Biz Buzz: Another victim of Estate Financial

Dan Lloyd, a Cayucos-based real estate developer and vice chairman of the California Building Industry Association, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy last week because of $25 million that he owes to Estate Financial investors on failed projects he was developing with now-jailed mortgage lender Karen Guth.

Lloyd and Guth were partners on four real estate projects that ranged from a house in Rancho Santa Ysabel in Paso Robles to a $10 million beachfront hotel at 150 Hinds Ave. in Pismo Beach. When Guth’s Estate Financial went bankrupt, Lloyd was left on the hook with his personal guarantees to repay the loans plus interest, according to a lawsuit filed against Lloyd by Estate Financial bankruptcy trustee Thomas Jeremiassen.

It’s been almost two years since Guth put Estate Financial into Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Last December, she was convicted of defrauding thousands of investors in loan deals through her $350 million company. Lloyd has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Lloyd had been partnering with Guth on real estate projects since 2005, he said.

“She handled the money, and I handled the rest,” he said.

When Lloyd went into business with Guth, he said, he thought there was enough residual value in the properties and buyers who would pay a higher price than he paid. But buyers have all but disappeared, he said.

Also, at the time he signed his personal guarantees, he had enough resources to carry the load, he said, “but since that time, I’ve lost all my assets.”

“All I got out of the Hinds Avenue project (for instance) was consulting fees of $3,000 a month for 18 or 20 months,” he said. “I’m just like so many other people who lost money with the company.”

Lloyd started working in the 1970s in the public works departments for Santa Ana and San Luis Obispo. In 1984, he started Engineering Development Associates, a civil engineering, surveying and land planning firm whose clientele included municipalities, school districts, military contractors, and corporate and private-sector interests.

He helped create the Home Builders Association of the Central Coast in the 1990s and sold the company in 2000 to work for David Weyrich and focus on developing commercial and residential projects in the county, according to a California Building Industry Association website.

Lloyd’s finished projects in the county include a commercial development with Weyrich at the corner of Tank Farm Road and South Higuera Street as well as several small residential subdivisions in Paso Robles.

No information on Lloyd’s financial status was available because he has not filed his statements with the bankruptcy court showing his assets and liabilities.

In such a bankruptcy filing, Lloyd is asking to be discharged of all his debts.

— Melanie Cleveland

Paso Robles wines take top prizes

Paso Robles-area wines emerged as winners this month at the Central Coast Wine Competition, which chose winners from 527 submissions:

• Best of Show, Best of White Wine, Best of San Luis Obispo County and Best of Other White Dry went to: 2009 WHITE4 Huerhuero, Vina Robles, Paso Robles.

• Best of Red Wine and Best of Italian Red Varieties: Alapay Cellars 2008 Lagrein, French Camp Vineyard, Paso Robles.

• Best of Dessert Wine and Best Dessert White: 2009 Orange Muscat, Pear Valley, Paso Robles.

• Best of Cabernet Sauvignon: Aron Hill Vineyard, Templeton 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, Paso Robles.

• Best of Chardonnay: Harmony Cellars, Harmony 2008 Chardonnay, Paso Robles.

Submissions included wines from Ventura County and the Central Coast American Viticulture Area, which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara counties. The gold medal wines will be displayed at the California Mid-State Fair, July 21 to Aug. 10.

— Julia Hickey>

Online parenting class earns award

The UC Merced Small Business Development Center recently honored Michelle Muncy of Atascadero, owner of ChildSharing Online Co-Parenting Classes, with an SBDC Technology Business Award.

ChildSharing Inc. is an online co-parenting program for families raising children between two homes and who have been required by a court to take parenting classes.

Founded in May 2008, Muncy has grown her business to employ three full-time and nine part-time workers.

ChildSharing was one of five Central California businesses and the only one in San Luis Obispo County to be honored by the SBDC.

— Julia Hickey

Sierra Vista hires physician liaison

Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center has hired Rob Meyers as physician liaison to assist the hospital in completing its conversion to a fully implemented electronic medical record system.

Meyers recently retired as chief medical officer at the California Men’s Colony. He earned his medical degree at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, is board certified in family medicine and has lived in San Luis Obispo County since 1987.

— Julia Hickey

Thai restaurant coming to Paso

A new Thai restaurant is opening in Paso Robles at 1212 Park St.

Rean Kaew, Thai Cuisine, which is owned by Precha Thaisuriya, will take over the former Subway restaurant spot in two months, Thaisuriya said. The Subway had moved to a new location in the Lowe’s shopping center off Highway 46 and Golden Hills Road in March. Thaisuriya’s family also owns Thai Classic on Higuera Street in San Luis Obispo.

He said he’s opening the new restaurant because “I try to do something with my family ... for me and my wife and my kids.”

The restaurant will seat about 35 people, he said.

— Melanie Cleveland

• • •

Leslie Cotham of Energy in Motion Massage and Shantel Beckers of Body Centered Therapy have combined locations and now share a space in the historic Soda Water Works building at 1023 Nipomo St., Suite 50 in San Luis Obispo.

Cotham has worked as a certified massage therapist since 2003 and specializes in therapeutic massage. Beckers is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a performance enhancement specialist, focusing on sports massage.

— Julia Hickey