USTAR welcomes New Managing Director and Governing Authority member

Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) welcomes Brian Somers as its new managing director and Heather Zynczak as a member of the USTAR Governing Authority.

“We are fortunate to have Brian join our team as managing director, and Heather to join the Governing Authority,” said Ivy Estabrooke, USTAR Executive Director.  “Both of these individuals bring impressive expertise and talent to USTAR.”

Brian came to USTAR from the Utah Department of Heritage & Arts (DHA), where he served as the deputy director. At DHA, he oversaw management, operations, policy, and legislative issues for the department and its six divisions. 

In prior positions, Brian was the director of communications for Congresswoman Mia Love’s first campaign, and served in the Office of Governor Gary R. Herbert as a member of the Governor’s communications team and as his speechwriter. Previously, Brian worked as a contract consultant and provided strategic marketing, branding, and communications planning for public- and private-sector clients. He holds a degree in business management from George Mason University, and also spent a year as a visiting student at the University of Oxford studying strategy, marketing, and history.  

Heather Zynczak is Chief Marketing Officer at Pluralsight, an online education and technology training platform. Prior to joining Pluralsight, Heather served as CMO of Domo, held executive positions at large enterprise technology companies, including SAP and Oracle, and led teams at several Silicon Valley startups. She also served as a business consultant for top firms, including Accenture, the Boston Consulting Group, and Booz Allen Hamilton. She holds an MBA from the Wharton School.

Jennifer Hwu, PhD, CEO of InnoSys, Inc., was also recently reappointed to serve a second term as a member of the USTAR Governing Authority.  

The USTAR Governing Authority directs the organization’s financing, research efforts, regional development and long-term planning.  Members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate President, and the Commissioner of Higher Education.