One of Utah’s many strengths has long been the fresh faces of its youthful, innovative population that constantly illuminates the business landscape. Whether it’s creating new categories or directing established companies, this generation of leaders is confidently coming into its own.
Bringing together the leading lights of that crowd, our sixth annual 40 Under 40 is an assemblage of entrepreneurial experts, tech wizards, finance gurus and executive captains. Join us in recognizing the standouts who are guiding industry trends and shaping future outcomes.
R. Scott Reynolds
President, Altaview Concrete Inc. | Age: 36 | Favorite Utah Diversion: Snowmobiling in the backcountry | Role Model: George Washington | Last Book Read: 1776 by David McCullough
In 1993, Scott Reynolds started in the dispatch department of Altaview Concrete. Ten years later, he bought the company and today he is also president of sister companies Peak Construction Materials and Wasatch Concrete Pumping. Tripling growth in the past five years, Altaview Concrete has been recognized by the National Ready Mix Concrete Association as one of the top performing ready mix companies in the nation, citing Reynolds’ industry forethought in creating a vertically integrated supply chain. That innovative spirit continues to motivate him. “I like to see growth and improvement within my companies,” Reynolds says. “We are constantly looking at new and better ways to improve our manufacturing, products and deliveries.”
President, Twelve Horses North America, LLC | Age: 37 | First Job: Bagger at Albertsons | Last Book Read: The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson | Favorite Utah Diversion: “I absolutely love my snowboard!”
Though Steve Spencer has spent 17 years in the technology industry, he remains excited about innovation. As president and CTO of interactive and social marketing agency Twelve Horses, Spencer finds ways to generate buzz about companies by creatively leveraging technology. He is also motivated by igniting that innovative spark in others. “I get to see people’s eyes light up. Whenever I am in a room and really get passionate about what we can do, and I can sense that tipping point…when the skeptics really get it and light up and start nodding their heads in excitement, it makes me smile.” Spencer is also active in the Utah Technology Council and the Utah Entrepreneurs Organization.
CEO, C.G. Sparks | Age: 33 | First Job: Dishwasher at a Chinese restaurant | Last Book Read: America: A Complete History by George Brown Tindall | Favorite Utah Diversion: “My wife and my one-year-old boy.”
Spending six years as an assistant director in the film industry taught Michael Hennessey the importance of having creative vision. After walking into C.G. Sparks in 2002, a company that touts itself as “furniture with soul,” Hennessey knew he could translate that vision to the furniture business. He became the CEO of C.G. Sparks, an importer of antiques from India, Nepal and Tibet for retail and trade. Under his guidance, the company has spent the past three years among MountainWest Capital Network’s top 100 fastest growing companies in Utah, this year ranking 38. Hennessey is also co-chair of the education committee of the Sustainable Furniture Council and hosts semi-annual fundraisers for international charities at C.G. Spark’s downtown showroom.
CEO, Agency Fusion | Age: 31 | Favorite Movie: Millions | Last Book Read: The Soul of a New Machine by Tracy Kidder | Favorite Utah Diversion: Wakeskating
Brett Derricott has built Agency Fusion, web-development and service provider to advertising agencies and graphic designers, with no outside investment. In the world of creative tech start-ups, this is no easy feat. But for Derricott, it is better than the alternative – working in a career that offers no fervor or focus. After a previous company he had passion for fell apart, Derricott was devastated. Other jobs seemed less enticing, so Derricott built something he could really sink his teeth into. “Life feels short to me,” he says. “I can’t believe how quickly the first 30 years went by. One more time around and I’ll be 60. I have a lot to get done by then…no time to lose.”
Glen J. Jensen
CEO, Agel Enterprises | Age: 39 | First Job: Cleaning ditches and hauling hay on family and friends’ farms | Favorite Utah Diversion: Fly fishing on the Green River | Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings trilogy
An 18-year veteran of the direct selling industry, Glen Jensen says his corporate experience helped prepare him to found Agel Enterprises, a manufacturer and distributor of nutritional supplements incorporating vitamins and minerals. In business for two years, the company operates in more than 40 countries with annualized revenue of $150 million. Jensen says the company’s growth can be attributed to an innovative product, quick entry into foreign markets and an organizational system that is heavily dependent on technology.
“I have traveled to many nations and have experienced firsthand what this company is doing to bless the lives of people,” he says. “The Agel culture is attracting the most diverse group of individuals, and it is fun to be apart of it.”
CEO, WingateWeb | Age: 37 | Favorite Utah Diversion: Backpacking in Canyonlands National Park | Last Book Read: The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz | Favorite Movie: “Any movie I can enjoy with my family.”
When Tom Karren and two partners founded Wingate Web in 1998, the trio saw the venture as a way to make extra cash on the side. Before long, national interest in the product had sparked and all three to quit their jobs to run the company full time. An event technology company, WingateWeb delivers software applications over the web that allow companies to manage corporate events.
Karren has served in many capacities at Wingate, including senior technologist, general manager and today, CEO. Under his leadership, the company has experienced eight consecutive years of growth with expanding revenue, clients and partnerships. Revenues for 2007 approached $10 million.
President and CEO of the Utah Ski and Snowboard Association | Age: 36 | Favorite Utah Diversion: “Getting lost on desolate roads in southern Utah on my motorcycle” | Last Book Read: The Heroine Diaries by Nikki Sixx | Role model: Master Yoda
A Utah native and lifelong skier, Nathan Rafferty takes it personally when someone says they want to ski somewhere other than Utah. “Why settle for anything but the best?” Rafferty was named president and CEO of Ski Utah in 2005, where he continues to promote Utah’s 13 mountain resorts, oversee a budget of about $3.5 million and, of course, frequently test out the powder. When not on the slopes, he serves on several boards, including the Governor’s Special Initiatives Office, the executive committee of the Salt Lake Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Park City Chamber/Bureau and the executive committee of the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition.
Stephen D. Neeleman
CEO, HealthEquity, Inc. | Age: 39 | Last Book Read: Washington: The Indispensable Man by James Thomas Flexner | Role Model: Abraham Lincoln | Favorite Utah Diversion: Zion Ponderosa, a family resort founded by Neeleman and his brother, David at Zion National Park
Serving as CEO and chairman of the board of directors at HealthEquity, Stephen Neeleman is positioned to play a key role in debates on health care reform. Neelman is also a surgeon and practiced in general surgery, trauma and critical care. He coauthored the Complete HSA Guidebook and is considered a national expert in consumer-directed health care services. His work with HealthEquity includes keeping a focus on the customer with initiatives such as a health savings plan. He also serves as chairman of the HSA Working Group and as a member of the Council for Affordable Healthcare and the National Health Care Reform Coalition.
President and CEO, The W Brand | Age: 27 | Last Book Read: Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz | Favorite Movie: The Thomas Crown Affair | Favorite Utah Diversion: Park City mini-vacations
Entrepreneurship started early for talent executive Evan Walker; he launched his first company, Netsoft, at age 15. By age 18, his company had become a multi-million dollar endeavor and he sold it a year later. Walker’s time on the runway as a professional model shaped his creative vision, leading him to form his own fashion-forward agency in 2001. W Model Management now represents hundreds of models in 28 cities across the globe. In 2006, Walker used that same modern aesthetic to expand his brand to W Talent, a commercial market talent agency, which experienced 800 percent growth in one year. He also founded W1, the brand’s non-profit division which organizes charity events.
Peter O. Jarman
Regional Director and Assistant Vice President, Fort Washington Capital Partners Group | Age: 36 | Favorite Utah Diversion: Traversing the Uinta Mountains | Last Book Read: A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin | First Job: Mowing Lawns at age 10 for Jarman Brothers Lawn Care. “Our slogan: ‘You grow it, we mow it.’”
Peter Jarman brings a wealth of leadership experience to his current position as regional director of Fort Washington Capital Partners Group. As cofounder of HealthRider Retail, now Icon Health and Fitness, the company grew to more than $12 million in revenue within one year. He also served as vice president at Roundy, Inc., a Utah-based manufacturer and apparel distributor.
Fort Washington Capital Partners serves as the advisory board to the Utah Fund of Funds; Jarman’s role is to advise the fund about its investments and manage other private equity investment portfolios. Utah’s entrepreneurs continue to inspire him to seek out high-quality funds that will lead to growth opportunities for the state. “Innovation requires capital. Innovation and capital well spent create dynamic new opportunities.”
Founder & CEO, Sendside Networks | Age: 39 | Favorite Utah Diversion: Helicopter skiing with Wasatch Powderbird Guides and rock climbing in Zion National Park | Favorite Movie: Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid
Having already launched and sold a successful software company, Campus Pipeline, William Borghetti is two years into his new venture, which, if he is to be believed, will revolutionize email channels around the world. Borghetti and his team at Sendside Networks are creating another type of pipeline gear toward secure email delivery of documents you still receive in the mail. His determination to succeed at everything started early, Borghetti says. Having been kicked out of high school because he has notoriously late to class, he excelled at the SAT and was accepted to every university to which he applied.
Audit Partner for Salt Lake Office, KPMG | Age: 37 | First Job: Newspaper boy | Favorite Movie: Raising Arizona | Last Book Read: 212 Degrees, The Extra Degree by S.L. Parker and Mac Anderson
Greg Randall understands loyalty. He’s been with Big Four accounting firm KPMG since his days as a Ute, working his way up from the mail room. Today, he is a partner heading up audit services for the Salt Lake City office. Though juggling a partnership, important clients and a busy young family can be challenging, Randall says he has learned to enjoy the ride. “I appreciate the challenge and the thrill of the chase,” he says. “Each day provides opportunity for growth and development with a chance to see what I’m made of.” Randall is also motivated by the talents and abilities of people he surrounds himself with, both coworkers and clients.
Director of Human Capital, vSpring Capital | Age: 37 | First Job: Paper boy | Favorite Movie: God Grew Tired of Us | Favorite Utah Diversion: Snowboarding at Brighton
Managing more than $390 million in funds, vSpring Capital invests in early stage growth companies, with success stories such as LANDesk, Altiris and Control4. Building the management teams within those portfolio companies is Dennis Wood, a California transplant who also built executive search firm The Diestel Group. Wood brings a unique ability to recognize and create value in companies, while addressing startup and growth-related challenges. “When I came to Utah in 1999, I didn’t have a single contact in the state,” he says. “I decided to do all I could to create value for those around me, regardless of their client status. I have come to believe that this is a key success strategy for life.”
CEO, G Code Ventures | Age: 30 | First Job: Started a company painting hopscotch courts. | Favorite Movie: Anything by Wes Anderson | Favorite Utah Diversion: Snowboarding
To Brandt Andersen, business isn’t really business unless he is doing something that he loves. His passion for basketball and architecture led him to “clear the plate” of previous successful companies and form G Code Ventures, which owns and manages the Utah Flash (the state’s Development League basketball team), The Lakes at Sleepy Ridge (a golf community in Orem) and the Frank Gehry Lehi Development. With a world-renowned architect behind his latest project, those who previously had not heard of Anderson’s ventures now know he means business.
Geoffrey Robert Granum
President, Silver Creek Development | Age: 36 | Favorite Movie: Top Gun | Role Model: “My kids. They remind me what life is really about.”
“I enjoy business and the thrill of achieving the American dream,” says Geoff Granum, President of Silver Creek Development. That may be somewhat of an understatement, however, considering Silver Creek excels in building high-end custom homes in places like California, Deer Valley and Hawaii. Having dabbled in more affordable housing for a while, Granum eventually turned the tables, focusing his company on homes ranging from $3 million to $20 million. “I enjoy the challenge of being the best at what I do, the fight to succeed and the desire and motivation that is created in a competitive marketplace.”
Vice President, New Media, Bonneville International Corporation | Age: 39 | First Job: Hauling manure at a mink and cattle ranch. | Favorite Utah Diversion: “Golfing with my kids who are heavily involved in Utah Junior Golf programs.”
In 1996, Russell Banz started his career with Bonneville to help launch KSL.com. At the time, Banz says the online version of the media outlet was little more than a hobby. Eleven years later, Banz leads a successful division of the corporation which has captured several Edward R. Murrow Awards along the way. The new media division continues to find its place in the broadcast world, but Banz says that arm of the company has enjoyed 70 percent revenue growth in 2007 alone. “The broadcast industry is going through a state of major change brought about by many ‘disruptive technologies’ and alternative media choices” he says. “I love working for a company that understands the challenge and is willing to seize the many opportunities provided by the disruption.”
General Manger, Hotel Monaco | Age: 39 | First Job: Cleaning rooms at Blossom Lodge at Snowbird Resort. | Favorite Utah Diversion: Attending cultural events such as the Greek festival, jazz festival and arts festivals.
MaryLynn Beck has been in the hospitality business for much of her life, and talking to her, you’d realize that this industry is her dream. Having helped launch the “boutique hotel” concept with Hotel Monaco, Beck has found a niche that serves her well. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants (which owns the downtown hotel) allows Beck to be herself, she says, and she encourages the employees around her to do the same. “Hotel Monaco has a mission to encourage each guest to be a little decadent, a bit daring, and perhaps even naughty,” she says. “My personal guilty pleasures are peanut M&M’s and football.”
The hotel was recently rated one of the Best Business Hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Randall B. Bateman
Founder and President, Bateman IP Law Group | Age: 39 | Favorite Movie: The Bourne Supremacy | Favorite Utah Diversion: “Schooling the other employees of Bateman IP Law Group on the Slick Track at Boondocks.”
After realizing his partners at a former firm did not have the same goals and direction he desired, Rand Bateman ventured out to form Bateman IP Law Group, a legal firm focusing on intellectual property issues. Many of the firm’s clients are admittedly young, growing companies, Bateman says. “It is a good feeling to have [new products] hit the market and know that you had a part in it. It is an even better feeling when our client’s intellectual property position helps it successfully compete against large corporations… It is always a pleasure to help David successfully compete against Goliath.” Bateman’s practice focuses on patent preparation and litigation which has resulted in multi-million-dollar settlements.
President, Total Health & Fitness | Age: 32 | First Job: Hammering lids on buckets of cherries at Payson Fruit Growers. | Last Book Read: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (2nd reading)
Mike Butler founded Total Health & Fitness after realizing more people need access to a good personal trainer. At the time, Butler and two colleagues realized they could fill a void in personal health consulting. Since 2002, the company has grown to eight locations in three states and focuses on personalizing nutrition and wellness programs for their clients. Along with a supplement company, TopForm Supplements, Total Health & Fitness is set on making people healthier and happier. “The business we are in changes people’s lives,” Butler says. “I mean, when you have a client sitting in front of you with tears of joy in their eyes thanking you for helping them overcome their life long struggle with being overweight, it makes it real easy for us to do what we do.”
President, Seastone | Age: 35 | Favorite Utah Diversion: Waterskiing and cliff-jumping at Lake Powell | Role Model: “My father. He is the hardest worker I know, and nearly all of it is for someone else.”
Growing up in a blue-collar community, Eric Child knew he wanted a successful career in business. Seastone has created for itself a unique and unassuming industry in the retail world. “I took it upon myself to carve my path into the business world. Along the way, I have earned securities licenses and traded stocks, bonds, and options, I have implemented new strategies, processes, and systems for Wall Street banks... and I have helped launch and develop one of the fastest growing companies in Utah,” Child says. “Not bad for a seminary teacher’s son.” The company makes gift card accessories and packaging for retailers across the country and claims 75 percent of the top 25 national chains.
President and CEO, Mesa Systems | Age: 39 | Favorite Movie: Gladiator | First Job: “Working at New Cambria Feed and Grain in New Cambria, Kan. It was my responsibility to check the grain for cheat and help dump the grain.” | Last Book Read: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
For Kevin Head, the purpose of his business is to help people; he just happens to do it through the moving and storage industry. Mesa Systems provides comprehensive moving services that garner more than 42 percent of Utah’s corporate relocation market share. With six sites in the Western states, Mesa Systems employs more than 350 people and is United Van Lines’ 11th largest agent. Head’s involvement with the Economic Development Corporation of Utah has also led to partnerships in relocations of companies to Utah such as Packard Bell, Rossignol and AmerSports. He remains actively involved in the community, and last year organized Feed Uncle SAM, which sent 720 Christmas packages to Utah’s Army National Guard Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jennifer R. Jolley
Vice president, Zions Bancorporation | Age: 35 | Role Models: I.J. “Izzi” Wagner and Lindy Boggs | Favorite Utah Diversion: “My grandparents’ cabin at Brighton and Hell’s Backbone Grill.” | First Job: Babysitting at age 11
While her handmade French bread, wreaths and Christmas stockings have garnered blue ribbons in the state fair, Jennifer Jolley’s achievements extend far beyond the judge’s table. As vice president to Zions Bancorporation CEO Harris Simmons, Jolley oversees marketing research and initiatives, prepares compliance work for government bodies and fields numerous requests from Zions affiliates, customers and investors.
Though Jolley never intended to stay in banking more than a year or two, she says she can’t imagine doing anything she enjoys more. “I work with a group of extremely intelligent and magnanimous people who give me interesting things to do,” she says. “One of my business school professors insisted that there weren’t any executive managers who were truly concerned about all of their company’s stakeholders. My experience with the executives at Zions has taught me that that isn’t true.”
Managing Director, Utah Fund of Funds | Age: 33 | First Job: Veterinarian’s assistant | Role Model: “My father, Todd Neilson” | Last Book Read: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute
Neilson began a career in private equity after a stint as an associate with the University Venture Fund. In 2003, he was hired as the managing partner in the fledgling Utah Fund of Funds. Responsible for day-to-day operations of the fund in addition to long-term strategy, Neilson hops between pitch meetings with local venture firms and the offices of Utah’s startup companies that exhibit growth potential.
Neilson says his position is the product of a three-year job search, but the excitement and energy of Utah’s entrepreneurs have proven it was worth the wait. “[My job search] drove home to me the need for patience and persistence, to not give up until you find a career you can feel passionate about.”
Associate, Holland & Hart | Age: 35 | First Job: Working at Wirthlin’s Meats, the family meat wholesale company | Favorite Utah Diversion: Exploring Utah’s landscape via foot, bike or boat | Role Models: “My grandpa Wilde, my granddad Wirthlin and my father, Joe Wirthlin”
Those who work with Matthew Wirthlin say he naturally gravitates toward leadership positions. As an associate with Holland & Hart, Wirthlin is a member of the real estate practice group, where he specializes in commercial development and land use. His acumen has led him to represent a wide range of clients closing multi-million dollar transactions in residential, mixed-used and resort development. In 2006, he was appointed a member of the Salt Lake City planning commission, which he now chairs. Inspired by his grandfather, a lawyer who continually gave back to the community, Wirthlin serves as a member of United Way’s Young Leaders, where he passed a bill during the 2007 legislative session to fund all-day kindergarten for low-income children.
Executive Vice President, Aculis | Age: 38 | First Job: Stock boy at a liquor store. “That lasted four days.” | Favorite Utah Diversion: Summer concerts at Red Butte Gardens | Role Model: Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple
When second-year med student Hal Widlansky announced becoming a doctor wasn’t in his future, he stunned friends, family and himself. But he found a new calling in technology while getting a graduate degree in telecommunications technology and working his way through leadership positions at Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch, Cogit.com, and SonoMetric Health. In 2007, Widlansky signed on as executive vice president of global IT services provider Aculis, which is accompanied by a diverse set of responsibilities he says keeps him energized.
“One day, I’m negotiating a relationship with a major company that needs our testing services and then next, I’ll be working with our board on a potential investment or acquisition. Every day brings something different, and the pace certainly keeps you on your ‘A’ game.”
President, XanGo, LLC | Age: 39 | Favorite Movie: Any of the Oceans movies (11, 12, 13) | Favorite Utah Diversion: Golf and BYU athletics | Last Book Read: Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by the Arbinger Institute
For Kent Wood, success started at the family dairy farm. Amid the mucking and milking, Wood says he developed a strong work ethic that he credits for his success. Now president of XanGo, Wood raised the company’s startup capital and directed early financial efforts, resulting in paying off investors two and a half years ahead of schedule. His finance team continues to manage record-breaking growth in the direct sales industry; the company retains 80 percent market share in mangtosteen dietary supplements. Wood says his relationships are what get him to the office every day. “I love to see people succeed, and I think that focus empowers my employees to work hard and give me all they can.”
President and CEO, J Rock | Age: 32 | First Job: Maintenance at a motel in Evanston, Wyo. | Favorite Utah Diversion: Snowmobiling in the Uinta Mountains | Last Book Read: Primal Leadership by Daniel Goleman
As president and CEO of J Rock, Jeff Wright directs the vision and operations for his growing brood of real estate development and construction companies. Projects include Rosecrest Village and a retail building located at The Point Corporate Center in Draper as well as custom homes, multi-family communities and civil utility projects.
Though the companies were founded in 2006 and continue to experience rapid growth, Wright says he embraces the challenges that accompany expansion. “I am driven by a desire to be the best – to work at the top of my industry and the top of my capacity. I am excited more by excellence than I am by competition, and love beating the odds.”
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Installations, Digis | Age: 37 | First Job: Collecting baseballs at a batting cage | Favorite Utah Diversion: Skiing and photography
As vice president of Digis, Utah’s fastest growing wireless broadband provider, Dean Lundberg brings a resume stacked with technical experience. The entrepreneur has held executive positions with four other technology companies, one of which he started. His experience is paying off; Digis has grown by more than 500 percent in the past 18 months through 15 acquisitions and organic growth.
Though now a seasoned executive, Lundberg admitted to anxiety when jumping off the corporate boat into unstable entrepreneurial waters. He survived by surrounding himself with passionate workers. “Challenges will come, but they are much easier to overcome when you are willing to work hard and have business partners and dedicated employees who will work right along with you.”
Founder, Struck Creative | Age: 35 | First Job: Ditch digger on construction sites – $3.00 an hour. | Favorite Utah Diversion: “Skiing at Deer Valley with my daughter, Kate.”
When you talk with Jason Bangerter, you know he loves his job, and when that love is channeled appropriately, he doesn’t see any limits to his career. “We say this a lot at Struck – we’re here to create something legendary,” Bangerter says. “We see Salt Lake City becoming one of the nation’s next creative hubs and I want Struck to one of the major ways in which that comes to light. So all of my daily decisions are made with that end goal in mind.” From chatting about their latest Halo 3 game to providing the latest design software, Bangerter is focused on making sure everyone at Struck loves their jobs too.
Director of Public Policy, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah | Age: 36 | First Job: Waiting tables at the Kamas Kafe in Kamas, Utah | Favorite Utah Diversion: A great production by Pioneer Theater Company | Last Book Read: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
When Jennifer Cannaday couldn’t find the position that best combined her skills as an attorney and her passion for quality health care, she created one, establishing a federal and state public policy title at Regence BlueCross Blue Shield of Utah as assistant vice president. In 2007, Cannaday was appointed to serve as director of public policy for the company, where she continues to guide health care reform discussions to encourage actions that would lead to meaningful results for consumers. Cannaday also develops and executes public policy initiatives within the company’s four-state area and on a national level. A strategic thinker, Canady says she believes she can learn something from everyone, exceptional in today’s health care reform conversations.
President, mediaRAIN | Age: 33 | First Job: Gathering eggs | Favorite Movie: Fletch | Last Book Read: The Bancroft Strategy by Robert Ludlum
Andrew Howlett is truly an entrepreneur at heart. His most current venture mediaRAIN, has made a name for itself in the interactive marketing industry. Clients include FranklinCovey, Control4 and Sorenson Media. But his expertise doesn’t start there, Howletts other ventures include textiles, telecom and uClean.com, an online, commercial grade janitorial supply store with sales across the country. All of these ventures, though, have the same focus in the end: His family. “My focus is always on being a good husband and father,” he says. “The goals I set and the decisions I make are meant to help me draw closer to my family.”
Founder, Mozy, Inc. | Age: 34 | Last Book Read: Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks | Favorite Utah Diversion: Sundance
“I like building things – especially things that are big or interesting,” says Josh Coates. It is pretty clear, then, why Coates was able to build Mozy.com, a data backup provider for individuals and organizations. In 2004, Josh relocated his family to Highland after developing his career in Silicon Valley. The following year he founded Berkeley Data Systems (Mozy.com.) Within two years, Mozy had grown to serve more than 300,000 customers, including 8,000 business contracts. In October of 2007, Mozy was sold to EMC for $76 million and is now run as a wholly owned subsidiary of EMC.
Chief of Staff to the Governor | Age: 37 | First Job: Plumber’s apprentice | Last Book Read: Fiscal Year 2009 Governor’s Budget Recommendations | Role Model: “My wife Andrea. She runs circles around me and is my biggest source of strength.”
To date, Neil Ashdown counts three governors as bosses. He served as deputy director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget under Governors Olene Walker and Mike Leavitt, and as the governor’s chief of staff, Ashdown assists Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr. in moving forward his policies and coordinating with state departments and policymakers. Though each governor has had different leadership styles, Ashdown says he is motivated by working with and learning from his mentor, Gov. Huntsman.
Ashdown’s accomplishments make clear why each governor keeps him on staff. He is the former president of the Wasatch Front Economic Forum, and is involved with the alumni association and board of visitors at The University of Utah.
Vice President of Communications, Sorenson Companies | Age: 38 | First Job: Potato harvester in Rexburg, Idaho | Role Model: James Lee Sorenson
Leading all public relations efforts for an organization of more than 30 diverse companies forces David Parkinson to stay on top of his game, but it’s a challenge he says ensures the workplace never gets stale. His tasks as vice president of communications for the Sorenson Companies range from product launches and organizing charitable events to maintaining media relationships for all companies under the Sorenson umbrella, which span technology, life sciences, real estate and philanthropic efforts.
“I am energized by the multi-faceted activities of the dynamic organizations I am involved with and by their altruistic focus on improving lives for people in nations throughout the world,” he says.
Ben Lowe and Elizabeth Lowe
Principals, Compass Development Group | Elizabeth’s age: 32 | Ben’s age: 30 | Ben’s Last Book Read: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck | Elizabeth’s first job: Bussing tables at Five Alls Restaurant in Salt Lake City | Elizabeth’s favorite movie: Little Miss Sunshine
Brother and sister duo Ben and Elizabeth Lowe combine industry abilities with Ivy League educations to pursue their joint passions: real estate development and entrepreneurial startups. Each walked away from a promising career to build Compass Development, a choice both call risky, but ultimately worth it many times over. The real estate development firm’s ventures have included rental properties and mixed-use projects, including Eaglewood Village, a $200 million 96-acre project in North Salt Lake. Because the company is family-owned, the two say they work twice as hard to produce results. “There’s nothing like seeing a project that you helped create come to life,” says Elizabeth.
Director of Corporate Finance, Roth Capital | Age: 39 | First Job: “Watering dry lawn spots at a local law firm when I was six years old for $1 an hour.” | Last Book Read: The Integrity Advantage by Dana Telford | Favorite Utah Diversion: Skiing and motorcycle riding
“I really enjoy working with entrepreneurs and business leaders who have great ideas and have built great companies,” says Tom Stringham, director of corporate finance for Roth Capital Partners. “I love learning about their businesses and how they got started. When I add value to their businesses, or help provide peace of mind to these people, it gives me a real sense of satisfaction.”
Roth Capital Partners is an investment banking firm focused on the small and micro-cap market. Upon opening the Salt Lake City office in 2001, Stringham directed Roth’s closure of more than 70 deals involving $2.2 billion in capital market transactions in the first 12 months. Stringham continues to manage the firm’s corporate finance division for the Mountain States area.
Jill M. Taylor
President, Key Bank’s Utah district | Age: 36 | First Job: Grocery store bagger | Favorite Utah Diversion: Lake Powell | Last Book Read: The Dream Manager by Matthew Kelly
From her first day on the job, Jill Taylor was charged with the weighty responsibility of increasing Key Bank’s profitability in all lines of business. During her tenure, the bank has thrived, experiencing a $1.2 billion increase in deposits and increasing the bank’s market share to the fourth-largest bank in Utah. Taylor is the only woman president of a traditional bank in Salt Lake City, overseeing 39 Key Centers and more than 350 people.
“I get to interact with so many people on so many different levels both internally and externally,” she says. “On any given day, I will talk with a brand new teller, meet with a successful entrepreneur and talk with an incredible philanthropist in our community.”
President and CEO, Winder Farms | Age: 35 | First Job: Paper boy in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. | Favorite Movie: Rocky | Favorite Utah Diversion: Mountain biking in Lambert Park
It may seem like a pretty lofty goal: Take the 10th oldest company in the state, and make it the fastest growing home delivery service in the nation. But that is exactly what Mike Dutton has done. Winder Farms has historically been known as the neighborhood milkman, but with a growing list of products, the company is branching out to other states and meeting the needs of a growing niche market. This kind of growth can only happen through the efforts of a dedicated team of farmhands, milkmen, salespeople and the like, Dutton says. Employees are inspired by the idea of helping their customers live healthier, more convenient lives by delivering fresh food directly to their doors.
CEO, CLEARLINK | Age: 31 | Last Book Read: The Moral Animal by Robert Wright | Favorite Utah Diversion: Anything sliding on water: boating, skiing, snowmobiling.
Phillip Hansen knows what it takes to succeed. A few months into his first partnership, two of the company’s major contracts pulled out and he was left with 30 days of operating capital. “This experience forced me to evaluate all the activities of our business and create a hierarchy of our needs,” he says. “This exercise not only produced a sequential plan of action but also served as a clear reference regarding the priorities in our business.” With a firm grasp of the important parts of business, Hansen now leads CLEARLINK, a communications services provider with clients such as DirecTV, ADT and Dish Network. “I’m addicted to growth,” he says. “I really enjoy seeing progress in my personal and professional endeavors.”
President, Cornerstone Research and Development, Inc. | Age: 36 | First Job: Lifeguard at a Boy Scout camp. | Role Model: “Jesus Christ. (My wife is a close second.)” | Favorite Utah Diversion: Lake Powell and college football.
For Steven Hatchett, the people he works with are much more important than the products they produce. It is this interaction with people, he says, that has helped him “grow and improve along with the application of self-education.” After starting at Cornerstone as a summer job during his sophomore year of college, Hatchett never went back to school. The business was booming and he didn’t have time. Instead, he referred to mentors and books, lots of books. His library now contains more than 500 titles that have helped him build a practical education along the way. Cornerstone now realizes $80 million in revenues and has 400 employees.