MEET THIS YEAR'S CXO'S OF THE YEAR
Every year, Utah Business Magazine awards members of the C-suite for outstanding achievement. Recognized by their peers at the CXO of the Year event, these men and women exemplify what it means to be a leader--not just for their companies, but for their communities at large.
CHIEF TECHNOLOGY OFFICER, BRAINSTORM, INC.
The greatest technology in the world is worthless without a market to support it, says Derek Adams, and it's his job to help bridge the gap between those who make tech and those sell it. "Understanding that the external teams [such as sales and marketing] are just as critical to the success as the engineering that goes into the product is critical," he says.
In the last few years, BrainStorm has transitioned from a services business to a software company. The change required the company to shift its skillset and the way it thought about doing business. That initial pivot got them into the software game and the shift in attitude helped make them a market leader in it.
"I was able to get the right people in. We developed the product, and then continually evangelized internally to help make the shift," Mr. Adams says. "Since that time, we've transformed the product into something that is competitively unique in the space. I've been able to lead a great group to strategize, plan, and execute a vision to take BrainStorm into an industry leading position."
CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER, GPS CAPITAL MARKETS, INC.
Brent Bailey is the Chief Information Officer for GPS Capital Markets, Inc., a corporate foreign exchange brokerage firm. In addition to achieving record growth last year, the company made a number of changes internally. That meant internalizing all development initiatives, migrating all servers to the cloud, and meeting new regulatory requirements from Europe. Mr. Bailey led the charge on all accounts, developing three- and five-year plans and setting up teams to achieve them.
Of course, leadership isn't all about strategy. According to Mr. Bailey, "Leadership is less about amassing knowledge and skills and more about recognizing knowledge and skills in others." Adopting a democratic leadership approach, he has helped his team learn how to succeed on their own terms. As he says, "Overtime you realize that an effective leader builds leaders out of those around himself/herself without fear of losing status or power."
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, PRINTERLOGIC
Shane Callahan is the Chief Financial Officer for PrinterLogic, print management software developed for the enterprise. Over the past year, the company has more than doubled in size, expanding operations outside of Utah and into North Carolina and Germany. Doing so has required new levels of efficiencies including automating recurring tasks, reducing the revenue recognition cycle, and eliminating the need for additional employees on the finance and accounting teams.
Mr. Callahan's hard work paid off, with financial processes and procedures in place to scale, PrinterLogic was able to secure a $15 million Series A and expand the enterprise internationally. But being the CFO isn't always about the blocking and tackling of corporate finance and accounting, it's about comprehending all elements of the company's operations. "You need to be a partner with the rest of the organization which requires excellent communications skills and a broad understanding of each functional area," he says, "Building a relationship of trust among your peers and throughout the organization is also a critical skill."
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER, ACIMA CREDIT
Rob Christiansen believes an entrepreneurial spirit is key to the work he does as Chief Operations Officer for Acima Credit. After getting his start developing the first all-natural cough syrup for babies at Zarbee's, he went on to create a children's sleep tablet. From there he joined Lucid Software where he ran project management at one of Utah's premier software companies. Overall, his experience developing products and growing companies has greatly contributed to his ability to do both for Acima Credit.
As Acima's COO, Mr. Christiansen culminates all of his experience in product experience to focus on ways the company can leverage emerging technologies to service their merchants, customers, and employees more effectively. He leads Acima's strategic and tactical improvements and brings the spirit of innovation to his team.
PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, LUCID
Dave Grow is the President and...