I’ve been a teacher, a nonprofit executive director of an art center, a policy researcher, a tour guide at a state park, and a Peace Corps Volunteer in Moldova. I have two Master’s degrees; the first in Organizational Communication the second in Organizational Theory.
I’m a working mom. My husband is a high school English teacher. I spend my days as an associate director in the facilities department at the University of Utah; we are the “city-managers” of campus. On any given day, the University swells to the third largest city in the county. On a daily basis, I am involved in making decisions about many of the same kinds of services the county provides its residents. Interfacing with public safety, communicating about campus utilities, worrying about snow removal, or finding innovative solutions for sustainability. I advise our department on training needs, how to interface with their campus constituents and the broader community to improve our efficiency and spend our resources wisely.
I manage a critical team in a department of over 500 full-time employees and spend a significant amount of time collaborating with other departments and divisions on campus. Among many other projects, I oversaw the team tasked with integrating the energy management resources for the entire campus to improve our efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint.
One of my favorite parts of my job is collecting employee feedback and looking for ways to improve our work. I love it because I get to hear directly from frontline employees about the pride they have serving our flagship institution of higher education here in Utah and the ways we can do better.
Their dedication to the hard work it takes to keep the University of Utah running is something special. I’m grateful to be a part of the team. I’ve learned a great deal on how to approach issues that affect not only the campus but the region it is a part of - all of which I can bring with me to the role of county mayor.
A few lessons learned:
Communicate early and often
Too many times, ensuring support and a full understanding of a project takes a back seat to planning, budgets, and timelines. Engaging stakeholders and creating opportunities to really listen to their concerns is crucial to the success of any project or initiative.
The best ideas for improving our work come from the people who do the work every day. Empowering individuals to speak up and feel valued to change the way we do our jobs requires building trust and being willing to invest in good ideas that help save money, time or create a better outcome.
Set big goals – then create the support to meet them
I currently serve as the board chair of the Rape Recovery Center. The mission of the center is to “empower those victimized by sexual violence through advocacy, crisis intervention, and therapy and to educate the community about the cause, impact, and prevention of sexual violence.” That’s a big goal, and it’s going to take a lot to accomplish it. Budgets are a reflection of our values. It’s a big responsibility, and I could not be more proud of our growth, allocation of resources, and creative work to serve as many people in Salt Lake County as possible.
I don’t think anyone is entitled to your vote – I share my experience with you to let you know I am ready to lead. I am committed to working hard to earn your vote.