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Tuesday, Feb 27, 2024

Executive profile: Danna Korn


Name: Danna Korn.

Company: Sonic Boom Wellness Inc.

Titles: CEO /co-founder.

No. of employees: 25.

Year founded: 2007.

Education: UC Davis.

Birthplace: Denver.

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.


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