February 1, 2012

Cover Story

40 under Forty

Being this outstanding takes a lot of work, but our Forty Under 40 hon...Read More

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40 under Forty

Utah’s Rising Stars

Di Lewis, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

February 1, 2012

One of his most notable victories came when Miller served as second chair to Foster during a 10-day trial enforcing commercial blending technology. The Utah company won and was awarded a $24 million settlement—the largest patent infringement judgment in Utah history.

When his father and brother died within a year of each other, Miller says the tragedy helped remind him of the importance of relationships and family. “Life is about people and I try not to lose sight of that in my practice,” he says.

Brett Mills
Manager and Senior Loan Officer Academy Mortgage Corporation | Age: 34

As a manager and senior loan officer at Academy Mortgage Corporation, Brett Mills knows what an uncertain future is like. In 2007, Mills made the decision to move away from his then partners and start his own branch of Academy Mortgage. The wheels were in motion for the transition when the mortgage market collapsed.

Mills says he had several sleepless nights, but finally decided to trust that he had planned a solid business with strong fundamentals. He was later recognized as the top mortgage originator in Utah and among the top 200 in the nation.

In addition to running a successful company, Mills is very involved in the community and professional organizations. He served as president of the Northern Chapter of the Utah Mortgage Lenders Association and the Utah State Board of Governors. Mills is an Honorary Commander to the United States Air Force 388th Fighter Wing. His work also includes the American Diabetes Association, Boy Scouts of America and religious humanitarian service.

Eli Mills
Sr. Vice President, Private Capital Group, CBRE | Age: 38

Eli Mills began his career in commercial real estate at the age of 17 as an assistant to an industrial agent. By 18, he had become an industrial leasing agent. Mills was a top performer at his firm and consistently earned a spot on the Salt Lake Board of Realtors’ Top Producers List. When he was 25, he become one of the five original founders of NAI Utah.

Over time, Mills changed his focus from industrial leasing to investment sales and corporate advising. In 1999, he and his partner were awarded a corporate service account with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mills has been instrumental in several significant sales over the years, including the sale of Questar’s corporate headquarters, the City Center building and Edgewater Corporate Park, among many others.

In 2010, Mills sold his stock in NAI Utah and joined the CBRE Private Capital Group, where he serves as senior vice president.

Mark Newman
Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, HireVue | Age: 27

Mark Newman founded HireVue directly upon graduating from college. Currently chief innovation officer, he served as CEO from 2007 to October 2011. HireVue provides digital interviewing tools that allow users to browse, watch, rate and share the interviews they want, even from a smart phone. The company’s product was recognized by HR Executive Magazine as a Top HR Product for both 2009 and 2011.

During his time as CEO, the company raised more than $8 million in venture capital, grew its customer base to more than 250 enterprise organizations, and provided services in 140 countries to organizations like Wal-Mart, Nike, Starbucks and ConocoPhillips.

“When we first tried raising investor capital for HireVue, I was turned down by 50-plus investors until Peterson Ventures said yes. That process took over a year, we barely survived, and I was extremely discouraged. Once they said yes, it was like dominos starting to fall,” says Newman. “Three years later, we are now turning investors down!”

Travis K. Nielsen
Co-founder, The Cadence Group | Age: 38

At age 31, Travis Nielsen co-founded The Cadence Group. Under his direction, the company is now widely recognized as Utah’s premier Sarbanes-Oxley compliance services firm. Since its inception, the company has grown at an average rate of more than 26 percent and now offers of variety of accounting services.

“I enjoy observing and seeing my clients succeed,” says Nielsen. “Part of my job is to understand the various risks my clients face and help design processes and procedures to mitigate these risks. Each day is a learning experience as I observe how different companies manage similar risks very differently. I get to observe best practices and monitor these practices at some clients, while helping other clients implement better processes.”

Outside of the office, Nielsen serves as a finance committee member to the board of directors of Special Olympics Utah and previously served as an adjunct professor at Westminster College. 

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