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• The Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) board, at its November meeting, approved cash rebate incentives for a pair of film productions. Christmas with Campbells LLC was approved for an incentive of up to $250,000 for “Christmas in the Country,” a feature comedy expected to spend nearly $1.6 million in Utah and employ 14 cast, 35 crew and 150 extras. Principal photography is scheduled for Jan. 10-Feb. 4 in Wasatch and Summit counties. The film will tell the story of a portrait photographer who gets dumped by her boyfriend but decides to spend Christmas with his family anyway. The director is Steve R. Monroe. Producers are Anthony Fankhauser and Stan Spry. Jesper’s Comet Films LLC was approved for an incentive of up to $108,481 for “Aliens Abducted My Parents,” a family feature expected to spend $542,403 in Utah and employ three cast, 44 crew and 98 extras. Shooting was scheduled to continue through Nov. 21 in Wasatch and Summit counties. The film tells the story of a woman who moves to the middle of nowhere and meets a space-obsessed neighbor who believes his parents were abducted by aliens. The director is Jake Van Wagoner. Producers were Micah Merrill and Maclain Nelson.
• Bank of Utah, Ogden, has announced several personnel changes. Andrea Maughan is mortgage loan originator in Logan. For nearly 15 years, she has been working in the real estate and banking industries. She began her career in marketing and jumped to real estate in 2008, where she worked alongside Bank of Utah for 13 years. In 2021, Andrea made the change to banking as a mortgage loan originator. Maughan graduated from Utah State University with a dual major in marketing and human resource management. Kim Wells is mortgage loan originator in Price. Wells has more than 20 years of experience in customer relations and account management. She began her career in the hospitality industry and gradually moved to banking in 2017. As an assistant branch manager, she helped clients as a loan officer and in maintaining close relationships with local businesses and the community. Michael Dustin is personal trust officer in Salt Lake City at City Creek. Dustin has more than 30 years of experience in the banking and finance industry. He began his career in mortgage lending and later managed the loan servicing, appraisal and REO departments. He also worked in the insurance industry, where he managed a bank-owned insurance agency. He then became securities-licensed and worked as a financial advisor. Dustin earned a B.S. finance degree and an M.S. finance degree from the University of Utah. James McGuire is mortgage loan officer in St. George. He has worked in the banking and finance industry since 2016 as a loan specialist, credit analyst and relationship officer for financial institutions. McGuire’s education includes graduating from Dixie State University with an associate’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in finance from Utah State University. He also received an MBA from Western Governors University.
• D.L. Evans Bank, based in Idaho, has promoted Jordan Harrison to vice president branch manager at its new Layton branch scheduled to open early next year. He will be responsible for directing and administering the operational and commercial lending efforts of the branch as well as business development and marketing of existing and prospective accounts. Harrison has over 14 years of financial experience and was previously vice president commercial loan officer at the South Ogden branch. He earned his BA in economics and an MBA from Weber State University.
• The board of directors of Overstock.com Inc., a Salt Lake City-based online retailer and technology company, has declared a regular annual cash dividend for 2021 of 16 cents per share to shareholders of Series A-1 preferred stock and Series B preferred stock. The dividend is payable Dec. 16 to shareholders of record Nov. 30. The ex-dividend date for the Series A-1 and Series B preferred stock is expected to be Nov. 29 and may be confirmed on the OTCQZ website operated by OTC Markets once posted.
• Utah is ranked No. 3 in an entrepreneurial capacity index ranking and No. 5 for a developer index ranking by Heartland Forward, which released a new report on entrepreneurship across the nation. The metrics underlying the “America’s Entrepreneurial States” report show that when it comes to creating and supporting entrepreneurial ecosystems, the coasts win and the heartland lags. Heartland Forward created a composite measure of entrepreneurship at the state level by combining Main Street (percent of total private-sector employment) with knowledge-intensive metrics, sometimes referred to as tech-focused (percent of employees with bachelor’s degrees or above), at young firms five years of age or less. Heartland Forward is a think tank focused on improving economic performance in the 20-state region in the center of the U.S.
• Salt Lake City is ranked No. 39 on a list of “2022’s Best Cities for Fast Food Lovers,” compiled by LawnStarter. It compared nearly 200 of the biggest U.S. cities based on access to fast food restaurants and food delivery services. It also considered the quality of the food based on consumer ratings and Thrillist’s Fasties Awards. The top-ranked city is Orlando, Florida. The bottom-ranked city is Laredo, Texas. Details are at https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/studies/best-cities-fast-food-lovers/.
• Sera Prognostics, a Salt Lake City-based company focused on health diagnostics for women and babies, has appointed Zhenya Lindgardt to its board of directors. Lindgardt has experience in the healthcare and consumer technologies industries. She has served in various upper-level managerial roles, including as CEO of The Commons Project Foundation (TCP) since October, vice president of platform and consumer engagement on the executive team at Uber Technologies Inc., and senior partner and managing director of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) from 2000 to April 2019. Lindgardt also has served on the board of directors of City Harvest, a New York City hunger charity.
• PCF Insurance Services, a Lehi-based national insurance brokerage, has hired Colleen O'Hara as vice president of marketing and communications, Charles Banyai as vice president of regional operations, and Lori Marino as vice president regional growth leader. O'Hara will oversee the development, integration and implementation of marketing, internal communications, agency partner and public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization. She has extensive experience in marketing for insurance agencies, having served as the executive vice president for Acrisure. Banyai will focus on enhancing the growth and success of PCF agencies through operational initiatives, including integration support, succession planning, performance optimization and financial stabilization. He has over 14 years of experience in the insurance field, specializing in agency operations and financial strategy intersections, including leading over 250 employees at Acrisure. Marino will oversee organic growth and revenue generation across the collective agency partner network. She has over 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial space, holding several executive positions at global insurance carriers and start-up ventures. She is an expert in financial lines, managing significant executive liability and cyber risk portfolios for multiple carriers.
• Savory Fund, Lehi, has announced a $20 million investment in brunch concept Hash Kitchen, which has five locations in Arizona. Hash Kitchen is the latest brand to attract growth capital from Mercato Partners’ $200 million Savory Restaurant Fund, which was formed to back promising emerging restaurant concepts. Maryam Chaney, vice president of food and beverage for Savory Management; Robert Gardner, lead investor on the transaction for the Savory Fund; and Andrew K. Smith, managing director, will join the Hash Kitchen board of directors, alongside co-founders Joey Maggiore and Flora Tersigni of The Maggiore Group.
• Praesidium Inc., a St. George-based company that has developed vital sign monitoring technology, recently closed a $6 million Series A preferred stock round, with an additional line of credit available for use. The round was led by entities controlled by the Wasatch Group, a Utah-based real estate company.
• Videra Health, an Orem-based company offering a remote patient monitoring platform for behavioral health, has received $3 million in seed funding, led by Peterson Ventures, with participation from Rose Park Advisors and OATV.
• Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, based in California, has launched a Salt Lake City office. The firm specializes in legal services to technology, life sciences and growth enterprises. Utah Supreme Court Justice Deno Himonas will join the office upon his retirement from the bench in March 2022. Himonas will join Wilson Sonsini’s litigation and appellate practices and advise companies on complex governance and regulatory issues. He served as a trial court judge in Utah for 10 years before his appointment to the Utah Supreme Court in 2015. The office also will include Wilson Sonsini partners Marc Porter and Matt Squires. Porter most recently worked at Holland & Hart. His practice focuses on technology, consumer products and life sciences companies in Utah. He executes financings and liquidity events each year for early- to late-stage private companies as well as venture capital firms. He graduated from Brigham Young University Law School. Squires most recently worked at the firm’s Seattle office. Head of the firm’s Latin America practice, Squires has experience with both domestic and cross-border venture financings, mergers and acquisitions, and public and private capital markets transactions for clients in technology, software, logistics, clean energy and other industries. Wilson Sonsini has advised venture capital firms on Utah-related deals and Utah-based issuers on IPOs since 2016. Since 2019, the firm has had a physical presence in Utah through SixFifty, a software subsidiary that develops automated tools designed to make legal processes efficient and affordable.
• Parsons Behle & Latimer, Salt Lake City, has hired water law specialist Graham J. Gilbert for its Environmental & Natural Resources practice team and hired Abigail M. Dizon-Maughan as a new associate in its Salt Lake City office. In addition to his experience as a water law attorney, Gilbert holds a water rights certification from the Rural Water Association of Utah and the Utah Division of Water Rights. His water law experience is enhanced by his previous career as a hydrologist. Gilbert also assists clients with real estate matters, including acquisition, entitlement and development and disposition of real property. He also assists clients with environmental matters, including purchase, sale and cleanup of environmentally impaired properties. Dizon-Maughan is a member of the Litigation practice team. She has experience as a litigator and advocate for diverse groups within the community. She represents clients in complex business and commercial litigation and plaintiff medical malpractice. After graduating from law school, Dizon-Maughan started her own practice defending the rights of the individuals accused of serious crimes. After five years, she joined a boutique firm where she transitioned from criminal defense to complex commercial litigation and medical malpractice and continued to build her skills as a litigator. Dizon-Maughan earned her bachelor of science degree in political science from the University of Utah, her Master of Business Management degree from the University of Phoenix, and her law degree from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
• EcoBellus has opened a sales and operations center in West Haven and plans to bring up to 25 jobs to Utah in the next two years. Capital expenditures associated with the project are $30 million. The company manufactures and distributes a sustainable, eco-friendly line of surface cleaners, hand soaps, dish soaps and more that are used in homes, businesses, hospitals and the hospitality industry. The company has an operating agreement with Nature’s Distribution in Pleasant Grove, where staff are involved in packaging, production, storage and fulfillment. It plans to have a larger facility in West Haven for producing a new bioplastics product line. The company announcement was made by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and the Economic Development Corporation of Utah (EDCUtah). Vlada Yaremenko and Stephanie Pack, business development managers, led the project for EDCUtah.
• Utah Food Bank’s 16th annual Utah Human Race will take place Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 25, in Sandy. The family-friendly 5K/10K fun run begins and ends at the Sandy Promenade, 10200 S. Centennial Parkway. Registration fees are $25 for the 5K race and $30 for the 10K race, both of which begin at 8 a.m. Online registration closes Nov. 23. There is no same-day registration. Details are at www.UtahHumanRace.org.
• The Utah Jazz and Zions Bank have announced an exclusive, multi-year partnership with Zions Bank as the official bank of the Jazz, as well as retaining its naming rights to the Zions Bank Basketball Campus practice facility. The partnership includes the designation of Zions Bank as the presenting partner of the Utah Jazz playoffs each season. The bank also will continue as a founding partner and jersey sponsor of the Salt Lake City Stars, the NBA G League affiliate of the Jazz that primarily plays at Salt Lake Community College in Taylorsville. A new program for the 2021-22 season is a collaboration between Zions Bank and Adidas called “Shoes and Backpacks” where the Jazz will provide Donovan Mitchell basketball shoes and Adidas backpacks to hundreds of underprivileged youth in Utah. As part of its community endeavors, Zions Bank will also hold an annual basketball clinic for underprivileged youth. Zions Bank will have an expanded relationship with the franchise, including digital and traditional branding at Vivint Arena and in-arena, on-air and digital activations during the 41 Jazz regular season home games.
• Ken Garff employees recently distributed 500 Thanksgiving meals to veterans and hosted its second annual Thanksgiving meal drive-through event. They provided ham and accompanying sides. The event included employees from Salt Lake Imports Dealerships, Ken Garff Honda Downtown, Ken Garff Nissan Downtown, Ken Garff Hyundai Southtowne and Ken Garff Fleet Center. Because of the popularity of the gift in 2021, Ken Garff has more than doubled the amount of meals provided this year.
• Solitude Mountain Resort has partnered with Utah Food Bank for Solitude’s second annual holiday food drive to benefit community members and families in need this holiday season. Through Dec. 10, anyone can donate to Utah Food Bank via a link at solitudemountain.com to be entered to win one of 10 Solitude ugly Christmas sweaters. For each contribution of $10, Solitude will enter the donor’s name into a drawing for a sweater.
• Eastgate at Greyhawk, a 108-unit multifamily property in Layton, has been sold by Keller Investment Properties to Marble Partners, a real estate private equity firm based in Los Angeles. Financial terms were not disclosed. Eastgate at Greyhawk was built in 2012 on more than five acres. The sale announcement was made by Institutional Property Advisors, a division of Marcus & Millichap. Brock Zylstra, IPA senior vice president of investments, and Danny Shin, IPA senior managing director, represented the Marble Partners in the transaction. Eastgate is Marble’s fifth acquisition in Utah.
• The Salt Palace Convention Center, owned by Salt Lake County and managed by ASM Global, has received the Best Convention Center Southwest (Gold) Award from the 2021 Stella Awards (Northstar Meetings Group). The Stella Awards honor excellence in the meetings industry. This year, more than 6,000 votes were cast from around the world for the 603 destinations, hotels and service providers nominated in 17 categories in six regions in the United States and worldwide. There were 260 winners and finalists for 2021. After nominations closed in 2021, finalists in each category were determined by meeting planners during an open voting period. Winners were then selected by a panel of judges overseen by the editors of Northstar Meetings Group’s leading brands, Meetings & Conventions and Successful Meetings.
• Nu Skin Enterprises Inc., Provo, is ranked No. 90 on a list of “World’s Top Female Friendly Companies for 2021,” compiled by Forbes, which worked with Statista to survey 85,000 women in 40 countries. Respondents were asked to rate their employers’ performance on gender-related criteria and their willingness to recommend their employer to others. Statista also asked respondents to rate companies based on their corporate responsibility, marketing campaigns and public perception, as related to gender equality. The final list ranks the 300 companies that received the most recommendations and boast the most gender-diverse boards and executive ranks.
• Albion Financial Group, Salt Lake City, debuted at No. 50 on a list of the “Top 100 Registered Investment Advisors in the U.S.,” compiled by CNBC. It is the first Utah firm to break into top 50 and the only Utah firm to make the 2021 list. The top 100 list takes into consideration a variety of factors beyond assets under management. CNBC started with 38,302 RIA firms and partnered with AccuPoint Solutions to provide core data points from which to compare them. The initial evaluation process, using data collected from the firms’ SEC filings, refined the list to 749 firms. The remaining firms were then surveyed by CNBC to learn further details by which to compare them, ultimately resulting in the list of the top 100.
• Scott Chamberlain has received the 2021 Range Manager of the Year Award from the Utah Section of the Society for Range Management. Chamberlain has spent the past 21 years working at the Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration (SITLA). He has a degree in range science from Utah State University. He has implemented hundreds of range improvement projects that have improved range conditions on thousands of acres of trust lands across the state and administers hundreds of grazing permits for SITLA, 30 agricultural leases, and sells firewood and seed collecting permits each year. The 2020 Young Range Professional of the Year is Ethan Hallows. The award was bestowed in 2020, but COVID-19 constraints did not allow for a gathering to present the award. Hallows manages approximately 1 million acres of SITLA land in the state’s northern end and has experience with the Snow College Natural Resources Department, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Forest Service. Hallows earned a degree in rangeland ecology and management from Utah State University.
• Flanker Kitchen + Sporting Club, a dining, drinking and entertainment destination, will open Dec. 8 at The Gateway in Salt Lake City. It was conceived by Las Vegas-based Carver Road Hospitality and designed by DesignAgency.
• Adorama Inc., based in New York, has opened a warehouse and contact center in Salt Lake City to serve its brands Adorama, SunnySports, Scuba.com and LeisurePro. The brands offer items for photographers, gamers, musicians, outdoor enthusiasts, scuba divers and more. The 210,000-square-foot facility serves as Adorama’s West Coast hub.
• Walker Edison, a Salt Lake City-based provider of RTA furniture through e-commerce, has named Markus Leunig as chief financial officer. Leunig most recently was CFO of The North Face, a division of VF Corp, a role he held since 2016. He was with VF since 2006 in various FP&A roles, and previously worked with Gap Inc. and Lehman Brothers. His education includes a B.S. in finance from the University of Utah, where he was an All-American and Academic All-American skier. Leunig succeeds Boyd Kezerian, will support the finance organization’s transition and then move into a new executive role as chief transformation officer, where he will continue to support the team and lead the transformational initiatives inherent in a high-growth business.
• Four Rural Coworking and Innovation Center grants recently were awarded by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity’s (Go Utah’s) Center for Rural Development. The grant program provides funding for facilities that serve individuals working in rural communities with infrastructure and equipment to participate in the online workforce. Recipients are Brigham City, Fountain Green City, Piute County and Roosevelt City. Brigham City will refinish a commercial kitchen to accommodate multiple food entrepreneurs promoting farm-to-table food manufacturing, extended restaurant kitchen preparation, food trucks and event food preparation. Fountain Green will provide enhanced Internet capacity in an area that needs better connectivity. Piute County will use part of a newly constructed public facility for remote work, manufacturing innovation and entrepreneurial startups. Roosevelt City will convert the former county library into a remote worksite with common-area work stations and private offices for early-growth businesses. The four awards will add to the 11 other locations where Rural Coworking and Innovation Center grants are open or currently under development. The operating centers are in Blanding, Hanksville, Panguitch, Price and Vernal. The facilities under development are located in Cedar City, Escalante, Green River, Moab and Orangeville.