On September 7, 2017 Utah’s business leaders will gather at the Salt Lake Chamber’s 130th Annual Meeting and Awards Luncheon. Every year the Chamber recognizes those in the community who have shown exemplary support to further the Chamber’s mission and bolster the local business community.
One of this year’s 2017 Chamber Champions is Jody Williams of Holland & Hart.
Jody Williams is a partner in the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources practice group at Holland & Hart LLP, a firm with over 100 attorneys in Salt Lake City, and 470 nationally. For more than 30 years, Jody has helped clients navigate the complexities of doing business in the Rocky Mountain West, building a national reputation and specialty in water law and water rights.
Having grown up working livestock and irrigating farmland in Kanarraville, Utah, 35 miles from St. George, Jody developed a passion for the environment she has carried forward throughout her professional career. “I know firsthand what it means to suffer drought interspersed with flash floods.” Water has been a topic near and dear to her heart, and she has focused her entire career on water law and water rights.
In October, 2014, Jody was appointed by President Obama to be the Federal Commissioner and Chair of the Bear River Commission. As Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming plan to develop their apportionment of Bear River waters, the Bear River is coming into sharp focus and Jody’s skills as an honest broker have been instrumental. She previously was appointed by Presidents Bush and Clinton to serve as Chair of the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission, a federal agency responsible for mitigating environmental impacts from developing Utah’s Colorado River apportionment by the Central Utah Project. She serves on the advisory committee for “Business for Water Stewardship,” an organization forwarding the business voice on the Colorado River. Additionally, she was instrumental on Governor Gary Herbert’s Utah State Water Plan Advisory Team, which recently delivered the “Recommended State Water Strategy,” a far-reaching plan designed to guide Utah’s policymakers as our state population doubles.
Since serving on the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors, Jody has helped to educate the business community on the importance of water as a key driver of Utah’s economy and the need to plan for Utah’s water future. She helped the Chamber develop its strategic water initiative, including water as a policy priority in its Public Policy Guides since 2014. Additionally, with Jody’s guidance, the Chamber will continue to focus on disciplined planning and investment, conservation, optimization, better data, and the development of a viable long-term strategy. In Jody’s view, it is time to more consistently recognize and share the good things businesses are doing all over the State to conserve and optimize water, and to increase the Statewide conservation regarding the role of innovation and technology in water stewardship.
Besides having a successful legal career, community involvement has played a key part in Jody’s success. She believes it is important to pay it forward. Not only is it extremely rewarding, she considers it a moral obligation. She is a member of the Salt Lake Chapter of CREW, Commercial Real Estate Women, an organization dedicated to promoting women working in commercial real estate development. She mentors young professionals, particularly women, as they strive to achieve a work-life balance. She is also a member of the Holland & Hart Foundation Committee.
Jody Williams personifies the characteristics of a Chamber Champion through her inspiring vision and deep commitment to building Utah’s future. She understands that water is one of the cornerstones of our future economic prosperity, and that it will take the collective wisdom of the business community to embrace best practices of water use and disciplined water planning based on improved water data.