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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
The life story of Merit Medical CEO, Fred Lampropoulos, reads like a dime novel of the early 1900s. His father moved the family to Salt Lake City in 1964 with nary a penny in his pocket. Fred remembers spending the first few nights after the move sleeping in the car because the family had nowhere to go — no friends, no relatives, and certainly not a house.
Fred started Merit Medical, along with co-founder Kent Stanger, in 1987. Fred had worked previously as a stock broker, and then as CEO of Utah Medical. He thought carefully about choosing the name of his new company. He hoped that it would be a description of its services and products.
Recently, Merit Medical was ranked by Fortune Magazine's list of America's 100 Fastest Growing Small Companies and Business Week's 100 Hot Growth Companies. Perhaps even more commendable is the fact that Merit was the only company in Utah to make either list. In a similar ranking, Forbes magazine ranked Merit number 53 out of 200 Best Small Companies in America.
Merit Medical manufactures and markets medical devices used mainly in the cardiovascular and vascular realms of medicine. Fred has invented many of the company's devices himself. In fact, he is responsible for nearly 100 U.S. patented inventions, the ideas for which came to Fred while talking with customers, "finding out," he said, "what their problems were, and how I could help them." Just this year Fred was awarded the Governor's Medal for Science and Technology.
Today Merit Medical has locations in South Jordan, Texas and as far away as Galway, Ireland and employs more than 1200 people. Additionally, Merit owns a semi-conductor company in Santa Clara, Calif., a business, says Fred, that Merit hopes to relocate to South Jordan sometime in the near future.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.