Utah's business community can be a tough place for women to break into and thrive within. A worse-than-average gender pay gap and lower levels of female representation in leadership roles can make Utah seem inhospitable to career-minded women. Despite those obstacles, Utah women truly are reaching the highest levels of leadership and carving a path for themselves in every industry. Each year, Utah Business honors a select group of women who set ambitious goals, achieve them, and then set even more ambitious goals. Please join us in celebrating our 2018 Women to Watch--exemplary leaders who are blazing trails for themselves and for the girls and women coming along after them.
PRESIDENT, C.W. URBAN
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Darlene Carter has been in the residential real estate industry for over 13 years, and her work has resulted in more than $500 million in sales volume. Most recently, in her role at C.W. Urban, Carter spearheads infill and urban housing projects in Salt Lake City. So far, those efforts have resulted in 85 new units and $26 million in revenue, with a pipeline set to double year over year for the next two years.
WHAT SHE ENJOYS ABOUT HER WORK: "When you go into a community, specifically in urban and infill, and you bring some of that gentrification and you take something that needed a little bit of love, and we create a community within the greater community, it enhances the entire city. And to go back and look at that and not only see how we affected the city, but the people who live there, knowing that their lives have changed because of something we built--it's just the most rewarding thing I've ever been a part of."
CAREER ADVICE: "Anything is possible. It's not going to be easy, but trust your instincts and surround yourself with some of the best people."
ALISON FLYNN GAFFNEY, MHA, CMRP, FACHE
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, PERIOPERATIVE SERVICES, IMAGING, LAB AND ANCILLARY SERVICES; UNIVERSITY OF UTAH HEALTH
Alison Flynn Gaffney has been working in healthcare for over 26 years. "Early in my career, I led or was part of teams that reduced operational expense by over $1 million, created an initiative to enhance communication amongst nursing and support services staff that resulted in increased efficiencies and a happier work environment, and developed an employee donation campaign." In her current role at University of Utah Health, Gaffney is working to develop and implement strategic initiatives that support the organization's patient experience, quality and financial strength.
"I work with my heart and the hearts of others first, leading decisions supported by facts/data and reality of circumstance. I listen intently and stay present. I embrace the belief that working with people in this way enriches the person and the collective, builds better and more nimble organizations and ultimately creates a more human experience."
"Focus on you--that is your competition. Strive to be the best version of you, not of anyone else. What is your brand? Develop it, promote it and protect it."
SENIOR MORTGAGE CONSULTANT, VERITAS FUNDING, LLC
Amber Wykstra was the top-producing mortgage loan officer at Goldenwest Credit Union when she was recruited to join Bank of Utah. She was promoted to vice president of production at Bank of Utah, and then became the first female vice president of the construction lending department. In 2015, she joined Veritas Funding, LLC as a senior mortgage consultant. Wtihin two short years, Wykstra ranked among the top five loan officers in the company. "2017 was also a significant year because of being diagnosed with and successfully treating breast cancer," she says. "I was very blessed to have such a great team around me that could step in and help on days that I couldn't."
WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP:
"Given the lack of women in executive roles, I think the [financial] industry as a whole is slow to catch up. In my career, I have always found that the women make up most of the support/customer facing roles which I think speaks to our intuitive strength of understanding people. They also seem to make to senior level management in these various departments. Very few, however, have a seat at the table making decisions that move the company forward, which is something that I hope changes."
CHRISTY ALTER HAYMOND
VICE PRESIDENT, SALT LAKE CITY CHIEF OF STAFF; GOLDMAN, SACHS & CO.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: During Christy Alter Haymond's tenure as chief of staff at Goldman, Sachs & Co., the firm's Salt Lake office has grown from 500 to over 2,500. She personally oversaw the annual board meetings in Salt Lake City for the Goldman Sachs & Co. board, as well as the Goldman Sachs Bank board. And due to the success of the growth of the Salt Lake City office, she participated in a strategic leadership working group for the opening of the firm's Warsaw, Poland office.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: "Professionally, I deeply value the opportunity I have to mentor other women at Goldman Sachs and in the community more broadly.... Personally, I have been honored to serve on the executive committee of the Hale Center Theater board for many years. While day-to-day work is primarily analytical, I have a great appreciation for the arts and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to help foster the impact to the community of such an incredible organization."
CAREER ADVICE: "Be patient, careers sometimes take an unpredictable path--be ready for the unexpected and always strive to be flexible and resilient. Foster relationships; they are fundamental to success no matter what industry or role you are pursuing."
DIRECTOR, STAFF DEVELOPMENT; SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In her role heading up staff development, Anjali Pai helped create an internal coaching program at SLCC. "The idea was to bring coaching skills to a wide range of employees so that we could create awareness, new approaches, and increase engagement. I started a new onboarding process that focuses on the strategic plan and provides a chance for new employees to learn more about the college's mission, vision and values," she says. Pai is also serving as the board chair for Utah Women in Higher Education. "I have worked with our board of amazing women leaders throughout the state to build mission driven programs aimed at advancing women's leadership."
LESSONS LEARNED: "I know now that you have to attempt to balance your personal life with your work life all the time. There is never 'an ideal time' to go back to school, take a promotion or go on a dream vacation. I think you have to be mindful of how you spend your time--everyday."
LEADERSHIP STYLE: Pai describes her leadership style as "a coach approach. It is highly collaborative and I am always interested in listening to what the other person has to say by being an active listener."
AMANDA BUTTERFIELD OWEN
DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC RELATIONS, WOODBURY CORPORATION
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: For nearly 10 years, Amanda Butterfield served as a local news anchor at KSL-TV. She moved on to public relations, spending five years at Method Communications before continuing to her current role as director of public relations at Woodbury Corporation. She now tells stories about the communities the company builds, as well as about larger projects like University Place.
WHAT SHE ENJOYS MOST ABOUT HER WORK: "The same things that drew me to the industry--storytelling and meeting people.... I've found that there is always an interesting story to tell, and it's been really satisfying to see the positive impact these projects have had in the various communities we work in."
A LESSON SHE'S LEARNED: "You are not your job. I grew up from a very young age knowing that I would be a TV broadcaster. This was a very foreign career path for someone in my family to take, but I never had a doubt that is what I would do. But when I left TV and entered the PR industry I lost a lot of confidence in my abilities and strengths, even though I was the same person! I so identified with Amanda Butterfield the TV personality, it took a lot of years to realize that my confidence and happiness should not be contingent upon my job."
JESSIE SHEPHERD, MA, LCMHC
CLINICAL DIRECTOR, BLUE CLOVER THERAPY
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Jessie Shepherd is a passionate advocate of mental health understanding, and she's expanded her company's reach through radio, television, blogging...