Name: Danna Korn.
Company: Sonic Boom Wellness Inc.
Titles: CEO /co-founder.
No. of employees: 25.
Year founded: 2007.
Education: UC Davis.
Age: 50 (going on 40!).
Current residence: Carlsbad.
Family: Husband Bryan Van Noy; kids Tyler (23) and Kelsie (21).
Danna Korn is CEO (chief energizing officer) and co-founder of Sonic Boom Wellness Inc. The Carlsbad-based software company has been a trailblazer in “gamifying” corporate wellness. The company’s proprietary incentive platform allows clients to attach meaningful incentives like health care premium reductions to health goals and achievements. Korn is also a best-selling author/expert on the gluten-free lifestyle, and is a consulting partner for General Mills.
Essential business philosophy: Take risks. If you don’t push the limits, you’ll never know how far you can go and how much you can get away with.
Best way to keep a competitive edge: Be irreverent, blaze your own trail, and maintain your differentiators. Own up to your weaknesses and respond nimbly to input. Thinking you’re “all that” breeds complacency.
Guiding principles: Don’t lose sight of your passion, core competencies, culture, and sky-high goals and expectations.
Yardsticks of success: Are our clients raving fans? If not, we’re not succeeding, regardless of how much new business we bring in.
Best business decision: Not to accept angel funding or venture capital (not that we didn’t try!). Bootstrapping has allowed us to retain the control we need to take this business in a direction others wouldn’t dare.
Biggest missed opportunity: Every time we’ve “failed,” it’s ended up turning out for the best … so I truly can’t think of one.
Word that describes you: Fearless.
What you like best about your job: Hearing how much people love Sonic Boom and how successful they’ve been achieving healthy-habit goals because of our program.
What you like least about your job: I married my co-founder a year after we started the company, so now every waking minute is spent thinking and talking about Sonic Boom. Even when we’re sleeping we’re dreaming of program enhancements.
Pet peeves: Arrogance and narcissism. I don’t understand why anyone would ever think they’re “better” than someone else, nor do I see how it could be satisfying to make yourself the focal point of your universe.
Most important lesson learned: Being a David in a world of Goliath wellness companies isn’t a weakness, and in fact can be an advantage. We’re more nimble, and provide superior service — best of all, we may be smaller, but we win our fair share of Fortune 500 clients and frequently beat those Goliath competitors.
Three greatest passions: Helping people learn to live (and love) the gluten-free lifestyle, tackling new challenges, and making people smile by finding the most sincere positive quality I observe (that others might miss) and pointing it out.
First choice for a new career: Olympic skier.
Favorite quote: “The fear of losing what we have is what keeps us from having what we want.” (Can’t find who said it.)
Most influential book: I’ve authored seven best-sellers. I’m a little biased.
Favorite status symbol: Sonic Boom cycling gear. With “Wacky Wellness Works” across the hiney, it generates a lot of ride-time conversation!
Favorite restaurant: Trattoria dal Billy in Manarola, Italy.
Favorite place for business meetings: Riding bikes along the coast. Bryan and I have done lots of “rolling” conference calls, and have lured a few prospects and clients into “moving” meetings.
Favorite vacation spot: Wherever there’s fresh powder and a respectable vertical drop.