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• Ling Zang, a University of Utah materials science and engineering professor, has been elected as the newest fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. Zang’s research into nanomaterials and chemical sensors has created better technologies to detect explosives and toxic chemicals. Zang is among 175 fellows elected in 2020 by the academy and the only one from Utah and the University of Utah this year. The academy is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 that recognizes and encourages inventors, enhances the visibility of the university, educates and mentors students, and publicizes the inventions of its members. In addition to nanomaterials and chemical sensors, Zang’s research also focuses on organic semiconductors and nanostructures, optoelectronic nanodevices, and photocatalysis and photovoltaics for conversion of solar energy. He is the founder of two companies: Vaporsens and Metallosensors. Zang has been an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University, associate professor (and later professor) in the UofU’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and has an appointment as an adjunct professor in the UofU’s Department of Chemistry.
• The South Valley Chamber has hired Rosanne Simpson as director of business development and strategic partnerships. Simpson has more than 30 years of sales, marketing and events experience. She has served on several boards, including the American Marketing Association, Draper Chamber and Visit Salt Lake, along with many nonprofit event committees.
• Zions Bank, Salt Lake City, has hired retired Army Maj. Gen. Jefferson S. Burton, an adjutant general, as senior program administrator. He will assist in outreach to the military community in addition to other duties, including aiding in community reinvestment and diversity, equity and inclusion. Burton began a full-time military career 38 years ago as an enlisted artilleryman and ended his career as the highest-ranking member of the Utah National Guard in command of more than 7,000 soldiers and airmen. Burton was commissioned as a military police officer, worked in the Army Corps of Engineers, and served as commander of the 1457th Engineer Combat Battalion during their deployment to Iraq from February 2003 to May 2004. He spent eight years in the active Army living in Germany, and at posts in Alabama, Pennsylvania and Colorado before becoming an active National Guard soldier with the Utah Guard. Since retiring from the military in November, Burton has been involved in a variety of community endeavors, including leading the Utah Department of Health’s efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Bank of Utah, Ogden, has announced several leadership position changes. Branden Hansen has been named executive vice president and chief business officer and will oversee mortgage, corporate trust, personal trust, investments and foreign exchange. Hansen has worked at the bank for nearly 25 years, most recently as chief financial officer. His education includes a B.S. degree in finance from Brigham Young University. Brian Stevens will become executive vice president and chief operating officer. Stevens has worked more than 13 years for the bank, most recently serving as senior vice president of information technology. He will take on responsibility for branch and relationship banking, payment operations and facilities, digital funding and information technology. Stevens earned both a B.S. and MBA from Weber State University. Nathan DeFries has been named executive vice president and chief financial officer. He has worked for Bank of Utah for five years, most recently as senior vice president of finance. He formerly held accounting and finance positions for three different financial institutions. DeFries is a Certified Public Accountant and received a Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science in accounting from Brigham Young University. Cari Fullerton has been promoted to executive vice president and chief credit officer. She previously was senior vice president and chief credit officer for the past two years and was senior vice president, commercial team leader in Ogden for Bank of Utah. She has more than 30 years of experience, having held various banking positions for three financial institutions until she joined Bank of Utah in 1997. Colby Dustin has been promoted to senior vice president and chief risk officer. He joined Bank of Utah in 2009 as vice president of enterprise risk. A Certified Public Accountant, he was previously a senior manager with Ernst & Young LLP. Dustin has a Master of Accountancy and a B.S. in accounting from Brigham Young University. Bank of Utah also has announced that Roger Shumway, executive vice president and senior wealth management and foreign exchange director, is retiring after nearly 20 years at the bank. He also previously served as chief credit officer for Bank of Utah, and prior to that worked for 22 years as a loan installment clerk for Zions Bank and then as a credit officer and credit trainer for First Security Bank/Wells Fargo. Shumway is a graduate of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah.
• Sundt Construction Inc., a general contractor with a regional office in Salt Lake City, has launched Sundt Renewables LLC to expand its presence in the renewable energy construction market. Prior to forming the subsidiary, Sundt acquired select assets and key personnel from i1 Energy, a well-known leader in the renewable power market. Sundt Renewables will focus on utility-scale solar and energy storage projects across the United States, with a heavy emphasis on the Southwest and Texas. The subsidiary is led by a trio of solar industry veterans and entrepreneurs who founded and grew i1 Energy. One is Tom Dodson, managing director, who was co-founder of i1 Energy and led the company’s operations and oversaw the construction of its projects. He previously was president of Amec Foster Wheeler’s Power and Process business unit. Topher Wood is vice president and business development manager, He has $2.5 billion in solar project experience. He co-founded i1 Energy and led another solar industry contractor’s strategy and development. Bobby Batista, another i1 Energy co-founder, is vice president and engineering director. He has over 10 years of solar project experience.
• Goldenwest Credit Union has announced that its will collectively earn $2.2 million Dec. 31 with the year-end bonus dividend. The credit union’s board of directors approved the dividend at its November board meeting. The one-time dividend of 4.25 percent annual percentage yield (APY) that will be paid on top of the stated monthly dividend of 0.05 percent APY. For the past 17 years, the bonus dividend program has returned $17.4 million in earnings to Goldenwest members.
• Utah is ranked No. 22 among states that would benefit most from the Biden Administration’s climate plan, a ranking compiled by outdoor services provider LawnStarter. It analyzed data from 30 key factors connected to the plan, from the frequency of natural disasters to oil production to the share of electricity from renewable resources. The state that would benefit most is Texas. The state that would benefit the least is Vermont. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/states-that-would-benefit-most-from-bidens-climate-plan
• Salt Lake City is ranked Nov. 4 among U.S. cities for charitable giving, a list compiled by outdoor services provider LawnStarter. It compared the 150 largest U.S. cities using 12 indicators of philanthropic behavior, from charitable giving to volunteering rate to the number of food banks. Salt Lake City was behind only top-ranked Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Portland, Oregon. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/2020s-most-generous-u-s-cities
• Utah is ranked No. 3 among states for saving money while living at an assisted living facility. The list was compiled by Sixty and Me, which combined Genworth’s Cost of Care Survey with other datasets to create an assisted living index based on the average cost and retirement fund by state. Nationally, the average cost of assisted living facilities per year is $51,600 and the average retirement fund is just over $382,000. This means the average American has enough funding for around six years in an assisted living facility. Utah’s annual cost is $40,800, or about $10,800 less than the national average. Utah’s average total retirement savings is $280,214, meaning the maximum time an individual could live in assisted living in Utah is seven years. Missouri led the rankings, at 10.5 years. Details are at https://sixtyandme.com/aging/assisted-living-index
• Western Governors University, Salt Lake City, has appointed Gene Hayes as senior vice president of regional operations. Hayes, a 17-year veteran in the higher education sector, will oversee operations and help drive strategies across WGU’s seven regions and eight state affiliates. Hayes joins WGU after serving nearly two decades in higher education leadership roles. He has experience developing both national and international programs, and his areas of expertise include business development, academic operations, and the delivery and expansion of online programs. Most recently, Hayes led the international team at BYU-Pathway Worldwide that oversaw the expansion and operational details of PathwayConnect as well as online certificate and degree programs offered from Brigham Young University-Idaho. Hayes began his career at Intel Corporation, where he served in multiple leadership and management roles. He earned his MBA in general management from the Marriott School of Business at Brigham Young University, as well as a B.S. in economics from BYU.
• Studies Weekly, an Orem-based elementary curriculum publisher, has hired Noelle Carter as chief curriculum architect. Carter most recently was chief academic officer at Imagine Learning, where she worked for 10 years. Carter has more than 20 years of experience in digital education, both teaching courses and developing digital courseware for Utah Valley University, the University of Alaska and Western Governors University. Earlier in her career, she taught fourth grade in Wyoming and bilingual elementary school in both Utah and Mexico. Carter’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Brigham Young University.
• Neighbor, a Lehi-based peer-to-peer self-storage company, has opened its first commercial space in New York City. In partnership with Bridgeton Holdings and Stuf, the owner and operators of the building in Neighbor’s debut NYC commercial property, the ground floor of the mixed-use building in Brooklyn's Navy Yard (15 Vanderbilt) has been transformed into a self-storage center. A restaurant tenant vacated the building during the pandemic.
• Rico Brand has moved to 945 W. Folsom Ave., Salt Lake City. The company made the move with support from the Salt Lake City business community and the city’s Business Development Division. Known as one of the original anchor tenants to the Granary District neighborhood, Rico Brand used that support to buy the new 7,000-square-foot location for $750,000. The new facility is expected to streamline operations and help grow the company from 28 to 36 employees in the coming months. Annual sales are expected to reach $2.5 million in 2020. Rico makes gourmet Mexican food available at grocery and specialty food stores throughout Utah.
• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development has received a Gold Davey Award, in the category of cause marketing, for its “In Utah” educational awareness campaign. In partnership with rumor Advertising, GOED worked this year to raise Utahn’s consumer confidence and influence healthy behaviors. The mass-awareness initiative motivates consumers to shop, play, dine and stay in Utah. The campaign also emphasizes the importance of healthy behaviors such as mask-wearing and getting a flu shot. The annual International Davey Awards honor the “Creative Davids” who derive their strength from big ideas rather than stratospheric budgets. The Davey is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from media, advertising and marketing firms.
• CHG Healthcare, a Salt Lake City-based, privately held parent company of five healthcare staffing companies, has named Leslie Snavely as chief sales officer and Scott Boecker as chief digital officer. Snavely succeeds Mark Law, who recently retired after 31 years with the company. Snavely joined CHG in 2010 and has led its marketing, enterprise client solutions, product management and engineering teams. Most recently, she served as chief digital officer, where she led the formation of the company's digital strategy, including the acquisition of its two technology companies, Modio Health and LocumsMart. Boecker has more than 20 years of product experience with venture-capital-backed startups and billion-dollar companies, including Ticketmaster and Nike. In his new role, Boecker will lead CHG’s digital innovations to make it easier for healthcare providers to work locum tenens assignments and for facilities to meet their staffing needs.
• Alucent Biomedical, a Salt Lake City-based, privately held medical technology company, has announced that Dr. Venita Chandra will join the company’s scientific advisory board. Chandra is certified in both general and vascular surgery. She is a clinical associate professor of surgery in the Division of Vascular Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. She also serves as the co-medical director of the Stanford Advanced Wound Care Center and the program director of the Vascular Surgery Fellowship and Vascular Surgery Residency Programs at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Alucent is currently developing its Natural Vascular Scaffolding (Alucent NVS) Vessel Restoration System with Photoactivated Linking for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD) of the lower extremities.
• Thoma Bravo, a private equity investment firm focused on the software and technology-enabled services sector, has announced a strategic growth investment in Venafi, a Salt Lake City-based inventor and provider of machine identity management, valuing the company at $1.15 billion. The investment is expected to accelerate Venafi’s technology innovation to capitalize on machine identity management’s growing importance as a cybersecurity trend. Existing investors TCV and Foundation Capital will remain shareholders.
• Salty Dot Inc., a Salt Lake City-based Embedded Insurance technology company, has attracted over $16 million in total investment from Elefund, Fremont Group, Human Capital and other investors. Salty's platform is a proprietary software-as-a-service solution that enables carriers and distribution partners to offer a personalized policy to insure a product or service in real-time during the purchase process. The company plans to extend its platform, which uses intelligent systems, and also is applying funds to fuel recruitment of its distribution network.
• Pura, an Orem-based home fragrance brand company, has announced that James Harden has joined the company as an investor and creative director. Harden is an NBA All-Star and 2018 MVP. In his Pura role, he will serve as an advisor to the executive and creative teams and help grow brand awareness.
• INYO Broadcast Holdings, Salt Lake City, has appointed veteran broadcaster Steven J. Smith as executive chairman. Smith also will join INYO’s operating committee as the newly formed television company works toward the closing of its acquisition of 23 TV stations from ION Media Networks Inc. Smith is the retired chairman and CEO of the former Journal Communications Inc.. He was elected CEO in March 1998 and chairman in December 1998. He retired from Journal in April 2015 after successfully selling the company. Smith’s career has spanned over 40 years, beginning with Journal’s broadcast division in 1976. He served in general management roles at Journal’s radio and television stations and eventually oversaw Journal Broadcast Group. In April 2015, Smith became non-executive chairman of the board of Journal Media Group, the public newspaper enterprise. He served in that capacity until April 2016, when JMG was sold to Gannett.
• Wells Fargo recently presented a $25,000 grant to Utah Food Bank to help food-insecure Utahns during the holidays. It was part of Wells Fargo’s “Many Hearts. One Community” campaign.
• Mountain America Credit Union has committed an additional $10,000 to Utah Food Bank, St. Mary’s Food Bank in Arizona and Idaho Foodbank, helping feed more than 50,000 people. This year, Mountain America has donated over $32,000 to local food pantries, helping feed more than 150,000 people in five states. Mountain America, in partnership with USANA Kids Eat, recently donated 80 backpacks filled with food to Lied Boys and Girls Club in Salt Lake City. In September, as part of the second annual “Month of Caring” initiative, nearly 100 Mountain America employees served at Utah Food Bank, USANA Kids Eat and Idaho Food Bank, sorting and packaging food.
• Solitude Mountain Resort partnered earlier this month with Utah Food Bank to collect non-perishable items for community members and families in need. Collection bins were placed at Solitude’s main base area, Moonbeam Center, for donations.
• Park Station Apartments, a 95-unit property at 7155 High Tech Drive, Midvale, has been sold by Next Wave Investors to a California-based private investment company for an undisclosed amount. Park Station was completed in 1974. Marcus & Millichap, a commercial real estate brokerage firm, announced the sale. Brock Zylstra and Daniel Shin of Marcus & Millichap had the exclusive listing to market the property for the seller. The two also secured and represented the buyer.
• Visit Salt Lake recently presented Sally Tilson O’Neill, director of convention sales at VSL, with the 14th annual Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award and Bill Wyatt, executive director of the Salt Lake City Department of Airports, with its annual Tourism Achievement Award. Visit Salt Lake is a private, nonprofit corporation responsible for the promotion of Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination. The Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award is presented annually to VSL’s top salesperson. O’Neill booked 10 citywide conventions in 2019, with events to be held in Salt Lake through 2028. These 10 conventions will collectively attract nearly 38,000 attendees occupying 119,00 hotel room nights and add approximately $37 million to Salt Lake’s visitor economy. The Tourism Achievement Award is VSL’s highest honor presented annually to recognize members and community organizations for “outstanding efforts in supporting the mission of VSL and the larger tourism community of Salt Lake County.” Wyatt and his team recently opened the first phase of The New SLC, Salt Lake City International Airport’s $4 billion infrastructure project vital to the visitor economy.
• Sundt Construction Inc., an Arizona general contractor with a regional office in Salt Lake City, was recently awarded the Diamond Safety Award by the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Utah. The award, the highest safety award handed out annually by the AGC of Utah, evaluates comparable sized contractors’ total man-hours worked to the national average. Sundt earned the honor because it had more than 5 million worked man-hours at an incident rate of 50 percent below the national level. The company garnered the same recognition last year.
• Spectrum Solutions LLC, Draper, recently received two 2020 “ASTORS” Homeland Security Awards from American Security Today. One is a Platinum award for Best COVID-19 Testing Device (Saliva). The other is a Gold award for Best COVID-19 Detection Innovation. Both awards recognized the national impact and global importance of the Spectrum Solutions SDNA-1000 Saliva Collection Device. The awards program, in its fifth year, highlights the most cutting-edge and forward-thinking security solutions coming onto the market. Nominations are evaluated on their technical innovation, interoperability, specific impact within the category, overall impact to the industry, relatability to other industry technologies, and application feasibility outside of the industry.
• Intellibed, a Salt Lake City-based mattress producer, recently received a 2021 Women’s Choice Award for its high customer recommendation rating. In a national survey conducted by the Women’s Choice Award, 92 percent of the Intellibed female customers said they would recommend the brand's Gel Matrix mattresses to their friends and family. The Women’s Choice Award, presented by WomenCertified Inc., identifies brands, products and services that are most recommended and trusted by women. Awards are based on surveys of thousands of women, as well as research conducted in partnership with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
• The BMA 360 Beamforming Microphone Array Ceiling Tile, produced by Salt Lake City-based ClearOne, recently was named a 2020 Innovation Product Award winner by the readers of Sound & Video Contractor. ClearOne says the BMA 360 is the world’s first truly wideband, frequency invariant beamforming mic array with uniform gain response across all frequency bands.
• Nav, a Salt Lake City-based company offering a financing platform for small businesses, is included on the Fall 2020 Best & Brightest Companies To Work For in the Nation list, compiled by the National Association for Business Resources.
• Galileo, a Salt Lake City-based company focused on card issuing, virtual card solutions and digital banking, has announced the winners of the 2020 CB Insights Future of Fintech Global Innovation Challenge. More than 500 people participated in the three-week Galileo-sponsored hackathon, creating projects that addressed challenges around some of financial services' most pressing issues. Participants also competed for The Galileo Innovation Award, recognizing the project that demonstrated the best use of the Galileo Instant API to build digital banking functionality into their projects. The award was presented to EVVA Community Fund, a community donation platform aimed at supporting small businesses in Mexico impacted by COVID-19. The five finalist teams in the open competition included the winning project, awarded to ChrysCard, a streamlined credit payment platform; runner-up DataSpot, a mobile platform that keeps customer data private through distributed computation; and runner-up Savey, a platform that tells consumers what card to pay with so they can maximize credit card points and rewards.