Editor’s Note: These were prepared remarks by Natalie Gochnour, Executive Vice President of the Salt Lake Chamber, for the Envision Utah Common Good Awards Luncheon on Oct. 31, 2012.
I’ve been asked to take a few minutes and share a few thoughts about the contributions of Spencer F. Eccles to our community. As I do so, I want to compliment Spencer P. Eccles for his keynote address. Spencer, you shared the perfect message with us (the keynote will be posted on the Chamber blog as soon as it’s available). Thank you for your call to action to take purposeful steps to build a great future for this state.
One of my great pleasures in life is to share a personal relationship with many in the Eccles’ family.
And what’s not to love? To a person they share their talent, their wit, their resources, their integrity and, most of all, their great love of place – this place… the Intermountain West – with all of us.
And I, like perhaps many of you, share other passions with the Eccles’ family.
- I love the ski slopes of Utah.
- I’m a Romney fan.
- And, I’m a runnin’ Ute.
I join with you today in sharing our community’s affection for honoring, Spencer F. Eccles. We have all observed the greatness of this great man and his great family.
For me, this affection is personal. I’m deeply moved by the tireless way that Spence and his family give, give again, and then reach deeper and give even more.
From Scotland to Salt Lake City… we are all beneficiaries.
In a recent Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation board meeting, I had an assigned seat next to Spence. The meeting had ended, and we were all a bit moved because of the retirement of a key board member. Let’s just say we were sharing our heartfelt feelings with each other about the magic of the Olympics, the service that so many Utahns rendered, the inspiring community that we live in, and the service of so many to make Utah such a marvelous state. The meeting had ended, and I turned to Spence and asked what is it that motivates his family’s generous spirit. Without hesitation he turned to me and said, “We give because we can. Those of us with the resources to give must give. It is the same for us all.”
From this I’ve constructed the Eccles’ rule. It applies to all of us. It goes like this:
If you have the resources to give… give.
Give of your time. Give of your talent. Give of your treasures.
We must do like the Eccles have done. And there are so many worthy causes.
This is the central message Spence would want all of us to take from this luncheon today. And it was the underlying message of his fabulous son, Spencer Jr., in the keynote address. Spencer essentially said, “Give of yourself to create a bright future.” Thank you Spencer for your wonderful message.
So to you Spence, to your remarkable wife Cleone, to Lisa and Spencer and other family… we salute you. We thank you for your gracious heart. We honor you for your example of stewardship and great love of place. We applaud your vision – a vision that blesses this state and the families of every Utahn. We thank you for your support of Envision Utah. And we express our love for your service to all of us.