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• The Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) board of trustees has selected Laura Allred Hurtado to serve as the museum’s executive director. Hurtado was the global acquisitions art curator for the Church History Museum. She has published broadly, including two books, has worked and/or curated exhibitions in New York City, San Francisco and throughout Utah.
• Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, has been appointed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Committee of 100. He is among 12 new appointees to the committee. Miller will help advise the U.S. Chamber’s board of directors, enhance coalition work, recommend programming, and strengthen outreach to the business and chamber communities.
• The Salt Lake City Department of Airports last week held a “topping-out” ceremony for the North Concourse of The New SLC, the redevelopment project at Salt Lake City International Airport. The ceremony marked the placement of the highest steel beams.
• Vasayo, a Pleasant Grove direct-sales company, has added James Bramble to its board of directors. He has more than two decades of direct-selling experiencing, having served in legal and executive advisory roles, including chief legal officer with USANA Health Sciences. He also has been an ethics compliance code officer, lawyer’s council representative and government relations officer for the Direct Selling Association. He earned both his Bachelor of Science degree in political science and his law degree from the University of Utah.
• Utah is ranked eighth among states for being the “most innovative states,” a list compiled by personal-finance website WalletHub. Massachusetts was deemed most innovative. Mississippi was the least innovative. WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 24 key metrics, ranging from share of STEM professionals to research and development spending per capita. Utah was ranked 10th for its share of STEM professionals, 13th for projected STEM-job demand by 2020, fifth for eighth-grade math and science performance, 28th for share of science and engineering graduates ages 25-plus, 11th for share of technology companies, 14th for research and development spending per capita, and sixth for venture capital funding per capita. Details are at https://wallethub.com/edu/most-innovative-states/31890/.
• Layton leads Utah cities with the most affordable housing, according to rankings compiled by HomeArea.com using Census Bureau data of cities with populations of 60,000. The rankings were determined by calculating the median multiple, the recommended metric used by the World Bank to determine housing affordability. It is the ratio of the median house price by the median gross household income. The Utah median multiple is 4.0, which is higher than the national median multiple of 3.6. Layton’s figure is 3.3. It is followed by West Valley City, 3.4; South Jordan, 3.7; West Jordan, 3.8; Sandy, 3.9; Ogden, 4.1; Orem, 4.3; Salt Lake City, 5.2; St. George, 5.3; and Provo, 6.0.
• LifeVantage, Salt Lake City, has opened for business in Spain. The nation is open for both distributor enrollments and customer orders. The company also has European operations in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands and Austria and plans to expand into Belgium and Ireland in the coming months. Its products also are currently available in both of those latter countries, as well as France and Italy, on a not-for-resale basis. LifeVantage offers dietary supplements and skin and hair care products.
• Better Choice Co. Inc., based in New York, has announced the appointment of Jeff Davis to its board of directors. Davis is the founder and CEO of Molio Inc., a creative and media analytics agency with offices in Bluffdale and Los Angeles. After retiring from P&G in 2009, Davis was the angel investor, board member and eventual CEO of Orabrush Inc. He currently serves as a board member to Fabric, Curza, Dermaflage, Hale Centre Theatre and the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah. He is an adjunct professor of marketing at the UofU business school. Better Choice recently entered into definitive agreements to acquire TruPet, an online seller of pet foods, flea and tick products pet nutritional products and related pet supplies, and Bona Vida, an innovative emerging CBD platform focused on developing a portfolio of brand and product verticals within the animal and human health and wellness space.
• Buckner Insurance, Salt Lake City, has hired Brian McHugh for its client advisory team serving large and midsize commercial clients in the Intermountain West. He specializes in highly specialized coverages, risk financing and risk management strategies. McHugh spent 14 years in South Florida as a licensed broker and has served as vice president of risk management for Big-D Construction. He has spent the past five years as an executive in corporate risk management, managing over $40 million of insurance annually for an individual client and large volumes of insurance to clients in various industries.
• Workfront, a Lehi-based enterprise work management application platform companies, has completed a $280 million strategic secondary investment with W Capital Partners, Susquehanna Growth Equity and AB Private Credit Investors. They acquired a minority take from existing equity holders through an organized secondary process. As part of the investment, Blake Heston, managing director at W Capital, and Martin Angert, director at Susquehanna Growth Equity, will join Workfront’s board of directors. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC served as exclusive placement agent, and Goodwin served as legal counsel to Workfront.
• Artemis Health, Salt Lake City, has announced a $25 million Series C funding round to further expand and scale its platform and services. The round was led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Maverick Ventures, F-Prime, Hearst Health Ventures and Rose Park Advisors. Artemis provides self-insured employers with insights into employee benefits data to help them reduce wasteful spending and provide effective, affordable health and wellness coverage for employees. Steve Kraus, a partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, will be joining the Artemis Health board of directors. Kraus is a current board member for Welltok, Bright Health, Groups, Qventus, Health Essentials, Docent Health and Alcresta.
• Hall Family Office, Provo, has launched Hall Venture Partners and its first tax-advantaged venture fund, Hall Opportunity Fund 1. Hall Opportunity Fund 1 has been opened to invest in early growth companies based in Utah, taking advantage of recent federal legislation to encourage investments into federally designated “opportunity zones.” HVP’s managing partners — David Hall, Derek Weber, Matt Van Dyke and David Kunz — and their affiliates are seeding the fund with a capital infusion of $10 million, with additional announcements anticipated shortly. Hall has a 60-plus year legacy in technology, material science acceleration and exits with more than $450 million in exited value, and HVP partners have directed more than $6 billion in transactions for portfolios ranging from The Carlyle Group to General Electric.
• Parr Brown Bee & Loveless, Salt Lake City, has hired Dane R. Johansen as a shareholder in its business and finance sections. Johansen previously worked for U.S. and British law firms in Hong Kong. He also seconded with the asset management division of JP Morgan focused on fund formation and investment matters for infrastructure and real estate funds with investments in Australia, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, mainland China, India, Singapore and other Asia-Pacific locations. Johansen’s education includes his law degree from Brigham Young’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese from BYU.
• Clifton Mining Co., American Fork, has completed a second amended and restated agreement with Desert Hawk Gold Corp. that includes several changes, the most significant being that Desert Hawk purchased from Clifton its 5 percent net smelter return royalty for $3 million in cash and 5.5 million shares of Desert Hawk Gold Corp. stock, making the estimated value of the exchange $5.2 million. The amended agreement also includes the release of additional properties back to Clifton. Desert Hawk Gold Corp. has also received necessary funding to increase its production capacity and enlarge and expand its mining operations. Also, American Silver LLC, parent company to American Biotech Labs LLC, has declared a 17-cents-per-share distribution, providing approximately $259,000 to Clifton Mining Co., its largest single shareholder.
• Sorenson Legacy Foundation, Salt Lake City, has granted Needs Beyond Medicine with $40,000 to cover the nonmedical living expenses of cancer patients, through the Relief Program. Needs Beyond Medicine is a Salt Lake City-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping cancer patients who struggle financially. It has been able to help more than 1,000 cancer patients.
• CBRE, a commercial real estate firm, has named Michelle Hansen as operations manager for the company’s Salt Lake City office. She will oversee all business lines for the CBRE operation in Utah. Her business background spans 25 years and covers management, billing, tax accounting, human resources, and owning and operating a personal business. Most recently, she worked as a senior tax manager overseeing payroll customers, managing the local bookkeeping staff and consulting with clients to prepare their corporate tax returns. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Brigham Young University.
• USANA, Salt Lake City, has been named the 2019 Top Rated Direct Selling Brand in ConsumerLab.com’s survey of vitamin and supplement users for the sixth time. The award is based on customer satisfaction, with consumers more highly satisfied with USANA than with other direct selling brands. ConsumerLab.com is an independent, third-party supplement testing company that provides consumers with product results, reviews, and ratings.
• KeyBank Utah has been named the 2018 KeyBank Market of the Year, acknowledging the Utah market as the top performer among the 27 markets in the company’s footprint. Utah has been a finalist for the competitive Market of the Year award the past three years in a row. In 2018, the Utah market increased pre-provision net revenue by more than 20 percent year-over-year, and several Utah team members were named among the company’s top individual performers nationwide. The KeyBank Mortgage Operations Center, which opened in Salt Lake in 2016 and serves the entire western half of the U.S., was another factor in the Utah market receiving the Market of the Year designation.
• Semifinalists have been named in the Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference (WEC) Grant Competition. Five finalists will compete at the April 17 conference at Holladay City Hall for amounts from $250 to $5,000. Northern Utah semifinalists are Jamaica Trinnaman from HelloBulk Markets, Petra Vigil from Petra’s Backstubchen, Zara Ahmed with Raclette Machine, Imane Dotson with Cut To The Taste, Claudia Hinojosa with Green Janitorial Services LLC and Monica Makai Fangupo with WOODcetera. Southern Utah semifinalists are Nashelle Jackson with Vernal Theatre: Live, Julia Stolworthy from the Sweet and Knotty Baker, Kristin McCoy with Little Sharks Swim Academy LLC, Amber Murray with See Your Strength, Rebecca Sorensen with Whimsical Window Painting and Kara Lewis with Glen Ray’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. The conference is presented by the Women’s Business Center of Utah, Utah Women’s Networking Group and Utah’s Own.
• The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge has announced the top 20 teams that will advance to the challenge’s final stage of competition. The competition is open to all high school students across Utah, ages 14-18. They are competing for $30,000 in cash and prizes. This competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank. The final judging event and a public awards ceremony will take place March 30 at Lassonde Studios on the University of Utah campus. The 20 teams are BeenAsked, American Fork High School; Career Rocket, Waterford School; CheapEats, Desert Hills High School; Cno2, Park City High School; Enable Helmets, Park City High School; FamTrack, Karl G. Maeser Preparatory Academy; GrowGrub, Pleasant Grove High School; H2ONE: Vita Portable Water Filter, Bountiful High School; Little Healthcare, West High School; Magnetic Hanger, Park City High School; Noisy NICU Cap, American Heritage School/American Fork High School; Parallel, Bingham High School; PowerPop, Leadership Academy of Utah; Proxy, Skyridge High School; Sporknife, Park City High School; The Bad Hair Co., Desert Hills High School; The Full Use Pencil, Corner Canyon High School; The Gogg-Lator, Park City High School; The Quick Pitch, Cyprus High School; and Warmer Clothes, Warmer Mornings, West High School.
• A new Cricket Wireless store has opened within Rancho Market, 898 E. 3300 S., Salt Lake City. It will offer plans and smartphones.
• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board, at its March meeting, endorsed a pair of Rural Fast Track capital investment grants. Valley View Granite, of Tremonton in Box Elder County, was endorsed for a grant of $49,200 to help the company purchase a CNC measuring system for tool preparation and material cutting. The $98,400 project is expected to result in two new full-time positions at the company. If it retains the jobs for 12 consecutive months, the company would qualify for a grant fund reimbursement of up to $3,000. TSJ Construction, of Cleveland in Emery County, was endorsed for a grant of $50,000 to help the company buy a road grader for road and construction development projects. The project, estimated at $230,000 to $300,000, is expected to result in one new full-time position. The company would qualify for a grant fund reimbursement of up to $1,500 if it retains the position for 12 consecutive months. The two grants had been approved by the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board.
• Predictive Technology Group Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company focused on data analytics for disease identification and subsequent therapeutic intervention, has announced the appointment of former U.S. Sen. Orrin G. Hatch and Ronald Barhorst to the company’s board of directors. Hatch served seven terms in the U.S. Senate. Barhorst has 25 years of experience as a senior executive in the financial services industry and has served as an advisor to the company or its predecessors for nearly 10 years. He is chair of the California State University Foundation and is retired as president and chief executive officer of ING Financial Advisers LLC and ING Investment Advisors LLC and Systematized Benefits Administrators Inc. He was also head of national accounts, healthcare and government markets. He previously served as director of residential services for Montgomery County Board of Mental Retardation and Development Disabilities and as treasurer for the Ohio Private Residential Services Association and Executive Director of Choices in Community Living, a nonprofit organization he developed. Barhorst has served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the California Business Roundtable for Education Excellence.
• Dealertrack, a Salt Lake City-based auto dealership software company, has appointed Mandi Fang as vice president and general manager of Dealertrack DMS. Fang has more than 15 years of executive leadership experience in the automotive retail industry, spanning across product management, innovation, sales and management of strategic accounts. Most recently, she spent five years in product management, leading the ongoing development, growth and innovation of Cox Automotive’s new and used vehicle inventory management, merchandising, and DMS solutions for dealers and OEMs.
• Emmersion Learning, a Lehi-based education technology company, has appointed David Adsit as chief technology officer. He will lead the growing engineering team in executing a technology strategy for the TrueNorth and WebCAPE products. Adsit has more than 30 years of experience, including most recently serving as lead architect at Pluralsight.