All posts by ngochnour

Starting 2014 out right

2014 is here and I love it. It’s a chance to begin anew, start fresh and adopt new found optimism. One of the new things I’m going to do is post my writings and reflections on this website. Each month I write a column for the Deseret News and Utah Business magazine. I also participate in a weekly radio program on Salt Lake City’s KCPW radio station. For those who are interested I will post links from this website. You can also follow me on Twitter at @gochnour. Thanks for your interest.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s budget hits the mark

Originally published in the Deseret News.

This week Gov. Gary Herbert released his fiscal year 2015 budget. He recommended $13.3 billion in spending – a cool $36 million a day to pay for Utah’s education system, transportation network, human services, public safety and other important public functions. I worked in the state budget office for 18 years, and I think the governor got it right. Here’s my take on state finances:

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The Productive Middle

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes observed that without government, the life of man becomes “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” Lately it’s seemed just the opposite—with government our economic lives are at risk. It’s as if we have a heart attack every three months, gradually ruining our economic health, causing self-imposed economic pain and diminishing our standing in the world.

There’s got to be a better way.

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Utah needs more women in decision making roles

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Next week, Utahns will be summoned to the election booth to vote in municipal elections. Those who do will find far too few women on the ballot. And it’s not just at the ballot box: it’s in boardrooms and businesses. It’s even in our faith institutions. Women, for all of their native talents, are completely underrepresented in leadership positions. Our community is the lesser for it.

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A Real Impact

Originally published in Utah Business.

I can still remember the flyers plastered in the hallways of my junior high school: “Bonnet ball begins next month. Sign up now.” The flyers started a conversation between a good friend and me—should we sign up for bonnet ball or try an alternative sport known as soccer? The year was 1975 and soccer, especially for women, was a largely unknown sport in the Beehive State.

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Pope’s words worth pondering this weekend

Originally published in the Deseret News.

In addition to cooler weather and fall colors, this weekend Salt Lake City hosts the Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For many in this state, it’s a time of reflection, a pause for the betterment of self, community and the world. Ecclesiastical leaders of the state’s dominant faith tradition will provide counsel and comfort to members. It’s a big stage, a worldwide broadcast, and a great time to think about the things that matter to the soul.

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Don’t Stand on the Sidelines

Originally published in Utah Business.

About a decade ago, as a member of the governor’s senior staff, I learned a valuable lesson about female leadership in the workplace. The governor’s senior team was discussing the right course of action on a welfare issue affecting thousands of Utah families. It won’t surprise those of you who know her well that Olene Walker, who was lieutenant governor at the time, made her point of view known in an articulate, well-reasoned and forceful fashion. She was not going to stand on the sidelines while an issue affecting the neediest Utah families was debated. It was an extraordinary example of the feminine value of compassion having its day, and I took note. Society benefits from women in the workforce.

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