Executive Leaders Alliance

Executive Leaders Alliance is an exclusive event for Utah’s top CEOs and Executives. The purpose of the group is to promote peer to peer networking, idea exchange and best practices. The group meets regularly for lunch and discussion in an environment free of vendor sales pitches or glad-handing.


Hanko Kiessner, Packsize International


Hanko Kiessner, co-founder and CEO of Packsize, is a passionate entrepreneur whose company manufactures high-tech, on-demand, earth-friendly packaging systems and spoftware for the ominchannel distribution and production market.  His ambition is to save mankind in their niche through his company’s solutions, in addition to his non-profit organization Leaders for Clean Air.
Packsize is a thriving business that has disrupted the packaging market and increased sustainability through right-sized packaging.   Their systems shrink box sizes by 40% or more and eliminate 24 million truckloads of waste a year in US.

The event will feature a keynote from Mr. Hanko Kiessner and a facility tour.  Lunch will be provided.

 Date:  Thursday, August 22nd
Time:  11:30am – 1 pm
Location:  Packsize - 3760 W Smart Pack Way, Salt Lake City
Price: $25.00 Per Person
Pricing is per person. This event invite is extended to all your local C-Level executives.  If you have questions about additional registrations, please contact Candace Keller at IPG Commercial (candace@ipgcre.com).

Pricing is per person. If a guest is planning to join, they will need to be registered separately. 

Click to Register



April 2019 Keynote Speaker

Martin Ritter was appointed CEO & President of Stadler US, Inc. in 2016, relocating to Salt Lake City from Switzerland. Martin was charged with taking a successful European brand and establishing its path for success in the US market. He graduated with his Master’s in Accounting and Finance from the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and holds the rank of Captain in the Swiss army. During his time in active military service he was the Commanding Officer of the First Company, 20th Grenadier Battalion, an elite special forces unit. Martin joined Stadler as the assistant to Group CEO Peter Spuhler and was responsible for developing business solutions and leading strategic projects. Martin enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife Denise and is a sponsored gigathalete in Switzerland.

March 2017 Keynote Speaker

Jonathan Johnson has been the chairman of Overstock's board of directors since April 2014, transitioning to the position after five years as the company's president and later the acting CEO and executive vice chairman of the board. Johnson joined Overstock in 2002 as the company's general counsel, and has held various business and legal related positions within the company prior to being named president. He has been an integral part of Overstock's meteoric growth from a small start-up to a publicly-traded company with over $1.5 billion in sales and over 1,700 employees.

Topic: A History of creative Destruction... What's Next?


December 2016 Keynote Speaker

Gary has worked for The O.C. Tanner Company for 29 years. His current assignment is Executive Vice President, Supply Chain & Production.

Prior to working in his current roll Gary has held an impressively diverse set of jobs with the O.C. Tanner Company, including Manager of Market Research, Manufacturing Change Facilitator (where he was instrumental in moving the operation from “batch” to lean, resulting in their winning the Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing), Vice President of Manufacturing, Marketing Vice President of Award Development, and Vice President of Research and Professional Services.

Gary serves on the Executive Advisory Board for the Shingo Institute, and is a Shingo Examiner. His experience with Lean Enterprise sends him around the globe helping others improve their operations.

Gary holds an MBA and a Bachelor’s Degree in Statistics from Brigham Young University. He recharges his batteries by snowboarding, playing basketball, hiking, watching his 17-year old daughter play soccer, and being with his seven grandchildren.

August 2016 Keynote Speaker

Charlie Precourt is the Vice President and General Manager of Propulsion Systems for Orbital ATK's Flight Systems Group. He is responsible for key programs including the solid rocket booster for NASA's Space Launch System, Trident II (D-5) and Minuteman III strategic missile product lines, the ground based Midcourse Defense program and commercial rocket motors and products. 

Before coming to Orbital ATK, Precourt had a distinguished 15-year career with NASA. Qualified as space shuttle astronaut in 1991, he is a veteran of four space flights- including two as mission commander- and has logged more than 932 hours in space. 

April 2016 Keynote Speaker

Randall Hales is the president and CEO of ZAGG. Mr. Hales joined Zagg as president and COO in 2011, having served on the company’s board of directors since 2010. He was named the company’s interim CEO in August 2012, and following a search undertaken by the board of directors, was appointed CEO in December 2012. 

Mr. Hales brings extensive business experience in operational development, product management, retail marketing, and management to Zagg. Prior to joining the company, Mr. Hales served as the CEO of Mity Enterprises, a furniture systems manufacturer with worldwide sales and operations. Mr. Hales served as the president, CEO and member of Back to Basics, Inc., an award-winning kitchenware company that was recognized as Ernst & Young’s "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2004 and held Inc. 500 recognition in 2003, 2004, and 2005. 

Topic: Influencing Performance Through Corporate Objectives

December 2015 Keynote Speaker

In 2004, Jill Layfield stumbled upon a posting for a marketing position with a small eCommerce company called Backcountry.com and decided to send in her resume.  She got the job and uprooted from the San Francisco Bay area to Park City, UT and moved up through the ranks from Backcountry’s Director of Consumer Marketing role to become the VP of Product Development in 2009, COO in 2010, and CEO in 2011.

Jill graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.S. in Communications.  Prior to Backcountry, Jill held positions with Shutterfly, Cisco Systems, Infogear, and 8x8.

Topic: Discoveries and Detours, A Decade of Evolution at Backcountry.com 


September 2015 - Blue Sky Ranch & High West Distillery

For this fall event, we took the ELA Group up to Wanship Utah, to tour the beautiful Ranch at Blue Sky (and future site for a boutique luxury resort) and the newly constructed High West Distillery Facility. We were given an exclusive tour of the property by Stuart Campbell, COO of Blue Sky Ranch,  followed by a five star dinner and entertainment with a Keynote Presentation by David Perkins, Founder of High West Distillery.


Jeremy Andrus


May 2015 Keynote Speaker

Jeremy Andrus joined Traeger Wood Pellet Grills as President & CEO in January, 2014 and acquired the business alongside private equity fund Trilantic Capital Partners in July of that year.  Prior to Traeger, he served as the President and CEO of Skullcandy as well as on its board of directors.   In eight years, Jeremy helped grow Skullcandy's annual sales from less than $1 million to nearly $300 million. He served as Director of Strategic Planning and Acquisitions for boutique hotel owner and operator Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group from 2003 to 2005 and managed his own hotel development projects focused on Marriott franchise properties from 1998-2002.  He served as a Consultant for Monitor Company from 1996 to 1998. Jeremy currently sits on the boards of directors for Wilson Electronics, PurePredictive and TrueGreece, and was formerly a board member of Goal Zero.  He volunteers on the loan committee for refugee microfinance agency International Rescue Committee.  Jeremy received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and B.A. from Brigham Young University.  He lives in Salt Lake City with his wife and four daughters.

Topic: From Startup to Turnaround - Success Through Team Building and Culture

February 2015 Ski Event & Roundtable 

We had our first ever ELA Ski Event & Roundtable at the Waldorf Astoria in Park City. We were joined by special Guest Speaker: Stephani Victor, Alpine Skiier Paralympic Gold and Silver Medalist who started out our day on an inspiration note, she also joined the executives for some time on the slopes. Following skiing, we had a luncheon and panel discussion led by Panelists: Peter Metcalf , Black Diamond Equipment CEO, Ron Steele, Rossignol President, Brad Peterson, Utah Director of Outdoor Recreation.



November 2014 Keynote Speaker

Nazz Kurth is the President of Petzl America, the U.S. division of Petzl, which is headquartered in France. Petzl’s mission is to create innovative tools and services: Solutions that allow people to progress in the vertical environment and illuminate the darkness. For over 50 years, Petzl has developed innovative tools and techniques used by those entering the vertical world. Today, the Petzl brand is closely associated with adventure, exploration, rescue, and many notable exploits in the worlds of rock climbing, and alpinism.

A life-long climber, Nazz’s vocation and avocation merged when in 2006, he joined Petzl as headlamp division manager and later became Sales Director. In January 2012, Nazz Kurth took over the role as President and oversaw the move from Clearfield to their new facility at Decker Lake. Prior to joining Petzl he worked in the market intelligence industry as well as a mountain guide and wilderness program director.

Topic: Creating and Employee and Customer Centric Building that's LEED Certified

August 2014 Keynote Speaker

Tom Torgerson is the Director of Manufacturing in North America for Ottobock HealthCare.  Ottobock is a privately held German company that was started in 1919 by the founder, Otto Bock.  The company specializes in the design and manufacture of prosthetics, orthotics and mobility products.  Ottobock is the number one prosthetic company in the world. 

Tom started his career as a Mechanical Engineer working for Hercules Aerospace which later became ATK Aerospace.  He spent 20 years with the company as a Design Engineer, Program Manager and Director of Engineering.  For the past 9 years he has worked for Ottobock as the Plant Manager for the SLC facility and then Director of Manufacturing for North America.  His focus on the implementation of Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement ensures that when working in manufacturing, the job is never done. 

He has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Montana State University.  Tom and his wife Shelly have 3 children and live in Cottonwood Heights, Utah. 

Topic: Moving a Manufacturing Facility Across the Country

May 2014 Keynote Speaker

Topic: No Hippies, Just Good Business - Building the Case for Sustainability
Steve Keyser, President, Utah Paperbox

Steve Keyser is the President of Utah Paperbox. He is the fourth generation of the Keyser family to run the company, which in 2014 is celebrating its 100th year. The company is known for its specialty boxes and boasts clients such as Hallmark and Starbucks. A leader in the industry, UPB is ahead of the curve in adopting new technologies and techniques to create the most eye-catching and innovative of packaging.

Topic: No Hippies, Just Good Business - Building the Case for Sustainability


February 2014 Keynote Speaker

Richard "Rick" Kay, President & CEO, Sweet Candy Company
Topic: The Benefits and Challenges of Managing a Family Business

December 2013 Keynote Speaker

Peter Metcalf, Lead Founder, CEO, President of Black Diamond Equipment
Topic: Defining Our Sustainable Why

September 2013 Keynote Speaker:

Mike Dutton, CEO of Winder Farms
Topic: Reinventing a Hundred Year Old Brand

February 2013 Keynote Speaker

Curt Crowther, President/CEO of Serta 
Topic: Giving Back - A Business Case for Generosity

May 2012 Keynote Speaker

Mike Berg, Plant Manager of Pepsi Company
Topic: How to Reward Your Employees Performance

November 2011 Keynote Speaker

Dr. Dan Fischer, President of Ultradent Products Inc.
Topic: The Power of Caring

May 2011 Keynote Speaker

Jack Livingood, CEO of Big-D Construction
Topic: Sneak Peek of the New Utah Natural History Museum

November 2010 Keynote Speaker

Jonathan E. Johnson, III, President of Overstock.com
Topic: Social Entrepreneurship

May 2010 Keynote Speaker

Randy Hales, CEO of Mity Enterprises
Topic: Keeping Jobs at Home

May 2013 Keynote Speaker:

Joseph R. Atkin, CEO of Goal Zero
Topic: Empowered Employees Equals Powered Results

November 2012 Keynote Speaker

Kevin Cornwell, Chairman & CEO of Utah Medical Products
Topic: The Medical Devise Industry - Swimming Against the Tide

February 2012 Keynote Speaker

Robert Pedersen, CEO of Zagg Inc.
Topic: The Evolution of Zagg

August 2011 Keynote Speaker

Don Watkins, CEO of Handstands
Topic: Working Your Way to the Top

February 2011 Keynote Speaker

Wynn Clayton, Senior VP and CFO of 3-Form
Topic: Design Has the Power to Transform More Than Just Space

August 2010 Keynote Speaker

Tom Dickson, CEO of Blendtec
Topic: Viral Marketing Success Strategies