July 1, 2011

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Ernst & Young ENTREPRENEUR Of The YEAR

For 25 years, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® Program ...Read More

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Article

Ernst & Young ENTREPRENEUR Of The YEAR

CONTINUING UTAH’S LEGACY OF SUCCESS

Candace M. Little, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

July 1, 2011

PHILLIP HANSEN
CEO — CLEARLINK

Phil Hansen says CLEARLINK has grown organically, not from a business plan he wrote out years ago. He didn’t set out to be the nation’s frontrunner in technology-driven customer acquisition or a performance-based marketing company. In CLEARLINK’s innovative model, instead of charging per hour for building a website, the company charges per new customer attributed to the website built. It turns out this is a payment model that many companies, including small, medium and larger organizations like DirecTV and ADT Home Security, are drawn to.

Over the last five years, the company has grown from 20 employees to more than 400 and serves more than 15 of the nation’s most well-recognized brands. But Hansen says that the company has actually failed much more than it has succeeded, and it’s taught him to not fear failure. “I’ve learned to look at both the winning and the losing as learning,” he says.

KELLY WALKER
CEO — Pinnacle Security

When Kelly Walker was working his way through college, he yearned to find a job that would pay the bills and allow him to focus on school. He found a summer sales opportunity selling alarm systems. During that first summer, Walker became one of the company’s top producers. The next summer, Walker and three friends began working with ADT Home Security. Using his own business model and trained sales force, Walker’s team became ADT’s highest-producing division in the nation.

At that point, Walker had a realization that would change his life: he could build his own sales company. In 2001, Walker launched Pinnacle Security with the help of Chris Munday, who served as president and CEO. Munday and Walker worked together to secure funding and build the company from the ground up. The company took off, and is now serving more than 300,000 customers nationwide.

Walker, who now serves as CEO, says key to the company’s continued success is staying focused on the customer. “Our goal is not just to sell alarm systems, it’s to provide customized security solutions that fit our customer’s home and lifestyle, install those systems quickly and service them effectively.”

DISTRIBUTION AND MANUFACTURING

PAUL MORRELL
President — Al-Morrell Development, LLC

Paul Morrell tackles challenges and takes risks, and he built and leads his logistics company in the same manner. Al-Morrell Development’s purpose is to support U.S. military operations throughout the world. The company finds and carries out a wide range of logistics solutions. For example, it constructed six water-bottling plants on bases in Iraq for a little more than $60 million in less than 90 days per plant, while conventional standards are 12–18 months. It’s no surprise that Morrell’s companies have earned more than $600 million revenue in the past seven years while successfully performing on dozens of contracts in hostile environments.

His experiences have led him to develop a new life-long goal. “I love the power capitalism has to change lives,” Morrell says. “Done correctly it can lift the poorest of the poor up to economic security. I view it as my mission for the rest of my life to spread good capitalism to the most desperate populations of the world.”

TED BROMAN
President — IntegraCore, LLC

IntegraCore has evolved repeatedly to adapt to a changing marketplace. At one time, the company focused on software manufacturing, but its major client, Palm Computing, left the state in 2001. Ted Broman joined IntegraCore in 2004 as a sales representative, but he soon took over operations in order to save the failing company. Under his leadership, it transformed into an outsourced supply chain management company.

“We almost merge or engage with [clients], where we run their operation,” explains Broman. IntegraCore buys, assembles, stores and ships products for its partners.

He purchased the company in 2006 and steered it through a period of tremendous growth. The employee base has grown from 20 to more than 400. And revenues have skyrocketed as well: in 2009 alone, revenues grew nearly 300 percent.

“Our clients have really been our success,” says Broman. “Any award, any success, any great thing we’ve had goes back to the great clients that have entrusted us with their business, and that have then succeeded—and we’ve got to go along with them.”

JASON KILGORE
President — Kilgore Companies, LLC

When Jason Kilgore started his business, he had no idea it would grow to be one of the largest paving and excavation companies in the Intermountain West, and he even planned on working out of one pick-up truck for the rest of his career. That is a far cry from the current state of the company; with its most recent acquisitions of Altaview Concrete and Triple C Concrete in Idaho, it now utilizes more than 500 vehicles, employs nearly 1,000 individuals and conducts operations in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.

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