July 1, 2011

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Ernst & Young ENTREPRENEUR Of The YEAR

For 25 years, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program ...Read More

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Article

Ernst & Young ENTREPRENEUR Of The YEAR

CONTINUING UTAH’S LEGACY OF SUCCESS

Candace M. Little, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

July 1, 2011

“An entrepreneur is someone who starts and creates businesses by taking advantage of opportunities,” Kilgore says. “The most important trait of an entrepreneur is sheer desire to get things done.”    

Owning and growing a business doesn’t come without good and bad experiences and even making some bad choices, says Kilgore. But those choices are defining and “sometimes the most valuable lessons are the mistakes you made.”

EMERGING

CORBIN CHURCH
CEO — Miche Bag

Like many tried-and-true entrepreneurs, Corbin Church knows what it means to sacrifice everything to launch a business. As he worked to get Miche Bag off the ground, Church operated out of his basement and garage without receiving a paycheck. But the rewards have been well worth the many sacrifices. 

Miche Bag has now gained wide popularity among women across the nation. A Miche Bag allows a woman to change the look of her purse in just three seconds by using a removable shell. The company sells its product through independent consultants, who sell bags and shells during home parties. Today, the company is generating millions of dollars each month.

Corbin, who has built and sold six companies since the age of 13, believes that entrepreneurs are individuals who can “take something from nothing and turn it into something, and can do it over and over again.” He credits his father for teaching him to embrace his entrepreneurial aspirations.

MATTHEW PINEDA
President — Castle & Cooke Mortgage

When Matthew Pineda was approached by David Murdock in 2003 to launch a retail mortgage division of Castle & Cooke in California, Pineda knew that Utah was the best place for the endeavor. With a small crew of mortgage professionals, Pineda launched the company in 2005. Under his leadership, Castle & Cooke Mortgage (CCM) has grown 16,133 percent—a feat not easily accomplished in today’s economy, especially in the mortgage industry. 

Pineda used innovative processes to help the mortgage company continue growing despite the troubled economy. He developed a one-of-a-kind business model that allowed CCM to streamline the loan application process, completing the entire process from origination to funding in just three days—an unheard of timeline in the industry.

With nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage business, Pineda says the key to success in an ever-changing market is the ability to adapt and innovate. And he has big plans for the future: “Our goal is to breach the $2 billion mark for funded volume,” he says.

GARETT ROBERTSON
CEO — Deseret Health Group

Garett Robertson leads Deseret Health Group, a long-term healthcare provider with markets in small rural communities that have typically been underserved or served poorly in the industry. The company started with five distressed nursing homes and now has 24 high-functioning homes, and in most cases these homes are the largest employer in their communities.

Robertson says, “We’re all about community: building strong, safe communities; building strong, safe working environments for our employees; keeping the residents happy and delivering a good product to them.” He says the company needs local support, so it builds relationships from the ground up through hosting special events, offering scholarships for parents who don’t have money for their children’s education, and training, educating and certifying employees to help them progress.

“We believe very firmly, in our particular businesses in our communities, we need the grassroots support. We need to teach and train the employees to be something great.”

HEALTHCARE SERVICES

DR. DAVID DANGERFIELD
President and CEO — Avalon Health Care, Inc.

When Dr. David Dangerfield joined Avalon Health Care in 2007, he established two major initiatives: focusing on quality of care and diversifying for the future. Utah’s largest nursing home chain, Avalon owns and operates 39 healthcare facilities in five states and provides services such as rehabilitation, hospice care and long-term mental healthcare.

“We see ourselves as a significant component of the healthcare delivery system for the senior, the frail and the elderly in our community,” says Dangerfield, who came to Avalon after retiring as head of Valley Mental Health.

He says that Baby Boomers, many of whom are caring for elderly parents, have come to expect more from their senior years. “The kind of services that really match the needs, the desires of the customer of tomorrow is significantly different from the customer of today. So it’s how do you change your processes, your procedures, your activities—everything you do. Your business lines have to be looked at from a different perspective.”

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