May 1, 2012

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30 Women to Watch

In Utah, women are natural and effective leaders. Utah women are creative ...Read More

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30 Women to Watch

Di Lewis, Heather Stewart, Sarah Ryther Francom

May 1, 2012

Maria Farrington joined Discovery Gateway in 2007 at a time when the children’s museum was facing financial difficulties—and just before the rough economy impacted organizations across the state. “In meeting our challenges head on, we were able to devise a strong program that focused on our core business leading the growth by doing what we do best,” she says.

During her tenure at the museum, Farrington has worked to strengthen the organization by creating valuable partnerships with local businesses. Farrington was formerly the executive director of the Eccles and Annenberg Initiative for School Reform in the Salt Lake City School District. She also worked for Centro de la Familia de Utah, where she headed the education partnerships and initiatives program.

“I’m passionate about young Latina women excelling in school,” she says. “As we read the annual reading and math scores for this growing number of Utah students, I lament the loss of real talent when dropout numbers rise with few solutions. Educational success and appropriate programs for these young women are what we all should be concerned about.”

Lori Feld
EVP, Managing Director, McCann Worldgroup

During her exceptional career in advertising, Lori Feld has worked for many of the nation’s top agencies, often focusing on complex, challenging brands like Texaco and Bank of America. She was recruited to Salt Lake in 1999. Now, as managing director of McCann Worldgroup’s Salt Lake office, she leads a team of 200 staff members.

“I hope to look back on my time as a leader and say I helped create unique opportunities for people in our industry that wouldn’t otherwise be found in SLC. That many successful careers started in our agency. People had fun and were able to be a part of something exciting and prosperous—and learned more than any place else they worked,” she says.

Feld served on the Utah Foster Care Foundation board for nearly 10 years. Currently, she sits on a variety of boards including Art Access, Salt Lake Film Society and the newly formed Interlocal Cultural Core. 

Francine A. Giani
Executive Director, Utah Department of Commerce; Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Francine Giani has a storied history of public service, ranging from serving as press secretary for Governor Norman Bangerter to her most recent appointments as executive director of the Utah Department of Commerce and interim executive director of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Giani is passionate about consumer advocacy. One of her top goals is to educate the public about fraud, with the ultimate goal being to prevent scams before they happen. During Giani’s tenure, the department has had a 100 percent success rate of final agency actions being upheld by the courts. “I like the satisfaction of knowing I have made a difference, even if it is only one senior who got money back from a scam.”

Giani strives to be fair, transparent and consistent in all that she does. She advises those just starting out to, “pursue your goals aggressively and ethically, and expect the same from others. Don’t settle for less from yourself or from anybody else. Stay true to your beliefs. Be honest, never waiver.”

Jodie Hewitson
Tax Partner, Tanner LLC

Jodie Hewitson advises young women starting their profession to never settle for anything but the best. “Be vocal about what it is you want from your career, and don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance,” she says. “Often it seems that self-imposed or assumed barriers are what hold us back from our potential.”

Hewitson garnered much of her strength from her mother. “My own mother has been the greatest example in my life. She taught me to value hard work, persistence and tolerance of differing viewpoints.”

After graduating from the University of Utah with a Master’s of Professional Accountancy, Hewitson started her career at Deloitte where she worked for 10 years. She joined Tanner LLC in 2007 and was promoted to partner in 2011.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Hewitson is committed to bettering the community. She has served on the board for the Utah chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, currently serves on the advisory board for the Women Tech Council, and is the current president of the Utah affiliate of the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Julie Jakob
CEO, Jakob Marketing Partners

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