Scott Hiatt

Scott Hiatt

Gold Hospitality Award

Fallon’s Comfort Inn has been honored as a recipient of a prestigious 2013 Gold Hospitality Award from world lodging leader Choice Hotels International, Inc., franchisor of the Comfort Inn brand.

“The Comfort Inn hotel’s commitment to excellence and outstanding guest service has earned it this well-deserved recognition as one of the best hotels among the Comfort Inn brand,” said Steve Joyce, president and chief executive officer for Choice Hotels International. “We here at Choice Hotels are very proud to award this distinguished honor to the Fallon Comfort Inn hotel.”

Gold Award status represents a tremendous accomplishment for a hotel and its entire staff. Each year, only the very top hotels in each brand are eligible to receive this elite distinction.

As a top performing property among the company’s more than 5,000 U.S. franchised hotels, the Comfort Inn Fallon hotel is among the top percentage of properties within the Choice brand. As one of the company’s top franchised hotels operating under the Comfort Inn flag, the hotel has demonstrated an exceptional focus on guest satisfaction and dedication to providing superior service. Additional award criteria are evaluated by Choice Hotels through its official property ranking reports.

Hiatt named president

The Nevada Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America has named its 2012 officers and board of directors.

The new officers are as follows: Scott Hiatt, president (A&K Earthmovers); Craig Holt, first vice president, (Sierra Nevada Construction); Justin Ivory, second vice president, (A-1 Steel, Inc.); and Trish Bullentini-Kuzanak (Martin Iron Works), treasurer.

Hiatt is President and CEO of A&K Earthmovers of Fallon. The family-owned business began in 1957 specializing in agricultural field leveling and has emerged as a leading multi-dimensional, general engineering firm.

Hiatt, a football standout at Churchill County High schoo, studied business at Western Montana College in Dillon, Mont., and engineering at Montana State University in Bozeman before returning to Fallon to work with the family business.

He worked summers at the firm, eventually becoming the vice president of the Engineering Department and one-third owner along with his two older brothers.

Food spending

Nevada’s 3 million people will spend approximately $10.3 billion on food this year. By shifting one percent of what is normally spent on food to purchases from farmers market, restaurants, that serve locally grown products, and the locally grown food section of grocery stores, Nevadans can put $103 million back into their economy.

According to United States Census data, the average per capita disposable income each year in Nevada is $33,536. If every Nevadan spends $37.89 a year on local agriculture purchases, more than $100 million will stay within Nevada’s economy.

This spending amounts to only 68 cents each week. In addition to putting money back into the state, Nevadans’ contribution can also create more than 1,000 new jobs (based off of figures used in the 2008 Civic Economics study for Michigan).

The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) and NevadaGrown, a local non-profit organization, support local food purchases for their economic and health benefits.

Local Leaders Institute

The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension will offer the Local Leaders’ Institute on May 18-19 in Elko. The Institute, a new pilot program, is designed to enhance the knowledge of elected and appointed officials, government staff and other community leaders on the ins-and-outs of local government in Nevada.

In partnership with the Nevada Chapter of the American Planning Association, Frederick Steinmann, Eureka County Extension educator, helped to create the Local Leaders’ Institute, a program to educate community leaders in four Nevada locations – Washoe, Elko, Eureka and Clark Counties. By mid-2014, Steinmann hopes the pilot program will become a full institute and be used as the primary training format to disseminate this type of information to all parts of the state. Nye and Lyon Counties have already requested to the Institute also be offered in their counties.

According to Steinmann, one of the workshop’s objectives is to reduce conflict between staff and elected officials over procedural matters pertaining to government management and administration, and to get everyone speaking the same language.

“A tension was identified between elected officials and staff — a tension that ultimately has hurt government efficiency and effectiveness in Nevada,” Steinmann said. “A lot of it is really that they don’t have common background and training to deal with the issues they face.”

After offering the Institute for the first time in Washoe County in February, Steinmann said those who attended gave it high marks for getting everyone on the same page and providing useful information on various concepts. Steinmann has also added some presentations on planning and zoning, ethics, Home Rule vs. Dillon’s Law and local government economic development after getting feedback from that first offering.

Chester Newland, a leading expert on public administration who served as a former advisor to President Lyndon B. Johnson, will speak at the Institute offered in Elko May 18-19.

The registration fee for the Institute in Elko is $75 and includes lunch, snacks and refreshments, and course materials. Space is limited to 50 participants and will be provided to attendees on a first-come, first-served basis. The Institute will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Elko, 3650 E. Idaho St. To register, contact Steinmann at steinmannf@unce.unr.edu or 775-237-5326.


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