Natalie Gochnour selected as 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award winner

Associate Dean in the David Eccles School of Business and Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah to be honored with prestigious national award in recognition of business leadership and community service

The Salt Lake Chamber today announced that Natalie Gochnour, associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah, will receive the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award.

The organization’s highest recognition for women in business, the national ATHENA Leadership Award, is presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business. Each recipient must also provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community and assist women in reaching their full leadership potential.

“Our community and state owe a debt of gratitude to Natalie Gochnour,” said Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance, in announcing the award. “From her time in public service at the state and federal level to her dedication to future generations through her work at the University of Utah, Natalie’s influence will be felt for decades to come. Not only that, her leadership and guidance have been pivotal to Utah’s economic strength and well-being during the pandemic. No one is more deserving than Natalie, and we are elated to present her with the ATHENA Leadership Award.”

In addition to the ATHENA Leadership Award, six women will receive Pathfinder Awards at the conference. The Pathfinder Awards are presented annually to community leaders who create new paths promoting the development and recognition of women in business. The six Pathfinder recipients this year include:

  • Beth Colosimo, Executive Director, The Mill & Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Salt Lake Community College
  • Ibi Guevara, Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, Hunt Electric
  • Representative Sandra Hollins
  • Aubriana Martindale, Division Corporate Affairs Manager, Smith’s Food & Drug
  • Lori Bonham Williams, Associate Director of Marketing, University of Utah Health
  • Brittany Westover, Market Executive, JP Morgan Chase

The ATHENA Leadership Award will officially be presented to Natalie Gochnour at the 45th Annual Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon, November 19, 2021, at the Grand America Hotel. This year’s conference is sponsored by Dominion Energy and WCF Insurance. Wells Fargo is hosting the ATHENA Awards Luncheon. Boeing Company is a breakout sponsor, and the supporting sponsor is Target River. Sponsorship opportunities are still available and added weekly until sold out.

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ATHENA Leadership Awardee bio below:

Natalie Gochnour serves as an associate dean in the David Eccles School of Business and director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah. She also serves as the chief economist for the Salt Lake Chamber. In these roles, she provides policy leadership that helps Utah prosper.

Gochnour’s experience includes a diverse mix of public service and business experience. During her public service, she advised Utah governors Norm Bangerter, Mike Leavitt, and Olene Walker. She also served as a political appointee in the George W. Bush administration, serving as an associate administrator at the EPA and counselor to the secretary at Health and Human Services. For seven years she led the public policy business priorities of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Gochnour has authored over 250 published columns in Utah Business magazine and the Deseret News and co-hosts the weekly public radio program Both Sides of the Aisle on KCPW.

She has been recognized by the Downtown Alliance, YWCA of Salt Lake City, South Valley Chamber, Friends for Sight, Girl Scouts of Utah, and other community-focused organizations for her service and example in the community.  Gochnour also serves the community by serving on the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation, Utah Transportation Commission, O.C. Tanner, Altabank, and Primary Children’s Hospital boards. She is also vice-chair of Envision Utah and World Trade Center Utah.

Gochnour has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in economics from the University of Utah and specializes in and teaches public finance.

ABOUT THE SALT LAKE CHAMBER

The Salt Lake Chamber is Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association. A statewide chamber of commerce with members in all 29 Utah counties, the Chamber represents the broad interests of the state’s 63,000-plus employers, which employ more than 1.4 million Utahns. This includes thousands of Chamber members and their employees. With roots that date back to 1887, the Chamber stands as the voice of business, supports its members’ success and champion’s community prosperity.

ABOUT THE ATHENA LEADERSHIP AWARD

The ATHENA Leadership Award is a prestigious national award presented annually to an active member of the Salt Lake Chamber who demonstrates excellence, creativity and initiative in business, provides valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community, and assists women in reaching their full leadership potential.

Established in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan, the ATHENA Award ®Program is now administered from its Chicago, Illinois headquarters and boasts over 300 active communities in the United States, Canada, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. More than 5,000 individuals representing a wide variety of professions and businesses have received the ATHENA Award. Presented by local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors the award practically demonstrates the quote from Plato, “What is honored in a country will be cultivated there.” The award takes the form of a hand-cast bronze sculpture symbolizing the strength, courage and wisdom of the recipient.