Revenue has increased through taxes, Federal spending has outpaced its growth. Debt to foreign nations has increased by $2.386 trillion. It is time for U.S. citizens to understand our country has serious concerns and managing our future is extremely important, so it’s necessary to see the truth. U.S. culture finds more young people in the Midwest moving away from their home areas, leaving parent’s care to others, such as nursing home care (expected to double in 2030 since 2013). Other countries, such as China, for the first time in their history find themselves struggling with the same shifts in culture as their youth leaves home; and the care of their parents would go to others, thus causing them to begin to build nursing care facilities, as never needed before. The Boomers impact the world. Our reality of Baby Boomers, who in 2016 were between the ages 52 to 70, account for 46 million in 2016. The Boomers’ children are expected to be 98 million by 2060. Many studies have shown, boomers are working longer than previous generations, projected in 2022 to be 27% for men and 20% for women working past 65, impacting employer’s healthcare costs. The average U.S. life expectancy increased from 68 years in 1950 to 76.3 for men and 81.2 for women, in 2017. Obesity rates increased 40% among those 65-74 years of age from 2009-2012, causing Medicare/Medicaid spending to increase, a trend experts expect to continue. In 2014, this aging population of women (27 percent) lived alone, increasing to 42% as women age to years 75-84, (56%-85% of women 85 plus). Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase, possibly tripling by 2050 to 14 million from 5 million in 2013. Social Security has increased since 2008 by $329 billion, along with Medicare/Medicaid increasing by $560 billion. These demographics of the aging population and rising healthcare costs are not sustainable per the federal government’s fiscal policies.

DANONE SIMPSON President & CEO Montage Insurance Solutions Woodland Hills, CA

THE - Danone Simpson C-Suite Advisory

Danone Simpson has more than 17 years experience in all lines of insurance. Danone has built an agency focused on employee benefit and property & casualty programs for the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Under Danone’s leadership the firm has partnered with over 100 carriers in order to find the perfect insurance solutions for their clients. Danone has been presented multiple awards in the Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Business Journals, including being selected a Trusted Advisor in Insurance and one of the Top Twelve Women Owned Businesses in Los Angeles. Recently Danone was selected by Forbes magazine to be represented in the Women of Power series for Southern California. She sits on the Valley Village Board of Directors and Make-AWish and was honored as a founding member of Women for Wishes. Done received her Masters of Business Administration from the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University. Our mission at Montage is to further your mission with Dedication, Service and Integrity while protecting your assets and giving back to the community.

Phone 818/676.0044 Email Website Location 5550 Topanga Canyon Blvd. Suite 310 Woodland Hills, CA 91367






Medicaid provides payments to managed care organizations (MCOs) and account for 43% of Medicaid spending. Kaiser Foundation tells us that elderly persons with disabilities make up one-quarter of all Medicaid enrollees and accounts for almost two thirds of Medicaid spending. The GOP proposed legislation to grandfather in all with Medicaid today, until 2020 and then reduce the federal funding for the expanded pool to 90% in the states that chose to continue with the ACA Medicaid expansion. This percentage would stay in place with the state paying the remaining 10%. Then, anyone new to the expansion of Medicaid assistance after 2020, would fall 100% to the state. For the 19 states that did not chose the Medicaid expansion, the Federal Government would give $10 billion over a five-year period. The entitlement would go away and it would cap at a pro-capita amount, depending on enrollment. Medicaid is the third largest domestic program in the federal budget following Medicare and Social Security, and the largest source of federal revenues for state budgets, creating positive effects for state economies. States have adopted an array of policies to control Medicaid spending growth and are concerned with the GOP pushing more spending on them, while the expectations of the US citizens are looking to our government to continue the promises made by the Affordable Care Act. The American Health Care Act, as proposed and presented by the GOP, would also include banishing the individual mandate-lessening tax burdens, continuing with subsidies in the free market-allocated differently with age and phasing out those with incomes over $75,000, rid of cumbersome IRS tax penalties, while keeping the employer and carrier reporting in place. The earlier Republican proposal to tax employer-provided health insurance over the 90th percentile of premiums is no longer a feature of the bill, a victory for employers. Recently, Anthem CEO Joseph Swedish told top House Republicans in a letter obtained by Morning Consult, that “Anthem supports the Obamacare repeal bill, and urged lawmakers to move the process forward, as quickly as possible.” Healthcare costs are rising for the US Federal government and states. The cost of living has increased personal debt, by astoundingly $2.386 trillion dollars in the past nine years. State revenue has increased in the past nine

years; however, so has the debt grown. This is why the state officials are arguing they cannot afford even a portion of the Medicaid expansion. It is a lose-lose situation, with nowhere to go, but to increase jobs to increase the US Federal and State Revenue. With the personal debt increasing so rapidly and the student loans increasing, now at $1.423 trillion, young people are unable to afford mortgages. The mortgage debt has decreased from 2008 by $84 billion, as the younger populations are strapped with student loans and increased expectations from employers requiring college degrees and MBAs in our technology/service age. Credit card debt has increased by $57 billion since 2008. The total personal debt today is $56,216 per US citizen. There is no room in the individual or family budget for increased healthcare costs, nor in the state or federal budgets, as our future spending emerges ahead of us. Understanding these factors should cause everyone to plan to decrease their personal debt, and the federal and state government to balance their deficits; however, the numbers show this is not the case, and is easier said than done. The tough, hard line- old school approach is not popular today. The Silent Generation born in (1925-1945) during the great depression (1929-39), and their parents who dealt with it- the Greatest Generation (1910-1924) knows what is looming ahead of the United States. Therefore, the conservatives are pushing their agenda in a very expectant generation, and it’s not going over well. While impossible to satisfy everyone, the ACA is unsustainable, as the numbers dictate; therefore, the GOP perseveres with their American Health Care Act, that presses hard on the states to care for their own in future generations, or until the next president comes along to inspire the congress to change things again. end

C-Suite Advisory - Danone Simpson






A successful company is a good problem to have. It is thrilling to be consumed with the development of a product, a brand, a management team, strategic alliances, hiring new employees, and the like. It can be less exciting to meet the often inevitable need for additional business capital. Many business owners initially capitalize their business with their own capital and that obtained from friends and family. The advantages are simplicity, efficiency, and – usually – friendly terms. As a business grows, or if a business is operating at a deficit, personal capital and capital from friends and family may quickly prove inadequate. As a business owner searches for new capital sources, it is important to understand the nuts and bolts of different finance alternatives, and the legal ramifications that will find their way into documents that will govern an investment relationship. Legal guidance may help identify relative risks presented by various financing alternatives and which alternative may maximize the owner’s stake and control in the business. A brief overview of several investment vehicles and important terminology is set forth below.

WILLIAM MARK LEVINSON Partner, Co-chair, Financial Services Industry Practice, Co-chair, Israel Practice Group Fox Rothschild LLC Los Angeles, CA

MY C-Suite Advisory - Mark Levinson

Mark Levinson is a seasoned attorney primarily advising and guiding individual and corporate clients through a range of corporate, securities, real estate, and financing transactions. Levinson was nominated by “The M&A Advisor” as an award finalist for a complex public company spinoff that was listed on the NYSE and named to the Los Angeles Business Journal’s “Who’s Who in Real Estate Law” in 2013. Levinson is a trusted advisor known for his effective negotiating approach who routinely counsels financial institutions, real estate development companies, investment banks, entrepreneurs, and individuals. In addition to his professional roles, Levinson sits on the executive board of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, the executive board of the Southern California-Israel Chamber of Commerce, and the board of governors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Levinson is also a trustee of National Jewish Health. A graduate of Brandeis University and Yeshiva University’s Cardozo School of Law, Levinson resides in Calabasas and is the proud husband of Carrie and father of Emily, Lauren, and Max.

Phone 818/300.7624 Email Website Location 1800 Century Park East 14th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90067




Bootstrapping Capital From the Company

Additional capital can sometimes be bootstrapped from business profits. However, if the amount of internally generated capital is limited or a business is growing at a high velocity or using capital at a high velocity, the owner may soon be looking for additional capital from outside sources. Debt or Equity

The business owner will decide whether to seek an equity infusion (i.e., sell interests in the business) or debt (there are a range of lenders to consider). The cost of capital and maintaining control and minimizing dilution is frequently a critical consideration. Debt financing from a bank typically requires security to collateralize the loan. That security is, for example, the assets of the business. Future cash flow is not typically considered preferred security for many mainstream lenders. An advantage of debt financing is that it avoids equity dilution. Equity is long-term capital because it doesn’t require fixed repayment like debt, it



builds the working capital base of the company, it sits below debt in the capital stack and, from an investor’s perspective, it may reinforce a business’s valuation. Equity, however, requires establishing the company’s value, which for early stage ventures may not be desirable. Lock Arms With a Strategic Alliance

Some businesses may consider a joint-venture or similar strategy to obtain growth funding. Often called a strategic alliance, it is important to recognize the motivations of the strategic partner and consider operational issues, intellectual property ownership, future flexibility and exit arrangements. In addition, it is critical that all participants share a common goal for the business and will put in the necessary effort to achieve that goal. Angel Investors

Angel investors are individuals as opposed to institutional money or funds. Angels often invest lesser amounts of money and are often personally involved with the company’s development. Angel investments are made individually and usually range from $50,000 to $1M. The terms of an angel investment may parallel the venture capital (VC) investor but angels do not have the infrastructure of staff and resources of a VC investor.

Look to Others With a Private Placement of Securities

Business owners are sometimes urged to consider a private placement of securities to raise capital. All sales of securities must be registered with the SEC under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1933, as amended, unless there is an exemption from registration. The Impact of the Term Sheet

Investments begin with a term sheet. Term sheets seek to reflect the key elements of the business arrangement. Term sheets are not typically final agreements but, importantly, certain components of a term sheet may be binding. Therefore, it is very beneficial for the company to engage a lawyer during the term sheet drafting process. Term sheets routinely include the form of investment and amount, valuation, redemption or put rights, future investment participation rights, anti-dilution provisions, aspects of company management, advisory boards, board rights, observer rights, term of the investment, confidentiality, exit strategy and dispute, and breach mechanics. These elements are subject to a final agreement but, at the term sheet stage, the goal is to have a basic shared understanding of numerous legal, business, and tax issues. For a successful and enduring fund raise, it is important to think strategically and understand one’s options. The array of structures, terms, and documentation can be complex. By reviewing the benefits and risks of different investment vehicles and structures with a capable legal counsellor, the entrepreneur can put his or herself in the strongest position to obtain funding and thrive. end

C-Suite Advisory - Mark Levinson Venture Capital

Venture capital is a term often used to identify investors who are very wealthy (perhaps a family office) or investment funds which specialize in investing in high-risk, up-and-coming companies. The VC investment is typically greater than the angel investment, but also more costly to the company. Investments typically exceed $1M. VCs know their investment is illiquid as they often must leave their investment in the business for several years. VCs are sophisticated, receive numerous investment proposals in any given month, and tend to be picky about which businesses they fund. It is critical for any business seeking VC funding to not only have its story and records in good order (e.g., corporate governance, control, protection of intellectual property and executive summaries) but also to target the correct VC.


DISCLAIMER: The labels, information and explanations in this article are quite limited in their scope and for informational and discussion purposes only and not meant to provide comprehensive descriptions or discussions of the topics mentioned herein. No warranty is given as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained herein and the views and opinions herein are subject to change without notice. This article is not nor may be deemed, under any circumstances, to be legal advice from Fox Rothschild, LLP (“Fox”) or the lawyers named herein. No attorney-client relationship currently exists with the recipient nor may exist with Fox without a signed written engagement agreement among the parties. In furnishing the information above, the author reserves the right to supplement, amend or replace such information at any time with no obligation to provide the recipient with any supplemental, amended, replacement or additional information.


STACY D. PHILLIPS Certified Family Law Specialist Partner Blank Rome LLP Los Angeles, CA




Money matters. Protecting your money, matters. Protecting your money during marriage, and especially during divorce, matters even more. When most people enter into an intimate personal relationship, they don’t give much thought to preparing financially before jumping in with both feet. Often, they don’t give it enough thought during the relationship. They rarely think about what they will face if the relationship ends. Why? Mainly because people are too busy being in love. Who really wants to talk or think about “business” when the relationship is new or when it’s going well? Not many people do, which is why after more than thirty years as a Family Law attorney (a euphemism for divorce lawyer), I meet many clients who lack proper knowledge of their financial affairs. These otherwise successful masters of their domain – from many walks of life – simply have not paid careful attention to the nuances of transactions typical in high-net-worth estates. Taking control of your financial affairs is not only important, it can have a positive effect on a relationship or marriage over the long term, and can, in many instances, make a divorce less painful. Start by taking an inventory of your assets, including bank accounts, security accounts, real estate property, credit cards, lines of credit, trusts of which you are a beneficiary, inherited funds, and other valuable possessions (cars, boats, jewelry, art, and so on). Then ask yourself, “are these owned separately or jointly?” Beyond that question, do you really know if what you think you own jointly is really joint as in 50/50? Do you really know if what you consider your separate property is, in fact, your separate property? How was each asset acquired and when: before, during, or after the marriage? Was the asset purchased with joint funds, from inheritance or a gift, or separate funds that one of you had before the marriage? Were funds commingled? Do you know where ready cash can be obtained? The same inventory goes for liabilities. Once your inventory is complete, you have taken a vital step toward being in control of your wealth. The next step is to protect your interests, and this is where things can get interesting. The value of written protection cannot be overstated, be it a real estate agreement, a cohabitation agreement, or a pre- or postnuptial agreement.


Stacy D. Phillips represents a wide variety of high-net-worth clients as they undergo the significant and often difficult transitions involved in divorce and custody matters. Over her 30-year career, Stacy has become known for her adept negotiation and highly personalized advocacy. A hallmark of Stacy’s reputation is that she truly listens to her clients’ needs, concerns, and fears, always with the highest level of discretion. Stacy is fond of saying that “how we treat others, how we conduct ourselves, and how we communicate during difficult times, can alter the course of our lives and the lives of those around us.” Whether through litigation or alternative dispute resolution such as mediation, Stacy and her colleagues in the Blank Rome Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group continuously seek innovative and compassionate solutions to achieve notable results for their clients. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Law, she assisted in the drafting of California Senate Bill 924, which extended the limitations period for victims of domestic violence to sue their abusers in civil court. Stacy resides in Beverly Hills and is the proud mother of two grown children, Alison and Andrew.

Phone 424/239.3400 Website Address 2029 Century Park East 6th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90067





Let me give you an example of a situation I deal with all the time. The law in California states that putting someone’s name on a deed of trust does not mean that person receives half the equity in the ownership of the property. A typical circumstance would play out this way: A happy couple decides to marry. The groom promises the bride that on their first wedding anniversary, he will transmute his separate property residence (owned free and clear) to the community as a “gift.” At their one-year anniversary, true to his word, the husband asks the wife’s estate planning attorney to draft the documentation necessary to transmute the property. At the time of the transmutation, the residence is worth

$4,000,000, with no debt. The attorney prepares a deed and an agreement transmuting the husband’s separate property to community property. Fast forward five years. The happy couple is no longer happy and decides to divorce. The residence is now worth $5,000,000. Does the wife receive $2.5 million, or $2 million, or $500,000? The reality is that the wife receives $500,000 because, five years earlier, her attorney did not get the husband to sign a written document waiving his right to claim his reimbursement (under Family Code Section 2640). Thus, only the $1,000,000 increase in the value of the residence is community property, entitling the wife to 50% of that increase. The

husband, however, is entitled to reimbursement for his $4,000,000 contribution. In the absence of a waiver in writing to the right of reimbursement, the anniversary “gift” may be nothing more than one-half the asset’s appreciation since the date of the gift – if there is any appreciation. Relationships aren’t easy. Making them work or having them fail are two of the most difficult challenges anyone can face. Whether you are newly in love, happily married, contemplating separation, in the midst of a divorce or regrouping in its aftermath, there is one pot of gold that everyone wants: peace of mind. Protecting your wealth goes a long way toward achieving that. end

C-Suite Advisory - Stacy Phillips

Untitled-2 1 Q Sushi.indd 1


3/11/17 7:24 AM 3/13/17 5:43 PM





Stay ahead of the message. Ever hear that one before? How about this one: Time is money. Watch just about any political drama, and you’re likely to hear that first line delivered at least once by some fast-walking, cell phone-wielding spin doctor. Watch any corporate business drama, and you’ll probably hear the second spouted off at least 50 times by some unnaturally tan executive on the ninth hole as he dresses down the latest in a string of incompetent yes men. These statements are so well known that they long ago crossed over from the kingdom of sound business advice to the camp of overused, worn-out truisms. And yet, at least once a quarter, we see some enormous, multi-national, multi-million dollar corporation caught up in a PR nightmare, which they likely knew was coming but for which they failed to prepare. This lack of preparation makes for hastily written public statements based on rushed crisis management decisions, which very often end up taking the problem from bad to worse. Because of this, even more time (and money) need to be invested in cleaning up the cleanup.

MIKE SCHAFFER Co-founder & CEO Echo-Factory Pasadena, CA

C-Suite Advisory - Mike Schaffer Mangling the Message

Mike is a co-founder, partner, and CEO at Echo-Factory, a creative agency headquartered in Pasadena, California. Echo-Factory works with a range of clients, including established companies like MagLite, Audi USA, and Troy Lee Designs, as well as startups and smaller companies that are investing in rapid growth. The agency has been awarded many times for its work, including two “Best in Show” ADDY® awards. Mike started out as an advertising photographer, and partnered with creative director Dea Goldsmith to found Echo-Factory in 2008. Today, Mike’s primary role is as a marketing consultant and brand strategist.

Phone 626/993.3770 Email Website Location 36 W. Colorado Blvd. Suite 200 Pasadena, CA 91105




Just in recent memory, we’ve seen botched PR take problems from really terrible to total disaster for companies, including Wells Fargo (fake bank accounts), Chipotle (E. coli), and Volkswagen (emissions). And that’s just business. Head on over to the public sector (ahem, White House, ahem), and one sloppy mop job after another is causing epic-level PR fails – no matter what side of the aisle you’re on. That’s a true fact. The bottom line is that it pays to be prepared, and public opinion is important – especially as your brand grows. A bad rap can tank sales, get you fired, bankrupt your business, and/or make you look really, really less than smart. I’m not saying that these companies didn’t deserve the truckload of criticism poured all over them—there was some allegedly very shady stuff going on. But let’s be real here: Who puts in that kind of sustained Machiavellian effort and never plans for the possibility of having to do some explaining when the whistleblower comes a callin’? Sorry, but a real super villain would be better prepared. But lack of solid preparation in the PR and marketing departments isn’t just an issue for



companies dealing with worst-case scenarios or scandals. In fact, many businesses getting an A+ in the ethics department get a rock-solid F when it comes to promoting a new listing, bragging about a new star hire or celebrating a mega sale. This is because every time something (predictably) great happens, the marketing and PR departments treat the event like a one-off. This leads to a cycle of chasing the message and wasting untold amounts of time and money reinventing the wheel (over and over again). Knowing the Triggers

We’ve seen it, we’ve studied it and we think it’s high time we do something about it. How, you ask? With the implementation of a little something I like to call Trigger Systems. Trigger Systems are plans that prepare your company for both best- and worst-case scenarios, as well as the regular occurrences that could and likely will happen either once or on a regular basis. When something important happens in your business, a Trigger System supports that thing with a group of marketing activities. These systems take on two forms—proactive and reactive. Trigger Systems are pre-strategized plans and timelines that the marketing department can reference for guidance over and over again (or just once, and hopefully never, in the event of a crisis). These Trigger Systems are written out and saved to a general folder where any new marketing hire can access them and use them to take the necessary steps of promoting a message—an instruction manual, if you will, for how to deal with common and potential PR events. For example, you are a major real estate property management company who has just taken on the “greening” of your major assets. You have seven properties undergoing sustainability improvements, including high-efficiency lighting retrofits in all offices, electric vehicle charging stations in the parking garages, and low-flow water features in the bathrooms. It’s going to save your company money, and it’s going to make you look really good in the press. If everything goes to plan, each month for the next seven months will mark a completion date for one of your seven buildings. That’s seven months of killer PR—if you don’t blow it by being unprepared and missing your window.

A Trigger System is the plan of action for making sure each new sustainable building gets its day in the sun and for ensuring that each piece of marketing supports and builds upon all other marketing. The system would include timelines for the publication of press releases, blog posts, social media promotions, e-blasts, website updates and featured project one sheets. A Trigger System puts your monthly announcements on a repeatable schedule that you plan once and then implement time and again. But the Trigger System does not stop there. Let’s say your corporation has a lengthy press release approval process—and so does the business partner you mentioned in said release. A Trigger System accounts for expected delays and countless rounds of revisions to ensure all the necessary marketing materials are created and approved before the announcement date. Sounds really basic, you say? It is. But take a look at your own business and at the businesses around you. How many actually have a solid PR plan, and how many are winging it? We’d venture to guess winging it beats out planning all day long. Which means that developing some solid Trigger Systems could give you the major competitive advantage of staying ahead of the message and controlling the narrative. And you heard it here first: Doing it right the first time typically saves time, and, if we all know one thing for certain by now, time is money. end

C-Suite Advisory - Mike Schaffer






What is every company’s greatest strength and also its greatest limitation to growth? People. Finding the right people to grow a company is the single biggest contributor to and constraint on the success and growth of an organization. In other words, it’s extremely important! As someone who leads operations and talent engagement at our company, I sometimes challenge our team on what we are looking for. Does depth of experience or a specific skill set trump cultural fit or communication style? Is it really all that important that candidates feel connected to our mission and grateful for the opportunity to join our team? Does it make sense to hire someone with incredible character who is perfectly aligned with our core values, yet knows nothing about our industry and seems teachable? At times, I wonder if our diligent search for the right people is more happy talk than stone cold facts. But at the end of the day, engaging the best talent possible is as complex and challenging as there are types of people out there – and for our company, this search strategy has proven to be tremendously rewarding. In interviews, I frequently find myself passionately telling new candidates that we truly love our team, and that taking care of our team is our greatest motivation as owners of a growing company. While it might be foreign to hear the word “love” emphatically repeated in a job interview, this approach has served us well. Caring deeply about our team members is what empowers our team to care deeply about our clients. We’re fortunate to be recognized by Fortune as one of the Top 10 best places to work in the nation and by Entrepreneur as the second-best company culture in the country, so whether it’s happy talk or not, finding teammates who feel like family and embrace what we’re all about serves us and our clients well.

SHAY HUGHES COO, Owner Hughes Marino Los Angeles, CA

C-Suite Advisory - Jason Hughes Shay Hughes is chief operating officer and owner of Hughes Marino, a nationally recognized commercial real estate firm committed to only representing tenants in their lease and purchase transactions. Hughes manages the end-to-end operations of the firm and plays a key role in all aspects of business strategy, human resources, marketing, and client relations. She has been instrumental in shaping Hughes Marino’s culture, spearheading the development of the company’s ten core values, and investing great time and energy into building a world-class team of professionals who are not only at the top of their game in business, but also treat one another like family.

Phone 310/277.3211 | 213/689.3211 Email Website Location 11150 Santa Monica Blvd. Suite 850 Los Angeles, CA 90025 555 West Fifth St. 35th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90013




Bringing in the Best

Don’t just take my word for it. The best companies in the world second the value of recruiting the best people and making them a first priority. Consider Apple, one of the most admired companies of all time, with the highest ranking in customer satisfaction for a decade. Steve Jobs said, “The secret of my success is that we have gone to exceptional lengths to hire the best people in the world.” Note, he doesn’t just say “great” people, but the “best”


people in the world. That’s a pretty lofty ambition, but so is building a company like Apple. One of my favorite business leaders of all time is Howard Schultz of Starbucks. Everything you need to know about business you could learn from Schultz. The guy is simply a genius who gets it right on every level. One of the things I admire most about Schultz is that he talks about the love of the enormous Starbucks family, from the coffee growers in Africa, to the thousands of baristas in their cafés, to the communities Starbucks inhabits and empowers. Schultz’s ability to consistently instill his vision and leadership worldwide is remarkable and awe-inspiring. How is it possible to have the same impeccable experience in the original Seattle Starbucks as you do in Istanbul, Shanghai, and Buenos Aires? Having been to Starbucks in all these cities, I can vouch firsthand that Schultz’s dream of delivering the romance of the Starbucks experience is consistently executed around the world. Starbucks knows how important it is to invest in employees, called “partners” by the company. Schultz believes if you exceed your employees’ expectations, they will exceed the expectations of your clients. “When you’re surrounded by people who share a passion around a common purpose, anything is possible,” says Schultz. Kim Scott has helped build teams at Google, Apple, Dropbox, and Twitter, as well as her own start-up, Candor, Inc. where she champions the “radical candor” movement, so to say Scott knows something about finding great talent is an understatement. “Building a kickass team starts with something incredibly simple – not a big company process, but something you already know how to do: Get to know people at a fundamental human level,” she says. “This is one of the most important – and also the most enjoyable – parts of your job as a leader.” For years, Scott worked side by side with Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page. Their mission? To create the happiest workplace in the world. With clarity like that, it’s not surprising that Google has topped just about every list ever published of best places to work. What is unorthodox is Page’s ambition to align Google’s culture with that of a family, where nurturing and caring for their people has defined their inspiring and celebrated culture. With more than 40,000 em-

70%o fAme r i c a ns wi l l ne e ds o met y pe o fL o ngT e r mCa r e

ployees, what’s the one secret Page attributes to the tech giant’s cultural success? It all boils down to treating each person as family. “It’s important that the company be a family, that people feel that they’re part of the company, and that the company is like a family to them,” Page says. The common thread behind awardwinning companies? It’s outstanding people. These companies understand the critical importance of finding the best people to enhance their organization and treating those individuals like gold. From this treatment stems a love for the company they work for, which ultimately leads to success. end

What s y our pl an?

C-Suite Advisory - Jason Hughes •L I F E T I MEBe n e f i t s •Op t i o n a l Co s to fL i v i n gAd j u s t me n t( 3 %) •1 0 p a y , 2 0 p a yo rSi n g l e p a yo p t i o n s •Gu a r a n t e e dPr e mi u ms ! •Ba c k e db yA+r a t e dc a r r i e r

Co nt a c tmef o r ano o bl i ga t i o n c o ns ul t a t i o n Ma r t i nL e v y , CL U/ RHU 8 1 8 . 3 7 7 . 7 2 6 0 www. Co r pSt r a t . c o m T ol e a r nmo r ea b o u t ™ L T CSol ut i o n, T he Pe r f e c t e ma i l u s : i n q u i r y @c o r p s t r a t . c o m

C a . L i c0 C 2 4 3 6 7


Corporate Stratgeies.indd 1

3/16/17 10:1


@Bal t ai r eLA

/Bal t ai r e

@Bal t ai r e

11647SanVi cent eBl vd. LosAngel es,CA 90049 424. 273. 1660|BALTAI RE. COM

114 Exhibits & Performances 118 Lifestyle Report 120 Proprietor’s Profile 122 Fine Dining 124 Business Lunch & Happy Hour 126 Required Reading

Culture & Taste

Part 4

Culture & Taste - Table of Contents The next domino to fall in Los Angeles’ culinary resurgence, Here’s Looking at You (p. 122) is the product of two Animal alums — chef Jonathan Whitener and front of house maven Lien Ta — who have combined to breathe life into an overlooked corner in Koreatown, offering some of the city’s finest food and craftiest cocktails.



Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971 The storied history of the Dwan Gallery LACMA (Los Angeles)


Exhibits & Performances Exploring some of Los Angeles’ spring art exhibits

Through September 10

Founded in a Westwood storefront in 1959, the Dwan gallery would go on to spearhead the avant-garde movement in the 1960s. Names like Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Smithson filled the space with innovative and radical exhibitions. Dwan opened her second space in New York in 1965 to provide the first recognized platform for launching contemporary artforms such as Conceptual Art, Land Art, and Minimal Art. If you’re a dedicated Angelino, you will not want to miss the multi-medium gallery at LACMA showcasing Dwan’s historical relevance and honoring her impact during the influx of mobility in the art world of the late 1950s.

Culture & Taste Of Note - Exhibits & Performances

Jason Rhoades Installations, 1994—2006 A timely tribute to LA’s beloved artist Hauser Wirth & Schimmel (Los Angeles) Through May 21

1 114


Comprised of six prominent creations across Jason Rhoades’ career, Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is honoring the legendary artist in this highly anticipated and long-overdue celebration of his most memorable installations. With early recognition in Europe and across the pond to New York, Rhoads spent the entirety of his professional career in the City of Angels – including graduation from UCLA in 1993. A decade after his passing, his politically charged and culturally adversarial works shine brilliantly into the latest tensions of the past election cycle and current political struc-

ture. With a radical “maximalist” style, Rhoades’ installations will both allure and appall the viewer, casting doubt yet inspiring confidence in those who are lucky enough to attend the limited exhibit.

1. Jason Rhoades’ “In pursuit of my ermitage.” A 2004 mixed media work on display through May 21

The District by Hannah An


Oracle A collection installation on globalization The Broad (Los Angeles) April 9 to September 3

Portraying the most expressive interpretations of modern globalization, the Broad in Downtown Los Angeles is offering a four-month compilation of the top thirty works that probe the major defining themes in recent history. Spanning the perspectives of more than twenty artists, this collection is sure to captivate any viewer willing to witness the

effects of global commerce on monumental events as well as private individuals. In a grand attempt to highlight the artistic prophecy of a connected world, Oracle dives into the high-level impacts of globalization that can be concealed from a ground-level view.

Culture & Taste Of Note - Exhibits & Performances 1

1. “Cairo” by Julie Mehretu, one of 20 artists featured in Oracle 2. Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic, opened in 1963

Berlin and Los Angeles: Space for Music A celebration of the sistercity partnership The Getty Center (Los Angeles) April 25 to July 30

This summer, the Getty Center is celebrating fifty years of partnership between West Berlin and Los Angeles by exploring two legendary architects and their respective masterpieces: Hans Scharoun’s Berlin Philharmonic (1963) and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall (2003). This free exhibit 116


invites visitors to simultaneously experience both buildings as signature features of their resident cities. With a heavy emphasis on the buildings’ exquisite interiors, the exhibition aggregates original drawings, sketches, prints, photographs, and models to display the imaginative process behind each architect’s design. Berlin and Los Angeles sheds light on how the Berlin Philharmonic and the Walt Disney Concert Hall were monumental in developing a strong resonance between a building’s architecture and the urban landscape of its city. 2

The Patina Group

E X T R AO R D I N A RY C U I S I N E | L A N D M A R K LO C AT I O N S | G E N U I N E H O S P I TA L I T Y From Los Angeles’ best steakhouse, LACMA’s favorite outdoor patio, and the most romantic restaurant in downtown, Patina restaurants have provided L.A. with award-winning cuisine for over two decades.



Lifestyle Report

Yurii Barajas General Manager Baltaire

CSQ Business Leaders Discuss:

Ken Stewart Chief Technology Officer Karma Automotive

The importance of a physical retail presence to their business

Wido Schaffer Chairman & President TravelStore

Culture & Taste - Lifestyle Report - Baltaire We’ve all heard the saying “location, location, location,” and when it comes to Baltaire, it’s definitely true. Understanding our market is critical to our success. Knowing who our target customer is and why they choose to dine with us is very important, as our goal is for them to choose Baltaire over and over again in a very competitive market. With the understanding that the association of our goods and services along with the positive attributes of the location supports our brand, we sought out a prime location, in a beautiful neighborhood on the west side of Los Angeles, that we believe does just that.



Karma’s brand essence is rooted in southern California. The people, the beaches, the colors, the terrain; they all help form our identity. We want the person buying a Karma Revero, halfway around the world, to feel that when they interact with our cars. From a corporate perspective, we have access to some of the best technologists and engineers in the world. They come to us from aerospace, from technology, from entertainment. Combined with some transplanted Detroiters with hands-on operating experience, we believe we have assembled a dream team capable of creating a new kind of car company.

Our location is paramount for us to resonate with our core customer: the business traveler requiring the best in high-touch, high-tech tools, or the leisure traveler who appreciates the best travel can offer. Though much of our business is conducted by phone or email, our locations in Brentwood, Palos Verdes, Pasadena, Irvine, and Santa Barbara speak to the type of company we are. For more than 41 years, we have developed extensive relationships with our partners and have an average corporate client tenure of over 12 years. While much business is transacted online, it is largely supported with a personal touch.

Wilshire Media Systems

TERRY HELLER Age 44 Education Pepperdine Family Wife; three children LA Favorites Apple Pan, Bar Ama, Baroo, Dan Tana’s, and Sqirl

PLAN CHECK KITCHEN & BAR Founded 2012 Locations Sawtelle, Fairfax, Downtown, and Santa Monica Employees 275 What’s Next Wild & Free, a new rotisserie chicken concept


Planning Ahead

Checking in with Terry Heller, the Plan Check Kitchen + Bar founder, who dishes on his inspirations, his newest (chicken) concept, and international expansion By Matthew Seukunian

Culture & Taste - Proprietor’s Profile - Terry Heller



a bustling culinary community known as Sawtelle Japantown. Nestled between ramen and spicy tuna is Heller’s flagship location, unwavering more than five years after opening its doors. Consider the skeptics proved wrong. Man With a Plan



Heller, who grew up in Los Angeles, first scratched his entrepreneurial itch while attending Pepperdine University by producing and directing music videos for artists including the late Eazy-E, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, Linkin Park, and the Black Eyed Peas. In 2003, after a successful decade-plus in music, Heller founded Heller Holdings LLC, a residential and commercial real estate company. Nearly another decade later, Heller felt the need to scratch the itch once more and could not think of a better way to do so than a restaurant. Heller, admitting he drew inspiration whilst dining around the city, says “This is what Los Angeles is about … the mixture of cultures and cuisines. Whether you’re eating pastrami at Langer’s, taquitos on Olvera Street, or Chinese food in Chinatown.”

Photos courtest courtesy of of Wagstaff Wagstaff PR PR // Plan Plan Check Check

When Los Angeles-native Terry Heller opened his first Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on a sleepy corner of Sawtelle Boulevard in February 2012, skeptics were anything but shy. “Ultimately, I love when people tell me I can’t do shit,” Heller speaks confidently, recalling the reception when he put his plan into motion. “People said, ‘You can’t open an American concept on an Asian thoroughfare,’” adding that “the name had naysayers too.” As I sit with Heller on a sunny Santa Monica afternoon, he explains how this doubt fueled him then – and now – to prove folks wrong. When the history of Los Angeles’ dining renaissance is written, much ink will be shed telling the story of Tsujita (whose empire now includes Tsujita Annex and Sushi Tsujita). It should be noted that when Plan Check – whose name and decor are inspired by the City of Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety (located next door to the original location) – opened on Sawtelle in early 2012, the Tsujita takeover had not yet begun. The once quiet strip of Sawtelle between Santa Monica and Olympic Boulevards is now

1. Plan Check Santa Monica’s Lobster Roll 2. A Plan Check favorite – the Nashville Hot Fish Sandwich 3. Plan Check’s Calamari, accompanied by sweet and spicy chiles, Thai basil, and sriracha lime crema 4. The Korean Cioppino allows you to indulge in the standard seafood with a cultural twist

It was this lifetime of experiences across the city he enjoyed that he blended with his passion for creating, which he explains by saying “I like the idea of creating … taking a concept and the seed of an idea, cultivating it, and having it come to life.” “It’s incredibly exciting for me,” he finishes. Despite his unquestioned success half a decade later, one cannot deny the unconventional route Heller took in late 2011 and early 2012 leading up to Plan Check’s debut. Heller will be the first to admit he is not a chef yet also admits, “my team is really important to me,” adding “I live and breathe for my team.” This honest and crucial recognition led Heller to handle what he knew best - the real estate. He found a corner he liked, and brought his vision to life. If You Build It, They Will Come

Was it risky to build the space and concept before securing a chef to come onboard? Not in Heller’s estimation – nor in mine after all these years. “I am interested in chef-driven concepts but it has to be about the concept,” Heller explains. “I think it is a less risky proposition to build the concept first as opposed to building the concept around a chef … but this does not discount the value of a chef’s creativity, heart, and the soul they breathe into the place.” Ultimately, Heller found his chef – formerly of Umami Burger. As we discuss the less-than-traditional restaurant route Heller took, our conversation shifts to rarity when he notes “rarely is a restaurant owner the face of the company if they are not a chef,” adding that “Danny Meyer is a major player in the industry … and likely the exception.” Meyer is certainly the exception which only accentuates just how badly the deck was stacked against Heller, who battled back to beat the house by fusing entrepreneurial spirit with

business acumen out of the gate – building the concept to be scalable from day one. Opening his next three locations in winter 2013, fall 2014, and fall 2016, Heller’s Los Angeles expansion was tactical and timely. Timely, Heller acknowledges, has its pros and cons. As we’ve written over the last year, the Los Angeles food scene has never been crazier. Heller rejects the claim that it has been crazy, instead calling it nuclear. The pros are obvious so Heller points out the cons: “There’s a lot of seats at the table, a ton of competition in the market, and it’s been harder for us to find good people ... we’re labor intensive and I can’t build this company with subpar people.” Today, Heller’s four Plan Check locations are successful in their own right, his second concept Wild and Free – a rotisserie chicken concept he thanks, in part, to California Chicken Cafe’s 20-plus year regional success – opens in Sherman Oaks this summer, and he brokering a licensing deal to open a Plan Check in Dubai. Beyond borders is just the start, as Heller hints at a Plan Check product line centered around his trademarked Ketchup LeatherTM. Though Heller is breaking down borders and traversing north into the Valley, he acknowledges the little things that keep him focused and motivated, noting that “the unexpected responses to the brand have been phenomenal, and it is very moving.” As our time together comes to a close, Heller is his most reflective. As his eyes wander across his busy dining room, he notes, “I used to think I was passionate about making money but I now know that I am truly passionate about creating … and we want to build relationships and friendships and equity with customers through service, consistency, and great food.” end

Culture & Taste - Proprietor’s Profile - Terry Heller


4 121


A Culinary Spring Awakening

As the Los Angeles dining renaissance continues, we take a look at some of the city’s brightest new stars By Brittany Fuisz

Chef: Andrew Carroll LA has a new hot restaurant. If you’ve driven by the corner of Melrose and San Vicente above which Catch is perched, you’ve noticed the hoards of paparazzi outside. It feels almost like a private club with the near impossible reservations and glitzy clientele. An elevator whisks you up to the top floor that is open to the West Hollywood sky. All this glam had me anticipating a mediocre meal. How could a place with such vibes also have good food? Somehow, they manage. We started with truffle sashimi, black cod


lettuce cups, and the mushroom pasta to share. Flavors were explosive. The cod lettuce cups were up to par with Nobu Malibu’s. The fish in the sashimi was excellent and fresh, topped with caviar and ponzu. Mushroom spaghetti, seemingly out of place on this menu, was excellent with tomato, sugar snap peas, and parmesan. I ordered the fish special for my main and found it simply delightful on a bed of sunchokes and greens. The real highlight was the #hitme chocolate dessert, a dish that was screaming to be photographed. A liquid “klondike,” with roasted white chocolate ice cream, brownie, and devil’s food topped with chocolate tableside offers the perfect end to the meal.

Culture & Taste - Fine Dining


Nerano Beverly Hills Italian

Chef: Michele Lisi

Tucked on a quiet block of Little Santa Monica Blvd just before Beverly Hills meets Century City, Nerano comes from the same family as Toscana in Brentwood. Pop by for a classically European dinner that begins with a cool vegetable crudité or visit the bar upstairs for a surprisingly energetic aperitivo (Italian cocktail hour). Classics are done well, such as the Spaghetti Pomodoro with Bronze Die’ spaghetti, San Marzano tomato, and basil or the Bianca pizza with stracciatella, California baby artichokes, squash blossoms, and winter black truffle. Upstairs, the refreshing ‘Bicicletta’ cocktail made with Aperol, pinot grigio, and soda pairs perfectly with the grass-fed meatball sliders on toasted brioche. 1 122


Nerano photos: Rob Stark // Manuela photos: Joshua Targownik

Catch West Hollywood Seafood

1. Grilled octopus with crispy potatoes, sofrito, and garlic aioli 2. Tartufata pizza with Apulian Burrata, fior di latte, and Winter Black Truffle 3. Bistecca al Pepe Nero, a bone-in USDA Prime Ribeye with charred treviso and whipped fingerling potatoes 4. Manuela’s open and bright dining room, located within Downtown Los Angeles’ Hauser Wirth & Schimmel art gallery 5. Beef Tartare with red chili, egg yolk, turnip, watercress, and charred bread


Manuela DTLA Arts District American with a Texan influence Chef: Wes Whitsell

this new alfresco operation by Osteria La Buca and Soho House New York vet Wes Whitsell just adds to the party. Whitsell’s Texan roots shine through in dishes like the ahi tuna ceviche and the pimento cheese with tortilla chips. Sharing is caring here, until the delicate squash gratin arrived and I wanted it all to myself. The squash had been cooked to a soft, fork tender texture, layered several inches high, and topped with melted shredded cheese. Pork ragu over polenta gave me

a new appreciation for this grain and is a dish worth returning for. Braised collard greens with charred onion and confit tomato were the best I’ve had. The cocktails and wine offerings are just as exciting as the food and the mid-century space.

I am not usually one for cocktails, but stepping into this new mid-century corner bar cum restaurant in Koreatown had me weak in the knees. Allan Katz and Danielle Crouch have created imaginative cocktails, such as the Folk Hero with persimmon leaf-infused tequila, winter citrus, yuzu, honey, and Swiss Violette, to accompany small plates by Jonathan Whitener. Asian influence is strong here with bagna cauda hiding in the momotaro tomato and Japanese goma-dare and puffed rice with acorn squash. The highlight of the night was

the beef tartare with red chili, ramps, yellow yolk, turnip, and watercress, in a sauce of yuzu and thick slices of nicely charred bread for dipping. Bar diners get a special offering exclusive only to bar seats: homemade pie. Sweet blueberry pie with homemade Chantilly cream was a great end to an avant-garde meal in an increasingly compelling part of LA.

Culture & Taste - Fine Dining

Here’s Looking at You photos: DYLAN+JENI

Downtown can feel like a labyrinth if you do not frequent it. The latest restaurant openings seem almost impossible to keep up with, but Manuela is one that is worth seeking out. The arts district is exploding with energy and


Here’s Looking at You Koreatown Fusion-focused and culturally diverse Chef: Jonathan Whitener CSQ SPRING 2017


Sales and Sips

Midday or after work meet-ups benefit from the strong, savory flavors of the city’s diverse palate




Q SUSHI Westlake Village

By Ali Angle

VIBE A $2M tenant improvement project results in high ceilings and an open floor plan flanked by both a full bar and the traditional sushi bar BITE Offering a thorough list of sushi, sashimi, cut, and hand rolls — try the Crunch Salmon Festival (salmon, avocado, pickled onion, and the salmon skin chips) SIP Though there are nearly 50 varieties of wine on the menu, narrow your focus to a selection from the Kieu Hoang — Q Sushi owner Bing Hoang’s father — Winery OUTDOOR Yes MEETINGS No

CITIZEN Beverly Hills HAPPY HOURS 2:30-10pm on M; 2:30-7pm Tu-F VIBE With a cocktail program that draws inspiration from iconic classics of the 1960s and the culinary influence Chef Scott Howard brings to the table drawn from a childhood spent on a 164acre farm, Citizen pays homage to the past while pushing the modern palate forward. BITE With geographically diverse offerings, we suggest you try the daily taco selection, marinated olives, lamb meatballs, and

burrata (served with mouth-watering grilled red grapes and La Quercia ham). SIP A generous sampling of draft beers and Tallboys of Wine (as good as it sounds) should be considered but the Singapore Sling (barrel-aged gin, cherry brandy, Benedectine, pineapple, lime, and soda) might just be the best thing on the menu. OUTDOOR Yes; a large open air lounge with a fire pit offers year round comfort. MEETINGS Accommodates up to 225 guests in their private dining room, main dining room, bar, and open-air lounge.

Culture & Taste - HH / BL

WEXLER’S DELI Santa Monica VIBE Wexler’s has the look of a traditional New York City deli but feels like the centerpiece of the modern Los Angeles dining renaissance — fresh product, local inspiration, and an intimate dining room. BITE Anything with Wexler’s house-smoked, hand-sliced pastrami and lox is a no brainer, no



matter the time of day; CSQ lunch favorites include Boyle Heights (corned beef, mustard, rye) and Macarthur Park (pastrami, coleslaw, Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, rye). SIP Step outside your comfort zone, putting your trust in Micah Wexler’s hands by ordering a Chocolate Phosphate or Chocolate Egg Cream. OUTDOOR No MEETINGS No

HAPPY HOURS 5-6pm M-F VIBE Carved into the Vibiana Cathedral — built in 1876 — Redbird is the refined and multiculturally inspired vision of Los Angeles native Neal Fraser.

BITE Happy hour offerings spotlight Fraser’s diversity in the kitchen, highlighting vegetable, meat, and seafood dishes; don’t miss the British Columbia Honey Mussels. SIP A sizable sampling of craft cocktails, beers, and wines all entice the palate; we suggest Basque in the Sun (calvados, dry vermouth, lemon juice, Don’s mix, cider). OUTDOOR Yes MEETINGS Redbird has a half dozen private meeting options that can accommodate anywhere from 8 to 550 guests.

Redbird photo: courtesy of Michelle Park

REDBIRD Downtown Los Angeles

Cross Campus


Trailblazing & Reflective Reads

The Undoing Project: A Friendship that Changed Our Minds Michael Lewis W.W. Norton & Company 368 pages; available on Audible

PLOT The man behind Moneyball, Flashboys, and The Big Short tells the story of Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. These two men were completely different, yet became one of the most prominent partnerships known to science. Together they would introduce behavioral economics and evidence-based medicine to the world, inspiring a new set of absolute scientific rules.

Michael Lewis examines trends in behavioral science, Tim Ferriss explores successful routines of athletes and business moguls, and President Reagan’s post-presidency executive assistant reflects on his lasting legacy By Chris Coronel

The President Will See You Now: My Stories and Lessons from Ronald Reagan’s Final Years Peggy Grande Hachette Books 272 pages; available on Audible

MEAT While this is Lewis’ deepest dive into Big Data and behavioral economics, he sticks to his sports roots with a little help from Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey. Among the book’s anecdotes, this one most poignantly tells Lewis’ story of the impact that behavioral economics can have on institutions as large as the NBA.

PLOT Starting out as a student intern in Ronald Reagan’s office and ultimately becoming his Executive Assistant, Peggy Grande not only remembers Reagan for the period of his presidency but also for his own life as a caring and humble American man. MEAT Peggy Grande shares with her readers Ronald Reagan’s daily life and relationships. She goes over how being around Ronald Reagan has influenced her values, explaining the vision that Ronald Reagan had for America. TWIST Included in the book are candid photos of Reagan’s life after presidency, showcasing his strong bond with his wife and others around him.

Culture & Taste - Required Reading TWIST As Kahneman and Tversky are on opposite sides of the spectrum, the book goes a long way toward illuminating the dynamic in their teamwork and how their differences and arguments may have aided their brilliance.

Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers Tim Ferriss

learned and used from his guests on his own The Tim Ferriss Show, a popular podcast interviewing a wide array of high-profile people including celebrities, athletes, business moguls, and more.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 704 pages

MEAT An organized, condensed encyclopedia of hour-long interviews from his podcast, the book is split into three parts: Health, Wealth, and Wise. Topics discussed include business strategies, workout routines, problem-solving, medications, meditation, and self-improvement,

PLOT Ferriss – most commonly known for The 4-Hour Workweek – delves into life strategies he has



to name a few. Ferriss goes over how he has been able to apply things he has learned in his own life. TWIST Widely known as “The World’s Best Guinea Pig” as deemed by Newsweek, Ferriss is able to take what he has learned and make it his own. This book doesn’t promote a definitive, all-knowing “answer” to being successful, but instead offers plenty of insight from various individuals on what helped make them successful.


WELCOME TO THE C-SUITE ADVISORY The C-Suite Advisory is the selective community of best of the best advisors to the C-Suite, business owner, and entrepreneur. Member benefits include: Profile An online profile in one of the most respected and exclusive business directories, your profile will be complete with direct contact information and links to your most recent advisory articles.

CSA HouseAd Articles

Advisory thought leadership articles are published on, a site that acts as a credible independent platform to develop, promote, and connect your expertise to your market, our community.

SEO * Increase your exposure, brand awareness, and clientele traffic through Search Engine Optimization. Through CSQ, advisors receive a cost-effective marketing strategy that maximizes ROI.


* Results may vary

INSPIRE. CONNECT. EDUCATE. CSQ’s LA Visionaries Summit is the annual invite-only platform where our Visionaries, Companies, and Next Generation Innovators converge to exchange ideas, opportunities, and insight across industries, trends, and technologies.

Summit House Ad

Request access for the 2017 Visionaries Summit CSQSUMMIT.COM

130 Visionaries Awards in Innovation & Technology 134 CFO Focus 2017 10th Annual Business Leaders’ Breakfast

The Network

Part 5

The Network - Table of Contents


Held at Ten Thousand Santa Monica (below), CSQ’s annual awards honoring Visionaries in Innovation & Technology brought together leadership from the region’s fastest growing companies, established and upcoming VCs, and NextGen Leaders.






Visionary of the Year Chris Davis Loot Crate Co-founder & CEO Vic Belonogoff Render Media Co-founder & CEO (award accepted by Rachel Bullock, COO) Chris DeWolfe Jam City Co-founder & CEO Michael Dubin Dollar Shave Club Founder & CEO (award accepted by Dan Murray, CFO) Eva Ho Fika Ventures founding partner (award accepted by Matt Hersh) Mike Jones Science, Inc. CEO Brian Kirkdoffer Clay Lacy Aviation CEO & President T.K. Pillan and Mark Rampolla Powerplant Ventures founding partners (award accepted by Pillan and Kevin Boylan, founding partner)

The Network - Visionaries Awards

Chris Davis was the evening’s primary honoree at CSQ’s Visionaries Awards in Innovation & Technology, held at Ten Thousand Santa Monica. The co-founder & CEO of America’s Fastest Growing Company, Loot Crate, accepted his award and spoke briefly about the impact Los Angeles has had on his company’s hyper growth and the inspiration he has drawn from the other Visionaries in the room. In addition to Davis, executives from some of the region’s other fastest growing companies – Dollar Shave Club, Render Media, ZipRecruiter, and Spokeo – were honored as Visionaries. Also recognized were CSQ’s 2017 NextGen honorees, new and established venture capitalists, and pioneers in mobile gaming and private aviation. Attendees heard fresh perspective from a broad swath of the LA tech community, including on-therise entrepreneurs who continue to drive the region to the forefront of global tech. 130


Ian Siegel ZipRecruiter Co-founder & CEO Harrison Tang Spokeo Co-founder & CEO

ALSO HONORED: CSQ’s 2017 NextGen 10 in Innovation & Technology, comprised of leaders from PK4 Media, Fitzroy Toys, FabFitFun, Render Media, Pritzker Group, Survios, CareerArc, theAmplify, SH//FT, and ZipRecruiter







The Network - Visionaries Awards 7



1 Chris Davis, David Wurth 2 Chris DeWolfe, Bruce Munster 3 Dan Murray, Howard Marks 4 Ian Siegel 5 Jennifer Johnston-Jones, Mike Jones 6 Brian Kirkdoffer, Tom Alexander 7 Eric Chan, Stefanie Botelho, Josh Yguado 8 T.K. Pillan, Chris Davis, Michael Broukhim, Brian Kirkdoffer, Zac Zabner, David Wurth, Rachel Bullock, Tom Alexander 9 Chris Davis, Michael Broukhim









The Network - Visionaries Awards 7



1 Frank Mottek, Lawrence Braun 2 Kevin Boylan, T.K. Pillan, David Wurth 3 Experience Sponsor Chivas Ultis’ Lounge 4 Tucker Hughes 5 Danny Chun, Harrison Tang 6 Mike Jones 7 David Brewster, Jeremy Rosenberg 8 Justin Rezvani, Julie Young, Jen Ringel, Yair Riemer, James Iliff, Gabe Greenbaum, Rachel Bullock, Michael Broukhim, Stefanie Botelho, Tom Alexander 9 Auto SPonsor Aston Martin’s DB11




SPONSORS & PARTNERS Presenter Hughes Marino Merrill Lynch PBIG Supporting Latham & Watkins Patron Ernst & Young Montage Insurance Solutions 1


Experience Chivas Ultis Venue Ten Thousand Santa Monica Catering Patina Restaurant Group Auto Aston Martin



Brand Partners Peroni Wilshire Media Systems

The Network - Visionaries Awards 5




PHOTOGRAPHY Albert Evangelista, Vanessa Schram 1 4 6 8

Brian Kirkdoffer 2 Tom Alexander, Sarah Mulheron 3 Rob Ladon, Chris Shoff, Alex Voxman Experience Sponsor Chivas Ultis 5 Amber Jamal Eckerlund, Emilia Davis Gabe Greenbaum, Emily Greenbaum 7 Matt Hersh, Yair Riemer Rachel Bullock, Michael Abraham, Hilary Miller


EVENT CONTACT Tiffany Weatherman,


CFO FOCUS Sports Academy, Thousand Oaks

Event Summary CFO Focus gathers CFOs in the 101 Corridor from the San Fernando Valley through Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The organization hosts discussions between the CFOs of both a large cap company and smaller cap company, moderated by Jane Wells from CNBC. The February gathering featured Anne McCallion, former CFO now Chief Enterprise Operations Officer at PennyMac, and iPayment CFO Robert Half.

1 Michael Finn, John Lockhart, Scott Lindquist 2 Kevin Elms, Lars Rathje 3 John Philpott, Anne McCallion, Robert Purcell, Jane Wells 4 Tim Jensen, Lance Child, Ashley Dean, Rudy Cedillos, Deb Richard



Notable Attendees CFOs from iPayment, PennyMac, Farmers Insurance, QAD, Dole Packaged Foods, and approximately 30 other organizations

Photographer Diana Bronakowska Event Contact John Lockhart,

The Network - Sports Academy CFO 2017 10TH ANNUAL BUSINESS LEADERS’ Event/ Boy Scouts 3


1 Jeff Hunt, Tim Greenleaf, James G. Ellis, Janet Braun, Steve Ballmer, Gerry Morton 2 Steve Ballmer, James G. Ellis 3 Tim Greenleaf, Chuck Hebner, Bruce Munster 4 The Millenium Biltmore ballroom


Millenium Biltmore, Los Angeles Organization Boy Scouts of America, Greater Los Angeles Area Council Event Summary A recognition and networking event for the LA business community in support of Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, Explorers, and Venturing Scouts. Recent “Leaders of the Year” include, Timothy Sloan, President and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, Robert Gates, former Secretary of Defense and Director of the CIA, and Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State.





Event Honorees Steven A. Ballmer, Owner, Los Angeles Clippers; James G. Ellis, Dean and Professor of Marketing, Marshall School of Business, USC Photographer Sean Twomey Event Contact Diana Bates,




Open the Door for the Kids of Los Angeles. Every day, Club members have access to paid, professional staff and mentors at Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Los Angeles. Your support will help ensure kids always have someone who believes in them. For more information, visit

©2017 Boys & Girls Clubs of America • 2958-16

Boys & Girls Club


Alagem, Beny Bairstow, Lynne Barajas, Yuri Batista, Ed The Black Eyed Peas Brudnizki, Martin Buffett, Warren Bush, George W. Campanaro, Joey Carr, Ian Carroll, Andrew Colicchio, Tom Combs, Sean “P. Diddy” Crouch, Danielle Drezner, Stephen Eazy-E Emmett, Jonathan Ferriss, Tim Fraser, Neal Fuksas, Massimiliano Gates, Bill Gehry, Frank Grande, Peggy Heller, Terry Heyn, Matthew Hoang, Binh Hoang, Kieu Howard, Scott Hunter, Scott Jobs, Steve Kahneman, Daniel Katz, Allan Kienholz, Edward Klein, Yves Kline, Franz Lewis, Michael Linkin Park Lisi, Michele Makowsky, Bruce Merrill, Douglas Meyer, Danny Morey, Daryl Nicklaus, Jack Obama, Barack Oldenburg, Claes Osterman, Summer Page, Larry Pawson, John Pond, Greg Rauschenberg, Robert Reinhardt, Ad Rhoades, Jason Schaffer, Wido Scharoun, Hans Schmidt, Eric


70 90 118 73 120 84 50 103 84 54 122 84 120 123 73 120 64 126 124 60 76 116 126 120 53 124 124 124 66 111 126 123 114 114 116 126 120 122 68 72 121 126 86 103 114 36 73 62 77 114 114 114 118 116 73

Schultz, Howard Scott, Kim Shah, Shamir Smithson, Robert Stanton, Seabury Stewart, Ken Stibel, Jeff Swedish, Joseph Ta, Lien Trump, Donald Tucker, Therese Tversky, Amos Unterman, Tom Whitener, Jonathan Whitsell, Wes

111 123 60 114 50 118 50 103 113 94, 103 74 126 79 123 123

CBRE Group, Inc. Cessna Chipotle Citizen Corgan Crescent Heights Cristophe Claret Dan Tana’s DINE DLR Group DropBox Dun & Bradstreet eBay Embraer Entrepreneur Ferrari Fortune Four Seasons Fowler & Wells Gensler Girard Perregaux Google Greenland USA Gucci Handel Architechts Harley Ellis Devereaux Hathaway Dinwiddie Hauser Wirth & Schimmel HBA Heller Holdings LLC Here’s Looking at You Herman Miller HKS Howard Laks Architects Hughes Aircraft ICONIQ Capital Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaguar Jamison Kaiser Foundation Karma Automotive Kennedy Wilson Kimberly-Clark Knoll Kor Group LA Building & Safety L.A. Live La Quinta Resort & Club LACMA LAFC Little Owl LAX Los Angeles Rams Lowe Enterprises Mack Urban Major League Soccer Manuela Market Table

53 30 108 124 62 63 40 120 89 53 111 50 77 31 111 32 72, 111 82, 86 84 61 ,64 38 72 61 28 60 61 63 114 54 120 123 26 66 62 76 77 38 34 56 102 118 61 77 26 30 120 58 82 114 64 84 62,82 66 60 63 64 122 84

Editorial Index


68 924 Bel Air Road 29 A.P.C. 77 AAA 28 Adidas 76 ADS 60,61 AECOM 103 Anthem 111 Apple 120 Apple Pan 26 Armani 118 Baltaire 120 Bar Ama 120 Baroo 32 Bentley 116 Berlin Philharmonic 50 Berkshire Hathaway 52, 74 BlackLine 56 BMW 31 Bombardier 61 Broadbridge LA LLC 29 Brunello Cucinelli 50 Bryant Stibel 120 California Chicken Cafe Calif. Community Foundation 79 61 Callison RTKL 111 Candor 61 Capri Capital Partners 26 Cartier 122 Catch

MB&F Mercedes Benz Michael Baker Corp. Minotti Mita Ventures Nasdaq Neato Robotics Nerano NFL Oceanwide Plaza Omgivning Osteria La Buca Parmigiani PATH Paul Smith Paul & Shark Perkins + Will Q Sushi RAND Corporation Redbird Robomow Saint Laurent Savant Shimoda Design Group Sierra Pacific Construction Silver Lake Sumeru Soho House Sqirl Stanford Staples Center Strellson Sungard Treasury Systems The Agency The Beekman Hotel The Beverly Hilton The Broad The Clam The Getty Center The Lobster Tishman Construction Togawa Smith Martin Toscana TravelStore Tsujita Twitter UCLA Umami Burger Under Armour Urwerk Volkswagen Waldorf Astoria Westfield Corporation Wexler’s Deli Wikipedia Wild & Free Wilshire Construction Witkoff Group ZestFinance

39 34 76 26 90 77 24 122 66 61 62 122 40 79 29 29 73 124 73 124 24 39 24 62 53 78 122 120 73 58 29 76 48 84 72 116 84 116 54 63 63 122 118 120 111 114 121 77 40 108 70 60 124 50 120 61 62 72


Corporate Strategies, Inc.

Koss REsource

SoCal IP Law Group LLP

Baltaire Restaurant

Cross Campus

Luxe Hotels

Ten Thousand Santa Monica

BlackLine Systems

The District by Hannah An

Marathon Coach


Boys & Girls Club of Metro LA

Ernst & Young LLP

Meridith Baer Home

Vistage International

Burgess Yachts


Montage Insurance Solutions

Wells Fargo Private Bank

California Coast Yachts

Hilton & Hyland

Patina Restaurant Group

Wilshire Media Systems

City National Bank

Hughes Marino

Polacheck’s Jewelers

Clay Lacy Aviation

Jay Belson Luxury Real Estate

Q Sushi

Advertisers & Advisors Index

CohnReznick LLP

Karma Automotive

The Resort at Pelican Hill



James Harwood TotalHR 818/248.0049

Carol A. Polevoi Counseling Resource Center 818/889.3905

Shay Hughes Hughes Marino 619/238.2111

Scott M. Sachs CohnReznick LLP 818/205.2609

Jim Freedman Intrepid Investment Bankers 310/478.9000

Mike Schaffer Echo-Factory 626/993.3770

William Mark Levinson Fox Rothschild 310/228.2133

Danone Simpson Montage Insurance Solutions 818/676.0044

Stacy D. Phillips Blank Rome LLP 424/239.3400

Jonathan Zucker Intrepid Investment Bankers 310/478.9000


Majid Abai Concepts Rise

Doug De Groote De Groote Financial Group

Brian Barry Dale Carnegie Training

R. Todd Doney CBRE

Lawrence Braun Sheppard Mullin

Alan Hopkins Manchester Financial

Carlo Brignardello Cresa Partners Will Chuchawat Sheppard Mullin Robert Dalie Oppenheimer & Co.

Bob Perkins Smiles in Malibu Vlad Vaiman California Lutheran University Alex Voxman Latham & Watkins LLP





Being a woman never felt like a disadvantage ... quite the contrary ... In tech, science, and finance, a female candidate continues to stand out prominently in a pool of predominantly male candidates.

No matter how talented you think you are, you have to have a great team with you.

He turned Berkshire Hathaway into one of the world’s largest holding companies with ownership in businesses such as Coca-Cola, Apple, and Goldman Sachs.

Therese Tucker

Beny Alagem

Jeff Stibel




There are many Americans who either can’t access credit, or only have access to expensive and abusive loans.

We have more projects going in Los Angeles than we did in our Beijing office leading up to the 2008 Olympics. With 34 properties recently finished or in the works, we look at Los Angeles and its Dubai-like skyline as a very positive thing for us and the city.

I always try to find smart interesting people to learn from. Sometimes seemingly random relationships are valuable.

Douglas Merrill

René Gross Kaerskov

Douglas Merrill




Even though we’re experiencing rapid growth, we want to position our assets to weather any storm.

I used to think I was passionate about making money but I now know that I am truly passionate about creating … and we want to build relationships and friendships and equity with customers through service, consistency, and great food.

It’s a massive distraction from the business. It’s a ton of work [and] the day of the IPO is the culmination of all that work. I compare it to a wedding. It’s a great day, but it’s one day only. The marriage is where you have to put in the work.

Jaime Lee

Terry Heller

Therese Tucker

C-Suite Quoted



IS YOUR BUSINESS READY? As you look to take your company to the next level, CohnReznick can deliver the insight to help you get there. We provide a diverse range of industries with forward thinking advice that can help turn business possibilities into business opportunities. Look ahead. Gain insight. Imagine more. Is your business ready to break through? Find out more at


Cohn Reznick

Celebrating those that help create the future.

2017 Greater Los Angeles judging panel

Please visit to purchase tickets, or contact Jackie Salama at +1 213 977 3853 or

Prodege, LLC /


Brad Jones*

Avante Mezzanine Partners

Redpoint Ventures

Jamie Montgomery

Snak King Corporation

March Capital Partners

Kara Nortman


Upfront Ventures

© 2017 Ernst & Young LLP. All Rights Reserved. ED None

Nationally sponsored by

Gold sponsor

Media sponsor

Silver sponsors

PR sponsor


Kamran Pourzanjani**

Anthony Pritzker

ClearRock Ventures

Pritzker Group


Managing Partner

Julie Schoenfeld

Dana Settle

Strobe, Inc.

Greycroft Partners

President & CEO

Jeff Stibel*

Vice Chairman

Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. *

Founded and produced by

Managing Director

Jason Nazar

Co-Founder & CEO

Follow @EY_EOYUS for the latest news and updates and join the conversation using #EOYGLA.


Barry C. Levin* Chairman & CEO


President & COO

Jeri Harman

Managing Partner & CEO

The distinguished panel of independent judges for Greater Los Angeles knows what it takes to propel a vision into a future reality. They will be selecting the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders — the Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2017 semifinalists, finalists and winners.

2017 Greater Los Angeles Awards Gala Thursday, June 15 | The Beverly Hilton Hotel

Marcia Goodstein


The future is not granted. It is born from the imagination of entrepreneurs.

Semifinalists will be announced on March 29 and finalists on May 8. Then it’s Awards Gala time!

Chuck Davis*

Prior award recipient

Co-Founder & Partner

To find more about our extraordinary judges, visit

  Prior award recipient and national finalist


C-Suite Quarterly  

Q2 2017 - Real Estate & Finance

C-Suite Quarterly  

Q2 2017 - Real Estate & Finance