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Confectionery industry boosts Utah economy, Vivint Solar donation fights human trafficking, New Purple CEO

September 27, 2018

Vivint Solar raises nearly $150,000 to fight trafficking

Vivint Solar Inc., a Lehi-based residential solar provider, announced that it raised nearly $150,000 in employee donations for Engage Now Africa, an international nongovernmental organization committed to rescue, heal and empower children in Africa.

Vivint Solar’s donation enabled Engage Now Africa to rescue 28 children from trafficking and child slavery and educate more than 20,000 people about the threat and prevention of various forms of modern slavery.

Across 20 regions, 300 youth were trained as advocates in their communities, and 10 former child slaves and child laborers continued to receive educational support through the Survivor Support Initiative.

Engage Now Africa intercepts and rescues victims and survivors of child trafficking, child sacrifice, internal and external human trafficking or slavery in sub-Saharan Africa.

“These funds will literally save hundreds of children’s lives,” said Chris Gay, Engage Now Africa’s managing director for ending modern slavery. “There are children — some as young as 5 years old — currently enslaved in the fishing industry on Lake Volta in Ghana. We can now help them, give them a chance to heal, go to school and reunite them with their families. This is the gift that Vivint Solar has made possible. We thank everyone who donated and are truly grateful for such amazing support.”

Candy makers support more than 6,000 Utah jobs

The confectionery industry helps to create more than 6,000 Utah jobs, according to a new report released by the National Confectioners Association in Washington, D.C. Manufacturers of chocolate, candy, gum and mints directly employ 2,274 workers in Utah. When counting those employed through related industries, including agriculture, retail, and transportation, the industry supports 6,840 total jobs in the state.

The new report also found that Utah confectioners directly generate $407.2 million in economic output, $85 million in wages, and $45.2 million in state and local taxes across the state.

“The candy industry is a bright spot in the U.S. economy, fueling the American economy to the effect of more than $44 billion,” John Downs, president and CEO of the National Confectioners Association, said.

Purple Innovation announces new executive officer

Purple Innovation Inc., an Alpine-based comfort technology company, announced that the Board of Directors appointed Joseph B. Megibow to serve as chief executive officer, effective Oct. 1.

“Joe Megibow is a seasoned executive with a proven track record leading digital and retail businesses through periods of significant growth and evolution. We are thrilled to have someone of Joe’s experience and success join us,” said Terry Pearce, co-founder, chairman and interim CEO.

During his career, Megibow served as senior vice president and chief digital officer at American Eagle Outfitters Inc.

Prior to that, Megibow held several senior roles with Expedia Inc., and served as an independent consultant to Advent International, a $41 billion global private equity firm.

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