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ACCOUNTING

Tanner LLC, a Salt Lake City-based public accounting firm, has promoted Trevor Peterson to audit and transaction advisory partner. Peterson joined Tanner in 2008 and has worked as an audit manager and most recently senior audit manager. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Weber State University.

 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

Utah is tied with Massachusetts for the No. 2 spot on a list of the best states to raise a family in 2021, compiled by MoneyRates. It considered nine factors to determine the ranking of all 50 states. It noted that Utah was first in broadband access and in the top 10 for academic performance, college affordability and neighborhood amenities. It also noted that households in Utah and Washington State are over 20 percent more likely to have broadband than those in Mississippi and five other states, and that relative to the number of children in the state under 10 years old, Delaware has more than four times as many daycare workers as Utah. The overall top-ranked state is New Jersey.

 

Utah is ranked No. 37 on a list of best states to start a farm or ranch, compiled by LawnStarter. It looked at 44 metrics, including the infrastructure, prevalence, environmental factors, cost and potential returns of farming and ranching in each state. In a breakout list, Utah is No. 5 for fewest farm workers per 100,000 residents. Kentucky led the overall rankings. Alaska was last, with Maine being next-to-last. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-states-to-start-a-farm/.

 

Cache County leads all Utah counties in a ranking of the best places to get a mortgage, according to SmartAsset. It compared four factors, including overall borrowing costs, likelihood of securing a mortgage, property taxes and annual mortgage payments. Cache County was followed, in order, by Box Elder, Wayne, Salt Lake, Sevier, Tooele, Weber, Iron, Daggett and Grand counties. Details are at https://smartasset.com/mortgage/mortgage-rates#utah.

 

Eden is ranked No. 4 on a list of U.S. ski towns that saw year-over-year home-search increases in the 2020 fourth quarter, compiled by Realtor.com. Searches for homes in Eden were up 122 percent, with a median list price of $1.19 million. The analysis examined the home searches of residents from 10 “snowbird” markets to nearly 200 resort-linked ski towns. Snowbirds are residents of cold weather, Northern states, and the search increases indicate that they searched for homes with outdoor recreation options closer to home during pandemic. The highest search increase was for Union Dale, Pennsylvania. Snowbird views to top 10 ski towns were up 127 percent year-over-year on average during the fourth quarter, and seven of the 10 top ski towns seeing the largest percentage increase in views are located in Northeast and Midwest.

 

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Studies Weekly, an Orem-based elementary curriculum publisher, has hired Clayton Chamberlain as chief science curriculum architect. Chamberlain has 12 years of experience developing science curriculum at Pearson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. He has designed numerous science educational videos, simulations, online interactivities, and has been instrumental in the production of more than 60 print and digital educational products. Chamberlain holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in science, with a second master’s degree in instructional technology. He is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in curriculum and instruction at Utah State University.

 

Graduation Alliance, a Salt Lake City-based organization focused on alternative education and workforce training programs, has announced that Lisa Nutter and Chike Aguh have joined its board of directors. Nutter has experience in education, workforce development and human services. She is a principal at Sidecar Social Finance, a social impact agency that provides impact investing advisory and capital services, and co-leads the Partnership for Social & Economic Mobility+Social Mobility Impact Fund, a cooperative initiative of the University of Pennsylvania, Johnson C. Smith University, and Columbia University. She also is a senior fellow for rural investment at the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Aguh’s experience as a scholar, educator and adviser is focused on the future of work, particularly as it intersects with opportunities for underserved communities. He is the inaugural head of economic mobility pathways at the Education Design Lab, where he leads the Community College Growth Engine Fund. Aguh also is a technology and human rights fellow at the Harvard Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, a venture partner at New Markets Venture Partners, and a lecturer at Columbia University.

 

EXPANSIONS

New U Life, a Lehi-based wellness produces company, recently pre-launched into New Zealand and Australia, introducing its SomaDerm transdermal gel into those markets. During the past year, the company has pre-launched or launched several other markets, including Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

 

FINANCE

CBC Mortgage Agency (CBCMA), a tribally owned nationally chartered housing finance agency and a source of down payment assistance for first-time homebuyers, has launched the Kani Urban Indian Housing Initiative to increase homeownership within the urban Indian community. The National Urban Indian Family Coalition (NUIFC), an advocacy group for American Indian families living in urban areas, has partnered with CBCMA on the initiative, which will focus on housing issues through education, financial literacy, and securing sustainable homeownership for Native Americans, who live off the reservation. CBCMA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cedar Band Corp., a federally chartered tribal corporation wholly owned and operated by the Cedar Band of Paiute Indians.

 

GOVERNMENT

• Gov. Spencer Cox has named Casey Cameron to be the executive director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. The department has selected Nate McDonald to succeed Cameron as deputy director for the agency and Rebecca Banner as division director of the Office of Child Care, succeeding Tracy Gruber, who was appointed to run the Utah Department of Human Services. Cameron has worked for the state for 21 years, serving in various capacities within Workforce Services. Prior to that, she held positions with the Salt Lake School District, Intermountain Healthcare and Utah Retirement Systems. Cameron is a graduate of the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in social and behavioral health. McDonald most recently served as the assistant deputy and communication director for the department. Prior to that, he was the associate communication director for the Utah Governor’s Office. Before joining state government, McDonald worked in the private sector with a strategic communication firm for more than 10 years. He graduated from Southern Utah University with a master’s degree in public administration and the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in mass communication. In addition to being director of the Office of Child Care, Gruber was senior advisor for the Intergenerational Poverty Initiative. Prior to joining DWS, Gruber was the senior policy analyst and director of state fiscal policy at Voices for Utah Children. Gruber’s work experience also includes serving as an analyst in the Illinois Senate, overseeing a public employee retiree organization, and administering the Utah State Bar New Lawyer Training Program. Banner most recently was an assistant director in the Housing and Community Development division within the department. She has served in many leadership positions within Workforce Services, including managing employment centers and overseeing contracts, budgets and policy programs. Banner earned a Bachelor of Science in degree in family and human development from Utah State University.

 

HEALTHCARE

Elevar Therapeutics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based biopharmaceutical company, has promoted Dr. Mark Gelder to chief medical officer. He will oversee the company's clinical development, medical affairs, regulatory affairs and preclinical teams. Gelder joined Elevar in 2020 as vice president of medical affairs. Gelder has more than 35 years of clinical development, medical affairs and medical marketing experience, including 17 years of global medical affairs experience leading therapeutic oncology programs for companies including Pfizer, Wyeth and Bayer. Prior to his work in the biopharmaceutical industry, Gelder was an investigator in multiple clinical trials and has authored numerous scientific papers in the areas of women’s health and oncology.

 

INSURANCE

Berkshire Hathaway GUARD Insurance Cos., based in Pennsylvania, has announced it added Utah and Georgia to the list of states where the insurer offers its Homeowners product. With those additions, the company offers its Personal Lines products in 22 states, with plans for further expansion throughout the year. GUARD’s product targets dwellings valued over $75,000 and includes one-to-four-family residences, renters and condo units.

 

INVESTMENTS

MX, a Lehi-based a date-driven finance company, has raised $300 million in Series C funding, led by a $150 million investment from TPG Growth, with additional participation from new and existing investors, including CapitalG, Geodesic CapitalGreycroft, Cota CapitalCanapi Ventures, Digital Garage, Point72 Ventures and Pelion Venture Partners, along with Regions Financial Corp. In the last 12 months, the company has increased its market valuation to $1.9 billion, and it has doubled its employee count in the past two years to 550 employees.

 

JobNimbus, a Lehi-based home services software company, has received a $53 million growth capital investment from Mainsail Partners, a San Francisco-based growth equity firm. The investment is expected to advance JobNimbus’ software, leading to full-scale growth in their core platform, support services and team to serve their customers’ businesses. JobNimbus is projected to double in size in 2021, after more than doubling customers and employees in 2020. It plans to add approximately 100 employees in 2021, with an emphasis on product development and customer support roles. As part of the investment, Vinay Kashyap, partner, and KC Kanoff, vice president, of Mainsail Partners will be joining the JobNimbus board of directors. Jeff Gardner, the former CEO of Zen Planner, a former Mainsail portfolio company, will also be joining the JobNimbus board.

 

LAW

Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, has elected a record number of new shareholders, including the following in the Salt Lake City office: Emily D. Holt, Eric U. Johnson and Nicole Salazar-Hall. Holt is a member of the Banking & Finance and  Litigation, Trials & Appeals practice groups and concentrates her practice on commercial, banking, debt and equity financing, probate and real estate law. Holt graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in business management, and received her MBA degree and JD degree from the University of Utah. She also was a small-business owner. Johnson is a member of the Litigation, Trials & Appeals practice group, concentrating his practice on complex civil litigation, intellectual property litigation and government investigations. Before joining Parsons Behle & Latimer, Johnson served as an assistant attorney general with the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. Prior to that, he was a trial attorney with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Administrative Litigation. Salazar-Hall practices civil litigation with a focus on domestic law, representing individuals in domestic cases, juvenile court child welfare cases and actions challenging DCFS agency findings.

 

MEDIA/MARKETING

Advice Media, a Park City-based provider of software-based marketing solutions for medical, dental and law practices, has promoted Bryan McGowan to chief operating officer, in addition to his responsibilities as chief financial officer. McGowan has worked for the company for three years, first as a consultant, then as CFO. He began his career at Intel and spent several years in the MIT/Harvard entrepreneurship community, including serving as CFO of Open Water Power.

 

PHILANTHROPY

Mountain America Credit Union, Sandy, and KUTV, Salt Lake City, have marked the 10th year of the “Pay It Forward” program, which recognizes individuals and organizations who give back to others in need. They have paid $500 cash, for a total of more than $250,000, to over 500 people and organizations in Utah involved in a variety of causes, from animal rescues to quilters to feeding the hungry. In 2015, Pay It Forward expanded into Utah, with Mountain America partnering with CBS2 News in Boise and Local8 News in Pocatello. Over the past six years, 140 Pay It Forward segments have been produced in Idaho, giving away over $70,000.

 

PUBLIC POLICY

• The Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah has hired Phil Dean as public finance senior research fellow. Dean has 20 years of experience in state government, most recently serving as executive director of the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) after having previously served in the Herbert administration as the state budget director and chief economist. He also teaches economics and public finance as an adjunct professor and serves as co-chair of the Utah Economic Council. Prior to joining GOMB in 2013, Dean worked for the Utah Legislature for nearly a decade, specializing in the areas of tax and education. He began his professional career in Sacramento, working on the state budget at the California Department of Finance, where he specialized in education. Dean holds master’s degrees in public administration from Brigham Young University and economics from the University of Utah, and bachelor’s degrees in political science and Spanish from BYU.

 

RECOGNITIONS

Searchbloom, a West Jordan-based search engine marketing agency, has been recognized in the “Top 100 in Sustainable Growth” list by Clutch.co. Searchbloom’s financial history and year-over-year revenue growth were the primary factors considered for inclusion in this list.

 

SPORTS

• The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Track and Field will team with Jam On It, the largest event operator of the AAU, and Sports Salt Lake to host a new regional qualifier at East High School in Salt Lake City. Sports Salt Lake is a new division of Visit Salt Lake. The 2021 AAU Track and Field Region 20 Rocky Mountain Qualifier will be June 24-26, with athletes competing from ages 8-18. It will serve as a qualifier for the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming to the 55th AAU Junior Olympic Games in Houston. Sports Salt Lake projects the qualifier to have more than $750,000 in direct impact to the surrounding area in its first year, with an expected growth curve over the following years.

 

TECHNOLOGY

Connect Financial Software Solutions, a Sandy-based company providing advanced enterprise digital banking services to credit unions, has announced several leadership changes. Kaylene Anderson has been promoted to the newly created role of senior vice president of finance, leading the accounting and human resources departments and ensuring effective financial management of the organization. Anthony Bender has been promoted to the newly created role of senior vice president of technology. He will lead the information technology, engineering, applications and quality assurance departments. Randy Hanson has assumed the new position of vice president of engineering, with a focus on defining and evolving the future of the company’s technology and overseeing its team of architects. Ross Karcher has been appointed to the new role of vice president of applications. Charles Rodriguez has been promoted to vice president of sales, leading the sales and account management team in the acquisition of new clients as well as the management and growth of existing client relationships.