Mark Miller Honored as "2010 Trailblazer" by Utah Business Magazine

2010 Utah Business Honors 10 Enduring Companies

by Heidi Kulicke

21 May 2010-

Utah Business magazine awarded 10 Utah-based companies at the eighth annual Trailblazers recognition program on Thursday, May 20 at the Grand America Hotel. The 10 Trailblazers cited common themes of customer service, adaptability and integrity as vital components to their growth and success.

Each company designated an individual to accept the Trailblazers award and to provide a brief acceptance speech. The companies span industries such as insurance, auto, non-profit, interior design and telecommunications.

Four of the 10 companies were established more than 100 years ago, and the others at least 50 years ago. A handful of the companies are still family-owned and operated, including Moreton & Company, Cummings Studio Chocolates and Mark Miller Dealerships.

Family-owned and operated for three generations, Mark Miller, chairman of Mark Miller Dealerships, vividly recalls as a young boy a sign in his father's office that read, "We cannot afford to have a single dissatisfied customer." Taking that statement to heart has paid off, as they are now celebrated for the tagline "famous for customer service."

A dedication to customer service and the community has also helped Utah Central Credit Union remain strong. "The economy changes, but our commitment to how we serve our members doesn't," said Brett Blackburn, president and CEO of Utah Central Credit Union.

Although the ability to adapt to new trends and technology is vital for a company's longevity, as demonstrated by Mountain West Telecom, service remains its anchor. "Service is very important in our industry and is what has kept us going. We listen to our customer and that drives us to do our best," said Jeff Pitts, president of Mountain West Telecom.

Community involvement on both sides is what makes the Utah Food Bank tick. Last year volunteers donated 118,000 hours of time sorting, boxing and delivering food for those in need. With ties to food pantries throughout the state, Utah Food Bank is working hard to provide food access to every Utahan in need.

The food bank has experienced a 30 percent increase in requests since the recession began. "No one should have to make a choice between making a payment or putting food on the table," said Jim Pugh, CEO of Utah Food Bank.

Many trailblazers expressed gratitude to the founders for their vision, and past and present employees for their dedication. "So far I've managed to not screw up [the founder's] vision, I get to work with incredible people and have a cool place to go to every day," said Marshall Tate, president of Midwest Commercial Interiors.