April 1, 2008

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30 Women to Watch

Each of this year’s 30 Women to Watch brings something unique to the table. S...Read More

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30 Women to Watch

Jamie Huish Stum, Jacob Moon

April 1, 2008


Each of this year’s 30 Women to Watch brings something unique to the table. Some have experience, others a strong education. But one trait is common among them all: passion. These women span job titles, industries and expertise, but whether offering compassion in health care or innovation in technology, each has a zeal that takes her work to a new level. The stories behind these business leaders inspire creativity, excitement, and devotion in life and work. Chris Hipwell Director of Marketing, Wadman Corporation “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.” – Max Dupree As one of a few women in the construction industry, Chris Hipwell says she has learned to treat gender as a non-issue. “I was raised to believe that I should reach my goals through my hard work and accomplishments and not rely on my gender as a measurement of my achievements. If you choose to look at it as a liability, you risk creating a crutch for yourself and it becomes too easy to blame failures on ‘labeling.’” The fast-paced construction industry keeps Hipwell constantly learning and improving. She recently achieved master graduate status of Rapport Leadership International, an intense 100-hour leadership training experience. She encourages other women to find a mentor and surround themselves with supportive people who share and support big dreams, saying what has kept her going is being part of Wadman’s dynamic working environment and productive team. “Everyday life is an educational journey with challenges, celebrations, wonderment, and success…if you choose to experience it that way.” Marianne Sorensen Commercial Real Estate Attorney, Jones Waldo “Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. ” – Norman Vincent Peale Originally a small town girl, Marianne Sorensen left Richfield, Utah to go to law school, paying her way with scholarships and part time jobs. After graduation, she joined the Utah Army National Guard with her husband and spent a year as an interrogator during Deseret Storm. Her time abroad gave her the drive that helps her succeed today. As an attorney with Jones Waldo, Sorensen works with businesses to sell, acquire or lease property, which she says keeps her inquisitive nature far from boredom. Sorensen has also been the energy behind the formation of CREW Utah, the local chapter of the Commercial Real Estate Women organiza-tion. She is treasurer of the Real Property Section of the Utah State Bar and also serves in several community organizations. Creative thinking and time management help keep her busy schedule straight, she says. “Everyone in the family can work together to keep life balanced. My husband actually enjoys vacuuming. He laughs about how I give him ‘choices’ – for example, ‘Honey, would you rather load the dishwasher or vacuum?’” Melissa Wright President, Axiom Financial “Winning is not a some time thing, it is an all the time thing. You don’t do things right once in a while…you do them right all the time” - Vince Lombardi Though Melissa Wright originally worked in the technology industry, she jumped at an opportunity to switch gears to a mortgage company. As president of mortgage lender Axiom Financial, Wright worked mostly from the ground up, teaching herself about the financial industry. Her unexpected professional shift is a move she encourages other women to follow. “Women in particular need to live their best life no matter their situation. I encourage women to not plan your life in black and white. Don’t pass up opportunities because you’re afraid or because you’re always waiting for something else. You’re never sure what will come your way, but I know that great opportunities are a golden part of life if one is just willing to take them.” The risk has certainly paid off. Axiom closes about a half billion dollars a year in loan volume, serving approximately 3,000 clients annually. And though several mortgage companies are struggling in the wake of the sub prime debacle, Axiom chose to stick to less aggressive lending practices, enabling the company to thrive, growing in sales and employees. Suzanne Oliver SVP of Educational Services, Mountain America Credit Union “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – Woodrow Wilson Climbing the ranks from loan officer to a senior vice president at Mountain America Credit Union, Suzanne Oliver now oversees employee training and development and member financial education. Oliver views training as essential to most aspects of the organization; she introduced the training department, which manages the continued development of more than 800 employees. Her efforts have been well rewarded; Training Magazine selected Mountain America as a top company in the nation for its employer sponsored workforce training and development. Oliver is also involved in the Utah JumpStart Coalition, the Utah League of Credit Unions and the West Jordan Chamber of Commerce Leadership Academy. Though her responsibilities have always been many, Oliver raised a daughter as a single parent, and stands as an example of strength to those she associates with. Says one coworker, “She is always a source of calm inspiration to those around her.” Karen George CEO and Managing Director, Wasatch Clinical Research “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” At perhaps the lowest point in her life, Karen George was a single parent on welfare trying to care for five small children. But that life wouldn’t suffice for George, who decided to let her brains and ambition lead her somewhere new. After graduating from college as a registered nurse, she established Wasatch Clinical Research with the hopes of being profitable in five years. Six months later, the company’s financials were in the black and George is rarely seen looking back. “It is important to have a dream and the guts to go after it and live the life we all dream of,” she says. “Others may try to derail your dreams, but if you keep your integrity, you will always sleep well at night!” George now enjoys life with her husband and children and a successful clinical research business. In the past two years, the company doubled in size and tripled the number of research studies it has performed. “We look forward to establishing future relationships and achieving even greater success.” Nan Anderson Executive Director, Utah Tourism Industry Coalition “Change: Fight it and die. Accept it and live. Lead it and prosper.” From the small town of Bicknell in south central Utah, Nan Anderson leads a significant part of the state’s economy and image. Anderson is executive director of the Utah Tourism Industry Coalition, the umbrella group that pulls together all aspects of the tourism industry in Utah. During her tenure as executive director of UTIC, the industry’s greatest achievement occurred three years ago when the industry players pulled together to produce the Tourism Marketing Performance Fund, a piece of legislation that “properly funded” the advertising and marketing program to promote the state of Utah as a tourism destination, Anderson says. Since its inception, the fund has had a dramatic affect on all aspects of tourism in the state. Hotels, resorts, tour guides and industry leaders are seeing a positive return on the investment. Even for Anderson, the increased reputation of the state has its personal undertones. She and her husband own the Wayne Theatre in Bicknell, home to the annual Bicknell International Film Festival, “Better Living Thru Bad Cinema.” Teri Sundh CEO, Co-founder, Podfitness.com “The purpose of our lives is to give birth to the best which is within us.” – Marianne Williamson Entrepreneurship has always been in Teri Sundh’s blood, she says. So, when the opportunity came along to help build Podfitness.com into a world-class organization, she knew she was up for the challenge. Her background as a VP at FranklinCovey gave her experience making connections with major strategic business partners. At Podfitness, that network of corporate partners includes Walmart.com, Discovery Health and Microsoft, among others. “I love business and believe everyone is capable of creative thinking and coming up with good ideas,” she says. “My greatest advice is that you should leverage your personal and business networks.” The Podfitness program delivers customized audio workouts to a user’s MP3 player, allowing anyone to have access to personal trainers from Hollywood and around the world on their own audio devices. The concept has driven Sundh to find her own comfortable workout system, something she says is a benefit for anyone who uses the system. Kristi Gilbert Owner, VisionCorp “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche Kristi Gilbert’s full intention was to finish up a short career with WordPerfect and Novell and move into the role of stay-at-home mom. But her skills were honed, and Novell continued to have writing that needed to be done. So, from home Gilbert set up a small shop providing technical writing assistance to local technology companies. Upon recruiting other home-based contractors to serve as editors, designers and word processors, VisionCorp was born. “I feel that one of my greatest professional accomplishments is that all my business comes to me by way of my reputation,” Gilbert says. “I have never done any advertising.” That said, the company provides documentation and technical writing services to a variety of high-tech firms across the state, with projects ranging from computer forensics to organizational development. Gilbert acknowledges that working from home has its set of benefits, but running a home-based business can also bring its set of challenges, because “we are never really away from the office,” she says. Kathy Harbin General Manager, Cactus and Tropicals “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead A well-known face to plant lovers at long-standing foliage retailer Cactus and Tropicals, Kathy Harbin keeps the business growing. In the last year, Harbin has been deeply involved in expansion, including opening an additional location in Draper, restructuring the senior management team and rethinking her business model. Though she has been with the company for 19 years, Harbin says her work is still new and exciting. “We are always changing to keep up with new trends in the green industry. To overcome challenges, we simply figure out the right thing to do and do it, even if it’s scary, controversial or unpopular. My best advice would be, whatever you do, do it well.” When Harbin started at Cactus and Tropicals, she was one of six employees. She now manages more than 100 people and says in five years, she hopes to still be right there, perhaps adding another location or two. Deborah Eppstein CEO, Q Therapeutics “Ethical living is the only reality that gives meaning to religious belief.” – Edwin Palmer Deborah Eppstein didn’t follow any traditional business track to becoming a CEO. In fact, she was wary of the business side of business in the beginning, and was more comfortable at the scientist’s table, conducting research using her background in biochemistry. When the opportunity to lead a pharmaceutical company in California presented itself, however, she found that her “understanding of the science and my intuition on what made a fair deal to be able to put together a business structure that made sense for all parties,” she says. Mixing disciplines is nothing new to Eppstein, who regularly trains for and competes in triathlons across the country. At Q Therapeutics, she leads a company that is working on products to treat neurodegenerative diseases for which there currently are no cures. Q recently closed on $8 million in financing, one step closer to clinical trials of its product on a condition that causes paralysis. “Although I gave up on the goal to win the Nobel Prize in medicine some time ago – no regrets! – I still want to make a significant contribution to the world, which for me is in bettering the health of people,” she says. Shelli Gardner CEO, Stampin’ Up! “Work hard, play hard.” For most, stamping is a hobby. For Shelli Gardner, it is life. “I live and breathe stamping. I like nothing better than to dress down in comfy pajamas, turn on my favorite music, and stamp through the night. When my daughters are with me, it’s even better!” As founder and CEO of Stampin’ Up!, Gardner has created a culture of friendships and caring among those she works with. Her relationships with employees, demonstrators, customers and family drive her to succeed, especially as she strives to find balance in life while making others happy. In its 20 year history, Stampin’ Up! has created a name for itself in the scrapbooking and direct selling industries as a leader and builder of people. Last year, the company branched out to international markets in Europe, bringing a lifestyle of creativity and entrepreneurship to those interested in scrapbooking, card making and home décor. “I think there’s a real trend for people to use their creativity to decorate their own homes, giving them a personal flair and flavor, and we want to be at the forefront of that movement,” Gardner says. Jill Grammer-Williams Founder and President, American Name Services “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Being a mom and business woman has always been the plan for Jill Grammer-Williams. For her the two go hand in hand. In college she realized her knack for statistics would lead to something big and eventually she founded American Name Services, a list brokerage and data processing firm. Since then, she has kept family close by, with her mother, sisters and husband filling various roles within the organization. “As a female business owner, I hope to be an example of someone who can be successful in the business world and at home as a wife and mother. I am truly happy in both roles.” Since its beginning, American Name Services has grown significantly in the technology arena. Five years ago the company was primarily an advertising service provider. New technology has allowed the company to become more efficient and effective in managing a substantial amount of data. Next on her own list? Founding the DiAnne Shepherd Cancer Counseling Center, named for her mother and original partner in business. Alice Jackson President and CEO, Lifetree Clinical Research “Wish it, Dream it, Do it.” Alice Jackson never took any formal business courses, so as CEO of Lifetree Clinical Research, she says she relies a lot on her intuition when making day-to-day decisions. “This has yet to disappoint me,” she says. Or any of her employees and collaborators, either. Lifetree Clinical Research, which works with biopharmaceutical partners to bring safe, effective drugs to market, grew its employment force by 250 percent last year. The company focuses on emerging medications for acute and chronic pain, as well as abuse deterrent medicines. A Utah native, Jackson started her career as a nurse at LDS hospital. She eventually jumped into clinical research, working on a team that developed an acute pain model, now accepted worldwide, called the post-operative bunionectomy model. She founded Lifetree in 2003 with Lynn R. Webster. Though managing the company’s rapid growth can be challenging, Jackson is deeply committed to building a better quality of life for future generations and those that live with daily pain. “I am fortunate to have found my passion; I absolutely love what I do. It’s challenging, disappointing, collaborative, intellectually stimulating and rewarding all rolled into one.” Patricia Lucas Owner, Casa Bella “To be an authentic person, your words and behaviors must match.” After spending 30 years in corporate America in various human resources positions, Patricia Lucas had seen enough of dull interiors. She decided it was time to find a job with a more creative focus, and headed west to Park City. As a child and an adult, Lucas moved often and traveled extensively. She says the experience taught her what it takes to start up a new home and create a space anywhere that reflects personality and taste. Add that to her love of art and culture and interior design seemed like a natural fit for a fresh career. Her brainchild, Casa Bella, is now the largest interior design business in Park City, with an extensive high-end furniture retail component. The business has grown to 23 employees, one of the largest design staffs in the state. “Working in a highly creative environment is very energizing,” she says. “Every day my staff and I get the opportunity to help people create their living or work environments that are personally reflective of [them]. No two are the same, so every day is filled with new problem-solving opportunities.” Debbie Jacketta President and Owner, Jacketta Sweeping “Dream big, plan well, work hard, smile always and good things will happen” – Sally Hess Debbie Jacketta says she was receiving her business training the whole time she was growing up; most of her training was on the job, with a few business classes thrown in for good measure. Owner of maintenance contractor Jacketta Sweeping, she takes pride in being a second-generation business owner and says watching her parents grow the business taught her the importance of perseverance and hard work. Under her leadership, the company reached sales of a million dollars last year, while Jacketta continues to manage the ongoing growth. Jacketta is also president-elect of the Salt Lake Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and encourages all working women to find a professional organization and jump right in, saying it can be a great place to learn from other successful business people. After years of juggling family, work and community responsibilities, Jacketta has learned to leave the brooms and vacuums to her trucks. “The best advice I ever got from another business woman was that it is okay to hire household chores done. You should spend your time doing what is most profitable to you.” Chelsea Rippy CEO, Shade Clothing “Mediocrity often attacks excellence.” -Michael Beckworth Though Rippy is surrounded by clothing at work, she says she doesn’t enjoy shopping. Instead, it’s the creation process that has always been a thrill for Rippy, starting from when she quit her day job to launch a home décor company with a friend. “We would find things in dumpsters, at the DI, on the side of the road and turn them into beautiful vintage accessories. It was more of a hobby because we didn’t make tons of money; I just really love creating things.” Her love of quality construction and good design inspired a venture into fashion; she launched modest apparel retailer Shade Clothing in 2003. In the past year, the company nearly doubled retail sales and saw high double digit increases in other business channels. Shade took a reverse route of many clothing retailers by establishing a Website, then moving to in-home parties, and this year, finally opening brick-and-mortar locations in Centerville, American Fork and Orem. Several more are slated to open in upcoming years. A mother of three, Rippy says she is able to maintain her equilibrium because she has great employees, a supportive husband and keeps her computer shut off until her kids are in bed. Linda Hofmann Chief Nursing Officer Intermountain Healthcare Urban North Region Hospitals “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition and success achieved.” – Helen Keller With a 26-year career under her belt as a nurse and administrator with Intermountain Healthcare, you’d think there would be little else Linda Hofmann could pursue in the world of health care. However, increasing the quality of patient care continues to be her main focus. To that end, Hofmann recently led the nursing programs at the hospitals under her administration to achieve nationally benchmarked levels in clinical and implemented programs to meet safety and service quality standards. Additionally, Hofmann has been involved in nurturing a new generation of nurses in an attempt to meet the growing demands on this strained workforce. She has served 18 years as a professor of nursing for Weber State University and recently authored the Utah State Board of Regents-approved master’s curriculum for Weber’s new master’s degree in nursing administration. Through all of this, Hoffman has been able to keep her life grounded as a working woman and efficient mom. “There is time to do everything,” she advises. “Don’t rush. Enjoy the moment.” Kate Maloney CEO, Costume Craze When Kate Maloney and her brother Matthew started down the entrepreneurial road, they thought they were creating a software business, not a costume retailer. The pair used costumes as a platform to test a software product, and found the costumes sold like crazy. Maloney soon realized she might be on to something, and decided to focus on costumes full time. The experience taught her the importance of being flexible in business, Maloney says. “One of the things I try to really emphasize is to not let ‘It can’t be done’ creep into one’s thought process, ever. Yes, it can be done! If you have a dream, and you are willing to stick with it, it can happen.” Costume Craze has grown from a two-man show run out of Maloney’s home to being on the list of MountainWest Capital Network Utah 100 “Emerging Elite” for the past three years. Maloney was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2007 and that same year, the company made the Inc. 500 list. Susan Graham Mayo Managing Director in Asset Management, JP Morgan Chase “All you do, or don’t do, is a reflection of you.” Though Susan Graham Mayo brings 20 years of experience as a banker, she says it’s being a team-builder that she enjoys most about her job. Her role as market manager of JP Morgan’s Utah wealth management business includes leading a team that provides tailored banking and investment solutions for wealthy individuals. The group of investment advisors, bankers and client service associates has experienced double digit growth the past three years, a trend Mayo expects to continue through 2008. Admitting the job can be challenging, Mayo says she tries to live each day by a principle one of her clients taught her: the biggest room in the world is room for improvement. “I live in this room a lot; I try to be a true critic to myself and learn each day so that I can improve and be better for myself and all those in my life. This also helps me truly help others reach their potential.” Florida natives, Mayo and her husband swapped the sun for the snow and have resided in Park City for the past 15 years. As a mother of two, Mayo finds balance between work and family by being flexible and playing tennis and softball. Johanna Nielsen Senior Manager, Grant Thornton “Never give in. Never give in.” – Winston Churchill Johanna Nielsen’s determination and drive for success translates well from personal to professional and from English to French. This senior manager at the Salt Lake office of Grant Thornton is as adept at competing in marathons as she is tackling financial issues in a foreign land. Nielsen recently returned from a two-year rotation at the accounting firm’s France office where she says her nationality and gender tended to work against her. Over time, she won the admiration and acceptance of her international colleagues and had the chance to teach groups about U.S. reporting practices and procedures. “In overcoming challenges, I know that giving up is not an option. I strive to understand the issues and find the solutions that work best for everyone involved.” Giving up has never been an option for Nielsen. She worked three jobs in high school to pay for her extra curricular activities (which eventually led to an athletic scholarship at the University of Utah). Having completed four marathons, Nielsen has recently ventured into the triathlon arena, coming in fourth at the Switzerland Ironman, where she qualified for the World Championships. Maile Keone Former Director of Operations, Allegiance, Inc. “The pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret.” – 83-year-old marathoner as he crossed the finish line of his 25th Honolulu marathon A player in the early WordPerfect days, Maile Keone rose quickly within the Utah technology community, but did so on her own terms. Mother to three busy teenagers, Keone took several years off to raise her family, then jumped back into technology marketing two years ago. Her position at Allegiance, Inc. included marketing a company to people. Allegiance nearly doubled its staff in the past year and Keone was called in to help recruit and retain quality employees through developing a solid company culture. Though often outnumbered by men in professional settings, Keone says she got ahead by just being nice. She once got a product featured on “Good Morning America” because she offered the camera man a Coke while others ignored him. “As women we are given an amazing amount of sensitivity to people, issues and circumstances. Rely on them to help you make decisions. You should always have metrics and measure, measure, measure, but the extra instinct always helps.” Anxious to get back to her marketing roots, Keone will be leaving Allegiance for a technology marketing position. Kim Brown Owner, Kim Brown & Associates “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6 Owning a business is not just a means to make money, says Kim Brown, owner of advertising agency Kim Brown & Associates. For Brown, business ownership is more of a means to create challenges worth overcoming and a vehicle to support her community. To that end, Brown and her husband Brent, owner of an automobile franchise in Utah County, have created a solid business base that allows them to donate time and money as business mentors and boosters in education. Having crafted a successful career in radio and television advertising sales, Brown decided it was time to create something that would allow her the ability to give back. Eight years since its inception, Kim Brown & Associates now enjoys $8 million in annual revenues. “Although at times we have faced challenges, our life has been so rewarding. I feel the need to take what we have been blessed with and share with those who have blessed our lives, be it our clients, our employees and our community.” Lisa Banner SVP of Private Banking Services, Zions Bank “We cannot do great things on this earth. We can only do little things with great love.” – Mother Teresa From Lisa Banner’s point of view, everyone matters. That is the driving principle behind many of her decisions, and as senior vice president of Zions Bank’s Private Services Division, “everyone” includes scores of different people. From affluent clients to dedicated associates, Banner’s love for working with people has led to a successful executive banking portfolio. Profitability for loans and deposits for executive banking in 2006 compared to 2005 was $12.4 million per year, after a 12 percent return to stockholders, and 2007 faired no less impressive with $556 million in outstanding deposits under management. “I remember that each person I am dealing with has people in their lives that need and love them,” she says. “As such, I cannot act in a vacuum and it serves me to remember that my actions have a duality of power to affect others in a way where they feel more or less valued. I strive for the former effect.” Alexis Cairo VP of Communications and External Relations, Rio Tinto for the Kennecott Utah Companies “Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.” – Benjamin Jowett What’s in a name? For Alexis Cairo, that rhetorical question might mean more than you think. In the early 1900s, Cairo’s Greek grandfather immigrated to the United States and began working for Kennecott Utah Copper. Because his surname, Karakitsos, was difficult to pronounce, Kennecott management requested he change it to any easier version, and the name Cairo was born. Kennecott may have had a major effect on her family’s future, but now, Alexis Cairo is putting her own stamp on the mining company. After 17 years in the mining industry, the work still has a “great ‘wow’ factor,” she says. The love for the job has led to a variety of positions within the global company, most recently creating the external relations team in Utah. Through it all, Cairo says working in a male-dominated industry has showed her that you can’t take business decisions too personally. “Be decisive,” she says. “It all comes down to doing what´s best for the business and doing it with integrity.” Collette Mercier President and CEO, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College “Treat others as you would like to be treated.” When Collette Mercier first took a position with the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College (OWATC) in 1984, she knew something just felt right about the place. Twenty-four years later, she is still there, now serving as president and CEO. “What struck me most was how much our faculty and staff really cared about our students,” she says. “Our students were not just faces sitting in a classroom, they were individuals with unique stories, needs and goals. Faculty and staff were totally committed to helping students reach success by helping them through the system with personal support.” The only woman president in the Utah College of Applied Technology system, Mercier heads the largest of the eight campuses and in her years of involvement, OWATC has undergone significant changes. The college received its initial accreditation as a college in 2005 through the Council on Occupational Education, receiving an almost unheard of report of no recommendations for changes from the review committee. It also launched the Lean Manufacturing Training Center in 2006, an endeavor in conjunction with Williams International which increases the skill level of machinist graduates entering the workforce. Colleen Bell Senior Corporate Attorney, Questar Gas Company “People first, things second.” From handling multimillion dollar lawsuits to managing a home graced by two teenage daughters and a commercial pilot husband, Colleen Bell has learned that success comes from being organized and focused. “If my kids’ needs aren’t met, I can’t focus on work and I am not a productive employee,” she says. Once she is able to focus, Bell successfully manages litigation involving property rights, negotiates deals with developers and coordinates all legal issues for Questar Gas Company and Questar Pipeline Company. Bell says her balance in life has been found by following a series of successful female role models in her family, most notably her mother, who “taught me to love and not to judge.” In turn, she has found that her motivation comes from a realization that she must provide the same positive role model for her own children. “I have tried to show them that they too can choose a career and family, but it requires a lot of planning, and setting priorities in a way that may put their personal lives on hold, but it is immensely satisfying.” Cydni Tetro Vice President of Products and Marketing, NextPage A self-professed gadget geek, Tetro says she always wanted to work in technology, but minored in dance in college to stay balanced. She completed an MBA while working full time at Novell and eventually moved to NextPage, where she is one of the company’s public faces as well as being responsible for all the company’s go-to-market strategies and campaigns. An intense believer in the strength of communities, Tetro co-founded the Marketing Executive Forum and the Women’s Tech Council in 2007. She also co-founded new media company Rocky Mountain Voices and has consulted to launch several other startups. “I have always felt that it is an asset to be a woman in the technology industry,” she says. “There have been a few times where I have had to overcome perception hurdles – yes, I can dive deep on technology and no, I am not the receptionist – but that just comes with the territory. I would hope that I inspire young women to jump into technical fields – we need women in math and science, we need the creativity, energy and passion they can bring the arena.” Jane Driggs President and CEO, Better Business Bureau of Utah “If it sounds too good to be true…it probably is!” Having worked for the Better Business Bureau for her entire career, Jane Driggs sees ethical business practices as the keys to success for any business. But convincing businesses to adopt those practices can sometimes be a challenge, she admits. “Because we’re a non-profit, we don’t have the power to fine or punish a company, so resolutions come about through moral-suasion and the goodwill of Utah businesses…Business relationships are reciprocal,” she adds. “Help others, expecting nothing in return, and you’ll be surprised how much you receive back.” Despite a few deceiving business owners in the area, the BBB in Utah has grown this past year to 3,000 members, its largest membership yet. At the home base, Driggs leads a team of 18 individuals who provided more than a half million reliability reports on businesses and handled more than 15,000 complaints last year, with almost 80 percent of them being resolved. Julie Tanner Vice President and Manager of Women’s Financial Services, Regional Private Banker and Investment Consultant, Wells Fargo Bank “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi “The principles I try to live by each day are: [have] integrity, be a good listener, follow through on your word, help others, give service, be positive and be a light for others and yourself. I believe in karma, not always instant, but it always comes through.” Hard work has always accompanied karma in Julie Tanner’s life. Her dual roles at Wells Fargo allow her to tailor financial solutions to women and implement strategies to grow wealth and plan for the future of high net worth individuals. The regional private banking group continues to experience year over year exponential growth, with Tanner exceeding quarterly and annual goals. A Utah native, Tanner started her banking career in high school as a teller. After working at several institutions in Utah and Arizona, she worked her way up the ranks at Wells Fargo as a manger of several branches. What continues to motivate her is the opportunity to improve the lives of customers, she says. In the words of one colleague: “Julie has the innate talent to turn an ordinary business plan into a successful venture by overcoming challenges with sound solutions and recognizing and addressing possible issues before they happen.” Nicole Davis Marketing Manager, Ernst & Young “We value quotes because learning is a lifelong endeavor and those who speak their mind along the way create dialogue, diversity, purpose and joy for humankind… Create your own best quote, and the next day, do it again.” There are few people in the corporate world who can honestly say they have as much passion for their work as does Nicole Davis. As marketing manager at Ernst & Young’s local office and program director for the Entrepreneur of the Year program, Nicole is managing a program that exudes just as much energy as she does. “[The honorees’] stories continue to fascinate me, and the men and women themselves have surprised me with their selflessness, kindness, persistence and vision,” she says. “That seems to me to be the rule rather than the exception for leaders in Utah in general, and that has made the task of recognizing what they’ve created very rewarding.” Davis has found a balance in life that suits her and her family while still addressing her obligations at Ernst & Young, and through all of that, three qualities guide her decisions: courage, humor and forgiveness. “These resonate with me personally because I always aspire to be courageous and, when that goes awry, I want to forgive myself and others for failing, and find the humor in the circumstance so that I don’t become discouraged in the long term. That way, I can return quickly to courage and have another go.”
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