Chamber hosts 45th annual Women & Business Conference ATHENA Awards

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

Local business women heard from inspirational speakers, gained business insights, and recognized the accomplishments of those helping to make a difference in our community at the 45th Annual Women & Business Conference and ATHENA Awards Luncheon. 

Four-time Olympian Catherine Raney Norman and National Speakers Association CPAE Hall of Fame Speaker Christine Cashen provided the day’s keynotes to share their first-hand experiences overcoming obstacles and becoming the best versions of themselves, from shifting perspective to utilizing an athlete mentality in everyday life.

Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from speakers on a variety of topics that included lessons on leadership, diversity and inclusion, retaining women in the workplace and more.

Following Cashen, the 2021 ATHENA Leadership Award was given to Natalie Gochnour, Associate Dean of the David Eccles School of Business and Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah for her leadership and contributions to the Salt Lake community. In announcing the award, Derek Miller, President and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance said, “Our community and state owe a debt of gratitude to Natalie Gochnour. 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, State of Utah and Program Administrator, Community Engagement and Responsibility, Zions Bank
  • Aubriana Martindale, Division Corporate Affairs Manager, Smith’s Food & Drug
  • Brittany Westover, Market Executive, JP Morgan Chase
  • Lori B. Williams, Associate Director of Marketing, University of Utah Health

The Awards Luncheon took place on November 19, 2021 at the Grand America Hotel and is the primary fundraiser for the Women’s Business Center of Utah. This year’s conference is sponsored by Dominion Energy and WCF Insurance. Wells Fargo is hosting the ATHENA Awards Luncheon. George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation is the event sponsor, and the breakout sponsors are Altabank, Boeing Company, BW Productions, Chase, Mountain America Credit Union and Zions Bank.

For more information: click here.

ATHENA Leadership Awardee bio below:

Natalie Gochnour

Associate Dean of the David Eccles School of Business and Director of the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah

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.

Pathfinders bios below:

Beth Colosimo

Executive Director, The Mill & Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Salt Lake Community College

Beth Colosimo is the Executive Director of The Mill and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (GS10KSB). The Mill is an entrepreneurship center at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC) that offers numerous programs and assistance for entrepreneurs and small business owners. The Mill includes the Small Business Development Center, the co-working and incubator space, the Everyday Entrepreneur Program, Veteran Business Resource Center, Global Business Center and many other services and programs. The Mill and GS10KSB serve thousands of small business owners with the mission to educate, provide resources and access to capital.

Prior to joining SLCC, Beth owned and operated her own small business, Wasatch Home Furnishings. Her professional career also includes working for EDCUtah and various multinational corporations. Beth is a graduate of the University of Utah and received her MBA from Westminster College. Beth works with numerous non-profit boards and community partners in the spirit of collaboration and promoting Utah’s small businesses.

Beth is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and small business owners and those looking to make a difference in their businesses and communities. She is equally passionate about family, travel, golf and India.

Ibi Guevara

Vice President of Business Development and Marketing, Hunt Electric

Ibi Guevara is a shareholder and the Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Hunt Electric, where she has played a significant role in driving the company’s consistent growth over the past 16 years. Ibi’s passion for cultivating mutually beneficial relationships based on connecting, taking the initiative to give support, and mentoring those who need it has played a prominent part in her contributions to Hunt Electric’s growth. She is a member of the ULI Utah, Salt Lake Chamber, EDCUtah, UMA, Truss, Downtown Alliance, and IFMA. She currently serves as chair of the ULI Utah District.

Representative Sandra Hollins

State of Utah and Program Administrator, Community Engagement and Responsibility, Zions Bank

Representative Sandra Hollins was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has been a Salt Lake City resident for the past 30 years. She and her husband David currently reside in Fair Park and have two daughters, Jaynell and Canice.

Rep. Hollins is a licensed clinical social worker, and the primary focus of her career has been on substance abuse treatment and advocacy services for Salt Lake City’s homeless population. Sandra received her bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah.

As the first Black American woman elected to the Utah House of Representatives Sandra proudly serves District 23. She serves as a member of the Social Services Appropriations Committee, the Health and Human Services Standing Committee, the Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Standing Committee, and the Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel. Notably, she sponsored H.J.R 8/Amendment C on the 2020 ballot to remove the exception for slavery from Utah’s constitution, and in 2016 sponsored HB460, a School to Prison Pipeline bill which requires cultural training for student resource officers.

Sandra is a member of the graduate chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc., is a graduate of the Westside Leadership Institute, and has served on numerous boards and councils.

Aubriana Martindale

Division Corporate Affairs Manager, Smith’s Food & Drug

Aubriana Martindale is the Division Corporate Affairs Manager for Smith’s Food & Drug Stores, a division for the Kroger Co. She oversees 141 Smith’s Food & Drug Stores throughout seven states of operation in media, external communications, philanthropy and community relations. Utah Business Magazine recently named Martindale a 40 under 40 influential business leader and Progressive Grocer awarded her as one of the Top Women in Grocery for her continued achievements as an influential female in the North American retail food industry.

Brittany Westover

Market Executive, JP Morgan Chase

Brittany Westover leads the Utah/Idaho Middle Market Commercial Banking team for JP Morgan Chase. Brittany has held numerous roles at National, Regional and Local levels over a 22 year career with Chase and predecessors. Born and raised in Salt Lake, she graduated with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Westminster College.

Brittany is an active member in the Utah community. She served on the Board for the Women’s Business Center of Utah for over 10 years and was Chair from 2017-2019. She Chaired the UBA’s Women in Banking Conference in 2020 and served 6 years on the Board of Directors for the South Valley Chamber. She is currently an Executive Committee Board Member for the Utah Bankers Association and active on the Salt Lake Chamber Board of Governors.

When she isn’t working or serving the community, she enjoys spending time with her large blended family, running, exercising, and traveling.

Lori B. Williams

Associate Director of Marketing, University of Utah Health

Lori B. Williams, MPA, is an associate director of marketing for University of Utah Health. For the past 15 years, she has worked in marketing and communications in the health care and education industries. She has created and lead successful marketing and communications campaigns, which include the rebrand initiative for U of U Health, Breast Assured, Vas Madness and #UtahCares. Lori, a Cali girl, is a transplant to Utah. She began and built her career foundation at Salt Lake Community College. You can find her on the ski slopes in the winter and spending quality time with her husband and lively two sons, which are her pride and joy. She is a fro-yo fanatic, adventure seeker and enjoys helping and learning from others.

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.