Sonoma-based staffing company Nelson recently opened of a new office in Southern California, the second location to open in that region within the past year.

In May, Nelson opened a branch in San Deigo. The latest opening, in Torrance, is the next step in Nelson's strategic expansion into the region as it looks to meet the needs of customers, candidates and employers, according to the company.

"Building our Southern California presence has been a goal of ours as our client base in the region has grown," Chief Executive Officer Craig Nelson said. "We have a team of experienced professionals, exceptional talent and new locations to better serve our clients from Santa Barbara through to San Diego."

"We're excited to become part of the Torrance community, home to companies in the manufacturing, computer gaming, engineering/aerospace, and technology industries, to name just a few," said Tony Bartenetti, Nelson's executive vice president. "We will have no shortage of skilled talent available for positions in those and other industries."

The new office will be overseen by Joan Van Donge, Neslon's regional vice president for Southern California. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for April.***

The 28 small- and mid-sized business for sale offerings that were sold in Sonoma County last month was a nearly three-fold increase over the same period last year, which saw 10 such transactions, according to BizBen Index. 

The county's improved business sales ran counter to statewide figures. There was a minor decline to 1,179 completed deals in California last month from 1,223 in January 2012.

"While the boost in small-business transfers in Sonoma County last month is encouraging, it also is a reminder that the small-business-for-sale marketplace in California is subject to up and down swings, as are many other segments of the economy," said Peter Siegel, founder and president of BizBen.com, parent of BizBen Index.

Of the 28 deals concluded in Sonoma County last month, 16 involved Santa Rosa businesses. Other active markets were Healdsburg, with four sales, and Kenwood and Petaluma, with three each.

Marin County had four such transactions, while Solano County had seven.

BizBen defines "small business" as a company that sells for $2 million or less.***

Prima Medical Group officially welcomed physicians from Palm Drive Medical Center to its expanding team. It's the result of Prima's taking over operations of the outpatient clinic from Palm Drive Healthcare District in December.

In doing so, Prima adds five physicians to the Novato-based medical group: Constance Ayers, M.D., family medicine; Allan Bernstein, M.D. neurology; Gregory Rosa, M.D., family medicine; Harry Simms, M.D., family medicine; and Misty Zelk, M.D., internal medicine and pediatrics.

The district established the medical center in 2008 to increase physician recruitment in Sonoma County. The district agreed to transition control of it to Prima after struggling to turn a profit at both the 37-bed hospital and the clinic. By allowing Prima to run the medical center, Palm Drive could bolster finances while simultaneously attracting new physicians to Sebastopol and West County.

Under the contract, Prima will lease the physical assets of the clinic for $2,000 a month, while the actual space would be subleased to Prima for roughly $7,900 per month.

"Prima Medical Group was put together to assist local medical communities address physician recruitment and retention needs in a professional, physician led organization that is complimentary to existing medical practices," said Joel Criste, Prima CEO. "We are pleased to work be able to work with Palm Drive Hospital and local Sebastopol physicians."   ***

Santa Rosa-basedTriVascular, Inc. recently announced U.S. Food & Drug Administration approval of its Ovation Prime abdominal stent graft system for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysms.

Ovation Prime builds upon the clinical experience of TriVascular's Ovation stent graft by improving delivery system attributes to further enhance ease of use, the company said. It also expands the pool of patients eligible for endovascular aortic repair due to its broadest indications for use, according to Trivascular.

The pivotal study included 161 patients treated at 36 sites in the U.S., Germany and Chile. There were no device-related major adverse events, no aneurysm ruptures, according to Trivascular. Worldwide, more than 1,300 patients have been treated with Ovation.

"We are pleased to have introduced Ovation Prime into Europe and now the United States," said Christopher Chavez, chairman, CEO and president of TriVascular....

Send news for this column to dan.verel@busjrnl.com or call 707-521-4257.