With dedication for excellence and a competitive fire, today’s businesswomen are making waves across the Beehive State. Each of this year’s 30 Women to Watch brings something unique and inspiring to Utah’s business scene. Spanning industries, job titles and education, these women have a passion for their work—a passion that has bettered their companies and their communities. Join Utah Business as we honor 30 women who are breaking barriers and shaping Utah’s business community.
Kristin Waters • President,
Greene’s Inc. Construction Services
As one of only a few women in the construction industry, Kristin Waters says her gender is a tremendous asset to Greene’s Inc. “Many people who meet me are surprised to find out that I run a construction company,” she says. “I don’t think I fit into the mold of what people think of when they think of women in construction. I have a young family and a lot going on at home. I think I am proof that if you are willing to work hard, you can be a success in your career and in your home.”
Waters has led Green’s through several unique projects. Most recently, the company finished resurfacing the block U for the University of Utah. Waters is also considered a role model to those she works with because she takes the time to visit with each employee on a regular basis to learn about their interests and challenges. “I have a great team to work with and we have a good time together,” she says. “We genuinely care about one another.”
Emily Moss Hoffman • Director of Training, VitalSmarts
Emily Moss Hoffman is ready to face any challenge head on. In fact, it’s those challenging tasks that keep her moving. “I love to learn new things and if a role doesn’t change quickly enough or challenge me enough, I will go looking for something that does,” she says.
One recent challenge she faced was sailing across the Atlantic Ocean when the ship’s motor was lost. She and four strangers were forced to work together to find their way across. “I learned many valuable lessons from that experience—two that I treasure: the ability to create space for oneself in any circumstance and the ability to forge community out of shared experience,” Hoffman says.
Today Hoffman serves as director of training at VitalSmarts and has helped numerous companies, including 300 Fortune 500 companies, train their employees effectively. “I love what I do because I work to help improve the lives of others,” Hoffman says.
Marsha Gilford • Vice President Public Affairs,
Smith’s Food & Drug
Marsha Gilford, who serves as vice president of public affairs at Smith’s Food and Drug, says what she loves most about her job is being able to serve the community. In 2008, Gilford oversaw the distribution of more than $6 million in cash and in kind donations to more than 1,400 non-profit organizations in Utah and neighboring states. She also grew the company’s annual fundraising efforts for Primary Children’s Medical Center to more than $800,000.
Her passion for community service extends outside of her role at Smith’s. Gilford has served on numerous boards, including Greater Salt Lake American Red Cross, Utah Food Bank Services, Utah Food Industry Association, the Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army of Salt Lake and United Way of Greater Salt Lake.
Holding the most senior position by a woman within Smith’s, Gilford advises women just starting out, “know that who you are and how you approach your work can trump gender issues.”
Jody Williams • Managing Partner, Salt Lake Office, Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP
Jody Williams says what’s led her to success is being passionate about her role in shaping Utah’s water law. “Water is so important in our dry state,” she says. “I have a passion for water and for trying to bring about positive change.” Her passion and hard work have led her to being named a presidential appointee and chair of the Utah Reclamation Mitigation Conservation Commission—a federal agency responsible for mitigating environmental impacts from developing Utah’s Colorado River apportionment by the Central Utah Project.
Though Williams had to climb the corporate ladder when attitudes toward women in the workplace were different than they are today, she feels being a woman is a true asset to her career. “I firmly believe that diversity promotes better decisions, better solutions and a better work environment,” she says. “I push boundaries with my unique views. I like to work on problems that others can’t solve, and the bigger the better.”
Williams says the person who’s been most influential in her life is her mother. “I admire her patience, perseverance and great inner strength. Her qualities are timelessly good.”
Mauri Love • Executive Vice President Marketing, CLEARLINK
As vice president of marketing at CLEARLINK, Mauri Love has played an integral role in helping the fast-growing company reach success, according to Dan Eyring VP of Organizational Development for the company. “There isn’t a job in the building that she doesn’t understand thoroughly,” he says. “She leads by example and owns everything she does. She takes the overall performance of the marketing department personally, almost to an extreme level…. Mauri is one of, if not the key component to the company.
Love says that there are two concepts she lives by: “One is ‘remember’ and the second is ‘change.’ I really respect individuals who are constantly learning,” she says. “Stagnation is my arch nemesis. I think I’m always open to new information and am willing to apply it to my life.”
Love attributes much of her success to her co-workers. “I surround myself with very capable people and allow them to apply their own brain power,” she says. “I’ve learned that experience might help, but innovative, self-motivated individuals produce the best results regardless of their background.”
Kelly King Anderson • Founder and Managing Director Startup Princess
Kelly King Anderson is in the business of making dreams come true, literally. As founder and managing director of Startup Princess, Anderson devotes herself to helping women entrepreneurs. “Startup Princess is an organization dedicated to connecting, mentoring and inspiring women entrepreneurs through online resources, conferences and events,” she says. “The women I serve are passionate, creative and brilliant—it’s a privilege to help them grow their businesses and see them form valuable connections at events.”
Anderson brings experience to the table, as she went through plenty of ups and downs while getting Startup Princess off the ground. “I started Startup Princess with zero money,” she says, adding that she didn’t let that challenge stop her. “I love life and being involved in meaningful work makes challenges easier.”
The motto she lives by: “Make a wish, make it happen…I create my dreams in life and business, I’m not afraid to try hard things.”
Nancy A. Nowak • Vice President of Clinical Operations & Chief Nursing Officer, Intermountain Healthcare
As vice president of clinical operations and chief nursing officer at Intermountain Healthcare, Nancy Nowak plays a leading role in keeping Utah’s health care industry healthy. “Health care is a complex industry, and in my role I am challenged by the external pressures to make care affordable while ensuring that we provide the highest clinical quality to those we serve,” she says, adding “I blend clinical knowledge with leadership skills. It is important for me to understand the business of health care and the needs of the patient care staff so that they can provide excellent care and service.”
Katy Welkie, chief nursing officer, Intermountain Healthcare, Primary Children’s, says that Nowak is an example to all health professionals. “Even when there are a lot of trials, Nancy manages to keep her energy and spirits high. And, she’s always focused on the mission.”
What keeps Nowak motivated day after day? “Patients,” she exclaims. “I am motivated and driven to make changes and improve care for the patients Intermountain serves.”
Jayme Norrie • CEO, INCITE WORLD
Innovation these days creates its own challenges, something Jayme Norrie is familiar with. Norrie leads INCITE WORLD, a company that is developing a subscription-based virtual life science park. When completed, the Web platform will provide a central source of information, business tools and social networks for pharmaceuticals, biotech, medical devices and diagnostic products. Currently working seven days a week, usually about 14 hours a day Norrie is determined to keep her company’s reputation as one of the major players in the life science industry.
She says her past experience has prepared her to tackle difficult decisions and obstacles. “If something isn’t going to work, I do the homework and change it without moving away from our objectives,” she says. “Most importantly, I share the rationale in order to communicate the benefit of the change and listen to what the team has to say. You can’t effectively run an organization by consensus, it’s too time consuming and dilutes the strength of the strategic plan and the confidence of the organization. However, you do need inputs as to what the team strengths are and a ‘gut check’ on the reasonableness of the milestones you’ve put in place.”
Meredith Kaley • Vice President of Consulting, ConsultNet
Meredith Kaley says anyone can accomplish their dreams, no matter their circumstance. “I was a single parent for several years, and today I am a happy and successful businesswoman. It all happened with hard work,” she says. “I put myself through college and paid off student loans for years. If you have a good work ethic and a desire to succeed in life, you can certainly do anything you put your mind to.”
At ConsultNet, Kaley has forged numerous valuable relationships with some of Utah’s top employers in the technology industry. Meredith knows the pulse of Utah’s tech industry like no other,” says Nicole Mangino. “She will have a major affect on the direction of Utah’s technology industry.”
Suzanne Ziemba • Founder and President,
Yelo Graphics, Inc.
As founder and president of Yelo Graphics, Inc., Suzanne Ziemba says the best part of her job is sharing her passion for printing and design with others. “I find true reward in sharing my knowledge with others who have a desire to learn about printing and design—staff, clients, students—anyone who demonstrates a willingness to achieve excellence in their work,” she says. Beyond teaching her employees and clients, Ziemba enjoys teaching others throughout the community and serves as a workshop instructor at Salt Lake Community College and is a member of the Salt Lake/Tooelle Applied Technology College Media Technologies Employer Advisory Committee.
After moving to Salt Lake from Chicago without a job or contact, Ziemba learned that anyone can find success with hard work and diligence. “Breaking down those smaller walls gets you ready for the bigger walls that are waiting for you,” she says, adding, “The only person stopping you is you. The only person responsible for your happiness is you. We cannot look to others to show us our strengths.”
Colonel Yolanda C. Dennis-Lowman • Commander, Tooele Army Depot
As commander of the Tooele Army Depot, Colonel Yolanda Dennis-Lowman leads approximately 500 employees and is responsible for the receipt, storage and issue of ammunition for the Army, Air Force, Marines and Navy. With such responsibility, Dennis-Lowman says leadership and accountability are key to her success. “I demonstrate proficiency through my example, involving the leaders and holding them accountable for the good, the not so good and the ugly,” she says, adding that what keeps her motivated is, “knowing that the lives of others are dependent upon the service and products I provide.”
Since becoming commander of the depot, Dennis-Lowman increased revenue by $1.53 million over the previous fiscal year, according to Kathy Anderson, public affairs officer for the depot. “The [revenue increase] was primarily due to her leadership that increased maintenance, storage and logistical support of ammunition and equipment sent to military forces around the world,” Anderson says.
To women just starting their careers, Dennis-Lowman advises, “Never let anyone else define who you are.”
Angela Ramirez • Director, Worldstock, Overstock.com
Angela Ramirez says the most enjoyable part of her job is changing the lives of others around the world. As the director of Worldstock, a division of Overstock.com, Ramirez heads a global business initiative that allows artisans in 36 countries to sell handmade products like jewelry, clothing, ceramics and furniture online. She makes a tremendous impact on the lives of more than 560 craftsmen everyday, providing jobs for people in some of the poorest regions of the world. Recently, she visited an artisan in Peru who said that he was able to finish building his house with the money he received from Worldstock orders.
Ramriez says what keeps her going are the inspiring influences of her husband and father, who taught her that humility is the foundation of a person’s success in life and business. Both helped her make hard decisions, especially when it was time to move on, she says. “Never let anyone or anything tell you that you’re not capable of more,” Ramirez says. “We tend to get comfortable in a position and think that finding something better is difficult, but this is only because we’re comfortable. One thing I’ve learned is that your greatest growth comes when you are out of your comfort zone.”
Alisanne Guzzetta • Director of Communications, FatPipe Networks
Alisanne Guzzetta is a perfect example to other women to follow their dreams. While growing as a professional at FatPipe Networks, Guzzetta followed her ambition and became a Muay Thai boxing champion. She started competing at age 31 and let nothing stop her from winning national and international titles, as well as two bronze medals for the United States at a World Cup event in Thailand.
The challenges Guzzetta faced as a world-class athlete in the ring prepared her for her current position as director of communications. She now manages the media efforts of FatPipe and oversees the training programs for the company’s employees, resellers and distributors worldwide. Guzzetta’s work has been a major factor in the company’s success with its recent expansion into international markets and recognition as one of Utah’s fastest growing companies for six straight years.
Kimberly Page • CFO, Million Air
Travel and working at an aviation company go together, says Kimberly Page, who has visited just about every continent in the world. “Travel has taught me how small the world truly is and how much we can achieve if we work together,” she says. “My travels have also emphasized how important air transportation is to the global economy and to America’s economy, in particular.”
Managing the finances for Million Air, as well as the accounting, IT and HR staff, Page loves the variety of her job as well as working with the people in the aviation industry. Her greatest achievement to date was assisting in a business plan that brought the company recognition as one of five HondaJet dealers in the nation.
Sandy Hoover • Northern Utah Regional Manager, Prudential Real Estate
Sandy Hoover’s path to becoming a leader in Utah’s real estate industry was full of bumps along the way. When starting her family in Louisiana, Hoover was involved in a severe car accident that required several months to recover. She ultimately lost her job and struggled finding another, while taking care of 10 children, Hoover was confronted with another, life-changing challenge: three of her children were diagnosed with diabetes. She was advised by her doctor to move to a dry climate and, thus, began her journey to Utah.
Today, Hoover is a prominent face in real estate and is a powerful role model for women. She oversees the operations of four northern Utah Prudential offices, including 77 sales professionals and staff, and is the managing broker of the South Ogden office. Hoover is also the 2009 President of the Northern Wasatch Association of Realtors, a local trade association of 1,900 members, and is a director-at-large for the National Association of Realtors.
Lisa Gough • Executive Vice President,
Participating in a zip line adventure in Canada with her husband is something that Lisa Gough will always remember. “I learned that taking risks can lead to great experiences,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to try something new.”
Gough applies that philosophy to her leadership role at Sysco Intermountain as she faces new challenges daily. She never views an obstacle as something difficult, but rather as an opportunity to make the company better. She says open communication with employees is at the top of her list. “This must be demonstrated by talking openly and honestly with our employees about real issues facing us today,” she says. “I believe if you share information in that way, employees are supportive and extremely appreciative.”
To women just starting their careers, Gough says, “Do not let the mistakes you have made define who you are. It’s imperative to overcome those mistakes, forgive yourself and then move beyond them.”
Jenifer L. Tomchak • Senior Associate,
Parr Brown Gee & Loveless
Jenifer Tomchak knew she chose the right profession as an attorney after her very first trial. “We represented a company and its employees, who were maliciously defamed by the employees’ former employer…The jury awarded our clients more than $2 million, one of the largest defamation judgments in Utah history,” she recalls. Since then, Tomchak has played a significant role in several large cases throughout the Beehive State.
Outside of the courtroom, Tomchak is involved in numerous organizations, including the Salt Lake County Bar, the Federal Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division and Women Lawyers of Utah. Her involvement within these organizations and her legal work has resulted in a profound respect from her peers. “Jen has had the vision to pursue her passions,” says Jonathan O. Hafen, attorney, Parr Brown Gee & Loveless. “She has the unique skill set to champion with deliberate focus and intense organization, while donning an amazing smile.”
To young women just beginning their careers, Tomchak advises, “Don’t be afraid to speak your mind…people will appreciate your honesty and respect you for it.”
Jinger Becker Adams • Creative Director and Company Spokeswomen, Provo Craft
Since joining Provo Craft, Jinger Becker Adams has helped the company develop innovative crafting tools, including the Cricut personal cutting system, a book binding system and a personal silk screen machine. And though she enjoys crafting new ideas, she says the best part of her job is hearing and then applying ideas from women across the U.S. “I get to interact with women all over the country, educating them on how to live a creative life. I get to hear their views and input on what they like and want, and bring their input back within the walls of the company to create amazing products.”
Provo Craft CEO Jim Thornton says, “Jinger is one of those great, dynamic personalities that people just cling to…She has an ability to build incredible consensus from the team that reports directly to her to the organization overall.”
As a single mother of two young children, Adams says that key to finding success in each day is, “Don’t let fear stop you. When the going gets tough, keep going. There will always be someone who doubts you; believe in yourself and your ideas, and you will be successful.”
Ann Thomas • Principal and Market Leader, Mercer
Ann Thomas, market leader of Mercer’s Utah office, works each day to help companies throughout the state solve their HR conflicts. “My motivation is based on the desire to do the best I can and share my knowledge with those that can benefit,” she says.
Her ability to guide others through challenges led her to being named the first woman leader of Mercer’s Utah office. “Throughout her career, Ann has demonstrated strength and excellence in all areas, from leading financial and data innovation, to serving on national task forces within our firm,” says Nicole Cozzo, senior associate at Mercer.
Thomas says that success comes from working through challenges. “I once convinced an employer to let me take a voluntary layoff. Being out of work was a challenge and opportunity. I was able to reorient my career goals and readjust the path I was on. As a result, I was able to enter a profession that related more to my interests and abilities…Success can come if you hold true to your personal standards, attributes and belief in your own capabilities.”
Stephanie Maria Pappas • CFO/Director of Administration, Roofers Supply, Inc.
Stephanie Pappas proves that a woman can be a powerful and instrumental force in the male-dominated construction industry. “I believe having a woman involved in the leadership of the organization brings a particular perspective that has helped us create a stronger team,” she says. “One of the values I bring is my sense of curiosity. I like to look at issues and situations and pick them apart to better understand how we can make improvements as a company. I call upon my resources as often as necessary and am not afraid to ask the hard questions.”
Pappas says diversity is key to the success of any organization and has helped Roofers Supply thrive. Last year, the company was named to the Inc. 5000 and in 2007 the company was awarded the Department of Workforce Services Utah Work/Life Award for medium-sized businesses. Also, she takes an active part as a leader of change in the community as the chair of the Equality Utah, an organization with a mission to secure equal rights and protections for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender Utahns and their families.
Rachel Herrscher • CEO, Today’s Mama
Uniting mothers with business opportunities around the globe, tech guru Rachel Herrscher is an excellent example of how women can manage their own home business. She launched Today’s Mama, a publishing company and online network for mothers, from the comfort of her own home. Now, Herrscher receives national attention and is fully devoted to her business—even while sleeping (she keeps a notebook by her bed to jot down anything important during the night).
Herrscher believes any woman entrepreneur with a strong work ethic can succeed. “I think in a sense I’m an example of the opportunity that exists for women to utilize technology to create businesses and products from home,” she says. “I couldn’t run the company I do today without the amazing technologies that are out there that make our world smaller. I can do business all over the world from my office on the side of the kitchen.”
Lavanya Mahate • Program Director,
Salt Lake Chamber’s Women Business Center
When Lavanya Mahate moved to the United States from India in 2001, she was not able to work because of her dependent visa status. Looking for a job, she took a position as an unpaid volunteer at the Women’s Business Center (WBC) of the Salt Lake Chamber. After proving her dedication to the center for five years, Mahate was offered the position of program director.
Mahate now makes a difference of the lives of thousands of Utah women. Last year, the WBC provided free one-on-one business counseling to nearly 200 people and trained more than 1,000 clients. “Knowing that I’m empowering women every day in giving them the knowledge, tools and skills to succeed in business and to succeed in life is what motivates me to do a better job every single day,” she says.
Amy Mayberry • President and CEO, Company AP
There are a lot of things that Amy Mayberry loves about her job, but what she enjoys the most are the people she works with. “It is important to surround yourself with people that inspire you to be a better person,” she says. “Rather than focusing upon end goals, I focus upon enjoying what I am doing at the moment, and choose the things which I will enjoy.”
Mayberry manages Company AP, a business that provides marketing and design services to architects, engineers, contractors and other professionals. Outside of the office, Mayberry devotes much of her time to another passion: the MS Society. One of her latest achievements was the completion of an MS facility at The University of Utah Graduate School of Architecture.
Through the good times and bad, Mayberry says what keeps her smiling day after day is her husband. “My husband is the rock in my life that keeps me grounded. We are one another’s greatest supporters.”
Marilyn McDonald • Vice President of Customer Experience, Interbank FX
After moving from New Zealand to Utah with no job or home, Marilyn McDonald knew that she could overcome any challenge, as long as she could stick it out. Her adventurous path led her to Todd Crosland, CEO and president of Interbank FX, who was immediately impressed. “The longer I worked with Marilyn and got to know her, the more I knew I really needed to get her to come and work for us,” he recalls.
McDonald joined Interbank FX in 2005 and has since played an integral role in building the fast-growing company. McDonald says that key to her success is that she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. “I am not afraid to roll up my sleeves and work with my team.”
McDonald adds that the way through a challenge often starts with a smile. “Attitude is everything,” she says. “If you view each challenge as an opportunity and try to see the bright side of everything, you will see greater success than if you have a negative viewpoint.”
Jill Briggs • Tax Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Few people are able to work with intensity and drive after battling a major health illness, but that’s just what Jill Briggs, tax director at PricewaterhouseCoopers, did. Briggs was diagnosed with a brain tumor last August, a trial that she overcame in just five months after surgery. “I can’t explain how hard it was to regain my strength, balance, endurance for physical activities and executive skills such as time management, multi-tasking and deductive reasoning for mental activities,” she says. “The things that helped me overcome my health challenges were hard work, daily family and friend support and being 110 percent optimistic!”
Even though Briggs is still not on a full-time schedule, she brings passion into her work and is a powerful player in the company’s success. Her tax department over the last year has increased by 67 percent due to her determination to focus on her clients, especially considering today’s economy. Briggs constantly sets goals in her work and personal life and is a role model for women to pursue their dreams, even after a significant trial.
Silvia Norman • Vice President and Latino Banking President Wells Fargo Bank
Silvia Norman says what she enjoys most about her position as Latino banking president for Wells Fargo Bank is helping others live the American Dream. “I love knowing that I can do something to help a friend or a team member or a business—the rewards are endless,” she says. “I help the community by serving and volunteering in different organizations, especially the non-profit sector. I also help in the recruiting of our team members and mentoring. I love my position because I meet and help different people everyday. It is very rewarding to be able to work with our community leaders and also the people in Utah.”
Norman says two of her greatest accomplishments are being a mother and serving as chair of the Utah Hispanic Chamber. She adds that to be successful, you can’t let challenges defeat you. “Always be up for the challenge and never say you cannot do it; always do your best and say yes I can!”
Carla Meine • Managing Director, VAST Equity
After starting and leading O’Currance Teleservices, a company that helps individuals work from home, Carla Meine says her goal today is to help other women build their business to success. As managing director of VAST Equity, a private equity fund that invests in women-owned businesses, Meine is helping women turn their dreams into reality. “My goal is to educate and mentor other women so they understand private equity and venture capital,” Meine says. “We help many of them see how an investment in their company could really help them grow. We not only bring money but expertise…What motivates me now is that we are doing something that is really going to help other women in an area most of them can’t help themselves.”
To women hoping to start their own business, Meine advises, “Get educated on all the forms of investment capital,” she says, adding, “Never give up, you’ve got to be persistent in business…To be a great leader you have to set the example and have integrity in everything you do.”
Nicole Mouskondis • Senior Vice President,
Nicholas & Company, Inc.
As senior vice president of one of Utah’s strongest and oldest food distribution companies, Nicole Mouskondis plays a leading role in keeping 70-year-old Nicholas & Company on the path to success. “I love my job,” she says. “I have the opportunity to build relationships, impact the organization and community positively. I feel like I’m actually making a difference.”
Mouskondis says she hopes to keep the company’s long-time legacy growing. Her dedication and diligence has paid off: Nicholas & Company recently completed a state-of-the-art facility expansion and plans to keep operations in the Beehive State. “The physical expansion gives us the ability to continue growing our business all the way out to our five-year projected revenues and beyond,” she says, adding that she hopes the company’s legacy will inspire others to be good corporate citizens.
To women just starting their careers, Mouskondis says to find a mentor and to, “take control of your destiny…don’t be defined by current circumstances.”
Brooke C. Quaintance • Vice President of Retail Operations & Business Development, Air Terminal Gifts, Inc.
One of Brooke C. Quaintance’s most challenging moments was when she ran a marathon with her mother. She hit several walls during the race, but felt relieved at the end. “My mom and I ran across the finish line together. It was a very uplifting experience to share with her,” she says. “I definitely learned that nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it, focus on the outcome and show enormous determination to get things done.”
She applies that drive at Air Terminal Gifts, a business she manages with her family, which owns and operates 16 specialty retail locations at the Salt Lake International Airport. The company has transformed over the years into a major player in the airport industry, mainly because of its creative ideas and unique concepts. One of the concepts, Your Planet, a shop that sells environmentally and socially responsible products, recently won an award for the Best Green Concession Practices.
Lori Harding • Regional Sales Administrator, AVP,
Though the banking industry has been hit hard during the economic storm, Lori Harding says that the challenge is just another motivator to excel. “The world today is screaming stress, challenges, crisis, depression, recession… I look at these current issues as opportunities! Every day each one of us has a choice. I choose to be positive and motivating,” she says.
Harding, who has been with Zions Bank for more than 10 years and is responsible for 19 bank branches, says that though she loves banking, she’s enjoys working for Zions Bank because it has allowed her to pursue another passion: community service. With Zions Bank, Harding has led numerous projects, including painting the West Jordan Museum, cleaning Sandy’s DUP Cemetery and donating needed items to the Boys and Girls Club. Harding has also served on numerous community committees and boards, including the West Valley City Education Committee, United Way of Salt Lake, Victims Advocate of South Jordan and served as region secretary for the Utah PTA.