By Robert Snyder

A lot has been happening in Utah's Silicon Slopes. New executives have joined the teams of Elevar Therapeutics, Black Rifle Company, Cotopaxi, Civica, and Lease Corporation of America and LCA Bank Corporation.


Elevar Therapeutics, dedicated to elevating therapeutic treatments, added 30 years of pharmaceutical experience to its team when it hired Paul Friel as chief commercial officer. Paul left Beyond Spring, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company listed on the Nasdaq, to join Elevar Therapeutics. Paul has released over 20 products during his career, five of which achieved over $1 billion in sales.


From clothing to coffee, Chris Clark left Levi Strauss & Co. to join Black Rifle Company. About hiring Chris, CEO Evan Hafer said: “He brings decades of experience and fulfills our commitment to add the world-class talent we need to execute our growth plans. Most importantly, he’s a Veteran who is passionate about our mission and values.”


Although Damien Huang is joining Salt Lake City, Utah—based Cotopaxi, his base camp will remain in Seattle, Washington. The former Eddie Bauer CEO will continue his tenure in the outdoor retail space as Cotopaxi’s newest president. Damien will report to and work with CEO and founder Davis Smith. About his new role, Damien said: “Every once in a while a company comes along that is not only new and different, but has an energy, a soul, and a purpose that makes an organization remarkable.”


Martin VanTrieste as Civica’s president and CEO returns to retirement for a second time after helping Civica for the last four years. His successor, Ned McCoy, began on June 1. McCoy has provided day-to-day oversight for Civica’s manufacturing efforts. These efforts have included constructing a medicine manufacturing facility in Petersburg, VA, expected to be operational in early 2024. With the announcement of his appointment, Ned shared “I am honored to serve as the next CEO of Civica and continue our pivotal work of delivering quality generic medications that are available and affordable to everyone.”


Lease Corporation of America and its subsidiary, LCA Bank Corporation, announced that Travis Betenson has been appointed as their chief financial officer. Travis had worked previously with Comenity Capital Bank. CEO Jeffrey Sugg said that “[h]is combination of strong financial acumen and demonstrated leadership will play a major role in our growth plans ….”

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