Hiring our heroes

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

Editor’s note: Earlier today, Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie spoke at an event highlighting the Chamber’s efforts in the Hiring Our Heroes program–aimed at helping veterans and spouses of military personnel find employment.

Oh behalf of the business community, I first want to express my admiration for the brave men and women of the Armed Forces for all they do to protect and preserve our freedoms.

We try to honor their sacrifice by working every day to strengthen the economy of our state and our nation.

The President announced earlier this month that some 30,000 troops will return home from the battlefield over the next year and a half. We look forward to their return and we pray for their safety as well as those who remain in harm’s way.

While the challenges they face upon their return to our community cannot be compared to those challenges they faced in the service of their country… there are challenges waiting for them here, nonetheless.

Many of our veterans have been called upon to defend their country and have returned home and to face the challenge of finding a job. They are not alone. Over 100-thousand Utahns are in the same situation.

As Utah’s business leader, we’re committed to restoring the Utah economy to full employment.

Earlier this year, we announced the Utah Jobs Agenda, a private sector plan to create 150,000 jobs over the next five years.

We have called upon businesses in our state to invest, to innovate and to hire. We will continue to do so.

The job market is improving. Every week we have businesses expanding in and moving to Utah.

During the Great Recession, business leaders, legislators and the governor the tough decisions that positioned our state to lead the nation out of the recession. We are beginning to reap the benefits of those investments and our economy will continue to grow stronger.

While the job market is improving, competition for jobs is still fierce.

May I suggest that the businesses here in our state look for opportunities to hire our veterans?

The lessons they have learned during their service will be an asset to any organization. They are hard working. They are dedicated. They know how to lead.

We are proud to be part of a nationwide jobs initiative for veterans and military spouses called “Hiring Our Heroes.” This program focuses on one measure of success: finding jobs for the one million unemployed veterans across the nation.

During the next year, this campaign will work with local chambers of commerce, the administration, and the National Guard and Reserve to connect 100-thousand veterans with more than one thousand different employers during one hundred hiring fairs across our country. The first hiring fair took place in Chicago and it brought together more than 125 employers and 12-hundred veterans and spouses of veterans.

These brave men and women have been deployed and served with honor. Now it is our opportunity—and our duty—to make sure they are employed and can contribute with the same level of distinction.

The Salt Lake Chamber, as Utah’s largest statewide business association representing over half the state’s workforce, is committed to working with our members to hire our heroes.

Thank you very much and God bless our troops.

Utah’s investment in transit receives accolades

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

It’s difficult to express just how excited we are at the Chamber when we think about the new TRAX and FrontRunner lines going in along the Wasatch Front with two of the new TRAX lines set to open in August.

Utah’s investment in public transit benefits the entire state whether you ride FrontRunner, TRAX, buses or just enjoy the free-flowing traffic with fewer cars on the road.

AUDIO: Chamber Business Minute July 2011-UTA rankings

UTA recently received two more national recognitions. The Brookings Institute released a report ranking UTA in the Salt Lake area number three in the nation for transit agencies that effectively connect people and jobs.  The report went beyond Salt Lake City, with the Provo-Orem area ranking ninth and the Ogden-Clearfield area coming in eleventh out of the top 100 metro areas included in the study.

Just a few days later, the Urban Land Institute released a report praising UTA and the Salt Lake metro area for keeping up with investments in transportation infrastructure.  The report praises the Salt Lake City region for moving critical transportation projects forward, especially during recent economic challenges when many communities began falling behind.

These reports – in addition to the #2 ranking UTA received from US News & World Report a few months ago – truly recognize the vision shown by our elected officials and community stakeholders in continuing to support transportation investment, particularly the current FrontLines 2015 program, as well as UTA’s success in delivering major projects ahead of schedule and under budget.

Health IT important to containing health care costs

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011
Editor’s note: this entry is based on written remarks delivered by incoming board chair, David Golden at the Utah Promontory Health IT conference held in West Valley City today.

Good afternoon.  I’m David Golden, the incoming chairman of the Salt Lake Chamber board of governors.

Lane Beattie, our President and CEO, is conducting an important meeting that relates to Utah’s open records law—GRAMA—and has asked that he be excused from this event.

Lane asked me to extend his warmest welcome to the health information technology industry leaders who are gathered here today.  He also wanted me to express his optimism in the work Utah businesses are engaged in to improve our health care industry.

I want to thank our generous sponsors who have made this event possible:

Presenting Sponsor:

-Cogent Health

Major Luncheon Sponsors:

-ADP AdvancedMD
-Global Media
-Polycom
-Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
-Salt Lake Community College

      I would also like to thank many of the finest Health IT companies in the world who are exhibiting at this conference.  We urge you to spend some time getting to know these businesses, all of which have operations in Utah.

      I’m reminded of the man who was admitted to the hospital prior to a procedure, the clerk asked for his wrist, saying, “I’m going to give you a bracelet.”

      The man answered sarcastically, “has it got rubies and diamonds?”

      The nurse said, “No, but it costs just as much.”

      The cost of health care is skyrocketing in our state and across the nation. It is one of the top concerns for businesses in our state and it’s preventing our economy from growing like we all want it to.

      The business community has two major interests in health reform:

      1)  Healthy and Productive employees:

      a.  Our businesses really care about their people.  People are the largest investment any business makes.

      2)  Reining in costs that are currently unsustainable. Consider these statistics:

      a.  62% of Utahns are insured through their employers

      b.  Utah employers who provide health insurance for employees contribute an average of just over $9,000 per employee annually for health insurance.

      As eye opening as that figure may seem, the average annual percent growth in healthcare expenditures in Utah is 8.3%. When we say unsustainable, we mean it. We are quickly reaching a point where businesses cannot foot the bill for health coverage.

      The Salt Lake Chamber has a robust health system reform task force that includes representation from all sectors of the health care industry—insurance, hospitals, providers, heatlh IT and business that are simply interested in improving their employees health and containing costs.

      We invite you to join the Salt Lake Chamber Health System Reform Task Force, as we pursue a more effective and efficient health system. Together we can improve health and reduce costs.

      You may recall the story of the man who had just come home from his sixth medical appointment of the week with one more to go. Understandably, he was in a lousy mood when his daughter called. After he recited his woes, his daughter said, “Well, seven doctors is better than one coroner.”

      We often don’t know how good we have it—and on some level that’s a good thing.

      We’re always trying to raise the bar. We’re trying to do better.

      Your work is to make the system leaner and more efficient.

      We are fortunate to live in a time when medical science can do remarkable things. Doctors want to treat patients, they want to restore health and they want to eliminate suffering.

      Business leaders know your success as innovators is essential to the health and well being of our employees, as well as the health of our economy.

      Your role is to make our health care system more efficient.

      That is your mission and it is a noble calling.

      Thank you for all you do.

      Book Club: When the White House Calls

      Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

      Chamber Book Club – When the White House Calls from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

      This month the Salt Lake Chamber Book Club features a work that is rolling off the presses this month from the University of Utah Press. It tells the life story of one of Utah’s most prominent citizens, beginning with his birth in Germany through his years as a successful builder and real estate developer—with business interests in broadcasting, manufacturing, distribution, and banking—and ultimately to his life as a diplomat.

      Former U.S. Ambassador John Price represented the nation in Republic of Mauritius, the Republic of Seychelles, and the Union of the Comoros, three Indian Ocean island nations off the east coast of Africa. When the White House Calls is a compelling story of the American Dream realized, and the importance of service to country.

      Utah ranks high in U.S. Chamber report

      Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

      The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its Enterprising States report yesterday and Utah ranks in the top ten in four of six important categories.

      Our state ranked third overall for entrepreneurship and Innovation, second in exports, seventh in workforce and training and tenth in taxes and regulation.

      The report says, “there is only one route to sustainable state economies, and that is through broad-based economic growth. The road to that objective can vary by state, but the fundamental goal needs to be kept in mind if we wish to see a restoration of hope and American optimism about the future.”

      Here is the U.S. Chamber’s take on Utah in each category:

      Utah ranks 3rd  in Entrepreneurship and Innovation
      Utah’s top ranking in net business birth rate helps it move up five places to third in innovation and entrepreneurship this year. The state ranks no worse than 18th in any metric and is sixth in small business lending activity, ninth in STEM job concentration and ninth in high-tech business concentration. Utah is making investments in research commercialization infrastructure with its Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative and offers an outreach and business assistance program for technology companies.

      Utah ranks 2nd in Exports
      Utah continues to be a leader in export measures, with exports up 45 percent since 2009. The state’s International Trade and Diplomacy Office serves as an intermediary between Utah companies and international markets, promoting the state’s products and helping companies prepare themselves to operate globally. The Governor’s Office of Economic Development also partners with the World Trade Center Utah to promote increased exports.

      Utah ranks 10th in Taxes and Regulation
      Utah ranks in the top 17 in four of our five tax and regulation measures, landing it in 10th place. The Beehive State recently launched an advisory committee to optimize its state government. Comprised of public and private sector experts, the committee made over 50 recommendations, including calling for review of regulatory processes that impact businesses in the state. Greater coordination between regulatory agencies was identified as a way to maintain a business friendly environment and avoid harmful duplication of services and unneeded red-tape.

      Utah is tied for 7th for Workforce and Training
      Utah ranks in the top 10 in higher education productivity and affordability, and 25th in educational attainment of its young workforce. In order to help drive innovation and attract high-tech firms to the state, Governor Gary Herbert’s administration has set a goal to expand the number of citizens with degrees and professional certifications to 66 percent of adults by 2020. The governor has also called for an increased focus on science, engineering, and math careers in the state’s educational system.

      Chamber, Utah Compact honored with Tourism Achievement Award

      Sunday, June 19th, 2011

      The Salt Lake Chamber and the rest of the original signatories of The Utah Compact were honored last week with the highest honor bestowed by Visit Salt Lake (VSL, formerly known as the Convention and Visitors Bureau). The group received the Tourism Achievement Award for their work to influence immigration legislation passed earlier this year by the Utah Legislature.

      “The Creators of The Utah Compact, a document we fully support, created sensible and sound guidelines for dealing with the critical issue of immigration currently facing our state and country,” said Scott Beck, President and CEO of VSL.

      Arizona lost nearly half a billion dollars in tourism and convention revenue after the state passed enforcement-only legislation. The Chamber worked tirelessly to help Utah voters and legislators understand the economic consequences of similar legislation.

      The Utah Compact was developed over several months by groups and individuals who were concerned about the tone of Utah’s immigration discussion.  The Compact is based on Utah values and it urges leaders to use these guiding principles as they address the complex challenges associated with a broken national immigration system. The Compact has broad support from community leaders, business associations, law enforcement officers and members of Utah’s religious community. It is a simple document that expresses our values as community as they relate to specific policy issues that have become central to the immigration discussion.

      Past recipients of VSL’s Tourism Achievement Award include Jack Gallivan, Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., Governor of the State of Utah; the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; Tom Guinney, John Williams and Tom Seig from Gastronomy, Inc.; Earl Holding; Kenneth Knight; Richard E. Davis; Larry H Miller; the Utah Jazz; Salt Lake City Department of Airports; Valter Nassi of Cucina Toscana; and many other business and community leaders.

      Photo (VSL Award – Utah Compact): Recipients of Visit Salt Lake’s 2011 Tourism Achievement Award, the Creators of the Utah Compact. Pictured (l-r) are Stan Rasmussen, Sutherland Institute; Deborah Bayle, United Way of Salt Lake; Mark Shurtleff, Utah Attorney General’s Office; Carlene Walker, Chair-Elect of VSL’s Board of Trustees; Lane Beattie, Salt Lake Chamber; Dee Rowland, Salt Lake Catholic Diocese; and Scott Beck, President & CEO of VSL.

      Majority of Utahns oppose repeal of HB116

      Friday, June 17th, 2011

      In support of HB 116 from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

      Tomorrow, Republican state delegates will vote on a proposed resolution to repeal HB 116, the bill that establishes a workable solution to immigration in our state.

      Check out the video as legislators, community and business leaders (including Chamber President Lane Beattie) explain why this is the right approach and why we shouldn’t retreat from the progress we’ve made. Utah’s approach, based on principles of The Utah Compact, also has support in the religious community, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

      We need a federal solution–but the federal government has failed to act, leaving states to deal in a difficult situation, to put it nicely.

      The big news today: a Deseret News poll of Utah voters shows that 61 percent support a guest worker program and DO NOT want delegates to vote for repeal.

      You can check out the letter from Chamber Board Chair Scott Parson and review the facts on some frequently asked questions.

      The only question now is whether or not delegates vote to represent the will of the people.

      In support of H.B. 116

      Monday, June 13th, 2011

      Editor’s note: This post is a letter sent from Scott Parson, chair of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, to the Republican delegates ahead of  Saturday’s organizing convention.

      Dear delegate:

      Thank you for your contributions to our state. Utah has a proud tradition of civic engagement, and your public service as a delegate is valued and appreciated.

      I’m writing to ask for your support of HB 116, the guest worker bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor this year. A resolution supporting the repeal of HB 116 will be presented at the state convention this week. As the chairman of Utah’s largest business association, I ask you to vote AGAINST this resolution. Instead, I invite you to join me and other conservative leaders as we demand federal action and continue to refine Utah’s current immigration laws.

      Let’s be honest. Utah faces a divisive and difficult immigration problem not because of the governor and Utah Legislature, but because of our federal government’s failure. Protecting our borders is not a state responsibility, nor is it a problem that states can solve alone. We must demand action from Washington, D.C.

      Without federal action, states have no choice but to put pressure on Congress and protect state interests like public safety and economic development. The immigration bills passed during the 2011 legislative session are designed to do just that.

      With the support of Utah’s business community, the Legislature toughened enforcement measures and provided a way for people who already live in Utah and contribute to our society (pass a health and criminal background check) to make right with the law and work in our state.

      HB 116 is not perfect – something this complex never is. We may not be able to achieve a federal waiver. It may be deemed unconstitutional. The penalty for being here illegally and for businesses that break the law may not be high enough.

      Whatever the concern, I know something short of full repeal can remedy the problem without backsliding on the progress that has been made. We must not turn our backs on Utah’s Republican governor and legislators. What is most important is that we approach the reality of an estimated 110,000 illegal immigrants in our state in a way that respects the rule of law, protects public safety, supports families and our economy. I believe the Utah Legislature has laid a good foundation to accomplish these goals.

      I’ve included a copy of many of the most frequently asked questions about HB 116. As Utah’s business leader, the Salt Lake Chamber advocates on behalf of the Utah economy. We want to hear your thoughts about immigration and other economic development issues at utaheconomy@slchamber.com. Thank you again for your service.

      Sincerely,

      Scott Parson, Chair
      Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors

      HB 116 – Frequently Asked Questions

      Q.  What is HB 116?

      A. HB 116 creates a functional mechanism to hold undocumented immigrants accountable as they live, work and raise their families in Utah.  HB 116 includes many elements, most notably, a proposed work permit. The bill directs the Utah Department of Public Safety to establish a statewide program under which undocumented workers may apply for a permit to work in the state of Utah. To be eligible, applicants must, among other requirements, pass a criminal background check and already have been employed or a resident of Utah before May 10, 2011.

      SUPPORTERS

      Q.  Who supports HB 116?

      A.  HB 116 received strong, community-wide support.  In addition to the majority of the Utah Legislature and Governor Gary Herbert, who signed this bill into law, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Salt Lake Chamber and the Sutherland Institute support HB 116.

      SOLVING PROBLEMS

      Q.  Is this amnesty?

      A.  No.  HB 116 does not change the legal status of any undocumented immigrant.  It does not provide a path to citizenship.  This law increases the financial penalty for violation of civil code and bars criminals and individuals who can’t abide its high standards from participating.

      Q.  How will this affect identity theft?

      A.  HB 116 reduces incentives to steal identity.  The new work permit allows people of good faith to openly participate in society and removes the incentive to work under a false identity.  HB 116 protects Utah’s children from identity theft.  It also creates a fund for financial restitution for victims.

      Q.  Is there a provision in the bill related to speaking English?

      A.  Yes. Under the new law the permit holder must use his or her best effort to become proficient in English at or above an intermediate level as determined by a language proficiency test used by Utah schools.

      ENFORCEMENT

      Q.  Are there penalties for employers who break the law?

      A.  Yes. Employers cannot knowingly hire an unauthorized person who does not have a legitimate work permit. An employer also must verify the potential employee’s status. E-verify must be used if the person does not have a work permit or a new program called “U-Verify” must be used if the person has a work permit. Violators are penalized with up to $10,000 fines and the revocation of a business license.

      UTAH’S ECONOMY

      Q. Will guest worker legislation displace Utah workers?

      A. No, not if crafted and implemented correctly.  Guest workers should not be eligible to take a job that can be filled by a U.S. citizen.  If existing labor market dynamics or federal law do not provide this protection, the Salt Lake Chamber supports adding provisions to HB 116 that ensure that qualified Utah workers with U.S. citizenship have first claim to Utah jobs.

      Q.  How will HB 116 affect the Utah economy?

      A.  HB 116 positively impacts the Utah economy because it helps preserve Utah’s existing customer base, labor supply and cost structure.  Utah economists have warned that immigrant-unfriendly legislation at the state level would have real and unintended economic consequences.  The most serious impacts would be lower sales of Utah products and services, decreased spending from convention visitors and disruptions to the labor force.

      THE FOUNDATION

      Q.  Is HB 116 constitutional?

      A.   HB 116 was carefully drafted to strike a balance between urgency of action and constitutionality.  Additional refinements to this foundational law may include eliminating the July 1, 2013 implementation date, which would resolve all constitutional questions.

      NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE LAW

      Q.  Why does Utah need HB 116?

      A.  The federal government has abdicated its responsibility to the states, and Utah has been left with over 110,000 residents who are largely unaccountable to society.  Prior to passage of HB 116 no functional mechanism existed whereby the state could address undocumented immigrants in a way that ensures our public safety, protects our freedoms and enhances our economy.  By targeting those who commit crimes, have medical conditions that endanger the public, are not able to be gainfully employed or aren’t willing to pay stiff application fees, we can now prioritize our limited resources to best protect and benefit our state.

      Q.  How does an individual qualify for a work permit?

      A.  In short, the individual must be a productive member of our society who is contributing to a better community.  A qualified applicant MUST:

      - Pass a criminal background check
      - Pass a medical examination
      - Register with the Department of Public Safety.  Registration includes up-to-date information including name, address, employer and date of birth.
      - Pay a stiff application fee (representing a fine for violating civil laws governing immigration status).  The application fee is currently $1000 if they entered the country legally but overstayed their visa. If they entered illegally, the fee is currently $2500.

      THE UTAH COMPACT

      Q.  Does this bill comport with The Utah Compact?

      A.  HB 116 acknowledges the primary role of the federal government and calls for a reasonable approach to a difficult issue.  This legislation also strikes the proper balance for law enforcement and the Utah economy.  It is pro-family and shows the world our thoughtful and neighborly approach.

      The Pygmalion effect

      Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

      Editor’s note: This entry is based on remarks given by Salt Lake Chamber Chief Economist Natalie Gochnour at the Utah Business 30 Women to Watch award luncheon.

      Utah Business magazine asked me to speak about the advancement of women in the workplace. My answer to that is quite succinct.

      Olene Walker, Pat Jones, Pat Richards (both of them.. we have two wonderful business leaders with the same name), Vivian Lee, Becky Lockhart, Lynne Ward, Jill Remington Love, Vicki Varela, Chris Redgrave, Gail Miller and others are fulfilling vital roles in our community. We’ve come a long way, and we have a long way to go. Our community needs us, and it’s incumbent upon everyone in this room to support female leadership in our society.

      The more important topic is how do we increase and magnify the contributions of women in our community.

      I have a favorite movie – a musical really – that teaches us how to make meaningful change. In fact, it’s a message that if we really want to change the world, we have to change the way we interact one with another. We have to expect more of ourselves, and we have to let our feminine values shine.

      The musical is My Fair Lady. You remember the story … it includes Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl who takes speech lessons from professor Henry Higgins. Professor Higgins accepts a challenge to take a common flower girl and turn her into a proper lady.

      You’ll recall that Eliza is an unpolished stone. She dresses in near rags, her manners are crude and her language borders on slang. In contrast, Professor Higgins is high-browed, well-educated and a pompous connoisseur of the King’s English.

      There is a poignant moment in the story when Eliza explains the central theme of the movie. She says, “The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.”

      It’s a masterstroke statement. It makes the case that if we expect more and treat people better, we can change the world.

      Psychologists will tell you that My Fair Lady is a story about the Pygmalion effect. It’s a phenomenon in which the greater the expectation and treatment of people, the better they perform.

      So we sit here today with thirty remarkable women and I’m thinking:

      How do we bring all of this talent, all of this capacity, all of this goodness to life?

      How do we redouble our efforts as women to improve our community?

      How do we inspire other women?

      How do we take our unique perspectives and build a better world?

      I have a few ideas.

      First, let’s build from Eliza Doolittle’s comment and treat people better.

      I’m not just talking about kindness, although kindness is a noble virtue.

      Because I’m standing in a room with the 2011 Women to Watch, I’m talking about something much bigger.

      Here’s an idea: what if all of us in this room committed to take on division in our community. What if we took a stand and said enough … we are tired of putting labels on people. You know what I’m talking about. We frequently divide ourselves into camps as if there’s not more variety and commonality in us all:

      Conservative – Liberal

      Mormon – Non-Mormon

      Downtown – suburbs

      Urban – Rural

      Rich – Poor

      BYU-UTAH (okay that’s going too far. Did I mention that I’m a proud support of the PAC12 Utes?!!)

      My point is that division is not worthy of this moment. We have too much at stake to divide into self-serving camps. Let’s unify and go about doing good in the world.

      Second, let’s build from the Pygmalion effect and expect more of ourselves?

      Again, you are the 30 Women to Watch. Let’s expect great things of ourselves and others like you.

      I can’t predict the future, but I can throw out a few challenges:

      Who in this room will be a CEO of a large corporation in Utah? Business needs you.

      Who in this room will follow Olene Walker’s lead and lead our state as a future governor? Our state needs you.

      Who in this room will mother and nurture Utah’s next Nobel prize winner? Our economy needs you.

      Who in this room will be a phenomenal female athlete and represent our country in the Olympic Games? Young female athletes all around the state need you.

      Who will make life-saving inventions? Cancer victims need you.

      My point is that this room is filled with women of immense capability. If we expect more of ourselves, maybe, just maybe, we can do more good in the world.

      Finally, some of you will know that I am a devotee of feminine values in civic life. Whether male or female, we need to let our feminine values shine.

      We have so many masculine values at play in this world – competition, power, strength and efficiency. These values need to be counterbalanced with the feminine values of beauty, civility, cooperation, compassion, fairness and service. Masculine values come from a place of strength. Feminine values, on the other hand, come from a place of goodness.

      We are at our best when we have strength and goodness, two positive forces, playing out in the civic realm. Without strength, goodness goes unrecognized, is unheard, unseen and unfulfilled. Without goodness, strength leads to harm, abuses of power, and petty infighting without purpose.

      I share these observations with you today, because we need more of this kind of thinking.

      I’ll close by sharing a brief observation about our former governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. Gov. Huntsman is making remarkable strides to become a viable presidential candidate. Every Utahn should be proud.

      Just think of this – he married a sorority sister of mine, used to wash dishes with my husband at Marie Calendars, dropped out of East High School and now is the darling of the 2012 presidential campaign.

      The philanthropic legacy of the Huntsman family in our community is second to none. They are incredible people. Gov. Huntsman and his extended family’s legacy of service to this community is stellar.

      In his first state of the state address, Gov. Huntsman, a man with both strength and goodness, gave us great instruction when it comes to treating people better, expecting more of ourselves and letting our feminine values shine.

      He said:

      “When times get tough, we are reminded of the power of our community, of people reaching across boundaries to help others, reawakening the need to improve the human condition.

      “Though it is warmer tonight in this chamber than it was three weeks ago on the front steps of the Capitol when I was sworn in, outside there are single moms without homes, children without dinner, and many without work.

      “I reiterate my call to all who can hear me: find someone in need and help them – whether it be a neighbor, a friend or a perfect stranger. We all have something to give, even if it is just a hand to hold, and there are so many in need right now.”

      What a fitting and wonderful message from our former governor and a candidate to be president of the United States of America.

      May those of you who are the 30 Women to Watch, and the rest of us in this room, remember the message of Eliza Doolittle…

      The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.

      Let’s expect more of ourselves, let’s treat people well and let’s allow our feminine values to shine.

      Thank you.

      Chamber accepts Clear the Air Challenge

      Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

      2011 Clear the Air Challenge from Salt Lake Chamber on Vimeo.

      Air Quality is one of the top policy issues of the Salt Lake Chamber and this summer we are proud to lead the business community’s participation in the Clear the Air Challenge.

      Last year, the Challenge resulted in over 1.3 million miles saved and a whopping 59,485 gallons of gas saved. In this the third year of the challenge, the bar has been raised again. The community has been challenged to:

      - Eliminate 300,000 single-occupant vehicle trips
      - Avert 2 million miles
      - Reduce 3.4 million pounds of emissions

      We sat down with Kate Lilja, sustainability special programs manager with Salt Lake City, who runs the Clear the Air Challenge. We discuss the goals of the challenge, ways to reduce our emissions and, of course, the prizes.

      The Clear the Air Challenge runs from June 13th to July 10th. You can register online at www.cleartheairchallenge.org.