Peggy Larsen Named 2014 ATHENA

Friday, September 19th, 2014

The Salt Lake Chamber, Utah’s largest and longest-standing statewide business association, has named Peggy Larsen of Workers Compensation Fund (WCF), as the 2014 ATHENA Award recipient. The award will officially be presented Nov. 18, 2014 at the 38th Annual American Express Women & Business Conference and Wells Fargo ATHENA Award Luncheon, presented by the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center.

Peggy is a motivating force at WCF, especially to the women she works with. She has reached a level of success in the midst of consistent challenges and obstacles. She will be the first to admit that the road has been difficult, but through hard work and dedication, anything is possible. She has inspired the women at WCF to raise their game. She was the first female senior executive at WCF and since that time she has been instrumental in helping other women achieve higher levels of success within the company.

Outside of WCF she serves on many boards and committees. She has served on the Economic Development Corp of Utah, Executive Women International, United Way of Salt Lake, Salt Lake Chamber committees and chairs Utah Business Week. She is a graduate of the Chamber’s Leadership Utah and a past Pathfinder winner.

Peggy is the reason for WCF’s heavy involvement with the United Way of Salt Lake. She reorganized WCF’s historically scattered opportunities for employees to give to the community. She launched employee contribution drives for United Way that continue to top expectations, even earning recognition from United Way. With her direction, WCF has won several awards from United Way.

Her tireless efforts in the community lead to the creation of a generous volunteer policy. Employees are allowed to give up to 4 hours a month of their time during work hours to improve the communities we live in. Her passion for making a difference has caught on at WCF and has transformed its culture.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, strength and strategy. Peggy continually demonstrates these qualities in her daily actions. A few years ago she recognized a lack of affordable insurance coverage’s for small business owners in our market. She quickly and effectively created a program to offer to WCF policyholders that would meet the needs of small business owners. These additional insurance product offerings have made a significant difference in the business operations of WCF’s policyholders.

She recognizes needs in WCF business operations and in the communities we work and live in. She doesn’t settle for the status quo and is determined to change her environment for the better. Her influence at WCF has helped transform the culture and she has created lasting programs and product offerings that have helped make the company more profitable. She inspires the people she works with to be better and to go out and do something to change the life of someone else.

About the ATHENA

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.

Established in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, the ATHENA Award Program is now administered from its Chicago, Illinois, headquarters and boasts over 300 active communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. More than 5,000 individuals representing a wide variety of professions and businesses have received the ATHENA Award. Presented by local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors the award practically demonstrates the quote from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.

Pathfinders

In addition to the ATHENA Award, four women will receive 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. The 2014 recipients include:

• Patrice Arent, Utah State Legislature

• Juanita Damon, American Express

• Martha Eining, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

• Denise Winslow, Wells Fargo

Dr. Linda Leckman was honored with the ATHENA Award in 2013, and Gail Miller 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.

About the Pathfinders

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.

You can register for the Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Award Luncheon at http://slchamber.com/portal/list/view/womenandbusiness. The event will be held at the Little America Hotel at 500 South Main Street in Salt Lake City, Utah. The conference runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and the ATHENA Awards Luncheon runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. Don’t miss the great event!

Past ATHENA Recipients

2013 Linda Leckman, Intermountain Healthcare

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

 

About the Chamber

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest business association and Utah’s business leader. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents 8,000 businesses and approximately 500,000 Utah jobs—nearly half the workforce of our state. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champions community prosperity.

 

Women’s Business Center Accomplishments and Stats

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

The Women’s Business Center has had an excellent year. We are excited to report the accomplishments of this great organization for the 2013–2014 fiscal year. For those who do not know as much about this center, the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center (WBC) is one of a national network of nearly 100 such centers around the nation supported by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and “is designed to assist women in starting and growing small businesses.” However, unlike many other centers, the WBC operates as a separate nonprofit organization within the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, with access to a unique set of tools and resources to aid female entrepreneurs.

The WBC provides a platform of business development and job creation in Utah by delivering quality and applicable entrepreneurial consulting, professional education and training and offers premier networking opportunities. “The WBC was instrumental in helping us get to the next level. Thanks to their support and technical assistance, we are now able to support language services on a global scale,” said Sabrina Morales, CEO of Linguistica International.

From 2013 to 2014 the WBC has added 187 new clients, 15 percent of which were men. They have also trained 3,363 people in 118 trainings and provided 369 consultations with budding entrepreneurs, adding up to 557.5 hours of consultation time. In the past fiscal year 33 new businesses were created and the WBC assisted in creating 38 new jobs. They also have helped 52 businesses with their marketing plans. What an accomplishment!

Also during this fiscal year, the Women’s Business Center welcomed new leadership in November and a new business consultant in February. In addition to this, several new partnerships have been formed. The WBC now provides entrepreneurial support and training for refugees involved in the Spice Kitchen Incubator program and it supports the mission of the Organization of Women in International Trade. The WBC collaborated on an international trade conference in March, which directly benefitted WBC clients interested in exporting their products or services.

The WBC has increased capacity for consulting and increased the attendance at Business Essentials by 64% from last year. The center created a new information card to replace their brochure, which includes a simple mission statement, objections, impact and information about the Business Women’s Forum. Also, three clients were able to access $44,000 in capital through Microlending.

In the past three years, the WBC has provided 515 clients with on-on-one business consulting, totaling over 1,000 hours. They have also hosted 319 business trainings, totaling 9,000 attendees. That is nearly 10,000 people assisted! The Women’s Business Center is an excellent resource! See how the WBC can help your business by learning more about them at http://slchamber.com/section/list/view/wbc.

Jump starting your business with the WBC

Monday, July 28th, 2014

 

One of the top purposes of the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center (WBC) is to help budding entrepreneurs get a start on their business. Attending a WBC Jump Start: Intro to Entrepreneurship seminar is a great way to jump start your business or even refresh your business know-how.

Entrepreneurs and those just starting to dabble in starting a business typically attend Jump Start: Intro to Entrepreneurship and leave with key takeaways and valuable action items. The goal of training is to “jump start” your thinking about business, whether you are in the early idea phase, just starting or are currently in the growth period. The information shared constitutes of business basics, which is great for starting entrepreneurs. The lessons learned can help you set a firm foundation to build your business on and be successful.

As an attendee, you are given worksheet packets that you can fill out during the training and bring to the one-on-one consultation. The packet has questions which each business owner should consider before starting their venture: why you want to start a business, what your exit strategy will be, market research and analysis, defining your target audience, and what your strengths and weaknesses are (a SWOT analysis).

After attending Jump Start: Intro to Entrepreneurship, each attendee is welcome to sign up for a free one-on-one consultation with our full-time business consultant who will further assist to get your business off the ground.

The WBC’s premier business training class, Jump Start: Intro to Entrepreneurship seminars take place on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, morning and afternoon, respectively. You can find upcoming Jump Start and other trainings here: slchamber.com/training.

The Women’s Business Center provides entrepreneurs, young professionals and small business owners the critical skills, knowledge, tools and support necessary to increase their success and strengthen the economy. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, the WBC provided more than 547 hours in conducting 360 consultations. Alongside 116 trainings, the WBC trained upwards of 3,300 people.

“The WBC was instrumental in helping us get to the next level. Thanks to their support an technical assistance, we are now able to support language services on a global scale,” said Sabrina Morales, CEO of Linguistica International, a client of the WBC.

The Women’s Business Center helps dreamers become entrepreneurs. Those entrepreneurs make Utah’s economy one of the strongest in the nation. To learn more about the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center, visit our website at slchamber.com/wbc.

The 14th Annual Women in Business Summer Social, presented by Questar and Cuisine Unlimited, will bring over 300 prominent business women and men together and provides a platform for fundraising and networking. The proceeds from the event support women’s programs at the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center. Donations are tax deductible. Funds help provide women entrepreneurs with a platform for business development and job creation in Utah through consulting, training and networking. Learn more about the Summer Social and reserve your spot at slchamber.com/summersocial

Resources available for women who want to be entrepreneurs

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

ABC 4 News invited the Chamber’s Women’s Business Center Director Ann Marie Thompson to do a feature on the resources that woman seeking to be entrepreneurs have available to them in Utah.

ABC 4 invited the WBC to join them because of their feature in the “Women-Owned: Businesses Carving A New American Business Landscape” report by the U.S. Chamber, which was released at the end of March.

Watch the interview above or click here to watch it on ABC 4 News.

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The 14th Annual Women in Business Summer Social, presented by Questar and Cuisine Unlimited, will bring over 300 prominent business women and men together and provides a platform for fundraising and networking. The proceeds from the event support women’s programs at the Salt Lake Chamber, through their 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Women’s Business Center, and donations are tax deductible. Funds help provide women entrepreneurs with a platform for business development and job creation in Utah through consulting, training and networking. Learn more about the Summer Social and reserve your spot at slchamber.com/summersocial

WBC: Women forging America’s new entrepreneurial landscape

Friday, April 4th, 2014

Utah is ripe for building a business and doing business. However, the landscape of doing business is constantly evolving and at the forefront right now are women.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s third annual Center for Women in Business Summit on March 27 in Washington, D.C., celebrated the successes of business women around the country. More than ever, women are stepping forward in becoming CEOs, managers and even entrepreneurs.

In fact, the fourth annual American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Businesses Report indicates that Utah alone has an estimated 73,000 women-owned firms employing more than 58,000 and doing $13 billion in sales. Since 1997, the national number of women-owned business has increased 68 percent and Utah has seen growth of 73.8 percent over that same period.

Talk about women making business happen.

The aforementioned summit marked the launch of a new report, titled, “Women-Owned: Businesses Carving a New American Business Landscape.”  This presents the Center for Women in Business’s latest research highlights the growing impact of women entrepreneurs and small business owners on the national economy. The report also says that Utah is one of the top states for self-employed women.

It opens:

The face of entrepreneurship is changing.

Over the last 15 years, women-owned firms have grown by one and a half times the rate of other small enterprises and now account for almost 30 percent of all businesses. Additionally, one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned.

In the “Women-Owned” report, the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s Business Center (WBC) is highlighted as being “unlike many such centers, the WBC is operated as a nonprofit organization within the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce, giving it access to a unique set of tools and resources to aid female entrepreneurs,” including the option of using chamber resources to enhance their offerings such as events, opportunities to connect with Chamber member business professionals, developing international business, consulting, training and mentoring.

“As one of the best places to do business in country, Utah’s smart and innovative women are making a difference in small business locally,” says Ann Marie Thompson, program director of the WBC. “Daily we assist women who are starting and growing businesses. We witness first-hand the exciting advancement of great products and services in the marketplace.”

To read the complete feature, see page 30 of the Women-Owned: Businesses Carving a New American Business Landscape.”

Furthermore, The Center for Women in Business examines the “1099 economy” and the women who have started their own micro-enterprises either out of choice or necessity. The research also provides powerful examples of systems and programs that encourage and support women’s business initiatives in communities around the United States.

Though this report is only a snapshot of what’s going on in our nation, women are making a huge impact in how business gets done, and are paving the way for more women to take to the helm in entrepreneurship.

The Center for Women in Business (CWB) promotes and empowers women business leaders to achieve their personal and professional goals by increasing opportunities for women to serve on corporate boards and in the C-suite; mentoring women in the early stages of their careers or re-entering the workforce; and building a network of women entrepreneurs to encourage peer-to-peer networking, education, and professional growth.

WHM Feature – Rebecca Chavez-Houck

Monday, March 24th, 2014

This post is part of a series of blogs that feature prominent businesswomen in Utah to celebrate Women’s History Month. 

Today we’re featuring Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck. Read on!

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What role do you play within your organization?
I am Assistant Minority Whip for the Democratic Caucus of the Utah House of Representatives. I have represented the constituents of House District 24 since 2008.

What boards do you serve on?
Envision Utah (Executive Committee, Board of Directors)
ACLU of Utah (Board of Directors)

I also serve on the advisory boards of HEAL Utah, Plan B Theatre Company and the Utah AIDS Foundation. Prior service includes serving on the governing boards of Intermountain Healthcare, YWCA, Planned Parenthood Action Council and Planned Parenthood Association of Utah, as well as the standing committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Utah.

In what other ways are you involved in the community?
I teach in the Master of Public Administration program at the U of U, serving as adjunct faculty since 2010.

One of my most rewarding experiences was hosting a weekly Latino public affairs radio program on KRCL 91FM, for 15 years, starting in 1989.

I am a current member of the Utah Women’s Forum and served as past president (2007).

Tell us about your most rewarding professional experience.
I have garnered many rewarding professional experiences during my nearly 30 years of work in nonprofit administration and public affairs for the following organizations:

- Utah Public Employees Association
- Girl Scouts of Utah
- Utah Museum of Natural History
- Centro de la Familia de Utah

I’ve been enriched by the cumulative and unique learning opportunities offered by each of my professional and volunteer endeavors, including my activism within the Utah State Democratic Party (where I served on the state Executive Committee) and Salt Lake Democratic Party (where I served as 2nd Vice President). It’s difficult to identify a single experience, because my reward has been cumulative.

What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? What is your recommendation to resolve that issue?
Challenges continue to exist in the area of work-life balance for many women. I had the benefit of having very generous family members who provided support and assistance with child care when my children were young. Not every young family has this assistance readily at hand. There are hopeful changes on the horizon, where we see more fathers taking the lead in child-rearing and other family duties (i.e. more stay-at-home dads), but I don’t know whether this trend is as valued in Utah to the extent that it is in other metropolitan areas of the US.

Our Utah culture still often devalues the economic contributions of women in the workforce and as entrepreneurs. I am disappointed that women are still often overlooked for promotions because men are often seen as the main breadwinners in Utah families, when statistics prove otherwise.

The future economic vitality of Utah is contingent on the economic success of both women and men.

What pearl of wisdom would you share with young female professionals?
Surround yourself with personal and professional cheerleaders who believe in you and who support and take pride in your endeavors. Your life partner should be someone who is not self–centered, but instead someone who values the contributions of women in the workplace, home, and community, and exemplifies that value in his or her words, opinions, and actions. Observe how your potential life partner treats women in his life (mother, sisters, women friends, work colleagues).

Always be prepared to provide for yourself and your family: the best laid plans can be waylaid by tragic circumstances that are beyond your control. Being a good mother to one or two children is just as rewarding as being a mother to many. Live within your means. Always be open to learning from your experiences and grab opportunities that avail themselves to you.

Serendipity is an amazing thing–be willing to take calculated risks.

*   *   *

The United States has celebrated National Women’s History Month, highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, since 1911.

The National Women’s History Project has dubbed the theme for this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” which honors the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come.

WHM Feature – Pat Jones

Friday, March 21st, 2014

This post is part of a series of blogs that feature prominent businesswomen in Utah to celebrate Women’s History Month. 

Today we’re featuring Senator Pat Jones. Read on!

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What is your title and what role do you play within your organization?
I have two lives:
(1) State Senator (I have served in the Utah State Legislature for 14 years; this is my last year).
(2) I am President of Dan Jones & Associates, a consultant to the Cicero Group and a professional qualitative researcher (I listen to people for a living!).

What boards do you serve on?
I currently serve on the following boards: Salt Lake Chamber, United Way, St. Mark’s Hospital, Intermountain Healthcare Community Services Foundation, Hale Centre Theatre and This is the Place State Park.

In what other ways are you involved in the community?
I am often asked to speak to groups regarding the importance of community involvement, especially among women. I like to work with teens and young adults to (hopefully) inspire them to prepare themselves for college and for life, to give them hope that there are wonderful opportunities out there. And I love working with little children. Over the years, I have found myself championing for the underdog, for those who strive to climb out of difficult circumstances.

Tell us about your most rewarding professional experience.
For many years, I have worked on issues that affect all of us, including public and higher education funding, substance abuse prevention, issues that challenge our senior citizens, health maintenance and disease prevention, and financial literacy. I have sponsored several bills in my tenure in the legislature that deal with all of these issues. I am proud to say that this past session, I sponsored and passed landmark legislation that will improve financial literacy in our schools. Last year, I sponsored and passed critical legislation that will prevent melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer. And, I have volunteered my time in trying to understand and find policy answers to the ever-growing problem of substance abuse, particularly abuse of pain killers. I have volunteered a tremendous amount of time on commissions and task forces related to public education and how to find sources of new revenue that end up in the classroom to sustain and support our great teachers in Utah. I sponsored legislation that created the Utah Commission on Aging, a powerful group that puts forth policy ideas to improve the lives of our senior citizens.

What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? What is your recommendation to resolve that issue?
I think the biggest challenge for women is that they don’t visualize the depth of their own potential. Utah has incredible women that are ambitious, intelligent and creative. Often, they don’t know where to get capital and support. But there are a number of resources available to them. Women just need to believe in themselves and take a chance.

What pearl of wisdom would you share with young female professionals?
Run for office, or at least help other women that are willing to do so. It is critical that women are at the table when policy decisions are made. The decisions made by political office holders directly affect each of our families and businesses. Women have unique insights and absolutely need to be part of the process; don’t let others make those critical decisions without your guidance and input. Be engaged. Be energized. Be interested.

*   *   *

The United States has celebrated National Women’s History Month, highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, since 1911.

The National Women’s History Project has dubbed the theme for this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” which honors the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come.

WHM Feature – Maria Farrington

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

This post is part of a series of blogs that feature prominent businesswomen in Utah to celebrate Women’s History Month. 

Today we’re featuring Maria Farrington. Read on!

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What is your title and what role do you play within your organization?
Chief Executive Officer of Discovery Gateway. The role I play is one where I set the direction and tone of the oldest children’s museum in Utah. I am the voice of imagination, discovery and connecting children with the tremendous world we all live in. I also work with a great creative team that helps me in through communication using innovation and technology.

What boards to you serve on?

-The Pete Suazo Business Center
-Utah Women’s Forum
-State of Utah: Office of Museum Services
-Association of Children’s museums: Program committee
-University of Utah: Tanner Center for Peace & Justice
-University of Utah: College of Consumer & Family Studies

In what other ways are you involved in the community?
Working with mentoring young minority women through the Women’s Resource Center is very important to me as a professional.

Tell us about your most rewarding professional experience.
I’d have to tell you I’ve had many and am very thankful for each of those times. One that is impressive is meeting with Barbara Bush and discussing how, as women, we could create avenues of opportunity to keep students in school and ultimately graduate from college. Another happened when we celebrated 35 years of operation as the first children’s museum in Utah. Knowing that I was leading an organization that had been functioning for 35 years meant so much to me. Finally, daily, I try to create and recognize a rewarding experience.

What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? What is your recommendation to resolve that issue?
There are not enough of us to bring the next generations along properly. Too many women are not getting a seat in the board room. The second challenge is the myth that a women can’t have a family and succeed. It can be done and as CEO’s and managers, and as women professionals, it’s up to us to create an strategies to make this a reality.

My recommendation is to recognize alternative work rules, such as remote employment, letting women choose to take two months instead of six months maternity leave if they have the support to succeed. Also, job sharing has shown to have impressive results. We must try alternatives that will allow more women to be competitive. Though interns are sometimes given work that is not thought out. If, as women professionals, we could create meaningful internships with the intern in mind, this would put a woman in a position that might catapult her into a higher level position.

What pearl of wisdom would you share with young female professionals?
I’d have to give one that was given to me: listen and volunteer for a harder job than you have. Work diligently to succeed in that instance and show those around you that you will get the job done.

*   *   *

The United States has celebrated National Women’s History Month, highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, since 1911.

The National Women’s History Project has dubbed the theme for this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” which honors the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come.

WHM Feature – Jennifer Seelig

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

This post is part of a series of blogs that feature prominent businesswomen in Utah to celebrate Women’s History Month. 

Today we’re featuring Jennifer Seelig. Read on!

*   *   *

What role do you play in your organization?
As the Democratic Leader in the Utah House of Representatives, it is my responsibility to organize the talents of caucus members, including committee placements, legislative priorities, and to assist each member as they develop their legislative voice. I provide leadership to the caucus and communicate a singular message on important issues, assist in unifying the caucus, and coordinate efforts between the majority and minority caucuses.

What boards do you serve on?

· YWCA Public Policy Advisory Group
· SpyHop Advisory Board
· Junior League of SLC – Community Advisor
· Utah Pride Center – Board of Directors
· Women in Government Foundation – Board of Directors
· State Legislative Leaders – Board of Directors
· WAND – Board of Directors

Tell us about your most rewarding professional experience.
In 2013, I was honored to be the legislator who, after nearly a decade, was able to pass the Dating Violence Protection Act. I was not the first legislator to propose such protections, but I was the one who carried the baton across the finish line after years of hard work from legislators and advocates across the state. This was a success to me not because of my name on the legislation, but because of amazing empowerment the stakeholders and I were able to watch blossom in the hearts and minds of people who fell victim to this kind of abuse. I will never forget those who came before and worked hard with me, who dedicated their time and energy to such a worthy cause.

What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today?
Women absolutely have to fight for balance between their professional and personal lives. That is not a fight everyone has to face. As our world grows and changes, many businesses will begin adopting policies that are no longer divisive, but instead support all types of workers and their families through time flexibility and other creative alternatives.

What pearl of wisdom would you share with young female professionals?
Never give up.

*   *   *

The United States has celebrated National Women’s History Month, highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, since 1911.

The National Women’s History Project has dubbed the theme for this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” which honors the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come.

Also in honor of this month, the WBC‘s Business Women’s Forum is hosting a breakfast on Tuesday, March 18, presented by Girl Scouts of Utah at Hotel Monaco. You can find out more and register here

WHM Feature – Sophia DiCaro

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

This post is part of a series of blogs that feature prominent businesswomen in Utah to celebrate Women’s History Month. 

Today we’re featuring Sophia DiCaro. Read on!

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What is your title and what role do you play within your organization?
Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

What boards do you serve on?
Multicultural Commission, co-chair of the Economic Development Subcommittee.

In what other ways are you involved in the community?
I am currently running for office as the Republican candidate for House District 31 and look forward to supporting the business community and education. My husband and I also enjoy being heavily involved in supporting our children’s school.

Tell us about your most rewarding professional experience.
I feel grateful to have the opportunity to work with one of the strongest economic development teams in the nation. It is rewarding for me to be surrounded by a highly professional and passionate team whom I learn from every day. Knowing that we, as a team, are bringing in high quality jobs that make a difference for families in our state is very rewarding.

What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? What is your recommendation to resolve that issue?
Getting women to embrace the fact that they are a worthy and positive contribution to the business community can sometimes be perceived as a challenge. We need more women to get engaged in business, government and community activities. This will only lift our society as a whole and set the tone for generations to come. We should continue to promote the opportunities that are available to encourage not only women, but people of all backgrounds to get involved in their communities and be successful in their business pursuits.

What pearl of wisdom would you share with young female professionals?
If you have a goal, you should work toward it each and every day. Always remember that the only limitation you have is yourself. So if you have a dream, a goal or something you want to check off your bucket list, go for it. Life is short, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted.

*   *   *

The United States has celebrated National Women’s History Month, highlighting the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society, since 1911.

The National Women’s History Project has dubbed the theme for this year, “Celebrating Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” which honors the extraordinary accomplishments, determination and tenacity of women. Against social convention and often legal restraints, women have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come.

Also in honor of this month, the WBC‘s Business Women’s Forum is hosting a breakfast on Tuesday, March 18, presented by Girl Scouts of Utah at Hotel Monaco. You can find out more and register here