Old smartphones
Old smartphones. Photo via Pixabay

San Diego-based ecoATM/Gazelle, which has created a huge market in the buying and selling of used smartphones and other devices from retail kiosks, said this week that Stan Pavlovsky has joined the company as CEO.

Pavlovsky succeeds Dave Maquera, who is retiring after leading ecoATM/Gazelle “through a transformational seven-year period for both the company and the industry,” according to a news release.

Before assuming his new role, Pavlovsky was an executive at digital image retailer Shutterstock, He earlier served as the executive vice president of Meredith Digital at Meredith Corp., a media and marketing company.

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More executive changes … The InterContinental Hotel San Diego announces that hospitality veteran Brian Hughes is its new general manager. 

Before joining the InterContinental San Diego, Hughes spent 11 years as general manager of the Omni San Diego Hotel as well as the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage, CA. He was most recently with the iconic Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, where he served as the managing director.

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Online plant retailer Lively Root said it has closed $4 million in seed funding. The company said in a news release that the investment will help fund growth in its supply network of growers and nurseries throughout the country.

Participants in the seed round include top San Diego investors with extensive industry backgrounds, such as Jake Goodall, former CEO of Jack In the Box, and Ken Cook, founder of McKenzie Farms, the largest Christmas tree farm in the United States.

The company, founded in 2020, collaborates with partners in California, Oregon and Florida to allow nurseries to access its platform as a fulfillment distributor. The company also said it plans to move into new categories such as outdoor plants, holiday items and plant care accessories later this year.

The company said in a news release that it plans to kick off their Series A fundraising later this year and continue to capitalize on the extensive market opportunity and disrupt this $60 Billion per year industry.

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San Diego-based construction management services provider Gafcon has announced the appointment of Heather Skaife as director of project and construction management.

According to a news release, Skaife is a construction and operations executive with over 17 years of industry experience. In previous roles, she has served as a program director and director of operations overseeing project teams and all phases of large-scale construction and development programs.

Skaife will report to Robin Duveen, the company’s top executive.

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This cute item is worth noting … A Chula Vista McDonald’s restaurant recently held a surprise year-end celebration at a local school after receiving a very intriguing letter from a second-grade student thanking them for making her feel special.

The student, Ariany Vasquez, who attends Heritage Elementary School, submitted the letter as part of a class assignment, said she hopes to celebrate her birthday there the place is so nice. 

McDonald’s is “the best restaurant for many reasons,” she said, “It makes me feel happy like I am floating on a cloud,” and “the workers treat me like I am God. I feel like an angel when I go there.”  

The workers at the local McDonald’s at 725 E St. said they wanted to show their appreciation for her sweet words. They thus donated food for the entire second-grade class at its end-of-year party held June 2. 

The party for the 90 students featured hamburgers, cheeseburgers, fries and other menu items.

In return, the workers will be honored for their kindness with a celebration in the coming weeks at the restaurant, according to a spokeswoman. 

The donation is but one of many revolving around one of McDonald’s new initiatives, titled “Thank You Crew,” launched in April to put the spotlight on workers.

The Chula Vista restaurant is owned and operated by Jill Lindstedt, one of 13,500 such owner/operator stores in the U.S.

The restaurant employs 38, and it is one of 97 McDonald’s outlets in the county.

A spokeswoman said that the cost of the donated food for the party totaled about $450.

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Kintara Therapeutics. which is pursuing treatments for various solid cancer tumors, said recent that it has received notification from Nasdaq granting a request for a 180-day extension to return to compliance with Nasdaq’s minimum bid price requirement. Kintara says it has until Nov. 28 to meet the requirement.

The stock has been trading at less than $1 a share, the minimum required by the Nasdaq to maintain its bidding requirement. The share price stood 17 cents, down 1 cent, or 4.28% in trading on June 3. The 52-week price ranges from a low of 14 cents to a high of $ 2.85. The company has 65.5 million shares outstanding.

If at any time during the additional 180-day extension, the bid price of the company’s common stock closes at, or above, $1 per share for a minimum of ten consecutive business days, the Nasdaq staff will provide Kintara with a confirmation of compliance.

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The San Diego County Gun Owners PAC has announced its annual fundraising dinner will be held on June 18, at the Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Mission Valley. 

The dinner, which will help with the organization’s Second Amendment advocacy, is organization’s sixth annual, and it is open to the public. 

Ticket prices begin at $99 per person. For more information, including sponsorship information, visit www.GunProm.com.

Founded in 2015, the organization is considered San Diego’s largest registered PAC, according to a publicist, “with a diverse and inclusive membership with representatives from the LGBTQ, Latino, African American, Asian and Pacific Islander communities.”

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San Diego-based weekly trade publication Influence Weekly said it has reached 20,000-subscriber milestone.

According to a news release, the newsletter owner New Monaco Media has grown the Influencer Weekly Newsletter 300 percent since acquiring it in 2020.

“After Influence Weekly joined New Monaco Media’s digital portfolio of brands, our focus was to establish the newsletter as the go-to outlet for all news in the influencer marketing space,” said David Adler, managing director for the parent company. “Since then, we’ve worked hard to learn what our readers are looking for and to establish a trustworthy relationship with our subscribers. Our team has expanded our newsletter strategy to include content that is relevant to anyone in the influencer space, from CMO’s at national brands, to creators looking to jump start their careers.”

Influence Weekly accompanies its Net Influencer website, which covers the influencer marketing industry. The company plans to expand its editorial coverage to include interviews with both creator business founders as well as providing a one-stop site for those working in the creator economy.

Tom York is a Carlsbad-based independent journalist who specializes in writing about business and the economy. If you have news tips you’d like to share, send them to tom.york@gmail.com.