Print

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.

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

Sundance Institute has selected Tabitha Jackson as director of the Sundance Film Festival. Jackson has served as director of the Institute’s Documentary Film Program for the past six years. Prior to joining the institute, Jackson worked in arts and entertainment for more than 25 years as an award-winning filmmaker. Prior to joining the Institute in 2013, she served as head of arts and performance at Channel 4 Television in London. Jackson succeeds John Cooper, who served in the role for 11 years and will assume a newly created emeritus director role. Cooper will oversee special projects, including preparations for the institute’s 40th anniversary in 2021.

CONSTRUCTION

ARW Engineers, an Ogden-based consulting structural engineering firm, has announced several appointments. They include Robert “Doc” Moyle and Justin Naser as senior principals; Matt McBride and Jeremy Acter as principals; and Steve Ericksen, McKay Parrish and Josh Blazzard as associate principals. Moyle, Naser, McBride and Achter each have 20 years or more with firm. Ericksen, Parrish and Blazzard each have more than 15 years with the firm.

GSBS Architects, Salt Lake City, has announced that Jesse Allen has been elected to the company’s five-member board of directors and promoted Clio Rayner and Eric White to principal. Allen has been with GSBS since 2007 after receiving his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah. He is one of the few licensed architects in Utah who is also a licensed landscape architect. Rayner has been with the firm since 2005 and has helped guide the sustainability mission for GSBS. She is an active member of the sustainability and architectural community as a licensed architect, guest lecturer and volunteer. White, director of marketing and business development, joined GSBS after more than 25 years as an advertising agency owner, creative director, strategist and copywriter.

DIVIDENDS

• The board of directors of Zions Bancorporation, Salt Lake City, has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 34 cents per common share. The dividend is payable Feb. 20 to shareholders of record Feb. 13. The board also approved a plan to purchase up to $75 million common shares during the 2020 first quarter. It also declared regular quarterly cash dividends on the company’s various perpetual preferred shares. The dividend on series A, G, H and J shares are payable March 15 to shareholders of record March 1. The cash dividend on the Series I shares is payable June 15 to shareholders of record June 1.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Utah is the No. 17 best state for people planning to retire early, according to a study by TheSeniorList.com, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, among others. The study analyzed several financial, health-related and lifestyle factors. Among the findings is that Utah has the fourth-lowest average health insurance premium in the U.S., at $81.78. The best state for retiring early is Texas. The worst is West Virginia.

Utah is the No. 18-ranked state for mental health workers, according to PsyDPrograms.org. The rankings are based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Zillow and Indeed. The study compared each state to a baseline in categories like income, housing and mental health. Among Utah findings are that the state is No. 1 in the percentage of adults with mental illness, 25.3 percent; No. 25 in annual housing costs, $15,000; and No. 31 in income taken by housing, 23.8 percent. The top-ranked state is West Virginia. The lowest-ranked state is California.

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Chef Bryan Woolley is joining the culinary faculty at Park City Culinary Institute as recreational class director at its Salt Lake City campus. Woolley appears on a daily cooking segment on the Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV Channel 2 and hosts a weekly 30-minute cooking show, “Cooking with Chef Bryan,” also on KUTV Channel 2 and KMYU. He also is the national spokesperson for Green Giant International’s potato and onion division, Potandon Produce; offers culinary tours in destinations around the world; and teaches a culinary chemistry course at the University of Utah.

EXPANSIONS

Larry H. Miller Dealerships has acquired Mark’s Casa Chevrolet and Mark’s Case Chrysler Jeep in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It expands the dealership group’s footprint in Albuquerque to seven locations. Financial terms were not disclosed. Mark’s Casa Chevrolet will be renamed Larry H. Miller Casa Chevrolet and Mark’s Casa Chrysler Jeep will be renamed Larry H. Miller Casa Chrysler Jeep. This acquisition also includes two collision centers, which will be named Larry H. Miller Collision East and Larry H. Miller Collision West. The stores were purchased from Mark Wiggins and partners. Larry H. Miller Dealerships will retain the existing employees at the store, bringing the total number of New Mexico-based personnel to more than 700 employees at seven dealership locations. The group has operated in Albuquerque since 1988. Larry H. Miller Dealerships now operates 65 locations under 20 different automotive brands in seven western states.

FINANCE

• The Salt Lake City office of NorthMarq has announced the promotion of Nate Barnson to managing director. He will co-manage the daily operations of the Salt Lake City office with managing director John Bradshaw. Barnson will continue to work with diverse capital sources to originate, underwrite and close construction, permanent and bridge financing. Barnson has nearly 20 years of commercial real estate experience. He spent two years working for a private developer remediating and developing brownfield real estate, and one year as a co-founder of The Utah East Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization that built an AIDS relief clinic in Uganda, Africa. He joined Western Capital Realty Advisors in 2005. It was acquired by NorthMarq in 2017. Barnson earned dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Utah in Economics and Spanish, and has an MBA from Westminster College.

INVESTMENTS

Lendio, a Lehi-based marketplace for small-business loans, has secured $55 million in capital, including $31 million in equity led by Mercato Partners and a $24 million debt facility from Signature Bank. The equity round was oversubscribed by existing investors, including Napier Park Financial Partners, Comcast Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Stereo Capital and Runa Capital. The funding will fuel the expansion of Lendio’s Utah-based workforce by 200 percent over the next three years. Lendio recently doubled its workforce, hiring more than 160 employees in the past 12 months. The company intends to hire another 200 team members in 2020.

Aumni Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company developing a robotic process automation and data analytics platform for private capital investors, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank. The round also included participation from existing investors Moneta Ventures, Next Frontier Capital and Quiet Ventures, who together previously led Aumni’s $3.7 million Series Seed round. New investors also include Kickstart Seed Fund, Blackhorn Ventures, Prelude and Service Provider Capital.

Neighbor.com, a Lehi-based peer-to-peer self-storage company, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors in this round include Nate Bosshard, former partner at Khosla Ventures and co-founder of Tonal, as well as Ryan Graves, Uber’s first CEO. Jeff Jordan, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a former eBay, PayPal and OpenTable executive, will join the Neighbor board of directors. Jordan currently sits on the boards of Airbnb, Instacart, Lime and Pinterest. Neighbor.com connects “renters” in need of storage space with “hosts” in their neighborhood who are willing to lease extra storage space in their homes or garages.

MILESTONES

Airbnb, a community-driven hospitality company, has announced that its Utah host community earned a combined $23.6 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 113,800 million guest arrivals during the five biggest guest arrival weekends in 2019. Total host earnings were led by Dec. 27-29, when 26,600 guests led to host earnings of $9.1 million. For all of 2019, Salt Lake County led with 29,000 guest arrivals, while Summit County led with total host income of $16.1 million.

NONPROFITS

YWCA Utah’s board of directors has selected Liz Owens as the organization’s CEO. Owens will assume the role April 6, succeeding long-time CEO Anne Burkholder. Owens is a longtime social justice advocate and currently executive director of Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Owens’ education includes a bachelor of science degree from Utah Valley University.

RECOGNITIONS

Axon Optics, Bountiful, was named the winner of the Startup World Cup Utah Regional Competition at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2020. The award was presented by Silicon Slopes, in partnership with Silicon Vikings, Startup World Cup and Kickstart Seed Fund. Axon Optics won $250,000 from Kickstart and advanced to compete against more than 50 other finalists for the $1 million investment prize at the Global Grand Finale in San Francisco in May. Founded in 2012 by Ben Rollins and Steve Blair, Axon Optics creates smart glasses that help combat migraines and light sensitivity. The competition gave 10 Utah startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with the chance to compete for investment funding. Other participating startups included 1LAW Legal Technologies LLC , XO-Nano, Blerp, eDraw, Hallo, Layla Technology, Seek XR, Savology and SignGlasses.

• The United States Tennis Association has awarded Red Ledges, Heber City, as the 2019 Organization of the Year for its efforts in growing tennis at all levels in a previously underserved area. The award is presented annually in recognition of the services rendered by a USTA organization member in Utah for its support to the Utah Tennis Association in helping grow tennis participation in all levels. Red Ledges has introduced new programs for adults and juniors and fielded many new USTA League teams over the last 12 months.

RESTAURANTS

Ascend Hospitality Group has announced the grand opening of Real Famous BBQ, a fast-casual prototype and brand evolution of Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, part of the BBQ Holdings family, at 1280 N. University Ave., Provo. Ascend has restaurants throughout Washington, Oregon and Utah.

SOCIAL

The Alta Club, a Salt Lake City private club, has elected Denise A. Dragoo as president. The Alta Club was founded in 1883; and serves as a forum of business development and social interaction; and offers facilities for dining, social events and business meetings. Dragoo has been an influential member of the club for 23 years and previously served as vice president to its outgoing president, Jeff Scott. She will serve as the third female president since the club’s founding. Dragoo is a partner at law firm Snell & Wilmer, where her practice focuses on natural resources and environmental law. Prior to Snell & Wilmer, Dragoo served as special assistant Utah attorney general to the Utah Board and Division of Oil, Gas & Mining. Her education includes her J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

SERVICES

Cicero Group, a Salt Lake City-based management consulting firm, has advanced Aaron Andersen as senior partner. Andersen oversees partnerships with clients spanning a range of sectors, in addition to his work leading Cicero’s higher education practice. Prior to working at Cicero, he was a principal organizational consultant at the University of California, Berkley, and also was a senior policy analyst where he led policy and process standardization work across the institution and in conjunction with the University of California Office of the President. Earlier in his career, he was an associate director and program administrator at Utah State University. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in history from Utah State University.

TECHNOLOGY/LIFE SCIENCES

AccessData, an Orem-based integrated digital forensics and e-discovery software company, has appointed Tammy Doss as vice president of sales, legal and service providers, for its North American Markets division, and hired Lana Pellegrino as a strategic account executive. Doss has held several executive positions in sales, marketing, and operations for leading U.S. legal software and services providers over the past two decades. She most recently was vice president of sales and marketing at Intellective. Previously, she held executive leadership positions at companies including Ipro Tech, inData Corp., Epiq Systems and Encore Discovery Solutions. Pellegrino will be responsible for supporting and selling AccessData products to the top service providers in North America, including legal service providers and digital forensics service providers. She previously was at Casepoint, where she was a director responsible for providing e-discovery software solutions to both corporate and law firm clients. Since 2003, she has held a number of key positions at legal technology companies, including Relativity, Merrill Corp. and Clearwell, as well as working as a litigation support professional for Am Law 100 law firms. Pellegrino is one of the original founders of Women in eDiscovery, a nonprofit organization focused on providing women with legal technology education, networking and leadership opportunities.

Avii, a Lehi-based provider of a technology platform for tax, audit, advisory, compliance and management consulting firms, has appointed Stuart Dean as vice president of sales. Dean has more than 20 years of sales and business development experience, including serving as vice president for an international business news service and executive vice president for a social media analytics company. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Brigham Young University.

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.

ARTS/ENTERTAINMENT

Sundance Institute has selected Tabitha Jackson as director of the Sundance Film Festival. Jackson has served as director of the Institute’s Documentary Film Program for the past six years. Prior to joining the institute, Jackson worked in arts and entertainment for more than 25 years as an award-winning filmmaker. Prior to joining the Institute in 2013, she served as head of arts and performance at Channel 4 Television in London. Jackson succeeds John Cooper, who served in the role for 11 years and will assume a newly created emeritus director role. Cooper will oversee special projects, including preparations for the institute’s 40th anniversary in 2021.

CONSTRUCTION

ARW Engineers, an Ogden-based consulting structural engineering firm, has announced several appointments. They include Robert “Doc” Moyle and Justin Naser as senior principals; Matt McBride and Jeremy Acter as principals; and Steve Ericksen, McKay Parrish and Josh Blazzard as associate principals. Moyle, Naser, McBride and Achter each have 20 years or more with firm. Ericksen, Parrish and Blazzard each have more than 15 years with the firm.

GSBS Architects, Salt Lake City, has announced that Jesse Allen has been elected to the company’s five-member board of directors and promoted Clio Rayner and Eric White to principal. Allen has been with GSBS since 2007 after receiving his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Utah. He is one of the few licensed architects in Utah who is also a licensed landscape architect. Rayner has been with the firm since 2005 and has helped guide the sustainability mission for GSBS. She is an active member of the sustainability and architectural community as a licensed architect, guest lecturer and volunteer. White, director of marketing and business development, joined GSBS after more than 25 years as an advertising agency owner, creative director, strategist and copywriter.

DIVIDENDS

• The board of directors of Zions Bancorporation, Salt Lake City, has declared a regular quarterly dividend of 34 cents per common share. The dividend is payable Feb. 20 to shareholders of record Feb. 13. The board also approved a plan to purchase up to $75 million common shares during the 2020 first quarter. It also declared regular quarterly cash dividends on the company’s various perpetual preferred shares. The dividend on series A, G, H and J shares are payable March 15 to shareholders of record March 1. The cash dividend on the Series I shares is payable June 15 to shareholders of record June 1.

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Utah is the No. 17 best state for people planning to retire early, according to a study by TheSeniorList.com, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Journal of the American Medical Association, among others. The study analyzed several financial, health-related and lifestyle factors. Among the findings is that Utah has the fourth-lowest average health insurance premium in the U.S., at $81.78. The best state for retiring early is Texas. The worst is West Virginia.

Utah is the No. 18-ranked state for mental health workers, according to PsyDPrograms.org. The rankings are based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Zillow and Indeed. The study compared each state to a baseline in categories like income, housing and mental health. Among Utah findings are that the state is No. 1 in the percentage of adults with mental illness, 25.3 percent; No. 25 in annual housing costs, $15,000; and No. 31 in income taken by housing, 23.8 percent. The top-ranked state is West Virginia. The lowest-ranked state is California.

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Chef Bryan Woolley is joining the culinary faculty at Park City Culinary Institute as recreational class director at its Salt Lake City campus. Woolley appears on a daily cooking segment on the Salt Lake City CBS affiliate KUTV Channel 2 and hosts a weekly 30-minute cooking show, “Cooking with Chef Bryan,” also on KUTV Channel 2 and KMYU. He also is the national spokesperson for Green Giant International’s potato and onion division, Potandon Produce; offers culinary tours in destinations around the world; and teaches a culinary chemistry course at the University of Utah.

EXPANSIONS

Larry H. Miller Dealerships has acquired Mark’s Casa Chevrolet and Mark’s Case Chrysler Jeep in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It expands the dealership group’s footprint in Albuquerque to seven locations. Financial terms were not disclosed. Mark’s Casa Chevrolet will be renamed Larry H. Miller Casa Chevrolet and Mark’s Casa Chrysler Jeep will be renamed Larry H. Miller Casa Chrysler Jeep. This acquisition also includes two collision centers, which will be named Larry H. Miller Collision East and Larry H. Miller Collision West. The stores were purchased from Mark Wiggins and partners. Larry H. Miller Dealerships will retain the existing employees at the store, bringing the total number of New Mexico-based personnel to more than 700 employees at seven dealership locations. The group has operated in Albuquerque since 1988. Larry H. Miller Dealerships now operates 65 locations under 20 different automotive brands in seven western states.

FINANCE

• The Salt Lake City office of NorthMarq has announced the promotion of Nate Barnson to managing director. He will co-manage the daily operations of the Salt Lake City office with managing director John Bradshaw. Barnson will continue to work with diverse capital sources to originate, underwrite and close construction, permanent and bridge financing. Barnson has nearly 20 years of commercial real estate experience. He spent two years working for a private developer remediating and developing brownfield real estate, and one year as a co-founder of The Utah East Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization that built an AIDS relief clinic in Uganda, Africa. He joined Western Capital Realty Advisors in 2005. It was acquired by NorthMarq in 2017. Barnson earned dual bachelor’s degrees from the University of Utah in Economics and Spanish, and has an MBA from Westminster College.

INVESTMENTS

Lendio, a Lehi-based marketplace for small-business loans, has secured $55 million in capital, including $31 million in equity led by Mercato Partners and a $24 million debt facility from Signature Bank. The equity round was oversubscribed by existing investors, including Napier Park Financial Partners, Comcast Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Stereo Capital and Runa Capital. The funding will fuel the expansion of Lendio’s Utah-based workforce by 200 percent over the next three years. Lendio recently doubled its workforce, hiring more than 160 employees in the past 12 months. The company intends to hire another 200 team members in 2020.

Aumni Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company developing a robotic process automation and data analytics platform for private capital investors, has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round led by SVB Financial Group, the parent company of Silicon Valley Bank. The round also included participation from existing investors Moneta Ventures, Next Frontier Capital and Quiet Ventures, who together previously led Aumni’s $3.7 million Series Seed round. New investors also include Kickstart Seed Fund, Blackhorn Ventures, Prelude and Service Provider Capital.

Neighbor.com, a Lehi-based peer-to-peer self-storage company, has closed a $10 million Series A funding round led by Silicon Valley venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. Other investors in this round include Nate Bosshard, former partner at Khosla Ventures and co-founder of Tonal, as well as Ryan Graves, Uber’s first CEO. Jeff Jordan, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz and a former eBay, PayPal and OpenTable executive, will join the Neighbor board of directors. Jordan currently sits on the boards of Airbnb, Instacart, Lime and Pinterest. Neighbor.com connects “renters” in need of storage space with “hosts” in their neighborhood who are willing to lease extra storage space in their homes or garages.

MILESTONES

Airbnb, a community-driven hospitality company, has announced that its Utah host community earned a combined $23.6 million in supplemental income while welcoming approximately 113,800 million guest arrivals during the five biggest guest arrival weekends in 2019. Total host earnings were led by Dec. 27-29, when 26,600 guests led to host earnings of $9.1 million. For all of 2019, Salt Lake County led with 29,000 guest arrivals, while Summit County led with total host income of $16.1 million.

NONPROFITS

YWCA Utah’s board of directors has selected Liz Owens as the organization’s CEO. Owens will assume the role April 6, succeeding long-time CEO Anne Burkholder. Owens is a longtime social justice advocate and currently executive director of Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Owens’ education includes a bachelor of science degree from Utah Valley University.

RECOGNITIONS

Axon Optics, Bountiful, was named the winner of the Startup World Cup Utah Regional Competition at the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2020. The award was presented by Silicon Slopes, in partnership with Silicon Vikings, Startup World Cup and Kickstart Seed Fund. Axon Optics won $250,000 from Kickstart and advanced to compete against more than 50 other finalists for the $1 million investment prize at the Global Grand Finale in San Francisco in May. Founded in 2012 by Ben Rollins and Steve Blair, Axon Optics creates smart glasses that help combat migraines and light sensitivity. The competition gave 10 Utah startups the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges with the chance to compete for investment funding. Other participating startups included 1LAW Legal Technologies LLC , XO-Nano, Blerp, eDraw, Hallo, Layla Technology, Seek XR, Savology and SignGlasses.

• The United States Tennis Association has awarded Red Ledges, Heber City, as the 2019 Organization of the Year for its efforts in growing tennis at all levels in a previously underserved area. The award is presented annually in recognition of the services rendered by a USTA organization member in Utah for its support to the Utah Tennis Association in helping grow tennis participation in all levels. Red Ledges has introduced new programs for adults and juniors and fielded many new USTA League teams over the last 12 months.

RESTAURANTS

Ascend Hospitality Group has announced the grand opening of Real Famous BBQ, a fast-casual prototype and brand evolution of Famous Dave’s Bar-B-Que, part of the BBQ Holdings family, at 1280 N. University Ave., Provo. Ascend has restaurants throughout Washington, Oregon and Utah.

SOCIAL

The Alta Club, a Salt Lake City private club, has elected Denise A. Dragoo as president. The Alta Club was founded in 1883; and serves as a forum of business development and social interaction; and offers facilities for dining, social events and business meetings. Dragoo has been an influential member of the club for 23 years and previously served as vice president to its outgoing president, Jeff Scott. She will serve as the third female president since the club’s founding. Dragoo is a partner at law firm Snell & Wilmer, where her practice focuses on natural resources and environmental law. Prior to Snell & Wilmer, Dragoo served as special assistant Utah attorney general to the Utah Board and Division of Oil, Gas & Mining. Her education includes her J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law.

SERVICES

Cicero Group, a Salt Lake City-based management consulting firm, has advanced Aaron Andersen as senior partner. Andersen oversees partnerships with clients spanning a range of sectors, in addition to his work leading Cicero’s higher education practice. Prior to working at Cicero, he was a principal organizational consultant at the University of California, Berkley, and also was a senior policy analyst where he led policy and process standardization work across the institution and in conjunction with the University of California Office of the President. Earlier in his career, he was an associate director and program administrator at Utah State University. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in history from Utah State University.

TECHNOLOGY/LIFE SCIENCES

AccessData, an Orem-based integrated digital forensics and e-discovery software company, has appointed Tammy Doss as vice president of sales, legal and service providers, for its North American Markets division, and hired Lana Pellegrino as a strategic account executive. Doss has held several executive positions in sales, marketing, and operations for leading U.S. legal software and services providers over the past two decades. She most recently was vice president of sales and marketing at Intellective. Previously, she held executive leadership positions at companies including Ipro Tech, inData Corp., Epiq Systems and Encore Discovery Solutions. Pellegrino will be responsible for supporting and selling AccessData products to the top service providers in North America, including legal service providers and digital forensics service providers. She previously was at Casepoint, where she was a director responsible for providing e-discovery software solutions to both corporate and law firm clients. Since 2003, she has held a number of key positions at legal technology companies, including Relativity, Merrill Corp. and Clearwell, as well as working as a litigation support professional for Am Law 100 law firms. Pellegrino is one of the original founders of Women in eDiscovery, a nonprofit organization focused on providing women with legal technology education, networking and leadership opportunities.

Avii, a Lehi-based provider of a technology platform for tax, audit, advisory, compliance and management consulting firms, has appointed Stuart Dean as vice president of sales. Dean has more than 20 years of sales and business development experience, including serving as vice president for an international business news service and executive vice president for a social media analytics company. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Brigham Young University.