The Valley Economic Alliance Newsletter May 2015 Highlights

Jobs, Health Screenings and Networking at the Career Fair/Health and Disability Expo

The Career Fair/Health and Disability Expo took place on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 at Los Angeles Valley College’s Monarch Square. Over 1,500 students and attendees met with hundreds of businesses that are hiring, including disability-friendly employers.

Attendees were also able to get free onsite health screenings, participate in yoga and zumba demonstrations, and learn about maintaining a healthy lifestyle from various health providers and wellness based businesses.

Exhibitors included It Works Global, Nurse Next Door, Cancer Control Society, Tarzana Dental Specialists, Farmer John, National Alliance on Mental Illness, New York Life Insurance Company, Los Angeles Police Department, Be the Match Marrow Registry, Pacific Lodge Youth Services, Aflac, Cancer Control Society and many more. Sponsors included Providence Health & Services, Van Nuys Airport, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Sherman Oaks Hospital, and Sam’s Club.

Seismic Safety Meeting & Retrofit Tax Incentives with Dr. Lucy Jones & Assemblyman Nazarian-
this Thursday, May 14!

Calling all brokers, architects, contractors, CPA’s, attorneys and apartment complex owners to the Seismic Retrofit Safety Meeting this Thursday, May 14, from 4:30pm-6:00pm, at the Burbank Association of Realtors.

Adrin Nazarian, Assemblymember of the 46th California Assembly District will be in attendance to discuss seismic retrofit tax incentives. This legislation would provide a five-year 30% state seismic tax credit to property owners for safety improvements to their vulnerable buildings. Dr. Lucile Jones will be discussing the City of Los Angeles Resilience by Design plan that includes building retrofitting. Retrofits would be required within 5 years at “soft-first-story” buildings built prior to 1980, and retrofits would be required within 25 years at “non-ductile reinforced concrete” buildings built prior to 1980.

Need offsets? Speakers will share tax incentives/credits and salary reimbursements for new hires.

Visit to register.

The Star of the Valley Award Goes To…

You are cordially invited to the 18th Annual Valley of the Stars Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at CBS Studio Center in Studio City from 6:00pm-10:00pm. Join us and this year’s Stars of the Valley for a cocktail reception, awards ceremony, music, drinks and dinner under the stars.

The Gala honors individuals and organizations that help grow and strengthen our economy, improve the quality of life in our communities, and bring national recognition to the San Fernando Valley.

For tickets, table reservations, sponsorship and advertisement opportunities, visit or contact Erica Gass at 818-379-7000.

Workshop Offers Businesses ADA Compliance Advice

During a workshop on Tuesday, May 5, roughly 20 people learned how businesses can avoid lawsuits that claim they violated accessibility laws for people with disabilities.

Hosted by The Valley Economic Alliance and California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, the workshop was part of a roughly yearlong effort to get businesses and restaurants compliant with accessibility laws as Glendale and surrounding cities gear up to host athletes participating in the Special Olympics World Summer Games, said Michael Hadley of the Valley Economic Alliance.

“We’re trying to make the San Fernando Valley accessible to all persons no matter what level of ability,” Hadley said, adding that the organization has held several similar workshops already, but this was the first in Glendale. “We have been connecting businesses to resources they need to become accessible,” Hadley added.

The workshop’s message to business owners was this – get the violations fixed before you get slapped with a surprise lawsuit.

With the Americans with Disabilities Act having been signed into law in 1990, the compliance deadline was in January 1992. Several updates and revisions have been made in recent years.

“There’s really no advantage to waiting,” said David Warren Peters, an attorney with the California Justice Alliance who made a presentation at the workshop. “Sometimes it’s just as simple as a little bit of blue paint and a sign.”

Parking-lot violations are among the more common sources of claims, yet one of the easiest to fix, Peters said. He encouraged business owners to arrange through their attorneys for a certified access specialist to inspect their property for compliance. Businesses, he said, may even be eligible for tax credits or deductions for some improvements.

Several Glendale business owners in recent months have been hit with lawsuits claiming civil-rights violations. Among them was Urik Ghazalian, who was surprised when his 11-year-old, family-owned coffee shop, Urartu Coffee, was served with a lawsuit in January.

Source: Glendale News-Press, By Alene Tchekmedyan

Affordable Care Act Update: What Employers Need To Do Now

Join The Valley Economic Alliance, Bolton & Company and SFV EAC on Thursday, June 11 for a detailed look at Affordable Care Act reporting and compliance. Registration begins at 8:00am, program to follow at 9:00am at New Horizons’ main hall in North Hills.

Key topics include new IRS and employee reporting obligations, new rules related to flexible spending accounts, mid year health care reform changes under cafeteria plans, and updated guidance for health reimbursement arrangements and reimbursements for individual health insurance policies.

Presenters include John Garner, Chief Compliance Officer and Paul Palkovic, Vice President of Bolton and Company.

Email Angela at to register. Continental breakfast included.

Congrats Grad!

Michael Hadley, Economic Research Specialist at The Valley Economic Alliance, graduated from the Pepperdine University School of Public Policy on Friday, April 17. He received a Masters Degree in Public Policy with an emphasis in International Relations and Economics.

During his two year program, Michael completed a 240 hour Internship and Capstone Project, while working at The Valley Economic Alliance.

Upon graduation, Michael plans on dedicating more time to helping The Alliance and gain experience in economic development with its Business Assistance Program and  Access Friendly project. Michael hopes to work in the field of international economic development in the future.

Learning and Adapting Behavioral Styles

The DiSC: The Universal Language Workshop with Economic Alliance board member Madelon Wallace was a huge success! On April 22, 2015, workshop attendees learned about the four (D-i-S-C) behavioral styles, how to recognize them and how to adapt their style. This versatility is key to effective communication.

A workshop attendee said, “Part of what made it so useful was that Madelon blended a great mix of audience participation with her speaking. This allowed us to first, learn a new concept – such as the various behavioral types – and then instantly practice what we’d learned.”

Take advantage of Madelon’s upcoming workshops on May 29 to learn what it takes to engage, empower and encourage the people you lead; and June 19 on learning the keys to peak performance and personal leadership to perform at your best.

Email Madelon at or call 747-900-6281 to register and learn more.

Meet June Johnson

June has been spending the past few weeks assisting The Valley Economic Alliance at the front desk and with investor relations.

Originally from Trinidad, W.I.,June Johnson has a strong background in sales and has held a variety of positions  ranging from the Purchasing Department, City Manager’s Office, Minority Business Development and Economic Development Departments.

June was recently a sales representative for Xerox Community and served on their Involvement Program as a Board Member.

Oh the Places You’ll Go

The Greater San Fernando Valley Chamber of Commerce honored long-term Valley businesses for their continued commitment and support of the Valley business community at the Chamber’s 103rd Inaugural Ball at Discovery Cube Los Angeles – Science Center on Friday, April 17, 2015.

“It is our extreme pleasure to honor these businesses that have invested and stayed in the San Fernando Valley. Their longevity speaks volumes about their leadership and prominence in the business community,” said Chamber CEO Nancy Hoffman Vanyek, who has been with the Chamber for over 27 years.

The Chamber honored outgoing Chairwoman & Economic Alliance board member Diana Sanchez, Director of Public and Community Relations at Van Nuys Airport, and incoming Chairman Mark L. Levinson, Attorney at Law, was sworn in. The Chairman’s Award of Excellence went to Evan Press of Hornstein Investment Group for his leadership in the Chamber’s legislative advocacy efforts.

How to Manage Foreign Exchange Volatility

Join VITA and AFEX at the Global Networking Breakfast set for Wednesday, May 27 at The Valley Economic Alliance’s BFG Boardroom. Networking and continental breakfast begin at 8am, followed by presentations at 8:30am.

Frank Hallak, Business Development Executive with AFEX and The Valley Economic Alliance board member, will discuss how to manage and combat foreign exchange volatility, current market trends, and case examples.

AFEX is a global payment and risk management solutions specialist that offers a range of global payment and foreign exchange services, including Foreign Currency Drafts, Wire Transfers, risk management tools and designated Account Executives. They handle every aspect of a client’s foreign payment needs, from risk consultation to transaction execution. With a diverse client base of more than 24,000 active commercial clients including importers and exporters, educational and financial institutions, small businesses, multinational corporations and individuals, AFEX recognizes the distinct requirements of each clients.

To register and attend, visit

Van Nuys Airport Receives Airport Executive Partnership Award

Jess Romo, airport manager at Van Nuys Airport (VNY), was selected to receive the 2014 National Air Transportation Association (NATA) Airport Executive Partnership Award given annually to recognize an airport manager for their outstanding efforts in fostering relationships between aviation businesses and airport operators.

Van Nuys Airport has been a loyal The Valley Economic Alliance board member for the past 20 years.

NATA selected Romo for his leadership in developing and maintaining a partnership between airport operators and airport tenants. Romo also manages LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT). He has served as airport manager at VNY since 2010, and served as airport manager at ONT since 2006.

“He has done a great job building landlord and tenant relationships at VNY, and fostering and maintaining an open line of communication. We are fortunate to have him managing both VNY and ONT,” said Gina Marie Lindsey, Executive Director of Los Angeles World Airports.

Romo will receive the award at the NATA 2015 Aviation Business Conference in Washington D.C. in June.

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