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• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board, at its March meeting, approved a pair of motion picture incentives. Smokejumper Films LLC was approved for a cash rebate up to $39,985 for “Good Fire,” a feature documentary expected to spend $199,925 in Utah. Principal photography is scheduled for May 10-June 30. The documentary will tell about Yurok tribal members and women wildland firefighters who “challenge the notion of fire as our enemy,” according to GOED documents. Directors are Holly Tuckett and Marissa Lila. Producers are Jenn Lee Smith and Katy Bettner. Good Coyote Films LLC was approved for a cash rebate up to $10,764 for “Avocado Toast,” a comedy feature expected to spend $53,820 in Utah. Principal photography is scheduled for April 15-May 3. The film will tell the story of a family man “who risks everything he has by experimenting with millennialism.” The director is Tyler Farr, who is a producer along with Karl Danielson.
• Utah is the No. 38 best state for hiring veterans, according to a study by InMyArea.com, using the most recent data from state and federal governments, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau and the Veterans Affairs Administration. The rankings were determined by analyzing government hiring practices, unemployment rates, median income, veteran business ownership and job training investment per veteran in every state. Utah has a veteran unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, compared to the national average of 3.47 percent; saw unemployment since 2014 fall 6.1 percent, compared with a 26.3 percent decrease; a median annual wage for veterans of $46,981, compared with $41,828.58; had 112.4 veteran-owned businesses per 1,000 businesses, compared with 148.21; and had Veteran Affairs job training expenditures of $699.21 per veteran, compared with $607.75. The best state for hiring veterans is New Jersey. The worst is Ohio.
• Utah ranks No. 35 among states for the lowest state tax rate in the U.S., according to a study by SeniorLiving.org, using the most recent data from the Tax Foundation, U.S. Census Bureau, Zillow, AAA and the American Petroleum Institute through 2019. Utah residents pay 5.97 percent in state taxes, compared to the national average of 5.41 percent. The rankings were determined by measuring income tax, sales tax, property tax and gas tax in each state. Utah has the No. 36 income tax rate, 5 percent; No. 4 effective property tax rate, 0,5 percent; No. 25 effective sales tax rate, 6.85 percent; and No. 21 effective gas tax rate, 10.53 percent. The highest tax rate is in California. The lowest is in Alaska.
• Utah Valley University has been selected by the Martha Hughes Cannon Statue Oversight Committee as the new home for the statue of television pioneer Philo T. Farnsworth. The statue will be removed from National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C., and transported back to Utah prior to the installation of the statue of Dr. Martha Hughes Cannon later this year.
• Vivint Solar, a Lehi-based residential solar provider, has announced that Ellen Smith has been appointed to the company’s board of directors and audit committee. Smith has more than 30 years of experience in power generation. She currently is senior managing director of power and utilities for FTI Consulting. Before that, she was executive vice president and chief operations officer for National Grid PLC, a multinational power utility where she was responsible for U.S. operations, LNG facilities and power plants. She also served in various leadership positions at Hess Corp. and Pratt & Whitney Power Systems.
• Earlier this month, an innovative collaboration between Weber State University and Ogden City resulted in students working to build a new all-electric home at 2807 Quincy Ave, Ogden, with plans for additional homes in the future. Students from the Department of Construction & Building Sciences in WSU’s College of Engineering Applied Science & Technology formed the senior project team. They are finalists in a two-year competition called the 2020 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. Ten teams from around the world design and construct highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
• The Utah Advanced Materials & Manufacturing Initiative (UAMMI) has selected Tulinda Larsen as its new executive director. Larsen has extensive experience of managing aerospace industry organizations, especially in the emerging Urban Air Mobility industry. Among the positions she has held in the industry, her most recent was executive director of Deseret Unmanned Aerial Systems. She also has more than 40 years of experience in commercial aviation, experience with outdoor recreation industries and an understanding of emerging trends and economic drivers in recreational sports, and government and industry data commercialization. Larsen succeeds Jeff Edwards, who served as UAMMI’s first executive director starting in January 2017. Edwards stepped down to serve a mission with his wife, Karamea, in the public affairs department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand and the South Pacific region. UAMMI is a nonprofit organization bringing together public, private, community, industry and education partners to assure growth and sustainability of Utah’s advanced materials and manufacturing industry.
• Woodside Homes, a Salt Lake City-based designer and builder of homes, has selected Chris Williams as its new chief customer officer. Williams most recently served as president of Woodside’s California Central Valley division for nearly 14 years. In 2017, Williams was selected as the chairman of the company’s Customer Experience Steering Committee.
• Eagles Landing, a 378-unit, garden-style, multifamily property in Salt Lake City, has been sold by Mount Auburn Capital Group to real estate investment firms Marble Partners LLC and Lion Real Estate Group, who purchased the property through a joint venture with MHW Salt Lake City LLC, a private fund created by Whittier Trust Co., based in South Pasadena, California. It is the first acquisition for Marble Partners and Lion Real Estate Group in Salt Lake City. Berkadia announced the sale and secured the financing. Managing director Greg Barratt of Berkadia’s Salt Lake City office completed the sale on behalf of Mount Auburn Capital Group. Senior director Michael Slovitt of Berkadia’s Chicago office also secured financing for the property on behalf of the buyer. Located at 625 S. Redwood Road, Eagles Landing features one- and two-bedroom floor plans. In conjunction with their acquisition, the buyers will rebrand the property as Ashford Apartments.
• Four Utah companies are ranked in the list of 2020 Best Workplaces in Technology by Great Place to Work and Fortune. In the large-company category, Pluralsight, Farmington, is ranked No. 10. In the category of small and medium companies are No. 3 BambooHR, Lindon; No 12 Lucid Software Inc., South Jordan; and No. 17 You Need a Budget LLC, Lehi. The rankings are based on anonymous survey responses from more than 100,000 employees at Great Place to Work-certified organizations in the technology industry.
• Workfront, a Lehi-based work management application platform company, has been named a leader in the first-ever “IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Work Management and Project and Portfolio Management 2020 Vendor Assessment.” The report evaluated nine vendors on capabilities and strategies and provided an in-depth analysis to aid business leaders in researching and evaluating work management and PPM solutions. IDC provides market intelligence, advisory services and events for the information technology, telecommunications and consumer technology markets.
• The Muller Co. and Canyon Park Technology Center, Orem, have received a “Big Check” from Rocky Mountain Power’s (RMP) Wattsmart Energy Efficiency program for commercial and industrial customers. Canyon Park Technology Center is a collection of 13 low-rise office buildings totaling 910,433 square feet and situated on 85 acres. Energy efficiency projects have included LED lighting retrofits, decommissioning of old CRAC/UPS systems and numerous HVAC upgrades. The recognition from RMP is related to Canyon Park’s first-year success surrounding the Energy Project Manager (EPM) co-funding program. During the 2019-20 co-funding period, Canyon Park saved over 3.3 million kWh and received $193,323.00 in incentives for its efficiency efforts.
• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) board, at its March meeting, endorsed four $50,000 Rural Fast Track grants. Ritual Chocolate Inc., of Charleston in Wasatch County, was endorsed for a grant to help the company purchase equipment to manufacture chocolate and confectionery and to built out an expanded production shop. The $300,000 project is expected to result in four full-time positions. KL Steck Inc., dba House of Glass, of Ephraim in Sanpete County, was endorsed for a grant to help the company purchase custom glass-cutting equipment and build a building for new equipment operations. The $278,000 project is expected to result in one new full-time position. Itty Bitty Equipment, of Richmond in Cache County, was endorsed for a grant to help the company build a 6,000-square-foot metal building for truck services and repairs. The $250,000 project is expected to result in one new full-time position. Pink Elephant Coffee Roasters, of Charleston in Wasatch County, was endorsed for a grant to help the company purchase equipment to manufacture coffee products. The $109,000 project is expected to result in one new full-time position. All four grants had been approved by the Governor’s Rural Partnership Board.
• Code Corp., a Salt Lake City-based scanning and decoding technology company, has announced that Barclay McFadden III has stepped down as chairman of the board after 20 years of service, and Dennis Kaill will succeed him. Kaill has been on Code’s board since 2015. He has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience in the software and technology sectors. Before joining Code’s board, Kaill spent 10 years as president/managing director of Microscan Systems. McFadden remain a member of the board of directors. Before joining Code, McFadden served as the chairman and CEO of Stow Mills in New Hampshire from 1976-97. McFadden also serves as chairman of American Stainless in Cheraw, South Carolina.
• StorageCraft, a Draper-based data protection, data protection, data management and business continuity solutions company, has promoted Andy Zollo to head of global sales. Zollo previously was in charge of StorageCraft sales in EMEA and APAC.