CEO of the Year

By Utah Business editors | Photography by Eric Delphenich

March 12, 2014

Through his successes and failures of founding and acquiring companies, Smith says he’s learned a lot. “You only improve and get better through experience,” he says. “After running several companies, I feel I am improving and getting better at what I do.”

  • In 2013, Alliance Health’s revenue and EBITDA increased by 55 percent and 60 percent, respectively.

  • Under Smiths’s direction, Alliance Health nearly doubled in size in 2013, bringing more than 150 new jobs to Utah.

  • Smith recently implemented a generic drug program for Alliance Health’s clientele to provide more affordable preventive care products for the chronically ill.

Michael Weinholtz

CEO, CHG Healthcare Services

Lots of executives talk about how they love to focus on their employees, but Michael Weinholtz does more than talk. He’s spent the past 15 years as CEO of CHG Healthcare Services shaping the company’s culture and practices to ensure that people are at the center of every decision. This has led to CHG being recognized recently by Fortune as No. 3 on its list of best companies to work for in the United States. It is also a mainstay as of the Utah Business Best Companies to Work For. The company’s turnover rate is less than 20 percent in an industry where 50 percent turnover is common.

“All the leaders at CHG understand that their main role is to help their people succeed,” Weinholtz says. “Everybody in the company is on a team, including me, and when you help your team succeed, that’s the true measure of whether you’re succeeding as a leader or not.”

Weinholtz’s focus on people manifests itself in myriad ways. For example, CHG offers a health clinic and gym on site. Eighty percent of promotions come from within the company, and it also runs an employee training program that ranks among the best in the country.

CHG has found that focusing on people isn’t just good for employees—it’s also good for business. When most other temporary healthcare staffing companies saw their business shrink by 30 to 50 percent during the recession, CHG’s profits grew by 35 percent from 2008 to 2010. Since Weinholtz took over as CEO in 1998, the company has grown from 200 employees to 1,700, becoming the largest temporary physician staffing company in the United States. In 2013, CHG placed 7,500 physicians throughout all 50 states, and those physicians treated more than 17 million people.

Weinholtz points out that these numbers reflect more than just an increase in revenue and business—they also represent millions of people in rural or under-served areas gaining access to doctors they might not have been able to see otherwise. “It’s a great business, but we also feel that we’re making a difference in the communities that we serve,” he says.

Weinholtz began at the bottom in the healthcare staffing industry, working in a basement as one of only two employees of a small company. He went on to co-found Therapists Unlimited, Inc., which he eventually took public and sold.

“Mike is the epitome of a servant leader,” says Scott Beck, president and COO of CHG. “He’s very patient, he’s a tremendous listener and he creates an environment that attracts great people that have a lot of ambition and ability, and he gives you an opportunity to do your best work.”

  • During Weinholtz’s tenure as CEO, CHG Healthcare has grown from 200 employees to 1,700 and is now the largest temporary physician staffing company in the U.S.

  • In 2013, CHG grew by 14.5 percent in revenue and 18.7 percent in EBITDA, more than double its closest competitor.

  • Weinholtz introduced a program in 2013 allowing eight hours of “volunteer time off” each year to volunteer for nonprofit organizations, as well as a program allowing employees to contribute to a fund that is used to help other employees suffering from medical and other emergencies.


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