Category Archives: Utah Business Columns

Make gentle the life of this world

Originally published in Utah Business.

My husband and I ride our bikes together along the Jordan River Parkway several times a week. We love cycling because you see and feel things in a different way. The Wasatch Range, sunsets, wildlife, and other details feel closer and more real. There is a depth of feeling that you just can’t find when you are behind a windshield or on a city street.
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Rio 2016: Learning from the Salt Lake Olympic Winter Games

Originally published in Utah Business.

Hosting the Olympic Games is not for the faint of heart. The spotlight is bright, the logistics are complicated, and the cost is substantial.

Nobody knows this better than Rio de Janeiro, the host for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. The Rio Olympics have been beset by extraordinary challenges, including the Zika virus, doping scandals, serious crime, environmental problems, political mayhem, and the nation’s worst recession since the 1930s.
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Drift v. Mastery: Finding a path forward in difficult times

Originally published in Utah Business.

The American intellectual Walter Lippmann warned in 1914 that the United States had entered a period of drift. He recognized rapidly changing forces in society and suggested the country should address tensions by creating more balance. Extremism brings drift, moderation brings mastery. There’s something about his thesis that deserves attention today.

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Minimum Wage Debate: Utahns should consider alternative ways to lift families out of poverty

Originally published in Utah Business.

Many times in public policy we share a common goal, but choose a different path. This is the case with the minimum wage debate. Utahns share a sincere interest in helping low-income families secure a more stable future. Some policy makers choose the minimum wage policy path to lift these families out of poverty. Other people, like me, choose a different path. I favor enhanced training opportunities and the earned income tax credit as superior policy interventions.

With California, New York and other jurisdictions pursuing a $15 minimum wage, it’s time to consider the right policy intervention for Utah.

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The soul of our city

Originally published in Utah Business.

I’m a native Salt Laker, so I should know how to describe Utah’s capital city to someone new to our state. Still, when I’m asked by a non-Utahn to describe Salt Lake City, I struggle with the right response. Salt Lake City, for all its stereotypes, is difficult to fit in a box.

The British poet John Betjeman invented a word that captures my feelings about this place. He combined the words topos, which means “place,” with the Greek word philia, which means “love of,” to coin the term topophilia or “love of place.” For me, it’s the combination of love and place that makes me so proud to be a Salt Laker.

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The Gateway Re-Imagined

Originally published in Utah Business Magazine.

When my daughter got her driver’s license I remember asking her if she could find her way around town. She turned to me with a confident smile and said, “I know how to get to The Gateway.”

Her answer spoke volumes. A 16-year-old, newly minted driver, who lived in the suburbs of Salt Lake City, knew the directions to a downtown shopping destination eight miles away. The Gateway was THE place to go and she had found it.

A lot has changed in the intervening years. The Gateway today is a shadow of the gathering place it once was. Thankfully, Phoenix-based developer Vestar recently purchased the property and will invest $30 million to support an inspiring vision. I couldn’t be more exited to welcome Vestar to town.

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Moment of truth: A confounding presidential election year

Originally published in Utah Business.

By the time this column is read, the 2016 presidential election will be in full gear. Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina will be a fait accompli or thereabouts. No longer will voters be able to settle for entertainment and cheap talk. It’s time to vote.

If you are like me, you find the 2016 presidential election absolutely confounding. One need to look no further than to the remarks made by Gov. Nikki Haley in her official Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Instead of focusing her criticism on the Democratic Party, she challenged the front runner of her own party: “During anxious times, it can be tempting to follow the siren call of the angriest voices. We must resist that temptation.”

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Five Things to Watch for in 2016

Originally published in Utah Business.

I’m looking forward to the excitement of the coming year. From global happenings to local challenges—and a presidential election year—there’s a lot to keep an eye on in 2016.

Summer Olympics in Rio

The spirit of the Olympic flame burns bright in Utah, and we look forward to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this summer. It’s bound to be a remarkable international celebration of sport as images of Copacabana Beach and the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado are beamed around the world. Unfortunately, the Brazilian economy is suffering from its worst recession in over three decades and many wonder whether the country will pull off a successful Games.

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Three Million Utahns

Originally published in Utah Business.

Last month, Gov. Gary Herbert announced the arrival of the three millionth Utahn. We should all stop and take into account this important milestone.

There is a saying among demo-graphers that “demography is destiny.” If you understand the characteristics of your population, you gain a much better understanding of your future. In no state is this more important than Utah because of our unique demographics. And it all starts with births.

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When stars align: A new policy institute will help Utahns make informed decisions

Originally published in Utah Business.

I’ve learned over the years to pay attention when stars align in a powerful way. It happened when my daughter, who was attending an out-of-state college, landed a job with the school paper, committed to a major and established great friendships. Suddenly, her college education and experience took off. It happened when Urban Meyer brought his coaching skills to build a team with a 22-2 record and reinvigorated the MUSS, or the Mighty Utah Student Section, at Rice Eccles Stadium. Stellar coaching and engaged students helped the Utes win and laid the foundation for a winning program.

When stars align, a better future unfolds. I’m always working and watching for these moments. And one of those moments happened last month, when the University of Utah launched the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute.

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