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Utah Business

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.

The 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees

Utah Business is proud to introduce you to our state’s up-and-coming talent. These twenty-somethings are starting their own businesses, rising through the ranks of existing ones, and recreating the world. 

Cole Butterfield, 28

Art Director, Branding and Design | Entrata

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Cole Butterfield photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Be authentic, be resilient, and have passion. Embrace those concepts and you’ll be surprised how far they can carry you.

Anna Christensen, 27

Social Media & Communications Manager | tZERO 

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Anna Christensen photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

Who inspires you and why?

My dad. He’s always taught and supported me to follow my dreams and take risks, as he is the epitome of someone who does just that. He recently retired early from his 20+ year corporate job to follow his dreams and build a house in Costa Rica, which has been nothing short of inspiring. He’s told me I can achieve anything I put my mind to since day one, and his actions and successes have reflected that possibility and mindset for me.

Colin Cole, 24

Managing Director, Wearables | Gabb Wireless

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Colin Cole photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Be really good at the things you can control. While you might not have the longest business track record, you can make sure that you are the best at being honest, punctual, hard-working, inquisitive, among other important attributes. These qualities don’t require any talent, they are choices.

Michael Fryland, 29

Vice President, Treasury Management | Zions Bank

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Mike Fryland photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What does success look like to you?

Surrounded by prosperous and empowered clients and colleagues. I think a major mark of success is the ability to elevate those around you.

Meligha Garfield, 28

Director | University of Utah’s Black Cultural Center

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Meligha Garfield photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

I’d like to continue working in diversity, wherever that may take me. I think Utah is in a position to really be an innovation leader in diversity work, as our population and opportunities are growing. We just have to understand the challenges and take risks. I’d love to be involved in the sustainability and retention of people of color in the state, anywhere from recruiting to how we create a community for people of color in Utah to thrive and have this place be called home for them long-term.

Ashlee Hinds, 24

Co-founder & Race Director | Women’s Epic

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Ashlee Hinds photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to succeed, but you do have to be consistent in your actions. Good habits and small steps every single day lead to big results. It’s also important to enjoy those small, daily wins!

Allyse Jackson, 28

Founder & CEO | Beehive Meals 

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Allyse Jackson photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Years ago, my husband shared with me an analogy in which he likened entrepreneurship to surfing. Nobody is able to surf a kahuna on their first day. Instead, we start on small waves and gradually work our way up until we have the skills to handle the bigger waves. So it is with entrepreneurship—always be practicing and developing yourself so you’re ready when the big wave arrives. 

Brandon Jenson, 27

Marketing Operations Analyst | JobNimbus 

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Brandon Jenson photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What do you look for in a job or company?

One of the most important things I look for in a company is respect. A culture where people are respected and able to share their ideas allows for more collaboration and creation to occur. It’s also significant that a company respects its employees. I think that when someone feels they are respected, they are able to provide more value to the organization and they will find more happiness in their personal and professional life.

Hansi Kiessner, 26

Co-founder | Packsize Now, LLC 

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Hansi Kiessner photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

Who inspires you and why?

My parents! They moved from Germany to the United States and founded Packsize from a bedroom while we were living in my grandparent’s basement. All while raising three kids! I’m inspired by their ability to commit to their goals and to each other through such challenging times.

Michelle Lee, 28

Global Project Manager | Qualtrics

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Michelle Lee photographed by MANICPROJECTfor Utah Business

What does success look like to you?

For me, success cannot be summed up in one moment or a single theme―I count on my definition of success evolving and changing as I grow and learn. For today, success is taking the time to celebrate the moments, no matter how small, that left me better than I was yesterday. 

Elise A. Lewis, 23

Project Manager | Pentalon Construction

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Elise Lewis photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What do you look for in a job or company?

I’m always looking for a challenge, so if a job isn’t going to stretch me beyond my current limits, it isn’t the job for me. When looking for a company, it’s critical to find a workplace with a culture that feels natural and inviting to the employee. I’ve found it incredibly beneficial to work in an environment where I feel comfortable enough to not only do my job, but push my limits without the fear of retribution if mistakes are made along the way. 

Claudia Loayza, 24

Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator | Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Claudia Loayza photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is a sense of fulfillment. I’m constantly at battle with myself because in our society we glorify exhaustion, “the grind,” and overworking as a measure of our “usefulness.”  As a woman of color, I feel that I’ve lived my entire life in this context. I want to challenge this norm and help redefine what it means to be successful and how we measure it. Perhaps “thriving” is the new way. When we thrive, we take time and care to be healthy, balanced, empowered, and self-aware.

Aniko Mahan, 28

Director of Operations | Malouf Foundation

LinkedIn

What does success look like to you?

“Success” to me looks like happiness in your role. If someone can get up in the morning and not dread going to work and enjoy what they do—whether it be working in a fast-food restaurant, being CEO of a huge company, or something in between—I think that’s personal success.

Caden McBride, 26

Product Development Manager | MX

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Caden McBride photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Have a mind that is open to everything and attached to nothing.

J.K. McKeon, 29

COO | Spilled Milk Ice Cream

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
JK McKeon photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

In 10 years, I’d like to be involved in multiple ventures and providing jobs and opportunities for people. I want my team members to work in an environment where they can enjoy levels of work/life balance that aren’t always accessible to the general workforce. If I can help people become their best selves, rather than just the best co-worker, then I will feel accomplished. The goal is progress―to be a better person 10 years from now. 

Austin Najib, 23

Co-founder | SkyFineUSA & DUI Holdings

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Austin Najib photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What does success look like to you?

Success to me is the ability to create as much positive change as you can within society and for the people you lead. In my current role, one of my defining factors for success is how many lives we save each year. Last year alone, our alcohol monitoring technology saved over 35,000 lives and we hope to save more and more as the years go by.

Alyssa Ott, 27

Director, Global HR & Engagement | Transparent BPO

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Alyssa Ott photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Don’t be afraid! I’ve witnessed many people, not just Gen Z or Millennials, become nervous around people in power. If you have an idea, see a problem, have a solution, or are willing to volunteer for a project, then speak up. That executive might shoot down your idea but that doesn’t mean they’re mean or it’s because of you—it’s most likely because they’ve seen that idea fail in their 25+ years of experience. Take them rejecting your idea as an opportunity to have a conversation and learn from them.

Connor Pardoe, 27

Commissioner | Professional Pickleball Association (PPA)

LinkedIn

Where do you want to be in 10 years?

The sport of pickleball is the fastest-growing sport in the United States. In 10 years, I see pickleball growing internationally and possibly becoming an Olympic sport. Pickleball will be a mainstream sport available on television, streaming to a national and international audience.   Professional players will grow in notoriety and become household names similar to other popular sports. The future looks bright, and we’re excited to play a role in it.

Gladymir Philippe, 29

Founder, CEO | Kado

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Gladymir Philippe photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

Who inspires you and why?

Elon Musk. He is fearless, relentless, and a great entrepreneur. He’s the founder, CEO, and chief engineer at SpaceX; CEO and product architect of Tesla; founder of The Boring Company; and co-founder of Neuralink and OpeAI. He really inspires my generation to create the future!

Megan Prince, 28

Vice President of Sales | Weave

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Megan Prince photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Imagine who you want to be and start showing up as that person. Life is 10 percent what happens to you, 90 percent how you respond to it.

Cole Sax, 28

Founder | Think Less

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Cole Sax photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What do you look for in a job or company?

Good people. Individuals who are creative, empathetic, self-starting, and willing to do the hard work to create the best possible film/product, all while being able to laugh and smile through it all. 

Jacob Sheffield, 27

CEO & Co-founder | Bloom Surgical

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Jacob Sheffield photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What does success look like to you?

With my entire career ahead of me, my vision of personal success resembles maintaining positive mental health, feeling pride in my accomplishments, and securing financial freedom to allow me to pursue passion projects, serve, and focus on family and relationships.

Jake Wadsworth, 26

COO & Co-founder | HydroJug

LinkedIn

Across a variety of industries, these are the young professionals who are changing things for the better. Meet the 2021 20 In Their 20s honorees.
Jake Wadsworth photographed by MANICPROJECT for Utah Business

What advice do you have for other Gen Z/Millennials?

Do things differently, and take risks while you’re young. Your plan doesn’t have to make sense to everyone.

To learn more about this year’s honorees, take a look at the YouTube videos here and catch our honoree photos here.

Mekenna Malan is the assistant editor of Utah Business.

Comments (1)

  • Harvey Sax

    I guess from this day on I am officially to be known as Cole Sax’s Dad

    reply

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