Daily Business Report: Friday, March 10, 2023, San Diego Metro … – San Diego Metropolitan

Providing 37 years of Quality Journalism

By Bradi Zapata
Two arnestly optimistic friends and colleagues reimagine the physics industry to be disciplines comprised of brilliant scientists, who are also inclusive and empathetic.  
Caroline Caplan, a cosmochemist and Sara Belontz, an environmental geoscientist, are researching complex issues relevant to everyday lives, in terms of evolution and sustainability. In addition to pursuing challenging postdoc research in the Department of Physics at Cal State San Marcos, on a daily basis, they utilize this research to also advocate for a much bigger cause; underrepresentation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).  
According to California State University Dashboards, of those enrolled in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (CSTEM) at CSUSM during fall 2022, 42 percent were female, which is the lowest total percentage of female students since 2011. Within the applied physics major, only 22 percent of students enrolled during the fall of 2022 were female.  
While Caplan and Belontz feel immensely supported by faculty in the Department of Physics at CSUSM, they recount experiences they’ve shared within the field where this wasn’t always the case. 
“Being a woman in this field, especially in the realm of astronomy and physics, is partly empowering because I’m proud that I’ve proved I could make it,” Caplan said. “But on this other side, I often think ‘where is everybody else?’ Physics is cool, so where are all the other ladies? Where’s the other representation?”
“I try my best to change the narrative so that [women in STEM] aren’t seen as a disadvantage,” Belontz said. “I believe that women are meant to speak up and to take up space in any kind of discipline. Things are slowly starting to become more inclusive and it’s primarily because of women who are championing for other women to succeed.”  
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Photos: Above: For Caroline Caplan’s postdoc, she is working to understand water on the moon and oxygen isotope exchange in the early solar system. Inset: Sara Belontz has developed a methodology to quantify nanoplastic particles in bottled water samples using an Atomic Force Microscopy based-Infrared Spectroscopy (AFM-IR) technique. (Photos by Bradi Zapata)
San Diego’s Silvergate Bank, which grew fast by catering to cryptocurrency traders, said late Wednesday that it is winding down operations and would liquidate amid mounting losses, customer defections and regulatory pressure.
The parent company of the bank, Silvergate Capital, announced after markets closed that it had voluntarily decided to cease operations as the “best path forward” given its deteriorating situation.
Bloomberg News reported late Tuesday that Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. officials were on site at the bank’s headquarters in an effort to salvage the institution.
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SENTRE, a real estate investment firm based in San Diego, has acquired a multi-tenant industrial park — the Parkway Commerce Center in Poway — for $21.43 million. An institutional investor was the seller.
Parkway Commerce Center is comprised of two warehouse/distribution buildings and two industrial/flex buildings, which are leased to a diverse roster of tenants. The property features 19 feet to 25 feet clear heights and a total of 21 dock-high doors, 36 drive-in doors and 316 parking spaces.
The JLL Capital Markets team representing the borrower was led by Senior Managing Director Aldon Cole and Associate Brad Vansant.  JLL Agency leasing team led by Joe Anderson, Greg Moore and Jay Alexander will retain the leasing moving forward.
Mat Gates, Certified Construction Manager  and LEED Accredited Professional, has been appointed president of Erickson-Hall Construction Co. 
A poised and effective leader with a 30-year career in the construction industry, Gates has extensive experience delivering complex projects throughout Southern California. 
His appointment comes at a pivotal time in Erickson-Hall’s history as it transitions ownership to its employees. 
Gates began his construction industry career in 1992 upon graduating from San Diego State University with a B.S. in civil engineering. 
He joined Erickson-Hall in 2004, and has risen through the ranks from a project manager to the company’s most senior leader as its president.  
In his role, Gates leads the Erickson-Hall team to deliver quality projects and excellent service.  His priorities include developing talent, overseeing company operations, and creating a culture that positions the company for expanding new business and sustained strategic growth.
Local nonprofit San Diego Oasis has named Michael Craig as its new chief operating officer.
Craig brings to San Diego Oasis extensive experience in organizational leadership, including knowledge in the areas of event coordination, talent acquisition, hospitality, and staff development. With the opening of San Diego Oasis’ newest location in Rancho Bernardo later this summer, Craig’s expertise is a timely addition to the organization’s award-winning history in serving older adults and at-risk children. 
A native San Diegan, Craig served as COO of Amplified Ale Works Brewery where he helped open two brew pubs in Pacific Beach and East Village with live music venues, restaurants, and a coffee roastery. An entrepreneurial leader, Craig also procured a coffee roaster and helped launch the coffee brand, Amplified Coffee Works. In the last 30 years, he helped open over 30 restaurants across the United States. 

The San Diego County Building Industry Association has hired Hannah Gbeh as its new vice president of government affairs. Gbeh has an extensive background in environmental science and political advocacy. She currently works as principal environmental planner for SWCA Environmental Consultants. She starts her now role with the BIA later this month. Prior to working at SWCA, Gbeh served as executive director of the San Diego County Farm Bureau from 2019-2022. 
At the BIA, Gbeh replaces Matt Adams, who is retiring March 31 following a successful 25-year career with the BIA.
Gbeh holds a degree from the University of Michigan in environmental science, with a minor in global climate change and a focus on environmental justice.
SAN DIEGO — San Diego Gas & Electric said it infused $2.4 billion into the economy in 2022 through the purchase of goods and services to support its mission to deliver, clean, safe and reliable energy service to the 3.7 million residents of the region. Of that amount, $964 million went to diverse suppliers, representing 39.75 percent of the total expenditures – far exceeding the 22 percent goal set by the California Public Utilities Commission. Nearly half of its diverse business expenditures, or $470 million, were with local companies in the San Diego region. 
SAN DIEGO — CureDuchenne, a global nonprofit committed to finding and funding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, announced its FUTURES National Conference will be held from April 20-23 in San Diego.  FUTURES is a three-day event focused on bringing education, connection and hope to the Duchenne community. The annual event will take place as a hybrid event, offering attendees a chance to participate both online and in-person, at the Marriott Marquis & Marina. For registration information, full agenda and details, please visit cureduchenne.org/futures.
SAN DIEGO — GreenPower Motor Company, a leading manufacturer and distributor of purpose-built, all-electric, zero-emission medium and heavy-duty vehicles serving the cargo and delivery market, shuttle and transit space and school bus sector, announced the delivery of its first refrigerated box trucks to the University of California San Diego. The EV Star Refrigerated Box Truck is a unique offering for the medium and heavy-duty delivery market.  
SAN DIEGO — Evofem Biosciences Inc. announced the appointment of Albert Altro as interim chief financial officer of the company. He replaces Jay File, who is leaving the company to explore other opportunities. Altro brings over 25 years of financial and operational experience including corporate restructuring, public accounting and executive management, and consulting, primarily in a leadership role. His experience spans a variety of industries and organizations.Prior to forming Traverse LLC in 2005, Altro worked at KPMG in both the auditing group and the strategic consulting practice
SAN DIEGO — American Mortgage Network (AmNet) has been named as one of the 2023 Best Mortgage Companies to Work For. This program was created by National Mortgage News and Best Companies Group. This annual survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in the U.S. mortgage industry. This year’s list included 50 companies. National Mortgage Newshonored all the winners and revealed the final rankings in a special report published on March 9, 2023.
SAN DIEGO — Crown Bioscience, a global contract research organization (CRO) and JSR Life Sciences company,  announced the opening of a new site in Singapore to expand the company’s capacity to support both global and local biotech and pharma companies engaged in preclinical and translational oncology drug discovery and development. The new facility will initially offer a broad portfolio of high-demand cell line-derived xenograft (CDX) and syngeneic models, alongside supporting analytical biomarker capabilities including flow cytometry and pathology services. 
SAN DIEGO — Quake Global, a leading provider of telematics hardware and software solutions, announced that it has been selected by Yanmar Holdings Co. Ltd., a global innovator in a wide range of industrial equipment, with a major focus on designing and manufacturing advanced solutions to customers’ as the exclusive supplier for telematics hardware needs for their Spraying Robot YV01. Yanmar’s autonomous spraying robot is set to transform the world of wine production. It will use a Quake programmable hardware modem customized toward the Spraying Robot’s application. 

SAN DIEGO — QuidelOrtho Corporation, a global provider of innovative in vitro diagnostic technologies designed for point-of-care settings, clinical labs and transfusion medicine, announced that it has been granted a De Novo request from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing the company to market its new Sofia 2 SARS Antigen+ FIA. The Sofia 2 SARS Antigen+ FIA is the first rapid antigen test that detects COVID-19 to be awarded FDA market clearance. The test is intended for prescription use only and can be used in point-of-care settings.
SAN DIEGO — Celebrating its 40th anniversary, Rubio’s Coastal Grill, home of The Original Fish Taco, idonated $54,846 to WILDCOAST, an organization working to conserve some of the world’s most significant coastal and marine ecosystems in the U.S. and Mexico. On Jan. 25, guests celebrated the company’s anniversary and Baja roots by enjoying a total of 55,400 Original Fish Tacos for 99¢, the original price when Rubio’s first opened its doors in 1983.
SAN DIEGO — Orca Systems, a fabless semiconductor company delivering groundbreaking digital RF technology, has introduced a highly integrated ASIC platform that significantly improves system performance and reduces power consumption for power-sensitive space, terrestrial, industrial and edge computing applications. Orca’s new ORC5000 ASIC platform has been applied to develop Orca’s first ASIC product, the ORC5990, designed for use in low-Earth orbit (LEO) IoT satellite payload and terrestrial IoT gateway designs. The company’s custom ASIC design, modem expertise and integration capabilities offer performance enhancements over conventional FPGA-based system design.
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