Utah's Top 16 Business "News Nuggets" for September 01—22, 2023.

Utah's Top 16 Business "News Nuggets" for September 01—22,  2023.
Gold nugget photo by mlgdave via Pixabay and downloaded 25 September 2023.

AUTHOR'S NOTE:  Clearly, not every news announcement deserves to be the top story of the day. Nevertheless, many news items are still significant and should be acknowledged as such. This is why we regularly take time to bundle a number of these announcements into semi-regular write-ups focused on what we describe as "News Nuggets."

In this instance, we give you Utah's Top 16 Business "News Nuggets" for 01—22 September 2023.

Enclosed below (in no particular order), are Utah's Top 16 Business "News Nuggets" from September 01—22, 2023 that may not have hit your radar:

  • Earlier this month, Crystal A. Huang (41) of Lehi, Utah was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison following a $5 million securities fraud conviction. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office (District of Utah), "Huang admitted that she devised a scheme intended to defraud investors and obtain money and property, under false pretenses to benefit her company, ProSky Inc." The news release goes on to say that during the five-year-period of February 2015 to February 2020 Huang defrauded approximately 13 investors by " ... providing them with falsified balance sheets, profit and loss statements, bank account statements and customer lists." The U.S. Attorney's Office did not specifiy in its release when Huang's imprisonment will begin.
  • According to this press announcement from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the CTFC "... has issued an order simultaneously filing and settling charges against Jacob R. Orvidas ..." (28) of Sandy, Utah regarding a multiyear scheme wherein Orvidas "fraudulently solicited at least four pool participants to trade leveraged bitcoin (sic) on their behalves in a commodity pool." As a result, the CTFC announcement continues by explaining that Orvidas has been ordered to pay over $2.5 million in restitution and penalties, specifically "over $2 million in restitution and a $500,000 civil monetary penalty." Additionally, Orvidas will "... cease and desist from further violating the Commodity Exchange Act, as charged. In addition, the order imposes 10-year registration and trading bans against Orvidas." Additional information about this case can be found on here on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website.
  • Lehi-based PCF Insurance Services has acquired another insurance brokerage as it continues its national rollup strategy. According to its latest news release, PCF has acquired Florida-based Allied Marketing Insurance Group earlier this month, a brokerage that specializes in health and benefits insurance offerings. As with its prior acquisitions, PCF did not disclose financial details about the transaction. {NOTE: For deeper insights into PCF, please see "PCF Insurance Services - A 5X, Utah-based 'Unicorn' Hiding in Plain Sight - Lands $400 Million in Incremental Debt Financing."}
  • Salt Lake City-based Ensign College and Rexburg, Idaho-based Brigham Young University-Idaho will begin offering three-year, online bachelor's degrees in 2024 through SLC-based BYU-Pathway Worldwide, effectively cutting both the cost and time requirements to gain an undergraduate degree by 25%. According to the announcement, the 90-to-96-credit-hour degrees have been approved by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, one of the leading higher education accreditation bodies in the United States. On a go-forward basis, BYU-Pathway Worldwide students will be able to select from seven distinct 3-year baccalaureate options: 1) Applied Business Management, 2) Applied Health, 3) Communication, 4) Family and Human Services, 5) Information Technology, 6) Professional Studies, and 7) Software Development. {NOTE: Over 61,000 students were enrolled with BYU-Pathway Worldwide globally in 2022.}
  • The United States General Services Agency (GSA) is a federal clearinghouse that has contracted with thousands of corporations to provide over four million products/services for sale to purchasers at federal agencies, states, counties, cities, other governmental entities. So ... when American Fork, Utah-based LiveView Technologies announced earlier this month that it has landed a 20-year ordering contract with the GSA for its LVT Unit, it's a pretty big deal. According to the LVT news release, the company's LVT Units are "... rapidly deployable mobile video surveillance (systems) effective anywhere sun and cellular service is available. This allows a first line of defense protection everywhere from parking lots to remote power substations. With automated alerting, a small security team can manage hundreds of LVT Units across the country." Congrats, LVT!
  • Lehi-based Solo (a "market-leading provider of solar sales and design software") has acquired San Francisco, California-based "SolarNexus, a leader in solar customer relationship management software." According to the company news release, Solo has "served over 10,000 contractors" with "over $200 (billion) in solar designs and proposals ... performed within (Solo's) software." Unfortunately, terms of the transaction were not disclosed by either party.
  • Logan, Utah is receiving a $4 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to "develop a Regional Green Waste Facility ... that will provide composting services for biosolids and yard waste for the city and communities across Cache County." According to the EPA news release, the new facility "... will include new utilities, stormwater pumps, piping and air plenums for aerated static composting; several acres of community gardens and landscaping; a new yard waste facility; and a new access road" with the intent of "... compost(ing) biosolids, yard waste and other organic waste." No timeline was disclosed for development or launch of the new Regional Green Waste Facililty, but it is expected to be located "adjacent to the (Logan's) wastewater treatment plant."
  • Lehi-based Parallel has raised $1.85 million in pre-seed funding. According to its news release, the funding round was "... led by Penny Jar Capital, with participation from Convoi Ventures, Peak Capital, Frazier Group, and various other investors." Today, Parallel targets financial professionals with its headcount-forecasting solution.
  • South Jordan, Utah-based Divergent Wealth Advisors, an independent registered investment advisor with $675 million in assets under management (AUM) has been acquired by New York-based NFP. According to the company news release, NFP is "... 7th largest privately-owned broker, 7th largest benefits broker by global revenue and 13th largest broker of US business." Unfortunately, terms of the agreement were not disclosed by either party.
  • Park City, Utah-based Powered by MRP has named Kate Heath as its Chief Sales Officer. According to the company news release, Heath joins Powered by MRP from Candela Medical. Powered by MRP claims it "is the largest reseller of new and pre-owned energy-based aesthetic and surgical devices in the world."
  • Lehi, Utah-based Purple Innovation (NASDAQ:PRPL) has named Todd Vogensen as its Chief Financial Officer effective 16 October 2023. According to the company news release, Vogensen replaces Bennett Nussbaum who has served as interim CFO since August 2021. Most recently, Vogensen was Executive Vice President and CFO of New York-based Party City.
  • Salt Lake City-based VLCM has promoted Brandon Madsen to President from Chief Revenue Officer. According to the company news release, Madsen replaces Mike Linton who continues in his role as CEO.
  • American Fork, Utah-based American Battery Factory has named Dr. Jun Liu as Chief Scientist. According to the company news release, Dr. Liu also serves as "... the director for the Innovation Center for the Battery500 Consortium, Washington Research Foundation Innovation Chair in Clean Energy, Campbell Chair of Materials Science & Engineering and Battelle Fellow at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)."
  • Lehi-based MX has hired Michael Whitacre as its Chief Commercial Officer. According to the company news release, Whitacre joins MX from a Senior Vice President, Head of Sales for Core Banking in North America at FIS. He begins his new role on 2 October 2023.
  • Tanner Chatterley has been promoted to CEO from Director of Revenue for OrderProtection.com. According to the company news release, the company has dual headquarters in Lehi, Utah and Los Angeles, California and "... simplifies and expedites post-purchase issue resolution while protecting millions of dollars’ worth of consumer purchases worldwide."
  • Lehi-based Nature's Sunshine (NASDAQ:NATR) has named Sarah Crockett as its Global Chief Marketing Officer effective 30 October 2023. According to the company announcement, Crockett joins Nature's Sunshine from VF Corporation where she was the Global CMO for its Dickies subsidiary. Previously, she served as CMO of Park City, Utah-based Backcountry.com.

NOTE:  If you feel we may have missed a news item that should have been reported on by Utah Money Watch, please let us know via email at David.Politis@UtahMoneyWatch.com. Thank you.