Summer 2018

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Women throughout history have used fashion as a force for good. We traded petticoats for pants in the 1800s, adorned green, white and purple to symbolize the right to vote in the 1900s, and began rocking the iconic power suit in the 1980s. Generations of women have used their clothing choices to make bold statements and influence societal change.

For its summer event, Utah Wonder Women came together in Park City to celebrate feminist-forward fashion and those who enrich their communities through design. Several women volunteered to showcase how they use fashion in their lives or model a statement piece from their wardrobes.

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Allie Zehner, a high school senior and the inaugural lead ambassador for the first SUREFIRE Utah conference last year, chose to showcase a pink, lace dress that previously belonged to her mother. As the co-valedictorian of her graduating class, she will be wearing this dress at graduation next month.

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Maren Mullin, owner of Gallery MAR, wore a 1980s Patrick Kelly couture velvet jacket, which previously belonged to her mother. Maren said this “power jacket” connects her to her mother as well as her occupation as a gallery owner.

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Chelsea Robie, a senior account executive at Method Communications, chose to showcase a thrifted sequined blazer, a gift her mother sent from home.

The evening was also a celebration of the launch of the Farasha x Zenzee fashion activism apparel line. Created in partnership by fashion consulting company Farasha and designer Sharon Backurz of Zenzee, the collection features eight statement tops, perfect for the “femme and fierce.” Ten percent of all sales are donated to SUREFIRE, a non-profit event series that connects girls from different backgrounds to female leaders in their communities.

We’d like to thank the Farasha team, Zenzee, Kym Wheeler of Little Brown Wren, Hilary MacMillan, Tracey Thompson and Alessandro of Mamma Mia Pizza for sharing their art and talents with us. We’d also like to thank Vanessa for allowing us to meet in her beautiful home, and the Utah Wonder Women who continue to support us, each other and local artists. Until next time!

Spring 2018

  Jacki Zehner and Lauren Leader-Chivee

Jacki Zehner and Lauren Leader-Chivee

Talking about bias can be difficult. However, frank and honest conversation is necessary for creating equitable and inclusive environments, whether it’s in the workplace, the classroom or among friends and family. For the first Utah Wonder Women event of 2018, we had the opportunity to welcome writer, researcher and thought leader Lauren Leader-Chivee for a Q&A about diversity, empathy and recognizing our own biases. Sponsored by Sarah Burney and her team at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Leader-Chivee flew to Salt Lake City exclusively for our event, joining us at Frida Bistro on March 22, for an evening of food, good conversation and even better company.

 If you aren’t familiar with Leader-Chivee’s work, her book “Crossing The Thinnest Line,” discusses diversity as, “the most under-leveraged economic asset in the United States.” Often referred to as a leader for a new generation, Leader-Chivee is the founder and CEO of All in Together, a non-profit dedicated to teaching women how to have a voice in politics. And having a voice was a key theme of the evening. Referencing the fatigue often associated with conversations about gender and racial equality, Utah Wonder Women co-founder Jacki Zehner asked Leader-Chivee how activists can retain their enthusiasm and commitment to the cause.

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“We need to all recognize that we are going to need to fight for our entire lives,” said Leader-Chivee. “It is a permanent part of our requirement as citizens to continue fighting for equality.”

When Zehner opened the discussion for member input, many women spoke up about personal experiences with bias. Some asked for guidance on how to react when they experienced bias or recognized their own actions as non-inclusive. Leader-Chivee emphasized the importance of women of privilege as allies, especially when difficult conversations need to be had.

“Our gut reaction might be to change the subject,” she said. “But, it’s necessary to address inequality, and if anyone feels they don’t have a share of the American dream, ‘We need to work like hell to make that happen.’”

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We’d like to thank JPMorgan Chase & Co. for generously sponsoring our event, Jorge Fierro for allowing us to use his beautiful venue and Lauren Leader-Chivee for sharing her insight with us. We’d also like to thank the Utah Wonder Women who joined us in kicking off another great year!

Fall 2017 - UWW First Annual Women's Summit

  UWW founders Jennifer Danielson, Geralyn Dreyfous and Jacki Zehner

UWW founders Jennifer Danielson, Geralyn Dreyfous and Jacki Zehner

As 2017 comes to an end, we wanted to take a minute and thank everyone for what turned out to be the most exciting year with Utah Wonder Women yet! This year we had the pleasure of hosting some wonderful speakers like women’s leadership expert Tiffany Dufu, celebrating what it means to be a Wonder Woman with a screening of the blockbuster film, and to top it all off, we hosted our first ever Utah Wonder Women Summit, our largest event to date.

The UWW Summit gave everyone a chance to come together with old friends, meet new people and dive deep into some of the most pressing issues facing our society today. With what seems like a never-ending stream of negative news, coming together to discuss solutions was a much-needed uplifting and motivational experience.

We heard Rosie Rios, former U.S. Treasurer & visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, talk about the historical representation of women in politics. We listened as Dr. Stacy Smith, founder and director of the Media, Diversity, and Social Change Initiative at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC, delved into inequality in media and solutions to work toward gender parity. And we learned from Alexis McGill Johnson, executive director and co-founder of the Perception Institute, about how to overcome our own biases.  

We also heard from many of our local female leaders including Heather Zynczak, CMO at Pluralsight; Cathy Donahoe, vice president of human resources at Domo; Leslie Snavely, SVP of marketing and business development at CHG Healthcare Services, and many more. These women discussed topics like the future of work and building teams without prejudice.

  Panelists form left to right: Sarah Burney, Heather Zynczak, Misty Frost and Cathy Donahoe

Panelists form left to right: Sarah Burney, Heather Zynczak, Misty Frost and Cathy Donahoe

The event closed with an inspiring presentation by media executive Pat Mitchell, who discussed how female leaders can overcome their unconscious fear and truly commit to inciting real change, leaving everyone with a major call to action.

A truly incredible day was followed by the SUREFIRE Girls Conference, where we used the lessons we’ve learned and our experiences to help inspire the next generation of female leaders. With many of our members and attendees volunteering to be mentors, we look forward to helping many of these girls for years to come.

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As we look to the future, there is still much work to be done to ensure that not only women, but also people from all backgrounds are given the opportunity to be leaders. Utah Wonder Women will continue to help and support women in their journeys to lead.

Summer 2017

  Jacki Zehner and Amy Rees Anderson

Jacki Zehner and Amy Rees Anderson

It was only fitting that our Utah Wonder Women summer event for 2017 would celebrate the release of Wonder Woman the movie, a nod to our namesake and a celebration of female strength and ambition. Jacki Zehner and Amy Rees Anderson sponsored an advanced screening of the movie ahead of the June 2nd release for our Utah Wonder Women networking group. The event was fittingly a fundraiser with net proceeds going to the Utah Film Center to help promote and support women filmmakers.

The night started off with an intimate cocktail party at Babs De Lay’s offices in downtown Salt Lake, and Wonder Woman apparel was well represented! The group then migrated to The Gateway Megaplex movie theater where Jacki and Amy welcomed 200+ women (and men). Before the movie began, they spoke to their obsessions with Wonder Woman and her importance as a known feminist icon. Having both grown up watching the icon on their TV screens as young girls, Wonder Woman became a symbol of strength and self-confidence. In fact, much of their careers have been the embodiment of Wonder Woman’s mission: "to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace and sexual quality to ‘a world torn by the hatred of men." Now in full glory on the big screen, Wonder Woman stands as an example to both men and women of the inherent strength and courage that she represents.

More than a fun night out, this movie was seen as a sign of progress for women in general. The value of having a strong female lead and female director was made apparent by that record-breaking ticket sales for the film, challenging the typically male-dominated status quo. This film is a testament to the strength and ability of strong female leaders, and the success that comes from women working together.

Jacki and Amy were featured in various local and national media stories talking about their obsessions with Wonder Woman and why she is an example of strength and courage to both men and women. Take a look at some of those stories below!

NBC News: Wonder No More: ‘Wonder Woman’ Shows Female-Focused Action Flicks Can Be Hits

Spring 2017

  Diane Stewart, Sarah Burney, Tiffany Dufu and Jacki Zehner

Diane Stewart, Sarah Burney, Tiffany Dufu and Jacki Zehner

After a day dedicated to celebrating women’s rights, how far we’ve come, and focusing on what still lies ahead, it was only fitting to hold a Utah Wonder Women event on the heels of International Women’s Day. What better way to keep the momentum going than to make this the focus of our first event of 2017? Sponsored by Sarah Burney and her team at JPMorgan Chase & Co., Tiffany Dufu spoke to our audience of 75+ women at Salt Lake’s Modern West Fine Art gallery, owned by our host for the evening, Diane Stewart.

Tiffany Dufu was our guest speaker, who, among many other things, is a force in the women’s leadership movement, Chief Leadership Officer of Levo, a member of the launch team of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, a featured contributor on Fortune, and author of the recently released book, Drop The Ball. Tiffany is living proof that women can truly have it all, but, as we learned, having it all doesn’t necessarily mean you must be perfect in every aspect of your life. In fact, it’s just the opposite.

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Tiffany shared how she was able to let go of her unrealistic expectations of doing it all and realized that “dropping the ball” wasn’t actually that bad. Nothing catastrophic happens, and you might just learn a bit more about yourself along the way. In writing her book, she wanted to share her journey and encourage other women to learn how to achieve more by doing less, and o spread the word that “dropping the ball” can actually help you achieve more in life..   

Over a wonderful evening of laughs and great conversation, there was an underlying theme of helping  advance women and girls. Everyone is going to “drop the ball” at some point in life, and the next time you do, rather than getting upset and frustrated, consider how you can shift your mindset, let it go and focus on what really matters so that “dropping the ball” is just another step in the right direction.

Winter 2016

  Ruth Todd, vice president of public affairs at Nu Skin

Ruth Todd, vice president of public affairs at Nu Skin

The winter Utah Wonder Women networking event took place on Thursday, November 17, 2016, and focused on encouraging women who are younger in their career to stay in the workforce and excel in leadership opportunities. Sponsored by Liz Tanner and her team at Vivint Smart Home, the speaker for the evening was Ruth Todd, vice president of public affairs at Nu Skin, an international creator of anti-aging and other skincare products.

Ruth has been an executive with Nu Skin for nearly three years, and prior to this role spent time as the media spokesperson for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She started her career as a news anchor for ABC 4, KSL, and other stations for more than 25 years. Ruth is also a proud mother and board member for BYU, her alma mater.

The event had more than 75 women mingling at the home of Lisa Harrison, head of executive communications at Adobe, which is nestled in the hills of Cottonwood Heights.  Ruth related stories from her early career in broadcast journalism and the uphill battle she fought as a woman in a male dominated industry. She also told uplifting stories of women who blazed the trail before her and the lessons they taught her about making sure to always lend a hand to the women who would come behind her. 

Summer 2016

  Rhonda Nicoloff, president of A&K Railroad Materials

Rhonda Nicoloff, president of A&K Railroad Materials

On June 21 we held our summer Utah Wonder Women event, which was hosted by Rhonda Nicoloff in her beautiful home north of downtown Salt Lake City. She was also the event speaker, and it was sponsored by Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Utah.

As the president of A&K Railroad Materials, Rhonda shared her unique story as a woman who claimed success in a traditionally male-dominated field. After joining the company in 1991, she worked her way up from sales to her current position overseeing the 300+ employees and 15+ locations across the United States. Rhonda has been recognized for her success as a Wasatch Woman Business Honoree and is the proud mother to two children. 

After Rhonda shared her story, she turned the time over to the group for a Q&A. The event was incredibly inspiring for everyone who attended.

Spring 2016

  Crystal Maggelet, president and CEO of FJ Management

Crystal Maggelet, president and CEO of FJ Management

On April 11th, our Utah Wonder Women were pleased to have an event sponsored by JPMorgan Chase and hosted by Crystal Maggelet, president and CEO of FJ Management.

Crystal is responsible for orchestrating one of the most remarkable business turnarounds in recent history, taking FJ Management from bankruptcy into a diversified family business. Through Crystal’s leadership, FJ Management continues to thrive through wholly owned subsidiaries, including Maverik, a convenience store chain with 260 locations; Big West Oil, a petroleum refinery; and TAB, an industrial loan bank. FJ Management also has a minority stake in Pilot Flying J.

Crystal was the featured speaker at the event and shared her incredible story from the company's high rise in downtown SLC. It was an inspiring night for everyone who could make it!

Fall 2015

  Angie McArthur, CEO of Professional Thinking Partners, was the night's feature speaker.

Angie McArthur, CEO of Professional Thinking Partners, was the night's feature speaker.

On October 28, we held our fall Utah Wonder Women event at the home of Jana Francis, founder and president of Steals.com. The event featured Angie McArthur as the night’s speaker and was sponsored by Regence Bluecross Blueshield of Utah.

Angie is acting CEO of Professional Thinking Partners and co-author of the book “Collaborative Intelligence: Thinking with People Who Think Differently.” Her book has been praised by visionaries from Arianna Huffington to Deepak Chopra, and celebrates the power of working and thinking together at the highest levels of business and politics and the smallest aspects of our everyday lives. Throughout the evening, she shared information from her book and how women could apply it to their workplace, as well as facilitated a teamwork exercise to emphasize the importance of professional collaboration

Spring 2015

  Jennifer Danielson, Margit Wennmachers and Amy Rees Anderson discuss issues facing women in business.

Jennifer Danielson, Margit Wennmachers and Amy Rees Anderson discuss issues facing women in business.

On April 17, Method had the pleasure of co-hosting the spring Utah Wonder Women networking event in Salt Lake City featuring Margit Wennmachers as the evening’s speaker.

Recently dubbed the “Queen of Silicon Valley,” Margit is a notable entrepreneur, marketing guru and PR visionary, as well as one of the most powerful and respected women in Silicon Valley. Margit co-founded and led the The OutCast Agency for 13 years, and has been a partner at Andreessen Horowitz since 2010, where she advises the firm and its portfolio companies on marketing and branding.

Amy Rees Anderson, founder of MediConnect Global and REES Capital, interviewed Margit about how she became a PR powerhouse and tips for succeeding in business world.  She shared many valuable insights with the more than 70 Utah Wonder Women in attendance, including her thoughts on branding, reputation and PR’s influence in business.

Founded by Method along with Jennifer Danielson, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah; Jacki Zehner, the first female partner of Goldman Sachs; and Geralyn Dreyfous, an Academy Award-winning producer and one of the most influential documentary film executives in the country, Utah Wonder Women is a group of Utah’s most influential and successful women who regularly get together to network, form relationships and learn from each other.

The event was held at Utah philanthropist Krista Sorenson’s home overlooking the Salt Lake Valley. Thank you to everyone that made this event possible!