February 19, 2013

Cover Story

Forty under 40

Talented, ambitious and innovative—these are just a few of the trait...Read More

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Forty under 40

By Utah Business editors | Photography by Eric Delphenich

February 19, 2013

Ryan Kohler | 36 - CEO, iApplicants

From a parking lot sweeping company, to online sales of ATV parts, to lead generation for troubled teen homes, Ryan Kohler has no shortage of experience. But his favorite thing to do? Search engine optimization. “SEO is really what I love, and the competition and analytical thinking that really gets me going,” he says.

Kohler’s standing philosophy on the work he creates is keep things easy. “This means not just making our software easy to use for our clients, or just plain making our clients’ lives easier by building a product that helps them out, but also making it easy for our employees to do their jobs. Looking for ways to make things easier has always led us to build cool products with high adoption rates and happy customers,” he says.

If you are looking to motivate Kohler, bring it on and tell him he can’t accomplish the task. He thrives on competition and particularly enjoys proving he can exceed what someone else expected of him.

Lori Morency Kun | 36 - Director of Development, Huntsman Cancer Foundation

Since 2004, Lori Morency Kun has devoted her time to raising funds for cancer research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. After arriving in Utah in October of 2000 to work for the Salt Lake Organizing Committee, she recognized the state as a uniquely giving and balanced place to make a living and a life.

Kun has leveraged her ability to build relationships to raise $3.5 million annually for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation, securing partnerships with companies like Skullcandy, eBay and the Utah Jazz. She also instituted The Giving Circle, Huntsman Hometown Heroes, Survivorship Celebration, Huntsman 140 and Huntsman 5K.

“Each day I witness heroes (patients, researchers and doctors) transform very challenging situations into something positive. I’ve seen small businesses devote resources to funding cancer research when money is tight, survivors and philanthropic athletes join together to run a marathon or 5K while raising funds, and 7-year-olds riding a bike for the first time after a major surgery surrounded by a pack of supporters,” says Kun. “Each time, I am reminded…that miracles happen every day.”

Sean P.  Lee | 32 - President and Founder, SPL Financial, Inc.

Sean Lee is a financial advisor with a focus on clients 55 years and older. In 2006, he started his own firm with the help of two partners. Last year he relinquished his partnership and began his own firm, SPL Financial, Inc.

“During that transition I maintained 100 percent of the valued client relationships I had formed,” says Lee. In fact, he is projected to gather about $20 million in new assets this year.

“In my line of work, I have the opportunity every day to have a positive, long-term effect on my clients’ families. My team and I create customized plans for individuals and their families that will guide them through their most important years (retirement and beyond) and I take a lot of pride in that.”

Lee participates in the community as a baseball coach, ranging from tee ball to high school baseball leagues. He and his family have also sponsored local charities, such as The Road Home, Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Salvation Army.

Matthew Lengerich | 35 - General Manager, Bingham Canyon Mine, Rio Tinto Kennecott Utah Copper

Matthew Lengerich began his mining career as an intern with Kennecott Energy’s coal mine in Colorado. After graduation, he returned to that mine as a mining engineer. He later spent three years at a Rio Tinto mine in Far North Queensland, Australia, and joined Kennecott Utah Copper in 2009.

In Utah, Lengerich fast-tracked a management path from production support manager to mine general manager in less than three years.

“Mining attracts incredible people who take great pride in using forward-thinking technology, making social contributions, overcoming environmental challenges and having the ability to see their efforts make positive changes in the workplace,” says Lengerich.

While Lengerich enjoys the technical challenges of mining and is committed to mitigating its impacts, he is “grounded by a few basic values: help everyone go home safe, every day; recognize every decision you make effects real people; and understand your obligations to the organization and its goals.”

Charlie Luke | 39 - President/Founder, Luke Strategies Inc.; Executive Director, Utah Association of Community Services; Salt Lake City Council Member, Salt Lake City

Charlie Luke’s extensive résumé revolves around one thing: an interest in public affairs and social causes. He started his career as a political organizer, then managed campaigns for the U.S. Senate and Salt Lake mayor. In 2004, he founded Luke Strategies, a public relations and government affairs firm that serves clients throughout the Intermountain West. Luke also served on the planning commission for Salt Lake City and was elected to the city council in 2011.

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