30 Women to Watch

By Heather Stewart, Rachel Madison and Devin Felix

May 8, 2014

In her time at PRMI, she has helped the company grow from just 10 employees to more than 1,600. Due largely to her efforts in hiring and training high-quality people, PRMI has reached a point where it has nearly 300 branches nationwide and was able to close about 22,600 home loans in 2013.

“I love that my current position constantly challenges me to find ways to innovate, improve, solve problems and change. Best of all, I get to challenge and mentor others to change and grow as well.”

Jackie Grobstein, Vice President of Operations, Trusted Network Solutions, Inc.

Jackie Grobstein is a woman in a male-dominated industry, but she doesn’t see that as a liability. In fact, she sees it as an asset. Because women are rare in the IT industry, they offer a valuable perspective and new ideas, she says. She’s living proof of that.

In 2005, Grobstein and two business partners founded Trusted Network Solutions, Inc., a value-added reseller of hardware, software and support services. Since then, the company has grown from a $50,000 a year business to a $5 million business. She created a software support renewal tracking system, which is unmatched within the IT industry and has grown into a significant source of revenue for the company.

Grobstein and partners also launched another company in 2012, Stratus IT Group. Thanks to her experience, financial backing and guidance, it has already become profitable.

“My objective as a leader is to find excellent employees, provide them with all the tools and training needed to accomplish established goals, then provide ongoing support and guidance.”

Julie K. Hill, Owner and Designer, Layers Cake

Julie Hill was a successful lawyer earning a significant salary, but she gave it up to start a company that would let her spend more time with her family and follow her passion. In 2008 she founded Layers Cake, and the risk has paid off. Her cakes have won awards, been featured in magazines and have helped hundreds of Utahns commemorate the most important moments of their lives.

Hill’s cakes have won the grand prize two years in a row at the Utah Chocolate Show wedding cake competition and first place at the 2011 Utah’s Best Cake competition. Layers Cake’s sales increased by 37 percent last year, and Hill recently began to offer other dessert options, including French macarons. She plans to launch a line of gourmet salted caramels at boutiques soon.

Hill has also applied her skills as a baker and cake designer to charitable efforts. She provides custom cakes to families impacted by a child’s illness as part of the Icing Smiles program and has donated cakes to the South Davis Community Hospital, the Boys and Girls Club, and Hogle Zoo.

“Although it was satisfying to assist my legal clients, it brings me joy every day to be part of my clients’ life commemorations.”

Stormy Hill, M.D, OTR/L, Owner and Therapist, SensoryWorks LLC and Busy Bee Therapy Services LLC

As the mother of a child with complicated medical issues, Stormy Hill brings first-hand experience and insight to her work. Hill, an occupational therapist, is the founder of SensoryWorks and Busy Bee Therapy Services. These companies help children, young adults and adults who suffer from autism spectrum disorders or addiction to develop essential life skills.

Busy Bee serves 14 schools in Tooele, Salt Lake and Utah counties, reaching about 120 students in their school settings. She also brings her work to two residential treatment centers that work with adults who have substance abuse and mental health problems. She is a pioneer in her field, having designed and implemented a state-of-the-art multi-sensory room for the treatment of substance abuse.

Hill says she is motivated by the knowledge that “we are helping people with disabilities to lead self-empowered, engaged and productive lives. That is the gift.”

“I encourage women to look at your community and notice a need and then develop an innovative way to help meet that need.”

Rikki Hrenko, CEO, Enefit American Oil

Ohio native Rikki Hrenko has shaped an amazing career that began with graduate studies in environmental science, followed by an intrepid move to Estonia to work for that country’s largest industrial company, which then led her to Utah to head up a multi-billion-dollar oil shale project.

Hrenko is CEO of Enefit American Oil, a subsidiary of Enefit, an Estonia-based energy company. The company is Enefit’s first U.S. business, and Hrenko was responsible for laying all the legal and financial groundwork for launching the company. Now she oversees a budget of nearly $150 million and management of all project planning, engineering, permitting and public relations.

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