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89 FOR 1989 : Meet Southern California's Rising Stars

January 01, 1989

When Griego said she wanted to transform a 1912 downtown fire station designated as a historical landmark into an office complex and restaurant, she was told that it couldn't be done. But in 1986 Griego, a former aide to Sen. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., began what turned out to be the three-year "ordeal" of restoring abandoned Engine Co. No. 28, and then joined with Westside restaurateur Jerry Magnin to raise $1.1 million to open the ground-floor American grill. 1989 will be the restaurant's first year of operation, but already the entire building is being heaped with honors. And Griego, 41, is looking for another historic renovation that's just as challenging.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday January 1, 1989 Home Edition Part 1 Page 3 Column 5 Advance Desk 9 inches; 307 words Type of Material: Correction
Because of a mistake by a pre-print production house supplying The Times, three photographs in today's Los Angeles Times Magazine were incorrectly paired with profiles in the "89 for '89" special issue. The correct versions: STEVEN CORBIN, Novelist When Corbin, 35, was growing up, his grandmother captivated him with stories about Harlem of the 1920s--the glamour, the elegance, the clubs. His first novel, "No Easy Place to Be," pays tribute to the Harlem Renaissance era. Simon & Schuster will publish the historical epic next month. A selection of the Literary Guild, the book also seems a likely prospect for the movies. Corbin, who teaches fiction writing at UCLA, did a reading in New York six weeks ago with Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne. In the audience was E.L. Doctorow--with whom Corbin has been critically compared.
HUGH M. DAVIES, museum director When Davies became director of the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art five years ago, it was, in his words, "insular and doctrinaire" with "the appearance of elitism." But Davies, 40, buried that image with a far-ranging exhibit schedule and a downtown exhibition annex that plopped the museum in the midst of San Diego's gritty arts district--and the museum's annual attendance rate tripled. Now on his second five-year contract, Davies is about to oversee an expansion program that will include an $11-million Robert Venturi-designed overhaul of the bluff-side La Jolla facility and the addition of several thousand square feet to the downtown space. STEVEN EHRLICH, architect Ehrlich can stand in the middle of Windward Circle in Venice with a sense of accomplishment. Soon to be completed there is the last of three exuberantly high-tech buildings that he designed to energize the historic traffic circle. In addition to this ambitious mix of shops, offices and studios, Ehrlich's flashy design for a deli is taking form in downtown Santa Monica and, later this year, the construction of a fanciful gymnasium and community center in the Mid-Wilshire District's Shatto Park is scheduled to begin. Throw in commissions for residences, and it's easy to see why this 42-year-old architect's career has moved into high gear.
PHOTO: STEVEN CORBIN
PHOTO: HUGH M. DAVIES
PHOTO: STEVEN EHRLICH

CHARLIE JACKSON, software manufacturer

Few would have predicted it, but Charlie Jackson, standout on the UCLA rowing team in the early '70s and soccer jock, ultimately found his place among the computer nerds of the world, publishing games and graphics software programs for the Macintosh personal computer. But the 40-year-old self-described "brash entrepreneur" isn't content to stop there. With two top-selling programs, "SuperPaint" and "Digital Darkroom," under his belt, Jackson hopes to more than double the '88 revenues of his San Diego-based Silicon Beach Software. Coming next: a product the company says will allow average computer users to create programs indistinguishable from those sold in stores.

VICTORIA JACKSON, entrepreneur

Los Angeles is fast becoming a cosmetics capital, and 33-year-old Jackson is in the right place at the right time. A Hollywood makeup artist for 13 years, Jackson has powdered and painted the faces of such stars as Tom Hanks, Tom Selleck, Kathleen Turner, Patrick Swayze and Linda Evans. But she's also been working with scientists, concocting her own makeup collection. A Dallas-based cosmetics firm was so impressed with the results that it's backed her to the tune of $1.25 million. Plans call for Victoria Jackson cosmetics to be in 1,000 stores by year's end.

SCOTT LEE, developer

Lee is helping to change the face and image of L.A.'s Chinatown. As a partner and driving force behind one of Chinatown's largest real estate developers, Famco Investments, he is persuading outsiders to view it not just as a tourist attraction, but also as a business center--a "Central City North," as he calls it. This year, Lee, 29, is likely to attain even greater recognition when his firm finishes Bamboo Plaza, a retail complex that will contain Chinatown's first multistory public parking facility. The added parking should attract even more visitors and businesses to Chinatown.

SABURO (STEVE) OTO, financial services executive

When Oto first arrived in Los Angeles from Tokyo in 1968, he barely spoke English. But today Oto, 39, is playing a major role in bridging the interests of U.S. and Japanese businesses as they increasingly work together. He joined the accounting firm of Touche Ross in 1974, rising to audit partner there and to managing partner at the Los Angeles office of Tohmatsu Awoki & Co., a division of Touche Ross and a part of Japan's largest accounting firm. When the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades recently sold a minority interest to a Japanese investor, Oto helped put the deal together, and this year he'll be looking to pull together another resort-related real estate package.

JOSEPH SANCHEZ III, businessman

Sanchez, 35, has combined financial success with a commitment to social progress for Latinos. As president since 1986 of Miller Brands Inc., the chief distributor of Miller Brewing products in Central Los Angeles, Sanchez has transformed the franchise from a seven-year money loser into a profitable venture. He was also a founder of the Mexican-American Grocers Assn., which grew during his four years as president from nine members into an organization that now representing represents 900 hundreds of small and medium-sized grocers in dealings with wholesalers and manufacturers. This year, Sanchez will lay the groundwork for plans to develop an industrial center to house his beer-distribution business and a variety of family grocery operations.

ABBY SHER, developer

The late Sydney Sher, Sher's father, was a Southern California pioneer developer of the kind of shopping mall typically anchored by a department store. By contrast, his daughter's first venture into development, the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar mini-mall in Ocean Park, is anchored by the nonprofit Santa Monica Museum of Art, scheduled to open officially May 1. The contemporary art museum, which she founded, has already gained notice for its "Art in the Raw" preview shows, a series of installations displayed in the museum before interior renovation work began this month. If Sher's combination of public art and commerce works, it could well be a model for how art is exhibited in the '90s.

DOLORES VALDES ZACKY, advertising executive

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