To Show Our Appreciation…

To Show Our Appreciation…

We’re giving away


2022 was our best year ever and we couldn’t have done it without your support.  We want to reward all the amazing people who have helped us discover and recognize the best companies and places that the Salt Lake Area has to offer.

As a thank you, we’ve put together a fun giveaway (valued at $900!).  Follow us on social media and you could win a luxurious weekend getaway in Downtown SLC! (Already follow us? You’re automatically entered!)

This luxury prize includes
a $500 overnight stay at The Grand America

a $150 gift card to Ruth’s Chris Steak House
(Best of SLC 2022’s Best Fine Dining and Best Steak)

and a $250 shopping spree at City Creek Center
(Best of SLC 2022’s Best Shopping Center)

Feeling lucky? Enter to win!

TERMS: This giveaway is not sponsored or endorsed by Instagram.  The prizes are non-refundable, nor are they redeemable for cash.   NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Giveaway is open to Instagram users who are 18 years old and over and a US resident.  Sweepstakes begins on 9/26/22 and ends at midnight on 9/30/22 MST.  One winner will be announced using a random comment picker on Monday, October 3, 2022.

Our 2022 Business Award Winners Are…

Did you notice that we announced our 2022 Best of SLC Business Award winners this morning?

Congrats to all the Top 3 finalists and winners of this year’s awards. It’s quite the accomplishment and you should be proud of yourselves!

Awards Banquets

The last two evenings we were fortunate enough to celebrate with a sold out audience of nearly 600 people representing dozens of candidates.

The 2Bros Hypno Show entertained us with a hypnotist comedy show, we had over $8,000 in door prizes that we gave away, and the open bar and catered dinner from Caley’s Catering & Events was amazing.

Oh yeah, and then there’s the awards! We announced the results of the categories that were represented in person at the banquets. Attendance wasn’t required to win, but it sure was required if you wanted to have a good time.

If you attended the banquet, we’ll have the photos ready for you to download later today. Check back soon or keep an eye on your email inbox for the link. The photos were taken by the one and only Laura Kinser from Kinser Studios. She does an outstanding job and we thank her for her work.

Master Categories

You may notice that we didn’t open voting up for categories such as Contractor, Law Firm, Photographer, or Restaurant.

This is because we introduced what we call Master Categories.

These are categories that were not directly voted on by local residents. Instead, the winner represents the highest scoring candidate from a group of related categories.

For instance, the Law Firm master category is a culmination of legal related categories such as Bankruptcy Law Firm, Family Law Firm, Personal Injury Law Firm, etc.

Top 3 Designation

Another change we made this year was the designation given to finalists that didn’t win their category. We’re naming them Top 3 in their category as opposed to what we’ve done in the past… Finalist.

The Top 3 candidates are listed in alphabetical order, so we don’t list who came in second or third.

We just felt this was a better indication of who these candidates are. Being named Top 3 in their category is still quite the accomplishment, so congratulations!

Be sure to download the free marketing graphics we have prepared for all of our finalists.

Thank You!

It’s been such a wonderful year and we’ve really enjoyed putting on this year’s Business Awards.

From our entire team at Inbound Systems that run and operate Best of SLC, we want to thank you, the candidates and residents of the Salt Lake Valley. Your participation is paramount to anything we do for the program.

Also, a shout out to our 2022 sponsors. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to put on these awards. It takes a lot of time and effort to manage the nominations, votes, reviews, awards banquet, magazine, plaques, etc. So, thank you again to our sponsors.

2022 Awards Banquet Details

NOTE: This article supplements our Awards Banquet page.

If you were one of the finalists fortunate enough to purchase tickets to our 2022 Best of SLC Awards Banquet, then congratulations because we are 100% SOLD OUT.

There’s a reason this is one of the hottest tickets in town and our waiting list is long. This is a fun event and a time to celebrate with other companies from throughout the Salt Lake area.

For those who are attending, here are some details you may find useful about the banquet:

Tickets for Entry

Please, try to arrive as an entire group. We will email you a single ticket for your entire group to the email address we have on file for you. They will be sent out between now and Monday, May 10.

What to Wear

This is a nice event, so prepare to dress up! You’ll see tuxedos and nice gowns. So, please do not show up in jeans and a t-shirt or in your work clothes. You will likely feel under dressed.

Red Carpet Photo

Laura Kinser will be taking photos of your group on the red carpet and throughout the evening. Please help us keep things moving by avoiding selfie photos on the red carpet until after the event is over.

Drink Tickets

If you purchased VIP tickets you will also receive drink tickets. The bar will remain open on a cash basis for everyone else.


Catered by Caley’s Catering & Events, the dinner is already gluten free. If you would like to request a vegan option, please contact us.

Live Entertainment

The Two Bros Hypno Show is a hypnotist/comedy show performed by two brothers. We’re excited about it! If you’d like to participate in their program, please arrive early to be a part of the show and Don and Doug will direct you from there.

Other Categories

If you purchased tickets for a friend in a different category, please let us know! We will only announce the results of categories that we know are represented in the audience. If they didn’t buy tickets, we have no way of knowing their category needs to be announced.

Door Prizes

Help us out by donating or sponsoring a door prize for our event. We don’t charge extra for this but we will still give your company exposure at the event, online, and in our annual Best of SLC magazine.

Double Your Deposit

Since it was so popular last year, we brought back out Double Your Deposit special. Basically, this is a way for you to save $300 on any ad or article in our annual 2022 Best of SLC Magazine. Reserve your spot in the magazine here: Double Your Deposit


If you pre-ordered your plaque, great! If not, you have until May 27, 2022 to get your order in. Order your plaques here: Personalized Engraved Plaques

Are You One of Our 2022 Nominees?

If you’re on the ballot for our 2022 Best of SLC Business Awards, congratulations! As a nominee, you earned your spot by having a good mix of nominations and reviews. Out of tens of thousands of local businesses, we narrowed it down to 2,381 nominees that will move on to the voting round.

Now that you’ve been named a nominee, the next step would be to claim your nomination.

Why do you need to claim your nomination?

It helps us verify your business information.

You would be shocked if you knew how much time and effort our team spends verifying candidate information. Besides getting the business name and category right, we’re comparing information and addresses across Google, Facebook, Yelp, the BBB, and your websites for all locations in Idaho to make sure that all of your votes and reviews are credited accordingly.

But we’re not asking for your pity (we did this to ourselves!), just for your help. 🙂

When you claim your nomination, you have the opportunity to help us get it right so we can make sure we are as fair and accurate as possible.

It establishes a point of contact.

Some of our nominees are sole proprietors, forging their own path with the unique skills they possess. Others have an empire across Utah, with dozens or even hundreds of employees. Either way, all of you are important to our community and it would be great if we knew who to present the nomination to.

We may be the most popular “best of” awards in Utah (OK, it definitely is), and we think we’re pretty awesome, but we are not going to assume that you’re automatically going to know the pertinent info for our awards. Claiming your nomination also helps us notify the right person when your business is nominated or if you become a finalist.

It helps us… and YOU!

It’s true! Claiming your nomination for Best of SLC can make it better. High levels of engagement drive the adjustments we make year-to-year. We do the best we can to achieve a level playing field.

Categories with few nominations and even fewer claimed nominations get less attention. They may be absorbed by another category or disappear altogether.

Categories with a lot of competitors and claimed nominations are likely to get more attention and be retained from year to year. This doesn’t mean they’re scored differently, but that it’s more likely we’ll add categories that are more narrowly defined, giving every business in that group better odds and a fairer shake.

Claiming your nomination can even give you an edge when you need it. Ties in scoring aren’t frequent, but when they occur the nod goes to a company who claimed their nomination if their opponent did not.

So, when in doubt, always claim your nomination!

Making Your Dream Home a Reality

Jamie Walker is one of those big-brained people. His knowledge is deep, he has a vision, and he knows how to get there. Honestly, one of my first thoughts was that he reminds me of other great innovators like Steve Jobs (but nicer), Elon Musk (but sane), or Mark Zuckerberg (but not a robot).

But it’s not about how big your brain is; what matters is how you use it. Jamie uses his “upper story” to help people design dream homes that are economical to build, functional to live in, and attractive to look at.

What makes Jaime stand out from the competition? Here’s an example: In a very unusual arrangement, a customer wanted two homes built side by side simultaneously, one for them and the other for their parents. Both were 6,000 square feet and used the same contractors to do the work, but Jamie designed one house and another architect did the other. The Walker house made it through the city plan review process a month quicker, and the builders completed that home two months earlier, all for $100,000 less than its twin next door!

Working with his father and grandfather building houses helped Jamie identify his path in life. Ever since, he’s been completely devoted to learning new skills to improve the services offered at his architectural firm, Walker Home Design. Since he has won Best of SLC three years in a row, I’d say he’s on the right path, wouldn’t you?

What’s unique is that Jamie has extensive experience actually building things. This is a guy who knows his way around a hammer. As he puts it, “Most architects have never built so much as a doghouse!” A lack of field experience means most architects and designers don’t actually understand construction, leading to inefficiency.


Walker Home DesignJamie requires all of his team to have some experience in construction. They also go to job sites at least once a month so they can see their creations
being built and gain insight from the process. They’ve designed over 4,000 homes, and they’ve learned from every one.

In the film The Founder, which covers the beginning of the McDonald’s fast food empire, there’s a montage showing a kitchen floor plan drawn in chalk on a tennis court. The scene shows an overhead shot as the founders role play, redesign, and role play again and again, attempting to find the most efficient design and workflow possible for their kitchen. Their goal? To prepare hamburgers and get them to customers fast and at a great value.

This is the type of big-brain thinking I was referring to, and it’s neat to see how it plays out in home design and building. Another example of this was when a 10,000-square-foot house Jamie designed only produced one standard dumpster of material waste during construction. One standard dumpster! Efficient use of materials helps many Walker-designed homes appraise for double their build cost after completion.

Some people chase the dollar, others fame or power. Jamie’s thing is helping homeowners get the best bang for their buck. Walker Home Design believes that their houses should be economical to build, functional to live in, attractive to look at, and fun! Do you like themed rooms and secret passages? Jamie’s your guy, and he would love to make your childhood dreams come true.

Jamie Walker wants people to feel the same thing he does. You pull into your driveway at the end of a long day and get a warm, fuzzy feeling looking at the home you’ve always dreamed of and seeing it full of the people you care most about.

The Wood Samaritan

They scattered like cockroaches, avoiding eye contact as they scurried away pretending not to see me. Where was I?

You got it. I was at The Low’s Depot (or something like that). I was picking up some glue on the way home and saw a gas firepit on display as I walked in. My little lady has been eyeing them for months and this would be perfect — I’ll score major points if I bring this home, I thought. The problem? It was high up on an eight-foot shelf and I needed someone to get it for me.

Then I endured an experience that reminded me why I try to avoid the big box stores. As much as I wanted to buy that gas firepit, it was impossible to flag down any of the nearby employees (scattering cockroaches). Are you kidding me? Whatever happened to the friendly neighborhood stores of the golden years?

They’re still here! Sutherlands, the 2020 and 2021 winner for Best Hardware Store, has been here for decades, and it is still the family-owned neighborhood store it has been since it first opened over 100 years ago.

I was lucky in that regard. Sutherlands first opened in Missouri, which is where I grew up. My father built custom furniture for a living, and Sutherland’s was always reliable and friendly. The lumber was always better and often more affordable than at box stores. (I am addicted to repairing broken furniture; I am always looking for my next fix.)

When my family moved west, a lot of things were different. But Sutherlands was, and still is, reliable and friendly, treating customers with kindness and respect.

Wayne Clausing, The Wood Samaritan

Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but to me business is just as much about the people as it is the product. The values of a business are a reflection of the people who run it. Wayne Clausing, the manager of our local Sutherlands, began working there as a stock boy at 16 and has been devoted to his customers ever since.

I asked Wayne what makes Sutherlands so special and what has kept him there all these years. He told me that the Sutherland family are “the best owners in the industry!” They do a few things differently than most hardware and lumber stores, and that makes a world of difference for customers like me.

Sutherland’s managers aren’t bound by incredibly strict rules. Every community is different, so Sutherland’s lets managers like Wayne run the store like it’s theirs. Decisions ranging from inventory, hours, and suppliers to marketing and staff are his to make. They trust the man on the ground to do what’s best for their store and their customers. That’s why there are plenty of employees like Wayne who stay with the company as long as they do. It’s also why Wayne didn’t lose any employees because of the COVID crisis.

As you would expect, a business with a culture that is this customer focused creates repeat customers. Wayne’s crew treats customers with the same kindness and respect whether they’re spending $1 or $1,000. I would know, after all. I’m a third-generation Sutherlands customer, and they’ve never run away from me when I wanted to give them money.

How to Live Uncertain

Near the end of my time in the army (and for years afterward) I struggled with anxiety and depression. I cycled through mental health providers — three of them up and left their careers while they were treating me. I was in a bad place for quite a while, and it hurt me as well as those around me. With help, I eventually got through it. Now, helping others find the help they need is an important project in my life.

This is why I’m not going to try and be clever, as I often do when writing. Instead, I want to shed light on a very important message — It’s okay to ask for help.

One of the best places to ask for help is the OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center (TOATC). With 130 staff members and growing, it is the largest outpatient center of its type in the Mountain West. They are, of course, experts in treating obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders, but they also treat body dysmorphia, PTSD, and a host of other related disorders.

“You don’t need to suffer in silence. There’s help available.” — Lynne Sill, COO

Like me, most people seeking help go through many counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists attempting to find something that gets them to a manageable state. Around here, that search is usually over once a person finds their way to TOATC.

A 35 percent reduction of problematic symptoms is considered a successful outcome in this field. TOATC is twice as good, with most patients seeing a 70 percent reduction in symptoms.

“You don’t have to suffer any longer. There is a way out with the right treatment.” — Paul Peterson, CEO

What does TOATC do differently? Their standard of care is evidence-based exposure therapy. This protocol leans into discomfort and designs custom exposures that teach patients how to act differently when confronted by perceived threats. Even children as young as 5 years can use the same system as adults to learn the skills to overcome their triggers.

Paul Peterson, who founded TOATC in 2015, expressed that “mental health” is just “health,” that the disorders they treat are as much physical problems as mental ones. It’s like the Matrix — the mind makes it real, and then the brain misfires. In his own words, “An enlarged heart isn’t treated with a dream journal. Mental health is a physical issue.”


Life is uncertain. TOATC aims to arm patients with the tools to embrace life and learn to live with discomfort. Sound odd? Maybe, but it was immediately familiar to me, as being comfortable with discomfort is an important part of the military and strength training — both areas I am intimately acquainted with.

 “It’s not about thinking differently, it’s about acting differently.” — Leah Jaramillo, Senior Director

The OCD and Anxiety Treatment Center has helped thousands of people get their lives back. If you feel controlled by fear, anxiety, or obsessive thoughts, they have the skills to help you begin healing.

I strongly encourage anyone who struggles with these challenges to start by exploring TOATC’s website. They have a plethora of resources to get you started, including free online tests, reading material, video content, podcasts, and a lot more. Then I want you to call them and see how they can help you (or a family member). There’s nothing to lose if you do, and they accept most insurance. Just because no one else can do your inner work for you doesn’t mean you need to do it alone.

1-801-298-2000 The OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

[email protected]

Family, Food, and Windex

Yes, food is a very important component of Greek culture. Beyond the delicious dishes is the underlying truth that food brings families together.

When Geoff Patmides was a young Crete boy, he wanted his family to be together. He lost his father very early, and his mother was young herself. She had to be the breadwinner and was often away for work, leaving Geoff to be raised primarily by his grandparents.

Picture a Greek yiayia (grandmother) in your head, and you’ve likely got it right. Geoff grew up in a traditional Greek household, and his yiayia cooked the family dinner every night. According to a reliable source (the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding), they also used Windex to cure everything.

When his mother was home to share in the family meal, young Geoff noted that she loved his grandmother’s food. And thus Geoff’s training as a chef began while he was an elementary school–aged child.

The loss of a father and an often-absent mother can be hard for a young lad to understand. If he could learn to cook like his yiayia, perhaps his mom would stay around or even take him with her?

His grandmother’s cooking was hard to master. Elderly Greek ladies don’t use cookbooks, instead relying on their senses and experience to perfect their art. Geoff’s desire to earn love and acceptance from his mother began a journey that would eventually take him halfway around the world for training, education, and opportunity.

Authentic Greek Cuisine

The Local Greek is Geoff’s authentic Greek kitchen. What was once a catering side gig has blossomed into an award-winning restaurant.

In traditional Greek fashion, the restaurant is a family affair. In the role of Executive Chef, Geoff leads his small tribe while his lovely wife, Mia, is everywhere at once as she manages orders, assists in cooking, and keeps everything operating efficiently. Their five children all contribute, and other relatives lend a hand from time to time as well.

The older Patmides kids prepare vegetables (properly licensed!), work the register, and serve customers. The younger kids do their part by clearing tables and cleaning dishes. Geoff says their help is important. They help the restaurant run smoothly, and learn valuable lessons like how to earn.

Food brings families together. You may not have your own chef or yiayia to lay out an authentic Greek meal for your family, but that’s alright. Geoff Patmides has brought the Greek to SLC, and he would love to have you come by the Local Greek and be a part of his family.

Teamwork Makes the Hair Work

I’m gonna pull an old gem from the 2001 film A Knight’s Tale. During a climactic scene when William Thatcher (played by the late Heath Ledger, who had a beautiful head of hair) is in the stocks for unlawfully posing as a noble, his retainers are defending him from an aggressive mob. Prince Edward then dramatically reveals himself to the crowd and says softly to William, “Your men love you. If I knew nothing else about you, that would be enough,” and then proceeds to knight and ennoble the former peasant.

If you truly want to know the character of a person, look at how they treat their inferiors. It’s what came to mind repeatedly as I got to know Amber Reid, owner of Amber Renè Salon & Spa (and future knight?).

Indeed, as I review my notes I see the quotes from Amber are filled with praise for the members of her team, appreciation for clients, and demonstrations of humility. Amber never asks anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. Her extensive experience, exceptional skill in her trade, and ownership of the business aren’t things she boasts about; to her, they represent responsibilities to her employees and customers.

SLC’s Best Hair Salon is Amber Renè

Such responsibility weighed heavily on Amber last year when she had to close up shop for over a month due to COVID-19, and then operate below capacity when she reopened. Despite the loss of business, Amber retained and paid every member of her 30-person staff. It might have been a struggle, but she kept her staff together and didn’t lose a single employee. That’s remarkable, as personal service industries like salons and barbers were hit harder than most, with as many as 100,000 establishments closing permanently.

But they got through it together. The stylists of Amber Renè Salon are women supporting women (and the occasional man). They believe that a team working together can accomplish much more than the sum of those individuals working alone.

After 30 years in the business, Amber (a master hairstylist) is now focused on mentoring and teaching her team. Every member of the team is experienced and brings unique skills to the salon, so it’s not only Amber leading the instruction. There are plenty of opportunities for peer coaching, ensuring that each individual and the salon as a whole continue to improve and learn. This learning mindset creates extraordinary stylists. Hair, waxing, makeup, nails, massage — you name it, they do it well.

Mastery is more than knowing how to do certain techniques or haircuts. A great hairdresser is something of a magician (though restoring my lost hair is too great a miracle to ask for). They see your potential when they look at you and then bring that vision to life with a professional cut and color. Perhaps it’s a deeper shade to bring out the color of your eyes, or a new shape for your bangs that accents your bone structure.

When you leave, you’re someone different. Your step is lighter and your head is high. For the ladies of Amber Renè Salon & Spa, liking your hair is unacceptable. They want you to love your hair.


We’ve been hard at work identifying and recognizing the best businesses and organizations in Salt Lake…according to your customers! But what would your employees say?

The hunt is on for SLC’s best employers! We want to recognize the best workplaces in the Beehive State, while also giving you the data to hone your recruitment and retention strategies.

Why now? We’ve been working on this project for a while, and we are happy to announce that it’s dialed in. Here’s a few reasons why we believe we have the best employer awards program in Utah:

By focusing on only the essential and most indicative metrics, we were able to deliver fast surveys without compromises in quality data. An average user completes our survey in 5-6 minutes.
D.I.S.C. Profiling
Our surveys and reports utilize D.I.S.C. profiling, which are designed to help improve communication and cooperation in your workplace, boost the performance of teams, and improve the effectiveness of leaders and managers.
We’ll survey your employees anonymously, allowing them to provide genuine feedback and credible data. We protect their identity and report on data in aggregate.
Recruiting and Retention
Use your “Best Employer” status as a recruitment tool to attract great talent! Even if you didn’t make it to the top this year, you’ll have valuable data you can use to turn things around for next time.
Legitimate Results
From start to finish our Employer Awards program utilizes genuine experts to ensure we have genuine results. We’ve also put multiple safeguards in place to protect our data from attempts to manipulate surveys or results.

Sounds great! How do we get started?

I’m so glad you asked! Here’s a brief rundown of what to expect. If you’d like to dive straight into the details, check out our How It Works page.

Nominations and Registration 10/1/21-11/19/21
Nominations are open NOW, and can be made by nearly anyone — you can even nominate yourself. Registration needs to be completed by a representative of your organization, i.e. owners, executives, human resources.
Survey Period 11/1/21-11/30/21
We obtain the needed data through an efficient survey that is sent directly to each employee.
Announcing Finalists 12/7/21*
In November we’ll announce the organizations with the highest scores (in alphabetical order) as SLC’s Best Employers for 2022.
Awards Ceremony 1/20/22
Join us in January when we announce the overall winners, as well as the best in specific categories based on organization size, industry, diversity, and more! We’ll celebrate the winners in our traditional fashion, complete with a red carpet, professional photos, and a celebrity keynote speaker.

Reports 1/31/21*
Registered organizations will receive a Summary Report providing great feedback from your employees about what you’re doing right and what you could improve. If you upgrade to the Insights Report, you’ll receive extensive data, segmented results, all employee comments, and expert feedback.

Have questions about the Best of SLC Employer Awards? Check out our FAQ first, and contact us if you still have questions.