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Utah Business

Meet our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees

During the past 12 months, every business has felt the strain of dealing with “the new normal.” But these CEOs have not only pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic, they’ve dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before. 

Brad Bonham

CEO | Walker Edison

LinkedIn

Brad Bonham, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

Being able to give back to our community has been the most rewarding aspect of my career. As a company―and as a team of colleagues―we’ve been able to donate desks to individuals and families who found themselves homeschooling or working remotely overnight. We also donated masks to children in our local district and contribute to various charitable nonprofits. 

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Focus on what you’re good at. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, be the very best at what you do. 

Brock Blake

Co-founder & CEO | Lendio

Twitter | LinkedIn

Brock Blake, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

Simply put, the most rewarding part of my job is hearing the success stories of the small businesses Lendio is able to help. Being able to see Lendio’s impact directly on the lives of small business owners—and their employees, families, and communities—is incredibly rewarding.

How have you adapted to the pandemic and how have you used that to stay competitive?

Everything changed with the pandemic. When the federal government approved the Paycheck Protection Program, Lendio readily understood that in order to make the biggest impact, we would have to pivot quickly to help facilitate 100,000 loans for the small business owners who needed them [and] enable lenders with the technology to take PPP loan applications. 

Chris Baird

President & CEO | OptConnect

Instagram | LinkedIn

Chris Baird, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is your go-to business strategy? Why?

My strategy has always been about putting people first. I believe that human capital is one of the primary elements of any strategic design. Everything we’ve ever accomplished at OptConnect and all of the significant milestones in my personal life can all be traced back to great people who took the time to remind me that I mattered.

What does success look like to you?

I’m afraid I probably have more experience with failure than I do with success but that’s ok too. Anyone who knows me well also knows how much I love to celebrate the “little victories” along the way to achieving a larger goal. Success can so often be found by looking in the right places, with the right mindset, and with the correct magnification, can always be found. 

Chuck Maggelet

Chief Adventure Guide | Maverik — Adventure’s First Stop

Twitter | LinkedIn

Chuck Maggelet, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is your go-to business strategy? Why?

I always try to ask a good question, listen intently to understand, probe thoughtfully, request a proposed solution, and collaborate on a decision. Also, a little levity and humor go a long way. It’s a great way to ensure you’re having fun, building the rapport, and creating the culture that everyone wants to be a part of. Life’s too short to not have fun at what you do every day.

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?

Perhaps a full-time adventure pilot. I love the challenge and fun on every single flight.

Dan Burton

CEO | Health Catalyst

Twitter | LinkedIn

Evan Walker photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Who inspires you most? Why?

Jesus Christ. To me, He represents the ideal leader in all settings, and someone who applied timeless principles like love, humility, servant-leadership, respect, loyalty, trustworthiness, the Golden Rule, and discipline in every situation he faced. We strive at Health Catalyst to apply these same timeless principles in guiding our decisions and our actions, and often when I am faced with a difficult situation, I fall back on His example and His teachings, and have never regretted following that example and those teachings. 

How have you adapted to the pandemic and how have you used that to stay competitive?

We have tried to increase our focus on communication with team members, including one-on-ones as well as company-wide communication. We’ve tried to frequently remind team members to pace themselves, take time for healthy outlets, and for time off of work. We also chose to temporarily cut back on some benefits to absorb some of the negative near-term financial elements of the pandemic, so as to preserve team members’ jobs.

Evan Walker

Founder & CEO | Route

LinkedIn

Evan Walker, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Who inspires you most? Why?

Walt Disney is a huge inspiration to me. He not only was able to see things before they were created but also knew how to execute his vision in a way that emotionally resonated with people and really set the bar for innovators around the world. The Disney brand created a world that is fully immersive, nostalgic, and based on storytelling, something I strive for every day in what I create. 

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?

I’d be an inventor. What gets me out of bed every morning is a passion to go create things that no one has ever experienced before. Being able to deliver a product that is not only built for everyone, but something they find they cannot live without is what really drives me. 

Ginette Bott

President & CEO | Utah Food Bank

LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Ginette Bott. photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

Helping people eat. Being able to eat is the most basic of human needs. Unfortunately, there are many people in our state who struggle to have three meals a day. Knowing that I have played a small role in helping people gain access to food is incredible. Most people wonder what they are going to fix for dinner, while I wonder if everyone will have dinner.

Who inspires you most? Why?

I’m inspired by the single parent who is working two or three part-time jobs to make ends meet.  I’m inspired by the grandparents taking on the responsibility of raising their grandchildren at a time in their lives when life should be easier. I’m inspired by the volunteer who gives their time.  I’m inspired by the donor who makes the decision to share what they have to help others. I’m inspired by the parents who are teaching their children the lessons of compassion, caring, and inclusion. 

Greg Templeman

President | Sunpro

Twitter |LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Greg Templeman, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

People. The most rewarding experiences I have had at Sunpro all involve people. 

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

Preferred career (or so my younger self thought) denial. My undergraduate degree is in International Relations & Russian from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. My goal was to work for the department of foreign affairs and international trade (DFAIT) in Canada and live all over the world. After my final interview in Ottawa, I received my letter of rejection a month or so later. After traveling all over the world with SpaceKraft, the company I worked at before coming to Sunpro, I learned that international travel and especially when it requires moving your family from one spot to the next was not what my wife and I really wanted.  Watching the Bourne movies is travel enough for us now. 

Jason Winkler

Cofounder & CEO | Q Factor, INDUSTRY, and related companies

LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Jason Winkler, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

We love to breathe new life and vibrancy into forgotten neighborhoods. The industrial areas of many cities have been long-forgotten and run-down areas, and we love to re-imagine these places. Our business ecosystems provide a setting for businesses to grow and grow quickl! We are lucky enough to help companies succeed and grow. It’s amazing!

What advice do you have for your younger self?

I would tell my younger self to be bolder and to hold on tight to the path to success. Too many times, my younger self let things go because “the establishment” said “this is the way it is.”

Joe Megibow

CEO | Purple Innovation

Twitter | LinkedIn

LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/megibow

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Joe Megibow photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

I have a strong love of mission-driven businesses, which is a big reason why I joined Purple. Our roots are in medical beds and cushions that were designed with innovations to legitimately improve health. One of our core values is “Improve Lives.” That gets me up every day.

What does success look like to you?

Realized potential. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that has incredible potential. And I am surrounded by talented employees that continue to accomplish more than anyone expected. One of my primary goals is to build that team, set them up for success to do all they are capable of, and capture the opportunity we uniquely have. After more than two years of working with Purple, I remain very optimistic that we will achieve that success. We are already off to a great start.

Johnny Hanna

Cofounder & CEO | Homie

Twitter | LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Johnny Hanna, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?

I would probably be doing something similar to what I’m doing now. I believe we all have a natural ability to build and create. It’s in our DNA. The problem is that fear usually gets in the way. This has been my experience with my previous two businesses. I surrounded myself with others that added value with their unique talents and abilities. Eventually, something worthwhile is created.

What is the most rewarding thing about your job/industry? Why?

As Homie, we work every day to make the American dream of homeownership simpler, more affordable and more accessible to everyone. So many rules and regulations have been created to keep the status quo cemented in place. Those that have joined our cause have a strong desire to disrupt and challenge existing practices. As crazy as it may sound, the challenge of overcoming the status quo is part of the reward. It’s a fight worth fighting. 

Joseph Margolis

CEO | Extra Space Storage

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Joseph Margolis, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

In 2005, with two partners, I started my own real estate investment advisory firm. We captured $350 million of institutional capital and had just finished investing it when the Great Recession hit. The lessons of managing through this difficult time were painful, but are invaluable to me now. 

What advice do you have for your younger self?

While singular focus and drive are helpful traits to gain expertise and advance in a field, I would advise myself to learn more about, and get more exposure to, other areas that might not directly relate to my current job or goals. For example, I wish I had learned more about IT and marketing early on. 

Kimball Anderson

CEO | Timpanogos Regional Hospital

LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Kimball Anderson, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What does success look like to you?

Breaking through comfort zones and overcoming the fear of change.

How have you adapted to the pandemic and how have you used that to stay competitive?

Prepare for the unexpected. Realize we are treating more than just a disease. We are also treating fear, anxiety, social unrest, confusing messages. Take care of those on the front line who face these challenges every day.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

You can do this!

Kirk Aubry

President & CEO | Savage

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Kirk Aubry, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

As just the third CEO in our company’s 75-year history, I followed two giants–one of our founders, Neal Savage, who led the company with his brothers for the better part of 40 years and Allen Alexander, who was president for 28 years. They were loved, admired, and respected. My challenge was to build on the strong foundation they created while doing some things differently.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Believe in yourself and trust in your team. It’s true that good things happen for people who make things happen. But great things happen for a team that’s committed to achieving a shared goal. 

Lori Weston

CEO & Administrator, Intermountain Park City Hospital | Intermountain Healthcare

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Lori Weston, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What are you looking forward to accomplishing most in 2021?

I always look forward to a new year and my focus in 2021 is helping our caregivers and community heal from the pandemic. Everyone is tired and scared. My job is to make sure that we have the mental and physical resources available to support the community and caregiver needs.

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?

I would do the same thing I do now. I’m the CEO because of the way that I do my work. I show up, I’m present, and I try to make a difference in the lives of others. “Be the change that you want to see in the world.”

Marc Harrison, MD

President & CEO | Intermountain Healthcare

Twitter | LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Marc Harrison, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Who inspires you most? Why?

I’m inspired by other members of my team. This year, the pandemic has been tragic and challenging in so many ways. But at the same time, it’s been an honor to work with the most dedicated and passionate people―to share the foxhole with them as we worked together to keep our communities healthy. I love them for their consistent focus on people and their willingness to prepare for the future. They never cease to amaze and inspire me.  

What is your go-to business strategy? Why?

We’re a not-for-profit organization, which means we answer to our community and the people we serve as opposed to having shareholders. We think that gives us a leg up in healthcare because it frees us to always focus on doing the right thing for our patients without reservation. As a mission-driven organization, we aim to serve.

Steve Starks

CEO | Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

Twitter | LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
Steve Starks, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What does success look like to you?

Being a good husband, father, son, and brother; being true to what I believe and know; leaving my little spot in the garden better than I found it, and helping lift other fellow travelers on the path. 

If you weren’t a CEO, what would you do?

I would enjoy teaching at Weber State University, golfing at Wolf Creek, and living in Huntsville surrounded by my wife and beautiful daughters. 

Taleeb Noormohamed (not pictured)

CEO | Jane.com

Twitter | LinkedIn

Who inspires you most? Why?

My parents. They came to Canada with less than $300 and their education, and worked with grit and determination to ensure that my sister and I had every opportunity to be successful. They did it while supporting my grandparents and always did it with grace, gratitude, and kindness.  They proved that you can build success without compromising ethics.

What advice do you have for your younger self?

Do what you love and success will follow. Focus on what matters, focus on what inspires you, and do your best to help others along the way. If you look at success as what you help others to achieve, you’ll find yourself approaching life very differently.

William Harmon

General Manager | Goal Zero, An NRG Company

LinkedIn

Our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees have pulled their company through the hardship of a pandemic and dedicated themselves to overcoming the challenge and boldly going where no CEO has gone before.
William Harmon, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What challenges have you overcome to get here today?

When I joined Goal Zero, I needed to pivot the company from that startup culture and instead prioritize profitable growth and ongoing financial viability. I was surprised to find that the biggest challenge was not developing our ability to execute well on various tasks, but was in aligning people towards a new set of goals. 

What does success look like to you?

Growing profits, impactful give-back, fanatical customers, and changed employee lives. 

To learn more about our 2021 CEO of the Year honorees, check out the YouTube clips below:

Lindsay Bicknell is the project coordinator for Utah Business magazine. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University of Oxford with a degree in communications. She has a background in television, print, and web media, as well as public relations and event planning. As a transplant to Salt Lake City, she can't get enough of the mountains and loves snowboarding.