By Utah Business editors
Each year, Utah Business magazine honors 40 of the state's most talented, ambitious and innovative business leaders in our annual Forty Under 40 program. Some are serial entrepreneurs, others are leading established companies to continued success, and more still are helping their companies reach unprecedented growth. Regardless of their positions within their companies, the 2015 Forty Under 40 exemplify a group of standout leaders who are shaping the future of Utah and the world. Join us in celebrating these deserving honorees and their accomplishments.
Burke Alder 36
Vice President of Marketing
Burke Alder joined Lendio in early 2012, after helping AtTask (now Workfront) grow from a 20-person startup to a global player with 250 employees in just five short years. Already, Alder is generating similar results for Lendio. Under his marketing leadership, revenue has grown 1,150 percent over the past three years. He decreased Lendio's marketing spend by 50 percent in 2014 while simultaneously driving 50 percent improvement in month-over-month revenue.
In addition to these hard numbers, Alder has been instrumental in developing employee-training programs that help develop future leadership for the company. In early 2014, he was tasked with introducing Lendio's software-as-a-service (SaaS) business loan process management tool to banks and other lenders. The program saw a 250 percent revenue growth under his leadership.
"Watching team members step out of their comfort zones and succeed makes me happy," he says. "My goal is to help build the greatest marketers and business leaders in the world.'
"Greatness is not just for the few or the outliers--achieving greatness is possible for all of us. The first step to greatness is found in aligning our talents with our passions."
Brett Allred 32
Chief Operating Officer
Brett Allred worked in a few different fields--manufacturing, imports, real estate--but didn't find his niche until he began to work with computers and information systems. He rose to lead engineer at MoneyDesktop (now MX), and in less than a year joined the executive team as the vice president of marketing. Soon afterward, Allred was invited to move to NUVI to become chief operating officer.
"Brett's impact was felt immediately after joining," says Devin Gagon, a colleague of Allred's at NUVI. '[His] hands-on approach and personal involvement has had a tremendous impact on NUVI's bottom line and culture."
Allred oversees NUVI's individual departments and works to unify them. He organizes weekly companywide meetings, recruits talent to the company and mentors employees. "What I enjoy most about work are the challenges," says Allred. "Challenges require me to become more--more educated, more disciplined, more focused and more patient."
"Successful businesses are not the result of a lone warrior founder or CEO. Successful businesses are the result of organized effort--people working together In a spirit of harmony. That is how companies do impossible things."
Nate Ballard 39
Wadsworth Development Group
Nate Ballard has served as general manager at Wadsworth Development Group since 2007, and under his leadership the company has experienced tremendous growth. From 2008 to 2014, WDG's topline revenue increased by 275 percent to more than $11 million, and its gross asset value increased by 285 percent to over $200 million. The company also created three new divisions: property management, brokerage and preferred development. On top of all that, Ballard has been personally involved in the development of more than 50 projects in the Intermountain region.
Kip Wadsworth, CEO of WDG, says Ballard "has led the organization to seek out and participate in various community organizations and charities," For example, the company participates in a semi-annual service project for the Children's Justice Center, as well as quarterly projects for the Sandy Boys and Girls Club.
Ballard says he enjoys the tangible nature of his work." I can drive around with my kids and point out different projects/developments that I have played a key role in," he says.
"Eleven years ago, I was hired and given an amazing opportunity to help mold and grow this company. I am motivated every day to take full advantage of this opportunity."
Miranda Barnard 35
Vice President of Communications
Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Miranda Barnard spent several years working for various marketing agencies, though she knows now her true calling is working for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. In addition to moving up the organization's ladder to vice president of communications, in early 2013 she was also tapped to serve on a small committee of senior managers.
"We were tasked with redesigning our operating model to ensure scalability in order to reach our billiondollar goal," she says. "Six of us worked with an executive team member and a subcommittee of our board of trustees. We worked for one year to develop a new model. It has been fulfilling to see some of the fruits of our labor already appearing."
She has helped the organization stay on track with this goal and has also played a role in helping the business to have 30 percent revenue fundraising growth since 2011.
"All of our efforts are focused on saving and improving kids' lives at our member children's hospitals and it really can't get much better. [I] see first-hand the result of communities supporting their children's hospitals. It puts everything in perspective."
Carrie Brintori 39
Chief Operating Officer/Founder National Institute of Medical Aesthetics
President/Founder, Elase Inc.
Elase Inc., which offers aesthetic services, was hit particularly hard by the Great Recession. In order to meet the challenge with her business intact, Carrie Brinton helped pioneer a new business model. The company pivoted from selling big-ticket services to offering a membership that enables clients to pay a monthly fee. Since Elase launched the program in 2009, it has seen a 140 percent increase in sales and its sales conversion rate grew from 50 to 90 percent.
Five years ago, Brinton co-founded The National Institute of Medical Aesthetics, a training facility that now boasts more than 500 graduates. NIMA has already expanded to three out-of-state locations and is on track to hit a year-over-year revenue growth rate of 33 percent.
Brinton says she enjoys "taking a problem or an opportunity and breaking it into its parts and analyzing it from every angle.... I love to take a new idea and refine it over and over into something that our students and clients are going to love."
"You have to be willing to follow somebody else's vision sometimes--they may have more insight or they may really just need the opportunity to lead at that moment. You have to really want to make everybody on your team succeed, even more than you want yourself to succeed."
Michael R. Criddle 38
Tax Senior Manager
Michael Criddle began his career with a large accounting firm in its individual international tax specialty group. That's when he developed a passion for tax issues faced by U.S. citizens working abroad and foreign citizens working in the U.S. He quickly recognized how complicated this area of taxation was and how underserved these individuals were,
"I left the large accounting firm and moved to a local firm to have a greater impact and help my clients," he says. "Unfortunately, the local firm didn't have the same resources to elicit the large firm services. However, I was still able to develop a group of 60-plus clients with these types of international issues, but I felt there was still more to do."
That opportunity arose when the local firm joined with Eide Bailly. With this merger, Criddle's opportunities grew. "I was selected as the firm leader in individual international tax issues and was asked to participate in the firm's national tax practice," he says. "In this role I have had many opportunities to share my expertise on a broader level."
Criddle's opportunities continue to grow, as he was recently approved for partnership in the firm, which will go into effect May 1.
"I can't express the joy I feel when I am able to use my understanding of the tax laws to lessen a painful situation or develop a strategy with a client to address a tax issue that is their cause for frustration."
Jennifer Decker 39
Of Counsel Attorney
Fabian & Clendenin
Over the past 14 years, Jennifer Decker has represented hundreds of clients in all aspects of estate planning. For example, she oversaw all probate, guardianship, conservatorship and minor settlement court approvals in the case resulting from the multiple deaths and injuries at the Crandall Canyon Mine, She also assisted in some of the probate issues stemming from the notorious Joshua and Susan Cox Powell case.
"After a loved one passes, people are In the midst of the grieving process yet need to move forward with administering their loved one's affairs," she says. "I find great satisfaction in helping relieve the family's burdens, answer questions and provide legal advice in a helpful, timely and cost-effective manner. People need to know their lawyer cares about them."
Decker is currently the chair of the Fabian Women's Group of Lawyers. In that role, she successfully lobbied the firm's board of directors to adopt a paid maternity leave for female attorneys. She also helped spearhead the firm's cutting-edge part-time program for women attorneys.
"Successful people know how to get things done; they produce results, not excuses."
Mircea Divricean 37
President/Chief Executive Officer
Kostopulos Dream Foundation
Mircea Divricean never intended to devote his career to the nonprofit world. But while studying business administration, he spent a summer working as a camp counselor at Kostopulos Dream Foundation and became passionate about the nonprofit's mission. He joined the organization full time in 2001, became...