Quotes of the Year
‘The life sciences sector is still going strong. Quite a few of them are medical device companies. There’s a deep mine of intellectual capital within these companies looking to enter the commercial marketplace.’
– Steve Hoey of Connect.
‘A big part of the story is being told in San Diego with companies that have been creating the technology and instruments that are driving down the costs of sequencing the human genome.’
– Wainwright Fishburn, vice chairman of the board of directors of Biocom.
‘We moved our corporate headquarters to San Diego because it’s one of the largest life sciences centers in the world.’
– Larry Stambaugh, CryoPort’s CEO.
‘We don’t spend any time working on the stock. We spend all our time working on the company.’
– John Heffner PriceSmart’s principal financial officer, explaining that the company’s top managers don’t run the business with the stock price in mind.
‘Virtually all the companies I’m running into have job openings on the technical side. This region needs a highly skilled workforce, and right now we’re not producing enough of them.’
– Kevin Carroll of TechAmerica, a high-tech industry trade group.
‘It (the retail market) will bounce along the bottom, but it will bounce higher. The consumer has decided that the world has not ended.’
– Gary Sabin, CEO of Excel Trust Inc.
‘The type of work done on this vehicle at Northrop is a uniquely San Diego skill set. San Diego has a cluster of companies working in the (remotely piloted vehicle) industry, and a support infrastructure in this market that you will not find anywhere else in the world. In fact, San Diego is the “RPV Valley” of the industry.’
– Marco Thompson of Solekai Systems said via e-mail regarding the X-47B, a pilotless, experimental aircraft.
‘What we’re doing is creating competition.’
– Bhavesh Patel, manager of concessions development for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, referring to the transition from a master concessionaire model to a hybrid model of multiple prime contractors at Lindbergh Field.
‘California is still a recognized brand; we’re still seen as being on the cutting edge.’
– Bella Heule of World Trade Center San Deigo.
‘You’re not going to see a lot of new restaurant development in places like California until you start seeing improvement in the employment.’
– Darren Tristano, executive vice president with restaurant consulting firm Technomic Inc.
‘It says to our competition that they’re not going to put us out of business if they come after us.’
– Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said about the firm’s record financial results while addressing a recent gathering of about 500 shareholders.
‘If we have healthy kids, healthy parents and healthy workers, then we have a healthy economy, and that’s the bottom line of what we are trying to do.’
– Nick Macchione, director of the county’s Health & Human Services Agency.
‘Very few small companies like Novalar ever get a product over the finish line, so this should be considered a major accomplishment.’
– Carin Canale-Theakston, a Novalar spokeswoman, referring to the company’s local anesthesia reversal agent, OraVerse.
‘I think most people in the real estate business feel that we are at the bottom. There are signs of improvement. It is sporadic. It sometimes feels like a few steps forward and a step and a half backward. There is cautious optimism.’
– Harley E. Rouda Jr., president of the national real estate franchise company Real Living.
‘We see volumes in sales increasing in 2011. We certainly have seen a lot of price stability. My impression is that consumers are understanding that real estate is undervalued and in the long term it is a good investment.’
– Guy Asaro, president of McMillin Homes.
‘While women now make up more than half the CPAs, a lot of local and regional firms still don’t have female partners. We’ve come a long way, but we’re not there yet.’
– Judy Thompson of Judy Thompson and Associates.
‘I think a lot of people are scared, but they shouldn’t be because this is one of the best times to buy property.’
– Leonard Baron, a lecturer on real estate at San Diego State University.
‘In general, it’s somebody who has built a better mousetrap or has some capability that nobody else has.’
– Joe Markee of Express ventures, referring to the types of companies that are qualifying for venture funding.
‘As a society, we’re going broke with the health care systems we have. The population is aging and the growth of chronic diseases is overwhelming our health care system. We need to make health care more accessible and less expensive.’
– Robert B. McCray of the Wireless-Life Sciences Alliance.
‘At this moment, the climate is moving in the right direction. People are starting to find financing for ground-up development.’
– Perry Dealy of Dealy Development, referring to improved economic conditions that make construction of the Navy Broadway project feasible.
‘You see more permits being taken out for new homes. Most of those haven’t been built yet, but since commercial always follows residential building, there’s some reason to be optimistic.’
– Suffolk-Roel President Wayne Hickey.
‘Anecdotally, I’m hearing from members that they are having the confidence to commit to projects and developments, so that’s a good sign. But I’m not ready yet to fall off my chair and declare this a recovery.’
– Building Industry Association of San Diego County President and CEO Borre Winkel.
‘General Electric conceivably could create a relationship like Smart City San Diego at their choice of any city, but they chose to do it in San Diego because we have all the key elements of a successful program.’
– Byron Washom, director of strategic energy initiatives at UC San Diego.
‘There are several (housing) markets that are doing better than others, and San Diego is one of them, but there is still some cleanup to do.’
– Bosa Development President Nat Bosa.
‘The defense contractors, the arrival of the new UC campus and the opening of the Salk Institute changed the face of San Diego. From that beginning, (the life sciences industry) has branched out into so many things, from medical devices to golf clubs to drugs to clean tech. That’s what is phenomenal about San Diego.’
– Duane Roth, CEO of Connect.
‘We’re seeing the business meetings coming back. Companies are realizing that there are salespeople who need to be motivated, and product and service users who need to be educated.’
– Barry Brown, director of sales and marketing for the Hotel del Coronado.
‘There’s a perception out there that the whole country of Mexico is having problems with security, and that’s just not the case. Those things are happening in places like Juarez, which is 1 ,200 miles from where we have resorts; it’s like driving from New York to Miami.’
– Pueblo Bonito Resorts CEO Ernesto Coppel discusses the effects of public perceptions of violence in Mexico on the tourism industry.
‘We have to hit the ground hard and start bringing economic opportunity to this community. We’ll get down and dirty, roll up our sleeves, and we’re going to get after it right off the bat.’
– Barry Broome, newly appointed president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp.
‘A lot of businesses find that this can make or break the season for them.’
– Brandy Shimabukuro, marketing manager for the Gas/amp Quarter Association, referring to Comic-Con International’s impact in turning tourists into repeat visitors.
‘The most expensive instrument by far in a hospital is the physician’s ordering pen.
That’s where all resource consumption begins. The reality is that physicians control 85 percent of all inpatient costs, and that’s a huge percentage.’
– William Mohlenbrock, chairman and chief medical officer of the Verras Ltd. consultancy, which is focused on cutting health care-related expenses.
‘If it works as advertised, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t, this will be a relatively cheap delivery of broadband in the sky.
If they build it, subscribers will come.’
– Tim Quillin, a stock analyst with Stephens Inc., referring to ViaSat Inc.’s broadband satellite.
‘If we’re not careful, North County becomes an incubator of technology that then gets manufactured in other states.’
– Joe Budano, president and CEO of Energy Innovations Inc., noting that financial incentives are the key to attracting clean-tech manufacturers to the region.
‘Academia is primarily an engine for innovation, not necessarily an engine for drug development. To take discoveries and turn them into products that are used to treat patients requires partnership with the private sector.’
– Gary Firestein of the UC San Diego School of Medicine.
‘It’s slowed down our ability to bring innovative products to the market.
Whether it’s medical devices or pharma, it’s all had the same impact. Innovative products are taking longer to come to the U.S.’
– Keith C. Valentine, NuVasive president and chief operating officer, referring to the challenges of getting medical devices and pharmaceuticals approved by the FDA.
‘When you go to a baseball game, you know the rules. But with health care reform, the rules are changing every day.’
– Craig Gussin, president of Auerbach & Gussin Insurance and Financial Services Inc.
‘San Diego is a fantastic place to be.
There’s a marvelous cauldron of innovation going on right now.’
– Sotera Wireless Inc. CEO Tom Wallington, referring to companies in the mobile health arena.
‘A volatile economy, more frugal consumers, and a lack of financial backing have made it a difficult business environment for independent restaurants.’
– Greg Starzynski of NPD Group Inc.
‘The online sites first became important after 9/11, and they were originally seen primarily as a way to fill up space in distressed properties, but that’s no longer the case. They’re a vital component of everybody’s business plan now.’
– Dave Gerdes of Destination Hotels & Resorts, referring to travel booking sites.
‘One of the goals that the Airport Authority board set before the start of the process was to capture the spirit of San Diego, and to achieve that, we brought in more local flavors and concepts. We want airport visitors to get a distinct sense of place when they visit our airport.’
– Nyle Marmion, Lindbergh Field’s manager of concession development.
‘This (cyber security) is one of the top three fastest-growing sectors in the federal government. Nearly every agency has been hacked over the last three years.’
– Darin Andersen of Norman Data Defense Systems, noting that San Diego is establishing a growing cyber security sector.
‘There’s no appetite for risk right now, and it seems like everyone is running for the hills.’
– Bud Leedom of Leedom Asset Management, referring to companies withdrawing from planned public stock offerings.
‘I don’t think that it helps the industry. It’s unfortunate what happened, but at the same time there is a lot of potential for growth in the San Diego region.’
– Jason Anderson of CleanTech San Diego, referring to the recent media scrutiny of the clean-energy sector and the collapse of Solyndra.
‘I am a staunch believer that this country can still build products.’
– Art Barter of Datron World Communications.
‘Population is a key issue that I talk about often. In 12 years we’ll add another billion people. We have to develop new sustainable approaches in order for our survival to not be at risk.’
– J. Craig Venter, co-founder of Synthetic Genomics and Agradis.
‘The real estate supply side has remained stagnant in San Diego, primarily because we’ve run out of land to build on. Everybody got hit hard nationwide by the downturn, but San Diego weathered it better than a lot of cities because it didn’t get overbuilt.’
– Jamie Dick of Newmark Realty Capital.
‘Technology and intense competition among technology providers has leveled the playing field between high-touch community banks that have historically led with service and values, and the money center banks that have been light on service and high on convenience and technology.’
– Greg Mitchell, Pacific Trust Bank.
‘Right now social media is the primary space for small businesses that they turn to to drive sales. It’s effectively free, aside from the time it takes to manage it, and what you choose to offer on it.’
– Reid Carr of Red Door Interactive.
‘Things are definitely picking up. The job market remains competitive, but we’re seeing companies hiring professionals in a number of different positions. The good news is that the majority of these positions are temp to hire.’
– Bob Gaynor or Robert Half International.
‘The bar is high now. Three guys with a harebrained idea who spent two days working on it don’t get funded, but if you’ve got a good product in a good market with a good management team, there’s capital available.’
– David Titus of the San Diego Venture Group, referring to the challenges of attracting investment money in the last four years.
‘Most of their commitments are to personal causes and charities such as schools and hospitals, and they haven’t cut back or stopped their giving.’
– Lewis Haskell of Tiger 21, referring to wealthy individuals.
‘We’re coming into the most serious crisis in the history of Western civilization. Petroleum is running out. Increased efficiency is going to be absolutely essential.’
– James Lemke of Achates Power.