February 19, 2013

Cover Story

Forty under 40

Talented, ambitious and innovative—these are just a few of the trait...Read More

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Forty under 40

By Utah Business editors | Photography by Eric Delphenich

February 19, 2013

Fisher is also committed to bettering the community. He created an in-house charitable program at Henry Walker Homes, in which the company provides the means for employees to do good deeds like home repairs for elderly neighbors.

Seth Hobby | 36 - Vice President, Legal, Dyno Nobel Inc.

Seth Hobby’s first professional challenge came when he was five years old, sticking labels on cosmetic bottles for his father’s business. Hobby jokes, “I’m sure I should have negotiated better compensation.”

As Dyno Nobel’s vice president of legal, Hobby has faced many more challenges along his professional path. One of the challenges that helped him grow most, however, is living in four different countries. Hobby says each international move tested him in different ways, but learning to adjust and assimilate helped him learn and gain new perspectives.

In his current position, Hobby is responsible for all legal work in the Americas and Africa, regulatory and environmental departments, and serves on nine boards of directors for various entities. He says good leadership comes from many different qualities. “First, work hard personally and surround yourself with individuals that have a strong work ethic. Second, determine to always act and make decisions with the utmost integrity. Third, never ask someone to do something that you would not be willing to do yourself.”

Matthew Hoffman | 38 - Vice President of Global Sales, Sysnet

Matthew Hoffman says one of his best learning experiences was getting fired. “I felt like I was very effective and would be extremely difficult to replace. It taught me that as executives we often see the world through a lens that is restricted to whatever accomplishments or problems are immediately in front of us,” he says.

Now Hoffman uses his considerable business experience to help aspiring entrepreneurs. Together with a University of Utah professor, Hoffman helped create The Foundry, a startup incubator based at the U that teaches tactical execution skills to ambitious entrepreneurs.

In 2011, Hoffman was recruited to Panoptic Security to turn around the floundering company. He strengthened the team and bolstered revenues; in fact, the company’s 2011 revenues were 21 times its 2010 revenues. His overall goal was to prepare the company for a sale, and it was purchased at the end of 2012. Now he serves as vice president of global sales for Sysnet, the company that purchased Panoptic Security.

Michael Johnson | 29 - CEO, Satori Inc.

Michael Johnson serves as the CEO of Satori, where he has brought direction, vision and purpose to the hotel renovation company. As the former executive director of the Utah Hotel & Lodging Association, Johnson has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry—experience that he has leveraged to help build Satori into a successful, multi-million dollar company. 

Describing his time at the association, Johnson says he was brought onboard to save the failing and penniless organization. “It was a difficult and trying time where I was required to work long, difficult, often lonely hours trying to right the ship and get the association growing again,” he says. “I learned a lot about my ability to dig in and get things done and to accomplish things that nobody thought possible. I lost my fear of failure and it was replaced with a passion for success.”

Johnson is very involved in the community and serves on the state central committee for the Utah Republican Party. He has also served on the Davis School District board of education and the Visit Salt Lake executive board, among many others.

Jason T. Kilgore | 38 - CEO, Kilgore Companies

“I started with a loan, a truck and a trailer. People believed in me and I worked my guts out not to let them down,” says Jason Kilgore of his experience founding Kilgore Companies. From these humble beginnings, he grew the asphalt paving business into a fleet of 100 trucks and nearly 150 employees. In 2010, he became part of a major reorganization of several gravel, paving, contracting and concrete companies into Kilgore Companies. Now, with more than 600 employees, Kilgore says, “I feel an enormous weight on my shoulders to provide a living for so many families, but I am also pleased to be able to do it.”

Some of the company’s major projects include the Salt Lake Airport, I-80, other major roadways and countless subdivisions.

Kilgore was introduced to the industry at the age of 14, when he worked for his stepfather’s construction company. “I loved the guys I worked with and the environment I was in that rewarded hard work and determination,” he says.

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