Dale H. Ballard, Gary L. Crocker and Michael O. Leavitt to be added to the list of renowned leaders and pioneers of the Utah Technology Industry
SALT LAKE CITY – July 28, 2010 – The Utah Technology Council (UTC) has announced Gary L. Crocker and Governor Michael O. Leavitt will be inducted into the UTC Hall of Fame, and Dale H. Ballard will be inducted posthumously. UTC will honor these legends of Utah’s technology industry at its annual black-tie event on October 29 at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
“These influential leaders have accomplished extraordinary things not only in Utah, but also worldwide,” said Richard R. Nelson, UTC founder and CEO. “We invite the community to join us as we honor their professional and personal accomplishments and celebrate Utah’s spectacular technology industry.”
Gary L. Crocker
Gary L. Crocker is president of Crocker Ventures, a privately-held life science investment firm funding differentiated technologies in the areas of biotechnology and medical devices. Since 2004, he has also been chairman of Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, a personalized oncology drug company.
In addition, Crocker has held senior executive or director level positions in several Utah and national life science firms, including: chairman of ARUP Laboratories, from 1998 to 2003; director of Interleuken Genetics and LineaGen Genetics, LLC; and co-founder and director of Theratech, which was acquired in 1999 by Watson Pharmaceuticals.
In 1983, Crocker founded Research Medical, Inc., a manufacturer and marketer of specialty cardiac catheters and related medical devices utilized in open heart surgeries. He served as the president and CEO until 1997, during which time the company generated more than a 20 percent average annual growth in both sales and earnings and was recognized for six straight years by Forbes magazine as one of “America’s Best 200 Small Growth Companies.” Research Medical was acquired in 1997 by Baxter International’s Edwards Life Science division, one of the world’s largest medical device companies, for $236 million. At the time, it was the largest medical device merger in Utah history.
Prior to Research Medical, Crocker was vice president of business development and director of marketing for the Sorenson Research division of Abbott Laboratories, and an internal strategic analyst for Baxter International.
In the community, Crocker has served for 15 years as chairman of the Utah Youth Village. His leadership role in the Youth Village’s program for troubled families, “Families First,” has enabled the Village to serve hundreds of struggling low-income families. Crocker is a member of the President’s Leadership Council at Brigham Young University, in which he played a pivotal role both as a major donor and as a volunteer leader in its recent capital campaign. He also served as president of the board for the Utah Opera Company, where he introduced its highly-successful Med Night. He is a former trustee of the Deseret Foundation’s Heart-Lung Research Institute.
Additionally, he served as vice-chair of the University of Utah’s Board of Trustees and on the board of the University Hospital, and was a long-time director of its Research Foundation. He has served as chairman of the University’s College of Science Advisory Board and has been inducted into the College of Science Hall of Fame. He currently serves on the Utah Technology Council Board of Trustees and as a member of the Executive Committee.
Crocker has been selected as Entrepreneur of the Year for Utah by both Ernst & Young and the MountainWest Capital Network. He earned his MBA and also graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University. Crocker and his wife, Ann, have seven children and were honored with the Next Generation Spirit of Giving Award at the Utah 2001 Philanthropy Day. In 2010, the couple provided the anchor donation for the new Gary L. and Ann S. Crocker Science Center at the University of Utah.
Michael O. Leavitt
Michael O. Leavitt is the founder and chairman of Leavitt Partners, where he advises clients in the health care and food safety sectors. In previous roles, Leavitt served in the Cabinet of President George W. Bush (Secretary of Health and Human Services and Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency) and as a three-time elected governor of Utah exhibiting information technology leadership in each of these positions.
As governor, Leavitt created a new vision for information technology in the beehive state. During his first year, he outlined this vision in a speech to technology leaders and called for the state to build a high-speed digital highway, place government services online 24/7, expand the state’s wide-area network and commit the state to greater use of the Internet, videoconferencing and wireless technologies. As obvious as these aspirations seem now, at the time, Governor Leavitt was dubbed “Governor Moonbeam” for his almost too forward-looking approach to information technology.
His tech-savvy, aspirational vision paid off and took root in subsequent years as Utah became the first state to recognize digital signatures, offered over a hundred government services online and earned the designation as “Best of the Web” for its state portal in 2003, 2007 and 2009. Gov. Leavitt also helped lead the adoption of 800-megahertz technology to establish a statewide communication link for law enforcement, which proved critical during the security efforts for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games.
An entrepreneur at heart, Leavitt was an original founder of the Western Governors University, the nation’s first fully-accredited online university to offer competency-based degrees. WGU has risen to national prominence, serving over 19,000 students from all 50 states.
In public service, Mike Leavitt has always planted seeds for future generations. He set a statewide goal to double the number of engineers and scientists graduating from Utah’s premier universities working closely with UTC. As a result, Utah’s research universities now have better facilities and more resources. Leavitt’s tech-oriented economic development strategy helped sustain the longest economic expansion in modern state history. Technology giants were attracted to the Utah market and provided significant wealth and opportunity for Utah residents, laying the foundation for the next generation of technology development.
Governor Leavitt governed at a time when technology leadership was critical to Utah’s future and our state. In a myriad of ways, his leadership made Utah more prosperous then and now.
He and his wife Jackie have been married nearly 36 years. They have five children and seven grandchildren. The Leavitt’s live in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Dale H. Ballard (posthumous award)
Dale H. Ballard, founder of Ballard Medical Products, grew up in Magna, Utah, a small community near Salt Lake City. In 1941, he graduated from high school and then served in the Army for four years during World War II, including time as a secretary to General George S. Patton. After the war, Ballard earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacology from the University of Utah. He then worked for pharmaceutical giant Parke-Davis from 1951 to 1956, when he quit to launch his first company.
A pioneer in disposable medical products, Ballard co-founded Deseret Pharmaceutical Company with James L. Sorenson and Victor Cartwright. The firm, which produced disposable medical items, began modestly, with Ballard initially manufacturing some products in his basement, but Deseret Pharmaceutical grew rapidly. Under Ballard’s innovative leadership, the company established medical manufacturing in Utah. In 1977, Ballard sold Deseret Pharmaceutical for $138 million to Warner Lambert.
In 1978, Ballard started Ballard Medical Products and became its president, CEO, and board chairman. The key to its success was the production of products that nobody else had. In 1983, Ballard Medical became a public company with stock traded on the NASDAQ exchange. By early 1989, the company had been on Inc. magazine’s list of America’s fastest growing small businesses for two consecutive years.
Dale Ballard, in a 1989 Deseret News article, called Ballard Medical a “self-contained” company because it controlled almost every phase of creating, developing, and eventually producing a new product. “Because we produce [almost] everything, we don’t have to depend on anybody and we can respond to the market quickly,” he said. Another major factor in the company’s effectiveness was its emphasis on one-on-one contact between its representatives and those actually using the firm’s products, thus enabling identification of problems with a product and the ability to make rapid changes.
Ballard continued its rapid expansion through the 1990s. In 1992, Business Week listed Ballard Medical as number 34 in its annual ranking of America’s “100 Hot Growth Companies.” Forbes listed Ballard Medical as one of the nation’s top 200 small companies. In 1999, Ballard Medical was sold to Kimberly-Clark for $764 million. One of the stipulations of the agreement being that the company could not be moved outside the U.S. while Mr. Ballard was still living to help ensure jobs for the employees that had been loyal to Ballard Medical.
The UTC Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame event honors individuals with Utah ties who have made global contributions to the information technology, life science and clean tech industries through new technology, innovation and leadership. These contributions have resulted in job growth, commercialization of technology and increased growth and development of the nation’s technology sector and economy. UTC invites members of Utah’s technology industries, as well as business and community leaders, to join in honoring this year’s inductees.
John T. Chambers, chairman and chief executive officer of Cisco, will address the 2010 Hall of Fame gala.
For more information about the 2010 Hall of Fame event or to register for the event, please visit UTC’s website or call 801-568-3500. Sponsorships are available from firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Utah Technology Council
Utah’s premier professional association, the Utah Technology Council, has become the essential business resource for life science, high-tech and clean tech companies seeking to achieve greater success. At its core, UTC exists to foster the Growth of the state’s more than 5,700 technology companies, ensure Utah develops the highest Quality Workforce in the nation, and attract an ever-increasing array of Funding. Members join UTC to share insights with industry peers, counsel with government and academic leaders, and receive help from professional service providers and funding resources. To become a member of this “must join” organization, visit www.utahtechcouncil.org or call 801-568-3500 today.