Alumni in the News

Brent L. Rowser - B.S., Accounting, 1998 - Riverton, UT

Utah Business Magazine: CFO of the Year

Brent Rowser CFO, Pedersen Worldwide, LLC (Del Sol and Cariloha) Brent Rowser has played a critical role
in the growth of Pedersen Worldwide, the parent company of Del Sol and Cariloha. During his nearly 15-year
tenure as CFO, the company has grown from a single store to more than 140 locations throughout 26 countries.
His sound fiscal management and strategic risk taking has been vital to the company’s success, says Scott
Brady, associate vice president of communications. “Brent played a key role in helping to grow the company
organically, without burdening the company with unmanageable debt or surrendering equity,” Brady says,
adding that Rowser is dedicated to building every aspect of the Sandy-based company. “One of Brent’s greatest
attributes is his ability to effectively and efficiently lead multiple areas of the business simultaneously.” Rowser
says key to his role at Pedersen is knowing which risks are worth taking. “An organization unwilling to accept
risk will stagnate and become stale,” he says. “Opportunity is created by embracing acceptable levels of risk.
Some initiatives will fail but only through embracing a controlled level of risk can you create a new brand.” A
key risk that Rowser took was launching Cariloha, a bamboo-based apparel and accessories products division.
“Our first Cariloha store opened in 2008, just prior to the economic downturn,” Rowser says. “As the recession
deepened, difficult decisions had to be made. Initial losses were much greater than anticipated. Yet we knew the
decision to launch the brand was the right decision and despite the additional investment required, made the
decision to continue to invest.” Though a risk, launching Cariloha was instrumental to Pedersen Worldwide’s
success, leading the company to record growth during 2011 and the opening of 26 retail locations. “We
introduced more than 70 new product lines and styles. 2011 brought new locations across the U.S. as well as in
countries such as Japan, the Dominican Republic and new stores in Jamaica, Barbados, St. Lucia and Mexico,”
Rowser says, adding that the company plans to open hundreds of Cariloha stores within the next five years.
Rowser says what he enjoys most about his leadership role at Pedersen is the direct impact he has on the
company and the community. “The ability to create something of value that can benefit the lives of hundreds of
employees and contribute to the communities in which we do business,” he says. “I have a passion for the
energy and excitement of creating something new. Rapidly growing a business requires that you are continually
innovating. Creating a successful organization also allows you to give back to the communities.”