February 1, 2012

Cover Story

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

Don Olsen
Vice President and General Counsel, Provo Craft | Age: 37

As general council for Provo Craft, Don Olsen oversees the company’s legal affairs, litigation, supplier contracts and a growing intellectual property portfolio. The company has received two Utah Genius Awards for its work on trademarks, and Olsen is named as an inventor on five of its Cricut patents.

On top of that, Olsen serves as legal council for the nonprofit TIFIE Humanitarian, which works to lift communities out of poverty through projects that give individuals and families opportunity for a better life. In this capacity, Olsen navigated the fuzzy laws of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to help TIFIE establish humanitarian projects there.

Olsen has also served on the Utah County and Springville boards of adjustment for several year, helping make decisions about land use. He says one of his greatest challenges has been “learning to balance work, community, family and ecclesiastical responsibilities. That has forced me to organize, focus and make the most of the moment I am in.” 

Bassam T. Salem
Executive Vice President, Services & Strategic Operations, inContact | Age: 39

Though Bassam Salem has been successful in life, it did not come easily. His parents left a comfortable life in Egypt to start from scratch in the United States so their children could have more opportunities. Before moving to this country, the family also lived briefly in France and England. Because of those experiences, Salem says he is a stronger person.

After working for Attensity and Omniture, Salem moved to his current role at inContact, where he enjoys a hard-working and talented team. He is proud of the reputation he’s built as a turn-around guy for all sorts of post-sales. “At Attensity, Omniture and inContact I was able to turn very expensive cost center organizations into highly-profitable teams that became strategic advantages during the sales cycle against the competition.”

Despite his busy schedule, Salem still makes time to be a CrossFit athlete, working out at 5:30 a.m. every day. What really keeps him going, though, is family. He says he gets out of bed in the morning with the goal “to make my children proud of me. I am motivated by my wife, Ana, and my two boys.”

Robert Scott
CEO, XSI Insurance and XSI Factory | Age: 34

After undergoing hip surgery at age 15, Robert Scott was told that he would have to walk with a cane or crutches for the rest of his life. Determined to overcome the challenge, Scott pushed himself beyond expectations and was eventually able to participate in all sports including professional paintball. “The adversity that came along with having to face the possibility of not being able to do what I loved most helped me to grow and rise to the challenge of overcoming that obstacle,” Scott says. “I love and look forward to challenges.”

Today, Scott leads two companies: XSI Insurance, a supplemental health insurance plan, and XSI Factory, a sports training facility. “As the CEO of both companies, I am responsible for managing more than 240 employees and for the financial aspects of the company,” Scott says.  “I love seeing ideas turn into something significant. I am motivated by my achievements and by my future achievements.”

Mark Snihurowych
President, The Center for Senior Benefits | Age: 34

Mark Snihurowych started a career in the senior market life, health and annuity insurance industry when he began hearing bad press about the poor reputation of senior market insurance agents. He decided to shift the way people saw insurance agents by providing honest and exemplary service. To do that, he started his own company, The Center for Senior Benefits.

His company educates senior citizens on Medicare health plan and retirement planning options. While it can be challenging to keep up with the dynamic nature of Medicare health plans, Snihurowych says he and the company established a stable infrastructure that allowed for growth. Most importantly, he says this was all done with honesty and high ethical standards.

That dedication to people extends to community involvement. Snihurowych holds free educational meetings for seniors where he doesn’t conduct business. The company supports many senior-related charities, the Peace House and greyhound rescue organizations. On his own time, Snihurowych donates food and time to the Rescue Mission and coaches a youth soccer team.

Steve Starks  
Executive Vice President, The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies | Age: 33

It was involvement in politics that eventually led Steve Starks to Larry H. Miller. After graduating from Weber State University, Starks managed campaigns for Nolan Karras and Rob Bishop, was transition manager for Jon Huntsman, then become managing director of the Utah Policy Partnership, where he met Larry H. Miller, who was chairman of the partnership.

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