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Utah Business

2021 30 Women to Watch

Though the first female recession has hit women hard in the labor force, there is no shortage of women breaking barriers and blazing ahead despite difficulty. Help us celebrate the women of Utah who are leading the way in business, law, education, and so much more. These are this year’s 30 Women to Watch honorees.

Adrianne B. Lee

CFO | Overstock

LinkedIn

Adrianne Lee | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Adrianne B. Lee, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I love my career, but my family comes first. I think part of my passion in helping other women in business is helping them realize that having a family and having a career are not mutually exclusive.

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

Get to know each other—network, build support systems, and help elevate one another. We all have a wealth of experience to share, and I find the more tenured I am in my own profession, the more important it is to sponsor other women in business. Diversity and comradery are critical for companies to achieve big things!

Alicia Foreman

Senior Director of Financial Planning & Analysis | Purple Innovation

LinkedIn

Alicia Foreman | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Alicia Foreman, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Getting my MBA while taking Purple public. It was grueling, but I don’t regret any of it. 

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

Find a strong mentor who helps you learn to find your voice. Everyone reading this has thoughts and opinions that matter, what you have to say has merit. Many of us have had to work extra hard for what we’ve accomplished, so remember that next time you have imposter syndrome.

Ally Isom

Acting Executive Officer | EVŌQ Nano

Twitter | LinkedIn

Ally Isom | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Ally Isom, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

I want to master the perfect brownie, make the most of a moment, grow a lemon tree in my house, be a better listener, inspire my granddaughter, write a book, and never stop holding my husband’s hand.

Who inspires you most? Why?

Overcomers. Adventurers. Change-agents. Peacemakers. I’m inspired when humans find their path and their truth, and most especially when they grab others by the hand in love and lift them to a clearer way of seeing the world.

Amy Skylling

Head of Digital Experience | Pluralsight

LinkedIn

Amy Skylling | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Amy Skylling photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

My eclectic professional network. Throughout my career, I’ve actively built relationships with other professional women to whom I’ve served as a sounding board, trusted advisor, and cheerleader. In return, I’ve found that when my challenges, doubts, and fears arise again, I also have cheerleaders to carry me through. Helping professional women build themselves, builds me too. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

When you need help, get it!  Authenticity is powerful—it will attract diverse and independent thinkers to you which will build you up in ways you never imagined.

Also, wear sunscreen and steer clear of tequila.

Ashley A. Peck 

Environmental Attorney and Partner | Holland & Hart LLP

LinkedIn

Ashley Peck | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Ashley A. Peck , photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

Ruth Bader Ginsberg. She was a trailblazer who spent a lifetime battling adversity personally and professionally and her fearlessness in advocating for women’s rights and gender equality has benefited all of us. But on a daily basis, it is my close women lawyer friends and colleagues that inspire me with their tenacity, accomplishments, humor, and dedication to making things better for other women. 

What do you most want to accomplish?

I want to contribute to the success of other women lawyers and ultimately see professional women on a more equal playing field in Utah. My own personal success means little if I can’t pay it forward and help make that success more achievable for others.

Beth Colosimo

Executive Director | The Mill Entrepreneurship Center & Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses | Salt Lake Community College

LinkedIn

Beth Colosimo | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Beth Colosimo photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of taking control of my destiny and starting my own business with no background or direct experience with creating, opening, and successfully running a company.  I left the comfort of a secure corporate job with a good salary and benefits to venture into the huge risk of a business start-up.  I persevered and built a successful brand and loyal following.  I also successfully exited the business at the right time with the right exit strategy, resulting in great personal and financial reward.

Chandana Haque

Executive Director | Altitude Lab, a Recursion and University of Utah Incubator

Twitter | LinkedIn

Chandana Haque | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Chandana Haque, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’m proud that 80 percent of our startups at Altitude Lab are minority- and women-led. Altitude founders are addressing real-world problems that they have the first-hand experience with. Our founders’ diversity enables them to build innovative solutions to address global realities.

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

Keep showing up—substantial support can be found in the most unlikely places and people. 

Deneiva Knight

External Affairs Director | Comcast

LinkedIn

Denevia Knight | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Deneiva Knight, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Raising my 21-year-old son, obtaining my master’s degree, and giving back through mentoring. I enjoy mentoring the young and underrepresented to provide guidance and share learning experiences. I did not know anyone who looked like me as I was growing in my career. I strive to be what I did not have in my own life. 

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

To get out there and network. Do not be afraid to take up space and make Utah your refuge. I’ve come to love Utah once I started to make real connections and just invite myself to opportunities.

Evita Singson

Global Head, CX | Nu Skin Enterprises

LinkedIn

Evita Singson | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Evita Singson, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

In my early 20s, I used that opportunity in that stage in my career to consistently and painstakingly build a track record of working diligently and successfully delivering on projects. I established several new markets for Nu Skin in Southeast Asia, building, training, and mentoring teams. Ultimately contributing to that region’s growth is probably the most significant career accomplishment. 

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

Grit by Angela Duckworth, Dare to Lead by Brene Brown, and Becoming by Michelle Obama

Heidi G. Goebel 

Managing Partner & Attorney | Goebel Anderson PC

Twitter | LinkedIn

Heidi Goebel | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Heidi Goebel, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am most proud of creating our law firm. It’s filled with great lawyers who are even better people. Everyone focuses on doing the best work they can for our clients and checks their egos at the door. Because of that, we are able to tackle more complicated cases which often would be entrusted to a larger firm.   

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself. I’m a strong advocate of doing your due diligence and evaluating potential outcomes before engaging in a course of action, but when I was younger, I didn’t have the courage to trust my abilities. I lost out on some opportunities as a result.  

Joana Danon McKenna

President | Walker Edison

Twitter | LinkedIn

Joanna Mckenna | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Joanna Mckenna, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

My parents are my greatest inspiration. They both survived the Holocaust as children in Europe. They epitomized remarkable resiliency, hope, and determination. My parents made sure that I knew I could do anything, be anyone and go anywhere. They raised us to believe that there was only one race in this world, the human race and that no matter your beliefs, your ethnicity, or your gender that everyone was equal and should be treated as such.

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby.

June Chen, MD

Managing Partner | Mountain Pacific Venture Partners

LinkedIn

June Chen | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
June Chen, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

My dog, Missy. When I rescued Missy in October 2017, she had been living on the streets and had lost most of her teeth due to a gum infection that went untreated. Despite these hardships, she has been the most loving and loyal best friend since the moment we met. Even now, after losing half her jaw to melanoma and coping with the side effects of daily medications for a second cancer, she wakes up every morning with her tail wagging.

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

Shel Silverstein’s The Missing Piece Meets the Big O.

Kandice Lambert, CPA

VP of Accounting | Lucid

LinkedIn

Kandice Lambert | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Kandice Lambert , photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

Jeremy Lambert is the most devoted and supportive person I know, and I get to call him husband! I can never thank him enough for how he helped me raise my nieces while I was pursuing my degrees, CPA license, and building my career.

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

There is a reason you were hired to do your job, so take your seat at the table and use your voice. Don’t wait for someone to ask for your thoughts; you have a valuable perspective so offer it! 

Kristin Adair

VP of Talent Acquisition  | Tech9

LinkedIn

Kristin Adair | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Kristin Adair photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

I would like to create a scholarship fund to provide additional support to single parents wanting to attend college

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

One of the things I love about my field of work is that it lets me meet new people on a regular basis and hear their stories. I am able to hear how a person’s passion for technology led them to where they are today and then help them take the next step in their career to build technology for tomorrow.

Kylie Kullack

Head of Client Engagement | Struck

LinkedIn

Kylie Kullack | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Kylie Kullack photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

That no day, client, or engagement is ever the same. We have the opportunity to delve into our clients’ worlds and create unexpected moments, new experiences, and solutions that drive results. We don’t look at problems as problems, but as opportunities to strategically identify and execute solutions for our clients. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

Trust your instincts. Don’t worry about the decisions you have to make—or weigh pros and cons and follow logic. It’s natural to consult and ask for advice, but at the end of the day, even if you follow logic, you will want to quit and follow your heart.

Kyrstin Anderson

Founder & President | The Azalea Event Venue & Crescent Hall Event Venue

Twitter

Kyrstin Anderson | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Kyrstin Anderson photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

You don’t have to be an expert at everything. Develop your own skills and expertise, and then build relationships with experts in their own field. The power and ability that you can have to accomplish things when you’re surrounded by the right people is exponential to the power you’d have on your own. 

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

The chance to be creative. I love getting to build something and then watch how it does. It’s fun to try to solve problems and make tweaks to keep improving and building things better.

Lanette Richardson

President  | Utah Women in Sales 

Twitter | LinkedIn

Lanette Richardson | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Lanette Richardson photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

I would like to improve opportunities for women, to ensure women have the opportunities they want. I would like to help more women get into leadership and have equal pay. I want to help create opportunities for change. Essentially, I hope I put myself out of business. 

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

I really love working with people and helping find solutions to their challenges—there’s nothing like the satisfaction that comes from being able to teach people a new thought or process. When you see that you can make things better than they were it’s incredibly satisfying, and I get to do that every day.

Lorena Riffo Jenson, JD, MPH

President, Principal | VOX Creative/Consulting

LinkedIn

Lorena Jensen | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Lorena Jensen, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

My mother because she’s a powerful and resilient immigrant. She has taught me to never give up and to always remember my gifts.

What do you most want to accomplish?

I want to be an influencer and facilitator to have honest and authentic conversations about race, ethnicity, gender, and all issues related to diversity. This is critical to me because I believe that these conversations need to take place in order for all of us to address our own biases and to find ways to heal so we can create a better Utah for ALL.

Maryam Chaney

VP of Food & Beverage | Savory Management

LinkedIn

Maryam Cheney | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Maryam Cheney photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Raising four daughters to be strong, competent women in the world. My hope is that they will always make a constructive difference in their spheres of influence.

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

Everything to do with food. Food is a universal gatherer. It evokes passion and excitement, memories and pride. And it’s my sole focus. Every. Single. Day. I’m lucky.

Meagen Johnson

SVP of Marketing | Jane

Twitter| LinkedIn

Meagen Johnson | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Meagen Johnson photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

Sara Blakely inspires me. When she started Spanx, she knew nothing about manufacturing, fashion, or what it took to start a clothing company. She built a billion-dollar company with determination and a willingness to put herself out there to find out what she needed to know. 

What advice would you give your younger self?

If you make a mistake, own up, apologize, and move on—don’t ruminate. Appreciate the feedback, and think, ‘What can I do with this?’ If you’re not making mistakes, you may not be doing something interesting.

Melissa Sevy

Founder & CEO | Ethik

LinkedIn

Melissa Sevy | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Melissa Sevy photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

I want to create a good place to work—for our artisan partners around the world as well as my US employees. While handcraft makers around the world are often an exploited group, we are working to build a system where they can receive fair pay and consistent work in a safe environment- which is how we play our part in fighting global poverty.

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz.

Melody Saunders Brenna

Co-founder & CEO | Reef Life Foundation

Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn

Melody Brenna | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Melody Brenna photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

Women scientists who have paved the way for young women to create a space for themselves in diverse scientific fields. Many are choosing marine biology to save oceans for another generation.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

We won the “Greening of the Islands” Global Innovation Award this year, as well as chosen to present at the National Academy of Science, and are presenting at the UN, International Coral Reef in Bremen, Germany, in 2021, adding to our global traction in the accomplishments of a successful, biomimicking coral reef eco-mineral habitat, providing homes for the ocean’s homeless.  

Michele T. Corigliano

Executive Director | Salt Lake Area Restaurant Association (SLARA)

Business Owner | EasyFoodHandlers.com

Twitter | LinkedIn

Michele Corigliano | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Michele Corigliano photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

Passing progressive and meaningful alcohol legislation in Utah that makes it easier to run a restaurant or bar in Utah, without compromising public safety.

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

That changing your career after 50 not only is possible but rather the best time to do it.

Michele Goldberg, MD

Medical Director | Fourth Street Clinic

Twitter | LinkedIn

Michele Goldberg | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Michele Goldberg photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Serving Salt Lake Counties Homeless population during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What advice would you give your younger self?

All of the hard work, time, and sacrifice is worth it. The work you will be doing will be more rewarding than anything you could have imagined.

Misty Frost

CEO | Carrus

Twitter | LinkedIn

Misty Frost | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Misty Frost photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

At Carrus, a majority of our learners are women who are looking to improve their lives and the socioeconomic status of their families through education. Hearing their stories as they complete programs and begin new careers that allow them more financial freedom and have an impact on generations to come is what I am most proud of. 

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

The Subtle Art of Not to Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Neelam Chand

Founder & CEO | Shift SLC

Twitter | LinkedIn

Neelam Chand | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Neelam Chand photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

What’s going to give me fulfillment in my career is knowing that I was able to open doors for younger women of color. Growing up, it was tough to find mentors—women who looked like me. And very rarely did someone leave the door cracked open for me as they stepped through. I want that to be different for generations after me. 

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

Every day, I look forward to my projects, connecting with my clients, and coming up with new, innovative ways to address diversity and inclusion challenges.  Now when I get a new email notification, I think to myself, “you’ve got business!”

Nora Trinidad-Scholle

COO | YWCA Utah

Twitter | LinkedIn

Nora Scholle | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Nora Scholle, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

YWCA Utah is a residential domestic violence shelter, the largest in the state with over 200 survivors (adults and children) living with us each night with almost an additional 100 children in our community-based early education program.  To protect the health and safety of our community, staff students, and residents, we had to respond quickly [to COVID-19] and remain agile throughout the last year.

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

Drop the Ball: Achieving More by Doing Less by Tiffany Dufu. 

Ruchi Watson

Managing Director, Goff Strategic Leadership Center | David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah

Twitter | LinkedIn

Ruchi Watson | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Ruchi Watson, photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

Working in education, I know that every email, every (Zoom) meeting, and every late-night or weekend is in support of something greater than me.  When I walk into the office, I look forward to doing impactful work that will pay dividends for years to come.

What advice would you give your younger self?

I would tell myself not to hold on to the labels assigned to me or even by me. What was authentic to me as a child isn’t necessarily authentic to me now, and limiting myself by those labels would have held me back.

Sarah Bjorgaard

Regional President, North America | Young Living Essential Oils

LinkedIn

Sarah Bjoorgaard | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Sarah Bjorgaard photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you look forward to most at work every day?

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t look forward to walking into the office to see the faces of people who push me to be my best.  The community inspired by vision is what I look forward to most.

What advice would you give other businesswomen?

Be authentically you. Be proud of the businesswoman you’ve become, capitalize on your strengths, and let your light shine bright.  By doing so, others will follow in your footsteps and that will be the best compliment for having the courage to be authentically you.

Sasha Sloan

Founder & CEO | Archive Sunday

Twitter | Instagram | TikTok

Sasha Sloan | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Sasha Sloan photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

To be a best-selling fantasy author. I was attending weekend writing conferences and auditing college courses on novel writing when I was 12 years old, so the concept that there are millions of people watching and engaging with my writing and art now is mind-boggling. With Archive Sunday, we’ve built a passionate and devoted customer base of fellow readers and nerds, and I hope to someday pivot that audience towards my own published works someday. 

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I’ll never forget the feeling of watching my TikTok account hit 1 million followers.

Shalini Kesar

Professor & Director of MS-CyberSecurity & Information Assurance | Southern Utah University 

Twitter | LinkedIn

Shalini Kesar | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Shalini Kesar photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What do you most want to accomplish?

I would like to continue to create a technology pipeline for young women in Southern Utah by increasing their awareness about education and career opportunities in these fields. My target audience is especially in rural and remote areas where technology accessibility and resources are limited or none.

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

The Bhagavad Gita

Shayli Lones 

Director of Product Marketing | MX

LinkedIn

Shayli Lones | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Shayli Lones photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business Magazine

Who inspires you most? Why?

My father. He helped raise three strong, curious, and brave daughters who have all gone on to build successful careers. While building his own business, he had us at his side teaching us to persevere, be diligent, and fight for what we want to accomplish. 

What book has made the biggest impact on you?

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.

Suzanne “Sunny” Stroeer

Owner & Guide  | Dreamland Safari Tours & AWExpeditions

LinkedIn

Suzanne "Sunny" Stroeer | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Suzanne “Sunny” Stroeer photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Leaving behind my fast-tracked corporate career at age thirty in order to pursue a path that I truly care about: being outside, connecting with others, and prioritizing experiences and memories over material possession and monetary wealth.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You’ll be OK. Embrace life’s winding path. 

Zeyry Moore

Regional Operations Director | Discover Financial Services 

LinkedIn

Zeyry Moore | 2021 30 Women to Watch | Utah Business
Zeyry Moore photographed by Justin Hackworth for Utah Business

Who inspires you most? Why?

The women in my family! My grandmother had 10 kids, seven girls and three boys. She raised them in extreme poverty in Guatemala but she worked so hard to keep the family afloat and to improve their financial situation as the kids got older. She set an incredible example and two of my aunts became successful business owners in Guatemala.

What do you most want to accomplish?

I want to inspire people with similar stories to believe in themselves and to believe they can accomplish what others around them are able to accomplish. A better life is within reach regardless of your financial situation growing up, your skin color, beliefs, or gender.

To learn more about our 2021 honorees, watch the videos below:

Lindsay Bicknell is the project coordinator for Utah Business magazine. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she graduated from Miami University of Oxford with a degree in communications. She has a background in television, print, and web media, as well as public relations and event planning. As a transplant to Salt Lake City, she can't get enough of the mountains and loves snowboarding.

Comments (6)

  • BENJAMIN K AU

    Too bad you didn’t look for any Polynesian- Pacific Islander women to recognize. I know of several women that are medical doctors who mentor young Polynesian men and women who are undergraduate students working towards medical school.

    • Kelsie Foreman

      Hi Benjamin! Thank you so much for reaching out–we absolutely were/are looking to honor Polynesian/Pacific Islander women and we invite you to nominate these women for Women of the Year or the 2022 30 Women to Watch awards. We’d love to consider those you have in mind!

  • Priscilla

    So amazing to see all these powerful local women. Thank you for that edition very inspirering. Also absolutely love the portraits who is the photographer?

  • Tori Spellings

    Amazing group!

  • Bea Martinez

    So inspiring, beautiful, talented amazing Women. Love this. Thank you.

  • Chuck Longazel

    Kelsie. Outstanding group of 30 ladies representing everything that is great about America.
    Trying very hard to keep politics and ideologies out of my comment, which we all know is threatening to challenge all the freedom that the USA has to offer all its Citizens, I again end with a positive salute to these 30 outstanding women Americans.

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