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Utah Business

Meet the 2020 thirty women to watch

The women of Utah are known for their leadership. After all, Utah women were the first women to vote, a Utah woman was the first female state senator, and it was a Utah woman who was one of the first female Sheriff’s deputies. Help us celebrate the women of Utah who are leading the way in business, politics, education, and so much more. These are this year’s 2020 30 Women to Watch honorees.

Kate Bowman

Renewable Energy Program Coordinator | Utah Clean Energy

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kate-bowman-337a161a

What person inspires you?

Lynn Hill was the first person to climb the Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite, period.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

Climate change―the science tells us that we have about ten critical years to act.

Niya Boyakin

Founder and CEO | NIYA Management

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/niyamanagement
Twitter: @niyaonrye

What app most changed your life?

The camera app.

What person most inspires you?

Dolly Parton, hands down.

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Siddartha by Hermann Hesse. I also just read Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis.

Amy Cook

CMO | Simplus

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/amyosmondcook
Twitter: @amyocook

What app most changed your life?

Words with Friends.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck.

What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

For me, success means raising my son and four daughters to believe that they have unlimited potential, can achieve anything they set out to do, and should use their resources to benefit the lives of others.

Jennifer E. Decker

Attorney | Fabian VanCott

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jennifer-decker-750b3427
Twitter: @JenniferEDecker

What app most changed your life?

Microsoft To Do!

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie.

 What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

I want to live a happy, authentic, and amazing life―not sometime in the future, but every day.  

Fatima Dirie

Policy Advisor for Refugees and New Americans | Salt Lake City Corporation, Mayor’s Office

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/fatimadirie
Twitter: @votefatima

What person most inspires you?

Mother Teresa.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

Establishing a humanitarian organization that supports orphans, battered women, and children.

Suzanne P. Gamvroulas

Executive Director of the Daybreak Community Association | CCMC

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/suzanne-p-gamvroulas-cmca-ams-6a10b937

What app most changed your life?

Delta. Because I love to travel, it helps me manage my work-life balance.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

I had the opportunity to meet Doris Kearns Goodwin and was inspired to read her newest book, Leadership in Turbulent Times.

What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

To be known for a servant leadership style that inspires and elevates team members to become leaders in their own right. 

Jennifer Lyn Guerra

Product Development Manager | MX

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jennifer-guerra

What app most changed your life?

The MX app. Epic Bank has been life-changing in helping me organize all of my finances in one place.

What person most inspires you?

My maternal grandmother, Mavourneen O’Brien, inspires me with her wit, charm, and selflessness.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Change Your Brain Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen has been a game-changer for me.

Amanda Sharp Hansen

President | AdvancedMD

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/amandasharphansen
Twitter: @AmandaSHansen

What app most changed your life? 

Google Maps.

What person most inspires you? 

The notorious RBG: Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Measure What Matters by John Doerr. This book changed the way that I approach goal setting.

Hally Hanssen

Co-owner and President | Gourmandise

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/hally-hanssen-9577b41a4
Twitter: @HallyHanssen

What app most changed your life?

Google Maps! I’m old and vividly recall the days of buying maps at convenience stores or calling people for driving directions.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The Bible. For real.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want Gourmandise to help make people feel special, both people who we serve and people who work with us. 

Erin Jemison

Manager, Crime and Justice Institute

Former Director of Public Policy | YWCA Utah

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/erin-jemison-994ba26
Twitter: @ErinJems

What app most changed your life?

Waze. I’m a country kid at heart and it’s the only way I can get around the city and not arrive even later than my natural 15-minute tendency!

What book made the biggest impact on you?

My Sociology 101 textbook during my first year of undergrad made the biggest impact on me and my life direction.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want to be a kind, empathetic, and understanding person who remembers to value what’s important and not get caught up in what isn’t. I also want to laugh a lot.

Dasha Kadulova

VP of Data Security | USANA Health Sciences

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/dasha-kadulova-8458922

What app most changed your life?

Sleep Well. It provides you with ambient melodies and relaxing voices so that you can unwind and fall asleep quickly.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The biography of Madame Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize in physics and later in life receiving another Nobel Prize in chemistry.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I would love to write a book to document my life experiences coming to America and to share with others that challenges can be overcome.

Michelle Kaufusi

Mayor | Provo City

Twitter: @mayorkaufusi

What app most changed your life?

Instagram. It’s what keeps me in touch with the people who mean the most to me. 

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

In some small significant way I want to contribute and serve.

Julie Kehoe

Chief Communications Officer | Domo

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kehoe7
Twitter: @juliekehoe

What app most changed your life? 

Google Maps. Between road trips and seeking out new places where I travel for work and family life, Google Maps has saved me from being late and lost countless times.

What person most inspires you? 

My husband. At 50, he left a 30-year career and followed his heart and passion to start a new journey as a fine artist. And he is slaying it.

What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

Travel more and spend more time with family and close friends.

Cassady Kristensen

Business Partner, Environment | Rio Tinto Kennecott

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/cassady-kristensen-084b68191/

What app most changed your life? 

I can’t survive without Notes and Clock, pretty basic. Smith’s Shopping Cart, that’s an important one as well!

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Two inspiring books that have stuck with me the longest are Escape by Carolyn Jessop and My Story by Elizabeth Smart. Their stories are of survival and happiness from within.

What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

I want that, “Yes, I’ve done it!” feeling. I’ve given my all to my top priorities: work and home.

Trina Williams Limpert

Senior Director of CX Consulting | Oracle

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/trinalimpert
Twitter: @trinalimpert

What app most changed your life? 

Zoom has changed everyone’s ability to easily work from home or wherever you are, including the grocery store parking lot, the school line to pick up your kids, or from a home office. 

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck was the most transformational in my understanding of what leads to success and happiness.

What do you most want to accomplish in life? 

My vision is to have Utah be where women have fulfilling careers in tech and successfully raise their families. I have wanted to accomplish this since writing my thesis paper on “Why Women Should Go Into Computer Science” while attending Weber State 26 years ago.

Jamie Lyon

Senior Director of Strategy and Business Development | Lucid

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/jamie-bergeson-lyon
Twitter: @jamiebblyon

What app most changed your life?

Waze and/or Google Maps. I have an absolutely horrendous sense of direction and I hate to sit in traffic.

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Motherless Daughters: The Legacy of Loss by Hope Edelman. This book was the first step in finding a path forward from a really challenging stage of my life.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want to leave the world in a better place for my kids (in particular, for my daughter). I am focusing on being the best role model I can, fighting for women and moms in the workplace, and making sure she is raised to believe she can achieve anything she dreams of.

Monae Madson

VP of Brewpub and Taproom Operations | CANarchy

What app most changed your life?

Microsoft Outlook Calendar. I would not be able to function without Outlook telling me what to do and when with many friendly reminders.

What person most inspires you?

John Williams, former president and owner of Gastronomy Inc. It was a most memorable moment when John labeled me with the moniker “Relentless” as he supported my being confident and assertive in the workplace when others may have marginalized these traits.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

To be a real-time example that women should be comfortable leading by example with hard work, inner strength, and determination. 

Kacie Malouf

Cofounder | Malouf

What app most changed your life?

Audible. I love listening to books about other people and cultures. 

What book made the biggest impact on you?

I loved Elizabeth Smart’s memoir, My Story. I also really enjoyed the book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller. 

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want to end child sexual exploitation. This is the focus of our foundation and it’s really important to me.

Jill Bennion McAree

Director of Field Talent Acquisition | Discover Financial Services

What app most changed your life?

Facebook. It is the portal that led us to learn about our now adopted daughter, Jesica.

What person most inspires you?

My little sister, Wendy Bennion. She passed away [due to Ewing’s Sarcoma], and I carry the things she taught in my heart, and I hope, in my actions.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Some of my most favorite and impactful authors include Brene Brown, Patrick Lencioni E.B.White, Harper Lee, Brooke Castillo, Mark Sullivan, and Elizabeth Berg.

Karyn McKenna

Chief Merchandising Officer | Cotopaxi

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/karyn-beisheim-mckenna-57b1567

What app most changed your life?

Headspace is a mediation app that has been a game-changer for me. 

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman.

What person most inspires you?

Christine Day. She is an incredible example of a female leader who strives to strike the right balance between family, career, and self.

Angie Osguthorpe

President and CEO | The Davis Chamber of Commerce

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/angie-osguthorpe
Twitter: @AngieOsguthorpe

What app most changed your life?

Facebook has most changed my life because it continues to help me stay connected to people I have met all over the world.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Professionally, The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod has had a big impact on me in terms of productivity and accomplishing my most important goals.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

Simply stated, I want to become the best version of myself and help others do the same.

Virginia Pearce

Director | The Utah Film Commission and Founder | 801 Creative Women

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/virginia-pearce-34a4554
Instagram: @801creativewomen

What person most inspires you?

Inspiration comes in waves and I’ve been inspired by so many men and women. I think I take a little from everyone depending on where I am in my life.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Atlas Shrugged. Strong female characters, often in tough situations beyond their control that they triumphed over.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

To quote Walt Whitman, “…that I may contribute a verse.”

Nina Pearson

Cofounder and CEO | Rebel House

Instagram: @nina.pearson

What app most changed your life?

Instagram. It is such a powerful tool for connection.

What person most inspires you? 

Sophia Amoruso. She embodies another side of startups that I resonate with in my journey.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want to create community.

Elizabeth V. Sarquis

CEO | Global Gaming Initiative, Jukko

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-sarquis-011bb95
Twitter: @elizabetsarquis

What app most changed your life? 

Slack. It has allowed me to work with teams all over the world.

What person most inspires you? 

Jane Goodall. She has had the most lasting impression on me since I met her in Tanzania.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari.

Swati Sharma

Associate Legal Counsel | Adobe Inc.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/swati-sharma-34520b11a

What app most changed your life?

Headspace. It helps you focus on the big picture while letting go of immediate circumstantial distractions.

What person most inspires you?

It would most definitely be my late grandmother. She spent the majority of her life in complete darkness, yet, she illuminated our lives with so much light.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I read this book for the first time in college, and it taught me how to pursue my dreams.

Michelle Smith

SVP of People and Culture | Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, Utah Jazz

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/michelle-smith-19a11b11
Twitter: @MrsStonerSmith

What app most changed your life?

Zoom – It has become an invaluable tool to connect people in our current new normal.  Long-term I appreciate the flexibility to provides businesses to be even more creative in supporting the individual needs of the employees while still achieving organizational priorities. 

What book made the biggest impact on you?

What If? – Dr. Steve Robbins – His work sparked my curiosity and passion to gain deeper insight into Belonging as a significant area of focus of Diversity & Inclusion work.   

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

Above all, I strive to be true to what I believe. This is my divine mission in life.

Tamara N. Stevenson

Interim VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; Chief Diversity Officer; and Associate Professor of Communications | Westminster College

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tamara-n-stevenson-ed-d-42510734

What app most changed your life?

Audible. It has been life-changing because it allows me to access and engage with book-form content easier and while multitasking.

What book made the biggest impact on you? 

Becoming by former first lady, Michelle Obama. 

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I would love to contribute to the creation and sustainability of policies and practices that expand access and representation in higher education―especially for those who have been historically (and currently) marginalized.

Tara Spalding

Founder and President | Hen House Ventures

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/taraspalding
Twitter: @taraspalding

What app most changed your life?

The Domino’s Pizza App is a trifecta-perfecta!

What book made the biggest impact on you?

The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I hope to expedite entrepreneur growth and create a stronger economy for future business and technology founders. Other dreams of mine are to have a Tik-Tok dance go viral, to cook for Gordon Ramsay, and to climb Machu Picchu.

Lauren Treasure

Chief Product Officer | Chatbooks

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/lstreasure
Twitter: @ljsberg

What person most inspires you?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire her tenacity and her ability to bring her personal style to the Supreme Court uniform.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. “So it goes.”

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

I want to work on building things that will outlive me. I don’t necessarily want to be remembered for them, but I want to know that I worked on things that weren’t just temporary, and that matter enough to stick around for a while.

Sadé Turner

Attorney | Strong & Hanni

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/sade-turner-920aa448

What app most changed your life?

The Medium app. The ideas and essays published through Medium are captivating and thought-provoking.

What person most inspires you?

My son, Campbell. He’s a 12-year-old emotional sage and an interesting person in his own right.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

To start and run a nonprofit to assist socioeconomically challenged women with obtaining and using advanced degrees. As Michelle Obama said, “there is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” This is especially true if we, as women, help one another along the way.

Anne Rochelle Rumsey Wairepo 

Executive Director | Healing Hands Foundation at doTERRA

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/annewairepo

What app most changed your life?

SafeUT. It’s so comforting to know how close help is and how easy it is to recommend this app to those in need or even just those who want to be prepared.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has yet to reach full potential, explains its root causes, and offers compelling solutions.

What do you most want to accomplish in life?

The 4-H motto I memorized as a child sticks in my mind and inspires me today: “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living, for my club, my community, my country, and my world.”

Jacqueline White

SVP of Global Customer Experience and Success | DXC Technology

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jacquelinelwhite
Twitter: @JacqueWhiteDXC

What app most changed your life?

Like many, my life was transformed by Facebook in both good and bad ways.

What person most inspires you?

Michelle Obama. She is a woman I admire and from whom I draw endless inspiration.

What book made the biggest impact on you?

Reading Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables in French greatly impacted me. I showed myself that I could finish a fourteen hundred page unabridged version of a novel written in 1862 in another language!

Illustrations by Brooke Mills

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 (7)

  • Avatar

    Anna

    I love that you are highlighting these women. In the future, it would be great if the artwork showed the women’s faces.

  • Avatar

    Ryan

    As a male I’m often ignorant to the many ways women are slighted in the workforce, but even I can see that this was probably not a good idea. Let’s redo this and get their deserving faces back in the article.

    • Elle Griffin

      Hi Ryan and Anna, we would love to see their faces too! Unfortunately, our 30 Women to Watch winners were chosen just as our city shut down for COVID-19. Unable to photograph our winners, and with a tight window before our magazine went to press, we decided to work with an amazing illustrator, Brooke Mills, to create custom illustrations of each of our winners. Though the circumstances weren’t ideal, we loved working with an artist to create something unique, and we greatly appreciate her artistic vision for these women! You can learn more about Brooke and her art at etsy.com/shop/IllustrationbyBrooke.

  • Avatar

    Jillian Johnson

    Love seeing all of these amazing women being highlighted!

  • Avatar

    Nadine DENISE Taylor

    I actually love the art work.

  • Avatar

    Vernon

    Love the artwork. What a fun idea. Impressive women!

  • Avatar

    Jeni

    I love the art work! For me it was a plus.

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