February 18, 2014

Cover Story

Forty Under 40

Now in its 12th year, the Forty Under 40 program puts the spotlight on Uta...Read More

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Article

Forty Under 40

Celebrating Utah’s Rising Stars

By Utah Business editors | Photos by Eric Delphenich

February 18, 2014


Now in its 12th year, the Forty Under 40 program puts the spotlight on Utah’s up-and-coming professionals. From entrepreneurs to government and nonprofit leaders to c-level execs, this year’s group is nothing short of spectacular. Join us as we applaud these visionaries, innovators and leaders—Utah’s rising stars.

Scott Abbott | CEO, Five Star Franchising

Scott Abbott started his first company at the age of 16 in the fishing industry. He eventually led that company to coast-to-coast distribution in Canada, representing more than eight product lines. With 24 years in the marketing and entrepreneurship arenas, it’s no surprise that Abbott has received several awards for his innovations and entrepreneurship.

Abbott’s move to Utah to complete his master’s degree from Brigham Young University coincided with the launch of Five Star Franchising. He has since grown the business to include more than 125 franchises in five countries, where he collectively employs more than 1,000 people and has garnered system-wide sales of close to $30 million. But what Abbott loves most about his work is that he gets to help people attain their dreams of business ownership.

“[I get to] witness the freedom and engagement it provides,” he says. “What is even more rewarding is being part of a team of people who are all dedicated to that purpose.”

Abbott previously taught business planning at Utah Valley University and serves on the board of the local chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization.

Ken Anderson | Vice President, Sales & Business Development, Universal Synaptics Corporation

As a business leader, Ken Anderson touches many spheres in the defense industry—in Utah and beyond. He has created relationships with key businesses and governments in the UK, Canada, Israel, South Korea, Germany and Japan. And as a member of the board of the Defense Industry Alliance, Anderson provides support and direction to small and medium-sized Utah businesses that pursue Department of Defense contracts.

Anderson is “able to make sense out of the diverse complexities that exist when working with the federal and state governments and leads our company with confidence and stability as we navigate the uncertain fiscal future,” says W. David Chambers, CEO of Universal Synaptics.

In fact, Anderson’s leadership increased Universal Synaptics’ revenue by more than 300 percent, and he helped the company secure several important contracts in 2013, including a $7.1 million contract with the U.S. Air Force.

Jim Balderson | Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle

Over the course of his career, Jim Balderson has leased or sold more than 2 million square feet of commercial real estate totaling $150 million in transaction value. Balderson currently serves as senior vice president for Jones Lang LaSalle where he provides tenant representation, landlord agency, investment analysis and strategic planning services for his clients. Although his company has proven to be extremely successful, it hasn’t come without challenges.

“In 2012 we left a competitor and opened the Jones Lang LaSalle office in Salt Lake City,” he says. “Despite being one of the largest commercial real estate firms in the world, it’s always difficult to introduce a new brand into the local market. The change, though difficult at first, now allows us to provide a higher level of service for our clients.”

Balderson is active in the Salt Lake Chamber and serves as a member of its board of governors. He is also a member of CCIM, NAIOP and participates on the leadership committee for the Urban Land Institute.

Jeffery R. Bray | CEO, MedQuest Pharmacy

Jeffery Bray’s career with MedQuest Pharmacy has followed an old and inspiring path: He started at the bottom and ended up at the top. He began as an entry-level pharmacy technician and worked his way up to CEO. Bray and his team have transformed the small, family-run company into one of the largest specialty compounding pharmacies in the United States.

Bray has guided MedQuest through a period in which the pharmacy industry has been subject to increasing regulations. As many other companies have been fined or shut down, MedQuest’s focus on quality and improvement has put it in the top .02 percent of the industry in quality and compliance. The company’s good reputation has been a bright point in a troubled industry, Bray says. It now seeks to improve the industry further through its nonprofit, evidence-based training programs and new technologies to help both practitioners and patients.

“Learning from others is another vital aspect of success,” Bray says. “Although there are countless attributes and traits of a successful professional, I think a willingness to continually learn and to get better is a significant contributor to success.”

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