All posts by ngochnour

Boston bombings remind us not to judge unfairly

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The Boston marathon bombings remain on our minds even though it’s been nearly three weeks. We can’t seem to get it out of our heads that two misguided brothers cooked up pressure cooker bombs and hurt, maimed and killed innocent people. In our hearts we echo the words of the mother of bombing victim Krystle Marie Campbell, “It just doesn’t make any sense.”

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Utah falls short in dealing with at-risk students

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The start of spring signals transition. The foothills turn green, we wear brighter colors and the blue sky makes us all feel just a little bit better. Spring brings barbecues, baseball and backyard gardening and, with any luck, the NBA playoffs for the home team. It’s a time of renewal, and after a long, cold and snowy winter, we are ready for the change.

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From Vision to Action

Originally published in Utah Business.

I recently interviewed with Joel Kotkin, the famed demographer, author and columnist who is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and The Daily Beast. Kotkin was doing a media tour and had spent the prior two days meeting with community leaders to get a pulse on Utah. As we finished the interview he said, “Salt Lake is very self aware and it serves you well.”

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A Thank You To Legislators

Originally published in Utah Business.

The Utah Legislature—with all of its individuality and nuance—can now boast the nation’s second fastest-growing economy. That’s right. Utah leads every state but North Dakota in the rate of job growth, and the Utah economy gets stronger by the day. Years of economic leadership are paying off and Utah families are the winners. It’s time to take a pause and thank Utah legislators for their service.

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A Fresh Start: Let Your Feminine Values Shine in 2013

Originally published in Utah Business.

January is one of my favorite times of the year. I relish the chance to push the reset button and begin anew. I use it as a time to reflect about what worked in the prior year and what can be done in the coming year to make life better.

Looking back at 2012, two major public issues rattled my sense of rightness: the negative campaigning in the 2012 elections and the posturing about the fiscal cliff. Both issues call for an infusion of feminine values into the public square.

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A Time of Thanksgiving: Reflections on The Utah Compact

Originally published in Utah Business.

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough and more.” – Melody Beattie

Three years ago this month, a large and diverse group of community leaders gathered at the Utah State Capitol to affix their names to The Utah Compact. For those in attendance, the Utah sun beamed a little brighter that day as our community adopted a more gracious approach to the complex issue of immigration reform. Since then, Utah has followed a more compassionate, constructive and civil immigration discussion that has lifted Utah to a higher, better place and set an example for others. For this we can all be grateful.

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Moment of Truth: The 2012 Elections are Finally Here

Originally published in Utah Business.

The moment of truth is here. On Nov. 6 Americans will elect a president, vice president and 468 members of Congress. For many, it will be the election of a lifetime as we choose how to eliminate chronic unemployment, national malaise and a trillion dollar deficit. It’s our chance, indeed our duty, to vote for a better future. As we do so, I offer a post-partisan and admittedly imperfect, five-step plan for the new Congress and president that I hope will inform your vote and your public advocacy in the weeks ahead.

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Back to School: Pivotal Lessons about Educational Progress

Originally published in Utah Business.

I am a product of Utah’s public schools. I grew up in the East Millcreek area and attended Olympus High School. I did my undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Utah (yes, I bleed red). I also have two children—Rosie and Theo—raised in Utah’s public education system. When it comes to education, Utah is all I know.

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Avoiding the Fiscal Cliff

Originally published in Utah Business.

“Take some of this burden from us.” That was the request of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke during his summer testimony to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs. In an uncharacteristically revealing way he asked members of Congress to help with America’s ailing economy. Fed chairman typically focus on monetary policy and leave advice on fiscal policy to someone else. But these are not ordinary times.