February 18, 2014

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Forty Under 40

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Article

Forty Under 40

Celebrating Utah’s Rising Stars

By Utah Business editors | Photos by Eric Delphenich

February 18, 2014

“Kyle’s new approaches have been a pivotal part of our ability to build products that stand out in the marketplace,” says Al Nevarez, vice president of product development for Allegiance.

LaMalfa was elected to the Salt Lake City Council in 2011, and he was chair of the council in 2013, heading a governing body that is responsible for a budget of more than $765 million. In this role, LaMalfa says he enjoys “being strategic, seeing the big picture, seeing the lay of the land, and trying to help Salt Lake City be the best city it can be.”

Rudy Larsen | Owner; Lawn Butler, Smart Rain and Rubicon Contractors

Rudy Larsen launched Lawn Butler the summer following his high school graduation in 2006. The company now employs more than 100 full-time individuals and has grown at a rate of 400 percent the past three years.

But times weren’t always so sunny for Larsen, who struggled to keep his company out of the red during the Great Recession. When searching for a business loan, he says banks were reluctant to take him seriously because of his young age. But he never gave up and eventually secured a loan, which enabled him to purchase five trucks and additional equipment. “I was 100 percent committed to making [the company] work and 18 months later I paid off the loan,” he says. “Still to this day, my age has been a hard thing for some to look past, but it hasn’t slowed me down in accomplishing my goals.”

Larsen has also launched Rubicon Contractors, a general construction firm, and Smart Rain, a water management firm that has helped save roughly 52 million gallons of water, one of Larsen’s proudest achievements so far.

Reed Laws | President, Your Employment Solutions

Since acquiring Your Employment Solutions (YES) in 1999, Laws has devoted his career to helping others find rewarding work—from his own employees to those he places with employers. Under his leadership, the company has experienced phenomenal growth and in 2001 was ranked No. 256 in Inc.’s Fastest-Growing Companies in America list. The company has continued growing, tripling its revenues in 2002 and 2003 and doubling in size during the following seven years. In 2013 alone, YES staffed more than 5,500 temporary, seasonal and permanent placement employees in Utah.

Laws believes a successful company must create a win-win situation for both employer and employee. “We all spend so many hours at work it’s important to spend this time in a safe environment that upholds both the employer and employee integrity.” He adds that empowering employees will lead to growth in any company. “My finest accomplishment has been hiring a team more capable than myself to help move YES forward.”

Mike Leavitt | Attorney, Durham Jones & Pinegar, P.C.

Mike Leavitt is a civil litigation attorney with an innate drive to solve problems. “I like seeing people resolve conflicts in the most appropriate and civil way possible,” he says. “Often that requires sitting down and negotiating a settlement and occasionally it means going before a judge or jury to redress a wrong or defend against unfounded claims.”

Beyond helping his clients, Leavitt is passionate about helping other attorneys succeed. He currently serves on the Southern Utah Bar Association board of directors, serving as its president in 2009.  “As a representative of fellow bar members, both locally and bar-wide, I have focused on seeing that attorneys have all of the opportunities and tools available to allow them to build their businesses and serve the public,” he says. “That includes seeking opportunities for quality continuing legal education and voting for bar policies that allow them to succeed in their profession both ethically and productively.”

Leavitt is also an active member in his community, serving on the board of directors for the Art Around the Corner Foundation and as a member of the Crimson View Elementary Community Council. 

Michael Lunt | Managing Partner, Bennett Capital | Venture Partner, Intrepid Equity Partners

Michael Lunt co-founded Bennett Capital along with former U.S. Senator Bob Bennett and other local business leaders. He is also a venture partner of private equity firm Intrepid Equity Partners.

As an investor and mentor, Lunt is helping numerous companies grow and succeed. But he is also an entrepreneur himself, having co-founded a licensed sports apparel and novelty company that has grown to nine retail locations across the country.

“Mike has used his incredible energy to assist his companies to achieve astronomical growth and evolution of their business models. He has incredible networking and leadership skills with a magnetic personality that helps to motivate others around him,” says Jacob Riley, partner with Pro Image Franchise.

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