CEO Profiles Archive

Jenny Evans

Jenny Evans, Owner, Reiki Master, Intuitive Healer

I am a wife of 24 years and mother of 5 children ages 20-10, and was born and raised near Salt Lake City, Utah. My favorite things are the outdoors and nature and enjoy camping, hiking, playing, jogging, yoga, dancing and spending time with family and friends in any of the above areas.

As a certified Reiki Master and energy therapist. I have developed a holistic healing system using kinesiology and intuition to access your bodies priority in its healing needs; emotional, mental, spiritual or physical, as all aspects of the body interplay for complete wellness. I am certified and have training in herbology, essential oils, Theta Healing, energy medicine and Reiki.

My business, Heart Centered Healing, is located in Farmington Utah. I  enjoy teaching a variety of healing classes including ecstatic dance, Reiki, heart space classes. I love giving clients Reiki sessions and doing phone healing sessions with clients that are life changing. I created an online energy healing and ascension school, I am also a practitioner of the Dancing Crane wellness monthly fair, as an offering for the community in Salt Lake City.

I have a passion for helping others find greater clarity and closeness to their higher power along with accessing their own spiritual gifts and living a life of abundance. As far as my niche, I am an Intuitive Empathetic Healer who loves to help guide a client’s body, mind and spirit to realign itself with health and the natural flow of healing energy and abundance. I find great joy in helping and connecting with others.

I have a bachelors degree in Education. Stepped out of teaching in the school systems to transition over to helping people heal their body, mind and spirit. I have been doing energy clearing and alternative healing for others  for 8 years. My professional business was opened in 2015.

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Robert Hopkins

I would like to introduce Robert Hopkins aka ‘Hop’

In joining with our company Robert brings to the table an immense diversified talents our operational expertise of 25 years plus. His expansive repertoire of skill sets include, opening and operating 13 different hospitality operations, owning 3 different companies including a wine retail store, consulting company and importation/distribution Company for Washington, Californian and First time in America French wines. He ties up his talents with the chef expertise in cooking, nutritionist in clinical operations and ultimately being an amazing mentor teacher to anyone who he crosses path with. We are looking forward to allowing his passion to touch your lives.

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Dustin Hansen



Franchise Owner & CEO,

InXpress Americas

Dustin Hansen was born and raised in West Jordan, Utah. He is a franchise owner and CEO for InXpress Americas, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 2006, InXpress Americas is hyper-focused on continually delivering value to its customers. It accomplishes this mission primarily through providing shipping services to people around the world.

Mr. Hansen Personal Background

Mr. Hansen grew up in West Jordan, Utah. He spent most of his childhood playing on the baseball diamonds in the park with is father, brothers and friends. Mr. Hansen attended college at Utah Valley University where he achieved his pilot’s license and Bachelors Degree in Aviation. Mr. Hansen, a father of three, recognizes that his kids are more important to him than his work.

Mr. Hansen Work Experience

After completing a church mission in Georgia, Mr. Hansen resumed his work in the aviation industry. Mr. Hansen became interested in the concept of franchising and wanted to own his own business. He looked at the franchising model as a way of furthering his creativity. As Mr. Hansen states, “creativity is taking someone else’s idea and improving it.” Mr. Hansen came across Xpress Worldwide from the UK for a franchising opportunity. Express Worldwide was looking to expand its operations to the United States and Mr. Hansen was up for the challenge to become the first to franchise of the Xpress business model to the U.S. market.

InXpress USA opened in 2006 with Mr. Hansen, at the age of 23, being the first franchise for InXpress to the U.S. market. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Hansen worked creatively to establish InXpress in an already competitive shipping industry. By 2009, Mr. Hansen was named CEO of InXpress USA. After successfully operating in the United States, InXpress expanded its operations to Canada and was renamed to InXpress Americas. InXpress currently operates in 15 countries and 350 franchises globally. It is estimated that InXpress will achieve $40 million in gross revenues in American and just under $100 million globally.

Under its pure franchising model, the corporate offices of InXpress don’t own each franchise, but rather the franchisees own the franchise.

Mr. Hansen Franchising InXpress Americas

Mr. Hansen views franchising as the perfect opportunity for someone that wants to open their own business. It is an opportunity for them to achieve the personal success of managing a business before they open the doors to their own business. Under the franchising model the business idea or concept is already created. What is left is for the franchisee to execute their own plan for the business idea to succeed. Franchisees control every activity in their InXpress franchise. Successful people surround themselves with successful people. Mr. Hansen largely created InXpress Americas business model by looking to other models for shipping companies and making it better and expanding it. Mr. Hansen recognizes he must grow with his business or the business will exceed his own competencies. If this happens then all that is left is essentially being replaced.

At this point Mr. Hansen recognizes four primary lessons learned after operating InXpress Americas for nearly eight years. Mr. Hansen starts by quoting Zig Ziglar; “obstacles are the things we see when we take our eyes off our goals.” When you focus on the obstacles that lay ahead then you that is now evidence you have changed your vision. You only see obstacles when you are looking for obstacles. When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.

Second lesson is persistence. You only achieve the momentum of success after you have hit and passed the point where you think all is lost. Persistence is the key that separates the success from the non-successful people. They are the ones that will hold on long enough to realize the success.

Third, a person must have a vision that is big enough to drive them. “Courage isn’t the absence of fear but that the thing you are trying to get is bigger than the fear.” Everyone experiences fear in his or her lives. The reason that you still take that challenge even though you have fear is because you know that what you are trying to achieve is much greater than the fear you must go through. That lesson is crucial and goes back to being persistent.

Last, is living the premise that every moment counts. If you want to be great at what ever you want to be great at then you have to do small daily disciplines everyday consistently, then you will achieve it. This is the basic concept established in the book Turning Simple Disciplines into Massive Success and Happiness. This is what its all about for business owners and CEOs. You must do small things yourself everyday. At the beginning you generally don’t see it. Then at one point down the road you will see two paths, and you are on that path to success.

Future Business Development

Moving forward, Mr. Hansen recognizes one of the most significant challenges he faces for the future is finding excellent, talented people. Only after you can find someone that is better than you then your business will move forward. You must always put someone in a position that is better than you. Without good people you just don’t go anywhere. Mr. Hansen wants his people (employees, franchisees, vendors) happy, challenged, and fulfilled. If people have all three, then the company will get the results it is looking for. As the CEO, Mr. Hansen is constantly focused on how InXpress Americas can improve within itself. Essentially it all goes down to hiring people that are better than you, then organizing the workforce so everyone can use that knowledge.

Another challenge is hiring and training exceptional sales managers. Mr. Hansen’s goal moving forward is how he can raise the competency level of its franchisees. Successful sales managers are achieved by training them well and by the sales manager realizing they will have no money if they don’t sell. That is the nature of the beast. This is one of the primary factors changing the commonly Owner Operator franchisees into Business Owner franchises. In the Business Owner franchise the manager become the owner once they higher people. The struggle arises with sales managers not being patient and holding their sales reps accountable.

Mr. Hansen wants to leave a legacy that people had their lives changed and fulfilled more of their full potential because of being involved and knowing him. People accomplished more than what they thought they ever could. “I want people to believe in themselves more, do more than they ever thought they could do because they were associated with Dustin. Ultimately I want to teach people how to manage their own business so that it creates time for them to build memories with their family. That is what I want to do. If you are at work all day long then you are not building those memories with your families. You should have the opportunity to build memories with you families when and where you want to.”

Over the next three years Mr. Hansen is focused on proving exceptional service to its ever-expanding customer base. His goal in the next 10 years is to achieve $1 billion dollars in gross revenue. To achieve this it is looking to how it can add value to its customer base and in return achieve its goals. His three characteristics of a successful franchisee include: 1.) Someone that is very competitive, 2.) Someone that is willing to learn, & 3.) Someone that has a big “why.” People always need something that drives them to succeed in life!

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Kim Waddoups



Chief Executive Officer,

Liberty Safe & Security Products, Inc.

Kim Waddoups is the humble Chief Executive Officer for Liberty Safe & Security Products, Inc., Founded in 1988. Liberty is focused on strengthening its premier reputation for providing customers with quality safes that are manufactured in the United States. With gross sales of more that $130 million, Mr. Waddoups is involved in the day-to-day task for deciding how Liberty will structure its manufacturing plant to meet customer demands in the future. Upon the planned completion of its expansion project, Liberty is set to become the world’s largest manufacturer for safes with a production output of roughly 250,000 units per year.

Mr. Waddoups Previous Work Experience

Since 2013 Mr. Waddoups has developed approximately 10 years of experience at Liberty. Previous to becoming Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Waddoups served as President, where he led the sales and marketing initiatives for Liberty, he joined Liberty in 2003 as Chief Financial Officer and was promoted to President in 2012.

From 1989 to 2003

Mr. Waddoups held various senior-level positions at Easton Technical Products, a sports equipment manufacturer and division of Jas D. Easton, Inc.

Industry for Manufacturing Safes

Since 2003 Liberty’s gross sales have increased by more than 400%. Mr. Waddoups attributes this growth to Liberty’s ability to produce high quality safes and the speculations by consumers about the firearm industry. Speculation changes drastically as a result of legislation, current events, and simply acts by the President of the United States. As expected, a change in firearm demands draws a positive correlation in demands for safes. As speculation intensifies Mr. Waddoups is involved in planning Liberty’s production facilities to meet customer demand. Liberty invests heavily in new technology and equipment to eliminate its bottlenecks.

Mr. Waddoups is working to make Liberty’s manufacturing facilities even a more environmental friendly. With Liberty’s high power coating system for painting safes to bending metal, Liberty is involved in creating high quality safes that are affordable to the customer. To meet this objective, Mr. Waddoups balances the engineering of the safe with its affordability. Liberty is always working toward improving the quality of each of its products. Ultimately, Liberty is focused on re-investing in technology to help its customers protect what is most valuable to them and what it is that they put inside a Liberty safe.

Mr. Waddoups Managing External Relations

Liberty is actively focused on ensuring quality, value, and reliability in every safe it builds. Since 2011 Liberty has produced its safes exclusively in the U.S. Liberty values the importance of investing in the U.S. steel market as it builds its safes. Liberty constantly finds itself purchasing competitors products for testing. Its important to Liberty that its products do what it claims it will do. Liberty strives to keep the customer educated, as customers constantly find themselves with very little knowledge for determining a safe’s quality.

Liberty started its expansion program in 2011 in its effort to re-invest in the U.S. steal market for creating safes. More and more people are realizing that the Liberty safe is not just a firearm safe. The safe serves as a form of insurance for what the consumer values most. Whether its firearms, irreplaceable family photos, wills, insurance policies, or precious metals. This new understanding helps Liberty reach other markets outside of its core-market.

Mr. Waddoups Success & Business Development

Hindsight is always 20-20. Looking back, Liberty prides itself in its ability for working with a team of people. Mr. Waddoups won’t take the credit for Liberty’s success. He has a great team working together to create a product that meets the customer’s needs. Very few companies in the safe manufacturing industry will do any advertising. In 2010 Liberty first embarked on a national radio campaign. This was a big decision that Mr. Waddoups meet with the board of directors in Connecticut to present his plan. Mr. Waddoups wanted to build brand equity so that Liberty’s safe could create its own pool product rather than pushing the safes onto the market. Liberty ended up investing nearly $1 million into its marketing campaign before it started recouping the investment costs. Liberty received information through its warranty registration that helps it identify what marketing efforts was ultimately the most effective. Liberty continues investing millions of dollars a year to build its brand equity. Liberty provides a lifetime warranty on the safe as a way of standing behind its product. Since the incorporation of its marketing campaign Liberty has gained 12 points of additional market share.

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Ben Crowther


Vortex Complete Door Service

Ben Crowther is the Team Leader for Vortex Complete Door Service in Salt Lake City, Utah. Founded in 1937, Vortex is a Family owned business headquartered in California. Vortex’s business operations primarily include installing, repairing, and replacing gates and all types of doors around the world. From replacing parts on folding steel doors to completely installing new warehouse doors, Vortex does it all. Since 2012, Mr. Crothers’s responsibilities include managing Vortex’s service division throughout the entire Salt Lake Valley and Idaho. He directly manages 14 service technicians, 11 trucks, 2 dispatchers, billing, collections and customer service. Mr. Crowther is hyper-focused on continually delivering value to its customers through great service and a friendly attitude.

Mr. Crowther Work Experience with Vortex

Mr. Crowther started work at Vortex as a technician under the direct supervision of its President. In 2004 he changed positions to estimating, and then to Service Manager. By 2012 Mr. Crowther became Team Leader for Vortex’s Salt Lake office. Mr. Crothers’s experience with Vortex goes beyond 16 years. Through that experience he’s learned the importance of always educating yourself even after you have competed your degree. You must always continue searching out opportunities where you can learn and develop.

Mr. Crowther Managing Vortex’s External Relations

As Mr. Crowther states, “competition is what makes Vortex better.” We work with our competitors to successfully operate in the service industry. When you take care of other people, including your competitors, then you are helping yourself in the long run. Otherwise, you end up hurting your customers, as they cannot develop a trusting relationship with you. We become our number one competitor if we don’t work in conjunction with our competitors. In the business world the only company you should try to beat is yourself. Do not look at everybody else’s goals to determine yours. Looking at everybody else only leads to becoming like those other companies. Set your benchmark based off your abilities that can consistently provide the market.

Once your benchmark is set it is important that you find the right people for the job. Employees need to fit the part. To meet this challenge you must be one step ahead and have an employee on deck ready to be promoted. The service technician Mr. Crowther hires today will not be in service until 3 to 4 months. This planning increases the confidence in the employee and the customer sees that confidence. In this upcoming generation we lack people skills. That training period helps shape the employee’s ability to communicate and manage Vortex’s external relations they complete a customer job.

Mr. Crowther Managing Vortex’s Employee Relations

Mr. Crowther recognizes that preserving good employees is vital to the success of Vortex. It doesn’t matter where you are, you must surround yourself with good, competent people. That is where success begins for a company. Mr. Crowther is constantly challenged with managing his employee’s abilities, character, and aptitude. True management is managing people. It is walking around the business and being involved in the company’s day-to-day operations. It is teaching employees how to recognize and use their abilities. A competent Team Leader will view its employees as customers and respect them as such.

There is only one way to successfully grow a business. It is to elevate your employees to realize and obtain their full potential. In return employees will lift you up as the Team Leader. As employees get better then so to will the Team Leader. In the service world employees are always run into something they do not understand. If you are taking care of your employees, employees will then care of your customers. You are a team working with others. If you struggle and stress there are a lot of people willing and wanting to help in the Vortex culture. A reverse scenario is also true, if you step on and trample over your employees, your company will not grow. In an effort to lift its employees, Vortex provides all full time employees an option of becoming involved in Vortex’s profit sharing program.

Vortex Business Development

Vortex market niche is in providing exceptional service in repairs and replacements on all types of doors. Vortex’s business is driven in large part through referrals. Saving its customers money and providing exceptional value. Trust leads customers to refer other customers to Vortex’s services. In 2013 Vortex experienced 10% sales growth overall and is looking to continue that trend well into the upcoming years.

Vortex’s biggest inhibitor to growth in Utah is finding the right people. In the service industry you can always experience growth if you have the right people. One of the biggest things Mr. Crowther has learned in the business is to always hire based off attitude and aptitude. If people have a good attitude and are willing to learn with a good aptitude then they will learn. Mr. Crowther often finds himself posting Vortex job openings on KSL and selecting a new hire based on whether the person can be taught and is willing learn.

Second inhibitor to Vortex is an employee not realizing its full potential. Employees often don’t realize what they can really accomplish in life; they block themselves and make it so they can’t succeed. Your responsibility as the Team Leader is to help the employee recognize that full potential. Managers often have more confidence in the new employee than the employees have in themself. We are our worst critics.

Vortex’s Success

Mr. Crowther offers Vortex’s success to three essential attributes. First, is doing what you say your going to do. Second, providing exceptional value to the customer. These attributes are especially important to the service industry. Customers don’t care how much your company knows. They care how much you care about their needs and wants. Show customers how much you know by doing the right things right the first time. When you make a mistake then remedy that mistake in a timely manner. Success comes simply to those who take care of other people. Treat every interaction with a customer as important.

Lastly, is to look the part and act professionally in your dealings. People buy from people they like. Even when your price is below the competition you will not sell if people do not like you. Offer customers value where they least expect. In the event you provide free consulting, this is all part of adding value to the client. As the client sees this they will develop a trusting relationship with your company because they know you care about them. Free services are where the foundation blocks begin for establishing relationships with prospective customers.

Mr. Crowther Legacy

Mr. Crowther seeks a legacy of helping people to recognize their full potential in life. Doing the right things right and keeping people happy. This ranges from taking care of Vortex technicians all the way to its customers. Many times in the corporate world managers will forget that one of its customers is that person sitting at the desk right outside its office. The best person to sell a job is the guy that’s done it. The best service manager is the one that’s done it. Live a life full of experiences where your have exhibited your full potential.




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Jeff Triplette

Jeff Triplette
CEO and President, Arbiter Sports

Jeff Triplette is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Arbiter Sports, a company based in Sandy, Utah, that provides software solutions for organizing athletic events. A native of North Carolina, Jeff grew up on a dairy/tobacco farm and is part of the first generation in his family to go to college, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wake Forest University.

Jeff brings more than three decades of leadership experience and a lifelong love of sports to his current position. He considers himself having three parallel careers: one in business, one in the military and one as an official referee for professional sports. In business, he’s worked as a real estate appraiser, an executive at Duke Energy Company and FNC (a software company) and an entrepreneur when he began a risk management consultancy business in 2009. He was awarded the Bronze Star while serving in the first Persian Gulf War and is now a retired Colonel in the U.S. Army National Guard and Reserve. And he has been a sports official since he was in college, most currently spending 20 seasons as an official in the National Football League.

In addition to his parallel career paths, Jeff has served on numerous boards, including the board of directors for the Oil Casualty Insurance and Oil Insurance Limited organizations. He currently serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) and as President of the National Football League Referees Association (NFLRA).

Be a Successful Leader

From his time heading up different groups and divisions at Duke Energy Company, as well as from his time in the military (both in officer training and in the field), Jeff learned the importance of strong leadership in success. As an entrepreneur, you definitely need to be willing to put your sweat and monetary equity into your business, but you also need to commit to being a strong leader. Good leadership comes from planning for the success of the people you hire and your partners as well as for your company. “Living through the success of other people makes me feel successful,” Jeff says. A good leader makes working together for the good of the people you hire just as important as working for the good of the company. “Success depends on the folks around me much more than my individual corporation.”

Whether your company is successful or not, being a strong leader means the people that work with you come away having had a positive experience. Lead so that people are supported and inspired by you. “The thing I want to be remembered for is that people wanted to be associated with me,” Jeff says. “I have worked with some really great and talented people. I absolutely would walk across burning coals for them. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.”

Being a successful leader also means being aware of how you come across and present yourself to others. “Pay attention to how you interact with folks,” Jeff advises. People are always

watching you, and setting an accessible, personable example will help people have confidence in you. Ask for feedback so you can identify and work on any blind spots, too.

Plan for Growth

Getting your business off the ground takes planning, but so does growing it. Jeff’s advice is to be realistic when planning for growth. Know that some areas of revenue may not come in as expected and some expenses may be higher than you’d like, but there are still many options to stay on track and grow.

“We all hope to hit singles, but what if you strike out a few?” Jeff asks. That’s the question to ask yourself. Plan to be flexible, looking at other areas of your business for growth opportunities. When expected areas of the business don’t come in as projected, what other areas can you possibly double or even triple to make “hits”? By being flexible and thinking creatively, you can still hit 100% growth, keeping your business on track and growing.

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Sean Morris

Sean Morris

CEO and President, Blomquist Hale Consulting Inc.

Sean Morris is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Blomquist Hale Employee Systems, a company based in Murray, Utah, that provides employee assistance and corporate wellness programs for organizations.

Like many successful business leaders, Sean’s path took unexpected turns. An active person who loves sports, Sean started out in college at Weber State University planning to be an athletic trainer. But after supporting many people emotionally and spiritually during his two-year volunteer service as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Sean switched academic gears. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in family development and then went on to earn a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Southern Mississippi. He has worked with and counseled people of various ages, and he brings experience in a variety of fields–crisis management, marital and family therapy and training–to his current position. The principles he learned in his emotional health training translate well to being a leader in business, helping to keep people motivated and growing. A motivated and personable leader, Sean oversees all aspects of Blomquist Hale, and he prides himself on working for an organization that provides an exceptional product and service that meets both individual and organizational needs.

In addition to his business leadership position, Sean serves on the board of Lawyers Helping Lawyers and in leadership positions in his church.

Have a Vision

Ideas are great starting places for businesses, but having a vision of where that business is going is a key to success. “I want to be remembered as someone who had a vision and helped the company move towards it,” Sean says. Think about where you want your company to be positioned in the marketplace in one year, five years or more. Set goals to help move your company towards your vision to ensure success.

Take Care of Employees

The people you work with and who work for you are your greatest asset in business, and taking care of them is tantamount to success for Sean. “There are lots of studies that indicate that when employees have life challenges, it adversely affects their productivity,” Sean notes. Planning to take care of employees to keep them motivated and offering them resources to help with challenges at work and at home is investing in your business and, ultimately, your success.

Keep Getting Better

For Sean, success comes from not just providing an outstanding product or service but continuing to improve on it. While it’s important to keep doing what’s working, it’s also important to keep improving your business model as well as the product or service you offer.

Globalization has meant great growth for organizations but it also has brought pressure for doubling profits and keeping up with ever-shifting business models. As mentalities and technologies shift, your company needs to shift too. This helps clients feel confident in your business and keeps your business successful. “The real value we bring to an organization can be helpful if we keep doing it well,” Sean notes.

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Colin Crabtree



President and CEO, Crabtree Auto

Colin Crabtree is the president and CEO of Crabtree Auto, an auto recycling company in Ogden, Utah. A family owned business, Crabtree Auto was originally a bicycle shop opened by Colin’s father, but it evolved into a body shop just after World War II. The Crabtrees began selling parts off their vehicles, and the company became a salvage business. In 1947, it moved to Ogden where it continues today as a certified auto recycler.

Although Colin and his brother, Miles, worked in the business as soon as they were old enough, they took over the business in the 1960s and 70s. And in the 21st century, Crabtree Auto became a third-generation owned Utah family business as Colin’s son, Clay, became part owner. A member of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), Crabtree Auto’s business is purchasing late-model vehicles and selling the undamaged or fixed up parts to body and mechanical shops, insurance companies, salvage yards, and local customers.

Choose the Right People

For Colin, ca big part of success in business is choosing the right people to work with. “You’re very dependent on your employees,” he says, “So choose employees that support you.” Surround yourself with people who have the same commitment to quality service and who show you that they uphold your company values, motto and standards. Crabtree Auto’s motto is “clean, organized, quick service”, so Colin chooses employees that embody and illustrate that. And since he experiences very little employee turnover at Crabtree Auto, he chooses well. 

Learn from Others

It’s easy to make learning through trial and error the norm when you’re an entrepreneur, but Colin advocates learning from others rather than through hard knocks. Whether you talk to a mentor or other professionals in your industry, listen to their experiences and advice to know what’s going on and avoid making the same mistakes they did.

Improve Your Industry

Striving to be honest is a hallmark of Colin’s success. While he realizes that the used auto industry can have a less than honest reputation, he strives to make his business strong and his practices honest to keep its reputation strong and improve the image of his industry. He believes that success is about improving your own business, which, in turn, improves your industry.

Colin further improved his industry as Crabtree Auto helped form the United Recyclers Group (URG), a part of the Automotive Recyclers Association that sets quality standards to ensure recyclers are using premium recycled parts.

“My hope for my son,” says Colin, “Is that he builds on a legacy of honor.”

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Chris Bowler

Chris Bowler
CEO and Co-Founder, Creminelli Fine Meats

Chris Bowler is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Creminelli Fine Meats, a company that manufactures, markets and distributes artisan Italian meat products to gourmet shops, high end supermarkets and fine dining restaurants nationwide. Although born and raised in Maryland, Chris had strong ties to Utah (his parents are from here), so after he finished his BA in economics at Stanford University, he came to Utah to start a tech company. Soon afterwards he was working for the state’s International Division getting ready for the 2002 Winter Olympics. This led to a job as a member of the US Olympic committee, which relocated him to Turino, Italy, helping the Olympic committee there develop the facilities and manage the logistics to successfully pull off the 2006 Olympic Games taking place there. Having lived in Southern Italy in 1994-1996 as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chris was fluent in Italian and enjoyed being in Italy as a business man. There he met Cristiano Creminelli, a successful meat artisan looking to expand his business. Cristiano and Chris teamed up with Jared Lynch in 2007 to start Creminelli Fine Meats in the US.

Seize Opportunities
When it comes to success as an entrepreneur, it’s not enough to have a good idea or even passion about that good idea–you’ve got to see and seize an opportunity for your business to fill a need. At the time Creminelli Fine Meats was founded, the US had seen a great deal of popularity in artisan cheeses, olives and chocolates, but there was a lack of fine artisan meats with which to pair them. Chris and his partners saw a significant opportunity and seized it, thus beginning a successful business. “We wanted to make great tasting products,” Bowler says, “To share a food experience that was unique, would expand people’s horizons, and would change their opinions about food, especially about cured meats. Our approach is to do everything with an eye towards helping people feel good about what they are eating.”

Seizing opportunities is also how Creminelli grew to start selling their products outside Utah. While their first few years saw them concentrating on sales in Utah, first through Caputo’s market and then to other restaurants and shops throughout the state, seizing an opportunity to exhibit at a fancy foods show in San Diego introduced them to hundreds of great new customers- -and landed them their first contract outside of the state.

Dig In and Do the Work
To get a new business off the ground, “you need to be a jack of all trades,” says Chris. His advice in the beginning is to “be willing to do any part of the work. Dig in and solve the problems.” And if there are things you don’t do well, bring the right people in to get the job done the right way, whether it be a consultant, vendor or employee.

Chris also notes that hard work is what leads to those that key moments for your business to grow. “Don’t believe that there are any free passes,” he says. “It’s a rare occasion that you knock on one door that solves all your problems. It all comes through working and building and toiling.” Working hard is one of the most important keys to building a successful business.

Remember the Money Is In the Mission
Another aspect of Creminilli’s success has been crafting their business around their mission. Having a strong mission helps you make focused and strategic decisions for your business, rather than making opportunistic ones that may make money in the short term but don’t add to its long- term growth. “We’re here because of the mission, not the money,” Chris says. “The money makes the mission possible. We never let go of that value to make more money.”

One aspect of Creminilli’s mission has been to create a great organization that provides a good standard of living for the people involved. “I reject the notion that to be a successful company means to be overbearing and aggressive,” Chris says. “Aggressiveness in pursuing business does not have to turn into aggressiveness in personal relationships. I think people should feel uplifted when they come to work. It should be a place where people feel like they can succeed, that they are a part of something important. And that doesn’t have to be at odds with driving a great business and driving growth in your business.”

Plan for Growth
In the beginning, it can be so time-consuming starting your business that you can only hope for growth rather than plan for it. But Chris has found smart planning for gradual growth is integral to business success.

“Stair step your progress for incremental growth rather than jumping into something you may not be ready for,” Chris advises. Whether it’s with your investors, vendors or with your leases, negotiate so you’re gradually growing. In three years, Creminelli moved its operations twice, each time into bigger facilities. If they had locked themselves into long leases, that would have been difficult to do. Plan for and negotiate terms that allow for increase in six months, a year, two years… whatever you find to be most realistic.

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Steve Evans

Steve Evans is the Chief Financial Officer of AspenPress & Packaging LLC, a company based in Sandy, Utah, that provides full color printing, signage and packaging for individuals and businesses worldwide. He brings an entrepreneurial spirit, a background in accounting and marketing, and experience in various industries to this venture. He also brings a passion for customer service and a commitment to making excellent products.

An Indirect Route to Printing

Although Steve always knew he’d be an entrepreneur, he never imagined it would be in the printing industry. In fact, his route to the printing industry has been anything but straight. After earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in accounting from the University of Utah, Steve got his start working in accounting firms, doing audits on various businesses. But it didn’t take long for him to realize that type of regiment wasn’t for him. He was recruited to the skiing and snowboarding industry as a marketer and comptroller, and after spending time in that industry went to work for a printer, who wanted Steve to help get the business ready to sell. When it came time to sell, however, the printer changed his mind and asked Steve to help him run the business, which he did for several years. In 2002, Steve went out on his own to form AspenPress.

Turning Mistakes into Success

Some of Steve’s best learning moments have been mistakes he’s made along his road to success. He’s learned to turn those lessons from mistakes into secrets for success. One such lesson is to not underestimate the need for cash flow when you start a business. He cautions to be careful not to spend more than you’re bringing in or to borrow from the next payroll to fund the current one.
Another nugget of wisdom Steve gained was to not assume. “It’s good to trust in business,” he says, “But you also need to be thorough and protect your business.” He cautions to get things in writing as well as asking for specifics and thorough explanations. “Ask yourself, ‘If this doesn’t work out, how will it affect my business?'” he advises.
Having a mentor is something Steve recommends for all business owners, whether they are just starting out of have been in business for decades. To avoid reinventing the wheel, it’s important to look down the road 6 months or a year and have a guide to offer counsel and keep you focused. “After 13 years in business, I still have a mentor I look to,” Steve says.

Success Measurements

For Steve, defining and measuring success is about several factors. “Profits are important,” he says, “But it’s not all about the money. You’ve got to have a passion for what you’re doing.”
Aside from a passion for your work, other measures of success are having happy employees and good products. AspenPress prides itself on having happy, productive, hard working employees who feel valued. And Steve feels that being proud of your products and recognizing the impact of your work is a strong measure of success as well.

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