June 9, 2015

Cover Story

CXO of the Year

Just as the star quarterback is often the face of a football team, in the ...Read More

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Article

CXO of the Year

By Utah Business Editors

June 9, 2015

As the company came out of the recession, it was well positioned to evolve from a residential contractor to a commercial provider—and it has continued to grow. “Pikus Concrete has seen explosive growth in the last five years,” says Pikus. “Revenues have increased 733 percent from 2009 to 2014 tax years and are on track to show an additional 40-50 percent increase in 2015 over 2014.”

Her advice to new company owners is to grow slowly, in a manageable and sustainable way. “Don’t expand faster than you can handle, but don’t be afraid of expansion either. Keep your debt to a minimum and give your company time to pay it off before you step up to the next level,” she says. 

“Prepare for an audit 10 years in the future that hopefully will never come—but if it does happen, you are ready. Prepare for future opportunities that you aren’t even aware of yet, so hopefully when the opportunities arise ... you are ready.”

Scott Wright
CFO, Molio, Inc.

After passing through finance and accounting positions for many different companies, Scott Wright found himself the CFO for Orabrush Oral Care Products. Wright’s success with Orabrush attracted a buyer for the company in 2014 and, following its innovation and success in YouTube advertising, the company planned to expand into the digital advertising industry with a video marketing business. Before end of 2014, Wright had secured $2.5 million in Series A funding for Orabrush, allowing the company to scale during the acquisition. He also transitioned and set up the company’s supply chain under the new parent company, growing revenue from zero to $6 million. He then secured $3 million in Series A funding for Molio, Inc., the Orabrush spin-off company.

Now CFO for Molio, Wright provides financial guidance in strategic decisions and ensures capital growth is enough to run the company. Under his influence, Molio has launched several multi-million dollar brands all over the world and has seen an average of 80 percent year-over-year growth. “In the early stages of a business, risky investments must be made, in conjunction with good strategy, to bring the business up to the next operating level,” says Wright.

“Life is too short to not enjoy what you do and who you do it with. Pick the right partners to fight next to you.”

Kristi Knight
Chief Marketing Officer, InMoment

Kristi Knight is not afraid of a challenge, and she has become known for helping companies manage significant transitions. At Omniture, for example, she helped guide the company through its initial public offering and then through an acquisition by Adobe Systems. Later, she headed up the rebranding process for APX Alarm, now Vivint, and then managed the communications around Vivint’s acquisition by Blackstone—a deal that usurped Omniture’s transaction as the largest technology deal in Utah.

Knight’s steady guidance has continued in her role at InMoment. “Since joining the company in September 2013, we have acquired one of our largest competitors [and] united the brand equity and reputation of both companies under a new name (InMoment) and vision (Customer Experience Optimization),” she says.

“I take a sometimes unconventional approach to marketing and recently decided to have product marketing led by the corporate communications team,” says Knight. “This decision has lead to great alignment on corporate and production messaging and positioning and has contributed substantially to the increase in our technology leadership and market awareness.”

“Never lose sight of the big picture and how the decisions you make impact the organization. Sometimes seemingly insignificant things have a ripple effect. Move quickly, but take the time to consider the implications.”

Michael Shehan
CMO, SecurityNational Mortgage

Michael Shehan’s career trajectory has been anything but linear. After designing jewelry for O.C. Tanner for several years, he joined the real estate industry, where he sold residential housing for a decade. From there, he turned his talents to being a graphic designer with Prudential Utah Real Estate and worked his way up to marketing director. His next jump was to the mortgage lending field in 2011, where he’s been building his marketing team at SecurityNational ever since.

Shehan defies the “Jack of all trades; master of none” adage—since joining SecurityNational, he has helped the company achieve $2.2 billion in retail and wholesale production volume, and the firm has grown more than 300 percent. In every reinvention, Shehan has brought his experience and insight, in both technical and interpersonal areas.

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