Daily Business Report-April 19, 2021, San Diego Metro Magazine

Recon-RF expands San Diego R&D operations

With help from San Diego Regional EDC, locally-based Recon-RF signed a lease for its new 5,000+square-foot site in the UTC/Sorrento Valley innovation hub and will move in by May 2021.

The company will ramp up its design, manufacturing and assembly capabilities to support several ongoing and upcoming commercial, defense, and space contracts, and plans to continue increasing its engineering workforce in 2021-2022 with the addition of several additional RF design engineers, assemblers, and technicians.

Established in 2017, Recon-RF is a radio frequency (RF) product development center. That means they are in the business of building state of the art products, such as amplifiers, transmitters and receivers, and RF integrated circuits with end applications like 5G base stations, cellphones, satellites, air force jets and more.

“With EDC’s support, we relocated a highly functional technology space in San Diego, learned about key business incentives and resources, and are looking forward to additional opportunities for regional engagement that will drive the continued and rapid growth o Recon-RF,” said Nick Chopra, the firm’s chief technology officer.

The USS Zumwalt
Seven companies receive $115 million Navy contract
modification for ship maintenance work in San Diego

GovCon Wire

Seven companies based in California and Virginia have received a modification to previously awarded U.S. Navy contracts for continuous maintenance of guided missile destroyers, cruisers and amphibious ships stationed in or visiting San Diego.

The potential $114.7 million contract modification awarded to Colonna’s Shipyard West, Norfolk, Va; East Coast Repair and Fabrication, Chesapeake, Va; Epsilon Systems Solutions, San Diego; Marine Group Boat Works, Chula Vista; Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication, San Diego; Propulsion Controls Engineering, San Diego; and South Coast Welding and Manufacturing, San Diego, exercised the fourth option period, the Department of Defense said.

Work under the contracts will run through May 2022.

Each contract has one or more prospective delivery orders under which funding will be obligated to contractors.

The Southwest Regional Maintenance Center in San Dieg awarded the contract modification.

Job analysts see further glimpses of job rebound ahead

San Diego Workforce Partnership

San Diego’s labor market saw further improvement in early March at a time when many businesses were still under lock-down orders. Payroll jobs increased and the jobless rate fell, although below the surface, conditions were not as bright. More importantly, as of mid-April, the job market is now poised for much better days ahead.

Unemployment: San Diego’s unemployment rate ell further in March to 6.8 percent from the prior month’s 7.1 percent after adjusting for seasonal changes.

Industry hiring: Nonfarm employers in San Diego County added 5,300 jobs in March after considering the typical seasonal hiring that generally occurs this time of year.
Lynn Reaser, Chief Economist for Point Loma Nazarene University, emphasized that this report is very much a backward look. “The economy is moving much faster than the data.” The latest report represents conditions in early March when San Diego County was still in the most restrictive Purple tier. By the middle of last month, the region had improved to the Red zone and it is now in the Yellow tier, which allows even more businesses to reopen. The Governor has targeted June 15 as a point when a full reopening of the economy could proceed.

Phil Blair, Executive Officer of Manpower West, commented on the progress he is already seeing on the ground. “We are starting to see the momentum build as San Diego’s economy opens back up. There are lots of opportunity now for San Diegans to go back to work and revive the economy for all.”

Read the full jobs report

Integrated Battle Problem event showcases
Navy’s unmanned technologies

Navy officials and Fleet commanders attended a Distinguished Visitor day on Naval Base San Diego April 16 to showcase various Unmanned Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21 systems and capabilities.

The Naval leadership in attendance, including Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker, represented a broad spectrum of warfighting experience and policy expertise. 

The DV day, hosted by the commander of U.S. 3rd Fleet on behalf of the commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, provided a forum for leadership and tactical commanders to experience participating manned and unmanned systems firsthand. 

“Our unmanned systems are a great force multiplier for our Navy,” said Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas W. Harker. “They bring a lot of capability to the Fleet.”

DV day featur the MQ-8 Fire Scout, MQ-9 Sea Guardian, the medium displacement unmanned surface vessels Sea Hunter and Seahawk, and various other unmanned systems operating with manned operational units “above the sea, on the sea, and below the sea”.

PHOTO: Chief of Naval Research, Rear Adm. Lorin Selby, observes an unmanned vessel on Pier 12 during Integrated Battle Problem 21 Distinguished Visitors Day at Naval Base San Diego, April 16. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Natalie M. Byers) 

Cynthia Barron leads new board at San Diego
chapter of The Association of Legal Administrators
Cynthia Barron

Cynthia Barron, office administrator at Fitzgerald Knaier LLP, has taken over as president of the San Diego chapter of The Association of Legal Administrators (ALA).

A chapter member for the past eight years, Barron will serve in her new post through March 2022. She succeeds outgoing president Katya Adams, office administrator at The Watkins Firm APC.

Other board members during Barron’s term were presented at the Leadership meeting:  President-Elect Lauren Bloodworth, legal administrator at Kimball, Tirey & St. John LLP; vice president-membership, Yvonne Kilmer, office manager at Duane Morris LLP; treasurer Lani Zerr, administrator at Hecht Solberg; secretary, Brandon Randolph, director of administration at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP; director business partner relations, Gerri Vidmar, legal support manager at Dentons US LLP; director, bank statement auditor, Elizabeth Carazolez, director of management at Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt and Penfield; director at large, John Durant, COO at Pettit Kohn Ingrassia Lutz & Dolin; and immediate past president Katya Adams. 

Barron announced her initiatives for the chapter: “SD ALA at your Service.” Her mission this year is to continue to provide educational sessions to members that align with the climate and current changes facing the legal management industry.

Bach Collegium San Diego to welcome 
Katie Hickey as new executive director
Katie Hickey

Katie Hickey will take over as executive director of Bach Collegium San Diego in May 2021 following the retirement of Will Neblett. Hickey currently is associate director of events and engagement.

Hickey, 34, brings a vibrant mix of musicianship as a professional soprano and a variety of nonprofit arts administrative experience, including most recently with the San Diego Master Chorale, Camarada, and as co-founder and former executive director of Pro Arte Voices. She holds a Master of Arts, Arts Administration & Cultural Policy from the University of London and a Bachelor of Music from James Madison University in Virginia.

“I’m looking forward to working with Katie Hickey just as Bach Collegium San Diego reaches the milestone of its twentieth season. Just the right time to call upon her many wonderful tools and expansive knowledge of the arts field,” says BCSD Artistic Director Ruben Valenzuela. 

Neblett has been at the helm of the acclaimed early music ensemble since 2017. His retirement caps many years of dedication to arts administration in San Diego, including 14 years as the director of San Diego Junior Theatre in Balboa Park. 

Lennar holds model home grand opening for Aventine

Homebuilder Lennar held a grand opening Satuday for Aventine, a new single-family home community in Spring Valley. Homes at Aventine range from 1,950 to 2,143 square feet and include four bedrooms and three baths. All homes feature contemporary open concept interiors, with spacious center-island kitchens and first-floor bedrooms, including a spa-inspired owner’s suite. Loft and bonus room options are available per plan. Homeowners can also select from three exterior styles — Spanish, Farmhouse or Ranch.

Aventine is located at 2457 Jupiter Lane. For more information, call (858) 465-6121 or visit the Aventine community website­ or www.lennar.com.

San Diego unicorn TuSimple snags $8.5 billion at IPO

Self-driving truck and software developer TuSimple raised more than $1 billion when it listed its initial public offering, valuing the startup at $8.5 billion. The company, which employs about 800 at its UTC offices, rivals the likes of Google and Tesla and has attracted more than $800 million from investors in China and the U.S.

Read more…

Local startup leaders launch community investment group

Long-time San Diego entrepreneurs and investors Al Bsharah and Neal Bloom recently launched Interlock Capital, a community-based investing group where individuals of all backgrounds can invest in startup companies within their own budgets. The syndicate operated in private beta mode for much of 2020 and has already distributed $1.25 million to its portfolio companies to date, which includes San Diego startups Mercato, Launch Factor, and Crafter.

Read more…

Carlsbad’s JLab Audio acquired in $370 million deal

Tokyo-based Noritsu Koki has acquired JLab Audio, a Carlsbad-based producer of personal audio products including Bluetooth earbuds, headphones, and speakers, in a deal totaling $370 million. The private equity firm will provide JLab with additional resources for innovation and expansion, and its current sales, marketing, product development, finance, support, and operations teams will remain in the San Diego region.

Read more…

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