Todd Heiner: Outstanding Directors Awards
Congratulations to Todd Heiner, Director at ZAGG Inc – he has been selected as one of the 2017 Outstanding Directors Awards honorees!
The annual Outstanding Directors Awards celebrates our state’s most engaged and effective board members—individuals who exemplify excellence in corporate governance while guiding companies to develop long-term strategies, enhance their performance and mitigate risk.
Read more about Todd and the other 2017 Outstanding Directors Awards honorees in the digital magazine.
When Todd Heiner graduated from Utah State University in 1985, there were only 350,000 people in the whole United States with some kind of portable mobile device. That was the fledgling industry Heiner decided to make his career in 31 years ago. And while Heiner may not have foreseen that 95 percent of Americans would own a cell phone today, he dove into the wireless industry and learned all he could from it.
After 20 years of working on the corporate side of the industry, Heiner decided to strike out on his own. Eleven years ago, he founded Express Locations, a branded partner for T-Mobile. His company now has 140 locations in 10 western states, with nearly 1,400 employees. Just last year, Express Locations hit the milestone of $100 million in revenue.
Nearly five years ago, Heiner joined ZAGG Inc’s board of directors—a move that has greatly enriched the company and helped guide it through its rapid growth phase, according to ZAGG CEO Randy Hales. Heiner’s experience, along with his “humility and calm demeanor,” has been invaluable, he says.
“Todd is the board member who has the greatest amount of industry experience. He is able to bring perspective into the boardroom that nobody else has or can bring,” says Hales. “He also is a very entrepreneurial-minded individual. As the company has grown rapidly over the last several years, that entrepreneurial perspective has paid big dividends to us on the board. Todd is a great strategic thinker. He has had the ability to see around corners that we wouldn’t have.”
For Heiner, serving on a board has become more absorbing than the position might have been in the past. Whereas once board members would meet quarterly to meet with executives, these days the role is far more active, he says.
“You take a more active role in terms of spending time outside of board meetings at events, or at the office, with the executives. You’re asking questions and becoming more familiar with the business rather than coming in as a figurehead once a quarter and having a little input in that point,” says Heiner.
It’s that active role, though, that Heiner enjoys. Listening to the diverse opinions of the other board members allows him to return to his own business and make his own changes.
“I’ve learned that high-performing companies view dissent and debate as necessary and, really, an obligation. It’s better that you’re challenging the status quo than to accept what’s going on within the business,” says Heiner. “There should be no topic that’s taboo or un-discussable. You should take every topic during the board meeting and meet it head on and not avoid it. You’re not there to just support everything that’s going on. You certainly want to be an advocate and helping, but I think a board member is the most effective when they can challenge the status quo and bring some value added to the discussion.”