Lori B. Williams, MPA, is an associate director of marketing for University of Utah Health. For the past 15 years, she has worked in marketing and communications in the health care and education industries. She has created and lead successful marketing and communications campaigns, which include the rebrand initiative for U of U Health, Breast Assured, Vas Madness and #UtahCares. Lori, a Cali girl, is a transplant to Utah. She began and built her career foundation at Salt Lake Community College. You can find her on the ski slopes in the winter and spending quality time with her husband and lively two sons, which are her pride and joy. She is a fro-yo fanatic, adventure seeker and enjoys helping and learning from others.
On November 19, the Salt Lake Chamber will recognize Lori B. Williams as a 2021 Pathfinder Award recipient at the Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon. This award is given to community leaders who “create new paths” and promote the development and recognition of women in business.
We asked her a handful of questions to get to know her a little better:
- What are you passionate about? I am passionate about helping others and improving the world we live in.
- What has been your favorite marketing and communications campaign at the University of Utah Health and why? We rebranded University of Utah Health in 2017, it was no easy undertaking with 23,000 + employees. There were so many areas and individuals to collaborate with and I enjoyed getting to build relationships and work with people I hadn’t in the past. The campaign theme was “There’s Only One You”, highlighting and sharing individuals making a difference in taking care themselves and each other through everyday actions may they big or small of helping someone change a tire, dropping off a plate of cookies to a neighbor or friend, it’s who we are as a state of Utah, serving and loving each other. To learn more about the campaign, visit U of U Health on Youtube.
- What is your most rewarding professional experience? One of the most rewarding professional experiences is being able to support and learn from other women in all roles. I enjoy seeing them continue to progress personally and professionally. I strive to be a leader who keeps women in the workplace, progressing in their personal lives and professional careers. Below is a quote from Taelor Rimer, a colleague of Lori. “Great managers are the key to building better workplaces and Lori is an awesome example of that. Not only has she supported me professionally, but also personally. She’s a huge advocate for women in the workplace and has supported many team members who aren’t even on her direct report. Her advocacy and support of great women in the workforce is something to be celebrated and I feel very lucky I get to work alongside her!”
- What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? How do you think it can be overcome? A poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation finds that work-life balance and the gender pay gap lead the list of critical concerns for women in the leading economies of the developed world. There are many challenges women face in business today from work-life balance, equal pay, motherhood-children and career, harassment, office politics, career opportunities, to name a few. I look at these challenges as opportunities and believe it starts with each of us being aware and trying to daily improve by first taking the time to educate yourself to understand and then do something. Helping improve the situation in any of these challenges through mentorship, advocacy, and being a leader who supports other women. I am optimistic things are better than when my grandmother was a pharmacist, widower and raising my father on her own and they will get better, but we can’t just sit on the sideline and do nothing.
- What does having grit and grace mean to you? The theme of the conference of Growth, Grit and Grace to me means to never give up and do your best no matter what comes your way. My grandmother, Margaret Ellen Bonham was an example of growth, grit and grace. My grandfather unexpectedly passed away when my father was 1 ½ years old. I can’t imagine what she went through during that time and in her lifetime, but she didn’t give up, she strived to grow and progress. She believed in herself as a mother, daughter, aunt, friend, and grandmother. My grandmother continued to provide for her and my father as a pharmacist along with owning the local drugstore. This I know was no easy road. Growing yourself and others takes effort and time, it isn’t easy and doesn’t come as quickly as you sometimes like. However, with time things will always work out how they should. Grit is having courage and the ability to show the strength of your character. For me it’s someone who is passionate, hard working and keeps their word. As Mother Teresa said “Your true character is most accurately measured by how you treat those who can do “nothing” for you.” Grace to me is being respectful, kind, and supportive, not expecting anything in return. I believe it’s about investing and helping others; we can do so much together.
- What advice would you give to aspiring women leaders? There’s a lot going on in the world, things are always changing. I believe it’s important we don’t forget the basics of trust, hard-work, respect, and kindness. These values go a long way and believe we need to always demonstrate. I would encourage and inspire others by keeping myself accountable in helping others. I am passionate about establishing connected relationships and helping others in doing the right thing. Don’t give up if there’s an opportunity, take it, learn, listen, and work hard and don’t let fear get in the way, you can do anything you put your mind to.