A Giant In Our City – Michael O. Leavitt

Friday, April 11th, 2014

On Thursday, April 10, the Salt Lake Chamber honored former Utah governor Michael O. Leavitt as A Giant In Our City, one of the most prestigious business awards in the state. You can learn more about the award here.

To a crowd of more than 1,500 people, from business and community leaders to politicians and more, former Massachusetts governor and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney shared a handful of personal memories, including those involving Gov. Leavitt’s love for practical jokes.

It was a wonderful evening as we honored such a great man. As Salt Lake Chamber President & CEO Lane Beattie said, “One of the best things about the Giant In Our City award is the inspiration these Giants give us all–to be better people and to do our part.”

See photos from the Giant in Our City event on Flickr.

Press release: http://slchamber.com/news-room/read/article/256

Media Coverage – Fox 13  |  Deseret News  |  Salt Lake Tribune 

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This was Gov. Leavitt’s acceptance speech at the Giant In Our City gala on April 10, 2014. 

Shortly after the 2008 election, Jackie and I joined Mitt and Ann, and some other friends for a short stay in a tiny Caribbean country. We were escorted to the customs office. It consisted of single desk in what looked like a warehouse building next to the airport.

While filling out the required papers Mitt came to the blank requiring occupation. He said, “Hmmm, occupation—how should I answer that?”

A member of the group made a suggestion. “Mitt, put—President, searching for a country.”

In about a year, our country will again be searching for a President. If you’re available, I, and countless others, will once again, be at your side.

A few years ago, I represented the United States at international meetings held in Russia. As part of the trip, I met with a member of the Russian Duma (their Congress). It turns out, he was a famous polar explorer. He regaled us with stories of his conquests, and displayed his awards. Let’s just say, he had a big personality.

As we stood to leave, we exchanged business cards. Underneath his name was listed his title: “Hero of the Russian People.” Now there’s a great title. Tomorrow, I’m going to order some new business cards. They will simply say, “Mike Leavitt, Giant In Our City.” How good is that?

So, thank you very much.

In all seriousness, this designation is far more than a great title. It is a singular honor. Being included on the same list as the true giants, who have previously received this honor, is among the most notable and kindest things ever expressed about me.

Your kindness is rightly shared by my wife and partner in everything, Jackie. She is the giant in my life. She is the North Star of our family. She is the person living at our address who most deserving of admiration.

I wish to recognize my children and extended family. They provide me unwavering love and support. A quick story captures a glimpse of their sacrifice.

I had been governor about for about a year. Often I sent the highway patrol security detail home when I had no public duties. An errand needed to be run, so I took our son Chase and we drove to the store in our family’s car. Chase was about eight years old at the time. When we reached the store, he looked around and said, “Daddy, what about the police?”
“The police?” I said.
“What if the police catch you not working?”

I realized he thought that the highway patrol traveled with his dad to make sure he never quit working. I knew at that moment, my life needed an adjustment.

For a young family, living in the governors’ mansion is an adventure. One day I called the family quarters at the mansion. Westin, who was about three, answered the phone. The conversation went something like this:

“Hello?”
“Can I talk to Mom?”
“She’s busy.”
“What about Anne Marie?”
“She’s busy too.”
“What are they busy doing?”
“Looking for me.”

One summer morning, our teenage sons, asked if it was okay to have a few friends over to the mansion on Friday night to see a boxing match on television. There is a large room in the basement and on nights like that, it was not uncommon to have a big group of their friends over to watch a sporting event of some sort. I would go down and enjoy it with them.

Just after dark, Jackie and drove down South Temple street, returning from an event at the University. From about 9th east I could see this very strange glow on the side of the governor’s mansion. As we got closer I could see that the entire east side of the mansion had been covered in white. The boys had used PVC pipe, rope, old bed sheets and masking tape to create a massive movie screen and draped it over the entire east side of the mansion. It looked like a drive-in movie. I could see boxers that we 30 feet tall all the way from 8th east. As I got closer I could see kids, lots and lots of kids, sitting on the lawn, noisily cheering the fighters.

As we walked up the drive way, I said to the head of the mansion security,
“What in the world is going on here?”
“Guv,” he said, “the boys said you were okay with this.”

Jackie, not a fight fan, said, “I think you need to handle this.” She retired to the house, only to find our bedroom was now covered by the backlit images of sweaty boxers.

As I got to the backyard, I noticed Mike and Taylor busily working the crowd, and their five year old brother Westin and sister, Anne Marie, at the back gate collecting admissions to cover the cost of pay-per-view. And the kids, well, they just kept coming. By the time the main event arrived, there were hundreds. To their credit, they were noisy but behaved.

I thought—what’s a guy to do at this point? I found a place on the grass and enjoyed what turned out to be a great fight night.

To our son Taylor, a teenager, the mansion was an endless opportunity for practical jokes. He had a very realistic rubber arm he would occasionally use to startle someone. I was okay with that until a particular night when we were entertaining an arts group in the main parlor. A harpist played as people mingled. As I spoke with a rather prominent woman, I could tell from her eyes that she was a bit startled and distracted—eyes focused on the fireplace. As I turned around, there it was, the arm—dangling from chimney.

There’s not much to say at a moment like that. I said, “Do you have teenagers?” The good news was, she did.

It is a tribute to Jackie, that each of our five children weathered the experience and are productive and responsible adults, in whom we are enormously proud. Best of all, they are producing grandchildren, several of whom are here tonight. Likewise, my parents and several of my brothers are here.

Being governor is a wonderful experience. Being a member of the governor’s family sometimes isn’t. They have all endured moments of ironic unfairness and remained wonderfully supportive.

As many of you know, my father’s name is Dixie. He preceded me in Utah politics, representing southern Utah in the legislature for many years. St. George is known as Utah’s Dixie. Early Mormon pioneers thought the area reminded them of the south. The word Dixie has been written in giant white letters across the red rock mesa, visible to the entire town. Tonight, I am prepared to confession that I was 15 years old before I figured out that my Dad didn’t really write his name on that mountain.

Likewise, this audience is peppered with colleagues, legislators, business leaders, supporters and friends I worked side by side with. Thank you for yet another expression of support. I will acknowledge, for all of us, what a remarkable privilege public service is. The best rewards are a sense of accomplishment and friendships. Both last forever.

And of course, I wish to thank the SL Chamber of Commerce, the sponsor of this dinner for choosing to honor me in this way. Lane Beattie, President of the Chamber, requires a special and personal thank you. Over the years, Lane and I have served shoulder to shoulder. For the entire time I was governor, Lane was either majority leader or President of the Utah Senate. As you know, the relationship between governors and legislatures are designed to produce tension. However, in the end, things have to be done, agreement has to be reached. The process requires leaders who have the confidence of their colleagues and a knack for knowing when to facilitate the deal. Many of the things history will point to as shaping the state’s future, Lane Beattie was a major force in making it happen.

The Chamber of Commerce, under Lane’s leadership, and with the support of his remarkable board, has become a powerful influence for good in our state. The organization provides important leadership in this state and a voice of reason.

We have a great state with a proud tradition of success and prosperity. I have come to understand that public leadership is a generation relay.Many of the most profound problems are not ours to solve with finality, but rather to incrementally improve during our temporary stewardship.

The Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce is a part of the foundation of this great state. Thanks to them for honoring me. Thanks to all of you for attending.

Leadership Utah 2013 – Health Care

Monday, December 9th, 2013

This year we will be bringing you highlights from our 2013 Leadership Utah class. Each month, Leadership Utah introduces participants to the crucial issues and top leaders in the community. Experts on public issues and community problems explore the issues and problems, and discuss potential solutions. 

This past month, the Leadership Utah group gained access to a number of unique facilities and experts in the health care industry throughout the Salt Lake valley. This included a site visit to the Intermountain Medical Center and the Intermountain Central Laboratory.

“It was amazing to have the opportunity to go behind the scenes of a working lab,” said Emily Lucht, a member of this year’s Leadership Utah class. She leads the Training and Curriculum Development department at inContact, a Utah-based company which provides cloud-based contact center solutions. ”The efficiency and activity volume is mind blowing and puts an audible buzz in the air. To satisfy one’s morbid curiosities, there was also the collection of gallbladder stones on display. I doubt anyone present will ever again question why they are called stones. I know I will never be able to look at a riverbed without being reminded of my visit to the Intermountain lab. Yikes!”

In addition to their visit to the Intermountain facilities, the group also visited Shriners Hospital, the Huntsman Cancer Institute and ARUP’s research park facility.

Jim Sheets, a health care expert himself as an administrator for Intermountain’s LDS Hospital, shares his take on the visit to ARUP.

“We had the unique privilege of participating in a behind the scenes tour of ARUP in Research Park,” said Sheets. ” ARUP is an impressive operation!  They process thousands and thousands of specimens every day from all across the United States. In fact, we learned that more parcels arrive at S alt Lake City International Airport destined for ARUP than any other business in Utah.”

“The efficiency, exactness and organization required to run this lab was impressive. They have incredible machinery and automation, including the only comprehensive allergy testing technology in the nation,” he said.  ”We learned about how they test for all sorts of bacteria and disease, as well as how they conduct analysis on DNA.  A fascinating day with amazing technology and extremely intelligent people.”

Leadership Utah is a program designed by the Salt Lake Chamber to provide opportunities for business leaders to learn more about the challenges facing the community. It is ideal for those who are interested in becoming involved, who want to gain the tools to make more informed decisions, and who want to improve their leadership abilities.

Leadership Utah broadens participants’ experiences by:

·     Acquainting them with processes, programs, and problems that currently exist within the community
·     Stimulating their interest in community activities and encouraging their participation in local affairs
·     Providing access to a multitude of community resources that cannot be gained elsewhere
·     Familiarizing emerging leaders with one another and with the community’s current business and civic leadership

If you’re interested in participating in next year’s Leadership Utah class, please see the Leadership Utah webpage or contact Jackie Sexton at jsexton@slchamber.com.

Honoring the 2013 Athena, Pathfinders

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Yesterday, the Salt Lake Chamber honored named Dr. Linda Leckman of Intermountain Healthcare as the 2013 ATHENA Award recipient. The award was presented at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon, presented by the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center.

The ATHENA International Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo, is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business, provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Dr. Leckman serves as vice president of Intermountain Healthcare and CEO of Intermountain Medical Group, which is comprised of 185 clinics, more than 1,000 physicians, and over 5,200 employees. Under her leadership, Intermountain Medical Group implemented innovative compensation and process improvement plans, established clinical quality improvement initiatives, developed strategic plans for growth, and laid the foundation for a model of physician integration with hospitals and health plans that many systems around the country now strive to emulate.

A prominent voice in her industry, Leckman has taken the opportunity to share her expertise as a way to improve health care at a national and local level, for both institutions and individuals.  Throughout 2009, Dr. Leckman contributed to the Washington Post’s blog Health Care Rx, where she provided her perspective regarding the federal government’s efforts to bring meaningful change into effect. For the past decade, Dr. Leckman has also been the host of Healing for Life, a weekly spot on KSL NewsRadio that airs throughout the state. In more than 550 radio spots, she has offered suggestions for improving health, insights into ground-breaking health care treatments and scientific developments, and new services offered at Intermountain Healthcare.

Pathfinders
In addition to the ATHENA Award, four women were honored with Pathfinder awards. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths that promote the development and recognition of women in business. 2013 recipients include:

 - Jennifer Danielson, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
- Jennifer Godfrey, Salt Lake CAP Head Start
- Mary Kay Griffin, CBIZ MHM
- Susan Mayo, Wells Fargo

The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually during the American Express Women & Business Conference during the Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon to a select number of worthy community leaders who have a history of support for women and women’s issues and who have worked to further the development and recognition of women. This award has been a traditional part of the conference for many years.

Gail Miller was honored with the ATHENA Award in 2012. Other recent recipients include Beverley Taylor Sorenson (2011), Senator Pat Jones (2008), Governor Olene Walker (2004) and Patricia Richards of Wells Fargo (2000) who was the first woman to chair the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors.

Past ATHENA Recipients

2012 Gail Miller, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies
2011 Beverley Taylor Sorenson, Sorenson Foundation
2010 Cynthia Bioteau, Salt Lake Community College
2009 Chris Redgrave, Bonneville Salt Lake Radio Group
2008 Patricia Jones, Dan Jones & Associates
2007 Margo Provost, Log Haven
2006 Marilyn Tang, Certified Handling Systems
2005 Pamela Atkinson, Community Advocate
2004 Gov. Olene Walker, Utah State Governor
2003 Becky Berkey Potts, AT&T Wireless
2002 Susan Glasmann, Questar Gas Company
2001 Lori Giovannoni, Lori Giovannoni and Associates
2000 Patricia Richards, First Security Bank
1999 Lorraine Miller, Cactus & Tropicals
1998 Deborah Bayle, American Red Cross Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter
1997 Carol Carter, IC Products
1996 Ramona Rudert, Predictable Building Systems
1995 Joan Lewis, Nesco Service, Inc.
1993 June Morris, Morris Air
1992 Rhoda Ramsey, Ramsey Group N.
1991 Patricia Freston, Ph.D., Questar Corporation
1990 Jacqueline Nicholes, Quality Press
1988 Carol Browning, CLU
1987 Patricia Shoemaker Glessner, KSL TV
1986 Isabelle Jensen, Questar Corporation
1985 Carol Fay, Internal Revenue Services
1984 Phyllis Steorts, Westin Hotel Utah

2013 ATHENA: Dr. Linda Leckman

Monday, November 4th, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center will honor four women as Pathfinders at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This is one in a series of posts highlighting our ATHENA & Pathfinder honorees.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #AthenaSLC.

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Dr. Linda Leckman
Intermountain Healthcare 

What is your role in your organization?

I am Vice President of Intermountain Healthcare and the Chief Executive Officer for Intermountain Medical Group, a position I’ve held since 1996. In my role, I have responsibility for Intermountain’s 185+ clinics that include:  primary and specialty care clinics; InstaCare, KidsCare and WorkMed clinics; community/school-based clinics; and hospital-based services (e.g., neonatology, critical care, etc.). The Medical Group is comprised of 5,116 employees, including 1,056 physicians and 265 advanced practice clinicians (i.e., nurse practitioners, physician assistants, etc.).

What is the mission of your organization?

Intermountain Healthcare is an organization driven by a mission of excellence in the provision of healthcare services to communities in the Intermountain region. Our mission includes a commitment to provide care to those who live in communities within this region who have a medical need, regardless of ability to pay. This same mission impacts what we do within the Medical Group as well.

What is the key to the professional success you have achieved?

Being willing to take risks. When I decided to go to medical school many years ago, very few women were choosing that career path. When I then decided to undertake a residency in general surgery, I was the first woman to complete a general surgery residency at the University of Utah. For many years I had a very satisfying private practice in general surgery. Then I saw an opportunity to move into an administrative position where I might have more impact on how health care is delivered and I moved to my current position, in spite of having no training to do this job.

Who is your greatest professional influence? Why?

There is no single person whom I would identify as having the greatest influence on me. I have benefitted from the wisdom and examples of many people. Actually, I try to learn something from most people with whom I interact.

How did you get into the field you work in?

In high school, I volunteered as a candy striper in a large hospital in Oklahoma City, Okla.  At that time volunteers functioned more as nurses’ assistants and were able to participate in a limited way in patient care.  In addition, two internists at the hospital were willing to answer my questions about the illnesses I was seeing.  The appeal of medicine derived from helping and being engaged with people and learning the science of medicine.  I went into college as a pre-med major, took a detour into a history major and ended up in medical school, responding to the appeal I outlined.

Moving from a personally and professionally rewarding career as a general surgeon to my current role as CEO of Intermountain Healthcare’s Intermountain Medical Group was a giant leap for me.  I was a private independent practitioner and had practiced in Intermountain hospitals.  I had experienced the corporate focus on clinical quality and their non-profit mission.  I saw the opportunity to impact on a much larger scale the care delivered to people in our state-by helping physicians practice evidence based medicine, supporting physicians to be successful in their practices and lives, and developing clinic experiences that focus on patients.  I was not trained for my current administrative role when I moved to this job, so I have also had the opportunity to continue to learn.  The current changing health care environment continues to give me that opportunity.

What does it mean for you to be named an Athena Award recipient?

I greatly appreciate the recognition.  I also realize that there are many remarkable women leaders in Salt Lake City-some are previous honorees and others will be recognized in the future for their work and many contributions to our community.  All of us as leaders acknowledge the reality that our work is really the work of many people and the teams with whom we work.

If you could sit down and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give?

Live with integrity publicly and privately.
Don’t be complacent. Look for opportunities to learn and contribute to others.
Eat more fruits and vegetables and fewer chocolate chip cookies.
Above all, be kind.

2013 Pathfinder: Susan Mayo

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center will honor four women as Pathfinders at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This is one in a series of posts highlighting our ATHENA & Pathfinder honorees.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #AthenaSLC.

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Susan Mayo
Wells Fargo 

What is your role in your organization?

I am a Senior Vice President for Wells Fargo, leading the Private Bank and Wealth Management businesses in Utah.

What is the mission of your organization?

Wells Fargo is committed to building relationships with our clients, our communities and each other. We pride ourselves on serving each of these relationships well and we strive to discover and satisfy all of our clients’ financial needs. Our aim is to help them, and their future generations, succeed financially.

What is the key to your professional success you have achieved?

Within our team at the firm – we refer to what shows up in each of us every day as our “winning formula.” For me, I believe it is the passion I bring to whatever I am engaged in which has grown into compassionate leadership over the years. My entire life I have been involved in and on teams which made me aware early on of the importance of inclusiveness, getting to know your teammates personally, investing and developing others and then supporting their success. A positive attitude has helped as well along the way. Teamwork is a core value at Wells Fargo because the input from experts in various fields collectively provides the very best solutions and plans for our clients.

Who is your greatest professional influence? Why?

I have been fortunate to have had outstanding leaders and mentors on my journey. Early in my career, Kris Garrett stands out as an influential leader. She took the risk of hiring me into my first leadership role in The Private Bank, and she continually provided me experiences to learn, grow and lead across lines of business. She also nominated/enrolled me in opportunities that involved me in global impact on the leadership and future of our organization. As I reflect on these experiences, I am grateful she pushed me to grow as a leader, critical thinker and contributor; I want to create these types of opportunities for others. Fortunately, I continue to learn from my many coaches at Wells Fargo, especially from a very talented colleague Nancy Amick.

There are also very helpful influences outside work: encouraging friends, two encouraging sisters and two people that inspire me every day: my two children, whose efforts and successes always amaze and teach me.

How did you get into the field you work in?

Interviews from my college campus – I entered the financial industry in a branch manager training program and was placed in Miami, FL. The firm I joined was financially supportive of continuing one’s education so I earned my MBA during this time as well. After the branch manager training program, my efforts turned to commercial lending for a few years. Then in 1995, I joined the Wealth Management business because it focuses on helping individuals and their families grow and protect their assets while achieving their financial goals, which is an area of the firm I have enjoyed very much.

What does it mean for you to be named a Pathfinder?

It’s truly an honor to be selected and be a part of this tradition that recognizes and supports those who support women in developing their skills and achieving their goals. Being a Pathfinder brings men and women together in the spirit of celebrating helping others as a way of life. What means the most to me though is receiving this nomination from the women I work with at Wells Fargo. That is something I will never forget.

If you could sit down and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give?

I have an 18 year old son and 15 year old daughter so it’s a very relevant question.

• Write down your goals and dreams and then pursue them.
• Education is critical, and learning is a lifelong habit to embrace and share.
• Spread goodness everywhere you go.
• Be grateful for each day. “Positive Attitude with Gratitude,” my friend, Carol Magie, says.
• Always keep your word and your commitments in life; both to yourself and to others.
• Work hard to keep all the good people you meet involved in your life.
• Fun, Family, Friends, Faith, Fitness and Financial – keep the six F’s in balance.

2013 ATHENA overcame obstacles to succeed

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber’s 2013 ATHENA honoree, Dr. Linda Leckman of Intermountain Healthcare, was featured last night on the Person 2 Person segment of 2News.

Dr. Leckman sat down for a wide ranging discussion with 2News Anchor Shauna Lake. Find out how she overcame obstacles to achieve professional success and to contribute to our community, the importance of having confidence in your abilities and the advice she would give her 18-year-old self.

You can click here or on the image above to watch the full interview.

You can REGISTER HERE for the Salt Lake Chamber for the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Awards Luncheon. The one-day conference is filled with informative breakout sessions and inspirational speakers, while celebrating and recognizing the accomplishments and contributions of significant women helping make a difference in our local community.

2013 Pathfinder: Mary Kay Griffin

Monday, October 28th, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center will honor four women as Pathfinders at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This is one in a series of posts highlighting our ATHENA & Pathfinder honorees.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #AthenaSLC.

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Mary Kay Griffin
CBIZ MHM, LLC 

What is your role in your organization?

I am a Managing Director at CBIZ MHM, LLC. My major role in the organization is the responsibility to provide quality accounting, tax and advisory services to our clients. In that regard, I also train and supervise the staff assigned to the client engagements. In addition, along with the other Managing Directors I participate in the management of our local office and related business development and administrative duties.

I also serve as a member of the National Executive Board for CBIZ Women’s Advantage (CWA). CWA celebrates the uniqueness of women business professionals, helping their development through focused leadership, mentoring, networking, professional development programs and community outreach. I chair the CWA Business Development Committee which focuses on business development and networking opportunities for CBIZ women to embody the CWA mission of “CBIZ Women Helping Women Succeed in Business.”

What is the mission of your organization?

Our mission is to help our clients grow and prosper by providing them with the highest quality, professional business and individual services. We will consistently strive to provide superior client service and we will endeavor to build long lasting client relationships.

Guided by our core values of competence, integrity, respect and value, we believe that every client deserves exceptional, timely and proactive service from our knowledgeable professionals.

What is the key to the professional success you have achieved?

The keys to success are being passionate about your profession, building strong relationships with clients and colleagues as well as participating in the community. It is also important to have a great support system to balance a career with your family life. I was fortunate that the firm I worked for allowed me to have a flexible work schedule when my three children were younger. I also have a wonderful family who support me and the demands of my career.

Who is your greatest professional influence? Why?

Chuck Foote, CPA, was my greatest professional influence. I was hired by Chuck as a staff accountant in Salt Lake City after working for several years in the Bay Area. I was the first woman CPA hired by the firm in Salt Lake City. Chuck mentored and coached me as I progressed in my career. He taught me how to provide exceptional client service which gave me opportunities to keep learning. I was able improve my analytical and technical skills in a variety of industries. He also empowered me to build my leadership skills allowing me the time to serve on boards and committees for the CPA profession and community organizations. In 1986, Chuck asked me, along with EJ Passey, to be a founding partner in local CPA firm Foote, Passey, Griffin and Co (FPG). In 1999, under Chuck’s leadership, FPG was acquired by CBIZ MHM, LLC, a top national accounting firm. I credit a great deal of my professional success to the guidance and support I received from Chuck Foote.

How did you get into the field you work in?

I started at the University of Utah as a math major. After three years of math classes, I decided I would like to explore another major and signed up to take a few accounting classes. I graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and was hired by one of the Big 8 public accounting firms in San Francisco, Calif. When my family returned to Salt Lake City, I continued my career in public accounting, a career I continue to this day. I believe my perseverance to remain in public accounting has served me well.

What does it mean for you to be named a Pathfinder?

I have always had a great desire to help women reach their full leadership potential. Each of us needs a mentor in business, in community service, and in responding to adversity. Being named a Pathfinder will strengthen my efforts to assist women through my own organization’s CBIZ Women’s Advantage program and also to support other women in the CPA profession and the community.

I am so honored to be selected to receive the Salt Lake Chamber’s Pathfinder Award at the 37th Annual Women & Business Conference this year.

If you could sit down and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give?

Pursue the best education you can, become active in your community and professional organizations, build relationships at work and at home, continue to learn all you can and be willing to adapt to change. Above all, work hard and have fun doing it!

Honoring workplace flexibility with the Sloan awards

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Achieving greater flexibility in the workplace and maximizing productivity while attracting the highest quality employees is one of the key challenges facing Utah businesses today.

On Thursday, 15 Utah businesses received special recognition for their efforts in providing such practices that benefit both their businesses and their employees. The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center presented these businesses with the 2013 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility.

“Recruiting and retaining top talent is critical to the success of a business,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “These employers use flexibility as an effective workplace strategy and, in doing so, help their employees meet their work and life needs and help the organization achieve strong business results. We congratulate them for being role models for other businesses.”

The Salt Lake Chamber proudly facilitates this national award here in Utah, because it complements the Chamber’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative, Live. Flex. Work.  This initiative was established to acknowledge the needs and accomplishments of employees and employers in the Salt Lake community and to educate and encourage companies to seek out progressive management styles.

Please join us in congratulating these companies for making flexibility policies work well to improve their business and its environment.

Honorees are identified through a rigorous selection process that involves an evaluation of employers’ flexibility programs and practices (from telecommuting to job sharing to phased retirement programs) and a confidential employee survey that also asks employees about other aspects of the workplace known to lead to employee engagement.

“These employers are leaders in leveraging flexibility and workplace effectiveness to attract and keep the best talent,” said Kelly Sakai-O’Neill, senior manager of applied research at Families and Work Institute. “They experience first-hand the benefits that an effective and flexible workplace has on their employees, organizational culture and bottom line.”

The Salt Lake Chamber has facilitated the Sloan Awards for the Greater Salt Lake area for the past seven years and looks forward to increasing the number of honorees for this exciting initiative.

2013 Pathfinder: Jennifer Godfrey

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center will honor four women as Pathfinders at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This is one in a series of posts highlighting our ATHENA & Pathfinder honorees.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #AthenaSLC.

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Jennifer Godfrey
Salt Lake CAP Head Start

What is your role in your organization?

I am the Health & Family Partnership Manager for Salt Lake CAP Head Start/Early Head Start.

What is the mission of your organization?

The mission of Head Start is to provide health, education and promote self-sufficiency for children and families facing adversity.

What is the key to the professional success you have achieved?

Truly being passionate about what I do. Every day I have the opportunity to impact the lives of young children and their families. It is truly an honor and privilege to work with the families at Head Start. I am also empowered by my team and the influence they have on program outcomes.

Who is your greatest professional influence? Why?

Dr. Tom Metcalf took me under his wing as I transitioned into my role of Health Manager at Salt Lake CAP Head Start/Early Head Start. Dr. Metcalf would check in on me a couple of times a month to remind me that it wasn’t necessarily the knowledge that I had in the field, but my passion and commitment that was going to make a difference. I will never forget our talks and am touched that he had chosen to mentor me during my early years

How did you get into the field you work in?

I graduated from the University of Utah with a B.S. in Family and Human Development. Shortly after graduation, a peer of mine told me about Head Start and that they were hiring for teachers. I applied and was hired as a Lead Teacher. I taught preschool for four years, while pursuing my Master’s degree in counseling. After completing my Master’s, I knew that I had to find a program that I believed in the mission in order for me to feel like I was making an impact. It was during this time that Head Start opened a position for a Mental Health Counselor. I knew then that this is where I was supposed to be. Opportunities continued to unfold, hence where I am today within the agency. I have been fortunate to grow with the agency and in turn the agency has grown me.

What does it mean for you to be named a Pathfinder?

It is truly an honor to be named a Pathfinder. Building and implementing the Central Kitchen for Head Start at the time just seemed like the right thing to do. I knew that I was making a difference for the children at Head Start every day, but I didn’t realize or factor in what it meant to the community. However, the vision of Central Kitchen at Head Start was started by a number of visionary individuals, all of whom are Pathfinders in their own right.

If you could sit down and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give?

Take the time to enjoy the small simple things in life. Live to be in the moment, rather than search for the next one.

2013 Pathfinder: Jennifer Danielson

Monday, October 21st, 2013

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center will honor four women as Pathfinders at the 37th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon coming up on Tuesday, Nov. 12. This is one in a series of posts highlighting our ATHENA & Pathfinder honorees.

Be sure to follow the event on Twitter with the hashtag #AthenaSLC.

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Jennifer Danielson
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah

What is your role in your organization?

My role in our organization focuses on three main things:
1) to ensure that our team members have the tools, resources and training that they need to perform at their highest level,
2) to plan for the future and help position the company to meet the needs of our members not only today but in the future as well, and
3) to help shape that future.

What is the mission of your organization?

Serve as a catalyst to transform health care, creating a person-focused and economically sustainable system.

What is the key to the professional success you have achieved?

Listen. Learn. Execute.

Who is your greatest professional influence? Why?

My parents. As educators they taught me the importance of life-long learning and that success cannot be achieved without consistent hard work.

How did you get into the field you work in?

My interest in health care began as an undergraduate. I saw the development and implementation of health care policy as an intern in the U.S. Surgeon General’s office. After law school I worked on Medicare issues in Utah Attorney General’s office. Finally, I was hired by my current employer as a staff attorney and have been involved in health care policy for the last 15 years.

What does it mean for you to be named a Pathfinder?

As the first female plan president in Utah, I have been surrounded by a few wonderful female mentors that have expanded my horizons. I hope to fill that role for others.

If you could sit down and talk to yourself at age 18, what advice would you give?

Trust your instincts. (PS: Date the cowboys, not the frat boys.)