This March, the Salt Lake Chamber is recognizing the important contributions immigrants make every day in Utah at the American Dream Award Program.

This program helps remind us about the positive impact of immigrants and how they have helped shape Utah’s history since the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley as refugees in 1847. That shared cultural memory informs our values and beliefs today.

This award honors that legacy by recognizing new pioneers who contribute to our state.

Senator Luz Escamilla is one of this year’s honorees.

About Senator Luz Escamilla

Senator Escamilla holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Marketing and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

On November 4, 2008, Luz was elected to the Utah State Senate representing District 1 (west side of Salt Lake City and parts of West Valley City), becoming the first Latina elected in the Utah State Senate and the first immigrant elected in the Utah State Legislature. In 2012, and again in 2016, she was reelected to the Utah State Senate. Senator Escamilla serves in the Senate leadership team as the Senate Assistant Minority Whip.

In 2005, she was appointed by Governor Jon Huntsman as the first Director for the State Office of Ethnic Affairs.  In this position, she oversaw the Directors of Asian, Black, Hispanic/Latino and Pacific Islander Affairs.  She currently works as Vice President for Zions Bank in the Community Development Group representing Zions Bank in community and business relationships across the states of Utah and Idaho.   At Zions Bank, she has worked as Director for the Business Resource Center, as well as the Hispanic/Latino Market Manager.

Senator Escamilla is committed to finding equity and justice for all people and has served in many capacities in different boards of nonprofit organizations and other agencies. She currently serves on the boards of Girls Scouts of Utah, Guadalupe Schools, Kingsbury Hall, Primary Children’s Medical Center, and the College of Social and Behavioral Science Advisory Board for the University of Utah.  She serves in the Health and Human Services appropriations and standing committees as well as the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice committees.  She has focused her legislative work on health-related, public safety, and veteran’s affairs issues.

She currently lives in the west side of Salt Lake City with her husband Juan Carlos Escamilla and their children.

Senator Escamilla has been honored with the following recognitions:

  • UHA – Utah Health Care Association – 2015 Legislative Champion of the Year
  • OCA – Utah Asian Pacific American (UOCA) – 2013 Humanitarian Award
  • Enlisted Association of the National Guard Utah – 2013 Legislator of the Year Award
  • LULAC – 2013 National Legislator Service Award
  • Utah Minority Bar Association – 2012 Pete Suazo Community Award
  • The University of Utah Alumni Association and the Young Alumni Board – The 2011 Par Excellence Award
  • 10 Who Made a Difference in 2010 – Deseret News
  • Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce – Pathfinder Recipient 2010
  • U.S. Small Business Administration 2010 (SBA)– Minority Small Business Champion of the Year 2010
  • Utah Valley University – Community Engagement Award 2010
  • National Women’s Law Center – Leadership Cohort
  • Hill Air Force Base – Honorary Commander
  • Ohtli Award (Reconocimiento Ohtli)
  • Pete Suazo Memorial Award
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Learn About the other honorees