Person 2 Person | Stories - Person 2 Person: Brent Andersen
Monday, March 31 2014, 10:09 AM MDT
Person 2 Person: Brent Andersen

Its the ninth largest aquarium in the United States, and this past week the Loveland Living Planet Aquarium opened its doors for the very first time. However the journey began a long time ago for founder and CEO Brent Andersen. As a young man, Brent was asked, What would he do, if he could not fail? Keeping that in mind he went back to his childhood passion and followed his lifelong dream of opening an aquarium. 

This week Shauna Lake sat down with Brent Andersen Person 2 Person.

Its been a crazy couple of weeks for you, I mean is this just a dream come true?

This has been everything all rolled into one. Its obviously the culmination of a lot of years of work in creating the aquarium, and the lastwell actually the last six to eight weeks have just been tense, trying to focus and get everyone on board with the hundreds and hundreds of things we needed to do to get ready to open, but were finally here.

SHAUNA LAKE: This has been a passion of yours and you just wanted Utahns to love marine life like you do?

I did, and Ive had that love of marine life since I was five years old and never wanted to be anything else, marine biologist every year of my life since five. And so I went and studied and all along the way you know that passion and that interest in not just marine life, that was the focus, but pretty much all life I was just fascinated by that. And I loved talking about that with friends and anybody who wanted to listen or find out so in a larger sense thats really what Im doing is just sharing this just with a whole lot more people than my circle of friends or college classmates.

I love the story about your grandmother giving you a book when you were five years old and it changed the destiny of your life.

It completely set me off in a direction and thats one of the things we strive to do at the aquarium is to provide learning experiences as well as family time because we never know which one of those children who come to visit might possibly be inspired and in 30 or 40 years from now were going to find out and if that was the case what they ended up doing with their life because of that.

SHAUNA LAKE: So tell me about the experience of being five, reading this book, and just knowinghaving that aha moment where you knew what you wanted to do.

Well I was looking at the animals that were living under the ocean, and I was just fascinated with that. I had to know everything I possibly could about that. And so I looked at the book for the first while and asked you know my parents to read it to me and eventually read it, and in one of the pictures there was a scuba diver, and I asked my dad, What does he do? My dad said, Hes a marine biologist. So that was it. Thats what I was going to do, and obviously pursued that, focused on that my entire life all the way up until today.

So this is the culmination of a dream basically. I mean what does that feel like to set out to do something really pretty difficult without a lot of grass roots support and do it?

Sometimes its a little surreal. I dont quite see it, and I do get glimpses of it, and I think thats because Im so inside it. Its hard for me to view it from someone looking in, but I do get glimpses of it sometimes. The other night at opening, wow Im kind of getting emotional thinking about it, it struck me as all these people were there and seeing the building mostly complete and all the designs we had gone through and thats when the blinders kind of lifted up for just a second where I could see wow this has really taken place.

Where does that emotion come from?

I think its coming from two places. Part of it is just the struggle of so long and so many times when it was just on the edge and it could have gone either way and whether it was luck or stubbornness or persistence or whatever something always made it through, but that kind of length of time and stress kind of has a toll. And so its good to finally have that as a part of itI want to say done, but its never really going to be done. I think the other part though is like I said I like sharing all this fascination that I have with life on earth. I think the little boy in me and that joy in seeing these things and sharing with other person, thats another part, thats where some of that emotion comes from.

SHAUNA LAKE: And theres a very real possibility a five year old boy could sit in that aquarium and have his life changed the exact same way. I mean thats huge.

BRENT ANDERSEN: Yeah. I was five and seven and eight and living here in Utah, and I didnt have this. And you know I just would have given anything for some place like this, and its here.

SHAUNA LAKE: Thanks to you its here.

BRENT ANDERSEN: There was a moment yesterday, there was a guest who came up to talk to me, and we were looking and there were all these kids who were so excited about what they were seeing and that was the impact that really makes it all worthwhile.

: Its been so nice to get to know you better Person 2 Person and congratulations.


-Written and Produced by Leslie Tillotson

(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)

Person 2 Person: Brent Andersen

More Person 2 Person

Person 2 Person: Derryl Yeager
Web Exclusive – Success of Thriller
Web Exclusive – Spiritual Turning Point
Web Exclusive: Heart Transplant
Web Exclusive: Music & Life
Web Exclusive: Saving Tiny Hearts
Person 2 Person: Paul Cardall
Person 2 Person: Kerry Jackson
Web Exclusive – Starting in Radio
Web Exclusive – Choosing A “Child-Free” Life
Web Exclusive – Adoption Story
Person 2 Person: Gayle Ruzicka
Web Exclusive: Building a Thick Skin
Web Exclusive: Political Concerns
Web Exclusive: Labels
Person 2 Person: Alan Hall
Web Exclusive: Weber State University
Web Exclusive: Prosperity 2020
Web Exclusive: Never Giving Up
Person 2 Person: Kirby Heyborne
Web Exclusive: Booking Gigs
Web Exclusive: Enjoying Work
Web Exclusive: Goals as a Child
Person 2 Person: Tyler Glenn (Part 1)
Person 2 Person: Tyler Glenn (Part 2)
Web Exclusive: Coming Out & the Band
Web Exclusive: Trust
Web Exclusive: Going on a Mission
Person 2 Person: Frank Layden
Web Exclusive: Loving Your Job
Web Exclusive: Hall of Fame with Barbara
Web Exclusive: Life with Barbara
Person 2 Person: Joe Lake
Web Exclusive: The Disney Miracle
Web Exclusive: Keeping the Kids First
Web Exclusive: Working With Celebrities
Person 2 Person: Nicole Roundy
Web Exclusive: Seeing the Potential
Web Exclusive: Message to Others
Web Exclusive: Meeting Her Biggest Supporter
Person 2 Person: Joseph Carbone
Web Exclusive: Eye Care 4 Kids "20-20" Campaign
Web Exclusive: Helping Children in School
Web Exclusive: Future of Eye Care 4 Kids
Person 2 Person: Leigh Steinberg
Web Exclusive: Leigh’s Book, “The Agent”
Web Exclusive: Skills of a Successful Agent
Web Exclusive: Athletes as Businessmen & Role Models
Person 2 Person: Mario Capecchi
Web Exclusive: Handling Attention
Web Exclusive: Skills of a Successful Scientist
Web Exclusive: Growing up in a Commune
Person 2 Person: Jim Sorenson
Web Exclusive: Responsibility of Money
Web Exclusive: Learning From Failure
Web Exclusive: Giving Back for Everyone
Person 2 Person: Sage Kotsenburg
Web Exclusive: Taking a Risk
Web Exclusive: Looking Ahead to 2018
Web Exclusive: Handling Popularity
Person 2 Person: Gail Miller
Web Exclusive: Dividing Up The Business
Web Exclusive: Owning the Business
Web Exclusive: Growing Up Poor
Person 2 Person: Steven Holcomb
Web Exclusive: Post Olympics and the Future
Web Exclusive: Getting Started in Bobsled
Web Exclusive: Hiding a Secret
Person 2 Person: Trey Burke
Web Exclusive: Girlfriend & Future Son
Web Exclusive: Crossing the Border: The University of Michigan
Web Exclusive: Developing a Thick Skin
Person 2 Person: Gina Barberi
Web Exclusive: Radio From Hell off the Air
Web Exclusive: Motherhood
Web Exclusive: Meeting her Husband
Person 2 Person: Alan Crandall, M.D.
Web Exclusive: Who is Dr. Alan Crandall?
Web Exclusive: Current Medical Care
We Exlcusive: Moran Eye Center
Person 2 Person: Reverend France Davis
Web Exlcusive: Civil Rights Movement
Web Exclusive: Calvary Baptist Church
Web Exclusive: Accidental Name
Person 2 Person: Brent Andersen
Web Exclusive: Early Stages of Building the Aquarium
Web Exclusive: Size of the Aquarium
Utah's Interest in the Underwater World
Person 2 Person: Robert Workman
Web Exclusive: Goal Zero
Web Exclusive: Provo Craft
Web Exclusive: Reacting to Corruption in Congo
Person 2 Person: Keith Stubbs
Web Exclusive: Bombing on Stage
Web Exclusive: Keith on the Radio
Web Exclusive: Keeping Comedy Clean
Person 2 Person: Pat Bagley
Web Exclusive: Olympic Pins
Web Exclusive: Adapting Cartoons to Technology
Web Exclusive: Cartoon Festival Cow
Person 2 Person: Sean Reyes
Web Exclusive: First Day on the Job
Web Exclusive: Building a Thick Skin
Web Exclusive: Reyes' Six Children
Person 2 Person: Greg Miller
Web Exclusive: Being Chosen as CEO
Web Exclusive: Biggest Lesson He Learned
Web Exclusive: New Leadership Style
Person 2 Person: Stephanie Nielson
Web Exclusive: Waking Up After the Accident
Web Exclusive: Reaching Out to Others
Web Exclusive: A Blog for Everyone
Person 2 Person: Becky Lockhart
Web Exclusive: Leading Town Hall Meetings
Web Exclusive: Becky Lockhart's Ways to Relax
Person 2 Person: Chad Lewis
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis back at BYU
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis on Fund Raising at BYU
Web Exclusive: Chad Lewis on paying it forward
Person 2 Person: Matthew Holland
Web Exclusive: Future Ambitions of Matthew Holland
Web Exclusive: Matthew Holland on being the Son of an LDS Apostle
Web Exclusive: Matthew Holland UVU Programs
Person 2 Person: Dylan Ferguson
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson on Staying Motivated
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson’s Family
Web Exclusive: Dylan Ferguson on Having Fun
Person 2 Person: Jon Huntsman Sr.
Web Exclusive: Advice for His Son, Jon Jr.
Web Exclusive: Growing Up Poor
Web Exclusive: "My Life Will be Different"
Person to Person: Anita Hill
Web Exclusive: The Backstory
Web Exclusive: Anita Hill's Aftermath
Web Exclusive: Future Plans
Person 2 Person: Dick Nourse
Person 2 Person: Bishop John Wester
Web Exclusive: Bishop John Wester on Growing Up
Web Exclusive: Bishop John Wester on Coming to Utah
Person 2 Person: Jeanette Herbert
Web Exclusive: Jeanette Herbert on Seeing the Good
Web Exclusive: Jeanette Herbert on Keeping it Simple
Web Exclusive: What Makes Jeanette Herbert Nervous
Person 2 Person: Olene Walker
Web Exclusive: Olene Walker and Making Change
Web Exclusive: Utah's Progress
Person 2 Person: Rocky Anderson
Person 2 Person: Ann Romney
Web Exclusive: Meals Creating Memories
Web Exclusive: Living with MS
Person 2 Person: Tyrone Corbin
Web Exclusive: Being on the Floor at Games
Web Exclusive: Tyrone Corbin's Childhood
Web Exclusive: Father in the NBA
Person 2 Person: Elizabeth Smart
Web Exclusive: Elizabeth Smart on Her Book
Web Exclusive: Mental Fortitude
Web Exclusive: Why Elizabeth Didn't Run
Person 2 Person: Jazz Bear
Person 2 Person: Working for the Jazz
Web Exclusive: Crazy Stunts and Surgeries
Web Exlcusive: Serving in Desert Storm
Person 2 Person: Linda Leckman
Web Exclusive: Linda Leckman as General Surgeon
Web Exclusive: Changes to Utah Healthcare
Web Exclusive: Affordable Health Care Act in Utah
Person 2 Person: Fred Lampropoulos
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Product Copying
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Right to Work State
Web Exclusive: Fred Lampropoulos on Success
Person 2 Person: Miss Utah Marissa Powell
Web Exclusive: Miss Utah's Platform: Adoption
Web Exclusive: Marissa Powell on Religion
Web Exclusive: The Evolution of Pagaents
Person 2 Person: Thierry Fischer
Web Exclusive: The Art of Conducting
Web Exclusive: Recruiting Amazing Musicians
Web Exclusive: Thierry Fischer's Family
Person 2 Person: Amy Rees Anderson
Web Exclusive: Amy on Children and Success
Web Exclusive: Amy on Inspiring a Younger Generation
Web Exclusive: Amy on Kids and Money
Person 2 Person: Robert Kirby
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Career as a Cop
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Military Childhood
Web Exclusive: Robert Kirby's Favorite Columns
Person 2 Person: Bronco Mendenhall
Web Exclusive: Mendenhall's Son's Unusual Names
Web Exclusive: What Makes Bronco Mendenhall Emotional
Web Exclusive: Bronco Mendenhall's Religious Life
Person 2 Person: Cafe Rio Founder Steve Stanley
Web Exclusive: Steve Stanley's Biggest Failure
Web Exclusive: Steve Stanley on Family
Person 2 Person: Rod Decker
Web Exclusive: Rod Decker's Social Life
Web Exclusive: Changes in the News Business
Web Exclusive: Rod Decker on Writing
Person 2 Person: Kyle Whittingham
Person 2 Person: Mike Weir
Web Exclusive: Mike Weir's Winery
Web Exclusive: Utah's Best Golf Courses
Web Exclusive: Mike Weir's Family Life
Web Exclusive: The Green Jacket
Person 2 Person: Bill Allred
Web Exclusive: Bill Allred's Successes and Failures
Web Exclusive: Journey to Nepal
Web Exclusive: Engaged and Motivated at Work
Person 2 Person: Steve Miller
Web Exclusive: Changes to Energy Solutions Arena
Web Exclusives: Behind the Scenes with the Miller's
Web Exclusive: Steve Miller's Family Life
Person 2 Person: Ken Jennings
Web Exclusive: Meeting Alex Trebec
Web Exclusive: Easiest Question Missed
Web Exclusive: Trying Out for Jeopardy
Person 2 Person: Kyle Beckerman
Web Exclusive: The Dreads
Web Exclusive: Nightlife in Salt Lake City
Web Exclusive: Getting Engaged
Person 2 Person: Adam Sklute
Web Exclusive: When He Started Dancing
Web Exclusive: Breaking Point Season 2 Premiere
Web Exclusive: A World of Women
Web Exclusive: Being a Newlywed
Person 2 Person: Pamela Atkinson
Web Exclusive: The Future
Web Exclusive: How to Approach a Homeless Person
Web Exclusive: How She Got Involved
Person 2 Person: Governor Herbert
Web Exclusive: What Makes Gov. Herbert Angry
Web Exclusive: Perceptions of Utah
Web Exclusive: Utah's Report Card
Person 2 Person: Paul Kruger
Web Exclusive: Paul Kruger's LDS Mission
Web Exclusive: Dating in the NFL
Web Exclusive: Super Bowl Ring
Person 2 Person: Richard Paul Evans
Web Exclusive: Political Future
Web Exclusive: Christmas Box House
Web Exclusive: Stories Into Movies
Web Exclusive: Favorite of All His Books
Person 2 Person: Nick Rimando
Web Exclusive: Being Part of the National Team
Web Exclusive: Rimando on Being a Goalie
Web Exclusive: The Face of RSL
Web Exclusive: Nick Rimando's Career Highlights
Web Exclusive: Nick Rimando's Beer
Person 2 Person: Dr. Vivian Lee
Person 2 Person Coming Sunday at 10p


Pay It Forward
Fresh Living
Family Matters
Road Trippin
Hooked On Utah

Advertise with us!