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• Bank of Utah, Ogden, has hired Rigoberto J. Ramirez as a mortgage loan originator in the Sandy branch at 9320 S. State. Ramirez has held management positions in his career and most recently served as assistant loan officer for JFQ Lending in Scottsdale, Arizona.
• WebBank, a Salt Lake City-based, Utah-chartered industrial bank, has appointed Alicia Perry as senior vice president of technology enablement. Perry joined the company in January 2020, bringing more than 20 years of program and project management experience in the financial services and fintech industries. Before joining WebBank, Perry was senior director of delivery and operations for financial services and healthcare at Interactive Communications (InComm). Prior to InComm, she was director of prepaid operations enablement at American Express. Perry’s education includes an MBA from the University of Utah.
• TAB Bank, Ogden, has hired Dustin Jacobson as vice president and business development officer. Based in Denver, Jacobson is responsible for sourcing new business opportunities by providing asset-based and factoring working capital facilities to commercial entities in the Rocky Mountain region of the United States with annual revenues of $2 million to $150 million. Jacobson has over 15 years of experience in asset-based lending, including 13 years in various positions at Wells Fargo. He joined NBH Bank in 2015 and most recently was managing director at Sunflower Bank.
• JobNimbus, a Lehi-based company focused on helping contractors take control of their jobs, has hired Jared Olsen as vice president of people experience. Olsen has over 15 years of expertise in people experience and human resources, most recently serving as head of customer success and product evangelist at Motivosity. He also has served as the co-founder and president of REYFYA, CHRO and COO of Xima Software, and human resource manager at JCPenney.
• ABC Supply Co. Inc., a Wisconsin-based wholesale distributor of roofing, siding and other exterior building products, has opened a new location at 4228 W. 1730 S., Salt Lake City. It will be managed by Jade Robison, who joined ABC Supply in 2008 as a roof loader at the company’s Orem location. Robison spent the past three and a half years managing the Spokane Valley, Washington, location. The company now has five locations in Utah.
• Utah led the nation with a 47.6 percent increase in the average 401(k) balance during 2020, according to a report from LT Trust. The national increase average was 30.8 percent. The average employee contribution increased by 6.12 percent. In Utah, the average 401(k) balance for 2020 was $33,984, which compares with $23,022 in 2019. People in North Dakota saw the smallest average increase last year, 11.5 percent. Details are at https://www.lttrust.com/blog/covid-19-impact-retirement-savings.
• Utah is the 2021 “Best State for Driving,” according to a study by CarInsurance.com. It is the second consecutive year for Utah to top the list. CarInsurance.com said Utah’s ranking is based on its better-than-average road conditions, low crash-related fatality rates, and below-average auto insurance premiums. CarInsurance.com considered several factors, including insurance costs, traffic fatalities, extra costs associated with road conditions, traffic congestion, gasoline prices, road conditions, car repair costs and the percentage of uninsured motorists. California is ranked at the bottom of the list. Details are at https://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/best-worst-states-driving.aspx. Another study, by Expertise.com, ranks Utah 12th among states for the best traffic and infrastructure conditions. It examined traffic and infrastructure factors, including commute times, rush hour congestion, weather conditions and road and bridge quality. In breakout lists, Utah was ninth for the highest average car repair costs and also No. 9 for best road quality. Iowa was top-ranked overall. California was bottom-ranked. Details are at https://www.expertise.com/research/best-states-for-drivers.
• Fifty-three percent of surveyed Utahns say they have experienced “emotional spending” (buying something not necessarily needed in order to ease emotions) during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Rehabs.com, a provider of rehabilitation and addiction treatment resources. The national average is 51 percent. The lowest percentage was in New Hampshire, at 20 percent, while the highest figure was 80 percent in West Virginia. Details are at https://www.rehabs.com/blog/emotional-spenders/.
• Brigham Young University is ranked as the top college giving students the best return on their education investment, a list compiled by financial technology company SmartAsset. It measured categories that included scholarships and grants, starting salary, tuition, living costs and retention rate. BYU is followed, in order, by the University of Utah, Utah State University, Weber State University, Southern Utah University and Westminster College. Details are at https://smartasset.com/student-loans/student-loan-calculator#Utah.
• Young Living Essential Oils LC, a Lehi-based company offering essential oils, has announced that its global headquarters has been awarded two Green Globes certifications from the Green Building Initiative. This level of certification honors Young Living for its dedication to energy efficiency, sustainability and reducing environmental impacts in building construction and management. The Green Building Initiative is a nonprofit organization and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards developer that works with organizations to improve building performance and reduce climate impacts. Along with third-party assessors, GBI works with businesses to achieve its Green Globes certification. The Young Living headquarters opened in May 2019.
• Arctic Circle, a West Jordan-based restaurant chain, has open a new location in Colorado City, Arizona. It is the company’s first Arizona restaurant and its 70th in seven states. It can seat 110 people and will have more than 50 employees. The new location is owned and operated by Richard Timpson, a Colorado City native and owner of Bee’s Marketplace.
• Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has appointed Dr. Neeraj Agarwal, physician-scientist at HCI and professor of internal medicine at the UofU, as senior director of clinical research innovation. In this role, Agarwal will serve on the senior leadership of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at HCI. He will oversee critical components of HCI’s clinical research infrastructure and will be charged to lead efforts that will accelerate the process of bringing new, innovative clinical trial offerings to patients. He will also serve as leadership mentor to junior physician-scientists at HCI. Agarwal been involved in clinical research in prostate, kidney and bladder cancer. He is the overall study chair of multiple Phase I/II and Phase III trials, and serves as a steering committee member of numerous other trials. In 2018, he was appointed as Huntsman Cancer Institute presidential endowed chair in cancer research.
• Sera Prognostics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company focused on improving maternal and neonatal health, has appointed Robert G. Harrison as chief information officer. For more than three decades, Rob Harrison has served in several senior leadership positions of both public and private companies, most recent serving as CIO at Myriad Genetics Inc.
• Cottonwood Wealth Strategies has launched a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) in Salt Lake City. The firm was founded by family patriarch Thomas Pappas and his two sons, Matthew and Michael Pappas. The team, previously practicing at Wells Fargo Advisors, is also joined by senior client service manager Lisa Peterson. The firm was previously known as The Cottonwood Group. Thomas Pappas, president, and Matthew Pappas, CEO, will serve as co-investment officers. Michael Pappas, chief strategy officer, will be heading client-strategies and various operational aspects of the firm.
• Salty Dot Inc., a Salt Lake City-based Embedded Insurance technology company, has announced $15 million in additional funding from new and existing investors. It brings the company’s capital raised to date to over $31 million. The new funds will be used to drive growth with partners, optimize the Embedded Insurance platform, and further develop Salty’s product. Salty’s platform is a proprietary software-as-a-service solution that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze customer data before presenting the customer with a quote in real time.
• Emmersion, a Lehi-based company focused on automated language assessments, has raised $5.5 million in an early-stage round of funding led by Sepio Capital, with participation from Next Frontier Capital, Jeremy Andrus and Tamarak. Emmersion said it will use the funding to double its efforts for expanding product capabilities and growing its team.
• Droplet, a Lehi-based startup providing digital forms and automated workflows, has raised $2 million in its first seed round. The funding comes from Pelion Venture Partners and Precedent, with partners Josh James of Domo; Todd Pedersen of Vivint; Ryan Smith of Qualtrics; and Jeff Kearl, formerly of Stance.
• Anerira Pharma Inc., a San Diego-based hair growth pharmaceutical company, has received a commitment for a $25 million investment from investment and growth firm Valkyrie Group, which has an office in Park City. Aneira will use the funds to complete its clinical trials.
• KUER 90.1 has announced that Pamela McCall has been named the next local host of “Morning Edition.” Bob Nelson, who has served as interim morning host for three months, will return to the station’s midday shift. McCall most recently was a news reader and associate producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in Prince George, British Columbia. Her career also includes on-air roles at BBC World Service, CBS News Radio, the public radio program The World, KOMO Seattle and the Canadian commercial talk station CFAX.
• Dave King, vice president of research and analytics at Salt Lake City-based EnerBank USA, has been named to the board of directors of the Home Improvement Research Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to home improvement research. King’s background is in market research and advanced analytics. He will use that background to co-chair the research committee on the board and influence the research done by the organization. He will serve a two-year term. EnerBank USA is a home improvement FDIC-insured bank. King is the only board member from a home improvement lender.
• Visit Salt Lake, a private nonprofit corporation promoting Salt Lake as a convention and travel destination, has announced its partnership with Utah-based Zartico, creators of the world’s only “destination operating system,” to better target and market the Greater Salt Lake area to visitors and potential visitors through science and data-driven information to grow its visitor economy. Zartico’s system takes intelligence, analytics and data visualizations and combines them with context and strategic input to support VSL’s data-driven decisions in real time.
• Mountain America Credit Union, Sandy, and the Utah Jazz have announced Wasatch Adaptive Sports as the third recipient for the 2020-21 season “Pass It Along” program, which rewards five local charitable organizations with $5,000 each. Since its inception in 2013, the program has contributed $195,000 to 39 local nonprofits. Wasatch Adaptive Sports was established in 1977 to provide affordable recreational and educational opportunities for its students to share with their support network and family.
• Century Communities Inc. has announced the opening of Copper Rim, a community at 6160 W. 7800 S., West Jordan. It offers single-family homes with a selection of single- and two-story open-concept layouts.
• The Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Utah Chapter has earned the Charles A. Mullen Award from ABC National for superior membership growth. The award is named in honor of the founder and first chairman of ABC and is the highest honor a chapter can receive. Associated Builders and Contractors is a national construction industry trade association established in 1950 that represents more than 21,000 members. ABC has 69 chapters that represent 21,000 members.
• Two Utah companies are listed on the 2021 “Best Places to Work in Financial Technology,” a ranking compiled by American Banker. They are No. 18 MX, based in Lehi, and No. 48 Finicity, based in Murray. The list was created in 2017 and is a project of publisher Arizent and Best Companies Group. The awards are determined by a two-part survey process involving evaluations of each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics and also an employee survey to measure the employee experience.
• Overstock.com Inc., a Salt Lake City-based e-commerce home furnishings retailer, has hired Elizabeth Solomon as chief marketing officer. She will oversee Overstock’s marketing efforts, including customer acquisition and retention, marketing communications, and marketing technologies. Solomon most recently served as the head of marketing for Amazon’s global private brands portfolio. Prior to Amazon, Solomon held senior marketing leadership positions with consumer Fortune 100 companies, including Samsung Electronics, Walmart and Nestlé.
• Gateway Learning Group, a California-based autism therapy company with an office in Sandy, has changed its name to Kyo Autism Therapy LLC. The company said that when it began over 15 years ago, it operated in the educational space, but it has since grown “and our name no longer reflects the innovative, creative and compassionate company we are today.”
• SimpleNexus, a Lehi-based developer of a homeownership platform for loan officers, borrowers, real estate agents and settlement agents, has hired Andria Lightfoot as vice president of professional services. Lightfoot will be responsible for ensuring SimpleNexus’ professional service teams deliver industry-leading consultative and implementation services. Lightfoot most recently served as chief operations officer at George Mason Mortgage LLC. Previously, she led technology strategy at Prosperity Home Mortgage and J.G. Wentworth Home Lending. She has also served as senior business analyst at mortgage technology consulting firm Teraverde.
• Aktify, a Lehi-based conversational artificial intelligence technology company, has hired Ashley Wilson as an AI product manager and researcher. Wilson most recently was a Ph.D. student and postdoctoral researcher at Duke University, where she led a team in studying the biological mechanisms of decision-making.