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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Forty Under 40

Celebrating Utah’s Rising Stars

By Utah Business editors | Photos by Eric Delphenich

February 18, 2014

Josh Case | CEO, Energy Capital Group, LLC

Josh Case is playing an important role in helping increase energy diversity and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Case has led the development of ECG Utah Solar 1, a 300-megawatt, $600 million solar plant being developed on Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands near Delta.

Case selected the 1,750-acre location and negotiated a lease with the state that will generate revenue for Utah’s schools for at least the next 30 years. The location is ideal because of its proximity to a high-voltage transmission line that will carry power generated at the plant to customers in California. When completed, the plant will be the largest solar project in Utah and one of the largest in North America.

“No one has done more to put Utah on the map than Josh has,” says Chris Herrod, vice president of government affairs at Energy Capital Group. “Because of his vision, the entire state of Utah, especially the school children, will benefit.”

Before his work at Energy Capital Group, Case worked as an advisor at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and founded M.J.M. Capital Inc., a national equipment leasing company.

Michael G. Dash | CEO and President, Parallel HR Solutions, Inc.

Michael Dash was building a career in the staffing industry in New York City when he decided to take a big risk. “I identified an opportunity to support a client’s growth in Salt Lake City, Utah. Knowing only one person in the entire state of Utah, I decided to follow that opportunity and leave family and friends to start a new career in Utah. This led to the opening of Parallel HR with just two employees. Parallel is now going on our fourth office with over 40 employees all within the last seven years,” says Dash.

The company has helped relocate more than 150 families into Utah, and it now maintains offices in New York and Austin, Texas.

Dash is also very involved in the community. He helped raise more than $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and after Superstorm Sandy he spent several weekends in New York helping clear the destruction, helping people get food and supplies, and rebuilding homes.

Dave Decker | President, Complete Merchant Solutions

Before he co-founded Complete Merchant Solutions, Dave Decker worked for a company where he had strong philosophical disagreements with the owner over how the business should relate to its customers and employees. Decker left the company after a few years of argument, but not before the owner told him he was naïve, would never succeed in business and would “die broke.” Decker has used that final meeting as fuel to drive him as he’s built CMS into a company that has experienced double-digit growth each year it’s been in business and now has annual revenues approaching $40 million.

As president, Decker leads initiatives to drive revenue and sales and establish plans for future market growth. CMS has now grown to 35 employees and has been recognized twice as one of the Inc. 500 fastest-growing companies the United States.

Decker’s success is due largely to his focus on people. He believes that a company’s success or failure is determined by its leaders and employees, and that a business thrives when its people feel valued.

Carol Lynn George, Ph.D. |  State Science Adviser, Governor’s Office of Economic Development

From dropping out of high school to becoming a scientist, Carol George has led a unique life. After earning her GED, she began an undergrad program at the University of Connecticut and went on to complete a graduate program. Her dissertation research was completed in just three years and was considered one of the fastest graduate degrees ever earned at UCONN.

Since relocating to Utah, George has been involved with several community initiatives such as Latinos in Action, Expanding Your Horizons, Salt Lake Valley Science and Engineering Fair, and FIRST.

“Right now I enjoy helping to mobilize and organize key stakeholders to work on complicated science issues that affect the state, such as science competitions like FIRST, informal science education, the K-12 science education standards, the STEM Action Center and statewide grants,” she says.

George says feeling like she’s making a difference, along with a willingness to learn and improve, is what continues to keep her motivated.

Samantha Hammock | Vice President, Chief Learning Officer, American Express Banking

Samantha Hammock was skeptical when she was asked to oversee training programs for American Express Banking. She had spent her career working in accounting and financial analysis and worried that learning was a “soft” field that wouldn’t allow her to be seen as a business leader.

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