SALT LAKE CITY – Feb. 19, 2019 – MountainWest Capital Network (MWCN) today recognized Fred Lampropoulos, chairman, founder and CEO of Merit Medical Systems, as its 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. Each year, MWCN recognizes a Utah entrepreneur who has demonstrated outstanding achievement by building an industry-leading company, inspiring others to pursue their own entrepreneurial vision and giving back to the community.


“Fred has been a pillar of Utah’s business and entrepreneurial community for more than three decades, and his influence is felt across industries and generations,” said Drew Yergensen, president of MWCN. “Through his leadership, Merit has grown from a start-up to a publicly traded company with thousands of employees across the globe. He has demonstrated excellence, vision and tenacity throughout his pivotal career, and we’re proud to give him this recognition.”


Lampropoulos’ entrepreneurial path was far from direct. The first person in his family to graduate from high school, Lampropoulos thrived at Westminster College and the University of Utah. When the Vietnam War began, Lampropoulos suspended his education to join the military, and served for 10 years as a Green Beret. His post-military years took him through several professions, including stock broker and commercial real estate developer, before someone suggested he get involved with Utah Medical, which was at that time on the verge of insolvency.


After successfully turning Utah Medical around as its chairman and CEO, Lampropoulos founded Merit Medical Systems, Inc., in 1987. In addition to his business acumen, Lampropoulos is also an active inventor, and holds more than 240 patents for devices used in the diagnostic and therapeutic treatment of cardiovascular disease. Merit Medical has grown from a small startup to employing more than 5,600 people worldwide. In 2018, the company posted more than $870 million in revenue.


“I don’t think I ever set out to be an entrepreneur—this was an unexpected opportunity that came to me, but I’m glad I took it. This award is similarly unexpected, and I’m honored to be recognized,” said Lampropoulos. “Throughout my life, there have been so many people who have helped in different ways. It’s been gratifying that I have been able to pay it forward and help others, both in business and with service.”


Lampropoulos has also been consistently involved in his community and serves on many boards. His efforts and contributions to the state and community have garnered him several honors, including the Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology and the Bronze Minuteman Award. He was inducted to the Utah Business Hall of Fame, the Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame and the University of Utah College of Science Hall of Fame. He is an honorary colonel in the Utah National Guard.


Since its founding in 1983, MWCN has been committed to recognizing those committed to entrepreneurial success. Entrepreneur of the Year is a key feature of MWCN’s outreach to foster business relationships and recognize outstanding members of Utah’s business community.


Lampropoulos joins other entrepreneurial giants and pioneers who have also named Entrepreneur of the Year award since 1983. Past honorees include Ryan Smith, Jeremy Andrus, Aaron Skonnard, Peter and Nicole Mouskondis, Tom Dickson, Todd Pedersen, Josh James, Peter Metcalf, Larry H. and Karen Gail Miller, Alan E. Hall, Amy Rees Anderson, Kirk Benson, Dr. Ted Stanley, Ken Wooley, Dr. Hunter Jackson, David Evans, Ray Noorda, Dale Ballard, Dr. Dinesh Patel, Gary Stevenson, Scott Watterson, David Bailey, Hyrum Smith, Jerry Atkin, Sid Green, Steve Aldous, Spencer Kirk, and Dave Spafford.


About MountainWest Capital Network

MountainWest Capital Network is Utah’s first and largest business networking organization devoted to supporting entrepreneurial success, and dedicated to the flow of financial, entrepreneurial and intellectual capital.  LIKE us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @MWCN and LinkedIn.


About Merit Medical Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1987, Merit Medical Systems, Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and distribution of proprietary disposable medical devices used in interventional, diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, particularly in cardiology, radiology, oncology, critical care and endoscopy. Merit serves client hospitals worldwide with a domestic and international sales force and clinical support team totaling in excess of 300 individuals. Merit employs approximately 5,600 people worldwide with facilities in South Jordan, Utah; Pearland, Texas; Richmond, Virginia; Malvern, Pennsylvania; Rockland, Massachusetts; San Jose and Aliso Viejo, California; Maastricht and Venlo, The Netherlands; Paris, France; Galway, Ireland; Beijing, China; Tijuana, Mexico; Joinville, Brazil; Markham, Ontario, Canada; Melbourne, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; and Singapore.