February 1, 2012

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40 under Forty

Being this outstanding takes a lot of work, but our Forty Under 40 hon...Read More

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40 under Forty

Utah’s Rising Stars

Di Lewis, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

February 1, 2012

After two years with the Utah Policy Partnership, Miller recruited Starks to the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies, where he is now executive vice president. Starks is on the group’s advisory board and is responsible for mergers and acquisitions, Saxton | Horne Advertising and the Landcar Insurance Companies. Starks also serves on Gov. Gary R. Herbert’s advisory team and as a trustee for Weber State University and The Road Home.

Curtis Toone
Managing Director, Sorenson Capital | Age: 39

As managing director at Utah’s largest private equity fund, Curtis Toone evaluates the investment viability of companies in Utah and throughout the nation. He is known for his strategic vision, oftentimes seeing opportunities that others pass by.

What he enjoys most about his position is helping grow weak-performing companies. “I like to help take companies to the next level by helping them grow. Investing is always a challenge. There are lots of uncertainties in making decisions based on imperfect information. I like looking for companies that have an opportunity to grow—where they have new products or market segments that are growing rapidly, then identifying those markets and developing the plan to execute,” Toone says. “I think growth is great for everybody. It’s great for the shareholders, the employees, the management team. Growth creates opportunity for everyone to get better.”

Toone says he garners inspiration from his wife, their nine boys and baby girl.

Alison Wistner
Principal, Mercato Partners | Age: 38

Life is never dull for Alison Wistner. As a principal at Mercato Partners, she works with a variety of portfolio companies, as well as Mercato’s investment and fundraising activities. By sticking to her business philosophy of working hard and keeping a sense of humor, Wistner found success. She says a key part of being successful is the ability to push beyond one’s comfort zone in any situation.

Getting to meet and invest in the talented entrepreneurs and management teams the company works with is very rewarding for her. Watching and investing in new, disruptive technologies is fun and challenging, Wistner says, and it’s exciting to see those technologies change industries.

In addition to Mercato Partners, Wistner is chairman of the board at Cymphonix, Inc. and on the advisory board for the Women’s Technology Council. When not involved in her professional commitments, Wistner enjoys mountain biking.

Thomas E. Wright
Owner and President, Sotheby’s International Realty – Utah | Age: 38

Thomas Wright became president of Sotheby’s International Realty - Utah in 2010, and under his leadership, sales volume for the firm grew from $180 million in 2008 to $356 million in 2010. And in 2011, sales volume was projected to exceed $521 million. “In three years, I have nearly doubled the sales volume of the company by restructuring the company and recruiting the top agents in the market,” he says. “This is phenomenal growth in any market but extraordinary given today’s current economic climate.”

Thomas was elected chairman of the Salt Lake County Republican Party in 2009 in a landslide vote, and during his tenure, he led a “vote by mail” drive that resulted in four legislative seat pickups for republicans. He currently serves as the chairman of the Utah State Republican Party.

“Successful professionals see opportunities to make improvements, develop a plan and execute them. They do all this despite the perpetual bombardment of texts, emails and the things that beckon them to waste time putting out fires instead of advancing a progressive cause,” he says.

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