Executive Management Team

D. Gary Young (1949–2018)

Founder of Young Living Essential Oils and father of the modern-day essential oils movement

Part inventor and part historian, D. Gary Young understood the untapped potential of nature. His research took him to the farthest corners of the earth, where he pursued the healing wisdom and extracted the natural properties of flowers, herbs, trees, and plants—bottling them into the world’s largest line of essential oils, blends, and oil-infused products.

Raised in a one-bedroom cabin in the mountains of Idaho, Gary understood the value in simplicity, and he developed his essential oil solutions with complete and total purity as the goal. After learning about varying distillation techniques, he worked to develop the Seed to Seal® quality commitment—a philosophy ensuring all oils maintain their natural integrity and potency, connecting people to plants like never before. Gary built Young Living out of his deep conviction that essential oils have power and that through proper advocacy, we can act as the bridge that connects people back to nature.

Mary Young

Co-founder and CEO

Since Young Living’s inception, Mary Young has combined her expansive knowledge and experience in the direct-selling industry with her hands-on approach to help Young Living grow—and remain—the world’s leader in essential oils. She first discovered the direct-selling industry in 1985. Within two years, she had built a successful multimillion-dollar organization.

Mary maintains an active role in Young Living’s day-to-day activities, providing direction to the executive team and employees, mentoring members, and leading global philanthropic outreach through The D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation. She embodies Young Living’s commitment to empowering individuals and communities as they strive to live healthy lifestyles.

Mary also provides her two sons, Jacob and Josef Young, with support and insight into the Young Living business as they take on integral roles on the corporate team and make more of an impact on company decisions. 

Ben Riley


Ben Riley has more than 20 years of experience in the direct-selling industry and a long history with Young Living. He began his career with Young Living in 1998 and put himself through college working the graveyard shift in the Shipping department at Young Living's warehouse and headquarters.

After graduating with a business degree from Utah State University and earning an MBA from Duke University, Ben embarked on a 15-year journey of direct sales management in markets across the globe. He has served as VP of Leadership at Visi, VP of Sales at Avon in Australia and New Zealand, managing director for 4Life ANZ, and general manager for Melaleuca ANZ.

Ben also worked as an expatriate in Taiwan and South Korea and speaks fluent Korean and some Mandarin. In total, he has spent more than 10 years building businesses internationally.

Ben returned to Young Living in 2016 as the regional president of North America. In 2017, he was named executive vice president of Global Sales, and in 2018 he became Young Living's chief sales officer. Most recently, Ben was a management consultant for Strategic Leadership Partners, and prior to that he served as chief sales officer at Younique, where he helped the company grow and expand its direct-selling sales force.

Ben is married, has five children, and enjoys hiking and camping with his family. His personal interests include golf, road and mountain cycling, reading, and traveling. Ben’s favorite Young Living products rotate regularly, but his current go-to is Young Living’s Believe™ essential-oil blend.

Kevin McMurray

General Counsel

As Young Living’s general counsel, Kevin holds 25 years of experience as a lawyer in the direct-selling industry, bringing to Young Living a deep understanding of the direct-selling model and the laws and regulations that impact it. He began his legal career as an assistant staff judge advocate in the United States Air Force and then as a special assistant U.S. attorney.

Over the years he’s served actively in the Lawyers Council and the Government Relations Committee of the U.S. Direct Selling Association (DSA). Kevin is a past president and former member of the board of directors of the Mountain West Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC). He received his Juris Doctor degree from Creighton University School of Law and his LL.M. degree in international business transactions from the McGeorge School of Law (University of the Pacific).

Outside of work, Kevin spends time with his family, reads historical novels, and watches historical movies and documentaries. As an avid hockey fan, he can often be found playing competitive men’s league hockey. His favorite Young Living products include Peace & Calming®, Idaho Grand Fir, Manuka, Ylang Ylang, KidScents® KidPower™, Frankincense, and Helichrysum.

Prasad Gankanda

Chief Operating Officer

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 high 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 and Highest Potential™ essential oil blends.

Melissa Bishop

Chief Financial Officer

A collaborative and out-of-the-box thinker, Melissa joined Young Living with an extensive background in finance and accounting. She has 17 years of experience in the direct sales industry, as well as four years of experience working in public accounting for prestigious firms, including both Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG International.

Before accepting the position of CFO, Melissa spent four years as the head of Young Living’s Global Tax department ensuring that the company remained compliant in all its markets. She received her master of accountancy degree with an emphasis in tax from Brigham Young University and is a certified public accountant. She has also served as a past president of the Utah chapter of the American Women’s Society of CPAs.

Melissa will read anything, from sci-fi to mysteries. She is very musical and can often be found playing piano. She also loves trying new food, scuba diving, working on DIY projects, and traveling with her husband and daughter. For a quick pick-me-up, she turns to NingXia Zyng®, and she never leaves home without a bottle of Peppermint.

Mark Ballstaedt

Chief Information Office

Mark has over 20 years of e-commerce/software development and digital technology experience within the travel, health and wellness, direct sales, and retail sales industries. Mark has helped develop software and technology to build digital brands, sales, and customer and employee experiences for companies such as JetBlue Airways, 1-800 CONTACTS, Glasses.com, and Vivint Smart Home.

Mark is passionate about technology, developing individuals, creating high-performing software development teams and systems, and building successful cross-departmental relationships. He started developing software and working on computers at the age of 12 and has a passion for lifelong learning. Mark believes that the strength of the whole team will always outperform the individual, no matter how capable one may be.

Mark lives in Midway, Utah, with his seven children and his wife, Emily. They adopted their three youngest children. Their most recent addition, Peter, comes from Armenia. Mark speaks Spanish and enjoys running, reading, boating, and any activity where he is spending time with his family. Mark is excited to work for Young Living, where he can make a difference in people’s lives. His favorite Young Living products are Valor essential oil blend, due to its calming and strengthening scent, as well as the whole-body supplement NingXia Red®.

Joe Walker

Executive Vice President, Infrastructure

Joe Walker was born and raised in both Utah and California on a military base and spent his summers in Woodland, Utah, working in his grandparents’ country store and learning the value of hard work. He attended Kearns High School in Salt Lake City and then attended Brigham Young University.

Before joining the corporate world, Joe had the entrepreneurial spirit and owned a successful printer business with sales averaging $500,000 a year. He then continued in the Information Technology field, working for Word Perfect, Novell, Nature’s Way, and now Young Living for nearly 12 years, giving him 28 years of experience in the IT field.

When he is not working, Joe enjoys outdoor activities, riding motorcycles, snowmobiling, and supporting the Utah Jazz

Mark Bartlett

Executive Vice President of Science and Development

Mark Bartlett grew up in Australia’s outback, near his family’s sheep farm and apple orchards. He studied at the Australian National University in Canberra, where he obtained degrees in organic chemistry and biochemistry, discovering his love of plants along the way. During his master’s degree project, he examined the path of carbon during plant photosynthesis, confirming a new biosynthetic pathway and discovering a new enzyme involved in the photosynthetic cycle. Following these discoveries, Mark worked for three years as a research assistant in a hospital cancer research laboratory, then went on to pursue a PhD in immunology and cell biology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Mark conducted research on cardiovascular disease, with a special interest in the role of reactive oxygen species and free radicals. Along with these focuses, he studied the role of blood platelets in heart disease and helped publish the first scientific report of a biochemical link between cigarette smoking and atherosclerosis. Later, he became interested in autoimmune inflammatory diseases and examined several different plant-derived natural products for their ability to inhibit graft rejection, cancer metastasis, and autoimmune disease.

Mark served for two years as a post-doctoral scientist at the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. While there, he investigated the interaction of T-cells with the blood vessel wall and the role of various adhesion molecules that these cells use to communicate with one another. He is a member of the American Association of Immunologists and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Apart from his experience as a medical researcher, Mark also has nearly 30 years of experience in the wellness industry. Prior to joining the Young Living executive team, he was the vice president of global research and development for Pharmanex, where he oversaw an energetic team of scientists, technicians, and educators focused on innovation, research, and development of new wellness products.

Mark and his wife, Crystal, have eight children and six grandchildren. Mark is an avid mountain-biker and motorcyclist and loves to trail run. He’s delighted to be a part of Young Living’s journey.

Colby Olds

Executive Vice President, Social Impact

Colby Olds joined Young Living with more than 25 years’ experience working with accomplished field leaders throughout the direct-selling industry. Even before starting at Young Living, he created Essential Oils magazine and helped develop the Premium Starter Kit.

He believes that Young Living’s greatest asset is its brand partners. Their passion and energy, paired with Seed to Seal® premium essential oils, are what make Young Living so attractive to so many around the world. That’s why he’s dedicated himself to improving our brand partners’ ability to act as ambassadors for these premium products.

Outside of work, Colby ice fishes and spends time with his wife of 26 years and their four children. He lives, breathes, and bleeds blue for the Dallas Cowboys. Sacred Mountain™ essential oil blend transports his mind to alpine vistas and majestic meadows. Peppermint is the go-to oil he uses throughout the day for clarity and focus.

Kelly Case

Chief of Staff

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 Gary and Mary Young, 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 , 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 theater.