July 1, 2012

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Article

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year

Candace Little

July 1, 2012

Martin offers new entrepreneurs some valuable advice about having a successful business and a balanced life. “Remember that value isn’t always created in the trench, and burnout doesn’t make shareholders money,” he says. “Clearing your head from time to time can actually improve your ability to think clearly, make decisions and execute.”

Jeffery Palmer
CEO, RIMPORTS (USA) LLC

Selling crayfish to the mailman was just one of the “hair-brained ideas” that set a very young Jeffery Palmer on his current business track. “I have always been entrepreneurially minded, whether I knew it or not,” Palmer says.

Spending nearly 10 years in China helped Palmer gain the skills and confidence to start his own business. “I have never looked back,” he says. Nor has he ever doubted his success. “Not even a thought. I always knew that, no matter what, it would all work out for the greater good.”

Palmer grew and evolved RIMPORTS from a consulting company to a proprietary product-driven company. Among other things, he is currently striking major business deals with Wal-Mart around a scented wax and candle-warming product.  RIMPORTS is projected to more than double its revenues this year compared to last year and plans to follow a similar growth curve for the next several years.

Rett Clevenger, CEO
Jana Francis, Founder and President
Steal Network 

When Jana Francis couldn’t find a website selling trendy baby products at a great price, she decided to start her own—BabySteals.com. The first year, Francis performed every job function from buying to social media outreach to accounting to janitor—not to mention being a mother of three.

Francis says she was most afraid of not being able to support her family. “I had just given up a great career at KSL and really needed this to work. I overcame the fear by focusing intensely on work and never losing sight of the goal,” she says.

Now, four years and almost a million orders later, Francis and CEO Rett Clevenger have expanded the business to two other niche, woman-focused, deal-of-the-day websites—KidSteals.com and ScrapbookSteals.com—along with comparison-shopping site KidCrawl.com.

NUTRITION INNOVATION
Eric Baughman, CEO
Steve Baughman, President
Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc.

Steve Baughman, focusing on better and more environmentally conscious agricultural production, founded Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc. in 1975. He financed the company by using all of his personal assets. With the trust and support of his family, he was able to borrow funds to support continued development.

“I believe the biggest fear for Steve, as the founder, and myself, as an executive, was always the fear of failure, which I don’t think either of us has ever overcome and it still persists on some level,” says Eric Baughman, CEO of Cytozyme Laboratories, Inc.  “I believe this is healthy and that fear and uncertainty are great motivators!”

Under Eric Baughman’s leadership, Cytozyme has expanded through new market development and strong organic growth in existing markets. Cytozyme is ready to expand sales through new distribution channels in the world’s largest agricultural markets including China, Brazil, India and the United States.

Frank L. Davis
President and CEO, Food for Health International

Success came as a surprise to Frank L. Davis, he says. And succeed he did—four of the businesses he created have become well-known, multi-national triumphs. Davis, who has been building businesses for roughly 40 years, has some advice to other entrepreneurial hopefuls: “Don’t be afraid to take risks, be careful in who you bring along to help you launch your business, and don’t give up,” Davis says. “Usually it is the most challenging just before you start hitting critical mass.”

His current project, Food for Health International, has one division that sells emergency preparedness meals in family-serving pouches, and another that provides whole-food products in shakes and capsules. The company has grown 1,185 percent since 2008 and added more than 130 full-time employees since 2010. It plans to move to a new 10,000-foot facility in Orem this month.

Jason Budge & Steve Palmer
Founders, Shelf Reliance

In 2004, Jason Budge and Steve Palmer began working on a shelving unit to store, organize and rotate food. Today, their shelving system and THRIVE food storage products are sold in major chain stores like Wal-Mart and Costco. But they say it took a lot of sacrifice and risk-taking to make the venture work. They spent all of their life savings, and after months of exhausting days, at the brink of failure and financial disaster, their company finally took flight.

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