Four Corners Business Briefs —​​​​​​​ February 2018

Farmington Daily Times

Farmington Chamber CEO Winters graduates Institute for Organization Management
President/CEO Audra Winters of the Farmington Chamber of Commerce has graduated from the Institute for Organization Management program and has received the recognition of IOM. 
“Institute graduates are recognized across the country as leaders in their industries and organizations,” Raymond P. Towle, IOM, CAE, the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s vice president of Institute for Organization Management, said in a press release. “These individuals have the knowledge, skills, and dedication necessary to achieve professional and organizational success in the dynamic association and chamber industries.” 

Greater Farmington Area Chamber of Commerce director and CEO Audra Winters

The Institute for Organization Management is the professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
“Awarded to all graduates of the Institute program, the IOM Graduate Recognition signifies the individual’s completion of 96 hours of course instruction in nonprofit management,” the foundation’s press release stated.
Participants can earn credit hours toward the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) or Certified Association Executive (CAE) certifications. Nearly 1,000 individuals attend Institute annually, the release stated.
The institute, the release said, has educated tens of thousands of professionals since 1921, teaching association, chamber, and other nonprofit leaders “how to build stronger organizations, better serve their members and become strong business advocates.”

Kevin Smith

Smith obtains new professional certification
Gervais & Associates announced that Kevin D. Smith, CPA has obtained his Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA) designation from the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts. The CVA designation acknowledges Kevin’s knowledge and expertise as a business valuation expert.  He is the newest member of the firm’s business valuation team. 
Business valuations are essential in buying and selling businesses, divorce matters, family limited partnerships and ESOPs, the firm stated in a press release.  
Smith can be reached at 970 385-1002.

The Mercy Regional Medical Center campus.

Mercy earns 3rd straight Medicare 5-star quality rating
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) in December recognized Mercy Regional Medical Center with a five-star rating for overall hospital quality for the third year in a row.
Mercy is one of seven hospitals in Colorado – and the only hospital in the Four Corners region – to receive a five-star rating for overall hospital quality in the center’s most recent findings.  

Will McConnell

“Achieving consistency in the quality of care we provide requires a dedicated effort by people in all areas of the hospital,” said Mercy Regional Medical Center CEO Will McConnell, Ph.D.  “From our nurses, doctors, housekeeping staff, infection prevention and patient safety specialists, pharmacists, and diagnostic imaging techs, to so many other others that I cannot mention them all, I am sincerely grateful.  At the end of the day, it’s all about our patients. They are the reason we’re here, and their success is our success.”
Nationally, 337 hospitals — less than nine percent of 3,962 evaluated by CMS — received a five-star rating, the hospital said in a press release. Fifty-two hospitals in Colorado received CMS ratings, and nearly 900 U.S. hospitals had no ratings because they did not meet the minimum reporting thresholds, the release said.
The most common overall rating is three stars.
The ratings are based on 57 hospital inpatient and outpatient quality measures from seven categories, including mortality, safety of care, readmissions, patient experience, effectiveness of care, timeliness of care, and efficient use of medical imaging,” the release stated.
For more information about the CMS hospital quality ratings, visit

Northern Edge Casino

Northern Edge Navajo Casino celebrated six years
The Navajo Nation Gaming Enterprise (Navajo Gaming celebrated the six-year anniversary of Northern Edge Navajo Casino in the Upper Fruitland Chapter, near Farmington, New Mexico on Jan. 16. 
The event included gaming and food promotions, live entertainment and complimentary cake
Navajo Gaming was established 10 years ago. A press release noted that Northern Edge was the third Navajo Gaming Property launched after Fire Rock Casino and Flowing Water Casino. 
“We say thank you to our host chapter Upper Fruitland, patrons and travelers to the Four Corners area that support Northern Edge Casino,” Brian Parrish, CEO of Navajo Gaming, said in the release. “We greatly appreciate the support from our Farmington community, The Navajo Nation President and his administration along with the Speaker, Navajo Nation Council and its committees, and our Gaming Board. We also express gratitude to our talented Northern Edge team members whose dedication and desire to create success has allowed us to provide hundreds of high-quality Navajo jobs, offer valuable training, and distribute millions of dollars in revenue to the Nation.”
The casino features restaurants as well as slots, table games, and live entertainment every weekend. Its architecture and art incorporate traditional Navajo symbolism and design while appealing to the modern traveler, the release said.

Is a business in the recreation industry to be part of your future? A Feb. 3 workshop at San Juan College may be a place to start. Fishing enthusiast are seen here fishing in March of 2016 at the Texas Hole on the San Juan River at the Community of Navajo Dam.

Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative (ORII) Basecamp
Those interested in starting or expanding an outdoor recreation business may attend the ORII Basecamp and learn about the opportunities in Farmington. Among the opportunities to be discussed are guide services, food trucks, equipment rental, and manufacturing. 
The ORII Basecamp is Saturday, Feb. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Quality Center for Business at San Juan College. It will include” information on starting a business in Farmington, what opportunities there are in outdoor rec, and a tour of some of our recreation spots in the city,” according to a Farmington city press release.
Registration is $15 and can be purchased online at For more information call Judy at (505) 566-3699.

The Comcast logo

Comcast boosts Xfinity’s speed in five cities
Comcast today announced it is increasing the speeds of its Xfinity Internet service packages for existing customers in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Farmington and Los Alamos at no additional cost. 
Speed increases will vary based on the Xfinity Internet customers’ current speed subscriptions, and the majority will see an increase of 50 Mbps. New and existing customers can expect to experience enhanced speeds this month.
“These increases reflect our commitment to delivering the fastest speeds to our customers, just like we’ve done almost every year for more than a decade,” said Chris Dunkeson, Area Vice President, Comcast. “We want to make sure people have a great experience using our products and have all the speed they need to stay ahead of online trends, technological advancements, and enjoy their connected devices.”
To get the increased speeds, most customers will simply need to re-start their modems when notified by Comcast that the new speed is available. Comcast will also notify customers who may need to upgrade their modems to receive the increased speeds. Those who own their own modems and need to upgrade them to receive the increased speeds will need to purchase a new one or can lease a new modem from Comcast. 
Customers who lease modems from Comcast can upgrade their modem for no additional charge. Upgraded modems come with the xFi application suite, which allows for better visibility and control of customers’ home WiFi networks.
In addition to increasing internet speeds, Comcast continues to offer the fastest in-home WiFi gateway, and most Xfinity Internet customers can enjoy complimentary access to more than 18 million Xfinity WiFi hotspots nationwide by selecting "xfinitywifi" from the list of available networks on their laptops or mobile devices and entering their Xfinity ID or email and password. Hotspots can be found by either downloading the Xfinity WiFi App, available for free on iOS and Android devices, or by visiting the hotspot finder map on
Comcast has invested billions of dollars in its network, locally and nationally, to meet consumer demand, and it has now increased speeds 17 times in the last 17 years, delivering speeds in most of New Mexico from 10 Mbps up to 2 Gbps for residential customers and up to 10 Gbps for business customers.