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Champions of the C-Suite
By Utah Business editors
June 5, 2014
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President
Primary Residential Mortgage
Tom George joined Primary Residential Mortgage as a loan originator in 1998, shortly after the company was founded. Since then, George has been promoted to vice president of business development and, in 2008, to chief operating officer. Not coincidentally, the company has also grown during the same time and now boasts offices in 49 states, 180 national partners and 2,000 employees.
“In the 16 years that I’ve been with Primary … we’ve always been debt free, so that’s one thing we’ve always been proud of,” says George.
Even through the housing crisis and economic downturn, George’s operational strategies helped the company continue on its growth path. Along with the executive team, George found ways to strengthen the company’s partner network, enhance its products and services, and increase its customer base.
George says listening to others is a vital trait for successful leadership, along with
“understanding that with added authority, the decisions that you’re making … affect other people’s lives, so you need to be careful with every decision that you make.”
Laura S. Kaiser
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
As a teenager, Laura Kaiser’s interest in healthcare blossomed through service as a Candy Striper and at local blood drives. That interest propelled her to earn both an MBA and a master’s of healthcare administration.
Kaiser moved to Utah and joined Intermountain Healthcare in 2012; prior to that, she was president and CEO of Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, Fla., president of the Daughters of Charity Foundation, and a regional executive for the Gulf Coast/Florida region of Ascension Health, the country’s largest Catholic nonprofit healthcare organization.
Kaiser is now responsible for healthcare delivery and operations at Intermountain’s 22 hospitals and 185 clinics, as well as its 1,100-physician medical group, clinical programs and Institute for Healthcare Delivery Research.
“At Intermountain Healthcare, our mission is to serve as a model healthcare organization, to provide high-quality, affordable healthcare and to help people live their healthiest lives possible,” she says. “With a team as dedicated and talented as ours, the leadership task is to clarify the vision, set targets, provide support and see amazing results happen.”
Chief Information Officers
Chief Information Officer
Since joining Lifetime Products nearly 20 years ago, John Bowden has implemented many processes and, when necessary, difficult changes to keep the company moving forward. “[My goal] is to make sure we can see the leading edge of technology and stay between it and also make sure we’re not lagging behind,” he says. “I need to make sure we have a perfect match between what the business needs and what IT can provide.”
Removing Lifetime’s desk-phone infrastructure and going mobile was one key decision Bowden made that had a substantial impact on company operations and the bottom line. “We run our call center 100 percent on iPhones,” he says. “It gives our call center the ability to be mobile and work closely with our outside customers.”
Bowden also led the company’s change to a very large enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that streamlined and drastically improved company operations. “That was years of undertaking and a very large accomplishment. It was exciting to see the company use that new system and continue to grow.”
Though Bowden says technology is important, he advises other CIOs to remember, “it’s not about the technology—it’s about the people and processes behind that technology.”
Senior Vice President of IT and Chief Information Officer
Workers Compensation Fund
Debi Mofford has been with Workers Compensation Fund (WCF) for nearly 25 years and has played an integral role in keeping its systems up and running. When WCF moved its headquarters to Sandy in 2010, Mofford was tasked to move the company’s data center without a stop in services. While so much could have gone wrong, “the move went seamless,” she says.
Mofford is always up for a challenge. One of her largest accomplishments to date took place earlier this year when she decided to replace the company’s entire core systems in-house rather than purchasing an on-the-shelf product. “Replacing our entire core systems at WCF is the largest project we have undertaken in the history of WCF,” she says.