January 18, 2012

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Heidi Walker

Returning to Utah

Heather Beers

January 18, 2012

They say if you love something, let it go, and if it comes back to you…well, let’s hope she’s ours forever. For nine years, Heidi Walker (then Heidi Ballif) served the Salt Lake Chamber, overseeing business development, events, outreach programs and more. Shortly after getting married three years ago, she and her husband moved to Washington, D.C., leaving Utah’s business community without her energy and talents. The couple’s recent move back to Utah, however, has happily reunited Walker with the Salt Lake Chamber, where she now serves as chief operating officer. During Walker’s D.C. sojourn, she was vice president of operations for Association Management Group, Inc., serving a dual role as executive director for one of its clients, the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD). Her experience with the chamber—and her years with Salt Lake City-based Broadcast International, where she handled client services for the company’s Fortune 500 clients—all prepared her to direct the day-to-day management operations for Association Management Group’s clients and ISSTD. Walker says she found both positions richly rewarding, especially the opportunity to make a difference through ISSTD. Today, she is thrilled to bring her recent experience back to the Salt Lake Chamber. It looks like the feeling is mutual. In a recent statement, Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie said of Walker, “Heidi played a significant role with us before and has gained valuable experience that will make us an even more efficient and productive organization. We’re in business to serve business and we will do that even better with her help.” Help and collaboration is what work is all about for Walker. She applies this philosophy to her approach with the chamber staff, as well as chamber members. “To inspire and be inspired—whether it’s the folks we work with directly, or the volunteers or our amazing board of governors (volunteers that have led for 25 to 30 years who are committed to making our community and our business environment better)—it’s a great honor to come and learn from all of them,” says Walker. She plans to use that collaborative energy to continue to improve the chamber’s services. She is focused on strengthening the chamber’s core staff, enhancing the chamber’s value to its members and providing tools that will help chamber members thrive in an otherwise challenging economy. “I continue to learn from the people I work with now, and I appreciate being able to support them as they achieve their goals. That’s an exciting place to be, that’s a rich reward, to watch folks succeed because of the great resources they have tapped into at the chamber,” says Walker. And when she’s not helping improve businesses statewide? She just might be stealing a little personal time to pursue her many passions—spending time with her husband and their three daughters, traveling (her skills in Spanish, French and even Turkish have come in handy during European excursions), hiking, mountain biking, road biking (she just completed her first race!) and impressing her nephews as an über-cool aunt who’s great at wakeboarding. Based on her professional and personal passions, it’s a good thing for Walker—and for Utah—that she’s come back.
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