Join UIBC For Our 2019 Legislative Warm-Up Breakfast

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Join Utah Independent Business Coalition (f/k/a Vest Pocket) for our 2019 Legislative Warmup Breakfast Wednesday, January 16th. Join us at 8am at Saffron Valley Restaurant at 26 “E” Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103.

Special guest speakers Frank Pignanelli and LaVarr Webb will talk about bills in the 2019 Utah legislative session affecting local independent businesses. With keen insights and humor, Frank and LaVarr will predict how they believe the session will go, and will outline the major bills and issues every local business owner needs to know about. Frank and LaVarr will also answer questions and tell us how local businesses can get involved in the legislative process.

We’ll also update you on important issues that UIBC’s Advocacy Committee has been working on, such as reform of the Business Personal Property Tax.

The buffet-style breakfast at Saffron Valley will include pastries such as muffins and croissants, fresh fruit, cereal with milk, waffles, eggs, plus juice and coffee.

Admission includes breakfast and is $20 for UIBC members and $25 for non-members and includes breakfast. Proceeds will go to benefit UIBC’s Advocacy programs.

Seating is limited so reserve your space now.

Date: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Time: 8am-9:30am

Location: Saffron Valley Restaurant at 26 “E” Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84103

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Speaker Bios

Frank PignanelliFrank Pignanelli

Frank Pignanelli is a partner in the Foxley & Pignanelli bipartisan government relations firm in Salt Lake City. Frank was one of the youngest Utahns ever elected to state office, where he served in the House of Representatives for 10 years. As a Democrat, he spent 6 of those years as Minority Leader. Frank also serves on the Advisory Board for the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at The University of Utah and The University of Utah Venture Fund. Mr. Pignanelli writes a Sunday column on political activities in Utah for the Deseret News. Also, Pignanelli is a frequent speaker and political commentator for various civic and business gatherings throughout the state.

LaVarr WebbLaVarr Webb

LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. His 35 years of public policy and communications work has become legendary. As the publisher of Utah Policy Daily, he steers the most influential insider publication in the state.

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PAST EVENT: “Unwind” With UIBC/Vest Pocket on January 24th

Unwind with your friends at the Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) on January 24th.

“Unwind” is a casual monthly meet-up, and an opportunity for local business owners to socialize and relax at the end of the workday. Unlike our educational events, Unwind is always free to attend and is open to anyone 21 and over. No need to register. Feel free to drop by for a drink and some good conversation with like-minded entrepreneurs and local, independent business owners.

Join us for “Unwind”, Thursday, January 24th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The Ruin (1215 Wilmington, SLC). We’d love to see you there.

Thanks For Helping Make UIBC’s Holiday Party a Success!

Many thanks to all who helped make UIBC’s (a/k/a Vest Pocket) Holiday Party on Thursday evening (12/6/18) a huge success!

Special thanks to our event sponsors Peter Corroon and Scott & Karin Pyne (Cactus & Tropicals) as well as our member businesses that donated services/prizes for the event including: Mountainside Spa (Ezralea Robbins), Feldman’s Deli (Mike Feldman), ACME Threadware (Chris Walker), Lucky Spoon Bakery (Pam Schulte), B Golden Jewelry School (Brittany Golden), Core 7 Fitness (Shantel Reitz), Holbrook Realty (Michelle Sawyer), Paletti (Carol Elliott), Ark Insurance (Rebecca Yates) and JDP Law (Jon Parry).

A sincere “thanks” goes out to Education Chair Rena Ferguson for planning and producing an amazing event —  and Shaun Ferguson (Thistle & the Bee) for preparing and serving the delicious food.

Finally, thanks to our other board members who helped make this event memorable, especially Rebecca Yates, Michelle Sawyer, Jon Parry, Wes Dodson, Scott Pynes, Carol Elliott & Lydia Martinez.

Happy Holidays!

Doug Burton
Utah Independent Business Coalition

PAST EVENT – Join UIBC for “Sharpening the Saw: Combining strategic planning and stress management for a better 2019!” on Nov. 8th

Do you sometimes feel like your small business owns you instead of you owning it? If your company’s operations depend solely on information, processes, or expertise that only you have, it can result in you feeling trapped with no time to recharge your batteries, exercise, or enjoy activities you love.

At our November educational event, “Sharpening the Saw”, we’ll help you plan for 2019 with strategies to give you the freedom and flexibility you always wanted from running your own business. Business strategist Lark Dean Galley will present innovative strategies and tips to help you keep your business running smoothly when you to take some personal time off – or just need to step away from the business for a day to work on long-term planning. You’ll also learn how to systematize activities so that your employees have an operational manual that empowers them to cover almost any position in your company.

Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Debbie Coleman and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer Steven Beal will share simple ways to de-stress with stretching, exercise, and deep breathing at the office – and how to use mindfulness to stay connected with your passion (the reason why you started the business) throughout the day.

Admission is $12 for UIBC members and $15 for non-members and includes lunch Seating is limited for this lunchtime educational event so reserve your space now.

Date: November 8, 2018 Time: 11:45am-1:30pm

Location: Wasatch Retreat Center, 75 South 200 East, SLC

Speaker Bios:

Lark Dean Galley

Lark is a recovering stress addict. She was born in Utah, but her parents moved often resulting in her living all over the U.S. and attending a different school every year. The upside to this is that she’s very outgoing and makes friends easily. Lark financed her education at the University of Utah where she graduated Magna Cum Laude and earned an undergrad degree in Political Science/International Relations and a Masters degree in Economics. She worked for the Utah International Economic Development Office before switching into a career in sales where she earned multiple awards including the #1 Global Sales Rep for a Fortune 500 Company.

Lark has 25 years sales experience, is a graduate from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program, is a professional sales and business coach and also owns a thriving trucking company. She has traveled around the world, competed in Olympic length triathlons, won 1st Place in the Toast Masters Area 41 International Speech Contest, and continues to pursue personal growth on all fronts. Her family life is full with four children, four grandchildren, and a husband who is a full time engineer and part time Army Colonel.

Her motto is, “If you only had 6 months to live, what would you change?  Now change it!”

Steven Beal, Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Trauma Therapy Hypnosis Practitioner

Steven’s approach includes a life-long commitment to learn as much as possible to help teach a balanced approach to wellness. With the knowledge that we are much more than a single aspect of expression in our personal life, Steven believes we must also approach wellness from a multi-dimensional perspective. He adds, “By creating balance between the mental, emotional, spiritual, physical, and energetic elements that exist in all of us, we attain our own best personal wellness.” Steven’s certifications include:

• Trauma Therapy Neurokinesis – Certified with Prolympian International Trauma Coaching

• Reiki Master Teacher • Registered and Certified with the National Guild of Hypnotists

• Personal Fitness Trainer – Certified AAFA Trainer • Yoga Instructor – Spin Instructor

• Deeksha Spiritual Trainer – Oneness University, India

• Vibrational Healing, Trapped Emotional Release treatment

Debbie Coleman, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor (LCMHC) & Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy Practitioner

Debbie’s approach is integrative – traditional mental health therapy perspective and tools – combined with working with other evidence-based practices that include mind, body, and spirit. She has worked for a number of non-profit and for profit organizations that support women and children leaving domestic violence, people going through cancer treatment, and those afflicted with substance addiction. Debbie has also maintained a private practice since 2000 assisting people dealing with life transitions, depression and anxiety, grief, and trauma related symptoms.

She has been a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy practitioner since 2016, using yogic practices of breath, movement with awareness, relaxation, and meditation to access the wisdom of the body that can translate into inspiration for change. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy is a body-based modality that helps people cultivate a connection to their body, recognizing sensations, thought patterns, emotions and memories, and energetic experiences. Through a one on one session, this body connection supports a release of tension and promotes a greater sense of ease within one’s body and in life.


PAST EVENT – Join Us On Oct 11 For “Strategic Tax Planning for Small Business: Keep and Build a Better Financial Outcome Using the Cash You’re Making”

Join Us For “Strategic Tax Planning for Small Business: Keep and Build a Better Financial Outcome Using the Cash You’re Making” on Thursday, Oct. 11th at 11:30am. Tax Strategist Dustin Griffiths will help you get a jump start of your tax planning for 2019 at this valuable lunchtime event. Dustin’s presentation will cover:

• Choosing the right entity structure

• How does the new tax reform affect me?

• Maximizing your tax deductions

• Creating a cash management system to ensure you are always profitable

Plus, there’ll be an informative Q & A session where you can ask Dustin your business tax questions.

Admission is $12 for non UIBC (Vest Pocket) Members or $15 for non-members and includes lunch. Seating is limited so register now to reserve your place.

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When: Thursday, Oct. 11th, 11:30am – 1pm

Where: BBSI, 3761 South 700 East Suite 200, SLC UT

About The Speaker

Dustin Griffiths

Dustin Griffiths received both his bachelors and master’s degrees from Utah Valley University. He has been preparing taxes for over 8 years. He enjoys being able to strategize with clients to ensure they are taking advantage of what the tax code allows to generate as much in tax savings as possible. He feels his success comes from seeing his clients succeed in business and save money in taxes along the way. If he is working on taxes for doing research on the ever changing tax law you will probably find him on a golf course somewhere.

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PAST EVENT – “Unwind” With UIBC/Vest Pocket on October 25th

Unwind with your friends at the Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) on October 25th.

“Unwind” is a casual monthly meet-up, and an opportunity for local business owners to socialize and relax at the end of the workday. Unlike our educational events, Unwind is always free to attend and is open to anyone 21 and over. No need to register. Feel free to drop by for a drink and some good conversation with like-minded entrepreneurs and local, independent business owners.

Join us for “Unwind”, Thursday, October 25th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The Ruin (1215 Wilmington, SLC). We’d love to see you there.

Vest Pocket is changing our name! Introducing… the Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC)

Last winter, we asked Vest Pocket Business Coalition members, board members, and founders to weigh in on the idea of a name change for our organization. The response was overwhelmingly positive in favor of choosing a new name that more clearly conveys our mission – which is to advocate for local, independently-owned businesses in Utah.

On September 1st, we will become the Utah Independent Business Coalition (or UIBC for short). This was the winning name based on the survey of many prospective names voted on by our members in December. This spring, the Vest Pocket Board of Directors voted to make the name change official.

We’re very excited about our new moniker, which we believe perfectly conveys our core purpose. This change coincides with our current board’s redoubling of efforts in the areas of providing advocacy, education, mentorship, and social connections for local business owners.

There are many exciting things in store for the coming months, including the unveiling of our new logo and a new website, which are both in development. For now, please continue to keep up to date on upcoming events here on this website and by connecting with us on our social media channels.

Note that if you are a current member of Vest Pocket, your membership will continue uninterrupted and will automatically transfer over to membership in the Utah Independent Business Coalition on September 1st. If you are not a current member, please click here to sign up.

Together, we’re building a stronger, independent business community in Utah. We look forward to seeing you soon at an upcoming event!

Best Regards,

Doug Burton
Vest Pocket Business Coalition (Utah Independent Business Coalition)

P.S. If you aren’t currently receiving our e-mail newsletter and would like to, please click here to sign up

“Unwind” With UIBC/Vest Pocket on September 27th

Unwind with your friends at the Utah Independent Business Coalition (UIBC) on September 27th.

“Unwind” is a casual monthly meet-up, and an opportunity for local business owners to socialize and relax at the end of the workday. Unlike our educational events, Unwind is always free to attend and is open to anyone 21 and over. No need to register. Feel free to drop by for a drink and some good conversation with like-minded entrepreneurs and local, independent business owners.

Join us for “Unwind”, Thursday, September 27th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at The Ruin (1215 Wilmington, SLC). We’d love to see you there.

Catapult Your Small Business Growth by Building a Contagious Employee Culture

Join Vest Pocket (soon to be Utah Independent Business Coalition) and learn how to “Catapult Your Small Business Growth by Building a Contagious Employee Culture!”. Talent branding expert Tannen Ellis-Graham will offer answers to the following important questions:

  1. With a growing company, what changes can you expect within your employee base, and what can you do to make the culture within your company better for your team?
  2. What do we need to start doing and what do we need to stop doing to promote culture?
  3. What tools can small businesses use measure the scaling of our companies culture?
  4. How do you measure your employees ROI and if what you are doing is working?

When: Thursday, September 13th, 11:45am-1:30pm

Where: Suazo Business Center, 960 W 1700 S, Salt Lake City, UT

Cost: $12/Vest Pocket members or $15/non-members (includes lunch)

This event is presented by Vest Pocket / Utah Independent Business Coalition and the Suazo Business Center

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Order of Events

11:45 am Open Networking, Registration, & Lunch available

12:00 pm Presentation begins

1:30 pm Event Close


Speaker Bio

Tannen Ellis-Graham

Tannen Ellis-Graham is Manager of Talent Acquisition at Verisys Corporation and Co-Founder of CareerKarma360. Tannen specializes in developing and supporting Company Culture, Employer Branding, and Talent Acquisition for small to mid-sized companies. Tannen works with Executives, Directors, hiring managers, and Career Coaches to create a one-of-a-kind Candidate Experience. She emphasizes, “What goes around, comes around!” Treating candidates to an exceptional hiring experience builds your company’s Employer Brand and creates a positive first impression. Conversely, “What comes around, goes around” how you represent your company in the hiring process can either broadcast your strengths or showcases your company’s weaknesses.

Tannen is the former Director of Human Resources and Director of Operations of the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium, the fifth largest aquarium in the United States, and now serves on their Education Advisory Committee. She was the third employee and Director of Operations and HR for FatPipe Networks, an INC 500 Fastest Growing Tech Company. She serves as 2018 Board Member and Director of Workforce Readiness for Salt Lake SHRM, Executive Board Member/Secretary National Speakers Association-Mountain West Chapter, and is Former Chairman of the Department of Workforce Services Employers Compensation Appeals Board.

She lives near Snowbird ski resort in Utah with her husband Tim, daughter Taitlynn, stepdaughter Julia, stepsons Ian and Theo. She loves hiking, skiing, and tries her best to golf.

Karen Halliday

Karen Halliday is a strategic human resources consultant and business owner advocate with BBSI.

Karen has 20 plus years’ experience in the HR field at the manager and director level. She has had the privilege of supporting large corporations including 7-Eleven, Blockbuster, Home Depot, and Taco Bell. Karen is known for helping leaders that run challenging businesses (retail and fast food) to attract and retain talent when unemployment is extremely low. She has a career track record of greatly increasing employee retention by improving the employee experience and company culture.

Karen’s passion is employee development and helping company leaders’ identify the “diamonds in the rough” and then help them develop those employees to becoming highly successful.

Karen first received her Associate’s Degree in Accounting from Salt Lake Community College and then earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is SHRM-CP and PHR certified.

Karen truly loves being an empty nester with her husband Larry and their two labs and toy poodle. In her spare time she loves to do anything outdoors. She enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, backpacking, traveling and hanging out with her family.

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Join Vest Pocket Business Coalition for the Small Business Summer Mixer on August 23rd!

Small Business Summer MixerMark your calendar and join us for the Small Business Summer Mixer on August 23rd from 5:30 to 8:00pm at Fairmont Park. Come mix and mingle with business professionals from 4 major organizations including Vest Pocket Business Coalition, The Holladay Chamber of Commerce, The Sugar House Chamber of Commerce, and The Utah Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Join us for a great evening of conversation, outdoor games, and camaraderie with other local business owners.

Admission is free – and dinner will be available for purchase from food trucks that will be stationed at the park for the event.

Click below to register for free!

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