What next? Utah's most successful entrepreneurs on the future of business

By Kevan Barney

For the Deseret News

Published: Monday, Aug. 15 2011 12:00 p.m. MDT

“I am concerned about the impact of the federal health care bill on a long-term basis. On one hand it could increase demand for health care services to an extent that it will create major opportunities to any business that serves the health care community. On the other hand it will be very expensive to provide health care coverage for our employees under the provisions of this act. My belief is that health care reform will ultimately become part of our landscape that we will have to deal with. I believe that in general it will have a stifling effect on business.” – Larry Stevens, president/CEO, Med One Capital

4. Education and business

“In the U.S. there will be a growing mismatch between the skills of workers and the needs of employers which will require more focus on providing higher education for working adults, and will make it more difficult and expensive to find the right employees. Most jobs will require post-secondary education, further straining our higher education capacity.” – Robert W. Mendenhall, president, Western Governors University

5. Politics/government and business

“The government should not have so much power to regulate business. The economy will only be successful when the individual businessman can exercise initiative.” – Karen George, president and CEO, Wasatch Clinical Research

“I predict the country will continue to struggle with debt and this will have a dampening effect on access to capital and historical opportunities. Entrepreneurs and other business leaders will need to step forward to appropriately place statesmen and stateswomen who can focus on the good of the whole. This will be a necessary exercise of getting the right people in the right political offices.” – David Dangerfield, president/CEO, Avalon Health Care

“The federal government has to get its fiscal house in order. This is, granted, a complex issue, but if it is not dealt with appropriately it will become very difficult to effectively run a business of any kind anywhere in the United States. The cards will simply be stacked against legitimate business in such a dramatic way that it would be difficult to exist. I think that this problem is now on the minds of the American people and that there will be a resolution worked out.” – Larry Stevens, president/CEO, Med One Capital

6. International business

“I predict that the economy in Utah will evolve into more of a world economy. As this occurs, the horizon for the entrepreneur will broaden and there will be an ability for this entrepreneur to embrace opportunities in a much larger scope.” – David Dangerfield, president/CEO, Avalon Health Care

“Africa will increasingly be recognized as an emerging market with economic potential similar to China, India and Brazil. Iraq will attract foreign investment interested in cashing in on the economic boom that’s created by government stability, increased security and a steady growth in oil sales. American business will opt out of participating in the growth engines of Africa and Iraq due to the perceived risks. But the diaspora from Iraq and Africa will use the capitalism they learn from the western cultures – especially America – to ride the wave of economic opportunity in their home countries.” – Paul Morrell, president, Al-Morrell Development

Kevan Barney is senior public relations strategist for The Summit Group Communications in Salt Lake City.

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