The Leading Voice of Business in Orange County

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

All of us at OCBC wish you and your loved ones many beautiful moments and happy memories this holiday season. Special thanks to everyone who joined OCBC, ACC-OC, BIA-OC, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce for the most talked about holiday party of the season! CLICK HERE for photos from the Holiday Reception. Thanks to event sponsors US Bank, Hyatt Regency Irvine, AT&T, and AmeriCare Ambulance.
OCBC's Indicator Newsletter will be on holiday too. Expect your next edition on Tuesday, January 15, 2013. Happy New Year!


The LA Times recently published an article calling into question the viability of Orange County's Toll Roads in light of a formal inquiry launched by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer into whether the roads can cover the interest payments to private investors who purchased tollway bonds. This could be a sit-com if it weren't funny, however.


Orange County is the toll road capital of the State of California, with almost 60 miles of toll roads, adding to the highly successful Riverside County/Orange County 91 Express Lanes. As a result, commuters have been able to make choices about travel for decades, paying a little extra fee for faster service, or not depending on the driver's schedule. And now we see Los Angeles following in OC's footsteps with the opening of the I-110 Express Lanes and coming soon I-10 Express Lanes in downtown.  


But the irony of the day is that if, in fact, the Orange County toll road system is in financial trouble, it is due in large part to government officials--including Bill Lockyer, in his former role as California Attorney General--suing to stop the Transportation Corridor Agencies, and others doing everything in their power to prevent, over-regulate or delay the completion of the system to assure financial viability. 


TCA has been stopped at every attempt to connect the toll road system to the I-5 freeway (denied last by the California Coastal Commission) and just this month, Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) rejected an express lane/toll connection between the I-73 toll road and the I-405 freeway.  The very folks in the Times' story complaining about the financial viability of toll roads have actually contributed to the slow torture of a great idea: choice.


P.S.  It's also time to better align Orange County's two transportation agencies, TCA and OCTA, now that they are both collecting tolls. And CLICK HERE to read Dunn & Done: Clean Air is Important, But So Are Jobs, as published in the OC Register on December 17, 2012. For more information contact  Katherine Reedy, Director of Communications.


Dr. Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-CIO of PIMCO, will serve as Keynote Speaker for the 2013 Annual Dinner. OCBC's Annual Dinner, sponsored by Brandman University, will take place Thursday, January 31, 2013 at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.


The theme of the 2013 Annual Dinner is Breaking Free -- free from economic constraints, over-regulation and old ways of doing business -- setting your business apart in a tough economy. In keeping with the theme Dr. El-Erian will discuss leadership, strategic challenges and opportunities of navigating the new economy, while highlighting the PIMCO way to success.  

Register Online      Sponsorship Info  

During the Annual Dinner OCBC will recognize outgoing 2012 Chairman Julie Miller-Phipps of Kaiser Permanente, and install the 2013 Board of Directors, led by incoming Chair Michael Hornak, Senior Partner of the Trial Section, Rutan & Tucker. For more information contact Leslie Dods, Events Manager.

Welcome to the OCBC Board of Directors Robbin Narike Preciado, Senior VP and Regional Executive at Union Bank, Hector J. Infante, Manager of Policy, Government and Affairs at Chevron, and Philip V. Petrocelli, Chief Strategic and Corporate Development Officer at HNTB Corporation. Preciado oversees all Union Bank's retail branch operations in the Greater Orange County, Inland Empire and southern Los Angeles counties. She was named "2011 Top Women in Retail and Finance" by Women of Color magazine. Infante has worked for Chevron for the past 21 years, and is responsible for local government relations, social investment and all community communication for Chevron. Previously, Infante served as the Policy, Government and Public Affairs Manager for Chevron in the Caribbean and U.S. East. Petrocelli previously served as Regional Chief Executive of AECOM for western U.S., Korea, Guam and Japan. Before that, he worked at Boyle Engineering Corporation as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. For more information, contact Larry Brose, Vice President of Investor Relations and Business Development. 


Orange County's housing market is showing renewed signs of strength, while the state is recovering at a more modest pace. Some recent housing statistics show:

  • Statewide, nearly 40,000 new and resale homes and condos sold in October 2012, up 15.2% from October 2011.
  • The median price paid for a home in California in October was $285,000, up 18.8% from October 2011. 
  • October marked the 8th consecutive month in which the state's median sale price rose year-over-year.
  • Short sales made up an estimated 26% of the homes that resold in October. That is down from 24.9% a year earlier.

Nationally, housing trends show a significant rebound towards recovery. Housing construction starts reached an 894,000 annualized unit pace in October, the highest in more than 4 years, and up 42% from one year ago. Even with this large gain, further increases are needed, totaling approximately 1.3 million annually. The west region of the United States showed the largest increase, with a 73% gain in new inventory. Homebuilders are responding to these market incentives and conditions; however, California lags well behind Texas in new home construction, even though the state has a larger population, it is experiencing a more acute housing shortage because of tight land regulations and high fees associated with housing permits. In Orange County alone, 50,000 new housing units are needed to meet the demand. Housing shortage conditions are expected to continue for the foreseeable future. To read OCBC's 2012 Workforce Housing Scorecard, CLICK HERE. For more information contact Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Advisor. 


traffic OCBC President and CEO Lucy Dunn and Chief Economic Advisor Dr. Wallace Walrod joined 200 business and civic leaders at the Third Annual Economic Summit, hosted by the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), to develop a plan for solving California's economic issues, tackling jobs creation and re-energizing the state's economy. The summit included a discussion about the economic benefits of accelerating transportation project delivery by five years, which include:

  • The creation of 102,143 new jobs each year;
  • Reduction in travel time, emissions, fuel consumption, and vehicle operating costs, leading to an additional 83,654 jobs per year;
  • Decrease in construction costs by $1.25-1.95 billion, or 5-9% of constructions costs. These savings can be reinvested in additional transportation infrastructure and services.

Currently, transportation projects face hurdles to fast project delivery methods, including funding availability, the environmental review process, and other uncertainties such as agency coordination. Opportunities exist for streamlining transportation project delivery--which currently takes about 17 years--including OCTA's Breaking Down Barriers legislation and modernizing CEQA. SCAG's 2013 legislative priorities tackle this very issue by supporting legislation aimed directly at modernizing CEQA, and process reform that allows for faster project delivery and the creation of jobs. For more information, contact Dr. Wallace Walrod, Chief Economic Advisor. 


OCBC Member, Snell & Wilmer LLP, was honored with the Visionary of the Year Award and recognized as Community Partner by the Coastline community College Foundation at their annual holiday reception on December 4. On behalf of the firm, OCBC Board Member Jon Frank accepted the award, which honors those who have demonstrated the strength to lead, have a vision to improve lives and have paved the way for success within the community. For the past 15 years, Coastline Community College Foundation has honored Visionary Award winners at an annual gala in the spring. This year, the foundation celebrated the holidays and the opening of its new campus in Newport Beach by honoring two additional Visionaries. Snell & Wilmer was honored alongside Bruno Serato who is the owner of Anaheim White House, a restaurant that serves free dinners to homeless children every night. For more information contact Larry Brose, Vice President of Investor Relations and Business Development. 


OCBC Member Time Warner Cable continued its commitment to S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education through a generous $5,000 donation to the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana. The donation is part of Connect a Million Minds, the company's five-year, $100 million initiative to inspire the next generation of problem solvers by connecting young people to the wonders of STEM. STEM education is a key component of the Boys and Girls Club mission, and is provided throughout the year. STEM programs at the Club incorporate fun, learning, and hands-on activities. The Boys and Girls Club of Santa Ana serves approximately 1,000 primarily at-risk, low-income, second language learners per day. The Club provides a positive and healthy learning environment for children and youth in one of the most disadvantaged communities in the United States. For more information contact Larry Brose, Vice President of Investor Relations and Business Development.


The Anaheim Convention Center, the largest convention center on the west coast, has a reputation--and awards-- for being environmentally conscious, and continues to expand its eco-friendly center. In 2010, the Anaheim Convention Center was awarded the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, and is one of only 14 convention centers in the country to earn this distinction. LEED is the lead rating system of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for designing, constructing and operating the world's greenest, most energy efficient, and high performing buildings.  


The Center's most recent expansion was the addition of a 2,000 square foot garden atop the box office roof that provides herbs, being used in meals sold at the center. CLICK HERE to read more. For more information contact Katherine Reedy, Director of Communications.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: 3....2....1!

Here are some apps to countdown to the New Year:


2013 New Year's Countdown: Welcome 2013 with the New Year's Countdown! Enjoy setting off fireworks right on your phone!

Resolutions 2013: Helps you improve your life by changing your actions. Stop waiting for inspiration!  

Achieve it: Achieve is your tool to a better life, by helping you make and keep your goals.  

MyCalander Free: The perfect calendar right on your phone.  

Habit Maker Habit Breaker: Good habits make our life easy... bad habits get in our way. 


For more information, contact Katherine Reedy, Director of Communications.


World Affairs Council - 45th Anniversary Holiday Gala Celebration - Wednesday, December 19 

The World Affairs Council of Orange County is hosting their 45th Anniversary Holiday Gala Celebration on Wednesday, December 19th. This spectacular evening will include keynote speaker, Buzz Aldrin, the Apollo 11 Mission Astronaut and second man to walk on the moon, as well as holiday music entertainment from internationally-acclaimed tenor Cesar Sanchez and pianist Christopher Martin. The event will be held at The Westin South Coast Plaza Hotel, with a 6:00 p.m. reception, 7:00 p.m. dinner, and 8:00 p.m. speaker program with Buzz Aldrin. For pricing, sponsorship opportunities or more information, visit 
or contact Karen Levesque at 949-253-5751.


Small Business Saturday: Shop Fullerton - Saturday, November 25 - Saturday, December 29 

Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the local small businesses that boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country. Community members are invited to visit participating retailers beginning November 24 through December 29.  For every qualifying $25 spent on gift certificates and merchandise, patrons will receive a raffle ticket to win one of 200 American Express gift cards. Raffles will be held once per week from November 24 through December 29, and winners will be notified by phone. CLICK HERE for more information.


OC Fair New Year's Eve Block Party - Monday, December 31

Ring in the New Year at the OC Fair New Year's Eve Block Party, taking place from 7:30 pm - 1:30 am at the OC Fair and Events Center. Featuring 12 bands playing tribute to the music of the decades, gourmet food trucks, DJ and dancing, Vegas style games, demolition derby, and a midnight pyrotechnic celebration. CLICK HERE for more information.


OC Department of Education Presents: Transformational Change in Education - January 17, 2013

Dr. Al Mijares, OC Superintendent of Schools, invites you to attend Transformational Change in Education, with David Coleman, President of the College Board. Learn how common core state standards will affect teaching and learning, how students will prepare for global impact, and what this means for our future. This event will take place January 17, 2013 from 2:30-5:30pm at the Radisson Hotel Newport Beach, 4545 MacArthur Boulevard, Newport Beach, CA 92660. CLICK HERE to register. For more information contact Darla Nunez at 714.966.4003 or   


Kid2.0 - An Elementary School S.T.E.A.M. Showcase - Sunday, March 20

Join Vital Link OC, Science OC and the Black Business Network OC as they unite the professional, educational and business communities to increase the number of S.T.E.A.M. professionals in our country. The event will be held at UC Irvine in the Student Center from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. This free event is for the entire family, and specially designed to improve children and parents' attitudes toward S.T.E.A.M. The event will feature S.T.E.A.M. professionals giving demonstrations, and guiding hands on exhibits in a fun-filled atmosphere. Parents will take away resources to help encourage a strong math and science education for their family at home and in the community. Sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are available. Click here for more information.


OC Great Park to Host 2013 Solar Decathalon - October 3-13, 2013
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2013 and XPO will take place October 3, 2013 to October 13, 2013 at the Orange County Great Park. This will be the first time the decathlon is held outside of the National Mall in Washington D.C. Teams representing the world's leading colleges and universities will compete in the 2013 decathlon to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The homes will be on display in the Solar Village, forming the center-piece of the XPO, a world's fair of clean, renewable and efficient energy. CLICK HERE for more information.

BIZFEDOC Committee Meeting
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 I 7:30-9:00am

Infrastructure Committee Meeting
Tuesday, January 8, 2013  I  7:30-9:00am

Latino Educational Attainment Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 10, 2013  I  9:00-10:30am

Workforce Development Committee Meeting
Wednesday, January 16, 2013  I  7:30-9:00am

Government Affairs Committee Meeting
Thursday, January 17, 2013  I  9:30-11:00am

Economic Development Committee Meeting
Monday, January 28, 2013  I  4:00-5:30pm

Committee meetings are open to OCBC members and invited guests only.All committee meetings are held at the OCBC offices unless otherwise specified. For more information on upcoming committee meetings for 2012 check out OCBC's Committees. For more information, contact Leslie Dods at (949) 794-7241 or

SPECIAL DISCOUNTS FOR OCBC MEMBERS. One of the many benefits of being a part of the Orange County Business Council is the ability to leverage our member relationships to improve your business. Take advantage of our new offers:   



Have you considered solar for your home?  The world's leading solar manufacturer, SunPower Corporation, has joined OCBC and is offering OCBC investors (and their employees) a special discount on solar for your home.  Beyond a generous discount for us all, SunPower is also making a donation to STEM Education in Orange County for each residential system purchased through this program.  This is a great way to save costs on electricity and to support the local community at the same time. CLICK HERE to sign up for a free solar home evaluation and for more information on this special offer. 



Pacific Symphony is offering special rates for most concert programs to OCBC members. Gather a group and attend a special concert event this season! Seating may be limited and based on availability. Visit for a complete schedule, seating charts and concert information. Suggested programs include: CLICK HERE.  



OCBC members receive special discounts on Toshiba LCD televisions, laptop computers and accessories. CLICK HERE for the discount website or call 1-800-405-3704 and reference PROGRAM ID: PAOB.


Through the UPS Discount Program, OCBC members can save up to 28% on international, air and ground shipping. Whether you need a shipment to arrive the same day, the next day or in a few days, UPS will get your package there on time - guaranteed. Visit or call Kendra at 714.999.6351.

BACCHUS' SECRET CELLAR WINE BAR CAN HELP YOU!   Bacchus' is the perfect place for your business to turn to for all your holiday needs. Let our friendly staff and beautiful interior bring you and your guests a wine-country experience customized to your liking at a surprisingly affordable cost. Our retail shoppe is perfect for last-minute gifts including over 350 wines, charcuterie and artisan cheeses, wine accessories, food frills, and gift baskets tailored to your specifications. Please contact Garett Savage ( to reserve your holiday party today while there is still space.
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If you have questions on how to get connected with the Business Council online, please contact Katherine Reedy, Director of Communications, at 949.794.7221.
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