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Utah Business

Each year the Salt Lake Chamber has recognized one outstanding leader in our community for their professional achievements with the Giant in our City award.

Every city needs giants

We often don’t give much thought to the names of the buildings we enter or the streets we drive down—we simply put the street address into our phone and let an app guide us to our destination. However, many of these places carry the names of leaders who have significantly impacted our community and state. Bangerter Highway, for example, is named after former Governor Norm Bangerter. Rice Eccles Stadium is named after philanthropist Robert Rice and the Eccles family. These people embody engagement and have impacted Utahns for the greater good.  

Since 1969, the Salt Lake Chamber has recognized one outstanding leader in our community each year for their professional achievements and distinguished service to the state with the Giant in our City award. A primary objective of this award is to inspire a new generation of leaders that stand for the values of excellence, service, and giving back.

This year, the Chamber will honor Ray Pickup, CEO of WCF Insurance, for his countless contributions to business and our community—including inspiring leadership supporting Utahns throughout the pandemic. With this award, Pickup joins a long line of leaders who have stepped up to support those in need, often without being asked. Past honorees include Jon Huntsman, Sr., Gail Miller, Katharine and the late Robert Garff, among many others.

What makes someone a “Giant in our City”? Several characteristics embody the title: 

  • Ambitious: Someone who has the desire to excel in life and business;
  • Integrity: Someone who follows a set of moral principles and values;
  • Humble: Someone who has a modest estimate of their own importance;
  • Creative: Someone who seeks and encourages innovative ideas;
  • Generous: Someone who is willing to offer time, money, or energy to assist others without expecting anything in return; and,
  • Strategic: Someone who has a clear vision for the future and a plan for where to go next.

These are characteristics we can all aspire to model, and this year’s Giant personifies these traits and so much more. Ray’s employees describe him as someone who listens to problems and seeks to help—not just with business problems but with life challenges. He understands servant leadership and that true engagement means pausing and hearing about life, concerns, and aspirations outside of work. His peers describe him as someone who leads by example, an executive who selflessly serves on boards, regularly volunteers, and gives time and resources to better the lives of those around him as well as those he may not personally know. Members of the WCF Insurance Board describe him as a leader of impeccable integrity, a colleague given to transparency, and a valuable colleague whose judgment can be trusted. Like many of those who have received the highest honor bestowed by Utah’s business community, Ray is quick to observe and among the first to act.

How we measure success may change over time, but the giants in our cities will have a lasting impact on our businesses and community. These giants are leaders to emulate, and Ray Pickup is one such example. WCF Insurance has provided him a platform to extend his tendency to lift and serve others while leading a company that contributes to our collective prosperity. Our community owes him a debt of gratitude for all he does, and the Salt Lake Chamber is delighted to recognize him as the 43rd Giant in our City!