2023 Utah Business Leaders of the Year: Clark Ivory & Crystal Maggelet
Co-Founder | Ivory Innovations
CEO | Ivory Homes
Founder | Call to Action Foundation
CEO & Chairwoman | FJ Management
Utah Business is proud to present the inaugural cohort of our Utah Business Leaders of the Year award. These 12 honorees represent the greatest accomplishments of Utah’s business community in 2023 and were selected by the Utah Business editorial team.
There’s an acute need for affordable housing in Utah right now, according to Gov. Spencer Cox, and two of Utah’s own business innovators are stepping up to do something about it.
In September, Ivory Innovations and the Call to Action Foundation announced plans to create approximately 850 affordable homes over the next three years in a new partnership called “Housing for Impact.”
Housing for Impact plans to build seven new housing developments in Utah that will include townhomes, condos, and apartments in Lehi, South Jordan, Draper, Magna, Salt Lake City, Francis and Park City, according to Clark Ivory, CEO of Ivory Homes.
Research shows that fewer than half of Utah’s families can afford the average home. “That is a statistic we’re working hard to change through this exciting new partnership with Ivory Innovations,” says Crystal Maggelet, founder of the Call to Action Foundation.
In 2017, Ivory founded Ivory Innovations, an applied academic institution at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, to promote the most compelling ideas in housing affordability. Maggelet founded the Call to Action Foundation in 2022 to increase access to education, affordable housing and food security for underserved communities throughout the West and Midwest. The timing for this recent partnership is ideal.
“If we were starting from scratch and had to go look for development opportunities, it would take us a lot longer to put our funds to work. [Ivory] had projects ready to go,” Maggelet says. “It was a great partnership to come together to allow us a home for our funds and to jumpstart our affordable housing endeavors.”
“There are a lot of affordable housing developers out there, running for-profit businesses,” Ivory says. “But because Ivory Innovations and Call to Action are both foundations, we aren’t looking to make anything on these projects. That allows us to get these homes to a more affordable level.”
“The housing that we’re talking about is all about workforce. Someone making $17 an hour working at a Maverik needs to have an opportunity to find a healthy, safe place to live.”
Maggelet has always known affordable housing was an important issue, but it wasn’t until a recent survey of FJ Management’s hourly employees’ needs that she realized how personal the problem was. Along with food, housing was at the top of the list.
To respond to the needs of her employees, the Call to Action Foundation spent “$8 million to buy 400 units in areas where we operate. This year, we’ll spend another $23 million to buy additional units that will be preserved in areas where we’re operating,” Maggelet said at a recent event announcing the partnership’s upcoming projects.
At the same event, Ivory agreed, “The housing that we’re talking about is all about workforce. Someone making $17 an hour working at a Maverik needs to have an opportunity to find a healthy, safe place to live. Someone who’s out there pounding nails on an Ivory home site needs to have every chance to get their kids in a good school district, which comes from living in a good neighborhood, and we want to provide new opportunities for all of these workers.”
The intimate connection both Ivory and Maggelet have to their employees’ housing struggles has reinforced their foundations’ tight partnership and allowed them to work quickly.
“Our partnership with Call to Action amplifies our shared commitment to creating communities where every family has a place to call home,” Ivory says. “We’re building a foundation for a more inclusive and vibrant Utah—both the Ivory and the Maggelet families are committed to making a difference on this issue for years to come.”
“I really think that, together, we will be able to do great things,” Maggelet says.