Category Archives: Blog

Themes for a New Year: Storylines, Words and Phrases in 2018

Originally published in Utah Business.

At the end of every year, news entities, language companies and others select a word or phrase of the year. In 2017, Merriam-Webster selected “feminism” because of the Women’s March in Washington D.C., the #MeToo movement and other instances of women speaking their minds.

Oxford Dictionaries picked the noun “youthquake” to describe the significant cultural, political or social revolution arising from what Oxford calls the actions and influence of young people in 2017. Other entities selected “complicit,” “resist,” “taking a knee” and even “covfefe,” a word Pres. Donald Trump tweeted that’s meaning remains in dispute.

These words all say something about the intensity of 2017. It got me thinking about what words or phrases would prospectively capture Utah events and stories in 2018.

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President Monson leaves a living legacy for all of Utah

Originally published in the Deseret News.

The day after Thomas S. Monson died, I taped a radio program in downtown Salt Lake City. As I interacted with people at the station — both LDS and non-LDS — I noticed a divergence in their views about the LDS prophet’s passing. Understandably, they viewed President Monson’s death as a main event for participating members of the LDS faith, but not a big deal for others. I disagree.

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A Recipe for Holiday Joy throughout the Year

Originally published in Utah Business.

The holidays are in full stride. Downtown shines with holiday lights and our homes radiate with gifts, menorahs, nativities and pine trees. We sip cider, sing carols to neighbors and celebrate with loved ones. This is the season of joy.

Joy is a wonderful word. We feel joy at the most important moments in our lives—graduation, marriage, childbirth and special events with loved ones. Some people name their children “Joy” as an expression of their happiness. When we feel joy, we feel a lightness, jubilation and high spirits. Joyfulness is possibly the most positive human emotion.

I recently asked myself the question, “What is the secret to lasting joy or happiness?” This question seems particularly relevant during the holiday season when we surround ourselves with loved ones and sing songs of joy.

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Correcting the record: Finding the right balance with public lands

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Editor’s note: Natalie Gochnour’s column published Wednesday, Dec. 6, stated that she was denied “final approval” to attend the signing event associated with President Donald Trump’s Salt Lake City visit this week due to her ideological differences with the president. Gochnour, however, is now confident that there was no political screening. What follows is her re-written column correcting the record.

I previously wrote in this column about being politically screened from President Trump’s historic visit to the Utah State Capitol. Unfortunately, I wrote with limited information and didn’t have all the facts right. The Trump administration did not screen me for ideological reasons; it turns out there was just a ton of demand for tickets, a chaotic process, miscommunication and an impossible timeline.

I’m writing to correct the record, which I think is only fair. It’s awkward for me, but I will do my best to share a few thoughts on public land management and continue to give voice to people who feel like I do about the Trump administration.

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Utah economic advice — stop, look and listen

Originally published in the Deseret News.

John Maynard Keynes said, “It is better to be vaguely right than precisely wrong.” I’m going to make an attempt to be vaguely right about Utah’s near-term economic forecast. The Utah economy has started to moderate. I think this modest growth will continue and now is a good time for businesses and households to “stop, look and listen.”

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Fall Reading: Conscience of a Conservative

Originally published in Utah Business.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake is one of few Republican senators who challenge President Donald Trump directly, openly and actively. He’s written a new book titled Conscience of a Conservative. In it he makes the case that America’s conservative movement has lost its way and is in crisis. And while his commentary may be on the bleeding edge of conservative thought about our current president, I think Flake presents a compelling analysis. I recommend his book for your winter reading.

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Dispatches from Jordan to Israel, pt. 4: Western Wall blessing for our governor

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Editor’s Note: Natalie Gochnour traveled recently on a trade mission to Jordan and Israel led by the World Trade Center Utah. The Deseret News asked Gochnour to write about her experiences. In this, her final dispatch, Gochnour shares the highlights of the trip through a few stories and quotes.
Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”

I kept Twain’s quote in mind as the Utah delegation immersed itself in business and political diplomacy. I return to Salt Lake City with a treasure trove of broad, wholesome and charitable views. Here are a few takeaways:

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Dispatches from Jordan to Israel, part 3: Welcome to Startup Nation

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Editor’s note: Natalie Gochnour is traveling this week on a trade mission in Jordan and Israel led by the World Trade Center Utah. The Deseret News asked Gochnour to write about her experiences. In this, the third dispatch, Gochnour describes Israel’s economic success and what Utah can learn.

Warren Buffet once said, “If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel. If you’re looking for brains, look no further.”

I’ve felt that brainpower the past two days as we’ve met with businesses in Tel Aviv and visited Hebrew University in Jerusalem. There is a vibe and energy here that is unmistakable. This is Startup Nation.

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Dispatches from Jordan to Israel, part 2: Lowest point on earth, closest point to heaven

Originally published in the Deseret News.

Editor’s note: David Eccles School of Business Associate Dean and Deseret News columnist Natalie Gochnour is traveling this week on a trade mission in Jordan and Israel led by the World Trade Center Utah. The Deseret News asked Gochnour to write about her experiences. In this second dispatch, Gochnour reflects upon Gov. Herbert’s visit with the king of Jordan and a visit made, at the invitation of the Jordan Ministry of Tourism, to the area of Christ’s baptism. She shares an interfaith message of hope and unity.

“Welcome to the lowest point on Earth and the closest point to heaven.” That’s how our tour guide described what Jordanians identify as the location of Jesus Christ’s birth. Also called “Bethany Beyond the Jordan,” this humble setting, located near the Dead Sea, on the east side of the Jordan River and across the border from Israel, includes a humble wooden canopy covering an area where the Jordan River used to flow and the sacred baptism is said to have occurred.

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