San Diego Business Journal Local Graphic Designers
To Teach at Art College

Alan Ziegaus, a former president and partner of local PR powerhouse Stoorza, Ziegaus & Metzger, recently announced he's launching his own firm.

Ziegaus, a recognized public affairs and political campaign specialist who left Stoorza in late February, is now president of Southwest Strategies LLC.

Ziegaus explained his need for change.

"I just wanted to do things in a slightly different way, and didn't have that flexibility in the firm's offices," he said, noting that Stoorza had expanded to five offices in California.

The new venture seems to be in the family. The firm's other principal is Chris Wahl, who is merging his own California-based environmental communications firm, Wahl & Associates, into the company. Wahl is Ziegaus' son-in-law.

Wahl & Associates recently handled a three-year project for Unocal in Avila Beach, where the company cleaned up petroleum products, which involved demolitions and excavations that led to business closures and residential relocations.

Currently, Southwest has three employees at its Sorrento Mesa office and is working with clients inherited from Wahl's firm. They includes oil refinery Tosco Corp., Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Saturn Corp. and Erbl, Inc.

Ziegaus also continues to consult with Stoorza clients such as Pardee Homes and the estate of James Campbell, he said.

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When Pasadena-based Art Center College of Design launches an extension program in San Diego this spring, several local graphic designers will be drawing up lesson plans , as instructors.

Among them are MaeLin Levine, Tracy Mitsunaga, Robert Jew, Rafael Lopez, John Sodano and Pertrula Vrontikis.

Levine, owner and partner at Visual Asylum, will teach "Introduction to Graphic Design."

Mitsunaga, creative director at Mentus, will teach the next level of graphic design.

Jew, a local illustrator, will teach "Introduction to Illustration." Sodano, senior designer at DaimlerChrysler Pacifica, will teach "Product/Transportation design." Lopez, an independent graphic designer, will teach "Conceptual Illustration."

Another teacher will be Mikio Osaki, who is chairman of the Art Center's advertising department and is based in Pasadena. Osaki will teach "Introduction to Advertising."

The non-degree, part-time program's first term runs from May 15 through Aug. 19. The extension program is called "Arts Center at Night."

Status Chart: MJE Marketing in Mission Valley recently signed Qualcomm Inc.'s Eudora Products and Postal Annex+, Inc. For Qualcomm, MJE will establish an affiliate marketing program with ISPs and hardware manufacturers in support of Eudora's E-mail software program. For Postal Annex+, MJE will create a series of advertising campaigns that will include print, radio, direct mail and online, and will design collateral materials and launch a direct mail campaign for Postal Annex's franchise development program. Brice & Associates in La Jolla recently signed Brea-based Mercury Insurance, for editorial projects. Brice just completed PR work on the test marketing of Sorrento Valley-based Quantum Group, which designed a carbon-monoxide alarm. Neil Stylinski, former general manager of Broadcast Images, Inc., is now an independent media and management consultant to small businesses. He's based in Julian. Kutch & Co. was recently retained by Environmental Business Solutions, Inc. Spear/Hall & Associates signed to do promotions and PR for Quality Challenge Tennis Tournament in July and the first-time Padres Fantasy Camp in 2001. Spear/Hall also handled PR for the recent sale of Western Business Centers. Local design studio Conover recently completed a binder project for US Tile Co. in Corona.

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Sound Bites: The San Diego Union-Tribune recently increased the membership fees it pays to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce to the Emerald level of $30,000 a year. According to KPBS, the Arbitron Co.'s survey for September through December indicates that the station had its highest weekly ratings ever: 174,800 different listeners each week. According to a spokeswoman, the closest the station has come to reaching these numbers was in the winter of 1991, during the Gulf War, when ratings reported that 174,000 listeners tuned into the station per week. San Diego is one of several cities where Blockbuster Inc. is test-marketing a PC game rental program. According to a spokeswoman for Blockbuster, San Diego was chosen based on a variety of factors. Although the spokeswoman said she couldn't discuss some of the reasons for choosing San Diego, a few were demographics and the popularity of game rentals in the market, she said.

The deadline for the next media & marketing column is April 27. Rodrigues can be reached at (858) 277-6359, ext. 107, or via E-mail at trodrigues@sdbj.com.