Drive, Excellence Celebrated at CXO of the Year Awards

In the beginning, the C-suite was small. But time and market complexity has demanded the breadth and depth of the executive team keep up. The resulting excellence of that burgeoning field of business leaders was honored at the fifth annual CXO of the Year Awards Thursday at the Grand America Hotel.

“These days, many experts have a seat at the boardroom table, including digital marketers, information technology professionals, sales leaders, human resources experts, and more,” said Donnie Welch, publisher of Utah Business. “Many of our honorees started their professional life with an area of expertise, and then built careers on that expertise. But to make it to the top, today’s executives need a broad skill set. The bean counters of yesterday are now strategic partners in their company’s success. Executive leaders are helping that strategic thinking permeate their companies, from the C-suite to the front lines.”

Eighteen leaders from some of Utah’s top companies and representing an array of C-suite titles were recognized for their contributions to their businesses and the state. As each of the honorees gave brief remarks, a nuanced picture of hard work and dedication emerged.

“Winning and losing isn’t as important as success. It’s about doing what you can with the factors that are in your control and oftentimes in winning there are so many things out of your control,” said Derek Adams, Chief Technology Officer of Brainstorm, Inc.”I work hard to do the best with the things that are in my control, and I’ve been fortunate to have an incredible team to do that with.” Shane Callahan, Chief Financial Officer with PrinterLogic, told of his journey from a comfortable corporate job in Provo to moving to St. George to work at PrinterLogic, which was then a fledgling startup.

“It was a pretty big risk at the time,” he said. “It’s great to be able to stand in here with this group and be recognized for what PrinterLogic has done.”

Rachel Jones, chief commercial officer with BioFire Diagnostics, recounted a similar risky move from the San Francisco area to a small startup in a small city far away from the bay. She also mentioned a story in the June 2018 issue of Utah Business featuring this year’s Outstanding Directors, and specifically Pat Jones, CEO of the Women’s Leadership Institute.

“I am one of two women being honored. I am featured in this issue of the magazine, which talks about the need for diversity. Pat Jones, on the cover, says you need 30 percent women on a board to see that benefit. At BioFire, three of the six officers in our company are women. I’m very proud of us for that,” she said. “Diversity matters. It’s not just in the boardroom but across the company. Thirty percent is a good goal but 50 percent is better.”

Hal Wamsley, chief financial officer for Midwest Commercial Interiors, noted more similarities than differences in the executives spanning industries, ages, and fields.

“I know everybody in here—everybody being honored and all of the sponsors—all have the same drive to succeed,” he said. “I’m humbled to be considered an equal with you.”

You can read more about all of this year’s honorees in the June 2018 issue of Utah Business or here.