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NEWSMAKER



Walk to Benefit Jobs Programs

Local businesses are working in stride to help adults with development disabilities gain job training.

More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in the Qualcomm Walk for Opportunity on April 8 at Mariner’s Point on Mission Bay.

The 5K walk/run, put on by Partnerships With Industry, will feature guest celebrity, actor Michael Boatman, who co-stars in ABC’s “Spin City.” The event’s honorary chairwoman will be Phoebe Chongchua, a reporter for San Diego’s 10, KGTV.

Supporters of the walk include Qualcomm, Union Bank of California, Mission Valley Printing, Pacific Bell, Hunter Industries, NCR, Culligan, Pepsi-Cola, HomeTown Buffet and Copley Press.

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Partnerships With Industry is a nonprofit organization that provides vocational training, job placement, supported employment and job retention services for adults with developmental disabilities. Since its launch in 1985, the organization has provided assistance to thousands of individuals and has built partnerships with more than 500 businesses.

To register for the Walk for Opportunity online, go to (www.pwiworks.org).

, Andrea Siedsma


World’s Longest Bridge Has Local Connections

Travelers driving east from Bangkok to Chonburi, Thailand, will be rolling over the longest bridge in the world, courtesy of a San Diego-based design firm.

The 30-mile-long Bang Na Chonburi Expressway, designed by J. Muller International of San Diego, opened late last month to traffic, said Tisha Tyler, a spokeswoman for the design firm.

A special method of prefabricating bridge sections in a factory and assembling them at the site helped speed the construction project, which was completed in a little over four years, she added. Jean Muller, founder of the company, invented the construction method in the 1950s, she said.

Tyler said the surface area of the bridge was more than three times that of the 100-acre San Diego Zoo.

Among the recent design projects accomplished by the company is the Northumberland Strait Crossing Bridge connecting the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. The company also designed the Bangkok Transit System, a light-rail project with 25 stations, she said.

, Arthur S. Grupe


Retail, Design Industry Professionals Recognized

Fashion Group Awards for Style

Style was in high fashion even more than usual last month at the Wyndham Emerald Plaza Hotel, where the Fashion Group International of San Diego, Inc. held its fourth annual Style Awards.

According to director Marilynn Dworkin, professionals from the local retail and design industry nominate their peers.

From there, the judging panel of past directors and corporate leaders look at nominees in terms of personal grace and the way that the nominees “conduct themselves.”

In particular, the awards’ purpose is to recognize people who help the public and do it with “style,” Dworkin said.

Among this year’s winners was Sharon Jobb-Reynolds, a sales associate at Nordstrom at Fashion Valley, who took home the Star Style Award.

The Fashion Industry Award went to Caroline Marie Pearl, vice president and general merchandise manager for Robinsons-May at the University Towne Centre.

The Education Award went to Gayle Heinemann, director of admissions for the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Diego.

Kimberly Hunt, nighttime anchor at KGTV Channel 10, won the Media Award.

Last, the Community Outreach Award went to Joyce Glazer, past president of organizations such as Country Friends and the Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary, and a past board member of the San Diego Opera.

, Tanya Rodrigues


Entrepreneur Contest Seeks Nominations

Nominations are being sought for Ernst & Young’s 14th Annual Entrepreneur of the Year awards.

The awards will be given to entrepreneurs who have demonstrated excellence and extraordinary service in areas such as innovation, financial performance and personal commitment to the business and community.

A nominee must be an owner or manager who is primarily responsible for the growth of a San Diego-based company that is at least 2 years old. Founders of public companies are eligible if they are still active in top management.

The program recognizes entrepreneurs in a variety of categories, which include technology, retail/consumer products, manufacturing, health care and others. There is no fee for nominations, which must be received by April 7.

A panel of local judges will select award recipients, and regional winners are eligible to compete for national awards.

For more information, go to (www. ey.com/eoy).

, Rita Fennelly


Business Goes Beyond Mail-Order

Accent Presentations in Sorrento Valley calls itself “a digital media service bureau,” meaning they’ll provide whatever a company needs to make a professional presentation.

The firm designs and produces such things as corporate logos, trade show graphics, PowerPoint presentations, slide shows, and sales materials.

“A lot of the media that we do now involves bridging the gap between analog and digital,” says Accent spokesman Chris Winkler.

Among the company’s recent jobs, it created and produced all the graphics, PowerPoint presentation, signs and reports connected to Gateway’s annual investors and analysts’ meeting last month at the Hotel del Coronado.

Winkler didn’t divulge the contract amount but said similar types of comprehensive projects can range from $20,000 to $30,000, depending on how elaborate a company wants to get.

Earlier this year, Accent was recognized by the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce as an Emerging Business of the Month.

The award was well-received by the company’s 21 full-time employees, he said.

“It increases our visibility and reaffirms our position in the community. It makes everyone on the team here much more appreciated.”

Accent Presentations was started in 1986 as a mail-order slide house, providing stock photos and slides mostly to the corporate and educational market. But in the last decade, it’s broadened its services and customer base.

“We offer a lot of different services under one roof, and do a ton of work for a lot of local companies,” Winkler said, rattling off Qualcomm, Inc., Agouron Pharmaceuticals Inc. , Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., Scripps Research Institute and Gateway among their customers.

, Mike Allen


Local Salon Spotlighted in Trade Magazine

San Diego-based Dearinger was recently named one of the 200 fastest-growing salons by Salon Today magazine.

The salons were profiled in the January 2000 issue, in the magazine’s third annual Salon Today 200. The salons were selected from applications submitted by Salon Today readers, who represent the 25,000 top-producing salons in the country.

The magazine honored the applicants who posted the highest increases in gross sales between 1997 and 1998, and who were on track to increase sales significantly in 1999.

“This issue not only honors the hard work and dedication of the salon owners and their staffs, but by sharing the facts and figures behind their success stories, it helps other readers grow and improve their business,” said Margie Melaniphy, editor of Salon Today.

Owner Mark Dearinger also expanded his La Jolla business by recently opening a salon Downtown on Market Street.

, Julie Gallant

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