Read all about it! The March/April issue of Utah Valley Magazine bounced into the county just when Jimmer Fever has hit fever pitch.But there’s more to the magazine than meets the eye. In this issue we aim to be all things to our people (that’s a quote from our lively editorial meeting last week). We’ve got sports (Jimmer), we’ve got fashion, we’ve got marriage advice from three happy couples and we’ve got home improvement ideas. If that’s not enough, we’ve also gathered 50 fabulous faces for you to meet and greet. But the fun of this issue doesn’t end on the last page. Several of the featured fashion items will be given away to lucky readers. Find out more about our weekly giveaways by following our Utah Valley Magazine blog — or find us on Facebook.It’s just a little extra! extra! from your local! local! magazine newsstand.
The electronic stars aligned yesterday, and the valley’s four brightest minds in social media climbed the same stage and answered my questions.(From left), we had George Wright who is the mastermind behind the “Will It Blend?” campaign on YouTube; David Bradford is the chairman of the board at Fusion-io; Rich Christiansen has started 31 companies; Paul Allen is a founder of FamilyLink, MyFamily.com and Ancestry.com. For their complete bios and our favorite quotes from the panel, see our BusinessQ blog. My favorite panel memories? Paul and Rich both talked about getting ideas from hanging out with nerdy high school and college students. George said the biggest mistake entrepreneurs make with social media is not jumping in and doing it. David Bradford is an “open book” on Facebook and lets people know he cares about his family and takes vacations just like the rest of us. He has built his network of more than 15,000 online by being authentic.The Big Business and Technology Expo continues today until 5 p.m. It feels like a class reunion for the local business community — complete with prizes, food and somewhat awkward glances at name tags just to be sure. See you there!
The SCERA is a community treasure as a indoor theater, swimming pool, costume rental shop and arts education mecca. But my favorite part of SCERA is the outdoor stage and summer musicals. There’s no place I’d rather be on a warm night than snuggled up with my family watching uber-talented local performers. Who’s got talent? SCERA does.It may not be summer (dang!), but there was plenty of warmth at the Star Awards Gala at the SCERA this past weekend. This annual event brings in the stars of Utah’s art scene. A couple of years ago, we met Arnold Friberg at the Star Awards Gala. This “Prayer at Valley Forge” painter is no longer alive, so I was especially glad to have thanked the man who decorated Matt’s office wall.This past weekend, SCERA honored the likes of Sam Cardon (UVMag cover story in 2005) and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. The fundraising event honors various artists in a red-carpet, black-tie fashion, but it also brings in donations to keep this community arts powerhouse moving forward. The silent auction brought me and Justin Bieber together. Unfortunately, I didn’t win that particular item (double dang, sorda). But Matt and I did come home with a gardening package donated by Intermountain Healthcare. Our tablemates included Craig Werner, owner of Bassett Furniture, and his beautifully lip-glossed daughter. You’ll learn more from Craig in our “Get Smart” section of the March/April issue of Utah Valley Magazine (out next week). Congrats to Adam Robertson and the SCERA family for a great event and a year-round star-studded lineup!
Yesterday was our quarterly roundtable for BusinessQ — or in other words, I took another class toward my honorary MBA. True, I did a business minor as part of my bachelor’s in journalism, but let’s face it — I was mostly worried about what was on the test and whether my roommates had paid their portion of the rent. My education has largely come onsite as a business owner and interviewer of the wise.At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, six brilliant entrepreneurial minds in Utah Valley filled our conference room with their personalities and ideas to talk about growing their businesses.Dave Williams shared four principles he uses to guide Fishbowl (find out what they are when BusinessQ hits newsstands in a few weeks). Dave Decker with Complete Merchant Solutions has learned if you focus on capturing market share and creating a brand, profits will follow. Aaron Brown has seen tremendous growth at Box Homes Loans and shared how technology made it possible. Cary Robarge’s definition of growth actually involved trimming down his list of services at Robarge Collision. Attorney Jonathan Driggs told how many entrepreneurs don’t want to take time to seek legal advice, yet an attorney can be their most valuable asset in the beginning stages. Sean Whalen said the best decision he made was to bring on a partner who is the exact opposite of him at Property 23.In other words, it was a fascinating hour. Portions of the transcript will appear in our spring issue of BusinessQ — coming to a mailbox, newsstand and doctor’s office near you the first week of March. Now I’m going to create a spot on the wall to hang my honorary MBA diploma.
I put aside my normal black attire and wore red today to the elementary school where I helped with two of my kids’ Valentine’s parties. My rotation station involved glitter glue, foam stickers, sequins and first-graders. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to our magazine office afterwards because I needed an Advil and a pillow. And a hand-scrubbing.My admiration for teachers shines brighter than a 7-year-old’s paper covered with an entire bottle of glitter glue. (I don’t think that particular project will dry till Mother’s Day.) Teachers deserve a giant valentine every day of the year. My father, mother and father-in-law are teachers. So are my sister and two brothers-in-law. They aren’t too cool for school, and I love them for it. This year when we selected our 50 most fabulous Utah County residents for our March issue of Utah Valley Magazine, I knew the list wasn’t complete without a teacher. Gay Beck, the teacher of the year for the entire Beehive State, was a perfectly fabulous choice. Here she is holding the zero and interacting with the other fabulous faces. (You’re welcome for the sneak preview … check back the first week of March for the entire fabulous list) Click here: fab 50 clip
My purse is a conversation starter.I was drawn to this beauty in an expensive boutique last fall, but then I laughed at the pricetag and walked off. When Christmas came around, Matt surprised me with my first name-brand purse. If I didn’t love it so much, I would have cried at how much he spent.After I got over my fear of actually using this purse (no crumbs! no scuffs!), I started getting admiring looks and questions about the bulging bag on my arm. Kids always want to know “how it works.”But today I was embarrassed of my Kate Spade purse. After an enjoyable lunch with my Women in Philanthropy buddies, we toured Community Action Services, which is the second largest food bank in Utah and distributes more than 2 million pounds of food from the Provo headquarters.Several families were on site to utilize the variety of services that this great organization provides. The value of my purse might be more than their monthly rent. I felt small. I felt guilty. I felt empowered by the experience.Our community is generous and aware. Sub for Santa is just the tip of the top done within our county borders. There are year-round opportunities to meet 24/7 needs. I came away with a new commitment to use Utah Valley Magazine to highlight the good and the great — and especially the best — that happens inside Utah County. If you know of a generous story or a kind face you’d like to see on our magazine pages, please leave a comment here or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. My purse is big enough for a very thick idea notebook.
Matt and I try to make magazines when our kids aren’t looking, but inevitably they overhear and oversee talk of interviews, advertisers and photo shoots. Our journalist hats tend to stay on even when our shoes are off. And like everyone else with a journalism degree and a pulse, we’ve been jockeying for some of Jimmer Fredette’s time. Our pre-interview research has included watching YouTube videos about him playing basketball in the prison and his “no way” shots this year as a Cougar. Apparently, Carson (my first-grader) also saw us watch a video clip showing a contract Jimmer’s brother made him sign that said Jimmer would one day play professional basketball. My “nose for news” figured out Carson had seen that clip when I noticed a new wall hanging in his upstairs bedroom.
So next week is National Marriage Week. Didn’t know that? Neither did I until I got a press release this week from the Utah Commission on Marriage. Being a magazine editor has its perks. I also got an important media alert about pet urns and another about hip replacement recall. I’m pretty much in the “know.” But I am pretty excited about Feb. 7-14 being National Marriage Week. I happen to be a fan of the husband-wife combo. We’ll be featuring three of Utah Valley’s happiest couples in our next issue of Utah Valley Magazine. It’s been sweet to see these twitterpated twosomes come to our offices for their interviews and photo shoots. And speaking of photo shoots, Matt and I had our own 30-second shoot as we tested the lights for the happy couple backdrop. From this photo, you may not be able to tell that Matt is the one pulling pranks around the office while I’m glued to my desk skipping lunch. Yin and yang, my friends. P.S. This wooden chair is a little gem we picked up when one of our clients was closing their store and opted to pay their advertising bill with merchandise. Again with the perks!
We started the week by ending the month of January. Our monthly staff meeting included a review of the past 31 days (yeah MainStreet!) and a look toward February (yeah UVMag!)It makes me positively giddy to have 16 team members who love Utah Valley Magazine, Utah Valley Bride and BusinessQ as much as I do. Our strong team approach should give me time to pursue hobbies, and yet I’m not a hobbyist. Or a lobbyist (although I do have my eye on the 2012 election). Matt, on the other hand, has taken up rock carving.This is the view from our son’s bedroom. Matt spends his non-magazine time with a dremel in his hand as he sculpts stone. Little piece of trivia … we hauled 600 pounds of alabaster home from a quarry on our trip to Southern Utah last summer. Another piece of trivia … the alignment on our Honda Odyssey has never been the same. My husband the hobbyist finished the weekend by polishing continents. That’s the kind of project Matt didn’t have time for during our startup phase. And it’s the kind of difficult, messy and ridiculously cool project I would not attempt no matter how much time I had. Call me a snobbyist.