D. Gary Young (1949–2018)
Turning a passion into a profession is a dream for many; but for Young Living Founder and father of the modern-day essential oils movement D. Gary Young, it was a vibrant reality. In the late 1980s, Gary discovered the profound power of essential oils. Through Young Living, he was able to share his matchless knowledge with millions around the world, supporting their health and transforming their lives. Gary’s unrivaled expertise on the power of plants led to the creation of the world’s largest line of essential oils and blends.
Gary was part inventor and part historian. His pursuit of new wellness discoveries was rooted in ancient practices as he unlocked and shared the benefits bestowed by herbs, plants, and trees. His research took him to the remote corners of the earth, and often back in time, to better understand nature’s powers that modern society may overlook.
In his travels to study essential oil distillation techniques around the world, Gary discovered wide discrepancies in quality. He learned that in order to ensure purity and potency, rigorous, expert analysis of finished oils is critical. With an uncompromising commitment to essential oil science, Gary established a standard and a guarantee that Young Living will offer only 100 percent pure, natural, uncut oils that maintain their vital potency.
To produce essential oils of this quality, Gary created the Seed to Seal® process, a philosophy ensuring that from the seeds we plant in pristine soil to the moment we seal our bottles in cutting-edge facilities, our full focus is on providing a final product that represents the best of nature without compromise.
With a deep conviction of the power of essential oils, Gary built Young Living to advocate total well-being for everyone, everywhere. Young Living is dedicated to continuing Gary’s vision and dream through the gift of essential oils.
Mary Young plays an active role in Young Living’s day-to-day business, providing direction to the Executive team and employees. She also plays a vital role in mentoring and empowering members as they share the mission and benefits of Young Living with the world.
Mary was introduced to the direct-selling industry in 1985, and within two years she had cultivated and built a successful multimillion-dollar organization. Since the inception of Young Living, Mary has combined her expansive knowledge and experience in the direct-selling industry and hands-on approach to help Young Living become—and remain—the world leader in essential oils.
Mary is also instrumental in Young Living’s philanthropic endeavors, and she leads global outreach efforts through the D. Gary Young Foundation. She embodies Young Living’s commitment to supporting individuals and communities as they strive to live healthy lifestyles.
As President and Chief Operating Officer, Joe Cannon brings to Young Living the experience of a long, distinguished career in law, business, and policy.
Joe graduated with honors from Brigham Young University Law School and began practicing law in 1978. Within a few short years of joining the Washington, D.C. practice of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, he began to make a name for himself in public policy. In 1981 he began work for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the Reagan administration. He served until 1985. During that time, he was a presidential appointee with Senate confirmation. His responsibilities ranged from enforcing air-quality standards to developing economic incentives for companies to cut down on pollution. While at the EPA, Joe played an instrumental role in removing lead from gasoline. During this time, Joe also became a partner at the prestigious D.C. law firm Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro, specializing in environment, natural resources, energy, and administrative law.
In his native home of Utah, Joe has also left an indelible footprint. As Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Geneva Steel, he oversaw the reopening of this major Utah employer and its operations from 1987 through 2001. In the local cultural and political sphere, he served as the editor of the Deseret News, a major daily newspaper in Salt Lake City, as well as serving on the board of directors, the Utah Symphony, the Utah Opera, and the Utah Transit Authority. He has also served on the board of trustees for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and the Utah Shakespearean Festival. Joe has served as a member of the United States Holocaust Council and as a trustee of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. Now as Young Living’s COO, Joe is making a mark locally and globally by optimizing Young Living operations to better serve our community around the world. Joe’s favorite products are NingXia Red® and Stress Away™ for the office and Lavender and Frankincense for his diffuser at home.
While Joe has maintained an extraordinarily active career, he has always prioritized his family first, which includes his wife, Jan; seven children; and 23 grandchildren.
Prasad Gankanda was born in Sri Lanka. He learned English while attending Trinity College, a Sri Lankan British boarding school, and began pursuing a pilot’s license while still in high school. At the age of 19, he packed two suitcases and left his home to travel to Logan, Utah, where he earned a degree at Utah State University in mechanical and aerospace engineering. He continues to call Utah home.
Prasad’s thorough understanding of engineering has equipped him to successfully troubleshoot a wide variety of business challenges spanning operations, new market development, and global sales. His signature highly energy translates into high efficiency and productivity throughout his team—a team recognized for producing world-class results. His current team spans the globe at Young Living, where he oversees all revenue and sales operations.
Prasad’s go-to products include Valor® and Highest Potential™ essential oil blends.
Kelly has been a valued member of the Young Living team for more than 15 years, and during this time she has gained invaluable insight into many areas of the business. Kelly joined Young Living as a member of the marketing department and was then promoted to executive assistant to the founders, where she also supported various areas of the business.
Her role quickly evolved to that of a trusted advisor, where she has played a key role through many challenges and company growth.
Most of Kelly’s role has taken place behind the scenes, where she has mediated issues, advised, and bridged communication across disciplines to create a cohesive environment.
Kelly continues to be a strategic advisor, trusted voice, and sounding board to the executive team, CEO Mary Young, and Founder Gary Young but now plays a more visible role to the corporate staff and the strategic day-to-day business.
Kelly has a bachelor’s degree in English from Brigham Young University. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children and loves traveling, spending time at the beach, reading, and attending the theatre.
Melissa Bishop joined Young Living with an extensive background in Finance and Accounting. Before accepting the position of CFO, she spent four years as the head of our Global Tax department ensuring that we remain compliant in all our markets and has been a key participant in launching 10 new markets over the past two years. Melissa is a collaborator and out of the box thinker who loves being part of a team and working to find creative solutions to problems.
Melissa received her Masters of Accountancy with an emphasis on Tax from Brigham Young University and is a Certified Public Accountant. She has 15 years of experience in the direct sales industry, as well as four years of experience working in public accounting for both Arthur Andersen and KPMG. Prior to joining Young Living, Melissa worked for another direct sales company as their Chief Financial Officer. She has also served as the past president of the Utah chapter of the American Women’s Society of CPAs.
Growing up, Melissa helped her father with everything from hanging drywall to changing the brakes on her car. Learning these skills allowed her to build trust in herself and her abilities and gave her the confidence she needed to succeed. Outside of work, Melissa is an avid reader and will read anything from sci-fi to fantasy to romance to mysteries. She is very musical and can often be found playing the piano or singing; the latter has led her across the world from San Diego to Budapest to Zagreb. She loves to travel, try new foods, garden, scuba dive, and work on DIY projects.
One of Melissa’s favorite Young Living products is Zyng for a burst of natural energy and a quick pick-me-up. At the end of the day, she loves to diffuse a blend of Cedarwood and Lavender for a warm and comforting scent, and never leaves home without a bottle of Peppermint oil paired with a roller top.
As Chief Legal Officer, Brant Bishop brings to Young Living decades of experience of practicing law at the highest levels. He graduated from Brigham Young University in 1993 with a joint master’s/bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, and from the Harvard Law School in 1996 with a Juris Doctorate.
After a judicial clerkship with a United States Court of Appeals judge, Brant worked in the Washington, D.C. office of the global law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP for nearly 20 years, leaving as an equity partner in 2016. Brant was then one of the founding partners and the managing partner for a D.C.-based boutique trial litigation firm, then known as Wilkinson Walsh & Eskovitz LLP, from which he retired in 2020.
During almost 25 years of private law practice, Brant represented clients in a variety of industries—including high tech, financial services, private equity, insurance, oil & gas exploration and production, professional sports, automotive, consumer products, and pharmaceuticals—and in a variety of civil cases, including lawsuits involving claims related to state and federal constitutions, international law, antitrust laws, consumer protection laws, private contracts, and state and federal securities statutes, among many others. Brant has represented clients before several government agencies, in many state and federal trial courts around the country, in several federal appeals courts, and in the U.S. Supreme Court.
Brant is married to his wife of 26 years, and together they have five children. Outside of work, he has served on boards for several tax-exempt charitable organizations and as a volunteer in both church and community organizations. His favorite Young Living products are the Wolfberry Crisp Bar and all the citrus essential oils.
Born and raised in Southern Mexico, Gabby came to the United States in 2001 to pursue a legal education and went on to practice international law for 12 years. Combining vast experience in international markets and a passion for spreading wellness, Gabby has been an ideal fit for the Young Living team, which he joined in 2015. Since then, Gabby has made his mark contributing to the company’s Latin America expansion.
Now as President of the Americas and a member of the Young Living executive team, Gabby is thrilled for the chance to directly participate in the strategic growth of this fast-growing region, as well as support the goals and vison of his individual team members. For inspiration, he looks to Young Living’s unwavering mission of creating a healthy home for each of us and a healthy world for all of us, as he leads his region into exciting new possibilities.
Gabby enjoys good food, meeting new people, traveling, watching soccer, and spending time with his family. He loves to start his morning with NingXia Red®, while Highest Potential and Transformation help to keep him motivated and uplifted throughout the day.
Born in Hawaii with family origins from New Zealand, Tai has lived, worked, and raised his family of six (wife Tanya and 4 children) in five different countries. Tai has spent the last 16 years in Asia where he’s served as a Vice President with Melaleuca and most recently as Young Living’s Regional President of Asia-Pacific since 2016. Both Tai’s life and his career have been defined to an extraordinary degree by his global experience and mindset. With more than 20 years’ experience managing all customer-facing business, sales, marketing, and operational functions in international markets, Tai has made his mark by successfully launching and developing countries across the globe.
As Young Living’s head of international markets and a member of the executive team, Tai’s mission is to elevate the voice of our members at every level, ensuring an experience that matches the unparalleled quality of our products. By building and leading high-performance teams, Tai works to advance Young Living’s world-changing vison, bridging world-class products with the opportunity to transform lives and communities forever.
Tai graduated with a degree in global economics and French from BYU and has earned MBA degrees from both UCLA and the National University of Singapore. Tai and his family currently live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where they are engaged members of the community as well as fitness enthusiasts, gym owners, and weekend rugby coaches and players. Tai’s go-to Young Living products of choice are Royal Hawaiian Sandalwood and New Zealand Manuka.
Gene Schrecengost joined Young Living with over 30 years of experience in Human Resources. His previous experience includes working for prominent companies in multiple industries such as Cardinal Health, Emerson Electric, Occidental Chemical, and TriMedx. He has experience working for Fortune 150 enterprises as well as smaller, privately held companies. He graduated with a BA from Brigham Young University and an MBA with an emphasis in HR from the University of Texas at Austin.
From 2018 to 2019, Gene was the Chief Human Resources Officer at TriMedx, a $1B clinical asset management and clinical engineering firm. During his tenure, he played a critical role in acquiring and integrating the company largest competitor from Aramark, effectively doubling the size of the company. He has also been the CHRO at several medium-sized enterprises where he successfully partnered with senior leaders to grow and transform businesses by leveraging the organization’s human capital.
A quote from Steve Jobs reflects his view on the importance of teamwork: “Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
Gene is married with four children and two grandchildren. He is a seasoned traveler, loves to learn about history, and enjoys a nice round of golf. He was introduced to Young Living by his daughter, who uses the Gentle Baby essential oil to relax her daughter in the evenings. His favorite product is the Valor Roll-on, which he puts on his wrists at the start of every day.
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