Thursday, December 5, 2013
This week Kneaders celebrated their 16th birthday with the opening of their new store in Orem. Now, this is the first ribbon cutting i've attended at 7:00 am, but let me tell you, Kneaders has made it. How do I know? Well, it could be the expansion of the ever growing franchise, it could also be the happy employees running around. Oorrrrr it could be the line of 50 people waiting outside their doors at 6:30 in the morning, in freezing temperatures, who have come to celebrate the opening of the new store!
Congratulations on an amazing 16 years, and here's to another 100. Why a hundred? Because America needs your "all you can eat french toast", for as long as possible!
Feel free to stop by Kneaders' new facility in Orem, the address is 1960 N State St.
You can also visit their website: www.kneaders.com
Friday, November 22, 2013
The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors unanimously passed a resolution supporting the renovation and expansion efforts being considered for the University Mall in Orem.
The resolutions states: “The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce supports strategic and thoughtful economic development. As such, we support the proposed Woodbury University Mall Development Project. We recognize the potential impact on the economy and the residents of Orem. We encourage those involved with the development process to be both conscientious and innovative in building this project.”
University Mall has generated almost $100 million in sales taxes, $10.5 million in property taxes and over $1.5 million in utility fees over the past 10 years. Sales tax generated by the Mall was enough to fund the entire city budgets of Senior Citizens, Community and Neighborhood Services, Fleet Management, Capital Improvement projects, and still have $125,000 left over.
“The University Mall is the lynchpin of Orem’s economic viability,” said Val Hale, President and CEO of the Utah Valley Chamber. “We appreciate the Woodbury family’s willingness to make such a significant investment in our community. The positive economic benefits from this project are huge. We encourage the city leaders to work through the issues and support this vitally important endeavor.”
The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce consists of nearly 1,000 businesses throughout the County. Four years ago, it changed its name from the Provo-Orem Chamber to the Utah Valley Chamber but still serves as Orem’s Chamber of Commerce.
Friday, November 15, 2013
In 2007, Jack Mahoney was vice president of sales and service for a well-known billionaire. He had offices in Draper and on Wall Street and was a driven executive. Unfortunately, at age 52, his body was falling apart. He had a heart attack in December that year and another the following March. He also suffered incredibly from arthritis and other soft tissue issues. Three years later, he could no longer walk up the stairs from the subway station, so he decided to quit his job.
The Jack Mahoney of today does not at all resemble the 2007 version. He is mobile and strong and enthusiastic about his new venture, I Can Move Again. I spent some time with Jack in his new facility at 2365 South Mountain Vista Lane in South Provo (in Ironton about 100 yards off State Street) learning about his business.
Jack has spent the past few years doing intense research on finding ways to deal with and overcome pain caused by arthritis and severe joint pain. He has worked with PhDs, university professors and physicians to devise a program focused on health, hope and happiness. It is a comprehensive, holistic program that embraces the “magic of science” and engages the body, mind and spirit.
Inside his beautiful, 4,000-square-foot facility, Jack has created a state-of-the-art “mobility center,” where his clients will be able to have close attention as they strive to regain mobility and eliminate pain. Only five patrons will be in the facility at a time, and a trainer will work with them as they move through each of the stations. There is a soothing massage with ethereal music and subliminal messages for the first 15-30 minutes. That is followed by exercises with vibrating platforms, mini trampolines, resistance-training machines, recumbent bikes and bouncing chairs. Everything is computerized and impressively choreographed on TV screens. It is not to be confused with the cross fit programs that push people to the limit. His mantra is, “Let’s celebrate what we have accomplished.” These programs are designed to help people who are struggling to walk or stand or raise their arms, and Jack emphasizes they do only what they are able to do.
In addition to the physical and mental activities, Jack has developed nutraceuticals and topicals that are available to his clients. He also has a training room with a certified trainer, Krista Prusak MS ATC, to help people who have specific physical needs.
The target audience for I Can Move Again is a woman or man with osteo or rheumatoid arthritis, severe joint pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, lupus and other debilitating issues. Participants work out 45 minutes a day, five days a week for 12 weeks. Jack is so certain his program makes a difference in the lives of people that he offers a guarantee. Anyone who goes through the complete program and participates at least 80 percent of the time and is not happy with the results will receive their money back.
If all goes as planned, Jack would like help many more people by taking his patented programs to 330 centers nationwide.
Anyone interested in learning more can visit www.icanmoveagain.com. Also, they will be having an open house throughout the week of Nov. 18-22. The official ribbon cutting will be Monday at 1:00. Wednesday they will be open from 10-2, then Thursday and Friday from 4:30-8:30 p.m. On Saturday they will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Congratulations to Jack for creating this amazing program and making a difference in the lives of those who are suffering.
Congratulations! Provo has been named one of the Top 10 Best Places to Retire by Livability.com, a national website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of America’s small and mid-sized cities.
For this list of the best places to retire, editors pulled data used to determine the Livability.com Top 100 Best Places to Live. Editors identified cities with creative atmospheres, excellent healthcare, lots of art and entertainment venues, high levels of social engagement, great parks and other outdoor amenities along with a relatively low cost of living.
“If the only factor in your retirement planning is playing golf on a daily basis, your choices are pretty clear,” says Matt Carmichael, Livability.com Editor. “But for everyone else, we wanted to put together a list of great cities that have more to offer than green grass and easy tee times. Not everyone moves when they retire, but for those who do, here are 10 cities and towns to consider.”
Provo was chosen because the city exposes older adults to new experiences – keeping them active, engaged, healthy and inspired. The city offers a host of quality of life amenities appealing to seniors – from arts and cultural activities, outdoor recreation opportunities, top-notch medical facilities to economic assets, such as continuing education and lower cost of living.
Here are 4 ways to spread the good news:
1. Forward this e-mail to your members.
2. Tweet your ranking to your followers or share the news on your Facebook page.
3. Add a news item or mention on your website and in your e-newsletter.
4. Post the attached badge to your website, blog or social media profiles.
Again, congratulations on making the Livability.com list of Top 10 Best Places to Retire!
Top 10 Best Places to Retire
1. Cincinnati, OH
2. St. Louis, MO
3. Baton Rouge, LA
4. Provo, UT
5. Pittsburgh, PA
6. Roanoke, VA
7. Knoxville, TN
8. Birmingham, AL
9. Cedar Rapids, IA
10. Syracuse, NY
About Livability.com: Livability.com explores what makes small to mid-sized cities great places to live, work and visit. We examine issues related to livability such as walkability, cultural amenities, transportation, urban planning, and sustainability through exclusive research and discussions on our blog. We celebrate the accomplishments of these cities through our monthly top 10 lists, our annual ranking of livable cities and our interactions on social media. Livability.com is a product of Journal Communications Inc.
For more information:
Thursday, October 31, 2013
I'm still feeling the time difference after returning last night from Washington DC. I joined 600 other business, evangelical and law enforcement leaders on a Fly-in Monday. The hosting organizations The Partnership for a New American Economy, US Chamber of Commerce, FWD.US and Bibles, Badges and Business brought together one of the largest cross industry group ever to discuss immigration reform. One day after our meetings on the hill, The Washington Post called immigration reform "undead." Having 600 community influencers from 40 states hit the Capitol to bring a sense of urgency to our congressional representatives, created a slurry of news articles and social media stories about the timeliness of immigration reform.
The 14 business and industry leaders from Utah who met with our Utah delegation, felt the support of our elected officials. While every leader who tackles this issue will deal with some backlash from extreme groups on both sides of the table, for the most part Utahns want a strong economy and want to see the broken immigration system fixed. Congressmen Stewart, Bishop, Chaffetz and Matheson all agreed that immigration is important and were all conservative in estimating when the House leadership will move on the issue.
It was a great experience to have unprecedented access to all of our National representatives in one day, including senator Mike Lee and staff from senator Hatch's office. I found them to be receptive to our visit and am encouraged that when the leaders of the House call for discussion and voting on immigration bills our representatives will be some of the first to arrive at the table. They recognize the importance of immigration reform. We asked for five things including streamlining the system to allow a reasonable time period for getting visas and green cards, finding a way to grant legal work status for undocumented residents who are already among us, allow US businesses to hire those workers, increasing the number of visas for high skilled and all skill levels of workers and securing our borders.
For more information about the fly-in here is the article from the New York Times focussing on the Utah group: Business Conservatives press for immigration reform.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
The WBN Holiday Scholarship fund raising luncheon will be held on Friday, December 6th at Thanksgiving Point. Mark it on your calendars! This is a super fun event that you won’t want to miss. Every year 150 or so local women business leaders gather to celebrate the Christmas season and raise money for a good cause. Included in the program is a silent auction with amazing gifts. It’s a great way to do your holiday shopping while at the same time helping us acquire the funds to provide two scholarships for women who are pursuing business-related degrees at BYU and UVU.
We hope you’ll join us for this wonderful event. If you want to contribute additionally, here are two ways you can participate (and at the same time get some recognition for your business with a group of prime local customers):
Become a table sponsor. Fifteen to twenty local businesses sponsor individual tables for the luncheon. Sponsors provide gifts for each person at a table, plus an extra gift to be used as a door prize—nine gifts total. In order to keep the quality of the gifts consistent, we ask that they be valued at a minimum of $25 per gift, and that the same type of gift be provided for each person at the table. This is a great way to promote your organization (the gifts don’t necessarily have to be a product produced by your business, but you may include information about what you do). If you’re interested in becoming a table sponsor for this year’s event, please contact Kathy Rowe at 801-335-5852 or via email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Opportunities for sponsorship are limited, and are available on a first-come, first served basis.
Donate a gift for our silent auction. Our silent auction has grown more successful every year. Proceeds from the auction go directly to the scholarship fund. We ask that gifts have a minimum value of $50. We will also ask that you provide an electronic copy of your organization’s logo (we can help with this if necessary), and that you provide a description of the gift you’re giving. We’ve had a wide range of gifts in the past, which makes the auction much more appealing. Professional services are always popular with our members, so consider that donation as an option if that’s something you provide. If you have a gift that you would like to donate, please contact Kathy Rowe at 801-335-5852 or via email, email@example.com.
Friday, October 4, 2013
Utah Valley residents voted at the 22nd annual Taste of Utah Valley event and Old Towne Grill in downtown Provo, became the 2013 “Best Taste of the Valley”. For the 2nd year in a row the “Old Towne Burger” took top awards. The slider version of the blue cheese and bacon burger also won top marks for presentation.
All of the award winning restaurants will be presented with their trophies at the Chamber’s Friday Forum business event this week.
Congratulations are in order for all of the fantastic restaurants from across Utah Valley who won votes for everything from best hospitality to best kept secret.
“Taste of the Valley is a celebration of our restaurants and the hard working chefs and owners who provide such a diverse and delicious menu for customers. The restaurant business is a difficult one and most restaurateurs work long hours with little appreciation. This is our way of showcasing their talents,” said Donna Milakovic, executive vice president of the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Award winning participants:
Best “Taste of the Valley”
Old Towne Grill
Heirloom Restaurant Group, Pizzeria 712
Old Towne Grill
Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill
Best kept secret:
Utah Valley Convention Center Catering
Monday, September 30, 2013
For the past several months, Donna and I have wanted to kick off a program we have affectionately called “Chamber Maid.” The idea is that once a month we will spend half a day working for one of our members. Then we will share the experience on our blog so other members can learn more about the company we visit.
I made my first Chamber Maid visit to Grifols Biomat on Thursday, Sept. 26. Their facility is located in Provo on 900 East at 500 North. If you are really old like me, you might remember it as the Star Palace building back in the ‘70s and ‘80s. This is one of three Grifols facilities in Utah County. The others are in Orem (349 East University Parkway) and Provo (651 Columbia Lane).
Grifols is a company headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. There are over 150 centers located in the United States. Interestingly, only Texas has more centers than Utah, which has 9 locations.
The company is dedicated to hemotherapy, or the treatment of medical conditions using blood or blood components. Its products are made from human plasma, the liquid portion of human blood that contains essential proteins required for normal physical and neurological function.
The local Grifols facilities are locations where people can go to donate their plasma, which is in huge demand around the world. The current need is for about 50 million liters of plasma per year, and that need continues to climb.
I met with Jeffries Smith, Center Quality Manager, and Jesse Cardon, Assistant Manager, when I first arrived at Grifols. They gave me a tour of their impressive facility and educated me about the careful procedures they follow to assure a timely and safe experience for the donor and the careful handling of the plasma once it has been donated.
More than anything else, I came away from this experience impressed by the company’s determination to follow strict protocol to assure the safety and privacy of the approximately 180 donors per day that come through the doors.
After they fill out a form, potential donors are ushered into a room, where they undergo a minor physical. If they pass that exam, they go into another room to answer more questions and undergo additional preliminary testing. Once it is determined the donor meets the strict criteria to be a plasma donor, he/she is brought into a large room with 36 reclining benches.
Once comfortable on a bench, the donor is hooked up to a high-tech machine that spins at over 3,000 RPM. Red blood cells are heavier and move to the outside of the device, while plasma remains in the middle of the machine. After the plasma is removed, the red blood cells are returned to the body. The process of replacing the red blood cells allows patrons to donate as often as two times per week compared to once every 8 weeks for blood donors.
While they are waiting the approximately one hour required to collect the plasma, donors can watch TV, read a book, surf the Internet or watch Netflix since the room features Wi-Fi connectivity. For their efforts, donors have the satisfaction of knowing their contribution will help others that require the medicines, created by Grifols from the plasma, to live. They also are paid cash. Payments vary but usually start at about $25.
Once the plasma is collected, it is tested and then immediately frozen at a temperature of 40 degrees below zero. It is kept frozen until additional tests come back showing it is free of any contaminants. Then it is shipped to a Grifols facility in Los Angeles, where it is used to develop medicines for diseases like Hemophilia.
It became clear very early on in my education about the business that plasma donation centers are heavily regulated, audited and monitored by the government. There are strict guidelines and protocols that must be followed. There is a lot of red tape the company must follow to be in compliance. That is a good thing for the donors and patient who will receive the end product.
Because of the close proximity to the University most of their donors are young adults. However, the Grifols on 900 East is fairly new and is still establishing clientele. They like having the young students donate regularly, but they also are looking for more established community members who will become regular donors.
Grifols is a large contributor to the local economy. They estimate their facility can pump as much as $6 million into the local economy each year. The facility currently employs about 40 people, most of whom work part time. It is apparent that many students and residents take advantage of the opportunity to donate plasma to earn some extra cash.
People sometimes look askew at plasma donation centers. However, I was impressed by the professionalism of the Grifols staff. They play a key role in the gathering of plasma in our community, a critical role because of the great need for plasma therapies throughout the world.I did get to put on a white lab coat to walk around the facility, but I didn’t actually do any hands-on work because of the strict regulations covering privacy, safety, etc. Nevertheless, the experience was very informative. I would like to even stop by one of these days to make a donation.