• Days before the Utah Arts Festival begins on June 21, 20 tons of sand will get dumped on the festival grounds at 200 East and 400 South in Salt Lake City. Sand artist Ted Seibert will move in for the week and create a giant sand sculpture that will be complete mid-festival sometime between June 21 and June 24. Festival-goers will be able to watch the sand evolve into a work of art. Seibert is at the helm of the Sand Sculpture Co., which has built hundreds of sculptures across North America, Bermuda, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and Africa.
• Bank of Utah has donated a $30,000 lot in Pleasant View to Have A Heart. This is the first lot donation by a bank in the 12-year history of Have A Heart, which builds new homes for people with low incomes, military and special-needs families and for people requiring wheelchair accessibility. Have A Heart is a service arm of the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors and Northern Wasatch Home Builders Association. The 2012 Have A Heart Home will be built on the lot for a qualified family.
• Zions Bank’s Women’s Financial Group is now accepting applications for its 2012 Smart Women Grants, open to anyone whose proposal promotes the empowerment of women or directly benefits women or low-income and underserved populations in Utah and Idaho. Six $3,000 micro-grants will be awarded in each of the following categories: small business start-up and expansion, community development, continuing education and teacher support, child and/or elder care, health and human services, and arts and culture. Visit www.zionsbank.com/smartwomen or call 1-800-737-6586 for more information or to obtain an application. Applications must be received or postmarked by June 29. Community peer review panels will select the grant recipients, to be announced in September.
• Allegiance Inc., a South Jordan-based provider of Voice of Customer Intelligence (VOCi) technology and services, has been named a recipient of a Customer Interaction Solutions 2012 CRM Excellence Award by TMC, an integrated media company. Allegiance Engage was selected based on its ability to help extend and expand the customer relationship to become all encompassing, covering the entire enterprise and customer lifecycle.
• The Intermountain chapter of the American Concrete Institute recently recognized 22 different projects across the state for Excellence in Concrete. Jack B. Parson Companies, Ogden, was recognized as the concrete supplier for seven of the winning projects, including Jury’s Choice for the structure and paving of the Natural History Museum of Utah at the Rio Tinto Center. The firm also received awards for the City Creek Center Retail Development, Merit Medical Parking Structure, he Regent Condominium Tower at City Creek, Dimple Dell Park Tunnel/1300 East Improvement Project, Centerville Debris Basin Dam and Ogden High School Auditorium Historic Restoration.
• Six Utah-based commercial contractors are on Engineering News Record’s Top 400 Contractors in the U.S. this year. They are led by Layton Construction (No. 85), Okland Construction (No. 90), Big-D Construction (No. 99), Jacobsen Construction (No. 145), R&O Construction (No. 194) and Clyde Companies (No. 197). The rankings are based upon 2011 construction revenues reported by the companies to ENR. Mirroring the market conditions nationwide, Utah’s commercial construction companies report mixed results individually, but in the aggregate, show an increase in revenues of 10.3 percent over revenues reported in 2010. The cumulative revenues of the top four Utah contractors on ENR’s Top 400 list rose from $1.92 billion in 2010 to $2.12 billion in 2011. Portions of revenues of a number of these Utah companies are generated outside the state of Utah.
• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development recently awarded $760,000 in grants to support new technologies that universities and university licensees are seeking to commercialize in Utah. The grants are designed to help build companies, create jobs and drive economic development in the state. A panel of private-sector experts made recommendations for the Technology Commercialization and Innovation Program (TCIP) grants for 19 projects supporting technologies developed at the University of Utah, Brigham Young University, Utah State University and Weber State University. Funded projects range from a minimally invasive pressurized water dental drill technology and a wireless surgical laparoscope to an “undefeatable” motion detection sensor and a proprietary technology that re-engineers axle and drivetrain components for more efficient vehicle power transmission. Several of the awardees are new grant recipients, while others received follow-on grants for existing companies and projects (companies may obtain up to two grants for the same application of the same technology). In addition to demonstrating their technology’s economic potential, startups must demonstrate their ability to achieve important milestones in their progress and match the TCIP grants with federal or private money to leverage the state’s investment. The state invests about $1.6 million annually through the TCIP program to support university technology commercialization with a focus on innovation in Utah’s most robust economic clusters: life sciences, information technology, manufacturing, materials, energy and the environment. This fiscal year featured three grant solicitation cycles (last year had two) as a way of speeding the grant process and making more funding available to an increased number of companies in need of early-stage funding. The number of grant applicants also increased to 43 from 28 in the prior round.
• Westminster College, Salt Lake City, has created the Gore-Giovale Chair in Business Innovation. John and Ginger Giovale provided $2 million to endow the position within the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business. Over the past two decades, the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business has grown in both size and stature, and now has more than 600 undergraduates and 400 graduate students. The professor who holds the chair must be an impassioned educator who not only inspires students to learn, but challenges them to achieve their maximum potential.
• Stevens-Henager College announced 14 new scholarship programs worth $6 million annually. All of the new scholarship programs may be awarded on a quarterly basis to recipient students at each Stevens-Henager campus and the campuses of its sister schools, CollegeAmerica and California College San Diego. The number of scholarships that each campus can award per quarter will be based upon the campuses’ enrollment size. The new scholarships target students that research has shown to be most in need of financial assistance. Specific aid will be awarded to single parents, professionals already in the workforce, first-time college students, entrepreneurs and students studying in fields such as health care, nursing, IT and graphic design. For more information visit stevenshenager.edu/scholarships or call 1-877-535-0012.
• Provo-based VitalSmarts, a corporate training and organizational performance firm, has released the fourth edition of Crucial Conversations Training, one of the training industry’s leading courses in teaching high-leverage skills to improve dialogue, relationships and bottom-line organizational results. The two-day award-winning training course is based on extensive research including 10,000 hours examining thousands of opinion leaders in team meetings, high-stakes discussions and face-to-face confrontations. Through this research, VitalSmarts’ authors found the specific behaviors and skills of high-leverage interpersonal dialogue demonstrated by the most influential leaders. The research is also published in the long-running New York Times best-seller Crucial Conversations, which has sold more than two million copies.
• Results of a new survey of American adults released by The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Co. suggest that women worry about financial matters big and small but tend to act more on the immediate concerns of family and household. According to Penn Mutual’s fourth annual Worth survey, women see the big picture but still pay more attention to the day-to-day financial needs. Women surveyed cited retirement (42 percent), expenses (41 percent) and health care costs (30 percent) as their top financial concerns, whereas men listed expenses (38 percent) and the economy (35 percent) and retirement (30 percent) as their biggest worries. While they worry about these significant savings and investing challenges, fewer women than men have a financial plan (50 percent vs. 61 percent) and are less actively involved in retirement plan goal-setting, savings and investing. Among financial goals, both women and men say living within their means is most important (89 percent and 82 percent respectively) as are saving for emergencies and their future, yet more women feel they are behind on these goals as compared to men. Women say they feel most behind on saving or paying for their children’s or grandchildren’s college education.
• The Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va., has awarded the Platinum EXCEL Award, SHRM Membership Super Star and the SHRM Foundation Chapter Champion designations to the Salt Lake SHRM for its scope of work in 2011. The designations are recognition components of the SHRM Affiliate Program for Excellence (SHAPE). SHAPE measures include alignment with SHRM’s overall objectives, strategic focus and initiatives as well as promoting the HR profession at the local level.
• The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law has received a $4 million gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints toward construction of its new 155,000 square foot facility. Groundbreaking on the building is expected to begin in 2013, the college’s centennial year. The college’s current building, which comprises approximately 98,000 gross square feet, has housed the College of Law since 1963, and is no longer adequate to meet programmatic and student needs. Although architectural plans have yet to be finalized, the building’s current plans call for the inclusion of a 450-seat conference center that will allow the College of Law to host mid-sized conferences and lectures and attract outside events to the U campus, which currently lacks a similar-sized venue.
• Angela E. Atkin has joined Ray Quinney & Nebeker as a shareholder in its Tax Section. Previously, she was a shareholder at another Salt Lake law firm. Atkin’s practice focuses on all aspects of estate, probate and trust matters, including estate planning, estate and trust administration, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax issues, as well as the formation and ongoing operation of family business entities and tax-exempt corporations. She also has experience with trials and settlements involving the Internal Revenue Service and the Utah State Tax Commission. She is a certified public accountant and practiced as an auditor with Grant Thornton LLP prior to attending law school.
• R. Anthony Sweet, chairman of Salt Lake City-based Sweet Candy Co., became Candy Industry’s 67th annual Kettle Award recipient during a reception held in Chicago on May 9. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, Sweet began his career as a third-generation candy maker at Sweet Candy Co. during his teenage years in the late 1950s. Upon graduating from Stanford University in 1964 with degrees in history and economics, he returned to join the family business shortly thereafter. After enlisting in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Sweet started full-time employment as an assistant plant superintendent at Sweet Candy Co. He quickly took on more responsibility, becoming assistant plant manager, production manager, vice president of manufacturing and executive vice president. In 1983, Sweet became president and CEO, taking on chairman duties in 2008 ― a position he holds today. Under Sweet’s leadership, the 119-year-old candy company grew, despite operating within a mature industry. He revamped the facility’s technology, plant and equipment and expanded its distribution throughout the United States and abroad. In 1999, Sweet Candy Co. moved from an 89-year-old building to a state-of-the art facility, located three miles south of the Salt Lake International Airport.
• Henry Walker Homes, Centerville, has named Jami Furniss as director of marketing. In her new role, she will oversee all marketing activities including onsite signage, print materials and online outreach and will serve as the primary liaison for the customer. Furniss previously worked in research, web design and development at Marketstar and i4 Solutions. She attended Lehman College in New York and studied business technology and media design.
• KBS Real Estate Investment Trust III, a non-traded real estate investment trust based in Newport Beach, Calif., has acquired Gateway Tech Center, a 198,565 square foot converted warehouse property at 155 N. 400 W. in downtown Salt Lake City. The five-story, Class A office building is situated on nine acres and was built in 1909 for the Salt Lake City Hardware Co. The structure is 92 percent leased to 16 tenants, including Western Electricity Coordinating Council, SUPERVALU Inc. and Utah Associated Municipal Power Systems.
• Among major metropolitan markets in the West, Salt Lake City led all markets with a 53 percent upsurge in Phase I Environmental Site Assessments, a unique indicator of real estate transactions, and thus of general real estate market conditions, according to California-based Environmental Data Resources. Generally, lenders and buyers hire engineering and consulting firms to do a Phase I ESA because there is a serious intent to arrange financing or complete a transaction. When the engineering companies get busier, it means bankers, escrow agents, buyers and sellers are almost certainly getting busier too.
• The Far West Ski Association is inviting the community to participate in its 80th Annual Convention at the Ogden Eccles Conference Center, June 7-10. Activities open to the public during the event include a new Far West Film Fest, a day program and a silent auction offering more than $100,000 in affordable travel packages for bid. For more information visit www.fwsa.org.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
• The Utah Office of Tourism’s 2012 Utah Life Elevated Travel Guide is now available for travelers to plan Utah vacations. The 80-page publication includes full-color photography and information about scenic parks, activities and events, a pull-out map, plus three “Elevated Experiences” inserts containing regional travel ideas for northern, central and southern Utah. Four cover images were used. One cover features Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s red rock and the alpine of the Wasatch Mountains. Another edition features the Salt Lake City skyline and an overlook at Snow Canyon State Park. The guide also highlights Utah’s economic vitality. The guide includes information about parks and public lands; skiing and winter activities; water sports; hiking and climbing; biking; wildlife adventures; off-road adventures; golfing; accessibility; guides and outfitters; and arts, history, culture and events. Copies are available at tourism offices and welcome centers. A free copy is available by contacting the Utah Office of Tourism at Council Hall, 300 N. State, Salt Lake City, Utah 84114, by calling the office at (801) 538-1900 or (800) 200-1160, or visiting www.visitutah.com.