What I learned from the Salt Lake Chamber’s Leadership Utah program

This month I graduated from Leadership Utah, an educational program by the Salt Lake Chamber for Utah executives. It’s hard to believe we’ve been meeting together each month for about a year now.

Of all the things I’ve done since moving to Utah with my family in 2008, my Leadership Utah experience has been the most rewarding. It has introduced me to so many important issues facing our community and the organizations and people working to make a difference. I’ve seen first-hand some of the amazing things happening here in Utah.

inside the Utah State Capitol building

A photo of classmate, Matt Sibul, who looks just like the statue of Philo Farnsworth in the Utah State Capitol – Leadership Utah (February 2015).

On its website, the Salt Lake Chamber outlines the purpose of Leadership Utah as a program that offers insight into opportunities and challenges facing our state.

The Class of 2015 began meeting in September 2014. Our monthly, daylong meetings focused on:

Health care
Crime and law enforcement
Community service
Education
Government
Arts, sports and entertainment
Economic development and tourism
Environment and infrastructure
Religion and culture

photos from our visit to UDOT

A few photos from the Leadership Utah visit to UDOT (May 2015).

It was so cool to be in places like the Huntsman Cancer Institute, the Salt Lake Police Department and Utah’s capitol building.

During our stop at UDOT we saw the central communications center where they monitor traffic in the state using the cameras installed at so many intersections and can change digital billboard messages across the state in a matter of seconds.

I was particularly moved during our community service day to hear stories of families who have lost loved ones after final Make A Wish experiences, and to see the work that many brave men and women perform day-in and day-out at places like The Road Home.

photos from visits to Utah's service organizations

A few photos from our community service day – Leadership Utah (December 2014).

It was fascinating to hear from utility representatives and understand some of the issues related to our environment: water, air pollution and managing growth.

One member of our class even managed to finally get a rebate from Questar Gas for some new equipment he had installed in his home. His application had been declined (more than once, I believe), but after the Questar rep spoke to our class and heard about his situation, he saw to it that the rebate was taken care of. As my friend, Steve Olson, and our Australian friends would say to Questar, “Good on ya mate!”

If I could, I’d do Leadership Utah all over again to visit those places I missed on the days I was traveling for business, and to stay connected with the many fine business people I met in the Class of 2015 and during our on-site visits. Leadership Utah is a great way to really get to know your community and the people who live there. I highly recommend it.

And finally, a huge shout-out to the Salt Lake Chamber staff, especially Jackie Sexton, for their incredible organization and support of the Leadership Utah participants and the program curriculum. Although it’s their job, you can tell they love what they do. And they really do make you feel like you’re an important part of the Chamber and the community. Well done, Salt Lake Chamber.

graduating from Leadership Utah

Jackie Sexton of the Salt Lake Chamber presenting Pete Codella with his Class of 2015 Leaadership Utah graduation plaque.

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