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• The board of directors and management team of Weber State Federal Credit Union, Ogden, have announced the credit union has changed its name to Ascent Credit Union. The change is effective May 1. The credit union said the change “is part of the 63-year old credit union’s journey to expand and grow membership beyond the Weber County community and to bring the credit union’s extraordinary service and technologies to those living in Davis, Box Elder and Morgan counties.” President/CEO Vickie van der Have said the name is “more reflective of our membership as a whole and will allow us to grow and expand into new areas.” The rebrand also includes the introduction of enhanced business services. The credit union will offer improved business accounts to facilitate the growth of small businesses within the communities it serves, and new business loans, such as commercial real estate, equipment and lines of credit will be available to business members, it said.
• First Utah Bank has announced a partnership with Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum in the creation of the First Utah Bank Discovery Branch. Promoting financial literacy in a fun and playful environment is at the heart of the Discovery Branch design, with children of all ages able to learn from the exhibit.
• A groundbreaking ceremony recently took place for the Rice-Eccles Stadium renovation and expansion at the University of Utah. The Ken Garff family has pledged $17.5 million for the project, set for the football stadium’s south end zone. It is the largest gift in Utah athletics history. Construction has begun and is expected to be completed to kick off the 2020-21 season. Renovations will include enclosing the stadium bowl by connecting the east and west concourses on the stadium’s south end and increasing seating capacity by more than 12 percent, to 51,444 from 45,807. The project also includes adding premium seating in luxury suites and loge boxes, as well as club, ledge and rooftop seating. The 37-year-old locker and meeting rooms below the south end zone stands will be replaced, along with new spaces for coaches, officials, athletic training, equipment, press operations and the band. A kitchen, recruiting lounge, field-level club lounge and outdoor patio are also in the plans. The Robert and Katharine Garff Foundation donation will bring thousands of youth to the University of Utah campus through the Ken Garff-University of Utah partnership by providing tickets to sporting events, educational opportunities and thousands of scholarships to aspiring students nationally and internationally.
• Registration is underway for the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide business-model competition open to all Utah college students. Teams will compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a $40,000 grand prize. The challenge is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the University of Utah. The registration deadline is Feb. 12. The top 20 teams will be selected based on their business models and announced Feb. 27. Those teams advance to compete in the remaining phases of the competition, which include creating a two-minute video, two pitches for in-person judging and tabling during the public showcase at Lassonde Studios on the University of Utah campus March 28. Details are at lassonde.utah.edu/uec. The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute also hosts a related competition for high school students. The High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge is open to all students in Utah ages 14-18. Teams are competing this year for $30,000 in cash and prizes. The application for this competition is open until Feb. 19.
• Utah is the No. 12 most affordable state in the U.S., according to rankings compiled by TheSeniorList.org, using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Expenses — including housing, utilities, groceries, healthcare, clothing, gas and more — take up 75.5 percent of the average Utahn’s income. The national average is 81 percent. Among the findings is that Utah has the lowest average healthcare costs in the U.S., at $5,192. The 10 most affordable states are (in order) the District of Columbia, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Washington, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Mississippi. The least affordable is South Dakota, where the average resident spends more per year than they earn.
• Seven ZIP codes in Salt Lake City are among the top 10 areas in Utah with the highest public transit use, according to rankings compiled by UnitedStatesZipCodes.org, using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The average public transit use rate in Utah is 2.3 percent. The area with the highest rate, the 84112 ZIP code in Salt Lake City, has a 20.8 percent rate. Other areas in the top 10 in Utah are in Lynndyl, Hanna and Sunnyside.
• Zenerchi, a Salt Lake City-based life extension and biomedical simulation and visualization AI company, and Pop Life Global have entered into an agreement for development of the consumer product line and brand extension for Zenerchi LLC in Asia. China-based Pop Life will work with the developers of Zenerchi in the advancement of consumer and business applications of its physiological simulation and visualization AI platform. The partnership will focus on the development of experiences in animation, 3D modeling and software, biomedical visualization, high-performance games and viral marketing. Beginning in October 2020, the partnership plans to unveil its first public-facing technology implementation by producing a series of immersive edutainment exhibition experiences throughout the world.
• Gov. Gary R. Herbert, World Trade Center Utah and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development have scheduled a trade mission to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, set for April 16-25. The trade mission will offer an opportunity for Utah businesses to grow their international sales and to connect with potential partners and investors in countries that are eager to expand their trade and investment relationships. The trade mission will include engagement with high-level business and investment leaders, market briefings by in-country experts and the U.S. Commercial Service, VIP networking receptions, company visits and customized B2B meetings. Small and medium-sized companies may be eligible for grants administered by WTC Utah to offset some trip costs and to receive customized trade services at no cost. Details such as application deadlines, flight details and hotel booking information have yet to be announced. People wanting more information may contact Courtney Rae at firstname.lastname@example.org or (435) 901-4377.
• Dorsey & Whitney has named Adam Buck and Tiffany Shimada as new partners in the firm’s Salt Lake City office, effective Jan. 1, and has announced that Nora R. Pincus has joined the firm’s Energy & Natural Resources Group as a partner in the Salt Lake City office. Buck is a litigator whose practice is focused on product liability defense, construction defects, commercial contract disputes, business litigation, insurance law and financial services litigation. Shimada, a trademark lawyer, helps clients protect brands through strategic intellectual property management and enforcement. Pincus, who also will work in the firm’s Denver office, has experience in guiding mining, oil and gas, and renewable energy companies through complicated transactions. She leads mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, divestures and strategic financings for major international mining companies, exploration-focused juniors, energy companies and national banks and private equity funds engaged in the natural resources sector. Pincus most recently was at Parsons Behle & Latimer in Salt Lake City, where she was a shareholder and department chair over corporate transactions, securities and tax. She also was an associate and of counsel at the natural resource law firm Welborn, Sullivan, Meck & Tooley PC in Denver and Salt Lake City. Her education includes a B.A. from the University of Utah.
• Biomerics LLC, a Salt Lake City-based contract manufacturer for the interventional medical device market, and ATL Technology LLC have agreed to dissolve their joint venture, Biomerics ATL LLC. Biomerics has purchased ATL Technology’s interests in the joint venture and will rename the business unit Biomerics CRI and invest in expanding its footprint and capabilities. With the addition of Biomerics CRI, Biomerics will now operate seven business units with over 1,300 employees. The Biomerics ATL joint venture originated in 2018 with the acquisition of assets from Catheter Research Inc. (CRI Medical) and their facilities in Indiana and Costa Rica. Biomerics is acquiring ATL’s ownership to expand its presence into Costa Rica and its relationship with those customers. The CRI business unit capabilities include extrusion, injection molding, high-volume cleanroom assembly, kitting and packaging services. The new business unit’s leadership will be Craig England as president and Anthony Amador as general manager of the Costa Rica facility. Biomerics CRI employs 200 people across two locations and offers 47,000 sq. ft. of manufacturing space specializing in the production, manufacturing, and distribution of many medical device products. All employees have been retained as part of the realignment and will continue operations as usual under the new business entity.
• USANA, a Salt Lake City-based health and wellness company, has been named the No. 1 vitamin and dietary supplement brand in the Philippines by Euromonitor, a provider of global business intelligence, market analysis and consumer insights. USANA has been present in the Philippines for more than 10 years.
• McArthur Homes has announced the construction of new communities in Mapleton and West Jordan. In Mapleton, Harvest Park will offer three floor plans ranging from 2,336 to 2,510 square feet. In West Jordan, Boulder Ranch will offer rambler and two-story floor plans in six available home designs ranging from 3,508 to 5,405 square feet.
• JY Ferry & Son Inc., of Corinne, recently earned the Leopold Conservation Award, sponsored by the Sand County Foundation, in partnership with the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Utah Cattlemen’s Association and Western AgCredit. The award honors the conservation efforts of private landowners in Utah. It comes with a $10,000 check and Leopold Crystal for their dedication to wise stewardship of Utah’s natural resources. JY Ferry & Son is operated by John and Ben Ferry and John’s son Joel Ferry.
• Deer Valley Resort was named the U.S. Best Ski Resort 2019, Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley was named U.S. Best Ski Hotel 2019 and Goldener Hirsh Inn at Deer Valley Resort was named U.S. Best Ski Boutique Hotel 2019 by the World Ski Awards. The awards were announced Nov. 23 in Kitzbuhel, Austria. Deer Valley Resort earned the top honor for the seventh consecutive year. Goldener Hirch Inn won for the second consecutive year and for the fourth time in the awards program’s seven-year history.
• TurnPoint FX, a Salt Lake City-based B2B foreign currency exchange brokerage, has named Darren B. Nelson as partner and managing director. He will primarily focus on building client relationships with corporate multinationals in the United States. He will also develop strategic partnerships in the region’s top accounting, legal and PE firms with international tax, assurance and M&A activity. Most recently, Nelson was a sales executive at GPS Capital Markets on the Global Hedging Products Team. He spent his early career as an accountant for a large manufacturing company in the Bay Area. Nelson earned his bachelor of science in business management degree from Weber State University.
• Zenerchi, a Salt Lake City-based life extension and biomedical simulation and visualization AI company, has announced that Dinesh Patel is joining its board of directors. A venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur, Patel is founding partner and managing director of Patel Family Investments and former chairman of the board at The Leonardo. His experience includes co-founding vSpring Capital, a Salt Lake City-based investment firm (now Signal Peak Ventures); co-founding and leading TheraTech; founding and leading Ashni Naturaceuticals; and co-founding Salus Therapeutics.
• Code Corp., a Draper-based data capture technology company, has promoted Jana Buck to chief operations Officer. She has been with Code for 17 years, most recently serving as the vice president of operations at the company headquarters. Before joining Code, she studied pre-med at Brigham Young University.
• Filevine, a Provo-based company offering matter, case and project management software for legal professionals, has hired Dean Sapp as vice president of information security, privacy, risk and compliance. Sapp has more than 20 years of infosec experience, including serving as the CISO for Progrexion and Braintrace.