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Industry Briefs are provided as a free service to our readers. Company news information may be sent to brice@slenterprise.com. The submission deadline is one week before publication.

 

CONTESTS

• The Hall Global Entrepreneurship Center at Weber State University will host its first “Outdoor Weber” contest, sponsored by Camping World, this spring. College students from around the country are invited to present their ideas for outdoor recreation products or services. Finalists will compete at the Snowbasin, Wolf Creek and Powder Mountain resorts in the Ogden Valley of northern Utah from March 22-24. The winner will receive $30,000 to develop their business concept. The chair of Camping World Holdings and star of CNBC’s “The Profit,” Marcus Lemonis, will be the keynote speaker during the awards banquet March 23. Beginning Jan. 5, students can submit videos outlining their proposals to outdoorweber.com. The 25 semifinalists will be determined by the greatest number of online votes each video submission receives between Jan. 26-Feb. 15. Ten finalists will be selected.

 

DIRECT SALES

• Young Living Essential Oils, Lehi, has hired Mike Green as senior vice president of information technology. Green has 16 years of IT leadership experience in the direct-selling industry. He most recently served as chief information officer for Plexus Worldwide, and he also held vice president-level positions with Origami Owl and Melaleuca Inc.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

• Summit County has topped a list of “saving” Utah counties, according to a study of income, tax, spending and savings rates in counties across the nation compiled by financial technology company SmartAsset. Summit’s savings index was calculated based on average income in the county of $98,128, the estimated tax rate of 21.7 percent and spending of $72,922, leaving a savings total of $2,867 and a savings rate of 5.04 percent, it said. Summit was followed, in order, by Morgan, Wasatch, Salt Lake, Davis, Grand, Cache, Duchesne, Beaver and Sevier counties. Details are at https://smartasset.com/checking-account/savings-account-comparison#Utah.

 

EDUCATION/TRAINING

• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) has announced the expansion of the Utah Diesel Technician (Tech) Pathways program to include Alpine, Nebo and Provo school districts. In addition to the new school districts, Geneva Rock and its sister companies W.W. Clyde & Company and Sunroc have joined the program’s 11 existing industry partners to support and train students. The Diesel Tech Pathways program is designed to provide Utah students a direct pathway from high school and college to the workforce. It’s part of Talent Ready Utah, a program to improve both the education system and workforce in Utah by focusing on developing and enhancing job-training programs to meet current industry needs for more qualified workers. The goal with Talent Ready Utah is to fill 40,000 high-skill, high-paying jobs by 2020. Since launching the diesel program in 2016 in the Jordan and Canyons school districts, more than 100 students have enrolled and are currently going through the required classwork.

  • Neumont College of Computer Science has been granted accreditation by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC). The accreditation is granted for a four-year term. ACCSC standards note that although the initial term of accreditation through the commission is typically three years, a four-year term may be granted in exceptional cases.

 

EXPANSIONS

• Pluralsight, a Farmington-based enterprise technology learning platform, has announced plans to open an EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, in early 2018. It will house the company’s strategic business operations for the region and support its growing customer base in Ireland and throughout Europe, Middle East and Africa. Pluralsight plans to hire 150 people in Dublin over the next three years across a variety of roles, including sales, marketing, operations, finance and customer support. Mike Featherstone has been named the head of business operations of the EMEA headquarters.

 

GOVERNMENT

• Salt Lake City has launched an online tool to make the zoning and permitting process easier and more efficient for customers. OpenCounter is a customized guide to help applicants achieve their project goals by clearly outlining the permit and zoning requirements for starting a business in Salt Lake City. In OpenCounter, customers can now easily learn where different use types are permitted, details on all city permits and their associated processes, and fees required. The tool is at https://slcgov.opencounter.com/.

• Utah consumers who may have lost money in scams using Western Union money transfer services have until Feb. 12 to file a refund claim with the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers who used Western Union between Jan. 1, 2004, and Jan. 19, 2017 in money transfers that turned out to be fraudulent are eligible to apply online with the court-appointed claims administrator. The Utah Division of Consumer Protection said 3,790 Utah consumers filed complaints alleging over $4.6 million in fraudulent wire transfers. Those consumers and others may be eligible for restitution through the $586 million settlement fund with the U.S. Department of Justice by filing a claim at FTC.gov/WU.

 

HEALTHCARE

• Empiric Health, Salt Lake City, has hired Becca LaFond as chief service officer. Empiric works with hospitals and health systems to reduce clinical variation and unnecessary cost while improving outcomes in healthcare delivery. LaFond will focus on the implementation of and support for Empiric’s software application, designed to help health systems identify variations in procedures and improve outcomes using proprietary analytics to facilitate data-driven insights. LaFond most recently was managing director and national practice lead for clinical operations performance improvement at Accenture. She also was a managing director at Huron Healthcare.

 

INVESTMENT

• OtpConnect LLC, Kaysville, has received an investment from Graham Partners, a private investment firm based in suburban Philadelphia. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. OptConnect provides managed cellular wireless connectivity solutions for unattended equipment in the machine-to-machine (M2M) and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) marketplaces. Members of Grant Victor, the prior parent company representing the founders and previous leadership of OptConnect, will retain an investment in OptConnect. OptConnect was advised by R.W. Baird.

• Tower Arch Capital, Salt Lake City, has announced that it has recapitalized KNS International LLC, a Salt Lake City-based designer and distributor of branded footwear, jewelry, and home goods products. Financial terms were not disclosed.

 

LAW

• Fabian VanCott has elected Melanie S. Grayson, Robert B. Lamb and Andrew B. Sellers as shareholders. All three work in the firm’s Salt Lake City office. Grayson is a member of the firm’s Litigation, Employment, and Environmental & Natural Resources practice groups, and has expertise assisting employers in harassment and discrimination cases, and individual and class action suits related to wage and hour issues. Her education includes a J.D. from the S.J. Quinney Law School at the University of Utah. Lamb is a member of the firm’s Business Transactions & Corporate practice group, and he represents and counsels companies at all stages of growth and development, and is an expert in complex international structures for tax and liability planning. His education includes a B.A. from the University of Utah. Sellers is a member of the firm’s Business Transactions & Corporate Law, with a specialty in developing strategies for clients related to tax and business planning. He received his J.D. from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University and his B.A. from BYU.

• Snell & Wilmer has hired Olivia Crellin, Kristen Overton and Gary K. Wilkinson for its Salt Lake City office. Crellin’s principal areas of practice are corporate finance and securities law with an emphasis on corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, securities law compliance, joint ventures and general corporate matters. She previously was a legal clerk at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati and a paralegal at Vivint Solar. Crellin received her B.A. from Brigham Young University and her J.D. from BYU’s J. Reuben Clark Law School. Overton is a member of the firm’s litigation group. Her practice is focused primarily in complex commercial litigation, real estate, financial services and direct sales. She previously worked at Hansen Wright PC. Overton received her B.S. from BYU and her J.D. from BYU’s J. Reuben School of Law. Wilkinson focuses his practice in litigation. He received his B.A. from Utah State University and his J.D. from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.

• Durham Jones & Pinegar has hired Dana T. Farmer as a shareholder in the firm’s Litigation Section. His practice focuses on construction, real estate and tax, including both litigation and transactions in those practice areas. Farmer previously was a managing partner at Smith Knowles in Ogden.

 

MANUFACTURING

Varex Imaging Corp., Salt Lake City, will have its 2018 annual meeting of stockholders at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 15 at the company’s headquarters, 1678 S. Pioneer Road, Salt Lake City. Stockholders of record at the close of business Dec. 18 will be able to vote upon matters considered at the meeting. The company designs and manufactures X-ray imaging components.

 

MEDIA/MARKETING

• Listeners Community Radio of Utah, KRCL 90.9 FM, has named Tristin Tabish as general manager of the 38-year old nonprofit station. Tabish began her 27-year public radio career at KRCL, and most recently has been content director at KUER, the University of Utah’s NPR radio station, a position she held since 2011. She began her career in KRCL’s membership department in 1991 and hosted two programs on the station. In 1997, she accepted a position with KUER. While at the UofU, she received her M.S. in communication and taught writing and public relations classes for the Department of Communication.

• Method Communications, with main offices in Salt Lake City and San Francisco, has promoted Heather England to the newly created position of chief operating officer. England will oversee operations across the agency from the San Francisco office, with a focus on agency growth and strategy and strengthening the core leadership team as the agency enters its next phase. Formerly the executive vice president of human resources and operations at The OutCast Agency, England joined Method in July 2014 as senior vice president of operations.

 

OUTDOOR PRODUCTS/RECREATION/SPORTS

• Ski Utah has announced improvements to the Ski Utah app’s “Ride the Bus” tab. It allows any user to use their location to find the fastest public transit route to any Utah ski resort. Also, new this year, bus riders can purchase ski bus fare using the free UTA GoRide app. Users will need to purchase two tickets to make a round-trip on the ski bus. Purchases can be made in advance and users can buy tickets for multiple riders. Tickets are activated when users show the activation screen to their bus driver as proof of fare.

 

PHILANTHROPY

• The Jon M. Huntsman Family Foundation has committed to donate $1.2 million to support The Road Home as part of the charity’s Holiday Media-a-Thon that took place in late December. It is the largest fundraiser for the nonprofit social services agency and provides funding support for programs and services to help Utahns overcome homelessness. The 2017 holiday season began the 26th year of matching funds from the family for the nonprofit’s homeless programs in Salt Lake City.

• Kneaders Bakery & Café recently raised $9,000 for local children’s hospitals through sales of its Chunky Cinnamon French Toast at 59 locations across eight states. That included over $3,400 during a two-hour “Evening with Santa” event that will be donated to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

• Dansie Orthodontics, Salt Lake City, has committed to donate orthodontic care to up to 50 children during the holiday season through the nonprofit Smiles Change Lives. To qualify, a child must be age 7-21, have good oral hygiene, not be wearing braces currently, have a moderate to severe need for braces, and meet certain financial guidelines. Applications are being accepted at www.smileschangelives.org/apply. Questions can be sent to Smiles Change Lives at info@smileschangelives.org.

 

REAL ESTATE

• CBRE has promoted Patrick Juhlin, a land specialist in the Salt Lake City office, to vice president and Vickey Walker to associate broker in the Salt Lake City office. Juhlin is a partner on the local land services team and has been meeting the needs of clients since 2007. He has experience in residential and commercial building inspection and in Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Walker focuses on investment properties, serving local and national clients in the disposition and acquisition of real property. During the past six years, Walker has concentrated on servicing the back-end of investment transactions, managing the marketing, bid, due diligence and settlement processes, as well as forging strong client relations. Previous to that, she spent nearly 25 years in the commercial title field.

• The 170 South Main Building is undergoing major common-area renovations in preparation for a grand reopening in the 2018 first quarter. Cushman & Wakefield manages and leases the building and is also one of its tenants. A new restaurant, Bagels and Greens recently opened its doors and the building soon will have a newly renovated premier fitness center, which will be available to all tenants. Cushman & Wakefield’s 16th floor has undergone a massive renovation to prepare for growth and expansion in the future.

• PolarityTE has leased a 178,000-square-foot facility at 1960 S. 4250 W., Salt Lake City. Terms were not disclosed. PolarityTE is developing tissue-regenerative medical procedures and technology. Jim Sheldon, senior vice president at Newmark Grubb ACRES, negotiated the transaction.

 

RECOGNITIONS

• ChamberWest has announced that its board of directors has selected Harmons as the recipient of the 2018 Hall of Fame Award. It also announced the finalists for several other awards, with recipients to be announced at a Feb. 21 awards gala at the Maverik Center. Finalists for Business of the Year are Kenworth Sales Co., Ken Garff West Valley and InterContinental Hotels Group. Finalists for Small Business of the Year are Chick-fil-A, Maxtec and Salt Lake City Stars. Finalists for Best New Business are Snap Shop Photo, The Joint and Kid Curry Distillery. Finalists for Best Place to Work are Aspire Home Health & Hospice, City Journals and Ken Garff West Valley. Finalists for Volunteer of the Year are Katharine Newton, Granite Education Foundation; Maggie Mills, Hunter Library; and Monica Gayden-Sadyr, TownePlace Marriott-West Valley City.

• Seven Utahns are ranked on lists of the best CEOs in the United States by website Comparably. In the large-company category are No. 6 John Pope, Jive Communications, Orem; No. 14 Alex Shootman, Workfront, Lehi; and No. 22 Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight, Farmington. In the list of small and medium-sized companies are No. 5 Gavan Thorpe, Boostability, Lehi; No. 16 Rob Vandenberg, Lingotek, Lehi; No. 23 Mark Leck, REDX, Orem; and No. 36 Ben Peterson, BambooHR, Lindon. The lists were derived from sentiment ratings provided by employees who anonymously rated their employers on Comparably.com during the 2017 eligibility period.

• Buyer Enablement, produced by Consensus, a Sandy-based enterprise software-as-a-service startup, has been recognized as one of the Top Marketing Tools of 2017 by Smart Selling Tools. The Buyer Enablement technology helps marketing and sales teams discover and engage each stakeholder through an interactive, automated demo earlier than ever before. As they engage, Consensus delivers buying group data back to the sales team so they can more effectively drive agreement.

 

RETAIL

• Swedish Lodge, a pop-up Swedish-inspired shop, has opened at 577 Main St., Park City. Through March 15, the store will sell décor and will feature snus, a type of smokeless tobacco. The lodge will provide guests with a hangout spot featuring comfy and oversized chairs, blankets and rawhide rugs. Complimentary amenities include Wi-Fi access, wooden board games, reading materials and free refreshments.

 

RURAL

• Claudia O’Grady, a Utah resident, has been elected to the board of directors of Rural Community Assistance Corp. (RCAC). Board members serve three-year terms and may remain on the board for up to four consecutive terms. RCAC provides training, technical and financial resources and advocacy for rural communities. It serves rural communities in 13 western states and certain Pacific islands. O’Grady has been involved in community development, and particularly affordable housing solutions, for more than 20 years. She began her career working for a Utah-based nonprofit affordable housing developer and later was the executive director for more than a decade. Since 2009, she has served as the vice president of multifamily financing for Utah Housing Corp. She oversees the state’s low-income housing tax credit program and other multifamily lending programs. Ms. O’Grady also serves on the Salt Lake City Redevelopment Advisory Commission, where she helps guide redevelopment strategies in blighted areas of the city.

 

SERVICES

• Silvercar has announced a new airport location in Salt Lake City. The app-based car rental service, acquired by Audi in 2017, plans to double its airport travel operations by the end of 2018. The Salt Lake City location will open Jan. 8. To date, nearly 70 million miles have been logged by drivers using the company’s platform. With the addition of Salt Lake City, Silvercar locations will total 18 nationwide.

 

TECHNOLOGY/LIFE SCIENCES

• The board of directors of Coda Octopus Group Inc. has appointed Michael Midgley as the group’s chief financial officer. Midgley has served as the company’s acting CFO since 2013, and has been with the Coda Octopus Group for nearly 10 years. In addition to his responsibilities as CFO, Midgley will continue to serve as chief executive officer of the company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Coda Octopus Colmek Inc., based in Murray. He has held that position since 2010. Midgley’s 42-year career spans business, accounting and finance in myriad industries. Prior to joining Coda Octopus Group, he had his own CPA practice based in Salt Lake City. From 1995-2008, he served as a software installation consultant. He served as president and CFO of Covol Technologies Inc. from 1991-1995 and CFO of Human Affairs Inc. from 1986-1991. He attended the University of Utah.

• Qualtrics, Salt Lake City, has appointed Julie Larson-Green as chief experience officer. Prior to joining Qualtrics, Larson-Green spent 25 years at Microsoft, most recently as its chief experience officer.

• Grow Inc., Orem, has hired Richard Tripp to accelerate business intelligence for small and medium-sized businesses. Tripp will oversee product management and engineering for the business intelligence startup. He has more than 15 years of executive experience, including starting several successful companies and 15-plus years in software development. He joins Grow after serving three years as chief product officer, vice president of product, vice president of strategy and vice president of customer success at Infusionsoft. He also worked four years at Intuit. Tripp has a bachelor of arts degree from Brigham Young University in English.

• Solutionreach, a Lehi-based patient relationship management solutions company, has hired Brett Jarvis as senior vice president of customer success. Jarvis has 15 years of experience, most recently serving as global head of customer success at LinkedIn. He also held customer success executive positions at Salesforce.com and Oracle.