New Economic Club of Utah Launched

U’s David Eccles School of Business will help cultivate enhanced economic leadership

Jan. 17, 2014 – Utah Gov. Gary Herbert joined more than 400 business and community leaders and economists today to launch the Economic Club of Utah. This new formal association will provide a forum to share research, data and analysis important to the success of the Utah economy. Economic clubs are prevalent in major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Community leaders felt it was time for Utah to organize a club of its own.

“Great American cities have prestigious forums for intellectually motivating and deeply relevant economic discussion,” said Taylor Randall, dean of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, which will serve as the organizing entity for the new club. “We will bring together leading economists and business leaders to better understand the Utah economy and cultivate the next generation of economic leaders.”

The Economic Club of Utah will be statewide and replace what was previously known as the Wasatch Front Economic Forum. Membership is free. The David Eccles School of Business will serve as the backbone organization, and the Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget and Salt Lake Chamber will serve as partnering entities. The club is led by a board of directors comprised of public and private sector economic expertise and a slate of officers who oversee the daily management of the organization (see list below of the board and officers).

Similar to economic clubs in other regions, The Utah Economic Club will engage in the following activities:

  • Speakers Forum – Host six to nine events per year to inform membership of critical business and economic issues facing Utah
  • Network – Provide a peer network to share economic data, research and analysis
  • NABE – Serve as the local chapter of the National Association of Business Economics
  • Annual Review – Host an annual symposium to share economic forecasts and timely economic issues. This is the signature event of the club each year.
  • Mentor – Cultivate future economic leaders

“Economic performance is foundational to the success of our community,” said Natalie Gochnour, an associate dean at the David Eccles School of Business and co-chair of the Utah Economic Council, which will lead the new club. “By improving our understanding of the Utah economy we can make better individual and collective decisions about how to keep it prosperous. This new club will promote a greater sense of economic purpose in our state.”

To learn more about the club or to join click here.

About the David Eccles School of Business

Founded in 1917 in Salt Lake City, the David Eccles School of Business educates nearly 3,500 students a year and boasts more than 31,000 alumni. Students manage a university venture fund of $18.3 million, the largest of its kind in the nation. In January 2012, the school opened its new $72 million Spencer F. Eccles Business Building, offering students a cutting-edge learning environment packed with state-of-the-art technology. Both its graduate and undergraduate programs rank in the top 20 nationally for entrepreneurship in the 2013 Princeton Review rankings and its Full-Time MBA program made the biggest jump up the rankings of U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 rankings of graduate schools. For more information, click here.

Leadership of the Economic Club of Utah

The Economic Club of Utah is led by a board of directors and managed by officers.

Board of Directors/Utah Economic Council

Juliette Tennert, Governor’s Office, public sector co-chair
Natalie Gochnour, Salt Lake Chamber, private sector co-chair
Stephen Kroes, President, Utah Foundation
Darin Mellott,  Senior Research Analyst, CBRE
Alan Westenskow, Vice President of Public Finance, Zions Bank
Kelly Matthews, Retired, Wells Fargo
Carrie Mayne, Chief Economist, Utah Department of Workforce Services
Leslee Katayama, Chief Economist, Utah State Tax Commission
Doug MacDonald, President, EconoWest
Chris Bray, Executive Director, Utah Nonprofits Association
John Edwards, Analyst, Cicero Group
Tom Maloney, Department Chair, Economics, University of Utah
John Gilbert, Professor of Economics and Business, Utah State University
Jim Wood, Director of Bureau of Economic and Business Research, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah
Wes Curtis, Executive Director of Regional Services, Southern Utah University
Richard W. Evans, Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University


President – Mark Knold, Senior Economist, Dept. of Workforce Services
Vice President – Phil Dean, Manager, Utah Governor’s Office of Management and Budget
Secretary – Nick Thiriot, Research Analyst, Bureau of Economic and Business Research
Treasurer – Colleen Huber, Executive Assistant, David Eccles School of Business
Membership Chair – Michelle Beebe, Chief of Contributions, Utah Department of Workforce Services
Program and Event Chair – Brigham Mellor, Economic Development Director, Salt Lake County
Young Leaders Chair – Michael Merrill, Public Policy Coordinator, Salt Lake Chamber