All posts by ngochnour

County Seat

I enjoyed being interviewed by Chad Booth on the County Seat. We discussed the need to invest in rural Utah economic development.  here is a link to the broadcast:

Give up your Twitter account Mr President

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I follow Twitter feeds nearly every day. It’s a great way to learn what opinion leaders have on their minds, keep abreast of politics, follow sports commentary and keep tabs on hundreds of other people and issues of interest. Twitter is the best way I know to get instantaneous and succinct information from a wide variety of people on a wide variety of topics.

While tweeting definitely has its place in our digital lives, I find President Donald Trump’s Twitter behavior completely unacceptable. It’s not his use of Twitter that is problematic. It’s the content of his tweets.

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Utah’s growing cost of doing business problem

Originally published in Utah Business.

The Utah economy celebrated its eighth anniversary of economic growth in June, the second-longest in state history. Currently, the state economy is creating about 45,000 jobs a year. Unemployment remains low at 3.2 percent and inflation-adjusted wages continue to rise. The nice economic winds have been blowing and business is strong.

I sense a change in weather in the next 12 to 24 months led by a tight labor market, rising interest rates, the end of the “Trump rally” and something no one is talking about—the rising costs of doing business in the Beehive State.

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Goodbyes are hard, but they are also meaningful

Originally published in the Deseret News.

For many Utah families, July and August are filled with goodbyes. Sons and daughters leave for school and military academies, LDS missionaries depart on missions and job seekers start fresh opportunities in new towns. In every case, a great thing is happening, but so is a goodbye.

I’m not very good at goodbyes. When I dropped my daughter off for college in Arizona, I had wet eyes and a pit in my stomach the entire 11-hour drive home. I spent so much time getting her ready for college, I forgot to get ready myself.

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Our fight against violent crime begins at home

Originally published in the Deseret News.

It’s been a violent summer in our community and country. A disturbed man gunned down a mother, her sons and another child as they returned home from school. A drunken fight turned into a murder in Murray. A drug bust in the basement of a Cottonwood Heights home revealed garbage bags full of cash and hundreds of thousands of fake opioid pills. Road rage incidents seem to be a weekly occurrence. And now members of Congress can’t even practice baseball without being targeted with a gun.

Violence, and the illegal drug use that often fuels it, is becoming all too common. We are left wondering, “What is going on?”

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Major trends with the potential to reshape Utah

Originally published in Utah Business.

Alvin Toffler was a futurist who wrote extensively about the digital revolution. He popularized the term “information overload” and wrote the landmark book Future Shock, which has sold millions of copies and remains in print today. He died last year, but left a legacy of compelling ideas. I thought about him and his words recently as I led a discussion with the executive committee of the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors. We discussed major trends impacting Utah. I thought Utah Business readers would enjoy a quick synopsis of our discussion.

Toffler said, “The future always comes too fast and in the wrong order.” It’s true. We have a hard time keeping pace with and predicting change. I think, however, there are several significant issues and trends right in front of us that we need to better understand.

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How to find happiness this summer

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Summer begins this month, and I find it a good time to recharge my spirit and think about how to approach life. A summer reset helps me refocus my energies, recalibrate my expectations and recommit to a happy life.

My mother gave me the gift of optimism. She used to always say, “Land, life is so short I could hang by my fingernails if I had to.” She lived until she was 93 years of age and sang, danced and quoted poetry almost until the end.

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What to expect when your not expecting

Originally published in the Deseret News.

In a very real way, June means weddings. The end of school and great weather motivate young couples to tie the knot and schedule summer weddings.

Back in the old days, summer weddings meant an uptick in births 10 months later. This is less true today. Utah’s fertility rate is at a historic low, and state demographers are asking, “What to expect when no one’s expecting?”

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Dog Economics

Originally published in Utah Business.

I share my life with a beautiful yellow Labrador Retriever named Marley. Marley has the personality of a service dog—gentle, kind, content and loving. She lives for food, walks to the park and family play time. She loves sunspots and scratches on her ears.

In the morning, she visits my side of the bed first, just to make sure I’m still there and her life is complete. When I come home from work, I can see her looking out the window watching for my return. In the evening, when I sit in my comfy chair, her tail thumps the ground when I talk to her. She makes me feel like a million bucks.

Marley lounging on the kitchen floor.

Marley lounging on the kitchen floor.

Marley sheds too much, whimpers at times, snores and makes our yard a bit more difficult to walk in. But make no mistake—my life is better because of her loving companionship.

I’ve never used the term “dog economics” before, but I think it’s useful to use my dog to make a point. As business people, we spend much of our days talking about things we can quantify—profit and loss statements, balance sheets, cost allocations—and too little time considering the things we struggle to quantify—a positive work environment, professional friendships, a listening ear to a coworker in need.

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This is Jazz Country

Originally published in the Deseret News.

My husband and I were listening to a sports radio station Sunday night shortly after the Utah Jazz soundly defeated the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 7 of the NBA playoffs. We were laughing out loud because of the crazy enthusiasm expressed by a fan who had called the station. It made us smile knowing that we were not alone in our passion for the Utah Jazz.

Utah is Jazz Country. We love our team. They give to us; we give to them. It’s like a really good marriage. We love being together and we work through the good times and the hard times. Now is a good time.

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