During March, the Salt Lake Chamber is highlighting influential women in Utah. By sharing their stories and advice, we hope to bring awareness to the importance of Women’s History Month.

Is there a woman in your life who has been especially influential in your life? 

Like most women, I’m going to say my mom. She was a widow at age 36 with a high school diploma and four kids, but she still made it work. She taught us hard work, sacrifice and commitment. Now that I’m a widow, I realize just how much she did to make our family run. I’m very blessed to have many resources from the army as a family of a fallen soldier, but my mother never had those resources. 

What I’ve learned from my mom is that we as women are creators. We create strong support systems, strong teams and strong families. We’re passionate people who want to create a better world than the one we were born into, and when my mom had to create a new life with four kids and no money, she had to create opportunity, too.

Who are your female mentors and what have they taught you?

I have so many female mentors. Emily Vause runs the nonprofit Weber School Foundation. I love her tenacity, her passion, her willingness to help. From her, I have learned to never feel silly asking for help. 

Jodi Brown is another woman I look up to. She’s a survivor and a public speaker, and I love her resilience. She never gave up, and she taught me to keep going. She is dedicated to telling her story in a way that inspires others. She taught me that there’s power in inspiration, and I try to channel that when I speak in front of crowds.

My last mentor is my little sister. She is a tax guru, and she has woven her business in with her family. She helps remind me, without saying a word, how things work out when you’re surrounded by good people. I see how she builds and grows. From her, I learned to be like a sponge, always growing and learning from those around me. 

Why is Women’s History Month important to you?

I believe that any time we pause to hear people’s stories, our lives become enriched. During March, we celebrate women in all walks of life, hopefully leaving us wanting to be better women.

It also reminds us that we each have individual capacity and value – that’s what Women’s History Month is all about. Look at all the different ways you can be a successful woman. I can take the strengths I have and let those shine while I develop my weaknesses. Any time we pause to hear people’s stories, our lives become enriched. I come away better because of their inspiring stories. I can use my energy and passion to grow those around me. 

Lastly, Women’s History Month reminds us that we need each other. We can be loud and successful if only we remember that we need each other. By surrounding myself with other amazing people, I can create beauty out of the ashes of my husband’s death. By teaming up with others, we can create a team and all be better for it.

*Stay updated on more stories, events and information on Women’s History Month by visiting the Salt Lake Chamber’s Women’s History Month website and engaging in our weekly challenges.