40 Under 40: Brett Nielsen

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Company: Polis
Title: VP Business Development
Age: 34
City: Lehi

Politics As (Un)usual For Brett Nielsen, variety is the spice of life. His eclectic career has ranged from political campaigns (most notably, Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run), to leadership roles in tech companies, to non-profit organizations, to teaching Political Science at UVU. He’s met with world political leaders like Donald Trump, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and John McCain. He received his master’s degree from the prestigious Kings College in London. And most recently, he has been growing Polis, where he works with national political parties and some of the largest companies in the country.

Childhood Vision “It was almost always related to sports … a football player, a baseball player, a basketball player — and in that order. I certainly did not envision myself as an entrepreneur with a keen love of books!”

Growing Up “I was an absolute trouble maker. Always the kid leading the pack for better or for worse.”

School of Thought “I didn’t become a fan of school until I got to college. It was then I became a serious student, gaining the Huntsman Scholarship and being involved in campus political activities. This has led to a passionate love of learning. Knowledge is power. For me, learning will be a lifetime pursuit.”

A Visionary Is “Not being a ‘standard’ employee, but someone willing to take risks and be bold.”

Out Of Sight! “I took my wife on a non-designated cliff hike in Kauai. I do not recommend going off the beaten path on the Na’Pali Coast, as I had a difficult time hiking 3-foot-wide rock ledges that shouted certain death on either side. Crab walking through it was my best hope for survival, while images of my fatherless children haunted me. Probably won’t be doing that again.”

Ultimate Vision “To make a tangible impact in whatever I’m doing.”

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