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.

 

AUTOMOTIVE

Land Rover Centerville has changed to Jaguar Land Rover Lehi, having recently opened at 2302 N. Ashton Blvd. at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. With the expansion, Jaguar Land Rover Lehi will bring a 22-year history and heritage of luxury cars and SUVs to an eight-car showroom with service and parts departments. The date for a grand opening will be announced later. Jaguar Land Rover Lehi is a Ken Garff Automotive dealership. The company is based in Salt Lake City and has more than 50 dealerships in Utah and five other states.

 

CONSTRUCTION

Canyons Structural Inc., a Salt Lake City-based structural engineering firm, has promoted Courtney Fleming to an associate. Fleming has experience as an engineer and project manager and in designing projects from seismic retrofits to multi-family residential units. He has been with Canyons for eight years. Fleming earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Utah in 2012.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Utah has again been ranked the worst state for women’s equality, compiled by WalletHub. The 2020 list was formed after WalletHub compared the 50 states across 17 key indicators of gender equality. Utah was ranked No. 47 for workplace environment, No. 49 for political empowerment and No. 50 for education and health. In breakout lists, Utah was No. 46 for largest executive positions gap, tied for No. 48 with Rhode Island for largest income gap, No. 49 for largest political representation gap, and No. 50 for both the largest work hours gap and the largest educational attainment gap (among advanced degree holders). The overall top-ranked state is Hawaii. Details are at

https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-states-for-women-equality/5835/.

 

American Fork has Utah’s most stable housing market, according to a ranking by financial technology company SmartAsset. The study measured the average number of years people stay in their homes and the percentage of homeowners with negative equity. Following American Fork are, in order, Ogden, Layton, Hooper, Clearfield, Park City, Ivins, West Valley City, Syracuse and Saratoga Springs. Details are at https://smartasset.com/mortgage/mortgage-calculator#Utah/stability.

 

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program is accepting applications until Oct. 1 for the program that starts in January. The program is designed to help businesses survive and thrive. It is taught by business owners. Topics covered include improving leadership and team relations, marketing a company in 2021, financial tools that have been missing, and lessons from a group of peers that are going through the same experience. Minimum requirements include $150,000 or more in annual revenue, four full-time employees or the equivalent, and at least two years in business. Participants must be present at all classes and workshops. Applications can be completed at www.10ksbapply.com.

 

GOVERNMENT

Amp Human, a Park City-based human performance company, has been awarded a $1.5 million Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the United States Air Force through the AFWERX innovation program. This award builds upon two previous Phase I SBIR awards through AFWERX and will allow Amp Human to build on its existing success in working with the military to provide unique human performance solutions that enhance warfighter resilience and capabilities. The Phase II contract will allow Amp Human to develop a better understanding of a new use case of its flagship product, PR Lotion. Amp Human will be exploring a hydration-related use case with the 1st Special Operations Wing.

 

INSURANCE

Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Co., a Salt Lake City-based provider of fixed and fixed indexed annuities, has announced it will change its corporate name to SILAC Insurance Co. The transition to the new name will be completed by Jan. 1 and will be implemented across the company’s products and services through 2020. The company will continue to operate in its current structure, with no change in ownership and staff. The main operational facility will remain in Salt Lake City. Among the other changes will be its logo, tagline and domain name (www.SILACins.com). The company was founded in 1935 and has used the name Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Co. for 85 years.

 

INVESTMENTS

DiscGenics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based clinical stage biopharmaceutical, has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round led by Ci:z Investment LLP, with participation from new investors Eagle Fund SP1 LLP, Medical Incubator Japan and CareNet of Japan. Major follow-on investments from Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co. Ltd., the company’s board of directors and existing long-term investors contributed to the oversubscription of the round. This latest round of funding brings investment in the company to just over $71 million. DiscGenics is developing regenerative cell-based therapies that alleviate pain and restore function in patients with degenerative diseases of the spine. DiscGenics will use the new capital to support ongoing clinical trials of its injectable Discogenic Cell Therapy for lumbar degenerative disc disease, to fund future commercialization activities in the U.S. and Japan, and for the scale up and scale out of its allogeneic cell manufacturing facility in Salt Lake City. Concurrent with the investment, DiscGenics has added two new members to its board of directors. One is Colin Lee Novick, a co-founder and managing director of one a Japanese regenerative medicine consulting firms, CJ Partners, who was selected by Dr. Yoshinori Shirono, founder of Ci:z Investment LLP, to represent his interests on the DiscGenics board. The other is Dr. Najeeb Thomas, a neurosurgeon who practices at Southern Brain and Spine in New Orleans.

 

Clene Nanomedicine Inc., a Salt Lake City-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has secured $42.5 million in a Series D financing. The round was led by SymBiosis II LLC, a biotech-focused investment vehicle. Participants in the round included existing investors, as well as new institutional investors from South Korea and Japan. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Clene’s clinical pipeline, particularly the lead nanocatalyst CNM-Au8, through its ongoing Phase 3 study for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and multiple Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of progressive neurologic impairment seen in people suffering from multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and ALS.

 

MANUFACTURING

Cotopaxi, a Salt Lake City-based outdoor gear brand, has added Wendy Yang to its board. Yang is the president of Decker’s Brands’ Performance Lifestyle Group. She previously was an executive at New Balance, Timberland and Reebok. Yang also serves as a board member of Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit supporting workplace inclusion, equity and diversity in the active-outdoor industries. Cotopaxi is a benefit corporation with a social mission. It designs, manufactures and sell packs, apparel, and gear, raising awareness and funds for various humanitarian causes through the Cotopaxi Foundation.

 

BGZ Brands, Lehi, has promoted Leslie Greve to chief marketing officer. She originally was vice president of category management. As CMO, she will be responsible for listening to the market and focusing on customers' needs, setting and executing the BGZ brands global marketing strategy, and managing and developing the company’s marketing team. Before joining BGZ Brands in 2015, Greve grew her career in consumer packaged goods companies, working in sales, category, branding and strategy. She spent 10 years at TESSCO Technologies, where she served as Product Business Unit leader, working with brands and retailers in wireless. She is also a regular contributor with Women in Consumer Tech, an organization where she leads a Connect Circle to empower and mentor other women advancing within the CE industry.

 

PHILANTHROPY

Mountain America Credit Union recently presented Huntsman Cancer Foundation with a $53,000 donation as part of its three-point shot donation program. Mountain America donated $50 for every three-point basket made by the Utah Jazz, with an additional $50 donation for every game-changing shot. During regular-season play, the Utah Jazz made 963 three-point shots. During the past seven Jazz seasons, Mountain America has donated more than $400,000 to Huntsman Cancer Foundation.

 

RECOGNITIONS

• Several awards were presented to local companies and individuals to recognize their impacts in the outdoor industry during the recent seventh annual Outdoor Recreation Summit, organized by the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation. The Stewardship Award was given to the Jordan River Commission for its work in preserving and restoring open space to create a 50-mile linear park and nature preserve. The Economic Impact Award was presented to the Outdoor Product Design & Development Program at Utah State University. The Every Kid Outdoor Award was presented to Get Outside., which plans events, educates youth about the outdoors, and recruits youth to participate. The Social Investment Award was given to DPS Skis, which was able during on onset of COVID-19 to rapidly pivot production to create protective face shields for the medical community to fulfill orders in partnership with the Utah Department of Health. The Outdoor Together Award, given to businesses or organizations that have gone above and beyond to collaborate and help those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, was presented to several companies and organizations: Canyon Country Discovery Center, Coalatree, Elevated Mountain Guides, SOS Outreach, St. George City, Stokes Nature Center, Utah Motorsports Campus and Utah State Parks. The Bridger Bike Park in Logan was given the Utah Outdoor Recreation Grant Project of the Year. The executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Val Hale, who, after more than six years at GOED, plans to retire at the end of the year, also recognition for his outdoor industry leadership.

 

Rio Tinto’s Kennecott operation has become the first producer to achieve The Copper Mark, the copper industry’s new responsible production program. In order to achieve the designation, the Kennecott operation in Utah had to demonstrate it meets more than 30 criteria for responsible environmental, social and governance practices. The assessment noted initiatives at Kennecott, including the decision in 2019 to permanently shut its coal power plant and purchase renewable energy certificates, reducing the annual carbon footprint associated with the Kennecott operation by as much as 65 percent. Originally developed by the International Copper Association with input from a broad range of stakeholders, including customers, nongovernmental organizations and producers, the Copper Mark is now an independent entity with a multi-stakeholder council.

 

Aspen Laser Systems, Lindon, has been named “Company of the Year” in the pain management solution providers category by MedTech Outlook, a medical technologies journal. Aspen is a medical device company founded with experience in the medical laser and light therapy markets.

 

RESTAURANTS

Curry Up Now has had a grand opening at 152 E. 200 S., Salt Lake City. Founded in 2009, the Indian fast-casual concept has 11 restaurants and three craft cocktail bars across the country, with more than 40 restaurants in varying stages of development in the U.S. It has a location in Midvale. In coming weeks, the Salt Lake City location will have an attached Mortar & Pestle bar. The local franchise partners are John Netto and the Netto Family Trust. JRJ Eats is a Utah-based entrepreneurial family that has secured a two-state franchise deal with Curry Up Now, with exclusive rights to open the first 20 restaurants throughout Utah and Colorado.

 

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