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Friday, Dec 9, 2022

San Diego People

Community Valley Bank has promoted Diana Alvarez to assistant vice president.

She most recently served as the bank’s administrative and investor relations officer and previously held the position of fiscal manager at the Imperial County Office of Education. Additionally, Alvarez is a licensed notary public of five years. She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from National University.


Fate Therapeutics has hired Ken Batchelor as chief scientific officer. He has 30 years of experience in the field and previously served as senior vice president for GlaxoSmithKline. He will be responsible for continuing to expand Fate’s stem cell biology platform.

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Prudential Financial has named Kevin Cole manager of financial services at its Hazard Center location. Cole will be responsible for the recruitment, selection, development, retention and overall supervision of the branch’s financial services associates. Most recently, Cole served as a manager at John Hancock in Irvine. He is a graduate of Michigan State University.


Valley View Casino has appointed Joel Smith to vice president of security. Smith has 20 years of experience in law enforcement and a bachelor’s degree in criminal law. He previously served as a police officer in Buena Park and was assigned to SWAT and the Narcotics Special Task Force. Smith will oversee 100 security officers and transportation staff at the casino.


Culinary Concepts has hired Lindsay Sudel to its sales team as catering specialist. She has 30 years of experience in the catering industry, previously serving as director of catering for Plaza del Pasado in Old Town and director of private dining sales for Chart House with locations in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, La Jolla and Oceanside.


ACI Specialty Benefits has named Nick Osterman senior vice president. Osterman was employed with Cigna for the last 22 years, most recently serving as president. His responsibilities will include overseeing corporate relations, clinical services and operational functions.


Wertz McDade Wallace Moot & Brower has elected John Stephens as president and managing shareholder. He has served on the firm’s management committee for the past two years. Stephens joined the firm in 2005 as a litigator in the areas of business, real estate and construction, as well as personal injury cases. He has 30 years of experience in the legal arena.

Allen Matkins Leck Gamble Mallory & Natsis has added Valentine Hoy to its litigation practice group. He has extensive experience representing businesses, private investors, real estate developers and licensed professionals. He was previously a partner at Luce Forward, where he practiced for 24 years.

The Nath Law Group has hired Laurie Axford, Jonathan Kidney, Brian Sun and David Waller to its intellectual property practice. Axford focuses her practice on prosecution and intellectual property licensing. Her experience is primarily in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology and biochemistry. Kidney is a patent attorney specializing in IP protection and electrical-mechanical arts. Sun’s legal practices are in the areas of preparation and prosecution for patent applications. He received his law degree from the University of San Diego and completed his undergraduate work at UC Berkeley. Waller is a senior registered patent agent and focuses his practice on biotechnology, including diagnostic, therapeutics and medical devices.

Media and Marketing

MiresBall has hired Erika Elmuts as director of strategic services. She will lead the firm’s strategic branding efforts and oversee all marketing and business development. She has 12 years of marketing experience with consumer, technology and Internet businesses. Elmuts received her degree from Harvard University.

NYCA has named Kristin Gissaro director of business development. She has six years of experience and has worked with clients such as Kraft Foods, the University of Florida and Citigroup. Her new position will focus solely on business growth for the advertising agency.


United Through Reading has named Dwayne Junker and Phillip Pekras to its board of trustees. Junker is executive vice president and chief operating officer for Epsilon Systems Solutions, where he has been employed since 2005. He has also served as Epsilon’s senior vice president of corporate development and general manager of information technology and communications. Pekras was a priest until 1976 at a Greek Orthodox church. He resides in Del Mar and is an owner of Corporate Consultant’s Group, which provided human resources services to businesses and organizations, including the Salk Institute.

Technology and Manufacturing

Technology Assurance Group has named Brian Suerth executive vice president and partner. He will be responsible for the management of TAG’s consultants, business strategy and marketing. Suerth has been with the organization for six years.

Taylor Guitars has appointed Brian Swerdfeger to vice president of marketing and sales. He joined the retail company in 2003 as an independent marketing and product consultant and was previously serving in the capacity of vice president of marketing.

, Cassandra Dump


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