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Utah Business

Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.

These individuals are making Utah more inclusive

Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah. Voted on by Utah Business and the six diverse chambers of commerce, here are this year’s honorees.

Community Involvement

One Refugee

Website | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Emma Shekina a One Refugee student photographed by Justin Hackworth

Who inspires you?

“We continually watch One Refugee students fight through unique barriers of family responsibility, past-trauma, financial stipulations, and limited networks to become some of the most well-connected and grit-filled professionals to enter the workforce.” ―Kirsi Jarvis, Careers Manager

What makes you stand out among other organizations in Utah?

“We are the only organization in Utah solely dedicated to supporting the educational and professional needs of young adult refugees.” ― Kirsi Jarvis, Careers Manager

 

Department of Workforce Services, Refugee Services Office

Website | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Agnes Lomu-Penitani, a Workforce Development Specialist, photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“[We educate] businesses on who refugees are and dispel some of the myths of refugees [to connect] refugees with businesses for their hiring needs. [We also encourage and motivate] companies to re-look at their company and find tangible ways to improve their workplace to be a more diverse and inclusive environment [providing] tangible solutions that will be win-win for refugees and for the business themselves.” ―Agnes Lomu-Penitani, Workforce Development Specialist

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“I would like more tangible things that companies can do to help people of color advance. Talk is cheap. Be Doers. We want to see more action and people of color included in the conversations.” ―Agnes Lomu-Penitani, Workforce Development Specialist

 

Rick Tolman, Chairman of the Board, Utah Polynesian Professionals

LinkedIn | Twitter
Rick Tolman photographed by Marcus Tuivasa

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“Take meaningful action with the new allies and commitments being made. Companies evolve to hiring for ‘culture adds’ over ‘culture fits.’ Less statements, more representation, #HireAndWire.”

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community in regard to diversity and inclusion?

“[I am] the cofounder of the Asia-Pacific Career Conference, cofounder of the Utah Polynesian Professionals, [and] founder of [the] Legacy development program focused on bridging the technology skills gap for Black, indigenous, and people of color with mentorship and internship opportunities with Silicon Slopes companies and community groups.”

 

Sarah Vaughn, Founder and CEO, Melanin Squad

LinkedIn
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Sarah Vaughn photographed by Justin Hackworth

Who inspires you?

“I am inspired by the womxn of color that attend my events or engage with me on social media. Every day they decide to show up for themselves, those in the community, and for their families despite the challenges they face as womxn of color living in Utah.”

What is your favorite part of your job?

“The opportunity to see every womxn of color at my events feel welcomed, seen, and understood. I know how important and needed it is to be in a room full of women that look like you.”

 

Winslow Sawyer Young, Marketing Director, Oz Marketing & Young Automotive and Designs

Twitter | LinkedIn
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Winslow Sawyer Young photographed by Justin Hackworth

What organizations are important to you?

“The Utah Pride Center is a passion of mine… I was on their board for two years and have helped direct the Pride Festival’s advertising for the past four years. I’m also the board chair of the Get Out and Live (GOAL) Foundation and the Humane Society of Utah.”

What can others learn from you?

“Get involved. Start somewhere and you’ll be amazed the great, kind, and productive culture diversity can bring to your organization.”

 

Zeynep Kariparduc, Director of Outreach & Event Services, Emerald Hills Institute

Website | Linkedin | Twitter
Zeynep Kariparduc photographed by Justin Hackworth

Who inspires you?

“I am inspired by Fethullah Gülen, a Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader, educational activist, and a global social movement leader. He supports interfaith dialogue, science, democracy, and spirituality.”

What makes your organization stand out?

“The backbone of Emerald Hills Institute is diverse families. EHI is run by people, who in other situations, would be the underserved and underrepresented; coming from a similar background to the diverse community being served allows EHI inroads where other community service organizations would have to work a lot harder to gain credibility and share a common ground.”

 

Dell Technologies

Website | Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
John Farnsworth, director at Dell photographed by Justin Hackworth

Who inspires you?

“Our Employee Resource Groups are communities where team members are connected around areas such as gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and backgrounds all with common interests and bring their collective voices together to create social impact, drive change, invite collaboration, raise awareness on intersectionality, and create an inclusive culture where our employees are not only expected to bring their authentic self to work but they also empower and support each other and our community.” ―John Farnsworth, Director, Utah Site Lead 

What can other companies learn from you?

“Diversity and inclusion help drive innovation and growth and is critical to the long-term success of our company. We are committed to providing transparency into our progress.” ―John Farnsworth, Director, Utah Site Lead

 

Pluralsight

Website | Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Anita Grantham, chief people officer of Pluralsight photographed by Justin Hackworth

What organizations are important to you?

TechLadies, Women Who Code, and Lesbians Who Tech in Utah. We participate in WomenHack and SheGeeksOut speed-recruiting events. We also [belong to] groups who are doing important work and moving the needle in Utah, including Utah PRIDE Center, Women Tech Council, Equality Utah, Latinos in Action, and the Utah Black Chamber of Commerce.” ―Anita Grantham, Chief People Officer 

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“Pluralsight recognizes that there is room for significant improvement in representation and diversity in Utah, particularly with regards to race and ethnicity, and we have committed to spend more time, money, and energy to ensure we are always building deep, diverse pipelines that bring us great candidates.” ―Anita Grantham, Chief People Officer 

 

American Indian Services

Website | Facebook
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Sylvia McMillan, executive director of AIS photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“The addition of several Native American members to our local board, the creation of an alumni board, and the creation of a National Native American advisory board with representation from multiple tribes across the country. AIS is moving toward becoming a more fully native-directed organization.” ―Sylvia McMillan, PhD, Executive Director 

What makes your organization stand out?

“AIS provides scholarships and educational opportunities to communities in our state and country that have historically been excluded by design and decree. We cannot atone for the past, but we can create a more just and brighter future, one student at a time.” ―Sylvia McMillan, PhD, Executive Director

 

Adrienne Gillespie Andrews, Assistant VP for Diversity & Chief Diversity Officer, Weber State University

Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Adrienne Gillespie Andrews photographed by Justin Hackworth

What is your favorite app?

“The Timeline app helps me see where I have grown, and realize that I have a 100 percent success on surviving the rocky bits of life!”

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“I would like to see more engagement with our underrepresented communities through direct connection, conversation, and community building. I would also like to see individuals work through their unconscious biases (we all have them) so that we can dismantle organizations that were not created to serve all of us.”

 

Jose Enriquez, Founder & CEO, Latinos In Action

Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Jose Enriquez photographed by Justin Hackworth

What organizations are important to you?

Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), higher ED, Utah Universities, Utah Department of Workforce Services, and United Way of Salt Lake. They align with our mission and vision and help champion the rights and success of our Latino youth.”

What makes you stand out from other organizations?

“Our mission and our name: LATINOS IN ACTION! We are moving the needle and making a difference in terms of education, service, and leadership with Latino youth engagement!”

 

Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs

Website | Twitter

What is your favorite part of your job?

“I enjoy the challenging but rewarding opportunity to work with a team of remarkable leaders to help change office culture so that we are personally and professionally able to thrive, excel, and grow in our individual and collective capacities. I also appreciate that our division, though small, has the potential to have impact through our initiatives due to the many meaningful partnerships and relationships we have cultivated with State agencies, nonprofits, and community based organizations. Our efforts are only possible because of the collective desire of many to create a more inclusive and welcoming Utah for all who call this state home.” ―Nubia Peña, Director 

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

I pray that leaders and people with privilege and influence begin to use their positional leverage to advocate for equitable distribution of resources and power. Our leaders have the ability to intentionally address and commit to eliminating racism embedded in institutional practices by disrupting long standing policies that perpetuate harm against historically marginalized communities.” ―Nubia Peña, Director 

 

Ze Min Xiao, Director, Mayor’s Office for New Americans, Salt Lake County

LinkedIn
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Zen Min Xiao photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“[We] work intentionally to connect people of all backgrounds to achieve their highest civic and political potential.  As the first county in the nation to achieve a Welcoming Certification, we focused our efforts in seven categories: government leadership, equitable access, civic engagement, connected communities, education, economic development, and safe communities.”

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“Now, more than ever, we must all act in big and small ways to address structural inequities and help people heal from the effects of racism. Decisions must be led by those who are most impacted. We need to shift the power from the boardroom to park benches.”

 

Distinguished Leaders

Bassam Salem, Founder and CEO, AtlasRX and Mindshare Ventures

Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Bassam Salem photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“We give deserving people a chance, we challenge them, and we help them grow no matter their background. More than half of my leadership team is women; we sponsor first-generation immigrants as interns offering them college scholarships on a yearly basis; and I’m proud to say that we cross-religious beliefs, ethnic backgrounds, and national origins despite our small team size.”

What makes you stand out from other companies?

“We only select colleagues based on four characteristics; we call them the four H’s: happy, humble, hungry, and horsepower. We don’t care about one’s gender or lack thereof, spiritual beliefs or religion, ethnicity or nationality, or anything else that is only skin deep.”

 

Carlos Alejandro Moreno, Director, The Libre Initiative

Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Carlos Alejandro Moreno photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“My role is to connect the Latino and minority communities to the local, state, and federal governments… We need to get involved and be an active factor to help legislators, city councils, and mayors to listen and make the right decisions for everybody.”

What organizations are important to you?

“Venezuelan students and leaders abroad, American Venezuelan Association of Utah, The Libre Initiative, and Salt Lake Community College’s student association!”

 

Erika George, Director, Tanner Humanities Institute

Linkedin | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Erika George photographed by Justin Hackworth

What can other organizations learn from you?

“Each year we host a Tanner Lecture on human values. I hope companies and organizations will learn to value our common humanity and to center human dignity and well-being when designing and providing products and services.”

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“Making real progress will require more than making #BlackLivesMatter a popular brand or issuing institutional statements to condemn racism, xenophobia, and other forms of intolerance. I would like to see more done to ensure that we align our conduct with our communications and marketing strategies.”

 

Gail Miller, Chairwoman, Larry H. Miller Group of Companies

Linkedin | Twitter

What can other organizations learn from you?

“Life is a journey, and that journey is void without making a difference wherever we can.”

What would you like to see happen in terms of diversity and inclusion efforts in Utah?

“I would like to see opportunities for change come from a grassroots effort without violence or destruction. Everyone deserves to have the opportunity to improve their lives and circumstances.”

 

Equality Utah

LinkedIn | Twitter

What organizations are important to you?

Utah Pride Center, Utah AIDS Foundation, Encircle, and all of the organizations helping to elevate LGBTQ+ lives in Utah.” ―Troy Williams, Executive Director 

How is your organization involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“We offer LGBTQ+ specific diversity and inclusion training with our Business Equality Leader certifications.” ―Troy Williams, Executive Director

 

Queer Utah Aquatic Club

Website
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Kyle Spicer, swimming board member photographed by Justin Hackworth

How is your organization involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“As the largest LGBTQIA sports club in Utah, QUAC is focused on giving an inclusive space for anyone interested in water polo or swimming. We strive to be the example of inclusion to both the US Masters Swimming community, as well as the business community that we support and that supports us.” ―Kyle Spicer, Swimming Board Member at Large

What organizations are important to you?

“Our local Utah Pride Center and the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics (IGLA). US Masters Swimming and USA Water Polo have been pivotal organizations in QUAC’s growth.” ―Kyle Spicer, Swimming Board Member at Large

 

Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake

Website | LinkedIn | Twitter
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Michelle Sanchez photographed by Justin Hackworth

What social media platform do you use the most?

“Facebook is easily accessible to our community members. Facebook groups have allowed space for Native people to share announcements and resources. In response to COVID-19, it has enabled Native communities to continue with cultural gatherings to showcase tribal dancing and singing through a social media platform.” ―Michelle Sanchez

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

“Raising a generation of American Indian and Alaska Native youth that are comfortable with their identities and therefore ready to represent themselves, their cultural backgrounds, and their families with great confidence.” ―Edwin Napia

 

Hande Togrul, Board Member, Journey of Hope

LinkedIn
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Handre Togrul photographed by Justin Hackworth

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

Journey of Hope group is intentional about changing the managerial hierarchies within and committed to dismantling all types of oppressive systems and structures in and outside the organization.”

What is your favorite app?

“I use Whatsapp very often to reach out to friends and family in Türkiye.”

 

Silvia Castro, Executive Director, Suazo Business Center

LinkedIn
Utah Business is proud to partner with Living Color Utah for our second annual Living Color Gala honoring those individuals and organizations who have made it their mission to foster diversity and inclusion in the state of Utah.
Silvia Castro photographed by Justin Hackworth

What is your favorite app?

“DuoLingo. I am learning Portuguese and this is a tool for people to learn more, expand their horizons, and more effectively utilize their time.”

How are you involved in changing the landscape of Utah’s business community?

Suazo Business Center is central to the development and growth of Utah’s minority businesses. Each year, we help create hundreds of companies and, therefore, hundreds of new jobs, infusing millions of dollars into our local economies, all of which are classified as minority-owned businesses.”

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)

  • Avatar

    Jose Enriquez

    Thank you for your work and for the recognition!

  • Avatar

    Bridget Shears

    This is an impressive line of powerfully passionate people. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    Who is the first young lady with One Refugee? It was hard to know who everyone is, as names were missing on some but included in a quote below.

    • Kelsie Foreman

      Kelsie Foreman

      Hey Bridget!

      Thanks so much for reaching out. The woman photographed with One Refugee is Emma, one of the program’s students. The questions were answered by Kirsi Jarvis, careers manager at One Refugee. We have updated the article to reflect this!

  • Avatar

    Diana Woodbury

    Appreciate you bringing our attention to the important work of these great people!

  • Avatar

    Zeynep Kariparduc

    Every individual in the list deserves recognition very highly. Thanks so much to Utah Business magazine for their great work and serving for good.

  • Avatar

    Bassam Salem

    Some honors are deeply meaningful to me because they recognize a passion for which I have a very sincere commitment; this is one. Especially this year, with race and ethnicity taking center stage, I’m so grateful to Utah Business Magazine for highlighting inclusion in Utah, a state that’s come a very long way in the three and a half decades I’ve called it home.

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