Business

‘Speaking on Business’ Honors Top Businesses of 2018

20 Utah and Idaho Companies Recognized for Innovation and Impact

Kallee Feuz and Malcolm Hong | Photos by Kevin Kiernan May 1, 2019

After 22 years and more than 7,000 businesses showcased on Zions Bank’s “Speaking on Business” radio program, it’s a testament to the vibrant economic landscapes of Idaho and Utah that host Chris Redgrave still finds no shortage of dynamic and thriving companies to profile across the airwaves.

On any given weekday, listeners might hear about a gourmet food shop, an international ski supplier or even a beekeeper. The challenge comes in trying to select Idaho’s and Utah’s top businesses from the 360 featured annually on “Speaking on Business.”

Scott Anderson of Zions Bank
Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson at the Idaho Top Speaking on Business luncheon

Twenty such companies were honored at the eighth annual “Speaking on Business” Top Business Awards luncheon, hosted by Zions Bank on Feb. 8 in Idaho and on Feb. 15 in Utah. Honorees were selected for their economic and cultural impact, innovation, and entrepreneurial leadership.

“Businesses like these not only form the backbone of our economy, they are elevating life for all of us through their problem-solving, ingenuity and insightfulness in many different arenas,” says Redgrave, program host and senior vice president of Community Relations, speaking of this year’s award recipients.

At the Utah luncheon, internationally known bookseller Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books spoke to award winners about the importance of letting passion, rather than income, drive business endeavors. “Independent businesses are the heart and soul of any city,” he says.

In Idaho, the keynote address was delivered by Mike Burrell, founder of Crayster, which manufactures and ships a patented crawfishing trap across the world. He discussed the importance of perseverance and building a team that shares your common vision. His son provided inspiration for the trap and is now a student in a competitive robotics program.

Since 1997, “Speaking on Business” has showcased everything from startup enterprises to fourth-generation establishments. The program airs on KSL NewsRadio and 20 other stations throughout Utah and Idaho. Following are the winning companies.

Ken Sanders
Rare bookstore owner Ken Sanders speaks at the Utah Top Speaking on Business luncheon.
Idaho Falls-based Crayster provides a patented crawfishing trap in many styles and sizes so users can catch pounds of crawfish in a single evening.
Jerry Struhs, Mike Burrell of Crayster
Hess Pumice Products provides refined and precision-grade pumice with more than 300 custom blends. Its products are used in manufacturing for TV screens, computer chips and other consumer electronics. Recently, the Malad company expanded its products to support development of manufactured stones on buildings and a high-quality grout used to stabilize soils and seal microfractures.
Mike Hess of Hess Pumice Products
Plant Therapy, owned by Chris and Amanda Jones, is an essential oil company that offers a wide variety of products in more than 100 countries. The Joneses purchased the business seven years ago and have grown it to 110 team members with two physical locations in Meridian and Twin Falls.
Paul Stanger of Plant Therapy
ONE Grounds Management provides a one-stop shop for property managers to care for the exterior of a building, with services including landscaping, snow removal, window washing, pest control and parking lot maintenance. Founder Jason Nielsen started the Nampa-based company 13 years ago and has expanded into six Northwest states, helping to put the company among the top 5 percent of landscapers in the nation.
Marco Pantaleon, Kahla McCurdy, Stephen Hansen, Trent Christensen of One Grounds Management
Silverwing Trailers in Grace offers an extensive line of affordable, durable aluminum trailers to meet hauling and recreation needs. The trailers are shipped nationwide through Costco, and the company is growing at a rate of 120 percent annually.
DeVaun Crane, Troy Nielsen of Silverwing Trailers
Maddock Veterinary Service in Montpelier provides care for patients ranging from family pets to farm animals. Its clinic includes an in-house lab, X-ray and ultrasound and is also connected with a lab in Logan for more specialized testing.
Christy Maddock of Maddock Veterinary Service
Vista Healthcare provides health solutions ranging from preventive screening to managing ongoing conditions. Operated by two experienced female nurse practitioners, they specialize in women’s health care, particularly hormone replacement therapy. The Rexburg company was founded by Rachelle Jones a year ago and now employs nine people. Her parents accepted the award on her behalf.
Brenda and Bob Cornelison of Vista Healthcare
Founded by Stuart Draper five years ago, Stukent allows textbook authors to update their digital curriculum regularly and provides students with lifetime access to this information. Based in Idaho Falls, Stukent is used by more than 1,000 educational institutions in more than 40 countries.
Trevor Erikson of Stukent
Rock Solid Granite and Tile provides natural stone and quartz countertops for homes and manages the entire fabrication and installation process using advanced machinery for a perfect fit. The Idaho Falls company imports granite in more than 100 colors from around the world. Founded by Chris Evans, the company has been in business for 13 years and employs 18 people.
Chris Evans of Rock Solid Granite and Tile
Paddles Up Poke offers a wide variety of gourmet poke, made from diced raw fish supplemented with tasty sauces, vegetables and other toppings. The Boise company offers nine unique sauces added to fresh fish flown in daily.
Jordan Tapangco, Dan Landucci of Paddles Up Poke
From its humble beginnings with three employees and a single customer, Biomerics has grown into a vertically-integrated polymer solutions provider and contract manufacturer for the medical device and biotech industries. Today, the company manufactures biomaterials, extrusions, injection molded components and finished devices for the world’s leading medical device corporations.
Joel Larson, Thomas Reams, Travis Sessions, Andy Montero, Aden Hirtle of Biomerics
Barney Trucking’s fleet travels more than 38 million miles annually, transporting coal and other bulk materials, aggregates, liquids, and dry hazardous chemicals. The 72-year-old company based in Salina delivers a load, on average, every two-and-a-half minutes. Barney Trucking swept all five safety awards at the 2018 Utah Trucking Association Convention.
Layne Barney, Brad Barney, David Price of Barney Trucking
The inventory at Ken Sanders Rare Books is vast, eclectic and constantly evolving. In addition to new, used and rare books, the store’s art, maps, postcards and photography give customers in the downtown Salt Lake City destination a unique experience.
Ken Sanders of Ken Sanders Rare Books
With more than 2,500 employees, HB Boys operates multiple franchises — restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores and coffeehouses — in five states. HB Boys added to the Salt Lake City International Airport redesign project with a gas station and convenience store that includes Burger King and Costa Vida restaurants, as well as a Beans and Brews coffeehouse.
Dave Williams, Gary Moore of HB Boys
A Salt Lake City dining classic, Crown Burgers celebrated its 40th anniversary last year. The original location still sits at 377 E. 200 South, and the family-owned company now has six other Wasatch Front locations.
Eleni Maroudas, Dean Maroudas of Crown Burger
With 4,000 animals and nearly one million visits per year, The Loveland Living Planet Aquarium has made a splash far beyond its Draper home. In 2018, the 136,000-square-foot aquarium started construction to expand its educational opportunities.
Robert Castellano, Heather Doggett, Brent Andersen, Caroline Ralston of Loveland Living Planet Aquarium
Known for its home reference, cookbook and children’s titles, Gibbs Smith Publisher’s books are printed in 10 languages and distributed around the world. Founded in 1969, the Layton company is the nation’s leading publisher of state history programs.
Brad Farmer, Bob Pollnow, Madge Baird, Jared Taylor, Lareen Strong, Reide Thompson of Gibbs Smith Publisher
Olympia Furniture serves a diverse customer base at its three locations in Salt Lake City, West Jordan and St. George. The multigenerational business has found its niche offering affordable furniture with high-touch service.
Jose Mayorga Jr., Jose Mayorga, Carlos Mayorga and Luis Mayorga of Olympia Furniture
Lucky Spoon Bakery creates gluten-free products distributed to more than 1,500 stores in 35 states. Gluten-free cookies, cupcakes, brownies and muffins are among the Salt Lake City company’s culinary delights.
Pam Schulte, Jim Schulte of Lucky Spoon Bakery
Superior Drilling Products developed the first commercially viable process to remanufacture PDC drill bits for the oil and gas industry. The Vernal company pioneered products and procedures that have become standards throughout the oil and gas industry.
Tony Benjamin of Superior Drilling Products

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