By KEVIN SABLAN / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
The new chief executive at AlignMed®, a Santa Ana-based company that makes clothes to correct posture, is Robert J. Meers, an industry veteran who once led Reebok.
AlignMed makes athletic clothing with embedded tension bands that help align the body's joints. Center Dwight Howard wore an AlignMed shirt this past season with the Lakers during games to help recover from a torn labrum in his shoulder. Meers was once a professional athlete, drafted as a wide receiver by the Minnesota Vikings in 1966 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
"The most exciting opportunities I've been involved with are aggressive, entrepreneurial companies that are innovating and creating solutions to problems that had simply been accepted and lived with," Meers said.
AlignMed was started by Bill Schultz, who was looking for an alternative to his own back surgery in 2004. A friend recommended a Newport Beach chiropractor who had developed a special jacket to help rehabilitate surgery patients. The garment worked for Schultz. He bought the patent for the technology from the doctor, started research to prove the device's effectiveness, and launched AlignMed.
Well before the conception of Schultz's company, Meers worked with Massachusetts-based athletic shoemaker Reebok for 15 years. There, he helped to establish the Greg Norman and Rockport brands, and served as president and CEO from 1996 to 1999.
Meers became CEO of Lululemon Athletica Inc., a Canadian yoga apparel company, in 2005. At the time, the company had annual profits of $1.4 million. Under Meers leadership, Lululemon had its initial public offering, and when Meers left in June 2008, it reported a $30.8 million profit on $274.7 million in sales for the previous year.
"I've spent a lot of time in the garment and apparel business," said Meers. "AlignMed is the first company to develop a garment that can actually help correct and shape the body's alignment and balance."
Mazda, a Japanese brand with U.S. headquarters in Irvine, is teaming up with Microsoft to unveil a new vehicle in what company officials call the first global live stream of a new car introduction. The companies plan a series of events in Melbourne, St. Petersburg, Istanbul and London that will conclude in a live New York unveiling broadcast on Xbox Live on June 26 at 6 p.m. Pacific time. A concert by Canadian indie rock band Metric will be part of the festivities.
The event comes as car sales are on the rise. The Orange County Automobile Dealers Association reports that 12,417 new cars and trucks were registered in the county last month, 9.1 percent higher than May of last year. Japanese cars accounted for half of those registrations. Ten percent of new cars registered in the county were Korean. The U.S. arm of the Hyundai brand of cars is based in Fountain Valley; Irvine is the U.S. home of Kia; and Mitsubishi's American headquarters are in Cypress.
Actress Lindsay Wagner is now a featured spokeswoman for Cerna Homecare, an Irvine-based homecare and nursing services provider. Wagner, who played Jaime Sommers in "The Bionic Woman" television series during the 1970s, leads meditation retreats and holistic wellness workshops and seminars under the title of "Quiet the Mind & Open the Heart." Cerna will feature Wagner in print ads and TV commercials.
Meade Instruments Corp., an Irvine-based maker of telescopes and amateur astronomy accessories, has another suitor one month after the company's board of directors agreed to sell to JOC North America, a subsidiary of Chinese optoelectronic manufacturer Jinghua Optics & Electronics Co. Now MIT Capital Inc., a San Jose firm that makes laser and optics products, has offered to buy Meade's outstanding common stock for $3.65 per share, which is $0.20 per share above the JOC price. The board's agreement amounts to a recommendation for stockholders, who will vote on any acquisition.
Myspace, an online center for artists to connect with fans, has begun to host "Jimmy Kimmel Live Stream," a concert series that showcases select artists that appear on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live" television program. The musicians will play extended sets immediately following the TV broadcast, which will be streamed exclusively on Myspace. Myspace is owned by Specific Media LLC, an Irvine-based digital advertising company.
Volcom Inc., a Costa Mesa-based action sports apparel company, is exiting its 4-year-old motocross business so that it can focus on its core board sports – skate, snow and surf.
Skullcandy Inc., an audio accessory distributor based in Utah, is closing its San Clemente office by early fall to consolidate its marketing, creative, business development and legal departments at its Park City headquarters. The company will offer to assist most of the roughly 30 O.C. employees to relocate and work in Park City.
On the move
Robert Dunn has joined Dynamic Healthcare Systems Inc., a company in Irvine that designs software for health plans and organizations that provide Medicare services, as president and CEO. Dunn was previously the chief development officer at TMG Health.
NeurOptics Inc., an Irvine-based maker of devices that measure the human eye, has appointed William Worthen as president. Worthen previously served as CEO of Silk Road Medical Inc.
Denny McKnight has been promoted to president of Tompkins International, a supply-chain consulting and implementation firm based in Raleigh, N.C. He will split his time between the company's headquarters and its Mission Viejo office. Previously, Tompkins was executive vice president of supply-chain consulting services.
TeamLogic IT, a Mission Viejo information technology service firm, named Vince Plaza as vice president of technical operations. Plaza previously worked at the company's franchisor office.
Kristin Rock is now the director of professional services for Phoenix Energy Technologies, a company in Irvine that provides enterprise-level energy consumption software and services. Rock was previously corporate energy manager for Petco Animal Supplies.
Jeff Carter has joined Olloclip, a company in Huntington Beach that makes photo lenses for iPhones, as sales director of retail and telecom markets. Carter was previously a sales director at Irvine-based tech accessory firm The Joy Factory.
"Expect further market volatility and liquidity dislocations in the immediate period ahead." - Pimco CEO Mohamed A. El-Erian in a Wednesday article for Business Insider
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