Creativity abounds in Irvine
Professional ballet dancer Andrea Yorita, who grew up in Irvine, has been nominated for the prestigious Clive Barnes Award. Yorita dances with Philadelphia-based contemporary dance company BalletX, which performed at Laguna Beach Dance Festival in September. Four years ago, Yorita took a master class with BalletX at the Laguna festival while a student at UCI, which led to her position with the company. She graduated from UCI in 2012, where she studied under dance luminaries Donald McKayle, Molly Lynch and Jodie Gates, among others. She took her first ballet class at Westpark Montessori and later studied at the Academy of Dance in Santa Ana. Yorita is one of four dancers nominated for the award. The winner will be announced Jan. 8 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
Speaking of great places to work, the new creative office space projects in Irvine are already paying dividends. QLogic announced it’s moving from Aliso Viejo to take more than 100,000 square feet of office space at Irvine Company’s NextGen commercial complex going up on Sand Canyon. As reported in OCBJ, QLogic was bought for $1.4 billion by Silicon Valley’s Cavium Inc. this past summer. There are two NextGen campuses going up in the Sand Canyon/5 Freeway area of Irvine. One features two 4-story buildings on Sand Canyon, with two more nearby called the Quad@Discovery. They are designed to compete with the cool office environments that tech companies and millennial employees are offered elsewhere in California. Other creative office space developments in the city include FivePoint’s Broadcom campus near the train station, the remodeled building where SpaceX has leased offices, and The Boardwalk, both in the Irvine Business Complex. The QLogic move, while good for business in the city, highlights an issue of acquisition of locally grown tech and other STEM-based businesses by Silicon Valley and offshore corporations. Adding more contemporary office campuses will be crucial for Irvine to compete to keep these companies that are already incubating and innovating in the city headquartered here.
Last month we celebrated the fact that the OCBJ’s list of 500 influencers was highly Irvine-centric. The recent Top Workplaces awards from the OC Register also highlight what a wonderful place to work Irvine is. The Register recognized 125 employers, with the list divided by large (500 or more employees), midsize (100-499 employees) and small (99 or fewer) companies. Irvine has close to one third of all the companies on the lists, with three out of the top five in the midsize category: Illuminate Education (1), First Direct Lending (3) and Trace3 (5). HomeSmart Evergreen Realty was third among large companies, joined by Silverado Senior Living and St. Joseph Health in the top 15. First Direct and Trace3 were among those with editorial profiles in the publication.
Andrea Yorita, photo by by Alexander Iziliaev, courtesy BalletX