Tom York

Contributing Writer

Recent Stories

Companies, Individuals Bet on Incentives to Lose Weight

WELLNESS: Social Dieting Gains Traction And Some HR Critics

After weighing in at 222 pounds last year, Encinitas resident Simon Menkes realized he had to get thinner. He was beginning to suffer from health issues related to his obesity.

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Tenants Weigh Costs of Cool Lifestyle Space at Work

WORKPLACE: Millennials Seek Office Buzz But Also Private Areas

Dan Khabie got exactly what he was looking for when he moved his digital marketing firm from the Gaslamp into 18,000 square feet of space in East Village’s DiamondView Tower in 2011.


SPORT: Golf Courses Make Changes, Redesigns To Survive the Drought

100-year-old oak trees rise above impressive boulders and chaparral to frame the lush tees, greens and fairways at Meadow Lake Golf Club northeast of Escondido.

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Auto Dealers Get a New Vehicle for Wholesale

TECH: East County Entrepreneur’s Platform Targets $1T Industry

Troy Mack might be perfect for the lead role if Hollywood ever remakes that popular cult classic “The Mouse That Roared” about taking on the “big guy.”

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Stone’s New Virginia Plant Also a ‘Failsafe’ for Drought

EXPANSION: Brewer Says 40% of Current Sales Are East of Mississippi

When Stone Brewing Co., one of the 10 largest craft beer makers in the U.S., hired Craig Spitz as its first CFO five years ago, the craft beer maker was generating $48 million annually in sales.

Brewing Is the Easy Part of the Operation

ROUNDTABLE: Owners Cite Range of Regulations Among Business Concerns

For the 40-plus entrepreneurs expected to soon start breweries in the Craft Beer Capital of the World, the process will be a dream come true.

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Small Business Lender Is on Big Growth Trajectory

LENDING: Company Looks to Expand into Midmarket Segment

When banks retreated from making small business loans during the depths of the Great Recession, Dave Gilbert saw a huge opportunity.

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Whiskey Hits Market With Right Hooks

BEVERAGE: Endorsers, Herbs And Name Target Millennials

Over the past decade, San Diego has become known far and wide for its craft beer industry.

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Commercial Properties Embrace Solar, Other Efficiencies

ENERGY: Rate Increases, Innovations Boost Green Solutions

Green energy is surging on the commercial side in San Diego.

Meet Gina Champion-Cain, ‘Serial Entrepreneur’

REINVENTION: Former Developer Branches Out

A lot of downtown San Diego real estate developers disappeared in the depths of the Great Recession.

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Law Firms Opt for Renewals as Landlords Gain Leverage

TROPHY SPACE: Lack of New Inventory, Pressure on Costs Deter Movement

Need proof that commercial real estate has recovered from the worst of the Great Recession?

Changing Courses

MBA Schools Offer Specialty Degrees To Meet Evolving Business Demands

The MBA, first introduced in 1908, remains the go-to degree for successfully advancing through the ranks into the corporate suite.

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Region Still Making It in Manufacturing

Manufacturing accounts for 10 percent of the region’s overall economy, according to the results of a recent survey issued by National University System Institute for Policy Research.

County’s Roads Are Rough on Cars, Wallets

TRIP, a national transportation research group in Washington, D.C., releases a report about California’s horrible road conditions, and San Diego is among the counties included in the survey.

Rankings Paint a Picture Of San Diego

San Diego is in the spotlight, making a lot of interesting lists these days … Consumer rating website ranks our region No. 25 based on the ratio of primary care doctors to the population. Greenville, S.C., tops that list with a doc for every 377 residents.

Bill Aims to Keep Fishiness Out Of Fish Business

Senate Bill 1138, targeting the deliberate mislabeling of seafood, is one recent piece of lawmaking that could impact the local fishing industry, not to mention anyone involved in the food delivery chain.

Successful IPO Adds to Avalon’s Win Column

There’s a plethora of interesting news flowing out of San Diego’s very active entrepreneurial community in recent weeks ... First up, La Jolla venture capital firm Avalon Ventures was one of the big winners when portfolio company Otonomy Inc., a late-stage life science company developing sustained-exposure treatments for ear diseases, raised $100 million in an IPO offering on Wall Street Aug. 12.

Whistleblower Laws Call for Sound, Clearly Defined Policies

LAW: Proliferation of Lawsuits Emphasizes Scope of the Problem

A tidal wave of new lawsuits claiming retaliation against so-called whistleblowers has been hitting business owners in recent years.

Cardiff-based Raken Raking In Kudos for Latest Mobile App

Here’s another information technology success story with that unique San Diego twist. Friends who grew up with Kyle Slager in Ohio have two reasons to be jealous of the Buckeye native.

It’s ‘The End’ For Sony’s E-Book Efforts

Sadly, the news media is reporting the end of an era that has an impact on San Diego. Sony Electronics is closing its E-reader business which was orchestrated from its North American headquarters in Rancho Bernardo.

Correlation Ventures Invests In 8 Startups

La Jolla-based venture capital firm Correlation Ventures added eight new startup companies to its portfolio during the second quarter, Managing Director David Coats said. The investments included PowerVision, Soldsie, Splice Machine, SynthoRX and VigLink, plus three smaller seed deals.

Technology Drives Change in Model For Car Insurance

Big changes are ahead in how you pay for auto insurance in California. San Francisco startup Metromile launched pay-per-mile car insurance and has updated its connected car platform, which provides operational data that could have a huge impact on traffic patterns in San Diego and other metro areas in the state.

No Surprise, He’s Rolling the Dice On Home Auction

Las Vegas high-roller Billy Walters, who brags he’s wagered as much as $1 million on the outcome of a single hole of golf, hasn’t been able to sell El Milagro, his 9-acre, 21,000-square-foot Rancho Santa Fe estate, for a listing price of a tad under $20 million.

Local Entrepreneurs, Venture Capitalists ‘Partying Like It’s 1999’

FINANCE: Recent Successful IPOs Expected To Fuel More Investment

David Titus was in a great mood when he delivered the opening remarks for the recent San Diego Venture Summit.

New VC Firms Finding Lots of Deals In San Diego’s Startup Ecosystem

VENTURE: Region Lured 7 Firms To Set Up Shop and Invest

The money men — and women — are venturing back to San Diego.

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Two Locals Among Five Accused of Insurance Fraud

Two San Diegans were included among five men arrested by California Department of Insurance detectives on multiple felony charges alleging a complex scheme to defraud insurers.

Manufacturing Among Binational Region’s Strengths

A new economic study from the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at the University of California, San Diego’s School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, along with the Colegio de la Frontera Norte and the Cali-Baja Mega-Region Initiative,

UC San Diego to Lead State Brain Research Initiative

The University of California, San Diego is taking the lead in a statewide initiative to drive research into the rapidly evolving area of neurotechnology, thanks to $2 million included in the new state budget just signed into law.

Tomorrow’s Titans Show Their Skills at UCSD Challenge

The University of California, San Diego’s annual Entrepreneurial Challenge, which promotes commercialization of student research, announced the winners of its recent competition.

Local Search Firm Lands Rare Google Partnership Status

CPC Strategy — a San Diego-based, retail-focused search agency that uses a proprietary optimization process to drive online sales — was named an official Google shopping partner, only the 10th business to be so recognized since the program was launched in 2012.

30 ‘COOLest’ Cos. Chosen for SDVG Venture Summit

A select few of the region’s startups have been chosen for the next gathering of venture capitalists.

VCs Add M2M To the Equation At Venture Summit

iego Venture Summit set for June 19 features “machine-to-machine” expert Daniel Obodovski, the former director of business development at Qualcomm Inc. and author of “The Silent Intelligence: The Internet of Things.”

Tech Startup Out To Teach Old Dogs A Few New Tricks

San Diego-based startup CleverPet LLC, which is developing a Wi-Fi-enableld device to help entertain, train and feed your pet when you’re not home, launched a 33-day crowdfunding campaign to raise $100,000 on Kickstarter.

S.D. Crime Rates Drop, According To Sandag Report

Crime rates dropped in 2013 after an uptick in 2012, regional planning agency Sandag reported. For example, the 2013 rate for violent crime — 3.66 incidents per 1,000 residents — was 5 percent less than 2012.

No. 2 National Ranking Shows S.D.’s Solar Flair

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and some local solar energy industry leaders held a news conference to unveil a report that ranks San Diego No. 2 in the nation behind Los Angeles for the amount of solar panels installed and No. 4 for installations on a per-capita basis.

They’re Back: 33 Million Tourists Visit S.D. in 2013

The number of visitors to this region surpassed 33 million in 2103, the San Diego Tourism Authority reported, reversing a downward trend over the past three years due to the recession.

S.D. Rated No. 1 By Forbes for Launching Cos.

Move over Silicon Valley, there’s a new champ in town. Forbes magazine ranks San Diego as the best place to launch a new startup out of the 50 largest metro areas nationwide.

Big Data Makes For Big Forum Topic at UCSD

SDBJ Insider

Members of the MIT Enterprise Forum San Diego will examine the impact of the big data phenomenon when they gather March 12 at the University of California, San Diego.

Economist to Address Housing Outlook for 2014

Selma Hepp, a senior economist with the California Association of Realtors, will offer an outlook on housing for 2014 at the San Diego-area trade group Pacific Southwest Association of Realtors’ next meeting March 6 in Chula Vista.

Weather Draws Conference of Climate Experts

The lack of frigid conditions locally — while more than 80 percent of the U.S. was covered in snow and ice in late January — might be one reason why organizers are holding the Climate Leadership Conference here Feb. 24-26 at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay.

Panel to Discuss Crowdfunding Phenomenon

Come this spring, the “above-average Joe” investor will be able to invest modest sums through equity crowdfunding and online Web portals, just like VC firms, thanks to the 2012 Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act.

No Bites for FitDeck’s Pitch To ‘Shark Tank’

SDBJ Insider

For the past couple of weeks, the Insider has been following the exploits of former Navy SEAL Phil Black, the entrepreneur behind FitDeck, a brand of exercise cards sold at his website.

Former SEAL Tests Investment On ‘Shark Tank

Last summer, the Insider wrote about Phil Black, founder and CEO of Coronado garage-based startup FitDeck, which sells exercise playing cards to fitness buffs via its website.

UPS Store Ready To Deliver Good Business Advice

San Diego-based franchise operator The UPS Store teams with the nonprofit counselors at SCORE to offer guidance to small business customers about finding a mentor. The campaign at UPS’s 4,300 stores is part of National Mentoring Month.

‘Fortune Tellers’: Panelists Present The VC Outlook

2013 proved to be a boon year for professional investors as the value of initial public offerings on Wall Street hit $11.25 billion, the highest total since 2007.

$1.4B Expected From Convention Business in 2014

SDBJ Insider

Happy New Year! The convention business is on a nice growth curve after a five-year lull due to recent economic turbulence.

OnMyBlock Wins Top Prize At Pitchfest

SDBJ Insider

The holidays came early for one of San Diego’s newest businesses, OnMyBlock.

Technology Gives Palomar Lifesaving Link

SDBJ Insider

This announcement shows the changing doctor-patient relationship: North County’s Palomar Health — including its $1 billion Palomar Medical Center in Escondido, which it touts as the “hospital of the future” — has deployed a 21st century wireless network from Silicon Valley-based AirStrip that enables doctors and other providers to access patients’ near real-time clinical data from mobile phones, iPads and other digital devices.

Default Rate on Student Loans Prompts Survey

SDBJ Insider

With the two-year federal student loan default rate touching 10 percent, San Diego financial literacy website iGrad decided to survey college and university administrators nationwide to see if their students have the skills to survive the expense of higher education.

Three Still Vying To Be the Last Startup Standing

SDBJ Insider

The three finalists in San Diego Venture Group’s annual PitchFest have been selected from a list of more than 90 contestants: student housing search service OnMyBlock, “focused ultrasound” medical device startup Sonrgy Inc. and trust fund service provider TrustEgg.