Chamber Recognizes Utah Employers for Workplace Flexibility

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

The 2009 Alfred P. Sloan Award recipients

Thirteen local organizations will receive the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. One additional organization will be named an honorable mention. The awards, presented locally by the Salt Lake Chamber, recognize organizations that strive to find new ways to make work, work.

Local recipients of the 2010 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility are:

  • 1-800 CONTACTS, inc.
  • Café Rio Mexican Grill
  • Christopherson Business Travel
  • CRSA
  • Deloitte
  • Employer Solutions Group
  • Futura Industries
  • Intermountain Financial Group, LLC
  • Intermountain Healthcare
  • McKinnon-Mulherin, Inc.
  • Nelson Labs, Inc.
  • Software Technology Group
  • Utah Food Services
  • United Way of Salt Lake (honorable mention)

“Businesses know how important it is to keep quality employees and that often means a break from the traditional workday,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “These organizations have shown that implementing workplace flexibility increases effectiveness and yields positive business results, and we’re proud to recognize their willingness to work with their employees.”

The Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility is presented locally by the Salt Lake Chamber at the Work-Life Harmony luncheon, scheduled for 11 a.m. October 20, 2010 at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

The Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility are part of the When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce and the Twiga Foundation. These partner organizations provide research, resources and recognition to employers nationwide. The project shares the results of research on creating effective and flexible workplaces that meet the needs of the 21st century.

Each of the 2010 Sloan Award winners will also be recognized nationally and featured in next year’s edition of the Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, published by Families and Work Institute.

Register HERE for the Work-Life Harmony luncheon.

SLCC president addresses Business Women’s Forum

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Dr. Cynthia Bioteau addressed 30 local business leaders for the monthly Business Women’s Forum Lunch held on September 21st at the Metropolitan.

Dr. Bioteau is the seventh president of the Salt Lake Community College and is the first women to serve in that position.

Dr. Bioteau discussed the importance of understanding the cultural language within the community in which one does business. She provided personal examples of her cultural challenges during the relocation from the East to Salt Lake City. In understanding the new culture she found herself in, she sought out prominent individuals in the community in order to teach her how to learn and adapt to the foreign culture.

Dr. Bioteau also discussed the monetary earning increase available to women as they further their education. Although education is empowering, she believes that in the community women need to be prepared twice as much as men, which in return, prepares women to advance in their personal and professional roles.

Dr. Bioteau took time to educate the group about the growth and vision of Salt Lake Community College and the advancement of women in leadership and executive positions. She explained how higher education supports and increases the vitality of Utah and directly affects the workforce.

Dr. Bioteau encourages all women to work together in this vision to open minds and eyes to opportunities for growth in education. She strongly encouraged all the women to continue to come to Business Women’s Forum lunches and seek out other committees as a way to become connected and involved as a support to women in business and education.

Utah Economic Council lauds Utah export performance

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Utah Economic Council on Utah Exports from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Exports have been a bright spot in the Utah economy during the recession with new records set for merchandise exports each of the past two years. In fact, Utah was the only state to see an increase exports last year.

This week, the Utah Economic Council discussed the importance of Utah’s strong export numbers.

Social media savvy Salt Lake City

Friday, September 24th, 2010

NetProspex’s Social Report for Fall 2010 ranks Salt Lake City among the top ten most social media savvy cities in the  United States. That may come as no surprise since you are reading this on our blog which you very well may have found via our Twitter feed or facebook page.

Here’s the top ten:

  1. San Francisco, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. New York, NY
  4. Austin, TX
  5. Boston, MA
  6. Seattle, WA
  7. Denver, CO
  8. Salt Lake City, UT
  9. Los Angeles, CA
  10. Atlanta, GA

You can read more about the study HERE or you can read the full report HERE.

The numbers show Downtown is Rising

Friday, September 24th, 2010

AUDIO: Chamber business minute Oct 2010

Just last week I was at an event on the top floor of a high rise building downtown and I took a minute to look at the incredible progress of the City Creek Center.

From where I stood, I could also look down Main Street at 222 Main, which is a beautiful building and a model of energy efficiency.

As the transformation of downtown Salt Lake City becomes a reality, opinions of the urban center of their capital city are also improving.

According to new poll numbers, 35 percent of Utahns say their perceptions of downtown have improved over the last 12 months.

47 percent of all respondents indicated they feel a sense of ownership and connection with downtown, a 13 percent increase from a year ago.

88 percent of all respondents agreed that downtown represented Utah’s capital city in a positive way and 55 percent said that it was easier to commute downtown than it was just 12 months ago.

Salt Lake City has benefitted from unprecedented investment—especially in challenging times.

With great dinning, shopping, sporting and community events as well as religious services—there’s no place quite like downtown Salt Lake City.

Downtown truly is rising.

AUDIO: Chamber business minute Oct 2010

Utah Economic Council lays out next steps

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Strengthen Utah’s Economy from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

This week, the Utah Economic Council, convened by the Salt Lake Chamber, met to discuss the Utah economy including things that have helped prevent a worse recession, the steps they recommend going forward and the outlook for the state economy over the next year.

New business approach to charitable work

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

TIFIE from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

A paradigm-shifting approach to humanitarian work by utilizing tried-and-true business principles to provide sustainable change was the focus of a Salt Lake Chamber Circle Level lunch at Zions Bank Founders Room today.

Fraser Bullock, co-founder and managing director of Sorenson Capital joined former NBA star Thurl Bailey to introduce TIFIE Humanitarian, a Utah-based international organization, as a new model in charitable support locally and around the world.

In 2005, Robert Workman began looking for humanitarian opportunities. After 30 years as a successful entrepreneur and owner of Provo Craft and Novelty, he wanted a focus that would more profoundly change people’s lives. This gave rise to TIFIE Humanitarian in 2007, whose full title and mission is Teaching Individuals and Families Independence through Enterprise.

During his extensive business travels, Workman had seen free-market concepts flourish in places like China and India, improving lives with fresh opportunity. His vision was to use tried-and-true business principles within a humanitarian model to provide sustainable change.

This vision took root in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where Workman fell in love with the people and their culture. He also recognized the massive challenges of daily life, let alone opportunities for livelihoods. It was a challenge, making it the perfect place for Workman to plant the first seeds that would become TIFIE Humanitarian.

The TIFIE model encompasses the three parts:
Business Creation: evaluating market needs, providing necessary management and investment capital, hiring locals as employees and managers, and funneling money back into the local economy.

Growth & Profitability: brick-and-mortar businesses focus on profitability – as profits increase, growth and expansion create more jobs and available funding for humanitarian endeavors.

Humanitarian Donations: once profitable, a percentage of the business’ earnings are donated to local humanitarian efforts. What makes this model unique? Sustainability – jobs, skills, schools, orphanages, or other humanitarian projects – remain functioning long after TIFIE has left.

Since 2007, TIFIE Humanitarian has established thriving agricultural development farms, medical initiatives, business entities, and successful distribution, transportation and construction services all of which donate funds back to TIFIE for the support of its humanitarian efforts.

In the DRC, TIFIE currently employs over 30 full-time and 200 temporary workers in trade and trucking, bricks and construction, solar energy and storage. It pays its employees 200-300 percent more than average wage. TIFIE businesses have injected over $1.1 million into Kinshasa markets and into over 100 outlying villages. For more information, visit

Top immigration attorney discusses Utah’s next steps

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Top immigration attorney discusses Utah’s next steps from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

Immigration is one of the hottest topics in the nation right now and right here in Utah we’re at the center of the discussion. A number of immigration related bills will be introduced during the 2011 General Legislative Session–all of which will have an impact on our state economy and our state reputation.

Charles Kuck, one of the top immigration attorneys in the United States, spoke the Salt Lake Chamber Capitol Club today and afterwards he sat down to discuss making the legal route to the U.S. manageable, Utah’s next steps and the “A” word.

Chamber, business organizations launch Utah Small Business Coalition

Monday, September 20th, 2010

The Salt Lake Chamber is one of a dozen small business support organizations joining forces to form the Utah Small Business Coalition, which was officially launched this morning. The group will work to identify current services offered to small business, create efficiency, and explore additional services the coalition can provide.

“Small business is the lifeblood of the Utah economy with approximately 700,000 Utahns employed by small businesses,” said Natalie Gochnour, chief economist of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Helping entrepreneurs start a business and helping small businesses grow is an important part of our economic recovery.”

Approximately 70 percent of the 6,100 Salt Lake Chamber member businesses are small businesses.

The Utah Small Business Coalition will provide counsel as well as a one-stop location for a listing of resources available to entrepreneurs and small business owners. The coalition website,, includes an “Ask an Expert” feature that allows experts to answer questions submitted by business owners. The questions and answers will then be posted to serve as a valuable resource for others working to establish or grow their organizations.

While the Utah unemployment rate is currently about 7.4 percent, the state has seen positive job growth for the past 12 months, now growing at about 1.5 percent. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development knows small business is a key component in getting Utahns back on the job.

“We recognize the significance of any individual who is out of work and we know our job is not done until we help them,” said Spencer Eccles, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “The role of government is to prime the pump and we can do that by encouraging business growth.  Through a number of programs at GOED we help keep Utah business friendly and maintain a great quality of life.”

With those resources now in one place, small business owners and entrepreneurs can find the help they need without wasting time they don’t have.

“The resources are there when your starting your business, but finding them can take too much time when, as a business owner, you already have plenty to worry about,” said Scott Pynes, who purchased his company, Cactus and Tropicals, in 2002. “Having these resources all in one place will be very valuable as will counsel you can get from experts who have been there before.”

The Utah Small Business Coalition will meet monthly at the Salt Lake Chamber. Member associations include:

Downtown Alliance
Governor’s Office of Economic Development
Miller Business Resource Center
National Association of Women Business Owners
Salt Lake Chamber
Salt Lake City Economic Development Division
Small Business Association
Utah Small Business Development Centers
Utah State Chamber of Commerce
Utah’s Own
Vest Pocket
Women’s Business Center

To the Nation’s Capital and back

Friday, September 17th, 2010

To the Nation’s Capital and back from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

The Salt Lake Chamber led a group of 50 engaged business leaders to Washington, D.C. to visit the federal delegation, get insight on policies affecting our state and to provide our elected officials key insight on the Utah economy.

“I think one of the exciting parts of being here is that many businesses that don’t perceive themselves as having Washington ties, find out they really do,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “Every business has to do with politics, every business has to do with taxes and every business has to do with policies of the U.S. Government.”

Each day, the group had meetings together before breaking off to focus on one of four areas: energy, international health care and downtown.

On Monday, Jack Gerard, executive director of the American Petroleum Institute met with he Energy group and discussed the need for further development of fossil fuel even as the nation turns to alternative fuel sources.

The trip featured an international track for the first time. Exports are big business in Utah which was the only state in the nation to see an increase in exports last year.

“We had meetings today with the State Department, the Commerce Department and wkth experts in international trade,” said Lew Cramer, president of the World Trade Center Utah. “It’s been a fascinating opportunity for us to get the viewpoints of those that are involved day to day in international trade.”

The afternoon wrapped up with group discussions with policy leaders from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Bob Bennett joined the group for dinner and a Q&A session. He also applauded the business community for working to cultivate a business friendly environment Utah.

“It’s very important that people form the home state come back and visit their senators because the senate schedule and the senate culture can become all-consuming,” said Sen. Bob Bennett. “If your voice isn’t heard there are plenty of others that will be and ultimately you’ll be left out of the equation.”

On Tuesday, the Health Care group visited the Center for Health Transformation, a group led by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, They got an overview of the Affordable Care Act and the role of the Utah Health Exchange.

“Utah did their exchange the right way,” said David Merritt, vice president and national policy director of the Center for Health Transformation. “It was consumer based, it wasn’t intrusive and it wasn’t used as a regulatory body. It was actually used as a portal for consumers to find information and to purchase insurance. And you did it on your own and I know you went through a very rigorous process working with your business community and working with your health plans to set that model up.”

The Utah Health Exchange was also the topic in the afternoon when the group visited the Heritage Foundation.

“Given all the interests that are involved in health care if you are trying to do any re-think or reform the system, it is really crucial for the policy makers to have the business community say, ‘we want something better than we have today,” said Ed Haislmaier of the Heritage Foundation.

The Downtown track toured the Baltimore Hilton, a convention center hotel that opened two years ago to help bring larger conventions to that community.  The Chamber is reviewing the feasibility of a similar project for Salt Lake.

Tuesday night Senator Orrin Hatch fielded questions from the group during dinner. And later, Congressman Rob Bishop from Utah’s first district took the group through the U.S. Capitol—including onto the House floor where no cameras are allowed.

The final day of the trip began with a breakfast with Congressman Jason Chaffetz, followed by a look at important energy issues impacting Utah business with Jonathan Weisengal of Mid American Energy.

“Utah is unique,” said Jonathan Weisengal, vice president of Mid American Energy. “There continues to be major economic development in the state and there is a need for new electricity resources and those needs are clashing with a nationwide debate on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We’re looking at an administration that is heavily regulating coal and in Utah, a state that is over 80 percent dependent on coal, trying to control the cost of that electricity and new electricity resources is the biggest challenge facing business in Utah and is certainly the biggest challenge facing Rocky Mountain Power as the utility that wants to be able to supply that reliable energy at the lowest possible cost.”

Before leaving for Salt Lake City, the group met with Congressman Matheson of the Utah second district. He fielded questions before being called to the floor for a vote.

In three days we held over thirty meetings, got some great insight on issues facing our state and our nation and met with every member of the Utah delegation.

“I think most people really appreciate the opportunity they’ve had to come,” said Beattie. “Some have been here every year we’ve come back, for others it’s their first time. You visit with them after and they say, ‘wow, I had no idea.’ It’s really intense for the time we have them but they go back to Utah very tired but knowing it was well worth the effort.”

A special thanks to our sponsors:

Energy- Sponsored by: EnergySolutions

Health Care – Sponsored by: HealthEquity

International – Sponsored by: GPS Corporate Foreign Exchange and Nu Skin

Downtown – Sponsored by: Internet Properties

Legislative Dinner Sponsor – Fidelity Investments