Riverton City Announces Business and Community Award Recipients

Riverton City and the South Valley Chamber announced the recipients of the following awards on Wednesday, February 16, 2022: The Apex Award, Business Woman of the Year, Business Man of the Year, Business of the Year, Excellence in Public Safety Award, Outstanding City Employee Award, and the Mayor's Service Award.

The Apex Award
Abani Samal
The Apex Award

Abani Samal is the owner and operator of GeoGlobal, a Riverton-based company that provides consulting and training services for the mineral exploration and mining industry. Abani has provided services for projects in countries in Africa, Asia, North America and South America. He joined the South Valley Chamber last year and has been a fantastic example of getting involved and taking advantage of the networking and training opportunities provided by the Chamber to grow his business. Abani volunteers on the Government Affairs Committee and has participated in several business academy programs and networking events. He has shown himself eager to learn and expand his business, making him an excellent recipient of The Apex Award from the South Valley Chamber.

Business Woman of the Year
Kathrine Parnell
Founder & Clinical Director, A New View Counseling & Psychological Services
Business Woman of the Year

As founder and clinical director of A New View Counseling and Psychological Services, Kathrine Parnell has found an outlet through which to express her energy and deep passion for serving her community. Her business has been open for four and a half years and has grown to include 15 employees and nearly 2,000 clients with demand for even more growth in the future. While cognizant of the importance of directing a thriving Riverton business, Kathrine’s chief 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.

Business Man of the Year
Joseph Anderson
Owner & President, Lighthouse Research & Development
Business Man of the Year

Joseph Anderson is the owner and president of Lighthouse Research & Development, a company that first opened in Riverton in 1998. Joe acquired the company in 2004 and, under his leadership, has grown it to include dozens of employees who conduct over 100 comprehensive research design projects each year which include online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews, telephone surveys, and more for organizations all over the world and in a variety of industries. His biggest success is watching clients grow their businesses from the research insights he and his team provide. With the ever-growing demand for companies and organizations to make data-driven decisions, the services Joe and his company provide are more critical than ever.

Business of the Year
Saffron Circle
Owner: Lavanya Mahate
Business of the Year

Saffron Circle has operated in Riverton since August of 2019. Located at Mountain View Village, the restaurant has quickly become one of the South Valley’s favorite dining destinations, attracting tens of thousands of satisfied customers each year that enjoy authentic made-from-scratch Indian food. The restaurant is a fantastic example of a local, family-owned business that is achieving success, while also giving back to the community. This includes supporting refugees and providing grocery boxes for underserved populations through a collaboration with Utah Pay It Forward during the early stages of COVID-19. The restaurant is part of the larger Saffron Valley family, which has expanded to include locations in downtown Salt Lake City, Sugar House and an international location in London, all under the leadership and vision of founder, and Riverton resident, Lavanya Mahate.

Excellence in Public Safety Award
Detective Mike Ashley
Riverton Police Department
Excellence in Public Safety Award

Detective Mike Ashley has worked in law enforcement for well over 20 years and has been with the Riverton Police Department since its founding in 2019. He has fast become the most well-known officer from the department due to his willingness to engage with the community. His impact in the department and in the community is apparent in all he does. He serves as the school resource officer for Oquirrh Hills Middle School and teaches the DARE program at several elementary schools. He also serves as a negotiator as part of the South Valley SWAT Team and has helped instigate neighborhood watch programs. He played a crucial role in developing the curriculum for the first Citizen’s Police Academy this past year and in working with local businesses to prevent burglaries by developing educational materials for their patrons. Out of all the things Detective Ashley does best, number one is creating connections with everyone he meets. He is a shining example of selfless service that has greatly benefited the Riverton community.

Outstanding City Employee Award
Brook Bowen
Graphic Design & Marketing Specialist
Outstanding City Employee Award

Brook Bowen works as the graphic design and marketing specialist in Riverton City’s Communications Department. He is just starting his fourth year in the role. During his time here, he has made countless impactful contributions to the city. This includes designing all the graphics for the Riverton Police Department, re-designing the annual Recreation & Events calendar, designing indoor signage at Riverton City Hall, designing the veteran’s monument at Riverton City Cemetery, developing the graphics and videos for the Local First Riverton marketing and public education campaign, and much more, to include forthcoming monument and wayfinding signage. Since being in the role, Brook has produced thousands of design outputs, dozens of videos, and has taken tens of thousands of photos all to help improve the image of the city and enhance communication to residents.

Mayor’s Service Award
Kim Rimmasch
Mayor's Service Award

Kim Rimmasch serves as the volunteer choir and orchestra director and conductor for the annual Riverton Christmas Night of Music Concert. He has volunteered his time since the program began in 2015. He spends hundreds of hours each year planning the concert, reviewing music, and making selections that include a variety of instruments and vocal ranges. Much of the music used is donated from his personal library and he’s spent his personal funds on many occasions to ensure all details get taken care of. He does the lion’s share of recruiting for the orchestra, finding many experienced and professional musicians to volunteer their time. Despite health challenges he has faced recently, he put on another beautiful concert this past December that attracted hundreds of spectators. We are lucky to have Kim at the helm of the Christmas Night of Music Concert and are grateful for his contributions to our community.

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