Kirk Caraway

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July 22, 2009
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Mint to move operations to Dayton

A Washington state firm has purchased Medallic Art Company in Dayton, a move that could possibly bring about 200 new jobs to the area.

Northwest Territorial Mint of Auburn, Wash., will move its corporate headquarters to the Medallic Art building on Airpark Vista Boulevard, south of Dayton Valley Road. The 118,000-square-foot building will allow Northwest Territorial Mint to expand operations, according to CEO Ross Hansen.

"We decided to come to Nevada because of its business-friendly environment," Hansen said.

The Northern Nevada Development Authority spearheaded efforts to get Northwest Mint to move to the area. NNDA set up meetings between Hansen and Gov. Jim Gibbons, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, State Sen. Mark Amodei and Assembly members Tom Grady, Bonnie Parnell and James Settelmeyer.

"I was very impressed," Hansen said. "These people are looking out for the best interests of Nevada. I felt like it was a job interview. They wanted to make sure if we came to Nevada, we would bring value to this area."

Part of that value will be the 75-100 employees Northwest Mint will be moving to the area, including executives, artists, sculptors, skilled craftsmen and Hansen himself.

"I look forward to becoming a good citizen of the state of Nevada," Hansen said.

In addition, Hansen said the company will be looking to hire 75 to 150 local employees beginning in September. These employees would be added to the 20 employees currently working at Medallic Art.

"I know unemployment is high in Lyon County, and we want to help," Hansen said.

However, he cautioned they are not equipped to start taking applications or do any hiring until after the company can move its core people to the area, which will likely be September.

Hansen said that Northwest Territorial Mint is the largest private mint in the world, and they have minted currency for 19 countries, as well as making medals and awards for organizations and governments.

Medallic Art is a 106-year-old company that is rich in history. The company makes many prestigious medals and awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Hansen said that owners Robert and Connie Hoff had kept the company small, helping to maintain the quality and tradition of fine medallics. Hansen said the Hoffs approached him a few months ago about buying the operation so they could retire.

Part of the acquisition includes many original works by artists who have worked for Medallic Art, such as sculptors who designed the Lincoln penny and buffalo nickel.

Rob Hooper, executive director of NNDA, said that getting Northwest Territorial Mint to come to the area was a team effort.

"This is something that took the entire economic development community to bring this deal to the Sierra region," Hooper said.

Lt. Gov. Krolicki did a great job in getting this deal done, according to Hooper.

"To have him personally involved in this effort went a long ways," Hooper said. "He deserves a lot of credit because he did a superb job meeting with them here in our offices."

The deal also means that perhaps 50 people from Washington will be buying homes in the area, which should boost the real estate market, Hooper said. According to Hooper, Jenny Lopiccolo and Coldwell Banker Best Sellers were active in the recruitment process, and have been working with the employees to help them find homes.

Hooper said NNDA is working on other deals that could bring in more than 2,500 jobs for the region.

"That doesn't mean we are going to get them all, and some are on two- and three-year tracks," Hooper added. "But that pipeline keeps building. There is a lot of interest in moving businesses to Nevada, and this is just the start of the next wave."

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Jul 22, 2009 02:38AM Published Jul 22, 2009 02:37AM Copyright 2009 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.