Angela Dayton and Her Entrepreneurial Goals for Utah Women

At age 20, Angela graduated with a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology and now has twenty years of training and development and executive experience. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for MedForums and President of Your Steps Toward Success, Inc. She has served as the Chief Executive Officer for Products, Inc., Coordinator for President George W. Bush’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, Senior Instructional Designer for the U.S. Department of Labor, Training and Communications Project Manager for Morgan Stanley, Independent Facilitator for Franklin Covey, Trainer for Delta Air Lines, and National Western Region Vice President for the college division of DECA.

Angela enjoys advising entrepreneurs, as well as providing technical assistance and consulting services to start-ups, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations.

Tell us about your journey as a female entrepreneur. What has been

the highlight of your career and what has been a low point?

Everyday, we make choices on how we allocate our time, money, and efforts to secure value for our personal and professional aspirations. I hope that my story inspires confidence and provides insight that will help others make educated decisions as they work toward building their future.

My entrepreneurial journey began in my youth. I was raised by parents who were visionary, dedicated, and strategic entrepreneurs. At a young age, I was taught to conduct needs assessments, understand financial statements, and establish sustainable business models. When I was 13, I began my entrepreneurial career by starting a cleaning company. I focused on cleaning new commercial buildings. Two years later I was recognized with the Utah Governor's Young Entrepreneurship Award.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, find a need and get started. Running a business will teach you the critical aspects you need to know such as managing finances, leading a team, securing contracts, understanding inventory, establishing client relationships, working strategically, and respecting others expertise.

In high school, I chose a different path than most of my peers by starting college while still taking high school classes. I believed that my life was my own entrepreneurial journey and I set a path that allowed me to graduate with a Master's Degree at 20. Early in my career, I had the privilege of meeting and working with strong women executives who trusted me to apply my entrepreneurial skills to improve processes, develop programs, and execute business strategy. After being recruited to work with the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment & Training Administration in Washington, D.C. at the age of 22, I became an expert in workforce development and this sparked my passion for focusing on the importance of adult education and training. I believe that the more education, training, and/or knowledge an individual receives, the more confident they become.

When I was 25, I wrote the Your Steps Toward Success Career Workbook and traveled nationally speaking about the importance of skill development. This was the highlight of my career because I saw that information I shared changed lives. After going through the Your Steps Toward Success program, people had confidence in their future and a roadmap to achieve their career goals. Since then, I have built and sold small businesses, built three different educational resource platforms, secured two utility patents, delivered hundreds of keynote speeches, and have become the first woman to join the SLC Angels. I have also provided technical assistance and consultant services to a number of start-ups, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations.

The low point of my entrepreneurial journey occurred when I was 32. I had been extremely successful within my service-based area of expertise and decided to try and enter a new arena that focused on tangible products. Though this experience did not go the way I had hoped it would, I do not see it as a failure.

Entrepreneurship has made me a better person because of the positive and negative experiences. This particular failure taught me more than any of my successes, and for that, I am extremely grateful. (You can hear the whole story on the Freedom to Fail Podcast.)

As others pursue their entrepreneurial ventures, I encourage them to not only become an expert in their niche, but to learn to respect the expertise of others. Only together can they create a strong and cohesive team of talented and dedicated professionals to achieve their business goals.

Tell us about MedForums? What is the ultimate goal for the company?

MedForums streamlines the connection between physicians, education, and credentialing. We are on a mission to ease the burden placed on clinicians to find quality medical education resources so that they can focus on providing up-to-date patient care. By harnessing the power of crowdsourcing, they receive instant access to customized and peer-reviewed resources, based on their occupation, specialty, stage of training and preferred learning style.

The ultimate goal for MedForums is to be the Yelp for medical education resources and the number one medical education resource consolidation and data analytics platform in the healthcare industry.

MedForums is part of the current RevRoad cohort. How has that benefited you? What is the difference between being part of RevRoad’s portfolio vs being on your own?

MedForums is backed by both RevRoad (a Utah Venture Service Firm) and Startup Health (Early Stage VC). Having RevRoad as a technology partner has allowed us to build a customized platform that healthcare providers use to identify, discuss, and access peer-reviewed medical education resources. RevRoad’s support has accelerated MedForums growth and development. Startup Health’s support has provided exposure and industry validation. (Pitchbook)

What are your entrepreneurial goals for Utah women? What topic do we need to address in Utah so the state can be more competitive and friendly for women?

When I moved to Utah in 2010, I was extremely concerned with the lack of visibly successful businesswomen. Since then, I have started the Utah Women's Innovation Group, sponsored the Women Tech Council, joined PandoLabs, and have become the only woman in the SLC Angels. My goals are to continue to support all entrepreneurship programs by speaking at conferences and schools, serving on panels, offering mentorship, providing guidance, and investing in Utah companies.

One major topic that seems to be taboo among business women in Utah is motherhood. I am pleased to see an increasing number of companies offering remote positions and flexible hours so that parents can be available to their children. It is important to recognize parenting as a valuable contribution to our society and I would like to see more conversations around the tools, ideas, and secrets of juggling a career and a family. It isn’t always easy, but I have never regretted my choice for being both a mother and pursuing my career. (I am always willing to share how I have juggled both.)

What is a perfect day for you in the Salt Lake Valley?

A perfect day in Utah is being outdoors with my family. Utah is a beautiful place with amazing scenery. Whether we are hiking Ghost Falls, golfing South Mountain, skiing Solitude, or chilling in Park City, I enjoy living in the Wasatch Front.

Where would you most like to live?

I believe that I would be happy living anywhere. We chose to move to Utah to raise our family because of the innovative environment, educational choices, and strong value system.

What is your most treasured possession?

My integrity is my most treasured possession.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

I believe that the lowest depth of misery is failing to learn from your mistakes and holding onto negativity.

What is your favorite occupation?

My favorite professional occupation is at the executive-level where I am able to focus on executing business strategy while developing the skills and confidence of my team.

My favorite personal occupation is being a mother. My goal as a mother is to raise productive citizens of society. This mission means raising children who are innovative, kind, respectful, intelligent, creative, hard-working, financially literate, spiritual, patriotic, charitable, and honest. They are team-players, self-starters, and future-oriented. Many of you may have met my children since I try to expose them to many different opportunities that will inspire their development. And I encourage all to invite their children to be part of their career.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I am known for my authenticity and confidence. I look forward to supporting others as they pursue their entrepreneurial goals.

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