2019 Outstanding Director Honorees
Every year, Utah Business honors the board members of companies, nonprofits, and government organizations for the inspirational work they do behind the scenes to create lasting innovation and growth for future generations. Join us as we honor the 2019 Outstanding Directors honorees.
Ron Jibson | Dominion Energy
Ron Jibson started with Dominion Energy as a design engineer. Since then, he’s worked his way up the ranks until he was named president and CEO of Questar Gas Company in 2007. Three years later, Mr. Jibson was named the president and CEO of the Questar Corporation in 2010 and was named to the board during that same year, becoming a chairperson of the board in 2012. In 2016, Questar Corporation merged with Dominion Energy and Mr. Jibson retired as president and CEO and became a member of the Dominion Energy Board of Directors, where he currently serves.
During his tenure, Mr. Jibson has been a part of several major growth initiatives such as the Cove Point LNG Plant, the design and construction of the Atlanta Coast Pipeline project, and the merger of SCANA Corporation in South Carolina. But that’s not all, Mr. Jibson has helped Dominion Energy develop diversified energy projects such as natural gas, solar, nuclear, and electric gas generation and distribution as well.
Throughout his career, Mr. Jibson has served as a board member at several local nonprofit groups such as EDC Utah, Junior Achievement of Utah, the Women’s Leadership Institute, Utah Symphony Opera, United Way of Salt Lake, and others. “There are so many wonderful and worthy causes that need people to be involved and help and the lives they change as nonprofit organizations is something you cannot put a price tag on,” he says. “I firmly believe it is all of our responsibilities to seek out and give back to the communities where we live and do business.”
Though Mr. Jibson has undeniably found success through his career at Dominion Energy, he says the experience of serving on the board has broadened his horizons regarding what can be accomplished when a group of talented, knowledgable people come together with the goal of working for a common cause.
“My board experiences have helped me to approach business decisions in a more inclusive way,” says Mr. Jibson. “I have realized that every member of a board brings fresh perspectives to issues and that by truly listening and learning, we can make better decisions and be more successful in business and in life.”
Lloyd “Buzz” Waterhouse | Instructure
After spending several years working in the education industry, Lloyd “Buzz” Waterhouse first learned about Instructure through the Utah Venture Fund and his son who was a student at the University of Utah at the time. Mr. Waterhouse was incredibly impressed with then CEO, Josh Coates, and the company’s disruptive strategy, and he knew he had to be a part of it, joining the team at Instructure in August 2015, right before the company filed for an IPO.
If there’s one thing Mr. Waterhouse loves most about his job as a director for Instructure, it’s helping build quality teams that assist with the formation of a winning strategy. Since joining the team at Instructure, he’s been able to do just that, recruiting new directors as well as the current CEO. As a board member, Mr. Waterhouse has shaped Instructure’s strategy and helped propel the company forward with crucial partnerships with other companies in the ed-tech space.
“He holds people to a high standard,” says current Instructure CEO, Dan Goldsmith. “But it is always clear that his motivation is to inspire greatness from those around him.”
Over the years, Mr. Waterhouse has served on the boards of directors for companies such as ITT Educational Services, SolarWinds, Inc, and Reynolds & Reynolds Co. where he also served as the CEO. Additionally, Mr. Waterhouse has served as the president and CEO of Harcourt Education Group. But after working for all of those companies, Mr. Waterhouse says he enjoys the boards he serves on now, more than ever.
“Instructure is special because of its important education and personal improvement mission. [We have] a very strong bond and a super smart and capable management team.”
Crystal Maggelet | Savage
If there’s one thing that Crystal Maggelet is, it’s busy. In addition to her role as a director on the Savage Services Board, she sits as a chairperson on the board of FJ Management and a director and chairperson on the Pilot Flying J board. Ms. Maggelet also serves as a board member on Utah State University’s board of trustees, Liv Communications, Intermountain Healthcare, and the Zions Bank Advisory board. Ms. Maggelet has also received a lifetime achievement award and a National Family Business award from Ernst & Young.
“Working on a board is collaborative,” she says. “You are there to serve the executive team and stockholders, not to run the company. At Savage, they like to say: head in, hands out.’”
But at the end of the day, Ms. Maggelet’s most rewarding experience as a board director for Savage is chairing the Compensation Committee and helping to create a compensation package that is both a win for the employees and stockholders.
Though Ms. Maggelet has served as a board member across several different industries, she hasn’t run a public company or served on a public board, and would like the opportunity to do so in the future. She thinks this kind of service would be a terrific learning experience. “I learn so much from every board position I hold. It is very helpful to bring back ideas for my own business,” she says. “Specifically, I have seen many different approaches to goal setting and strategy that have inspired me to look at our company different. It is also very helpful to get insight into different industries.”
Aside from her professional positions, Ms. Maggelet loves her role as a mother to her children, ages 18 to 23 and enjoys spending her free time traveling, running, and skiing.
Ed Alter | Utah Navajo Trust Fund, Utah Housing Corporation, Utah Permanent Community Impact Board
Appointed as the chairperson of the Navajo Trust Fund in 1987, Mr. Alter took over the group at a volatile time. The state was recently sued for mismanagement of the fund by the prior regime. Upon taking over the group, Mr. Alter was tasked with the management and priorities of the trust fund, while always doing whatever he could to maximize board expenditures for the benefit of the Navajo people of San Juan County.
During his time on the Utah Permanent Community Impact board, Mr. Alter understood that small, rural communities lack access to the capital markets. And Mr. Alter was crucial to helping the board fund necessary community services such as water and sewer systems, civic centers, and other facilities in rural areas of Utah.
“[Mr. Alter’s] commitment to making Utah a better place is demonstrated through his [lifetime] contributions as a board member,” says Richard Ellis, a former Utah Treasurer. “He didn’t do it for notoriety. He did it to make Utah a better place, and to help individuals enjoy a better quality of life.”
But, perhaps, Mr. Alter’s success can be traced back to his firm belief that board members can have a meaningful impact on their organizations if they adopt active leadership roles.
“I believe that directors with good instincts and common sense can help drive their organization toward excellence,” says Mr. Alter. “The tone of an organization begins at the top with the board. Board members must always remember whose interests they represent.”
And even though Mr. Alter may be retired from his work on the community boards mentioned above, he continues his public service today by serving a member of the Utah Retirement Systems board, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority board, the Utah Higher Education Assistance Authority Audit Subcommittee, and The Cutler Trust board. He is also the chairperson of The Cutler Trust Audit Committee.
“I admire [Mr. Alter’s] integrity and commitment to doing what was right,” says Mr. Ellis. “He wasn’t swayed by political ideology and partisanship that is so divisive in today’s political environment. He was a true statesman focused [on] achieving the greater good for society.”
Ron Heinz | Signal Ventures
Fourteen years ago, Ron Heinz founded Signal Ventures, a Salt Lake City-based venture capital firm specializing in technology startups. Mr. Heinz came from a diversified background, serving as the senior vice president at Novell as well as the CEO of companies Phobos (which was later acquired by Dell-SonicWall) and Helius (which was later acquired by Hughes Network Systems).
Mr. Heinz attributes his professional success to being raised in a military family where discipline, work ethic, and integrity were constantly enforced. He believes that these enforcements were crucial in giving him a “great start” for his professional endeavors. “I am hopeful that I have been able to build upon that foundation from the experiences I have enjoyed over the years,” he says. “Experience, of course, has been the best teacher, especially the failures―which have been somewhat limited, yet very poignant.”
Since starting Signal Ventures, Mr. Heinz has had the pleasure of investing in over 60 companies while managing a firm of 10 investment professionals. He also sits on nine boards as either a chairperson or director.
“I feel I have been incredibly blessed to participate in Utah’s technology sector over the past 30 years,” says Mr. Heinz. “I am hopeful I have been able to affect their lives as they have positively influenced mine.”
Mr. Heinz also mentions that his experiences as a board member have impacted the way he approaches business decisions throughout his life.
“Being able to work across dozens of companies with hundreds of executives provides you with great experiences you simply cannot get on your own,” says Mr. Heinz. “Thus, pattern recognition becomes paramount and this is probably the greatest gift a director can be blessed with, beyond integrity and a strong work ethic.
At the end of the day, Mr. Heinz realizes that people and management are the keys to success in business, and loves to help his teams through challenges while watching them grow into multimillion-dollar companies.
“A strong board and committed set of directors can be transformative for any enterprise,” he says. “Triumph can be a game of inches in today’s hyper-competitive technology world, and an unyielding board sets that tone and does the needed follow up work to ensure success.”
To learn more about our 2019 Outstanding Director Honorees, watch the videos below:
The photos in this piece were shot by Haley Nord.