News

February Career Edge Workshop to Offer College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

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

Monday, January 14, 2019

The team Governor Gavin Newsom has selected to lead key efforts in his administration includes individuals with many years of experience in both governing and advising policymakers. Two appointments of particular interest to employers are: • Julie Su, state Labor Commissioner in the Brown administration, as secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA); and • Lenny Mendonca, longtime advocate for rethinking government operations as co-chairman of the nonprofit organization California Forward, as chief economic and business adviser and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). As labor commissioner and chief of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement...
Free 2018 Tax-Preparation Services Available in Irvine

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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

Monday, January 07, 2019

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

Monday, January 07, 2019

Greater Irvine Chamber/Orange County, California January 7, 2019                                                                                               The Greater Irvine Chamber is leading a delegation of City officials, business leadership and life science and technology experts returning to the U.K.. We plan to meet with more life science and technology companies that may be exploring expansion into the U.S. and Irvine/Orange County in Southern California specifically. The goal of the mission is to build awareness for Irvine/Orange County and its life science/technology industry strength and identify, connect with and encourage U.K.-based life science companies to look at Irvine/Orange County when they consider expansion into the U.S. This Foreign Direct Investment mission...
US Payrolls Rise 312,000, Wages Accelerate in Jobs Blowout

Friday, January 04, 2019

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

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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

Thursday, January 03, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

A Message from Greater Irvine Chamber President and CEO Bryan Starr As the Greater Irvine Chamber celebrates its 40th Anniversary this year, the organization’s professional staff and Board of Directors continues its work to support the Irvine Master Plan and to advance the economic vitality of greater Irvine. Through its numerous programs and events, the Greater Irvine Chamber convenes thousands of business leaders every year to build long-lasting professional relationships.The Greater Irvine Chamber has partnered with Irvine’s highly-ranked schools and 15 colleges and universities on programs that help ensure a sustainable talent pipeline for Irvine companies. Partnerships with accelerators such as UCI...
Strength of Master Plan Highlighted in Business Facilities Magazine

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

By Arlyn Stoik, Principal, Avison Young After more than 24 years in commercial real estate, Avison Young has never been more excited by the multiple, diverse options for expanding businesses in Southern California. Many of us have heard about Southern California’s booming economy. When we focus on commercial real estate, however, we get a much clearer picture of the industries, properties, regional markets, and undiscovered opportunities that underlie the region’s prosperity and promise. It is a region ideally suited to a broad range of users with a diversity of real estate needs. Commercial real estate touches every industry and all of our...
2018 Validates Strength of Master Plan

Monday, December 17, 2018

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

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

Monday, December 17, 2018

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

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

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

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

Friday, December 07, 2018

On Nov. 10 and Dec. 3, 2018, the students, instructors, and supporters of the Irvine CubeSat STEM Program celebrated the final milestones in the student’s journey to assemble, test and launch the Irvine01 and Irvine02 nanosatellites into orbit. The successful launches makes it the first high school program in the West Coast to launch operational, all high school student-built CubeSat’s into orbit. The Irvine CubeSat STEM Program (ICSP) is a collaboration between Greater Irvine Chamber education partners Irvine Public Schools Foundation (IPSF), Irvine Unified School District and Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) to train and inspire the next generation of STEM...
Survey: US Businesses Added a Solid 179,000 Jobs Last Month

Friday, December 07, 2018

U.S. businesses hired new workers at a solid pace in November, adding 179,000 jobs, according to a private survey. The report comes as other data also suggest the U.S. economy remains healthy, even as the financial markets have gyrated over concerns about a trade conflict with China and slowing global growth. Payroll processor ADP said that last month’s job gains slowed from October’s strong showing of 225,000. Still, November’s hiring is enough to lower the unemployment rate over time. Job gains were strong in health care, which added 37,000 jobs, and in hotels and restaurants, which gained 26,000. Professional and technical services, which...
More People Are Going Abroad but They Are Spending Less Money on Their Travels, Reveals Ongoing Worldwide Study of Travel Shopping Behavior

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Recent travel trends underline a significant worldwide spending downturn that could have serious implications for the travel retail industry, says Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Horizon Consumer Science. The 2018 Global Traveler Report reveals that despite record numbers of air travelers, up from 415 million in 2012 to a projected 808 million this year, the size of the travel retail market is slowly shrinking. Global travel retail spending has dropped by $15 billion from $397 billion in 2016 to a projected $382 billion this year. About The 2018 Global Traveler Report: More than 31,000 traveling consumers from 38 countries have been surveyed...
Greater Irvine Chamber Primary Research Reveals Business Needs

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

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

Monday, December 03, 2018

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

Monday, December 03, 2018

On November 30, President Donald J. Trump, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). President Trump called the new USMCA the “most modern, up-to-date, and balanced trade agreement in the history of our country.” At the signing, at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina, President Trump personally thanked outgoing Mexican President Peña Nieto, who then concluded the ceremony celebrating the close relationship between Mexico, Canada, and the United States, saying, “We’re ready to begin a new chapter in our shared history.” Next Steps Now that the agreement has been signed, the next steps per...
Linda DiMario to Serve as Panelist at Executive Next Practices Workshop

Friday, November 30, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber, will serve as a panelist at the 2019 Strategic Partnering and Sustained Growth/Innovation forum hosted by Executive Next Practices Institute on Thursday, Jan. 24, 5:00 – 8:30 p.m. at UCI Applied Innovation, 5141 California Ave, Irvine. DiMario will discuss strategic partnerships to an audience of business and community leaders. Other panelists include Feyzi Fathel, CEO, Corent Tech, Shawn Dougherty, COO and founder, mophie/EXOIO, Kate Klimow, chief administrative officer, director, external relations, UCI Applied Innovation, and Debbie Nix, vice president, HR and Risk Management, Covenant Care. “I look forward to sharing the stage with these experts and...
Tammi Nieto Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Team

Friday, November 30, 2018

Tammi Nieto has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Operations Coordinator. Her primary areas of responsibility include guest services, general office administration, and departmental support. “I began employment with the Greater Irvine Chamber as a short-term employee. When offered to fill the position permanently and continue to work with such a professional, positive team, I immediately embraced the opportunity,” said Nieto. “I am thrilled to continue to provide superior customer service, and contribute to the strengthening of the businesses in the City of Irvine.” Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Nieto worked in educational institutions for 12 years performing project...
Irvine Transitions to a Two-Year Budget

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Irvine City Council voted unanimously at its meeting on Nov. 27 to enhance long-term financial planning by transitioning from an annual budget cycle to a two-year budget cycle. The two-year budget cycle, beginning fiscal year 2019-20, will be developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan. A two-year budget promotes transparency, brings increased accountability to government spending, greater stability, and allows for long-term strategic planning. The process provides for enhanced long-term planning and sets spending levels for a two-year period. The creation of the City’s two-year budget will begin with the Finance Commission reviewing the initial baseline budget in...
2019 Women of Influence Event Set for March 8

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sandra Crouch, CPA, the controller for the Greater Irvine Chamber, has been nominated by colleagues for the Orange County Business Journal’s 2018 Chief Financial Officer of the Year Award in the category of controller. “I’m humbled and grateful to work with a professional staff and leadership that recognizes the value of the foundational work necessary to make an enterprise successful,” Crouch said. Since joining the Chamber staff in 2014, Crouch has handled financial affairs for the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce including the organization’s Business and Economic Development, Destination Irvine, Greater Irvine Education Foundation, and Prosperity Political Action Committee. She has been...
City of Irvine Has Released Interactive Web-based Development Map

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

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

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

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

Monday, November 19, 2018

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

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Irvine City Manager John Russo remarked on the master-planned city to a packed room of business and community leaders during the Nov. 1 Greater Irvine Chamber Government Affairs meeting. “This is a city that was built on a vision. This is a city that believes in a vision... It’s a city marked by ambition,” Russo said as he cited the brilliance of the Irvine Master Plan set in place more than 50 years ago. Additionally, he gave an overview and examples of what he sees as the five essential values for good governance: transparency, responsiveness, accountability, fiscal prudence, and decisiveness. As a...
Edwards Bets Big On Investments

Monday, November 05, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Edwards Lifesciences Corp., Orange County’s largest public company with a nearly $30 billion market value, is also one of its fastest-growing public companies, both in sales and stock growth. The Irvine-based medical device giant, which employs over 4,600 in OC, had two-year sales growth of 29 percent for the period ended June 30, with $3.5 billion in sales. The percentage gain was fourth-best on this week’s Business Journal ranking of the fastest-growing large businesses. More is in store, according to Chief Executive Michael Mussallem, who’s led Edwards since it became an independent company when spun out of...
IRS: 401(k) and IRA Contribution Limits Increase

Monday, November 05, 2018

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2019. The IRS issued technical guidance detailing these items in Notice 2018-83. Highlights of Changes for 2019 The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increased from $18,500 to $19,000. The limit on annual contributions to an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), which last increased in 2013, is increased from $5,500 to $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to...
Long-term Financial Planning and Transparency in Irvine

Monday, November 05, 2018

This month, the Irvine City Council will consider a significant change to how Irvine prepares and approves its budget. The City’s first-ever two-year budget, developed in the context of a comprehensive five-year financial plan, will be before the City Council at its Nov. 27 meeting. A first review will be before the Finance Commission at its Nov. 5 meeting. The Commission also is expected to provide input to planned Community Budget Workshop locations scheduled for early in 2019. Click here for the Nov.5 Staff Report. City Council approval of a two-year budget cycle would build on the recent Irvine Sunshine Ordinance, which...
Coded in OC Adds to its Roster of Tech Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Coded in OC, a nonprofit initiative designed to highlight technology companies while growing and retaining a strong technical workforce in Orange County, has recently added four new members to its roster of tech companies: Parapxl, Bold Array, Arcules, and adQuadrant. These companies are featured on the Coded in OC website. Joining the initiative along with community partners Greater Irvine Chamber and Irvine Valley College, is fellow Chamber member UCI Applied Innovation, which is supporting the project with resources ranging from physical space at The Cove and mindshare, to amplifying Coded in OC messaging to their constituency.  Two Greater Irvine Chamber members that are part of...
Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Delegation of UK Life Science Companies

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

As part of its Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) initiative, the Greater Irvine Chamber last week hosted a three-day Irvine Lifescience Showcase for executives from 10 U.K. life science companies seeking expansion to the United States. The executives are from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries. The visiting executives joined more than 800 conference attendees at OCTANe’s Oct. 29-30 Medical Technology Innovation Forum (MTIF), which is focused on high-growth medical technology innovation and investment. Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber, who...
OC Tech Funding Tops $100M in 3Q

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orange County tech funding is growing. According to research from JLL, there was $106 million in total tech funding in the third quarter. It was the second consecutive quarter when tech funding surpassed $100 million and the fourth consecutive year when tech funding has surpassed $500 million. Venture capital and private equity has made up a bulk of the tech funding in the market, and a majority of the capital has gone to IT and software companies. Source: Globe St. Related article: Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine
US GDP Grows Above-Forecast 3.5 Percent on Consumers, Inventories

Friday, October 26, 2018

The U.S. economy expanded at a 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter as consumers opened their wallets, businesses restocked inventories and governments boosted spending, marking the strongest back-to-back quarters of growth since 2014. The annualized rate of gains in gross domestic product compared with the 3.3 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey and followed a 4.2 percent advance in the prior three months, according to a report from the Commerce Department. Consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the economy, unexpectedly accelerated to a 4 percent increase -- the best since 2014 -- while the 0.8 percent gain...
CalChamber Issues Vote Record on Major Business Bills 2018

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The California Chamber of Commerce has released a report of California legislators’ floor votes for the second year of the 2017-18 legislative session, focusing on priority bills for the state’s business community. This is the 44th vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators. To help readers assess legislators’ vote records, the charts group bills into 12 areas: agriculture, food and natural resources; corporate governance; education; energy; health care costs, housing and land use; immigration; industrial safety...
Greater Irvine Chamber to Recognize Emerging Professionals at Inaugural 40 Under 40 Event

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

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

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber on Oct. 28 is welcoming 10 life science companies from the U.K. seeking expansion to Orange County, and especially Irvine. Executives from Forte Medical, Ampersand + Ampersand, Austin Fraser, Medical Realities, Plasticell, uMed, Innovarius, Cambridge Epigenetix, Kokoon, Performance Fifteen, and the Association of British HealthTech Industries will attend OCTANe’s Medical Technology Innovation Forum, tour some of Irvine’s leading med-tech and innovation companies, and meet with leading hospitals, clinicians, healthcare executives and scientists. The three-day Lifescience Showcase will feature partners including Edwards Lifesciences, Hoag Hospital, The Cove at UCI Applied Innovation, and UCI Medical Center, MemorialCare, and OCTANe among...
401(k) Rule Change Would Ease Small Companies’ Path to Joint Plans

Monday, October 22, 2018

A new Labor Department rule would make it easier for small businesses to offer 401(k) plans, part of an effort to close a retirement-plan coverage gap that affects millions of employees. The proposed regulation would allow companies to band together to offer 401(k) plans sponsored by entities including business associations. Such arrangements, often called multiple-employer plans, are allowed now for employers with an affiliation or connection, such as companies with a common owner or members of the same industry trade association. The regulation—which the department said could go into effect as soon as early 2019 after a period for comments and possible...
Destination Irvine's AnaLaura Becerra Promotes City to Medical Technology Stakeholders

Monday, October 22, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, director of corporate sales, Destination Irvine, developed professional relationships with more than 35 stakeholders from the medical and technology sectors during one-on-one meetings at the Oct. 14 - 15 Connect Medical | Connect Tech conference in Las Vegas. Becerra provided information on Irvine hotels and amenities to life-science companies with an interest in booking meetings in Irvine, including Syneos Health, Stratpharma, Siemens Healthineers, Solara Medical Supplies, Philips, and JTB USA, which has a strong presence in the Japanese market. She also connected with third-party planning organizations, Pinnacle Management, Russell Harris, TW Metals, Honeywell, RedHorse Corp., and Meetings Made Easy, on...
MacKenzie Corporation Makes Atlas-Explorer Available For Public Licensing Game-Changing Data Visualization & Analytics Tool Will Upgrade Sales & Marketing Processes

Monday, October 22, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber member MacKenzie Corporation, a full-service data analytics and market research company, announced that its game-changing data visualization tool Atlas-Explorer is available for public licensing. After years of privatized use, this powerful yet easy-to-use program can be customized for your brand, your industry, and your unique corporate structure. The program synthesizes various sources of data into one location, converting the flood of data into a consumable, visually dynamic format that provides the information needed to understand your market and maximize your sales efficiency. According to MacKenzie Corp leadership, the Atlas Explorer program has far exceeded their already lofty internal...
California's Tax Revenues Beat Expectations by $1 Billion Over the Summer Months

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Californians paid some $1 billion in taxes above official projections during the first three months of the state’s fiscal year, in what could be a major boost to the government’s bottom line once Gov. Jerry Brown leaves office in January. A monthly report issued by the state Department of Finance attributed most of the unexpected revenue — $990 million — from personal income taxes paid between July 1 and Sept. 30. Sales taxes were slightly below expectations written into the budget crafted by Brown and state lawmakers in June, while corporation tax revenues were slightly above forecasts. The new tax windfall comes...
Enhancing Government Transparency in Irvine

Thursday, October 18, 2018

The Irvine City Council will consider approval of an Irvine Sunshine Ordinance that would expand review time of nearly all upcoming agenda items to 12 days – which is four times longer than California law requires. The proposed ordinance will be heard during the City Council meeting beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23. An ordinance requires a second reading, which would be Nov. 13. “The 12-day window allows every community member the time they need to review agenda items thoroughly,” said City Manager John Russo. California’s open meeting law, the Brown Act, requires an agenda be posted a mere 72...
MemorialCare Joins Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle

Thursday, October 18, 2018

MemorialCare has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle as a silver-level sponsor. “MemorialCare is proud to join the Greater Irvine Chamber at the Leaders Circle level. We look forward to a very productive and exciting year ahead,” said Chris Arias, Director of Business Development. MemorialCare is a nonprofit integrated healthcare delivery system that includes Long Beach Medical Center, Miller Children's & Women's Hospital Long Beach, Orange Coast Medical Center, and Saddleback Medical Center; award-winning medical groups – MemorialCare Medical Group and Greater Newport Physicians; Seaside Health Plan; and convenient outpatient health centers, imaging centers, breast centers, surgical centers, and dialysis centers....
Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine Sweep 2018 MarCom Awards

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Greater Irvine Chamber and Destination Irvine have received top awards in the MarCom 2018 Competition for marketing and communication materials. The Greater Irvine Chamber received a Platinum Award for its Irvine Master Plan video, a Gold Award for its Irvine – Uniquely Qualified video, and an Honorable Mention for its Irvine UK Foreign Direct Investment video. Destination Irvine received a Platinum Award the organization’s website destinationirvine.com along with two Gold Awards, one for the 2018-2019 Official Irvine Visitors Guide and one for the video Irvine, CA. - Where Tech Meets Trek. “This prestigious recognition is a validation of all the great work being done at the...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Jessica Welch Presents California Women’s Leadership Association Women to Watch in 2019 Award

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

As a 2018 California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) Community Heroes award recipient, Jessica Welch, IOM, vice president of operations, Greater Irvine Chamber, presented this year’s awards during the CWLA’s Women to Watch in 2019 luncheon. Women to Watch in 2019, who were formally recognized during the Oct. 11 luncheon, are Peggy Grande, Hon. Virginia Vaughn, and Laura Meier, for being active on the frontline of issues in their communities. “As a past recipient, it is an honor twice over to present this award to professional women who are making a difference in their communities,” Welch said. Welch was nominated in 2017 by her peers...
Irvine Honored with Information Technology Award

Friday, October 12, 2018

The City of Irvine has been awarded for its “exemplary Information Technology (IT) practices” by MISAC, the Municipal Information Systems Association of California. MISAC announced the Technology Achievement awards for 2018 this month. Public agencies are recognized for best practices in IT standards and the use of technology for: budget, strategic planning, operations, customer satisfaction, Internet solutions, and security. “My colleagues on the City Council and I take great pride in Irvine being a leader of innovation in California,” said Mayor Donald P. Wagner. “Technology advancement enables us to provide exceptional services to the public. I am proud of our staff’s diligence in...
Pay Gap a Priority for Women in the Workplace

Friday, October 12, 2018

In a recent all-female survey, 42 percent of respondents cited the pay gap as the most important issue they face. Female professionals share several challenges in today’s workplace, such as career advancement, re-entering the workforce and sexual harassment, to name a few. But according to a recent Korn Ferry survey, 40 percent of women professionals said they’ve missed a promotion or an opportunity simply because they’re female. What’s more, the most important issue facing women in the American workplace is the pay gap, with 42 percent of respondents selecting that over gender discrimination (26 percent), glass ceiling (25 percent) and sexual harassment...
US Consumer Prices Up Slight 0.1 Percent in September

Friday, October 12, 2018

Consumer prices edged up a slight 0.1 percent in September as energy prices retreated after a big gain in August. The Labor Department said that the September gain in its closely watched consumer price index followed a 0.2 percent rise in August. It was the smallest monthly gain since June. Inflation has been on a slight rise this year after a prolonged stretch when prices kept falling below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve. For the 12 months ending in September, consumer prices were up 2.3 percent. Core inflation, which excludes volatile energy and food costs, rose 0.1 percent in...
US Producer Prices Increase for First Time in Three Months

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

U.S. producer prices rose for the first time in three months amid a surge in gauges reflecting airfares and rail-transportation costs, a Labor Department report showed in Washington. Highlights of Producer Prices (September) Producer-price index rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.) after a 0.1 percent drop in prior month; up 2.6 percent y/y (est. 2.7 percent) after 2.8 percent gain Excluding food and energy, core gauge rose 0.2 percent m/m (matching est.); up 2.5 percent y/y (matching est.) after 2.3 percent PPI excluding food, energy and trade services, a measure some economists prefer because it strips out the most volatile components, rose 0.4 percent...
Chamber VP Shows it’s Possible to Juggle Work, Life, and School Thanks to Brandman MyPath™

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Getting a college degree wasn’t part of Jessica Welch’s game plan when she was growing up in Washington state. Jessica Welch, vice president of operations at the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, is able to do work on her Brandman MyPath™ competencies during her lunch hour or at home. The degree program's flexibility has made all the difference, she said. Her family, both for economic and religious reasons, didn’t make it a priority. When she graduated from high school and moved to Southern California 16 years ago, a booming economy and a good job in the mortgage industry didn’t require one either. Marriage,...
Charles Antis Delivers Powerful Message on Corporate Social Responsibility

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

In front of a sell-out crowd at the Greater Irvine Chamber’s Oct. 4 Legends & Leaders event at the Hilton Irvine, keynote speaker Charles Antis, founder and CEO of Antis Roofing & Waterproofing, told of touchpoints that led to his commitment to corporate social responsibility. From experiences such making a house call early in his career where he encountered a family in a dire situation but without the means to resolve it, Antis was inspired to adopt a purpose before profit approach to business. As the central tenet to his corporate philanthropy, he shared that the purpose before profit philosophy ensures...
Greater Irvine Chamber Partners with Vincit California for Coded in OC Initiative

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber is partnering with software development and design company Vincit California as they launch Coded in OC, a website that highlights Orange County software development companies, which are helping to fuel the local economy. The recently launched site promotes several prominent companies that produce their software in Orange County. Companies that register are vetted before receiving a Coded in OC insignia to place on their website showing their commitment to growing the local economy and workforce. “The importance of Coded in OC is to grow the local economy by encouraging companies to invest in local talent, grow and retain the local workforce,...
US Weekly Jobless Claims Near 49-Year Low; Factory Orders Surge

Thursday, October 04, 2018

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 49-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength, which should continue to underpin economic growth. The labor market, which is viewed as being near or at full employment, is steadily boosting wage growth, which could help to support consumer spending as the stimulus from the Trump administration’s $1.5 trillion tax cut package fades. “The momentum in the labor market remains strong and we expect the unemployment rate to continue to decline,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped...
Greater Irvine Chamber Receives Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber won three Excellence in Economic Development Awards from the International Economic Development Council (IEDC). The Chamber received a Silver Award for its Business Outreach Rally in the category of Business Retention and Expansion Program of 3 Years or More, a Silver Award for its Global Microsite in the Special Purpose Website category, and a Bronze Award for its Career Edge program in the Human Capital category. The awards were formally presented to Linda DiMario, executive vice president, and Pepper Russell, research and support services manager, Greater Irvine Chamber, during the Oct. 2 IEDC Annual Conference, in Atlanta, Georgia. “I’m...
Southern California Edison Remains Committed to Wildfire Prevention and Response

Monday, October 01, 2018

In response to the growing risk of wildfires in Southern California, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member Southern California Edison (SCE) is taking action to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and is committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues.  Senate Bill 901 (SB 901) was signed recently into law. While this legislation is a step forward, SCE believes that more work still needs to be done to address wildfire prevention, response, and liability, and remains committed to working with state leaders on practical policy solutions to more effectively address these issues. SCE...
What Will Irvine Look Like in 20 Years?

Monday, October 01, 2018

Emile Haddad of Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member FivePoint is experimenting with something that at first glance appears antithetical to the Southern California lifestyle—a home without a garage. And a homeowner who’s not a car owner. “These will be the first single-family homes with no garages,” Haddad said. “We all love our cars, but the minds of the next generation won’t love them as much as we do.” It’s a proof-of-concept project that will entail 50 to 60 homes. A timeframe for opening hasn't been set, he said. A builder hasn't been chosen for the homes, which are being designed by...
Starr's Perspective on the Success of Irvine's Balanced Master Plan

Monday, September 24, 2018

By Bryan Starr, President & CEO, Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, as published in the October 2018 issue of Irvine Standard. As an Irvine resident, I have always been pleased to learn of the many distinctions our city receives for being a great place to live and do business. Now, as the President and CEO of the Greater Irvine Chamber, directing the organization’s mission to promote Irvine, I am keenly aware of the reason we have emerged as one of America’s great cities: it’s our balanced Master Plan. Many cities may have ample housing but few jobs. Some have plenty of jobs but few parks...
Award-Winning Career Edge Program Offers College Students Insights for Early Business Success

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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

Monday, September 17, 2018

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

Friday, September 14, 2018

One component of the Irvine Master Plan is the city’s retail centers. The Irvine Spectrum Center, Woodbridge Center, and Diamond Jamboree offer diverse shopping and dining experiences to visitors and residents alike. These Irvine destinations continue to evolve, providing shoppers with eclectic options that remain at the pinnacle of style, relevance, and ambiance. Timing of the #ShopIrvine initiative couldn’t be better. Recently completed renovations at two of Irvine’s most popular and picturesque shopping centers – Irvine Spectrum Center and Woodbridge Village Center – are primed to add significant value to shopping and dining in Irvine. Irvine Spectrum Center, which draws more than...
Campaign to Attract United Kingdom Life Science Companies to Irvine Yields Results

Friday, September 14, 2018

Irvine is home to one of the most robust life science sectors in America, a sector where British-owned life science companies are a strong presence. Because the mission of the Greater Irvine Chamber is to enhance Irvine’s economic vitality, we looked to expand the life science sector by launching an aggressive foreign direct investment initiative to recruit U.K. life science companies for expansion to Irvine. The Chamber conducted thorough research into the market to effectively position Irvine/Orange County in a competitive field. We learned that while California is a very strong global brand, most U.K. companies still thought of Boston first...
Greater Irvine Chamber Welcomes Its Newest Board Members

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber recently welcomed five new members to its Board of Directors. They are Orange County entrepreneurs and executives that will support the Chamber’s mission and serve in a fiduciary role. Vivian Atkinson, Owner, Express Employment Professionals As the long-term owner of an Irvine-based staffing and recruiting company, Vivian Atkinson has a vested interest in helping local employers grow and supporting the reputation of Irvine as a great place to do business. Prior to settling in Irvine, she worked in commercial real estate for Colliers International and McDonalds Restaurants of Canada. Born and raised in Shanghai, and having become both...
Irvine’s Tech Strength Attracts Bay Area Companies

Friday, September 14, 2018

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

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

AnaLaura Becerra, CMP, CTA, has joined the Greater Irvine Chamber professional staff as Director of Corporate Sales for Destination Irvine. In this role, Becerra promotes Irvine as a corporate meeting, convention and event destination to meeting and event planners in the local, regional, state, and targeted national meetings markets to generate group hotel room nights through overnight stays. “I’m looking forward to working with hotels and other venues to showcase Irvine to visitors and to attract corporate, government, and association groups to the city for their meetings and overnight stays,” Becerra said. Prior to joining the Chamber staff, Becerra was a national...
New 280,000 Square-Foot Ice Arena in Irvine Will Have Four Practice Rinks for Ducks, Figure Skaters

Monday, September 10, 2018

Mounds of dirt sit in the space that will be used by thousands of kids on ice skates. The ground-level concession stand and skate shop have exposed beams but will soon be bustling with families. And the expansive upstairs lobby is where countless parents will watch their children. The Great Park Ice skating facility is a construction site, but it’s not difficult to envision that it might someday help produce the next locally trained NHL player or Olympic figure skater. “I don’t think it’s that far off,” said Art Trottier, vice president of the Ducks’ RINKS program that has grown hockey at the...
Heavy Concentration of Orange County Startups Located in Irvine

Friday, September 07, 2018

A majority of Orange County’s tech startups are located either in the Airport Area or Irvine Spectrum submarkets. Airport Area startups have raised $195.2 million compared to the $152.2 million raised by their Irvine Spectrum counterparts. Collectively, the two account for 91 percent of startup funding in Orange County. Tech and startup companies alike are drawn to these two submarkets because of the high concentration of millennials, strong retail and lifestyle amenities, and the depth of available labor. Orange County startups have greatly contributed to the technology sector, emerging as a significant driver for the local economy and driving growth for the...
Brian Andersen Named 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Brian Andersen, founder and CEO of Telecomprehensive Solutions, a telecommunications and technology consulting company, has been named the 2018 Greater Irvine Chamber Member of the Year. Since joining the Chamber in 2013, Andersen has been actively involved in the Chamber, joining a number of committees, and attending various events. He currently serves as co-chair of the Chamber’s Business and Workforce Development Committee, working to educate, inform, retain, grow, and expand existing businesses in Irvine. He is also involved in the Chamber’s Economic Vitality Council where he collaborates with other members, finding ways to energize the start-up eco-system, improve business retention, and cultivate a collaborative...
OCTANe Announces 2017 Results and Strategy: Building the SoCal of Tomorrow

Monday, March 19, 2018

For Orange County and the entire Southern California region, 2017 was a pivotal year for innovation. The region has some of the nation’s best engineering talent, top-ranked universities, and a community of investors and innovators. With that in mind, Greater Irvine Chamber Leaders Circle member OCTANe has been creating collaborative and strategic relationships with many organizations and creating the SoCal of tomorrow. The OCTANe 2017 Impact Report gives an overview of the region’s tech growth engine for the year as well as a forecast through 2025.   “The year 2018 will begin a new growth period for OCTANe as we execute...
Greater Irvine Chamber's Career Edge Named Outstanding Program of the Year

Friday, February 09, 2018

The Greater Irvine Chamber’s Career Edge was named the 2017 Outstanding Program of the Year by the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.). The award was formally presented to members of the Chamber staff on Feb. 8 at the W.A.C.E. Annual Conference held this year in Henderson, Nevada. “In addition to the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received from students, educators, and the business community, recognition from our colleagues across the Chamber industry is further indication of the value of the Career Edge program and the Chamber’s role to ensure a highly-skilled, 21st-century workforce that our employers seek,” said Linda DiMario, executive...
Greater Irvine Chamber’s Linda DiMario Lends Expertise to Texas City in Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Monday, January 22, 2018

Linda DiMario, executive vice president of the Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, traveled to Aransas Pas, Texas last week under the auspices of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) to lend a hand to the City and its business community in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. With a focus on the Downtown core, DiMario met with City Manager Gary Edwards, Mayor Ram Gomez, City Council members Carrie Scruggs, Vickie Abrego and Billy Ellis, city management, the Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce, Destination Downtown, UNITY, the Library Board, business owners, property owners and San Patricio Economic Development Council discussing how to...