Frontier Homes Employees Honored California's High Desert Chapter of the American Red Cross awarded Frontier Homes marketing coordinator Susan Brodeur with the Clara Barton Honor Award in early June. The award, named after Red Cross founder Clara Barton, recognizes individuals for their leadership. Brodeur, the local chapter's most recent chairwoman, is credited with filling the organizations ranks with dedicated volunteers.

Sales manager Cydne Combs also received accolades. California's Inland Empire Sales and Marketing Council presented Combs with the President's Award for her commitment to the educational development of the area's building professionals. Her efforts contribute to the state's certified new-home sales professionals.

Barratt Antes Up TVs for Troops Barratt American, the Warrior Foundation, and KFMB Radio joined forces to make recovery time for wounded Marines returning from Iraq to the San Diego area more bearable. Barratt quality manager Jim Moss, on behalf of all the company's employees, delivered a truckload of TVs to the Balboa Naval Hospital, where an addition is being prepared to house Marines recovering from amputations.

Taylor Woodrow Launches Podcasts Taylor Woodrow's Western region division is riding the podcast wave of the future. Home shoppers can now download both audio and video podcasts from www. onto MP3 and MP4 devices, as well as standard computers. The initial launch includes 24 podcasts chock-full of information on seven of the builder's new-home communities throughout California.

The California Association of Realtors reports that the number of people using the Internet as part of the home-buying process has nearly doubled since 2001, meaning that more than 70 percent of home buyers now shop online. Taylor Woodrow sees pod-casts as an essential marketing tool to reach tomorrow's buyers. And, as the company shifts more of its efforts from print to online, it expects a savings of 15 percent to 20 percent in marketing costs.

Financial Hiring to Increase in 3Q06 CFOs in the construction industry have the rosiest outlook about their accounting and finance hiring trends for the third quarter, compared with their counterparts in other industries. According to the Robert Half International Financial Hiring Index, 19 percent of the CFOs in the sector expect to beef up their full-time benches, as opposed to 7 percent nationwide. The index also reveals that the strongest hiring trends will be in the Pacific and West South Central states.

The national survey includes responses from 1,400 CFOs at a variety of companies across the country with 20 or more employees.

KB Locks in Key L.A. Locale KB Home's urban division and AEG, a sports and entertainment goliath, have locked in the pinnacle piece to their master plan for a 54-story tower in Los Angeles's sports and entertainment district. Marriot Hotel Services agreed to open two luxury hotels—the Los Angeles Marriott Marquis and The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles—in the roughly 2 million-square-foot property, which developers believe is destined to be a beacon for downtown L.A.-ers.

With Marriot's investment, the complex will include the two hotels, which house collectively 1,000 rooms, and The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles, a roughly 216-unit KB Urban condo development stacked on top of the hotels. Condo owners will have access to many of the luxury amenities offered by The Ritz-Carlton, such as concierge, valet, housekeeping, and room service, as well as VIP access to events at the nearby Staples Center arena, Nokia Theatre Los Angeles, and Club Nokia, all owned by AEG.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Los Angeles, CA, San Diego, CA.