February 9, 2015

Cover Story

Forty under 40

Each year, Utah Business magazine honors 40 of the state’s most tale...Read More

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Forty under 40

Utah’s Rising Stars

By Utah Business editors

February 9, 2015

“We were tasked with redesigning our operating model to ensure scalability in order to reach our billion-dollar goal,” she says. “Six of us worked with an executive team member and a subcommittee of our board of trustees. We worked for one year to develop a new model. It has been fulfilling to see some of the fruits of our labor already appearing.”

She has helped the organization stay on track with this goal and has also played a role in helping the business to have 30 percent revenue fundraising growth since 2011.

“All of our efforts are focused on saving and improving kids’ lives at our member children’s hospitals and it really can’t get much better. [I] see first-hand the result of communities supporting their children’s hospitals. It puts everything in perspective.”

Carrie Brinton 39
Chief Operating Officer/Founder, National Institute of Medical Aesthetics
President/Founder, Elase Inc.

Elase Inc., which offers aesthetic services, was hit particularly hard by the Great Recession. In order to meet the challenge with her business intact, Carrie Brinton helped pioneer a new business model. The company pivoted from selling big-ticket services to offering a membership that enables clients to pay a monthly fee. Since Elase launched the program in 2009, it has seen a 140 percent increase in sales and its sales conversion rate grew from 50 to 90 percent.

Five years ago, Brinton co-founded The National Institute of Medical Aesthetics, a training facility that now boasts more than 500 graduates. NIMA has already expanded to three out-of-state locations and is on track to hit a year-over-year revenue growth rate of 33 percent.

Brinton says she enjoys “taking a problem or an opportunity and breaking it into its parts and analyzing it from every angle. … I love to take a new idea and refine it over and over into something that our students and clients are going to love.”

“You have to be willing to follow somebody else’s vision sometimes—they may have more insight or they may really just need the opportunity to lead at that moment. You have to really want to make everybody on your team succeed, even more than you want yourself to succeed.”

Michael R. Criddle 38
Tax Senior Manager
Eide Bailly

Michael Criddle began his career with a large accounting firm in its individual international tax specialty group. That’s when he developed a passion for tax issues faced by U.S. citizens working abroad and foreign citizens working in the U.S. He quickly recognized how complicated this area of taxation was and how underserved these individuals were.

“I left the large accounting firm and moved to a local firm to have a greater impact and help my clients,” he says. “Unfortunately, the local firm didn’t have the same resources to elicit the large firm services. However, I was still able to develop a group of 60-plus clients with these types of international issues, but I felt there was still more to do.”

That opportunity arose when the local firm joined with Eide Bailly. With this merger, Criddle’s opportunities grew. “I was selected as the firm leader in individual international tax issues and was asked to participate in the firm’s national tax practice,” he says. “In this role I have had many opportunities to share my expertise on a broader level.”

Criddle’s opportunities continue to grow, as he was recently approved for partnership in the firm, which will go into effect May 1.

“I can’t express the joy I feel when I am able to use my understanding of the tax laws to lessen a painful situation or develop a strategy with a client to address a tax issue that is their cause for frustration.”

Jennifer Decker 39
Of Counsel Attorney
Fabian & Clendenin

Over the past 14 years, Jennifer Decker has represented hundreds of clients in all aspects of estate planning. For example, she oversaw all probate, guardianship, conservatorship and minor settlement court approvals in the case resulting from the multiple deaths and injuries at the Crandall Canyon Mine. She also assisted in some of the probate issues stemming from the notorious Joshua and Susan Cox Powell case.

“After a loved one passes, people are in the midst of the grieving process yet need to move forward with administering their loved one’s affairs,” she says. “I find great satisfaction in helping relieve the family’s burdens, answer questions and provide legal advice in a helpful, timely and cost-effective manner. People need to know their lawyer cares about them.”

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