Linda Wardell is the general manager of City Creek Center, the retail portion of City Creek, one of the largest mixed-use downtown redevelopment projects in the nation. With more than 30 years of experience managing and marketing shopping centers, she oversees retail operations for the landmark shopping and dining destination in the heart of Salt Lake City.

Linda is involved in the community including being chair of the Salt Lake Chamber and serving on the current Board for the Downtown Alliance, Executive Committee of the Women’s Leadership Institute, Zions Bank Advisory Board and the Business Advisory Board for Westminster College.

On November 12, Linda will be recognized by the Salt Lake Chamber with the 2019 ATHENA Leadership Award at the Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon. This award is presented to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates creativity and initiative in business and provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Here are eight questions to get to know Linda a little bit better:

  1. What is your most rewarding professional experience? My most rewarding professional experience is being a part of the team that opened and operates City Creek Center. I try to be grateful for these privileges often!
  2. What do you see as the biggest challenge women face in business today? In Utah, it would be difficult to find a challenge more daunting than the gender wage gap. Utah ranks 49th of all states in the United States in the gender wage gap. The Salt Lake Chamber and Women’s Leadership Institute have published a guide to help business leaders identify steps to close the gender wage gap in their organizations. I hope that everyone will find just one step they can take in their organization to help close the gender wage gap.
  3. What does your organization do to support women face in business today? Taubman leads by example. We have women in leadership positions and diverse roles throughout our organization, including the C-suite. Taubman continues to support me as I volunteer time at the Women’s Leadership Institute and advocate for women throughout Utah on issues such as the gender wage gap.
  4. Who are your heroes and why? I have too many heroes to list here, but my most important heroes and role models are my parents. My father was a police chief in our community and an incredible teacher of integrity and work ethic. My mother was a public health nurse and served our community by caring for mothers and children who were often in crisis. I hope I learned empathy from my mother and I know that my mother instilled a powerful faith in me from my earliest years. To say that I am grateful to them both is an incredible understatement. The greatest gift from my parents, other than their never-ending love, was their friendship when I became an adult.
  5. What motivates you? I have the drive to succeed and compete. I like to think win-win. My competitive gene is a little flawed in that I like to see everyone win – which is not always possible. I prefer to win as a team – and see if I can help the other team be a close second!
  6. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? I have been given lots of great advice from many smart people maybe because I like to ask for advice. I think that advice given to me by my father early on has served me well. My father instilled in me the importance of keeping my commitments. If you say you will do something, do it.
  7. What advice would you share with other business professionals? Be careful about the company you keep. Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. Always over-prepare for any opportunity you are given.
  8. What is on your bookshelf? I just finished a book called “Maid” by Stephanie Land which I highly recommend. The book has great lessons about empathy and the way we view people who may be different than we are. I am currently reading “The Moment of Lift” by Melinda Gates.  It is a master class. I am savoring every word.

Want to hear more from this year’s ATHENA Leadership honoree? Listen the episode of CEO Success Stories where she’s the guest!