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INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — Indianapolis-based Greenlight Guru has acquired Vertex Intelligence, a data science company headquartered in Zionsville. While financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed, Greenlight Guru says the Vertex team will serve as the foundation of its in-house data science department.

Greenlight Guru has developed a software platform to help medical device companies navigate the regulatory process.

The company says the Vertex team will look to leverage machine learning to improve the medical device industry’s approach to quality management.

“We can’t achieve True Quality without AI, and this is our way of planting the stake in the ground,” Greenlight Guru CEO David DeRam said in written remarks. “Bringing artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities in-house is the next logical step.”

Vertex was founded in 2018 by CEO Tyler Foxworthy and partners Ken Miller and Zach Cardwell. In February 2021, the company detailed plans to invest $270,000 to grow operations in Zionsville and add 37 jobs by the end of 2024.

Greenlight Guru says the two companies have had a working relationship for three years.

It was not immediately clear if Vertex employees would remain in Zionsville or move to Greenlight Guru’s new headquarters in Indianapolis, which opened last year.

This is the second acquisition for Greenlight Guru in 2022. In January, the company bought North Carolina-based software firm CanvasGT.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – The Zionsville Food Pantry broke ground Thursday on a new building.

The food pantry was started thirty years ago. Zionsville Presbyterian Church, on West 116th Street, has housed the pantry since it first opened.

Food pantry coordinator Angie Campbell says the new location will help the food pantry better serve people and families in need.

“We have outgrown our space. We’ve been here for about 32 years in these two classrooms,” Campbell said. “We need more space as well as access for our clients to come into the space and be served more efficiently.”

The new building will have 50% more square footage than the current location, according to food pantry representative Catherine Coscia.

“It will be a warehouse, essentially. A large empty room with a walk-in refrigerator and walk-in freezer,” Coscia said. “That allows us to be very flexible in how we use our rolling tables and rolling shelving to accommodate what comes in.”

Coscia says having a separate building will also improve security and has the added benefit of giving back to the church the space they’ve been using.

Construction is expected to last ten months.

Small businesses are the backbone to the local economy. News 8’s Aleah Hordges gives the INside Story of how women-owned businesses are evolving and driving change in entrepreneurship, despite economic uncertainty.

This is the first of a five-part series on women-owned businesses in central Indiana.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) – You can find an array of artwork hung up on the walls of CV Art and Frame in downtown.

The business was once a small framing shop and was purchased in 1986.

It now it displays more than traditional art. Owner and president Barbara Jennings said she hopes to stir imagination.

“My parents were looking for an investment when they stumbled across it. I was a new mom with a six-month-old baby and they thought this might be a great opportunity for me to be able to bring the baby to work and still work and earn a living as I needed to,” Jennings said.

The owner said it didn’t take long to master how to frame.

“Framing is a really special talent and it’s a craft that not everybody can do, so it was something that I took to and it was great. it was a lot of fun for me,” Jennings said.

Though framing was a passion, Jennings mentioned she couldn’t resist her love for art.

CV Art and Frame later incorporated art and now up to 50 artists are on display inside the gallery.

Their work includes portraits, photography, abstracts and more. It’s captivated customers from across Indiana and beyond the state lines.

“When you look at a piece of art whether it’s to be happy or to just ponder or whatever it does,” Jennings said. “I think the importance of art is to invoke feeling and also we have sold a lot of art because it matches the sofa and that’s okay, too.”

CV Art and Frame President and owner credits her flexibility, taking care of clients and adapting to change for reasons why the gallery remains in business.

Jennings said she has never let being a minority hold her back through the challenges a business owner can face.

“If there were prejudices, which I’m sure there were, I didn’t even allow it to phase me and you just go after what you want,” added Jennings.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Zionsville-based startup is reporting a more than 500% customer increase in 2021. 120Water, which has developed a software platform for lead reduction and drinking water compliance programs, says the growth is due to the looming deadlines for compliance with the new Lead and Copper Rule Revisions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The company says the LCRR requires water systems to produce a location-based inventory of all service line materials by October 2024, and also develop a plan to begin removing known and suspected lead service lines.

120Water says its platform was used to address key components of LCRR, including identifying nearly 450,000 service lines in 2021, sampling at least 20% of all public and private elementary schools and 20% of all childcare facilities built before 2014, and conducting water samples where lead service lines are known or suspected.

Earlier in 2021, 120Water announced the formation of an advisory board to further drive the company’s growth. The following month, the company was named to Fast Company’s annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Iowa-based Hy-Vee Inc. is detailing plans for its first Indiana grocery store. The company says it will open the 150,000-square-foot location in Zionsville.

Hy-Vee says it is still finalizing plans to secure the 26 acre site at Whitestown Parkway and S. County Road 700 E. in the Boone County town.

“We are excited that Hy-Vee has chosen Zionsville as a location to put down new roots,” Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron said in written remarks. “With their commitment to quality of service, variety of products, selection of healthy food and an in-store pharmacy, Hy-Vee will benefit Zionsville residents, our neighboring communities and visitors. We are grateful for the collaboration with the Hy-Vee team and welcome them to town.”

The grocery retailer recently announced plans to expand out of its eight-state region with new stores in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Alabama.

“As Hy-Vee continues to grow and evolve, we have so much to offer consumers across the U.S. that we knew it was time to expand our footprint even further,” said Randy Edeker, chief executive officer of Hy-Vee.

Hy-Vee did not specify how much it is investing in the Zionsville store or how many jobs will it create. The company says more information will be released once details are finalized.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Houston-based Sharps Compliance Corp. (Nasdaq: SMED) has acquired a medical waste removal and document shredding company headquartered in Zionsville. Sharps says the deal for Affordable Medical Waste (AMW) is valued at $2.2 million. 

Sharps provides regulated medical waste, hazardous waste, unused medication removal services for the healthcare, long-term care and retail pharmacy markets. AMW provides its services to more than 500 customer locations, primarily in Indiana.

“This acquisition is consistent with our long-term growth strategy, which includes initiatives to both drive organic growth and acquire complementary route-based providers designed to increase route density and further establish our leadership position as a comprehensive provider of waste management solutions,” David Tusa, chief executive officer of Sharps, said in a news release. “Our strong balance sheet provides us with this opportunity to execute on our broader acquisition strategy as we continue to work our active pipeline of opportunities.”

Sharps did not say whether any jobs would be negatively affected by the deal. The company has not answered a request for more information from Inside INdiana Business.

CARMEL (Inside INdiana Business) — A new posting from personal finance website WalletHub lists 2021’s Best Small Cities in America and three central Indiana communities are in the top 20. The website compared more than 1,300 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000.

Carmel comes in at No. 2, followed by Zionsville at No. 6 and Westfield at No. 11. Further down the list is Fishers at No. 27 and Brownsburg at No. 58. WalletHub used five key factors, affordability, economic health, education & health, quality of life and safety.

The company says urbanization is slowing while suburbanization is rising, “and movement out of cities is spurred by fear of COVID-19 this year.”

The top-rated small city is Sammamish, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.

Click here to view the full list.

ZIONSVILLE (WISH) — People put their physical endurance to the test during the Inaugural Hoosier Tactical Skirmish on Saturday morning.

It’s a challenge to support the Hoosier chapter of the Special Forces Association at Mueller’s Private Range.

A Tactical Skirmish is a single-day, three-stage competition testing physical endurance, strength and disciplined shooting skills while under significant stress.

Each stage consists of a timed, physically and mentally challenging obstacle course, immediately followed by competitive pistol and rifle target engagements.

There will be police officers, SWAT members, current and former military members, and competitors from all walks of life participating.

These events are meant to mirror the difficulty of tactical combat conditions typically faced by U.S. Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets.

The event takes place on the anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu, commonly referred to as “Black Hawk Down,” in honor of the troops who fought in the air and on the ground.

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Zionsville-based Storen Financial has announced plans to expand its Boone County headquarters and grow its workforce. The investment and accounting firm says it will invest more than $300,000 in the project, with the goal of increasing the number of full-time employees by 20% over the next few months.

Storen’s headquarters are located in front of the Zionsville Town Hall and the firm says it will expand onto the second floor in order to consolidate all of its offices into one location. 

“As we look to the future of our business, we want to focus on this sense of community and family,” owner Greg Storen said in a news release. “Bringing our team together under one roof will allow us to operate as a cohesive unit that will not only benefit our employees, but will improve the services we offer our clients.”

Storen Financial says it has added four employees since July and is currently looking to fill several positions, including tax accountants, bookkeepers, digital doc specialist, financial assistant and financial advisor. The company also plans to add several part-time positions during tax season.

Storen also plans to invest in the growth of its digital service offerings. The company boasts clients in 43 states and plans to use the expanded facility to utilize the latest technology.

“COVID taught us many lessons,” said Kim Storen, tax services director. “It has forced us to look at our business through a digital lens and not rely solely on our in-person operations.”

The firm did not specify when the expansion is expected to be complete.

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — A body found in a Lafayette garbage truck on Monday has been identified as a Zionsville man, according to Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello.

Lafayette police responded to a call about a large amount of blood inside a newly emptied dumpster. Upon stopping the garbage truck, police found the body of Shawn Kaiser, 43, within the trash.

Authorities are investigating the man’s death as a possible homicide.