Industry Briefs for week of June 18, 2012
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BANKING

• A new study of over 1,400 consumers, from market research firm Chadwick Martin Bailey, suggests that when forced to choose, bank customers would prefer a further drive to a full-service bank or a teller-less bank to fee hikes or service reductions. Once viewed as essential to banking convenience, proximity to a full service bank is the first thing consumers are willing to give up. Other notable findings from the study regarding bank location and convenience include: the perceived importance of a physical bank branch doesn’t match up with consumer banking behavior, as teller-less options, particularly mobile and online banking services, have reduced the need for branch visits. Sixty-seven percent of bank customers say that having a physical branch close by is very important, but even 41 percent of these customers visit fewer than five times per year; banks don’t have to be steps away to be seen as convenient, as the “sweet spot” for branch convenience is relatively wide and bank customers within 10 miles of their bank branches say they are the most satisfied with branch convenience; the idea of a teller-less branch is confusing for some customers. Teller-less branches (where sales professionals are available to answer product and service questions in addition to automated services) were seen by customers as less desirable than closing their local branch altogether; this counter-intuitive finding suggests that the concept will require banks to fully explain the benefits of the teller-less branch.

KeyBank honored Maxine Turner of Cuisine Unlimited with its Key4Women Achieve Award on May 17 during an event in Salt Lake City. The Achieve Award is given to a woman entrepreneur who successfully executes her business vision, contributes meaningfully to the community and shows a strong willingness to serve as a model and resource to other women entrepreneurs. Cuisine Unlimited Inc., founded by Turner in 1985, is an award-winning, upscale catering and special event company. Ranked National Caterer of the Year by Event Solutions, Cuisine Unlimited has also been featured in Inc. magazine in 2010 and named the SBA “Small Business Owner of the Year.” 

Bank of Utah is closing the doors of its Ogden office at 3990 Washington Blvd. location at 5 p.m. June 22, and opening the doors to a new full-service branch at 4605 Harrison Blvd. on Monday morning, June 25. The new, approximately 3,000 square foot, full-service bank location features a drive-up depository, night drop, safe deposit boxes and an exterior-access ATM. The branch will offer retail and business banking, and home lending mortgage services.

 

COMMUNICATIONS

UTOPIA, the open-access fiber-optic network formed by a group of Utah cities to provide advanced communications infrastructure to their residents, launched its fastest Internet option for residents yet last week, a one gigabit-per-second speed that is equal to 1,000 megabits per second and is about 200 times faster than the typical broadband connection of five megabits per second. This type of speed is possible because fiber optics uses light to transfer information while older systems use copper wire or coaxial cable, which limit the speed and amount of information that can be transferred. With a UTOPIA connection, network subscribers have their own strand of fiber optics connected directly to their home or business.

 

CONSTRUCTION

Michael Buell of MHTN Architects, Salt Lake City, has become the first Certified Professional Services Marketer in Utah to earn the designation SMPS Fellow. The Fellows of the Society for Marketing Professional Services bestow the designation. Also at MHTN, Skyler Rubel has been promoted to co-director of K-12 education design and David Daining has been named director of health care. 

ECONOMIC INDICATORS

• The Utah Small Business Development Center Network has chosen the recipients of the Successful Business Award for their promising startup or growth ventures. All told, 142 jobs have been generated by the 11 businesses recognized for the quarterly award, representing service, retail, manufacturing and high-tech industries. The businesses include Extreme Beam, a company that develops lighting equipment for industrial and military applications; Bio Green of Northeastern Utah, a fertilizing product and service that is safe for kids and pets; My Sister’s Quilts, a retail store; and Tumblebus, a mobile gymnasium that helps young kids stay active. Other recipients were Construction Monitor, Morrison Meat Pies, South Valley Appliances, Spoiled Rotten Salon & Boutique, Wagon Wheel Pizza, Reach and Zip Kit Homes. 

 

EDUCATION/TRAINING

Westminster College, Salt Lake City, has announced a restructure of its enrollment management office, appointing Gary Daynes, Ph.D., as vice president for strategic outreach and enrollment, and Elizabeth Key as associate vice president for enrollment management. Daynes has been serving as interim vice president of enrollment management since July 2011. Key most recently served as director of admissions at Westminster. She joined the college in 2008 as senior assistant director of financial aid.

 

HEALTH CARE

• A new biomedical device to surgically treat chronic back pain — an artificial spinal disc that duplicates the natural motion of the spine — has been licensed from Brigham Young University to a Utah-based company. The artificial disc was conceived by engineering professors Anton Bowden and Larry Howell and BYU alum Peter Halverson. It will be developed to market by Crocker Spinal Technologies, a company founded by BYU President’s Leadership Council member Gary Crocker and headed by BYU MBA graduate David Hawkes.

 

INSURANCE

Boys and Girls Clubs of South Valley is joined by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. to announce a program offering free $50,000 term life insurance policies to benefit children of working families throughout Murray and the surrounding communities. MassMutual pays all insurance premiums on the policies as part of the company’s philanthropic LifeBridge program. Eligible parents and legal guardians can apply for the coverage at a public event to be held July 11 at the Boys and Girls Club, 244 Myrtle Avenue, Murray, from 3 to 7 p.m. Eligible applicants should call (801) 284-4251 to schedule their 15-minute appointment.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield, a leading health plan in Utah, has named Miguel Rovira director of community and business relations, succeeding Kevin Bischoff, who retired last month. Most recently, Rovira was the regional director for Latin American and Canada, International Trade and Diplomacy Office, Governor’s Office of Economic Development.  Previously, he was the executive director of the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah has announced that the American Red Cross (ARC) Utah Region will be a Community Partner Organization for 2012. Regence presented the nonprofit with a check for $100,000. Through the partnership, the American Red Cross joins a select group of nonprofits that receive both significant funding and volunteer support from Regence and its employees. The American Red Cross will use the funding from Regence to support a combination of special events, enhance its volunteer training during September Preparedness Month, which includes a Shelter Boot Camp, and offer targeted professional development for the Utah region team.

 

LAW

James E. Ji and Jess M. Krannich have become members of the Salt Lake City law firm of Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar. Ji was formerly an associate in the general litigation department of Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP. His practice areas are commercial litigation and employment litigation. Ji attended the University of Chicago Law School and graduated in 2006. Krannich formerly worked in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, where he was a partner in the litigation department.  His practice is focused primarily on complex commercial litigation. Krannich attended the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law and graduated in 2005.

Wesley Felix has joined the Salt Lake City office of Snell & Wilmer as counsel in the commercial litigation group. Felix has nearly 20 years of legal experience representing clients in complex commercial cases including class actions, derivative actions and direct actions. He has represented clients in connection with significant securities and accountant’s liability matters. He earned his J.D. from Stanford Law School after earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in philosophy and economics from Whitman College. He most recently practiced with Howrey and then Sidley Austin.

Jones Waldo has added two new associates to its Salt Lake City office. Chase Romney, a Salt Lake City native, joins Jones Waldo as an associate after earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Utah in finance and his juris doctor in 2012 from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, Romney worked as the line editor of the Environmental Law Review and won the Best Brief Award for his legal research and writing. His primary area of focus is real estate law. Paul Smith graduated from the University of Utah with his bachelor of science in mechanical engineering in 2009, and went on to earn his juris doctor at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. He joins Jones Waldo’s litigation practice group with experience serving as an extern for the Honorable Roslyn O. Silver, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for Arizona and having worked as an intellectual property law clerk for a major golf product design and manufacturing company.

MEDIA/MARKETING

U.S. PR agency profitability spiked from a 2009 four year low of 13.5 per cent of revenues to 18.6 percent according to those responding to the annual Benchmarking survey by New York City-based StevensGouldPincus. A total of 105 prominent agencies based coast to coast and Canada reported that average number which compares with a 15.6 percent in 2010, 13.5 percent in 2009, 15.6 percent in 2008 and a  19.7 percent margin in pre-recession 2007. Firms under $3 million were at 20.5 percent. The firms in excess of $3 million up to $10 million netted 17.4 percent, those in excess of $10 million up to $25 million netted 16.8 percent and those in excess of $25 million netted 19.2 percent, respectable in challenging economic times. All four categories improved from the previous year.

 

REAL ESTATE

Green River Capital (GRC), a West Valley City provider of customized REO asset management and loss mitigation services for mortgage servicers, investment firms, credit unions and banking institutions, has entered into an agreement with Phoenix-based Realty Pilot, a provider of cloud-based real estate solutions. GRC will integrate Realty Pilot’s technology to enhance the platform used by GRC’s valuation unit, Infinity Valuation Services (IVS). Agents now have access to multiple listing service (MLS) data directly through IVS’s online platform, which automatically populates data input fields with information regarding comparable properties selected by the user.

Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage has added Jeff Fredericks as a sales associate in its North Davis office in Layton. Prior to joining Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Fredericks was with The Franklin Group.  Prior to real estate, he worked at Lamar Transit Advertising, where he was responsible for account management and ad creative consulting.

 

RESTAURANTS

• A team of chefs from the Talisker Restaurant Collection earned top honors in Salt Lake City-based Nicholas & Co.’s fifth annual Ultimate Chef Challenge on June 5. Chef John Murcko, the executive chef of the Talisker Restaurant Collection, was joined by the executive chefs from Talisker on Main (Briar Handly) and Bistro at Canyons (Zeke Wray) in the kitchen as they prepared an imaginative five-course meal in 90 minutes for three judges. Sean Marron, Talisker’s director of wine and spirits, provided wine pairings, while Craig Back, assistant director of Canyons Resort Food & Beverage, demonstrated the service that Talisker is known for. This is the second victory for Murcko at the Ultimate Chef Challenge, who also won in 2009. Earlier this year, he was named a semifinalist for the prestigious James Beard Awards.

• The Peery Hotel in downtown Salt Lake City has opened the Peery Pub in space formerly occupied by Christopher’s Steakhouse, which relocated across the street. After Christopher’s left, the hotel was renting the space out for private events and receptions, however when Malibu Hotel Group first took ownership of the hotel in 2007, its long term plan was to open its own signature restaurant that would also provide in-house catering to the more than 4,000 square feet of event space in the property. The eatery boasts a full bar with domestic beers on tap along with some unique menu items such as a bison burger. The Peery Pub is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

• The Talisker on Main restaurant in Park City is one of nine finalists to receive a design award from the American Institute of Architects at its eighth Annual Restaurant Design Awards. It is one of just two outside of New York or Los Angeles. More than 1,000 restaurants were nominated. Talisker on Main evokes the 1920s with its black-and-white checked floor, glittering tin ceilings, warm gold leaf details and comforting American food, said John Murcko, executive chef and vice president of food and beverage for the Talisker Restaurant Collection. The general public is invited to vote for their favorite architecturally-designed restaurant. Voting is now open and will be available through noon on June 18. The recipient of the most votes in the category will also be declared the winner of the 2012 People’s Choice Award at the award ceremony on June 22. To cast a vote, visit http://www.aialosangeles.org/content/restaurant-design-awards.

 

RETAIL

• Gordmans Inc., an Omaha-based retailer of apparel and home fashions, will open its third Utah store on July 19 at the Family Center in Riverdale. The firm already has stores in Farmington and South Jordan that are part of a chain of 78 stores in 18 states. 

 

SPORTS

• The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah bicycling event is launching a new local and national publicity campaign this month to increase attendance and online viewership for the eighth edition of the event, Aug. 7-12.  New for the 2012 event will be an integrated marketing campaign using electronic outdoor billboards, wrapped transit trains, airport, broadcast television, print collateral and an aggressive social media program. KSL Salt Lake Broadcast Group will distribute Tour advertising via radio, television and Internet, as well as the event’s beneficiary, The Echelon Project. These spots, featuring professional cyclists Levi Leipheimer and Jeff Louder, both past champions of the race and with connections to Utah, began airing on June 8. Ads also will be featured during the last four days of the Tour de France with local Comcast and DirectTV cable networks. Media partnerships continue for a fifth year with KJZZ-TV and The Zone Sportsradio 1280.

 

TECHNOLOGY/LIFE SCIENCES

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, will keynote the Utah Technology Council’s 2012 Hall of Fame Celebration, an annual black-tie event honoring the accomplishments of the Utah technology industry. The gala, to be held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City, begins on Nov. 30.

 
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