San Diego Biz Watch

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Fall is in the air, can you feel it? Did we even have summer? Well, a lot of businesses sure did and continue to make news. Here’s some of the more recent comings and goings in San Diego.

Vibra Bank on a Roll

Vibra Bank opened for business in July 2008, and remains the only locally-owned bank to open in the San Diego area. “Vibra Bank continues to grow by providing excellent customer service and the stability of a financially strong local bank,” said Vibra Bank President and CEO Scott Parker.

“We are actively lending money and expanding our customer base while some other banks in the area are contracting.”

For the second quarter ending June 30, the bank reported a net loss of $119,000 compared to a net loss of $451,000 the second quarter of 2009.

“We continue to shrink our monthly loss as we approach our break-even asset size,” said CEO Parker.

He noted Vibra Bank’s strong tier-one leverage capital ratio of 20 percent, well above the minimum of 11 percent required of newly-established banks. As of June 30, Vibra Bank reported total assets of $62.3 million, including total net loans of $48.2 million. Total deposits were reported as $48.3 million, and total equity at $11.1 million.

Vibra Bank offers customers a wide range of services to meet their needs, including online banking and remote deposit processing. In addition, Vibra Bank provides a full range of loan products, including SBA loans, with a focus on loans to businesses and business owners. Vibra Bank is located at 530 Broadway in Chula Vista.


La Jolla Festival of the Arts

The La Jolla Festival of the Arts presented by Night & Day celebrated its 24th anniversary on June 26th and 27th with surprising results. Festival attendance was up nearly 15 percent from the previous year, allowing the Torrey Pines Kiwanis Foundation to pledge $70,000 to local charities. These results ensure the continuation of the Festival’s support of programs for San Diegans with disabilities. With these funds beneficiaries can continue pioneering programs and fostering the enjoyment of sports and hobbies to children and adults in the disabled community.

“We are thrilled both artists and visitors alike appreciated the quality of this year’s Festival,” said Don Ludwig, 2010 Festival Chair. “The Festival has continued to expand and this year was no exception. Being able to reinvest our efforts back into the community is an indescribable accomplishment but we couldn’t have done it without the ongoing support of participants and attendees.”

The Festival, now in its third decade, started as a small fundraiser and since has blossomed into a much-anticipated regional event raising tens of thousands of dollars for the disabled community. The Festival has raised more than $1.5 million throughout the years, enhancing the lives of more than 35,000 individuals.

Spanning a variety of artistic disciplines, nearly 190 award-winning artists showcased their work at this year’s Festival. The Festival included weekend-long attractions including the Calle Color chalk art exhibition, book signings and demonstrations from local celebrity chefs and authors, a classic car display, live stage music, fabulous food and an interactive kid’s zone.

The 2010 La Jolla Festival of the Arts presented by Night & Day is sponsored in part by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, Better Life Mobility, Clearview Eye and Laser Medical Center, Coldwell Banker Residential, Costco, Dr. Valerie Spier, EDCO, Electric Car Outlet, Elite Smile, GroSolar, La Jolla Light, La Jolla Village News, Mercedes-Benz of San Diego, Mind Body Partnerships, Pacific Home Remodel, Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts & Spas, San Diego 6 TV, San Diego Business Journal, San Diego County Credit Union, San Diego Firefighters, the San Diego Union Tribune, Sheraton La Jolla Hotel, Time Warner Cable, UCSD Shiley Eye Center and Westfield UTC.

Partying for a Purpose

Partying for a Purpose is hosting its 7th annual fundraising event, Lucky 7, at the Playboy Mansion on Aug. 21 benefiting It’s All About The Kids Foundation, a cause dedicated to enhancing the lives of less fortunate children. Playboy Playmate 2004 Pilar Lastra and Playboy Cyber Girl Melissa Dawn Taylor will be the weekend hosts, which will include three parties from Friday Aug. 20 through Sunday Aug. 22.

During the Lucky 7 party festivities at the Playboy Mansion, Hugh Hefner will be honored with the “Taking Care of Business Award.” The award is in memory of Scott Brannon, who was murdered in 2006.

“We have had the privilege of having six successful annual events at the Playboy Mansion,” said Angela Brannon, co-founder and executive director of It’s All About The Kids. “Because of Mr. Hefner’s generosity, our high profile events have helped us build awareness with new audiences, and the funds raised will enable us to continue to assist under privileged children in San Diego and around the world. We are so excited to honor him! To date, we have served over 10,000 children. At this year’s party, are also supporting the Seeing Stars Foundation and Global H2O.”

Lucky 7 guests will be partying for a purpose at The Hyatt Century Plaza for three days, including a Friday Casino Night with a hosted VIP cocktail party, Saturday pool party and a “RECOVERY” pool party on Sunday. Casino Night guests will enjoy Roulette, Blackjack and a live auction for the chance to body paint models. Winning bidders will arrive at to the Mansion early on Saturday evening to help paint their beauties.

Only 400 tickets are available for the weekend-long event, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to It’s All About The Kids. All donations are 50 percent tax deductible.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit

Top Lawyer

For the second year in a row, J. Toby Noblin of Olan Law is named to the prestigious list of 2010 Southern California Rising Stars.

A group called Super Lawyers selects attorneys for the Rising Star list using a rigorous, multiphase process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third-party research to select the 2.5 percent of attorneys in Southern California designated to the list of Southern California Rising Stars. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement.

“It means a lot to me that other attorneys have selected me for this honor,” says Noblin. “That my peers judge my work to be worthy of being one of the 2.5 percent of the thousands of attorneys eligible to be named to the list is a great honor.”

Noblin, a native of Ventura, Calif., graduated Cum Laude from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor of Arts in 1996. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 2000, passing the California Bar exam that same year. Beginning his legal career as a defense attorney, Noblin’s deep-felt belief that the law should hold corporations accountable for their greed led him to move to the plaintiff bar. Noblin joined Olan Law as a partner in 2007. Noblin also represents people in employment cases, especially in discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination actions, as well as insurance bad faith cases.

Photos from cambodia4kidsorg, thetruthabout, and banoootah_qtr via Flickr, and the scales of justice from Wikimedia.

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