BY JIM SMITH
Jim Smith is the President of the Davis Chamber of Commerce.
The Davis Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2013 annual awards at this week’s Annual Awards Banquet. Presentation of the awards was handled in academy award style, with the winners selected from among three finalists in four categories.
The process of narrowing down the extensive list of nominees to a group of three finalists, and then selecting winners from that group, is a big challenge. A group of Davis County businessmen and businesswomen form a committee that tackles that daunting task. When you consider that they are being asked to compare and rank companies from a long and highly diverse list, the assignment is even more difficult.
This year’s finalists included energy companies, aerospace contractors, lodging companies, education facilities, manufacturers, banks, home builders, high tech trainers, hospitals, and a local winery. In spite of these difficulties, the committee was able to identify four companies to honor this year.
Small Business of the Year went to Pluralsight, a high tech training company that has shown unprecedented growth. They started 2013 with 13 employees, but will soon grow to more than 90. They have been heavily pressured to move their corporate offices from Davis County down to Utah County near other high tech firms, but Pluralsight decided to stay here and are soon relocating to offices in the Farmington Station complex.
The Innovation Award was particularly challenging, but after deliberation and discussion, the award was given to Janicki Industries. Janicki’s move to Davis County a few years ago was part of an effort to locate contractors and subcontractors near Hill Air Force Base. Janicki is heavily involved in working with ATK on their F-35 contracts. The amazing high tech 5-axis milling machines that Janicki designed, engineered, and built are state-of-the-art in the aerospace field. Their Laser Based Measurement Systems maintain the microscopic tolerances required in the industry.
Employer of the Year went this year to Zions Bank. Even though banking is highly regulated and a difficult industry in which to be innovative, Zions Bank has developed impressive training and motivational programs for their employees that made them stand out to the committee. Their Mentor/Mentee program as well as their Career University programs allow employees to enjoy meaningful one-on-one contact with senior management on a regular, scheduled basis. They strongly encourage employees to become involved in bank-sponsored health fairs and a very active fitness/wellness program. They are also known for being very generous with employees and subsidizing their education, including master’s degree programs.
Business of the Year was awarded to Western States Lodging and Management. While the name may not be familiar to many Davis County residents, their operations are key parts of many of our communities and are highly visible. With 600 employees locally and over 1,700 companywide, WSLM is a significant local employer. Originally owning and operating several local hotels, the company expanded into senior-living facilities. Now they have added healthcare, with Alzheimer’s care, rehabilitation services, home-health, hospice services, and more. Legacy Village in Layton is one of their fine facilities and they manage the Davis Conference Center. They now own and/or operate 24 properties in the Intermountain West.
The Davis Chamber is proud to honor these fine companies, as well as the other finalist companies, for their impact on Davis County and our citizens.