By Kent Larsen
On to the Goal: Deseret Management's Rodney H. Brady
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- 'Goal driven' is a term often associated with type-A
executives, but LDS Church-owned Deseret Management Company's Rodney H.
Brady takes goals to a level that few manage -- and he meets his goals.
Brady, Chief Executive Officer of the holding company for The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' profit-making businesses, started out
setting goals in high school -- 200 of them. So far he has met 175 of those
200, while setting and meeting many more in the intervening fifty years.
The Deseret News, one of the companies that Brady oversees, published a
profile of Brady on Saturday, describing his career and the goals he has met
along the way. A native of Sandy, Utah, Brady served an LDS mission to Great
Britain from 1953 to 1955, and while there he set and accomplished the goal
of meeting and discussing the LDS scriptures with Winston Churchill, then
the country's prime minister. Asked how he managed that, Brady replied, "You
set yourself a goal, you lay out the steps, and then you do it."
Brady got a bachelor's degree in accounting and a masters of business
administration from the University of Utah before moving to Massachusetts to
get a doctorate in business administration from Harvard. But rather than
move on to the business world, Brady served in the U.S. Air Force from 1959
to 1962. He then returned to start a business consultancy with one of his
Harvard professors, which they ran for four years before selling it.
Brady then took a job in Los Angeles working as vice president for
administration for the aircraft division of Hughes Tool Co. But he left that
job in 1970 when the chance came to fill another goal. He was appointed
assistant secretary for administration and management of the US Department
of Health, Education and Welfare in Washington DC. Two years later, as the
first Nixon administration came to a close, Brady was back in Los Angeles,
this time as executive vice president of Bergen Brunswig Corp., a large
He worked for Bergen Brusnwig for six years before he got the chance to
accomplish another goal, University President. Brady won the job as
president of Weber State University, "I finally got to the point where I
could do whatever I wanted to in life, and I always wanted to run a fine
undergraduate college. So I ended up as the president of Weber State." He
was president of the state-run University from 1978 to 1985 before the LDS
Church asked him to run its broadcast operations, Bonneville International,
the parent company of KSL radio and television.
In 1996, the Church promoted Brady, placing him at the head of Deseret
Management, overseeing Deseret Book, the Deseret News Publishing Co.,
Beneficial Life, Hotel Temple Square Corp. and Bonneville in addition to the
less-well known AgReserves, Inc., Hawaii Reserves, Inc. and Zions Securities
Corp. But Brady says that running the holding company isn't as complicated
as you might think, "I don't try to run those companies. Deseret Management
is a holding company. It's not an operating company." He says he lets them
run themselves, "Heading each of the companies is a chairman, a board of
directors and a president and chief executive officer. My philosophy is to
let them run themselves and just make sure we have the right people in the
And Brady says he is enjoying the work. "The big advantange (to working for
the LDS Church) is that one can concentrate on doing good. You're not trying
to squeeze the last dollar out of a business."
Meeting every goal
Deseret News 1Apr01 B3
By Gregory P. Kratz: Deseret News Staff Writer
Deseret Management Corp. president has long history of business, personal success