Industry Briefs are provided as a free service to our readers. Company news information may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The submission deadline is one week before publication.
• WebBank, a Salt Lake City-based industrial bank, has appointed Shannon Hutchings as senior vice president of engagement, brand and strategy deployment. An employee of WebBank for 10 years, Hutchings most recently served as vice president of lean/operations and has been instrumental in the execution of the bank’s lean and payments initiatives, vendor management program and helped stand up and lead WebBank’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) Council.
• TAB Bank, Ogden, has provided a $5 million rediscount credit facility for a trucking factoring company based in Michigan. The facility is based on a multi-year agreement and will provide the means necessary to grow and expand the company’s growing portfolio. The company was primarily looking for a funding partner with experience in lending to and financing companies in the trucking industry. Their search led them to TAB Bank.
• Weber State University is ranked No. 17 on a list of the “Top 20 Best Contract Management Certificate Programs for 2021,” compiled by Great Business Schools. The University of Washington was top-ranked. American Military University in Charles Town, West Virginia, was top-ranked on the list of “Top 10 Best Contract Management Bachelor’s Programs for 2021. Arizona State University was top-ranked on the list of “Top 10 Best Contract Management Master's Programs for 2021.”
• Salt Lake City is ranked No. 104 on a list of “2021’s Best Cities for Water Quality,” compiled by LawnStarter. It compared the 200 biggest U.S. cities on seven key factors, from consumers’ overall satisfaction with their water to the number of quality violations to the share of homes lacking basic plumbing. The top-ranked city is Columbus, Ohio. The bottom-ranked city is Garden Grove, California. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-for-water-quality/.
• Rowland Hall, a Salt Lake City-based independent coeducational college-preparatory day school, has hired Chandani Patel as its first director of equity and inclusion. In this endowed role, made possible by a $2.4 million donation from the Cumming Family Foundation, Patel will support Rowland Hall’s core value of welcoming everyone and elevate the school’s longstanding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Patel has taught and written extensively about how concepts of race, identity and belonging shift across places, languages and cultures. She has spent the past 10 years advancing DEI initiatives across a number of institutions, most recently as the director for global diversity education at New York University.
• Faculty, staff and students at Weber State University now have access to a suite of cutting-edge technology through the university’s ongoing Digital District project, thanks in part to CARES funds, which supported the university’s transition to online learning. A wide array of tools are now available for faculty in Lampros Hall on the Ogden campus, including a podcast studio, mobile SMART Board TVs, technology-enhanced collaboration spaces, and an active-learning classroom. The classroom can quickly shift from accommodating a lecture to fostering group work in high-tech pods. There are also individual workspaces where faculty can develop online, virtual and technologically enhanced face-to-face courses, with instructional designers and teaching experts nearby to provide assistance. Adobe leaders have announced Weber State as its newest Adobe Creative Campus, a designation given to a select group of colleges and universities around the world that are driving the future of digital literacy. Jason Barrett-Fox, assistant professor of rhetoric and writing studies, has been recognized as a Faculty Fellow, sharing techniques with fellows from other colleges and universities and focusing on how he has integrated Adobe tools into his first-year composition courses at Weber State.
• The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) recently announced Daniel Royal as its director of corporate growth and business development. Royal will play a key role in attracting new businesses to the state and managing GOED’s flagship incentive program, the post-performance EDTIF tax credit program. Royal is a familiar face at GOED and the state of Utah, formerly serving in various roles since 2012. He started as an intern on the International Trade and Diplomacy team, then transitioned to the Office of Rural Development. His previous tenure at GOED was four years. Royal also worked at the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, where he managed the office’s incentives program, including the High-Cost Infrastructure Tax Credit. Royal most recently worked for Charleston County Economic Development in South Carolina, where he directed the county’s business recruitment efforts.
• The Central Wasatch Commission has launched the 2021 call for ideas for new projects specific to the project area of the Central Wasatch Commission, which includes Millcreek Canyon, Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, and the Wasatch Back. This call is specifically focused on projects that protect the ecosystems or watershed originating in the project area, improve canyon transportation or transit, steward year-round recreation, and sustain the economic viability of the Wasatch Canyons. The commission was formed in 2017 through an interlocal agreement and is comprised of nine jurisdictions along the Central Wasatch Front and Back. Its mission is to implement the Mountain Accord, which laid out proposals for addressing four major issue areas specific to the Central Wasatch Mountains: transportation, economic viability, environmental sustainability, and recreation stewardship. Details are at cwc.utah.gov.
• Neighbor, a Lehi-based self-storage marketplace, has secured $53 million in a Series B investment led by proptech and real estate investor Fifth Wall Ventures, along with marketplace experts, including DoorDash’s Tony Xu, StockX’s Scott Cutler and returning investor Andreessen Horowitz. Neighbor will use the investment to expand its network of hosts and renters, which currently spans rural, suburban and urban markets in all 50 states. In addition to leading the round, Fifth Wall Ventures will facilitate opportunities for Neighbor to partner with the firm’s roster of investors and limited partners, specifically real estate investment trusts.
• HandsFree Labs Inc., a Vineyard-based hands-free footwear technology company, has secured a $3 million round of financing led by the Frazier Group. In addition to licensing its technology portfolio, HandsFree Labs uses its technologies to power Kizik footwear, a brand of hands-free shoes. Skip Lei will be executing the footwear business side for Kizik and Handsfree Labs. Lei spent more than 30 years at Nike, including running the global tennis category, creating Nike’s Quick Strike program, and serving as the product liaison to the brands that Nike owned.
• Holland & Hart has hired Michelle Quist as part of its commercial litigation practice in Salt Lake City. Quist has experience in complex civil litigation, regulatory and appellate matters. She also represents clients in a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including business torts and breach of contract cases, and in in environmental and natural resources litigation matters, including public lands litigation. Quist began her legal career practicing in New York at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. She then worked as a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit. She also turned her advocacy skills to writing daily editorial articles and columns for The Salt Lake Tribune and providing political commentary and analysis for news and media organizations. She received her J.D. from Brigham Young University’s J. Reuben Clark Law School and her bachelor’s degree from BYU.
• Armstrong Teasdale has hired associate Tanner B. Camp for the firm’s litigation practice in Salt Lake City. Camp regularly represents clients in complex legal matters in state and federal court, including contract and trade secrets disputes, environmental actions and white-collar criminal investigations. Camp has experience representing clients in multimillion-dollar matters involving a wide array of claims, from environmental torts to theft of trade secrets, across industries. Prior to joining Armstrong Teasdale, Camp was in private practice at a trial boutique in Southern California. He also held summer associate positions with several firms in Utah and Texas.
• Visit Salt Lake, a private, nonprofit corporation promoting Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination, has launched “Fuel the Fun,” an incentive-based travel campaign promoting overnight visitation to Salt Lake County’s South Valley area. By booking just two or more nights at participating South Valley lodging properties, travelers can select between a $50 Sinclair gas card or a $50 VISA gift card. The Sinclair cards are valid for gas or merchandise at all Sinclair Gas Station locations while the VISA gift cards may be used nationwide for both in-store and online purchases.
• Ski Utah has hired Alison Palmintere as director of communications. Palmintere was the 2012 Ski Utah PR intern and has worked in PR for Caesars Entertainment on the food and beverage side, as well as Vegas.com, where she spearheaded SEO efforts. She joins Ski Utah after spending almost a year in Hakuba, one of Japan’s largest ski towns, where she opened Goryu Village’s first wine bar and snowboarded in her spare time.
• Bank of America has named Neighborhood House and Volunteers of America Utah as its inaugural Neighborhood Builders program awardees in Utah. The program recognizes both nonprofits for their work to address issues fundamental to economic mobility, specifically access to critical wraparound, mental health, housing and healthcare services, as well as affordable family support, youth programs, pre-school and adult care. As part of the program, each organization receives a $200,000 grant, a year of leadership training for the executive director and an emerging leader, a network of peer organizations across the U.S., and the opportunity to access capital to expand their impact. Including Neighborhood Builders, Bank of America awarded more than $1 million to Salt Lake-area organizations in 2020, including $400,000 in funding and nonprofit leadership skills development training to advance economic mobility.
• Woodbury Corp., a real estate management and development company, in partnership with WPI Enterprises, has announced the opening of TJ Maxx at The Meadows shopping center in American Fork. It contains 22,000 square feet. The company also announced Alvera at The Meadows, new living residences, will be available this spring and offer one- to three-bedroom apartments. Nearly 50 living spaces are anticipated to become available this spring, followed by another 96 units later this summer.
• Nu Skin, a Provo-based company offering beauty and wellness products, has been ranked the world’s top brand for beauty device systems for the fourth consecutive year by Euromonitor International Ltd., a publisher of market research on the skin care industry. Nu Skin’s customer base totals more than 1.5 million consumers.
• Visit Salt Lake, a private, nonprofit corporation promoting Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination, recently presented Eddie Canaday with its 14th annual Dianne Nelson Binger Sales Leadership Award. It is the second time he has earned the honor during his 12 years at VSL. Canaday is director of convention sales in the D.C. market and diversity market development director. The award is presented to Visit Salt Lake’s top salesperson in honor of Dianne Binger, who served Visit Salt Lake, then known as the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the community for 18 years, becoming President & CEO in 2001. Canaday worked in concert with his Salt Lake-based counterparts to close some of the year’s largest bookings, conventions being held 2021 through 2028 and ranging in size from 3,500 attendees to more than 14,000 attendees.
• Eight hospitals in Utah have been ranked among the top 100 rural and community hospitals and critical access hospitals in the U.S. for 2021 by the Chartis Center for Rural Health, a rural healthcare organization. The list of top rural and community hospitals includes Ashley Regional Medical Center in Vernal, Bear River Valley Hospital in Tremonton, Castleview Hospital in Price, Cedar City Hospital, and Sevier Valley Hospital in Richfield. Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch, Sanpete Valley Hospital in Mount Pleasant, and Beaver Valley Hospital in Beaver were ranked as top rural critical access hospitals. Chartis scored hospitals in 36 independent indicators across eight categories, such as quality of care, patient outcomes, affordability and financial efficiency. Also, Cedar City Hospital and Sevier Valley Hospital are on a list of the 20 highest-ranked prospective payment system hospitals in the U.S., based on an evaluation by the Chartis Center. It considered factors for the top 20 rural and community hospitals based on eight indices: inpatient market share, outpatient market share, quality, outcomes, patient perspective, cost, charge and financial efficiency.
• A University of Utah student team, uAir, recently won the $20,000 grand prize at the 2021 Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, in which teams from Utah universities competed for $60,000 in cash and prizes. The statewide business-model competition is managed by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank. UAir offers an innovative inhaler that streamlines the design to be more portable with fewer puffs, leading to less medical waste and more financially accessible inhalers. Other winners are second-place Clean Seat, UofU ($15,000); third-place SpeechCloud, UofU ($10,000); Speech Cloud with the Ident Solutions Technology Award ($2,500); Morr Décor, Southern Utah University, with the Actium Partners Bootstrap Award ($2,000); Gaia Technologies, UofU, with the Jones Waldo Intellectual Property Award ($1,500); Morr Decor, Mobile Moon Co-op (Westminster College), Judgement Day (Salt Lake Community College) and Powder Soles (Utah State University) with the Ballard Spahr and Workman Nydegger Emerging Entrepreneur Awards ($1,000 each); and BidMyCrib, UofU, with the online voting Jones Waldo People’s Choice Award ($1,000).
• Acti-Vest, a team from Juan Diego Catholic High School, won the $10,000 grand prize at the 2021 High School Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a high school business-idea competition with $25,000 in cash and scholarships. The competition is hosted by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, a division of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah, and sponsored by Zions Bank. Acti-Vest presented an idea for a vest that uses ultrasonic sensors to calculate the distance between obstacles and a visually impaired wearer to warn them of nearing objects. Other winners are Pocket Garden, Hillcrest High School, with second place ($5,000); Eggshell Remover, Springville High School, with third place ($2,500); and Ringo Leveling the Testing Field, West High School, with the most votes in the public online voting ($500). Also, several students were awarded a position with the Lassonde Founders program, which includes a $1,000 housing scholarship for students to live and launch together at Lassonde Studios: Ava Coccaro, Genevieve Hohaia, Gianna Hohaia, Jennifer Ong, Katherine Sexton, Lily Miller, Maíra Howcroft and William Jesperson.
• Ancestry, a Lehi-based family history and consumer genomics company, has appointed Lorrie Norrington as an independent member of its board of directors. She previously served as an advisor to Ancestry from May 2019 to December 2020. Norrington has more than 30 years of operating experience in technology, software and Internet businesses. She currently serves as an advisor and in an operating partner capacity for Lead Edge Capital. Prior to Lead Edge, she was president of eBay Marketplaces and led all eBay businesses in 39 countries. Prior to that, she was the CEO of Shopping.com Inc., an online shopping comparison site acquired by eBay in 2005; served as an officer at Intuit; and led a variety of businesses at the General Electric Co. over a 20-year period. Norrington serves on the boards of Colgate-Palmolive, HubSpot, Autodesk and Eventbrite. Previous boards include DIRECTV, Shopping.com, McAfee, TaskRabbit, Catawiki and Lucasfilm.
• Spherion Staffing has opened an office at 204 E. Harvey Milk Blvd. in downtown Salt Lake City to specialize in meeting the demand for IT talent in Silicon Slopes and partnering to give back to the causes that matter most to our clients. The new technology-focused office is opening with the support of the market’s Spherion franchise owner, Ron Zarbock. Since 2007, Zarbock has grown Spherion’s presence in the state and regionally now to seven offices along Utah’s Wasatch front and Idaho’s Treasure Valley. Jon Eborn will serve as director for the new office. He has insider knowledge of the local technology industry and has networked within the independent IT consultant scene in Salt Lake City.
• Yoodlize, a Provo-based tech startup offering a peer-to-peer rental application, has used crowdfunding platform Wefunder to raise $500,000. The company said it will use the funds to expand across the Wasatch Front and beyond. Yoodlize’s customer base contains 1,200 listings and more than 3,000 users in the Provo/Orem area.
TRAVEL & TOURISM
• The International Dark Sky Association has awarded International Dark Sky Park designations to Fremont Indian and Goosenecks state parks. These parks bring the total dark sky designations to 10 within the Utah Division of State Parks system. This is more designations than any other state park system in the world. Staff at both parks have worked over the past five years to make people aware of the value of natural darkness. They have consistently monitored the quality of their night skies and held frequent dark sky education events.