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Posted 22 Oct 2001   For week ended October 12, 2001
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Business News

Mormon-Run Airline Expanding, Despite September 11th
While almost every other airline is cutting back because of the drop in air travel follwing the September 11th terrorist attacks, SkyWest Airlines is actually expanding, thanks to its unique position in the market. Like other airlines, SkyWest has seen a drop in the passengers it carries, but it also benefits from its relationship with Delta Airlines and United Airlines, which have both shielded SkyWest from the drop in passengers and actually increased the number of routes it flies.

Mormon Gurus to Give Free New York Seminar to Companies Affected by September 11th
LDS management gurus Stephen R. Covey and Hyrum Smith will address a free seminar for companies and organizations coping with the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center in New York City. Covey and Smith will speak at the all-day seminar, titled "Managing Change in the Face of Crisis and Economic Uncertainty," provided by their company, FranklinCovey on Friday, October 19th in the Sheraton Hotel and Towers.

MSI Up 6.5%; But Drops Two Companies
The Mormon Stock Index rose 5% last week as it continued to recover following the September 11th terrorist attacks, helped by a recovery at Dell Computer. But the market decline led the index to drop one company, and another company was dropped after its Mormon executive left.

Sorensen Media Handles Internet Conference Broadcast
Sorensen Media Inc., owned by LDS billionaire James Sorensen, was one of the companies assisting the LDS Church in its broadcast of the church's General Conference on October 6th and 7th. Sorensen carried the Internet broadcast of the conference, through the Church's official website. The earlier Internet broadcast of a memorial service for the September 11 terrorist attacks drew about 8,000 live viewers and more than 100,000 by archive. Previous Internet broadcasts were handled by Real Networks.

Myriad Genetics Discovers Cancer-Killing Drug
Hot on the heels of a major article in the scientific journal Cell in which Myriad Genetics helped make major discoveries, the company has announced that it discovered a novel anti-cancer drug. The substance, called MPI-176716, induces cell death (apoptosis) in several cancers, including prostate cancer and T cell lymphomas, without harming normal human cells. Researchers have demonstrated that the drug is not generally toxic to cells, but uses the cell's own biological mechanism to kill them. The drug was discovered using Myriad's ProNet(R) proteomics technology, and the company is conducting further experiments to maximize the effectiveness of the compound. Myriad Genetics is on the Mormon Stock Index.

EarthShell's Products to be Sold in Wal-Mart
Environmentally-friendly packaging manufacturer EarthShell Corporation announced last week that it will test market its paper plates and bowls in select Wal-Mart stores in Portland, Oregon and Baltimore, Maryland next month. "This is the first time ever that our products have been made available for retail sale, and we believe that this project will confirm strong consumer interest in EarthShell Packaging," said Vincent Truant, the company's chief marketing officer, in a press release. "Consumers will have the opportunity to learn more about the environmental attributes and benefits of EarthShell Packaging through informational pamphlets, which will be available with the products on the displays." EarthShell is listed on the Mormon Stock Index because its CEO, Simon Hodson, is an LDS Church member.

LDS Church Wins Approval for Recreational Vehicle Park
The LDS Church won approval last week from the Fremont County Commission for a recreational vehicle park to support missionary volunteers along the Mormon Trail. The RV Park, which will be used exclusively by the missionaries, will be located near the Jeffry City area. ElRay Titensor of Afton, Wyoming, an agent for the church's Farmland Reserve Inc., said that 5,738 visitors pulled handcarts along a portion of the Mormon Trail in the area last summer, and that 13,573 are expected this coming summer. The County Commission had delayed considering the idea twice due to water supply concerns, until they were assured that the park wouldn't deplete groundwater supplies. The site will include a well serving no more than 10 RV spaces, one permanent duplex and a laundry room in a shop building.

Sealy Donates 300 Matresses to NY Firefighters
In response to the September 11th terrorist attacks, national bedding manufacturer Sealy donated 300 mattresses to the New York City Fire Department. The Posturepedic-brand mattresses left for New York City in two tractor-trailers on Monday, October 8th and were expected in New York on October 10th. Sealy Chairman (and LDS Church member) Ron Jones said that the company intentionally left images of the World Trade Center towers, already on the trailers for more than a year, in place, "We had thought about removing the towers, but decided they are still there emotionally and spiritually," Jones said. "We felt it would be appropriate to leave the towers on the trailers as they made their way to New York City." The mattresses are to be distributed to firehouses throughout New York City, "We know sleep has not come easy to these great heroes for about a month now," Jones said. "We hope these mattresses will help them in some way." The donations were one of several efforts Sealy launched October 8th as part of its "Sealy Supports America" campaign for national, regional and local charities and relief groups. Among the efforts are $5 donations to the American Red Cross for every purchase of a Sealy mattress before December 31st and a donation of 3,000 specially designed mattresses to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Even Conference Sunday is Day Off for Church Employees
While the Temple Square food service employees of the LDS Church usually serve elaborate lunches to special guests of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between sessions of General Conference, this past Sunday they had the day off. "What the general authorities have asked us to do is allow our employees to have Sundays off, as many as possible," said Spencer Herzog, vice president of food operations for LDS Church-owned Hotel Temple Square Corp. "The integrity of what they say is certainly what they practice." Instead the special guests got simple box lunches, all prepared on Saturday. Other Sundays Herzog also tries to use as few employees as possible, operating a skeleton crew at all the restaurants and food services at The Inn at Temple Square. The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is closed Sundays.

U of Utah Institute to Get Security Fence
In a security move, the LDS Institute of Religion at the University of Utah is erecting a 6-foot-high chain-link fence around its 118,000-square-foot site on South Campus Drive. The temporary fence will come down after the Olympics and Paralympics, when construction on a new building on the site is complete. The fence is meant to keep the public out of the construction site. David Ogden, the LDS Church's construction manager, says that the fence is not a reaction to the September 11th terrorist attacks, nor does it have anything to do with the Olympics itself, although the Institute site is between Rice-Eccles Stadium, home to theOlympic's Opening and Closing ceremonies, and the Athletes Village, housed in the U's student housing complex east of the Institute.

MITY Sells Seating Business
Mormon-owned MITY Enterprises has sold its office and auditorium seating businesses to Lux Steel Inc., of Elkhart, Indiana. Lux already manufactures high-end office seating and intensive-use seating, and the Domore Specialty office seating line it is purchasing from MITY is already located in Elkhart. MITY is also selling its JG auditorium seating line to USSC Group Inc. of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. For now, MITY retains its multipurpose room seating, including its Mity-Host(TM) stacking chairs and SwiftSet(TM) folding chairs. MITY president and CEO Gregory L. Wilson said, "As previously announced, after reviewing all of our options, we decided that it was in the long term best interest of MITY Enterprises and its shareholders to exit the seating business." Founded in 1987, MITY Enterprises Inc. designs, manufactures and markets innovative institutional furniture created to meet the efficiency needs of its customers. The company focuses on providing premium quality institutional furniture products to niche markets. The product lines consist of multipurpose room furniture, healthcare seating, call center furniture and office systems.

Versaille, Pennsylvania Branch's Building Being Renovated
The Versaille branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is currently meeting in the former St. Dennis School, which is now undergoing major renovations. The lower floor of the school will hold the chapel, including pews recycled from a chapel in New Jersey, and classrooms and will be wheelchair-accessible. The renovation will also add a baptismal font on the lower floor. Until March, when the work is expected to be completed, the main floor of the building will house the classrooms, meeting rooms and the chapel. Because the building was a school, the classrooms already were in place so not too much work was required there before it could be used.

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