Meet Reading Horizons Executive Team

Reading Horizons is full of passionate people that are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of struggling readers and assisting educators in their efforts.

Tyson J. Smith

Company President and CEO

President of Reading Horizons, Tyson has guided the Kaysville-based company into becoming a national and international education publishing enterprise. Since its inception over 33 years ago, Reading Horizons has had a firm focus on its goal to publish and market industry-leading education products, centered on the Reading Horizons reading strategies. Tyson received his Undergraduate Degree in Business Management from the University of Utah and his MBA from Brigham Young University. He first joined Reading Horizons in 1998 as Executive Vice President with an emphasis in Marketing and Sales. He assumed the role as President of Reading Horizons in October 2001 and since that time has overseen steady sales growth and a myriad of improvements to the Reading Horizons line of products. Tyson has worked with thousands of educators across the world to help make dramatic improvements in literacy rates for their students. He has also presented at education and technology conventions throughout North America and internationally.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

“My motives for working here are entirely selfish. I love the feeling that I get when I talk to a teacher who says, 'I can’t believe I didn’t know this; I’m so excited to put it to use!' I enjoy hearing about students who have a new-found love of literature and whose grades have gone from C’s and D’s to A’s and B’s. I love the feeling I get working here with committed individuals who make me want to stretch myself to meet their standard. I love coming to work and feeling like we are doing something great and that we’re doing it the right way. So as you can see, it’s all about me. (Wow! That even rhymes.)”

Stacy Hurst

Chief Education Officer

Stacy Hurst has degrees in Sociology and Elementary Education and Reading, and she has Advanced Reading and ESL Endorsements. During her twenty years as an educator, she has been a first grade teacher, ELL teacher, literacy coach, and reading specialist. Her extensive experience also includes coordinating interventions for struggling readers, implementing blended learning, and training thousands of teachers on effective literacy instruction. Stacy is the Chief Education Officer at Reading Horizons and is the co-author of Reading Horizons Discovery®.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"The reason that I love working for Reading Horizons can be summed up in as few as four little words that each have big meaning: purpose, passion, potential, and people. I love that our purpose is to make a difference in the lives of people who are learning to read. The passion that we have towards this purpose is evident in every corner of the company. I get most excited about the fact that we can increase the potential of many people. We can increase the potential of teachers by providing them with knowledge and quality materials to enhance their teaching; of beginning readers who are put on a heightened trajectory when they receive quality instruction in the nascent stages of learning to read; and of struggling readers who are infused with a renewed hope for life because they are able to read better than they ever have. Finally, I love the people at Reading Horizons. It has been said that we only hire nice people, and I believe it! It is energizing to work with capable, dedicated, and talented people who have such vision for making a difference in the world."

Alisha Thomas

General Director

Alisha is the General Manager and Human Resources Manager at Reading Horizons. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Weber State University and a Master's Degree from Walla Walla University in College Place, Washington. Alisha was hired in 2001 as a quality assurance specialist and assistant to the software development team. Within seven years, she was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant to the President and from there to General Manager. She took on the management of the Human Resources department in 2017 and has served a double role as both General Manager and Human Resources Manager since then. During her tenure at the company, Alisha has developed a diverse and unique set of skills and institutional knowledge as she has served in various departments. Alisha sets the tone for the staff by exhibiting a strong work ethic and seasoned organizational skills, both of which serve her well in her roles at Reading Horizons. Her exceptional leadership has improved effectiveness in office procedures across the company.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

“I am making a difference in the lives of those we serve. I have personally seen the difference it makes in the life of a child who has always had problems reading, so I know what we do works. I also love talking with people about what we do because I see that they recognize the method and products as being unique and that the systematic instruction works with beginning and struggling readers. I also love working with the people here. They help me want to become a better person.”

Joe Billman

Software Development Director

Joe Billman has been involved in software development for over ten years. The majority of this time has been spent developing educational software. He has a BIS degree from Weber State University where he studied Computer Science. Joe loves working with really talented developers to create high quality products. He currently directs the team of software engineers here at Reading Horizons.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"I love software development and am very passionate about it. Working for Reading Horizons not only allows me to develop software, it also allows me to make a difference in people's lives. Knowing that, gives my job and ultimately my life more purpose."

Jonathan W. Diaz

Web Development Director

Jonathan Diaz is the Web Development Manager at Reading Horizons. He graduated from high-school early with honors and entered the workforce at 17. One of his first jobs was at an engineering firm sketching piping schematics for a local utility provider. He was also asked to consider what improvements could be made to their website. This was where he gained most of his initial training and passion for web development. Throughout his years in college, he continued to develop and deliver websites for small businesses. Jon brings a wealth of web development experience to his role at Reading Horizons with a solid foundation in mainstream web technologies and practices, including HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP,, SQL, Photoshop, SEO, analytics, social media, and much more. He considers it a great honor to serve on the web team and feels that it has deepened his knowledge and experience.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"I'm passionate about working for Reading Horizons because I'm doing what I love—web design—while changing peoples’ lives. Not everyone is as blessed as I've been to love what you do for a living while having such a tremendous impact on people. I get to use my skill set to empower educators to reach their students who struggle with reading, giving them a chance at a better future. I use my talents to reach adults who haven't been able to find jobs because they can't read and fill out an application. This is why I'm so passionate about working for Reading Horizons."

Ryan Burwell

Director of Customer Success

Ryan Burwell has been with Reading Horizons for over six years. He has been involved in the warehouse, technical support, development, sales, sales support and customer service in many different roles. He currently directs the customer success manager and implementation coach teams. He has his CompTIA A+ and Network+ certifications, an Associate’s Degree in Business from Salt Lake Community College, and is currently working towards his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems at David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. In his free time, he enjoys watching baseball, watching and playing soccer, playing games and reading science fiction novels.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"I have never worked anywhere else where I felt I had such purpose. I have grown to recognize the tremendous need to improve people’s ability to read which – in turn – improves their lives. I have gained so much respect for the amazing people that work in education to help deliver this result. I have a passion for excellent customer service. I want to know that I make a difference in someone’s day. I love talking to teachers and feeling like I am a part of something bigger than myself."

Dave Prisbrey

Sales Director

Dave Prisbrey joined the Reading Horizons team with nearly twenty years of sales experience. Dave received a Bachelor's Degree from Weber State University, majoring in Technical Sales. He spent over a decade in the medical industry, where he developed a passion for representing products that help people. In addition to helping the sales team, Dave volunteers at RISE Institute for Literacy, teaching struggling readers with the Reading Horizons program. Dave loves spending time with his wife and four children.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"Since the moment I heard Tyson talk about the mission of Reading Horizons, I was hooked. I knew this is where I wanted to be. Shortly after I joined the company, I flew into my new territory to meet with customers and prospects. During a conversation with a program coordinator at a correctional facility, we discussed how differently many of their student's lives could have turned out had they become fluent readers when they were young. Our mission became real. I love being able to help make a difference in a struggling reader's life."

Jacob Bagley

Quality Assurance Director

Jake Bagley is the Software/Web QA Director at Reading Horizons and has over 12 years of QA engineering experience. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Utah, and he is close to completing a Master's Degree in Education from Weber State University. He loves spending time with his family, playing soccer, writing music, and increasing his talents as a QA.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"Throughout my career, I've worked for several different companies and in many different industries, but I've never believed in or been connected to a purpose as much as I am here at Reading Horizons. I had a short run as an elementary school teacher and saw and felt first-hand the need Reading Horizons helps fill. I'm very fortunate to be a part of this and hope my team's passion for education and quality will manifest itself in our products."

Dave Clark

Marketing Director

Dave has been in marketing for over 25 years. He has been an entrepreneur for decades, directly overseeing marketing for his businesses. Previous to Reading Horizons, he was a business consultant for five years helping small and medium businesses do marketing. Dave also has a passion for SEO and has followed it and practiced it closely since 1999. One of Dave’s previous businesses was in the education industry where he built two websites from the ground up that received over 520,000 visitors per month. He sold products to individuals and schools around the world.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"I am thrilled to be at Reading Horizons and love working at educational companies. It’s exciting to be involved with a company that is directly improving society by helping others learn to read. I believe that many of society’s ills can be solved by teaching every child to read. I am thankful that I get to be part of that."

Kedrick Ridges

Director of Design

Kedrick Ridges is a craftsman, a passionate designer, illustrator, creative thinker, motivator, and avid do-it-yourself-er. He thrives on creative problem solving, and he is most content when collaborating with other bright and strategic thinkers to answer the questions of the day. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communication from Weber State University and has 15 years of design experience ranging from print collateral and identity design to interaction design and user experience. Kedrick lives in Kaysville with his amazing wife, 7 incredible children, 2 goats, and as of yesterday, 9 chickens.

Why are you passionate about working for Reading Horizons?

"I have had the unique privilege throughout my career of working almost exclusively with cause-oriented companies and customers, from higher education to faith and family. Reading Horizons is no exception. Our mission of cracking open the powerful potential inside each one of us through literacy is as noble a cause as any on Earth at this time. We have the opportunity to truly change lives. That is exciting. That is motivating. And that is worth fighting for."