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Updated: 16 hours 22 min ago

Tech CEO Gladys Kong On Why Business and Culture in Pasadena Are the Perfect Match For Having Fun While Growing A Digital Empire

Sun, 2019-09-15 08:40

Old Pasadena is undoubtedly a destination district for locals and visitors alike, and for tech CEO Gladys Kong, it has been her home-away-from-home for nearly a decade.

Kong’s data and analytics firm UberMedia sits in the heart of Old Pasadena inside the famed tech incubator Idealab on Union Street and is a company making noticeable waves in the tech industry as a leading and growing digital empire.

UberMedia is recognized as a pioneer in targeted mobile advertising and was listed as Fast Company’s “50 Most Innovative Companies,” The Wall Street Journal’s Top “50 Startups,” Entrepreneur Magazine’s “Best Entrepreneurial Companies in America,” and as one of Advertising Age’s “Best Places to Work” since its inception in 2012.

“We choose to stay in Pasadena also because of the talent we are able to draw from local universities, like Caltech, where both our founder and I graduated from. Pasadena has been a home to UberMedia and to me for many years, and I can’t imagine setting up shop elsewhere.”

So what exactly does a successful Pasadena CEO do when work is over and fun comes calling?

Gladys Kong sat down with Pasadena Living Magazine to let us in on her favorite spots in shopping, dining, and recreation in Pasadena…



Trader Joe’s

“For groceries, I like walking around Trader Joe’s on Arroyo Parkway to look at the fresh fruits and vegetables to get inspiration on what to cook.”


“I love going to Lululemon for my weekend wear. And even if I don’t buy

anything, I like walking along Colorado Blvd. in Old Town, looking at the stores to see what they have on their display. We have many beautiful days in Pasadena in a year, so it’s a very pleasant way to spend some time outside.”

Sur La Table

“I love to cook and bake when I have time, which I find is great for stress relief, so once in a while I enjoy buying a new kitchen gadget or a cool cooking tool from there.”




My favorite restaurant in Pasadena is Celestino on Lake Ave. I enjoy the great food and the casual atmosphere there– and, I have been a customer there for so long that the people there literally watched my kids grow up.”


“My family also likes going to the Japanese restaurant Oba on Marengo and Glenarm. Similar to Celestino, we go there so often that they know my kids’ order before they even say the words.”

Lunch Favorites: Union, Tender Greens & Cava

“Other places I like going to for myself or with colleagues and friends are Union, which has fantastic food; Tender Greens, which I often enjoy following the long walk to get lunch there; and Cava, which is my new favorite healthy lunch place on Lake.”



iPic & Arclight

“I like to go to the iPic theater or Arclight in Paseo for movies with my family. iPic is such an indulgence with its reclining chairs, good food and great atmosphere.”

Pilates Pasadena

“Once or twice a week I like to take some time for myself and go to Pilates Pasadena to work out with my trainer there.”

Rose Bowl & Kidspace Children’s Museum

“I often take walks around the Rose Bowl in the morning to clear my mind before I start my day. We are really lucky to have such a big beautiful space near us. When my kids were younger, they loved going to the park there, exploring the Kids Space Museum, and learning how to ride their bikes at the Rose Bowl. It’s my favorite place to get some

fresh air and walk around.”

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. Achieves GRESB 5 Star Rating

Sun, 2019-09-15 07:48

Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., a Pasadena-based urban office real estate investment trust (REIT) company focusing on developing collaborative life science, technology and agtech campuses, has achieved a Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) 5-Star Rating, receiving five out of five stars – the highest rating within the benchmark.

The company also maintained its “A” disclosure score for the second straight year and earned its third consecutive Green Star designation.

GRESB is the leading global environmental, social and governance benchmark for real estate and infrastructure investments across the world.

“We are honored to receive these prestigious recognitions from GRESB, which reinforce our continued dedication to and execution on our industry-leading ESG initiatives,” Dean A. Shigenaga, Co-President and Chief Financial Officer of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc., said. “We are also proud to partner with GRESB to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of sustainability performance disclosure and reporting.”

This Thursday, Alexandria is hosting the 2019 GRESB Real Estate Results Launch for North America that brings together the global real estate community in a forum at the Alexandria Center for Life Science in New York City. The program will feature a presentation of the 2019 GRESB assessment results and panel discussions on emerging trends and the current state of sustainability in real estate.

Alexandria will moderate the panel discussion on key sustainability and real estate trends that have the potential to impact the next 10 years.

In a statement, Alexandria said its “A” disclosure score and Green Star designation are a reflection of the company’s strong environmental, social and governance policies, practices and performance across approximately 24 million square feet of operating properties.

They also indicate the company’s proactive approach to addressing impacts of climate change as well as its longstanding leadership in promoting health and wellness, the statement said.

The company’s notable achievements include reducing its like-for-like carbon pollution by 14.5 percent since 2015, receiving the inaugural Best in Building Health Company Award from Fitwel and achieving two LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certifications.

In June, Alexandria said it had received its fourth Gold Investor CARE (Communications and Reporting Excellence) Award from the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) for superior shareholder communications and reporting excellence.

The company’s inaugural Green Bond Allocation Report focuses on their progress in allocating its green bond proceeds and provides related environmental impact metrics. Alexandria said they have issued $1 billion in green bonds since 2018.

To learn more about Alexandria’s corporate responsibility program, visit

School of Rock Holds Grand ‘Reopening’ in Pasadena, Music Performances and More Activities to be Held Saturday

Thu, 2019-09-12 16:33

The Pasadena School of Rock will hold a Grand Reopening celebration this Saturday. The school has undergone a complete remodel and welcomes new students.

“We’re excited under new ownership to start this new chapter,” said Tevis Karlsson, general manager of Pasadena and Burbank School of Rock locations. The new owners are Chris Czaja and Elizabeth Weiner.

The duo also own West LA and Venice locations and are closing in on an outlet in Redondo Beach in the South Bay.

Karlsson was a teacher and show director and was moved into management role in 2014, she said. She said she would remain on at the schools.

“I’m a lifer here, ” she said. “The benefits the kids get from our program, we teach music but they get great other.

At the grand reopening there will be a raffle for a guitar, a Stratocaster starter pack, Karlsson said.

“We’re Fender dealers so we were able to get a Fender Stratocaster starter pack,” she said. “We get great deals on Fender Instruments and amps.”

The School of Rock has a promotional agreement with Fender, which came together at the end of 2018. “The relationship is one we have been able to extend,” Karlsson said.

But at the Grand Reopening people can expect a range of opportunities: There’s a chance to win free lessons and the event is an opportunity to come check out the new digs.

“We have made a point to pay homage to Eddie Van Halen,” Karlsson said. “Van Halen is the quintessential band that School of Rock loves to cover.”

For information on the School of Rock Grand Reopening click here.

The Pasadena School of Rock’s Grand Reopening is set for Saturday, September 14, from noon to 6 p.m. at 1240 E. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena.






Pasadena is Finalist for Most Business-Friendly Crown

Thu, 2019-09-12 05:47

“And the Eddy goes to…”

The answer to that question will be known Nov. 7, when the Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) reveals which city in Los Angeles County is the most business-friendly, and Pasadena is a finalist.

The 2019 Most Business-Friendly City in L.A. County Award, recognizes the work cities do in creating a better environment for businesses to locate, succeed, grow, and hire. The awards are sponsored by the LAEDC.

Pasadena is one of six finalists in the category listing cities with a population of 50,000 and over. The competition includes Bellflower; Gardena; Lancaster; Norwalk; and Rosemead.

The LAEDC described Pasadena as a thriving community boasting a quality of life that is recognized nationally. It highlighted the fact it is home to some of the most successful technology, finance, and engineering companies in the world.

“With a highly educated workforce that enjoys a dynamic range of amenities and support services,” LAEDC said in a statement, “Pasadena offers everything businesses and their employees want in a location. With a history of successful commerce in the community, Pasadena municipal government is dedicated to the continued support of a fertile environment that encourages new business and innovation.”

A separate category for cities of less than 50,000 includes as finalists: Duarte; La Mirada, Monrovia; San Gabriel, and Santa Fe Springs, according to the statement.

One winner from each of these categories will be announced live at the 24th Annual Eddy Awards on Thursday, November 7, which will be held at the LA Live entertainment complex in downtown L.A.

Finalists were selected by a panel of blue-ribbon judges each’s commitment to economic to business in all faces: development, job creation, competitive tax rates and fees structures, economic incentives and effective communication.

Last year, the City of Azusa and the City of Whittier took home the Eddy’s for each of the categories.

In addition to honoring the Most Business-Friendly Cities in L.A. County, the Eddy Awards gala will also celebrate individual, corporate and education honorees. They are Phillip A. Washington, chief executive officer of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority; Citi Bank; and California State University, Dominguez Hills.

Small Business Owner, Neighborhood Advocate Joe Baghdadlian Launches Campaign for City Council District 4 Seat

Wed, 2019-09-11 06:23

Joe Baghdadlian, a small business owner and self-described neighborhood advocate, on Tuesday announced his candidacy for the Pasadena City Council’s District 4 seat.

He will face off against incumbent Gene Masuda and newcomer Charlotte Bland. Masuda was first elected in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015, and announced in April he will run for a third term. Bland is a City Commissioner representing District Four on the Commission on the Status of Women.

Baghdadlian said in a statement he is “is a hands-on, decisive and respected community leader who will use common sense solutions to tackle the problems facing District 4.”

The statement characterized him as a public safety advisor, education advocate and homeowner association block captain,

“Homelessness is on the rise. Our district faces environmental issues. Our schools are in danger of being shut down. The city is victim to poor planning that has led to traffic nightmares. And, City Hall isn’t doing enough to support the small businesses that are the backbone of our community,” Baghdadlian said in a statement.

“We need to get Pasadena back on track and we need a Councilmember who will take action now. I will work closely with our residents, public safety officials, and neighborhood groups to address the problems that confront us. Our district deserves leadership it can count on.”

The release said that Baghdadlian’s family operates Symes Collision Center (part of the Syme’s Cadillac and Land Rover automotive family) and Joe’s Auto Body Collision Center (part of the Thorson Buick GMC automotive family), both on Colorado Boulevard in District 4.

Joe and Hourig Baghdadlian “have been happily married for 45 years, and they have been blessed with four amazing children and five beautiful grandchildren.”

The statement said Baghdadlian is an advisory board member to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (Temple Station) and works on community relations and homeland security issues.

“Joe’s dedication to improving our neighborhoods led to involvement with his local homeowner association, where he currently serves as a Block Captain. In that role, he has hosted fire and earthquake preparedness workshops for neighbors at his home featuring emergency management experts and officials – addressing brush clearing, distributing gas shutoff keys, and making emergency home supply kits.”

Baghdadlian plans to host a campaign kickoff celebration on Sunday, September 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Eaton Canyon Golf Course. The event is free and open to all members of the community. Residents are welcome to come and talk to Baghdadlian directly about the neighborhood issues that concern them, according to the press release, which also requested reservations be made by Thursday, September 26 through email to or by phone to (626) 321-7770.

For more about Candidate Joe Baghdadlian visit

Pasadena’s Gateway Plaza Fills to 100% Occupancy After Lease Deal with Canadian Company

Wed, 2019-09-11 05:52

Stantec, an international engineering and design consulting company based in Edmonton, Canada, has signed a roughly 29,000-square-foot lease renewal and expansion at Pasadena’s Gateway Plaza, a 13-story, a 281,882-square-foot office property located at 300 N. Lake Avenue, a report by real estate news outlet Connect California said Tuesday.

Because of the deal, the Class A Pasadena office building is now at 100-percent occupancy.

Stantec has been a tenant at Gateway Plaza since 2014. The global engineering firm’s newest lease terms are for seven years, and it will be expanding into the building’s remaining vacancy of nearly 3,000 square feet, according to the report.

Upon completion of tenant improvements, Stantec will expand into the new space beginning in October, the report said.

Stantec was represented by Lee Kiziak, Director of Stantec Corporate Real Estate, as well as JLL’s Matt Perrigue and DJ Goldberg. Avison Young’s Andrew Berk and Chase Gordon represented the owners of Gateway Plaza.

“In addition to the growing tech community here, the City of Pasadena has come into its own as a regional leader for attracting architecture, engineering and construction firms,” Gordon told Connect California.

Located within the core of Pasadena’s business district, Gateway Plaza is complemented by and exterior plaza with extensive landscaping, fountains, and outdoor seating.

Nearby, South Lake Avenue features three blocks of retailers and various specialty shops and boutiques. More than 600 businesses are located through Lake Avenue in the city’s financial district.

For more about the property, visit