2020-2021 Annual Report

Dear Business Community,

This past year has been one like no other — full of challenges, hardships, and uncertainty. Above all, however, it was underscored by remarkable resilience, much of that apparent in the day-to-day activities of Salt Lake Chamber members.

Thanks to you, the Chamber continues to stand as Utah’s voice of business, supporting our members’ successes and championing community prosperity. As the past year has shown, together we are so much more. Our positive voice continues to strengthen education, improve the environment, and promote home ownership, transportation, and a world-class economy, even given serious challenges and the lack of predictability.

Together, the Chamber worked tirelessly to mitigate the deadly effects of the coronavirus. With the Roadmap to Recovery Coalition, we helped business leaders at all levels encourage confidence in, and facilitate availability and distribution of vaccines, and return to economic growth as quickly as possible. In addition, we successfully created and advocated the Stay Safe to Stay Open campaign, working with more than 10,000 Utah businesses, regional chambers, and local communities and governments to keep our community safe and our businesses operating.

Though COVID-19 has impacted most every aspect of business, because of your support and involvement, Utah is positioned to come back stronger and faster than ever. The strength of our economy has given us an advantage when faced with a global pandemic and economic downturn. In partnership with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute, the Chamber has released monthly Economic Dashboards that provide a compelling picture of Utah’s business resilience. Utah continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, along with record-level job creation. And with you, we are working to ensure that these gains and opportunities are available to all through initiatives promoting diversity and inclusion.

In addition, the Salt Lake Chamber successfully advanced pro-business and job policies during the 2021 Legislative Session, including the passage of every key initiative we promoted. Our 2020-2021 Annual Report outlines these successes — your successes — and offers a strong platform and bold vision for the future.

We hope this report inspires you to become even more involved with the Chamber during the upcoming year and to encourage others to join us. Without you, none of this would have happened. With you, this report promises greater things to come.

Gratefully,

Derek Miller, President and CEO
Craig Wagstaff, 2020-2021 Board Chair
Gary Porter, 2020-2021 Vice Chair

Membership… By the Numbers

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Circle of Influence Members
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New Members
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Member Retention Rate
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International Chamber Agreements
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Counties with Members
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States with Members
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Strategic Partners

Utah Economic Outlook & Public Policy Summit

The Salt Lake Chamber hosted the annual Utah Economic Outlook and Public Policy Summit with the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute to release its 2021 Legislative Priorities. It was the first policy summit to present a framework for both short and long-term goals of Utah’s business community for the 2021 legislative season.

The Chamber’s top priority in the midst of the pandemic-caused economic strain was to ensure that businesses survive – that they were able to keep their doors open, keep their customers safe, and keep their team members employed. Longer-term priorities included promoting legislation to improve healthcare systems, build transportation infrastructure, close the housing gap, raise educational opportunities and outcomes, and protect the environment and natural resources to ensure Utah’s future quality of life.

Legislative Session Key Highlights

2020 Legislative Session… By the Numbers

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Bill Files Opened
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Bills Passed
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Bills Tracked
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Success Rate
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Priority Bills
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Supported Bills
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Opposed Bills

Meet the Candidates

To help our members stay informed and build vital relationships, the Salt Lake Chamber hosted “Meet the Candidate” virtual forums for each of the major 2020 political contests — from the gubernatorial race and Salt Lake County mayoral to congressional districts and attorney general.

The discussions focused on the long-term economic vision and strategies for the county, business policy priorities, as well as the immediate economic recovery from COVID-19.

Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

On December 15,2020, Governor Gary Herbert and community leaders across the state, gathered at the steps of the Utah Capitol to launch the Utah Compact on Racial Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

The compact is founded on the principles that all people are created equal and that all Utahns must have a truly equal opportunity to prosper. It explicitly acknowledges racism as a system of ideas, beliefs, practices, structures, and policies that give some people greater opportunity than others. Signatories of the compact pledge to work toward priorities and laws that create equal opportunity and access, and to foster communities of respect.

All signatories committed themselves to acknowledge and fight racism, invest time and

resources in creating greater opportunity for people of color, and to advance solutions to racial ills by listening and creating policies that provide equal opportunity and access to employment, housing and health care.

“This compact is a statement and promise of leadership, unity and commitment to end systemic racism and provide equal opportunity to all who live in and visit our great state. We need to do better at listening, learning, understanding, acting and advocating. I am grateful to all who are signing the compact. We are all in this together.” – Gail Miller, Owner and Chair of Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

Annual Meeting Awards

Utah’s business and community leaders gathered for the Salt Lake Chamber’s 134th Annual Meeting to recognize Chamber volunteers and community leaders who have shown exemplary support over the past year by committing their time and abilities to advance the Chamber’s mission and bolster the business community.

The Chamber recognizes that many of its accomplishments would not be possible without the business leaders of Utah, like those below, who help support and lend their expertise to the organization.

Honorees for the event included the following organizations and individuals:

The Salt Lake Chamber Annual Meeting took place on August 31, 2021, at the Little America Hotel.

“Overcoming the challenges of the past year have taken the best of our talents and coming together to solve problems to ensure we fully emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. The leadership exemplified by our Outgoing Chair Craig Wagstaff, to our mission-driven Chamber team, and allies across the community have inspired many to dig deeper and give more. The important work the Chamber performs to advocate for maintaining our friendly business climate, building capacity in our community, and connecting people for the greater good has stood the test of time. I am honored we get to celebrate these leaders of change as they helped us all navigate uncharted territory with steady hands.” – Derek Miller, president and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber

WATCH MORE HONOREE VIDEOS
WATCH MORE HONOREE VIDEOS

Giant in our City & Utah Community Builder Awards

Utah’s business and community leaders gathered to recognize Katharine and the late Robert Garff as the 42nd Giant in our City for their ‘exceptional and distinguished public service, as well as extraordinary professional achievement.’ The award was presented on June 24th and is recognized as the most prestigious business award given in Utah.

“Utahns know the Garff name and the family’s success in the business community. However, some may be less familiar with their rich legacy in our state of community service and charitable contributions that have blessed countless lives through the years. For decades, Kathi and Bob Garff have been passionately dedicated to educational efforts and programs geared toward helping Utah students succeed, not only academically but in life. Without their influence, our students and community would not be the same, and we are delighted to be given the opportunity to recognize these and so many other contributions.” – Derek Miller, president & CEO, Salt Lake Chamber

Utah’s business and community leaders gathered to recognize Katharine and the late Robert Garff as the 42nd Giant in our City for their ‘exceptional and distinguished public service, as well as extraordinary professional achievement.’ The award was presented on June 24th and is recognized as the most prestigious business award given in Utah.

In addition to the Garffs’ recognition, Utah’s heroic essential workers were awarded the Lane Beattie Utah Community Builder Award. Traditionally, the award recognizes an inspirational individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to address critical community needs. Given the unique challenges of the past year, Utah’s essential workers were the clear selection, including the following organizations and individuals who will accept the award on behalf of all:

  • Marvella Cuch, bus operator, Utah Transit Authority 
  • Louis Donovan, store director, Harmons Grocery 
  • Jesse du Toit, respiratory therapist, Intermountain Medical Center 
  • Keri Graybill, teacher, Granite Park Junior High 
  • Alexis Rose, registered nurse, Intermountain Medical Center 
  • Tiffany Silver, assistant manager, Sunshine Academy Childcare Center

Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon

The Salt Lake Chamber honored Molly Mazzolini, Partner and Director of Brand Integration for Infinite Scale, with the 2020 ATHENA Leadership Award on November 10, 2020, at the Grand America Hotel.

Regarded as the Chamber’s highest recognition for women in business, the national ATHENA Leadership Award is presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business. Each recipient must also provide 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.

“Overcoming the challenges of the past year have taken the best of our talents and coming together to solve problems to ensure we fully emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever. The leadership exemplified by our Outgoing Chair Craig Wagstaff, to our mission-driven Chamber team, and allies across the community have inspired many to dig deeper and give more. The important work the Chamber performs to advocate for maintaining our friendly business climate, building capacity in our community, and connecting people for the greater good has stood the test of time. I am honored we get to celebrate these leaders of change as they helped us all navigate uncharted territory with steady hands.” – Derek Miller, president and CEO, Salt Lake Chamber

In addition to the ATHENA Leadership Award, six women received Pathfinder Awards at the conference. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths promoting the development and recognition of women in business. 

Pathfinder recipients included: 

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Other Major Events & Programs

Business Live
Business Women’s Forum
Classic Golf Tournament
Cybersecurity Council Fall Conference
Equality and Inclusion in Opportunity Webinars
Government Affairs Bootcamp
Member Orientation
Professional Development Series
Roadmap to Recovery Webinars
Rural Workforce Network Information Session
Utah Leads Together Webinars
Washington, D.C. Trip

Events & Programs… By the Numbers

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Virtual Events & Webinars
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Events, Seminars & Meetings
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New Major Events & Programs
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Directly Engaged
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Leadership Utah Graduates

Stay Safe to Stay Open

In October 2020, the Salt Lake Chamber launched the next phase of Stay Safe to Stay Open, a statewide effort to share a message of public health best practices that businesses can follow to mitigate the coronavirus. The businesses that joined the effort received digital and physical collateral, including a seal of approval to display to their customers.

The statewide campaign focused on promoting best practices in avoiding coronavirus contagion and instilling consumer confidence and  a culture of safety throughout the workplace so businesses can remain safe and open. Business owners, managers, and employees who followed the seven basic public health best practices can take the pledge and have their business showcased in a Stay Safe to Stay Open directory.

The “Stay Safe to Stay Open” campaign was a partnership between the Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Department of Health. Distribution partners included regional chambers throughout the state, as well as partnerships with the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the World Trade Center, the Suazo Business Center, the Downtown Alliance, Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, the Utah Retail Merchants and Utah Food Associations, as well as the Utah Safety Council.

Roadmap to Recovery

Roadmap to Recovery Coalition is a business-led coalition focused on implementing and promoting Utah’s economic recovery. The Coalition is made up of business leaders who invest, identify and promote innovative solutions for our statewide economic recovery, such as the Roadmap to Recovery Economic Dashboard, which tracks Utah’s path to complete economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession.

The Dashboard is updated consistently, providing essential insights, tracking 10 timely and leading measures, and sharing pertinent indicators since the start of the pandemic. This will give leaders the backdrop for them to make informed decisions.

“While government performs a critical role in responding to COVID-19, private sector leadership is essential. The Salt Lake Chamber’s Roadmap to Recovery Coalition provides this leadership and will ultimately accelerate a full economic recovery for our state.” – Natalie Gochnour, chief economist, Salt Lake Chamber 

Bring It Home

Utahns 18 and older were encouraged to get vaccinated with the kick-off of a flash campaign led by the Salt Lake Chamber called “Bring It Home” on June 21, 2021,  in Magna City. The goal of the statewide initiative was to achieve a 70% vaccination rate by July 4, Independence Day. 

At the time of the press event, almost 65% of adults throughout the state have received vaccination against the coronavirus. The goal was to encourage the vaccination of approximately five percent more of the state to avoid a fall resurgence and achieve community or herd immunity. 

Outreach began with the Salt Lake Chamber and Department of Health sending a letter to the 10,000 businesses who took the “Stay Safe to Stay Open” pledge last fall. In addition, a series of public service announcements were produced and featured business leaders throughout Utah encouraging their fellow employers to advocate and incentive vaccination with their employees. As part of the campaign, the daily “Speaking on Business” program on KSL News Radio was also dedicated to promoting vaccination through July 4.

Due to the campaign, there was a significant uptick in mobile vaccination clinic requests by businesses and organizations.

WATCH THE PSA VIDEOS

Clear the Air Challenge

The Clear the Air Challenge, sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber, TravelWise and UCAIR, is a month-long initiative undertaken by business, government and community leaders that encourages Utah residents to drive less and drive smarter during the month of February. Participants help improve air quality by avoiding trips alone in their car and using TravelWise Strategies such as carpooling, public transit, walking, biking or trip chaining.

Collectively, this year’s participants

  • eliminated 58,133 trips
  • saved 1,072,557.8 miles
  • saved 410 tons of CO2
  • saved $0.6 million dollars
  • burned 0.7 million calories

Top Large Teams: Fidelity Investments, University of Utah and Rocky Mountain Power

Top Small Teams: Dell Technologies-Utah, Utah Department of Commerce and Utah Department of Environmental Quality

Top Participants: Jami Vaughan, University of Utah; Alison Mortensen-Hayes, University of Utah; and Lillian Rans, University of Utah

“We’ve enjoyed participating in the Clear the Air Challenge for 11 years, because it’s important to our employees and our company to make a real difference in the communities where we live and work. The Clear the Air Challenge represents one more way that Fidelity Investments is committed to a sustainable future and empowering our employees to reduce our global footprint.” – Mark Barlow, senior vice president and UT regional leader, Fidelity Investments

Water Champion H2Oath

In June 2021, Governor Spencer J. Cox, the Salt Lake Chamber, along with government, business and community leaders, announced the launch of the “Water Champion H2Oath,” a pledge for businesses to publicly commit to water conservation and water-wise practices.

Utah is experiencing a prolonged drought and weathering an exceptionally dry year. This is creating a cascade of consequences. The current soil moisture conditions are extremely low, leading to adverse conditions for agriculture, greater threats of wildfires, and challenges to Utah’s water supply management and other natural resources. Water conservation due to low snowpack and declining reservoir storage has once again elevated concern to crisis levels for leaders public and private. Much of Utah’s government, business and residential water is used in landscaping, with little thought of conservation. The business community is stepping forward to lead these efforts, encouraging Utahns to consider the importance of every gallon of water we consume.

“We understand that how we do business influences the world around us, and only by measuring and monitoring our performance do we fully understand our impact. Water is a global concern, but goals and initiatives are addressed at the site level by understanding local/regional water basin activity and stress. We continuously work to understand the impact of water use at each of our operating facilities and to enact programs that improve water efficiency.” – Fred Lampropoulos, chairman and CEO of Merit Medical Systems

Utah Community Builders

The Salt Lake Chamber’s nonprofit social impact foundation, Utah Community Builders, focuses on mental health, child care, poverty, and immigration. Utah Community Builders harnesses the innovation and efficiency of the private sector to help the business community move the needle on social issues, giving business leaders a platform to make a difference 

Accomplishments:

Utah Community Builders elevated its profile as a leader in social impact over the past fiscal year by launching significant new initiatives, fortifying partnerships with policy and business leaders, and bolstering collaboration with community partners with shared purpose. From July 2020 through June 2021, the foundation has:

  • Created and launched a new statewide initiative on workforce mental health, complete with a comprehensive toolkit for businesses, library of newly created multimedia content, and commitments from partner organizations to provide free or discounted resources to Chamber members;
  • Continued the support and collaboration with internship programs that provide vital support to business and community organizations; and
  • Supported partner organizations’ shared efforts to alleviate the impacts of the pandemic and bolster workforce mental health.

Workforce Resilience Through Mental Fitness

In October 2020, Utah Community Builders successfully launched a new statewide workforce mental health initiative: Workforce Resilience Through Mental Fitness. The goal is to improve the resilience and mental fitness of Utah’s workforce by:

  1. Measurably improving business leaders’ awareness, attitudes, and willingness to commit time and resources to building resilience in their workforce and creating a culture of mental fitness;
  2. Supporting the expansion of crisis resources into industry sectors with high rates of suicide, depression, anxiety, and trauma; and
  3. Communicate progress to Chamber membership, elected officials, and the general public.

The initiative features a digital library of expert speaker training from the virtual launch event and a monthly webinar series that completed in May, as well as the Suicide Prevention in the Workforce Employer Toolkit and discounted services for Chamber members. These tools are made available to Utah’s business leaders to provide easy to implement, actionable steps to bolster resilience in the workforce through a culture of mental fitness.