One company and one individual were honored recently during the 11th annual Utah Economic Summit, hosted by Gov. Gary Herbert.

The Larry H. Miller Group of Companies (LHM) was honored as Outstanding Company of the Year, while Gary Heward, president and chief executive officer of Liberty Mountain, received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

LHM began in 1979 when Larry and Gail Miller purchased their first dealership, Larry H. Miller Toyota in Murray. The group now has more than 80 businesses and properties in 46 states and employs nearly 12,000 people. The primary areas of focus are automotive, sports and entertainment, finance and insurance, real estate and philanthropy.

Heward and his wife, Diana, have owned Liberty Mountain for nearly 20 years, growing the company from 24 employees to 150. The company is one of the largest wholesale distributors of technical outdoor products and climbing gear in the U.S. The company was based in Portland, Oregon, when the Hewards acquired it but later made Utah the home of its corporate headquarters and western distribution center.

Gary Heward previously worked for Utah International and General Electric, McKensey and Bain. His love for the outdoors began when he was 12 years old when he participated in a 50-mile backpacking trip as a Boy Scout.

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