Leadership, dedication, integrity and hard work were honored at Utah Business’ 2016 Outstanding Directors Awards Wednesday at the Grand America Hotel.
“Today, we’re here to honor four individuals who are incredibly influential in our state. These executives are, of course, instrumental in their own companies, but their influence extends to the boards and organization they serve,” said Utah Business’ Sam Urie at the awards.
Recognized this year was Fraser Bullock, who has been part of the tech explosion and has been a champion of the Olympic games in 2002 and beyond; Dale Gunther, who has been instrumental in the shaping of today’s financial industry in Utah County and has tirelessly protected community banking; Alan Hall, who has taken the spoils of successful entrepreneurship and used them to give back to the community he loves; and Dr. Vivian Lee, whose expertise as head of the University of Utah health system and medical school is rivaled only by her skill and patient understanding in the financial industry.
Lee, director of the Zions Bancorporation Board of Directors, said although the medical and financial industries seemed worlds apart, the amount of regulation—and recent draws on the economy—make them more similar than she thought they could be. The skills she gains working as Senior Vice President, CEO and Dean of the University Health Sciences, University of Utah Health Care and University of Utah School of medicine, respectively, transfer over to her work on the bank board of directors easily. The biggest similarity between the two industries is the desire to bring the end user a good value for a necessary service.
“Whether we’re working for companies or we’re on the boards, the number one thing we’re responsible for is to bring value, which is why we’re very committed at the University of Utah to deliver value in healthcare, trying to be one of the best university healthcare systems in the country, that we’ll bring an exceptional patient experience and really drive down costs. I’m very proud to be associated with the Zions Bancorporation; what we do is really top of the class in the banking industry,” Lee said. “I feel very, very privileged to be recognized for something that I enjoy so much.”
Though years working as co-founder and senior advisor of Sorenson Capital and chair of the HealthCatalyst Board of Directors have been full of lessons learned, Bullock said he changed his world view after surviving a major heart attack last year.
“I really looked at life different. There are three things I’d like to share. The first is to treat every day like a gift. How do we make the day special? Many times, we treat days as a commodity, one after another. … How do we make today special and remember that it’s a gift? Two, the fabric of life is comprised of human-to-human connections. How do we enrich and deepen those connections with our family and friends, and for me, in the business world? … How do we enrich those and make them more valuable and help each other? The third…is give back, help others,” he said. “All three of them go together. It’s been a great lesson to me. I look back on April 13 of 2015 and I say that it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, and in some ways, it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Hall made a name for himself as founder of MarketStar and Tempus Global Data and co-founder of Mercato Partners, but his work as chair of the Weber State University Board of Trustees has brought him a lot of satisfaction as he has been able to help promote education. Hall said he lives by five pillars: a love of god, a love of self, a love of family, a love of business and a love of community.
“What I find is that I find each of those five, the topic of love will sort of guide you. If I have the proper feeling toward god, it commands the things that will bless my life with virtue and direction. Then, if I take care of myself, doing the right thing, continue to make myself into a better human being and not the things that will distract from that, I can then serve my family. Family, if you know, is three out of my five. It’s not my work, it’s not my business. It’s my wife and children,” he said. “It’s so important to me. It overrides everything. If I can take care of myself, I can take care of them, then I always felt that in the business world…it’s all about taking care of customers. It’s all about taking care of the people we provide the services and products to—and never, ever forget that’s the most important. Then there’s love for community. A great community is given to us, with wonderful resources.”
After a career of being on various boards and building companies, Bullock, former president and CEO of the People’s Utah Bancorp and vice chair of People’s Utah Bancorp, said he relishes the productivity diversity can bring within a board. Having many work on a problem and respectfully disagree can bring about solutions that a single person could never devise.
“I feel that I can accept this award and recognition as a proxy for each of the board members of Utah’s Bancorp,” he said. “Being a member is service, and our board is a great board. We trust each other. We’re friends. None of us is afraid to express their opinion and we have healthy debates before decisions are made. And those decisions are always made in terms of what’s the best for our community, for our employees, for our customers, and for our stockholders.”