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UTAH’S BUSINESS JOURNAL www.slenterprise.com
THIS WEEK Top five retail trends for 2012 See page 3.
• Industry Briefs • Begin on page 5.
Jan. 2-8, 2012
Industry, SLC butt heads over electronic signs
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Replacement parts firm to expand from 10,000 to 115,000 square feet By Barbara Rattle The Enterprise Ereplacementparts.com, an online retailer of parts for items such as power tools and appliances, is slated to make a significant expansion move. The Sandy-based firm is moving its warehouse from approximately 10,000 square feet in Sandy to 115,200 square feet at 7036 S. 185 W., where 60 people will immediately be employed when the move is made in mid-February. The company will retain its headquarters office in Sandy, which measures about 10,000 square feet, said Michael Anderson, who co-founded the firm in 2003 with David Fairbanks. According to a conditional use application on file with Midvale City, Ereplacementparts.com plans to employ more than 100 people at the Midvale warehouse within the next couple of years, and as many
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• Calendar • See page 10.
as 300 workers by the end of the firm’s seven-year lease. The company, which relies heavily on Internet sales, will have a 1,500 square foot walkin store and repair facility at the new location, which will be served daily by about nine cargo trucks from companies such as FedEx, UPS and LTL (less-thantruckload) carriers. When Ereplacementparts. com was formed, it focused on carrying tool and machine parts and accessories nationwide. Today, the firm’s product selection has expanded to include well over 300,000 individual machine and tool parts and more than 3.2 million separate applications for those parts, including parts for lawn equipment, appliances, vacuums, grills, plumbing, restaurant
Real Estate Matters Legal Matters Comcast's is a typical on-premise electronic sign. The city is seeking to strip the signs' ability to animate.
Volume 41, Number 23
By Barbara Rattle The Enterprise Salt Lake City is at odds with the outdoor sign industry over a proposed ordinance revision that would more strictly regulate so-called “on-premise” electronic signs, such as those seen at businesses ranging from bank branches and car dealerships to dentist’s offices and cable television providers. Sign industry officials and businesses that have invested in the electronic signs say the proposed restrictions on the on-premise signs obstruct free enterprise, free use of property and even free
speech, while the city maintains the curbs are necessary to enhance public safety and preserve the city’s aesthetics. The Salt Lake City Council will hold a public hearing on the matter Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. in room 315, Council Chambers, 451 S. State St. The proposed ordinance change would require that operators of on-premise electronic signs — both current and future — implement either a three, five or eight-second “hold” on their messages, depending on sign size, which effectively prohibits see SIGNS page 2
Software firm repays loan with $1 million check to Zions Bank David K. Williams, CEO of Orem-based software firm Fishbowl, last week presented Zions Bank president A. Scott Anderson and relationship manager Brad Adamson with a ceremonial $1 million check. The money represents prepayment in full of the $1 million loan Zions extended to Fishbowl as a critical piece of Fishbowl’s buyback from its prior majority investor to become 100 percent employee owned on May 20 of last year. Without the loan, Fishbowl could have been sold or possibly broken in pieces. Instead, the company achieved record growth in 2011 and won multiple awards. Fishbowl launched key partnerships with Utah Valley University,
eFileCabinet, Voonami and other Utah and national partners by developing Fishbowl Partner Nation. “Our message is that we can transcend today’s economic challenges when we all work together as trusted friends and partners to honor the principles our forefathers brought to this great land,” said Fishbowl president Mary see FISHBOWL page 2
see PARTS page 4
Hong Kong company invests $3 million in HzO Inc. Horizon Ventures Ltd., a Hong Kong investment firm, has purchased a $3 million stake in Salt Lake City-based HzO Inc. as part of a preferred equity investment. HzO Inc. is a technology company with proprietary advanced materials that protect electronics from water, humidity, and other liquids. A substantial stake in the firm is owned by Salt Lake City-based ZAGG Inc., a publicly traded maker of accessories for mobile devices. ZAGG acquired HzO in 2009, then spun it off as a private independent company to improve and commercialize its WaterBlock technology. “This investment again demonstrates the global potential of our technology to protect electronics assemblies in multiple markets from damage resulting from water and other liquids,” said HzO president and CEO Paul Clayson. “The investment also affiliates HzO with one of the most notable and successful global investors in technology and a world-class business operator.”
Jason Wong, CFO of Horizons Ventures, will serve in Horizon’s seat on the HzO board of directors. “Horizons Ventures believes HzO’s technology expands the world of mobile connectivity as it meets global consumers’ new expectations for mobile devices,” Wong said. HzO is commercializing WaterBlock in consumer electronics, military, solar energy, first responder devices, marine, industrial and other markets. “This new partnership with Horizons is an important step in bringing HzO’s WaterBlock technology to the global marketplace,” said Robert G. Pedersen II, CEO and chairman of ZAGG, and also chairman of HzO Inc. “The funcsee HZO page 4
SIGNS from page 1
animation. There are roughly 90 such signs within the city’s limits. “We are opposed to the static hold times because you can’t communicate your message on these smaller on-premise signs unless they are running animations,” said Jeff Young, senior vice president at Salt Lake City-based YESCO, a major national sign manufacturer. “The signs in town were bought primarily for this purpose.”
The city’s code that regulates electronic signs was written before the advent of today’s electronic sign technology, which allows full animation. Images are now changed 30 times per second. Current code, Young said, mandates that all messages must be readable within three seconds. Sign companies and their patrons have interpreted that to mean new animations can begin every three seconds, resulting in animation between messages. “The city is saying ‘no, that’s not the way we interpret it,’ and this new proposed code will make
sure that there’s no animation in town,” Young said. “The SBA says the addition of an electronic sign can increase business anywhere from 15 percent on up. So you can understand why 90 businesses in town have invested in the technology, because it does attract attention and it does create more business. Let’s help these businesses, not try to make it harder for them. They’re already struggling. They need any means they can to reach out to their customers. Plus these signs add to the vitality of downtown.”
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Frank Gray, the city’s director of community planning and development, has a much different view. “The city’s role in this is public safety, to begin with,” he said. “We spend tens of millions of dollars a year making a roads safe, putting proper road signs up, putting streetlights up, striping streets, so that people can drive and walk and ride bicycles safety within the city. The idea is to keep the driver’s attention on the road. The electronic sign has exactly the opposite goal. Its goal is to remove the driver’s attention from the road and to the sign. These are basically TV screens that are playing in your face. Take that and multiply it by 10 to 15 storefronts on a block and you get total chaos.” Young said he is unaware of any study that indicates electronic signs are unsafe. He pointed to work done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute that indicated a driver must be distracted for two or more seconds before they become unsafe on the road. Drivers’ glances at signs, he said, were found to be much shorter than two seconds. “If we glanced at signs for six seconds, there would be accidents all over the road,” he said. Gray countered by saying that
a number of studies have indicated that electronic signs pose a threat to public safety. “We gave the planning commission a whole book of studies that have been done on this subject, all of which the industry says are not valid,” Gray said. “The only studies the industry finds are valid are the ones that the industry has done.” Young said the firms that have invested in on-premise electric signs, which can cost between $25,000 and roughly $150,000, are in a position of seeing their capital expenditures rendered impotent. “These are not all YESCO customers,” he said. “We’ve sold a good number of these signs, but a lot of them aren’t our customers. And none of them like this. It’s a bad thing at a bad time. It’s bad for business. None of the other cities we’re associated with in this valley have restrictions like this.” According to Gray, “From an aesthetic standpoint, we’ve chosen to live in a place of tremendous beauty, both the city itself and its surrounding environments. And to have flashing billboards trying to take 100 percent of your attention away from the scenic beauty of the valley really seems to be the antithesis of what we’re trying to do as a community.”
our first full principal payment has come due.” Fishbowl executives noted that for a software company, finding collateral is difficult, and Fishbowl’s loan came at a time other banks were not providing software company loans. Fishbowl and its cornerstone product, Fishbowl Inventory, make it possible for businesses to have the level of flexible and mobile inventory management solutions large organizations enjoy. Fishbowl Enterprise is a light and robust ERP (Enterprise Resource Management) solution that allows Fishbowl to provide organizations ranging from SMBs to mid-to-large enterprises with all the components required to meet their inventory and business management needs.
from page 1
Jan. 2-8, 2012
Michelle Scott. “One of the timeless principles our forefathers taught was financial responsibility — not misuse or overuse debt,” said Williams. “We want to represent that message and to send it again, right now, to our Utah neighbors — and to our entire nation — that we must use debt prudently to remain strong. We want to underscore that message with our great working partner, Zions Bank, who believed in Fishbowl and extended us the loan we critically needed to become employee owned. In return, we are repaying the loan in full, 84 months early, on the date
THE ENTERPRISE [USPS 891-300] Published weekly by Enterprise Newspaper Group Inc. 825 N. 300 W., Suite C309, Salt Lake City, UT 84103 Telephone: (801) 533-0556 Fax: (801) 533-0684 Website: www.slenterprise.com. For advertising inquiries, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To contact the newsroom, e-mail email@example.com. Subscriptions are $55 per year for online only, $65 per year for print only and $75 per year for both the print and online versions, or $1.25 per copy. Opinions expressed by columnists are not necessarily the opinion or policy of The Enterprise Copyright 2012 Enterprise Newspaper Group Inc. All rights reserved Periodicals postage paid at Salt Lake City, UT 84199. POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to P.O. Box 11778, Downtown Station Salt Lake City, UT 84147
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Jan. 2-8, 2012
Firm releases top five retail trends for the new year
Responsys, a marketing software company that represents several major retailers such as Brooks Brothers, Lands End, LEGO, Under Armour and Newegg, released its Top 5 Retail Marketing Trends in 2012 last month. The trends are: 1. Integration of social data will drive the personalization of marketing campaigns. Marketers will be able to pull in Facebook social graph data to get activity and behavioral info that can be used for segmenting and targeting. Content will become so personalized that pictures of friends will appear with marketing messages, for example. Through smart applications, marketers will be able to identify people on social networks who have a high propensity to advocate a certain brand. As a result, marketers will be able interact with these individuals differently. 2. Display advertising will be integrated as part of relationship marketing strategies. According to Forrester Research, display advertising spend will represent 36 percent of overall interactive marketing spend by 2016. However, a challenge with traditional display marketing is that it has mostly been anonymous, is not triggered based on buyer intent or past behavior, and is siloed from the other interactive channels. New technologies that enable better ad targeting and personalization will drive marketers to look at display advertising in a new way — as a relationship marketing channel. Using display advertising in this way will open a whole new set of opportunities for brands to accelerate revenue and customer engagement. 3. Mobile marketing will become even more targeted. Brands will increasingly engage SMS subscribers to determine their preferences, which will
be applied for future targeting and personalization.Example: A brand texts a user the question: “what’s your favorite thing to do in the kitchen?” The user responds: “Bake.” Then the user will receive campaigns targeted towards baking items, plus information such as recipes and quick tips. Also, marketers will become more sophisticated when it comes to optimization for rendering on mobile devices. For example, icons or hyperlinked items need to be a certain distance apart for people to easily navigate with their fingers on a small touchscreen. 4. Geolocation data will be used across channels. Brands are increasingly using geo-location data (captured via a mobile device) as a means for targeting consumers across a number of channels, such as e-mail and social networks. For example, if a smartphone user downloads an app from a major retailer such as Kohl’s, then based on the terms and conditions, Kohl’s can access that user’s location data and begin e-mailing special offers or information that’s relevant to the Kohl’s closest to that user’s location. Using geolocation data in this way enables marketers to send highly targeted messages that consumers will care about or use. It’s also an example of how the digital channels are continuing to converge and overlap. 5. Deliverability engagement levels will drop as ISPs begin to clean out their inboxes. Webbased e-mail clients are evolving inboxes to filter and categorize based on macro and micro data. Not junk box vs. inbox. Totally changing to the individual level. All of the major ISP websites are leveraging user data to increase engagement and manage inboxes and marketers aren’t paying attention to this functionality.
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Firm buys loan secured by Broadway Park Lofts
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SilverLeaf Financial, Salt Lake City, has acquired a $17.7 million nonperforming loan secured by a residential condominium and retail development in downtown Salt Lake City. The primary collateral of the loan is the Broadway Park Lofts development. The project is comprised of 86 residential condos, 34 of which are completed and movein ready. The remaining 52 condos, along with the 9,500 square feet commercial retail space on the ground level, are in gray-shell (unfinished) condition. The condo units range in size from 550 to 1,134 square feet and have one or two bedrooms. Eighty-seven underground parking spaces are available on site. The ground-level office/retail space is split into six units along with 23 additional parking spaces. The project had experienced numerous delays in the past few years, and is now ready for completion. The development has been approved for FHA financing. The loan originated in 2006 for the purpose of refinancing an exist-
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ing loan made by the developer as well as to provide additional funds for the construction of the development. Included in the collateral are four large commercial units located in a mixed use condo development nearby. The loan is also secured by a second lien on an 11,816 square foot multi-tenant retail building in Salt Lake City. SilverLeaf Financial is a private equity firm focused on acquiring nonperforming commercial loans secured by first position trust deeds. The assets are acquired from the FDIC, regional banks, national banks, special servicers and other financial institutions for the purpose of future monetization.
PARTS from page 1
equipment, exercise equipment, home office equipment, HVAC and GPS devices. A vast array of manufacturers are represented. The firm’s website includes more than 100,000 tool breakdown diagrams and downloadable PDFs of schematic documents. All items sold are OEM (original equipment manufacturer). Ereplacementparts.com leased its new warehouse with the assistance of Randy Ross of NAI West. The property owner was represented by Lucas Burbank, Jeff Heaton and Brett Palmer, also of NAI.
Tank maker gets incentive from county to expand
Advanced Fluid Containment LLC will become the first company to take advantage of an economic development project area just created by Weber County that covers the county’s Little Mountain area. Ron Kusina, executive director of the county’s redevelopment agency, said the company will receive tax increment benefits over the next three years that will help Advanced Fluid Containment invest about $5 million in its operations and create roughly 75 new jobs. Advanced Fluid Containment, founded in March 2009, operates on 30 acres at 9501 W. 900 S., Ogden, said chief financial officer Stephen Erekson. The company employs roughly 150 people working three shifts to manufacture steel tanks that provide flexible liquid containment capacity for large and small projects. The firm’s primary clients are in the oil and natural gas sectors, although it also serves firms in the mining, construction and environmental sectors. Presently, the company occupies a 4,000 square foot office and a 28,000 square foot manufacturing plant that produces tanks that generally are 12 feet in diameter or eight feet in width. The next step in the firm’s ongoing expansion will consist of construction of a 50 x 150-foot building, Erekson said.
from page 1 tion, value and ubiquity of smartphones is expected to continue to increase in the future, and HzO is positioned to offer a unique solution to protect consumer electronics from water damage. Horizons is a very savvy firm deeply experienced in identifying and maximizing emerging technologies, and I am honored to work closely with them to quickly expand the HzO technology and further our ZAGG relationship.” The HzO technology is a unique process that creates a nanoscale, thin film coating that protects electronics against damage caused by exposure to fluids, which is the leading cause of lost functionality in electronics. The coating is transparent and can be applied to a variety of surfaces including plastic, metal and glass. In addition to water repellence, the coating can repel many oils, synthetic fluids, hazardous materials, dust and dirt.
AGRIBUSINESS • New York-based
Honeydrop, producer of natural teas and beverages made with a tablespoon of honey, has selected Knight Family Honey, Lehi, as its latest beekeeping partner in the firm’s “Buy a Bottle – Save a Bee” campaign. The initiative, established to help fight colony collapse disorder (CCD), an epidemic threatening the global bee population, is at the heart of the brand, with Honeydrop donating a percentage of profits from each bottle sold to selected local beekeepers across the U.S. Lee Knight founded Knight Family Honey with only two colonies in 2001. Today, Knight Family Honey consists of more than 500 honeybee colonies throughout the state of Utah. Each new beehive increases the bee population by 40,000-60,000 bees.
• The best action sports
• Industry Briefs •
filmmakers, iconic athletes and culture enthusiasts will descend upon Salt Lake City for the 12th annual GoPro X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival Jan. 12-15 with screening and party headquarters at The Depot, 13 N. 400 W. Of the hundreds of submissions, the top 30 accepted films were announced on Dec. 19. For a list of accepted films please go to www.x-dance.com. The screenings are open to the public. The producers, directors and many of the athletes will be on hand for Q&A sessions after the film screenings.
ASSOCIATIONS • Junior Achievement of Utah has received a $10,000 grant from the New York Life Foundation to provide economic empowerment programs to students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to experience the classes. Junior Achievement will use the grant to bring its
financial literacy and work readiness programs to Hispanic and/or economically disadvantaged middle-school and high-school students in the local area. The grant was one of 15 nationwide. • Three seasoned entrepreneurs cleaned house at the NorthFront Entrepreneur Alliance’s third Entrepreneur Excellence Awards Banquet. The Entrepreneur Excellence Awards program was started in 2009 and honors three of Northern Utah’s top-performing startup businesses in three categories: Best Bootstrapped Business, Rapid Growth Business and Greatest Potential Business. Winner of the Best Bootstrapped Business award was Kahuna Creations, which creates surfboards and longboard skateboards. Winner of the Rapid
Growth Business award was Giegerrig, which purchases outdoor ideas and technologies and takes them to market. One such idea is the Geigerrig Hydration Pack, which allows users to spray water into their mouth with a quick pinch of the bite valve or a light bite with their teeth. Winner of the Greatest Potential Business award was Setpoint Ammunition, whose zero-tolerance, highly effi-
cient engineering delivers customized ammunition designed exclusively for a rifle’s performance characteristics. Users can custom build their cartridge with greater consistency than premium matchgrade factory ammunition.
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Jan. 2-8, 2012 from page 5 has hired Dean Robb as its credit risk assessment officer. In this new position, Robb is responsible for implementing the policies and procedures for the credit risk management strategy for the bank, assessing the credit quality of the bank’s loans and controlling risks within the bank’s loan portfolios. Robb has more than 33 years of experience in the banking industry, most recently as a senior credit examiner at Zions Bancorporation, where he spent the last 23 years identifying, monitoring and controlling risk within Zions’ loan portfolios, and being involved in bank acquisitions. Prior to joining Zions’, Robb was a senior commercial loan officer with Security Pacific National Bank in California. • Businesses are writing fewer checks these days. A survey of U.S. Bank’s corporate payment customers found that while paper checks were still the method of payment about 60 percent of the time, about half of those still using checks say they hope to go electronic in some capacity by 2014. One reason for the trend: processing by check costs more. A 2010 Aberdeen study estimates it costs organizations roughly oneand-a-half to three times more per invoice to pay by check than it does to process the same payment electronically. The sheer cost of paper, postage and staff time are among the factors that play into the cost difference. Perhaps as important is how much faster electronic solutions can be. Aberdeen reports that some paper-based systems can take up to three-and-ahalf times longer to process than best-in-class electronic payment solutions.
• American Fork-based BidSync, a provider of government e-procurement, e-sourcing software and bid notifications, has expanded its team of core execu-
The Enterprise tives to include John Moody as vice president of e-procure sales, Bray Brockbank as vice president of marketing and James Edwards as director of information technology. Moody joined BidSync in December 2011. Prior to BidSync, Moody was the greater Southeast area sales executive for Microsoft, managing the largest single sales area in the U.S. at Microsoft. Brockbank brings to BidSync nearly 20 years of experience in technology marketing, product management, sales and business development, as well as an in-depth knowledge of cloud or SaaS-based technology solutions. Most recently, Brockbank led the cloud marketing efforts for Microsoft in the U.S. Edwards brings 18 years of experience in the IT industry as a technology evangelist and technology professional. He carries multiple certifications in the fields of security, virtualization and networking. Prior to BidSync, Edwards was with Canon Business Solutions in its IT department.
CONSTRUCTION • Longtime contractor ser-
vice centers Mountainlands Area Plan Room Salt Lake City and Nevada-based Construction Notebook Meade Ave. Las Vegas recently announced a reciprocal agreement for their members to utilize each others’ facilities as part of an overall expansion plan by each to provide access to more construction opportunities in the region. MAPR’s contractors and manufacturer members interested in the Southwest can utilize Notebook’s Meade Boulevard Las Vegas facility when in town. Construction Notebook members in Utah they can visit MAPR offices in St. George and in Utah and Salt counties. Both offer significant discounts for those interested in physical or online access to construction projects bidding. • Jackson & Leroy Remodeling, Salt Lake City, has been named a 2011 Master Design Awards winner by Qualified Remodeler magazine. The annual awards program, now in its 33rd year, recognizes
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outstanding achievement in residential remodeling projects in 22 categories. Jackson & LeRoy Remodeling won Gold in the Whole House More Than $500,000 category. • Cache Valley Electric, Logan, was recently recognized as one of the 2011 Kennecott Utah Copper (KUC) Top 30 suppliers. The honor recognizes CVE as one of KUC’s top partners that continues to assist the firm in its effort to improve the daily operations at the KUC facility. CVE’s Teledata Division was recognized for its continuous efforts to update and improve KUC’s network infrastructure. Cache Valley Electric has completed numerous contracts for KUC over the past 25 years. The contracts include large industrial electrical projects, voice and data projects, as well as technology integration projects. • VCBO Architecture, Salt Lake City, has promoted Vern Latham, AIA, to partner. In his new role, Latham will be responsible for providing direction on some of the firm’s most significant projects, specifically religious, athletic and educational facilities. Latham has more than 20 years of experience and has been with VCBO since 1993 in progressively more responsible positions. His portfolio includes a number of temples for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, most recently the Rome, Italy temple. In addition, he has designed many K-12 education projects. • Big-D Construction, Salt Lake City, has promoted Rich Hazel to vice president. Serving as
division manager of Big-D’s Light Commercial Group since February 2011, and previously as vice president and general manager of a respected local general contracting firm since 2004, Hazel will continue to bring in-depth knowledge and experience in overall management, business development, estimating and operations to the Big-D team. Hazel is a graduate of University of Utah in Economics and Sociology, with an MBA from Westminster College. • Ralph L. Wadsworth Construction Co. LLC, Draper, was awarded a design-build contract by the Pointe Development Co. for $20,969,000. The job entails the design and construction of an interchange on I-90 just across the Washington border in Post Falls, Idaho and involves the construction of two bridges and
asphalt roadway. Design will begin immediately and construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012 with completion by the end of 2012. • James Murray has joined BHB Consulting Engineers, Salt Lake City, as a project engineer. Murray received his M.S. in civil from the University of Utah in 2010. Previously he worked as a structural engineer where he developed a solution for saving a hospital from condemnation due to fire damage. He also researched and engineered the green design of a restaurant in Springdale. • The Utah chapter of the Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS Utah) has announced the 2011 winners of the annual Marketing continued on next page
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from previous page Communication Awards that recognize the year’s best marketing efforts by marketing professionals serving Utah’s architecture, engineering and construction (A/E/C) Industry. MHTN Architects won in the “Best Website” category for the redesign of its website. Michael T. Buell, CPSM, of MHTN Architects, was named Marketer of the Year. General Contractor R&O Construction won first place in “collateral/give-away” category for its promotional give-away items. BHB Structural Engineers won in the “Best Campaign” category for its technical e-mail marketing campaign. Shana Yonemura of ARW Engineers was awarded with “Rising Star of the Year,” a recognition of someone with less than three years of industry experience who has made a difference to the community and their firm.
FINANCE • Provo-based Paragon
Wealth Management, originally called The Center for Financial Excellence, celebrated 25 years of business last month. The company was registered with the SEC in 1993, and the name was changed to Paragon Capital Management. It was changed to Paragon Wealth Management several years later.
Paragon is known for its growth portfolio called Top Flight. It has generated a total return of 378.74 percent versus 64.76 percent for the S&P 500 from its inception on Jan. 1, 1998 through Oct. 31, 2011. Its compound annual return is 12.06 percent versus 3.7 percent for the S&P 500.
• The University of Utah Health Care’s AirMed has opened a 24-hour aircraft base at Mountain View Hospital in Payson. Crew relocated to Mountain View Hospital from Timpanogos Regional Hospital in Orem. Established in 1972 as the eighth air medical transport program in the nation, AirMed, U of U Health Care’s air ambulance program, serves as a lifeline to the U’s expert critical care team and facilities. AirMed provides service to the largest geographical region in the country, which includes Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and parts of Nevada and Colorado. • The Intermountain Medical Center Homer Warner Center for Informatics Research is the best hospital information technology department in the nation among hospitals with more than 351 beds, according to a study commissioned by Healthcare IT News, a medical informatics journal. The study was based on a
confidential survey completed by IT staff members in 179 hospitals that were nominated for the award. The survey was designed to measure statistically exceptional IT departments by assessing IT employees’ satisfaction in seven categories: daily work, immediate team, workplace culture, senior managers, training/development, direct supervisors and compensation.
INSURANCE • Beginning with individual
and agency insurance licenses that expire Feb. 29, 2012, the Utah Insurance Department will e-mail courtesy renewal notices to licensees at their business e-mail address. No longer will renewal notices be mailed. Correspondence sent by the department to the business e-mail address on file with the department will be considered received by the licensee. All licensees are required to maintain with the department a valid e-mail address where the licensee can receive renewal notices, billing invoices, etc., as required by Rule R590-258 effective Sept. 8, 2010. Each licensee is also required to confirm that the spam filter for this e-mail address will accept e-mail correspondence from the department. Submitting and maintaining a current e-mail address can be done electronically at www.sircon. com/utah or www.nipr.com.
• The Salt Lake City law firm of Parr Brown Gee & Loveless have been recognized by Benchmark Litigation and its sister publication, Benchmark Appellate, as a “highly recommended firm” in the state of Utah. Five Parr Brown attorneys were also recognized in the recent publications. Only those individuals who were recommended consistently as reputable and effective litigators by clients and peers were included in this group. The five attorneys are Jeffrey J. Hunt, Ronald G. Russell, Robert S. Clark, James Ahlstrom and David Reyman. Benchmark Litigation is the only publication on the market to focus exclusively on litigation in the U.S. Benchmark Appellate is a sister publication that focuses exclusively on the litigation at the appeals level. • Eric G. Benson has joined the Salt Lake City law firm of Ray Quinney & Nebeker as an associate. He works in RQ&N’s Litigation Section, and will practice within the firm’s White Collar Criminal Defense and Corporate Compliance Practice Group. Prior to joining the firm, Benson served as an assistant United States attorney for the District of Utah, where he prosecuted a wide variety of criminal cases, including wire fraud, mail fraud, violent crimes,
drug crimes and immigration cases. • Jones Waldo, one of Utah’s most enduring law firms, has added a new attorney and a new staff member. Attorney Adam T. Mow has joined Jones Waldo in the position of counsel. He is a graduate of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Ball State University. A licensed architect, Mow’s practice focuses primarily on construction law. Prior to joining Jones Waldo, Mow was with Babcock, Smith & Babcock in Salt Lake City. Sue Skanchy joins the firm as chief operating officer. She was most recently chief financial officer for Utah Food Bank. Skanchy earned an MBA from the University of Utah after receiving her bachelor’s degree in finance from Brigham Young University.
MANUFACTURING • Zarbee’s, a Salt Lake City
purveyor of consumer health care brands, has named Tim Wright as its chief marketing officer. A 29-year consumer health care veteran, Wright joins Zarbee’s from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, where he served as president, global marketing. While there, he delivered market-leading growth for the company’s largest OTC and oral health brands, continued on page 11
Options, options, options! SBA money to loan.
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Call Kent DeHart or Scott Snow at 801-478-2300, or visit a First Utah Bank office near you.
Jan. 2-8, 2012
Real Estate Matters Legal Matters The Enterprise
HR Matters Legal Matters How to compete with large companies
You’re a small business going up against large rivals. How do you compete? Easy. Steal a page from their playbooks. According to Joe Cole, CEO of NAPEO, “Over the last decade, many large businesses have leveraged a business phenomenon known as business process outsourcing ... The concept is simple. The company focuses on their core competencies — its products and services, customers, marketing, etc. — and outsources critical, yet Sher noncore, functions.” Some of these basic functions that are leveraged in an outsourced arrangement are human resources and administrative processes — services provided by a professional employer organization. Most small companies only have resources enough to hire employees to perform the essential duties of their product or service. When money is tight, there’s only so far a dollar can stretch. What often happens is an employee who
was hired to handle office duties “falls into” a human resources role. Although the arrangement seems to be working, a true human resources professional can help protect the company in a number of areas, such as: • Creating employee policy handbooks; • Consulting to avoid allegations of wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment or other employShields ment-related lawsuits; • Investigating such claims to show immediate action and due diligence; • Training managers and supervisors properly to prevent unintentional wrongdoing; • Researching multi-state laws and regulations to ensure compliance; • Coaching on employee performance and conduct to enhance production; • Providing recruiting tips
and best practices to hire the right employees upfront and help avoid costly turnover; and • Educating on legal matters, such as compliance with FLSA, ADA, UNLA, ADEA, FMLA, ERISA and all other laws that seem to be rapidly changing and evolving. This sounds great in theory, but does any of this really apply to a small business? In regards to law compliance, the answer is actually: it depends. Most laws have a minimum number of employees that a company must have in order to have the federal mandate of compliance. However, some laws apply to employers of all sizes — and I’ve yet to meet a business that wasn’t interested in having employees achieve higher performance ratings and/or attract better quality employees from the get go. In addition to human resources, professional employer organizations (PEOs) produce payroll for clients and assumes full responsibility for withhold-
ing and remitting payroll taxes. Most guarantee timely and accurate payroll services and take the frustration and liabilities out of payroll administration. If the IRS comes knocking, it’s on the PEO’s door — clients simply have to report hours, customizable to their needs (e-mail, fax, online via ESG’s Web portal, or sync with timekeeping system). PEOs can handle the most complex of payroll needs, including job costing, Davis-Bacon wages, sick/vacation/PTO tracking and accruals, garnishments, certified payrolls, pre- and post-tax deductions, and federal and state tax deposits and filings — and can provide customized reports to suit clients’ needs. Many PEOs’ services also include risk management, which encompasses a coverage arm to procure workers’ comp insurance; a safety arm that helps prevent workplace injuries; and a claims management arm that aggressively manages claims in the event of an accident to help employees get back to work as soon as possible
(and minimize the hit against clients’ insurance policies). Many companies don’t realize there are more workers’ comp carriers than the one they hear or see advertised most frequently — and, as a result, they don’t take the time to research the best rates for their coverage. Furthermore, most companies don’t understand the toll a workplace injury takes on its employee morale and insurance coverage … until it happens. PEOs strive to find the best coverage for clients’ needs and aim to help clients avoid workplace injuries. Risk management team can provides onsite safety trainings, send out monthly safety newsletters and develop tailored safety programs to help manage client risk. There’s also a benefits solution provided by many PEOs. Offering and administering benefits creates a huge headache for small employers, particularly when there’s a shortage of time to even explore multiple offerings in the first place. PEOs can track see HR next page
from previous page and determine benefits eligibility, ensure benefit plan compliance, notify carriers of employees’ elections, reconcile benefit invoices, assist with insurance renewals and provide enrollment assistance to employees. You may be asking, “How can I afford all of these services when I’ve made my last dollar stretch as far as it can?” You may be surprised to learn how affordable PEO services are. Most aggregate hundreds of small businesses to create economies of scale in health insurance, workers’ compensation, payroll services and human resources support. You benefit from the cost advantage and now have access benefits often associated with Fortune 500 firms to attract and retain higher quality employees. Sher Shields, PHR, has a master’s degree in business administration (emphasis in human resources) and over eight years of HR experience. She has been with Employer Solutions Group (ESG) since 2003, a PEO that provides human resources consulting, payroll and administrative services, creative benefit offerings and employer liability reduction to its client companies. For more information, visit ESG online at www.esghr.com.
• Jan. 10, 7:15-9 a.m.: Association for Corporate Growth Utah January Breakfast Program. January 10 Breakfast Program. Guest speaker will be John E. Richards, managing partner of UtahAngels and co-founder of BoomStartup. Location is the Little America Hotel, 500 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. Free to ACG members, nonmembers pay $30 to $45. Register at http:// www.acg.org/utah/events/event. aspx?EventId=4091. • Jan. 11, 5:30 p.m.: “Mistakes to Avoid in Preparing for Funding,” sponsored by the SLC Entrepreneur Circle. Entrepreneurs Alan E. Hall, angel investor, and Dr. David Norton, investment manager for the investment fund Island Park, will join representatives from the regional venture capital and angel investors community to share their personal tips, tricks and wisdom on the ways entrepreneurs can successfully find new funding in 2012. Location is Zions Bank, 1 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. Free. Register at http://www.meetup.com/SLCEntrepreneurs/events/40460732. • Jan. 12, 7:30-9:15 a.m.: Utah Economic Review, sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber. Participants will learn about the economic issues of the day — the European debt crisis, stock
• Calendar •
market volatility, federal debt/ deficit challenges, employment, income, housing and more. The Utah Economic Council will share its forecast for the coming year, and Gov. Herbert will share his economic guidance and insights. Location is the Little America Hotel, 500 S. Main St., Salt Lake City. Cost is $45 and includes breakfast and a copy of the Economic Forecast. Register at www.slchamber.com, by calling (801) 328-5060 or by e-mailing email@example.com. • Jan.19, 6-8 p.m.: 2012 Annual Construction Forecast Dinner Meeting, sponsored
by Associated Builders and Contractors of Utah and the American Society of Professional Estimators. Keynote speakers will be James Wood, director of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research at the University of Utah; and Glen Beckstead, ASPE, cost estimator for MHTN Architects. Location is the Sheraton Hotel, 150 W. 500 S., Salt Lake City. Cost is $60 for ABC, ASPE and NAWIC members, $80 for nonmembers. Register by calling (801) 708-7036 or e-mailing abc. firstname.lastname@example.org. • Jan. 31, 7 a.m.-noon: 2012 Utah Commercial Real Estate
Downton Abbey 7 new episodes!
Sundays Jan. 8-Feb. 19, 8PM The most talked-about miniseries of 2011 returns. We dare you not to get addicted.
Jan. 2-8, 2012
Symposium, sponsored by the Utah chapters of CCIM & NAIOP. Dr. Sam Chandan, president and chief economist of Chandan Economics, will keynote; local commercial real estate professionals will present industrial, investment, office, multi-use/ retail and multi-family/apartment market overviews and Zions Bank will present a Capital Markets Update.Location is the second floor ballroom at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center, 255 S. West Temple. Cost is $95 for CCIM and NAIOP members, $125 for nonmembers. Register at http:// bit.ly/2012Symposium.
Jan. 2-8, 2012 from page 8 including Sensodyne, Aquafresh, alli, Nicoderm, Panadol, Polident/ Poligrip and Breathe Right. Zarbee’s is billed as the fastestgrowing children’s cough and cold brand in the country.
MEDIA/MARKETING • Larry H. Miller Sports
& Entertainment has promoted Libby Arias to local sales manager for KJZZ-TV and Megaplex Theaters and Chris Barney to local sales manager for KFAN Radio. Arias is in her eighth year with KJZZ-TV and previously worked as a senior account executive for the station. In her new position, Arias will oversee the local sales staff for KJZZ-TV as well as pre-feature advertising for the Megaplex Theatres. A native of Columbia, Arias has also spent time at KSL-TV, KUTV, KSTUTV and Simmons Radio and has over 20 years of experience in media sales. Barney is in his fourth year with 1320 KFAN (KFNZ), joining the group when Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment began operating the radio station. In his new position, Barney will oversee KFAN’s local sales staff and sponsorship sales for high school sports broadcasts. A graduate of the University of Utah, Barney was previously a senior
account executive with KFNZ radio.
REAL ESTATE • Commerce Real Estate
Solutions has completed one of the larger class A office property deals in recent Utah County history by signing CLEARLINK and Ancestry.com to multi-year leases. Together, the companies occupy 54,000 square feet or three of the four floors of the Canyon River Office Park’s Center I Building located at 727 N. 1550 E. in Orem. The building was purchased earlier this year by Ace Real Estate Ventures as an investment in the nearly vacant and distressed property. The Orem Commerce Real Estate Solutions’ broker team — James Bullington, Josh Martin, Dan Donaldson and Brandon Huntsman — marketed and negotiated on behalf of Ace to achieve this successful transaction. • The Salt Lake City office of CBRE has listed Tabby Mountain Ranch, a nearly 3,800-acre hunting ranch in Tabiona. The ranch includes an 11,000 square foot lodge, barn, two storage buildings, 242 shares of water, three fishing ponds, a 2,800 square foot caretaker’s home and 50 head of bull elk enclosed within an 1,100-acre high-fenced area. Bruce Zollinger and Patrick Juhlin of CBRE’s
Land Services Group represent Minnesota-based Premier Bank, the seller. The property is listed at $6.5 million. The property was once for sale on the market at $10 million. The lodge includes 13 master suites with flat-screen televisions, 16 bathrooms, two great rooms, dining room, office, conference room, gun-safe room, family room and gourmet kitchen. Made of log construction, the lodge features large roof vaults, an elevator and an outside deck that spans nearly 3,300 square feet.
RETAIL • Golden Braid Books, a
small, independent bookstore in Salt Lake City, has undergone a “re-envisioning” or total remodeling. Products and books are now integrated in easy-to-find, intuitively themed sections, there are expanded jewelry and body care sections, and an new home and garden section, all promoting “conscious living.” Holiday and seasonal inventory are always a mainstay as well. Golden Braid is the first store in Utah to install “mood lighting.” RaLights full spectrum lights typically are used as light therapy for those with seasonal or mood disorders. • Salt Lake Running Co., a Salt Lake City specialty running retailer, has been recognized for the sixth consecutive year as one
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of “The 50 Best Running Stores in America.” The judging culminated in the store’s recognition at an awards ceremony in Austin on Dec. 9 as part of The Running Event, an annual conference and trade expo for specialty running retailers. Only 20 stores nationwide have had the honor of being named six years in a row.
• Texas-based Redi Carpet, which bills itself as the nation’s largest exclusive multi-family flooring contractor, has acquired One Source Services Inc., a multifamily flooring contractor located in Murray. Sellers Rick Spohn and Dan Davis, as well as other integral employees of One Source, will now join the Redi Carpet family and continue to work throughout the Intermountain West region, with Spohn as general manager and Davis as account manager. The acquisition expands Redi Carpet’s coverage to 17 cities in eight states.
TRANSPORTATION • Hinckley Dodge, South
Salt Lake, has named Tracy Tingey as a new car salesman for the auto dealership. Tingey is a certified salesman accredited by the National Automotive Dealer Association. He is a graduate of Weber State University with a
bachelor of science in criminal justice and recently retired after 22 years with the South Salt Lake City Police Department.
TRAVEL/TOURISM • TripAdvisor, the world’s
largest travel site, recently launched its inaugural TripIndex Ski, a cost comparison of popular ski destinations across the United States and Canada, naming Salt Lake City the most affordable ski destination. Numerous factors went into creating the TripIndex Ski, not the least of which was accommodations, a category Salt Lake City also rated “most affordable.” Another of the categories Salt Lake, and its four world-class resorts – Alta, Brighton, Snowbird and Solitude – scored high in was the cost of lift tickets. The Ski Salt Lake Super Pass, valid at all four of the Cottonwood Canyon resorts, is the most convenient and value-laden lift ticket program in the ski industry. In addition to providing an easy and inexpensive way to experience each of the Cottonwood resorts through a single lift pass, it includes free transportation to/from the resorts on UTA Ski Busses and TRAX light rail. Additional categories making up TripAdvisor’s TripIndex Ski include rental equipment, meals and the cost of a beer.
Jan. 2-8, 2012
Eight things to think about this new year
1. Why are people sending commit in February? How about me e-mails with “the most sin- this resolution: Limit yourself to cere wishes … from the bottom of five hours of TV a week. Invest the our hearts …” and then asking me rest of your time on the Internet: to to buy their crap IN THE SAME blog, master business social media, E-MAIL? Couldn’t they send me and learn more about your customsincere wishes in one e-mail, and ers and your competition. What’s buy my crap requests in the other? your plan of achievement? 6. The newest sales tools will When I get these e-mail cards, I make a mental note NEVER to do become dominant in your world. business with these people. How Smartphones are not an option. It sincere were your holiday greet- will be interesting to see how well (if) BlackBerry fares. At ings? 2. My daughter, one point they dominated Gabrielle, and I had a the market, and now they Chick-Fil-A craving for struggle to stay in it. Why? lunch on Monday. Went to Failure to progress fast the drive-through and the enough, service failures line was curled around the and fierce competition. Jeffrey building and out into the The jury is still out, but I’d Gitomer street. Packed. Rats. So we be looking at other options decided to go next door to if it were me. What’s in Burger King and try their “new” your pocket? fries. NO ONE was in line. The 7. The iPad is dominant. restaurant parking lot was nearly Many corporations are issuing them empty at the height of the lunch instead of laptops, and salespeople hour. Consumer report: The fries love them. I see old guys (like sucked, but not as bad as their glued me) on the plane pulling out their together chicken tenders. LESSON: iPad – 10-hour battery, plenty of Chick-Fil-A is kicking ass because software, portable keyboard, touch of QUALITY. When will the others screen – preparing a keynote preget it? In 2012, quality will trump sentation, reading a book, listening price. Where is your focus? to music, composing e-mail and 3. Fast-food places serve Coca- playing Angry Birds. Anyone from Cola, EXCEPT when they’re owned age two to 92 can master it intuiby Pepsi. Pepsi had to buy the chain tively. Steve Jobs’ last and lasting to get the business. Speaks volumes legacy. Got iPad? for which drink is the most popular. 8. YOU. What’s with you this I can’t picture you bellying up to the year? How will you be better as a bar and ordering a “rum and Pepsi.” person and a salesperson? What will My philosophy has always been make you better? Ever ask yourself “don’t offer one or the other, offer this question as you watch someboth and let the customer choose.” thing on TV: Will watching this 4. People traveling to see double my sales? Ouch. Here’s my their families during the holidays. 40-year observation: Most people They’re joyous and have visions have the strength and energy to creof sugarplums. They’re excited for ate their own world and their own family dinners, reunions, return- success, yet very few do. Grab your ing soldiers, Christmas dinners and copy of “The Little Engine That gifts. Only one problem: AIRLINE Could.” The magic formula is in TRAVEL. There is no worse service there. I think you can! I think you in the world. Especially at holiday can! time. Wouldn’t you think they’d FORMULA FOR 2012 pull out the stops? Serve cookies PERSONAL SUCCESS: Think you and milk to passengers (customers) can, build up a head of steam, ask waiting in the two-hour line to pay for help, give it all you’ve got and for baggage? Not a chance. Why? be humble and grateful when you They don’t get service, and they’ll make it up the hill. never get WOW! In 2012, service will trump price and lead to loyalty. Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Sales Bible, Customer Satisfaction How’s your service? is Worthless Customer Loyalty is Now for the good news. Priceless, The Little Red Book of 5. This year will be better than Selling, The Little Red Book of Sales the last few. All kinds of oppor- Answers, The Little Black Book of tunities to cash in on. My recipe Connections, The Little Gold Book for 2012 has already been posted, of YES! Attitude, The Little Green but you can add to the list, and Book of Getting Your Way, The Little make your resolutions in February. Platinum Book of Cha-Ching, The Give yourself a month to make Little Teal Book of Trust, The Little action plans and develop a commit- Book of Leadership, and Social BOOM! His website, www.gitomer. ment mindset. For the most part, com, will lead you to more informaJanuary has never been a “resolu- tion about training and seminars, or tion achievement” month. Why not e-mail him personally at salesman@ just make the plan in January, and gitomer.com. © 2012 All Rights Reserved
New year technology goals for small business The mad rush of the holiday season is behind us, and now it’s time to get back to work. As we set about working on all of our new year’s goals and resolutions, we may have overlooked one area for setting goals: technology. Most small businesses, from restaurants and bakeries to marketing companies and accounting firms, will probably utilize some kind of computer technology to aid in running their businesses. Computing has come a long way, from roomsized mainframes to tablets and smartphones. Sometimes it seems like technology comes at us in a big rush, and anyone who rushes into anything may regret things later. Here are five technology goals that every small business should try to tackle this year. 1. Data security is our number one concern for small-business technology in 2012. There were numerous major secu- John rity breaches last year, including attacks on financial institutions, government agencies and many consumer-end computer systems. According to Sophos, a global IT security firm, there were over 500 million private and personal records accessed by hackers since 2005. To work on securing your business data, ask yourself some questions. Where is all of my data? Who can access that data? How can I keep track of it? Some simple things to work on in your business are making sure that all computers in your office have active antivirus software AND all security updates for the operating systems, AND that all employees use safe Web-surfing habits. If you have wireless Internet access, make sure the password is secure, and that the firmware or software that runs your wireless router is up to date. For any company that keeps financial or customer data, we suggest installing a firewall on your network to keep intruders out. 2. Technology utilization is important. Think about how much your business has spent on the software and hardware in your office. Some studies suggest that end-users may only use a small percentage of the features available in many software programs. For example, if you have spent thousands of dollars on a CRM program that should integrate all the processes for managing your business, wouldn’t it be a good idea to offer your employees some training on the software? Rarely does an intricate software program work at 100 percent efficiency straight out of the box. Many software and hardware companies offer online tutorials on using their products. You can also find many resources on the Internet, including video training, for many technology products. Local schools and training companies may offer classroom training or onsite training for various software programs. Even doing something simple like setting aside an hour a week for an employee-driven workshop or meeting to discuss technology might be a good idea. Your employees probably all have different skill levels and can teach each other how to best use specific programs. 3. Cloud computing is not going away. More applications and uses for the cloud are released all the time. From data storage, backups and file sharing, to remote application access, small businesses can gain a leg up by utilizing cloud technology. Consider using a data backup cloud solution like Carbonite or Mozy to keep your data safe in case of a data disaster or hardware crash.
Many popular software programs like Microsoft Office and Intuit Quickbooks offer cloud solutions that help with collaboration and productivity. Some companies are eliminating paper invoices and forms by using cloud-based customer relationship programs. For example, a plumbing company may have their technicians use a tabletbased computer to input customer information, complete an invoice, and even take a payment. The customer could receive an e-mail with the invoice and receipt. 4. Social media is a great marketing tool for businesses of all sizes. Using it correctly can be a challenge, but there are many resources available to help people become “social marketing experts.” Social media allows businesses to connect with their customers on a very Stewart personal level. It is a great way to get your message out there without having to spend a lot of money. Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are the most popular social media sites to use. They can also be huge time wasters, so be careful. Try to make a plan for social media. Schedule specific times during the week to engage your customers and potential customers, and stick to those times. Try to use the 90/10 rule. Ninety of your posts and messages should be friendly, helpful, informative, funny and interesting. Ten percent can be actual advertisements for your business. Remember, the power of social media is that people are willingly sharing information, and they can easily block you out if they don’t like your message. We like the power of an informative newsletter to help spread the word about a business. Try to make the newsletter easy to read, informative and compelling. You want people to actually read the newsletter, and pass it along to the people they know. 5. Technology moves fast, and if your business is using outdated hardware and software, it may actually cause productivity issues. If you send many documents back and forth with customers and your version of the software is out of date, it may be harder for the recipients to read the documents you are sending. Most computer desktops and servers need to be replaced after four to five years. Surge protectors and battery backup devices (UPS) also have a shelf life. For surge protectors, expect one year of surge protection for every $10 you spend, with a maximum of three to four years. It can be expensive to upgrade software every year, but when a company officially stops supporting the software, it may be time to upgrade. This is especially important for operating systems like Microsoft Windows and Apple. By staying on top of technology and following the trends, businesses of all sizes can compete both locally, and in the ever-increasing global marketplace. John Stewart is the operations manager for inQuo, a computer support and repair company based in Salt Lake City. With more than 20 years of combined experience, the inQuo staff can fix a wide variety of computer issues for small businesses and home users. For more advice and information visit www.inquo.wordpress.com, call (801) 3492762, or send e-mail to email@example.com.
Jan. 2-8, 2012
The movie piece
One of the painful realities of life as and religious persuasions will give an economist and professional speaker is way to moderation and civility and a that the subject matter of economics is COURAGEOUS approach to a lasting typically viewed (with good reason!) by peace. the general public as confusing, intimi- The idea of children FOOTLOOSE dating and boring. As a result, trying to and fancy free, with HAPPY FEET present weekly economic and financial TWO celebrate an end to war and sufferinformation with an unusual twist can ing, with JOYFUL NOISE of children occasionally be a most welcome change. laughing, is a powerful image indeed. … and Still in Afghanistan Warning! This week’s column is What many might consider a my semi-annual economic, financial and political update … using today’s cur- MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, an end to rent movie titles. My sincere apology in war and death in Afghanistan, remains at play. The WAR HORSEs continue to advance to anyone I might offend. fight in THE LAND OF BLOOD AND The Federal Reserve HONEY, with this conflict now THE VOW taken by being the longest in American Federal Reserve members history. to keep inflation at bay may Here’s hoping the devastation be sorely tested in comof death can give way to THE ing years. ONE FOR THE FLOWERS OF WAR, a cesMONEY has taken on new sation of hostilities, while at the meaning as more than two trilsame time limiting the spread of lion dollars of mortgage bonds venom and hate to nearby nations and U.S. Treasury securities and their peoples. Jeff Thredgold have been bought by the Fed, The Congress the intent to push long-term Leaders of the House of interest rates lower. Representatives and the Senate contin Such bonds could ultimately be an ue their HAYWIRE relationship with ALBATROSS around the Fed’s neck if one another. THE DIVIDE is as wide, and when the general level of interest and damaging, as at almost any other rates returns to more traditional levels. time in American history. A GAME OF Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke could find SHADOWS and political intrigue among himself a MAN ON A LEDGE at that and between key PLAYERS serves not time. this nation. Europe EXTREMELY LOUD AND The financial mess continues, with INCREDIBLY CLOSE whining and debt CONTAGION spreading from one nay saying between members of the country to the next. Too many nations primary political parties must give way may find themselves CHIPWRECKED to what is in America’s best interests. with little success in this dangerous game A lack of cooperation approaching of MONEYBALL now being played PARANORMAL ACTIVITY merely across the Continent. threatens another downgrade of American THE DARKEST HOUR has not debt during 2012, with higher borrowing as yet been felt across Europe. German costs … and resultant even larger budget and French leadership must wonder at deficits … sooner rather than later. times whether they BOUGHT A ZOO In my mind, THE HELP in the of problems much larger than the initial U.S. Congress — people sent to the euro agreements suggested. nation’s capital to do the peoples’ busi Hopefully, THE SITTER (German ness — suffers from an ABDUCTION Chancellor Angela Merkel), also known of common sense that needs to be turned as the 21st Century version of THE around quickly. IRON LADY, will find believers in the ONCE UPON A TIME, idea of fiscal sanity before THE IDES Congressional members did work togethOF MARCH roll in. er better. Certainly they do not have to Youth Unemployment act as NEWLYWEDS. Nevertheless, an One casualty long overlooked in the imminent DECLARATION OF WAR European financial CARNAGE is the against disastrous future budget deficits lack of job opportunities for YOUNG is mandatory as THE GREYing of the ADULTs across Europe. Gaining that population continues. first job — getting that first valuable Perhaps new and positive individual work EXPERIENCE — is crucial to resolutions adopted on NEW YEAR’S longer-term success for workers. EVE by Congressional members will help The same is true in the U.S. and turn the corner toward A SEPARATION other parts of the world, where THE between vile and biting comments … and DESCENDANTS of hard working peo- those constructive comments, ideas, and ple from around the globe lack such actions that benefit all Americans. Time opportunities. American teenage unem- is short to avoid the type of chaos now ployment at 23.7 percent of the labor engulfing Europe. force (those actually seeking jobs) has a PARIAH impact upon their future Jeff Thredgold is the only economist in employment options. the world to have ever earned the CSP An End to Iraqi War … The New Year finds a BREAKING (Certified Speaking Professional) interDAWN of optimism coupled with fear national designation, the highest earned designation in professional speaking. He in Iraq, now lacking an American mili- is the author of econAmerica, released by tary presence. Hopefully, THE DEVIL major publisher Wiley & Sons, and serves INSIDE too many diverse groups as economic consultant to Zions Bank.
As we enter 2012, I can’t help but reflect magazines. You can get your newspaper, TV on 2008. The economy had crashed and we or radio streamed right to your computer, your elected a new President on “Hope & Change.” phone or that iPad or lesser tablet. Books are We hoped things would change, but have now electronic and so are the papers, magazines, newsletters and on and on. they? YES … for the worse! The Yellow Pages are all but dead, major And what does that mean for businesses daily newspapers are fast diminishing, and large, and particularly small? one wonders if they’ll be around in a decade. Here’s the sitch … The fallout is, on the surface, it looks like The government hasn’t helped one iota. nobody knows the rules of the game anymore. We’re still spending like drunken sailors; Shoot, they don’t even seem to know the there is still a tremendous amount of uncer- shape of the ball. What used to work – or so we thought – tainty regarding energy, health care and taxes. The ONLY reason the economy hasn’t con- doesn’t anymore. Or does it? tinued to plummet is because con To be sure, the world sumption that was postponed had to of media and advertising has so eventually take place in some sectors. changed that one is tempted to draw Cars and washing machines, wear that conclusion. But could it be that out, for example, and simply must be what allegedly “used to work,” never replaced. Businesses that don’t stay up really did, but we were in such proswith technology simply can’t continue perous and easy times that it seemed to compete. So some movement has to like it did? take place. It just has to. And give credit where credit is Today I hear all the time that direct due. Some smart businesses inno- Jim Ackerman mail doesn’t work, “like it used to,” vate and come out with products, prothat newspaper, radio, newspaper grams and services that are particularly doesn’t work, “like it used to.” Most of the people who say this are still designed to serve people and other businesses in these economic circumstances, helping running the same kinds of ads “they used to,” people cope with the economic conditions. and are surprised they don’t work anymore. When odds are they weren’t working all that These products and service will be bought. But you don’t see an improvement in well before. But it felt like they were because housing, do you? Not much anyway. Because in “the good ol’ days,” you had the force of most of us who can keep our homes are doing volume. It’s just the way it is that fewer people just that. So what is the message for businesses? are reading their newspapers, watching TV or How do you market in this economy? listening to the radio. No wonder the same old The most important answer is that you ads are bringing the same old results. DO. Interestingly enough, almost everybody I have a client in Wisconsin who blames still gets mail, so why isn’t it working “like it the economy for his woes. He is likely to lose used to?” his business in the next few months, unless he Well, it is … and so are the other media. can sell it. Sad. He’s been a successful busi- And some of it’s working even better. But nessman for over 30 years. But he refuses to only for the people who are innovating its do what must be done to save it. He refuses use. I have clients who are routinely getting to do things differently than he ever has. He refuses to innovate in his marketing. He’s response rates of 7 percent, 10 percent, 16 literally pinning his hopes on an economic percent … all the way up to 40 percent. But turnaround that will lift all boats and provide it’s not your daddy’s direct mail, or radio, or whatever. the “automatic prosperity” he once enjoyed. Ain’t gonna happen. Want to know the secret? Go back to Not for him, not likely for you and me, tried and true basics: not likely ever again. Start with chasing the right people. Start No, from now on, we’re all going to have with marketing to your house list. to earn our right to survive and thrive in the Make a strong, irresistible offer. Ten world of business. percent off doesn’t cut it. Never has. But espeThe Compound Complication cially not now. Bad enough, the economic crash. But Employ a compelling headline that sucks something else happened at about the same in the reader or listener or viewer. Pack your message with powerful time that has made things all the worse for BENEFIT statements. most businesses. What was it? The iPad. Get personal. Avoid “ad speak.” Talk to I’m serious. The introduction of the iPad people in your advertising as you would talk literally changed everything, almost over- to them face-to-face. night. Use these basics in all your advertising, The Internet was already revolutionizing in any media, and you’ll overcome the comthe world of marketing and advertising, but plexities and simply succeed. the iPad – and the online and mobile innovations that came along at about the same time Jim Ackerman is a Salt Lake City-based mar– have accelerated the speed of that revolution keting speaker, marketing coach, author and ad writer. For his speaking services go to beyond almost everybody’s ability to cope. The epitome of the point is the iPad www.marketingspeakerjimackerman.com or contact him directly at mail@ascendmarkettelevision commercial that said, in part, “Now ing.com. Subscribe to his VLOGS at www. you can watch a newspaper; listen to a maga- YouTube.com/MarketingSpeakerJimA, where zine …” you get a video marketing tip of the day, and at The lines of the media have blurred to www.YouTube.com/GoodBadnUglyAds, where the point that they are almost unrecognizable. Ackerman does a weekly ad critique and lets You go online and radio stations look like TV you do the same. ©2012, Jim Ackerman, All Rights Reserved stations, TV stations look like newspapers and
The lethal fantasies of dear old Ron Paul
The latest evidence of sim- that earned millions of dollars mering racial resentment on the for him from gullible subscribAmerican political fringe showed ers over the decades were often soiled with vile invecup recently in a Facebook tives against blacks and post by a California man other minorities. He is who urged the assasa perennial favorite of sination of the president the John Birch Society and his two daughters in and kindred extremists obscene, racist language. on the right. He once Aside from the Secret refused to return a donaService, there was little tion from a leader of the reason for most of us to pay attention to this sick Joe Conason Nazi-worshipping skinheads in the Stormfront boob — except that he was movement. identified as a local political leader of the tea party and an What is it about the kindly avid supporter of Rep. Ron Paul, old doctor that attracts some of the Texas Republican who now the most violent and reactionary seems likely to place first in the elements in society to his banner? Iowa presidential caucuses. For many years, Paul was To those who have followed merely an outlying crank in the Paul’s long career as a failed ranks of the Republican Party — presidential candidate — these a “libertarian” who courted the campaigns have become a family paranoid bigots in the John Birch business — the appearance of yet Society, whose monthly magazine another racist nutjob in his orbit featured his name on its masthead is scarcely news. The newsletters
Jan. 2-8, 2012
as a “contributing editor.” More than a decade ago, during his 1996 campaign for Congress, the racist ravings in his newsletters were first exposed — the same series of articles that besmirched Martin Luther King and Barbara Jordan and encouraged every racist stereotype about African-Americans as criminals and welfare dependents. He disowns those words now, but back then a spokesman defended them as merely “taken out of context.” Back then, his rhetorical flirtations with the White Citizens Councils hardly mattered. Almost nobody bothered to listen seriously to his urgings that America return to the gold standard, repeal the income tax and the direct election of U.S. senators and erase all of the advances of the past century in protecting the public from cyclical depressions, poisonous food, water, air and drugs, and
the insecurities of poverty, old age and ill health. Most Americans still could remember when this Darwinian ideology influenced policy and knew that the nation was not better off — except for a few robber barons — back in the days before Theodore Roosevelt inaugurated the Progressive Era, beginning a century of reform. On the far right, including wealthy figures such as the Koch family that once supported the Birch Society and now backs the tea party, there are many who share Paul’s brand of political nostalgia. Kindly and gentle as he appears, Paul has always known how to sound the dog whistle that excites them, whether it was in the race-baiting that adorned his newsletters for years, the claims that medicine served us better before Medicare and Medicaid or the campaign against the Federal Reserve. Although Paul has occa-
sionally disavowed his supporters on the ultra-right when political expediency demanded it, they have never abandoned him — and they won’t, because whether or not he is actually a racial bigot, he shares their disdain for the 20th century. There is little reason to worry about the policies of a Paul administration, despite his current lead in the Iowa polls. But the rise of the tea party and the vacuum of leadership in the Republican Party have created a space for Paul’s lethal fantasies, which if enacted would return us to the bad old days of mass poverty, rampant pollution, racial supremacy and all the other ills that characterized the America of the robber barons. Joe Conason is the editor in chief of NationalMemo.com. Copyright 2012 Creators.com.
The past and the present If Newt Gingrich were being his boast on the eve of the 2008 nominated for sainthood, many election: “We are going to change of us would vote very differently the United States of America.” from the way we would vote if he Many Americans are already were being nominated for a politi- saying that they can hardly recognize the country they grew up in. cal office. What the media call We have already started down the Gingrich’s “baggage” path that has led Western concerns largely his perEuropean nations to the sonal life and the fact that brink of financial disashe made a lot of money ter. Internationally, running a consulting firm it is worse. A presiafter he left Congress. dent who has pulled This kind of stuff makes the rug out from under lots of talking points that Thomas our allies, whether in we will no doubt hear, Sowell Eastern Europe or the again and again, over the Middle East, tried to cozy next weeks and months. But how much weight should up to our enemies, and has bowed we give to this stuff when we low from the waist to foreign leadare talking about the future of a ers certainly has not represented nation? either the values or the interests This is not just another elec- of America. If he continues to tion and Barack Obama is not do nothing that is likely to stop just another president whose poli- terrorist-sponsoring Iran from getcies we may not like. With all of ting nuclear weapons, the consePresident Obama’s broken prom- quences can be beyond our worst ises, glib demagoguery and cyni- imagining. Against this background, cal political moves, one promise he has kept all too well. That was how much does Newt Gingrich’s
Jan. 2-8, 2012
personal life matter, whether we accept his claim that he has now matured or his critics’ claim that he has not? Nor should we sell the public short by saying that they are going to vote on the basis of tabloid stuff or media talking points, when the fate of this nation hangs in the balance. Even back in the 19th century, when the scandal came out that Grover Cleveland had fathered a child out of wedlock — and he publicly admitted it — the voters nevertheless sent him to the White House, where he became one of the better presidents. Do we wish we had another Ronald Reagan? We could certainly use one. But we have to play the hand we were dealt. And the Reagan card is not in the deck. While the televised debates are what gave Newt Gingrich’s candidacy a big boost, concrete accomplishments when in office are the real test. Gingrich engineered the first Republican takeover of the House of Representatives in 40 years — followed by the first
balanced budget in 40 years. The media called it “the Clinton surplus” but all spending bills start in the House of Representatives, and Gingrich was Speaker of the House. Speaker Gingrich also produced some long overdue welfare reforms, despite howls from liberals that the poor would be devastated. But nobody makes that claim any more. Did Gingrich ruffle some feathers when he was Speaker of the House? Yes, enough for it to cost him that position. But he also showed that he could produce results. In a world where we can make our choices only among the alternatives actually available, the question is whether Newt Gingrich is better than Barack Obama — and better than Mitt Romney. Romney is a smooth talker, but what did he actually accomplish as governor of Massachusetts, compared to what Gingrich accomplished as Speaker of the House? When you don’t
accomplish much, you don’t ruffle many feathers. But is that what we want? Can you name one important positive thing that Romney accomplished as governor of Massachusetts? Can anyone? Does a candidate who represents the bland leading the bland increase the chances of victory in November 2012? A lot of candidates like that have lost, from Thomas E. Dewey to John McCain. Those who want to concentrate on the baggage in Newt Gingrich’s past, rather than on the nation’s future, should remember what Winston Churchill said: “If the past sits in judgment on the present, the future will be lost.” If that means a second term for Barack Obama, then it means lost big time. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. Copyright 2012 Creators.com
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