Category Archives: Blog

The best of Utah demonstrated in religious freedom/LGBT compromise

Originally published in the Deseret News.


“Hope” is the thing with feathers —

That perches in the soul —

And sings the tune without words —

And never stops — at all —

Emily Dickinson

This week I joined a large group of interested Utahns who gathered in the Gold Room at the State Capitol as legislators, leaders from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and representatives of the LGBT community gathered to announce landmark legislation that balances religious freedoms and protections against discrimination of LGBT people in the workplace and housing. It was a monumental moment of civility, compassion, freedom and fairness that elevates Utah to a better place. This compromise represents the best of Utah, and I want to publicly thank the leaders of our state.

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Flight Plan: Utah quite possibly has the best airport in the country

Originally published in Utah Business.

One of my favorite signs in Utah is the electronic sign along I-80 just east of the airport that notifies drivers that downtown Salt Lake City is a mere five minutes away. It is a powerful reminder of the convenience of the Salt Lake City International Airport and the extraordinary asset it is to the Utah economy.

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A bright future for Utah women

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Experience is often the best teacher, and the last few weeks were filled with important lessons about life, women and society. I invite you to reflect with me.

In early January, I attended former House Speaker Becky Lockhart’s memorial service at the state Capitol. In what I can only describe as patriotic grace, our state honored this much-loved public servant in the perfect way. Ask anyone who attended the service and they will confirm it was a deeply moving event. The Lockhart family, legislators, legislative staff and ecclesiastical leaders made clear in their remarks that a woman can have a beautiful family and be a leader in the community. I only wish we didn’t have to witness the tragedy of her death to have such a poignant reminder.

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Required Reading: The best source for information about the Utah economy

Originally published in Utah Business.

The New Year is a great time to take stock and learn new things. I am often asked what is the best source for information about the Utah economy. Thanks to a wonderful collaboration between the David Eccles School of Business and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, you can learn all of the latest and greatest facts about the Utah economy in a single report. The 2015 Economic Report to the Governor, released this month, provides the single best compendium of information about Utah demographics, employment, income, taxes, exports, prices, major industries and other indicators. If you want to gain a better understanding about the Utah economy, go online and download your copy today.

Just to whet your appetite, here are some of my favorite factoids included in this year’s report:

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A Christmas message

Originally published in Utah Business.

Editor’s note: In this month’s Economic Insight column the author shares a holiday message of hope.

Judy Garland touched many people during her Hollywood career. Perhaps no performance of hers has been as enduring and meaningful as her 1944 rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”

I love the song, in part, because of its history of inspiring troops during World War II. I also love its message of resilience and hope. We all face challenges, but hope prevails.

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My open letter to Mia Love — Be something different

Originally published in the Deseret News.

I spoke with a friend who was in the room when Mia Love learned she had been elected to the U.S. Congress. I’m told her reaction was heartfelt and moving. History had just been made. She became the first black Republican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. What’s more, she’s from Utah and a Mormon. Congresswoman-elect Love will attract a lot of attention in the months ahead. The spotlight will be bright and the margins of error slim. This open letter expresses my best thinking on how to make the most of this historic political moment.

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A more perfect union

Originally published in the Utah Business.

We’ve been through a tough patch as Americans. The unity we felt after 9-11 is now a distant memory. Divisive political battles continue as the mid-term elections draw near. The thought of our hearts beating as one seems a far-off dream.

Congress is most interesting to me. For years congressional favorability ratings have been below hair lice, root canals, Brussels sprouts, colonoscopies, traffic jams and cockroaches. Yet as a body—Republicans and Democrats alike—Congress doesn’t seem to have any interest in changing its behavior.

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Utah state budget – ‘the rest of the story’

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Paul Harvey used to end many of his radio broadcasts with the tag line “and now you know the rest of the story.” It was a signal to listeners that every story has a story behind the story and only when you probe a little deeper do you capture the whole truth.

The same thing is occurring right now with the Utah state budget. There is a well-deserved but incomplete story about surpluses backed by a strong economy … and then there is the story behind the story. Utah lawmakers keep robbing Peter to pay Paul. Ultimately something will break.

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Commemorating 9-11: New ways of seeing

Today I am sharing my thoughts about this country with members of the Cleophan Club — a distinguished group of amazing women in Salt Lake City. I’ve chosen to speak about division v. unity in our country and the need for new ways of seeing.

After the tragic events of 9-11 America unified. Our hearts beat as one. We joined together in our sorrow and in our resolve. We knew our role in the world.

Last night Pres. Obama tried to cultivate this spirit again in all of us. I choose to let me partisan ties yield as our president calls upon us to recognize that at Americans our “endless blessings bestow an enduring burden.” We are called upon to lead.

As we lead it is right that we quit drawing lines. That we stop worrying about who gets the credit. That we refrain from picking sides. We need to focus on what we share in common – our shared American values of freedom, justice, compassion and human dignity.

Right now our politics do not reflect our knowledge or our best behavior. We need a post-partisan zeal. We must reclaim our unity as a people.

Adlai Stevenson said that patriotism is not short frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime. Today as we remember 9-11 we need to remember this counsel.