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Get a Hive Going and Buzz with Other People

A Slice on Joni Pierce and Tim Miller, Co-Founders of Consent Vault

Living in the 21st century, we’re always hearing about “protecting our data”, but a lot of us don’t know the extent or what exactly needs to be protected. We’ve all probably heard about HIPAA. According to WebMD, the definition of HIPAA is “the law that protects your privacy as a patient. Under the law, healthcare plans and healthcare providers must limit who can see your health records.” To those not entirely familiar with these laws set in place in the healthcare industry, we aren’t aware that our data is not completely protected. Joni Pierce and Tim Miller bring two strong backgrounds together for a greater cause, Consent Vault. Consent Vault is a cloud-based software platform that protects patient’s data from being sold or monetized. 

Pierce brings an extensive background in healthcare and business, working with companies like Optim, 3M and more. She calls herself a “side hustler” because she’s continuously done something entrepreneurial on the side. She has a passion for business and has held positions in project management and leading business units. Now reinventing herself as a scientist, Pierce is currently a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Informatics, all while taking on her leadership role at Consent Vault (talk about side hustle). Balancing out Pierce’s management background, Miller has held leadership positions in various healthcare companies throughout his career. He has an extensive background, kicking his early career off in fortune 500 companies and working with multiple startups since the late 80s. He’s held various leadership positions as CEO and even taught a business class at the University of Utah.

Pierce, Miller and the two other co-founders met at a local Utah healthcare IT conference. At one of these conferences, a biomedical informatics book caught Pierce’s eye. She quickly participated in an auction for the book, and to her surprise, she won. Pierce describes this as a “funny, pivotal moment” because it sparked her interest in a different industry. All four co-founders are a good balance of one another, tacked with good chemistry. According to Miller, “Everyone has a roll up their sleeves, help get done what needs to get done ethos. You can’t build a company with people who really just don’t want to get into the weeds, the nitty-gritty and get the work done.” For Pierce and Miller, an extremely important part of the team is to include diversity. “Our team is almost like a portfolio of different skill sets. We want diversity in our portfolio of talent, thought and everything else,” says Pierce. Although the team is small, they have a mission to “strengthen the fabric” with diverse minds. 

The most valuable piece of advice Miller can provide is to surround yourself with smart people. “Individually, we don’t have all the answers. Surround yourself with people who have been there and who’ve done it before, so you can learn through their experience.” Pierce notes that it’s important to plan for twice as much time as what you’re going to have on your schedule, then go for it.

“If you have a dream, just dive in and get moving. Get a hive going and buzz with other people who are like-minded so you can really build something.”

Ultimately, Pierce and Miller both stress that it’s most important that you don’t give up. As long as you are able to learn along the way and make changes to what you didn’t do right, “a step into the darkness” is encouraged.

As a bootstrapped company, Pierce and Miller use every day as motivation to make a difference and have an impact on peoples’ lives. Pierce feels fortunate enough to have found success in her career early to work alongside a company with a mission and higher purpose. She hopes to elevate every life or person that crosses her path. Miller’s measure of success is not with financial metrics, but rather a feeling of fulfillment and constructive progress. “At the end of the day, you’ve gotta sleep with a contented smile on your face.” As a serial entrepreneur, Miller describes the entrepreneurial ride as “addictive”, and collectively succeeding with your team by your side is a type of reward that’s unlike anything else. 

Founder Bios

Tim Miller brings 45 years of management experience in the healthcare industry to his role as Co-Founder and President at Consent Vault. Miller has an MBA from the University of Utah where he also served as an adjunct professor. Connect with Miller on LinkedIn


Joni Pierce has held leadership positions at Optim and 3M working mainly in project management and business. Pierce is currently co-founder and CEO at Consent Vault and a Ph.D. student in Biomedical Informatics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Connect with Pierce on LinkedIn.

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