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.

 

CONTESTS

• The Ogden-Weber Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the 2021 Chamber Awards, which recognize organizations and individuals who are making a difference in Weber County’s business community. Nominations are reviewed and finalists are selected by the chamber board officers. Finalists are honored at the Annual Gala in February. Nominations for Small Business of the Year, Large Business of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Chairperson of the Year and Wall of Fame are being accepted at ogdenweberchamber.com.

 

DIRECT SALES

Vasayo, a Pleasant Grove-based direct sales company, has hired Philip Wong as its new president of Greater China region. He will oversee business operations in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. Wong comes to Vasayo with more than two decades’ experience driving sales as well as managing business operations and government relations in direct selling. Wong earned his bachelor’s degree in business information systems from Utah State University.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Utah and its residents are the healthiest in the United States, according to rankings by online health and wellness testing site LetsGetChecked. The study delved through eight different health factors, including alcoholism, smoking, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), diabetes, depression, hypertension and physical activity. Utah is followed by Colorado, California, Idaho and Hawaii. The bottom-ranked state is Louisiana. The “fattest” state is West Virginia, with the most cases of obesity per population. The STD capital is Alaska. Details are at https://www.letsgetchecked.com/us/en/healthiest-us-states/.

 

Utah is ranked No. 6 among states in the Milken Institute’s State Technology and Science Index 2020 for its knowledge economy and capacity for innovation. Utah, which also was No. 6 last year, is behind only top-ranked Massachusetts, Colorado, California, Maryland and Washington. The index is a composite of five sub-indexes that each measures a different dimension of states’ science and technology economies. Utah is ranked No. 1 for technology concentration and dynamism, No. 10 for technology and science workforce, No. 3 for human capital investment, No. 4 for risk capital and entrepreneurial infrastructure, and No. 19 for research and development inputs. The bottom-ranked state overall is Mississippi.

 

Morgan County leads all Utah counties in a list of places where residents are giving the most money for charitable causes and organizations, compiled by financial technology company SmartAsset, using IRS data. The study measured how much people donate as a percentage of their net income and the proportion of people in a given county who make charitable donations. Morgan County was followed, in order, by Utah, Wasatch, Summit, Davis, Washington, Cache, Salt Lake, Juab and Rich counties. Details are at https://smartasset.com/retirement/financial-advisor#Utah.

 

ENVIRONMENT

Extra Space Storage Inc., Salt Lake City, has been recognized as the most sustainable U.S. self-storage company by the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark. Extra Space improved its benchmark score by 5 percent and scored an A grade for public disclosure. This is the third consecutive year the company has taken the top ranking in the U.S. self-storage sector. Also, Just Capital ranked Extra Space as the top self-storage company and included Extra Space in its top 200 most just companies. Sustainalytics recently recognized Extra Space as leading the pack in self-storage. In S&P Global’s SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment, Extra Space improved the company’s rating substantially from its initial benchmark. Each of these sustainability benchmark reports rank companies based on their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance from the prior year’s data.

 

HEALTHCARE

Elevar Therapeutics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based biopharmaceutical company, has named Gus Aromin as vice president of regulatory affairs. Aromin will build and lead the company’s global regulatory organization to support the development and registration of its therapeutic candidates, new product launches and lifecycle opportunities. Aromin has more than 20 years of experience supporting pharmaceutical organization development program goals and significant experience in managing interactions with global health authorities. Most recently, he served in senior regulatory affairs roles at Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Allergan and Elan.

 

INVESTMENT

• Wasatch Global Investors, Salt Lake City, has launched the Wasatch Greater China Fund, which will invest in what Wasatch believes are promising companies located in the Greater China region (China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). The fund will invest in a select portfolio of 35-50 companies while offering diversification among sectors. It will be constructed as an all-cap portfolio, including small-, mid- and large-cap companies. Dan Chace is lead portfolio manager of the fund.

 

MANUFACTURING

• The board of directors of Purple Innovation Inc., a Lehi-based designer and manufacturer of comfort products, has appointed Dawn Zier to the board and Paul Zepf has been elevated to chairman. The appointments fill vacated positions created by the retirement of Terry and Tony Pearce in August. Zier is the principal of Aurora Business Consulting LLC and advises companies on business transformation, digital marketing and high-performance teams. Zier served as president and CEO of Nutrisystem from 2012 until March of 2019, when it was sold to Tivity Health. She assisted in the transition to Tivity as president/chief operating officer and board member until December 2019. Previously, she served in a variety of positions at Readers Digest Association, including president of international, president of Europe and president of Global Marketing. She currently serves on the board of directors of Hain Celestial Group, Spirit Airlines and Prestige Consumer Healthcare. Zepf has been a director at Purple since August and previously acted as an advisor to the company and a board observer. Zepf previously was CEO of Global Partner Acquisition Corp., the predecessor to the company, from its formation in June 2015 until February 2018. Previously Zepf was managing director and head of strategic initiatives at Golub Capital and was managing principal of Corporate Partners II, a Lazard-sponsored private equity fund. Zepf has been a board member of Ironshore Ltd. and has served as a director of BIH Holdings.

 

PHILANTHROPY

The Domain Cos. has announced new local partnerships with three nonprofit organizations through its MyCommunity program at its Mya development: Odyssey House Utah, Ronald McDonald Charities of the Intermountain Area, and Utah Food Bank. Domain, in partnership with Giv Development, will open Mya in early 2021 in the heart of Salt Lake City. MyCommunity partners each Domain property with three local nonprofit organizations, facilitating donations and creating volunteer opportunities for residents throughout the year. Odyssey House Utah is a substance abuse treatment center for the state. The Ronald McDonald House Charities surrounds families with the support they need to be near to and care for their seriously ill or injured children. The Utah Food Bank distributes food free-of-charge to partner agencies and offers direct service programs to help vulnerable children and seniors.

 

RECOGNITIONS

• Utah properties swept the three U.S. World Ski Awards. The U.S. Best Ski Resort is Deer Valley Resort, for the eighth consecutive year. The U.S. Best Ski Hotel is Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley. The U.S. Best Ski Boutique Hotel is Goldener Hirsch Inn, for the third consecutive year. The World Ski Awards is the sister organization of World Travel Awards.

 

Half Circle Cross Ranch of Coalville has been selected as recipient of the 2020 Utah Leopold Conservation Award, which recognizes farmers, ranchers and foresters who inspire others with their dedication to land, water and wildlife habitat management on private, working land. The ranch is operated by Colby and McKenzie Pace. The Paces were presented with $10,000 and a crystal award at the Utah Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting in Provo. In Utah, the award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, American Farmland Trust, Utah Farm Bureau Federation, Western AgCredit and Utah Cattlemen’s Association. Other finalists for the award this year are Myrin Ranch of Altamont in Duchesne County and Yardley Cattle Company of Beaver in Beaver County. The Pace family has installed solar-powered watering systems to improve livestock distribution, forage utilization and water quality at their cattle ranch. Land is managed to reduce erosion, protect riparian areas and provide habitat for nesting and migrating shore birds. They work with the Nature Conservancy to demonstrate how grazing cattle can help reduce invasive phragmite grasses.

 

Impartner, a Salt Lake City-based channel management platform and partner relationship management provider, has been chosen as a 2020 Red Herring Top 100 North America winner for third consecutive year. The Top 100 North America forum celebrates the top private companies in the North America region. Winners were chosen from thousands of entrants, whittled down to hundreds presenting their companies at a virtual conference Nov. 17-18. Industry experts, insiders and journalists judged companies on a wide variety of criteria, including financial performance, innovation, business strategy and market penetration.

 

PassiveLogic, a Salt Lake City-based creator of an autonomous building controls platform, has been selected for Suffolk Technology’s "Boost" Program, a four-week initiative that will bring together five innovative construction technology startup founders with Suffolk leaders, industry experts and academics to solve the most pressing industry challenges, expand their networks and showcase their solutions. “Boost” is in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Real Estate, Bain Capital Ventures, and a new fund to be launched jointly by Romulus Capital and EquipmentShare. Suffolk Technology is the technology capital investment arm of construction enterprise Suffolk.

 

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