Biz News: Kids create Fletcher Jones van designs

Fletcher Jones Motorcars in Newport Beach recently held a coloring contests for children to design graphics for the Mercedes-Benz dealership's John Wayne Airport shuttle.

General Manager Garth Blumenthal ordered the new van to take customers to and from JWA and then decided to see if children wanted to design the graphics, according to a news release. The dealership held its "Van-tastic" contest on its Facebook page.

The first-prize winner was Aanya Amin, 7, who won $1,000 for her school, Fairmont Private School in Anaheim Hills. Kennedy Kwong, 8, took second place for Arroyo Elementary in Tustin, which will receive $500. Hannah D., 8, (last name withheld at the family's request) of Our Lady Queen of Angels in Newport Beach tied for third with Sydney Paidosh, 10, of Harbor Day School in Corona del Mar. Both schools will receive $250.


Balboa Bay Resort has new manager

Sam El-Rabaa has been appointed general manager of the Balboa Bay Resort, according to an announcement from Pacific Hospitality Group.

El-Rabaa has worked in the hospitality industry for 24 years, most recently as hotel manager of The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa. In Newport he will oversee the general operations of the 159-room resort and its ongoing renovations.


New manager at Bayside

Ed Rugg, who has worked in Orange County restaurants for 40 years, has joined the management team at Bayside Restaurant in Newport Beach.

A wine aficionado and vintner, Rugg "will be involved in front-of-the-house activities and help develop the restaurant's extensive wine program," according to a news release.

Rugg, who lives in Dana Point, has worked with several Newport-area establishments, including Reuben's and and the Villa Nova.


Bar association receives gift

The Orange County Bar Foundation recently received the largest gift in its history: $15.3 million from the Jeffrey M. Carlton Foundation.

Carlton, who died in 2012, was chairman and chief executive of Press Forge Co., a metal forger in Paramount. He was a client and friend of Mark Minyard, a partner at the Newport Beach law firm Minyard Morris.

The donation, according to a news release, will fund foundation programs that help at-risk youths avoid delinquency, provide high school students with summer internships in law firms and other professional environments, and help provide mentoring to high school students whose dream is to attend college and possibly graduate school.


Bixby Land acquires building

The Bixby Land Co. has acquired a 47,541-square-foot office building at 1501 Quail St. in Newport Beach, according to an announcement from the firm.

Irvine-based Bixby purchased the property from The Realty Associates Fund VIII L.P. and plans to invest $16.5 million in renovations set for completion later this year.


Premier inks Newport deal

Irvine-based Premier Business Center recently signed a master lease to operate an executive suite on the sixth floor in an office building at 4000 MacArthur Boulevard in Newport Beach.

A press release calls the building "a modern landmark in the heart of Orange County's primary business district at the corner of MacArthur and Jamboree just blocks from John Wayne Airport."

The 18,649-square-foot property features 81 executive suites and office spaces, two meeting rooms, a day office, a kitchen and a reception area, according to the release.


Hughes Marino selects senior vice president

Jeffrey Shepard has been named principal and senior vice president in the Irvine office of Hughes Marino, a commercial real estate firm.

Shepard, who has 25 years of experience in the field, was previously chairman of the board and a co-founding partner of Cresa Partners LLC, a Los Angeles real estate firm.

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