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Updated: 9 hours 13 min ago

Pasadena’s Podley Properties Bought by deasy/penner

Mon, 2018-09-17 06:04

Podley Properties owner and founder Bill Podley (at left), deasy/penner President and Managing Partner George Penner (center) and deasy/penner CEO and Managing Partner Mike Deasy (at right).

The local real estate industry is undergoing a remodel with the purchase of Pasadena-based Podley Properties by another local firm, deasy/penner.

Podley Properties owner and founder Bill Podley said while he’s enjoyed building his company, the time has come to hand over the reins.

“I’m in a point in my life where I’ll be 70 before too long and it just seemed to be the right time to pull back,” he said. “I will continue to list and sell property and represent clients, because I love that part of it, but I felt it was time for me to pass the baton on to someone that wanted to see the company continue on and grow.”

Deasy/penner is that someone, Podley said.

“We also wanted a local, independent firm that would share the same culture and values that we share and hold, and believe that deasy/penner was the right partner in that regard. So they’ve been very gracious in their discussions and we feel very good about going forward with them,” he said.

“I don’t want to retire. That’s not my goal at all. But there is a responsibility that never leaves you when you own your own company,” Podley said. “It just feels like this is the time to let someone else take on that responsibility.”

The agreement is expected to be formalized in the coming weeks, he said.

Deasy/penner President and Managing Partner George Penner said the acquisition presents a unique opportunity.

“I truly believe there’s a shared DNA within both companies. And that, to us, is the most successful recipe,” he said.

“Culture is critical and collaboration is even more important,” Penner said. “When you have the right culture, the synergy happens naturally and that’s what we’re excited about with this acquisition.”

“The other piece that I would say that’s critical to us is that the integrity and reputation of agents has always been paramount, and Podley agents are exceptional. We’re so honored to be working with them side by side and welcoming each agent’s individual energy, experience, and ideas.”

Penner said he hoped to continue working with as many existing Podley agents as possible. Agents work as independent contractors.

“We have to prove, as a brokerage, our value to our agents every single day, and that is our job as a brokerage,” he said. “Not only to service our clients and exceed their expectations, but sales agents are our clients as well, and it’s imperative that we meet and exceed their expectations as well. So our hope is that together, collectively, we’ll grow as one family, with all of the Podley agents joining us.”

In a sense, Podley said the transition was a sign of the times.

“I think that it’s getting harder and harder to compete. The competition is fierce. Competition for agents is fierce,” Podley said.

“I think by virtue of our joining together, we’re going to be a stronger, small independent [firm] than we would be separately. So I think that’s kind of the bottom line,” Podley reflected.

Penner agreed.

“I think that there’s going to be two distinct routes within the real estate industry. It’s going to be mega big box brokerages, and then there are going to be a few superior independent, hyper-local real estate firms. And that’s going to be our focus and push,” Penner said.

“And we are involved,” he added. Together, the two companies are involved in more than 100 charities and philanthropic organization, representatives said.

But while Penner said the industry is changing as a result of the internet and other factors, quality realtors remain in demand.

“[A home is] the most significant purchase that one makes in their lifetime and they need intelligent, well-respected sales professionals who can provide knowledge and value. And that’s what our agents and Podley agents have to offer,” he said.

“The internet is going to improve the industry. It’s going to create greater efficiencies, but we are a people-based firm that’s technology backed. It’s not the other way around,” Penner said.

Stepping away from the helm of the company is bittersweet, Podley said. “It’s a loss when you’re giving up something that you really love, but the time was right.”

Podley and Penner both said they’re optimistic about what the future holds in the Southern California real estate business.

“Both companies have been successful. So we only anticipate greater success moving forward together,” Penner said.

Pasadena Hiring 2 Consultants to Study Effect of Minimum Wage Increase

Fri, 2018-09-14 05:49

UCLA Professor Edward E. Leamer (left) and UC Berkeley Professor Michael Reich

The City is moving forward with the hiring of two expert consultants to report to the City Council on the effects of Pasadena’s 2016 decision to raise the minimum wage to $15-per-hour by 2020.

An independent report on the impact of the wage increase on the local economy is required under the ordinance that laid out the process for gradually increasing the minimum wage, according to Pasadena Economic Development Manager Eric Duyshart.

“This report will review changes to Pasadena’s unemployment, poverty, [and] the overall Pasadena business climate,” he said.

In an effort to obtain a fuller picture of the complex issue, the City has elected to double up on economists, Pasadena Economic Development Project Manager Ruth Martinez said.

“It helps to ensure that we’ve got more than one kind of perspective on the question,” Duyshart said.

Through a “request for proposal” process, UCLA Professor Edward E. Leamer and UC Berkeley Professor Michael Reich have been selected, Martinez said.

Leamer is Chauncey J. Medberry Chair in Management / Professor in Economics & Statistics and Director of UCLA’s Anderson Forecast center.

Reich is Professor of Economics and Chair of the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment of the University of California at Berkeley

The study will include a survey posted on the City’s website, but it will primarily focus on hard data, Duyshart said. “It’s not anecdotal. It’s really just the formal data from the state that is going to be relied on the most.”

The state has since passed its own law raising the minimum wage to $15-per-hour by 2022. Duyshart said even if Pasadena’s ordinance were reversed, it would only result in a two-year delay of the same minimum wage.

That’s exactly what Pasadena Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Paul Little said he wants to see happen.

“Our preference would be to have the City align with what the state’s doing for lots of reasons. Slower ramp up is less immediate impacts,” he said. “Our folks who have businesses in multiple jurisdictions will be dealing with one set of regulations.”

He advocated against the increase in the first place, but also urged the inclusion of the mid-point review. But he said with a countless array of factors to consider, ranging from the larger economy to employment data and market pressures, the consultants face a challenging task in trying to ascertain the effect of the minimum wage increase.

Pasadena resident and Glendale Community College Economics Professor Mark Maier also provided input when the City was drafting its “Request for Proposal” for the study.

He said Pasadena should keep on track with its minimum wage ordinance’s plan for steady annual pay increases.

Los Angeles and unincorporated Los Angeles County areas — like neighboring Altadena — also have ordinances in place to boost the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, Maier said. Pasadena should remain shoulder-to-shoulder with its neighbors, rather than slow the wage increases to the state level, he said.

“If it’s different if you cross over to Los Angeles and cross over into Altadena, it’s a nightmare for businesses [that] have multiple operations,” Maier said. “And workers can’t possibly keep track if they move from an Altadena location to a Pasadena location… That makes no sense at all.”

But Maier agreed with Little that the consultants have their work cut out for them.

“We’re trying to do an extremely difficult economic project, which is trying to fathom what the effect of one policy change has been on an economy that’s incredibly complex,” according to Maier.

And since people often live and work in different places, isolating the effect of the wage is “almost impossible,” he added.

Duyshart said the reports are scheduled to be filed toward the end of the year.

The Minimum Wage Survey can be found at (

Target Plans Employment Events in Pasadena Ahead of Seasonal Hiring Blitz

Fri, 2018-09-14 05:44

[Updated]   Target will be holding hiring events in Pasadena next month as it seeks to fill 13,000 seasonal jobs in the greater Los Angeles area.

The events will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Oct. 12 through Oct. 14 at both Pasadena locations, “with the potential for eligible applicants to interview on the spot and receive a conditional job offer during the weekend events,” Target spokeswoman Angie Thompson said.

“These positions offer market-competitive wages and benefits, including a 10-percent merchandise discount at Target and, flexible schedules that allow team members to work a variety of hours and overtime pay on national holidays,” she said. “Interested candidates will have the opportunity to meet directly with Target store leaders.”

Nationwide, the company is looking for 120,000 seasonal workers, which is a 20 percent increase over last year, Target representatives said in a written statement. About 28,000 of them will be in California.

Pasadena tax consultant and businessman Ishmael Trone, former President of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Board, said he was encouraged to see the retailer doing well.

Brick-and-mortar stores continue fighting an uphill battle against online retailers, he said.

“We should be really thankful for Target,” he said.

“Online sales at Amazon is really taking revenue away from local retail businesses and retail businesses nationwide,” Trone said. “The Internet has definitely affected retail sales in Pasadena and nationwide. And it’s not going to stop.”

The retailer is expecting brisk businesses in the coming months, according to Target Chief Stores Janna Potts.

“Coming off a strong second quarter, we’re anticipating a busy holiday season and want to make sure we have the right teams in place across all of our stores and distribution and fulfillment centers to deliver an exceptional experience for our guests,” said. “This always starts by having conversations with our current team members to see if they’re interested in working extra hours before making our seasonal hiring commitment.”

The Target stores in Pasadena are located at 777 E Colorado Blvd, and at 3121 E Colorado Blvd.

Pasadena-Based Natural Health Products E-Commerce Company Serving Millions Celebrates 22nd Anniversary

Wed, 2018-09-12 05:37

iHerb, an e-commerce retailer based in Pasadena, is offering customers a 22-percent discount on any of its 30,000 products every day during the month of September, as the company celebrates its 22nd year of service.

The company started selling St. John’s Wort, a natural approach for easing symptoms of depression, in 1996. Since then, iHerb said it has grown into one of the top global e-commerce companies serving millions of customers around the world. Its products come from over 1,200 global brands of vitamins, supplements, and health and beauty products.

In a company statement, iHerb said it uses GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) certified climate controlled distribution centers to ensure high product quality and freshness.

In addition to the 22 percent discounts this September, iHerb also offers customers its iHerb Rewards and Customer Loyalty programs.

For more information, visit