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South Valley Journal

Individuals and businesses recognized by Riverton City for outstanding service at Peak Awards

Apr 03, 2022 05:24PM ● By Dylan Wilcox

By Dylan Wilcox | [email protected]

As part of his annual State of the City address, Mayor Trent Staggs recognized individuals and businesses who have contributed to the burgeoning economy of Riverton at the Peak Awards Ceremony on Feb. 16 at the Old Dome Meeting Hall. President and CEO of the South Valley Chamber of Commerce, Jay Francis, introduced this year’s recipients. The South Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Peak Awards for Riverton.

The Apex Award recognizes a business that has provided services above and beyond their clientele, even assisting in local communities and beyond. This year’s Apex Award recipient was Abani Samal, President and CEO of GeoGlobal, a Riverton-based company that provides consulting and training services for mineral exploration in the mining industry. Abani has provided services for projects in countries all over the world, in the continents of Africa, Asia, North America and South America. Abani joined the South Valley Chamber last year and has led projects for the Chamber to grow his business.

As well as running GeoGlobal, Samal has also volunteered on the Government Affairs Committee and has participated in several business academy programs and networking events.

This year’s Businesswoman of the Year recipient was Kathrine Parnell, founder and Clinical Director of New View Counseling & Psychological Services. Parnell, a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield, has extensive experience working with children and families in foster care and adoption settings, especially with individuals on the autism spectrum. Parnell’s counseling center was opened in 2018 and has grown to 15 employees who serve nearly 2,000 clients in Riverton.

While cognizant of the importance of directing a thriving Riverton business, Parnell’s main ambition is to provide services that help people reduce the anxiety that stems from traumatic life events, navigate life transitions, and address symptoms that arise from chronic mental health conditions. Given the past couple of years during the pandemic, the center has begun seeing more clients to help navigate these difficult times.

This year’s Businessman of the Year recipient was Joseph Anderson, owner and president of Lighthouse Research & Development. Anderson’s business originally opened in 1998 and was acquired by him in 2004. Lighthouse Research & Development conducts comprehensive design projects through surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, telephone surveys and more for businesses around the country and around the world. Anderson’s business has grown to include dozens of employees who conduct research projects for organizations to make data-driven decisions.

Saffron Circle was recognized as Riverton’s Business of the Year. Featuring authentic made-from-scratch Indian cuisine, Saffron Circle opened its doors in August of 2019 at Mountain View Village. Ever since its opening, Saffron Circle has become one of the South Valley’s premier Indian restaurants. Founded by Lavanya Mahate and her family, Saffron Circle also has a European location in London. Mahate was unable to attend the ceremony, so her husband and family accepted the award on her behalf. The restaurant is an example of a local, family-owned business that gives back to the community while achieving success. Despite opening mere months before the pandemic officially began in 2020, Saffron Circle has weathered through the storm of COVID-19 and has thrived as a result. Saffron Circle has supported refugees and provided groceries for underserved populations in South Valley through the Utah Pay it Forward program during the early stages of COVID-19. Saffron Circle has grown to include locations in Salt Lake City, Sugar House, Riverton and the location in London, United Kingdom.

Riverton recognized one of its own police officers, Detective Mike Ashley, as the recipient of the Excellence in Public Safety award. Ashley is a seasoned law enforcement officer having served in various capacities for 20 years. He has been on the police force in Riverton since 2019. Detective Ashley’s willingness to engage with the community has garnered notice from community members in Riverton. Ashley serves as the school resource officer for Oquirrh Hills Middle School and teaches the DARE program at several elementary schools in the area. He also serves as a negotiator in the South Valley SWAT Team and has helped to establish neighborhood watch programs. Ashley also helped develop the curriculum for the first Citizen’s Police Academy this past year, working with businesses to prevent burglaries and other crime by creating educational materials for their patrons.

Brook Bowen, Riverton City’s Graphic Design & Marketing Specialist, received the Outstanding City Employee Award. In the few short years since he began with the city in 2018, Bowen has recreated the marketing and branding of Riverton City. Bowen has made countless impactful contributions to the city from designing Riverton City’s seal to creating the Riverton Police department decals. He has gone above and beyond his duties to focus on how to bring attention to important historical places in Riverton. Bowen created the veteran’s monument at Riverton City Cemetery as well as a forthcoming monument and wayfinding signage. He also developed the graphics and videos for the Local First Riverton marketing and public education campaign and much more. Bowen has created dozens of videos and captured thousands of photos to enhance the overall image of the city.

The recipient of the Mayor’s Service Award was Rim Rimmasch, Riverton’s Volunteer Choir and Orchestra Director. Conducting the annual Riverton Christmas Night of Music Concert and other musical events, Rimmasch has volunteered since the beginning of the city choir and orchestra in 2015. He has spent hundreds of hours each year planning the concert and reviewing music, making selections from a variety of instrumental and vocal arrangements. The majority of the music Rimmasch utilizes comes from his personal repertoire, spending his own personal funds to ensure details for musical events are finalized. He leads recruitment for the orchestra, finding experienced community members and professional musicians to dedicate their time and showcase their talents. Rimmasch has been resolute in his energy to contribute to the musical appeal of Riverton,  despite the health challenges he faced recently.