Salt Lake City—In 2002, while visiting Salt Lake City for the 2002 Winter Olympics, Trent Kaufman bought a pair of jeans at a store in the Gateway mall.
Fifteen years later, that retail space—renovated and refurbished—is the new home for Cicero Group, and Kaufman is its CEO.
“We wanted to do something transformation, and from retail to class A office space, this has been quite the transformation,” Kaufman.
Cicero celebrated their recent move into the Gateway with an open house Thursday night, where company and local leaders reflected on the company’s growth and what the future has in store.
Randy Shumway, founder and former CEO of Cicero, who now serves as the chair of its board of directors, said the refurbished retail space was the last thing on the company’s mind when it was looking for a new home, and that he had originally intended the move the company elsewhere. But he humored a colleague and looked at the building, and brought his wife, Maureen, along.
“She said, ‘Look at these high ceilings, and you could knock this out to make a window, and this could be a collaborative space,'” he said.
Shumway decided to keep the company headquartered in Salt Lake—a move that will benefit the city and state for years to come, said Gov. Gary Herbert, citing Cicero’s offices in San Francisco, Boston, Boise and Hong Kong.
“What we have here is the Cicero Group taking advantage of the great business environment we have in the State of Utah,” Herbert said. “We appreciate the people in our community who take risks, who create jobs, who create wealth.”
Zions Bank President Scott Anderson nodded to the partnerships that made the renovation and relocation possible, including with Zions Bank and the Redevelopment Agency of Salt Lake.
“I think this is exactly the type of model the city and state is known for—these partnerships that bring people together and build something together,” said Anderson. “I applaud Cicero and I applaud Randy for their commitment to the city and to this part of the city. … They are adding to the brand value of Utah as they come back home.”
Mayor Jackie Buskipski also recognized the public-private partnerships, and said Cicero’s presence and success would help elevate the western edges of the downtown area that the city has been trying to transform and elevate.
“This is the kind of partnership that really brings our city to life, and we look forward to more partnerships like this not just in this part of the city—of course in this part of the city—but other parts of the city, as well,” she said.