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• The Economic Innovation Group (EIG), a Washington, D.C.-based bipartisan public policy organization, has added James “Jim” Lee Sorenson to its board of directors. Sorenson is founder and chairman of the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah. He is an entrepreneur, business leader and philanthropist. EIG’s mission is to advance solutions that empower entrepreneurs and investors to forge a more dynamic American economy. EIG has a partnership history with the foundation, collaborating on projects like the Forbes Opportunity Zone Catalyst Challenge and Opportunity Zone workshops. Sorenson also established the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah which focuses on social impact and policy. He served as chairman of the Board of Village Capital and is a member of the Executive Committee for the U.S. National Impact Investing Alliance.
• BioUtah is soliciting applications from companies interested in presenting at the pitch competition during its 2021 Entrepreneur & Investor Life Sciences Summit. While the main focus will be on start-up and early-stage companies, any company currently seeking funding or planning to seek funding in the next 24 months is welcome to apply. The virtual conference takes place Feb. 25-26. The pitch competition is an opportunity to showcase a company and technology before life sciences leaders and investors, and hone pitch skills. The application is at https://nategibby1.typeform.com/to/TLlW7ppx.
• Lendio, a Lehi-based small-business loan marketplace company, has announced plans to hire 500 employees by the end of January, with positions available in the Salt Lake City and Long Island, New York, regions. The temporary-to-hire positions are suited for those interested in temporary opportunities, expected to last into the spring of 2021, the company said. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lendio has helped facilitate over 100,000 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan approvals for small-business owners. Lendio also is hiring a number of permanent team members to help support its core business. Positions are available in product, development, business development, customer experience, marketing and other departments. Salt Lake City-based recruiting firm PrincePerelson will work with Lendio during this hiring surge.
• Utah is ranked No. 17 on a list of the top growth states in the U.S., compiled by U-Haul, which analyzed migration patterns from 2020. Growth states are calculated by the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus leaving that state during a calendar year. People coming to Utah in one-way U-Haul trucks increased nearly 13 percent in 2020, while departures also rose 13 percent. Arrivals accounted for about 50.4 percent of all one-way U-Haul traffic in Utah during 2020 to make it the No. 17 state for netting DIY movers, sliding nine spots from its No. 8 ranking the previous year. Utah’s leading growth city is St. George, with notable net gains also seen in Hurricane, Ogden, Logan, Clearfield, Provo, Cedar City, Lehi, Bountiful and Spanish Fork. The top growth state is Tennessee, followed by Texas, Florida, Ohio and Arizona. California is the state with the steepest out-migration.
• Salt Lake City is ranked No. 12 on a list of 2021’s “Best Cities for Living Without a Car,” compiled by outdoor services provider LawnStarter. It compared the 150 biggest U.S. cities across 20 key metrics, from a city’s walkability and transit ridership to its climate. The best cities for a carless lifestyle are San Francisco; Portland, Oregon; Washington, D.C.; Boston and New York City. The worst cities are Shreveport, Louisiana; Montgomery, Alabama; Little Rock, Arkansas; Huntsville, Alabama; and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
• Ensign College has hired Paul Eden as chief information officer. He will oversee the acquisition, creation and secure operation of technology at Ensign College and the management of interdisciplinary technology-centric teams. Eden previously was the senior director of BYU apps in application engineering at Brigham Young University’s Office of Information Technology. His education includes a bachelor’s degree in family science and human development from BYU. Ensign College is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is a unit of the Church Educational System.
• The ChamberWest Leadership Institute begins with a Jan. 27-28 leadership retreat. The institute’s goal is to challenge and engage leaders in professional and personal growth while inspiring an entrepreneurial spirit in building a better community. It has activities two days a month for six months. Limited to 25 participants, the program application includes a signature of support from participant employers and commitment to attend all 10 sessions. Details are at https://chamberwest.com/2021-leadership-institute.
• SimpleNexus, a Lehi-based developer of a homeownership platform connects loan officers, borrowers, real estate agents and settlement agents, has received a follow-on investment of $108 million in Series B funding led by global venture capital and private-equity firm Insight Partners. SimpleNexus said the capital infusion will help it maintain its growth trajectory. The $108 million capital raise follows Insight Partners’ initial investment of $20 million in SimpleNexus.
• Malouf, a Logan-based producer of furniture and bedding, has hired Adam Stevenson to lead tradeshow design efforts and increase focus on customers’ experience with products in stores. Stevenson spent the past six years with Cariloha, designing retail spaces in the sleep industry.
• PacifiCorp Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Rocky Mountain Power, has announced new grants to support local organizations that provide arts and education programs as well as organizations providing additional community support during the pandemic. The foundation is donating more than $200,000 in new funding across the six states it serves to support the arts and humanities. Fifty-eight grants, ranging from $1,000 to $7,500, were given to nonprofit organizations across Rocky Mountain Power’s service area.
• Homie, a Salt Lake City-based real estate company, has donated $100,000 for the United Way to distribute to organizations that assist with a range of emergency needs. At the beginning of April, Homie launched the “Homie Helps” initiative and committed to contributing up to $100,000 to the United Way COVID-19 Response Fund. For every home purchased by Utahns through Homie, the company contributed $500 to the relief fund that was established to help Utahns stay in their homes through rent and mortgage assistance. Among the organizations are Al-Huda Islamic Center, Jewish Family Services, Refugee Justice League, Salvation Army Salt Lake, The Road Home, 211 Utah, Housing First Fund, the Refuge/Center for Women and Children in Crisis, and Alpine House. Funds were also distributed to United Way organizations in order to help individuals across the state: United Way Dixie, United Way of Cache Valley, United Way of Eastern Utah, United Way of Northern Utah and United Way of Utah County.
• Nexus IT Consultants, Park City, has created a corporate sponsorship with Operational Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). The company will be bringing its IT support solutions to O.U.R., which since its inception in 2013 has had the mission of ending child trafficking.
• OZ Impact Funds, Salt Lake City, has acquired 21 manufactured housing communities from Strive Communities for $100 million. The communities include 2,740 manufactured housing pads across five midwestern states. The acquisition adds to OZ’s growing portfolio of 11,400 MHCs acquired in just two years, increasing its portfolio by 30 percent. It plans to own and operate 20,000 MHC pads by 2022.
• Camino Verde Group LLC, a privately held real estate investment, development and asset management company, is developing a tech and residential community called Ephraim Crossing in Ephraim. The 90-acre community will feature residential, retail and business spaces and will bring a new tech hub to the home of Snow College and the Ephraim campus of Utah State University. Mike Ballard, partner at Camino Verde Group, said it will have world-class amenities in a small-town environment that has been shown to attract top-tier tech employees. The first building planned for the business sector at Ephraim Crossing is a two-story, 32,000-square-foot tech office and co-working facility. Development is underway for the 44-home Estates at Ephraim Crossing.
• USANA, a Salt Lake City-based cellular nutrition company, recently earned recognition at the Asia Pacific Enterprise Awards (APEA) 2020 Region Edition. The company’s Philippines market was awarded in the inspirational brand category.