Written by Jan Jaben-Eilon Friday, May 13 2011
Snapshot: Jacque Butler
Jacque Butler is CEO of Salt Lake City-based MedQuest Solutions, which she launched in 1996. The company provides physicians and patients with pharmaceutical services, lab work, and supplements. MedQuest also specializes in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy. Butler has created successful companies dedicated to improving the health and longevity of individuals and families all over the world. But she’s also launched other companies such as the nation’s largest nanny agency, Childcrest, and subsequently an au pair agency called goAUPAIR, with representation in 50 countries around the world.
She’s the winner of the 2010 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Award and was featured in Utah CEO magazine last June. Butler earned her doctorate in nutrition from Madison University, her master’s in speech therapy and audiology from the University of Utah, and her bachelor’s in business from Brigham Young University. She is the mother of 11 and has 14 grandchildren.
Womenetics: You are a serial entrepreneur. What is it about starting a new company that most excites you?
Jacque Butler: There is such excitement and pride in taking something that doesn’t exist and creating a company that fills a need. It is the creating and the building that most excites me. I like to be able to see that I have created something that will be of benefit to others.
Womenetics: Your father was an entrepreneur. Do you think that’s why you became one?
Butler: That is an interesting question. My sister and I were raised the same way yet she has no interest in being an entrepreneur. I don’t think it was entirely my dad, but I do feel his help and encouragement were key in me becoming an entrepreneur.
Womenetics: Most of the companies are in the medical field, but you also started a nanny business and were in musical publishing? What’s the connection?
Butler: There is no connection. I start businesses in areas where there is a need and I feel I can fill it. I usually do niche markets that are smaller to begin with and then expand the company. I don’t have a background in any of the businesses that I have started. There was a need that I became aware of, and I learned as much as I could and then hired experts in the field. I have had a real estate holding company, which I still have, a nanny agency, an au pair agency, a publishing company, a music company, and now five medical companies, (a lab; a pharmacy; a supplement manufacturing company; a CME- [continuing medical education] accredited seminar company; and a software company).
Womenetics: You are considered an expert in the anti-aging industry. I would think that would make you very popular among us baby boomers. Can you really help us not age?
Butler: We are very popular with baby boomers. I cannot tell you I can stop the aging process, but I can tell you that I can change the way you age. I can help prevent the diseases of aging, such as Alzheimer’s, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, just to name a few. Our program takes a person back in their hormones to a level where they were at their prime. This keeps the body healthy and at its prime and helps to stop the diseases of aging.
Womenetics: You launched the leading age-management compounding pharmacy, MedQuest. What is a compounding pharmacy, and why did you see the need for this type of company?
Butler: The history of pharmacies started with compounding pharmacies. It was considered an art that pharmacists made a drug in a delivery system and dosage that you needed individually. That became a thing of the past when big pharmaceutical companies came in and manufactured drugs in one or two doses and one delivery system. We have now gone back to the compounding pharmacy approach and are delivering to patients a drug that is in the correct dose and delivery system to benefit that individual. Compounds are made by hand with a valid prescription in exactly what the doctor is prescribing for you.
Womenetics: You have 11 children and 14 grandchildren. How in the world have you had time to launch so many successful companies?
Butler: In the beginning, the companies were started because I needed to have something as a means of support for my children. I was the sole provider for my family and needed to have a way to support them. I have six children and five from my husband’s first marriage so I really raised six children on my own. As a family-run business, we all worked together to get things done. Even the youngest children had jobs to do to have the company be successful.
Womenetics: Are any of your children following in your father’s and your own footprints and creating their own companies?
Butler: I have had several of my children work in the companies with me. They have all enjoyed it, and I have two sons who are entrepreneurial. The rest do not seem to have the interest in doing things on their own. They are all successful in their own right but not in the entrepreneurial field, except for two of my sons.
Womenetics: What do you think is the most important attribute for someone to become a successful entrepreneur?
Butler: I feel that the most important aspect of being a successful entrepreneur is to be able to see a business, create it in your mind, and then stick to it. It is not easy with so many businesses going under in the first five years of business. It is the ability to stick with it and grow it as you have the money to do so. I do not go into debt for my companies. I grow them as the finances are generated by the company itself.
Womenetics: What did you want to be when you were a young girl?
Butler: As a little girl, I wanted to be a nurse or a teacher. But when I look back, I used to have "stores" where I sold anything I could find to my friends and family so I think I started very early.
Womenetics: You are obviously a very busy person. What do you do in your down time?
Butler: I decompress by reading. I really enjoy reading and try and read several books a week. I enjoy skiing and camping and hiking and anything involving the grandchildren.
Womenetics: Do you think staying busy is one of your secrets to not aging?
Butler: I have never thought of it that way. Maybe staying busy is a secret to aging, but I know for sure that a secret to aging is balancing your hormones back to your prime and taking supplements, working out every day, and eating a healthy diet. With diet, hormones, supplements, and exercise, you are going to age but do so without the diseases and signs of aging. I am passionate about this and want to get the message out to everyone.
Jan Jaben-Eilon was a founding staff writer of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Since then, she has been the international editor of Advertising Age magazine and has written for such publications as The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Washington Journalism Review, and Consumer Reports. She is the author of soon-to-be-published (There is) Life After Cancer. Jan and her husband have homes in Atlanta and Jerusalem.