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In $14.8 million deal, Tahoe shopping center sells for second time in 5 years

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The Crossing at Tahoe Valley has been sold again, about five years after Sacramento-based Sutter Capital Group originally purchased the property.

JLL Capital Markets, who marketed the property on behalf of the seller, announced in a press release Jan. 22 the closing of the sale.

The 46,041-square-foot nearly full shopping center that was originally constructed in 1973 and redeveloped in 2017 was purchased by a private investor in a 1031 exchange.

The strip mall was marketed as a “destination lifestyle shopping center” and purchased for $14.8 million, according to a source close to the deal.

The new owner of the property is Second Bay Holding Tahoe, LLC, based in Redwood City, Calif., according to Scott Fair, manager of NAI Tahoe Sierra, which serves as the property manager.

“The new owner is seeking to make this a passion project focused on community and is looking to let property managers take the direction which are more in tune and local,” Fair said.

The property has just a few open spaces and already is home to Sierra-at-Tahoe, Big 5 Sporting Goods, AleWorX Lake Tahoe, The Pour House, Mountain West Sports, Verde Mexican Rotisserie, T-Mobile, Bank of America, Emanate Gallery, The Barn, Replenish Tahoe, Omni, Elevate Wellness and Rah Hair Studio, according to the shopping center’s website.

The Crossing at Tahoe Valley is situated on 4.9 acres at 2014-2062 Lake Tahoe Blvd.

The JLL Retail Capital Markets team representing the seller was led by Senior Director Eric Kathrein, Managing Director Bryan Ley, and Analyst Jake Dempsey.

“During the marketing process The Crossing saw significant interest and received multiple competitive offers due to the irreplaceable location and best-in-class tenant line-up in South Lake Tahoe,” Kathrein said in the release. 

“Sutter Capital Group was able to reposition the property into something special that has resonated very well with the local community and investors,” added Ley. 

Sutter Capital Group initially acquired the property late in 2014.

People: Rick Thomas promoted to executive VP at Nevada State Bank

RENO, Nev. — Nevada State Bank announced on Jan. 14 the promotion of Rick Thomas to executive vice president and Northern Nevada executive.

As the bank’s top executive in Northern Nevada, Thomas will continue to lead the bank’s efforts to increase its market share while representing Nevada State Bank in the community, representing Northern Nevada on its executive management team and chairing the bank’s Northern Nevada Leadership Council.

According to the bank, Thomas joined the company in 2003; he most recently served as senior vice president and Northern Nevada executive in 2018.

A resident of Northern Nevada for more than 33 years, Thomas is active in the local business community and serves as a board member of WIN Nevada.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in managerial sciences and finance from the University of Nevada, Reno, and is a loyal Wolf Pack basketball fan.

“We have seen excellent results in our business portfolio under Rick’s leadership, and his position gives our northern business clients a top bank executive available to them, in their local community,” Terry Shirey, president and CEO for Nevada State Bank, said in a statement. “Rick’s vast experience in banking and his focus on serving the needs of businesses, both large and small, will help lead Nevada State Bank into the future.”

NNBV People briefs are published on a regular basis and compiled from submissions emailed to the newsroom at editor@nnbw.com. Submissions are published at editorial discretion, and some briefs may publish online only due to print space limitations.

Employee engagement, levity leadership expert to keynote Jan. 31 WIN Nevada event

RENO, Nev. — WIN Nevada’s next speaker series features keynote speaker Tami Evans, who will teach attendees tools that help them reach personal and professional potential through the power of laughter and fun.

The meeting takes place on Friday, Jan. 31, from 7-9 a.m. at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa.

Through this entertaining keynote, attendees will learn tools to help:

  • Improve communication
  • Increase self-confidence
  • Activate a positive workplace
  • Keep team members motivated, optimistic, energized

“Connection creates culture and culture creates employee engagement and client confidence,” Evans explains. “And the fastest way to connect is through levity.”

She adds that engagement empowers employees to collaborate through challenges, create innovative solutions and communicate confidently, all of which translates to improvements to the bottom line.

Formerly the president of the National Speakers Association of NYC, Evans has worked as a corporate manager, university professor and communications specialist, as well as a fashion designer and professional actress. She holds an MFA and BAA degrees in broadcasting communications and theatre. For more information, visit www.tamievans.com.

Breakfast is $45 for non-members and $20 for members who do not have a pre-paid membership.

This press release was provided by WIN Nevada. For more information, visit www.win-nevada.com.

Annual EDAWN economic update praises job growth, laments housing prices

RENO, Nev. — The Biggest Little City has never been bigger — and its reputation has, arguably, never been better.

In 2019, the Reno metro area saw its job growth jump 4 percent and its unemployment rate drop below 3 percent. In all, 10,000 new jobs were added in greater Reno-Sparks last year.

What’s more, a whopping $15.5 billion is currently invested in major projects in Northern Nevada — from the Park Lane development to the Northern Nevada Sierra Medical Center to the recently announced Reno City Center, among many others.

In other words, the great recession is deep in Reno’s rear-view mirror as it rolls into 2020.

All that accelerated growth, however, presents its share of speed bumps.

After all, more jobs require more housing, and Reno-Sparks isn’t building fast enough — not even close. Yearly housing permits continue to fall woefully short of pre-recession numbers, and construction companies are struggling to attract — and house — a workforce.

This is why it was no surprise job growth and housing demand were the headlining topics at the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada’s annual State of the Economy luncheon on Thursday.

All told, Reno-Sparks has created 57,200 jobs across a wide spectrum of sectors in the last five years.

In 2019, EDAWN helped 22 companies (including 14 headquarters) relocate or expand to Reno-Sparks, injecting more than 1,300 new jobs with an average salary north of $64,000. Twelve of the 22 companies, many of which are in the tech industry, came from California.

In fact, the newest tech company to stake its flag in Reno was announced at Thursday’s event — DayaMed, a health tech company focused on medication adherence and disease management using artificial intelligence analytics.

According to EDAWN, the Ontario, Canada-based company that also has an office in Memphis, Tenn., plans to eventually create 300 new jobs with an average wage of $40 per hour.

“We’re really excited about the transition of the economy going forward. We see more technology and more high-paying jobs,” EDAWN CEO Mike Kazmierski said during the event at the Peppermill. “We’re really focused on the Bay Area. We see the Bay area as a real opportunity. Many companies still don’t know what’s going on here (in Reno-Sparks). We’re there once or twice a month to try to get people to look at us to relocate or grow.

“But, we do have some challenges associated with growth.”

Above all, Kazmierski said affordable housing is the most pressing obstacle to overcome in order to sustain Reno’s booming economy.

“It’s not just housing — if you’ve got $1 million you’re going to find a place to live,” he said. “It’s affordable housing. If we bring someone in for a job in manufacturing that gets $60,000 a year? Even at $60,000, a good housing price is $1,500 a month. You can’t find an apartment now even for $1,500 a month that’s in a good neighborhood.”

Simply put, there isn’t enough available — and affordable — housing for the employees of the present (and future), especially those making median-wage, Kazmierski said.

Notably, in November 2019, Reno’s median home price jumped to $413,405, a 4 percent increase from the same month a year ago, according to previous reports.

“We have more working homeless now than we ever have,” Kazmierski said. “Our cost of housing is really exacerbating the problem.”

Jeremy Aguero, principal with Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, who also presented at the EDAWN luncheon, added that about “eight out of every 10 jobs” created in Reno-Sparks are jobs that can’t afford a median price home.

“That’s an immediate problem for us,” he added.

Helping matters for the region, however, is its increasingly diverse economy, Aguero said. In short, gone are the days of Reno-Sparks surviving on gaming and tourism as it did in years past.

“What stands out to me is the amount of job creation and diversification that we’ve seen in Northern Nevada,” he said. “We’ve seen new jobs being created in almost every sector of the economy. You’re bringing in not only new businesses but also new employees for existing businesses that are continuing to expand.”

The leading driver for new jobs in Reno-Sparks in 2019 was professional and business services, which added 3,500 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

The area’s other top sectors for job growth last year were trade, transportation and utilities (2,100), construction (1,700) and manufacturing (1,500).

38 taking part in Reno + Sparks Chamber’s 35th Leadership Program

RENO, Nev. — The Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce officially began the 35th year of its Leadership Program on Jan. 8 with 38 participants.

According to a Jan. 16 press release from the chamber, the monthly class explores the many opportunities and challenges in our community through the eyes of leaders in education, social services, government, arts and culture, infrastructure development, the economy, the media, tourism, and public safety.

“The energy and commitment of this class was evident on the first day,” Ann Silver, CEO of the chamber, said in a statement. “They are all prepared to be our future leaders and decision-makers and will see first-hand the complexities of a growing and industrious region.”

Each year, the program concludes with a September graduation ceremony.

According to the chamber, applications for the 2021 Leadership Class will be accepted beginning on Sept. 14.

For information, visit www.thechambernv.org or call 775-636-9550.

Below is a lineup of 2020 Leadership Program class members:

  • Tiffany Banks, Nevada Realtors Association
  • Grant Brewer, Nevada Rural Housing
  • Jeff Sutich, NV Energy
  • Patrick Dalton, Great Basin Brewing Company
  • Jordan Keller, Wells Fargo
  • Skyler Kachurak, Flirtey America, Inc.
  • Gary Probert, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority
  • Barbara Seiler, Revel Rancharrah
  • Christina Pearson, Nevada Mining Association
  • Michael Brazier, United Way
  • Mary Devine, National Guard Bureau
  • Jeff Panko, United Federal Credit Union
  • Kristin McClellan, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority
  • Rob Thayer, Plumas Bank
  • Alexandria Cannito, Lewis Roca LLC
  • Danielle Klotz, Prominence Health
  • Lauren Ball, Regional Transportation Commission
  • Zach Fretz, U.S. Bank
  • Nick Tscheekar, Community Foundation of Western Nevada
  • Jessica Stack, American Heart Association
  • Kimberly Rios, Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful
  • Trent Foust, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center
  • Emily Bates, Bella Grey Medical Spa
  • Daniel Ambrose, Jacobs Entertainment, Inc.
  • Russ Riggs, Two Men and a Truck
  • Ryan Hart, Amada Senior Care of Northern Nevada
  • Greg Cubbon, ENGEO, Inc.
  • Megan Penn, Greater Commercial Lending
  • Ash Sobhe, R6S
  • Cesar Quintanilla, Nevada State Bank
  • Susan Gonzales, Grifols Biomat USA, Inc.
  • Caitlin Mathisen, Eide Bailly LLP
  • Marcus Dorsey-Hirt, Care Flight
  • Kathleen Taylor, Taylor Made Solutions
  • Janelle Ordal, NV Energy
  • Nicholas Florey, Washoe County Health District
  • Erika Mendoza, Greater Nevada Credit Union
  • Taylor Russo, Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce

People: Steven L. Bray to lead Nevada’s asbestos settlement trusts

RENO, Nev. — The trustees of the four asbestos injury settlement trusts headquartered in Reno recently announced the appointment of Steven L. Bray as their next executive director, effective Jan. 13.

The four Trusts are Western Asbestos Settlement Trust, J.T. Thorpe Settlement Trust, Thorpe Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust and Plant Insulation Company Asbestos Settlement Trust.

“We’re truly fortunate that Steve is joining the Trusts, as he brings the right mix of professional experience and skills to the position and is deeply committed to the trusts’ goal of treating all claimants equitably,” Jack Luikart, managing trustee of the Trusts, said in a statement. “The trustees believe he will provide effective and efficient management of the Trusts.”

According to a Jan. 13 press release, Bray most recently served as Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Johnson Matthey Inc., where he was the chief legal officer overseeing all functions of the Americas legal department for the international, publicly traded manufacturer of specialty chemicals and lithium ion battery materials.

Prior to that, he served in positions of increasing managerial and legal responsibility with Albemarle Corporation, BP and The Hartford.

“I look forward to contributing to the Trusts’ efforts as we continue to tirelessly serve our claimants with transparency, efficiency, fairness and respect,” Bray said in a statement. “I am delighted to be joining the Trusts and am privileged to be working with such a dedicated and talented team of professionals.”         

Bray is a 1989 Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Following military service as a field artillery officer in the U.S. Army, he received a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a Master of Business Administration degree (Risk Management and Decision Processes) from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bray, his wife, Ana Marie, and their three children will reside in Reno.

Laura Paul, who was serving as Acting Executive Director of the Trusts, returns full time to her position as Claims Manager.

NNBV People briefs are published on a regular basis and compiled from submissions emailed to the newsroom at editor@nnbw.com. Submissions are published at editorial discretion, and some briefs may publish online only due to print space limitations.

Northern NV county officials: Housing woes ‘really doing our community damage’

CARSON CITY, Nev. — Managers from six counties provided a snapshot of the region’s economy Jan. 22 at the annual State of the Counties event hosted by Northern Nevada Development Authority.

Overall, the outlook is positive due to continued growth in sales and property taxes, business development, and low unemployment.

But a common challenge is affordable housing.

“We’re seeing one-room apartments go from $600 to $1,400,” said Jim Barbee, Churchill County manager. “It is really doing our community damage.”

Churchill has set aside 30 acres outside Fallon city limits and is now looking for a developer to build housing there, said Barbee.

“We have issues with affordable housing or not the right type of housing,” said Lyon County Manager Jeff Page. “You can find places to buy but not to rent so we’re working with Yerington to find someone to build for rental market there.”

Other market-rate residential development projects on the horizon include up to 2,500 houses in Douglas County as part of its development agreement with Park Ranch Holdings and up to 5,000 houses in Storey County’s Painted Rock.

Carson City Manager Nancy Paulson talked about affordable housing on city land on Butti Way, a project recently approved by the Board of Supervisors that will start construction in 2021.

Also, construction is expected to begin next month on the South Carson Street project, which will narrow lanes and add a multi-use path.

After South Carson Street, Paulson said the city will set its sights on revamping William Street, a $12 million project expected to begin construction in 2023.

Paulson said she conservatively estimates Carson City’s sales tax, which is driven by auto sales, to increase 5 percent to $33.2 million in fiscal year 2020.

“Thank you for buying your vehicles in Carson City,” she told attendees at the NNDA breakfast held in Casino Fandango’s ballroom.

Despite the rosy outlook, the city is preparing for the inevitable economic downturn, said Paulson. The city plans to end 2020 with 8.8 percent in reserve, or about one month of operating revenue, with a goal to eventually get to 16 percent.

Other big projects in the area include the Tahoe Events Center in Stateline, a $100 million project that should help revitalize the lakefront, said Patrick Cates, county manager, Douglas County.

“It’s a project with a lot of promise but not without controversy,” said Cates.

A redevelopment area was adopted in 2016 to help fund the project and a petition to dissolve it is on the ballot in November, he said.

Sean Rowe, district attorney, Mineral County also spoke as the newest member of the six-county coalition that makes up the Sierra Region that is served by NNDA.

Rowe said Mineral County is focusing on attracting light manufacturing, mining and support services, and tourism, to boost its economy.

“Mineral County is serious about joining with our regional partners and we look forward to working with you,” said Rowe.

Financing a startup in Northern Nevada? Here’s what not to do

RENO, Nev. — Don’t be a zombie company.

That was one of the messages spread to eager entrepreneurs packed inside the University of Nevada Reno Innevation Center, where StartUpNV hosted a StartUp Financing Panel Discussion on Jan. 15.

So, what is a zombie company? In a nutshell: a startup that raises a ton of money at high valuations and then stagnates, shrinking the returns of entire funds and hurting investor returns, said panelist Jeff Saling, co-founder and executive director of StartUpNV, a statewide business incubator.

“If you talk to angels (investors), a lot of them will complain that they’ve invested in a company in good faith, thinking, ‘this thing is going to get big,’” Saling said. “And sometimes along the way, the founder gets comfortable. They’re like, hey, I’m making a nice living, my employees are making a nice living, I don’t need to raise another round (of funding), I don’t need to sell my company.

Pausing, he added: “In angel (investor) parlance, that’s a ‘zombie’ — the walking dead, your money’s dead, it’s not going anywhere.”

This, Saling explained to dozens of local entrepreneurs, is why when it comes to seed investment, StartUpNV has written an “anti-zombie clause” into its convertible note.

For those uninitiated, according to techcrunch.com, a convertible note is a short-term debt that converts into equity. Specifically, investors loan money to a startup as its first round of funding and then — rather than get their money back with interest — receive shares of preferred stock as part of the startup’s initial preferred stock financing, based on the terms of the note.

If a startup becomes a “zombie,” Saling said, the clause gives investors the right to, for example, take 5 percent of a startup’s gross sales until it’s paid back two times the amount it was loaned, plus the interest rate at that point.

NAVIGATING VENTURE CAPITAL WATERS

With that in mind, perhaps the first question entrepreneurs seeking venture capital should ask themselves is whether or not they have an exit strategy, said Grace Chou, director of the Innevation Center and moderator of the discussion.

“If you don’t plan to sell your company — if you want to keep your business for a very long time — then venture capital is not the right thing for you,” Chou said. “Because, eventually, you need to have an exit; you need to sell your company or have an IPO (initial public offering).”

Rick Winfield, left, of the Reno Seed Fund, talks about the process of raising capital to a room of entrepreneurs at the StartUp Financing Panel Discussion at the UNR Innevation Center on Jan. 15, while StartUpNV’s Jeff Saling looks on.
Photo: Kaleb M. Roedel

For those seeking venture capital, the process of raising money should have already started, said Rick Winfield, angel investor of the Reno Seed Fund. For starters, Winfield suggested scouring the websites of every angel group on the West Coast to see what they are looking for in a startup.

For the Reno Seed Fund, he said the group of investors is looking for established companies with “early market traction” that “have a product with customers” already, primarily in tech spaces.

For companies that fit the bill, Winfield said the Reno Seed Fund is looking for companies that can return them “at least 20-times our money.”

In other words, that’s a very-much-alive-and-growing company, not a zombie. In 2019, of the 85 companies the Reno Seed Fund looked at, 35 made its screening process, and ultimately six companies were invested in, he added.

From the time the Reno Seed Fund meets a founder it invests in, Winfield said it typically takes nine months before a check is written.

FINDING THE RIGHT INVESTORS

Chris Riche, a serial entrepreneur and current CEO of Reno-based software Fox Optimization, stressed the importance of choosing the right investor group. After all, he said, it’s especially challenging to “balance the fundraising role with the running-the-business role.”

Riche said having investors who bring different perspectives — whether by way of tech, finance or operations — and give great advice makes “everything a lot easier.”

“My main advice,” he continued, “is to be flexible and really think about where you get your money from because those people are going to have a huge influence on your success.

“And be ready to answer a lot of detailed questions, because your investors work very hard for their money. And they’re trusting you, they’re investing in you, and you need to be deserving of that trust.”

SBA LOANS

Outside of raising capital, entrepreneurs can also look into applying for a small business loan through the Nevada Small Business Development Center.

Rod Jorgenson, a senior business development advisor at the SBDC, said the center tends to deal with the “bread and butter” businesses, such as bars, restaurants and convenience stores.

He noted that 60 percent of the businesses that apply are startups, while the other 40 percent have been running for two to three years.

Jorgenson said a small business owner’s personal credit plays a vital role in the approval process. To that end, he warned against using national small business loan programs like Lendio or Kabbage.

“Once you’re in with them, unless your margins are great, it’s impossible to get out,” he said. “You’ve flushed the toilet and you’re just waiting to go down the hole.”

Saling added that debt financing is “just not possible” with most of the startups StartUpNV works with.

SBIR/STTR GRANTS

Another financing avenue discussed was the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants.

According to SBIR.gov, the program encourages high-tech startups to engage in federal research and research and development that has the potential for commercialization. 

Ellen Purpus, Assistant Vice President of Enterprise & Innovation at UNR, said the university has developed the Sierra Accelerator for Growth and Entrepreneurship (SAGE), which will provide training, mentoring and proposal-development support to selected applicants.

She said the federal program is looking for “soundness of science” as well as market research and a commercialization plan.

In terms of funding, Purpus said startups could receive grants of up to $150,000 during the “proof of concept” phase one, and up to $1 million during the “product development” phase two.

“The whole point is to help companies position themselves for these grants and hopefully help them get towards an award,” said Purpus, noting the SAGE program will be rolling out in February.

People: UNR grad Gabrielle Cirimele joins Argentum Partners

RENO, Nev. — Argentum Law, the sister law firm of communications firm Argentum Partners, recently welcomed attorney Stacie Truesdell Michaels to its Las Vegas office.

In Reno, Argentum Partners also recently onboarded public affairs coordinator Gabrielle Cirimele.

These additions follow the firm’s success in 2019 after winning top awards from the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Reno and Las Vegas chapters and two awards from PRNEWS, a national leader in public relations, according to a Jan. 14 press release from the company.

Prior to becoming a partner at Argentum Law, Michaels served as general counsel for Wynn Las Vegas, overseeing legal affairs for the corporation. Michaels also previously served as associate general counsel to a Las Vegas real estate development company and touts more than a decade of legal experience in the Las Vegas area.

Michaels received her juris doctorate, magna cum laude from New York Law School and her Bachelor of Arts in Art and Government & Law from Lafayette College in Pennsylvania.

Cirimele, a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, has extensive experience in hospitality, sales and event management, which she will bring to her new role as public affairs coordinator.

The Argentum team has now expanded to 17 employees. Go here for more information on Argentum Partners and Argentum Law.

NNBV People briefs are published on a regular basis and compiled from submissions emailed to the newsroom at editor@nnbw.com. Submissions are published at editorial discretion, and some briefs may publish online only due to print space limitations.

Great Basin Community Food Co-op named Nevada’s best independent grocery store

RENO, Nev. — A recent USA Today article listed Great Basin Community Food Co-op as the best independent grocery store in Nevada.

“Our team is motivated to work hard for our farmers and our values,” Amber Sallaberry, co-founder and general manager of Reno-based Great Basin Community Food Co-op, said in a statement.

Currently Nevada’s only consumer-owned food co-op, Great Basin Community Food Co-op opened in 2005.

Since, the store at 240 Court St. has grown into a community-based business focused on promoting the local food system and serving as a sustainable cooperative model for access to wholesome food.

“We have worked hard over the years to develop a stronger local food system here in Northern Nevada,” Salaberry stated. “It’s nice to see that our efforts are appreciated and utilized well, and we will continue to support access to wholesome food for our region.”

The USA Today rankings’ “Best Independent Grocery Store” category included single-unit operations, and places that were primarily delis/restaurants or had limited selections of food were filtered out.

Data for the rankings was compiled by 24/7 Tempo, a financial news and opinion website, based on information from Yelp and Google.

Go here to read the full article and rankings.