For 25 years, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program ...Read More
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Ernst & Young ENTREPRENEUR Of The YEAR
CONTINUING UTAH’S LEGACY OF SUCCESS
Candace M. Little, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom
July 1, 2011
For 25 years, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program has celebrated the innovators whose ambition, hard work and determination have enhanced the lives of people throughout the world. This year’s lineup of entrepreneurs is another awe-inspiring group that is changing and bettering Utah’s business landscape. Join us as we applaud these entrepreneurs who are continuing the state’s legacy of success.
CEO — Keystone Aviation, dba Million Air – Salt Lake City
“You become an entrepreneur over time—and with a certain amount of luck,” says Bill Haberstock, who began his career fueling aircraft on the graveyard shift, then became a corporate pilot, reaching more than 17,000 flight hours and running various flight departments. His background gave him the perspective and knowledge needed to create a full-service aviation company that would drive the growth of aviation in Utah.
Since his partnership purchased Million Air in 1995, Haberstock has helped grow it from 13,000 square feet of hangar space and 33 employees to 275,000 square feet of hangar space and 260 employees. The company has also been selected to be one of five U.S. distributors for the new HondaJet.
“The best part about being an entrepreneur is creating jobs and watching people grow in those jobs,” says Haberstock. “My greatest accomplishment is the development of our team of managers. Helping people build their careers will always be one of my top priorities.”
President — Wasatch Clinical Research
When Karen George hit one of the lowest points of her life, she became determined to turn her situation around—and she never looked back. Her path to launching Wasatch Clinical Research began when she was a single parent caring for five young children. Despite numerous obstacles, George went to college and graduated as a registered nurse.
Her ambition didn’t stop there. As she worked to continue improving her situation, George asked herself, “What talents and abilities do I have to meet this new challenge and financial demand in my life?” In 1999, she launched Wasatch Clinical Research, a company that conducts clinical research trials that assist biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies in creating products. “I am living my dream,” she says. “It is rewarding to look back and see the rewards of labor.”
Wasatch Clinical Research now contracts with more than 60 local physicians and has increased its revenue by more than 90 percent during each of the past 12 years.
LARRY STEVENS, President and CEO
BRENT ALLEN, Executive Vice President of Sales and Leasing — Med One Capital
In the late 1980s, Larry Stevens and Brent Allen worked in the leasing department of a company that focused on renting medical equipment. When the company was sold, the pair used their experience in the industry to launch a new leasing company, Med One Capital.
“The early days were difficult,” says Allen. “The first couple of years at Med One, quite honestly, I wondered what we’d been doing, or why we did this…but we weathered it.”
Access to capital was an early challenge for the company, which needed to invest in expensive medical equipment. “It’s taken 20 years to establish the kind of customer base that we have. This year we think we’ll do top-line revenue of somewhere around $100 million,” says Stevens.
The company has also branched out, adding rental and used equipment sales divisions, all in an effort to “make medical equipment available to hospitals in any way they want to acquire it,” says Stevens.
President and CEO -— Conservice
Like many entrepreneurs, David Jenkins realized an existing problem and discovered a solution. After working for years as vice president of HR, IT and liability at a large regional property management company, Jenkins became frustrated with the lack of support found in the utilities management sector. With two employees, one customer and an initial investment of only $60,000, Jenkins launched Conservice—a company that provides a suite of utility management and billing solutions for the property management industry.
Since its 2000 founding, Conservice has grown to nearly 300 employees and operates regional offices in eight states across the country. Jenkins credits the company’s growth to a customer-first focus combined with innovative processes. He says what he enjoys about being an entrepreneur is the ability to impact the lives of those around him. “What I like most about being an entrepreneur is that I can create a work environment that is very positive for those who are here and that I can make sure that the needs of the customer are being met,” he says. “I enjoy what we can give back to the community and making sure that we are an important part of the lives of the people around us.”