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Business in Brief
by Tribune Staff
Jan 05, 2012 | 1508 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Decker joins Hometown Health

RENO — Michelle Decker has been hired as the senior account executive with Hometown Health. Decker will be responsible for cultivating and maintaining insurance broker relationships to promote, market and sell various Hometown Health products and services.

Decker’s most recent efforts were as an insurance broker with Senior Insurance Agency of Reno. Decker also spent five years with Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield as regional sales manager.

Think Kindness raises more than $40,000 for Air Race victims

RENO — Immediately following the tragic accident at the National Championship Air Races in September, Think Kindness, a local nonprofit that seeks to inspire others through random acts of kindness, created a fund to help the victims and family members affected. Since that time, Think Kindness has raised more than $40,000 that will be used toward living and medical expenses, home renovations and more.

“This past year has been a challenging one for northern Nevada but the incredible people of this community have been inspiring, optimistic and heroic,” said Brian Williams, founder of Think Kindness. “Their uplifting spirits have given us the encouragement to continue moving forward to help all of those affected by the terrible tragedy that occurred at one of our community’s most significant events.”

To make a contribution to the Think Kindness Family Assistance Fund, visit any local Wells Fargo bank and reference routing number 582500507 and account number 3854301920. Donations can also be mailed to: Think Kindness, 522 Lander St., Reno NV 89509; or online at All proceeds will support people in need of financial assistance for clothing, food and support services. All donations are eligible for a tax deduction.

Construction spending hits 17-month high in November

WASHINGTON — Construction spending totaled $807 billion in November, the highest level since June 2010, as home building, private nonresidential construction and public construction all increased, the Associated General Contractors of America reported recently in an analysis of new Census Bureau data.

Association officials cautioned, however, that public spending will drop even further in 2012 because of delays in enacting needed infrastructure bills and planned cuts to many federal construction programs.

“Several segments of construction appear to be climbing out of a hole,” said Ken Simonson, the association’s chief economist. “The new year should reinforce recent year-over-year gains in apartment, power, manufacturing and private transportation construction. But November’s upturns in single-family home building and public construction may not be sustainable.”

Simonson noted that total construction spending rose 1.2 percent in November from October and 0.5 percent from the November 2010 level. Private residential construction posted increases of 2 percent and 3.4 percent, with gains in single-family, multi-family and residential improvements. Private nonresidential construction spending inched up a negligible amount from October but gained 4.5 percent compared to November 2010. Public spending rose 1.7 percent last month but declined 5.3 percent from a year earlier.

Networking event to discuss role of intuition

RENO — The eWomenNetwork Reno/Carson/Tahoe Chapter is presenting a look at the role of intuition in creating a business advantage at the next eWomenNetwork event, scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. (doors open and informal networking begins at 4:30 p.m.) on Jan. 18 at the Hidden Valley Country Club located 3575 E. Hidden Valley Dr. in Reno.

Presenter Susan Rueppel will discuss how to access intuitive senses and use them in business – and specifically in sales – to make quicker, optimal business decisions to save time, save money and attract more ideal clients. 

The evening includes dinner and costs $40 for eWomenNetwork members, $50 for non-members and $60 for late registration beginning Jan. 14. Vendor display tables also are available. For more information or to register, visit or call 853-2120.

New leadership at Truckee-Tahoe Lumber

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Following in the footsteps of generations before him, Andrew Cross officially took control of Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company on Dec. 5.

The 80-year-old company operates lumberyards in downtown Truckee and Tahoe City, a warehouse in Sparks and a full-service design showroom and door shop called Home Concepts.

Andrew’s father, Breeze Cross, who has run the company for the past 35 years, will remain involved as chairman of the board of directors and will continue to mentor his son through the transition.

“We have been preparing for this transition for several years, and both the family and company are excited to see Andrew step into his new role,” Breeze Cross said. “He has proven that he can competently lead the business, not only to me, but also to our board of directors, our customers and our vendors.”

For more information on Truckee-Tahoe Lumber Company call 530-587-9211 or visit

MB America moves biz to larger facility

RENO — MB America Inc., which created and patented the crushing bucket, opened for business April 2010 and outgrew two Reno office locations in just 18 months.

Last month, the business made a permanent move to a much larger Reno facility, with 2 acres for live demonstrations, equipment/parts inventory and a growing staff.

MB America is a leader in earth-moving and demolition crushing/screening equipment.

For more information, call 855-622-7874 or visit

New director at Silver State Health Insurance Exchange

RENO — Jon Hager has been selected as the first executive director for the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange (SSHIX) by its board of directors after an open interview process.

Hager, currently the chief financial officer for the Public Employee Benefits Program, was unanimously chosen to become the executive director after competing for the position with two other candidates. Hager was selected because of his leadership skills, group-insurance plan knowledge and hands-on experience launching and operating a health insurance exchange.

Laughton Co. hires marketing coordinator

RENO — The Laughton Company announces the hire of Rachel Sa-onoy as marketing coordinator. The Laughton Company advises businesses and their clients on a wide range of insurance and benefits issues.

The marketing coordinator is responsible for planning and implementing monthly events, evaluating market opportunities and assisting with overall marketing development.

Sa-onoy was previously a marketing and web strategist at Custom Business Solutions. Sa-onoy is currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, pursuing a degree in business administration with an emphasis in marketing. Sa-onoy will graduate in May 2012.

AG Masto on new consumer watchdog

CARSON CITY — Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto released the following statement on President Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to serve as the first director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau:

“Richard Cordray is well qualified to serve as the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  We worked together when he served as attorney general for the state of Ohio.  As chief law enforcement officers, attorneys general are collectively charged, among other responsibilities, with overseeing consumer protection in our state’s financial marketplaces.  I have no doubt he will work to make sure Nevadans and Americans alike are treated fairly by mortgage brokers, payday lenders and debt collectors.  Mr. Cordray has earned a reputation as a strong advocate fighting for consumer interests.  I look forward to working with him.” 
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Business in Brief by Tribune Staff

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