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Headliner of the year Kiln

The office — it’s not about the square footage, but what happens inside.      
   Spanning across five states, 13 Kiln locations are in operation with five more set to be completed this year. The Provo location opened its doors early fall of 2023 — and, as a whole, Kiln hosts around 4,500 members and over 1,800 companies. 

   “We care about employee experience,” says Arian Lewis, CEO and co-founder. “We’re a forward-thinking company, focused on how we impact the community. With employers that base themselves at Kiln, the real investment they’re making has nothing to do with office space.”
   Individuals can rent space to work remotely, corporations can host conference rooms for big-idea brainstorming, and VC groups can throw startup pitch competitions in the events theater. The relationships fostered inside are invaluable.
   This is part of the reason that Kiln continues to flourish as many traditional office spaces post “for sale” signs.


   As local as Kiln is, its story begins in the United Kingdom. As Arian Lewis shared in a Silicon Slopes podcast, he went to pursue an MBA in England, where he began studying co-working and flexible office. His studies gained wings when he began working for Barclays, where he built a co-working/fintech accelerator model.

   The co-working and accelerator projects were quickly successful. These led to a global expansion with a new brand called “Rise” — boosting startup ecosystems from New York to Tel Aviv. Arian was connected with Leigh Radford, who would become the creative director and co-founder of Kiln. 

   Discovering a passion for co-working, Arian left Barclays to nurture the concept of Kiln. With capital raised, Arian called Leigh, and Kiln’s first location entered the Salt Lake scene in 2018.


   Step through the doors of any Kiln, and intention pervades every detail. But Provo, specifically, has something special going on.

   “Provo is the first built-from-scratch location of Kiln, and one of the very few in the entire world that is designed from the ground up as a co-working space,” Arian says. 

   From the plethora of windows encouraging natural circadian rhythm, to the deep focus rooms, the name of the Kiln game is “optimal.” That claim stands for Kiln membership costs as well.

   “Kiln is extremely competitive on cost,” Arian says. “This location can compete with costs down to $18 per square foot. We really understand what I call the ‘utility function of square footage’ — with square footage, having more does not always open up more choices.”

   In comparison, as Kiln notes, “renting office space in Provo can range anywhere from $19.50 – $22.50 per square foot.”

   “At Kiln, our objective is to give companies a significant number of choices for what they can accomplish with their square footage,” Arian says. “Here, they have flexibility. What companies can offer to their employees is far superior to traditional office space.” 

   Kiln understands that people are more than employees, with a need for connection, movement and time to decompress. With this approach, productivity is elevated. Amber Linebaugh, Kiln Provo’s community director, can attest.

   “I’ve been told by several members who formerly worked from home that they are much more productive and fulfilled when they work here,” Amber says. “They love engaging with other people beyond co-workers on Zoom. It gives them a better sense of purpose to get dressed, leave the house and designate time to focus on their work.”

   With membership options from Basecamp to Private, teams and individuals also have access to podcast rooms, walking/bike desks, a fully-stocked kitchen, showers, a gym, relaxation rooms and amenities galore.

   These members are happy campers and happy workers.


   Each aspect of Kiln changes an average workday into a co-working community, so work and relationships are elevated. Arian shares that this is what the younger working generation is looking for, “placing a significant premium on experience.”

   “If you gave a millennial, the option between staying in a JW Marriott, or an A-frame cabin where they’d have to light the fireplace themselves, they’d stay in the A-frame,” Arian says. “The experience is more memorable, authentic, artistic and creative.”

    Likewise, work is not just about the desks. In fact, Arian says, at Kiln less than 60 percent of members’ time is spent at their desks.

   “There’s lots of getting up and walking here. That blood flow is really important,” Arian says. 

   But the benefits don’t stop there. 

   Sixty percent of members say that within the last 12 months, they have built a significant business relationship — thanks to their time at Kiln where they’re surrounded by business people from all kinds of industries.
   In the valley of Silicon Slopes, what could be more valuable? 

    The environment of work is shifting, and in Utah Valley, Kiln is at that helm.

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Contributor of the Year The Modersitzki Family

Generosity is not new to the Modersitzki family. As their business interests have grown (think Pelion), so have their donations (think UVU). So when Sandy Modersitzki texted her husband, Blake, to see if they could increase their donation to the Primary Promise campaign from $1 million to $10 million, she wasn’t surprised when he texted back “OK.” 

  But Blake was surprised when he finally read through the text conversation to see what he had hastily said “OK” to.
   “I had glanced down during my meetings and seen that there were several texts from Sandy, but it looked like casual things like, ‘Can you pick up milk on the way home?’ I didn’t realize what she was actually asking until a few hours later,” Blake laughs.
   This fortuitous miscommunication led to the Modersitzki family being one of the lead donors of the Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Larry H. & Gail Miller Family Campus in Lehi. 


   Sandy and Blake are Idaho natives who have raised their three daughters in Alpine. Family is top of the list for both of them, with their priorities of time and money being squarely focused on multiple generations of their family tree. 

   Several years ago, one branch of that tree faced terminal illness, and Sandy’s young niece lost her battle. 

   “When my niece was sick, I made a commitment that if I was ever in a position to give back to Primary Children’s in some form or fashion, that we would absolutely do it,” Sandy says. “And now to walk in this beautiful building and see our name on the wall is so overwhelming. This hospital is going to be a blessing to so many people in Utah County who have had to travel multiple times per week to get services for their children.” 

   In January 2024, the Modersitzki family and friends gathered to celebrate in the very space they have sponsored — the Blake and Sandy Modersitzki Family Education and Conference Center, with multiple rooms for gathering and ongoing education. The hospital officially opened for patients in February. 


   While Blake spends his days investing in businesses and leading growth trajectories, his balance sheet is tipped fiercely toward family. At the event marking the donation, Blake and Sandy yielded the floor to their three daughters: McCall Weekes, Ally Hunter and Claire Modersitzki. The daughters outlined the six family values: Education, Gratitude, Service, Adventure, Family and God. 

   “God guides, service gives, gratitude remembers, family supports, adventures bond and education empowers us to be better members of society,” said McCall and Ally in their joint presentation that included humor, personal jokes, sincerity and inspiration. 

   Blake said that the most exciting part about this philanthropic donation was that his family is on board. 

   “We are people of faith, and those from the other side spoke to us and we knew what we were supposed to do,” Blake says. “The other exciting part for us is the way our kids have embraced what we’re doing. We are in agreement about what to do with our family name and the legacy we want to create together.” 


   Sandy and her daughters lovingly call Blake “Big B,” and their gratitude for his work ethic and generosity is apparent in social media posts and public appearances. His traits have become family traits.  

   “Blake and Sandy are shining examples of generosity to me and my sisters,” Ally says. “They give time and money to multiple organizations, as well as boards they sit on. Their legacy in the purest form is not measured by the wealth they have amassed, but by the lives they have touched and the hearts they inspire.” 

   Although the daughters have watched their parents create financial success, they’ve also watched the creation of positivity and legacy that transcends digits and oversized checks. Their example can be personalized and implemented by anyone at any stage of life. 

   “Each one of us can craft a narrative that echoes the values we hold dear,” Ally says. 

   Her older sister, McCall, completes the thought, “Philanthropy is not solely the calling of the wealthy.” 

   In fact, one of the most impactful acts she saw her father perform was to drop $20 in the jar of a young entrepreneur for “a very sub-par cup of Country Time lemonade.” 

   Blake metaphorically does this on a much larger scale with Pelion Venture Partners, which invests in talented entrepreneurs in Utah and beyond. The company’s impressive new headquarters in Draper signals their belief in Utah’s economy and their role in growing it.  


   They call themselves the Mod Squad — and the rest of us also like that moniker so we don’t have to triple-check the spelling of Modersitzki. But no matter how many syllables it takes to thank the Modersitzkis, it’s well-earned. 

   From Sandy’s niece who passed, to a great-grandmother who became a nurse later in life, the Modersitzki name fits Primary Children’s like hand and glove, like promises made and promises kept.

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Marketer of the Year Owala, Trove Brands

Owala is like the friendliest kid in the school — the one who radiates sunshine, gives smiles freely and makes every person feel important.    
   “So much of what we want Owala to stand for is inclusivity and self-expression,” says Michael Sorensen, CEO. “We want to be the brand that says, ‘Come join the party!’”  

Three years strong and skyrocketing in a highly-saturated market, Owala is redefining the concept of water bottles. Perhaps this is why TIME listed Owala’s FreeSip bottle as one of the 2023 Best Inventions, or why New York Times predicted the brand as the new water-bottle king on the horizon, or why, according to Circana’s retail sales reports, Owala is now the No. 1 water bottle brand in the nation.  
   The brand message is resonating, and the bottles are selling.
   “Owala’s aim is to amplify and celebrate all that makes you you,” Michael says. “We wanted our brand to be focused on color and self-expression, and not taking ourselves or life too seriously. That has ended up being a core reason for Owala’s meteoric success.”
   We’ll FreeSip to that.


   Owala is a brand under Trove Brands, which also includes BlenderBottle, Whiskware, EcoBrite, Avana and two new brands that will launch this spring: Oath Nutrition, a sports performance brand, and Canoo, a new line of kids’ nutrition products.

   But let’s start at the beginning in 2000 with BlenderBottle, founded by Kim and Steve Sorensen. Under their leadership, BlenderBottle quickly became the best-selling shaker cup in the market, and they started asking, “Where do we go next?”

   Looking at the hydration market, they saw room for innovation and disruption.

   “Steve identified that there were straw drinkers and chug drinkers, and started exploring how we could come up with a bottle that makes a great experience for both,” Michael says. “He prototyped the FreeSip® spout — a now-patented design with a built-in straw and a wide-mouth opening that gives you the freedom to drink however you want. The team implemented it into the now-iconic bottle design.”

   This was an exciting innovation, but the sales weren’t an immediate success. After much debate around whether to leverage the BlenderBottle name, or launch under an entirely new brand, the product hit shelves at a few major retailers in 2019 as BlenderBottle Hydration. 

   “It flopped,” Michael says. “Steve was at a store one weekend and watched people look at the BlenderBottle Hydration end cap and walk right past it to go buy a competitor. He and Kim agreed we needed to take a different path. Steve texted me that night and said, ‘This isn’t going to work under BlenderBottle. It needs to be a new brand — and we need to re-launch ASAP.’”

   The team was given eight months. At the time, Michael was the VP of marketing, and the whole company hopped on board to craft what would become an iconic brand.

   “We knew being ordinary wasn’t going to cut it; we needed to truly disrupt the market,” Michael says. “We found a space in the market for something that was fun, interesting and different — something for people who didn’t necessarily identify with existing brands, but were buying them because that’s all there was.”

   Only three years from launch, the Owala FreeSip is quickly headed to the front of the pack — innovative, leak-proof and oh-so-stylish.


   When asked about the target audience for BlenderBottle throughout the years, Steve would joke, “We’re not marketing to everyone — only people who need to drink water.”

   Time came to launch the new brand, and the Owala marketing team decided to lean into that. 

   “We rolled out with it — ‘water bottles designed exclusively for people who drink water’ as our launch campaign — and it invited all kinds of trolls, which was the best thing possible for social media,” Michael says. 

   Commenters would loudly complain about how vague and silly the campaign was. 

   “Doesn’t everyone need to drink water?” 

   “I think that’s the point…” 

   “Aren’t all water bottles designed to hold water?”

   “Our social media team’s tongue-in-cheek responses just fueled the fire: ‘You’re right. We just fired our marketing team.’ The brand voice started to come out, and that early campaign is what helped us further refine the brand,” Michael recalls.

   Their re-targeting ads, showing simple, colorful bottles simply read, “Hey, it’s me again. Just hanging out in your feed. #buyme”

   The playful voice stuck and gained a bestie cult following.


   Owala plays with color in a way unique to the industry, and it works — blending colors like hot pink and pastel green. People have even created their own “Frankenbottles,” mix-and-matching bottle lids, bodies, buttons and handles for even funkier color combos.

   “When we released it as BlenderBottle Hydration, we stuck with safe colors like forest green and black,” Michael says. “When we launched Owala, we pushed the limits with really funky colorways — and not-too-serious names like Hyper Flamingo and Shy Marshmallow.”

   The unorthodox colorways made the whole squad nervous.

   “But that’s how we knew we had it right,” Michael says. “When we tried to play it safe, it didn’t work. We had to be different enough to make people a little uncomfortable.”

   A two-edged sword has been Owala’s Color Drops. Color Drops launch around every two weeks, dropping a one-time, exclusive design sold from a limited inventory. The 2024 “I <3 U” Valentine’s bottle sold out in seconds. 

   The point of the Color Drop is to create a unique bottle that customers only have one chance to purchase, and Owala besties are obsessed, to the point that they digitally camp out and set their alarms for a chance to purchase an envied bottle. And if they’re too late, they start a social media riot — as the limited editions often sell for over $200 on eBay.

   “We’ve grown so rapidly that forecasting demand accurately for Color Drops is next to impossible. We order eight months in advance and always think we’re being optimistic, then they sell out in seconds,” Michael says. “We’re working on this, and we have some solutions in mind. We want everybody to have a chance at these bottles.”

   Owala cares about their customers, so it re-launched the “I <3 U” Valentine’s bottle in February once more with a backorder purchasing option.

   What’s causing the hype? 

   “Water bottles are becoming a fashion accessory more than just a way to get water,” Michael says.

   Owala’s retail strategies align with this concept. In 2023, it partnered with Urban Outfitters to curate three unique UO FreeSip bottles. With retailers knocking on Owala’s door, the team stays true to their strategy, asking questions like, “Would it make sense for Owala to be in a gas station? A hardware store? For other water bottle brands, maybe, but not for Owala.”


  From I-15 billboards, to social media mastery, to strategic retail partnerships, to outside-the-box color schemes, Owala is doing more than one thing right. It continues to double or triple in sales every year. And Utah is its number one supporter, which makes the Lehi-based company thrilled.

   “Utah over-indexes every other state on website traffic and purchases,” Michael says. “It does our hearts good. Thank you, fellow Utahns, for supporting us.”

   As Michael was recently walking through the Traverse Mountain Harmons, he saw their Owala display with a chalk sign that read, “Owala is better than Stanley. Buy local.”

   “That’s what I’m talking about with the local pride!” Michael smiles.

   The team is under no illusion that the brand’s rise to popularity means guaranteed continued wins; they’re just getting started.

   “Now we just need to step up to the opportunity,” Michael says. “We’re doubling down and asking what we can do that no one else can — and that’s what makes it fun.”

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Entrepreneur of the Year Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting, AZOVA

Dr. Cheryl Lee Eberting is a dermatologist-entrepreneur powerhouse, with a laser-focus on righting the flaws in healthcare. 

  Based in Alpine, she is the founder of Alpine Dermatology, CherylLeeMD Sensitive Skin Care, and AZOVA, a digital health benefits solution for employers, health plans and consumers that focuses on an integrative approach to healthcare.
   These pursuits were sparked by her time as a clinical research fellow at the National Institutes of Health, where she treated patients with Job (named after the Bible character) Syndrome.
   “These people have the worst eczema in the world,” Dr. Eberting says. “At the time, there were 144 people in the world who had this syndrome, and we saw 104 of them at the NIH. I got really good at treating really bad eczema with really bad products, and decided that one day I was going to make the most correctly engineered products for people who have sensitive skin — which is all of us.”     
   After five years of developing the now patented technology, she launched CherylLeeMD Sensitive Skin Care ( in 2014 in collaboration with a Utah mommy blogger.
  “Within three days, we had people from all over the world emailing photos of themselves and their kids, asking me to treat them over the internet,” she says. “That was when I realized, ‘Whoa! Take healthcare — all of it — over the internet.’”
   That day, she began conceptualizing AZOVA, and it has since grown into a flourishing, digital healthcare ecosystem.
   “Our mantra at AZOVA is this,” Dr. Eberting says. “‘Our healthcare system is too broken to fix, so we built a new one.’”


   “With AZOVA, we are working to enable the delivery and management of all healthcare through a single, connected healthcare ecosystem,” Dr. Eberting says. “Consumers can access healthcare from any connected entity through one app.”

   Any provider or healthcare entity can connect to the AZOVA ecosystem and make their services available. This is a network of doctors, pharmacies, imaging centers — including specialties from women’s health to psychiatry. The full range of services is outlined at

   Here’s how it works: If you have a persistent cough and need to meet with a primary care physician, you can sign up for an account on AZOVA and be connected quickly with a physician anywhere via secure messaging or video chat. After paying for the visit and consulting with the physician, the provider will create a treatment plan and send a prescription to a selected pharmacy nearby. 

   An appointment that may have taken weeks to book in-person just took a few hours from meeting to prescription pick-up. 

   “We’ve mastered the craft of making a great healthcare experience and delivering it quickly and really, really well,” Dr. Eberting says.

   On top of the lightning-fast appointments, patients’ data is kept in the AZOVA app so patients can share their medical data with any provider, rather than having to start a new file with each separate practice.

   “Your primary care provider can talk to the psychiatrist, and together they can figure out how to help you. We need our providers to be collaborating and thinking together,” Dr. Eberting says. “Without this digital health technology, it’s so cumbersome and inefficient that it seldom happens. With AZOVA, we’ve made it as efficient as sending a text.”

   AZOVA’s digital framework has been patented and now has a nationwide practice covering all 50 states, offering primary care, pediatrics, men and women’s health, dermatology, psychiatry, therapy, doula and lactation services, and will soon be launching sleep and cardiology services. 

   “We have developed over 125 at-home lab tests (from UTI tests to the HEALTHBOX virtual preventative exam). At-home lab testing enables the delivery of so many of these healthcare services from home,” Dr. Eberting says.

  From seeing its first patient via telehealth in June 2015, AZOVA now has around 200 employees and almost 1 million patients on the platform. 


   Yes, she founded Alpine Dermatology, CherylLeeMD Sensitive Skin Care, and AZOVA, but her business-building began much earlier.

   In 1993, while returning home from a church mission to Japan, she had $55 left to her name. She stopped in Thailand and toured a paper factory that made beautiful handcrafted paper woven with flowers and little strips of silk.

   “I thought, ‘I’m going to take this home and sell it,’” Dr. Eberting says. “So I spent the $55 on samples and started selling it at home in Seattle. Every single place I went to bought it. I had no idea how to do business, but I just figured it out.”

   She ran this handcrafted paper company during her last year at BYU, all throughout medical school, and sold it after her first year of fellowship at the NIH. This company funded her medical school education and enabled Dr. Eberting to graduate debt-free.

   “This experience helped me understand how to run a business,” Dr. Eberting says. “Physicians are not trained in business, taxes, regulation — and, unfortunately, that is 90 percent of healthcare. But I learned how to work with people, how to motivate employees, how to build a product.”

   From student at BYU to CEO of a tech company and founder of multiple businesses, Dr. Eberting has added experience upon experience.

   “This is something I try to teach my children and that we strive for as a team at AZOVA: If you are going to do something, be the best in the world at it,” she says.


  Being based in Silicon Slopes gives Dr. Eberting many opportunities to treat tech entrepreneurs. In consulting with them when she was first starting AZOVA, many commented that she should narrow to one particular focus. But Dr. Eberting disagreed.

   “You see many digital health companies failing because they’re very niche solutions,” Dr. Eberting says. “You can’t do that with healthcare because it’s all so connected. From the lab, to imaging, to psychiatry and to primary care. Our goal from the start was to create a connected ecosystem, and that is truly what we have become.”

   Sure enough, as many niche-focused digital health companies have failed over the last few years, AZOVA’s ability to support various clinical programs and to provide comprehensive, holistic care has proved to be a winning strategy.

   “It takes a symphony of amazing skill sets to pull off what we are doing at AZOVA,” she says. “Experts across healthcare are coming together and bringing their superpowers to the table.”

   Dermatologist, CEO, entrepreneur — whichever title it may be, Dr. Eberting is all-in to the revolution she has begun.

   “Our healthcare system is irreparably broken,” she says. “The industry is so regulated that innovation and change are almost impossible. No single healthcare provider can fix it by themselves. I ask fellow healthcare professionals to join us in our efforts. Change is difficult, expensive and painful, but it must happen and we can do it together.”

   This is the call of a healthcare hero.

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Executive of the Year Min Kim, Nutricost

Father of three. BYU grad. Ultimate Cougar sports fan. CEO of Nutricost. Meet Min Kim.          
   With its headquarters just off Geneva Road in Vineyard, Nutricost is manufacturing and delivering millions of supplements around the world. Just a few milestones? Nutricost is one of the top three supplement brands on Amazon, and ranks as Amazon’s No. 1 best seller in creatine supplements.    

  “When I was working on my PhD in chemical engineering at BYU, my best friend from high school came to me with a business idea,” Min says. “We started an affiliate internet marketing business, and that naturally grew into Nutricost in 2013.”
   They started by creating a few single-ingredient supplements, and that expanded into Nutricost now claiming around 1,000 SKUs and launching four to five new supplements every month. 
  After 11 successful years, there is still little press coverage about Nutricost, despite its exponential growth. Min is humbly flying under the radar while producing top-quality supplements to boost health and wellness around the world.
   High-quality supplements. Affordable prices. Clean and simple formulations. 
   Nutricost’s philosophy says it all. “We understand that every body is different, so we have created quality products to make sure you get exactly what you need.”


   Like so many businesses in the height of a worldwide pandemic, Nutricost felt the effects — but in a good way. While many other businesses struggled to stay afloat, Nutricost saw an opportunity. 

   “Naturally, a lot of people looked to buy supplements and that gave us huge growth,” Min says. “Most of the supplement industry did really well during Covid — although many saw a Covid bump and then sales went back go down, but we kept growing. We didn’t see any downtrend after Covid.”

   Now, Nutricost employs more than 650 people and has fulfillment centers in Utah, North Carolina and California. From its founding in 2013 to Covid to now, the company continues to prove its stalwart place in the market.

   Along with business growth, Min has also seen refinement in his leadership style.

   “When we started, I was a lot more into micromanaging: ‘What are you working on this week? Did you get all your stuff done?’” Min recalls. “Now, I work with self-motivated people and guide them in the right direction.”

   Thanks to this approach, Nutricost attracts the cutting-edge talent needed to match the company’s growth scale.

   “We have a unique culture here, and I want to maintain that,” Min says. “It’s a combination of working super hard and having fun together. We work long hours when we have to, but we trust each other and we have fun together.”

   A healthy team creates a healthy business.


   A scroll through Nutricost’s site highlights everything from whey protein powders to antioxidants to digestive support supplements. Hundreds of blue-capped bottles full of health are available — the only question consumers have is where to begin. 

   A few of Min’s favorite products he uses personally are Nutricost’s multivitamins, magnesium and probiotics.

   And you can trust the formulation process — it’s as local as it gets. Fun fact: Min himself was a big contributor to product formulations in the early days of Nutricost!

   “We have a lab across the street where we hire a lot of chemistry and biochemistry graduates,” Min says.

   Nutricost shows its local pride with dozens of signed BYU sports items filling Min’s office. His Cougar ties are strong. Not only did he receive his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and economics from BYU, but he also pursued a doctorate in chemical engineering and organic chemistry before ultimately dropping out to build Nutricost. Min returned to BYU and completed a master’s in chemical engineering.

   In 2021, Nutricost announced its partnership with BYU Athletics as the Cougars’ official supplement provider. 

   Min is excited about a large revenue goal for 2024 that the company is keeping private, along with landing more retail locations for Nutricost supplements. 

   In the meantime, Min will keep leading as an admired executive and taking his wife and three children on trips across the world. Work hard, play hard — and do it with the best health.

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Company of the Year Angel Studios

This isn’t their first Q Awards rodeo. The Harmon brothers were featured in 2017 as Marketer of the Year for their creative marketing agency. Their resume also includes founding Orabrush and VidAngel, a filtering service that helps families watch movies “however the (bleep) they want.”     

  The Harmons’ most recent venture is the light-amplifying film distribution studio, Angel Studios.

     Neal (CEO), Jeffrey (chief content officer) and Jordan (president) are founding fanatics, and their work ethic from working potato farms in Idaho as they grew up has everything to do with how they build businesses — specifically Angel Studios. 
   “We’re very unlikely candidates to be studio executives,” Jeffrey says. “Growing up, I didn’t even know film was a profession.”
   All the brothers laugh and nod in agreement.  
   “The similarities between farming and the studio business are astounding,” Neal says. “You have to plan in advance, prepare land and take care of your crop. How well you harvest could be determined by weather or prices in the market. Similarly, we’ve released a project at the wrong time before, and then we’ve released another project where we hit the exact timing and the harvest was great.”  
   In 2023, the harvest was plentiful, leading Provo’s Angel Studios to be named BusinessQ’s Company of the Year.


   The story of Angel Studios doesn’t exist without VidAngel. A few years after the founding of VidAngel, it faced a brutal legal battle with four major Hollywood Studios for censoring its content, but community support was heavenly. VidAngel raised more than $10 million from thousands of supporters to help with legal fees.

   In 2020, after four-ish years of fighting the lawsuit, the Hollywood studios came to VidAngel with a settlement, and the Harmons sold the VidAngel filtering services and rebranded to Angel Studios in 2021. 

   “Angel Studios is what we originally envisioned when we started VidAngel,” says Neal. “We talked about how if we collected a group of people who were interested in great stories, but also cared about the values in their home, we would be able to build an audience and distribute brand new shows to them better than Hollywood could.”


   Despite the opposition they’ve faced, the Harmons stay dedicated to their vision of elevating media.

   “In every trial we’ve gone through, we have come to an extremely difficult challenge, and that challenge forces us to change,” Neal says. “The upside and the opportunity on the other side of that change is far better than what we had planned.”

   That “far better” opportunity manifests in now owning the freedom to conceptualize, produce and distribute films full of light — rather than just filtering the bad stuff. 

   Angel Studios produces original content — including “The Shift,” “Tuttle Twins,” “The Chosen” and “Dry Bar Comedy” — and acts as a distributor for film projects produced by other filmmakers, such as “Sound of Freedom” and “Cabrini.”

   These projects are crowdfunded by the “Angel Guild,” a collection of investors and paying members who vote for and invest in films they want brought to the screen. Though investors are asked to only invest what they are willing and able to lose, successful projects like “Sound of Freedom” and “After Death” had a 120 percent return of investment.

   “The Angel Guild is the alternative to the Hollywood gatekeepers,” Jordan says. “Instead of five or six individuals making multi million dollar decisions, we’re saying, ‘Let’s turn this over to the audience.’”

   Angel Studios’ best-performing film to date is “Sound of Freedom.” The film grossed $250.6 million worldwide and played in 3,411 theaters at its height.

   “These are life-changing stories,” Jeffrey says. “There’s something about the cinema, where you surrender all your distractions for a communal experience of what the director has to offer. The problem is that most of the things being taught in that life-changing opportunity are nihilistic or dark.”

   Angel Studios is flipping that standard on its head.


 With 2023 wins, theaters are anxiously anticipating Angel Studios’ 2024 titles. 

   “Cabrini,” the inspiring true story of an audacious Italian immigrant who became one of the great entrepreneurs of the 19th century, was released just before this magazine hit printers. Other 2024 titles will include “Sight,” a story of a Chinese immigrant who becomes a world-renowned eye surgeon in the U.S., and “Possum Trot,” based on a small church in East Texas where 22 families adopted 77 of the most difficult-to-place children in the local foster care system.

   “We started this company for our kids,” Jordan says. “I think we could see the writing on the wall as to how quickly Hollywood was spiraling into darker places. I would not do this job if it wasn’t for our North Star of telling these stories that amplify light — it’s too hard. But we have to do it for our kids.”

   Thanks to Angel Studios’ wings, the silver screen just got brighter.