Column: Business are innovating in Prescott

First, let me wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year. As I begin my first term as mayor, I am energized by the business climate in our city. For the past year, the city has been actively working to recruit high-technology companies and to create a business incubator for these types of firms.

During this process, we have encountered many businesses that are already here in Prescott, doing some inspiring work. I would like to give you a very brief introduction to a few of these companies.

RESA is a company that is using 3-D printers to create custom-made shoe orthotics inside retail stores, while you wait. Owner Glen Hinshaw and his son are “literally” breaking the mold for custom orthotic inserts. Currently, RESA kiosks are located inside select Costco stores.

The company is negotiating agreements with other retailers, and expects to have hundreds of their kiosks in stores across the country. This innovative company uses high-tech software, state of the art 3-D printers, and light manufacturing processes to create these orthotics. Tapping into local talent, RESA is employing Embry-Riddle students as interns to assist in their manufacturing. In 2018, RESA will be working with CTEC at Yavapai College to create a custom-designed curriculum to train future employees for the company.

Shepherd is another high-tech business in Prescott. Owner Cindy Barnes is a licensed veterinarian who branched out to create innovative software for veterinary office management. This new software helps veterinary offices operate more efficiently, from scheduling appointments, to diagnosis, treatment, and capturing charges.

Shepherd is growing rapidly, and Cindy is seeking to hire additional software coders by retaining local students and graduates, especially from Embry-Riddle and Yavapai College. Cindy is also developing plans for an innovative new facility for dogs and their owners. We expect to learn more about this in 2018.

No discussion about business is complete without highlighting the traditional manufacturing firms making a difference in Prescott. One of these businesses is Vinyl Visions. Vinyl Visions manufactures frames and other vinyl products for residential and commercial windows. In early 2016, John and Helen Halle decided to move their company, Vinyl Visions, from California to Prescott. By purchasing property and building a new state-of-the art, 50,000 square foot manufacturing facility, they have created jobs in Prescott. John loves the weather and clear air, along with all of the support they have received from the community. The company is seeking to expand its workforce, as it has started recycling unused vinyl products, grinding them down and constituting them into top quality window products.

There are many more success stories like these in our city, and I look forward to meeting more business owners and learning more. These businesses are great examples of how we can preserve the things we love best about Prescott, while enhancing other aspects of our great community.

Greg L. Mengarelli is mayor of Prescott.