The Fairmont Miramar Hotel at Wilshire Blvd. and Ocean Ave. has appointed Jean-Claude Plihon as executive chef to oversee culinary operations at the property’s restaurant venues and 25,000 square feet of banquet space. Plihon is a graduate of the Culinary School of Chambery (France), held culinary positions in Michelin restaurants and has more than 26 years of experience in the food and beverage industry with nine of those years with Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. Desmond Acheson, general manager of the 302-room Santa Monica landmark, praised Plihon’s “wealth of gastronomic knowledge coupled with hospitality industry experience,” and expressed excitement at having the new chef on the property. www.fairmont.com
RAND Corporation has appointed Michael Toman as director of its Environment, Energy and Economic Development program, and named Martin Wachs as the new director of its Space and Technology program. Debra Knopman, vice president of the Santa Monica nonprofit research organization, praised the new directors’ “wealth of experience in their respective areas of energy and the environment, and in transportation and urban planning.” Toman comes to RAND from the Inter-American Development Bank, where he was a senior economist; he received Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in economics from the University of Rochester, as well as an M.S. in mathematics from Brown University and a B.A. from Indiana University. Wachs served as director of the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Transportation Center for U.C. Berkeley and spent 25 years as a professor and department chair at UCLA in the urban planning program; he holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in urban planning from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s in civil engineering from the City University of New York. www.rand.org
Miki Jordan has been appointed president and CEO of Junior Blind of America, the nonprofit organization providing programs and services for blind and visually impaired children and adults, including the recreation programs at Camp Bloomfield in neighboring Malibu. Ms. Jordan is only the third leader in the organization’s more than 50-year history. She comes to Junior Blind from Para Los Ninos, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit agency where she has been president and CEO since 1992; she was selected Nonprofit CEO of the Year in 2005 by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Harold Davidson, Chairman of the Board of Junior Blind of America, said that Ms. Jordan’s “proven track record in the nonprofit arena makes her the perfect person to lead [the group] into its next stage of growth.” www.juniorblind.org
Santa Monica-based Genius Products, Inc. has entered into an exclusive five-year distribution agreement with Grodfilm Corporation, giving Genius first right of refusal on future film productions. Genius CEO Trevor Drinkwater said Genius expects to release six to 12 films annually under the agreement, which includes home video, digital, television and theatrical distribution rights throughout North America.
RAND Corporation this month issued a report finding that small publicly traded companies were disproportionately affected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act – a federal law that tightened financial reporting requirements for publicly owned companies – in the first year after the law was enacted in 2002. The report found that the propensity for small public companies to be purchased by private firms, which are not subject to Sarbanes-Oxley, increased by 53 percent during the first year. The study is titled “Going-Private Decisions and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002: A Cross-Country Analysis” and is available at www.rand.org/pubs/ workingpapers/WR300-1.
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