Forbes: VanderSloot is the richest person in Idaho

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IDAHO FALLS – The founder and CEO of Melaleuca, Inc. is the richest person in Idaho, according to a profile released Wednesday by Forbes.

Frank VanderSloot’s estimated wealth is $1.9 billion, according to the magazine. It’s the first time Forbes has declared VanderSloot as Idaho’s richest resident.

Every year Forbes scans America’s largest fortunes to determine the wealthiest individual in every state. VanderSloot is the only newcomer on the list this year, taking over the top spot from Boise-based CEO Scott Simplot with the J.R. Simplot Company.

“(Simplot) dropped well below VanderSloot this year after Forbes uncovered new information indicating that the Simplot family — likely worth more than $8 billion — has spread much of their wealth across the next generation of heirs,” the magazine states.

The profile of VanderSloot details his Idaho upbringing, career and the 1985 founding of Melaleuca. The Idaho Falls-based business hit a record $1.75 billion in sales last year and nearly 2,000 people in east Idaho are employed by the wellness company.

VanderSloot owns an estimated 117,500 acres across Idaho, Utah and Montana with much of the land supporting his Riverbend Ranch cattle business. It’s one of the ten largest purebred Angus breeders in the world.

He also owns a number of other local businesses and has sponsored the biggest fireworks show west of the Mississippi River every year during the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration.

VanderSloot is actively involved in politics and is a major donor to the Republican party. He was a national finance co-chair for Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential runs and has been credited with donating and bundling more than $60 million for the 2012 campaign.

EastIdahoNews.com has reached out to VanderSloot for comment. We will update the story with new details when we receive them.